This World ...

The cherry blossoms ---
a snow reprise --- hold within
an artist's promise.
Arshad M. Khan

Spring in Japan --- from Zeenat Mansoor


A fascinating journey through the human body --- contributed by Zeenat Mansoor

Vanishing Car ---  STORY HERE

New Airbag Motorbike Jacket --- STORY HERE

It's always surprising how music spurs memory.  This beautiful song (circa 1863) is
the work of Spanish composer Sebastian Yradier --- the habanera form recalls the
composer's 1861 visit to Cuba.  Some claim it has been recorded by more artists
than any other song written; it is certainly one of the most popular.  Here are
three versions to satisfy most tastes ---

For peace then and for Spring ---




For opera fans, here is another habanera adapted by Bizet for Carmen (prends
garde à toi!)


And some other popular arias ---




And for something completely different --- Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan   LINK HERE

Handel's aria from Rodelinda, "Dove sei amato bene"  LINK HERE

To celebrate Spring with Vivaldi --- VIDEO HERE

Bach Prelude to Suite #1 VIEW MUSIC VIDEO HERE


Ah! the German composers.  Mahler strikes a vein deep and mines it rich.  
Brahms?  He has a lot to answer for --- a forty-year argument with my better half!  
For some reason, he just leaves me hanging in the air.  Now Bach appeals to the
engineer part and as a salve for this soul; then mighty Beethoven, he yanks it out
for display leaving one breathless and awed by genius.  Oh Schubert, I almost
forgot --- isn't that what always happens to you? --- you tenderest of lovers, shy as
a tulip in early Spring, you touch the heart.  And then there is Mozart, little playful
Mozart; if ever I have found a kindred spirit ...; if the others now and again send
us to heaven, you have already come from there.  There you are gentle folk, a
little summary of some German composers --- I can already think of the omitted
ones, Richard Strauss for example, who I love, and how could I have forgotten
Wagner ... and Schumann ... and Papa Haydn ... and ... .

...... Arshad M. Khan


"Maru Bihag" Begum Parveen Sultana sings --- Indian classical music
Tone, range, perfection --- morning dew to honey --- what more can one ask for?

Wind powered car breaks world speed record --- FULL STORY

'Brain decline' begins at age 27
Old age begins at 27 when our mental powers start to decline

Speared boy saved by doctors:  FULL STORY

Bush having trouble raising funding for his library: FULL STORY

Lingerie, the secret to a town's success in Brazil:  FULL STORY

Paul Krugman for Secretary of Treasury --- VIDEO HERE

Cremona violins thrill virtuosos
The Italian town of Cremona, once home of master violin maker Stradivari, still
produces highly prized violins.
< http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/europe/6688821.stm >

Vanuatu cargo cult marks 50 years
Vanuatu's John Frum movement, the world's last surviving cargo cult, marks its
50th anniversary.
< http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/6363843.stm >

World's longest hair! --- PHOTO HERE

Afghan poets tackle scars of war ---  FULL STORY          

Russian daredevil parachutes into active volcano.  Valery Rozov jumps into the
Mutnovsky volcano on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula  

Lance Armstrong in controversy again --- FULL STORY

World's most accurate clock ---  FULL STORY

Tree found growing inside a man --- FULL STORY

A standard green chilli is rated at about 1500 Scoville units for hotness;  a ghost
chilli is over a million.  So how many could you eat in two minutes?  One?  Five?  
Ten?  A  26-year old Indian woman sets a new record.  And just for more fun, rubs
her eyes with chilli seeds.

An award-winning poignant film --- a small window on our world
..... Contributed by Zeenat Mansoor  

To celebrate Earth Day, April 22, 2009, a bit of doggerel....

The earth took a dive today;
It fell and dented its head,
Got up groggy and dazed,
It fell again flattening its butt.

Ask why it out of orbit jumped --
Pray tell! I shall, I will, yes, I must --
It tried to shake off the vermin,
Mostly human, crawling on its skin.

