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    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeNov 23rd 2012
    WWII pigeon message stumps GCHQ decoders

    The message was discovered by David Martin when he was renovating the chimney of his house in Surrey.
    Among the rubbish, he found parts of a dead pigeon including a leg. Attached to the leg was a red canister. Inside the canister was a thin piece of paper with the words "Pigeon Service" at the top and 27 handwritten blocks of code.

    This was given to GCHQ at the start of the month.

    "We didn't really hold out any hopes we would be able to read the message because the sort of codes that were constructed to be used during operations were designed only to be able to be read by the senders and the recipients," said GCHQ historian Tony, who asked that only his first name be used.

    He told the BBC: "Unless you get rather more idea than we have of who actually sent this message and who it was sent to we are not going to find out what the underlying code being used was."

    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeNov 23rd 2012 edited
    @Morac - that's actually a really good point. In a lot of cases, what you really want is a map of x per capita. If you follow any amateur cartography sources (tumblr!), you see some really misleading maps that come from misunderstanding statistics. Also, gaudy and unreadable colour schemes.

    In this case, though, the comparison with population density is quite interesting - I notice in the Midwest, there's almost an inverse relationship; some of the highest populations on the secession map (Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota) are some of the least populated on a population-density-by-county map, and vice versa for Seattle and California (high pop, low sign). Something similar is going on in the North East Corridor, and in Florida.

    Now that you mention it, I'd love to see that map!

    Edit: The UNC map actually IS per-capita by county! Wow those big-empty-state people hate America.
    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeNov 23rd 2012 edited
    @groonk - "who the fuck shoots dolphins?!?"

    If you take your crazy pencil and join the dots (FEMA concentration camps, military experiments), you might end up here:
    "It may be the oddest tale to emerge from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico."
    I'm not saying it's a US Navy death squad hunting down dolphins who have a secret past, but...
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2012
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2012
    @256: "I'm not saying it's a US Navy death squad hunting down dolphins who have a secret past, but... "

    Is it wrong that I would watch that movie?

    Of course I want the dolphins to win.
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2012
    'Bigfoot' DNA Sequenced In Upcoming Genetics Study
    A team of scientists can verify that their 5-year long DNA study, currently under peer-review, confirms the existence of a novel hominin hybrid species, commonly called “Bigfoot” or “Sasquatch,” living in North America. Researchers’ extensive DNA sequencing suggests that the legendary Sasquatch is a human relative that arose approximately 15,000 years ago as a hybrid cross of modern Homo sapiens with an unknown primate species.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2012
    @Wood - that would be lovely, but there's no sign of the actual data. 'Sasquatch shit is actually human' is not really news.
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2012 edited
    @ groonk

    Actually, you can watch that movie...
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2012
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2012
    @ JohnJones @ Groonk

    Oh, I didn't know they made a movie ! I remember reading the novel as a teenager
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeNov 27th 2012
    Antarctic lake find pushes known boundaries of what life can endure

    Scientists have found life in an Antarctic lake that was sealed off from the outside world by a thick sheet of ice several thousands of years ago.

    Brine collected from boreholes drilled into Lake Vida contains scores of bacteria that clung on to life despite making their home in one of harshest environments on Earth.

    The lake lies in a barren region called the McMurdo Dry Valleys, in the east of the continent. The water in Lake Vida is acidic, starved of oxygen, and so salty that it remains liquid despite its temperature hovering around the -13C mark all year round.

    Researchers identified organisms from eight major groups of bacteria, among them common forms such as proteobacteria, firmicutes and bacteroidetes. Another group, the verrucomicrobia, are named for their wart-like bulges.

    "Lake Vida is an incredibly harsh environment. It has not been exposed to the surface for thousands, if not millions, of years," said Mike Bentley, a professor of geology at Durham University. "If you understand life in extreme environments, you understand life better: it tells you what the controls are on life."
  1.  (10875.12)
    Germany plans to make animal fucking illegal

    Quite incredulous that it wasn't, to be honest
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeNov 28th 2012
    An ABC proof too tough even for mathematicians
    On Aug. 30, a Japanese mathematician named Shinichi Mochizuki posted four papers to his faculty website at Kyoto University. Rumors had been spreading all summer that Mochizuki was onto something big, and in the abstract to the fourth paper Mochizuki explained that, indeed, his project was as grand as people had suspected. Over 512 pages of dense mathematical reasoning, he claimed to have discovered a proof of one of the most legendary unsolved problems in math.

    Mochizuki was different. Depending on how you calculate it, he’d been working on a proof of ABC entirely by himself for nearly 20 years. During that time, he’d constructed his own mathematical universe and populated it with arcane terms like “inter-universal Teichmüller theory” and “alien arithmetic holomorphic structures.”

    Before mathematicians can even start to read the proof, or understand his four papers, they need to wade through 750 pages of Mochizuki’s incredibly complicated foundational work in anabelian geometry. At the moment, there are only about 50 people in the world who know anabelian geometry well enough to understand this preliminary work. Then, the proof itself is written in an entirely different branch of mathematics called “inter-universal geometry” that Mochizuki—who refers to himself as an “inter-universal Geometer”—invented and of which, at least so far, he is the sole practitioner.

    My brain is bleeding just from reading that.
    • CommentTimeNov 28th 2012
    @ Wood

    See, I was just waiting for the bit where Mochizuki explained that he'd moved on from mathematics and was now some kind of dimensional wizard or sorcerer.
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeNov 28th 2012 edited
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2012
    I'd like to say that I'm shocked, but... old white guy shoots black teen over loud music
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2012 edited
    TV host lights a handful of Aqua De Florida and drops it on Magician's head.


    I don't think anyone knows why....



    "Misters Aridio Castillo and Domingo Bautista ... accused our team of practising publicly VooDoo and Witchcraft and that the above mentioned attack was a divine justice for the nastiness of the practices of our artistic cast."
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2012
    @Wood Based on that, I'm half expecting him to unveil his working origami time machine, a la The Invisibles ...
    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2012
    Or a snowflake in 196,882 dimensions...
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2012
    196,833 you mean?