Friday, 21 March 2014

Nun Rocks It On Italy's 'The Voice' Singing Competition And No One Can Believe It: Sister Cristina Scuccia Wows

Sister sister! You've never seen a nun shut it down like this one.
The judges of singing competition "The Voice of Italy" couldn't believe their ears when they heard Sister Cristina Scuccia belting out Alicia Keys' "No One," but they were in for a greater shock when they saw what Scuccia looked like.
Judges begin the show with their backs to the stage, and if they like what they hear they can swivel their chairs around-- but none of them were prepared for the sight of 25-year-old Scuccia, a member of the Ursuline Sisters of the Holy Family, delivering a jaw-droppingly good performance in her black habit and silver cross. As the crowd cheered, her fellow sisters jumped up and down in delight.

The shocked and impressed judges asked her if she was really a nun, to which she replied, "Yes, I am truly, truly, a sister."
A native of Sicily, she arrived at the show accompanied by four sisters from her community as well as her parents. “I came here because I have a gift and I want to share that gift. I am here to evangelize,” she said, reports Catholic News Agency.
"If I had found you at Mass I would always be in church," said J-Ax, an Italian rapper who is one of the judges. "You and me are like the devil and holy water."
She trended on Twitter after her unbelievable performance, with many Italians showing their love for "#suorcristina."
The judges asked her what the Vatican would think of her singing, to which she replied, "I hope that Pope Francis will call me now," according to NY Daily News.
We can't wait to see more of this sister act!

Google's Apparently Sick Of Hearing People Complain About Glass

Apparently, Google is starting to get defensive about Glass.
On Thursday, the company took to Google Plus and released a post titled “The Top 10 Google Glass Myths.” The writeup contains several counter-claims to some of the familiar gripes people have about the technology. Here are some examples:
Myth: “Glass is always on and recording everything”
Google: "Glass isn't designed for or even capable of always-on recording"
Myth: “Glass marks the end of privacy"
Google: "People feared the same when the first cell phone cameras came out."
It makes sense for Google to address some of these common complaints. After all, for a product that's being marketed as the future of technology, a lot of the news surrounding the device hasn't been so positive.
Last year, a woman was given a traffic ticket for driving with her Glass (though it was later dismissed), and this month, a West Virginia state legislator sought to ban drivers from using the technology while on the road. In addition, more and more bars and restaurants are banning Glass entirely.
This isn’t the first time Google has attempted to keep the peace when it comes to Glass, either. Last month, the company released an etiquette guide for Explorers, or those currently testing Glass. "Respect others and if they have questions about Glass don’t get snappy," the post notes. "Be polite and explain what Glass does and remember, a quick demo can go a long way."
In a blog post for The Huffington Post, Google Glass enthusiast Robert Scoble recently said Google is losing steam in its adoption of Glass. He pointed out the technology has been in its prototype phase for nearly two years with little tangible movement toward launch.
It's unclear if the negative public reception is holding the product back, but it's apparent Google seems keen on protecting Glass' image.

Obama Borrows From the JFK Playbook on Ukraine

President Obama appears to be using a strategic approach to the Ukrainian situation that is similar in many respects to that employed by his Democratic Party predecessor, President John F. Kennedy, in the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. In both cases, the two leaders were dealing with secret, unexpected, armed missions launched by aggressive Russian leaders against Western interests, with little precedent in both cases on how to handle the crises. Obviously the Cuban missile affair was a far more perilous showdown than what is now happening in the Ukraine. The Cuban affair had doomsday-type consequences. The invasion of Crimea does not entail any possibility of nuclear exchanges between two nations. But in other respects, there are parallels for Obama.
First, Obama has resorted to rallying his European allies around a common strategy to confront the Russian leader, Vladimir Putin. So, too, did President Kennedy, gather together his Western nation counterparts to present a joint stance against the then Kremlin chieftan, Nikita Khrushchev. Second, Obama has called into session the most important regional security organization NATO, to devise ways to thwart the Russian occupation of Crimea, as well as asking the European Union to consider broad financial aid to Ukraine. In a like-minded move, President Kennedy convened the key regional body within the Americas, the Organization of American States (OAS), to issue an ultimatum to the Soviets to remove their missiles from Cuba. Third, in both their disputes, the two presidents sought out the United Nations to condemn the actions of Moscow and ask the Security Council to consider sending in neutral UN peacemakers to supervise a possible settlement of the conflicts. Fourth, given his limited options, especially that force was not possible, Obama has taken action to cancel US participation in the G-8 meeting in Sochi and threatened to halt trade talks with Moscow as well as place economic sanctions on Russia. Kennedy, for his side, famously instituted a far more draconian measure, a quarantine around the island of Cuba, to intercept Soviet destroyers from docking in Cuba.
At the same time, both men looked to the legitimate concerns raised by the Russian leadership in both crises and sought ways to give the Kremlin a means to back down from its military action without being humiliated. Kennedy employed back-channel emissaries as well as often inconsistent cable traffic to get the word to Khrushchev that there was a way out. For his part, Obama used his previously civil post-Cold War relations with Russia to phone Putin directly and talk about the latter's preoccupations. Now he is sending Secretary of State Kerry to meet with the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov.
In the end, Kennedy was finally able to work out a deal with the USSR over Cuba whereby Washington gave a guarantee that it would not invade Cuba in exchange for a Soviet dismantling and withdrawal of its rockets from the island. Meantime Obama has, in his turn, suggested a way that the Russians can end its confrontation -- namely, have the Russian troops now in guard duty all over Crimea return to their bases in Sevastopol, and then have international observers put into Crimea to assure that there are no attacks against Russian citizens within the territory. If this happens, further talks could ensue to persuade the Russians not to encroach on Russian-friendly areas of eastern Ukraine or annex Crimea or recognize its independence. Still, whatever happens, the lessons from both momentous events is that the US must be prepared, as JFK was, to face down the Russians but at the same time take into account their realistic concerns and offer them a respectful exit strategy.