The US National Anthem by Lady Gaga at the 50th NFL Superbowl

The US National Anthem sung at the opening of Super Bowl 50 by Lady Gaga. She is a talented gift to all of us. But more importantly, this country, this land of opportunity is still the land of opportunity and her expression of that before the game was stunning.

Tip of the hat to you Ma’am. Because this… this performance, this artist singing, this country, are all trying very hard to improve and your performance before the Super Bowl was an excellent reminder of what makes us different. God Bless you Lady Gaga!


“Return to Base”

"Return to base" – happy birthday.

A video posted by Ed Schipul (@eschipul) on

“Return to Base” – remembering my Dad on his Birthday and wishing he was still with us. Without family you have no courage. I am blessed to have love and support on both sides of my family, unconditionally, which is perhaps the greatest gift of all.

Happy Birthday Dad. You are still very much loved and very much missed, but as a kid from Bridgeport who achieved the dreams of 1000 Romans, there is no question you lived life to it’s fullest. I love you for teaching me that and so much more (much of which I can’t put in a blog post.)

You’re loyalty to God, to Country and to the Family was completely unshakeable. Even when they gave the call to “return to base” for the very last time. Love you Dad. And Happy Birthday.

from the step’s of the Lincoln Memorial

A cross post from on Dr. Martin Luther King day. Here’s to the Dreamers out there who won’t take no for an answer.

On 28 August, 1963, Martin Luther King delivered his magnificent “I have a dream speech” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. Below is the full text of his speech.

Written excerpt from Dr. King’s speech from the BBC:

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

The dream

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed – we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I will go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.

With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning: “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.” And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California.
But not only that.
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last! Free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

why can’t I look away from these epically bad videos?

EMILIA – Shtom taka go iskash

Why can’t I look away? I’m not even sure what language it is? Bulgarian? Turkish? And don’t say it’s because of the beautiful people in the videos as there are plenty of those (isn’t that all videos now?). There is something about the style, cinematography, cheeseyness factor, just something that is somewhere between appreciation and rubber necking at traffic accident. I’mt not sure which.

Laura Branigan – an amazing talent we lost too soon

From wikipedia’s article on Laura Branigan

Laura Ann Branigan (July 3, 1952 – August 26, 2004[1]) was an American singer, songwriter and actress. She is best known for her 1982 Platinum-certified hit “Gloria” and for the number-four single “Self Control”. Branigan is also remembered for the Top 10 “Solitaire” and for the number-one adult contemporary hit “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You”, as well as four other US Top 40 hits.

Branigan also contributed songs to notable motion picture and television soundtracks, including the Grammy and Academy Award-winning Flashdance soundtrack (1983), the Ghostbusters soundtrack (1984), and the Baywatch soundtrack (1994), as well as having songs featured in the popular Grand Theft Auto video game series.


Branigan died at her home in East Quogue, New York, on August 26, 2004, of a previously undiagnosed cerebral aneurysm.

Gloria by Laura Branigan

Laura Branigan – Didnt We Almost Win It All

Laura Branigan – Forever Young (amazing vocals!)

Laura Branigan “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”

In a completely unrelated but sometimes confused issue, interestingly enough, Berlin’s – Take My Breath Away, the theme song from Top Gun was, was not done by Laura Branigan but rather written and performed by Berlin. Watching the live performance by Berlin is better than the Top Gun trailer in making you connect with the song. Beautiful stuff.

And it just seems like I have to include this one too

Flashdance What a Feeling (with actress Jennifer Beals) song by Irene Cara

(Note the obligatory water splash scene around 1:25 seconds in. You know you remember it.)

[NOTE: Edited Laura Branigan’s birth date thanks to a note from  Stig-Åke Persson. Sometimes Facebook is awesome when people help you get the fact right! Oct 30, 2015]