2/28/2015

Radioactive Sr around Fukushima is unexpectedly "low"

The 2nd round screening of thyroid cancer in childhood has revealed the 1st case recently. It will have been 4 years very soon since the accident. As the rapid increase in the number of the cases of the illness in Chernobyl was observed in 4 or 5 years after the accident, we should go on being careful about the incidence of the cases from now.

One reason why we could not be optimistic for the effect of the radiation in Fukushima is that the data published by the government doesn't totally reliable.

One example of question for the data is that of Sr, a radioactive substance highly carcinogenic to human. Both Sr and Cs have the similar characteristics as radioactive substances, so that they behave in the same way once released into the natural environment. Cs has been reported to be widely distributed in inverse proportion to the distance from Fukushima. On the other hand, Sr is reported to be quite low all around. The Cs/Sr ratio deposited in soil around Fukushima is about 1000 times of that around Chernobyl. Sr activity in soil is not disproportionate to the distance from the nuclear plant in Japan. These findings of Sr in the environment make us suspect the data is arbitrarily handled for some purpose. The government and the power company have their motivation to hide some important data which involves our health.

Of course, the thyroid cancer related with the nuclear power plant accident is believed to be caused by radioactive Iodide with relatively short life span. It may not be related with the other kinds of radioactive substances. However, we should claim the government to publish all the data as it is. Even though there is little evidence that cancer cases are increasing in number in Fukushima and the adjascent areas, we should keep eyes wide open to the follow up data for them.

2/24/2015

Carmel Impresarios

I have read through a book titled as Carmel Impresarios. There has been  Bach Music Festival held in Carmel every summer, the famous resort near San Franscisco, since 1935. Founded by two ladies, it had been continued there from the beginning through 1950s except for a few years in WWII. Since the ladies have passed away, it has been held by the musicians involved and the volunteers in the area. A good friend of mine, Bob Warmke, W6CYX, has introduced this festival several years ago and this book last year.

http://www.luckyvalleypress.com/books/carmel_impresarios/order.html

Though I have written about this story elsewhere and just in the last post in this blog , let me do that again in relation to this book. I used to attend a concert of Matthew's Passion in Tokyo in my med student days of '70s. It was performed by Stuttgart Bach Ensemble conducted by Helmut Rilling. having finished the laboratory study of anatomy at the school, I hurried to the concert hall. In my early twenties, I have had a few serious troubles in my mind. Family issues, breaking heart with a girl friend and distrust in own saving in Christianity. It was the days of crisis in my youth.

It was a real catharsis for me, even if it was not an eternal saving. I was overwhelmed by their performance. What a warm hearted performance they have done for the audience! The baritone singing Jesus, I can't remeber his name, was really impressive. The name of Rilling has also been in my memory as a great conductor since this experience.

In a QSO with Bob some ten years ago, I have mentioned of this memory to him. Surprisingly, he told me he had listened to Rilling taking the baton to the ensemble and choir at Carmel some time ago. He has told me what a person Rilling looked like. Taking some wine, Rilling looked cheerful and talkative to the people around him, so far as I remember what Bob told me in the QSO. Regular attendees to the festival concerts like Bob seemed to have had a priviledge to be company for the dinner with the performers. I have enjoyed listening to his story. I felt this conversation had made us even closer.

This book relates the history of Carmel, the ancestors of the two founders of the festival, the founder ladies themselves and the festival itself. The author, D J Gordon, a tenor singer, started it describing about his drive down from San Franscico to Carmel on the route 101, which had been very familiar to me. It was that way which I had driven to see Merle K6DC in Santa Barbara for a couple of times in '80s and '90s. Gordon was going to have a audition for the Bach Festival in Carmel. The description was good enough to attract me into the story.

I am feeling really touched by the two founder ladies with such an high ambition and tireless energy to establish a music society. I guess, in the US at that time in early 20th century, it must have been a common sense in the society that women should stay at home occupied in homework and raising children in family. Beyond such a common sense, I believe, the ladies have gone through for what they thought worthwhile. It was to have music taken root in the area together with the people.

The society in the US must have had much energy and capability to accept and support such an activity these ladies did. It might be partly originated in the pioneer spirit in 19th century. In the years of Great Depression, as the authoer tells, the project named FMP, Federal Music Project, has been made and carried out by President Roosevelt. It was to save the musicians those days. In this project, there have been a number of orchestras founded, some of which have grown as major orchestras. It might be a part of the New Deal but still reflected the people's interest and support toward such cultural activities as calssical music. Without the approval for such a policy by the people, it could never be realized. It was also impressive to me that people in Carmel had enjoyed each rehersals of the local orchestra organized for the festival. It might be a handy chance for them to enjoy music. It still reflects how they have supported the music activity.

