Renters and Floodplains
Landlords should be required by federal law to notify their prospective tenants prior to lease signing if the property they are renting is in a designated floodplain. If so, the landlord should also be required to notify the tenant that they should purchase flood insurance to protect their belongings. If the lessor is paying for flood insurance, than they must advise the lessee to do the same. If you purchase a home that is in a floodplain, your mortgage company will require that you have flood insurance. Why don't renters have the same protection?
Following the example of Airbnb, the astronomy community should develop a network of observing sites across the U.S. where one can make (often last minute, due to clouds) arrangements to observe meteor showers, eclipses, and other important celestial events at an astronomy- and astronomer-friendly location.
Noise-Cancelling Ear Muff for Sleeping
Do you sometimes go to bed later than your partner, and have trouble getting to sleep because they are snoring when your head hits the pillow? Are you a stomach or side sleeper? Hate using earplugs? Someone needs to invent a ear muff or ear cup that comfortably fits over just one ear while your other ear is pressed against the pillow. There would need to be a comfortable strap to hold the ear muff onto your head for the first part of the night. The ear muff needs to block as much room noise as possible, and there could even be noise-canceling circuitry and/or a white noise generator that could be switched on if needed and powered by a small battery built in to the ear muff. Such a single ear muff with strap for front and side sleepers would help many get to sleep faster!
Educational Courses, Documentaries, and Films
There are a lot of The Great Courses I'd like to sample and view, but streaming them as a rental (similar to Netflix) is not an option. Rental could be set up as a more affordable choice for many and, I should think, greatly increase their customer base. And, while we're on the topic of educational videos, we really need a company similar to Netflix that only focuses on educational documentaries and films. Also needed is a service that chooses only the highest quality educational content on YouTube and organizes it by subject area for easy retrieval.
Seven Day a Week Service for Amtrak's Sunset Limited
The only passenger train service connecting Los Angeles, Tucson, El Paso, San Antonio, Houston, and New Orleans operates only 3 days a week. Why not 7? Ridership, which goes up every year, would skyrocket if seven-day-a-week service were available, I'm sure. Why not do it? As it now stands, the schedule is more often inconvenient than not.
Turnkey Asteroid Occultation System
With the advent of inexpensive lightweight and extremely sensitive video cameras and equipment to GPS-time-stamp each video frame, asteroid occultation studies have received a much-needed boost in recent years. But there are not nearly enough observers to fully realize the scientific potential from these events. The biggest hurdle, in my opinion, is the difficulty in assembling the necessary hardware, software, and expertise. There is a fine organization dedicated to occultation studies: the International Occultation Timing Association (IOTA). What a valuable project it would be for IOTA (of which I am a member) to take on—assembling turnkey asteroid occultation systems and selling them at cost. This is yet another astronomy project I've added to my "to do" list when I retire!
Please Add NASA TV to Houston's Broadcast Television Stations
Houston is known as "Space City" for good reason, so why isn't NASA TV included among the other two dozen or so stations that anyone in the Houston metro area can pick up with nothing more than a pair of "rabbit ears" and a television set? How much would it cost annually to broadcast NASA TV locally? I'm sure a small group of benefactors could fund it.
Please Be True
If I could start a rock and roll band, I would name it Please Be True. It is no secret I'm a huge fan of The Beatles, and Paul McCartney in particular. Their music was/is positive, upbeat, optimistic, fun—in love with life. I would strive for the same.
Internet Polling Site
An internet polling site should be developed by a non-profit non-partisan organization which would feature a different question every day. To vote, you would need to be registered on the site, and only one vote per person per question would be allowed. Participants would be able to submit their own questions and answers for consideration, as well as comments on the wording or choices offered for each daily question. No personally identifiable information should ever be released by the organization to any entity. It ought to be possible to sample the polling results (given that the participants also submit profile information, in general and for the question) to derive scientifically valid conclusions in addition to the raw voting results.
LED Night Light
Requirements: 50,000+ hour white LED, color temperature no bluer than 3000 K, diffuser, photocontrol, occupancy sensor, dimmer, plugs into AC outlet. I (and probably many others) would gladly pay $25 or $30 for a warm-white (not blue!) diffuse-light night light that will last at least 10 years, plugs into a wall outlet, and is activated by an occupancy sensor only when the room is dark (i.e. dusk to dawn). A very important built-in feature of this night light will be adjustable brightness, from very dim to full brightness. Night lights are for bathrooms, not bedrooms! For your health, the room you sleep in should be kept as dark as possible.
