Secret Image Made With Invisible Ink

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.

Colin Berry: OK, I’ve made a start on that Di Lazzaro pdf

Misquoting STURP?

Until social media came along, Shroud of Turin conference papers did not get
much public scrutiny. Are comments like these below the way of the future for conferences?

imageDeep down in the comments to a drawn out, rambling posting in Colin Berry’s Science Buzz blog, Colin takes on Paolo Di Lazzaro for a paper he presented at ATSI Bari. To read it in the raw click on Let’s move things along one easy step at a time – making life as difficult as possible for those who leech off other people’s content and scroll down to the comments dated September 16 and 17 wherein Colin writes:

OK, I’ve made a start on that Di Lazzaro pdf (36 pages!).

Already I am appalled at the liberties he has taken in his quoting, or rather misquoting, of the 1978 STURP report.

Here’s what he says:

Main findings of STuRP The Shroud is not a painting, no pigment, any directionality, not a scorch

Wrong. The STURP summary does not use the word "scorch" at all.

However, it does describe the coloration as due to surface chemical modification of the linen carbohydrates themselves via oxidation, dehydration and conjugation reactions, and helpfully points out that such changes can be the result of thermal OR chemical treatments, which in most people’s books would be described as "scorches", to distinguished from applied pigments etc.

Paolo di Lazzaro is entitled to reject scorching by whatever means if he so wishes (though his laser beam -induced coloration is surely another type of "scorch"). What he is NOT allowed to do is claim that STURP specifically rejected scorching. STURP did no such thing.

The image encodes cloth to body distance, and it is present in both contact and non contact areas.

The STURP summary makes no mention whatsoever of cloth-body distance.

Cloth-body distance is a model-dependent variable, based usually on loose draping of linen over a human subject. STURP did not propose (far less embrace) that model.

The reference in the STURP summary to the capture and encoding of 3D information has possible explanations that do NOT obligatorily require any postulates re ‘cloth-body’ distance.

[ . . . ]

At one point, Colin quotes Paolo thus: “Energy carried by short-wavelength radiation breaks chemical bonds of the irradiated material without inducing a significant heating (photochemical reaction)”.

And then comments:

This is a massive over-simplification, and even as a generalization simply cannot be allowed to go unchallenged.

The majority of substances in our everyday lives can be exposed to sunshine, and can be expected to absorb some or all of its uv component WITHOUT undergoing chemical reaction. It’s (fortunately) a minority of white substances that tan (human skin being a notable exception, where there is a protective mechanism operating that involves melanin pigment) and it’s a minority of yellow substances that quickly bleach (yes; let’s not forget bleaching: uv tends to bleach, not yellow and exposure to sunshine was once used, notably in Holland, for large scale bleaching of new linen). It is a minority of uv-susceptible molecules that have given sunshine its bad press, and one is right to flag up the dangers of excessive uv exposure where humans and their crops are concerned, but to reiterate: while a lot of uv light is absorbed, chemical reaction is by no means automatic.

Yes, the First Law of Photochemistry states that for a photochemical reaction to occur, radiant energy of some kind or other must first be absorbed. But the converse is NOT true: radiant energy can be absorbed without necessarily producing chemical reaction. The energy of the uv CAN be dissipated safely in other forms, notably as thermal energy (producing a rise in temperature). So what does PDL have to say re thermal effects of his chosen instrument of TS image-formation at-a-distance, i.e. ultraviolet radiation. More to come.

More to come? We can hardly wait.

Are we getting a taste of the treatment St. Louis papers will get with an online commenting system to be provided by the conference organizers? Probably. With or without such facilities, social media is here to stay and papers will be publically challenged as never before. I think it’s a good idea.

Time will tell.

imageI’ve decided that I no longer mind it when one scientist calls another scientist a “Mickey Mouse Scientist,” as Colin Berry does this morning in his blog. I may be wrong, but I realize now that it is a cheap shot in lieu of being able to criticize effectively. My personal vision of a good scientist doesn’t embrace derision of colleagues. To so insult a fellow scientist defines the source.

