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Last chance to see : Radical Light: Italy’s Divisionist Painters 1891–1910
Exhibition : Love
Coming soon : Renaissance Faces: Van Eyck to Titian
Theatre offer : Six Characters in Search of An Author
News from the shops : Organise 2009 in style
Radical Light: Italy’s Divisionist Painters 1891–1910
‘Fascinating’ – Lisa Goldman, ‘Saturday Review’, BBC Radio 4
Angelo Morbelli, ‘In the Rice Fields’, 1898-1901, Private collection © Photo courtesy of the owner
‘Love’ continues until 5 October. Admission free.
Detail from Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, ‘The Unconscious Rivals’, 1893 © Bristol’s Museums, Galleries & Archives
| Theatre offer: Six Characters in Search of An Author
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| News from the shops: Organise 2009 in style
A newsletter from the publisher of The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
London, August 25 : A physicist has suggested that the carbon dating tests carried out on the controversial shroud of Turin in 1988, were skewed by 1,300 years because of high levels of carbon monoxide, thus raising hopes for the authenticity of the fabric.
The shroud of Turin is believed to be the winding-sheet in which the body of Jesus was wrapped for burial and bearing his imprint.
But, carbon dating tests carried out in 1988 indicated that the shroud had been made between 1260 and 1390, with the Catholic Church also admitting at the time that the cloth could not be authentic.
Now, according to a report in the Times, John Jackson, a physicist at Colorado University and a prominent expert on the relic, has argued that the tests were skewed by 1,300 years because of high levels of carbon monoxide.
He said that many other elements of the shroud, including details of the image, indicate that it is much more ancient.
"It’s the radiocarbon date that, to our minds, is like a square peg in a round hole. It’s not fitting properly and the question is ‘Why?’," Jackson told an interviewer.
Oxford has agreed to work with Jackson to reassess the age of the shroud.
He will now try to demonstrate through experiments in his laboratory that the results were flawed, in the hope that this could prompt new tests on the relic itself.
According to Christopher Ramsey, head of the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit that tested the shroud in 1988, "There is a lot of other evidence that suggests to many that the shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow and so further research is certainly needed."
But, Monsignor Giuseppe Ghiberti, spokesman for the commission that manages the shroud at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Turin, said that any new tests would have to wait until after it is put on public display in 2010.
"The decision is a matter for its owners, that is the Holy See, and the Vatican has said nothing must be touched," he said.
Los Angeles Times
Pros and consSOME OF THE findings of efforts to authenticate or debunk the Shroud of Turin:
A 1978 research team found that the shroud was not painted, stained or dyed and concluded the bloodstains were real.
The cloth appears to be an authentic burial cloth that conforms to 1st-century Jewish customs.
Crease marks suggest it may be the same shroud exhibited in Constantinople in the early 1200s.
The man in the image has crucifixion wounds on the wrists, which is historically accurate. If the cloth were a medieval forgery, one might expect the wounds to be on the palms, as crucifixion was depicted in the Middle Ages.
Radiocarbon dating by three separate labs placed the creation of the shroud between 1260 and 1390.
An unbroken chain of custody dates the shroud to the 1300s in France, a time frame that matches the radiocarbon dating.
Relic-viewing was a lucrative business in the Middle Ages, and pilgrims would have paid to view Christ’s "burial cloth."
Medieval artists could have created the shroud by painting a model with red ochre and wrapping him in linen, or using similar techniques. Particles of paint found on the shroud suggest to some that paint was used to form the image.
The face and body are unnaturally elongated, typical of the artistic style of the Middle Ages.
Source: Los Angeles Times
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The tie that binds John and Rebecca Jackson is about 4 feet by 14 feet, woven of herringbone twill linen. It once led to their romance; years later, it dominates their thoughts and fills their conversations.
It brought Rebecca, an Orthodox Jew, to the Roman Catholic Church; it led John to suspend himself from an 8-foot-tall cross to study how blood might have stained the cloth. Together, the two have committed to memory every crease, scorch mark and unexplained stain in their years-long pursuit of the mystery:
Is the Shroud of Turin — which purportedly bears the image of a crucifixion victim — the burial cloth of Jesus?
In 1988, science seemed to put that question to rest.
Radiocarbon dating by three separate laboratories showed the shroud originated in the Middle Ages, leaving the "shroud crowd" reeling. Shroud skeptics responded, "We told you so." The Catholic Church acknowledged it could not be authentic. Many scientists backed away.
John Jackson, one of the shroud’s most prominent researchers, was among those who insisted the results made no sense. Too much else about the shroud, they said, including characteristics of the cloth and details in the image, suggested it was much older.
Twenty years later, Jackson, 62, is getting his chance to challenge the radiocarbon dating. Oxford University, which participated in the original radiocarbon testing, has agreed to work with him in reconsidering the age of the shroud.
If the challenge is successful, Jackson hopes to be allowed to re-examine the shroud, which is owned by the Vatican and stored in a protective chamber in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy.
Jackson, a physicist who teaches at the University of Colorado, hypothesizes that contamination of the cloth by elevated levels of carbon monoxide skewed the 1988 carbon-14 dating by 1,300 years.
