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TYVANYNG ONGNUKTERI / The Friends of Tuva Newsletter
Celebrating Richard Feynman's spirit of adventure

The Friends of Tuva newsletter.
Seventeenth issue: Naadym (Summer), 1997.
Published by Friends of Tuva, Box 182, Belvedere CA 94920 USA.
Hotline and fax: (415) 380-TUVA (-8882)
(If fax doesn't turn on automatically, press 33)
E-mail on the Internet:
Home Page on the World Wide Web:

NOTE: If you would like to receive newsletters by snail-mail, send up to three (but not more, please) self-addressed, stamped envelopes and $1 per envelope to help the cause. Please note FotHQs new address: Friends of Tuva, Box 182, Belvedere CA 94920 USA.

Feynman Stamp News

A big THANK YOU to all who sent in letters or signatures on petitions for a Feynman stamp. In late May I made an appeal for a Feynman stamp before the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee --- whose quarterly meetings are not open to the public --- at an open forum held at the Pacific 97 stamp expo in San Francisco.

To my pleasant surprise, two members of the CSAC said the Committee would be very receptive to honoring Richard Feynman on a stamp, as the others nodded. If all goes according to plan, our hero should be considered for a stamp (to be issued in 2000) at the October meeting of the CSAC in Washington, DC.

I will send all of your letters and petitions to Washington, DC in mid-September. Therefore the deadline for submitting letters or petitions to me is September 15. If you want to feel you had an impact on the decision, write that letter of support or sign the petition on page 8 and send it to me soon!

Petition for a Feynman Stamp

Please return by September 15, 1997 to: Friends of Tuva, Box 182, Belvedere CA 94920 To the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee Washington, District of Columbia

Fellow Citizens!

We, the undersigned, wholeheartedly support Richard Feynman to be portrayed on a United States postage stamp in a denomination that will reach millions of Americans as well as collectors around the world. Feynman is arguably the most illustrious and inspiring scientist born and educated in the USA. Our nation needs more people enthusiastic about science. Putting Richard Feynmans image on a stamp will effectively serve that end.

Signature    ____________________________________   Date ____________________
Name (printed) _____________________________ City & State ___________________

Signature    ____________________________________   Date ____________________
Name (printed) _____________________________ City & State ___________________

Signature    ____________________________________   Date ____________________
Name (printed) _____________________________ City & State ___________________

(Feel free to attach a sheet of additional names to this petition.)

Superman, Look Out!

Yes, there really is a comic book with Richard Feynman as its hero --- a single image is excerpted here. I hope everyone orders a bunch and passes them around! And who knows: maybe this is just what we need to get Richard Feynman onto a postage stamp! (Stay tuned. More news in Issue # 18, due out... sometime!)

Wrestling News

Aivar the Nomad reports from Kyzyl that Ayan-ool Saraa from Chaa-Khol won second place in the 58 kg category at the All-Russia Wrestling Championships TUVA '97! Due to new weight divisions, Mongush Chechen-ool, who placed fourth in the Olympics last year, did not place.

Tuva spent so much money on hosting the All-Russia championships in Kyzyl that the August Tuva Naadym Summer Games were going to be cancelled this year --- but they were reinstated due to popular demand.

The USPS Agrees:
Triangular Stamps Are Cool!

Earlier this year, two new stamps appeared in the US mail and made postal history: commemorating the Pacific 97 stamp expo in San Francisco, the pair of stamps are the first triangulars in US postal history --- only 70 years after triangulars had been issued in Tuva!

I contacted the designer of the stamps, Richard Sheaff, to determine whether these stamps were indeed inspired by Tuva. Alas, they were not: as serious stamp collectors well know, there are several countries and territories which have issued triangulars over the years. However, Mr. Sheaff noted that he has read Tuva or Bust!, is aware of Richard Feynman and Friends of Tuva, and --- if he should be so lucky as to be able to design a stamp in the future -- looks forward to proposing a diamond-shaped design (with 60 and 120 degree angles), which would indeed be inspired by Tuva. If all goes according to plan, and Richard Feynman is indeed chosen as a subject for a commemorative stamp in the year 2000, then a stamp in his honor inspired by the country whose stamps he collected as a boy would be wonderfully appropriate!

