Friday, February 29, 2008


Building Stonehenge - This Man can Move Anything:

Stonehenge is surely Britain's greatest national icon, symbolizing mystery, power and endurance. its original purpose is unclear to us, but some have speculated that it was a temple made for the worship of ancient earth deities. It has been called an astronomical observatory for marking significant events on the prehistoric calendar. Others claim that it was a sacred site for the burial of high-ranking citizens from the societies of long ago.
While we can't say with any degree of certainty what it was for, we can say that it wasn't constructed for any casual purpose. Only something very important to the ancients would have been worth the effort and investment that it took to construct Stonehenge.

The stones we see today represent Stonehenge in ruin. Many of the original stones have fallen or been removed by previous generations for home construction or road repair. There has been serious damage to some of the smaller bluestones resulting from close visitor contact (prohibited since 1978) and the prehistoric carvings on the larger sarsen stones show signs of significant wear.

Ode to Stonehenge:

Construction of the Henge In its day, the construction of Stonehenge was an impressive engineering feat, requiring commitment, time and vast amounts of manual labor. In its first phase, Stonehenge was a large earthwork; a bank and ditch arrangement called a henge, constructed approximately 5,000 years ago. It is believed that the ditch was dug with tools made from the antlers of red deer and, possibly, wood. The underlying chalk was loosened with picks and shoveled with the shoulderblades of cattle. It was then loaded into baskets and carried away. Modern experiments have shown that these tools were more than equal to the great task of earth digging and moving.

Stonehenge and Crop Circles:

The Bluestones About 2,000 BC, the first stone circle (which is now the inner circle), comprised of small bluestones, was set up, but abandoned before completion. The stones used in that first circle are believed to be from the Prescelly Mountains, located roughly 240 miles away, at the southwestern tip of Wales. The bluestones weigh up to 4 tons each and about 80 stones were used, in all. Given the distance they had to travel, this presented quite a transportation problem.

Modern theories speculate that the stones were dragged by roller and sledge from the inland mountains to the headwaters of Milford Haven. There they were loaded onto rafts, barges or boats and sailed along the south coast of Wales, then up the Rivers Avon and Frome to a point near present-day Frome in Somerset. From this point, so the theory goes, the stones were hauled overland, again, to a place near Warminster in Wiltshire, approximately 6 miles away. From there, it's back into the pool for a slow float down the River Wylye to Salisbury, then up the Salisbury Avon to West Amesbury, leaving only a short 2 mile drag from West Amesbury to the Stonehenge site.

The Mystery of Stonehenge:

The Mystery of Stonehenge:
Construction of the Outer Ring The giant sarsen stones (which form the outer circle), weigh as much as 50 tons each. To transport them from the Marlborough Downs, roughly 20 miles to the north, is a problem of even greater magnitude than that of moving the bluestones. Most of the way, the going is relatively easy, but at the steepest part of the route, at Redhorn Hill, modern work studies estimate that at least 600 men would have been needed just to get each stone past this obstacle.

Once on site, a sarsen stone was prepared to accommodate stone lintels along its top surface. It was then dragged until the end was over the opening of the hole. Great levers were inserted under the stone and it was raised until gravity made it slide into the hole. At this point, the stone stood on about a 30? angle from the ground. Ropes were attached to the top and teams of men pulled from the other side to raise it into the full upright position. It was secured by filling the hole at its base with small, round packing stones. At this point, the lintels were lowered into place and secured vertically by mortice and tenon joints and horizontally by tongue and groove joints. Stonehenge was probably finally completed around 1500 BC.

Time, Stonehenge and Sundials:

Who Built Stonehenge? The question of who built Stonehenge is largely unanswered, even today. The monument's construction has been attributed to many ancient peoples throughout the years, but the most captivating and enduring attribution has been to the Druids. This erroneous connection was first made around 3 centuries ago by the antiquary, John Aubrey. Julius Caesar and other Roman writers told of a Celtic priesthood who flourished around the time of their first conquest (55 BC). By this time, though, the stones had been standing for 2,000 years, and were, perhaps, already in a ruined condition. Besides, the Druids worshipped in forest temples and had no need for stone structures.

Stonehenge normal:

The best guess seems to be that the Stonehenge site was begun by the people of the late Neolithic period (around 3000 BC) and carried forward by people from a new economy which was arising at this time. These "new" people, called Beaker Folk because of their use of pottery drinking vessels, began to use metal implements and to live in a more communal fashion than their ancestors. Some think that they may have been immigrants from the continent, but that contention is not supported by archaeological evidence. It is likely that they were indigenous people doing the same old things in new ways.

City Under Stonehenge:

As Legend Has It The legend of King Arthur provides another story of the construction of Stonehenge. It is told by the twelfth century writer, Geoffrey of Monmouth, in his History of the Kings of Britain that Merlin brought the stones to the Salisbury Plain from Ireland. Sometime in the fifth century, there had been a massacre of 300 British noblemen by the treacherous Saxon leader, Hengest. Geoffrey tells us that the high king, Aurelius Ambrosius, wanted to create a fitting memorial to the slain men. Merlin suggested an expedition to Ireland for the purpose of transplanting the Giant's Ring stone circle to Britain. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, the stones of the Giant's Ring were originally brought from Africa to Ireland by giants (who else but giants could handle the job?). The stones were located on "Mount Killaraus" and were used as a site for performing rituals and for healing. Led by King Uther and Merlin, the expedition arrived at the spot in Ireland. The Britons, none of whom were giants, apparently, were unsuccessful in their attempts to move the great stones. At this point, Merlin realized that only his magic arts would turn the trick. So, they were dismantled and shipped back to Britain where they were set up (see illus. at right) as they had been before, in a great circle, around the mass grave of the murdered noblemen. The story goes on to tell that Aurelius, Uther and Arthur's successor, Constantine were also buried there in their time.

