I didn’t mean to upset some of you so much
But the word ‘insignificant’ doesn’t work either. Colin thinks he is right on this. I don’t think he is; let me be clear about that. But I do think he is right to raise the question of why STURP didn’t investigate (or didn’t investigate more) the negativity of the image. He legitimately thinks they should have. The real questions when we get past the emotion caused by a bad word choice on my part are these:
- Is the fact that the image is a negative a clue into how the image was formed?
- Should this fact have been considered by STURP?
- Colin has chimed in some more over on his blog (CLICK HERE and scroll down to the picture of an old battle tank parked in front of the post office in Friar’s Point, Mississippi).
Right or wrong, this is nonetheless legitimate thinking. So if you can get past the emotions I caused . . .
In fact the blind spot is not just confined to STURP. It continues to this day. Think of how many times one reads of this or that theory of image formation (Maillard reaction, flashes of radiation, uv excimer laser beams, radioactive xenon, earthquakes, corona discharges). When did you ever hear “sweat imprint” being mentioned, despite imaging-by-sweat being a fixation/obsession with medieval and later pilgrims (see the St. Francis de Sales letter to his mother written as late as 1648). Even the common French description of the Shroud as the "Suaire" ("face cloth") instead of a "linceul", an oddity picked up by French Canadian Mario Latendresse, provider of the stupendous Shroud Scope, on his site under the intriguing’ Machy mould’ gives a strong clue as the way the Shroud was initially perceived as a bodily imprint left by bodily secretions.
July was the second best month ever for this blog. We had 57,910 unique visitors (essentially different people) to the site during the month racking up 116,066 page views. I have, over the life of the blog, made more than 3000 postings and there have been a few guest postings. You have made 30,309 comments. (Many times that number of comments have been discarded as attempted spam. I spend time every day trashing attempts to sneak in.)
808 people have opted in to be notified by email when something is posted or commented upon. Who-knows how many more are notified through RSS feeds, blog watcher apps, twitter, facebook, etc.
Here are the postings with the most comments ever:
- Discussion about the Pray Codex and its relation to the Shroud is over? (551 Comments)
- Concerning the absence of an image of the top of the head on the Shroud of Turin and the possible presence of blood in this area (276 Comments)
- Blood Clotting and the Strange Case of Brother Hirudo (263 Comments)
- Cat Among the Pigeons (229 Comments)
- A Guest Posting by Yannick Clément: Two Quotes About the Blood (225 Comments)
- Guest Posting: Challenging Frederick Zugibe on Washing of the Body (218 Comments)
- An Important and Highly Informative Guest Posting by Paul Maloney (191 Comments)
- A Guest Posting: Ten Questions for Alan Adler by Kelly Kearse (177 Comments)
- The Shroud of Turin Blimp (176 Comments)
- Significant Endorsement: Former Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury backs The Shroud Affair (165 Comments)
- It’s a negative. It’s 3D. Yes? Maybe? Sort Of? (156 Comments)
But those are just indications. The true measure is intellectual clarity and truly open discussions.
If the story is being translated correctly, organizers are looking for about three times as many.
NOTE THE ABSENCE OF SO MUCH AS A SINGLE MENTION OF THE NEGATIVE IMAGE!!!!
Colin, in his latest posting this morning, STURP approached the Shroud with a major blind spot for negative imprinted images. Time to send in a new STURP team, properly constituted, wrote:
Even if one had grounds for thinking the TS was a painting, despite the lack of brush marks, the generally indistinct fuzzy image with no clear edge, the absence of pigment (not even hang-up in the interstices of the weave as per “blood”) there would be a major question staring one in the face.
Why does the image show a reversal of normal light/dark tones such that one needs a Secondo Pia type conversion to negative to see it’s a “real person”, indeed the popular image of Jesus.? How can one ignore so obvious a feature of the TS – its negative character, and fail to ask why, if testing for fraud (or well-intentioned simulation) it was done that way? If one’s going to assemble a largely self-appointed team of detectives, then one should do what detectives do, and try to think like a criminal might, and start by establishing a motive. What possible motive might a medieval forger have for depicting Christ, especially when newly-deceased, in the negative (an unattractive image some might think when placed alongside the 19th/20th century negative)?
[ . . . ]
So what did those STURP members, with few if any image analysts among them, and NO art historians fail to take on board? Answer: the obsession in that era with allegedly genuine images of Christ obtained as IMPRINTS, mainly in sweat, purportedly, with or without a contribution from blood. Straightaway one needs to flag up the obvious – that a contact imprint from a 3D subject, or part thereof , like a face is ALWAYS a negative image. . . .
Any approach to the Shroud’s NEGATIVE image that takes account of its historical setting, around the time first public display, and indeed first definitive mention in written records, in 1357, must take account of the then celebrated so-called ‘Veil of Veronica’. Before asking what that was, or rather became with much image-embellishment at the hands of artists, let’s first turn to wiki to see the evidence for the Veil’s celebrity at the era in question: [ed. that would be Wikipedia, the entry for Veil of Veronica]
However, firm recording of the Veronica only begins in 1199 when two pilgrims named Gerald de Barri (Giraldus Cambrensis) and Gervase of Tilbury made two accounts at different times of a visit to Rome which made direct reference to the existence of the Veronica. Shortly after that, in 1207, the cloth became more prominent when it was publicly paraded and displayed by Pope Innocent III, who also granted indulgences to anyone praying before it. This parade, between St Peter’s and The Santo Spirito Hospital, became an annual event and on one such occasion in 1300 Pope Boniface VIII, who had it translated to St. Peter’s in 1297, was inspired to proclaim the first Jubilee in 1300. During this Jubilee the Veronica was publicly displayed and became one of the "Mirabilia Urbis" ("wonders of the City") for the pilgrims who visited Rome. For the next two hundred years the Veronica, retained at Old St Peter’s, was regarded as the most precious of all Christian relics; there Pedro Tafur, a Spanish visitor in 1436, noted:
[ . . . ]
Good point, Colin. That is what these blogs are about. Asking questions and raising concerns that are not otherwise being asked in less argumentative sites.