Colin, in his blog, reminded me this morning (afternoon for him) of a posting from February of 2012. He writes, “Here’s a link to a Mickey Mouse scientist.” He is referring to Paolo Di Lazzaro. At Colin’s urging, go have a look.

Paolo never came back to this blog after the insult. Maybe I should have kicked Colin out then but I stood on principle. I wanted all voices represented. Too many people have been driven away by Colin’s insults.

I do happen to think the shroud is real. That is different from knowing it is real. Colin accuses me of pushing a pro-authenticity agenda. In another blog Stephen Jones accuses me of being anti-authenticity. Take your pick. Would I rather know the truth about the shroud no matter what it is? Of course, I would. Does Colin believe that? I doubt it. Should I wonder if Colin is completely objective?  Would I believe him if he said he was? I would like to think so. I wonder, though.

I am a skeptic at heart. I am skeptical of many things claimed about the shroud. I don’t think there are coins on eyes or images of flowers on the cloth. I’m not convinced by the evidence that there is no image content under the bloodstains. When it comes to possible material intrusion in the area from which the radiocarbon dating samples were taken, I’m not convinced that the blue quad mosaics tell us anything useful. I don’t buy some of the interpretations by John Jackson or Don Lynn concerning the 3D data inherent (not encoded) in the images. There are many things I doubt.

imageYou must read Colin’s latest posting in which he covers so many, many things. A thousand words is worth a picture, right? His newest posting, today, is more than 5,000 words. Read what he says about Paolo.

I agree with much of what he says and I disagree with other things he says. For now, there is too much to discuss. But have a look at the ImageJ work he is doing. Is that cityscape-like image partly the result of banding?  Click on the image to see it enlarged in Colin’s blog space.

I’m disappointed to see how he generalizes and characterizes people who think the shroud is real (Fair Use):

It’s got to be a photograph of the crucified Jesus, miraculously preserved , right,  albeit as a non-photogenic negative, intended as a present to 20th century man, right? Right? Do I hear any voices of dissension? No?  [ . . . ]

I am a voice of dissention. Colin should know it. I have repeatedly said that I have never found a single theory or hypothesis for the images that I can accept. Nothing yet appeals to me and it is not because of my world view or my religion or any assumptions. I have never seen enough evidence to convince me that the image is or is not God-made, naturally made or manmade. Who knows, maybe Colin will be proven right in the end. Maybe it is a contact scorch. Maybe it is a picture of Jacques de Molay. I doubt it but let’s see. Colin seems to think it is our job to prove that he is wrong.

Time will tell.

Banding? Is it Real?

Can anyone explain how the image* on Colin Berry’s blog can begin to convince us that banding is not really all that real. Maybe you can understand what Colin is saying. Something about “bilateral symmetry.” If anything, it helps to convince me that there really is banding there. You really need to see it in its full size in Colin’s blog space so CLICK HERE.

Barrie Schwortz did some of the earliest technical work to show one optical illusion effect of the banding. (Use Google translation after obtaining the linked-to page in order to see it in English). It is well worth reading.

The left image shows vertical banding on the outside portion of each cheek that extends upward and downward well above and below the face, particularly so on the right side. The middle image shows the area Barrie chose to add +20 points (Photoshop calibration) of RGB luminance. The effect is immediately obvious in the right picture.


The banding is particularly obvious when shown with transmitted light. 


One day I received an email from Robert Doumax, an imaging expert in Bordeaux, France. He had created a Fourier transform filter to isolate both vertical and horizontal banding in the fabric of the shroud. His filter produced the bottom image of three below.

Subtracting one image from the other image produces a tentative, partial banding map:

* About the colorful ImageJ image.  It has not been copied, stored or reproduced in anyway. The thumbnail preview is like a window into Colin’s site. It is an inline link to Colin’s blog space. By clicking on the image you can see it in its full size on Colin’s site. Even so, the use of a thumb nail image is considered fair use. Wikipedia is a good place to being reading about this.

