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Dec 30, 2010

Vietnamese Refugee + Australian Aboriginal" Hung Le Comedy: "Black And Tran"

This show was a ground breaking piece, seen first in Australia.
Vietnamese 'boat-person' Hung Le and Aboriginal actress: Ningali teamed up together to write and perform a show that touched on subjects considered taboo by white Australia.
More in the Arts


Dec 25, 2010

New York's Rinat Shaham to sing New Year's Eve Gala at Sydney Opera House

New York's own Mezzo-Soprano: Rinat Shaham is in Sydney to sing ten performances of Carmen for Opera Australia. (Details)

On New Year's Eve she and others will sing excerpts from Rossini - Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Boheme, Turandot, Traviata, Tosca and Carmen with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra conducted by Andrew Greene, followed by the famous fireworks amidst the truly amazing scenery of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

Artists to include:
  • Teddy Tahu Rhodes, baritone
  • Emma Matthews, soprano
  • Jacqueline Mabardi, soprano
  • Dominica Matthews, mezzo-soprano
  • Julian Gavin, tenor
  • James Egglestone, tenor
  • Andrew Jones, baritone

There will also be a free semi-staged performance of Carmen under the stars in Sydney:
Saturday 29th January at 8pm: Opera in the Domain

Watch Shaham sing Mozart in this delightful performance from Cosi fan tutte
( recorded in Paris 2008 )

More in the Arts


Dec 22, 2010

USA outlaws shark finning: shark fin soup tastes like crap anyway

Tuesday 21st December, the Senate voted in favor to amend the 2000 law that allowed the slaughter of sharks for their fins.
Shark finning is now effectively a crime in US waters, and US officials are now required to work with nations that don't similarly protect sharks. Amazingly, one can still legally find dolphin meat and whale meat in restaurants in Japan, and shark fin soup in many Asian Countries, all eaten mainly for their perverse status: Eat endangered species, look important.

We can thank the National Aquarium (Washington) for collecting letters from visitors and sending them in sacks in the thousands. Sharks are misunderstood creatures made into monsters by Hollywood.
Read about Shark Finning

Nov 28, 2010

New York's Minetta Tavern "Black Label Burger" $26

If you can get a table at the Minetta Tavern (call ahead), spend the extra ten bucks and get the $26 Black Label Burger. It's worth it, especially if you have had some good burgers in the past...
'Medium' is a little bloodier than you might expect, but the chefs know what they are doing so order your usual, and go with it. has a very serious article about the burger. Worth reading.

Nov 26, 2010

New York: Manhattan Real Estate. Ever heard of Inwood?

As buyers creep back into the real estate market in Manhattan, searching for the bargain apartment prices before the market fully recovers, residents of the 'secret to some' neighborhood: Inwood, perched at the Northern tip of Manhattan, have been treated to improving standards of living.

The new and improved 'Indian Rd Playground' is proving to be a huge relief for parents, needing to get the kids outside.
Picture by Carla Zanoni

Inwood's array of restaurants is ever improving: Read the list!

News of the Indian Rd Cafe's enormous success, and their beer list.. has begun to spread to neighboring areas. Friday nights with live Jazz has become very popular. Free wifi keeps the cafe buzzing with coffee drinkers all day.

See what's currently up for grabs on

Here's a fun Video shot after a snow storm:


Parrot Drone: the new $300 toy. A quad helicopter flown by your iPhone now on sale

Click your iPhone app for the drone, press 'take-off', and you see video from the copter's camera. You can fly it around the room, the garden, involve it in video games...
Amazing really.

It generates its own wifi network, works with an iTouch...
Click to read their page about piloting
Film Makers and Spies:
Can you capture the video? Check out this:

In Other Technology News


Nov 16, 2010

Live Recording of Rinat Shaham Carmen, authentic instruments

Baden Baden, Germany: an orchestra of period instrument specialists assembled to perform Bizet's "Carmen" starring New York based Mezzo: Rinat Shaham, who is defining the role for her generation.


Oct 31, 2010

Cooking Tip: "cooking with ginger: freeze and grate

Here's a random cooking tip I picked up along the way:
Buy one of those parmesan cheese graters and leave a chunk of ginger in it in the freezer.
Whenever you need ginger, grab and grate. (I put a bit in the teapot to give the tea a bit of kick) Add fresh ginger in 5 seconds. It's good for you!


Oct 22, 2010

Live Video, New York Chamber Music Festival 2010, George Crumb, flute and percussion

Filmed during the New York Chamber Music Festival George Crumb's "Idyll for the Misbegotten" for flute and percussion was performed by Patricia Zuber, her husband Greg Zuber and guests.

This video still looks classy, using the un-manned camera for a wide shot to cut to while the other camera moves between subjects.
Need Video? NYvideo.US

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Sep 7, 2010

"Gasp!" a film in production.

