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Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley
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January 28, 2018 10:53 am

CBS Sunday Morning

Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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January 28, 2018 10:53 am

Making violins

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Our CBS Sunday morning podcast is sponsored by Edward Jones. College tours with your oldest daughter. Updating the kitchen to the appropriate decade.

Retiring on the coast. Life is full of moments that matter, and Edward Jones helps you make the most of them. That's why every Edward Jones financial advisor works with you to build personalized strategies for now and down the road. So when your next moment arrives, big or small, you're ready for it. Life is for living.

Let's partner for all of it. Learn more at Good morning. I'm Jane Pauley and this is Sunday Morning. A Grammy Sunday morning to be exact. Music's biggest party is tonight.

Broadcast right here on CBS. The pop stars Faith Salie has to show us aren't confined to a concert stage or a video screen. From dazzling soap bubbles to the roaring bubbles of the ocean surf, bubbles shape our world. They're almost not here on the physical plane with us. So bubbles, they exist in this other almost not here place.

Ahead on Sunday morning, pop science. Listen closely enough as you walk through one fabled Italian forest and you might just imagine you're hearing music. Seth Doan has sent us a postcard from the Dolomites.

The stunning beauty of the Dolomites is apparent to anyone who visits Italy's Alps. But Fabio Onyebene sees much more in this forest. This for me is for the piano samples. He selects wood that's just right for making musical instruments. When you look around a forest like this you can say that's a violin, that's a cello, this is a piano soundboard?

Yes, for example this is perfect for the violin. Its trunk is long and straight and has few branches or knots. This forest where we are walking now. His colleague and sister-in-law, Piera Cireza, says instrument makers have been harvesting from this Fiume valley for almost six centuries. The wood of the the fiume spruce is very, very light and elastic. And that makes it sound better?

This makes it sound better. The alpine spruce grows evenly at this elevation. It's chopped down in the fall during a waning moon when there is the least amount of sap in the tree.

The trees must be not too big and not too small. You must have a piece of wood perfect, perfect without defects. The wood is cut into wedges and aged for at least six years like a fine wine. There's enough aging in Cireza's workshop to make violin tops for 1,000 orchestras.

That's where Bernard Newman comes in. The minerals that the trees have access to is very, very good for making a wood that's strong and at the same time light. Newman and his business partner, American Bruce Carlson, opened up shop together three decades ago in the northern Italian town of Cremona. Where the violin was born, perfected, and where music seeps from its nearly 150 violin shops.

Famed luthier Antonius Stradivarius worked here and is remembered in the city, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site for violin making. Newman carries on the tradition using many of the same tools and that all-important spruce for the face of the instrument. The bass is made from maple. The wood that I choose has to have the physical qualities, but it also has to have a kind of energy and already it has a voice. You don't think of wood as having energy or a voice.

Yeah, but that's the whole thing. So the body of the instrument is an amplifier, basically a natural amplifier. Violinist Alessandra Cufaro demonstrated what Newman explained to a group of students visiting from Maryland.

If you do with this one, you'll probably get a slightly different note. It's special wood that vibrates, that resonates. And which for centuries has led some of the world's greatest violin makers into these singing woods. Thank you so much, ladies and gentlemen, and greetings to you all. A warm welcome. As some of us may recall, bubbles were a trademark of the classic Lawrence Welk TV show. Then, as now, bubbles are genuine pop stars, as Faith Salley now shows us. There's something magical about soap bubbles. They seem to defy gravity, those floating, fleeting, iridescent orbs. They're almost not here on the physical plane without soap bubbles.

They exist in this other almost not here place. That's a bubble, too. Tom Noddy should know. He's one of the world's foremost bubble artists, exploring the topsy-turvy, often wonderful world of bubbles for some 40 years. I do bubbles inside of bubbles, smoke bubbles, clear bubbles.

Along the way, he met our very own Charles Kuralt at San Francisco's Exploratorium. Bubbles trail away from him wherever he goes in whatever breeze that blows. He is a wandering minstrel, and bubbles are his song.

Thirty-five years later, that wandering minstrel wandered back to the Exploratorium to show us his latest creations. The volcano starts with an earthquake. And the eruption. My initial attraction was just the beauty.

