Friday, August 02, 2013

Music Friday: Katy Perry Wants to Be ‘Pretty in Pearls’ — Not ‘One of the Boys’ — in the Title Track of Her 2008 Blockbuster Album

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fun tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today’s selection is Katy Perry’s “One of the Boys,” the title track from her blockbuster 2008 album.


In a song recounting her turbulent high-school days, Perry sings about shedding her tomboy image: “I just wanna be one of the girls, pretty in pearls. Not one of the boys.”

Later in the song, she tells a guy who used to treat her like a little sister that he may have a chance one day, “But not until you give me my diamond ring.”

Today’s song is the first track from One of the Boys, Perry’s Grammy-nominated second studio album. The album has sold more than five million copies worldwide and charted four songs on the Billboard Hot 100.

Born Katheryn Elizabeth "Katy" Hudson, the 28-year-old Perry can boast nine Grammy Award nominations and the title of Billboard’s 2012 Woman of the Year. She’s credited with being the only artist to spend 69 consecutive weeks in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100.

Please check out the video of Perry’s 2008 live performance of “One of the Boys.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

“One of the Boys”
Written and performed by Katy Perry.

I saw a spider, I didn't scream
'Cause I can belch the alphabet
Just double dog dare me
And I chose guitar over ballet
And I take these suckers down
'Cause they just get in my way

The way you look at me is kinda like a little sister
Your high five, your goodbyes
And it leaves me nothing but blisters

So I don't wanna be one of the boys
One of your guys
Just give me a chance to prove to you tonight
That I just wanna be one of the girls
Pretty in pearls
Not one of the boys

So over the summer something changed
I started reading "Seventeen" and shaving my legs
And I studied "Lolita" religiously
And I walked right into school and caught you staring at me

'Cause I know what you know
But now you're gonna have to take a number
It's OK
Maybe one day
But not until you give me my diamond ring

'Cause I don't wanna be one of the boys
One of your guys
Just give me a chance to prove to you tonight
That I just wanna be your homecoming queen
Pin-up poster dream
Not one of the boys

I wanna be a flower
Not a dirty weed
I wanna smell like roses
Not a baseball team
And I swear maybe one day you're gonna
Wanna make out, make out, make out with me

(Don't wanna be) don't wanna be
(Don't wanna be) don't wanna be
(Don't wanna be)

'Cause I don't wanna be one of the boys
One of your guys
Just give me a chance to prove to you tonight
That I just wanna be one of the girls
Pretty in pearls
And not one of the boys

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Hawaii’s Astonishing Green Beach Gets Its Color From Olivine Crystals Eroded From an Ancient Volcanic Formation

Imagine walking barefoot on a blanket of sparkling green sand that owes its astounding color to olivine crystals eroded from an ancient volcanic formation and delivered to the shore by ocean waves.


Mahana Beach on Hawaii’s Papakolea coast is one of only two green sand beaches in the world. The beach sand on the Big Island’s undeveloped southern tip is rich in the mineral olivine (gem-quality olivine is known as peridot, the August birthstone). Olivine is a common mineral component of Hawaiian lavas and one of the first crystals to form as magma cools.


Locals refer to peridot as the “Hawaiian Diamond,” and small peridot stones are sold as "Pele's tears" in honor of Pele, the goddess of volcanoes. In ancient Hawaiian chants, Pele was described as “She-who-shapes-the-sacred-land,” and her temper was known to be both as abundant and dangerous as the lava.


Those daring enough to take the three-mile hike through lava fields to the remote beach at the crescent-shaped bay of Pu'u Mahana, will be treated to a display of one of nature’s crowning achievements — a green beach that appears surreal against the backdrop of steely grey cliffs, turquoise blue ocean and bright blue sky. “At sunset, the play of colors against the sand is simply breathtaking,” noted the web site


The abundance of olivine crystals filling the beach comes from the eroded cutaway interior of Pu'u Mahana, a volcanic cone produced more than 49,000 years ago by the explosive combination of lava and groundwater.

The official birthstone for August, peridot is one of the few gemstones that occur in only one color: generally an olive green. The amount of iron in the crystal structures determines the intensity and tint of the green color. Specimens can range from yellow-green through olive green to brownish green. The dark-olive color is the most valuable.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lavish 1,300-Year-Old Viking Jewelry Found at 'Modest' Farm Site in Denmark May Be Evidence of Noble History

Extravagant 1,300-year-old Viking jewelry uncovered at a farm site on the Danish island of Zealand has archeologists wondering if the modest agrarian settlement could have also been the home of nobility.


When scientists from the Roskilde Museum began excavation work at Vestervang, they uncovered 18 longhouses and 21 pit houses from the Late Iron Age (about 700 AD). What they didn’t expect to find in the rural countryside were items of elite jewelry — some gilded — that reflected less-than-humble residents.

