Friday, October 12, 2012

Music Friday: The Legendary Platters Sing 'With This Ring'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today we feature the Platters singing "With This Ring." The song, which reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1967, features the silky voice of Sonny Turner on lead vocals.

Established in 1955, the Platters were one of the most successful vocal groups of the early rock and roll era with 40 of their songs charting on the Billboard Hot 100 and four reaching the coveting #1 spot. Turner had replaced Tony Williams on lead vocals in 1959 and remained with the group through 1970.

The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and, currently, there are at least 12 Platter acts performing in the U.S., including The Buck Ram Platters, Herb Reed and His Platters, Monroe Powell and The Platters, and Sonny Turner's Platters.

The video below features Sonny Turner's Platters performing "With This Ring" at a Tokyo concert in August of 2011. The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along.

"With This Ring"

Words and music by Luther Dixon, Richard Wylie and Anthony Hester. Performed by the Platters.

With this ring I promise I'll always love you, always love you
With this ring I promise I'll always love you, always love you

They used to call me the wanderer
Who never wanted to settle down... Yeah
But I'll tell you, baby
I wander no more, got to stay around 'cause

With this ring I promise I'll always love you, always love you
With this ring I promise I'll always love you, always love you

Got nothing but this old heart of mine
Baby, please, believe in me
Girl, you know, sweet heart,
I'll always try to keep you satisfied, 'cause

With this ring I promise I'll always love you, always love you
With this ring I promise I'll always love you, always love you

With this ring I promise I'll always love you, always love you
With this ring I promise I'll always love you, always love you

Baby, I never thought so much love
Could fit in a little band of gold
But I'm telling you, darling
I feel it in my heart, got it in my soul

With this ring I promise I'll always love you, always love you
With this ring I promise I'll always love you, always love you

Thursday, October 11, 2012

It Was Like Finding a Needle in a Haystack... Uh, We Mean a Diamond Ring in a Corn Pit

A fun-filled romp with the kids in a 60-by-60-foot pool of corn kernels took a frightening turn when a Minnesota mother of three forgot to heed the warning signs and lost her newly upgraded diamond engagement ring when it slipped off her corn-starched finger.

One of the most popular attractions at the Twin Cities Corn Maze in Brooklyn Park, Minn., is the vast three-foot-deep corn pit containing seven semi-truck loads of kernels. The only risk in this family-friendly environment is the very real possibility of losing one's precious jewelry.

Farmer and owner Bert Bouwman explains: "One of the products you can get out of the corn is starch. Starch makes your hands slippery. It's a dry lubricant, and the cold weather makes your fingers a bit thinner so the rings can easily slip off." Because of the risk, Bouwman posts signs around the pit that warn visitors to remove their jewelry before entering the attraction.

Bouwman said that the corn pit consumes five to eight rings a year. The good news is that he and his staff are able to find about 80 percent of them.

Which brings us back to the story of Karilyn Miller, the Minnesota mom, who was having an awesome outing on September 29 with her three kids, Jaelie, 5, Bradon, 2, and Kailah, 16 months. “We were playing and I was just going to scoop one more handful of corn, and then I noticed ‘Oh my goodness, I think my ring just fell off,’” Miller told ABC News.

Then the search was on. Countless strangers tried to help, but locating the diamond engagement ring that her husband had recently upgraded to mark their 10 years together was like finding a needle in a haystack. Miller said she prayed for the ring's safe return. "I said, 'God, I know it's just a ring but, if you can, help us find this.'"

Eventually, the kids became tired and Miller decided to start heading home, while her husband and others continued the search.

Well, the combination of faith and good fortune saved the day for the Millers. A young man who runs the rock climbing wall attraction at the Corn Maze had a metal detector on the site. Said Dale Webb, the rock climbing guy, "I got a blip, so I started digging in that area. I said, 'You won't believe it, we found it!'"

All the volunteers erupted in applause.

Miller returned to the pit to thank everyone for their help. She told ABC News, “To see the good in people, it was just a very uplifting experience.”

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Jennifer Aniston's Engagement Ring Finally Revealed... And It's Impressive

When we learned of actress Jennifer Aniston's engagement to actor Justin Theroux nearly two months ago, we were excited to see the ring. We knew it was going to be special because a source close to the actress told the tabloids, "She was so happy and said she loves the ring. I think she was overwhelmed and overjoyed by the size and beauty of it!"

But, Aniston, who has been filming We Are The Millers in New Mexico, has kept the ring out of site and undercover, going as far as wrapping her left hand in a towel when moving around the movie set.