Stonehenge - Special access:

Present Day Stonehenge Situated in a vast plain, surrounded by hundreds of round barrows, or burial mounds, the Stonehenge site is truly impressive, and all the more so, the closer you approach. It is a place where much human effort was expended for a purpose we can only guess at. Some people see it as a place steeped in magic and mystery, some as a place where their imaginations of the past can be fired and others hold it to be a sacred place. But whatever viewpoint is brought to it and whatever its original purpose was, it should be treated as the ancients treated it, as a place of honor.

Stonehenge 2007:

The modern age has not been altogether kind to Stonehenge, despite the lip service it pays to the preservation of heritage sites. There is a major highway running no more than 100 yards away from the stones, and a commercial circus has sprung up around it, complete with parking lots, gift shops and ice cream stands. The organization, English Heritage, is committed to righting these wrongs, and in the coming years, we may get to see Stonehenge in the setting for which it was originally created. Despite all its dilapidation and the encroachment of the modern world, Stonehenge, today, is an awe-inspiring sight, and no travel itinerary around Britain should omit it.

Bruce Bedlams Stonehenge:

For a complete listing of the world wonders, click on the link listed below:

The Golden Gate Bridge

GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE with Huell Howser:

The Golden Gate Bridge links San Francisco with Marin County in absolute splendor. The bridge is one of the architectural marvels of the Twentieth Century and a testament to human strife, as it was constructed during the years of the Great Depression. For years, the Golden Gate Bridge held the title as the longest suspension bridge in the world.

Aerial Golden Gate Bridge in Fog San Francisco Bay:

Before its completion in 1937, the bridge was considered impossible to build, due to persistently foggy weather, 60-mile-per-hour winds, and strong ocean currents, which whipped through a deep canyon below. In fact, the bridge is commonly known as the "Bridge that couldn't be built." Despite these unforgiving natural elements, the bridge was constructed in a little more than four years. The total cost was $35 million. The total length of the bridge spans 1.2 miles. Eleven men lost their lives during the construction of the bridge.

Cycle Over World Famous Golden Gate Bridge:

Even today, the massive spans of the bridge are often shrouded in fog. The bridge sways 27 feet to withstand winds of up to 100 miles per hour. International Orange was the color chosen for the bridge because it blended well with the bridge's natural surroundings. The two great cables extending from the bridge contain 80,000 miles of steel wire, which is enough to circle the equator three times. The concrete poured to cement the bridge into the stormy waters below could have also been used to pave a five-foot sidewalk from New York to San Francisco.

Golden Gate Bridge Helicopter loop-de-loop:

Because of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco is one of the premier skyline cities in the nation. It was a triumphant day in the history of the city when the bridge was completed on May 27, 1937. Over 200,000 people celebrated the grand opening of the Golden Gate Bridge by walking its length. The following day, a dedication ceremony was held to officially christen what would become the architectural trademark of the city. The regular flow of vehicular traffic began the next day.

Efforts to begin the construction on the bridge began as early as 1928. The process would entail the efforts of six counties in Northern California. In 1928, the counties formed a Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District. In 1930, the voters appropriated a $35 million bond issue to finance the building of the bridge. For many years following, Joseph Baerman Strauss, a distinguished engineer, dreamed of raising a span across the Golden Gate. It was in response to his vision that people first started saying that the bridge could not be built. But, amazingly enough, Strauss held fast to his vision, and a span was eventually raised across the Golden Gate Bridge. The actual work on the bridge began on January 5, 1933. It was completed four-and-one-half years later. The result astounded the fiercest of Strauss's critics. To this day, the bridge is admired for its magnitude and beauty.

The bridge is nothing short of a powerful force meant to combat nature. The often mighty winds from the Pacific Ocean are sustained by a mid span swing of 27 feet. The two towers of the bridge rise an impressive 746 feet, which is 191 feet taller than the Washington Monument. The pier of the bridge is only 1,215 feet from the shore, the distance between the two towers that support the cables, which in turn, support the floor of the bridge is 4,200 feet. These two cables are the largest bridge cables ever made at a little over 3.61 feet in diameter.

Aerial Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco, California, USA:

Today, pedestrians and bicyclists are still allowed to cross the bridge on pathways with breathtaking views of the city, Alcatraz, and the Marin Headlands. The bridge toll for vehicles is $5 when entering San Francisco.

The first exit of the Marin side of the bridge is Visa Point, which provides a magnificent view of the San Francisco skyline. But, the best way to view the bridge is to walk across. This usually takes about an hour.

Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA:

For a complete listing of the world wonders, click on the link listed below:

The Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal

Located at the city of Agra in the State of Uttar Pradesh, the Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful masterpieces of architecture in the world. Agra, situated about 200 km south of New Delhi, was the Capital of the Mughals (Moguls), the Muslim Emperors who ruled Northern India between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Mughals were the descendents of two of the most skilled warriors in history: the Turks and the Mongols. The Mughal dynasty reached its highest strength and fame during the reign of their early Emperors, Akbar, Jehangir, and Shah Jehan.

It was Shah Jehan who ordered the building of the Taj, in honor of his wife, Arjumand Banu who later became known as Mumtaz Mahal, the Distinguished of the Palace. Mumtaz and Shah Jehan were married in 1612 and, over the next 18 years, had 14 children together. The Empress used to accompany her husband in his military campaigns, and it was in 1630, in Burhanpur, that she gave birth to her last child, for she died in childbirth. So great was the Emperor love to his wife that he ordered the building of the most beautiful mausoleum on Earth for her.

