Archive of Old News Items

Prior to starting our Feynman/Tuva news feed, we posted news items here.  This is an archive of new items posted between 2001 and 2013.


June 18, 2014

On the night before his return to Tuva after riding in the Rose Parade in 2013, Kongar-ol Ondar recorded some tracks impromptu for Dirtwire artists Evan Fraser and David Satori, who are big Ondar / Tuva fans.

The result can be heard — free — at http://www.dirtwire.net/music/ondar-ep/

There is a free download on their site (for the moment), and if you’re so inclined, you can buy the EP for $5 at BandCamp, a great site that supports artists well. (A portion of the proceeds will go to Ondar’s legacy in Tuva.)

You can find more of Ondar’s music, along with recordings of the godfather of the Tuva adventure, Richard Feynman, at http://kongar-olondar.bandcamp.com

The remixes of Dirtwire might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I like them a lot — and I know Ondar was always keen to expand the horizons of his artistry and the reach of Tuvan music (witness Genghis Blues and Back TUVA Future), so I’m sure he would have enjoyed this EP.

What a tragedy that Ondar left us so soon — he had so much energy, it seems his body couldn’t hold it!

Tuvanly yours,

RL


May, 2014

The official site of Richard Feynman, RichardFeynman.com, has been launched.

This site contains exclusive historical photos, a bibliography of notable works, and contact info for those interested in licensing opportunities.

Visit today!


November, 2013

The Discovery Channel airs a promotional piece on The Challenger Disaster docudrama, featuring commentary from Ralph Leighton.


September, 2013

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

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.

feynman_lectures_gradient

Visit the WWW site at http://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/ 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.


September, 2013

This music video, “Bohemian Gravity”, features Feynman diagrams starting at the one minute mark.


May, 2013

Long unavailable, several coveted recordings of Feynman telling some of his classic stories are once again available.  The Feynman Tapes, Volumes 0, 1, and 2 — as well as Safecracker Suite, Tuva Talk, are all available at kongar-olondar.bandcamp.com.  Also available is the 1996 album Echoes of Tuva by Kongar-ol Ondar, sounds from the distant land that Feynman and his friends conspired to visit.


October 2012

Check out our news feed where you can subscribe in your favourite RSS reader or sign up for email updates when we post a news item!


Tuesday October 9 2012

William Hurt to Star in Feynman Movie?

The Hollywood Reporter writes that William Hurt will play Feynman in a TV movie about the presidential Rogers Commission that investigated the causes of the Challenger shuttle disaster.


Thursday June 7 2012

FBI Releases Richard Feynman Files

Who knew the FBI kept files on Richard Feynman?


Monday April 30 2012

The Mystery of the Painting of the Van

A curious reader asked us about an image of the Feynman van and it led to even more questions – read on to find out about the mystery, and perhaps help solve it!


Saturday March 3 2012

Quantum man: Richard Feynman’s life in science

Physics World is running an online lecture via webinar entitled “Quantum man: Richard Feynman’s life in science“.  The date will be posted here as soon as it is known.

The lecture will be based on Lawrence M Krauss’ new book Quantum Man: Richard Feynman’s Life in Science. Krauss will present a scientific overview of the contributions of Feynman, as seen through the arc of his fascinating life. For more information, see http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/multimedia/48667

Feynman fans can register for the Quantum Man: Richard Feynman’s Life In Science webinar in advance.

Expect a lot of good presentations and a few surprises!


Monday January 17 2011

Feynman’s Vision: The Next 50 Years – Conference Article

Larry Wilson at the Pasadena Star-News provides a short review of the “Feynman’s Vision: The Next 50 Years” TEDX conference titled “Feynman, a wizard and true star at TEDx“.  (Why is the article named for a Todd Rundgren album?  Good question!)


Tuesday December 14 2010

TEDX Caltech – Feynman’s Vision: The Next 50 Years

Caltech will host a TEDX event titled “Feynman’s Vision: The Next 50 Years” on Friday, January 14 2011.

The location? California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena, California.

Expect a lot of good presentations and a few surprises!