[A] pointer causes a user’s browser to jump to the proprietor’s server and fetch the image file to the user’s computer. US courts have considered this a decisive fact in copyright analysis. Thus, in Perfect 10, Inc. v., Inc.,[6] the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit explained why inline linking did not violate US copyright law . . .

The thumb nail is too small to be a copyright concern. It is merely a graphical link.

Into a World Not Cut Off from Reality?


Colin Berry, in his Science Buzz blog, tells us that It’s time to change the record, all you authenticity-promoting Shroudologists. Thermal imprints can be superficial at the level of linen threads AND their component fibres:

A few photographs should suffice to justify the title of this post. Whether they will silence those who continue to disseminate mis- and disinformation about the thermal imprint, aka contact scorch hypothesis is another matter. Planet Shroudology is a world in itself, cut off it seems from earthly reality, content to parachute-drop its mock-authoritative missives or pdfs etc from on high before high-tailing it back to base.

And he calls for withdrawal of scientific claims:

I say it’s time shroudology stopped making duff claims it cannot back up with experimental evidence. In the two instances where experimental ‘evidence’ has been proferred, the authors of those inappropriately-designed and/or misinterpreted experiments, made in both instances on Dan Porter’s should do the decent thing and withdraw their claims.

Wanting to win friends and influence people he tells us:

Shroudology reeks of agenda-driven control-freakery. I expect to be banned (or issued a yellow card) for saying that. So I’ll say it again. Shroudology reeks.

Relax, Colin. We love you!

imageMetaphorically speaking, down under and on the other side of the world, where reality is seen in different terms. Stephen Jones tells us:

I haven’t read Porter’s blog since the 8th of May . . .

Sounding much like Colin, he quotes from Wikipedia:

Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints, by actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.

In other words, “agenda-driven control-freakery.”

After several pages, all written as comments in his blog, Stephen tells us:

. . . a new carbon dating would be unlikely to produce a first century date of the Shroud because of irremovable contamination and even if it did find the Shroud was first century, extreme Shroud sceptics would still not accept that the Shroud was authentic.

There already is ABUNDANT evidence that the Shroud is authentic, but Shroud sceptics don’t accept that. Why then would they accept the evidence of a new radiocarbon dating if it supported the Shroud being authentic?

imageIt does reek.

Now go look at Colin’s pictures. And read what he has to say. It merits your time and consideration.

Oh, I was going to move those papers. Now I can’t. 

50/50 : Colin Berry’s Most Outlandish Proposal

imageHe writes in his blog:

But can it hope to tell us much more, even with more up-to-date technology, if restricted to non-destructive sampling, or those pussy-footing "sticky tape" samples? . . . There is a solution to this, but it requires grasping a nettle.

It’s time for a quid pro quo, or returning of a favour. Interest in the TS has been greatly increased by the application of modern science and photography since 1898, and while the radiocarbon dating has failed to support authenticity, the response of the 3 labs to the onslaught of criticism and abuse has been dignified (and I expect will remain so). I believe the time has come for the Shroud’s custodians to do the decent thing, and make a gift to science.  I’m sure they know what I mean, without me having to spell it out. OK, so it’s 50% of the total but it’s the less attractive 50%. Once definitive answers have been obtained, leaving most curiosity sated, what remains of that less than 50% could be displayed far from Turin, far from the prime 50%, say in an Italian science museum. There would then be twin centres for the TS – one restricted to occasional displays only, the other for permanent display. How about the Museo Galileo, in Florence?

Okay, maybe I shouldn’t have used the word ‘Significant’

I didn’t mean to upset some of you so much

imageBut 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:

  1. Is the fact that the image is a negative a clue into how the image was formed?
  2. 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.

A Significant Criticism of STURP

imageColin Berry wrote it in all-caps and red letters. For good measure, he added four exclamation marks:


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. . . .

imageAnd there is this intriguing thought:

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.

Beyond LUWU and LOTTO

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?



Colin writes:

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.

RIP radiation twaddle?

imageColin Berry writes in a comment:

PS: here’s a link to that graphic. Look inside the yellow rectangle. Spot the non-imaged zone in the angle where the two hands overlap.