Although it is not known for sure who planned the Taj, the name of an Indian architect of Persian descent, Ustad Ahmad Lahori, has been cited in many sources. As soon as construction began in 1630, masons, craftsmen, sculptors, and calligraphers were summoned from Persia, the Ottoman Empire, and Europe to work on the masterpiece. The site was chosen near the Capital, Agra on the southwest bank of the River Yamuna. The architectural complex is comprised of five main elements: the Darwaza or main gateway, the Bageecha or garden, the Masjid or mosque, the Naqqar Khana or rest house, and the Rauza or the Taj Mahal mausoleum. The actual Tomb is situated inside the Taj.

Taj Mahal- An Eternal Love Story:

The unique mughal style combines elements of Persian, Central Asian, and Islamic architecture. Most impressive are the black and white chessboard marble floor, the four tall minarets (40 m high) at the corners of the structure, and the majestic dome in the middle. On closer look, the lettering of the Quran verses around the archways appears to be uniform, regardless of their height. The lettering spacing and density has been customized to give this impression to the beholder. Other illusionary effects have been accounted for in the geometry of the tomb and the tall minarets. The impressive pietra dura artwork includes geometric elements, plants and flowers, mostly common in Islamic architecture. The level of sophistication in artwork becomes obvious when one realizes that a 3 cm decorative element contains more than 50 inlaid gemstones.

The Mystery of the Taj Mahal (1/5):

For a complete listing of the world wonders, click on the link listed below:

Angkor Wat

History of Angkor Wat 1/6:

History of Angkor Wat 2/6:

History of Angkor Wat 3/6:

History of Angkor Wat 4/6:

History of Angkor Wat 5/6:

History of Angkor Wat 6/6:

Angkor Wat, one of the most beautiful and mysterious historical sites in the world. Located over 192 miles to the North-West of Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh, Angkor has been "protected" from tourism, and the customs and the cultures of the people living there have not changed much. However, intense internal warfare for over fifty years has impacted on the people and to an extent on the physical structure of the temples at Angkor.

In 1991, the Khmer Rouge, the guerrilla movement, controlled the area. It was then very difficult to visit the area, and the only way to get there was by Helicopter from Phnom Penh. I will never forget when I first got out from the Helicopter, and stepped into the land of history, a land which the western civilization had forgotten. In this paper, I would like to discuss the history of the great temples of the "lost city" of Angkor Wat, but I would also like to describe some of my own observations from the summer of 1991.

For many years, Angkor Wat was totally isolated from the Western World. Large, thick jungles covers the area, and it is located in the center of Cambodia. The French colonialists were the first westerners to get exposed to Angkor. They heard rumors from the local population about "temples built by gods or by giants." Most of the colonialists referred these rumors to folk tales, but some believed that there really was a "lost city of a Cambodian empire", which had once been powerful and wealthy.

The temples were first discovered by French missionaries in 1860. Henri Mahout, a French botanist started intensive research and restoration programs. These research efforts continued until 1968, when the Vietnam war disrupted the studies. Initially, he did not believe that the temples were built by Cambodians, but by another race which had concurred and occupied Cambodia for over 2000 years ago. His theory would later be proven to be incorrect, after that researchers discovered scripts on the walls of the temples, and stone sculptures, that have made it possible for archeologists to piece together the history of Cambodia. Now it is known that Angkor, was the great capital city of the Khmer empire from the city's founding in about AD 880 until about 1225.

Angkor Wat:

The history of Angkor Wat dates back to the kingdom of Funan. This kingdom was established by an Indian Brahmin, and in AD200, the country was peacefully settled by Indian traders. Four hundred years later, the kingdom had become a prosperous trading region. As the area was located on the Pilgrim rout between China and India, Hinduism and Chinese Buddhism was adopted by the new settlers. The Indian and Chinese influence can still be felt in Cambodia, and the temples of Angkor Wat closely resembles Hindu and Buddhist temples that can be found in Northern India and in Nepal. In the end of AD600, the Funan Empire lost much of its power to the kingdom of Chenla. The capital of this new empire, Sambor, was located about 40 miles to the Southeast of Angkor. During this time, beautiful sculptures and carvings in sand-stone was popular. In AD750, a king with a reputation of being a war-like person, who was able to expand the Chenla kingdom. However, trade with India stopped, and the Indonesian Empire raised to power.

In AD800, the kingdom of Kambuja was established, and king Jayavarman I took control over the kingdom. He built several capitals near Angkor Wat, were responsible for many social changes, and was able to size land to the North and to the East. In AD889, a nephew of Jayavaram became the new emperor, and he was able to bring peace and unity to the Khmer Kingdom. In AD944, Jayavarman V established many Mahayana Buddhist temples near Angkor, and moved the court to Yasodharapura, at Angkor. Cultures prospered, and so did the Khmer empire. In AD1000, Suryavarman, a young man who may have come from the Malayan provinces of the empire, ascends the throne of Kambuja. He would become the king of Kambuja for over 50 years. He is responsible for the planning and foundations of the city of Angkor. In AD1051, Udayadityavarman II succeed Suryavarman, and continued to build the city of Angkor, and restored many of the temples. Angkor was now both a sacred temple city and the center of a vast irrigation system.

Massive expansion of the city continued throughout the next 200 years, and ambitious building programs expanded the city. Many temples were built. The temples are spread out over about 40 miles around the village of Siem Reap. Temples and similar structures to the temples that can be found in the city of Angkor are common sights in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and in China. Perhaps the most famous temple, Angkor Wat, is a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu was built during this period.

Angkor Wat is the highest achievement of Khmer temple architecture, and is today the "flagship" of the temples at Angkor. The temple is a huge pyramid structure. The compound at Angkor Wat covers an area of 1,500 by 1,300 m (4,920 by 4,265 ft) and is surrounded by a vast moat 180 m (590 ft) wide. Along the causeway leading to the enormous entrance gate are balustrades shaped as giant serpents, which are believed to represent emblems of cosmic fertility. The temple consists of a towering complex of terraces and small buildings that are arranged in a series of three diminishing stories and surmounted by five towers. The roofed and unroofed structures are covered with bands of finely carved stone sculptures. The walls are covered with carved reliefs that illustrate Hindu mythology, principally scenes relating to the god Vishnu, to whom the temple was dedicated. The "mass of bas-relief carving is of the highest quality and the most beautifully executed in Angkor." All the temple mountains of Angkor were filled with three-dimensional images and every inch of the walls are covered by sculptures.

