Archive for Estonia

IAU Symposium 308 – Conference Photo Caption Competition

Posted in Beards, Biographical, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , on July 16, 2014 by telescoper

Regular readers of this blog (Sid and Doris Bonkers) will recall that I recently attended IAU Symposium No. 308 in Tallinn, Estonia. To prove that I didn’t make it all up, here is the official conference photograph.

iau308 conference_photo 1 lres

You can see me three rows back on the right-hand-side of the picture; you can click on the image to make it largely should you wish. Behind me and to my left as I look at the camera you will see the esteemed cosmologist Carlos Frenk wearing an unusual facial expression.

I wonder if anyone might like to suggest an explanation for Prof. Frenk’s behaviour by way of a suitable caption for the photograph?


Mu süda, ärka üles

Posted in History, Music with tags , , , on June 28, 2014 by telescoper

Well, the conference is over. I did my summary talk this afternoon and most of the conference attendees have already begun their journey home. I’m coming back to England tomorrow so I spent the early evening doing a bit of exploration. The conference schedule has been so packed that this is the first time I’ve been able to act like a tourist. I have to say the old town of Tallinn really is exceptionally beautiful, especially in the bright summer sunshine. Here’s a couple of pictures I took on my stroll.


On Friday we had the conference dinner at the House of the Blackheads, which doesn’t sound so promising in English but is in fact a spending old building in the centre of Tallinn. To my delight we were serenaded by a choir (The Estonian Girls’ TV Choir). Estonia is a small country, with a population of only 1.3 Million, but it has an exceptionally strong musical tradition especially in choral music. Estonia has more choirs per unit population than any other country in the world, or so I’m told. Even more than Wales!

Anyway, this is the folk hymn they started with last night; the lights were dimmed in the ancient hall and the girls stood around the dining hall holding candles as they sang. The effect was stunning. Mu süda, ärka üles which means Awake, my heart is a traditional song, but the wonderful arrangement is by a composer who is quite new to me, Cyrillus Kreek.

I’ll complete my series of summaries of the conference tomorrow morning.