Arshad M. Khan
(Copyright 2009)
dedicated to the brotherhood of man ...
Copyright © 2010 ofthisandthat.org.  
All rights reserved.
Questions and Comments
Music Archives

Beethoven "Pastoral" Symphony - 5th Movement  VIDEO HERE

Blue Tango  VIDEO HERE

Lady of Spain  VIDEO HERE

Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata (No. 14 in C-sharp minor "Quasi una fantasia", Op. 27, No.
2) --- the 1st Movement  

Enrico Caruso - 'O SOLE MIO  VIDEO HERE

Yundi Li plays Chopin Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2   VIDEO HERE

Yundi Li - Chopin "Fantasie" Impromptu, Op. 66  VIDEO HERE
World Stories

When-two-husbands-are-better-than-one  FULL STORY

India royals' allowances raised  FULL STORY

Baby Whale  FULL STORY

Who's Happy And Why?  FULL ARTICLE

School for rogue monkeys in India  FULL STORY

The Joy of Scratching  FULL STORY

Restricting Calories Thwarts Disease, Aging FULL ARTICLE

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt give $1 Million to Pakistan refugees

Please see
The Pakistan Refugee Crisis for details

Laser Cure for Age-related Macular Degeneration --- King's College,

One World, One Tribe --- A Photo Journal  FULL STORY

World's longest tunnel  FULL STORY

Pregnant man gives birth --- a second time FULL STORY

Blind Vision: Perspective seen by a blind painter --- from Zeenat Mansoor

World's Fastest Magician? --- 10 illusions in 5 minutes (from Zeenat

Sir Thomas Crapper
Flushed with pride, Thomas went to receive a knighthood.  Everyone
agreed this was the most merited honor ever. So, on this Memorial Day,
a quiet prayer of thanks in your room of choice.
Should you desire the authentic original ---


Miles Davis - Kind of Blue 50th Anniversary
Quincy Jones claimed to drink of it every morning - his 'orange juice'  

So What - John Coltrane and Miles Davis
Miles Davis --- jazz trumpeter, icon, the music revolutionary with with clean minimalist
lines.  Perhaps the most significant jazz musician of the 20th century.  'Cool jazz'.  And
John Coltrane another genius.   

J.du Pré - Granados Intermezzo VIDEO

Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White VIDEO

Mambo No.5 --- Perez Prado  VIDEO

Folk Music

Ashokan Farewell --- Jay Ungar (1982) --- in the style of a Scottish lament

And here's Jay Ungar himself with Molly Mason



Rose and Gould play Beethoven's Cello Sonata in A: 1st movement
J.du Pré - Beethoven Sonata No.3 in A - II.Scherzo
M.Rostropovich - Beethoven Sonata No.3 in A major, 3rd movement

Jacqueline du Pré Haydn Cello Concerto No. 1 Adagio

Jacqueline du Pré - Forellenquintett

Jacqueline du Pré - Elgar Cello Concerto 1st movement

Mozart 'killed by strep throat'  FULL STORY

Beethoven's 239th Birthday (Dec 16, 2009)

Happy Birthday Maestro and Heartfelt Thanks ...


World's most expensive cities  LINK HERE

Vast waves in Hawaii attract surfers  LINK HERE

A TV channel promoting understanding throughout the world and certainly
worth watching, MHz Networks offers a multi-cultural perspective.

Exercise Pill: The Couch Potato's Dream? Christopher Wanjek STORY HERE

Solar System Wrapped in a Ribbon of Atoms STORY HERE

Time Travel?  STORY HERE

Barnacles' sticky secret revealed STORY HERE

The new remarkable Eigenharp STORY HERE

Jaw bone created from stem cells STORY HERE

University Rankings Worldwide (from the respected Times Educational

New (2009) Listing of Top Ten Universities

2008 Complete List HERE

The Ten Most Expensive US Colleges

Norway best place to live --- UN Development Report  

China celebrates 60 years of the People's Republic STORY HERE

Oct 1,  2009 - Jimmy Carter's 85th
Happy birthday Mr. President.
Congratulations on being one of the most productive ex-Presidents ever.