In the beginning of AD1200, the Angkor and the Khmer empire started to decline. When jayavarman VII died, the Thai Empire in the West emerged as a major power in the region. The Thai capital was moved to Ayudhya, near Angkor, and obviously threatened the Cambodian kingdom. In AD1389 the Thais attacked Angkor, and the city fell into the hands of the Thais. The 15th-century conquest of the Khmer kingdom by the Thais resulted (1431) in the final abandonment of Angkor. The city was deserted and the capital was moved to Eastward to the region of the present capital Phnom Penh.

Miraculously, very little damage has been made on the Angkor region as a result of the bloody civil that has terrorized the Cambodia for over 30 years. The Khmer Rouge, an extreme-left organization has actively organized guerrilla activities against Prince Sihanouk's government. In 1975, many Buddhist monks who lived in the Angkor temples were massacred along with the majority of the Buddhist population as a result of a "social reorganization". However, Angkor Wat suffered very little structural damage in that attack. Today, archeologists from all over the world are actively involved in the restoration process of the temples. Much of the history of the "Lost city" of Angkor is still a mystery, but Angkor has entered the "Coca Cola" and "Kodak" age, and as Cambodia is becoming more developed, the mystical atmosphere at Angkor will disappear.

For a complete listing of the world wonders, click on the link listed below:

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Secrets of the Great Wall of China

Secret of Great Wall 1:

Secret of Great Wall 2:

Secret of Great Wall 3:

Secret of Great Wall 4:

Secret of Great Wall 5:

Secrets of Great Wall 6:

Secrets of Great Wall 7:

Secrets of Great Wall 8:

Secrets of Great Wall 9:

Secrets of Great Wall 10:

Secrets of Great Wall 11:

Secrets of Great Wall 12:

Secrets of Great Wall 13:

Secrets of Great Wall 14:

Secrets of Great Wall 15 (end):


The Great Wall started as earth works thrown up for protection by different States. The individual sections weren't connected until the Qin dynasty (221-206 B.C.). Qin Shihuangdi, First Emperor of Qin began conscripting peasants, enemies, and anyone else who wasn't tied to the land to go to work on the wall. He garrisoned armies at the Wall to stand guard over the workers as well as to defend the northern boundaries. The tradition lasted for centuries. Each dynasty added to the height, breadth, length, and elaborated the design mostly through forced labor.

It was during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) that the Wall took on its present form. The brick and granite work was enlarged and sophisticated designs were added. The watch towers were redesigned and modern canon were mounted in strategic areas. The Portuguese had found a ready market for guns and canon in China, one of the few items of trade that China didn't already have in abundance. The Ming Emperors, having overthrown the Hun dominance and expelled their Mongol rulers of the North devoted large portions of available material and manpower to making sure that they didn't return.

Throughout the centuries, armies were garrisoned along the length of the Wall to provide early warning of invasion and a first line of defense. Great piles of straw and dung used to build signal fires have been found during excavations. There must have been small garrison towns spotted along the length. There weren't many farms or trade towns to provide ease, relaxation and food. The supply trails were over mountains along narrow paths. To bring supplies to the top, ropes were slung over posts set in the Chinese side of the wall and baskets were hauled up hand over hand. Supplies must have always been short and chancy, particularly in the winter.

The Wall served well. Only when a dynasty had weakened from within were invaders from the north able to advance and conquer. Both the Mongols (Yuan Dynasty, 1271-1368) and the Manchurians (Qing Dynasty,1644-1911) were able take power, not because of weakness in the Wall but because of weakness in the government and the poverty of the people. They took advantage of rebellion from within and stepped into the void of power without extended wars.

Over the past few centuries, the Great Wall has served as a source of building materials for local farms and villages. Aerial photos show that in sections, only the top battlements show -- the center of the wall has filled with sand and silt. The same brutal isolated conditions which made the Great Wall a triumph of engineering and determined planning make restoration problematic and slow.

For a complete listing of the world wonders, click on the link listed below:

Complete Listing of World Wonders

Click on the link listed below:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Dam Tang Ong Hoang Minh Chinh

Đám Tang Ông Hoàng Minh Chính 16-02-08 - 1:
(Đám tang của ông Hoàng Minh Chính do chị Lê Thị Kim Thu thực hiện từ Hà Nội)

Đám Tang Ông Hoàng Minh Chính 16-02-08 - 2:

Đám Tang Ông Hoàng Minh Chính 16-02-08 - 3:

Đám Tang Ông Hoàng Minh Chính 16-02-08 - 4:

Đám Tang Ông Hoàng Minh Chính 16-02-08 - 5:

Đám Tang Ông Hoàng Minh Chính 16-02-08 - 6:

Đám Tang Ông Hoàng Minh Chính 16-02-08 - 7:

Đám Tang Ông Hoàng Minh Chính 16-02-08 - 8:

Đám Tang Ông Hoàng Minh Chính 16-02-08 - 9:

Đám Tang Ông Hoàng Minh Chính 16-02-08 - 10:

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sài Gòn Hà Nội - Giòng Nhạc Hoài Niệm Của Những Người Ly Xứ

Sàigòn - Hà Nội:
Giòng nhạc hoài niệm của những người ly xứ

Nguyễn Mạnh Trinh

Sàigòn, sau năm 1975. Hà Nội, sau năm 1954. Những thành phố của hoài niệm trong thời gian ấy. Năm 1954, hàng triệu người rời bỏ miền Bắc xuôi nam tìm tự do, cuộc di cư vĩ đại của những người ghê sợ Cộng sản. Năm 1975, Cộng sản chiếm toàn bộ đất nước. Hàng trăm ngàn người di tản ra ngoại quốc sau đó đến từng đợt vượt biển của hàng triệu người.

