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Monday, December 26, 2016


America's Got Talent last week had a holiday show featuring Grace VanderWaal, the winner this summer, singing Frosty the Snowman.  Frankly, she sounded sophomoric.  Her Perfectly Imperfect album, released this month made a debut at #9 on Billboard.  I Don't Know My Name, which she wrote and rode to the top in the show, was just perfect for her voice.   CLICK ON IT!!! This will make your day.

Growing up (below) is Jackie Evancho.  To the right is how she looked seven years ago  at the age of 10 when she came in second on America's Got Talent.  Her first audition remains a classic, and now is approaching 14 million views.  Oh, oh...she will perform at Donald Trump's inauguration.  The other memorable clip is Susan Boyle's initial appearance on Britain's Got Talent.

South Korea's leader, Park Geun-Hye, who I mentioned two months ago during my visit to Seoul was in serious political trouble for her political indiscretion regarding Choi Soon-sil, did get impeached.  

One of the key transition figures in Hawaiian music, Palani Vaughan, passed away at the age of 72.  He was in the original Sunday Manoa with Peter Moon, Alfred "Baby" Kalima and Cyril Pahinui, which quickly shifted to only Moon with Robert and Roland Cazimero in the early '70's.  Vaughan went on to become the modern-day embodiment of the Merrie Monarch, King David Kalakaua.

Nearly five years ago I announced the coming of Japanese-Iranian Yu Darvish (left), 26 then, from the Nippon Ham Fighters (to be more definitive, there is a company called Nippon Ham in Japan, so this team is not the Japan Ham Fighters) to the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball.  Well, soon to appear in America, but not necessarily next year, will be, so said, the best player in baseball, Shohei Otani (below), also now of the Fighters.  

He not only led the Pacific League in strikeouts (132 on 108 innings), he is a hitting star.  His fastball has been clocked at 103 MPH, and he bats third with a .341 average.  He led the Fighters to the Japan Series Title this year, with an ERA of 1.86, while hitting 22 homers with a league-high 1.004 OPS.  Shohei is 22 years old.  The last prominent player who went both ways was Babe Ruth in 1919.   

Who will he sign with and when? Still to be decided.  The speculation is that the Fighters would be paid $20 million just to release him, and Otani would earn a $200 million contract.  He now gets $1.83 million in Japan.

Colo, the world's oldest gorilla, from Columbus, Ohio, turned 60 this past week.  She is a mother of three, grandmother of 16, great-grandmother of 12 and great-great-grandmother of 3:

Then, of course, there is Emma, a 13-year old rabbit from Seattle:

Shanti, 42-year old elephant living in our National Zoo, DC, who plays the harmonica:

Gao Gao, 26-year old Panda at the San Diego Zoo:

Finally, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute released two photos taken seven years ago of a ghost shark:


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