Friday, October 19, 2012

Music Friday: ‘Gold Comes Rushing Out the River’ in Bruce Springsteen’s ‘American Land'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you superb songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today’s installment features Bruce Springsteen performing “American Land” from his chart-topping 2012 album, Wrecking Ball.

In this uplifting song about America’s immigrants, Springsteen chants, Gold comes rushing out the river straight into your hands, if you make your home in the American land.”

In another verse, he uses precious gem imagery: "There's diamonds in the sidewalks, there's gutters lined in song; Dear, I hear that beer flows through the faucets all night long."

Springsteen, also known as "The Boss," has said that “American Land” was inspired by a poem by immigrant steelworker Andrew Kovaly titled “He Lies in the American Land.” The poem was later set to music by legendary American folk singer Pete Seeger.

Springsteen’s music has often focused on the struggles of daily American life. Since he hit the rock scene in the early 1970s, Springsteen has sold more than 120 million albums worldwide and has earned a cache of high-profile awards, including 20 Grammys, two Golden Globes and an Oscar.

Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball album was his 10th to hit the No. 1 position on the Billboard charts, an accomplishment surpassed only by the Beatles (19) and Jay-Z (12).

In the video below, Springsteen performs “American Land” for exuberant concertgoers in Dublin. The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

"American Land"

Music and lyrics by Bruce Springsteen. Performed by Bruce Springsteen and The Seeger Sessions Band

What is this land of America, so many travel there
I'm going now while I'm still young, my darling meet me there
Wish me luck my lovely, I'll send for you when I can
And we'll make our home in the American land

Over there all the woman wear silk and satin to their knees
And children dear, the sweets, I hear, are growing on the trees
Gold comes rushing out the river straight into your hands
If you make your home in the American land

There's diamonds in the sidewalks, there's gutters lined in song
Dear, I hear that beer flows through the faucets all night long
There's treasure for the taking, for any hard working man
Who will make his home in the American land

I docked at Ellis Island in a city of light and spire
I wandered to the valley of red-hot steel and fire
We made the steel that built the cities with the sweat of our two hands
And I made my home in the American land

There's diamonds in the sidewalk, there's gutters lined in song
Dear I hear that beer flows through the faucets all night long
There's treasure for the taking, for any hard working man
Who will make his home in the American land

The McNicholas, the Posalski's, the Smiths, Zerillis too
The Blacks, the Irish, Italians, the Germans and the Jews
The Puerto Ricans, illegals, the Asians, Arabs miles from home
Come across the water with a fire down below

They died building the railroads, worked to bones and skin
They died in the fields and factories, names scattered in the wind
They died to get here a hundred years ago, they're dyin' now
The hands that built the country were always trying to keep down

There's diamonds in the sidewalk, there's gutters lined in song
Dear I hear that beer flows through the faucets all night long
There's treasure for the taking, for any hard working man
Who will make his home in the American land
Who will make his home in the American land
Who will make his home in the American land

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Man Finds 1.22-Carat Rough Diamond Amidst the Excavated Mud of a Friend’s Newly Drilled Well

A Wisconsin man who has been called a "fruit loop" because he likes to pan for gold in unusual places, recently happened upon a treasure even more valuable than gold.

While sifting the wet mud and sand that had been excavated from a friend's newly drilled well, Dan Fagnan of St. Croix County, Wis., encountered what seemed to be an irregular-shaped, transparent rock. Initially, he thought it was a piece of glass, but he had a hunch it may be a diamond.

A trip to his local jewelry shop confirmed that his once-in-a-lifetime find was a genuine 1.22-carat diamond in its natural rough state. Fagnan told the New Richmond News he was thrilled about his good fortune and plans to incorporate the rough stone in a necklace for his soon-to-be-born child. He decided against having the stone faceted because it would lose 60 percent or more of its weight during the cutting process.

According to the New Richmond News, Fagnan had nothing but gold flakes on his mind when he began to inspect the material that was drilled out of the 120-foot-deep hole in his friend's yard.

"Everyone thinks I'm a fruit loop for panning for gold," he told the New Richmond News. After his big score, his critics may start calling him "Diamond Dan."

Diamonds in Wisconsin?

Despite Diamond Dan's good fortune, some of you may be wondering how his 1.22-carat diamond got to Wisconsin in the first place. While diamonds can be found anywhere in the world, they're more likely to be found amidst a kind of rock called kimberlite. Formations of kimberlite pipes occur 93 to 280 miles below the earth's surface. Tectonic forces sometimes push the pipes to the surface, bringing the diamonds with them. Most diamonds mined today are found in the kimberlite, or downstream from a kimberlite deposit.

Being that Fagnan's community is not known to host kimberlite formations, is there another explanation?

