A VERY BAD COVER… FOR BAD MAGIC (COMING SEPT 16)
Cover and glorious illustrations by Gilbert Ford.
Sometimes it works best to hide in plain sight. Happy April Fool's Day!
See you in September!
A supposed discovery which turns out to be a hoax; something grossly absurd.
A confused multitude of things.
To discover mare's nests; make absurd discoveries; imagine that one has made an important discovery which is really no discovery at all, or is a hoax.
Happy April Fool's Day!
A piece of mail matter which cannot be delivered, either because no post office exists at the place to which is it addressed, or because there is no place of the name mentioned in the designated State, Territory, or the like.
Team Bosch likes to put its secret lair in places where mail can't reach us - that's why it sometimes takes so long to respond to letters.
The Word of the Day for March 19 is:
orthography \or-THAH-gruh-fee\ noun
1 a : the art of writing words with the proper letters according to standard usage
"It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word!" That quote, ascribed to Andrew Jackson, might have been the motto of early English spelling. The concept of orthography (a term that derives from the Greek words "orthos," meaning "right or true," and "graphein," meaning "to write") was not something that really concerned people until the introduction of the printing press in England in the second half of the 15th century. From then on, English spelling became progressively more uniform and has remained fairly stable since the 1755 publication of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language (with the notable exception of certain spelling reforms, such as changing "musick" to "music," that were championed by Noah Webster).
So we have Samuel Johnson to thank for the rigid way that spelling tests are graded!
No wonder maverick speller Andrew Jackson made it on to the $20 bill.
The Word of the Day for March 18 is:
verboten \ver-BOH-tun\ adjective
: forbidden; especially : prohibited by dictate
"Verboten," which first appeared in English in 1916, is used to describe things that are forbidden according to a law or a highly regarded authority.
Wow - what a strong word. Luckily we are allowed to share it with you.
Agent LO sends us these pictures of thsee Indonesian versions of some secret books.
Thanks Agent LO. As our agent in the field we rely on you to send us images of these dangerous books as they spread throughout the globe. Thanks!
discovery.com brings us this:
Whale waste is rich in iron so it stimulates the growth of phytoplankton, which then serve as carbon traps that remove some 400,000 estimated tons of carbon from the atmosphere each year.
Since carbon has been linked to greenhouse gases, sperm whales likely reduce global warming.
Sperm whale waste isn't much to look at -- a diarrhea-like substance with a few squid beaks floating around -- but new research has found it removes carbon from the atmosphere, helping to offset greenhouse gases that have been tied to global warming.
There you go! That diarrhea-like substance with squid beaks ... it helps the environment. So leave it there! Don't try to bring it home.
Over on wired.com Nadia Drake tells us how cats see the world.
Cats' color vision is less vibrant than humans', a result of different densities of photoreceptors in their retinas.
Scientists used to think cats were dichromats — able to only see two colors — but they’re not, exactly. While feline photoreceptors are most sensitive to wavelengths in the blue-violet and greenish-yellow ranges, it appears they might be able to see a little bit of green as well. In other words, cats are mostly red-green color blind, as are many of us, with a little bit of green creeping in.
Cats see much better in dim light. Night vision!
Instead of the color-resolving, detail-loving cone cells that populate the center of human retinas, cats (and dogs) have many more rod cells, which excel in dim light and are responsible for night-vision capability. The rod cells also refresh more quickly, which lets cats pick up very rapid movements.
featured research from sciencedaily.com:
Source: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
It might seem too good to be true, but dark chocolate is good for you and scientists now know why. Dark chocolate helps restore flexibility to arteries while also preventing white blood cells from sticking to the walls of blood vessels. Both arterial stiffness and white blood cell adhesion are known factors that play a significant role in atherosclerosis.
"The effect that dark chocolate has on our bodies is encouraging not only because it allows us to indulge with less guilt, but also because it could lead the way to therapies that do the same thing as dark chocolate but with better and more consistent results," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "Until the 'dark chocolate drug' is developed, however, we'll just have to make do with what nature has given us!"
George Berridge at the telegraph.co.uk brings us this story:
On Saturday, thousands of Latvians marked the start of Riga's tenure as one of two European Capitals of Culture by forming a human chain and moving 2,000 books by hand to the new national library building.
Around 15,000 people braved freezing temperatures – as low as -14C – to form a chain stretching more than a mile across the capital, deliberately echoing 1989's Baltic Way when some two million protesters formed a human chain across Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to fight for independence from the Soviet Union.
Organiser Aiva Rozenberga said the event had deep symbolic significance for Latvians.
"The people taking part in the book chain who are prepared to stand here on a cold winter day are taking this seriously too – we are literally standing up for culture."
People in the chain passed along books from the city’s existing 150-year-old national library across the River Daugava to a new national library building which opens in August.
Agent S sends us this note:
It's Snowmageddon in Atlanta - but that won't stop us from readin!
Thanks for writing in, and we love the pic. But so blatantly reading the Secret Series? We consider that COLD! (get it)
The best news is that come spring the evidence will melt.
The secret copying and sharing of illegal publications, chiefly in the Soviet Union; underground publishing and its publications.
A samizdat publication.
END ALL SECRET SHARING!!!!
WE ARE AGAINST THIS WORD!!
discovery.com with even more codes for us:
Discovered on Easter Island in the 19th century, Rongorongo is a text found only on fragments of wooden objects. It consists of glyphs resembling human, animal and plant figures as well as abstract, geometric symbols.
Dating the text has proven tricky, since researchers can only radiocarbon-date the wood, not necessarily the text itself. Evidence suggests, however, that the text couldn't date much further back than around 700 years ago.
discovery.com gives us more code:
Thousands of artifacts bearing Indus Script, a more than 4,000-year-old writing form tied to the prehistoric Indus Valley Civilization, have been discovered over the past century. However, the meaning of these ancient hieroglyphics has remained a mystery to anyone looking to decipher them.
Although a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences identified patterns in the symbols taken from different artifacts bearing this text, the language remains a mystery.
In fact, some archaeologists have questioned whether the script represents a language at all, or "merely pictograms of political or religious icons," as reported in a related release from Science Daily.
With the discovery of sequences and patterns in the script, however, those looking to decode these ancient texts are more confident that the codes reflect an underlying logic of a verbal system.
discovery.com gives us more code:
Discovered in 1908 in Crete, the Phaistos Disk is a Bronze-Age relic containing a script that dates back about 4,000 years.
Measuring around 16 centimeters (6.3 inches) in diameter and containing some 45 symbols repeated throughout the artifact, the pottery disk contains a mix of figures resembling humans, plants, weapons and animals.
Since its discovery, the authenticity of the Phaistos Disk has been questioned by some archaeologists who argue it's a forgery. But most scholars accept it as a genuine product of its time.
discovery.com gives us some more codes:
The Voynich manuscript, a 15th-century parchment containing both a coded script and mysterious drawings, was discovered in 1912 in the Villa Mondragone near Rome. Even since its discovery, it has confounded cryptographers. Only this year did researchers even determine how old the text is.
Even the true author of the text is something of a mystery. Theories range from a 13th-century friar named Roger Bacon to a religious sect hiding their customs and rituals in the pages of the manuscript.
Although the book contains nearly a quarter of a million characters, they are of such variety as to further complicate deciphering the text. Some resemble Latin letters and Roman numerals, while others are completely unique. The drawings only serve to further confuse anyone looking to see through to the meaning of the text.
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