Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The Alan Turing link

It was hard to go anywhere in Southern Turkey without coming across an old ruin of some sort.  This was a very fine example of an amphitheater - in very good condition.  In those days of course I was fit to climb up high, which is always a good idea when taking photographs...

Did I really climb up that high?

What I do remember is the amazing acoustics in this outdoor theatre.  This is one of my favourite photographs of this trip, with my old Prof Dick Grimsdale standing in the centre spot:

View from above

I can recall being astounded that I could hear Dick speaking in a normal voice from the very top of the amphitheater - the acoustics were just incredible.  They clearly knew what they were doing, those old Turks.  

Dick Grimsdale was a bit of a legend - he had studied Computing at Manchester University in the 1950s.  Manchester was at the forefront of computing in those days, and Dick was there when Alan Turing died from cyanide poisoning.  He had been prosecuted 2 years earlier for homosexual acts and had accepted oestrogen injections (chemical castration) instead of a prison term.   As a society we've come a long way since then, thank goodness, but what an awful end to a brilliant man's life.

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