Wednesday March 03 2010

New Symphony of Science Video with Richard Feynman

Symphony of Science presents a new music video with an appearance by Richard Feynman.


Tuesday January 19 2010

Symposium on “There’s Plenty of Room At The Bottom”

The University of South Carolina will host a symposium on Feynman’s 1959 talk “There’s Plenty of Room At The Bottom” on the 12th and 13 of February.


Tuesday January 19 2010

Oxford Book Of Modern Science Writing

Richard Feynman is included in The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing.


Sunday October 25 2009

Music Video Features Feynman

YouTube user melodysheep has posted his video “We Are All Connected” featuring clips from several scientists, including Richard Feynman.  Watch it here or click on the video to go to YouTube.  An MP3 of this audio is available at Symphony of Science.  That might be a WWW site to watch…


Friday August 14 2009

Bombs, Stamps, and Throat Singers

On August 14, the BBC broadcast Bombs, Stamps and Throat Singers, the story of Michelle Feynman’s visit to Tuva.


Wednesday July 15 2009

Project Tuva — Messenger Lectures Online

Bill Gates (a man who needs no introduction, right?) has acquired the rights to seven lectures known as The Messenger Lectures, given by Richard Feynman in 1964.  Microsoft Research has made the lectures available for free viewing online through an interactive video application called Project Tuva.  Check it out!!!

The application requires the installation of a free video player from Microsoft, called Silverlight.  It should install smoothly if yo are running Internet Explorer.  My experience is that it doesn’t install at all on Linux and installs with problems using Firefox on Windows XP.  Your mileage may vary…


Wednesday June 17 2009

Feynman Water Sprinkler Experiment

We present a video of the Feynman Water Sprinkler Experiment… under water!


Saturday June 14 2009

Tuva or Bust!

It has taken a long time, but a Feynman has finally made it to Tuva!


Sunday May 03 2009

The Art of Richard Feynman

The Museum Syndicate presents a sampling of Feynman’s art for viewing online.


Tuesday October 21 2008

Feynman Tattoo

I don’t know whether this is a good thing or a bad thing… but someone named Vince Sanchez has apparently tattooed a Feynman diagram on his arm.


Tuesday September 09 2008

Feynman Platz in Munich

In the imaginitive minds of some residents of Munich, one street intersection resembles a Feynman diagram.  Interesting!


Saturday June 21 2008

Feynman Art Exhibit

The Armory Gallery in Pasadena presents an exhibition of the art of Richard Feynman and of Jirayr Zorthian from June 29 – August 31, 2008.  For everyone who’s been wanting to see Feynman’s art but didn’t buy a copy of The Art of Richard P. Feynman, now’s your chance!


Saturday June 21 2008

Trieste Feynman Festival

The physics students of professor Ennio Gozzi at the University of Trieste held their first Feynman Festival in May, 2008.


Saturday May 24 2008

Alda On Feynman

Alan Alda writes about Feynman in his article “What is Beauty, Anyway?” for the Huffington Post.  Alan Alda starred as RPF in the play “QED” in Los Angeles and New York.


Wednesday April 30 2008

Sing a Song of Feynman

North Carolina band The Soulless Dogs release their song Richard Feynman online.  Go to the site and press the play button to hear it!


Friday April 25 2008

Feynman’s Water Sprinkler Experiment

Here is a video recreating a safer version of the water sprinkler experiment as described in “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!


Sunday March 30 2008

Feynman at Cornell

Wired has included the cafeteria at Cornell in a photo essay titled “Photo Essay: Unlikely Places Where Wired Pioneers Had Their Eureka! Moments“.  Of course, this is where Feynman started the train of thought that led to the work that eventually garnered him the Nobel Prize.


Thursday February 28 2008

Feynman Lives… in Trieste, Italy

Correspondent Ennio Gozzi sent us this picture of his class (Ennio describes himself as “the oldest guy in front”), taken after a pizza dinner in Trieste where they remembered Feynman, 20 years after his “last mardi gras in Rio”.

trieste_feynman_lives


Tuesday October 16 2007

Joan Feynman

Here’s an interesting article on scientist Joan Feynman.  No, really, it is great.  Read it now, thank us later.


