Friday, July 10, 2015

Music Friday: Nancy Wilson Sings, ‘You’re a Polished Diamond, Now You’re Feeling Kinda Rough' in Heart’s ‘There’s the Girl’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today we feature the incomparable Wilson sisters — also known as Heart — performing “There’s the Girl,” a song they first released in 1987 and continue to sing in concert today.


The first lines of “There’s the Girl” go like this: “You’re a polished diamond / Now you’re feeling kinda rough / Yes I know how long you been searching / for the perfect touch.”

Co-writers Nancy Wilson and Holly Knight use diamond metaphors to describe a guy who can’t get over an old flame even though she’s a “complete disaster.” He’s a polished diamond (a pretty smooth operator), but the prospect of reconnecting with the ex-girlfriend has his heart beating faster. The emotional overload is making him feel kinda rough (as in "rough diamond").

Today’s featured tune is special to Heart fans because the lead vocals are performed by guitarist Nancy Wilson, not Ann, whose towering voice has been a hallmark of the band for more than 30 years. In fact, many fans never realized Ann sang the lead vocals for this song until their saw the music video or were lucky enough to see Heart perform “There’s a Girl” in concert.

"There's the Girl" is the third track from Heart's ninth studio album, Bad Animals. It climbed as high as #12 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart — one of 20 Top-40 singles credited to the band. Over their illustrious careers, the Wilson sisters have sold more than 35 million records worldwide, have scored seven Top-10 albums and earned four Grammy nominations. Heart was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

The sisters revealed in a interview that they were both inspired to form a rock band when they saw the Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964.

"The lightning bolt came out of the heavens and struck Ann and me the first time we saw the Beatles,” said Nancy Wilson. “There'd been so much anticipation and hype about the Beatles that it was a huge event, like the lunar landing. That was the moment Ann and I heard the call to become rock musicians."


Actively performing since 1974, Heart continues to tour today, with the 65-year-old Ann and 61-year-old Nancy still playing to full houses at large and small venues from coast to coast. Heart is in the midst of a long tour that includes a July 25 concert at Citi Field in New York City and an engagement at the Hollywood Bowl on August 22.

Please enjoy the official video of “There’s the Girl.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

"There's the Girl"
Written by Holly Knight and Nancy Wilson. Performed by Heart.

You're a polished diamond
Now you're feeling kinda rough
Yes I know how long you been searching
for the perfect touch
You better hear what I say
I can tell your eyes are just about to
give you away

Cause there's the girl
that you were after
Feel your heart beating faster now
There's the girl that you were after
Can you say that you don't
want her anymore

Just take my word now
Cause you know it's true
she ain't good enough
for the likes of you
You better hear what I say
I can tell your eyes are just about
to give you away

Cause there's the girl
that you were after
Feel your heart beating faster now
There's the girl that you were after
And all the time you can't get past her
There's the girl that you were after
Broken glass, complete disaster
There's the girl that you were after
Can you say that you don't
want her anymore

I believed you once
When you explained
That it wasn't so tough
To forget her name

Cause there's the girl
that you were after
Feel your heart beating faster now
There's the girl that you were after
And all the time you can't get past her
There's the girl that you were after
Broken glass, complete disaster
There's the girl that you were after
Can you say that you don't
want her anymore

There's the girl
There's the girl
There's the girl
There's the girl

Photos: Getty Images; Twitter/OfficialHeart.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

‘Big Bang Theory’ Actress Mayim Bialik Warns Not to Jump to Conclusions Regarding Sheldon’s ‘Engagement Ring’

Fans of the Big Bang Theory have to wait 73 days until they can find out if Sheldon, indeed, loves Amy more than anyone ever knew, or if the awkward Romeo — who pulled out what seemed to be an engagement ring in the final moments of Season 8 — is destined for an extended stay at the Heartbreak Hotel.


