Britain has talent, and so does Paul Potts

Via Mandy, a UVA friend, I found this YouTube video of Paul Potts, a broken-toothed contestant on “Britain’s Got Talent” who murmurs when asked why he’s in the competition, “To sing opera.” And then proceeds to tear the house down:

I mean, and please excuse my French, but: holy shit.

This is the dream, if you are an amateur musician; for a vocalist, this is the prototypical origin story. It’s how you decide you are going to pursue this for the rest of your life. (As I confessed a while ago.) And he does it. Makes the female presenter take heavy sighing breaths and cry, makes the audience jump to their feet, makes Simon gush like a schoolgirl.

And not only does he pull off this performance, which would have been cool enough; he goes on to win the whole shebang. And: sing for the Queen, record contract with Simon Cowell, get money to pay off his debts. Even get his teeth fixed.

Sometimes the good guys win. But apparently only in Britain. Lucky bastards.

(And, um, it’s OK to be just a little jealous of him, right?)

For a more reasoned response to the whole thing, SJ Reidhead has a good piece on Blogcritics.

Updated 9/26/2007: Had to update the YouTube link. You’d think that the rightsholder would treat this amazingly successful clip as promotion rather than yank it, but no…

iChat and broadband speed

My inlaws and I are trying to figure out why they get such poor iChat performance. We videoconference with them often through iChat, and their sound cuts out, or the picture becomes so pixilated that they can’t see what is going on.

I just ran a Speakeasy speed test and it doesn’t seem that our connection speed is a problem—our speed to their servers in New York (very close to my inlaws) is pretty darned good:

18065 down 1960 up

So that leaves a few other possibilities. One is my inlaws’ speed—I know a few other people in their neighborhood have gotten cable modems. Another is iChat version—they are still on Mac OS X 10.3 and we have made the Tiger move.