BTW: Colin is angry at me. He thinks I was a bit unfair. He may be right:
I’ve just been given a mild reprimand (yet again) for changing the subject on my blog through use of addendums.
To reiterate: this is my blog, my space, and it’s not for other bloggers to act as style police.
The blogger in question has in fact ignored the main content of this posting, the one in the title (LOTTO v LUWU) and chosen to nitpick on a detail of the brass-rubbing addendum. My crime: to make mention of processing the image by tone inversion then 3D-engancement in Image J. I’ve failed I’m told to demonstrate that the 3D step produced 3D enhancement.
Correct. I never said it did. I simply showed the result after each of the two steps, and invited my readers to form their own judgement. In fact there is a small difference in the ‘post 3D’ image – i.e. shadiing effects that make the image less like a cartoon, clothing especially, faces too if one looks closely, more like a portrait, BUT I DID NOT SAY THAT. I simply left it at saying that the processed images were more ‘life-like’ and used that term immediately after the tone-inversion alone.
That site is becoming increasingly vexatious, especially for its constant attempts to trip me up on matters of pettifogging detail, and its systematic attempts to draw attention away from the main content and conclusions.
I shall be giving that dreary lacklustre site a miss from a while, having several ideas in the pipeline that I want to post here. I shan’t bother to see how they have been subsequently mushed on that site, as indeed they will.
Colin has an interesting piece on his blog. Unfortunately due to his unconventional way of posting, what should have been, by itself, a posting is an unrelated addendum to a different topic. You will need to go to his posting, Might John P.Jackson have been right in thinking the frontal and dorsal images of the Man on the Turin Shroud are subtly different? Different imprinting configurations ("LOTTO" v "LUWU")? and scroll down, way-way down, until you see a picture of a man and his wife.
What does Colin see that is 3D in this? He asked the question, not me. He doesn’t answer. He shows us a picture but I see nothing. Am I supposed to?
Purpose of exercise: medieval (and modern folk too) are quite happy to take their brass rubbings, and see them for what they are – negative replicas that have an unusual quality, no longer life-like, but interestingly different. Few if any will feel a need to do what I have just done, using 20th/21st century technology, simply to get more life-like images of the original subjects.
Could have fooled me. . . but I had my morning coffee. CLICK HERE to see quite a few brass rubbings, both negative and positive.
In the last 60 days, the Wikipedia article on the shroud was viewed some 56,000 times.
Pages in this blog were viewed 161,000 times by at least 48,000 visitors.
Yes, I know that is apples and oranges.
Religion News Service (RNS) has an interesting story about Wikipedia editing wars:
The problem confronting many Wikipedia editors is that religion elicits passion — and often, more than a little vitriol as believers and critics spar over facts, sources and context. For “Wikipedians” like Willey, trying to put a lid on the online hate speech that can be endemic to Wikipedia entries is a key part of their job.
Religion is among several of the top 100 altered topics on Wikipedia, according to a recent list published by Five Thirty Eight. Former President George W. Bush is the most contested entry, but Jesus (No. 5) and the Catholic Church (No. 7) fall closely behind.
For instance, a graphic for the RNS story tells us that the Wikipedia article about Jesus has been revised 26, 580 times; about the Catholic Church, 23,884 times; about Christianity, 17,273 times.
That made me wonder: How many times has the Wikipedia article on the shroud been revised? According to Wikipedia statistics for the page it has been revised 4,235 times since 2002 (click graph to enlarge).
a personal opinion that would not, could not be changed
Joe Marino passes along this important new (July 2014) paper by Paul C, Maloney entitled Walter C. McCrone and the Max Frei Sticky Tapes of 1978: A Background Study.
This is a MUST READ paper if you have any interest in the pollen found on the shroud. The concluding paragraph sums up what I think many of us have come to think about Walter McCrone’s thinking:
We may thus draw the conclusion that Dr. McCrone’s statement, sent to Joe Marino on 9 April, 1998 is a conflation of ideas that formed in Dr. McCrone’s mind over the years. My own reading of Dr. McCrone’s responses to Joe Marino’s e-mails convinces me that even if McCrone had had access to my published study, it would not have changed his mind (as evidenced by McCrone’s terse statement to Joe Marino on 19 April, 1998 (Wrapped up in the Shroud, p. 239)—any more than the large photo-mosaic had any effect on McCrone’s thinking on Saturday, July 23, 1988. Some may prefer to believe that this was dishonesty on McCrone’s part. I prefer to think that this conflated statement ceased to represent the science of the Shroud and had become a personal opinion that would not, could not be changed. To have done so would have meant that McCrone could not “save face” for his stance toward the Shroud developed very early on in his messages to STURP.
Picture: Paul Mahoney at the 2008 Ohio conference