peace love & the middle ages
Et felix sit annus novus ad vobis! Spero nos in fluctu eodem esse.
Happy New Year to you as well! Hope you've had a good one. I've been spending mine researching William F. Friedman, who wrote books and articles on ciphers in Renaissance England in order to prove that everyone trying to show that Bacon actually wrote Shakespeare's plays, and put hidden anagrams in to prove it, is actually an idiot. A very compelling writer -- he goes through one by one on every writer who has "found" Baconian ciphers in Shakespeare and proves them wrong. Anyway, he was also a cryptographer for the NSA, and broke the "unbreakable" Japanese code "Purple" during WWII -- unfortunately, the stress from this code-breaking was apparently great, because 4 months after breaking the code he was forced into retirement and temporarily hospitalized for mental health reasons. In addition to occasionally wandering the halls of the NSA with his security badge changed to have a picture of Shakespeare instead of his own picture, he later went on to have some electroshock therapy at the George Washington University Hospital, apparently to great effect. A long build up to a fact about GW, I know, but you should see how much *I* read today to get to that fact. Make sure to tip your proverbial hat at the hospital next time you you by, and please give DC all my best in the new year.
My most beloved of former professors.... I wish you all the best in 2007. I hope it is monstrously wonderful!
Thanks, Robert.Liza: GREAT story. From my office in the English department I can see at this very moment the gaping hole where the GW hospital used to be. I've always told my son it's because once he was born they, they had to knock the place down to ensure that no other kid like him ever came into the world again. But now I will think of William F. Friedman, electroshock therapy, and NSA badges with the Bard on them as I glance at the rubble.Anonymous: merci beaucoup, whoever you are!
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