INTERESTING: Voynich manuscript decoded

Saturday, September 9, 2017

MYSTERY SOLVED —The mysterious Voynich manuscript has finally been decoded
History researcher says that it’s a mostly plagiarized guide to women’s health.
ANNALEE NEWITZ – 9/8/2017, 4:10 PM

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Since its discovery in 1912, the 15th century Voynich Manuscript has been a mystery and a cult phenomenon. Full of handwriting in an unknown language or code, the book is heavily illustrated with weird pictures of alien plants, naked women, strange objects, and zodiac symbols. Now, history researcher and television writer Nicholas Gibbs appears to have cracked the code, discovering that the book is actually a guide to women’s health that’s mostly plagiarized from other guides of the era.

Gibbs writes in the Times Literary Supplement that he was commissioned by a television network to analyze the Voynich Manuscript three years ago. Because the manuscript has been entirely digitized by Yale’s Beinecke Library, he could see tiny details in each page and pore over them at his leisure. His experience with medieval Latin and familiarity with ancient medical guides allowed him to uncover the first clues.

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Having had some training in cryptology, I found this interesting and somewhat funny.

I guess no one in 100+ years  ever put together the clues.

Great job by this fellow.

Guess we need an inventory of all the “puzzles” for TV shows to solve for us. Maybe they can solve all our problems.

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INTERESTING: Would seem that “The West” is superior!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Western Values Are Superior
By Walter E. Williams
July 26, 2017

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Here’s part of President Donald Trump’s speech in Poland: “The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?”

After this speech, which was warmly received by Poles, the president encountered predictable criticism. Most of the criticism reflected gross ignorance and dishonesty.

One example of that ignorance was penned in the Atlantic magazine by Peter Beinart, a contributing editor and associate professor of journalism and political science at the City University of New York. Beinart said, “Donald Trump referred 10 times to ‘the West’ and five times to ‘our civilization.’ His white nationalist supporters will understand exactly what he means.” He added, “The West is a racial and religious term. To be considered Western, a country must be largely Christian (preferably Protestant or Catholic) and largely white.”

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By the way, one need not be a Westerner to hold Western values. One just has to accept the sanctity of the individual above all else.

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From the barbarism and the treatment of women certainly illustrates how correct this is.

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INTERESTING: The Giant Stone Balls of Costa Rica — another example of how little we know

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

6 Insane Discoveries That Science Can’t Explain

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The Giant Stone Balls of Costa Rica

The Mystery:

Costa Rica and a few surrounding areas are scattered with giant stone balls. They are smooth and perfectly spherical, or nearly so. Some of them are quite small, a few inches in diameter, but some of them are as large as eight feet in diameter weighing several tons.

They have been chiseled to perfection by persons unknown, despite the fact that Costa Rica is still not scheduled to enter the Bronze Age until 2013. The are balls everywhere and serve no apparent purpose, like a swing club on Gentlemen’s Night.

And God said, “It’s nice, but could use some more purposeless balls.”

Some of the balls have been blasted apart by locals hoping to find gold, coffee beans, or even babies. Some have been rolled around, but some are too heavy to move even with a bulldozer. Not that they have bulldozers in Costa Rica.

Why Can’t They Solve It?

About the most useful information anyone has gotten is that there are not, under any circumstance, any quarries anywhere near the balls. This information is actually useless considering the balls are carved from volcanic rock.

Our Guess:

In 1,000 years the eggs of the stone men will hatch, and their offspring will emerge to rule the Earth.

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It’s amazing how little we know.

I wonder how many more “mysteries” there are. Probably need a Snopes-like site to catalog them.


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INTERESTING: Self-driving car displaces the regional airplane?

Monday, July 17, 2017

Dear United: Autonomous cars will pull you out of your seat
Posted 4 hours ago by Cyrus Radfar (@cyrusradfar)

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The Golden Triangle: Faster, Cheaper, and Better

In general, terrestrial short haul may be as fast or slightly slower than airlines, today. Nevertheless, it’s likely to be much more consistent on both price and time to the destination.

It’s hard to believe that the experience wouldn’t be more comfortable door to door and it will, likely, be much more affordable, especially for business group travel.

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According to some estimates, the price of cabs sans driver could come down as much as three-quarters. If the journey between LA and SF with one passenger may be twice the cost of the best price and with more passengers, autonomous travel would become the cheaper option.

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Interesting is the cost savings. ¾ price advantage, no security, and a comfortable ride — sounds like the poor man’s “private jet”.