"It’s the radiocarbon date that to our minds is like a square peg in a round hole. It’s not fitting properly, and the question is why," he said.
On that point, Christopher Ramsey, head of the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, seems to agree. "There is a lot of other evidence that suggests to many that the shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow and so further research is certainly needed," according to a statement on his Web site.
Steven Schafersman, a geologist who maintains a skeptical Web site about the shroud, dismissed the effort as one that’s bound to fail. "He’s had other ideas, but they’ve all been shot down, and this one will be shot down too," he said of Jackson.
Others are challenging the radiocarbon date. At a conference sponsored by the Shroud Science Group at Ohio State University last weekend, the Los Alamos National Laboratory presented findings that the 1988 test results were flawed because the samples came from a portion of cloth that may have been added to the shroud during medieval repairs.
The shroud’s historical record dates to 1349, when a French knight wrote to the pope of his possession of a cloth he described as the burial shroud of Christ.
In 1978, a team of scientists led by Jackson conducted a series of tests on the shroud, including X-rays and chemical analyses. They concluded it was not painted, dyed or stained and that the bloodstains were real. But those findings did little to quell the controversy.
Many believe Jesus imprinted his image on his burial cloth during his Resurrection, and others think the shroud is the authentic burial cloth but that the image was formed by natural processes. Skeptics maintain that the shroud is a forgery created by a medieval artist seeking to display it to relic-hungry pilgrims.
Doctorate in physics
Jackson, a former professor at the Air Force Academy, holds a doctorate in physics from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. Born and raised in Denver, he also is a Catholic who has been transfixed by the shroud since he first saw its image at age 13.
His faith isn’t incompatible with his scientific training, he said. "How I think about the shroud comes from the shroud. It’s not, ‘Gee, I’m a Christian, so I’ll force it to be what I want it to be.’ "
His wife is a relative newcomer to the pursuit.
Raised in Brooklyn, Rebecca Jackson, 60, was 34 when she decided to enlist in the Army and ended up at Fort Carson, near Colorado Springs, as a cook.
In 1990, she was watching a documentary on the shroud when it occurred to her that the image of the man’s face looked like her grandfather’s. She tracked down Jackson, who had appeared in the film and lived in Colorado Springs, to talk about her reaction. Their shared interest led to a relationship. Her religious conversion followed.
Twice a week, John Jackson works with a team of volunteer researchers in his Colorado Springs laboratory.
Stretched across one wall is a life-size photo of the shroud; on a table is the Styrofoam figure of a man, dubbed Roger, an approximation of Jesus’ body in his tomb. Jackson has conducted research on the shroud’s crease marks, image formation and how blood flows from a crucified body, which he studied by suspending his own body from a cross.
Keith Propp, 55, has worked with Jackson for 23 years. "It’s like we’re on an archaeological expedition that’s not finished. I’m not sure we’ll ever be truly finished. A lot of the pleasure is in the journey itself," he said.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
Vatican, Aug. 19, 2008 (CWNews.com) – The Vatican has announced plans for the beatification of the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux.
Louis Martin and Zelie Marie Guerin Martin will be beatified on October 19, with the ceremony taking place in Lisieux, the Vatican liturgical office announced on August 19. The date of the ceremony is significant: October 19 will be Mission Sunday; St. Therese is (along with St. Francis Xavier) co-patron of the Church’s missionary effort.
The Vatican also announced plans for the beatification of:
* Vincenza Maria Poloni (1802-1855), born Luigia Poloni, an Italian foundress of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of Verona; the ceremony will take place in Verona on September 21; * Michael Spocko (1888-1975), a Polish priest; the ceremony will take place outside the church of Divine Mercy in Bialystok, Poland, on September 28; * Francesco Pianzola (1881- 1943), an Italian priest; the ceremony will take place in the cathedral of Vigevano on October 4; and * Franceso Giovanni Bonifacio (1912- 1946), an Italian priest and martyr; the ceremony will take place in the cathedral of Trieste on October 4.
NEWSLETTER AUGUST 2008
To see this information in graphic format, click here.
Albuquerque’s Annual Balloon Festival – What kind of festival brings 20,000 people out in the chilly predawn hours to wait for the main event to start? I squeeze through shoulder-to-shoulder crowds and buy a cup of coffee and a breakfast burrito, then join the half-awake masses on the grassy field. This isn’t a stadium rock concert or a Superbowl tailgate party, it’s the largest hot-air-balloon festival in the world. Each October, 750 balloonists from dozens of nations gather in Albuquerque for the nine-day International Balloon Fiesta. More…
Wildfires: The Ugly, the Bad and the Good – In the 1860’s, a youthful Mark Twain had encamped with a friend along the forested shoreline of Lake Tahoe. Twain built a campfire, which he carelessly neglected just for a moment. Suddenly, his friend shouted in alarm. Looking up, as Twain said in his book Roughing It, "…I saw that my fire was galloping all over the premises. More…
Cassini Call Home – It is a “Mission Possible” – to infuse children and adults with the wonderment and awe of outer space by exposing them to the giant antennas at Goldstone Deep Space Communication Complex. How do you define “wonderment” ? Dictionaries are very simple.