Wednesday May 23 2007

BBC Makes Feynman Video Available Online

The BBC has made portions of The Pleasure of Finding Things Out available for free online.  Brilliant!


Sunday September 17 2006
by Feynman.com Staff

Feynman Days Festival?  News To Us…

Recently we’ve been asked about Feynman Days or the Feynman Days Festival.  To the best of our knowledge, there is no such thing.  The Festival is fictitious and was apparently created for the lonelygirl15 YouTube video series.  The images with Feynman’s van were taken when the van was parked at Caltech for an event related to the stamp honoring Richard Feynman.


Tuesday September 12 2006
by Feynman.com Staff

Feynman Appears in an Italian Restaurant in Osaka

Long-time Friend of Tuva Riki Masahiko has sent us some photos of the outside of a restaurant in Osaka, Japan.  No one is certain what this means…


Sunday January 21 2006
by Feynman.com Staff

Film Maker Seeks People Who Worked At Computing at Los Alamos With Feynman

Rob Lockhart of NYU, is planning a short film about the kids who made up Feynman’s computing team at Los Alamos.  If you have information on anyone who worked at this job, please contact Rob at: roblockhart@nyu.edu


Monday October 10 2005
by Feynman.com Staff

Feynman Stamp Updates

Elaborate first day covers of the Feynman stamp are now available from various companies.

The American Scientist stamps were been parodied under the headline “American Science, RIP”.  Sadly, we did not take a copy and the magazine that provided the images (Stay Free) is no longer online.


Wednesday August 24 2005
by Feynman.com Staff

DVD on the Life of Jirayr Zorthian Available

A new DVD has been released called “Jirayr H. Zorthian – His Life in His Words.” A great friend of Richard Feynman’s, artist Jirayr Zorthian was an extraordinarily fascinating character. The DVD captures some of his spirit and his art on film.  This was available at http://durandpro.com/zorthian.htm but that seems to be a Japanese text site now.

Zorthian is well known to readers of Feynman’s book, and he played host to visiting Tuvans as well as many Friends of Tuva in the 1990s.  More on his life and art is on display at www.zorthian.com.


Wednesday August 24 2005
by Feynman.com Staff

Puzzle That Stumped Feynman Resolved!

Once upon a time, Richard Feynman and his friend (and noted scientist) Danny Hillis wondered why uncooked spaghetti breaks into multiple fragments when bent.  They spent an evening theorizing about the phenomena with, in the end, no solution to go along with their pile of broken spaghetti.

Scientists Basile Audoly and Sébastien Neukirch provide the solution to this problem in their paper “Fragmentation of brittle rods: why spaghetti do not break in half“.  Also referenced is “Dynamic buckling and fragmentation in brittle rods” by J. R. Gladden, N. Z. Handzy, A.  Belmonte, and E. Villermaux.

An overview of their work on this subject is online at http://www.lmm.jussieu.fr/spaghetti/, along with some great video demonstrating the phenomena.


Tuesday July 26 2005
by Feynman.com Staff

Five Richard Feynman CDs Available for Download

Five CDs featuring Richard Feynman drumming and recounting some of his most well-liked stories are now available for download (for a fee) at http://kongar-olondar.bandcamp.com.

Also available for download at this site is Kongar-ol Ondar’s CD “Echoes of Tuva” that features a shamanic chant in honor of the legendary physicist and adventurer Richard Feynman.  The site also offers a free sampler of the material available.


Tuesday June 07 2005
by Feynman.com Staff

NPR Audio: Life and Legacy of Physicist Feynman

On May 17, 2005, the NPR radio show Morning Edition featured host Renée Montagne talking to Michelle Feynman. The event was the recently published collection of Richard Feynman’s letters, Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track.


Sunday May 29 2005
by Feynman.com Staff

Los Alamos Event to Celebrate Richard Feynman

There will be a Feynman stamp dedication in Los Alamos on June 10th at  1 PM at the post office.  Further details will be posted here they become available.

John von Neumann will also be honored since he too worked at Los Alamos and is in the block of USPS stamps recently released honoring four American scientists.

