The Rings of Saturn

October 1, 2014 Leave a comment

imageIn an opinion piece, Stu Salkeld, editor of the St. Albert Gazette, writes:

Some people would be astounded to know how far back the tourism industry stretches. Some claim it stretches back to the 14th century in Europe, when a preponderance of holy relics appeared rather suddenly. The number and diversity were impressive: the Shroud of Turin, said to be Jesus Christ’s image on his burial shroud, which was unheard of until the relic trade began in the 1300s, the Sudarium of the Lord, a facecloth that is said to have captured Christ’s profile after he died on the cross, the Spear of Destiny, which a Roman centurion wielded as he stabbed Christ on the cross (four of these currently exist in Europe) and probably the least known, the Holy Prepuce, or Holy Foreskin.

[. . . ]

The medieval relic trade was profitable. Pilgrims from across Christendom travelled what, at the time, were rather dangerous roads to visit cities such as Turin that held artifacts said to be associated with Christ, the saints or other holy figures and while they were on the road pilgrims spent a lot of shekels, much as modern tourists do today. However, the authenticity of many relics was almost immediately called into question, even by the church itself. For example, in a 1389 letter, Bishop Pierre D’Arcis denounced the Shroud of Turin as a fraud to Clement VII.

Some claim; is that transparent bias?  Can you spot the history mistakes?

Why the picture of Saturn? Read the article.

A Shroud Exhibit Comes to Decatur, Illinois

October 1, 2014 Leave a comment

Tony Reid reporting in the Herald & Review:

Accompanying the shroud [full-size] photograph is a 92-panel information display outlining the history of the shroud and explaining the horrors of death by crucifixion. There is also an almost life-size sculpture of Christ crucified, showing in bloody precision the wounds described in biblical accounts and also portraying those as seen on the shroud.

Knights of Columbus member Bud Walsh arranged for the exhibit’s visit and said it was put together by the Center for the Study of the Passion of the Christ and the Holy Shroud.[*]

The exhibit is on loan from the Conventual Franciscan Friars of Marytown, who loan it to Catholic parishes, schools and Knights of Columbus councils.

“I am just in awe of it, I really am,” said Walsh. “And it takes 1,800-square-feet of space to be able to display it and the 92 information panels.”

Visitor Susan Vasquez, seeing it for the first time Tuesday, was left struggling for words. “I almost feel like I am in the presence of a miracle,” said Vasquez, 67, who lives in Decatur. “I am going to tell all my friends about it.”

With so many exhibits popping up, mostly it seems in the Midwest of the United States, one begins to wonder how many organizations are sponsoring exhibits like this. See GuildStar for this organization: Address: Lisle, IL 60532; EIN: 39-1290575; NTEE Category: X Religion, Spiritual Development, X83 (Religious Printing, Publishing); Ruling Year: 1978

Don’t get me wrong; I’m generally in favor of as many exhibits and presentations as possible.

Should you ever need to assist setting up one of these exhibits, this fifteen minute video will help. Otherwise you can watch it for entertainment if you have run out of everything else to do in life.

Categories: Event, Presentation Tags:

Inspired by Colin Berry’s Experiments with Lemons . . .

September 30, 2014 9 comments

I decided to try some other fruits and vegetables. But seriously, I remember how pleased Ray Rogers would get when other scientists didn’t just speculate but did actual experiments which might eventually lead to an understanding of how the image was produced. Ray did so himself, as we know. I’m glad, once again, to see Colin doing likewise.

The following image is best seen at about five feet or more unless you want to see the fruits and vegetables up close. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist).

image

Categories: Image Theory, Other Blogs Tags:

Spreading the Word on the St. Louis Conference

September 30, 2014 2 comments

NOTE:  There are errors of fact in the quoted text below, that I copied directly from the church bulletin published on e-churchbulletins.com and reported out by Yahoo News, Google, and other search engines. I spoke to John Jackson this morning. He never was a lapsed Catholic, as Mons. Mitas wrote. I’m not sure that what is written about Barrie Schwortz (misspelled by Mons. Mitas) is correct either. I’m sure, as a read, the text, that the parish pastor intended to be laudatory.

John Jackson has subsequently written to me so that I may post the following:

I have been a Catholic man all of my life and am proud to be so.   I, therefore,  do not understand why I was characterized as a “lapsed Catholic” on this blog and personally reject such a characterization.

I have removed the factually incorrect text from the second paragraph and inserted ellipsis. I am unable to correct the source document and I would hope that it will be corrected by an official of St Angela Merici Church in Florissant. Otherwise it remains on the Internet, as is. When I read the words of a parish priest in a church bulleting who also writes that he has known John Jackson for several years, I took him at his word and assumed that he knew the facts. Moreover, I am certain he DID NOT mean to sound derogatory. And I don’t think he does. I’m sorry this caused so much consternation.


imageNews of the conference is getting around even in St. Louis area church bulletins. Monsignor Matthew Mitas, pastor of St Angela Merici Church in Florissant, Missouri, writes in this past Sunday’s parish bulletin:

On October 9-12, our archdiocese is going to receive a special treat. The international Shroud of Turin convention will take place in our own back yard. In 1978, a team of A-list scientists was given total access to this holy relic, long believed to the actual linen cloth in which the dead Body of our Savior was wrapped after He was taken down from the Cross. The team comprised believers, non-believers, anti-believers, skeptics, Christians, Jews, and just about any other kind of faith, agnosticism, or disbelief there is. But they were all true scientists, i.e., they were open-minded when it came to the facts and were willing to let the facts speak for themselves and present them in a disinterested, but forthright, manner.

