Cargo Cult Image Formation Science

April 1, 2015 Leave a comment

imageA reader writes:

Nice bunch of jaw wagging there yesterday on how to figure out how the image was made. RMO Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman.

In the South Seas there is a cargo cult of people. During the war they saw airplanes land with lots of good materials, and they want the same thing to happen now. So they’ve arranged to imitate things like runways, to put fires along the sides of the runways, to make a wooden hut for a man to sit in, with two wooden pieces on his head like headphones and bars of bamboo sticking out like antennas—he’s the controller—and they wait for the airplanes to land. They’re doing everything right. The form is perfect. It looks exactly the way it looked before. But it doesn’t work. No airplanes land. So I call these things cargo cult science, because they follow all the apparent precepts and forms of scientific investigation, but they’re missing something essential, because the planes don’t land.

RMO? (no morning coffee, yet)

I think the reader makes a valid point. (but then again, no morning coffee, yet)

Note:  Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character) was first published in 1997. It was a New York Times bestseller. It is still selling well, now in every imaginable format. Amazon give us a brief biographical note:

Richard P. Feynman was born in 1918 and grew up in Far Rockaway, New York. At the age of seventeen he entered MIT and in 1939 went to Princeton, then to Los Alamos, where he joined in the effort to build the atomic bomb. Following World War II he joined the physics faculty at Cornell, then went on to Caltech in 1951, where he taught until his death in 1988. He shared the Nobel Prize for physics in 1965, and served with distinction on the Shuttle Commission in 1986. A commemorative stamp in his name was issued by the U.S. Postal Service in 2005.

Note 2: I reformatted the reader’s email to set off  Feynman’s words. Emphasis his.

The Wabash Shroudie

April 1, 2015 Leave a comment

imageEric Olson and a cameraman for 21 Alive, a local ABC affiliate in the Wabash area, have posted a wonderful story, Wabash Man to open Museum on Shroud of Turin. The story  along with some really excellent video is on the station’s website. The Wabash man, as all American shroudies know, is everyone’s friend, Richard Orareo:

imageWABASH, Indiana (21Alive)  –  It is the most iconic relic of the Christian faith…the Shroud of Turin…the linen cloth many believe covered the body of Christ as it lay in the tomb. A cloth on which the image of a man, battered and bloodied, is inexorably etched on the surface. A relic venerated the world over, and particularly in one corner of 21 country.

In Wabash Indiana, in what was once the founder of the Honeywell Corporation Mark Honeywell’s private movie theatre, Richard Orareo is building the National Museum of the Holy Shroud.

Orareo is a former educator, a devoted Catholic and for forty years now a prolific collector of images, books and relics related to the Shroud of Turin.

The Shroud was brought from the Holy Land to Europe during the Crusades. It spent centuries in the care of the House of Savoy, the royal family of the Italian state of Turin, who bequeathed it to the Pope in 1983. Orareo’s collection includes rare photographs, including the first ever taken of the Shroud in 1898. Rare silk images of the Shroud dating back to the 15th century. This small box contains relics, pieces of bone, from the four Apostles Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. But it is that image, that face burned onto the linen cloth that is the real focus of his life’s work.

The video runs for about three minutes. It is worth your time.

What’s to like over on Colin’s blog right now?

March 31, 2015 46 comments

Making Joe Accetta’s idea work?

imageWhat is there to like in the experimentation being live-blogged in Can that weird and wonderful Turin Shroud be modelled? See my hands-on results with dye-imprinting, reported in real time?

Well, for one thing Colin is experimenting, not simply speculating. When Luigi Garlaschelli produced his manufactured images, he was immediately criticized for failing to match many if the shroud’s image characteristics. Luigi had failed. Colin is aware of that and he is taking the image characteristics into account. It is appropriate to note, however, that all of the image characteristics are not completely unchallenged; for instance, how certain are we that there is no image beneath bloodstains? Colin is aware of those issues, as well.

He begins this way:

For background, see the posting immediately preceding this one. It attempts to explain my switch in focus from the ‘scorch’ model to that proposed last year by Joseph Accetta – based on medieval dye imprinting technology. I’ve extended and embellished it a bit, but as the title indicates, this post is about getting ‘hands-on’ experience with dye impriinting off 3D templates, with a view to getting familiar with the pros and cons of the Accetta model, vis-vis the scorch model.

imageThe posting ends this way (at least for now, there is no way of knowing when a post ends with Colin):

Oh dear. This is the reverse side, photographed straight afterwards, and already one can see bleed-through, despite the presence of that thickening agent. Late addition: the gum arabic was then left to evaporate in air until a treacly consistency, that was then painted onto the crucifix. despite the higher viscosity than used with dye, there was immediate bleed-through to the reverse-side of the linen.

