Ukes in space • Ukes and food • Buffett fesses up • Stromae plus cava
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Ground control to Commander Ford
From the NASA website: Inside the Tranquility node of the International Space Station, Expedition 34 Commander Kevin Ford plays a ukulele on Dec. 23, 2012. Two days later, the Expedition 34 crew members assembled their voices and instruments to make Christmas music for the "folks at home," in other words, all the people celebrating Christmas on Earth.
According to Commander Chris Hadfield, who is currently orbiting earth in the space station, "Here on the ISS there is a guitar, ukulele and keyboard, and pretty much every evening someone is playing music."
Further along (than the tennis racquet uke) the spectrum of  'if you can dream it you can build it' ukulele construction, is this custom beauty by US instrument designer and manufacturer, Paul Celentano. Have a look at a few others he's made. I just hope the owner of this uke isn't named Eve.
While we're on the topic of food and ukes (sort of) there is a restaurant in Luxembourg called 'Ukulele' for no discernable reason. It serves Thai food and advertises live music, but it isn't until you go to their facebook page you see that a ukulele band played there in 2013. A restaurant in Florida is called Ukulele Brand's, the apostrophe perhaps indicating that someone called Ukulele Brand owns the place? They run an open mic every Tuesday night, any instrument welcome. Even though the Lamb Inn in West Sussex, doesn't have ukulele in its name, it does have a dedicated ukulele jam and singalong every Thursday night, all comers welcome and free music books to borrow. Despite a complaint of burnt garlic bread on one Trip Advisor review, the uke night gets five stars from another.
Final food reference, just so I could use this great pic of him, Will Grove-White of the UOGB has a book out called Get Plucky with the Ukulele: A Quick and Easy Guide to All Things Uke ($12.99 for the eBook). I've only seen the excerpty bits but they're addictively readable and who better to get playing advice from than a full-time member of a world-renowned ukulele group?
A few Resonates ago I included a clip of the 63 billion dollar man Warren Buffett duetting on uke with Jon Bon Jovi. It turns out that 84-year-old Warren has been playing for some time and is known for his performances at business meetings and public events. Here's how it all began...

“I went to University of Nebraska and there was a girl there I had a big crush on. And she seemed to prefer this other guy and I couldn’t figure out why in the world that would be the case, turned out he played the ukulele. So I thought I would do something about that, so I went out and bought a ukulele. And I learned about three chords and she still preferred the other guy. After hearing me play, I think you’ll understand why,” Buffett said at the (Coca Cola annual shareholders) meeting.
Stromae Takes America - “Ave Cesaria" in San Francisco
Singer, songwriter, musician and rapper Stromae (slang for 'maestro') is a Belgian-Rwandan who lost his father in the Rwandan genocide and grew up in Europe. He has superstar status there but was not widely known in the US when he was due to play Madison Square Garden late last year. Just prior to the concert, he released a hello to New York video, based in Times Square featuring him playing keyboard, singing and dancing and a few other things. It worked - the concert was a sell-out! This clip shows Stromae and his band playing in the back of a (moving) truck in San Francisco, where they are ordered by the police to stop, but manage to perform their song nevertheless. It makes for a great clip, as do the outfits, the instrumentation, the song, and the cavaquinho - looks just like a uke, but sounds different, maybe because its traditional tuning is DGBD. The music starts more than half a minute in, but press on and check out that cavaquinho!
Lucky they didn't wield a 'machete' when the police stopped them.

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