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September 2008 Archives

September 11, 2008

Imaging the human body

I went to a wonderful lecture in Stirling yesterday. It was at the Stirling Smith, which is currently hosting ten Leonardo drawings from the Royal collection, and has an associated series of lunchtime lectures on Wednesdays until 31 October. If they can even approach the standard of yesterday's, it will be a truly remarkable series.

The speaker was John Reid, a Consultant Radiologist and a bit of a Renaissance man himself. He ranged widely over paintings, anatomy, astronomy and the physics of recent medical advances in imaging, with a talk supported by stunning visuals – without a note or script in sight. Articulate, interesting and professional, he even worked in a reference to Big Bang Day!

From X-rays to MRI, his exposition of the incredible advances in technique left us all the more bemused by how Leonardo managed such detailed, accurate and incisive drawings 500 years ago. His Vitruvian Man of 1487 embodies the mathematical proportions of Vitruvius in astonishing details. And I shan't forget Reid's movie of the human heart demonstrating its pumping through the mitral and tricuspid valves – with full three dimensional realism – for a very long time. It was superlative.

September 20, 2008

Fresh Light on Dumyat

Yesterday, we launched Light on Dumyat, the wonderful adventure novel for children, as part of Stirling Literary Festival, at the Stirling Smith. Elspeth King, its curator who has so successfully captured the Leonardo drawings for this, its only Scottish venue, was chairman for the evening. Moira Lawson, Chairman of the Friends of the Smith, spoke about the book’s origin and appeal. Clearly an ex-teacher, she had excellent rapport with the audience of over 100.

False modesty will not, however, prevent me from expressing my belief that husband Keir was on top form in his speech which set the “political incorrectness” of Rennie’s fine novel in the context of modern educational thinking about childhood and children’s needs for autonomy and real experiences. Willie Thom, an old friend of Rennie’s and former policeman and advocate, told me that this last speaker was so good that somebody should make a transcript available. Since he didn't know of my connection with the event, I gave this some weight. Keir speaks only from a few notes, but this morning I sat him down and simply took dictation. You can read the result here.

All credit to the McOwan family who hosted a fine launch and to Moira who also created the superb refreshments. Rennie is well known to this audience, not only as founder of Stirling Literary Society and Friends of the Ochils, but also as a celebrated and popular Stirling citizen. He was kept busy, signing about 90 books, and chatting to so many guests who obviously warmly welcomed the book's rebirth.

About September 2008

This page contains all entries posted to Jacquetta in September 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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