Future Tree

The Legend Of The Music Tree

Ellen Ruppel Shell | Smithsonian | 1st April 2022

Luthiers have long been obsessed with the wood of a single mahogany tree, felled in a remote rainforest in Belize, left to lie for 18 years, and eventually exported for sale. It has a rare "quilted grain" pattern, likely as a result of environmental stress. Although studies have failed to find anything objectively different about the sound of instruments created from its wood, its myth remains strong (5,221 words)

The Future Will Have To Wait

Michael Chabon | Details | 22nd January 2006

Novelist considers plans for a "Clock of the Long Now", a mechanical clock that keeps time for 10,000 years. Of late, people have forgotten to dream of the future, he says. "It’s as if we lost our ability, or our will, to envision anything beyond the next hundred years or so, as if we lacked the fundamental faith that there will in fact be any future at all beyond that not-too-distant date" (2,019 words)

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