many bells down

Da Vinci Code Ruling’s Code Revealed!
April 28, 2006, 4:25 pm
Filed under: Books, News, Things that make you go 'Hmm.'

You know, Mr. Da Vinci Code judge, if you're going to take the time to brainstorm a code that has to be cracked via mathematics, hint about it to the media and give out clues as to how to solve it, you should at least make sure your deciphered code says something cool or interesting. For example, "I like to dance around in women's underwear" would have been very interesting.  Profound song lyrics, like "Oooh, look at all the lonely people, where do they all come from?" would have been cool and, by proxy, you would have seemed cool, the Founding Fathers wig part of your judicial attire included.  But "Jackie Fisher, who are you? Dreadnought," is neither cool nor interesting.  And, quite frankly, it's a bit of a letdown, since you've been snidely dropping hints about your awesome hidden message and it's not awesome at all.

As one of the anchors on Good Morning America said this morning (while holding back hysterical laughter, I might add), "Well, it's no 'Jesus was married,' but I guess if you're a naval enthusiast you'll be excited."  Or not! 


Judge in Da Vinci Code case has too much time on his hands.
April 27, 2006, 3:36 pm
Filed under: Books, News, Things that make you go 'Hmm.'

Justice Peter Smith, who recently ruled that Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code did not plagerize other authors' works, has apparently embedded a code of his own in the first 14 pages of the ruling:

The first clue that a puzzle exists lies in the typeface of the ruling. Most of the document is printed in regular roman letters, the way one would expect. But some letters in the first 13½ pages appear in boldface italics, jarringly, in the midst of all the normal words. Thus, in the first paragraph of the decision, which refers to Mr. Leigh and Mr. Baigent, the "s" in the word "claimants" is italicized and boldfaced.

If you pluck all the italicized letters out of the text, you find that the first 10 spell "Smithy Code," an apparent play on "Da Vinci Code." But the next series of letters, some 30 or so, are a jumble, and this is the mystery that needs to be solved to break the code.

Doesn't England have criminals?  Isn't there someone they can arrest for robbery or jaywalking or something?  Seriously, they need to do something about this, because no officer of the court should have time to come up with a freaking code to insert into a judicial ruling. 

I bet he did this while he was on the clock!  I wonder how many taxpayers dollars were wasted?

Finally, a book with gravitas!
March 21, 2006, 8:24 pm
Filed under: Books, Celebrity, Television

Stephen Colbert is writing a book!  No doubt his book will bridge the gaps between peoples, help Americans in their pursuit of truthiness, and expose the real threat to the United States.  It’s not terrorism, ladies and gents.  It’s bears.

For your viewing pleasure:  Stephen Colbert and the “Threat Down,” March 6, 2006

Expedition: Rwanda
March 21, 2006, 4:21 pm
Filed under: Books, News

This week, Yahoo! has an excellent feature on Rwanda in its “Richard Bangs Adventures” section.  So far, Bangs has explored the clean water issue and taken readers into the mountains to commune with silverback gorillas.  I can’t wait to see what he’ll be writing about tomorrow.  In our celebrity-dominated and materially-driven culture (which I’ll admit I am also a slave to), it’s nice to have some well written, eye-opening journalism about things that actually matter and people who are less fortunate than ourselves.

Recently, I finished reading We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will be Killed with our Families, an in-depth look at the genocide in Rwanda.  Written by Philip Gourevitch of The New Yorker, it examines the origins of the ethnic hatred in the area, the events leading to and after the genocide, the world’s reaction and inaction (a soldier tells Gourevitch that genocide is “a cheese sandwich, because no one cares about a cheese sandwich”), and gives harrowing, heartbreaking firsthand accounts of the violence – from both sides.  Ultimately, Gourevitch believes there is hope for Rwanda.  It was an incredible book and one I recommend wholeheartedly. 

(Incidentally, if you’re interested in the subject of genocide – which, morbidly, I am – another fascinating book is A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide.  It examines the United States’ stance on all the known genocides that have occurred – a stance which often includes doing nothing when we knew genocide was happening, or worse, helping those who commit genocide because we believed them to be the lesser of two evils, i.e., Saddam Hussien when Iraq was at war with Iran.  It takes everything you thought you knew and turns it on its head.)