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Specialists of Every Stripe Are Flummoxed, and Other News

February 25, 2014 | by

voynich

What does it all mean? Image via the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

  • “‘They shouldn’t be allowed to read it at all,’ Julian suddenly said. ‘They’re the editors,’ I said. ‘They’ve commissioned this thing. And they have to read it.’ ‘No. They will only prejudice it.’” The beguiling story of ghostwriting for Julian Assange.
  • To cunt a text is to adore it.” How to cunt your favorite poets, including samples of Cunt Chaucer, Cunt Wordsworth, and Cunt Olson. A fun arts-and-crafts activity for you and your kids.
  • Why was the Coen brothers’ excellent latest, Inside Llewyn Davis, snubbed by the Academy?
  • What we know about the Voynich manuscript: it’s 246 pages, it was discovered in an Italian monastery in 1912, it consists of words and illustrations, it’s … well, it’s a manuscript. What it says, or whether it says anything at all, remains a mystery, even to linguists, chemists, historians, and physicists.
  • Perhaps forensic linguistics holds the key: “an investigative technique that helps experts determine authorship by identifying quirks in a writer’s style. Advances in computer technology can now parse text with ever-finer accuracy.” Aspirant criminals: write blandly.

3 COMMENTS

3 Comments

  1. cdarcy | February 25, 2014 at 10:40 am

    According to Medievalist.net, one scholar thinks he has partially decoded the Voynich manuscript.

  2. Alessandra | February 25, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    CDarcy is right: linguist T.Bax claims he found a key to decode (actually: translate, according to his hypothesis) the manuscript.
    http://stephenbax.net/?page_id=11

  3. Dan Piepenbring | February 25, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Thank you both. I’ll mention this in tomorrow’s roundup.

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