Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Christmas gift for readers

New York Times reports on a new pipe organ to echo the sounds of Bach

12DaysChristmasIn an inspiring article about construction in Rochester, NY, of an exact replica of an 18th century pipe organ in Vilnius, Lithuania, the New York Times has published a breathtaking story about music from the baroque age.

It is an astounding combination of music history, technical accomplishment, cultural preservation, and performance of Bach’s music that comes alive when you read about it. Even better, you can hear it online. More on this below.

The newspaper reports, “There is no other contemporary organ like the Craighead-Saunders organ at Christ Church in Rochester.”

This is a story of people who invest in the future based on the commitments from the past. It is worth a first, and a second reading, and some reflection on the values the people involved brought to the task at hand. It is a full stop on our society's short-attention span, with an emphasis on quarterly business results and mid-term elections. It is a metaphor for how we ought to think about some aspects of life.

Ok, enough philosophy. This article actually appears in the Science Section of the New York Times so it will also appeal to your inner geek. There are plenty of technical details about how the old organ, built in 1776, was used as a template for the new one, which was completed in 2009. The article includes some excellent color photographs of the exterior and interior of the new organ.

You don’t have to be a fan of classical music to be transported by this story. The newspaper has posted three multi-media files so you can hear the sound of the new organ over the Internet. The two minutes of music of J S Bach Sonata V in C major, BWV 529 will melt your heart. There are two additional pieces by Bach played on the new organ which are available for your listening pleasure with this article.

Happy New Year

ghostlightThe blog will be dark for Christmas and blogging will be light through the first week of January. Regular reports, news, analysis, and commentary will return after the new year.

In the meantime, please see the blog posts below this one for my end-of-year take on “Laurel & Hardly” awards to the nuclear industry for 2009 for accomplishments and for inexplicable results.

Also, as part of my annual tradition, I’ve published my fearless predictions for the new year in the form of “Snapshots of the Future.” The ideas are generating plenty of comments. What’s your view?

This is a companion piece to my earlier blog post on new years' resolutions for the nuclear industry - Four Fearless Futures which discusses key challenges facing the nuclear renaissance.

Thanks to readers

I would like to thank the more than 100,000 people who read articles on this blog this year, either directly or through syndication at the Energy Collective. I am inspired by this response to the blog which will enter its fourth year of operations in January 2010.

Also, I would like to thank my editor and publisher at Fuel Cycle Week for their continued confidence in my reports on uranium mining in the West in the U.S. and in Canada.

Lastly, I would like to thank my fellow nuclear energy bloggers for their friendship and support. See my blog roll for the list.

Happy New Year.

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