Friends of Tuva is developing a mock-up of ten such stamps that can be folded into an icosahedron. Details will be announced in the next issue of the FoT newsletter.

Are You Ready for This?

This fall Tuva's fab four --- Kaigal-ool Khovalyg, Anatolii Kuular, Sayan Bapa, and Alexei Saryglar, aka Huun-Huur-Tu --- will perform a series of concerts with the Bulgarian Womens Choir ``Angelite'', whose haunting music was once called ``Le Mystre des Voix Bulgares''. For those who like innovative, meditative music, don't miss this. For a sample, listen to HHT's CD ``Fly, Fly My Sadness'' on Shanachie, or Track 15 on the CD-book ``Deep in the Heart of Tuva'', from Ellipsis Arts. (Both are available from the Tuva Trader.)

Here is the schedule as published by the tour organizer, the International Music Network in Marblehead, MA ( (508) 283-2883.

  • Princeton, NJ, Nov 19: McCarter Theatre (609) 683-9100
  • Storrs, CT, Nov 20: Jorgenson Aud. (203) 486-5225
  • Burlington, VT, Nov 21: Flynn Theatre (802)863-8778
  • Cambridge, MA, Nov 22: Sanders Theatre (617)876-4275
  • Alexandria, VA, Nov 24: Birchmere (703) 824-1525
  • Louisville, KY, Nov 29: Macauley Theatre (502) 562-0174
  • Arcata, CA , Dec 2: Van Duzer Theatre (707) 826-4411
  • Berkeley, CA, Dec 3: Zellerbach Aud. (510) 642-9988
  • Escondido, CA, Dec 4: CAL Concert Hall (619) 738-4138
  • Irvine, CA, Dec 5: Barclay Theatre (714) 854-4607
  • Los Angeles, CA, Dec 6: Wadsworth Theatre (310) 206-8745

Weather Report

The early summer was hot in Tuva (up to 120F), with smoke from fires in Tozhu turning the sky over Kyzyl red. Tuvans flocked to the Ulug Khem (the Yenisei River) to cool off. Later, rains provided relief to people and forests alike.

A Rare Find

The final touches have been completed on a video of Richard Feynman delivering the first Paul Dirac Memorial Lecture: ``The Reason for Antiparticles''. Recorded in 1986, this lecture led to the book ``Elementary Particles and the Laws of Physics '' (Cambridge U Press, 1987).

The video, however, has never before been available to the public. By special arrangement with Cambridge University, it is now available through the efforts of FoT Eric Slone. It comes complete with copies of Feynman's lecture notes in his own handwriting (and corrections by Slone), plus material written by Ralph Leighton, Lawrence Krauss, and John Gribbon --- from his recently released biography, ``Richard Feynman: A Life in Science'' (published by Dutton / Penguin).

The lecture is quite technical, and is not meant for a general audience. (To order a copy, see the Tuva Trader, p.7 for details.) All profits benefit cancer research.

Here is a description by physicist Lawrence Krauss:

Richard Feynman begins this Dirac Lecture by paying homage to Dirac, so let me begin this preface by repaying him in kind. For most physicists of my generation, Feynman stands head and shoulders above anyone in the second half of the twentieth century as a physics "hero". Many of us first learned of him through his Feynman Lectures on Physics, a trilogy of introductory physics texts (which many of us have since referred to in our own research work, demonstrating that they really weren't that introductory after all), or through his popular book, ``The Character of Physical Law'', the written version of his famous Messenger Lectures at Cornell. I remember picking up this book when I was in high school, when a teacher suggested I read the section on antiparticles and going backward in time. Like many a young physicist before and since, from the minute I picked up this book, I was hooked. The idea that the existence of antiparticles in nature had something to do with time reversal symmetry was intoxicating. Feynman returned to this theme in his Dirac Lecture. Given that my own introduction to Feynman had to do with antiparticles, it is thus a particular pleasure and privilege to be able to write this short introduction to Feynman's Dirac Lecture on the same subject.

What made Feynman so unique was not simply the breadth and depth of his own work, which was considerable indeed --- he changed the way we think about the world of elementary particle interactions, and made fundamental contributions to a variety of other areas of physics including gravitational theory and condensed matter physics. Rather what distinguished Feynman was the originality with which he approached all aspects of physics. It seems clear that in the process of learning physics he independently rederived from scratch nearly every result that he talks about. As a consequence, his discussions about topics as simple as Newton's Law of Gravity, and as complex as the relationship between spin and statistics in quantum field theory are both fresh and new.