Oct 2, 2009 - Mahatma Gandhi 140th birth anniversary - born in Porbandar,

Oct 6, 2009 - 120th anniversary of the opening of the Moulin Rouge where
the Can-Can originated.
Two years later (1891) Toulouse-Lautrec painted his famous poster (among
many) depicting star dancer La Goulue (Louise Weber).

Sumo Wrestling  --- Here's one of the best in action
Some music to relax with over the hectic holidays

Luigi Boccherini: Minuet

Pachelbel Canon in D Major

Mozart - Rondo Alla Turca
Great retirement destinations  LINK HERE

Wine tips for the holidays:

Wines can be divided into Old World wines (Europe) and New World wines
(Americas, Australia).   For a very general classification (fraught with exception)
one can say that old World wines tend to be high in acidity, not very fruity, and
better with food.  This is due to the climate - a shorter growing season.  New World
wines are better when drinking wines by themselves, and often beat old world wines
in tastings because they are more complete (longer growing season so more sugar
in the grapes).  They are also higher in alcohol.

It is really difficult to mismatch food with wine to the point of undrinkability.  But if it
should happen, one thing to remember is butter goes well with every wine!  So if a
wine is mismatched with the food being eaten, take a bite of bread with butter
before sipping the wine.

How to taste wine (now this is tasting not drinking) -

Pour about a centimeter of wine in a tulip-shaped wine glass ...
1. Look at
2. Swirl the wine to aerate holding the glass by the stem.  Then smell (put nose
right in glass) the wine.
3. Taste consists of two parts -
Feeling - Swirl in mouth like mouthwash.  The feeling is either acid i.e. feels sour
(can be sour enough to make        lower lip salivate), or tannin (feels puckery)
which is present in red wines and comes from crushed skin.
Flavor - Then chin down (if you don't, the wine will dribble out!) suck air into mouth
to let it flow over the wine to   bring out the flavor.  Let the wine linger on the
tongue, then swallow.
4. See how long taste lasts in mouth - called the
Finish -  usually about 10 secs can be as long as 45 secs.  Generally (but not
always true) the longer the finish the better the wine.
World Stories

Can battlefield robots take the place of soldiers?  

Last speaker of ancient language Bo dies  FULL STORY

Genes reveal biological aging  FULL STORY

For Valentine's Day we go down memory lane ... Judy Collins brings to life
Joni Mitchell's beautiful encapsulating lyrics  

And here's an encore VIDEO
Winner of 2009’s " Ukraine ’s Got Talent", Kseniya Simonova, 24, drawing a
series of pictures on an illuminated sand table  

Grow your own medicines  STORY HERE

Unfortunate Names STORY HERE

Airline Passenger Eats Winning Ticket  STORY HERE  

Fantastic Lego Creations
Music  -  Scarlatti Sonata L23 in E Major  VIDEO
In this the 200th anniversary year of Chopin's birth (March 1, 1810), here
are a few pieces played by Chinese pianist Yundi Li a former winner of the
prestigious Warsaw International Chopin Piano Competition.

Chopin nocturne op. 9 no. 2

Chopin "Fantasie" Impromptu, Op. 66

And here's Yundi Li (at age 18 the youngest winner) at the Chopin Piano
World's Favorite Airport   VIEW HERE
Source Huffington Post - Comment Section

From Scientific Headlines (April 1, 2010) --- Disaster at CERN: The Large Hadron
Collider has disappeared into a black hole it formed during an experiment. Several
well known scientists including Professor Doctor Ty A. Knott of String Theory fame
have disappeared along with it. But the Professor's extra dimension analog gives
us hope they will all reappear again on the other side of the black hole in an
alternative universe ... provided his theory is correct.
Small, dark Easter eggs good for your heart?
Kate Kelland

