I shall try to reconstruct as best I can, though it may take some time ( days rather than hours).
The next posting (and all future ones) will be copied to file before posting. If they disappear , they will be replaced immediately.
(Have been doing some tests - seems I've been hacked. Can't say as I'm surprised).
Halleluja: have been able to retrieve the first part of my posting by accessing Google cache:
Here it is, with some patching up here and there. See change to original plan (at end). Nuff said.
|Imprints of this blogger's hand obtained using the new two-stage procedure. First stage: the hand was painted with white flour paste and then imprinted onto linen. Second stage: chemical development of the negative flour imprint with nitric acid.|
It's hardly surprising, is it, that a model for the Turin Shroud that starts with "Mix some plain flour and water 700 years ago" fails to set the world of sindonology on fire?
But that's in essence what was proposed some 6 weeks ago, i.e. that the TS image began life as a flour imprint on linen, to which suggestion the response from some could be described as looks of blank incomprehension(well, the internet equivalent thereof) and expressions of derision and contempt from others.
I'm sorry that the model uses so plebeian a commodity as plain flour as imprinting medium. Had I given it more thought, it could so easily have been something more upmarket. Saffron? From Saffron Walden, Essex, hopefully to give a UK connection with medieval France, and attract the attention of the Times and the Guardian? Saffron would certainly give an instant yellow imprint, eliminating the need for that hazardous second-stage development with nitric acid. But would the sceptics, whether pro- or anti-authenticty, buy into that story: "TS image is simply a saffron imprint"? I doubt it somehow. Shame. I could have stayed in the cosy well-appointed kitchen laboratory, avoiding the cold confines of my garage had safe old saffron been the answer.
I must also apologize for describing it as the "stick 'n' stain" model in my last posting. How utterly common can you get?
But I have this difficulty you see. It's to do with that serendipity thingy. You know, you start off with a brilliant idea to try this or try that, and along comes something totally unexpected and surprising that one would never have predicted in a million years.
Well, that's exactly how it happened. This blogger/retired science bod was casting around for something organic that might give a yellow-brown colour with nitric acid in pursuance of his "simulated sweat imprint" model of the Turin Shroud, and decided to use flour. Why flour? Maybe it's because he used to be Head of Nutrition and Food Safety at the Flour Milling and Baking Research Association, as it was then called when based at Chorleywood. Or maybe it's because he had been tinkering with ideas to do with Maillard browning reactions a year or so ago, and had done some halfhearted experiments with flour attracting pitiful glances from his wife. Irrespective, flour was chosen some 6 weeks ago, mixed with hot or cold water to make a paste or glue that he then painted onto various parts of his anatomy as imprinting medium. Something totally unexpected was seen, and duly reported here as follows (italics) on 21st April. Here are my words, under the first of many photographs showing linen clinging to anatomy, thanks to the incredible adhesive properties of flour paste (which incidentally were used to stick family photos into a home-made album I made some 60 years ago). From April 21st:
I used my right hand to paint the left one with a thick paste made the previous day using white flour and hot water (it set to a gel overnight in the fridge, which reverted to a paste on stirring). Linen was placed on top, as shown, and then pressed down firmly to produce an imprint on the underside of the linen. Note the considerable detail in the imprint, even at this early stage.
Fast forward to the present:
It took a little while for the significance of that photograph to sink in, namely that the use of an ADHESIVE paste as imprinting medium virtually guaranteed that one would get an unbeatable Stage 1 imprint, provided the linen peeled away cleanly, taking most of the flour with it, and provided that imprint could then be successfully developed chemically with something that reacts quickly with one or more components of the flour without too much discoloration of the linen.
Well, the crucial peel-off step worked better than one dared to hope. Sometimes one would hardly know that one's hand had been painted with flour, given the extent to which flour transferred cleanly to linen. And we hit the jackpot first time with that choice of nitric acid as Stage 2 developer giving, among other things, a rapid xanthoproteic reaction with the gluten of the flour. End result: a prominent yellow colour that then went a more (TS-like?) yellowish-brown when the excess of acid was neutralized with mild alkali (sodium bicarbonate).
Just yesterday I discovered that nitric acid could be replaced with the less hazardous limewater (calcium hydroxide solution, also an alkali) though unlike nitric acid it does not work quickly in the cold, needing some heat to produce (probably) a Maillard reaction between reducing sugars and protein, and, as before, a yellowish-brown imprint.
Enough of the chemistry, for now at any rate. I shall proceed to hit the post button, but be adding more to this posting in the next few days. I shall be summarizing briefly how I arrived at the decision to raid the kitchen cabinet for that oh-so-boring plain white flour, though a hint has already been given ("simulated sweat imprint").