Yellow LED Night Light
Every LED night light I've seen produces light that is too blue. Simple solution for you manufacturers out there: use a yellow LED instead of a "white" LED. A yellow LED is easier on the eyes, and provides a more pleasing illumination that the harsh blue-white LEDs. I know, because I've been using a yellow LED flashlight for years!
Infrared Dwarf Stars
"Brown dwarfs" are low mass stars unable to sustain stable hydrogen fusion in their cores. Even the hottest of these stars have surface temperatures below 5000°F. As such, all brown dwarfs emit most of their light in the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, rather than at visible wavelengths. I think "infrared dwarf" is a more accurate and descriptive term than "brown dwarf".
Ejection Nebulae
And, while we're on the subject of imprecise astronomical terminology, I'd also like to suggest that the term "planetary nebula" be replaced with the more accurate—though perhaps less poetic—term "ejection nebula".
Tracking Dobsonian
Wanted: a regular Dobsonian telescope that has the added capability of being able to track objects well enough for visual work after doing a simple two-star alignment. You would need to have encoders and motors on both the altitude and azimuth axes, but the accuracy required for tracking reasonably well is not nearly as demanding as what a go-to telescope would need. In other words, you would point the telescope using a Telrad or red-dot finder the old-fashioned way (how quaint), but once you've found your object and let go of the telescope, the motors would track on the object until you point the telescope somewhere else. Simple as that.
Streaming PBS
Remember when television was free? Now we have to pay for it, and we still have to suffer through advertisements. I have lived (and hopefully will again someday) in a remote area of the U.S. where my trusty old "rabbit ears" can pick up nothing. I refuse to pay for cable television or satellite TV that includes many channels, such as Fox News, that I do not want and will not support in any way. I would be perfectly happy with just one channel: PBS. We need at least one PBS station that streams its entire broadcast day live on the Internet, just as many public radio stations currently do.
Internet Television
Some of us are just too busy to have much time for television. What little I do watch is on PBS. "Basic cable" offers dozens of channels I would never watch, and does not include others I'm interested in such as NASA TV. If you only watch an hour or two a week, it simply isn't worth the expense. I'm holding out for Internet PPVNA Television. The PPVNA stands for "pay per view, no ads". All channels and all programming could be made available via the Internet, and your TV would be just another wireless device in your household.
Historical Magazines on CD-ROM or DVD-ROM
Excellent magazines have come and gone throughout the past several hundred years, and the time has come to start digitizing microfilm, microfiche, or printed copies of all these magazines, and make them available at an affordable price to individuals and institutions on CD, DVD, and via the Internet. First on my list? Popular Astronomy, which was published from 1893 until 1951 at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, a worthy predecessor to Sky & Telescope.
Movie about Johannes Brahms
It is amazing to me that no one has yet made a feature-length film about the life of composer Johannes Brahms (1833-1897). A historically accurate dramatic portrayal could easily become one of the most significant musical biographies ever made. Brahms was one of the greatest composers who ever lived, and he had an interesting life—there is much material to draw upon for the making of this movie.
Dark Sky Town
A small rural town that has no streetlights, and allows only the most environmentally-friendly outdoor lighting. Dusk-to-dawn lighting would be discouraged and switch or motion-sensor activated lighting would be the rule. Such a town would be very attractive to anyone who loves the night sky, and the night, as much as I do!
Astronomy Village
Another approach would be to form a development group, purchase at least 100 acres of land at a dark sky site 5 to 10 road miles southeast or southwest from a small town having all the basic amenities (like grocery store, health care, and hardware store). Subdivide the land into 2.5 acre lots, and establish an outdoor lighting ordinance or binding covenant that would prohibit dusk-to-dawn outdoor lighting and allow only low-impact, environmentally-friendly outdoor lighting within the rural subdivision. The rural subdivision would also need some legal protection from the future encroachment of obtrusive outdoor lighting in the surrounding area.
Night Sky Preserve
Let's face it, no matter how much success we have in curtailing light pollution in cities and towns, we're still going to have a better view of the night sky in sparsely populated areas. We must take steps now to protect the night sky in the places where we have the most to lose. Every state in the U.S. should designate an existing park or natural area as a Night Sky Preserve and enact laws that place strong restrictions on future development, particularly with respect to outdoor lighting.
