Friday, September 27, 2019

Music Friday: Rachael Price Sings, 'If You're Married, Baby, Wear a Wedding Band'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fun songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, lead singer Rachael Price of Lake Street Dive delivers some sassy, unambiguous straight talk to aggressive males in the group's 2014 ditty, "Wedding Band."

When introducing the song during live performances, Price jokes that what they're about to perform is a PSA (public service announcement) — from the gals in the band to a select group of guys in the audience.

She sings, "If you're married, wear a wedding band / There's no need for you to whisper in my ear / When you can say it with your hand / If you're gonna go breakin' my heart / There's no need for you to let it linger / When you can say it with your finger / If you're married, baby, wear a wedding band."

Written by bassist Bridget Kearney, "Wedding Band" is an amusing sub-two-minute sing-along that showcases Price's rich and sultry voice. Her stylings have been favorably compared to those of Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. A reviewer for went a step farther, characterizing Price as "one of the greatest American singers alive."

Founded at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston in 2004, Lake Street Dive gets its name from a specific area within the hometown of trumpeter Mike "McDuck" Olson. In his hometown of Minneapolis, Lake Street is famous for its dive bars.

The band members of Lake Street Dive were all influenced by classic pop, soul and jazz. Noted drummer Mike Calabrese, "We want it to sound like the Beatles and Motown had a party together."

The band got its big break when a bluesy cover of The Jackson 5's “I Want You Back” was posted on Reddit by an anonymous fan. Soon, the video earned more than a million views and actor Kevin Bacon was tweeting about it.

"There’s a nameless faceless hero of our band, who put it on there and everything changed overnight," Price told "The Internet is a rocket ship to fame.”

The Brooklyn-based band will be spending the next few months touring New Hampshire, Upstate New York, Connecticut, Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Ontario.

Please check out the video of Lake Street Dive's live performance of "Wedding Band." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Wedding Band"
Written by Bridget Kearney. Performed by Lake Street Dive.

If you're married, wear a wedding band
There's no need for you to whisper in my ear
When you can say it with your hand
If you're gonna go breakin' my heart
There's no need for you to let it linger
When you can say it with your finger
If you're married, baby, wear a wedding band

You've got somebody
That'll love you forever already (already)
And you owe it to her, and you owe it to me
To hold steady

If you're married, wear a wedding band
There's no need for you to whisper in my ear
When you can say it with your hand
If you're gonna go breakin' my heart
There's no need for you to let it linger
When you can say it with your finger

If you're married, baby, wear a wedding...
Married, baby, wear a wedding...
Married, baby, wear a wedding band

Credit: Photo by Steven Pisano [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Inspired by Fellow Canadian, Homesteader Proposes With a Carrot-and-Diamond Ring

Inspired by the story of a Canadian woman whose lost engagement ring turned up in a vegetable patch 13 years later — cinched tightly around a carrot — fellow Canadian John Neville looked to replicate the phenomenon to surprise his bride-to-be, Danielle (Deejay) Squires.

Neville recounted to The Washington Post how he had purchased the diamond engagement ring four years ago, but hid it in his work shed until he could come up with the perfect way to pop the question.

In June of this year, the resident of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, got to work.

First, he filled a five-gallon bucket with soil. Then he pressed the engagement ring into the center of the bucket to bury it. Using a pencil, he poked a narrow hole aimed right through the center of the ring. He put a few carrot seeds in the hole, sprinkled a bunch of seeds around the perimeter of bucket and hoped for the best.

After tending his secret project for three months, it appeared that the carrots were ready for harvesting.

On Saturday, he invited Squires and their three-year-old son, Eric, to pick some carrots for dinner.

Neville was relieved when Eric pulled a few well-formed carrots from the other edge of the bucket. Then he asked Squires to pull the one in the center.

As she wriggled it out, Neville went down on one knee and said, "I love you very much. Will you marry me?"

At first, Squires was a bit confused, but when she realized her new engagement ring was wrapped tightly around the middle of the carrot, her eyes started welling up and she nodded "Yes."

"I was in complete shock when I saw the ring on the carrot," Squires told CBC News.

Then young Eric took a bite from the tip of the engagement carrot.

Squires's new ring features a raw, uncut diamond. The couple noted that the stone pays homage to their homesteading way of life on Pinchgut Lake near Corner Brook. They have yet to pick a wedding date.

"Of course, he wanted to do something unique and imaginative," Squires told CBC News. "He just wanted the perfect idea to come along, and I guess it was worth the wait."

“The more I think about it, the more amazing it is,” she told The Washington Post.

Neville had been inspired by the story of octogenarian Mary Grams, who lost her diamond engagement ring while gardening at her family’s farm in 2004. After unsuccessfully searching on her hands and knees for days, she gave up, assuming the ring she had worn since 1951 was gone forever.

Grams secretly bought herself a less-expensive replacement ring and never told her husband, Norman, of the mishap. Thirteen years later, her daughter-in-law, Colleen Daley, called with some fabulous news. Daly, who had moved to the farm, found a strangely deformed carrot while plucking vegetables for her family’s dinner. The carrot was squeezed in the middle, like it was wearing a corset. On closer inspection, she saw that the constriction was caused by a diamond engagement ring.

“I asked my husband if he recognized the ring,” Daley told CBC News. “And he said, ‘Yeah.’ His mother had lost her engagement ring years ago in the garden and never found it again. And it turned up on this carrot.”

And the crazy carrot stories don't end there. In December of 2016, the German press first reported the story of an 82-year-old man from Bad Münstereifel, who found his lost wedding ring wrapped around a carrot. The retiree had lost the ring while gardening three years earlier and then discovered it while collecting vegetables from his garden. The man, whose name was not released, had just celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary.

And way back in January of 2012, The Daily Mail and many other news sources covered the story of a Swedish woman named Lena Påhlsson, who pulled up a carrot cinched in the middle with a wedding ring she had lost in 1995. The ring has gone missing in her kitchen and she assumed that it must have gotten mixed up with some kitchen scraps that ended up in her compost pile. That material found its way to her vegetable garden and the rest is history.

Credits: Images via Squires. Screen capture via

Monday, September 23, 2019

Lucara Salvages 375-Carat Gem-Quality Diamond From Old Tailings

Imagine finding treasure in your trash. That's what happened when Lucara Diamond Corp. salvaged a 375-carat gem-quality diamond from a pile of old tailings at its prolific Karowe mine in Botswana.

Tailings are the residue of the diamond-bearing ore that was processed during an original mining operation.

The company revisited the tailings because they were generated prior to the 2015 implementation of its advanced XRT diamond sorters, which were designed to identify and preserve high-value diamonds of 100 carats or larger. Older, less sophisticated sorting devices often mistakenly damaged, pulverized or passed through large diamonds as worthless tailings.

The new XRT sorters have the ability to detect the carbon signature of rocky material coming down a conveyor belt so the diamond-bearing ore can be picked out and preserved. The machines can be calibrated to extract valuable material based on X-ray luminescence, atomic density and transparency.

The 375-carat rough diamond was just one of nine 100-plus-carat diamonds recovered from the re-processing of old material.

Lucara also reported strong results from the processing of new material, including the discovery of a 123-carat diamond from Lucara's South Lobe (see photo, above). Year to date, the mining company has recovered 22 diamonds larger than 100 carats, including six of 200 carats or more..

Lucara's Karowe Mine is famous for yielding many of the world's largest diamonds, including the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona, the 813-carat Constellation and the recently recovered 1,758-carat Sewelô.

Credit: Image courtesy of Lucara.