Friday, June 28, 2013

Music Friday: Diamond Rio Performs Its 1998 Crossover Hit, ‘Unbelievable’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fun songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, Diamond Rio performs its hard-driving, toe-tapping 1998 crossover hit, “Unbelievable,” which features the unforgettable refrain: “kissable, huggable, lovable, unbelievable.”


Infatuated frontman Marty Roe sings about being crazy in love with his “unbelievable” new girlfriend. His life had been lonely and boring, but now an intelligent, elegant, heaven-set beauty has turned his world upside-down — so much so that he stutters when he tries to speak to her.

In a memorable line from the song, Roe boasts that he “put a big down payment on that itty bitty diamond ring.”

Peppered with perfect harmonies, the fun, up-tempo “Unbelievable” vaulted to #2 on the Billboard Hot Country chart while capturing crossover fans, as well. The song settled in at #36 on the broader-based Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Diamond Rio was founded in Nashville in 1984 and is still comprised of the same six members — Gene Johnson, Jimmy Olander, Brian Prout, Dan Truman, Dana Williams and Roe. The group is a 13-time Grammy nominee and was voted the Country Music Association’s Vocal Group of the Year four times in the 1990s.

Enjoy the music video at the end of this post. The lyrics are below because we know you'll want to sing along…

Written by Jeffrey Steele and Al Anderson. Performed by Diamond Rio.

She's so kissable, huggable, lovable, unbelievable
She's a mouthful of anything and everything a man could want
She ain't typical, she's unpredictable, she's available, it's a miracle
How my heart stumbled into someone so kissable, huggable, lovable, unbelievable

Up 'til now my life has been so lonely and boring
I never thought I would find someone so

Elegant, intelligent, heaven sent, all my money spent
I put a big down payment on that itty bitty diamond ring
She's so beautiful, it's indisputable, it's undeniable, she's got-to-havable
She's music to my ears, and makes my heart sing, so kissable, huggable, lovable, unbelievable

There's so many things
I want to tell her
Like I love her
But every time I talk
I start to stutter

She's so elegant, intelligent, heaven sent, all my money spent
I put a big down payment on that itty bitty diamond ring
She's so beautiful, it's indisputable, it's undeniable, she's got-to-havable
She's music to my ears, and makes my heart sing, kissable, huggable, lovable, unbelievable

Kissable, huggable, lovable, unbelievable
Kissable, huggable, lovable, unbelievable

Thursday, June 27, 2013

18-Carat Yellow Diamond, Colorful Florets and a Big-Eyed Surprise Highlight Holly Madison's Jaw-Dropping Engagement Ring

Holly Madison is living the dream. On Sunday, high atop the Ferris wheel at the Electronic Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, the former Girls Next Door star received a jaw-dropping 18-carat yellow diamond engagement ring from her romantic long-time beau, Pasquale Rotella.


Designed by celebrity jeweler Alan Friedman with an assist from Rotella, the Art Nouveau-inspired engagement ring features a mammoth cushion-cut yellow diamond center stone surrounded by delicate florets of yellow and pink diamonds. Tiny golden leaves complement a white gold shank that has the texture of tree bark.


To make the ring even more special, Rotella worked with the jeweler to ensure that Madison’s love for owls was integrated into the design. Madison said that an engraved likeness of the nocturnal bird is cleverly hidden in the rose gold between two of the florets. (We're having trouble finding it in the photo, above.)


"I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful or magical proposal!" Madison wrote in her blog.

The 33-year-old former model starred with Hugh Hefner in the E! reality show The Girls Next Door from 2005 to 2009. Madison and Rotella have been dating since the fall of 2011 and the couple had their first child, Rainbow Aurora, in March of this year.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Scientists Revisit Healing Properties of Silver; Tiny Amounts Added to Antibiotics Make Medications 1,000 Times More Effective

The mystical medicinal properties of silver — widely used by ancient civilizations — are back in the headlines, as a new study reveals that tiny amounts of the element added to common antibiotics make the medications up to 1,000 times more effective in fighting infections.


The lustrous fashion-forward precious metal could be the medical community's silver bullet in its battle against drug-resistant “superbugs” — bacteria that has grown immune to standard drugs. Some doctors have feared that superbugs, left unchecked, could make the most common surgeries extremely risky because the arsenal of effective antibiotics is nearly tapped out.

The World Health Organization has warned that "many infectious diseases risk becoming untreatable and uncontrollable."


Since the days of ancient Greece, silver has been cherished on so many levels — from fine jewelry and ornaments to currency and utensils. The ancients also discovered that silver had unique healing properties, such as protecting wounds from infection and preserving food and water.

Privileged families in the Middle Ages benefited health-wise from using silver eating utensils even though the side effect was often a bluish-grey discoloration of the skin. These fortunate families became known as "blue bloods." And North American pioneers routinely dropped silver coins into their drinks to ward off infection on long journeys.


