February 2021 News Headlines
[Polly and I are devastated to announce that on Saturday January 30th 2021, John was walking to the shops along a sidestreet in Southport he has used for more than 10 years and was attacked from behind by an unknown assailant. The man slapped the back of his head, did the same to the right side of his head while shouting something John couldn't hear or make out. He then either hit him in the sternum with a fist or elbow. John lost his balance and fell over. Realising he would fall, John put his Right hand and arm over his head to prevent it impacting the ground and this saved him any head traumas.
The male attacker then calmly walked away aware that no-one had witnessed the assault which took place behind a high-sided vehicle. It was approx 17:15 and was just getting dark. John could only see the back of the man - dark or black clothes with a black hoody up over his head, and he glanced back quickly twice but by them he was about 150 yards away and John could not make out any features. One local private CCTV camera showed John walking slowly up to this vehicle and a young male walking quickly behind him. Only the attacker appared from behind the larger vehicle walking more slowly down the street. John was on the floor behind the larger vehicle where the assault took place. Police said there were no other CCTV cameras in the area, so the assault itself was not captured on video.
It was almost 1 hour and 30 minutes before the ambulance arrived, though the police arrived after around an hour. John has some medical training with St. John's Ambulance - the last time in 1999 - and did a quick self-assessment, diagnosing a possible broken left femur and/or hip. By then the temperature had dropped to minus 3/4 degrees centigrade, and John was lucky not to have slipped into serious hypothermia.
When the ambulance arrived he told the paramedics what he suspected and after they examined John on the ground they concurred. It took them 10 minutes to get him on a stretcher and into the ambulance. John was fully awake throughout and in incredible pain but remained alert and coherent throughout, engaging with the police and paramedics.They took him to Southport A & E holding area where he was immediately tested for the SARS CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19. All tests were thankfully negative so they put him in the non-covid A&E bay. X-rays showed several fractures in the neck of his left femur, and after some welcome morphine he had a less painful but rough night and an emergency operation first thing next morning.
After almost 2 weeks in hospital, and much physiotherapy, he was discharged to home with a 'stroller' - like a small zimmer frame with 2 wheels on the front - where he remains in recovery. Due to lockdowns Polly and I have not been able to leave the Frankfurt area of Germany to be with him, but a Polish friend, Dawid, has been helping John with his shopping needs, and clearing a pathway for him to get to the bathroom/bedroom/kitchen and lounge on his own using his stroller.
As of February 28 2021, John can now get himself up out of bed, wash and dress himself, and make his own food and hot drinks, but understands he will not be able to continue updating The Morien Institute website he has edited for the past 25 years. He also understands he will not be able to walk again unaided for the rest of his life, though knowing John we can confidently say he will undoubtedly try his best to do so. He is not a quitter, and we hope to be able get to him soon and find a new home for him more suitable to his new level of physical abilities, and hopefully help him regain as much mobility as possible - Helen
UPDATE APRIL 01 2021 - John is progressing slowly in his efforts to regain his mobility following the attack of January 30th 2021 which left him with a fractured Neck of his Left Femur. The emergency operation he had the following day went well, but since he has been discharged from hospital it has been a struggle for him to live independently despite daily help from his friend, Dawid, who does shopping for him. We are all very grateful to Dawid.
Obviously John cannot sit at the computer for very long at all without experiencing severe pain, so there will be no further updates of The Morien Institute website until Polly and I can arrange regular access to the servers to help him. This cannot be done at the moment as we are still in lockdown outside of Frankfurt and Germany is experiencing another lockdown due to a surge in new variant Covid-19 cases. PLEASE bear with us during these tragic times for John, and many thanks to all those who have sent good wishes to John. They are realy appreciated - Helen
January 2021 News Headlines
"The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project" Cardiff/Athens Universites (Cymru/Greece)
[In October 1900, Captain Dimitrious Kondos was leading a team of sponge divers near the the island of Antikythera off the coast of Greece. They noticed a shipwreck about 180 feet below the surface and began to investigate. Amongst the artifacts that they brought up was a coral-encrusted piece of metal that later archaeologists found was some sort of gear wheel.
The rest of the artifacts, along with the shape of the boat, suggested a date around 2000 years ago, which made the find one of the most anomalous that had ever been recovered from the Greek seas. It became known as The Antikythera Mechanism.
In 2006 the journal "Nature" published a letter, and another paper about the mechanism was published in 2008, detailing the findings of Prof. Mike G. Edmunds of Cardiff University. Using high-resolution X-ray tomography to study the fragments of the anomalous Antikythera Mechanism, they found that it was in fact a bronze mechanical analog computer that could be used to calculate the astronomical positions and various cycles of the Moon - as seen from the Earth: - Ed]