What is also clear is that Feynman, in spite of his considerable wit and showmanship, was always dead serious about physics. Late in his life he clearly got used to huge crowds whenever he talked, on whatever subject he talked about. This clearly frustrated him. While he seemed to enjoy the celebrity at some level, it is also obvious that he also felt that if he wanted to talk about physics at a technical level, people who merely wanted to watch shouldn't expect anything but physics. I remember once hearing him address a joint Harvard-MIT physics seminar with a large room full of people, and he began by saying that most people in the room should probably leave, and then he immediately began to lecture on Quantum Chromodynamics, the theory of the strong interactions between quarks. What he may not have appreciated was that the Boston theoretical physics community was large enough to fill the room with experts! Viewers of this tape of the Dirac Lecture may be surprised by how quickly Feynman jumps into his subject here. I think that his concern that when he was talking about physics, people should be prepared to listen to physics, goes a long way toward explaining this.

Feynman's topic in this Dirac Lecture is a classic subject in the field --- one which is at the heart of every course in quantum field theory, and in which it would be difficult, as a physicist, to expect to glean new insights. Of course this expectation is incorrect. I remember how reading the text of his Dirac Lecture, I was amazed at how it was possible physically to understand the connection between the sign associated with particle exchange in interfering Feynman diagrams in calculating physical amplitudes and the phenomena of Bose condensation. Immediately after reading this work I began to think about how this might be applied to particles called anyons, which in two dimensional theories can have statistics involving arbitrary phases. Since some people had discussed such particles as being possibly related to the existence of high temperature superconductivity, it seemed worthwhile thinking about their condensation properties. The insights I gained from Feynman's lecture led me to discuss this with a colleague of mine, who was an expert in condensed matter physics and who immediately recognized the significance of this notion in the context of work he was already doing on anyon condensation.

I have never read anything by Richard Feynman which did not cause me to gain new insights into the universe. I know of no higher complement I can give him. Of course, merely reading Feynman is to miss half the fun. His warmth, the ever-present sparkle in his eyes, the jokes and stories, the accent, all contributed to the special feeling his colleagues had for him. But above it all, he was always able to get right to the heart of the physics in a unique, clear and direct mathematical style. It is a real treat to have the opportunity, years after he passed away, to watch him "perform" again. We shall miss him, and the world is poorer for his absence.

Geneva, 1997
Lawrence M. Krauss

FoT HQ Still in Chaos

The unexpected family move from LA to SF last November is still having its effect on FoT HQ. Apologies for this tardy newsletter, three months late. (At least some of you were lucky enough to get an envelope postmarked August 14, Tannu Tuva Republic Day!)

Both the newsletter and the Tuva Trader are being shifted to a website. If you surf the Net, try If you don't surf the Net, don't worry: I'm planning on three more issues over the next couple of years. Our last issue must be postmarked with a Feynman stamp!

As for the Tuva Trader, there will still be some delays in fulfilling orders. I just got a new PO Box, so that should speed things up a bit: Box 182, Belvedere CA 94920.

Thank you for your patience. I am trying to keep Friends of Tuva a mission, and not turn it into an efficient business!

Kazhyk --- Tuvan Sheepbone Dice

If you're looking for a conversation piece --- or a gift for the (wo)man who has everything --- then get some sheepbone dice called kazhyk! The last batch sold out so fast that I didn't have time to enclose a race course for The Horse Race. The next batch is due in from Tuva in September, so if you're interested, see the Tuva Trader (pages 7 & 8) and order now!

For those impatient to try out the game (or if you want your racecourse to be authentic, made entirely of kazhyk), visit your local butcher and ask for the part of the leg that is cut off below the rear shank of a sheep or lamb. Youll need a minimum of four bones, all from rear legs --- kazhyk from front legs look different.

(For vegetarians, this suggestion is made in the spirit of adventure that is our motto. It is not an endorsement of eating meat!)

