Adorable Super Mario Bros. Proposal Takes Arkansas Couple’s Relationship to the Next Level

Self-proclaimed master gamer Shane Birkinbine took his relationship with girlfriend Pam Edwards to the next level by building a marriage proposal into a custom level of their favorite video game using “Super Mario Maker.”

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In a video that’s been viewed on YouTube nearly one million times, we observe Edwards being coached by her boyfriend through a custom course he designed for the classic Super Mario Bros. video game. She carefully maneuvers through the level, earning gold coins along the way, but she’s so intent on successfully completing the course that she’s unaware that the last leg includes a special message spelled out in blocks.

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As her screen character earns “star power” and knocks out a few of the lower blocks that make up the bottom of the “P” in the word “Pam,” Edwards is asked by her boyfriend to take a closer look at the screen.

“Babe, what does that say?” he asks.

“Where?” she responds.

“The blocks,” he says. “It spells out your name, I think.”

“How did you do that?” the surprise girlfriend asks.

“Master gamer,” he responds. “It says, ‘Pam.'”

“Babe! How did you do that?” asks the girlfriend, this time with a more excited tone.

Knowing that the blocks are spelling out a message, she carefully guides her character around them, instead of crashing through them. “I don’t want to break it,” she says.

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She laughs and blissfully screams “babe” four times as her game character runs across the course revealing the rest of the message: “Will you marry me.”

“Yes, of course,” affirms Edwards as she breaks into tears.

Birkinbine declares, “Yay. She said, ‘Yes.’ I love you, babe.”

“I love you,” she says.

Birkinbine posted the video to YouTube on May 21 with the caption, “Hope everyone enjoys just a bit of our special moment. Geeks do it better!” The touching display of creativity and affection quickly went viral, with viewership heading toward one million and media outlets picking up the story from every corner of the world. Among them were the Huffington Post, Time, NPR, Mashable, USA Today, Inquirer, Daily Mail and Yahoo News.

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The romantic gamer acknowledged that the viral nature of the video can be credited to his fiancée’s reaction.

“The positive comments make it all worth it… people like a feel-good story,” wrote Birkinbine in the comments section of his YouTube video. “Just never thought it would come from our little corner of the world. This video is nothing without her reaction. She is the star.”

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The romantic groom-to-be appropriately proposed with an engagement ring balanced atop a Super Mushroom, also known as a Power-Up Mushroom, originated in Super Mario Bros.

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Super Mario Maker, which was released in September of 2015, allows players to create and play their own custom levels based on Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World and New Super Mario Bros. U. A neat publishing tool allows the custom courses to be shared to the Internet. In May 2016, Nintendo announced that more than 7.2 million courses had been created worldwide.

Check out Birkinbine’s viral video below…

Credits: Screen captures via YouTube/Retro Shanerator; Facebook/Shane Birkinbine; Super Mario Maker graphic by Nintendo.

Music Friday: ‘You Sparkle Like a Diamond Ring,’ Sings Jon Pardi in ‘Head Over Boots’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you awesome songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, up-and-coming music star Jon Pardi sings about falling in love and growing old together in the easy-listening country hit, “Head Over Boots.”

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He sings, “The way you sparkle like a diamond ring / Maybe one day we can make it a thing / Test time and grow old together / Rock in our chairs and talk about the weather, yeah.”

The song was inspired by the loving couples Pardi observed in the dance halls near his father’s home in Hill County, Texas. He said that everyone — both old and young alike — seemed so happy two-stepping around a circle, so he decided to write “Head Over Boots” with an old-school vibe energized by a fiddle accompaniment.

“I was sitting in Spring Branch, Texas, at my dad’s house and I started kinda strummin’ this little old-sounding country thing in his living room, and I recorded it on my phone,” the 31-year-old Pardi said. “I was thinking, ‘Man, I need a good love song for the ladies out there.'”

And that’s when he came up with the idea of “head over boots,” a country version of the term “head over heels.”

“I went to [co-writer] Luke Laird and we kind of threw out the title and we came up with a cool little old-school modern new love song, and it’s my first love song on Country radio,” he said.

Pardi and Laird revealed to Billboard magazine that their feel-good song is actually written from two perspectives. The unwed Pardi sees the song from the point of view of someone looking for a long-term relationship, while his married writing partner approached the song from the vantage point of a family man who is dedicated to keeping the romantic spark alive in his relationship.