New York based Thiago Da Costa is producing and directing a short film called GASP!
The team is currently fund-raising through a site called IndieGogo.

 You can make tax-deductible donations to the project and win prizes for your donations by going to the following link:
"I think anyone who participated could say that this was not an easy project" says Thiago, "a labor of love sounds great on paper but it means nothing unless everyone is willing to give everything they have to make it work. I can categorically say that there was not a single person, on any day of the shoot who did not give it their all and I think that the fruits of such difficult labor will be extraordinary".

For more info on the film, go to:

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Aug 28, 2010

Take your own bag to the supermarket: this is why:

Please alter your patterns if you can.
Also donate at this site: www.Oceana.Org

Aug 27, 2010

New York's Rinat Shaham sings to 100,000 Israelis

New York's favorite Mezzo-Soprano, Rinat Shaham, has just returned from five Months on the road, singing her repertoire in Japan, Germany and Israel.
"I'm so happy to be back at home in New York for a few weeks" says Shaham.
"Five Months is a long time to live out of a suitcase, especially across two seasons of weather".
Videos of Shaham on youtube have been viewed by millions, with live footage ranging back to 2005.
Here's a look at her performance of Carmen, televised live in Israel, performed to an outdoor audience of 100,000 people.

More in the Arts

Aug 20, 2010

Scuba in New York City?

Japanese Dolphin Slaughter update

Posted By: Fonda Berosini
The Cove on Facebook
To: Members in "The Cove" - Save Japan Dolphins
UPDATE: Sept.1 Taiji events cancelled

For several important reasons, we have decided to cancel our plans in Taiji, Japan for Sept. 1st (the first day of the annual dolphin slaughter.)

Most importantly, we received word that an extreme nationalist group known to be violent is set to confront us in Taiji. Our work in Japan has never been about physical confrontation. Since "The Cove" premiered in theaters earlier this Summer, we believe we are making progress by bringing the truth to the people of Japan about the dolphin slaughter and about mercury-poisoned dolphin meat in markets. We will not play the game that the nationalist groups want us to play - we will not have it become “us versus them.”

"We" are now more than 1.6 million people from 153 countries, including Japan. The militant nationalist groups may gather as they like in Taiji; we will be elsewhere in Japan, talking to the media, explaining the problem, and making sure the public understands that we are not there to fight, but to work together.

I know some will be disappointed, but I really think we can do better elsewhere at this time. Please know that I’m not concerned about my own safety, however many supporters – some from this Cause – are planning to join us, and I won’t risk their well being.

We will not abandon the dolphins in trouble in Taiji and other fishing villages. In fact, moving the event will allow us to show the full scope of the problem. Several other communities along the coast of Japan have dolphin kills, although most have abandoned the drive fishery that was depicted in The Cove. And there is also the broader issue of captivity. We would like to discuss these issues in a neutral, conflict-fee environment.

Thanks for your understanding. To follow our next steps in Japan, I invite you to check my blog:

Ric O'Barry
Campaign Director
Save Japan Dolphins
Earth Island Institute

Jul 2, 2010

Do you know if your child is drowning? Read about the instinctive response to drowning.

Thanks to Eric Russell for this information that is saving lives even as you read:
Drowning is the number two cause of accidental death in children, age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents) – of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening.

The Instinctive Drowning Response – what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. And it does not look like what you'd expect. There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help

1.Except in rare circumstances, drowning victims are physiologically unable to call for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Breathing must be fulfilled, before speech occurs.

2.Victims' mouths sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of victims are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the victims' mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.

3.Drowning victims cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water, permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.

4.Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot control their arm movements. Victims who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching for rescue equipment.

5.From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. These drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.

Keep an eye on your kids in the water, make them swim between the flags, if you suspect a problem yell for help and point, get the lifeguard's attention asap.


Jun 12, 2010

People of East Timor digging for their dead after massacre: New Documentary


1991, Occupied East Timor: an estimated 200 people shot and killed by Indonesian military during an independence march. Images of the massacre became world news and were instrumental in the country gaining independence. But the bodies of the dead protestors were never returned to family members and their location has remained a mystery.

Two decades after the massacre, Director and Producer Andrew Sully joins expert forensic teams from Australia and Argentina as they exhume the mass graves where the victims were secretly buried by the Indonesian military. Grieving relatives may finally have an opportunity to reclaim and bury the bodies of their loved ones.

In their search for the Santa Cruz victims the forensic team encounters unreliable witnesses, false rumors and speculation about the location of the mass grave. They must also negotiate with the traditional beliefs of the East Timorese families, for whom Catholic and animist rituals are as legitimate a method for finding the bodies as the science of the forensic team.
The findings of the investigation could solve some unanswered questions about one of the most infamous mass murders of the 20th century. Exactly how many died? Was the massacre a tragic over-reaction by junior soldiers or were senior officers involved? Were there cold-blooded executions of survivors following the shootings at the cemetery?