“Something that produces wonder; a marvel.”
“A cause or occasion of wonder.”
“The joy of discovery.”
The last sentence. That’s it. That is what I felt when I saw the giant communication antennas up close and personal on my tour of the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex. More…
Kartchner Caverns – Inside the upper caverns of Kartchner, two main galleries the size of football fields are a kaleidoscope of color with 100-foot high ceilings dripping with multi hued stalactites and floors jutting up with matching stalagmites. Giant white columns form where the two meet. Dainty white helictites\ translucent orange bacon, and shields of white calcite adorn this natural wonder. An extraordinarily thin stalactite, called a soda straw, hangs tenuously 21 feet 2 inches down from the cave’s ceiling. More…
Video of the Month – The Tarantula – The tarantula is a nocturnal hunter. It does not spin a web to capture its prey, but catches food by speed. It will take virtually anything of the right size that moves within range, but feeds primarily on small insects like grasshoppers, beetles, sow bugs, other small spiders and sometimes small lizards. More…
Trip of the Month – Exploring Route 50 – Route 50 spans the U.S. from California to the Atlantic oceans, linking Sacramento, California to Ocean City, Maryland. Where this highway travels through Nevada — between South Lake Tahoe on the western, California border, and Baker on near the eastern, Utah border. More…
|NEW: FURRY DESERT FOX!|
|Consolation for kids returning to school – cute and friendly desert fox is looking for a home.
This endearing 7-inch, soft plush stuffed animal has perky ears and a wide awake expression, certain to be a winner with children, or with the adult fox-lover on your list.Click here to take a close up view.
|ROCKHOUNDS, GPS USERS!|
|James R. Mitchell’s GEM TRAILS BOOKS cover the Southwest and are available in our online book store. Detailed maps and descriptive text lead the rockhound to the best collecting sites for gems, minerals and fossils. Black and white photos aid in locating the collecting area. Stunning color photos help with specimen identification. Ideal for the novice, an important addition to any experienced rockhound’s collection. Click here to view rock & treasure hunting books.
Rockhounding the Wiley’s Well District of California: The GPS User’s Guide not only pinpoints the collecting sites in the Wiley’s Well District, famous for the Hauser Geode Beds, but does the same for every significant junction on the way to them. No maps are needed. One can find his or her way with ease and much greater accuracy than that offered by any map.
|HORNED LIZARD FIGURINES|
Of all the North American lizards, HORNED LIZARDS are the most fearsome-looking and distinctive by virtue of the pointed, protruding "horns" above their eyes.
These Creations are the closest representation to real horned lizards. When you hold one in your hand, you will believe that it is real. The feeling of holding a horned lizard will stay in your memory forever. All figurines are hand painted and made with pewter.
|PLAN A PRICKLY PEAR SUMMER PARTY!|
Try a Prickly Pear Margarita made with Prickly Pear Cactus syrup. The syrup also makes exceptionally flavorful Wine Coolers, Spritzers, and Prickly Pear Lemonade. The Syrup comes in 7 oz.,12 oz., 23 oz. and 1 gallon containers. Click Here for more information.
Enjoy Prickly Pear Cactus, Mesquite Bean and Margarita jelly candies – Half pound box featuring three mouth-watering candy selections. Tantalize your tastebuds with flavors of the southwest from the fruits of the desert.
Agate Bookends – Beautiful, unique bookends of Brazilian Agate, in a wide range of colors from brilliant magenta to aquamarine and topaz colorings. Average size: 5" Tall X 8" Wide X 3" Deep but sizes vary. Hurry! Each one is different and they go fast!
|FOR THE OLDER DOG…|
Joint Supplement – Do you have an older dog or a dog with arthritis or joint problems? Check out Nimble, a glucosamine product for dogs, that could help return them to pain-free movement. Click here for more information or to buy.
|PARK DVDs . . .|
State and National Park DVDs – Plan your Summer vacations to the great parks of the American Southwest. DesertUSA has an extensive selection of park DVDs including: Arches, Big Bend, Monument Valley, Death Valley, The Grand Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns, Zion, Yellowstone, Red Rock Canyon and many more. Click here to browse our park DVDs.
Ghost Mountain DVD the story of Marshal South and his family’s adventure of living on Ghost Mountain in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. To preview the DVD in Flash Click Here.
Anza Borrego Seasons in the Desert. This stunning DVD covers the various regions of the park, as well as indigenous flora and fauna.
Joshua Tree NP DVD This is THE tool you need to plan a trip to Joshua Tree National Park.
You can book reservations anywhere in the World from the DesertUSA Web site. So be sure to try our online reservation system for your next vacation and/or car rental. MakeReservations Now
Get ready for your visit to the desert with books, gifts and products available from the DesertUSA’s Online Store.
DesertUSA’s purpose is to provide a tool for discovery – a publication that entertains, educates and explores with our readers, the beauty, life and culture of the North American deserts. Visitors come to DesertUSA’s Web site every month to read articles, participate in the Desert Talk message board, shop in DesertUSA’s online store and explore the desert virtually.
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