In the May 7 season finale of CBS’ top-rated comedy, we witnessed Amy (Mayim Bialik) breaking up with Sheldon (Jim Parsons) via Skype because he wouldn’t commit to their relationship after five years of dating.


“This isn’t easy to say because I love you,” said Amy, “but I need some time to step back and reevaluate our situation. I hope you understand. Bye, Sheldon.”

She terminates the Skype call, and after a moment’s pause a stunned Sheldon addresses a Lord of the Rings figurine that’s sitting on his desk. “Well, Gollum, you’re an expert on rings. What do I do with this one?”

At that moment, Sheldon shocks the viewing audience by pulling a black engagement ring box from the top drawer of his desk.


Despite the obvious hint that Sheldon had fully intended to propose to Amy, actress Bialik told the Los Angeles Times that fans of the show (14 million weekly) shouldn’t jump to any conclusions.

"We don't know what he was planning to do with it,” Bialik said. “We don't know if it was something he got from his mother. We don't know what the process was by which he acquired that and what he would think to do with it."

Devoted followers of the Big Bang Theory are well aware that the writers like to keep their audiences guessing.

"People want to jump to all sorts of conclusions because it's super exciting to do so and they love these characters and they know them,” she continued. “But the neat thing about our show... and Jim and my character's relationship is that anything can happen. And I think the finale was proof of that."

Will Sheldon fight to get Amy back? Does the ring really represent Sheldon’s ultimate commitment to Amy and their future together?

We’ll all know for sure when Big Bang Theory returns for Season 9 on Monday, September 21.

Check out the dramatic cliffhanger below…

Images via CBS

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Urban Miner Scrapes Sidewalks of NYC’s Diamond District for Gold and Gemstones

The streets of New York City are literally paved with gold and gemstones, according to urban miner Raffi Stepanian. For the past four years, the Queens native has been earning $100 to $930 per week scraping the gunky expansion joints that separate the cement sidewalks of the world famous Diamond District.


The same joints that collect goop and occasionally catch a stiletto heel also provide a muddy groove into which gold, diamonds and gemstones can settle.

Stepanian told that gold fragments and small gems often find their way onto the streets by clinging to the clothes and shoes of diamond district workers.


Armed with a bucket, magnets, tweezers and scraping tools, Stepanian typically heads out on his mining mission after 7:30 p.m., when most of the local businesses have closed for the day. Then he scans the sidewalk for anything reflective.


Once he finds a promising spot, he gets down on his knees to perform the tedious task of inspecting and collecting the material from the expansion joints that divide the concrete sidewalk. While demonstrating his technique to a reporter from, Stepanian discovered something valuable right away.

"See over here?" Stepanian asked the reporter. "That's solder right there. Nice piece of gold solder."

A freelance diamond setter who has been in the jewelry business for more than 26 years, Stepanian got the mining bug four years ago when he happened upon a piece of gold on the sidewalk in front of a 47th Street jewelry exchange.


He now believes that the 60-year build-up of precious materials on the sidewalks of the Diamond District is far more concentrated than that of any diamond or gold mine.

He told The Daily Telegraph, “The soil in the sidewalks of 47th Street is saturated with the stuff. You might get $30 per piece, but it all adds up."


Once he’s collected enough material, Stepanian lugs his muck-filled bucket back to his home in Queens, where he separates and screens the material using water, dish soap, heat and a strainer.

How long will Stepanian continue to crawl the streets of the Diamond District looking for riches?

“As long as I keep finding material, I will keep doing this,” he said. “If people can drop them, I can pick them up.”

Images: Screen captures via My9NJ, YouTube.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Women’s World Cup Trophy Is Made of Gold-Clad Sterling Silver; Men’s Version Is 18-Karat Gold

When Carli Lloyd, Abby Wambach, Christie Rampone and the rest of the U.S. women’s soccer team raised the World Cup over their heads in triumph Sunday, they were holding a trophy made of pure sterling silver clad in 23-karat yellow and white gold.


