Thursday, 28 November 2013

Discovery channel promotional item about The Challenger Disaster

The Discovery Channel has shared their promotional piece on The Challenger Disaster movie.

Watch it and see if you recognize anyone! :-)

Olympic Torch Makes It To Tuva

Today, November 28, the Olympic torch was scheduled to be in Kyzyl en route to Sochi.   Paralympic archer Mikhail Oyun was one of the athletes scheduled to carry the torch in the Tuvan leg.

The only media coverage I've seen of this is at the Around The Rings website - but there are several great photos at the official torch relay site,! - the source of the photos shown here.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

"The Challenger Disaster" airing in Canada next month

You read it here first... The Discovery Channel will be showing "The Challenger Disaster" in the next month.  Details to follow.

And of course it will be on the Science Channel in the USA on Nov. 16 at 9PM.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

The Feynman Series - Youtube Channel

Reid Gower has created The Feynman Series, a Youtube channel featuring videos made to the soundtrack of Feynman speaking on a selection of topics --- the narration is from The Pleasure of Finding Things Out and the effect of hearing a familiar narrative accompanied by new, dynamic visuals is interesting and entertaining.

The first videos are titled "Beauty", "Honours", and "Curiosity".  The fourth episode on the "Key to Science" features physicist Joan Feynman.

The World Is A Dynamic Mess Of Jiggling Things

Here, from Fun To Imagine, is Richard Feynman talking about rubber bands.

"The world is a dynamic mess of jiggling things..."

For a longer talk about stretching, pulling, and pushing, visit the BBC site that hosts the original video, "Richard Feynman: Fun To Imagine".

Nature: rethinking particle dynamics

Nature has published an article, Rethinking Particle Dynamics, that provides an overview of current developments in theoretical physics.

It's interesting to all those with a passing interest in the subject, as it describes that new methods and concepts are being used to make some of the calculations that are traditionally made with the assistance of Feynman diagrams.

And of course, there's always The Van... with the diagrams.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Science Channel to air "The Challenger Disaster" this fall

The Science Channel has announced that November 16 will be the North American premiere of the docu-drama "Challenger Disaster", portraying the inquiry that followed the tragic 1986 explosion of the space shuttle Challenger.

William Hurt portrays Richard Feynman in this BBC co-production.

We have no inkling as to how good it is, we'll have to wait for the reviews.

Volume I of The Feynman Lectures On Physics - now available for free!

Sometimes something sounds too good to be true --- but it actually turns out to be true!  This is one of those times.

Thanks to Caltech and The Feynman Lectures on Physics website, Volume I of the Feynman Lectures on Physics is now available for free online.  This is the classic 52-chapter book written by Richard Feynman, Robert Leighton, and Matthew Sands based on the lectures given by Feynman at Caltech from 1961 to 1963.

Visit the WWW site at  for more information, access to the book online, and an explanation of who is to thank for this boon to the world of science and education.

"Bohemian Gravity" music video references Feynman diagrams

The video "Bohemian Gravity" by A Capella Science references Feynman diagrams.

How cool is that?

I don't know how much work went into the song and the video, but I'd guess "a lot"!

Friday, 9 August 2013

NPR: Remembering The People's Throat Singer Of Tuva

This week National Public Radio's show "Fresh Air" broadcast a 10-minute piece on Kongar-ol Ondar, titled Remembering The People's Throat Singer Of Tuva.  The show incorporates part of a 1999 interview in which Ondar demonstrated his singing for Fresh Air host Terry Gross. Because he didn't speak English, Back Tuva Future co-producer Ralph Leighton (co-founder of Friends of Tuva) joined Ondar in the studio to translate.

Monday, 5 August 2013

New York Times: Obituary for Ondar

The New York Times has published a comprehensive and respectful obituary for Ondar, describing the remarkable life he lived.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Kongar-ol Ondar Legacy Fund

For those of you who have asked about helping out ONDAR -- both continuing the Tuvan culture and Ondar's family, contributions to the KO Legacy Fund can be made at

Memorial Fund donations will serve to support the cultural activities as well as the family of Kongar-ol Ondar.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Kongar-ol Ondar - End Of A Journey

Kongar-ol Ondar passed away last night in his beloved country of Tuva as a result of complications after emergency surgery for a hemorrhage of the brain.
Needless to say, this comes as a shock to all those who knew him and all those who enjoyed his music.  It is too soon for us to put our thoughts and feelings to paper (as it were) but this is in some ways an end of an era.
Thank you, Kongar-ol!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Museum Exhibition of Tuvan Artifacts in Abakan

Of course we are not focussed solely on events taking place in North America in Europe!   The L.R. Kyzlasov Khakassia National Museum of Local Historyin Abakan is the first in a series of Khakassian museums to host a joint display of artifacts from Moscow and from Tuva.   The exhibit, titleed "National motifs in the art of Tuva and Khakassia”,will visit a few more museums in Khakassia before moving to Kyzyl in September.

Sean Quirk On His Life In Tuva

The Washington Post has published a short article on Sean Quirk, an American now residing permanently in Tuva.  It's a nice article that describes how he got there, and his connection with the ensemble Alash.  The occasion for the article is the Smithsonian Folklife Festival mentioned in previous posts, which continues this week on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Tuvans Invade America (again)

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is playing host to a group of Tuvan musicians and artists in Washington.