Just the colors were so beautiful, the spheres were so nearly perfect. But I didn't have a background in science. When I went to college, I majored in anti-war demonstrations, you know, I mean, really. But the only guys that knew anything about what I was doing was scientists. Well, to get love, you have to overcome surface tension. Spend a minute or two with Noddy, and you realize what really blows him away isn't the beauty, but the complexity of the lowly bubble. It's really, it's a network. It's an electrical network, isn't it? It's molecules in space, and they're linked to each other electrically. That is to say, one end of a soap molecule is attracted to a nearby water molecule electrically. The bubble is this network. The whole thing is interdependent.

If I were to separate a couple of molecules right here, just a couple of distances apart from each other, the entire network will come apart. Or in other words... For years, bubbles have been a staple of children's entertainment. What we're able to see is that when this bubble pops...

But today, you're just as likely to find them in the lab as you are at the playground. Bubbles are important because they transport gases into liquids and liquid into gases. In James Byrd's lab at Boston University, lots of experiments are bubbling away. They can affect the way that we might perceive or smell certain beverages, so champagne. The aroma and the flavor is enhanced by having small bubbles that are able to, when they pop, make tiny jets that break up into little droplets. Taste ice cream? You're eating bubbles. When you churn ice cream, you're folding air into it. Without bubbles, ice cream would be hard as, well, ice. When you hear waves crashing, you're actually listening to bubbles form. Not many people know, but the sound of the surf, the tinkling fountain, the babbling brook, the rushing waterfall, all those sounds are bubbles. Grant Dean at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego counts bubbles in the ocean and in sea ice by, believe it or not, listening to them. Every time a bubble is formed, it makes a pulse of sound, these musical tones.

It's like hitting a bell with a hammer. It radiates this pulse of sound. The sound a bubble makes depends on its size. As the bubbles get smaller and smaller, they radiate higher and higher tones.

And so it's from the tone, the frequency, that we can figure out the size of the bubble. The more bubbles you have, the louder the surface. By measuring tiny bubbles in the vast sea, Dean says we can understand the workings of our oceans. The bubbles lie at the heart of everything that's going on at the ocean surface. When a wave breaks, the bubbles are pushed into the water.

As they do that, they help transfer gases from the atmosphere into the ocean. About a third of all the carbon dioxide that we produce ends up in the ocean, and bubbles help carry it there. There's no doubt bubbles connect our world in ways large and small, from the bubbles of oxygen that fill our lungs to the bubble wrap that keeps our packages safe. At MIT, scientists have built computers that use bubbles in circuits instead of electrical pulses to convey information. Doctors are now even using microscopic bubbles to administer medicine, popping them with ultrasound to precisely deliver drugs. So the next time you see a bubble, take a minute to appreciate its delicate shape, its colors, its mysteries, all before it pops. I have this memory of being with my aunt, who I loved, you know, and watching her blow some bubbles in sunlight. My heart fluttered when I watched her.

There is mathematics to it, it can be explained and discussed, but it's just there's something beautiful about that. Most Washington whistleblowers do what they do out of the spotlight. Not the man our Steve Hartman met. For many people, there's nothing like a good whistle to pass the time.

But for 54-year-old Chris Ullman, whistling is hardly a distraction. This four-time international whistling champion is partner in the Carlyle Group, an investment firm. He's been in Washington 30 years, working at the highest levels in both the private and public sectors. And along the way, he has earned a reputation as perhaps DC's only universally admired whistleblower. George W. Bush, John Kasich, George H.W. Bush.

He has performed for them all. Supreme Court justices. To rave reviews.

People seek it out. Like to me, that kind of encapsulates the power of the pucker. Unfortunately, his whistling hasn't always been used in harmony. Back in 95, then House Majority Leader Dick Armey summoned Chris to a tense budget negotiation.

He wanted a song, but it wasn't come together or we can work it out. It was Dixie, and the government shut down shortly after. So you could argue that these lips shut down the federal government. Needless to say, Chris won't do that again. But 20 years later, he's not just not whistling Dixie anymore. Today, he's using his talents almost exclusively for the most apolitical purpose of all. Well, prepare yourself.

Here we go. It just transcends the partisanship of Washington. Virtually every day, up to eight times a day, Chris whistles happy birthday for free to people all over DC. Happy birthday, man.

Whether they work in cubicles or oval offices, Democrat or Republican. Happy birthday. I think the whistle helps me get beyond the politics. I'm going to love you.

I'm going to honor you because of you. And that is the bottom line is that we have forgotten to love each other and we've forgotten to respect each other. That is the problem. To that end, he wrote a book encouraging others to find their special gift and use it to change lives. He says what America needs right now isn't a big fix.