Heading the team was Dr. John Jackson . . . and his head imaging expert and photographer was Baruch (Barrie) Schwartz . . .  Both . . . dedicated their lives to the study and promotion of the Shroud, and both are coming to St. Louis to make presentations on the latest research concerning the Shroud (including the “de-bunking” of the Shroud by the bogus carbon-14 test made a few years ago).

I’ve known Dr. Jackson for several years (and his wife, Rebecca, a Jew who came into the Church because of the Shroud) and met Barrie Schwartz on my recent trip to Colorado (he lives in the other Florissant, the one in Colorado). (I understand that there are only two cities on earth named Florissant.) Both men are faith-filled, exceedingly knowledgeable, and engaging in their presentations. They will be joined by other experts, too, so it should be a great weekend! I’ll give you more details as it draws closer.

Guy Consolmagno on Science and Religion

September 30, 2014 Leave a comment

imageDavid Freeman writing yesterday in the Science section of the Huffington Post, How A Vatican Astronomer Views The Science-Religion Divide:

In an interview with HuffPost Science editor David Freeman, Brother Guy [Consolmagno, S.J., astronomer and planetary scientist at the Vatican Observatory, pictured] said he believes the antagonism between scientific principles and religious faith exists mostly among fundamentalists.

"I mean fundamentalists on both sides," he said, "because there are also science fundamentalists. And what is a fundamentalist? It’s somebody who is clinging to the fundamentals of their truth because they don’t have the confidence or the faith in their faith to be able to say, ‘I’m settled, I’m happy with this, let’s see where it goes.’ Fundamentalism is a sign of fear."

The audio of the interview is available here.

Wikipedia Entry for Guy Consolmagno.

Secret Image Made With Invisible Ink

September 29, 2014 6 comments

imageColin Berry, we discover by reading his blog, is experimenting with lemon juice and some other concoctions: the stuff of secret writing. Here he comments on September 29, 2014 at 1:09 AM

So, there’s a range of options available to our medieval relic-manufacturer, he with a gleam in his eye, having been tipped off re the invisible ink trick.

He could have done it my way, and impregnated the linen first with sugar solution, fruit juice whatever, and then using a heated template to imprint. That would explain the negative image, and indeed one might venture to suggest that a negative image was indeed the prime objective, if the aim was to simulate a sweat imprint.

However, there’s still more mileage in the invisible ink scenario since it does not preclude a painted-on image. While no fan of that idea, primarily because it calls for painting a negative image that might seem somewhat avant-garde, certainly for the medieval era, it has its merits. . . .

[ . . . ]

In fact the technique is so adaptable, so replete with possibilities for modifying this or that detail to achieve the most pleasing and ‘convincing’ end result that I confidently expect Occam’s Police to descend on me as soon as word leaks out from these otherwise private musings, warning me against multiplying entities unnecessarily.

Am I ready to announce to the world that the TS was (or could have been) produced by invisible ink technology, an application of parental pre-TV, pre-computer era stock-in-trade for entertaining children on a wet afternoon?

Nope, I need more time to potter around, . . .

Colin then comments more on September 29, 2014 at 9:23 AM

The lemon juice effect is so potent, sensitizing linen to a deep scorch that would be unobtainable in its absence, that I’m inclined to think that so major effect might very well be the key to understanding the nature of the TS image. But what is the chemical basis, if it’s neither sugar nor organic acid that is the scorch-promoting factor?

What is the chemical basis? Here is an elementary article in Scientific American: Invisible Ink Reveals Cool Chemistry: A Mad Science Room activity from Crazy Aunt Lindsey:

What happened to your invisible message?

What other liquids work well to make invisible ink that develops under heat? When you painted the lemon juice solution onto the paper, the carbon-based compounds were absorbed into the paper’s fibers. When you heated the paper, the heat caused some of the chemical bonds to break down, freeing the carbon. Once the carbon came into contact with the air, it went through a process called oxidation, one effect of which is to turn a darker color. Oxidation doesn’t always need heat to occur. Some fruits themselves can turn brown from oxidation. Think of an apple or pear slice that is left out on the counter for too long.

Quote for Today

September 29, 2014 1 comment

From the web pages of WellBeing.com.au:

While we pride ourselves on being rational beings who can understand the way the world works, it is mysteries that really fire our imaginations and lay hands on our souls. Where facts may bolster feelings of control it is mysteries that make us feel alive. The power of mystery is evidenced in how we maintain interest in things like the Loch Ness Monster, the Bermuda Triangle, the shroud of Turin, the search for Kardashian talent, and Donald Trump’s hair.

It was a great quotation until we got to the examples.

Categories: Quotations
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