Dark Sky Park
What amateur astronomer hasn't driven around trying to find a place with a good view of the night sky and no intrusion of light pollution, only to find that rare perfect spot fenced off and on private property? Astronomers and stargazers alike need small public places where they can go to learn the constellations, watch meteors, or observe the night sky with a telescope, similar to a roadside park, but not near a busy highway or any offending lights. These dark sky parks would require very little development or maintenance, but would need to be protected from the future encroachment of lights.
Nebraska Sandhills Observatory & Planetarium
It is a bitter irony that most planetariums are located in large cities where you can barely see any stars. I'd like to see a combination public observatory and planetarium facility located in a rural area with a great view of the night sky, and there is no better place in the Midwest to locate such a facility than in the Nebraska Sandhills. Provide lodging and other activities and this would be an attractive destination where people from all over could experience astronomy firsthand.
Ideal Next Generation Beginner's Telescope
Let's start with an 8" f/4.5 Newtonian in an alt-az Dobsonian mount (remember the wonderful Coulter Odyssey?). Give it "push to" rather than go-to capability, and motorized tracking. The next generation part? Have a built-in imaging camera that can be moved in and out of the light path and the on-board smarts to look at the relationships between the stars in the image to determine where the telescope is pointing. Think of the enjoyment a beginner (or experienced astronomer) would have pointing the telescope around the sky, finding an object of interest, and then turning a knob to take an image and having the telescope tell them what they're pointed at! Or, alternatively, once the telescope knows where it is pointing using the imaging technique, it could show the observer how much to push in altitude and azimuth to reach a known object of interest. Oh, and a built-in laser collimator would be nice, too.
Upgrade Path for Older Meade Optical Tube Assemblies
Meade Instruments sells some pretty impressive telescope equipment, but shame on them for not providing any upgrade path for their older 8", 10", etc. fork-mounted Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube assemblies. Case in point: I have a 10" f/10 2120 (LX6), but the LX6 mount has no autoguider port for CCD autoguiding. What I would like to do is attach my existing optical tube assembly to a new Meade fork-mount that has autoguiding capability, but Meade requires you to buy a whole new scope. Can't afford that. And I'm not alone. There are thousands of LX6, LX50, etc. telescopes out there just waiting for a new lease on life. There is a missed opportunity here for some enterprising young company to sell a lot of new telescope mounts that are completely compatible with older optical tube assemblies, equatorial wedges, and tripod heads.
A Camera You Can Talk To
Electronic devices are becoming amazingly sophisticated, and we certainly live in a world of technological wonders. Take a high-quality digital single-lens-reflex camera, for example. Wonderful device, amazing results, but all those little buttons and menus can intimidate and frustrate just about everybody, especially when you need to use the camera in a different way than you normally do. The solution? Get rid of all those buttons and menus, and install a CMS, a Conversational Menu System. You talk to the camera and tell it what you want or ask a question, and the camera automatically changes settings, answers your question, or asks you a question if it needs more information before proceeding to make a change. CMS technology could be applied to many electronic devices. I don't think it will be too many years before the most common way we will be interacting with computers and other smart devices will be verbally.
Heated Snowmobile Suit
Sitting under a clear night sky contemplating the stars can be a real challenge in winter. When the temperature drops below 20° F, it's just plain miserable! An increasing number of amateur astronomers have backyard observatories, often equipped with 120V volt AC electrical power that can be transformed to safer 12V DC. It would be really great if someone made an electrically-heated snowmobile suit that plugs into a 12V DC outlet. Heated thin gloves and heated boots that plug into the heated suit would complete the system.
Internet News Site Without the Garbage
As more and more of us are turning to the Internet as our primary news source, we really are in need of a constantly-updated independent world news web site without advertisements, without celebrity gossip, without sports, without the latest fads in self-help. Give us a NEWS site that focuses on the issues that are really important in the world, and cut the tabloid and entertainment material. There are other places on the web for that sort of thing. Also, fewer opinion pieces and more factual material, please! Present the facts as objectively as possible, and let the readers form their own opinions.