What it needs is a million small gestures. And as we start this week with the government shut down behind and other battles looming, it might be wise for our leaders to think of the whistle while they work. 1968 was a year like no other.

And throughout this year, we'll be taking a look back. We start in Vietnam with the Tet Offensive, which began 50 years ago this coming Wednesday. David Martin has the story of Americans under fire in the front line city of Hui. The 26 day battle for Hui was fought street by street, house by house, room by room. 216 American troops were killed and another 1,300 wounded.

Many people were hurting real bad right now. We lost second platoon, they were wiped out, and part of the first platoon, they lost a lot of people. 10,000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong had seized Hui at the outset of the Tet Offensive. And the Marines were sent in to claw it back.

If there's anything close to hell, it had to be Hui. That's the voice of Sergeant Bob Toms, wounded six times, but still alive today. In this photo, he's leading an assault on a tower the enemy was using to shoot down on American troops. The night before, he had joined his Marines in prayer. Everybody held hands. This was our prayer.

God, we know we're about to see you in person. If we've got to die on this tower, let us die like men and Marines and don't embarrass ourselves. And don't embarrass ourselves or our families or the Marine Corps.

Amen. One of the images in this exhibit are the first 12 men that went up the tower. And within 30 seconds, five of them were critically injured. John Olson, then a 20-year-old Army photographer, took these extraordinary photos, including this sequence. A wounded Marine is in agony. Wrapped in a blanket, he whispers the Lord's Prayer as his life slips away, and another wounded Marine stands guard.

Later, a chaplain administers last rites. It was a totally new combat experience for all these men. They'd never been in house-to-house fighting before. Olson's photos are now on exhibit at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., to mark the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive. If you had to choose the most important event of the Vietnam War, it certainly would be the Tet Offensive. It changed how people looked at the war, and doing so, it changed the war itself. Walter Cronkite, America's most trusted newsman, went away the longest and bloodiest battle of Tet and came back to tell the public the war could not be won.

For it seems now, more certain than ever, that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate. Nothing delivered that message more vividly than Olson's photo of wounded Marines being carried out of way on a tank. What I see when I look at that photo today are seven 18, 19, 20-year-old kids, badly wounded.

It's painful to look at. The shirtless figure is an 18-year-old Marine shot through the chest, a symbol of American innocence shredded by the reality of Vietnam. I remember well. His name is A.B.

Grantham, and he is now 68 years old, having come as close to death as it is possible to come. It was what we call a sucking chest wound. It hit the breastbone, went through the right side, and exited under my shoulder blade. Was it painful? Very much.

Very hot. How did they stop the bleeding? The bleeding wasn't the main problem to begin with. It was the breathing. I couldn't breathe because I had a hole in my chest. How close did you come?

I don't think it could have got any closer. They had zipped me up into a body bag, and I remember somebody saying, this one's not dead yet. And lo and behold, you know, they got me out and I made it.

None of the Marines on the tank were identified, and that was fine with Grantham, who didn't want people to know he had been to hell and back. Tried to hide back into society and just fade away, you know, and be like everybody else and have a nice, normal life. But it didn't last. The war has a way of rearing its ugly head from time to time. Once you learn something, it's hard to unlearn it. And what did you learn?

I learned that humanity can be very cruel to each other. Grantham was diagnosed with severe and chronic PTSD. For 29 of the past 50 years, he has been in therapy and doesn't go anywhere without his service dog, Bo. There was a lot of memories, a lot of nightmares, a lot of resentment to what had happened to us and what we were put through. The Vietnam War still rears its ugly head, but Grantham is hiding no longer. Dr. Katz, this cat saved my life. Fifty years after Tet, the Marine on the tank says it's time to see that war more clearly.

I'm hoping that the public can embrace the war now and they can learn exactly what happened and what went on and that we had many, many, many heroes that didn't come back with us from over their life. I'm Jane Pauley. Please join us here again next Sunday morning.

Maybe you do, too. From the newest interior design trend, Barbie Corps, to the right and wrong way to wash your armpits. Also, we're going to get into things that you just kind of won't believe and we're not able to do in daytime television, so watch out. Listen to Drew's News wherever you get your podcasts. It's your good news on the go.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-26 11:12:18 / 2023-01-26 11:19:39 / 7

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