Sergei Bortkiewicz: his life and music

Sergei Bortkiewicz: his life and music

Bortkiewicz described himself as a romantic and a melodist, and he had an emphatic aversion of what he called modern, atonal and cacophonous music. Bortkiewicz’s built his musical style on the structures and sounds of Chopin and Liszt, with the unmistakeable influences of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and early Scriabin. Like Medtner, the essential characteristics of his style were already present in his earliest compositions, from around 1906, although his later music is more personal, poetic and nostalgic. Melody, harmony and structure were essential building blocks for his musical creations. His training with Van Ark, Liadov, Jadassohn, Piutti and Reisenauer ingrained a rigorous professionalism. His colourful and delicate imagination, his idiomatic pianowriting and sensitivity to his musical ideas, combined with his undisputed gift for melody, result in a style that is instantly recognizable, attractive and appealing to many listeners.

MORABA – suborbitaler Raumflug mit Höhenforschungsraketen und Ballonen

MORABA – suborbitaler Raumflug mit Höhenforschungsraketen und Ballonen

Die Mobile Raketenbasis (MORABA) ist eine Abteilung des DLR Raumflugbetrieb und Astronautentraining am Standort Oberpfaffenhofen.

Bereits seit den 60er Jahren führt die MORABA wissenschaftliche Höhenforschungsmissionen mit unbemannten Raketen und Ballons durch und entwickelt mechanische und elektrische Systeme.

Die Einsatzbereiche für Parabelflüge und Experimente unter Quasi-Schwerelosigkeit sind vielfältig – ob in Atmosphärenforschung, Astronomie, Geophysik, Materialwissenschaften oder Hyperschallforschung.

Für Planung, Vorbereitung und Durchführung der Höhenforschungsprojekte hat die MORABA eine einzigartige Mobile Infrastruktur und Hardware entwickelt, mit der im Prinzip innerhalb kurzer Zeit irgendwo auf der Erde eine Rakete gestartet werden kann.

Die Erfahrungen und Kompetenzen werden von nationalen und internationalen Einrichtungen, Industrie und Hochschulen geschätzt und gesucht.

Mobile Infrastruktur für Raketenstarts und Satelliten TT&C
Start Services
Startplätze
Technologien und Anwendungen für suborbitale Missionen

Die Erforschung biologischer, physikalischer sowie physiologischer Prozesse unter Schwerelosigkeit stellt ein wichtiges Thema aktueller Forschung dar. Die Erkenntnisse dienen einem besseren Verständnis unserer Welt.

Eine verhältnismäßig kostengünstige Möglichkeit, für längere Zeit Schwerelosigkeit zu erzeugen, sind Parabelflüge mit unbemannten Raketen. Die größten und stärksten von ihnen erreichen dabei Höhen bis über 800km, wobei sich für ca. 14 Minuten Schwerelosigkeit einstellt.

Unter Koordination der nationalen Weltraumagentur und der Leitung des DLR werden in enger Zusammenarbeit mit den Projektwissenschaftlern und der beteiligten Industrie nationale und internationale Raketen- und Ballonprojekte von der MORABA geplant und durchgeführt.

Abhängig von den wissenschaftlichen Zielen wird ein geeigneter Startplatz gewählt. Dieser wird mit Hilfe der mobilen Infrastruktur der MORABA (z.B. Startrampe, Empfangs- und Bahnverfolgungsstationen) ergänzt oder nach Bedarf voll ausgestattet.

Umgebaute, militärische oder konventionelle Raketenmotoren sowie alle erforderlichen mechanischen und elektrischen Unterstützungssysteme werden von der MORABA entwickelt, gefertigt und bereitgestellt. Für den Start dieser Raketen werden Stabilitäts-, Leistungs- und Flugbahnberechnungen durchgeführt, um die Sicherheit von Öffentlichkeit und Beteiligten sowie den Erfolg der Mission sicherzustellen.

Bob Bogash: Boeing Engineer

Bob Bogash: Boeing Engineer

On the air since 1958……….