Không gian, thời gian, của những biến cố kể trên, đã thành môi trường và động lực thúc đẩy văn nghệ sĩ để tạo thành những tác phẩm văn chương hay âm nhạc phản ánh tâm tình thời đại. Một giòng nhạc hoài niệm kéo dài suốt nửa thế kỷ đã cho chúng ta những bản nhạc để đời. Những bản nhạc mà tuổi thọ của nó dài hơn tuổi thọ của chính tác giả sáng tạo ra nó. Nhạc sĩ có khi khuất bóng từ lâu, nhưng nhạc phẩm vẫn còn sống, còn được hát và còn được thính giả nghe và hâm mộ. Qua một thời gian, qua sự đãi lọc, bản nhạc có thể tồn tại được phải có sức lôi cuốn từ ngôn từ và điệu nhạc. Và nhất là phù hợp với tâm tư của từng thời kỳ, của hoàn cảnh mỗi người khi nghe âm điệu ấy.

Với tôi, có những bản nhạc là một phần đời sống tôi. Những bản nhạc, nhắc lại một tháng ngày đã qua. Nghe nó, như sống lại một quá khứ. Thuở đó, là kỷ niệm. Thuở đó, là cái tôi riêng trải dài theo những đoạn đời. Có khi, tưởng quên lãng nhưng lại chợt về trong ký ức. Có người bạn, anh Trần Thăng, một người sản xuất nhiều băng nhạc và video nổi tiếng mang tên trung tâm Asia, Dạ Lan, Mây, đã chê tôi là "ông chỉ thích những bản 'antique' không mà chẳng để ý gì đến những bản nhạc mới sáng tác, mọi người đều như thế thì âm nhạc sao phát triển được".

Tôi chỉ cười nhưng thầm nghĩ, ừ, tôi chỉ thích những gì hợp với tôi bất kể là nhạc thính phòng hay nhạc đại chúng, nhạc cũ hay nhạc mới nhạc trẻ. Tôi có những băng nhạc thật cũ, âm thanh nghe nhiều quá thành rè rè mà tôi vẫn giữ lại. Và, nếu có ai có những bản nhạc cũ mà tôi thích ấy, tôi thu lại để nghe. Tính khí ấy có lẽ cũng không hay lắm, nhưng đã quen nết rồi, biết làm sao. Nhiều khi, tôi nghe nhạc trong vô thức, lúc đọc sách, lúc lái xe hay cả những lúc đang chập chờn trong giấc ngủ. Cái cung cách nghe nhạc mà như không nghe nhạc ấy có lẽ không phải là của một người thành thạo về âm nhạc. Nhưng đó cũng là một phần đời sống của tôi, dù chỉ là một phút một giây. Tôi sống một phút. Cũng như tôi cảm âm nhạc một giây, mặc dù bằng hai lỗ tai "điếc nhạc".

Năm 1954, gia đình tôi di cư vào Nam. Đang học tiểu học, lạ người lạ cảnh, tâm tư như tờ giấy trắng, nhưng tôi vẫn nhớ như in bài hát mà tôi đã gân cổ hát trong giờ sinh hoạt học đường. Lúc ấy, hào hứng tin tưởng xiết bao. Bản nhạc "Về miền Nam" của Trọng Khương nhắc lại tôi ngày thơ ấu: "Đứng vùng lên nào bao thanh niên yêu nước, Hướng về đây miền nam thân yêu nắng sáng, Theo vết chân người xưa ta tiến lên đường đi, Bao nắng mưa sương gió nào ngại chi. Sông nào cắt đứt đôi nơi, Sông nào xé nát tim tôi, Sông nào bóp chết thương yêu Việt nam ơi!..."

Bài hát ấy, với tôi, tự nhiên nhắc và nhớ đến những khuôn mặt ấu thơ. Những cô giáo, thầy giáo khai tâm tuổi nhỏ. Cùng với ngôn từ và điệu nhạc, là bước chân trở về. Đó, lãnh địa thiêng liêng của đời người, mà dần dần thời gian đi qua, in sâu trên tiềm thức. Đất nước mới, mở ra những lạc quan, như tuổi xanh ngây thơ nhưng thật nhiều ước vọng. Bài hát như một dây chuyền để bắt đầu cho một chuỗi liên tưởng. Vô tình, bài hát như một contact để mở một mạch điện cho khúc phim đời sống riêng tôi.

Nhưng những bài hát khác, thường là những nỗi buồn, ngâm ngùi hướng vọng về chốn quê xa. Hàng trăm ca khúc có chung giòng nhạc. Không phải chỉ với bài hát ấy, mà còn nhiều bài hát khác, nhiều phim truyện khác, nhắc nhớ lại thời kỳ đặc biệt của đất nước. Một cách khái quát, theo bài thuyết trình "Love and Longing at the Border: Songs On Both Sides of the 17th Parallel" của Jason Gibbs trong seminar của Popular Culture Association tại thành phố San Antonio, tiểu bang Texas thì có tới 18 ca khúc của những người di cư nhớ về quê hương cũ đã xa. Như: "Bắc Một Nhịp cầu" của Hoàng Trọng, lời Hồ Đình Phương, "Biệt Hải Phòng", của Phó Quốc Thăng, "Chờ Anh Em Nhé", của Xuân Tiên, lời Nhật Bằng, "Chuyến Đò Vĩ Tuyến" của Lam Phương, "Giấc mơ Hồi Hương" của Vũ Thành, "Hận Ly Hương" của Anh Hoa và Ngọc Lang, "Hướng về Đất Bắc" của Phó Quốc Thăng, "Hướng Về Hà Nội" của Hoàng Dương, "Lá Thư Gửi Mẹ" của Nguyễn Hiền, lời Thái Thảo, "Mộng Ngày Hồi Hương", của Hoàng Trọng, Hồ Đình Phương, "Sầu Ly Hương" của Lam Phương, "Thu Ly Hương" của Nhật Bằng và Đan Thọ, "Tình Cố Đô" của Lam Phương, lời Mạnh Thương, "Về Bến Xưa" của Nguyễn Hiền, lời Thiện Huấn, "Vọng Cố Đô" của Đan Thọ Nhật Bằng, "Xa Quê Hương" của Đan Tho, Xuân Tiên, "Xuân ly Hương" của Phó Quốc Lân...

