This title will not improve this blog’s Google ranking. But then, what will?

In fact, nothing in today’s posting will assist the Google algorithm in disseminating my content under various search terms attached to the end of (shroud turin). There will be no captions under images either. Why? Because this blog, despite its 200 or so postings to date is virtually invisible when one searches under (shroud turin) . In fact, it gets virtually no new visitors via Google, which is hardly surprising, given it’s presently on page 15 of returns. Yet flash in the pan stories – like that alleged AD33  neutron-generating earthquake in Palestine that not only generated the Shroud image (we are told) but threw the radiocarbon dating  as well, still clog up the returns under (shroud turin).

So why should this (or other content-rich blogs) remain under the radar of the Google algorithm, except for more targeted searches (which then provide Google with opportunities for generating  revenue with its paid-for advertisements)?

There is absolutely no point in spending time and effort writing and illustrating  new postings while the world’s favourite search engine continues to discriminate against those who create the new content (albeit with rough edges at first, given that it is unfamiliar territory that is being explored).

Future posting here will provide the Google algorithm with little or no clue as to content. The title will be unhelpful, the pictures will lack captions, and I shall stop entering keywords. The posting itself will start with asking questions.  (It goes without saying that the text will be expanded to keep the blog visitor-friendly.)  If there’s interest, I may provide some possible answers later, much later, long after the Google crawler has lost interest and moved  elsewhere in search of revenue-generating free-of-charge content.

Here’s the first in my new Google-unfriendly format.

Have a look at this picture (it’s just one of a series I had planned to show). Then ask yourself this question. Might the claims (or at any rate, some of the claims) that a scorch, even a faint one, ALWAYS results in reverse-side scorching  be based on a trick of the light? I’ve used a red marker pen to model a mechanism.



The red asterisk has been drawn on the underside of the linen (with relatively little ‘soak-through)  and the latter sits on a white or other light-coloured background.

Here’s a clue: the weave has miniature ‘portholes’.

Can anyone guess what one sees if viewed from the other side that might cause puzzlement when first encountered?  What’s the relevance to shroudology?

Update: 10:00 London time (I’ve been told that Google does not like updates – that one gets penalized for adding to, or editing one’s initial post. Splendid. I will be making even more use of updates from now on).

I took another look at the snapshots in my “red asterisk” gallery this morning, and have to say, strictly entre nous, that they make a nice story, one with a clear take-away message. What will follow is I believe the reporting of  a new effect, at least where the Shroudie literature is concerned. It’s one that anyone who refers in future to “reverse side scorching’  will need to be aware of, and know the elementary safeguard needed if they are to avoid false sightings.

Is it too soon to give the effect a name, or, better still, one of those clever acronyms?

Well, you know I’m dying to tell you now, rather than later. I call it the reverse side BROIL effect, or BROIL illusion, that term being chosen with scorches in mind, real versus ghost ones, as distinct from real versus ghost asterisks.

BROIL  stands for:

B_ _ _    R _ _ _  _  _ _ _  _     O _     I _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _     L _  _ _  _

Meaning of the verb “to broil” (used mainly in the US, we Brits generally using “to grill”): to cook by exposure to direct heat.

There now.  That was really too easy wasn’t it? So no answers on postcards please.

Latest instalment: 18:27 Sunday

Now let’s put the linen back flat on that white surface, with that red asterisk facing down, and look at the top side, i.e. opposite to the asterisk.



Note that the asterisk is clearly visible. Bleed through of red ink from the other side? That would probably be most people’s first thought, and was mine to begin with (until I started looking through a hand lens – about which more later).

Nope. It’s not bleed through, as this simple demonstration shows. Move the linen to a matt black surface. Now what do you see?



The case of the missing asterisk!

Let’s go back to the white background, and take a closer look.



Look where the colour is. It’s in the interstices (“holes” in the weave). How can holes have colour, one may ask?

Holes don’t have colour. Not only does that colour largely if not entirely disappear when viewed against a dark background, but holding the linen up to the light shows that the interstices are indeed still holes! So where’s the colour coming from?

So what’s going on you may ask, as I did just a day or two ago? The answer lies in that first photograph. Here’s another shot from a different angle.



Note the patches that suffused red light make on the white paper. Note the way that white light penetrates the weave to create separate spots.

Interpretation:  ordinary visible white light penetrates the weave from the top side, unobtructed through the interstices, and obstructed by the fibres. As the white light passes through the red pigment on the underside of the weave, its green and blue components are absorbed. The remaining “incomplete”, i.e. chromatically filtered light, is red. If the background is black, that red light is absorbed, and no asterisk is seen on the top side. But if the background is light, something very interesting happens. The red light reflect/scatters  off the white surface, and much of it can then exit freely through the interstices of the weave (“miniature portholes”). To the observer, there will be a pixellated ghost image of the asterisk, as if it were on the top surface. When examined through a hand lens. one gets the impression that the linen is on a red backing surface, which of course is not the case,

Ladies and gentlemen: I present you with an optical illusion  that makes an underside image appear as a ghost on the upper surface. But not just any old ghost, not a grey ghost, but one that has the same colour as the image.

More to come (after I have repeated the experiment with a contact scorch instead of red marker pen). Let’s hope we get some good sunlight tomorrow to capture the filtered light on that white surface.

The BROIL illusion?  Back-Radiation Of Incomplete Light.



About Colin Berry

Retired science bod, previous research interests: phototherapy of neonatal jaundice, membrane influences on microsomal UDP-glucuronyltransferase, defective bilirubin and xenobiotic conjugation and hepatic excretion, dietary fibre and resistant starch.
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