Archive for March 25th, 2010

Face of Jesus Christ on Shroud to Come to Life Through Graphic Computer Technology

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Face in the Shroud

This is really cool.

The world will have an extraordinary opportunity to look upon what may be an undistorted, never-before-seen, moving 3-D portrait of a man who many think may be the crucified Jesus Christ.

In just one week, graphic experts will bring to life an imprint on the holy relic known as the Shroud of Turin, believed by millions to be the burial shroud of Christ.

The Shroud of Turin bears the full-body, back-and-front image of a crucified man that is said to closely resemble the New Testament description of the passion and death of Christ. The 14-foot cloth long has posed mysteries because of its age and its negative image of a bloodstained and battered man who had been crucified. Believers claim it to be the miraculous image of Jesus, formed as he rose from the dead.

The History Channel will air “The Real Face of Jesus?,” a special two-hour event that premieres March 30 at 9 p.m. EST. It aims to bring the world as close as it has ever come to seeing what Jesus may have actually looked like.

Computer graphics artist Ray Downing of Studio Macbeth used today’s most sophisticated electronic tools and software in a yearlong effort to recreate the face imprint on the Shroud of Turin.

“The presence of 3-D information encoded in a 2-D image is quite unexpected, as well as unique,” Downing said. “It is as if there is an instruction set inside a picture for building a sculpture.”

OK, this is important to understand. Put simply, almost all two dimensional drawings contain only two dimensional data. The shroud is a two dimensional drawing, but contains 3 dimensional data. Not such a big deal today, but quite a feat for the time period detractors claim the shroud was made in.

The shroud was either created by a genus, with the mind of a computer and the drawing ability of a graphics plotter, or it is the actual burial shroud of Jesus Christ. Those are about the only choices left.

As an engineer, I deal with drawings every day. I’m not an expert, such as a draftsperson or graphic artist would be, but I know that it’s only been within the last two decade that computers became powerful enough to render two dimensional data into three dimensional drawings.

Graphic of Face from the Shroud

Going back to my previous statement, an artist would not only have to be able to visualize, or render two dimensional data accurately into three dimensional data, something that takes massive computer power to do today, but he would also have to be able to draw it, just as perfectly as he envisioned it, something only high quality, precision plotters are capable of today. There would be no way to “erase” any errors in his work once he started rendering it on the linen cloth. If it was done in stages, as it would be impossible for a human to render an image this complex in one sitting, the shroud would most likely show imperfections where he left off on one day and resumed it the next. The odds of a person being able to do these things are, for all practical purposes, impossible.

I’m not Catholic, so as a “relic”, the shroud doesn’t mean as much to me as it would to practicing Catholics. With that said, I do find it a fascinating possibility that we might be looking at an image of our Lord and Savior, Jesus.

He told WND some scientists debate whether 3-D information is provided in the shroud.

“It’s so unusual to find this kind of information – in ancient cloths, photographs, paintings, drawings and etchings – it’s so unusual that some think it’s a miracle and some doubt it’s even there,” he said. “The people who say it’s not there haven’t examined it for themselves. Disbelievers disbelieve it. Believers think it’s a miracle ”

Downing used similar computer graphics techniques in 2009 to create moving images of Abraham Lincoln in “Stealing Lincoln’s Body.” He said in “The Real Face of Jesus?,” viewers will learn how artists used the technology to build the figure.

“There comes a time in the show where there’s a climax where we actually reveal the face of Jesus,” he explained. “What you’ll see is a very, very close shot of Jesus in the tomb, and then he comes to life.”

Downing said there are two lessons within the story of the shroud.

“There is the story of the shroud which, artistically and scientifically, is the story of a transition from two dimensional to three dimensional. But there is as well the story of the man in the shroud, and a record of His transformation from death to life,” Downing observed. “The two stories are intertwined; they seem to be one and the same.”

In 2009, Downing and the History Channel traveled to see John Jackson, a physics lecturer at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs who runs the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado, to learn more about the science of the cloth from the man who has studied it first-hand.

In 1978, Jackson led a team of American scientists which was given exclusive access to the Shroud of Turin for five days of intensive scientific examination. Jackson has continued his analysis of that data until the present time.

“People are so fascinated by this because there’s a real possibility that this might be the historic burial cloth of Jesus,” Jackson told WND. “If it’s the burial cloth of Jesus, then it would also be the resurrection cloth. Suddenly, you have a physical object – here we are 2,000 years later – that conceivably could just bring us right into the Easter tomb.”

Jackson said the shroud shows all the blood wounds that are recorded in the gospels. Among Jackson’s findings he cited:

* Bloodstains on the shroud are real, and the blood has not been degraded by heat.

* Historians say the stains are consistent with crucifixion, including puncture wounds from thorns and scourge marks from a Roman whip.

* A puncture wound in the man’s side is consistent with a Roman spear. And the wound marks showing nail holes through the wrists and heels are consistent with Roman crucifixion.

* A textile restorer, Mechthild Flury-Lemberg, in 2002 announced the stitching found in the material had been seen in material from only one other source: the ruins of Masada, a Jewish settlement destroyed in A.D. 74. And the herringbone weave was common in the First Century but rare in Middle Ages.

“It would seem that it’s pretty unique,” Jackson explained. “Crucifixion was done quite a bit in the Roman Empire. It was their way of controlling the population that they wanted to subjugate. But the crown of thorns, according to the gospel accounts, was something that was invented for Jesus because of his claim of being King of the Jews. He was also scourged as well. There was no record that the other two men who were crucified along with Jesus had it happen to them.”

Jackson said generations upon generations of people have passed on the shroud, and much of the information about the origins of the burial cloth was not passed along with it.

“So you just have a degradation of what you know about this cloth,” he said. “So you have to rely upon scientific archeology of the cloth to bridge over some of that ignorance and tie things together.”

The shroud’s detractors seem to want an unbroken evidence chain in order to substantiate the claims of this being Jesus’ actual shroud, but unfortunately the apostles didn’t bag it in a clear plastic bag, sealed it with red tape and label it with a Sharpie marker “Jesus’ Burial Shroud”.

No amount of information is ever enough for those wishing to disprove God and His plan of Salvation for Mankind.

Body Under the Shroud

Original Link.

History Channel “The Real Face of Jesus?”.
Studio MacBeth.
Ray Downing’s Website.
The Shroud of Turin Website.
Shroud of Turin Story.
The Turin Shroud Center of Colorado.
“Shroud of Turin” From Wikipedia.

Other Posts:
Face on Shroud of Turin Evident on “Hidden” Side – “Not a Medieval Painting or Photographic Rendering”.
Study by Statisticians Refute Conclusion of Shroud Carbon-14 Dating.
The Face in the Shroud – True or Not, Still Fascinating.
Italian Scientist Claims to Have Reproduced the Shroud of Turin.

Amnesty – Next on Liberals’ Agenda

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

No surprise here.

The head of an immigration enforcement PAC says in the aftermath of their healthcare victory, Democrats will push forward with another controversial agenda item — getting amnesty passed — in order to create millions of new Democratic voters.

According to William Gheen, the vast majority of Americans are opposed to amnesty — but he believes that just as with healthcare reform, President Obama and other liberal Democrats are prepared to move forward with the legislation anyway.

“Congressman [Luis] Gutierrez [of Illinois], their big leader in the House of Representatives, made it very clear that pushing through an unpopular bill like healthcare was their warm-up and preparedness run for a more unpopular push for amnesty,” says the president of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC.

Original Link.

“Not Your Mother’s Senior Prom” by Bryan Fischer

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

It’s a perfect storm of judicial activism, secular fundamentalism, and weakness in educational leadership.

As a result, we have now been told by a hyperactive federal judge that students who engage in sexually abnormal practices have a First Amendment right to bring their sexually abnormal dates to a high school dance, and there’s not a thing schools can do about it. This is not your mother’s senior prom.

Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Glen H. Davidson ruled that Itawamba County Agricultural High School in Fulton, Miss., violated Constance McMillen’s First Amendment free-speech rights because the school has had a policy in place for some time that if students bring a date to the senior prom, the date must be a member of the opposite sex. He didn’t order the school to reinstate its canceled prom, but only because a privately sponsored prom is in the works. Plus, something called the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition is hosting a prom for gay and lesbian students from all over the state. (See related news story)

The school’s policy is just good common sense, and in alignment with the understanding of gender that has undergirded civil society from time immemorial, ever since God created mankind “male and female,” according to Genesis 1:27.

Further, the school retained the right to establish certain appropriate dress code policies for dance attendees.

Ms. McMillen is an open lesbian and wanted to wear a tuxedo to prom and bring a lesbian date. The school said no.

Unfortunately, the school collapsed like a cheap tent in a stiff breeze as soon as the ACLU threatened a lawsuit, and canceled the senior prom altogether rather than showing enough spine to stand up to these schoolyard bullies. Liberty Counsel offered school officials the finest pro bono legal representation available, but the school did not even return Liberty’s phone calls.

Judge Davidson said the school violated Ms. McMillen’s right to free speech. This is utterly absurd. Ms. McMillen has been talking non-stop to anybody who will listen, and the school has made no effort of any kind to stop her from doing so. She’s been on The Early Show, The Wanda Sykes Show, The Ellen Degeneres Show, has done countless media interviews, and has 400,000 fans at the Facebook page set up for her by the ACLU. DeGeneres even presented her with a $30,000 college scholarship. We should all be lucky enough to have our rights violated so egregiously.

Wrote Judge Davidson in his opinion: “The Court finds this expression and communication of her viewpoint is the type of speech that falls squarely within the purview of the First Amendment.”

This, Judge Davidson, is not a matter of free speech at all. “Speech,” after all, is “speech” — not behavior or conduct. And further, what business is it of the federal government — any branch of the federal government — to tell rural schools anywhere how to run school dances? You will look in vain for any mention of proms, tuxedos, or sexual orientation in the federal Constitution.

A judge who had not drunk deeply of the spirit of judicial activism and political correctness would simply have tossed this case out of his courtroom before it ever got heard. He would have told the ACLU to go away, instructing them that the Constitution gives the central government no authority whatsoever to tell tiny rural schools how to manage social events.

The ACLU, now empowered to push every school in the nation around, will now go after school after school and pressure them to normalize homosexual behavior, using senior proms as their battering ram. That ultimately is what this is about: forcing schools to treat non-normative sexuality as it if were the moral equivalent of normative sexuality, and at the same time shredding what remains of the Judeo-Christian value system on which this nation was built.

The ACLU claims that it just wanted Ms. McMillen to be treated equally. Well, in point of fact, she was being treated with absolute equality by the school. The same policy — if you want to bring a date, the date must be of the opposite sex — applied to every student in the school. There wasn’t one rule for Ms. McMillen and a different rule for everybody else. If she wanted to bring a date, she could, on the same basis as every other student in the school. You can’t get any fairer and more equal than that.

What this makes clear is that the ACLU is not after equal rights for homosexuals — they want special rights. Ms. McMillen already had equal rights, but that was not good enough for the tyrants at the ACLU.

The ACLU claims to be pro-choice. But apparently that only applies if you make choices of which they approve. If you don’t, they will haul you into court and get a judge to spank you and order you to make the choice the ACLU wants you to make. Itawamba County school officials can be forgiven for wondering about what happened to their freedom of choice here.

The ACLU can’t stop lecturing us about the evils of imposing our values on other people. Yet here they are, gleefully forcing their values down the throat of an entire school district, aided and abetted by a federal judge. Who is forcing their values on whom here?

And the ACLU is not done here yet. Now they’re going to court in an attempt to pick the pockets of the taxpayers of Itawamba County for damages and attorneys’ fees.

Let’s hope school officials elsewhere will stand up and fight rather than weakly capitulating to the immoral demands of homosexual activists. The American Family Association, among many other pro-family groups, stands ready to help. After all, this country belongs to the people, not the thugs at the ACLU — and it’s time we told them so.

Original Link.

“Healthcare is NOT a ‘Right'” by David E. Smith

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Like many Americans across the nation, I watched intensely as Congress debated and ultimately passed the onerous healthcare “reform” bill Sunday evening. One main point of contention is the idea — affirmed by some radically “progressive” lawmakers — that healthcare is a “right.” This is nothing short of socialistic propaganda.

The implicit claim in the assertion that healthcare is a “right” is that it is a constitutionally protected right. All experts agree that healthcare is neither a constitutional nor a legal right. In America we understand that our rights to the free exercise of religion, to speak freely, to bear arms, and to be secure from unwarranted search and seizure come from God.

To see the difference in government-mandated healthcare and real rights, look at how they are exercised. Historically, American citizens have been free to exercise their real, constitutionally protected rights — or not — as they see fit.

For example, the government does not compel citizens to attend church in the name of religious freedom. The government does not compel citizens to own a gun in the name of the Second Amendment. And the government does not force citizens to engage in the political process in the name of free speech.

In contrast, our radically “progressive” friends are eager to compel every American using the heavy hand of government to exercise their so-called “right” to healthcare. Should we celebrate the passage of a bill that in the service of non-existent rights actually diminishes our liberty?

What is really at issue is not whether healthcare is a “right,” but whether citizens have a right to taxpayer-funded healthcare. What other cherished American “right” has ever required that we diminish another’s liberty? Does the right to free speech require newspaper owners to print every op-ed and editorial? Does the right to bear arms require the government to arm its citizenry? Does the freedom of religion require government-funding of churches, mosques, and synagogues? Of course not!

Why then, does this “right” to healthcare require the government to take from some to give to others? When in the history of our country have we had to secure a right by trampling on the liberties of others?

Make no mistake…that is exactly what is happening with this government takeover of the healthcare industry. This new healthcare “right” will be forced on every American; and it will be made possible — in the words of Karl Marx — by taking from citizens “according to their ability” and giving to others “according to their needs.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Both Sides Claim Victory in Lesbian Prom Ruling

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

OK, I’m a bit confused about this one. The judge cited a First Amendment violation. The first amendment says:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Exactly were are lesbian prom dates covered?? I’m guessing this judge will cite some kind of “free speech” thing, although I’m sure that’s not what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote the First Amendment.

In February, Constance McMillen, an 18-year-old lesbian student at Itawamba Agricultural High School, approached school officials and asked if she could bring her girlfriend to the prom. Administrators said no, then cancelled the prom, citing distractions caused by the situation. The ACLU then sued in an effort to force the district to hold the event.

On Tuesday, a federal judge said while the school violated McMillen’s First Amendment rights, he was not going to force the school to hold the prom, saying it “would only confuse and confound the community” to require the district to step back in a sponsorship role. Judge Glen Davidson did say he will hold a trial at a later date.

Steve Crampton with Liberty Counsel concurs. “I think it was the right ruling, and it was asking an awfully lot to try to force the school to sponsor a prom when it had withdrawn its sponsorship,” says the attorney. “All in all I think this is the correct outcome. Frankly, I’ll be surprised if this case ends up going to trial.”

According to the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, McMillen’s attorneys do not plan to appeal the ruling, but will seek compensatory damages against the Itawamba Independent School District. They told the Daily Journal that the ruling establishes a national precedent for same-sex couples who want to attend their proms.

Original Link.