Nhưng danh sách ấy chưa đầy đủ lắm, còn thiếu một cách đáng kể: "Mưa Sàigòn, Mưa Hà Nội" của Phạm Đình Chương, thơ Hoàng Anh Tuấn, "Mùa Hoa Nở" của Cung Tiến...

Trong những bài hát ấy, Hà Nội như một hình tượng của nhung nhớ. Thành phố ấy, phải rời bỏ đi xa với nỗi đau đớn tận cùng. Hà nội ơi! Có phải là tiếng kêu thảng thốt của trái tim vỡ vụn. Không phải với tôi mà chung của rất nhiều người, Hà Nội thành thánh địa của hồi tưởng. Lúc học trung học, hai thành phố gợi cho tôi nhiều ấn tượng và mê đắm nhất là Paris và Hà Nội. Lúc đó, tôi chỉ mong có ngày đặt chân đến. Paris của cậu bé Vincent trong sách "Cours De Langue et de Civilisation" của giáo sư Mauger mở ra biết bao nhiêu ảnh tượng kỳ thú. Còn Hà Nội, là "Đêm Giã Từ Hà Nội" của Mai Thảo, là "Ung Thư" của Thanh Tâm Tuyền, hay nhạc "Hướng Về Hà Nội" của Hoàng Dương: "Hà Nội ơi! Những ngày vui đã ra đi, Biết người còn nhớ nhung chi, Hết rồi giây phút phân ly, Hà Nội ơi, dáng huyền tha thướt đê mê, Tóc thề thả gió lê thê. Biết đâu ngày ấy em về..."

Không gian xa cách ngàn trùng. Thời gian chia ly vời vợi. Đời sống bỗng lênh đênh chia hai giữa buồn nhớ và hy vọng. Sẽ có một ngày trở về, có phải?. Nhưng cuộc sống như giòng nước trôi đi lạnh lùng. Xa xứ và ly hương, như dòng sông Bến hải chia đôi đất nước.

Phạm Đình Chương phổ nhạc thơ Hoàng Anh Tuấn: "Mưa Sàigòn, Mưa Hà Nội", một bài hát mà mỗi khi người di cư nghe lại quặn đau: "Mưa hoàng hôn trên thành phố heo may vào hồn, Thoảng hương tóc em ngày qua, Ôi người em Hồ Gươm về nương chiều tà, Liễu sầu úa thềm cũ nằm mơ hiền hòa. Thương mầu áo ngà. Thương mắt kiêu sa. Hiền ngoan thiết tha..."

Và, rồi còn nhiều nữa. "Chuyến Đò Vĩ Tuyến" của Lam Phương: "Đêm nay trăng sáng quá anh ơi, sao ta lìa cách bởi dòng sông bạc hai màu...". "Bắc Một Nhịp Cầu" của Hoàng Trọng, lời Hồ Đình Phương: "Lạnh lùng phương Nam mơ bóng cây xanh ven hồ. Ngậm ngùi phương Bắc trông lúa xa xăm mong chờ. Vì một dòng sông xóa mờ. Tình đời lìa đôi bến bờ...". "Vọng Cố Đô" của Đan Thọ và Nhật Bằng: "Hà Nội ơi! Xa cách muôn trùng dương. Những lúc sương chiều xuống. Tìm đâu bóng Hồ Gươm lòng bao mến thương...". "Mùa Hoa Nở" của Cung Tiến: "Chiều mưa thương nhớ đến bao giờ. Đường về nẻo Bắc xa mờ, mơ hồ. Đàn chim gieo thương nhớ. Câu tiếng nước nhà..."

Những bản nhạc ấy, trôi theo giòng sông âm nhạc và liên tiếp nhau để thành một thời đại hoài niệm, mà tiếng kêu tha thiết vẳng lên từ nơi chốn đã vời xa: Hà Nội. Tiếng hát, lời ca, không còn đơn thuần là ca khúc mà đi xa hơn, để thành chia sẻ, kỷ niệm của một phần của đời người. Bao nhiêu năm, với bao nhiêu ban nhạc thính phòng hoặc đại chúng, được trình diễn từ những ca sĩ tuyệt vời, những bản nhạc ấy vẫn sống, từ thời hòa bình tạm thời đến cuộc chiến khốc liệt. Mấy chục năm, vẫn không phai cảm xúc trong lòng khán thính giả.

Năm 1975, cơn hồng thủy lại đến với dân tộc Việt nam. Đất nước thống nhất, hòa bình nhưng trại tù mở ra khắp nước. Kinh tế lụn bại, chính tình hà khắc, dân chúng đói khổ. Rồi đánh tư sản, rồi vơ vét tiền của người dân khiến hàng triệu người bỏ xứ ra đi tìm đất sống. Những chuyện phim như Chúng Tôi Muốn Sống, Đất Lành... bỗng thành hiện thực. Và, giòng nhạc hoài niệm lại tiếp nối. Tâm tư, nỗi niềm của thế hệ, của thời đại lại phản ánh rõ nét. Ở hải ngoại, ngóng về quê hương, về Sàigòn với tấm lòng tan nát. Nốt nhạc lời ca thành tiếng vọng gửi về qua khoảng cách của hai bờ đại dương.

