Monday, May 24, 2004

NY TimesLOS ANGELES - A supersized packet of French fries, Medusa on a bad hair day, the aftermath of a Great Quake: the architect Frank Gehry's huge pipe organ facade, the visual centerpiece of his new Walt Disney Concert Hall, has been called all of these things. Manuel Rosales is trying to make it sound unlike any other organ you've ever heard. And that is an acoustical and engineering challenge as formidable as any organ maker has faced. Racing to meet a July deadline for the organ's debut, the builders have had to adjust the size, sound and volume of each of its 6,134 pipes to suit the acoustics of the four-tiered, 2,265-seat hall. They had to engineer a way to make huge display pipes in bizarre shapes, anchor them securely into the rest of the structure, and yet allow them to sound normally. And since earthquake faults run beneath downtown Los Angeles, they had to make the organ quakeproof. NY Times

NY TimesSeen from Earth, Sedna, the recently discovered farthest known object in the solar system, is a dim speck. But what's the view from Sedna? NASA released an artist's painting answering this question. The Sun, eight billion miles away, is still the brightest object in Sedna's daytime sky. Venus, Earth and Mars are too faint to be seen with the naked eye, but a Sedna citizen (one with human-quality eyesight) could spy them with binoculars. NY Times

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