Open letter to Sci Am on the cold spot off topic:
One of the relatively silly bits of lore about ghosts is that if a place is haunted there may be a palpable cold spot there.  Can’t say I’ve ever encountered such a thing with or without reported ghosts, but it’s in the book so to speak.  There was once a cute little story in an old comic book (Alas I have no reference; if anybody knows let me know at and I’ll add it.) about a sapper in WWII in London.  A bomb had gone through the roof of a church said to be haunted.  The sapper went in and found that the bomb had a timing mechanism so it would go off at an unpredictable moment.  This was intended to terrorize bystanders and sappers alike and maybe to kill a sapper or two.

The sapper started to go back out to his jeep to fetch some refrigerant so he could freeze up the mechanism, but before he got there another bomb had taken out the jeep and all his kit.  So he decided he’d just work as fast as he could.  When others got there they found the bomb defused and the sapper laughing hysterically.  He said the ghost had come in, faded into the timer and frozen it up while the man worked.

Well there seems to be a real cold spot in space, recent work on which prompted an article that in turn prompted this letter. 

July 28, 2016
I was interested by your article, Islván Szapudi “The Emptiest Place in Space” Scientific American vol. 315 no. 2 August 2016 page 28, about a cold spot in the cosmic microwave background radiation, now probably explained by a huge void in space with few or no galaxies. 

The cold spot is said to be eight times as wide as the moon.  Even I could wrap my mind around something that big.  It would be nice if you would give us a map of the hole relative to some large stars so we would go out and stare at the area, seeing nothing but wondering.


M. Linton Herbert

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