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Mathematical Time Travel

According to this post from The Daily Galaxy, time travel is mathematically possible.

Not by a time machine as such but in “a bubble of space-time geometry which carries its contents backward and forwards through space and time as it tours a large circular path.”

Ben Tippett from the University of British Columbia has created a formula that describes the method. Unfortunately that formula the does not figure in the post. The method also requires bending of space-time by exotic matter – which hasn’t been discovered yet/ Might as well be Science Fiction.

The bubble is described as a Traversable Acausal Retrograde Domain in Space-time. The acronym spells TARDIS. Ha very ha.

Seething Hatred?

I discovered yesterday that poet W H Auden spent some time (two years) in Helensburgh – eight or so miles from Dumbarton – teaching at Larchfield Academy.

This information came to me via a review in the Guardian of a book Larchfield by Polly Clark.

The book, a novel, deals with Auden’s time there but there is also apparently (I’ve not read it, only the review) a present day section featuring Dora, an incomer to the town, who finds herself ill at ease there as it is “seething with hatred of outsiders.”

Really? Helensburgh, in my youth at least, was a tourist town and has had a fair number of incomers over the years what with the Faslane base just up the road. Is it really seething with hatred to such outsiders who bring – or brought – money into the town? Is it unwelcoming? No more so than anywhere else I’d have thought.

Or is Clark unfairly traducing it for literary purposes?

(It is entirely possible of course that a few incomers might “play the English” – as an English writer acquaintance of mine who now lives in Edinburgh depicts some of his compatriots who come to Scotland and moan about why it isn’t English and try to throw their weight about – and suffer adverse comments as a result.)

Groningen Glass, Plus

Good glazing on a shop in Groningen:-

More Groningen Glass

There was interesting detail above the window’s centre. I’m assuming this was once a butcher’s:-

Groningen Shop Detail

Curved glass on different shop:-

Groningen Curved Glass

This shop’s owners are not much into tech it would seem. There’s something to be said for the old-fashioned virtues.

Notice in Shop Window, Groningen

Dutch Curiosities

This is a converted windmill in Marum, Groningen Province, The Netherlands:-

Ex-windmill, Marum, Groningen, The Netherlands

This one’s for you, Denis. A Monkey-puzzle tree – or Araucaria to give it its botanical name – also in Marum:-

Monkey Puzzle Tree, Marum

Falkland Then and Now

Falkland is a village a few miles away from where we now live. (Its name is connected in a roundabout way to a certain set of islands in the South Atlantic but it’s more famous for its Palace, the country residence of the Stuart monarchs.)

We go there quite often – usually to visit the Library but also to have a stroll as there’s an estate and burn you can walk beside. The Palace gardens are wortha look as well, especially if you area National trust for Scotland member.

In February we found its main street festooned with no parking cones and notices of restriction for four days.

Falkland  in Fife

Falkland in Fife

It turned out they were going to be filming scenes for the new series of Outlander and they’d mocked it up supposedly as if it were the 1950s.

The Community Hall had been daubed with a “Free Scotland” grafitti and a saltire which strikes me as being unlikely for the 50s but there you go:-

Falkland  in Fife

This is how it looks restored to more normal circumstances, in April this year:-

Community Hall, Falkland, Fife

This shop was made to look like a furniture and hardware store:-

Falkland  in Fife

And its “real” incarnation is a gift shop/café, Fayre Earth:-

Fayre Earth

This “fruit shop” took me back:-

Falkland  in Fife

In the 2010s it’s another eatery, Campbell’s:-

Café/Eatery Falkland, Fife

I’m not quite sure what this was supposed to be. A B&B I think. Unfortunately people were hanging around:-

Falkland in Fife

It’s actually The Covenanter’s Hotel:-

Covenanter's Hotel, Falkland

Rosslyn Chapel

In April we went to Rosewell, Midlothian, to preview the lots at an art auction. (Left a bid, didn’t get the painting. Ah well.)

Being so near by we took a peek at Rosslyn Chapel on the way back through Roslin. A fine Gothic confection, the chapel certainly stands in contrast to most Scottish places of worship, which tend to the square and boxy.