This year's Festival is called "One World, Many Voices" and focuses on endangered languages.

See the Festival program at the Folklife Festival website.

Related links:
Original reporting here!

Sainkho and Garlo - crowdsourcing for new CD "Go To Tuva"

Hello fans of Tuvan music!

Sainkho and Garlo have started a crowdsourcing effort to raise funds for their latest recording, "Go To Tuva".  For full details, visit their WWW site at 

Here is the English summary of their pitch:
We want to release our album « Sainkho & Garlo / Go to Tuva ».
The album is recorded, mixed and ready. Music is a mix of rock,electro,world + the universe of the famous singer Sainkho Namtchylak.
Songs are in english or in tuvan.
Music is very original, Sainkho’s voices are beautiful and the sound is great.
Sainkho Namtchylak is a famous singer born in Tuva, a republic in Siberia in the North of Mongolia.

We need money for the mastering, pressing & communication.
And if we get more, we and musicians, mixer & recording studio will finally get some money.
Hope you join us.

Sainkho & Garlo’s band  have been touring in Siberia & in Tuva, & I made a 26’ documentary  / road movie  Go to Tuva.
This dvd « Go to Tuva »  is not released yet, i will make a home copy of it just for people who  help us. No case, nothing just a white dvd copy of this rare 26’ road movie in English & French + 2 clips & a live version of a song.
You can also get :

  • pictures from Tuva
  • A Go to Tuva post card
  • a Go to Tuva road diary ( french only ) A4 w pictures 31pages.
  • Your name as a coproducer on the 12X12cm card that will come with the cd
  • a Go to Tuva  original T shirt.
And here's a great video that accompanies this project, check it out!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Soriah is On the Road To Tuva Again

Willamette, Oregon, performer Soriah is on the road to Tuva again - read his adventures in the Willamette Week to get an idea of what travel there is like.   No two trips are the same...

Redefine Magazine Article on Tuva

Redefine Magazine has published "Tuva’s Meridian of Musicality, Spirituality, and Cross-Cultural Place: A Primer On Tuvan Throat Singing", an extensive and thoughtful overview of music and it's place in Tuvan culture.

Check it out!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Life, The Universe, And Everything

The Telegraph has published an article paying tribute to Richard Feynman that notes how he is continually being rediscovered by a new audience, part in thanks to the Internet.   His recorded interviews now appear in Youtube, and some have gained great popularity due to some creative homages such as the Ode To a Flower.

Of course, we've been working at this since before there was a WWW, when information was shared via Usenet and FTP sites... :-)

Feynman Recordings Available Once Again!

The recordings that were used as the basis for such best-sellers as "Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman!" and "What Do You Care What Other People Think?" are once more available for purchase!

Please visit for your opportunity to purchase the Feynman Tapes for download.  Volumes 0, 1, and 2 are already available and include such favorites as I Want My Dollar!, Fixing Radios, and At Cornell.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Tuvan Doctor a Hero In Moscow and In His Homeland

TuvaOnline has posted a great interview with Vyacheslav Ondar, who  is a Doctor of Medicine, member of American Academy of orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), and of International Association of traumatic orthopedics (SICOT) and also  National Physician of Republic Tyva.

Big Buddha Planned for Kyzyl reports that plans are underway to build Russia's biggest Buddha statue in Kyzyl.  The statue is expected to be about 9 metres tall, will be placed on top of a 6 metre tall platform, and will cost up to $450,000 (USD).

Kyzyl, Russia’s psychic energy gem in the heart of Asia

The web magazine Argophila has published an article declaring  Kyzyl to be Russia’s psychic energy gem in the heart of Asia.

Don't know why, but the over-saturated images accompanying the article are cool.

Feynman on Why Trains Don't Go Off The Track On Curves

Boing Boing references a great video where Feynman talks about why trains don't fly off the track when they go around the bend.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Horrible News From Tuva

No one likes to be the bearer of bad news.

As reported by several sources, six teenagers were killed in an avalanche on Ak-Bashtyg Mountain near the village of Mugur-Aksy in the Mongun-Taiga region, southwest of Ak-Dovorak and near the Mongolian border.

Seven boys were on a trek to plant flags at the top of the mountain for good luck.  When the avalanche struck, one was able escape and alert authorities.  Nearly 300 people assisted in the search efforts but sadly they found no survivors.  Five bodies were recovered and the search continues for the sixth.

Thursday, March 7, was declared a day of mourning and flags were flown at half-mast in Tuva.   Entertaining TV programmes were cancelled for the day.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Ondar to Perform January 5 in Santa Ana

Ondar will perform at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California, on Saturday, January 6, 2013: 
From the Bowers web site:
Zhena Folk Chorus presents a concert of  haunting and stirring a cappella songs from the villages of  Bosnia-Hercegovinia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Croatia, Russia and Turkey. Led  by director Eve Pericich, the singers are adorned in authentic,  beautifully ornamented costumes and provide a lively narrative that will transport you to long-ago places and times. Special vocal performance  by Ondar, the master throat singer from Tuva, in southern Siberia, and a joint finale! 

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Richard Feynman - Ode To A Flower - new animated video!

Fraser Davidson has created this wonderful new animated video to accompany Feynman's musings on the nature of beauty. Of course, the audio portion was first seen and heard as part of "The Pleasure of Finding Things Out".