Tag Archives: Talent

Talented Bartender

Alexander Shtifanov shows off his impressive bartending skills on Ukraine’s Got Talent.



Teh Tarik

Teh Tarik is a Malaysian beverage, with the name translating as ‘pulled tea’:

The mixture is poured back and forth repeatedly between two vessels from a height, giving it a thick frothy top. This process cools the process fluid (tea) to optimal drinking temperatures, and helps to thoroughly mix the tea with the condensed milk.


The Curse of Giftedness

The Globe and Mail is running a great article by Elizabeth Renzetti about the difficulties faced by gifted children:

The trajectory for gifted children is not simply onward and upward; they are as likely to be plagued by crises of confidence as anyone. Perhaps more so: Their intellectual gifts mean they are even more aware of the flaws in their clay, of how short they fall from self-imposed goals.

“People are forever telling me the achievements of my life,” Dr. Sassoon says, “and yet I feel I’ve accomplished nothing – nothing compared to what I might achieve.” He has put his finger on a thorny issue: Is a gifted child destined to become an exceptional adult?

No is the short answer, if you listen to the British psychologist Joan Freeman, one of the world’s leading experts on gifted children. For 36 years, Dr. Freeman has studied a group of 210 British children – some gifted, most not. In her new book, Gifted Lives, she concluded that, of the 20 identified as gifted, only six went on to adult lives that matched the potential of their early promise (one is a successful opera singer; another runs a hedge fund.)

The Curse of Giftedness [Globe and Mail]

Dancing Under the Gallows

Alice Herz-Sommer is the oldest living Holocaust survivor – she turns 107 this month. She also happens to be a brilliantly talented concert pianist and an inspiring character. This is well worth the watch.

[Thanks, Mom!]

Jazz Messenger

Fascinating essay by Haruki Murakami, one of my all-time favourite novelists:

When I turned 29, all of a sudden out of nowhere I got this feeling that I wanted to write a novel — that I could do it. I couldn’t write anything that measured up to Dostoyevsky or Balzac, of course, but I told myself it didn’t matter. I didn’t have to become a literary giant. Still, I had no idea how to go about writing a novel or what to write about. I had absolutely no experience, after all, and no ready-made style at my disposal. I didn’t know anyone who could teach me how to do it, or even friends I could talk with about literature. My only thought at that point was how wonderful it would be if I could write like playing an instrument.

I had practiced the piano as a kid, and I could read enough music to pick out a simple melody, but I didn’t have the kind of technique it takes to become a professional musician. Inside my head, though, I did often feel as though something like my own music was swirling around in a rich, strong surge. I wondered if it might be possible for me to transfer that music into writing. That was how my style got started.

I’ve always been secretly jealous of people who knew exactly where there talents lay and what they wanted to do with their lives from the time they were little kids. It’s so reassuring to read about people who figure it out as they go along.

Jazz Messenger [NYTimes]

Smooth Jazz Enter Sandman

This is Metallica’s Enter Sandman as it would sound as a smooth jazz song. Everything is played by Andy Rehfeldt, except for the vocals. They’re still James Hetfield. I cannot get over how well done this is. I’m listening to it for the third time now. Make sure you at least listen as far in as the solo.


Photorealism is a genre of art that emerged from pop art in the 60s and 70s as a counter to abstract expressionism, and aims to create pictures that are as true-to-life as possible. Usually, photographs are used in making the pictures, but they aren’t photos themselves. The pictures above are by Juan Francisco Casas and they’re made with ball-point pen. I’m really amazed by the picture below, by Dru Blair, because it isn’t a photo of a real person, but was made entirely using computer applications like Illustrator and Photoshop.

WebUrbanist has a series more of them including a lot more electronic media and some oil paintings as well. They’re absolutely incredible!

43 Stunning Super-Realistic Works of Art [WebUrbanist]