On Saturday, Aniston's ring finally made its world debut when the actress met with her fiancé in Santa Fe, and the couple was snapped with Aniston's bedazzled left hand caressing Theroux's face.

Now the speculation.

Although the tabloids seem to be in agreement that the ring is impressively large, with most estimating the center diamond at 8 to 9 carats. What's not as clear is the shape and value of that center stone, and that's because the photo is, well, not that clear.

Some magazines have described it as an emerald-cut diamond and others are calling it an oval or radiant cut. Estimated values have ranged from $500,000 to just under $1 million.

E! Online outlined a comparison of Aniston's new engagement ring and the one received by actress Angelina Jolie this past April. If you're keeping a scorecard, you probably already know that Aniston was previously married to actor Brad Pitt, who is now engaged to Jolie.

Designer Peter Meksian told E! Online that Aniston's ring is approximately 8 to 9 carats with a radiant cut center diamond and an estimated price tag of $500,000. The half-million-dollar figure is on the low end of estimates given to Jolie's emerald-cut diamond engagement ring with a total weight of 10 to 16 carats. People Magazine reported that the Jolie engagement ring cost her beau a cool $1 million.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Scientists Make Pure Gold From Toxic Liquid. Yes, Alchemy Lives!

Back in the Middle Ages, long before the existence of the periodic table, scientists practiced alchemy – the relentless and fruitless effort to produce gold from ordinary metals. Today, more than 600 years later, alchemy lives, thanks to special bacteria that loves to feed on a corrosive, toxic liquid called gold chloride.

In lab experiments, what starts off as a useless heavy metal is transformed almost magically, as the bacteria – called Cupriavidus metallidurans – consumes the gold chloride and excretes pure 24-karat gold nuggets.

The revelation that certain bacteria can make pure gold in this unusual way is credited to professors Kazem Kashefi and Adam Brown of Michigan State University.

“Microbial alchemy is what we’re doing,” Kashefi told Forbes magazine. “The bacteria are capable of breathing gold, just like people breathe oxygen.”

In their research, the professors took a vessel and filled it with about a liter and a half of water. Then they removed the oxygen and added the bacteria and gold chloride. Slowly, they added more and more gold chloride to the water to see how much the bacteria could process, eventually peaking at about 25 times higher than what was believed to be the limit. In about a week, the bacteria produced about 60 milligrams (.002 ounces) of gold.

Although this process has proven to work in a lab environment, it's very unlikely to be used commercially because the technique is not cost effective, according to the researchers.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Cast of 90 Friends and Relatives Perform in Epic Lip-Dub Marriage Proposal

With a nod to Isaac Lamb, whose "Marry You" lip-dub marriage proposal in May 2012 set the YouTube gold standard in this genre (15.79 million views and counting), another ambitious romantic threw his hat in the ring this past week with his own epic lip-dub proposal.

In a scheme similar to Lamb's, 24-year-old Bradley Jansen recruited about 90 friends and relatives to participate an elaborately choreographed lip-dub of One Direction's "One Thing" in an exciting build-up to his romantic beachfront proposal to girlfriend, Emily Kaplan.

After only one week on YouTube, the eight-minute "Brad and Emily Get Engaged!" lip-dub video has gone viral with 414,000 views, numerous website and blog references, local news coverage and a live interview on Friday's "Good Morning America" show nationally televised on ABC.

Kaplan told GMA host George Stephanopoulos that she had no clue of what was in store when she and her boyfriend arrived at Tunnel Park on the shore of Lake Michigan on Memorial Day.

What innocently started off with the groom-to-be serenading his girlfriend with the help of a hand-held boombox quickly evolved into wild production number supported by a huge cast of dancers and singers, including the bride's parents. Bradley takes Emily by the hand and leads her through a winding path with a surprise at every turn.

“It’s normal for Brad to sing like that to me in the car, so as soon as I got out and saw one of our friends from Princeton, I was like, ‘Ah, there’s something going on,’” Kaplan explained on GMA.

Eventually, she's led to the beach by a girlfriend, where Kaplan finds a series of notes along the shore, each hand-written by Jansen and each describing a favorite memory. The trail of notes leads her to a spot where a monitor is set up. Here's where she views a video of her relatives, friends and a young student, telling her how special she is.

Then it's back to the live action, where Jansen steps into the scene, goes down on one knee and delivers his proposal. And, of course, Kaplan says, "Yes." The Grand Rapids, Mich., couple plans to get married next summer.