Games with sheep knucklebones (kazhyk) are among the most popular pastimes in Tuva, especially in the countryside. Tuvans and other Siberian herdsmen have played many variations since ancient times, and believe that success in these simple games determines success in life: the bones can bring luck to you and your family, and can guarantee the fertility and safety of your livestock. The more sheepbones you have, the better off your cattle will be. (Removing a sheep from the pasture leaves more precious grass for the cows.) Tuvan children collect the kazhyk when a sheep is slaughtered. When they have collected one thousand kazhyk, the children bury them in the cattle enclosure (kazhaa) and begin collecting a new batch.

Kazhyk --- especially the bones from the front legs --- can be used like marbles: various shooting games involve knocking one bone with another. The bones for the games described below are from hind legs.

Know Your Livestock

There are six sides to each hind-leg kazhyk, each representing a livestock animal. The two animals most likely to appear when the bones are rolled are sheep (ho) and goat (ushku). Next come cow (inek) and horse (a't), which stand taller. Finally, on rare occasions, a bone may end up precariously standing as a camel (teve) or a yak (sarlyk), especially if it is leaning against another bone. Although it may be difficult for the average non-Tuvan adult to distinguish a sheep from a goat, a cow from a horse, or a camel from a yak, youll be amazed at how easily children can identify livestock once they've been named. So let the kids teach you! (But keep kazhyk away from very small children --- the bones are a choking hazard!)

Not shown: images of the various animals: sheep (ho), goat (ushku), cow (inek), horse (a't), camel (teve), yak (sarlyk).

Dort Berge --- Four Difficulties

This game, which can be played within The Horse Race (see next game), can have any number of players. The object is to drop the four kazhyk on the ground all at once and get four different sides up. Winning means you and your cattle will be lucky in near future. But if you end up with all cows, watch out: something unlucky will happen to you or your cattle soon!

A't Charyshtyrary --- The Horse Race

Again, any number of people can play --- the more the better. One bone for each contestant is placed horse side up along a starting line, usually on a carpet.* In turn, each player takes four bones and rolls them onto the carpet. The number of bones that land horse side up determines how far you move your own horse around the race course and back. Getting one or more horses results in an extra roll. As you roll the bones, call out encouragement to your horse! (``SHOO-dah!'' means ``Giddyap!'')

* Because you presumably have only four kazhyk, you'll have to use another object as your own horse, and use the paper race course provided. Places for two horses (outlined next to the START line) have been drawn in, but any number of horses may compete. (The black shapes represent other kazhyk that would serve as the race course if the game were played in Tuva, where there are copious amounts of kazhyk available.) If you want to use real kazhyk for the race course, ask your friendly local butcher for the lower portion of rear lamb shanks, which are normally thrown away, and boil them until the kazhyk pop out easily with a good twist of your wrists. Special thanks to Aldynai Seden-Khurak and her students at the Lyceum of Tuva, and to Kongar-ol Ondar, for this article.


Naadym (Summer festival time), 1997
Proceeds help fund Friends of Tuva projects.
All prices include applicable sales tax, shipping and handling (US & Canada).
All items subject to availability.
Money back if not satisfied with purchase.
Orders subject to delay due to chaos.

For a complete list of items in September or October, please send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:

Friends of Tuva, Box 182, Belvedere CA 94920 USA.
(A new list will be sent to all those with envelopes on file in Fall, 1997.)

Or, find the Tuva Trader Online by first going to the Friends of Tuva homepage:

WWW Note: the list of items available (and prices) are accurate at the time of publishing, but are not updated as availability and prices change. If in doubt, contact FOT HQ or check the Tuvan Trader online.