Không phải chỉ những nhạc sĩ hải ngoại mới viết nhạc hoài niệm xa xứ mà những người viết nhạc còn ở trong nước cũng sáng tác trong tâm cảm như vậy. Sàigòn, sao khi nhắc đến toàn là chia ly, vĩnh biệt. Nguyễn Đình Toàn, khi còn ở trong nước đã viết "Nước Mắt cho Sài Gòn": "Sàigòn ơi! Ta mất người như ngươì đã mất tên, như giòng sông nước quẩn quanh buồn, như người đi cách mặt xa lòng. Ta hỏi thầm em có nhớ không? Sài Gòn ơi! Đến những ngày ôi hè phố xôn xao, Trong niềm vui tiếng hỏi câu chào, Sáng đời tươi thăm vạn sắc màu. Nay còn gì đâu..."

Bài hát ấy, bị một nhà văn trong nước mỉa mai rằng "là một bản nhạc cay cú về một thành phố mất tên". Ông ta quên rằng Sàigòn đã thành tên của một lãnh tụ công sản đầy tội ác: Hồ chí Minh. Nhưng ai biết được chuyện dâu biển, những tên như Stalingrad, hay Leningrad ở Nga Xô Viết đã trở lại tên thành phố cũ thuở trước. Sàigòn vẫn mãi là Sàigòn.

Và, tôi không phải là một người thông hiểu về âm nhạc lắm nhưng cũng đã nghe nhiều bản nhạc với chủ đề hoài nhớ quê hương và khát vọng sẽ trở về khi đất nước tự do dân chủ. Như "Sàigòn Niềm Nhớ Không Tên" của Nguyễn Đình Toàn, "Sàigòn Ơi Vĩnh Biệt", "Người Di Tản Buồn" của Nam Lộc, "Đêm Nhớ Về Sàigòn" của Trầm Tử Thiêng, "Thương Nhớ Sàigòn" của Phạm Duy, "Đêm Nhớ Trăng Sàigòn", thơ Du Tử Lê, nhạc Phạm Đình Chương, "Khi Xa Sàigòn", thơ Kim Tuấn, nhạc Lê Uyên Phương, "Cho Một Thành Phố Mất Tên", thơ Hoàng Ngọc Ẩn, nhạc Phạm Đình Chương, "Sàigòn Cảm Khúc" của Trần Chí Phúc.

Tôi yêu những bản nhạc nói giùm tôi những tâm tư và ước vọng. Độ chừng, nhiều người cũng giống tôi. Tôi chỉ yêu và thích chứ không đặt tiêu chuẩn hay dở. Có những khi, nghe những bản nhạc cũ, lại bồi hồi. Xốn xang. Tôi biết chắc một điều có những bản nhạc đã cùng sống và cùng thở với tôi trong chung một cuộc nhân sinh. Đâu có thể nào có ai mang cắt đi một phần tâm linh được. Như mang xóa bỏ đi những bài hát hoài niệm yêu quê hương của thời đại tôi, dân tộc tôi... Dù, kẻ đó là những người của chế độ ngụy tín Cộng sản hiện hữu. Những bài hát ấy, có phải là bằng chứng cho một quãng thời gian đầy biến cố tang thương đau đớn. Chia ly, hận thù, giết chóc, chuyện quê hương, đất nước tôi....

Nguyễn Mạnh Trinh

Trích từ www.Trờ

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Nụ Cười Hoài Linh

Mot Duyen, Hai No, Ba Tinh:

Online Videos by

Gia Cat Lang - Hoai Linh & Phi Nhung:

Tieu Phu Bo Me:

Online Videos by

Nu Cuoi Hoai Linh 1 - Du Hoc:

Online Videos by

Nu Cuoi Hoai Linh 2 - Bua Yeu:

Online Videos by

Nu Cuoi Hoai Linh 3:

Online Videos by

Nu Cuoi Hoai Linh 4:

Online Videos by

Nu Cuoi Hoai Linh 5:

Online Videos by

Nu Cuoi Hoai Linh 6 - Noc Ran:

Online Videos by

Ba Nguoi Nha Que 1/5:

Online Videos by

Ba Nguoi Nha Que 2/5:

Online Videos by

Ba Nguoi Nha Que 3/5:

Online Videos by

Ba Nguoi Nha Que 4/5:

Online Videos by

Ba Nguoi Nha Que 5/5:

Online Videos by

Friday, February 22, 2008

Hài Kịch Hoài Linh

Lay Chong Di Con 1 - Hoai Linh & Thuy Nga:

Lay Chong Di Con 2 - Hoai Linh & Thuy Nga:

Lay Chong Di Con 3 - Hoai Linh & Thuy Nga:

Duyen No - Hoai Linh:

Sui Gia - Thuy Nga & Hoai Linh:

Tong Tien: Tam Thanh, Bao Giang & Hoai Linh:

Con Rieng - Quang Minh, Hong Dao, Giang Ngoc & Hoai Linh:

De Nhat Than Thau 1 - Hoai Linh:

De Nhat Than Thau 2 - Hoai Linh:

Nang Sen: Hong Van, Thuy Nga & Hoai Linh:

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Hài Kịch

Nguyen Ngoc Ngan & Nguyen Cao Ky Duyen:

Ba Mat Ga Ong Mat Net 1/2 - Hong Van & Le Vu Cau:

Online Videos by

Ba Mat Ga Ong Mat Net 2/2 - Hong Van & Le Vu Cau:

Online Videos by

Hoi Thi Chim - Hoai Linh:

