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USC Scientist Cracks Mysterious “Copiale Cipher”

A passage:

The master sign or “five items of the lodge” consists in this: one joins his right leg to the other’s right leg, in such a way that the legs are parallel, although inverted, and come closely together, and the left cheeks are close together. The left hands are placed, still closed, on the back of the other, but the right hand is given in such a way that one closes with the thumb and the baby finger the index finger and the middle finger of the other’s hand. When performing this grasp, one whispers silently Macbenah or simply M in the ear of the other.

(from “Rite Hand In” – Hapers – January 2012)

Interview with Information Scientist Kevin Knight.

and more…

Forced reminiscence

Songs that were heard by patients suffering epilepsy during naturally occurring or artificially induced seizures, circa 1963.

  1. ‘White Christmas’ (Case 4). Sung by a choir
  2. ‘Rolling Along Together’ Not identified by patient, but recognised by operating-room nurse when patient hummed it on stimulation
  3. ‘Hush-a-Bye Baby’ (Case 6). Sung by mother, but also thought to be theme-tune for radio-programme
  4. ‘A song he had heard before, a popular one on the radio’ (Case 10)
  5. ‘Oh Marie, Oh Marie’ (Case 30).
  6. The theme-song of a radio-programme   ‘The War March of the Priests’ (Case 31).
  7. This was on the other side of the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ on a record belonging to the patient
  8. ‘Mother and father singing Christmas carols’ (Case 32)
  9. ‘Music from Guys and Dolls’ (Case 37)
  10. ‘A song she had heard frequently on the radio’ (Case 45)
  11. ‘I’ll Get By’ and ‘You’ll Never Know’ (Case 46).
  12. Songs he had often heard on the radio In each case—as with Mrs O’M.—the music was fixed and stereotyped. The same tune (or tunes) were heard again and again, whether in the course of spontaneous seizures.

Penfield W. and Perot P. “The brain’s record of visualand auditory experience: a final summary and discussion.” Brain (1963)

Before they had gerrymandering…


Rotten boroughs were those where a member of Parliament could be elected by a small number of people, as at Bute in Scotland, where just one resident out of fourteen thousand had the right to vote and so obviously could elect himself. Pocket boroughs were constituencies that had no inhabitants at all but that retained a seat in Parliament, which could be sold or given away (to an unemployable son, say) by the person who controlled it. The most celebrated pocket borough was Dunwich, a coastal town in Suffolk that had once been a great port—the third biggest in England—but was washed into the sea during a storm in 1286. Despite its conspicuous nonexistence, it was represented in Parliament until 1832 by a succession of privileged nonentities

via Amazon Kindle: At Home: A Short History of Private Life.

from: At Home: A Short History of Private Life

Search Engine Friendly Feud

Thanks to everyone who came out. I look forward to another round…
documentation here

Search Engine Friendly Family Feud tonight!


Thursday, August 4, 7pm Dumbo Arts Center –  111 Front Street, 212, Brooklyn.

What are the things people want to extend? How did grandparents have sex? How did they kill witches? How did gps work? How did they keep chickens?
What artist sings a certain song? How to compose an angry email? What is the opposite of deja vu? And how do I compliment breasts without making it awkward?

These are all potential answers to win you scores at “Search Engine Friendly Family Feud Game Night,” tonight, 7 p.m, hosted byAngie Waller!

Join us as two teams duke it out and discover the hidden underbelly of the Internet! In an update to the traditional Family Feud format, two teams of contestants will compete to guess which questions are most commonly asked through Google. Rev your search engines – winners will be awarded a selection of fabulous prizes!


Parsing Apologies

Weiner, et al. – A Medley of Politicians’ Apologies – NYTimes.com

This article is a lot like my book “I’m Sorry,” but instead of parsing together apologies of plagiarists the subject is philandering politicians.


Below > “I’m Sorry