Comments Posted After Internet News Articles are Generally Worthless
Many internet news sites allow practically anyone to post practically anything after news and opinion articles. Would a printed newspaper do that? Of course not! Not all opinions have equal value, and anyone who spews hatred, ignorance, intolerance, or treats others with disrespect should not be given a forum on a reputable news site to spread such poison. If a news site doesn't have the decency to screen their "letters to the editor", then they shouldn't allow the posting of comments at all.
User-Customizable Internet News Site
A much-improved internet news service would be a "build-your-own" news website. Each user would select the kinds of news they are interested in seeing (topical, by country or other geographic location, etc.), and deselect categories they never want to see. To be effective, there should be quite a number of specific categories. In addition, you should also be able to provide a list of keywords (names, words, and phrases) so that news articles on those subjects (text, author, title, or source) would automatically be retrieved. I think many people would be willing to pay a reasonable subscription fee for this service. I know I would.
Internet Quiz Bowl
Finding accurate information via Google and other resources on the Internet can be as much an art as a science, and occasionally you'll find someone who is especially good at it—a useful skill, to be sure. It would be interesting to sponsor a quiz bowl where each contestant in the room has equal access to the Internet. Ask them a series of questions that will require particularly well-developed internet search skills, and reward the participant who is the first to correctly answer each question.
Rural Jobs USA
A web service called where rural employers could post job openings and where interested people could find career opportunities in a rural area. This nationwide service would list only jobs in communities having a population less than 10,000 that are not located in a metropolitan area. (By the way, I've already reserved this domain name, so if you're interested in starting this business, please contact me!)
Astronomical Theodolite for Educators
There's no better way to teach an astronomy student of any age about altitude and azimuth then to have them use a simple astronomical theodolite with a large 360° horizontal scale for measuring azimuths and a large 180° vertical scale for measuring altitudes of celestial objects. Trouble is, no one manufactures such a device. I consider the Invicta theodolite, which is made wholly of plastic and sold by Didax here in the states, to be a prototype for a more rugged device that would attach to a camera tripod and provide an azimuth circle locking mechanism. A sighting tube with crosshairs would be nice, too.
High School Physics, then Chemistry, then Biology
All U.S. high school students should be required to take a conceptual physics & astronomy course in 9th grade, chemistry in 10th grade, and biology in 11th grade. Then, in 12th grade, students with a strong interest in science would take one or more advanced science courses. This idea is from Leon Lederman, 1988 Nobel Laureate in Physics.
Fixing American Education
The disparity between the student contact hours for a college teacher and for a public school teacher is striking, as is the disparity in salary. It is oft said that you can't solve a problem by simply throwing money at it, but in this case I beg to differ. If the number of public school teachers were doubled, and each teacher were given half the student contact hours they presently have, plus a pay raise, that alone would markedly improve the quality of education in this country. There would be more competition for teaching jobs because of improved working conditions, and teachers would have more time to prepare and grade, and to collaborate with their colleagues to enhance multidisciplinary connectedness in instruction.
Start the School Day at 9:00 a.m.
Some research indicates that children—particularly adolescents—exhibit improved learning when the school day starts later, say, at 9:00 a.m. As an unabashed night owl and astronomy education advocate, I'm all for that!
Revised Comet Naming Procedure
Now that most comets are being discovered by automated search programs, most notably LINEAR (Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research), we need to slightly revise our comet-naming procedure. There are far too many Comet LINEARs, creating a great deal of confusion (and monotony), and the official designation (e.g. C/2003 K4) is too clinical for common use, so I propose that we begin adding a number after the name such as LINEAR 1, LINEAR 2, ..., LINEAR 54, and so on. Even better would be the IAU assigning a one-letter or two-letter code for each prolific automated search program, followed by a number. So the letter "L" could be assigned to the LINEAR project, with comets being named L1, L2, ..., L54.
Lunar Orbital Plane
Project the Earth's equator on the sky, and you get the celestial equator. Project the plane of the Earth's orbit upon the sky (which is also the year-round path of the Sun around the sky), and you get the ecliptic. Project the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy upon the sky, and you get the galactic plane. Project the plane of the Moon's orbit upon the sky, and you get the lunar orbital plane. Can we come up with a more succinct term for what is arguably the fourth most important celestial plane (maybe even the third)? I suggest using the term lunatic plane, but before you go thinking this is a crazy idea, let me add that the pronounciation is "LUNE-ATTIC". Another idea would be to call it the selenic plane. Whatever term we decide to use, it is indeed unfortunate that displaying this important celestial plane is not an option in most planetarium software packages.