First licensed in 1958 as WV2CHI, I maintained an avid interest in radios and electronics throughout my life, with many receivers in the house, and antennas sprouting from my various homes. However, I let my licenses lapse as, like many others, I pursued other things in life, and a career. I was able, however, to lug or place in storage virtually all of my original equipment. These days they’re called vintage, and are much in demand; hams call them “boat anchors!” After retirement, I returned to ham radio, dusted off my Morse Code, cleaned and refurbished many of my old pieces of gear, and took and passed 3 of the 4 available exams. Relicensed first as KE7BUL, and now as W7DDD (Whiskey Seven Triple Delta), I returned to the airwaves, with an evolving set of equipment and antennas. In the past few years, I have made well over 3000 contacts with hams in every part of the world, from the Queen Mary in Long Beach Harbor, to the Maldive Islands in the Indian Ocean, the Galapagos to Siberia, from Japan to Argentina, and literally all places in-between. I’ve worked all continents (except Antarctica) and all 50 states, most countries in Europe and South America, and had a lot of fun.
I was worried that with cell phones, the internet, satellite TV, and the rest, amateur radio would not be so alluring. I need not have worried – it’s still a terrific high when you call some guy in Tokyo, Moscow, or Montevideo, with an old tube radio and a bit of antenna wire, and he answers back. You swap stories and make new friends in faraway places. And, as Hurricane Katrina proved, when the power grid goes down, and the cell phones don’t work, Hams always get through!

dailymail.co.uk: Winston Churchill spent £40,000 a year on casinos and £54,000 on booze

dailymail.co.uk: Winston Churchill spent £40,000 a year on casinos and £54,000 on booze

Churchill spent most of his life swimming in a mountain of personal debt
Gambled equivalent of £40,000 a year on holidays to the south of France
Had £54,000 bill from his wine merchant, including £16,000 for Champagne
Secret benefactor gave him £1million in 1940 as he became Prime Minister

When the underwriters protested that he was still able to earn money from journalism, his broker retorted that he could not physically write — the article had been dictated to a secretary. Mere talking, he insisted, should not be classed as work. The insurers paid up.

Such sharp practice was not confined to his insurance claims. He told the Inland Revenue he had retired as an author, which entitled him to defer a large income tax bill.

To avoid paying tax on book royalties, he sold the rights and successfully argued that the money he received was not income but capital gains, which at the time was exempt from tax.

He borrowed money from his children’s trusts, and even cut down his drinking — not to curb his expenses, but to win a bet with the press baron Lord Rothermere, who wagered him £600 that Churchill would not drink any brandy or undiluted spirits for a whole year.

Churchill took the bet, reasoning to Clemmie that money won gambling was not subject to tax. But he turned down a bigger bet, £2,000 [£100,000], that he could not remain teetotal for 12 months.

‘I refused,’ he explained, ‘as I think life would not be worth living.’

In fact, his accumulated bills for alcohol came to £900 (£54,000). His gambling was even more costly — 66,000 francs (about £50,000) in a single holiday at a casino in Cannes in 1936, for example.

Blog von Dr. Nicolaus Fest

Blog von Dr. Nicolaus Fest

Geboren bin ich 1962, aufgewachsen in Hamburg und Frankfurt / Main. Nach dem Studium der Rechtswissenschaft, gefolgt von Referendarzeit, 2. Examen und Promotion, arbeitete ich zunächst einige Jahre für das Auktionshaus Sotheby’s, dann für die Verlage Ebner Pressegesellschaft und Gruner + Jahr, von 2001 an für Axel Springer. Dort lange in der Chefredaktion von BILD, bis zum Oktober 2014 stellvertretender Chefredakteur der BILD am SONNTAG.

newyorker.com: How the F.B.I. Cracked a Chinese Spy Ring

newyorker.com: How the F.B.I. Cracked a Chinese Spy Ring

While Chung volunteered his services to China out of what seemed to be love for his motherland, the F.B.I. believed that Mak was a trained operative who had been planted in the U.S. by Chinese intelligence. Beginning in 1988, Mak had worked at Power Paragon, a defense company in Anaheim, California, that developed power systems for the U.S. Navy. The F.B.I. suspected that Mak, who immigrated to the U.S. from Hong Kong in the late nineteen-seventies, had been passing sensitive military technology to China for years.

