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From User: Elonka

New York Times Best-Selling Authors Unveil Secrets of The Lost Symbol
Topic: Miscellaneous 6:46 pm EST, Dec 22, 2009

Elonka Dunin, America’s leading code-breaker, who “appeared” in The Lost Symbol as Nola Kaye, teases readers with a puzzle that helps drive the plot: "Is the secret to the infamous and as-yet-unsolved Kryptos sculpture at the CIA truly 'buried out there somewhere'?"

Whee, "America's leading code-breaker"? Publicity's nice and all, but that's a bit much. "World's #1 expert on Kryptos", sure, but for a modern code-breaker, I'd be more inclined to list someone such as Bruce Schneier.


New York Times Best-Selling Authors Unveil Secrets of The Lost Symbol

Poems showing the absurdity of English spelling
Topic: Miscellaneous 8:43 am EDT, Apr 27, 2008

I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble, but not you,
On hiccough, thorough, lough and through?
Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps?
Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird,
And dead: it's said like bed, not bead -
For goodness sake don't call it deed!

Poems showing the absurdity of English spelling

George Takei 0wnz Tim Hardaway
Topic: Society 2:46 pm EST, Feb 27, 2007

A must-watch clip of gay actor George Takei (Sulu from Star Trek) responding to Hardaway's homophobic comments.

Elonka :)

George Takei 0wnz Tim Hardaway

How I spent my Christmas vacation
Topic: Miscellaneous 4:04 pm EST, Jan  8, 2007

why is it that sometimes u recommend a post and the system puts reduntant post and occasionally, like this one till this edit, the system clones the oiginal post?

How I spent my Christmas vacation

Mafia Boss's Encrypted Messages Unraveled
Topic: Technology 8:18 pm EDT, Apr 19, 2006

April 17, 2006 — The recently arrested "boss of bosses" of the Sicilian Mafia, Bernardo Provenzano, wrote notes using an encryption scheme similar to the one used by Julius Caesar more than 2,000 years ago, according to a biography of Italy's most wanted man.
. . .
The letter, written in January 2001 by Angelo Provenzano to his father, was found with other documents when one of Provenzano's men, Nicola La Barbera, was arrested

"...I met 512151522 191212154 and we agreed that we will see each other after the holidays...," said the letter, which included several other cryptograms.

"The Binnu code is nothing new: each number corresponds to a letter of the alphabet. "A" is 4, "B" is 5, "C" is 6 and so on until the letter Z , which corresponds to number 24," wrote Palazzolo and Oliva.

While the classic Caesar cipher moves everything three letters later (A becomes D, B becomes E, etc.), the "Provenzano code" assigns a number to each letter by simply increasing by 3 the value given to the 21 letters of the Italian alphabet listed in order.
So, A becomes 4 (1 3), B becomes 5 (2 3), C becomes 6 (3 3), etc
"In the Provenzano code the key is the 3 shift," mathematics expert Alessandro Martignago told Discovery News.

As the code is cracked, the "512151522 191212154" person becomes "Binnu Riina." Most likely, it refers to Bernardo Riina, arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of aiding Provenzano while he was on the run.

I got a letter from someone who said that Provenzano might have done better if he would have read my book first . . . ;)

Mafia Boss's Encrypted Messages Unraveled

Slashdot | Interview With Cryptographer Elonka Dunin
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:20 pm EST, Mar 14, 2006

Interview With Cryptographer Elonka Dunin

from the old-school-geeks dept.

An anonymous reader writes "Whitedust is running a very interesting article with the DEF CON speaker and cryptographer Elonka Dunin. The article covers her career and specifically her involvement with the CIA and other US Military agencies."

Top link on slashdot for the nanosecond...

Slashdot | Interview With Cryptographer Elonka Dunin

(in Polish) Information about Rodryg Dunin's Granowko estate
Topic: Home and Garden 7:01 pm EST, Jan  3, 2006

własność Rodryga hrabiego Dunina. - Majętność ta, dawniejsza siedziba Nieżychowskich, od roku 1898 znajduje się w rękach obecnego właściciela. - D..wygodny i przestworny, zbudowany został w pierwszej połowie zeszłego wieku przez .esnego właściciela Nepomucena Nieżychowskiego.

One of the things that I find frustrating about researching my heritage, is all the different ways that names can be spelled. For example, I've done many searches on my great-grandfather's name "Rodryg Dunin", but it was only today that someone (from Poland) showed me this site, with an actual picture of his home. The name is listed as "Rodryga hrabiego Dunina", which (I think) is the possessive form, so a rough translation would be "belonging to Count Rodryg Dunin".

In any case, I'm delighted to see this image. It was one of those "OMG" moments for me.

More Google searches to do now....

Elonka :)

does that make you secretly a countess Elonka? ;-)

(in Polish) Information about Rodryg Dunin's Granowko estate

Powell's Rules
Topic: Miscellaneous 12:42 pm EDT, May 30, 2005

Colin Powell kept a set of these rules on his desk. For the last several years, I've kept a copy in my office as well. I've been staring at it alot today, so I figured it was worth memeing.

] 1. It ain't as bad as you think. It will look better in the
] morning.
] 2. Get mad, then get over it.
] 3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when
] your position falls, your ego goes with it.
] 4. It can be done!
] 5. Be careful what you choose. You may get it.
] 6. Don't let adverse facts stand in the way of a good
] decision.
] 7. You can't make someone else's choices. You shouldn't let
] someone else make yours.
] 8. Check small things.
] 9. Share credit.
] 10. Remain calm. Be kind.
] 11. Have a vision. Be demanding.
] 12. Don't take counsel of your fears or naysayers.
] 13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

Powell's Rules

Experiments - Pixelfest collaborative artwork
Topic: Technology 3:33 pm EST, Jan 17, 2005

Many years ago (1995, I think), we were brainstorming new game ideas at my office. Under the "no idea is a bad idea" principle, I came up with a suggestion of a massively multiplayer morphing artwork, where each person in the game would be in charge of the color of one pixel, and teams would compete to see who could draw certain images (a bicycle, a house, a face, etc.) the most rapidly. I sort of envisioned it like a cyberspace version of those big sports stadium events where a part of the audience would all hold up cards in sequence, to make a design.

Well, my idea was greeted with near universal derision: "Ha! That sounds totally boring, no one would ever play that," (so much for the spirit of positive-reinforcement brainstorming, heh).

Anyway, my arch-critic from back then recently sent to me this link, of a "pixelfest collaborative artwork". It's not quite the real-time dynamic team-based thing I had in mind, but it's close enough to make me smile. :)

Feel free to add your own pixel!

- Elonka

Update: To see an animation of the 7000-odd pixels that have been placed so far, check here: . I found it especially interesting to see how certain people tried to "grief" the image early on with four-letter words, but then the community responded by erasing words as soon as they started recognizing them. Some interesting dynamics there. :)

Experiments - Pixelfest collaborative artwork

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