It has achieved a kind of notoriety by being associated with the Knights Templar – a connection which is seemingly nonsense – and its mention by Dan Brown in the Da Vinci Code, a book whose premise alone is enough to put me off reading it.

More properly known as the Collegiate Chapel of St Matthew, Rosslyn chapel was founded in the 15th century:-

Rosslyn Chapel From Surrounding Path.


Rosslyn Chapel close-in

Side view:-

Rosslyn Chapel Side View


Rosslyn Chapel Roof

Stitch of two photos:-

Rosslyn Chapel Full

This was the auction house building in Rosewell. Slight Art Deco feel, mainly in the paintwork:-

Rosewell Auction House

A Science Fiction Jigsaw

I picked this up in a sale in January. Great 1950s SF feel to the box cover:-

Jigsaw Box

The actual jigsaw inside the box was different to the illustration on the box, being a representation of the game you could play using the printed paper (and counters and die provided) inside without making up the jigsaw. Again a 1950s SF feel:-


Gold Postbox, Dunblane

Dunblane is of course the childhood home of tennis player Andy Murray.

As a result of his 2012 Olympic tennis win the town is now the proud host to a gold-painted postbox.

Dunblane Postbox 2

Dunblane Postbox 1

My photo of the wording is a bit blurred I’m afraid. The lower portions are written in Braille:-

Dunblane Postbox Wording

Odd Moss Outgrowths

We occasionally take a walk through some housing nearby. I noticed these peculiar toadstool-like growths of moss on one of the roofs:-

Moss on Roof (i)

They’re also a bit like small fir trees:-

Toadstool-shaped Moss

It was Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Three Years Ago Today (Apparently)

This morning two women approached my house and rang the doorbell. When I’d opened it one of them said, “I won’t keep you long as it’s cold, but we’d just like to remind you of the anniversary of Jesus’s death,” while handing me a leaflet. Taking the leaflet I mumbled something non-committal and thought, “That’s an odd way to talk about it.” Not only was it problematic that someone whom many people believe came back to life can actually be said to have suffered death at all (which I’ll let pass) but most people would have said “the meaning of Good Friday” or some such. Anyway, they were true to their word and quickly moved on next door.

I suppose I must have been intrigued since, before consigning it to the paper bin, I glanced at the leaflet. Therein it said that “This year, the anniversary of Jesus’ death falls on Wednesday March 23rd.” (I’ll not let that Jesus’ for Jesus’s pass, though.)

Now, I’m no theologian but; Wednesday March 23rd? Wednesday? I’m fairly sure the traditional anniversary of Jesus’s death falls on a Friday. It certainly has every year of my life so far.

Granted, most anniversaries fall on the same date every year, which necessitates a trundle through the weekdays in a cycle which due to the number of days in a year and the inclusion of leap years in the calendar only returns to the same day of the week every fifth, sixth and eleventh year (excluding century years whose first two digits divide by four.) In the case of Christ’s death though (no arguments about the placing of the apostrophe there) the tradition has certainly been to ignore this and commemorate it on a Friday. If memory serves, Easter is celebrated on the Sunday following the first Full Moon after the Spring Equinox; Good Friday always falls two days before that.

So. Do the Jehovah’s Witnesses (for it was one of their leaflets) know something the rest of us don’t? Did Jesus die on March 23rd, AD 33? (Or thereabouts. I believe it is generally accepted Jesus was 33 when he was crucified, though the year of his birth may not really have been 1 BC or 1 AD. The traditional calendar has no Year 0.) [AD, above, twice, would be CE for the more inclusive.] I do know, though, it wasn’t a Wednesday. (There are sources.)

Or was it? Dividing the 1983 years since CE 33 by the 11 of the anniversary waltz of the days gives us 180.27(recurring) cycles of eleven years. That 0.27(recurring) corresponds to 1.9 days. Let’s call it two. Now, do I add or subtract the five days corresponding to the intervening non-leap year century years? Adding would take us back to a Friday. Subtracting leads to a Tuesday.

The Sunday following the first Full Moon after the Spring Equinox suddenly seems less complicated.

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