Saturday, 15 February 2014

Storms in Essex and Turin

I'm away this weekend in Bishop's Stortford, visiting my parents, to see them and celebrate my dad's 67th birthday, which is tomorrow.

In common with other parts of the country, we experienced quite a storm here last night.  I hadn't quite appreciated the extent of it until I took a walk to the local shops to buy a copy of the newspaper to see that the road I took into town yesterday evening was closed.  On the way back from the paper shop I ventured up the road to see why, and saw that it was due to a tree across the full width of the road.  It must have fallen from someone's garden, and they were probably lucky that it fell across the road.  

I took my oldest daughter, Flora, to the Rhodes Centre in town, where I used to go as a kid to things like roller discos, but mostly to a Saturday morning amateur dramatics club.  It's undergone some extension and now has a nice bar/cafe area and function rooms, and houses the Bishop's Stortford Museum, which used to be in the cemetery on Cemetery Road, if I remember rightly.  Flora took part in a seal-making workshop (as in the seals used on letters), while I made a bad stab at Anax's Saturday prize crossword.

I had a (rare) suggestion by a reader to cover something in my blog, on low-energy nuclear reactions. It's a story to do (tangentially) with the Turin Shroud that has cropped up in newspapers, such as this in the Telegraph which reads like a press release and this from the Independent, with more of an attempt to ask some experts.  I don't have time right now to make a longer and more considered post on the matter, but the idea that neutrons are emitted from things like earthquakes doesn't fit with our understanding of nuclear processes.  I fear those that propose it have too much hope that it is true, to answer questions in a way that would suit them - be it that the Turin shroud is an authentic relic which supports a religious view, or that "cold" nuclear fusion is real.

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