Entertainment Spotlight

Catching Up: Santana, Taj Mahal and a déjà vu ‘Blue Christmas’

Posted by Ben Fong-Torres - on Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Catching Up: Santana, Taj Mahal and a déjà vu ‘Blue Christmas’
By Ben Fong-Torres It’s short shrift time. I have a life that’s ripe (and slightly wrinkled) for blogs and tweeting; for facebooking and updating. I’m just no good at it. My last column here on AsianConnections was about the memorial in late July for my sister Shirley. My last posting on the authors’ site, Redroom, was about a radio promo tour I did (20 stops, all on the phone in my home office) for my Eagles book. On my own home page, the last thing was about hanging with...

Arts & Entertainment

Astronaut Leroy Chiao's Space Blog-Egypt

Posted by AC Team on Monday, 24 January 2005

Astronaut Leroy Chiao's Space Blog-Egypt: As we were flying over Egypt, I saw that we were in a good alignment with the sun to capture sunglint photos. This technique is very useful for highlighting areas on land with standing water and for observing wave patterns that propagate below the surface of open water (called internal waves). In this case, the sunglint provided a very beautiful portrait. The lake appears as if filled with mercury.

As we were flying over Egypt, I saw that we were in a good alignment with the sun to capture sunglint photos. This technique is very useful for highlighting areas on land with standing water and for observing wave patterns that propagate below the surface of open water (called internal waves). In this case, the sunglint provided a very beautiful portrait. The lake appears as if filled with mercury.

China Launch Complex Argentina Nepal/China Border Region Chi Lien Mountains South Africa Salamat Basin in Chad Mozambique Corrientes, Argentina Dec. 10, 2004 Blog Malaysia Patagonian Glaciers Bolivia

Click here for AsianConnections' exclusive interview with Leroy while in training at Star City, Russia.

Astronaut Leroy Chiao's Space Blog-China

Posted by AC Team on Sunday, 23 January 2005

Astronaut Leroy Chiao's Space Blog-China: This shot of the Yellow River is the Eastern part of the river in North Eastern part of China that runs North-South. The texture of the surrounding hilly area creates a nice effect. The air was very clear there. Only a little more to the East, it was very smoggy.

This shot of the Yellow River is the Eastern part of the river in North Eastern part of China that runs North-South. The texture of the surrounding hilly area creates a nice effect. The air was very clear there. Only a little more to the East, it was very smoggy.

Argentina Nepal/China Border Region Chi Lien Mountains South Africa Salamat Basin in Chad Mozambique Corrientes, Argentina Dec. 10, 2004 Blog Malaysia Patagonian Glaciers Bolivia

Click here for AsianConnections' exclusive interview with Leroy while in training at Star City, Russia.

Astronaut Leroy Chiao's Space Blog-China Launch Complex

Posted by AC Team on Sunday, 23 January 2005

Astronaut Leroy Chiao's Space Blog-China Launch Complex

Here is a shot of the Chinese Launch Complex near Jiuquan. The complex is located north of Ching Hai Hu, behind the Chi Lien Mountains.

Argentina Nepal/China Border Region Chi Lien Mountains South Africa Salamat Basin in Chad Mozambique Corrientes, Argentina Dec. 10, 2004 Blog Malaysia Patagonian Glaciers Bolivia

Click here for AsianConnections' exclusive interview with Leroy while in training at Star City, Russia.

Astronaut Leroy Chiao's Space Blog-Argentina

Posted by AC Team on Saturday, 22 January 2005

Astronaut Leroy Chiao's Space Blog-Argentina: We were flying over Argentina and I was waiting to take pictures of a particular river that had been requested by the ground. I suddenly spotted this odd series of lakes. The sunlight was just right to create this interesting color and effect. This is my favorite one, I've nicknamed it "Gecko Lake."

We were flying over Argentina and I was waiting to take pictures of a particular river that had been requested by the ground. I suddenly spotted this odd series of lakes. The sunlight was just right to create this interesting color and effect. This is my favorite one, I've nicknamed it "Gecko Lake."

Nepal/China Border Region Chi Lien Mountains South Africa Salamat Basin in Chad Mozambique Corrientes, Argentina Dec. 10, 2004 Blog Malaysia Patagonian Glaciers Bolivia

Click here for AsianConnections' exclusive interview with Leroy while in training at Star City, Russia.

Pushing 40, Reaching 50, and, Finally, Making it to 60

Posted by Ben Fong-Torres on Saturday, 22 January 2005

Ben Fong-Torres on getting old, on 'American Idol' getting mean, and on Johnny Carson.

Well, that was interesting.

I turned 60 the other day, and nothing seems different. What changes thereve been the various aches and pains, the thinning hair, the widening waistline began years ago.

Friends and family asked how it felt to be turning 60 as if they didnt know, or wouldnt know soon enough. To them, Id only say: All these years, Ive been called a former Senior Editor of Rolling Stone . Now, you can call me a senior former editor of Rolling Stone .

Strangers expressed a charitable amazement: You dont look a day over 40!

Actually, except for the occasional white strand that Dianne spots, my hair hasnt turned white or blue, the definite signs of old age. But, then, my dad didnt go gray till he was deep into his seventies. My mom? Only her hairdresser knows for sure.

So, given my laconic attitude about the landmark date, I opted for a low-key observance. No big party, like the one Dianne and I staged for my 50th. We had maybe 100 friends and family over, with caterers serving food and drinks, and with the more professionally entertaining among us doing some karaoke. They included Huey Lewis, Annie Sampson (who was part of the band, Stoneground, among many rockin credits), and local lounge legend Bud E. Luv.

This time, it was two smallish events. Immediate family gathered at my karaoke hangout, the Yet Wah restaurant on Diamond Heights for dinner, singing, and, in the case of my nephew Jasons girlfriend Wendy, some great dancing and air guitar. To help with the singing, I pulled in a ringer, singer-songwriter Kimberlye Gold, who wrote and performed a parody of an Elton John tune. Hers was entitled Benny at the Yet. Meantime, my sisters and nieces did some Motown, turning My Girl into My Bro. With stuff like this going on in your life, how can you age?

The next night, January 8th, was the annual slightly-late...