  • The Official FRIENDS of TUVA CARD! No, its not a secret decoder ringbut there is a secret piece of information on the card, as well as instructions on how to turn your FoT card into a telephone calling card for less than 20c / min.
    __ @ $ 2 = _______ 3FT
  • Kongar-ol Ondar and Paul Earthquake Pena: GENGHIS BLUES. This ongoing collaboration between Tuvan throat-singing ace Kongar-ol Ondar (1992 world champion in the sygyt style) and American bluesman Paul Earthquake Pena (1995 world champion in the kargyraa style), features an amazing blend of Tuvan throat-singing and American blues, with a touch of Cape Verdian creole as well. This rewarding musical adventure is a Friends of Tuva project.
    CD: __ @ $15 = _______ 3GB
  • Kongar-ol Ondar: ECHOES OF TUVA. Ondar performs a tour de forcefrom a shamanic prayer for Richard Feynman, thru throat-singing, to modern songs --- in the live acoustic environment of Pasadena's city hall.
    CD: __ @ $12 = _______ 3ET
  • TWO-FISTED SCIENCE starring Richard Feynman. This 30-page comic book features Feynman cracking the safes that contained the entire secret of the Atomic Bomb!
    Please indicate quantity:
    1 ___ ($3); 2 ___ ($5); 10 ___ ($20) = ______ 3CB
  • RICHARD FEYNMAN: A Life in Science, by John & Mary Gribbin. My favorite Feynman biography. Feynman and his extraordinary contributions to science are described in this very readable book. A must read for RPF fans.
    __ @ $ 25 = _______ 3FL
  • THE BEST MIND SINCE EINSTEIN is now available from the Tuva Trader! This video by Christopher Sykes contains clips from his other BBC and PBS TV programs on Feynman (The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, Fun to Imagine, Last Journey of a Genius), which unfortunately are not available. For educational use only.
    __ @ $ 22 = _______ 3WG
  • FEYNMANS LECTURES ON QED, as given in New Zealand (1979), are now available on video! Five hours of lectures and one hour of Q&A. See Feynman in action explaining his now legendary diagrams, including what he got the Nobel prize forhe calls it a dippy process. (See next item also.)
    By surface mail (special 4th class):
    __ @ $ 45 = _______ 3v
    Sent by Priority (US) or airmail (Canada) ~ 3 day delivery:
    __ @ $ 49 = _______ 3vp
    International (surface mail, not including 20% airmail postage):
    __ @ $ 50 = _______ 3vi
  • THE REASON FOR ANTIPARTICLES, by Richard Feynman. Feynman delivers the first Paul Dirac Memorial Lecture at Cambridge University, in 1986. Archival 70-min video, technical in content. Not for a general audience.
    __ @ $ 30 = _______ 3DL
  • TAKE THE WORLD FROM ANOTHER POINT OF VIEW. This 35-minute video about Richard Feynman (with cosmologist Fred Hoyle), is a must. Never before seen in the USA, this is vintage Feynman telling some of his best stories.
    __ @ $ 30 = _______ 3YT
  • DEEP in the HEART of TUVA. My pride and joy. A musical expedition to Tuva that includes 20 selections of great music on CD, plus 64 pages of great photos and information in a cloth-bound booklet that fits in the palm of your hand. Makes a great gift. Buy several and save!
    Please indicate quantity:
    1 ___ ($19); 2 ___ ($35); 3 ___ ($50) _______ 3DH
  • HUUN-HUUR-TU: If I'd Been Born An Eagle. The latest recording featuring Kaigal-ool Khovalyg. Also features an awesome end-blown flute and interesting harmonies. A worthy addition!
    CD: __ @ $15 = _______ 3I
    cassette: __ @ $11 = _______ 3i
  • HUUN-HUUR-TU with ANGELITE, the Bulgarian Women's Choir: Fly, Fly My Sadness. Very meditative, sometimes melancholy, always soulful.
    CD: __ @ $15 = _______ 3H
    cassette: __ @ $11 = _______ 3h
  • GENUINE TUVAN SHEEPBONE DICE (kazhyk). A great conversation piece. Try to roll four horses, or one each of horse, cow, sheep, and goat. Includes instructions and course for horse race. Great fun!
    Set of four. __ @ $ 10 = _______ 3KZ
  • PLASTIC SHOPPING BAGS from Tuva make another great conversation piece. Two different designs.
    __ @ $ 2 = _______ 3SB

Subtotal for this side $ _________
Subtotal for other side and/or items from previous Tuva Traders $ _________
Subtotal $ _________
For orders outside of North America, please add 20% for airmail delivery $ _________

US orders: check or postal money order payable to Friends of Tuva. TOTAL $ ________

Non-US orders: cash, travelers checks, personal or bank checks (if drawn on a US bank), and International Postal Money Orders are accepted. Sorry, no credit cards or Eurocheques unless specifically authorized.

All orders: To expedite delivery, please include a mailing label with your order. Thank you! Please send your order to: Friends of Tuva, Box 182, Belvedere CA 94920 USA.