A dramatic reading from Los Alamos From Below will happen at the dedication, and a few other events are also in the works (to be announced here once they are confirmed).


Saturday May 14 2005
by Feynman.com Staff

Pasadena (Caltech) Event to Celebrate Richard Feynman

On Friday, May 20, 2005 at 4:00 PM in the Ramo Auditorium, the California Institute of Technology and the US Postal Service will host a screening of The Pleasure of Finding Things Out followed by a panel discussion.  The new stamp will be available for sale and special postmark will designate the local post office as “Feynman Station.  The postmark features a Feynman diagram as part of the cancellation!

Complete details are available courtesy of the Caltech Public Events calendar.

And the secret info that you will only find here is that Feynman’s van (with the Feynman diagrams painted on the side) will probably be parked outside of the auditorium.


Sunday April 24 2005
by Feynman.com Staff

New York City Events to Celebrate Richard Feynman

May 11, 2005 (Richard Feynman’s birthday) will see both the unveiling of a Richard Feynman stamp and postmark as well as a renaming of a street in Feynman’s boyhood neighbourhood of Far Rockaway, New York.

Details of the events are accurate at the time of this writing but as always may change, so if you are considering attending please check back here or with a web search as the date approaches.  Here’s the latest info:

May 11, 2005 • 10:00 AM
Richard Feynman Stamp Dedication Location: Far Rockaway Post Office, 18-36 Mott Ave, New York NY 11691 A special postmark based on a Feynman diagram will be unveiled along with the Feynman stamp. Also, drumming and readings from Feynman’s popular books. Free and open to the public. Afterward, a “street re-naming” of Cornaga Ave to “Richard Feynman Way,” two blocks from the Post Office.

May 11, 2005 • 4:00 PM
A Celebration of Richard Feynman Location: Brookhaven National Laboratory, Berkner Hall (Long Island, NY) Readings from Feynman’s best-selling books by film and television actor Norman Parker, and a drumming performance and reminiscences of what it was like to drum with Feynman by Ralph Leighton and Tom Rutishauser.  Visitors must present a government-issued photo ID to enter. Free.  More info courtesy of Brookhaven National Laboratory.


Friday March 4 2005
by Feynman.com Staff

New Book by Richard Feynman Published

In April, 2005, Perseus Books will be publishing “Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track: The Letters of Richard P. Feynman“.

Excerpts from the book were previewed in the March, 2005, issue of “Discover” magazine.

From the Perseus Books website, we reprint the description of the book.

“I’m an explorer, OK? I like to find out!” — One of the towering figures of twentieth-century science, Richard Feynman possessed a curiosity that was the stuff of legend. Even before he won the Nobel Prize in 1965, his unorthodox and spellbinding lectures on physics secured his reputation amongst students and seekers around the world. It was his outsized love for life, however, that earned him the status of an American cultural icon-here was an extraordinary intellect devoted to the proposition that the thrill of discovery was matched only by the joy of communicating it to others. In this career-spanning collection of letters, many published here for the first time, we are able to see this side of Feynman like never before. Beginning with a short note home in his first days as a graduate student, and ending with a letter to a stranger seeking his advice decades later, Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track covers a dazzling array of topics and themes, scientific developments and personal histories. With missives to and from scientific luminaries, as well as letters to and from fans, family, students, crackpots, as well as everyday people eager for Feynman’s wisdom and counsel, the result is a wonderful de facto guide to life, and eloquent testimony to the human quest for knowledge at all levels. Feynman once mused that “people are ‘entertained’ enormously by being allowed to understand a little bit of something they never understood before.” As edited and annotated by his daughter, Michelle, these letters not only allow us to better grasp the how and why of Feynman’s enduring appeal, but also to see the virtues of an inquiring eye in spectacular fashion.  Whether discussing the Manhattan Project or developments in quantum physics, the Challenger investigation or grade-school textbooks, the love of his wife or the best way to approach a problem, his dedication to clarity, grace, humor, and optimism is everywhere evident.


Tuesday February 15 2005
by Feynman.com Staff

2006 Total Solar Eclipse “The Feynman Eclipse”

If you check the path of the solar eclipse to be seen by half the world on March 29, 2006, you see that it begins in Brazil and ends near Kyzyl, in Tuva.  This “Brazil To Kyzyl” path echoes journeys (both accomplished and unrealized) by Richard Feynman.