In the epilogue, the author stressed that the festival has been carried out because it has been together with the people there. It looks like a simple insight but still quite a appropriate word to have understood the essence of the history. Someday, I would visit this festival togethr with Bob and his wife Mariko.

2/23/2015

A Concert of Matthews Passion in Toyama

I have travelled to Toyama city for the past 2 days. It was to listen to a concert of Matthew's Passion by Bach. It was the 10th anniversary of Bach Ensemble Toyama. Actually, this ensemble was quite new to me. It is a local chorus which has been performing the works of  Bach and the contemporary composers. I would like to know how such a local amateur chorus could do with this great music. Supposedly, it was quite tough for an amateur group to perform this voluminous and large sized work. In addition, it was the 2nd anniversary of a close person for me who had died at his young age as well. I was heading to Toyama as if on compulsion.

Through the long tunnel dividing the eastern and western Japan, the train went to a land of snow.

 
In Niigata Pref. on the way.
 
 Snow has gone in Toyama Pref. The high mountains on the eastern side of Toyama Plain still had thick snow.
 
                           

The concert hall was in a gorgeous building close to the railway station of Toyama.

 
The hall building.
 

                              At the lounge of the hotel I stayed. 
                              A bbeautiful object of Ume flowers.
 
Before the concert, Prof. Isoyama, an eminent scholar of Bach music, has given the audience a short lecture of this work. He emphasized it would be worthwhile to have this concert far away in place as well as time from Bach's birth place and his era. It might be the 1st ever perfromance of this piece in Toyama so far as he knew. The 2nd point was that we should know Bach had evangelized, through this great music, about Jesus bearing the burden of crime, anxiety and pain belonging to us. Even without the religious context, we could be touched by the life of Jesus to be crucified despite of his total innocense. We should be aware that the story was not to clarify and punish the people responsible for Jesus's death. But it was to concentrate on our crime. This is my quite incomplete resume of his lecture. I used to read his books about Bach and Matthew's Passion in the past. He has been a scholar as well as a critic whom I have relied on. Actually, I have known this concert through his blog. He used to tell in a post that he had given lectures about this music to the chorus members last summer. I have also known an old friend of mine was going to play it as a violist at the orchestra accompanying this music this time. She used to be the concert mistress of the university orchestra when I was the top cellist. We have played the 7th symphony of Beethoven at that time. Enough about my old story.


                                Prof. Isoyama lecturing before concert.

It was again overwhelming me how they had performed this memorable piece. The 1st music is like an overture and a summary of this music. Prophecy that Jesus would be captured and killed is made by Jesus.  
With chorals and arias of regret and belief in Jesus lying between the story telling musics, it gradually climbs to the climax where Jesus is dying on the cross at Golgotha. His last words of scream won't help piercing our hearts. The writer of Matthew has described the human aspect of Jesus in this way. After this tragedy, the tone of the music is changed from tension to relief. The music is ended up with moving music wishing rest to Jesus. Sorry for unskillful summarization of this music. There are a number of excellent explanation of this music in the world. Please refer to one of them if you should be interested in this music.

What have I felt at this performance? Deep emotion and touching. A few performers were not proficient enough to play this difficult and long music. But what has given me in mind is much more than that small defect. Maybe, I have made too much empathy into their performance. But imperfect performance sometimes could move us in this way, I realized again. The chorus sounded especially great. Sometimes powerful to fulfill the hall with their singing. In the other occasions, they sung with tenderness like whispering. It expressed how deep they had sympathized with this music. I must admit, listening to the last piece, I could not help crying a bit. It was the music played when my father had been put into the coffin in his funeral. As soon as the ceremony was finshed, the last chord of this piece resounded there. It was as if the music had ended his life up with peace. Not only that memory but also so many things have come into my mind. The music sounded to prompt me to reconcile with all my faults and absurdities in my life. It was as if telling me every thing had already been forgiven through the death of Jesus.

   
                              At the end of the performance.

I have had a glass of beer for myself at the hotel I stayed in the evening.
A reaslly satisfaying trip. I would bring my wife in such a trip next time.