[ CLICK HERE for large image ] . . .

Reminder: it’s NOT a photograph. It’s better described as a contact print, or what I’ve previously called an ‘impactograph’.

RIP radiation twaddle.

Surely, not everyone enthusiastically agrees.  So CLICK HERE to join the discussion rather than commenting on this pointer-only posting.

BTW: I doubt that radiation played a role in image formation but I don’t think this is as damning as Colin does. In fact, it might be supportive of radiation. 

Nutellagraph? Did STURP Check for Nutella and Butter Knife Strokes?

David Goulet: “Try Vegemite next time. never waste Nutella — even for science.”

Chesterbelloc:  “Colin, I hope you’re eating at least some of that Nutella. That stuff
is too good just to use for experiments.”

imageSeriously, you do need to read, It seems so obvious now (why the Man on the Turin Shroud has bony fingers and no thumbs). The image is NOT a photograph. It’s an ‘impactograph’. on Colin Berry’s Science Buzz blog. If at some time you think the posting has drifted down memory lane (interesting, anyway), scroll down to “Late addition: Tuesday 23:00.” From there, read on.

There is this:

Have just spotted this quote from Professor Giulio Fanti that he made in the course of an interview with regular "Louis", or to give the latter his full name (supplied on that posting): Louis C. de Figueiredo

"Radiation has been proposed as the source of the body image because we know that the image also resides where body-cloth contact is not possible, for example in the zone between the nose and the cheek or between the hands and the belly, therefore I agree with it."

and this . . .

Second point: image “also resides between hands and belly”?

Really? The predominant impression one gets from looking at positive images is surely the low image intensity in and around the crossed hands, suggesting in this instance that tenting did occur (or was tolerated), whether the linen was underneath or on top of the subject.

(emphasis by Berry)

imageExperiments are always useful even with PhotoShop and finger paint of sorts. Maybe there is a completely new reason why there are no thumbs, even a reason that Colin has not imagined.

Why Doesn’t the Blood Create an Image?

dry or wet, why not? Why not if teeth or tissue or hair does?

imageColin Berry asks an interesting question:

. . . The  reason for there being blood trickles down the hair is allegedly because the blood was imaged directly by a blotting paper effect prior to body imaging, so  ends up out of stereoregister with body image*. As I say, smart…

If that’s the case, then why isn’t there a double blood image, one set on the cheek,  as a subset of "body image" say, matching exactly the blood trails on the adjacent hair?

I repeat: if  dead protein like keratin, whether fibrous or not, and even mineralized tooth enamel can leave an image, then why not the distinctive cell debris and proteins of blood?  The  latter should remain in stereoregister with the fabric of the Shroud, right through the imaging process, regardless of where the "real blood" relocated due to relative shifting of corpse within Shroud.

It is a good question to ask of those who think the image was formed by a dematerializing body, perhaps even those who speak of any manner of radiation or energy creating the image: Why don’t we see a double-blood signature, one as real blood, one as ‘body image’, at least when out of stereoregister?

I like the question. It sort of supports my idea that the image, which I believe is somehow related to the Resurrection – an event I believe in – was not formed by a natural chemical reaction or by any form of energy that was the byproduct of a supernatural event. I know that sounds like I’m calling the image impossible. I know. But the Resurrection is impossible. The incarnation is impossible. Creatio ex nihilo is impossible. Right?

Scientists love unsolved mysteries. But they hate whacky people like me who suggest that the answers may be mysteries “all the way down,” at least before my morning coffee.

Stephen Hawking put it this way:

A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: "What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise." The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, "What is the tortoise standing on?" "You’re very clever, young man, very clever," said the old lady. "But it’s tortoises all the way down!"

But then in The Grand Design, Hawking writes:

Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.

A spontaneous image? I like that. But what about the bloodstains? Is Colin on point with this; is it a valid objection to Jackson, et. al.? I like the question, so far. Now for coffee.

It’s everything to do with an unyielding structure called the upper rib cage

imageThere is a fascinating bit of reasoning going on in the mind of Colin Berry. You need to click into Does the Man on the Turin Shroud really have a beard and moustache? (Or is the image an ‘impactogram’?).