Anatomy of a Massacre features the contemporary forensic dig as a recurring story that threads the film together. Cutting edge forensic science reveals new evidence about what happened on that fateful day.

With graphic archival material and witness testimonies, this 60 minute piece made for the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) is a landmark film about one of the most notorious massacres in recent history. It is a unique story that combines modern forensic science with powerful emotion.

More in the Arts

May 16, 2010

Naughty Crow steals chicken bones, close up footage

Shot on a kodak zi8


Apr 20, 2010

Opera Singer Rinat Shaham waylaid by volcano

The Baden Baden Opera Company, (official site) have found a ticket to Paris for New York's favorite mezzo: Rinat Shaham. They'll send a car to Paris to pick her up and make the journey to Baden Baden where she will begin the delayed Carmen rehearsals.
Tim Matheson photo / courtesy Vancouver Opera

Among the many travelers stranded by Iceland's naughty mountain, Shaham's flight from New York was cancelled, and "Lufthansa was not much help!" says Rinat; "Everytime I found a new flight online, the site would not allow me to book".

A somewhat welcome respite from a busy touring schedule has allowed Rinat to enjoy New York for a while longer, do some shopping and spend time eating out in Manhattan with her husband...
See her Facebook page

Read previous article about Rinat Shaham in Toronto

More Celebrity News>


Apr 11, 2010

Scuba Divers Clean up

New York and Tri-State area Scuba Divers banded together to do their bit for the local environment:

Video by New York Video Service

How2scuba site


Apr 6, 2010

Toronto Falls in Love with New York Mezzo's Carmen

CHRISTOPHER HOILE writes: (Opera News 2010 )

For its latest staging of Bizet's Carmen, Canadian Opera Company brought back the physical production it unveiled in 2005 but brought in a new director, Justin Way, and a new lighting designer, Aaron Black. The results (seen Jan. 27) were literally and psychologically darker than one remembered. Michael Yeargan's sets and François St-Aubin's costumes had relocated the action to 1940s Latin America, where the banana republic atmosphere had given the opera an undesirable satiric edge. Black's lighting counteracted the design's colorful gaiety by frequently backlighting the singers or bathing them in ominous Goyaesque shadows. This reinforced Way's approach, which kept the work's tragic outcome in view from the very start.
Under Way's direction, Israeli-born mezzo-soprano Rinat Shaham gave the most nuanced performance of the title role this reviewer has ever seen. Shaham has the ideal voice for Carmen — lush and velvety in its lower register, full and gleaming on top. Shaham's Carmen was not an unthinking force of nature but a flawed human being caught in a trap of her own making. Shaham easily conjured up Carmen's pantherine intensity, locking eyes with Don José as if sealing both his doom and hers. She gave Carmen a subtle layer of self-awareness. This Carmen knew too well that she was struggling against her love for Don José because it entailed her own loss of freedom. Thus, Carmen's frequent reversals of attitude in Act II became a sign not of capriciousness but of acute inner torment that culminated in the exquisitely sung card scene of Act III. Here, Carmen's revelation of her life's central contradiction — a longing for absolute liberty versus a belief in fate — created a profound emotional impact.

Watch more videos of Shaham
None of the others principals attained Shaham's perfect blend of singing and acting. Soprano Jessica Muirhead sang Micaela with great beauty, but her natural poise made her seem less a peasant girl than an aristocrat in disguise. Bryan Hymel has a powerful tenor with a rapid vibrato that suits the French repertoire, but his acting was too generic to be involving. Bass-baritone Paul Gay was an oddly wooden Escamillo whose lowest notes lacked resonance.

Under the energetic twenty-nine-year-old Scottish conductor Rory Macdonald, the COC Orchestra played with precision and spirit, fully bringing out the vibrant orchestral colors and lively dance rhythms of Bizet's score. In the end one felt exhilarated finally to have seen, in Rinat Shaham, a singer who embodied so completely the beauty, passion and complexity of this iconic character.

More Celebrity News>

More in the Arts>


Mar 28, 2010

Dame Edna Everage returns to Broadway: in: "It's All About Me"

Despite rumours of a disastrous hip replacement operation and an expensive boob-job gone wrong, Mega Housewife: Dame Edna Everage will stuff her anecdotes in her sack and spill them on stage for New Yorkers in March 2010.

The coming show, described by her frightened handlers as "a glorious celebration of everything Edna" will likely be a massacre. Have a good stiff drink before curtain time if you are sitting in the front few rows, because she's had 5 years to sharpen her barbs since her Tony nominated 2004 show.

