Coca-Cola sure got a lot of people riled up with its Super Bowl ad featuring "America the Beautiful" sung in the many languages you can hear every day across the nation. Some took it as a slap in the face to the English language, but I thought it was a perfect way to show how national unity can transcend language.
And if you need another reason to like the spot, Palo Alto's Stratford School revealed Monday that one of its students, fifth-grader Naya Salah, of San Carlos, was the voice singing in Arabic during the commercial. (You can see a video of her singing the song and talking about her experience at www.youtube.com/watch?v=jn8fK6r9ayc.)
"America is one union but with a mix of cultures, and it doesn't matter who you are," Naya says in the video. "We should always be friendly to each other no matter what difference you have."
Talented and smart -- and she's also the school's student body president. You've got to think her parents are pretty proud this week.
ROCKAGE RETURNS: It seems right that San Jose State's Student Union is the venue for Rockage 3.0, this weekend's three-day celebration of pinball, retro video games and independent bands. What better place than a college campus to listen to more than two dozen bands and play video games all day?
A three-day pass is $30 (go to www.rockagesj.tumblr.com for more details). As is usually the case with Eric Fanali's fun events, this is an all-ages affair, so teens can take their parents to hear a chip-tune band or relive their Colecovision days.
PAL GETS MMA SUPPORT: San Jose's Police Activities League, which is more than 45 years old, is getting some nice support from a relative newcomer, mixed martial arts. The big MMA Evolution Expo -- including wrestling, judo and boxing tournaments -- is taking place Saturday and Sunday at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, and promoter Gabe Scarpelli has designated San Jose PAL as the expo's nonprofit beneficiary. They'll get a donation from ticket sales (use the promo code PAL2014 if buying online at www.mmaevolutionexpo.com).
You can also provide your own support to San Jose PAL at www.sjpdpal.org.
DOCK OF THE BAY: Steve Dini thinks he knows how the Warriors are trying to persuade San Francisco officials to get their waterfront arena built sooner. "The old-fashioned way," he says, "They're exerting 'pier' pressure!" I'm not sure if that one was a splash hit or just all wet.