“I’ve been there and read that posting,” I hear you say. Me too. That is why I missed an interesting bit of analysis until a reader pointed it out in an email. Colin has a strange way of adding to posts already dispatched to the servers in the clouds as new thoughts come to him. In the meantime, I’ve read his posting and the search engines, typically, have done whatever it is they do.

image— should have been a posting in its own right. But then again, who am I to tell Colin how to post. So go back to his blog and this time scroll down to the new addition. Here is enough to entice you to do so:

The picture on the right is a Durante 2002 "positive" from Shroud Scope.The one on the left is the much earlier (1931) Enrie black/white negative, but I’ve edited it to make it roughly comparable with the Durante image, first by reversing it, left/right, and then "inverting" the tones in ImageJ.

[ . . . ]

Why reiterate the distinction between the two types of  -graph in the context of the chest region?  Because there are no obvious reasons for expecting a large difference in image intensity in a photograph that shows chest and upper (solar plexus) abdomen in the same field of view. Why are we seeing it – especially in the contrasty Enrie pictures? Because the elevated, rigid chest region, whether of a real person or an effigy thereof impacts more on linen, suitably supported, than does the contiguous softer, lower lying area.

. . .  It’s everything to do with an unyielding structure called the upper rib cage, and its impact qualities when pressed against linen.

The next region to consider is the groin with those crossed hands. I believe it’s providing strong clues as to the mechanism of imaging, and no, it’s not dependent on any kind of radiation. Clue: look at the region where one hand overlaps the other.

More later (maybe not today) 

Hopefully, more later will be a new posting so it gets noticed and I will get a bell tone on my iPhone from Google telling me Colin has something new up. Then I could focus on the right things like what Colin has to say which is really interesting and I think meaningful in the greater context of image formation theory.

Is the beard of the man of the shroud an impactogram?

imageIf I could just stop laughing, I think I could take Colin Berry seriously when he asks, “Does the Man on the Turin Shroud really have a beard and moustache? (Or is the image an ‘impactogram’?).”

It compelled me to wonder if there were other possibilities. Perhaps shaving cream. Was a part of the preparations in the tomb a shave but while doing so they ran out of time. In other words, in situ shaving cream. Certainly the top panel of the Hungarian Pray Manuscript illustration shows that this was what imagewas going on. Or maybe it was a combination of shaving cream and impactography as seen below on the left.

Note: The top picture was cropped from one suggested by Colin that appears on dozens of websites. The one to the left only appears on five websites.

Colin Berry has some preliminary results

imageClick in to his site to see First test of the quicklime hypothesis (Turin Shroud image) – in pictures.  Don’t knock him for having produced only scorch marks and not an image yet. Who really has, so far?  Nicholas Allen, Joe Nickell,  Craig-Bresee, Luigi Garlaschelli?  Actually, Colin has with hot metal. Let’s see where he goes with this.

Experimentation is always a step forward no matter the results.

In this case only a qualified chemist who knows what he is doing should be experimenting this way.

Maybe a New Image Hypothesis?

clip_image001Colin Berry never ceases to amaze with Might the Shroud image have been produced as a thermochemical scorch on linen? Quicklime?

[ . . . ] Given that a dead body does not produce sufficient heat to scorch linen (for which a temperature of 200 degrees Celsius or more is required) then the thinking so far has been that an effigy of a real person, e.g. a bronze statue, was deployed. However, I’m as conscious as the next man of the practical difficulties of imprinting successfully off a life-size effigy. Mistakes would be costly, given the price of quality linen,

So this morning, I got to wondering about alternatives to metal templates that have been heated, say, over coals. Might an exothermic reaction using a chemical have been used instead – but a common one available in medieval times?

He definitely wants you to look at this blog. You should.