Gum arabic is, sad to say,  NOT the answer if one’s attempting to achieve contact-side imprinting only. Maybe there are alternatives that need testing, but they have to fulfil a number of criteria yet to be discussed in detail.

Maybe one needs to test a starch dispersion, or colagen glue from boiling animal bones etc? Suppose it imprinted well, with minimal bleed through. Suppose it was then prone to flaking off with ageing and/or handling, leaving that fainter ghost imagewhich is what we may be seeing today. There’s still work to be done. But first I must report the results of testing out a different scenario by which a ghost image could have formed, one that results in a modification of superficial linen carbohydrates, based on the premise that alum and/or iron sulphates used as mordants could have generated sulphuric acid that at sufficiently high local concentration to react chemically to produce changes not dissimilar to those obtained by thermal means (contact scorching). For that, the experiments moved from kitchen to garage, involving as they did a degree of hazard.

RIP John Evangelist Walsh

March 30, 2015 3 comments

Only this much is certain: The Shroud of Turin is either the most awesome and
instructive relic of Jesus Christ in existence-showing us in its dark simplicity how
He appeared to men-or it is one of the most ingenious, most unbelievably clever,
products of the human mind and hand on record. It is one or the other; there is
no middle ground."

– Walsh, J.E., "The Shroud," Random House: New York NY, 1963.

As reported on Saturday at Madison.com:

imageMONROE – John Evangelist Walsh died peacefully on March 19, at the age of 87, in Monroe, with his wife, Dorothy, and son, Timothy, at his bedside.

A true writer’s writer, he published more than 25 books, mostly literary biography and history, including Poe the Detective, which won an Edgar award; Into My Own: The English Years of Robert Frost; Darkling I Listen: The Last Days and Death of John Keats; Midnight Dreary: The Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe, an Edgar nominee; and The Shadows Rise: Abraham Lincoln and the Ann Rutledge Legend, finalist for the Lincoln Prize.

Though not an academic per se, through his intensive research and many publications in certain disciplines, he became part of the scholarly conversations in several fields of study, including Emily Dickinson studies, Abraham Lincoln studies, and the lives and works of Edgar Allan Poe and Robert Frost.

His mind was razor-sharp to the end; at his death he left nine complete unpublished book manuscripts, including books on Emerson, Poe, Robert Frost, the Shroud of Turin, Pearl Harbor, and two mystery novels. He was still writing the day before he died.

Read on

Categories: Books Tags:

Details of Pope Francis’ Two Day Visit to Turin

March 30, 2015 Leave a comment

imageMore information about the pope’s planned two day visit were announced by Turin’s Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia on March 26th. Here, the Catholic News Agency details them:

After his arrival, Francis will make his way to the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, where he will venerate the shroud and pause for a short prayer at the tomb of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, another patron of the youth, who is buried in the cathedral.

In addition to the meeting with the Pope’s relatives [on the second day], other highlights of his trip include Mass, a meeting with prisoners – some of whom are immigrants or homeless, a visit with sick disabled persons.

Francis will also hold an encounter with the area’s youth, and will have lunch with some of them on the 21st, during which he will respond to questions they ask ahead of time.

The whole story from CNA: CLICK HERE

Categories: Press Coverage Tags:

Nice Idea for the Shroud Exposition 2015

March 30, 2015 Leave a comment

imageGoogle translation of some news reported this past Saturday on the Archdiocese’s Shroud of Turin Exposition 2015 website:

Two hundred volunteers – including doctors, nurses and other professionals – and in two local hospitals equipped to host and provide the necessary assistance to the sick and disabled who come to Turin to see the Shroud and want to stay at least one night in town.

In preparing the Exposition special attention is paid to people who are ill or disabled, which is also reflected in the way of acceptance with the creation of two Accueil , on the model of Lourdes. An initiative designed in order to allow the pilgrims (sick and carers) can, as mentioned, sleep at least one night in the city and arrange a visit to the Shroud without the fatigue of a day trip.

"These two spaces – recalled Don Marco Brunetti , Director of Health Pastoral Care, the presentation of the Accueil March 28 at Maria Adelaide in the presence of Archbishop Mgr. Nosiglia – for the entire period of the Exhibition (from April 19 to June 24), provide 70 beds with bed, breakfast, lunch, dinner, volunteers 24 hours 24 and medical care. A good example of collaboration between many realities that really puts the patient at the center.

Palm Sunday

March 28, 2015 2 comments
Categories: Art
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