According to a report in the Danish Journal of Archeology, the "most spectacular" jewelry item unearthed was a copper alloy pendant depicting a heart-shaped animal head with rounded ears and circular eyes.

"The neck is covered by a beadlike chain," wrote archaeologist Ole Thirup Kastholm. "Above the creature's forelegs, there are marked elbow joints and three-fingered paws or feet, which awkwardly grasp backwards to what might be hind legs or wings."


A second notable jewelry item found at Vestervang depicts a Christian cross that appears to have its origins in continental Europe sometime between 500 AD and 750 AD.

"The decoration consists of a central wheel cross in relief, with inlaid gold pressed into a waffle form,” wrote Kastholm. “The waffle gold is in some areas covered with transparent red glass or semiprecious stones, forming an equal-armed cross."


Kastholm said these jewelry items, and others found on the site, would have been worn by an elite class, so his challenge was to figure out how these items arrived on this “rather modest” farmstead in Zealand.


Kastholm believes the answer lies partly in the ancient town of Lejre (only 6 miles away), which had been the royal seat of the first Danish dynasty. Also, historical maps showed two villages near the site with "karleby" in their name. The term "karleby" is based on the Old English “ceorl,” referring to a member of the king's professional warrior escort.

Kasholm said the settlement of Veservang was likely controlled by a Lejre superior and given to warrior protectors of Lejre's ruler.

"This would explain the extraordinary character of the stray finds contrasting with the somewhat ordinary traces of settlement," Kastholm wrote.

Photos: Ole Kastholm/Roskilde Museum

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

35-Carat Rough Diamond Is Unearthed at Ontario’s Victor Mine; Record-Breaker is Canada’s Largest to Date

A 35-carat rough diamond is the new pride and joy of De Beers’ Victor Mine in Attawapiskat, Ontario. The nickel-sized gem set a record for the largest diamond ever pulled from Canadian soil.


The rough diamond is currently undergoing a six-week cutting process that will painstakingly transform it into a 15-carat “Ideal Square” diamond with a value close to $1 million.

Once completed, the polished stone will go on an international tour to promote Ontario diamonds.


Although the five-year-old Victor Mine produces some of the highest quality diamonds in the world, it had never been known for generating particularly large diamonds. That’s until De Beers officials surprised the diamond world by unveiling their record-breaking 35-carat specimen this past week.


Crossworks, a Vancouver-based diamond manufacturer that has the acquiring rights to 10 percent of the Victor Mine's output, purchased the remarkable rough stone for an undisclosed sum. The company assigned its most skilled diamond cutter to head up the cutting process, which will take about 300 hours to complete.

Twenty carats of material will be sacrificed from the original rough as the stone becomes an “Ideal Square,” a design with "ideal" symmetry and proportions that reveals a unique pattern of arrows in the face-up position and hearts when viewed in the table-down position. A film crew will be documenting the diamond transformation.

David Ritter of the Canadian Jewellers Association told the Toronto Star that the polished gem — which will become the headliner of an international tour to promote Ontario diamonds — could be worth $1 million.


Victor is DeBeers’ first diamond mine in the province of Ontario and produces about 600,000 carats annually. The mining operation encompasses 16 kimberlite pipes, which are cone-shaped columns of dried lava containing diamonds that were carried up from deep within the Earth more than 150 million years ago.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Special Gold Medals Containing Meteorite Fragments to Be Awarded at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia

The glistening gold medals Olympic athletes win on the ninth day of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, will be embedded with something out of this world — a fragment of the meteorite that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, exactly one year prior.


“We will hand out our [meteorite] medals to all the athletes who will win gold on that day, because both the meteorite strike and the Olympic Games are global events,” Chelyabinski Region Culture Minister Alexei Betekhtin said in a statement.

Seven events will be awarding gold medals on the anniversary of the meteorite strike, Feb. 15, 2014: the men’s 1,500-meter speed skating, the women’s 1,000-meter and men’s 1,500-meter short track, the women’s cross-country skiing relay, the men’s K-125 ski jump, the women’s super giant slalom and the men’s skeleton event.

Betekhtin said the special medals — which have yet to be designed — will be awarded in addition to the regular Olympic medals.


This past February, news agencies reported that the spectacular meteorite that sent shock waves through the city of Chelyabinsk was a blessing in disguise for some of its impoverished residents. When the meteorite exploded, it showered the city with thousands of tiny black stones that were worth more than their weight in gold.

The New York Times recounted how strangers were offering stacks of rubles worth hundreds, even thousands, of dollars to local residents for the meteorite fragments.


NASA noted at the time that the 55-foot, 7,000-ton meteorite was the largest known celestial body to enter the Earth’s atmosphere in 100 years.

The meteorite injured about 1,500 people and smashed windows in Chelyabinsk and neighboring areas. Fortunately, no deaths were reported.