The investigation began when the F.B.I. was tipped off to a potential espionage threat at Power Paragon. The case was assigned to a special agent named James Gaylord; since the technologies at risk involved the Navy, Gaylord and his F.B.I. colleagues were joined by agents from the Naval Criminal Investigation Service. Mak was put under extensive surveillance: the investigators installed a hidden camera outside his home, in Downey, California, to monitor his comings and goings, and surveillance teams followed him wherever he went. All of his phone calls were recorded.

A short and energetic sixty-four-year-old with a quick smile, Mak was a model employee at Power Paragon. Other workers at the company often turned to him for help in solving problems, and Mak provided it with the enthusiasm of a man who appeared to live for engineering. His assimilation into American life was limited to the workplace: he and his wife, Rebecca, led a quiet life, never socializing with neighbors. Rebecca was a sullen, stern woman whose proficiency in English had remained poor during her two and a half decades in the United States. She never went anywhere without Mak, except to take a walk around the neighborhood in the morning.

Sitting around the house—secret audio recordings would later show—the two often talked about Chinese politics, remarking that Mao, like Stalin, was misunderstood by history. The influence of Maoist ideology was, perhaps, evident in the Maks’ extreme frugality: they ate their meals off of newspapers, which they would roll up and toss in the garbage. Every Saturday morning, after a game of tennis, they drove to a gas station and washed their car using the mops and towels there. From the gas station, the Maks drove to a hardware store and disappeared into the lumber section for ten minutes, never buying anything. For weeks, the agents following them wondered if the Maks were making a dead drop, but it turned out that the lumber section offered free coffee at that hour.

* * *
One evening in September, 2004, Gaylord drove to a playground next to the freeway in Downey. About two dozen of Gaylord’s colleagues from the F.B.I. were already gathered there, including a team from the East Coast that specialized in making clandestine entries into the homes of investigation suspects. That night, they planned to conduct a secret search of Mak’s house. Mak and Rebecca were vacationing in Alaska, and this gave agents an opportunity to use a court order authorizing them to enter the Maks’ residence in their absence.

For weeks, agents had been watching Blandwood Road, the street the Maks lived on, researching the nightly patterns of nearby neighbors. The person next door routinely woke up at three to go to the bathroom, walking past a window that offered a partial view into the Maks’ house. Behind the Maks’ residence was a dog that was given to barking loudly. A neighbor across the street came out every morning at four to smoke a cigarette. If any of them were to raise an alarm, the search would not remain secret. Mak would find out and, if he was indeed a spy, it would become harder to find evidence against him.


Shortly before midnight, Gaylord and two other agents got into a Chevy minivan with the middle and back rows of seats removed. The vehicle was identical in appearance to the one that Mak drove; it would raise no suspicions even if neighbors happened to notice it. The agents lay down flat in the back of the van, leaving only the driver visible from the street. After getting the go-ahead from a surveillance team, the van pulled out from the playground and drove to Blandwood Road, stopping a short distance from the Maks’ house.

The group of entry specialists was already inside the house. Gaylord gently opened the front door and entered, letting two other agents in behind him. The men stood motionless, waiting for their eyes to adjust to the darkness. Everything they could see was covered in a thick layer of dust, including a model airplane on a coffee table and a vacuum cleaner in the hallway. In the dim light, Gaylord saw stacks of documents, some two to three feet high, everywhere: by the front door, on the dinner table, in the home office.


The agents began photographing the documents, taking care to put them back exactly as they had been. Among the stacks were manuals and designs for power systems on U.S. Navy ships and concepts for new naval technologies under development. One set of documents contained information about the Virginia-class submarines, describing ways to cloak submarine propellers and fire anti-aircraft weapons underwater.

The agents took pictures of other materials: tax returns, travel documents, and an address book listing Mak’s contacts, including several other engineers of Chinese origin living in California. This is where the F.B.I. first came across the name Greg Chung.