Hello dear readers! Dr. Poo is vacationing in South Africa over the summer to prepare for his lectures on the fascinating properties of the Universe in the fall. I haven’t written a blog in well over a year, and I thought it was the time to release some brand new ideas to you, my loyal public. Keep in mind that the ideas in this particular blog have little to do with theoretical physics and more to do with how we interpret the things we see, which will be a valuable knowledge for you all this fall. I hope that you enjoy reading this blog, stop to think about the ideas presented, and question those same ideas. Enjoy!
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Not too long ago I met a printer named Hubert. Even though he was pretty quiet at our first encounter, I was sure that he was a good guy. Several days later, my friend Erin, companion of this printer, came to me with a problem. She needed to print out a report for her class, but Hubert had delivered what appeared to be utter hogwash. I took a good look at the gibberish Hubert spewed and couldn’t make heads or tails of it. There was no clear indication of what each of the symbols meant on its own, what each string of symbols meant together, or even which way I should read the text! I brought it home, put on my brown Henschel Deerstalker hat, bit down on my pipe, and began my investigation.
Each string of symbols had the form of Fig. 1.
Fig. 1: A string of symbols
Since I could identify each symbol to some human use, I identified this typeset as Unicode 5.0, which includes almost every typeset language and many strange characters like the ones seen in Fig. 2.
Fig. 2: A chart of miscellaneous symbols in Unicode 5.0
I visited the Unicode website to see if there was any underlying meaning of these symbols (since most of them looked like the ones in Fig. 2!). You can see from the figure above that there is a sequence of numbers assigned to each symbol. I took that into consideration and mapped each sequence of numbers to English letters and proper punctuation. (I made the assumption that Hubert wanted to communicate in English since Erin’s paper was in English.) The As and Bs and Cs and so on are hexadecimal numbers, if you haven’t seen them before, and they map to 10s and 11s and 12s and so on. I tried out the scheme, and much to my dismay the only English word I could make out was “a”, which isn’t much of an English word. I tried taking all the 26s that appeared in the chart (which was part of the number key to every symbol!) to be Zs, like in the mapping 1 -> A, 2 -> B, and so on, but then it just sounded like Hubert was sleeping. I attempted every deviation from this cryptology scheme, such as 1 -> B, 2 -> C, and so on; 1 -> C, 2 -> D, and so on; and so on. It looked hopeless.
The best scheme I came up with was to ignore the 26 and assume it was just the symbol that said, “This is a character,” much like the 0x in a memory address and its contents on your computer. Memory addresses and their contents on your computer look like 0x8130 and 0x00000005, respectively, where the 0x just means, “This is a hexadecimal number.” After applying that idea and cycling through the cryptology, I finally made a significant word out of Hubert’s rant. “Anatomy”. Granted, it was in the middle of two other words that made no sense at all, but it was the best I came up with. That scheme also produced really cool sequences of letters that I don’t remember offhand, but they were something like, “Anyuuuuleoyuuuucszluop::”. I delivered it back to Erin, totally convinced Hubert was speaking just nonsense, with the exception of “anatomy”. There was nothing more I could do.
Could there be more meaning to Hubert’s message? Could I have overlooked the simple idea that there might be another decryption scheme that shows his words were just the words of Erin’s paper? Why would I assume Hubert was even trying to say anything at all, when it could have just been a huge error in his hardware?
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