Silver’s place in the medical community continued all the way until the 1940s, when newly developed antibiotics were favored to fight sickness and infections. Now, 70 years later, the ascension of drug-resistant superbugs has scientists revisiting their old friend silver, the same element that the "Father of Medicine," Hippocrates, prescribed to treat ulcers in ancient Greece in 400 BC.


In a study published in Science Translational Medicine, researchers at Boston University found that by adding trace amounts of silver to common antibiotics, the medications became up to 1,000 times more effective in fighting infections in mice.

"We went from basically no killing to substantial killing," said senior author James Collins, a professor of microbiology.

The silver attacks bacterial cells in two main ways: It makes the unusually tough cell membrane of superbugs more permeable, and it interferes with the cell’s metabolism. Both mechanisms could potentially be harnessed to make today’s antibiotics more effective against resistant bacteria, Collins said.

Although the experiments have yet to be performed on humans, initial findings are more than promising.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Similarities in the Geology of the Red Planet and Australia’s Red Center Lead Scientists to Believe That Mars Could Be Rich in Opals

New research matching the geology of Mars with that of Australia’s Red Center sheds new light on why 95% of the Earth’s opals come from Down Under and how the Red Planet is likely a rich source of the colorful, fiery gemstone.


The findings, which were published in the Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, reveal that opals started forming in a vast, but dying, inland sea about 100 million years ago during “an extraordinary episode of acidic weathering.”

“Before this, we did not know [opal's] origin, why it forms at such shallow depths or why it can be found in central Australia and almost nowhere else on Earth,” said lead researcher Professor Patrice Rey of the University of Sydney.

Between 100 million and 97 million years ago, a vast sea that covered 60% of Australia began retreating. As the sea regressed, a rare episode of acidic weather was taking place, exposing pyrite minerals and releasing sulphuric acid. As the surface of the basin dried further and cracked, silica-rich gel became trapped in the veins of the rock. Over time, the silica solidified to form opals.


Central Australia is believed to be the only place on Earth where acidic weathering of this scale has ever taken place. However, the same conditions were documented on the surface of Mars in 2008.


"If you look at Mars and the Red Center [of Australia], they share similar characteristics," said Patrice. "Similar rocks went through similar weathering processes, so potentially precious opals might exist there." Interestingly, Australia’s Red Center, an arid area known for its bright rust-colored soil, could easily be mistaken for an outpost of Mars.

So far, only poor-quality opals have been identified on the surface of Mars. They were discovered in 2008 by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter using a spectroscope.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Smitten San Francisco Man Pops the Question at 30,000 Feet With a Giant Assist From JetBlue Airways

Never underestimate the creativity and resourcefulness of a young man in love — nor the power of a progressive company dedicated to providing the ultimate customer experience.


It all started when smitten boyfriend Adam wanted to deliver an epic marriage proposal to his girlfriend of five years, Taryn. Adam had produced a cleverly edited four-minute proposal video for Taryn and wanted her to see it during their flight from San Francisco to Long Beach, Calif., where they planned to celebrate his birthday.

Ambitious Adam contacted JetBlue Airways about the prospect of delivering his proposal at 30,000 feet, and the rest of the story is pure magic, as no fewer than eight JetBlue departments collaborated to make this a perfect day for the couple.


This past Wednesday, exactly 28 minutes into the 90-minute JetBlue Flight 1437, Adam’s video began to play simultaneously on the monitors of each of the plane's 150 passengers.

In the video, Adam details how he first met Taryn when she was a hostess at a P.F. Chang's restaurant and he was a server there. Illustrated with a montage of pictures from their five years together, the video recounts how Adam won Taryn’s heart after a shaky start and lists all the qualities he loves about her.

Then these words appear: "You are the girl I think about. You are the girl I dream about. You are the girl I can't be without." Then the big question follows: "Will you marry me?"


After the video went black, Adam got down on one knee and proposed to the visibly overwhelmed and emotional Taryn. She said, “Yes,” and excitedly slid her new ring onto her finger. The couple embraced and the JetBlue captain made an announcement to the other travelers that Adam and Taryn were officially engaged.


But the excitement didn’t end there. The JetBlue in-flight crew continued the celebration by handing out cake pops to all the passengers.


When the couple entered the Long Beach terminal, they were applauded by dozens of enthusiastic orange-vested JetBlue staffers. The airline also surprised the couple with festive decorations, a huge custom cake bearing their likenesses and, of course, some champagne.


In its blog, “Blue Tales,” a JetBlue blogger confirmed that the airline’s staffers are “suckers for a good love story.”

“Blue Tales” reported that eight teams, “including Airports, Inflight, Product Development, Marketing, and our partners at LiveTV came together to create an extra special high-flying moment.”

“It wasn’t easy,” the blogger continued, “but we love a good challenge in the name of love. And we’ve got TVs at every seat and we’re not afraid to use them.”

In a thank-you note to the JetBlue, Adam wrote, “You are absolutely awesome! I almost cried in front of everyone… no joke. I am forever grateful to you and the JetBlue team, and a forever loyal die-hard JetBlue customer.”

Adam’s proposal video can be seen at this link…