                               

2/17/2015

Bruce K1BG

I have met Bruce K1BG on 40m tonight. Unfortunately, the condition was not best. His signal sounded watery and was disturbed with fast fading. In addition, soon, we were involved in the pile up for TI9 DX pedition. I have had to tie up the ribbon soon.

When I casually surfed to his page in QRZ.com, a quotation of my bio sentences came into my eyes. He told he had sympathized at my point of view. I was glad to find a friend showing his approval to my idea.

http://www.qrz.com/db

Recovering from vision problem

My wife has undergone cataracts surgery almost a year ago. She has gradually developed vision difficulty with mild myopia since that procedure, even though she got perfect vision at first. She was really disappointed at it.

This afternoon, she wanted me to take her to the ophthalmologist. She would consult about it to him. As expected, it turned out to be late onset cataracts, which often occurs after surgery. It is clouding of the capsule of the lenses. She has had a few floaters in vision as well, which could be a sign of retinal problem etc. This seemed a phsiological aging phenomenon as the doctor said. She has been done with laser treatment. It is a procedure to make holes in the clouded capsules. It is a very simple procedure done at the outpatient. No anesthesia but mydriasis only.

The result was more than satisfactory to her. She was really glad to have it done. We thanked to the doctor as well as to the laser technology. I am sure many people are benefitted with this procedure. Most of the illnesses in the elderly won't get well so perfectly as this one. I am sure she has felt as if revived. On the way back home, she has been exclaiming how well she could see things.

It would be my turn soon. haha

2/10/2015

Paddles

Paddles are important tool for CW operator. I have 3 of them;Schurr profi, Chevron and Mercury made by Bencher.

Schurr has springs for tension. When I knew paddles with magnet for tension, I believed the latter was much better than the former regarding the touch of keying.

I had used Chevron for a year or two until I noticed it occured contact problems. I knew a way to solve it for sometime as described for a while. But, felt it was troublesome to do that procedure, I have used Mercury for months.

I felt loosened axis of dots with Mercury recently when hitting it hard. I gave it up now even though tightening of the axis might improve it. Mercury has made unpleasant bouncing sensation when hitting the levers in addition to this loosened axis, even though it could be partially ameliorated with narrowed contact gaps and stronger tension.

Chevron"s contact problem occurs at two parts. One is at contacts as with the other kind of paddles. It is simply solved with cleaning the contacts with paper. The other is unique to Chevron. It sometimes happens between the column and the bolt supporting the contact. Exactly, the surfaces of fastening nut and bolt as well as of the screw in the column bring about oxidized membrane, which causes resistance to small amount of current running in the keying circuit.

 
The outlook of Chevron. Pretty heavy
and beautiful. A perfect paddle without
the  occasional contact problem.

I am often whispered by someone to purchase some good paddle like Begali. I am almost inclined to order one model of Begali. Thinking how long I could use it from now, however, I won't do that so far. I don't want to be a fetish collector of keys any longer!

I placed this old Chevron on the operating table. And, as I used to do, I put conductive grease to the aspects of the fastening nut and the bolt facing to the screw in the column. I know it gets rid of the contact problem for several months. I go on repeating the procedure when the problem recurrs. 

 
You may see some debris of the conductive
grease between the fastening nut and
the right aspect of the column.
 
 
It is not easy to meet an ideal paddle. So far, I would go on with Chevron.
I won't be able to excuse errors in sending at least for several months.
 
 For the manufacturer's honor, I would add that they have improved the contacts in the new model, even though I don't know what they have done with this contacts as well as if the refinement has solved the problem or not yet.  
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
    
                              
You

2/03/2015

Navassa

The DXpedition to Navassa Isaland has started after 22 years of hiatus since last one. This tiny island is told to be the most wanted entity in DX world. I was also impressed Haiti insisted of their right of posession while the USA had been substantially governing it.

I have "watched" K1N on 40m CW last night and on 15m SSB this AM. On 40m, 7023kHz where it showed up has been often used by BY guys. There was a bit mess with some chinese on that spot last night. K1N operator was giving preference to JAs. It is a good judgement because the window opens for short time. On 15m, the operator has instructed a narrow range of frequencies to the callers in split operation. An admirable operation!

Me? I have worked KP1 22 years ago and have given up the race of DXing. I would be the last one to call them if they should seem bored with being not called.  

From a mail from Jim W6YA;
http://hamcall.net/cqcgi/?res=l&yr=1958&mo=06&pg=001

In the video taken at another DXpedition in 1972, it seemed this site looked  quite the same as this photo shows.