Monday February 14 2005
by Feynman.com Staff

New York City (Far Rockaway) Street to be Named for Feynman

No details are available yet, but it has been proposed that a street in Far Rockaway, Richard Feynman’s childhood home, be renamed in his honor.  If this comes to fruition and details are made available they will be posted here.


Wednesday 11/20/2002
by Steve Sklar

International Association for Harmonic Singing Invitation and Mission Statement

Greetings all,

The International Association for Harmonic Singing (IAHS) was founded by Steve Sklar in 2002 in response to the rapidly growing worldwide interest in all forms of harmonic singing, traditional and modern. Its aim is to support and promote the interests and activities of those in the harmonic singing world, including:

  • Artists, both live performers and recording artists, in all forms, schools and styles;
  • Cultures traditionally associated with harmonic singing;
  • Scholars and researchers of harmonic singing;
  • Teachers and students of Harmonic Singing;
  • Listening audiences both established and potential.In order to assure a high level of integrity and quality, we have assembled an international Advisory Board composed of outstanding experts from varied disciplines and regions.At this time, we wish to invite the public to join us as IAHS members.  There are 3 levels of membership:1. Free: We have created an online community at Khoo-Maniacs. There are several forums there, and all are free of charge. We invite you to visit often! Also, everyone is welcome to the resources at Khoomei.com. This website’s focus is primarily but not exclusively Tuvan Throat-Singing, and contains many useful resources, including articles, spectrograms, links, and videos.2. E-Journal Subscriber, Email Version: You can support the IAHS, and receive a subscrption to the IAHS quarterly electronic journal. This will feature instructional columns; interviews, question-and-answers; news developments such as recordings, performances, publications; articles of interest; FAQs; editorials; audio and video files. It will be published as an html document, with links to the audio and video files on the IAHS web server.

3. E-Journal Subscriber, CD Version: This deluxe subscription will include everything in the above Email Edition, with additional audio and video files delivere to you on CD.

All files on both editions will be virus-checked with Norton Antivirus before being distributed.

To join the International Association for Harmonic Singing, please click here (link no longer active).

I look forward to hearing from you!

Thanks, Steve Sklar
Founder, IAHS http://khoomei.com


Friday 06/07/2002
by Ralph Leighton

Caltech’s 2002 Commencement, is available as streaming video at: http://pr.caltech.edu/commencement/02/

The video streams will be available by category, that is, baccalaureate, masters, and Ph.D. presentations as well as the Alan Alda keynote address, President’s remarks, etc.

Alan Alda played Richard Feynman in QED which played to full houses in LA and NY.


Sunday 01/13/2002
by John Varoli, The New York Times

Scythian Gold From Siberia Said to Predate the Greeks

ST. PETERSBURG, Jan. 8 — Russian scholars from the State Hermitage Museum have concluded that a discovery of Scythian gold in a Siberian grave last summer is the earliest of its kind ever found and that it predates Greek influence. The find is leading to a change in how scholars view the supposed barbaric, nomadic tribes that once roamed the Eurasian steppes.

The dig near Kyzyl, the capital of the Siberian republic of Tuva, revealed almost 5,000 decorative gold pieces — earrings, pendants and beads — that adorned the bodies of a Scythian man and woman, presumably royalty, and dated from the fifth or sixth centuries B.C. In addition to the gold, which weighed almost 44 pounds, the archaeologists discovered items made of iron, turquoise, amber and wood.

“There are many great works of art — figures of animals, necklaces, pins with animals carved into a golden surface,” said Dr. Mikhail Piotrovsky, director of the Hermitage Museum. “It is an encyclopedia of Scythian animal art because you have all the animals which roamed the region, such as panther, lions, camels, deer, etc. This is the original Scythian style, from the Altai region, which eventually came to the Black Sea region and finally in contact with ancient Greece, and it resembles almost an Art Nouveau style.”

