Tuesday, 10 November 2015


Prestigious events are a bit like Glasgow buses: there are never any for ages, then they all come along at the same time.

Iain has been very busy preparing a speech for the Royal Society meeting in Edinburgh yesterday  The occasion was a day conference entitled
Celebrating the Genius
and Legacy of James Clerk-Maxwell

Friends and family were able to watch the talk being Live Streamed from the Royal Society lecture hall.  It was wonderful technology ... really very well done!

These 3 photos are screen shots of his presentation.

His input to the day was to talk about Maxwell's experiments and thinking in the field of what is today called Structural Mechanics.

Always mindful to keep a difficult subject alive, he uses models to explain how structures behave and how certain mathematical equations came about in this field.

He was very honoured to meet people from science, engineering and astronomy who gathered to talk about Maxwell's contribution in their particular field.

 * * * * *

And on a completely different note, today he was involved in a Graduation Ceremony.  He needed his academic gown for this.  

Handing me a crumpled gown and hood which has been in the loft or some other not very ventilated place, I decided to revive it by hanging it on the line and letting the (days' long) rain do its work.

That was a good move.  The gown, made by Forsyth's of Glasgow in, probably, the 50s, ironed beautifully as the fabric is very good cloth. It is a PhD gown of Glasgow University, with the lovely red panels down the front.   "Doctors of Philosophy (Ph.D.) wear as Undress Black silk or stuff, with a collar falling over the yoke and full sleeves half the length of the gown. on top of this there are facings of crimson silk."  I wonder what "stuff" is...I have a feeling it is 'grosgrain' as described below.

The hood is an old friend!  I made it. The year must have been 1969 or 70.  I bought the black cloth and seem to recall it was barathea.

I found this:
BARATHEA: [neckties]. 1. A silk, rayon, or manufactured fiber necktie fabric with a broken rib weave and a characteristic pebbly appearance. 2. A fine, dress fabric with a silk warp and worsted filling, woven in a broken filling rib which completely covers the warp. 3. A smooth-faced worsted uniform cloth with an indistinct twilled basket weave of fine two-ply yarns.

GROSGRAIN: A heavy fabric with prominent ribs, grosgrain has a dressy appearance and is used in ribbons, vestments, and ceremonial cloths.

I simply copied another hood, bought some crimson silk material (actually I think it is taffeta) to match and sewed it on my Singer machine.

And it is still going strong!

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