Revisiting: The Turin Shroud Image is not a Scorch

Thibault Heimburger recently commented:

I do not think that the image formation process is a stochastic process. . . . In addition, I completely disagree with Colin. I repeat: the distribution of the image color is not consistent with any kind of scorch, even if one takes into account ageing etc.. This has been shown in :

imageLeading Colin Berry to reply:

Nothing is “shown” unless opened up to debate. Pdfs do not open up to debate. Criticizing others via pdfs is a means of evading both online counter-criticism or more formal peer review.

Personally speaking, I can scarcely be bothered to read pdfs any more – they occupy a nether world between public and private domain, and at best qualify as vanity publications in my mind.

Huh?  PDFs “. . . at best qualify as vanity publications”?  Really?  Almost every article I read in Nature, International Weekly Journal of Science is a PDF document. Is that a vanity publication in anyone’s mind? As one might expect, Nature pondered the question of using PDF files for its articles. They report, “So far, scientists have shown a strong preference for the portable document format (PDF) version of individual articles. . . .” And so they and nearly every ethical journal use PDF.

On this blog, I will use the PDF format when it makes sense to do so. A 23 page article makes sense.  It would not make sense to clog a blog page with that much content. It slow down page loading. It hampers debate; comments are a mile away down the page.

On April 17, I announced Thibault’s paper, The Scorch Hypothesis: New Experiments, April 2014. There were thirty comments and it is significant to note that about half of them were not from Max and none of them were from Colin.

Perhaps we need to revisit this topic. So HERE IS THE PDF. And right below this sentence is space for debate. Over to you Colin.

Photomicrographs and Stochastic Imaging

imageColin Berry in his blog tells us that Thibault Heimburger is correct – Shroud photomicrographs lend no support to the notion of a ‘stochastic’ imaging mechanism.  Colin writes:

So where does Thibault Heimburger MD, Paris-based French physician and member of the Shroud Science Group enter this story? Some might be surprised to find his views being favourably received on this site, given there is so much on which we differ, notably the contact scorch hypothesis (one that TH rejects). But that does not mean he’s wrong – or right- on everything, far from it, as my follow-up to a recent comment on his on will now show.

TH appeared on the recent thread, the latter flagging up the presence of a Fazio et al  paper recently published in Mediterranean Archaeology and ArchaeometryHe queried the claim (or supposition?) that yellowed  fibres were randomly distributed across Shroud image-bearing regions, stating that they could appear together in bundles  . . . . Were that correct, it would deal a devastating blow to any theory that required the coloured fibres to be randomly distributed (though occasional clumping is not totally ruled out, albeit being of low expected frequency).

You are going to want to read Colin’s posting. Now we just need to hear from Thibault.

imageNote about the image:  The above image is ME-29, a 64x photomicrograph of a part of the nose area by Mark Evans. CLICK HERE or on the picture to enlarge it to 1088 by 770. Because I am hot-linking to the image as it is stored in Colin’s blog, it appears as a properly proportioned rectangle. For some reason it has been distorted into a 320 by 320 square in Colin’s blog (not that this seems to make any difference for the purpose at hand).  According to the gallery of images, the original size is 2940 by 1984.

More on Colin Berry is up with an interesting posting about 3D enhancement

imageColin Berry has been adding to his posting, Not all images that are 3D-enhancible have ‘encoded 3D information’. Click in and, if you have already read his posting, scroll down about halfway to Update: Sunday 8 June. He had made some interesting observations about ImageJ. Personally, I’m finding the software confusing and some options limited. Colin is helping all of us to see how confusing using ImageJ can be.

Final gasp (on this over-long posting): there was a curious and unexpected feature of those 3D images where 4 different images were tested together. Switching between Invert On versus Off in Image J did not produce so marked a transformation as expected (one expects the image to be turned inside out, like punching a hat to make a new one with the lining on the outside).

Read on. It’s not that I don’t understand Colin. I do. It’s ImageJ that I am struggling with. Having said that, however, I still think this package is much more powerful than the VP-8 Image Analyzer. Once we figure it out more completely, we may be able learn a great deal more about the image on the shroud.

Link to previous posting in this blog:  Colin Berry is up with an interesting posting about 3D enhancement

The above picture is from Colin’s site.