Tetrachromatic Outdoor Light Source
Is it really necessary for a "white" light source to pump out photons at nearly every wavelength from 380 to 780 nm, as metal halide does? Our eyes are basically tetrachromatic: maximum sensitivity for red-sensitive cones is at 570 nm, green-sensitive cones at 535 nm, rods at 505 nm, and blue-sensitive cones at 445 nm. Could not an efficient pseudo-white light source be constructed that would emit virtually all of its spectral power at these four wavelengths? Astronomers would love that, because most of the visible spectrum would be unaffected by our outdoor lighting, and a small number of narrow spectral lines would be relatively easy to filter out.
Motion-Sensor-Activated Outdoor Strobe Light
A good alternative to the dusk-to-dawn insecurity light would be a strobe light that is activated by a motion sensor. An outdoor strobe light suddenly going off in an unlit area at night would likely scare away (even disorient) an intruder and draw immediate attention at quite some distance.
Parking Lot Design that Minimizes Vehicle-Pedestrian Conflict
Large parking lots (malls, big box stores, etc.) should be designed in such a way that as many vehicles as possible enter, traverse, and exit the parking lot away from the store entrances. Head-in parking stalls should be used with generous aisle-widths to minimize fender-benders and side-swipes (the downside of this, of course, is that you have fewer parking spaces per acre). Diagonal parking stalls should not be used close to the stores because they encourage either ingress or egress in front of the stores. Motorists should be able to drive into the lot, park, and then exit the lot without ever having to drive close to the store entrances where people are most likely to be walking.
Bi-Level LED Traffic Signals
Incandescent traffic signals lights (red, amber, green) across the nation are being replaced by more efficient LED ones, but have you noticed a change? The green LED traffic signals are much too bright at night! These green LED traffic lights create discomfort glare, and sometimes even impair vision for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians, particularly in areas with a low ambient light level. Photocontrol circuitry needs to be added to these traffic signal lights so that after dark they are operating at a lower luminance level.
Night Lights that Shine Only When It's Dark
The photocontrol in your typical 4-watt night light needs to be improved so the light only comes on when it is truly dark. As it is, these devices are prone to shining or, worse yet, flickering when the ambient light level is low but still plenty bright to see by. Of course, we're talking about night lights in the bathroom or kitchen. Don't ever use one in the bedroom, not even for kids—it interferes with sleep hormones and might actually be hazardous to your health!
Detailed Amtrak Route Atlas
I am an enthusiastic supporter of passenger rail, and ride Amtrak frequently. A really handy book for rail aficionados would be an atlas containing detailed maps of all the passenger rail lines in the U.S. The maps would show all the towns that passenger trains roll through, as well as all the interesting landmarks (historic, geographic, cultural, etc.) along the way.
Pan-American Passenger Rail
I dream of the day when we'll be able to take a passenger train from the U.S. to Mexico, Central America, and South America, and to Alaska.
Utility Poles Made of Recycled Materials
Hopefully someday all utilities will be buried underground, but until that day comes why not make utility poles out of recycled materials instead of wood?
Restaurants Need to Serve Smaller Portions
Obesity has become a health issue worldwide. Even being a little overweight is bad for your health. Restaurants can really help this problem by offering smaller-portion meals by default. If a customer wants a larger portion, they should have to ask for it.
More Sidewalks for Physical Fitness
I find it strange that many people spend hundreds of dollars a year at indoor fitness centers when one of the best and most enjoyable forms of exercise—walking—is often overlooked. Perhaps this is no surprise as many newer subdivisions—even in small towns like Dodgeville, Wisconsin—have no sidewalks. We need to design our communities in such a way so as to actually encourage walking, and that includes putting sidewalks (or asphalt paths) everywhere possible.
Cities Should Maintain Sidewalks and Walking/Biking Trails
Yet another example of our ridiculously autocentric society is that cities maintain streets but almost always expect property owners to pay for and maintain sidewalks. Since walking and biking should be considered viable (and important) forms of transportation, cities should build and maintain sidewalks and trails, and that includes snow removal.
Flatbed Trailer Bicycle Carrier
A lightweight aluminum two-wheel open frame flatbed trailer just big enough to mount four bicycles needs to be developed to easily transport bicycles to and from your favorite bike trails. This bicycle transporter would attach to any ball trailer hitch on your car or van.