The FIFA Women’s World Cup™ trophy weighs 3.96 lbs. and is valued by FIFA, the international governing body of soccer, at about $30,000. The sterling silver value is about $1,000.


The value and composition of the women's trophy is a far cry from the one designed for the men’s tournament, which weighs more than twice as much at 10.8 lbs., is fabricated in 18-karat gold and has a precious metal value of $150,000.


But, before we scream “Unfair!” please note that the women get to keep their trophy, while the men only get to take home a replica. The men’s FIFA World Cup™ trophy, of which there is only one original, always stays in the possession of FIFA.

Originally hand-made for the 1999 tournament by William Sawaya of the Milanese company Sawaya & Moroni, the women’s trophy takes the form of a spiral band, which wraps around a soccer ball at the top.

The spiral is designed in yellow gold and the soccer ball is plated in white gold. The trophy is nearly 18 inches tall (about 4 inches taller than the men’s trophy) and has a marble base.

A new trophy is produced for every FIFA Women’s World Cup™ tournament. One replica remains on display at the home of FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland.


The men’s trophy is about 14.5 inches tall and depicts two human figures holding up the earth. It is fabricated from 10.8 pounds of 18-karat gold and features two rows of green malachite at the base.

The trophy is likely hollow. FIFA had previously claimed that the metal part of the trophy was solid gold, but Martyn Poliakoff of Nottingham University pointed out that, based on its dimensions, a solid version would weigh an unwieldy 154 pounds.

The U.S. women's dominating 5-2 victory over Japan in the final was highlighted by a hat trick in the first 16 minutes of the match by Lloyd. The three goals by a single player were the fastest ever recorded in Women's World Cup history, and the first hat trick ever in a final.

This is the third World Cup championship for the American women, with the other two titles taking place in 1991 and 1999.

Photos: Getty Images; FIFA.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Gemfields Sells Rare 45-Carat Matched Pair of Vivid Red Rubies Called the ‘Eyes of the Dragon’

Fine-quality rubies larger than 3 carats are extremely rare, so when Gemfields auctioned a matched pair weighing a total of 45-carats, the jewelry world took notice.


Sourced earlier this year at its Montepuez mine in Mozambique on the southeast coast of Africa, the vivid red rough rubies of exceptional clarity were scooped up for an undisclosed sum by Veerasak Gems of Thailand.

Veerasak Gems founders Mr. and Mrs. Trirotanan, who have specialized in fine rubies for more than 35 years, named the rubies “Eyes of the Dragon.”

"Despite sourcing rubies from all over the world,” said Mrs. Trirotanan, “we were dazzled by this magnificent matching pair and have decided to name them the ‘Eyes of the Dragon’ due to the beauty we see within them.”

It will now be up to Trirotanan's artisans to transform the rough stones into finished jewelry (likely earrings) via a meticulous cutting and polishing process.

“Looking at them makes me tremble,” said Mrs. Trirotanan, describing the "Eyes of the Dragon, “and we are certain that our experience will unveil their full potential for all the world to behold."


The spectacular matched rubies highlighted Gemfields’ recent Singapore auction, where more than $29 million in high-quality rough gems changed hands. The four auctions held since June 2014 featuring Montepuez-mined rubies have generated $122.2 million in total revenue.

Gemfields’ next high-profile auction will highlight fine emeralds from its Kagam mine in Zambia and is scheduled to take place in August.


In recognition of the successful sale of the “Eyes of the Dragon,” Montepuez Ruby Mining Limitada, the local partner of Gemfields, will be providing support for the Niassa Lion Project in the Niassa National Reserve in northern Mozambique.

Larger than Switzerland, this area is home to the African lion, wild dog and elephant. It is also the home to more than 35,000 people across 40 villages, and encounters between villagers and wildlife pose a serious threat to both.

The Niassa Lion Project is dedicated to hiring and training Niassa residents as team members, mentoring young Mozambican conservationists and providing advanced schooling through scholarships.

Images: Facebook/Gemfields