“Head Over Boots,” which was released in 2015 and continues to make gains on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, is the lead single from Pardi’s upcoming second studio album, California Sunrise. While the single has ascended to #13 on the Hot Country Songs chart, it has also gained cross-over appeal with a #77 placement on the mainstream U.S. Billboard Hot 100 list. The album is scheduled for a June 17 release.

Please check out the acoustic version of Pardi’s “Head Over Boots.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“Head Over Boots”
Written by Jon Pardi and Luke Laird. Performed by Jon Pardi.

I wanna sweep you off your feet tonight
I wanna love you and hold you tight
Spin you around on some old dance floor
Act like we never met before for fun, ’cause

You’re the one I want, you’re the one I need
Baby, if I was a king, ah, you would be my queen
You’re the rock in my roll
You’re good for my soul, it’s true
I’m head over boots for you

The way you sparkle like a diamond ring
Maybe one day we can make it a thing
Test time and grow old together
Rock in our chairs and talk about the weather, yeah

So, bring it on in for that angel kiss
Put that feel good on my lips, ’cause

You’re the one I want, you’re the one I need
Baby, if I was a king, ah, you would be my queen
You’re the rock in my roll
You’re good for my soul, it’s true
I’m head over boots for you

Yeah, I’m here to pick you up
And I hope I don’t let you down, no, ’cause

You’re the one I want, you’re the one I need
Baby, if I was a king, ah, you would be my queen
You’re the rock in my roll
You’re good for my soul, it’s true
I’m head over boots for you

You’re the one I want, you’re the one I need
Baby, if I was a king, ah, you would be my queen
You’re the rock in my roll
You’re good for my soul, it’s true
I’m head over boots for you

I wanna sweep you off your feet tonight
I wanna love you and hold you tight
Spin you around on some old dance floor

Credit: Image via umgnashville.com (pressroom).

The ‘Cullinan Dream,’ Another Wondrous Blue Diamond, Comes to Auction in June; 24.18-Carat Gem Could Fetch $29M

The 24.18-carat “Cullinan Dream,” the largest fancy intense blue diamond ever to be offered at auction, could fetch upwards of $29 million at Christie’s New York on June 9.

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Barely a week ago, the 14.62-carat “Oppenheimer Blue” set a new world record for any jewel sold at auction when it yielded $57.5 million at Christie’s Geneva.

Even though the Cullinan Dream is nearly 10 carats larger than the Oppenheimer Blue, its likely selling price will be about half. This is because the Cullinan Dream’s fancy intense blue color, VS2 clarity and Type IIb purity rating lies a tier below the Oppenheimer Blue’s fancy vivid blue color, VVS1 clarity and Type IIa purity rating.

Still, the Cullinan Dream is a very special diamond. Billed as the top lot of Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction at Rockefeller Plaza, the Cullinan Dream is the largest of four polished diamonds cut from a 122.52-carat rough stone discovered by Petra Diamonds at its famed Cullinan Mine in South Africa back in June of 2014. Petra reportedly sold the rough diamond for an incredible $23.5 million.

A master gem cutter meticulously analyzed the rough gem to determine the best yield. He eventually produced four notably sized blue diamonds: a cushion-cut gem of 7.00 carats, a radiant-cut gem of 10.30 carats, a pear-shaped gem of 11.30 carats, and finally, the Cullinan Dream, a cut-cornered rectangular mixed-cut gem of 24.18 carats. Christie’s set the pre-sale estimate at $23 million to $29 million.

Set as a ring, the June 9 headliner, Lot 261, is flanked by tapered baguettes in a platinum mounting inscribed “Cullinan Dream.” The baguettes have a total weight of 2.36 carats.

Discovered in 1902, the Cullinan Mine is famous for being the source of many of the world’s most famous diamonds, including a 3,106.75-carat Cullinan diamond that produced the 530.20-carat pear-shaped Cullinan I (also known as the Star of Africa), the largest polished white diamond in existence. The Cullinan I is housed in the Tower of London as part of the Crown Jewels of England.

The mine’s production statistics are extraordinary: 750 stones weighing more than 100 carats, 130 stones weighing more than 200 carats, and more than a quarter of all diamonds in existence weighing more than 400 carats.

The mine is also a leading source for exceptional pink and blue diamonds. The Cullinan Dream owes its blue color to traces of boron in the diamond’s chemical structure.

Credit: Image courtesy of Christie’s.