Russian and German archaeologists excavated a Scythian burial mound on a grassy plain that locals have long called the Valley of the Kings because of the large number of burial mounds of Scythian and other ancient nomadic royalty.

The fierce nomadic Scythian tribes roamed the Eurasian steppe, from the northern borders of China to the Black Sea region, in the seventh to third centuries B.C. In the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. they interacted with the ancient Greeks who had colonized the Black Sea region, which is now in Ukraine and southern Russia. Not surprisingly ancient Greek influence was evident in Scythian gold previously discovered, but the recent find dates from before contact with the Greeks and from the heart of Siberia where, scholars say, contact with outsiders can almost be excluded.

Research on the Tuva burial mound, known as Arzhan 2, began in 1998, and to the amazement of scholars the grave was discovered to be untouched, though failed attempts by grave robbers to locate the burial chamber were evident on the sprawling, 185-foot-long, 5-foot-high mound. This was the first such discovery since the early 1700’s, when Russian explorers brought Scythian treasures to Czar Peter the Great, a find that became the State Hermitage Museum’s collection of Scythian gold. All burial mounds explored since then had been robbed.

To avoid contamination and disturbing the items stored in the grave, the Russian and German archaelogists entered it first with a small remote-control video camera to study how burial items were originally arranged and to reconstruct the burial rituals. The discovery was made by Russian scholars from the Hermitage Museum and the St. Petersburg branch of the Russian Institute of Cultural and Natural Heritage, led by the Russian archaeologist Konstantin Chugonov, who has been studying Bronze Age and Scythian sites in Tuva for 20 years.

German scholars also took part in the dig and were led by Herman Parzinger and Anatoli Nagler from the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin.

“Tuva’s Valley of the Kings has long been a major area of interest for archaeologists because it contains the largest burial mounds in the region of Tuva and in all of the Altai region,” Mr. Chugonov said. “We chose to work on those mounds in greatest danger, and we chose this one because of all the major mounds it is the most damaged.”

About 25 percent of the excavated burial mound, which is stone slate, was destroyed when Soviet authorities built a road through the area in the 1960’s. Over the years, residents walked off with pieces of the stone to use in building their houses.

After its discovery, the treasure was sent to the Hermitage Museum for storage and restoration, and it will stay there until Tuva can build a museum to house the items. This is in accordance with Russian Federation law stating that items be displayed in their place of discovery so long as local authorities provide the proper conditions.

Building such a museum is years away, however, Dr. Piotrovksy said. Until then they will remain in the Hermitage, and at some point will be put on display.

Though the Russian-German dig began last May, preparations took almost three years. Scholars first approached the burial mound in 1998, studying it with geophysical equipment allowing them, without excavating, to determine the presence of almost 200 items inside. The first reconnaissance dig was made in the summer of 2000.

“The find was not an accident, because scholars know there are burial mounds in that area, but most were robbed, and empty,” Dr. Piotrovsky said. “Their success in actually finding something was a combination of hard work and luck.”


Wednesday 12/21/2001
by Eric Slone

TTCS Updated Warning:

An article was published today in the New Times Broward/Palm Beach newspaper on TTCS and Ken Simon that should be of great interest to those who have been following this saga. The link for the article is http://www.newtimesbpb.com/issues/2001-12-20/news.html/1/index.html.

Unfortunately the saga with Tannu Tuva Collectors Society (TTCS) seems to be dragging on.  Most recently, they have launched a new website to try and bring new members to the club.  This is unfortunate, because in the past two+ years, only three newsletters have been published (of questionable quality) and this is the only benefit members are able to derive from their dues.

Correspondence to Mr. Simon continues to go unanswered from many people asking for an explanation of the lack of club activities.  For my inquiries, my lifetime membership was revoked.

The following information is what we know and offer as advise to our visitors:

1. TTCS was incorporated in New Zealand, but has since lost their corporate recognition in September 2000.  This information is publicly available from the website  http://www.companies.govt.nz/.

2. Although TTCS purports to be a corporation, please be aware that Mr. Simon requests that all payments be made to him personally.  We understand that there is no accounting of TTCS funds or separation of these funds from Mr. Simon’s personal monies.