Where do I sign up?

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

How the equals sign changed the world
500 years ago, tragic Welsh genius Robert Recorde wanted to teach math to ordinary people.
ESTHER INGLIS-ARKELL – 7/9/2017, 9:00 AM

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Recorde found it irritating to have to state over and over that one side of an equation was equal to the other side. He wrote, with obvious annoyance and whimsical spelling, “And to avoide the tedious repetition of these woordes, is equalle to, I will sette as I doe often in woorke use, a paire of paralleles.” Instead of using a phrase to convey meaning, he would convey the same meaning with a symbol. What symbol could be more appropriate than a pair of equal-length lines? Nothing, Recorde explained, “noe 2 thyngs, can be moare equalle.”

Recorde’s symbol didn’t catch on at first. The language of Latin still held sway during the 16th century. Latin had a word for the concept, “aequalis,” and if more concision was necessary, people could shorten it to “ae” or “oe.” But aiding the popularity of the equals sign was Recorde’s introduction, to English-speakers, of the German symbols “+” and “-“. In combination, these signs allowed people to express, quickly and with a minimum of wasted ink, a mathematical equation in symbols. Instead of writing, “A factore added to a quantitie of thryeye is equalle to a dyffyrynte factore frome whyche is takene awaye a quantitie of foure,” a mathematician could write: “x + 3 = y – 4”.

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Sadly, Recorde wasn’t lauded as a hero of rationality and math education in his lifetime. Brilliant as he was, he forgot one of the basic rules of his day: the aristocracy always wins. 

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I particularly like the observation that he brought “quantification” to the general population.

Sad that he wound up being “unequal”.


Imagine if the human race cherished genius instead of celebrity, status, or “royalty”. 


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INTERESTING: I got pulled over?

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

2017-Jul-11 1055

Interesting morning. 

I was driving the Caddie and pulled out of 7-11 when there was big gap in the traffic. Someone jumped into my gap and I was forced to stay on the shoulder for three or four cars. Finally a cop let me in. I waved thanks and toodled along. 

Two lights later, he lit me up and pulled me over. Argh!

So I sat quietly until he walked up to the car. On his way to the driver’s side window, he touched the driver’s side rear light. That struck me as strange.

“Registration and insurance card”. I responded: “It’s in the glove box.” “Ok, you can get it now and thanks for telling me.” I got them out and the contents of the box rolled out. I took them out of the evelope and passed them to him. 

“License.” “In my wallet”. “OK”. So extracted the wallet and pulled it out and handed it to him.

He said: “I pulled you over because your license came back as suspended. Did you turn your NJ license when you got a NH one?” “yes. The car is based in NJ so it’s registered and insursed here.” “OK.”

He went back to the police car. And spent a few minutes. On the way back, he touched the taillight again. Struck me as strange.

“Do you still have the address in Kendall Park?” “Yes.” “OK. No problem.”

And I went on my way.

I’m still wondering why he touched the car?

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INTERESTING: A ship tunnel

Monday, May 8, 2017


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NORWAY IS HOME to more than 1,100 road tunnels. They cut through the mountains and stretch under its deep sea, allowing vehicles a more direct route through the country’s challenging terrain. The Scandinavian country has burrowed thoroughfares for nearly every mode of transportation—except one.

“We build a lot of tunnels, just not for ships” says Terje Andreassen, head of Kystverket, the Norwegian coastal administration. It’s strange when you think about it. Norway has more than 18,000 miles of coastline, punctuated by rugged cliffs that jut into the sea like outstretched fingers. The country’s fjords fill the long, slender gaps between the cliffs. These narrow inlets are famed for their beauty, but are a pain for shipping vessels. Traversing the country’s coast requires venturing in and out of fjords, which is inefficient; and rough waters on the open ocean occasionally strand boats in an inlet’s relatively placid waters. That’s why, for the last two years, Kystverket and the architecture firm Snohetta have plugged away at a proposal to build the world’s first ship tunnel. The recently approved plan calls for a mile-long passageway through the Stadlandet Peninsula in northwestern Norway, and would afford boats a safe and quick alternative to the tumultuous waters separating two major fjords.

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Seems so obvious.

And a great engineering feat.

Makes life better, safer, and more predictable for their society.

My only question is: “As a gooferment project, as opposed to one funded and done by an entrepreneur, how much of a boondoggle will this become?”

We’ll just have to wait and see.

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