Resveratrol and its control of insulin - sugar a major culprit in aging

Biggest Spending Suburbs in the USA  STORY HERE
June 11, 2010


How would you like to sit in an office chair attached to 54 regular helium balloons
and take off into the wild blue yonder?  You are not buckled in because that
would hinder your ability to jump off when you come in to land.  This is what
Jonathan Trappe did.  It all started as an idle office conversation, and now there
he was at 10,000 ft. almost two miles above ground floating along silently with the
wind.  No onrushing air, just quiet, in the closest analog to flying in a dream.  
Absolute bliss until trouble began ... .  It was time to come down.  So he released
three balloons; but this altered the pattern of balloons, and the chair started to
tip over.  Worse, the contraption continued to rise.  He released more balloons;  
the chair tipped further and he was still ascending.  He pulled up his knees
leaning back to try to right the chair.  He released more balloons and tipped back
even more.  He was now at 14,700 ft., far higher than he had intended to go, and
wondering why he had done something this crazy, when with the next release, his
'airchair' began to descend.  He landed in a field, jumping off so the chair
wouldn't maul him.  But now it was much lighter and the whole thing took off
again.  He ran after it trying to grab it but wasn't quick enough.  There it was
flying away until it ran into a tall tree -- some of the balloons burst and the chair
came down.  For more photos see
Standing at more than 5ft (1.52m) tall, the Amorphophallus titanum is

World's Oldest Champagne STORY HERE

The Oldest Mongolian Musical Instrument -- Hear the Morin Khuur or
horse-head fiddle (circa 300 BC)  

Gaza Man Has 430 Grandchildren  STORY HERE

Genius Octopus  STORY HERE

Amazing Upside Down  Houses  STORY HERE

11 Of The Craziest Things About The Universe LIST HERE

France's best honey: from the Paris rooftops?  STORY HERE
Largest Hail Stone Ever Recorded  STORY HERE

Twenty movies that can make men cry   STORY HERE

Watch out your PC could help attacker locate your home  STORY HERE
China's huge expressway buses  STORY HERE

$1 million prize to Bangladesh professor for water purifier  

World-record $1m speeding penalty

Mercedes SLS AMG, file image The Swede was driving a Mercedes SLS AMG -
which has a top speed of 317km/h

A 37-year-old Swedish driver who was caught driving at 290km/h (180mph) --
170km/h over the limit -- in Switzerland could be given a world-record speeding
fine of SFr1,080m ($1m; £656,000), prosecutors say.

Under Swiss law, the level of fine is determined by the wealth of the driver and
the speed.

In January, a Swiss driver was fined $290,000 - the current world record.

Record-breaking train on track (from China Daily)  Imagine how it feels
to sit in a passenger jet as it hurtles down the runway just prior to
take-off. That is the feeling a lucky group of passengers got to
experience on Friday when China's newest fast train set a world record
during a trial run (Dec 3, 2010) as it hit 486.1 km/h on the
Beijing-Shanghai line. The new record replaced one of 416.6 km/h set
almost three months earlier, also in China, on the high-speed line
between Shanghai and Hangzhou.

Gettin' home safe after Thanksgiving!  
"... freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose ..." -- Kris

Paris woman trapped for 20 days in bathroom  

Hawaii the American Galapagos  STORY

A giant sinkhole opened up in a residential area of the town of
Schmalkalden, Germany, Monday, causing no injuries but forcing the
evacuation of 25 people.

