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When Cedars Sing: How Lebanon's National Tree Makes Music


Who'd have thought Lebanon's cedars could actually root out loud for their own preservation?

The country's Ministries of Environment and Education have helped a team of bioacoustic engineers extract the natural sounds emitted in the Barouk Forest by a cedar tree, the endangered national symbol of Lebanon. They then let Beirut-based DJ ESC work his mixing magic to produce a House track called "3000 Years" — a reference to the age of the trees, writes Lebanon's French-speaking daily L'Orient-Le Jour

To accompany this internal biological pulse, amateur singer Marlène Jaber's sings in Arabic "Remember when we used to play under the cedar."

You can buy the track on iTunes here — all proceeds go to the "Save the Music | Save the Cedars" campaign for the preservation of cedars in Lebanon.

Listen to "3000 Years" here:

Photo: Jerzy Strzelecki/Worldcrunch

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Coronavirus

Why Making COVID Predictions Is Actually Getting Harder

We know more about COVID than ever before, but that doesn't make it easier to predict what will happen this year. It also remains to be seen if we'll put the lessons we learned into practice.

​A young boy who arrived on a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong wears a face mask and face shield at Vancouver International Airport in Canada on Jan. 10, 2023.

A young boy who arrived from Hong Kong wears a face mask and face shield at Vancouver International Airport in Canada on Jan. 10, 2023.

Duncan Robertson

In 2020, we knew very little about the novel virus that was to become known as COVID-19. Now, as we enter 2023, a search of Google Scholar produces around five million results containing the term.

So how will the pandemic be felt in 2023? This question is in some ways impossible to answer, given a number of unknowns. In early 2020, the scientific community was focused on determining key parameters that could be used to make projections as to the severity and extent of the spread of the virus. Now, the complex interplay of COVID variants, vaccination and natural immunity makes that process far more difficult and less predictable.

But this doesn’t mean there’s room for complacency. The proportion of people estimated to be infected has varied over time, but this figure has not fallen below 1.25% (or one in 80 people) in England for the entirety of 2022. COVID is very much still with us, and people are being infected time and time again.

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