3. If you have sent TTCS money or merchandise and want a refund, you are encouraged to write to Ken Simon at his last known address:
TTCS
513 – 6th Ave. S.,
Lake Worth, FL  33460-4507 USA

4. Please file complaints with the USPS for mail fraud, and The American Philatelic Society (Helen Bruno, 814-237-3803 x202, hlbruno@stamps.org).  TTCS is APS affiliate number 235.

5. Mr. Simon has accepted consignment merchandise from vendors which he has (presumably) sold but has not repaid them.  He does not respond to their correspondence either (according to reports I’ve received).  Beware of sending him anything without confirmed prepayment.  This includes items for club auctions.

6. Mr. Simon stated that he was experiencing financial problems, and it would seem that he is using misappropriated club funds as a means to assist his own income (from both dues and sales of merchandise).  It has come to our attention that a sizable financial judgment was made against Mr. Simon recently which may account for the new attempts at raising membership.

7. Mr. Simon stated that he was too busy to fulfill the requirements of running the club, and yet repeatedly refused to accept assistance from a number of members who stepped forward and volunteered help.  It was brought to my attention by APS officials that they too suggested that he have other people take on roles in the organization to prevent just such a problem from occurring.

It is regrettable that it has come to this, as many of us have worked long and hard to create an ongoing environment for people interested in Tuva.  We hope that Mr. Simon’s actions will not reflect badly on the work so many of us have endeavored to do.


Sunday 09/30/2001
by Ralph Leighton

This week’s “Tsentr Azii” newspaper (#39, 21-27 September) has an article on the visit by American missionaries to Tuva:

“More Personal Contacts, More Friendship Among Peoples” by Ralya Kama

Our correspondent Vitalij Shaifulin invited to our offices American guests Bill Rainey and Dale Kisling. They came to Tyva both as members of the American organization Friends of Tuva and as Christian missionaries.  On the 12th of September in our editorial offices there was an informal meeting with guests from the American states of Tennessee. They came to Tyva in order to help our spiritual rebirth, help in regaining values that we have lost.   Dale Kisling said that he first came to Tyva in 1997. Our guests are members of a Christian Presbyterian church in Tennessee. And for more than 7 years they’ve been interested in Tyva.  They invested in translating the film, “Jesus Christ” into Tyvan and are currently preparing to publish a Tyvan-language version of the Bible. For them the Tyvan people, Tyva itself, are very dear to their hearts.  Bill Rainey first heard about Tyva from the famous American scholar  Richard Feynman. And in his honor was created Friends of Tuva. They distribute books about Tyva, disks, video materials with various musical numbers of Tyvan artists.  The American guests visited all the churches in Tyva and helped spread the good news about Christ.   In addition, the organization Friends of Tuva wants to create here a cultural Christian center and it is hoped that financing would come from both sides. In this center would be exhibited documents about Richard Feynman, his biography, portrait, scientific work. There would be a reading room, exhibition gallery where anyone who wanted to could come.

And FOT’s response:

Dear Ms. Antif’eva,

Regarding the article “More Personal Contacts, More Friendship Among Peoples” by Ralya Kama:

Two Americans who are guests in your country, Bill Rainey and Dale Kisling, say they plan to “create a cultural Christian center that features Richard Feynman on behalf of Friends of Tuva.” Mr. Rainey and Mr. Kisling have mislead your readers and the Tuvan public by such statements.

The great American scientist Richard Feynman was fascinated by Tuvan culture as shown on its famous stamps of the 1930s. If he favored any religion at all in Tuva, it would have been shamanism. Friends of Tuva was created in Feynman’s memory to promote interest in Tuvan culture, NOT to spread religion! It is disrespectful both to Tuvan culture and to the memory of Richard Feynman to create a Christian center that purports to be affiliated with Friends of Tuva!

It is through misleading statements like those of Mr. Rainey and Mr.  Kisling that missionaries from outside Tuva earn a deservedly bad reputation. They should go home.

I am sorry to hear of such activities in your wonderful country.

My best wishes to the Tuvan people. May you have faith in your own traditions!

Izig baiyyr,
Ralph Leighton Founder,
Friends of Tuva