Borrowing repertoire from her close colleague, Beyonce Knowles, "all the single ladies" might be her biggest hit. Here's a preview:

For Tickets: check here

Theatre: Henry Miller's Theatre (New York, NY)
124 W. 43rd St.
New York, NY

Schedule: Monday through Saturday at 8pm
Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm

Beginning March 22:
Tuesday at 7pm
Wednesday through Saturday at 8pm
Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm
Sunday at 3pm

Time change:
Sunday, April 11 at 2pm
Sunday, June 13 at 2pm
Price: $49.50 - $126.50

More in the Arts>


Mar 16, 2010

Elle Magazine Video from NY Fashion Week

Shot by New York Video Service Elle Magazine takes a look at Fashion Week and asks people what "Ooh La La" means.....

More Celebrity News>


Feb 27, 2010

Inwood New York, after the Feb 2010 snow storm

We picked our way through the fallen branches:

Music by Peter Bucknell and Kurt Severtson, Live 2004


Feb 2, 2010

Toimes under attack from New York Times

A certain lady from The New York Times' legal department has asked us to change our name and change the font of the heading that has made our new readers smirk since this blog's inception in 2005.

It seems that the financially troubled 'grey lady' is pissed off at us for using the gothic font on our little blog.
We'll keep you up to date as things progress, but we think that our lawyer friends know best and we shall wait for their advice before making our next move.

What say the people?
Do they think that the New York Times should compensate us for the changes they are adamantly demanding? Will it be cheaper for them to donate or purchase than to go to court?
We think so.


Jan 24, 2010

Wellness in New York City

New York is a great place to Be Well:

Video by New York Video Service.


Pilates tips for winter

Manhattan's celebrity pilates guru: Mika Street shows how to get your arms in shape for the Spring season, especially for brides!:

Also: How to beat the winter blues:

And: How to get summer legs

Videos by: New York Video Service

More Celebrity News>


Jan 9, 2010

How to make the best Hot Chocolate on Earth

To make One Cup:
  1. 1 Big-ass Cup of milk (add cream if you have no guilt)
  2. Warm in a pot, don't boil
  3. Add stuff: fresh mint, or cinnamon, paprika, fresh grated ginger
  4. Teaspoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of honey
  5. Drop in a few pieces of your fav chocky (break it up first )
  6. Mix till melted
  7. pour in a cup
  8. Add scoop of icecream
  9. Add dollup of cream
  10. Grate some chocolate over the top
  11. Give a taste to your friend,
  12. Take it away immediately and enjoy


New York's Horse and Carriage debate continues

New York City's Health Department has proposed rules for horses that carry tourists that they would get 5 weeks of job-protected vacation...also, good news for the steeds, carriage drivers and their passengers would no longer be allowed to light up under regulations that could take effect as early as March.
"Just like cabdrivers, they shouldn't be smoking," declared Daniel Kass, the Health Department's acting assistant commissioner for environmental health.

Horse drivers will soon face the same restrictions as cab drivers: No cellphones, no texting, no music players and no cameras.

Horse owners will also have to supply thermometers so drivers can take readings after every trip and enter them into a log book.
When temperatures drop below 18 or above 90, the horses would get the day off to eat and stand still, and think about galloping in a green field with buttercups and clouds..

Councilman Tony Avella back in 2008 introduced new legislation attempting to ban the use of horses from pulling carriages around both the city and in central park.

Horse and carriage drivers tend not to want their comments on record, but the ones that do talk to the press usually refer to the fact that horses have been beasts of burden for thousands of years, and they are very happy to be working and interacting.

The last accident, a few years ago, resulting in the death of a horse: "Smoothie", involved a street musician startling the horse with his drum. (the horse was also a music critic). The ASPCA has backed the proposed ban, which is a telling factor in the ban's future success

Animal rights spokesmen usually draw the publics' attention to the unavailability of water for the horses and the cramped stables (all of which have passed inspection). In particular though is the worry that horses have to deal with careless car drivers whom more often than not are chatting on cell phones.

Carolyn Daly, a professional public relations woman, has been speaking on behalf of the horse and carriage association, but I spoke to the drivers and owners themselves who all seem to agree that the horses are are living a decent lifestyle.

More Politics News>

Jan 8, 2010

Rinat Shaham and Luca Pisaroni sing beautiful Mozart Duet in Paris Production of Cosi

A fan of Rinat Shaham, New York's own Mezzo Soprano Star of the opera world has posted this rehearsal video from the most recent Paris production of Mozart's Cosi fan Tutte.
Sublime as always, worth the 5 minutes to listen:

More in the Arts>


Daisy Martinez, chef, New Book out now: "Daisy, morning noon and night"

"Daisy's authentic recipes are easy to make, easy to eat, and sure to please."
-- Rachael Ray

Food Network star Daisy Martinez has written a great recipe book: Daisy morning noon and night.
Watch this 2 minute video, made by the New York Video Service: (NYvideo.US )