The music of the spheres turns out to be a mixture of whistles, chirrups, howls, static and something that sounds like chattering voices. Oh, and a string quartet and a choir.
The string quartet and the choir were not Don Gurnett’s idea. The mind of an astrophysicist tends to favour the hard evidence. But it was Gurnett who built the devices that captured the whistles and chirrups as Nasa’s Voyager probes hurtled past Saturn, Uranus and Neptune on their 25-year journey into deep space, and he was there to share a standing ovation when they formed part of Sun Rings, an hour-long piece written by Terry Riley for the Kronos Quartet and a 60-voice choir, given its world premiere at the University of Iowa’s Hancher Auditorium recently.” Guardian UK
Jazz liberates an autistic 10-year-old Jerusalem Report
“Fantasy films now exert a stranglehold on the world’s cinemas in a way no genre has ever done before… War movies are too brutal, the Wild West permanently tarnished: it’s fantasy that is now setting box offices ablaze.” Telegraph UK
“A man who made a remark about a “burning Bush” during the president’s March 2001 trip to Sioux Falls was sentenced Friday to 37 months in prison.
Richard Humphreys of Portland, Oregon was convicted in September of threatening to kill or harm the president and said he plans to appeal. He has said the comment was a prophecy protected under his right to free speech.
Humphreys said he got into a barroom discussion in nearby Watertown with a truck driver. A bartender who overheard the conversation realized the president was to visit Sioux Falls the next day and told police Humphreys talked about a “burning Bush” and the possibility of someone pouring a flammable liquid on Bush and lighting it.
“I said God might speak to the world through a burning Bush,” Humphreys testified during his trial. “I had said that before and I thought it was funny.” ‘ CNN
“…(F)ederal and local police agencies are looking for systematic, high-tech ways to root out terrorists before they strike. …(O)fficials are hatching elaborate plans for dumping gigabytes of delicate information into big computers, where it would be blended with public records and stirred with sophisticated software.
In recent days, federal law enforcement officials have spoken ambitiously and often about their plans to remake the F.B.I. as a domestic counterterrorism agency. But the spy story has been unfolding, quietly and sometimes haltingly, for more than a year now, since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Some people in law enforcement remain unconvinced that all these new tools are needed, and some experts are skeptical that high-tech data mining will bring much of value to light.” New York Times
The Biological Basis of the Placebo Effect — Imaging technologies bring empirical rigor to the study of a mysterious medical phenomenon. “What we’re getting,” says Harvard Medical School’s Ted Kaptchuk, “is good preliminary evidence that describes the hardwiring of the placebo effect–that is, the impact of symbolic treatment, and how it’s mediated through the neurobiology of the brain to produce physical effects in illnesses.” The Scientist
GOP Senate Leader Hails Colleague’s Run As Segregationist: “Senate Republican leader Trent Lott of Mississippi has provoked criticism by saying the United States would have been better off if then-segregationist candidate Strom Thurmond had won the presidency in 1948.
Speaking Thursday at a 100th birthday party and retirement celebration for Sen. Thurmond (R-S.C.) in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Lott said, “I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either.” Washington Post [with apologies to Pynchon…]