Choi Chim - Hoai Linh:

Nguoi Ban Tot 1/4 - Van Son, Bao Liem, Quang Minh, Hong Dao, Diem Lien:

Nguoi Ban Tot 2/4 - Van Son, Bao Liem, Quang Minh, Hong Dao, Diem Lien:

Nguoi Ban Tot 3/4 - Van Son, Bao Liem, Quang Minh, Hong Dao, Diem Lien:

Nguoi Ban Tot 4/4 - Van Son, Bao Liem, Quang Minh, Hong Dao, Diem Lien:

Hang Doc 1/2 - Quang Minh, Hong Dao, Tracy Pham, Van Son:

Hang Doc 2/2 - Quang Minh, Hong Dao, Tracy Pham, Van Son:

Con Duong Nghe Thuat Chong Gai - Hoai Linh - Part 1:

Con Duong Nghe Thuat Chong Gai - Hoai Linh - Part 2:

Con Duong Nghe Thuat Chong Gai - Hoai Linh - Part 3:

Danh Ghen 1/3 - Chi Tai, Hoai Linh, Thuy Nga:

Danh Ghen 2/3 - Chi Tai, Hoai Linh, Thuy Nga:

Danh Ghen 3/3 - Chi Tai, Hoai Linh, Thuy Nga:

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine

Em Yeu Dau, Hoang Khai Nhan, Thai Hien:

My Valentine - Martina McBride:

Olivia Newton-John & Jim Brickman - My Valentine:

Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You:

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Vân Khánh

Hue Thuong:

Mua Xuan Nghieng La - Hoang Khai Nhan & Dang Van Lanh - Van Khanh:

Mua Cali Nho Thanh Noi - Vo Ta Han & Pham Ngoc - Van Khanh:

Neu Xuan Nay Vang Anh:

Nho Hue:

Rat Hue:

Thuong Ve Mien Dat Lanh:

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Vietnam Close-Up

Hành Trình Xuyên Việt

"Sông núi nước Nam vua nam ở
Rành rành đã định tại sách trời
Cớ sao lũ giặc sang xâm phạm

Chúng bây sẽ bị đánh tơi bời"

Lý Thường Kiệt

Viet Nam Close-Up Website:

Saigon Broadcasting Television Network:

Vietnam Closeup - Hanh Trinh Xuyen Viet 01

Vietnam Closeup - Hanh Trinh Xuyen Viet 02

Vietnam Closeup - Hanh Trinh Xuyen Viet 03

Vietnam Closeup - Hanh Trinh Xuyen Viet 04

Vietnam Closeup - Hanh Trinh Xuyen Viet 05

Vietnam Closeup - Hanh Trinh Xuyen Viet 06

Vietnam Closeup - Hanh Trinh Xuyen Viet 07

Vietnam Closeup - Hanh Trinh Xuyen Viet 08

Vietnam Closeup - Hanh Trinh Xuyen Viet 09

Vietnam Closeup - Hanh Trinh Xuyen Viet 10

Vietnam Closeup - Hanh Trinh Xuyen Viet 11

Vietnam Closeup - Hanh Trinh Xuyen Viet 12

Vietnam Closeup - Hanh Trinh Xuyen Viet 13

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia --

Massage is the treatment and practice of manipulation of the soft body tissues with physical, functional, i.e. mechanical, medical/therapeutic, and in some cases psychological purposes and goals. The word comes from the French massage "friction of kneading," possibly from Arabic massa "to touch, feel, handle" or from Latin massa "mass, dough". (In distinction the ancient Greek word for massage itself was anatripsis, and the Latin was frictio.)

Massage involves acting and manipulating the patient's body with pressure (structured, unstructured, stationary, and/or moving), tension, motion, or vibration done manually or with mechanical aids. Target tissues may include muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, joints, or other connective tissue, as well as lymphatic vessels, and/or organs of the gastrointestinal system. Massage can be applied with the hands, fingers, elbows, forearm, and feet. There are over eighty different massage modalities. The most cited reasons for introducing massage was patient demand and perceived clinical effectiveness.

Peer-reviewed medical research has shown that the benefits of massage include pain relief, reduced trait anxiety and depression, and temporarily reduced blood pressure, heart rate, and state anxiety. Theories behind what massage might do include blocking pain signals to the brain (gate control theory), activating the parasympathetic nervous system which may stimulate the release of endorphins and serotonin, preventing fibrosis or scar tissue, increasing the flow of lymph, and improving sleep but such effects are yet to be supported by well designed clinical studies.

Massage can be performed by a professional Massage Practitioner, or by other health care professionals, such as Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Athletic trainers, and/or Physical Therapists. Massage therapists work in hospitals as allied health professioners, in nursing homes, sports and fitness facilities, spas, beauty salons, cruise ships, private offices, and travel to private residences or businesses. Contraindications to massage include, deep vein thrombosis, bleeding disorders or taking blood thinners such as Warfarin, damaged blood vessels, weakened bones from cancer, osteoporosis, or fractures, and fever.

In professional settings, massage involves the client being treated while lying on a massage table, sitting upright in a massage chair, or lying on a pad on the floor. Except for modalities such as Acupressure, Shiatsu, Tui Na, Thai Massage, or Barefoot Deep Tissue, the massage subject is generally unclothed or partially unclothed, also referred to as disrobed, and their body would be "draped" with towels or sheets.

More information can be found at:

Best Massage Technique:

Full Body Massage:

Tutorial: How to perform a full body massage:

How to perform a full body massage:

Massage: Make your Lover Feel Great!

Breast Massage Technique:

Japanese Orgasm Massage part1:

Japanese Orgasm Massage part2:

Sato Hiroko - Massage Part 2:

Sato Hiroko - Thai Breast Massage:

Japon Massage:

japanese girl breast massage:

Breast and Buttocks massage: