Friday, June 07, 2013

Music Friday: There’s a Band of Gold That Shines in Journey’s Hit, ‘When You Love a Woman’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you sensational songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today we feature Journey’s romantic, Grammy-nominated anthem, “When You Love a Woman.” In the memorable refrain, lead vocalist and songwriter Steve Perry sings, “When you love a woman, you can see your world inside her eyes,” and describes the joy that lasts forever as “a band of gold that shines.”

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Originally released in 1996 as the lead single off the group’s Trial by Fire album, “When You Love a Woman” quickly ascended to #1 on the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary chart and topped out at #12 on the U.S. Hot 100. In 1997, the song earned a Grammy nomination in the category of Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group.

Former members of Santana and Frumious Bandersnatch formed Journey in San Francisco in 1973. After a long string of hits, the group disbanded in 1987 only to reunite in 1995. When lead singer Steve Perry went down with a hip injury and was unable to tour in 1998, the group made numerous — and mostly unsuccessful — attempts to fill Perry’s very big shoes.

Finally, in 2007, original band member Neal Schon was viewing Journey covers on YouTube when a video by Filipino Arnel Pineda caught his attention. Pineda had a golden voice similar to Perry’s and Journey had their man. He has been singing lead vocals for Journey ever since.

We invite you to enjoy the video at the end of this post. It’s Pineda’s interpretation of “When You Love a Woman.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

“When You Love a Woman”
Written by Steve Perry, Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain. Performed by Journey.

In my life I see where I've been
I said that I'd never fall again
Within myself I was wrong
My searchin' ain't over... over
I know that...

When you love a woman
You see your world inside her eyes
When you love a woman
You know she's standin' by your side
A joy that lasts forever
There's a band of gold that shines waiting somewhere... oh yeah

If I can't believe that someone is true
To fall in love is so hard to do
I hope and pray tonight
Somewhere you're thinkin' of me girl
Yes I know...I know that

When you love a woman
You see your world inside her eyes
When you love a woman
You know she's standin' by your side
A joy that lasts forever
There's a band of gold that shines waiting somewhere... oh

It's enough to make you cry
When you see her walkin' by
And you look into her eyes

When you love a woman
You see your world inside her eyes
When you love a woman
Well you know she's standin' by your side
A joy that lasts forever
There's a band of gold that shines
When you love a woman...
When you love, love, love, love
When you love a woman
You see your world inside her eyes

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Mystery Solved: Ancient Egyptians Adorned Themselves with Meteorite Iron From the Heavens

This rusty tube-shaped bead may not look very impressive, but its chemical composition reveals that it was part of a meteorite that ancient Egyptians crafted into iron jewelry more than 5,300 years ago.

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Egyptians of 3,300 BC probably believed that the sky-born metal was a gift from the gods, according to scientists from the Open University and the University of Manchester, who studied the artifact using an electron microscope and X-Ray CT scanner.

A chemical analysis revealed that as much as 30 percent of the metal inside the bead was composed of nickel, which strongly suggests a celestial origin. Nickel-rich iron wouldn't appear in Egypt until thousands of years later during the Egyptian Iron Age.

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The scientists also created a 3D model of the bead's internal structure, which revealed that the ancient Egyptians created the ornament by hammering a fragment of iron from the meteorite into a thin plate and then bending it into a tube. Their findings were published in the May 20 edition of Meteoritics & Planetary Science.

“The sky was very important to the ancient Egyptians,” said Joyce Tyldesley, an Egyptologist at the University of Manchester, UK, and a co-author of the paper. “Something that falls from the sky is going to be considered as a gift from the gods.”

The bead studied by Tyldesley and her team was one of nine metal tube-shaped beads that were first excavated at the Gerzeh cemetery near Cairo in 1911. The iron beads' inclusion in burials suggests this material was deeply important to ancient Egyptians, perhaps ensuring the deceased a quick journey to the afterlife, the scientists suggested.

In 1928, scientists studying the composition of the beads first suspected their cosmic origin. They determined that the nickel content was unusually high—the signature of iron meteorites.

But then in the 1980s, other scientists countered that the nickel-rich material could have resulted from early attempts at smelting.

The latest data puts an end to the mystery. The bead demonstrated a distinctive crystalline structure called a Widmanst├Ątten pattern. This structure is found only in iron meteorites that cooled extremely slowly inside their parent asteroids as the Solar System was forming.

The beads are currently part of the permanent collection of University of Manchester’s Manchester Museum.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Top-Ranked Serena Williams Overcomes 'Bling Blister,' Keeps Diamond Rings On During Critical Match at the French Open

Top-ranked tennis pro Serena Williams, a beautiful and stylish athlete who has never been shy about wearing plenty of bling during her matches, sought the help of a trainer when her stacked diamond bands were chafing the pinky finger on her right hand just before the French Open quarterfinals on Tuesday.

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Instead of removing the rings, Williams decided to sacrifice comfort for style. The trainer applied ointment and tape to what Jon Wertheim of the Tennis Channel called a “bling blister,” and Williams was good to go.

Despite being down 2-0 in the third set to unranked Svetlana Kuznetsova, Williams amassed a strong comeback and is now poised to move on to the French Open semifinals for the first time since 2003. She’ll be matched up against No. 5 seed Sara Errani of Italy.

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Chris Chase, a blogger for USA Today, wrote: “Even with the pre-match injury, Serena didn’t take off the ring! She kept it on and showed no ill-effects, winning the first set 6-1 and eventually prevailing in three.”

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An older photo of what seems to be the same ring confirms that the jewelry at the center of our story is really a stack of four diamond bands, each one slightly different than the other in width and diamond size.

When it comes to looking fabulous on the tennis court, the world’s No. 1 female tennis player would never let a little blister get in her way. She’s often seen in huge dangling earrings, bold diamond rings, handcuff-style bracelets and stylish pendants. And, yes, the nails are always long, colorful and perfectly manicured.

When asked about her on-court accessories during a recent appearance on “The Late Show,” Williams told host David Letterman, “A girl’s gotta have her diamonds.”

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Mammoth 145-Million-Year-Old Oyster Fossil May Contain Golf Ball-Sized Natural Pearl

Today we’re honoring June’s official birthstone – the lovely pearl — by bringing you a glimpse of a rare ancient fossil 10 times the size of an average oyster that is likely concealing an extraordinary treasure – a natural pearl the size of a golf ball.

pearl1

The seven-inch fossilized oyster, which is estimated to be 145 million years old, was scanned with sophisticated MRI equipment that revealed the presence of a round, smooth object that could be a giant pearl.

pearl2

This mammoth oyster reportedly turned up in the Solent, a strait separating mainland England from the Isle of Wight. The rare specimen is currently housed at the Blue Reef Aquarium in Portsmouth, UK, where it is seen only at lectures.

Lindsay Holloway of the Aquarium told The Daily Mail: “It was discovered in the nets of a fishing boat which was dredging here. When the fishermen came back to port they thought it was [live], but when they picked it up, cleaned it, and had a closer look they could tell it was a fossil. It had completely turned to stone.”

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Aquarist Jenna MacFarlane from the Blue Reef Aquarium holds the gigantic oyster that could contain a huge natural pearl.

Holloway explained that oysters could be aged by the annual growth rings on their shells. “We have counted more than 200 rings on this oyster, making it an extremely long-lived individual," Holloway said. "It's obviously a million-to-one chance that it would contain anything, but if you were to go purely on the dimensions of the shell then you'd be looking at a golf ball-sized pearl.”

If the object inside were removed and identified as a pearl, it could be priceless – but it would mean destroying the rare fossil, which is an unacceptable trade-off for Holloway and her team.

Natural pearls are formed inside the shells of bivalve mollusks as a defense mechanism against an irritant. The mollusk secretes layers of nacre (calcium carbonate) to seal off the irritation. This secretion process is repeated many times, producing a iridescent pearl. Natural pearls come in various shapes, with perfectly round pearls being the most rare.