World's fastest rollercoaster: Could you stomach it? STORY

Father And Son Send iPhone Into Space And Record Incredible Video  

Flying Like A Bird:  Students Design Wing-Flapping Plane

Origin of Peace Sign? STORY HERE

India Monkey King -- man climbs like a monkey to scale new heights  

Spray-on clothing  STORY HERE

Eriko Horiki's beautiful Washi Paper Interiors  STORY

Scientist Bitten by Bizarre Beast STORY

Sinkhole Appears in Guatemala Bedroom STORY

China Stages Bee Wearing Contest STORY

Royal Honeymooners Presented Rare Aphrodisiac  STORY

Radiation Chart -- Doses from Familiar and Unfamiliar Sources

Messenger of Peace Argentinian singer Facundo Cabral shot dead in Guatemala STORY

London fails to make top 50 'most live-able' cities STORY

Strauss-Kahn faces Paris investigation into writer's attempted rape claims STORY

Maria Gomes Valentim, a 114-Year-Old Brazilian, Named Oldest Living Person by Guinness World

Afghanistan: New Car Plates are 39 Steps to Shame

Harbin Ice and Snow Festival

Winter temperatures in Harbin can drop below minus 35 degrees Celsius; yet the city has turned
adversity to advantage.  It offers an extravaganza of snow and ice attracting winter tourists from all
over the world.

Held in January and early February, the festival has been a tradition since 1963 -- except for a short
interruption during the cultural revolution.  The city now holds the Guinness Record for the world's
largest ice sculpture at 250 meters long, 8.5 meters wide, using over 13,000 cubic meters of snow.  
The local university Arts Department even offers a program in Ice Sculpture.
Picture Gallery.

No bars. No walls. No armed guards. The prison island of Bastøy in Norway is filled with some of the
country's most hardened criminals. Yet it emphasizes self-control instead of the strictly regulated
regimens common in most prisons.  

April 10, 2011
World's largest Lego tower erected in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Measuring 102 ft., 3 inches., the tower beats the previous record set in Santiago, Chile by 25
centimeters.  It is composed of about half a million Lego pieces.

Music of the Stars
Structure of stars revealed by 'music' they emit

Hibiscus flowers contain antioxidants (Hibiscus sabdariffa) that help control cholesterol levels

Gadhafi finds that money can't buy friends in Africa STORY

Anwar Sadat's 12-year-old great-niece is abducted and released 24 hours later for a £5m ransom  

Helping Japan -- Japanese Character Shines -- amid massive destruction in Japan, the Japanese
remain unflinchingly respectful, honest and conscientious.




MidEast Upheaval

Informed Comment

France 24

Al Jazeera

Chocolate -- An ounce of dark chocolate reduces blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, is a great

Earliest Human Remains in U.S. Arctic

Zinc can help against common colds

Boy falls onto subway track playing video game

Top Ten Jobs in America  STORY HERE

University Rankings Based on Statistical Data Only (i.e. excluding peer review)

College Rankings by State:

New York

Best Business Schools

On Mt. Mengdingshan in Sichuan Province, swift yet elegant tea
performances are held to preserve what is considered the oldest tea
ritual in China. Local tea leaves grown at an altitude of 1000 meters have
special qualities that give it a unique taste. Tea made from these leaves
were presented to numerous emperors of the past, and are still being
grown today. In addition, locals give tea performances that combine the
art of serving tea with traditional Chinese martial arts. A unique kettle
with an extraordinarily long spout is whipped around like a sword. Many
local youth now train at schools hoping to develop a steady career and
pass down this traditional art form.

Jerusalem rabbis 'condemn dog to death by stoning'  

World's Youngest Grandmother

A Romanian housewife, now 25, is believed to be the world's youngest grandmother reports The
Sun.   Rifca Stanescu was just 12 years old when she had her first child, Maria. Despite her
mother's protests, Maria married at age 10 in Investi, Romania before giving birth to her now
two-year-old son Ion a year later.  Rifca married jeweler Ionel Stanescu when she was 11 and he
was 13.

Man builds cathedral from trash  

Humanoid Avatars for Helping Humans  STORY HERE

Kristine Casey, Chicago Woman, Gives Birth To Own Grandson  STORY HERE

Our crossword puzzle master achieves movie appearance (in The Dilemma).  Look sharp or you'll  
miss it ... among the dancers behind Kevin James in the Green Mill Club scene.