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Hanami means "flower viewing" in Japanese. It gets its own special word because the blooming of the cherry blossoms here is a huge deal. Meteorologists visit the trees every day trying to predict when they'll bloom, signs go up around the city that say Sakura (cherry blossom in japanese) on them, and restaurants even have special Sakura cookies for sale.

People get into it.

The cherry blossoms don't last long, though. After a week they fall to the ground, which means that there is one big weekend for cherry blossom viewing.

Video of the Week: Mr. Fancy Pants

On Where Pianos Roam

Okay, so I'm breaking my rule again.  These featured videos are supposed to have something, anything, involving pianos, but I am going to abandon this rule for the second time this month in favor of one of the most beautiful, brilliant, and ingenious performances I have seen in a long time. I am generally not a fan of reality shows, but I have to admit that I love the show "So You Think You Can Dance". This show travels all around the country to recruit some of the best dancers to compete for the title of America's Best Dancer.  The contestants are physically, artistically, and emotionally challenged every week by having to perform choreography and dancing styles that are often not their own.  It's an amazing show to watch. In a recent episode, a young man by the name of Teddy Tedholm danced in the Boston Auditions.  When auditioning, dancers are either chosen to do choreography or, if they are already extraordinarily good, get a ticket straight to Las Vegas (where the contestants are whittled down to a mere Top 20). Teddy, or Mr. Fancy Pants, got a ticket straight to Vegas.   Even the judges could not deny how original and clever he was.  All of this happened on the strength of his performance (which by the way is danced to a sweet little song by Jason Mraz called "If It Kills Me").  It is whimsical, comical, magical, brilliant, gorgeous, and even a little heartbreakingly sad. I absolutely LOVE this .  .  . [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtTnodKUQgY] I have come to find out that Teddy did not make it into the Top 20 in Vegas, but wherever he is, I hope he keeps on dancing.  Imaginative people like him are like the purest of diamonds--of a clarity and brilliance rarely seen and highly treasured. Thank you so much, Mr. Fancy Pants. -g

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