Product Engineering Improvement Form
Has anyone else noticed how the quality of many products we buy has been steadily declining in recent years? Like me, I'm sure you often shake your head when using something you bought, say to yourself, "What were they thinking?", and have a brilliant idea for how to make it better. A website should be developed called something like where folks like you and me can fill out a web form detailing company, product, and the improvement we'd like to see made. The sponsoring entity would then forward this information along to the appropriate company for consideration and hopefully a positive response. This would also be a good place to post positive comments on outstanding products.
FM Radio Stations That Play Whole Albums (er CDs)
I feel really fortunate to have grown up listening to rock music during the 1960s and 1970s. My God, there was a lot of great music being produced during those few short years! Too bad the oldies stations play only the hits. There is a lot of outstanding music from that era that never made the top 40, and I'm talking about very accessible, mainstream, listenable stuff. We need a few radio stations that play whole albums, or at least an album side, not just a song or two that made it to the hit parade. Like the FM stations used to do in the 60s and 70s. And one more thing. Why don't radio stations nowadays announce the name of the song and the artist before and after each song? I really miss that. And a lot of other things. Like the quality of the music.
Hewlett-Packard Doesn't Make Calculators Like They Used To...
The scientific RPN calculators that HP used to make were outstanding. Too bad they don't make them anymore. I'm not looking forward to the day when my treasured 32S quits working.
Cellular Phone Service is Too Expensive!
I'm tired of subsidizing cell phone junkies. Most of the time, my cell phone stays in my car, turned off. About the only time I use it is when traveling far from home. I use 10 to 20 minutes a month, max. So why do I need a 400-minute plan? We often pay more for our cell phone service than for our land line (if we have one) and high-speed internet combined. That's just not right. I wish some progressive cellular phone company offered a plan with the following features:
Variable Tint Car Windows
Tinting may help keep your car cooler during the day, but at night there is no need for tinted windows. It's even a safety concern, as tinted windows at night make it hard to see what's behind you when you're backing up. The solution is to use variable tint glass that allows you to control the amount of tint electronically from your dashboard. At night or on stormy days, you could just turn the tint off.
Weather Bands on Car Radios
The National Weather Service weather bands should be included as standard equipment on all AM/FM car radios.
Car Audio Volume Equalizer
A button on a car audio system (radio, CD, etc.) that will set the volume level to a nearly constant (i.e. a little above and a little below the current) level. During quiet parts, the volume level will be brought up and during loud parts the volume level will be brought down. This will be particularly useful for those listening to classical music in a noisy environment (e.g. the car), and will eliminate constant fiddling with the volume control which is a dangerous distraction.
Day/Night Setting for Outside Rear-View Mirror
You have a night setting for your inside rear-view mirror that helps control headlight glare, so why not have the same kind of control on your outside rear-view mirror? It is the driver's side outside mirror where you are most likely to get blasted by headlights behind you and in the adjacent lane.
LED and/or Audio Indicator When Preset Speed is Exceeded
There are many times when it is unsafe to use cruise control. As an alternative, why not provide a top-dash LED indicator light and optionally an audio tone whenever your preset speed is exceeded?
Hand-Held Buffer to Clean Windshields, Windows
Cleaning glass windows can be a real pain, so having a battery-powered hand-held buffer that can help you do the job would be very handy.
Tagging Socks
Matching up socks after you've done the laundry can be difficult since the blues, browns, and other colors often have subtle differences in hue that are difficult (or impossible) to discern under normal interior lighting conditions. Sock manufacturers could make matching easy by sewing a small serial number (five or six digits) using a complementary color of thread into the base of the sock, or top of the sock, or on the inside of the sock.
Ave Maria
The Leopold Stokowski version of Franz Schubert's Ave Maria, op. 52, no. 6 that graces the end of Walt Disney's classic film Fantasia is an epiphany. The Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Stokowski, along with chorus and soloist Julietta Novis, turn in a performance that is outstandingly beautiful and moving. But by the time the soundtrack was digitally remastered in 1990, the original 1940 recordings had deteriorated quite a lot, so the sound quality leaves much to be desired. It would be wonderful if someone took on the project of re-recording this piece exactly as it was written and performed in 1940!