Fagnan's jeweler surmised that the diamond originated in Canada and was dragged down to Wisconsin by glaciers during the last Ice Age. When the glaciers receded, the diamond may have been left behind.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Rock Star Neal Schon Proposes On Stage to Reality Star Michaele Salahi; Seals the Deal With $1 Mil. Oval Diamond Ring

Legendary lead guitarist Neal Schon from the rock group Journey got down on one knee during a performance in Baltimore on Sunday night and proposed to former Real Housewives of D.C. socialite Michaele Salahi.

The engagement ring Schon presented to Salahi on stage features an 11.42-carat oval diamond with a value pegged at more than $1 million.

TMZ reported that Schon was so nervous about losing the ring or having it stolen that he had it transported to his Baltimore Hotel just before the show in an armored vehicle. 

The moment of the proposal was captured by a fan attending Journey's benefit concert for the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. In the video, Schon calls Salahi to the stage, and the statuesque 47-year-old blonde acts like a giddy teenager as the 58-year-old Schon gets down on bended knee, pulls out the impressive ring and asks for her hand in marriage.

As lead singer Arnel Pineda joins the couple on stage, the bride-to-be gallops to Pineda and hugs him, giving the vocalist the perfect lead in to the Journey staple, "Faithfully."

According to The Washington Post, Schon's plan was to propose just before the song "Faithfully." He also had a prepared speech.

“I had this whole thing I was going to do,” Schon said. But when he called Salahi on stage and got on one knee, the plan went awry. “I started crying,” he admitted.

Then Salahi started crying, too, and the audience went nuts.

“It was the biggest ‘yes’ ever!” she told the Post.

Besides being a cast member of The Real Housewives of D.C., a reality show that made its debut on the Bravo network in 2010 and ran for one year, Salahi is also famous for notoriously crashing a White House State Dinner with her former husband, Tareq Salahi, in 2009. The two were divorced in August of 2011.

In a romantic twist to the Schon/Salahi engagement, the rock star first spotted the striking blonde 16 years ago as she headed toward her seat at a Journey concert in D.C. Schon sent a crew member into the audience to invite her backstage after the show. She accepted the invitation and apparently the two spoke for hours.

After completing the current Journey tour at the end of November, the happy couple will head home to San Francisco to begin planning their wedding. This will be Salahi's second marriage. Schon is hoping that his fifth will be a charm.

Here's the video of the actual proposal, followed by Pineda singing "Faithfully."

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 Calls It the 'Scariest Jewelry Billboard Imaginable', the popular site that provides a snapshot of the viral web in realtime, called it the "scariest jewelry billboard imaginable."

What the site is describing is a huge three-dimensional billboard advertising traditional Kolkata jewelry high above a highway in India. The headline confidently states, "Seven Generations of Entrapment Expertise." The graphic shows what appears to be a giant man holding a beautiful multi-tiered gold necklace, and entrapped by the weave of the necklace is a woman, barely the size of three links.

Already, the theme is hardly politically correct by Western standards, but here's the catch: The entrapped woman is not part of the graphic. She's very real, as in living art.

The ad campaign, which launched last month, was created for Dubai-based SCG Jewellers by a Mumbai-based advertising agency called Inter Publicity. The unique approach of using a live model on a billboard has generated a viral reaction in advertising circles, as well as on more general sites, such as While the reviews of the ad have been mixed, the agency did succeed in breaking through the advertising clutter.

SCG specializes in traditional Kolkata gold jewelry and bills itself as one of the oldest jewelry brands in India, with distribution throughout Asia, Europe and the Middle East. ran the photo, above, with this caption: "Hi Mom! I got some modeling work!"

Monday, October 15, 2012

Scientists Discover Another 'Diamond' Planet; Its Value Is Pegged at $26.9 Nonillion

Last November, Aussie astronomers reported the discovery of an amazing "diamond" planet that is five times the size of the Earth and composed primarily of diamond. The super-dense planet, which started off as a massive white dwarf star, is located 4,000 light years away in the Serpens constellation.

Now another diamond planet is in the news, and this one's only 40 light years away in the constellation of Cancer. The planet named "55 Cancri e" is about twice the size of the Earth, but has eight times its density. Astrophysicists from Yale University believe a third of the planet is made of graphite and diamond. The amount of diamond in the planet could be equivalent to three times the mass of the Earth.

“On this planet there would basically be a thin layer below the surface which will have both graphite and diamond,” Yale researcher Nikku Madhusudhan told Universe Today. “But, below that there will be a thick layer (a third of the radius) with mostly diamond. For a large part, the diamond will be like the diamond on Earth, except really, really pure. But at greater depths the diamond could also be in liquid form.”

A Forbes magazine columnist took a crack at estimating the value of 55 Cancri e and came up with the staggering number of $26.9 nonillion. (This is $26.9 followed by 30 zeros.) Wow.

Sadly, the prospects of mining the gem riches of the distant planet are slim to none. You see, the surface temperature is 3,900 degrees Fahrenheit, and the big bauble is some 230 trillion miles away.