This also got wiped yesterday:
Yet another attempt to infantilize... It gets boring after a while.
But see this immediate response from Dan Porter, who assures one there was no attempt to belittle the man or his ideas.
This was the first comment:
Nuff said methinks.
Update: Sunday June 7
Change of plan: I'm now terminating all posting on the Shroud of Turin, feeling as I do that I've given it my best shot, and that it's now time to move on. However, I'm still available here to respond to questions, criticism etc as best I can (see quick link to Comments top right).
1. Am planning a website on Crete as a tourist destination. The ginormous island gets a somewhat unenthusiastic write-up in my Rough Guide - the only one to hand at present. It has to be better than described - somewhere, some place surely- maybe off the beaten track. So a detailed recce will be made, probably next year, with a view -finally- to penning a travelogue, assuming I can find a publisher. May look in on Heraklion this year, if only to suss out hire car options, and get the capital out the way - it maybe deserving its reputation of being a place one does not linger.
2. Re-activated a Telegraph account yesterday, a previously problematic Chief Moderator who shall nremain nameless having moved on.
Here your host in full demob happy opinionated mode:
(a) in response to a post exposing Vladimir Putin's army of hired trolls, posing as regular commenters on internet sites, English-language included:
SORRY ABOUT THE GAPS THAT FOLLOW. THIS SITE'S SOFTWARE HAS A FLAW, IN THAT IT SLAVISHLY ADOPTS THE FORMATTING (OFTEN HIDDEN) OF ANYTHING THAT ONE INSERTS AS A CUT-AND-PASTE, AND IT'S THEN THE DEVIL'S OWN JOB TO REMOVE ONCE IT'S BEEN INCORPORATED AS A DEFAULT FORMAT, OVERRIDING ONE'S OWN SETTINGS.
What's so worrying is the way that this hard-nosed Russian leader quite shamelessly resorts to all the megaphone propaganda techniques of a former adversary (ours too) from the 1930s. Putin needs to be questioned closely on which direction he and his nation wish to take, now at a crucial crossroads in world affairs, and made aware of the risks of painting himself and his over-respectful (or fearful) citizens into a no-win corner.
He's the one who (unlike his Soviet predecessors) constantly alludes to his possession in concrete bunkers of the ultimate 'deterrent' despite facing no obvious threats, at least that we are aware of (anything-for-a-quiet-life-Obama???). Hopefully sense will prevail.
The more a country expands, the more borders it makes with other countries (Russia presently has 14 of those). The more countries that are annexed, the more "different" the new lot of neighbours. It doesn't take a genius to recognize that it then only takes a paranoid (or paranoia-inducing) leader to claim his country is being "encircled" by an ever-growing number of hostile powers, and is under threat of invasion.
That then is the trouble with being expansionist - it generates its own momentum. Russia already spans11 time zones. Surely that's sufficient. We in the UK manage with just one.
Then there was this one in response to the address given at Cheltenham Science Festival by Prof. Lord Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal:
So, the Universe is an intensely hostile place, unsuitable for organic life in most places, bar a few tiny scattered fragments of star dust. The latter, otherwise known as planets or exoplanets, have to be close enough to their mother star to be warm, but not too warm, and to be able to hang onto a breathable atmosphere (not even 'habitable' Mars is able do that). Each habitable speck is separate from the next by billions of miles of cold vacuum, not counting micrometeorites travelling at thousands of miles per hour, puncturing space craft and space suits. And we're supposed to get excited at the prospect of "colonizing space"?
Meanwhile, back on Mother Earth, hundreds of thousands of desperate migrants flee largely dried-up politically-unstable parts of Africa and the Middle East that once, just a few thousand years ago, were both wet and fertile, but our top scientists prefer to reflect on the challenge of
Wouldn't it make more sense to scrap all manned space missions, to continue to develop robotry for space exploration, and begin a massive programme for making the deserts bloom? Surely the abundant solar power from cloudless skies is sufficient to power coastal distillation plants and the pumps to send the precious 'sweet' water inland for irrigation. Where's there's a will... Or is it a certain religion that stands in the way of effecting that kind of material progress, of making lives better for ordinary citizens in otherwise 'God-forsaken' regions? Why isn't oil income being used to promote fertility and regrowth of forests and grassland etc. with job opportunities, instead of being squandered to create prestige replicas of Shanghai or New York?
It's a mad, mad world...
Subsequent comments (from others on the thread, my italics):
Update: Wed 10 June
This comment has just appeared from David Mo on the shroudstory site. It's not addressed to this blogger, but reiterates the same (dubious) assertion (see my italics) we've seen several times of late, namely that if the TS were a medieval forgery, then we'd have seen the technology used elsewhere: