Daily Update: Thursday, May 18th, 2017

John I

Today is the Optional Memorial of Saint John I, Pope and Martyr (died 526).

Born about 470 in Siena, Tuscany, he may have been be the “Deacon John” who signed the acta (ecclesiastic publication) of the Roman synods of 499 and 502; the fact that the Roman church only had seven deacons at the time makes identifying him with this person very likely. He he was known to have been a partisan of the Antipope Laurentius (reigned 498 until 506). For in a libellus written to Pope Symmachus in 506, John confessed his error in opposing him, condemned Peter of Altinum and Laurentius, and begged pardon of Symmachus. He might have been the “Deacon John” to whom Boethius, the 6th-Century philosopher, dedicated three of his five religious tractates, or treatises, written between 512 and 520. John was very frail when he was elected to the papacy as Pope John I in 523. Despite his protests, Pope John was sent by the Arian King Theodoric the Great (ruler of the Ostrogoths, a kingdom in present-day Italy, with its capital in Ravenna) to Constantinople to secure a moderation of a decree against the Arians, issued in 523, of Emperor Justin, ruler of the Byzantine, or East Roman, Empire. King Theodoric threatened that if John should fail in his mission, there would be reprisals against the orthodox, or non-Arian, Catholics in the West. John proceeded to Constantinople (the first Pope known to have traveled to Constantinople during his papacy) with a considerable entourage; his religious companions included Bishop Ecclesius of Ravenna, Bishop Eusebius of Fanum Fortunae, and Sabinus of Campania. His secular companions were the senators Flavius Theodorus, Inportunus, Agapitus, and the patrician Agapitus. Emperor Justin was recorded as receiving John honorably and promised to do everything the embassy asked of him, with the exception of restoring converts from Arianism-to-Catholicism to their original beliefs. Although John was successful in his mission, when he returned to Ravenna, Theodoric’s capital in Italy, Theodoric had John arrested on the suspicion of having conspired with Emperor Justin. John was imprisoned at Ravenna, where he died of neglect and ill treatment. His body was transported to Rome and buried in the Basilica of St. Peter.

Last night before turning in I watched MST3K Episode 105 The Corpse Vanishes (with Bela Lugosi as a mad scientist, a crazed Romanian woman, her sadistic hunchback son, and her dwarf son) With short: Radar Men from the Moon, Part 3: “Bridge of Death”.

I wile up at 9:00 am and did my Book Devotional Reading; I then read the morning papers, and watched MST3K Episode 106 The Crawling Hand until I established that I had seen it before. I then watched MST3K Episode 108 The Slime People (according to Wikipedia, “The film was infamous for its extensive use of fog machines, with the fog becoming so thick towards the end that it is virtually impossible to see any of the actors,”) With short: Radar Men from the Moon, Part 6: “Hills of Death”, and we ate lunch via Crispy Cajun while watching MST3K Episode 110 Robot Holocaust (a dystopian vision of feature, with a world controlled by robots, a drifter from the Wasteland with a freebot sidekick; the movie was in color, after Joel and the bots complained of no color films to be tortured with) With shorts: Radar Men from the Moon, Part 9: “Battle in the Stratosphere” (Partial) I then came to the computer and did a couple of Advance Daily Update Drafts; I then finished working on my July Weblog photos, and uploaded my March and April photos from my camera to the hard drive of the computer. We then watched Jeopardy!, and I came to the computer to do today’s Daily Update. I will do some reading in  The Noonday Devil: Acedia, The Unnamed Evil of Our Times by Jean-Charles Nault, Translated by Michael J. Miller before going to sleep, and the Last Quarter Moon will arrive at 8:36 pm. Our #6 LSU Tigers (36-17, 18-9) will begin their last College Baseball series of the regular season at the #13 Mississippi State Bulldogs (34-19, 17-10) tonight.

Tomorrow we have no Saints to honor; instead, we will note that tomorrow is the anniversary of the 1536 execution of Queen Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry the Eighth of England. Richard and I will return to the casino to start our work week of dealing to drunk Texans from 3:00 am to 11:00 am each work day. In the afternoon I will probably watch yet another MST3K Episode. (Not all of the episodes are available on YouTube, which is why it appears that I have skipped over some episodes.) Our #19 LSU Lady Tigers will be playing the Fairfield Lady Stags at the NCAA College Softball Tournament Regional in Baton Rouge, and our #6 LSU Tigers will play the second game of their last College Baseball series of the regular season at the #13 Mississippi State Bulldogs/

This Thursday afternoon brings us a Parting Quote from Raymond Gosling, British scientist. Born in 1926 in Wembley, London, England, he studied physics at University College London from 1944 to 1947 and became a hospital physicist at the King’s Fund and Middlesex Hospital between 1947 and 1949 before joining King’s College London as a research student where he eventually received his PhD. At King’s College Gosling worked on X-ray diffraction with Maurice Wilkins, analyzing samples of DNA which they prepared by hydrating and drawing out into thin filaments and photographing in a hydrogen atmosphere. Gosling was then assigned to Rosalind Franklin as his academic supervisor when she joined King’s College in 1951. They worked under the direction of Sir John Randall, and together they produced the first X-ray diffraction photographs of the “form B” paracrystalline arrays of highly hydrated DNA. During the next two years, the pair worked closely together to perfect the technique of x-ray diffraction photography of DNA and obtained at the time the sharpest diffraction images of DNA. Gosling made the X-ray diffraction image of DNA known as “Photograph 51.” This work led directly to the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine being awarded to Francis Crick, James D. Watson and Maurice Wilkins. Gosling was the co-author with Franklin of one of the three DNA double helix papers published in Nature in April 1953. His other KCL colleagues included Alex Stokes and Herbert Wilson. Gosling briefly remained at King’s College following the completion of his thesis in 1954 before lecturing in physics at Queen’s College, University of St Andrews, and at the University of the West Indies. He returned to the United Kingdom in 1967 and became Lecturer and Reader at Guy’s Hospital Medical School, and Professor and Emeritus Professor in Physics Applied to Medicine from 1984. Here he helped develop the underlying basic medical science and technology for haemodynamic doppler ultrasound vascular assessment in the Non Invasive Angiology Group, and set up the clinical Ultrasonic Angiology Unit. Gosling served on numerous committees of the University of London, notably relating to radiological science, and retained an active professional involvement in medical physics almost to the end of his life (died 2015): “I wanted to do Medicine, but Father said we couldn’t afford Medicine because it would take x years to qualify and so on. And so the next best thing to doing medicine I thought was to do a fundamental subject like physics. I was very attracted by the thought that the Scots always refer to physics as ‘natural philosophy’.”

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