jm + codes   2

Meet the Irish master codebreaker you never heard of
In 1943, one of Nazi Germany’s most notorious communication codes was broken by a mild-mannered librarian and family man from Abbeyfeale in west Limerick, Richard Hayes. His day job was director of the National Library of Ireland, but during the Emergency, he secretly led a covert team of cryptanalysts, working feverishly on the infamous “Görtz Cipher” – a fiendish Nazi code that had stumped many of the greatest code-breaking minds at Bletchley Park, the centre of British wartime cryptography.

Astonishingly, the feat was accomplished not in one of the huts at Bletchley Park, but in a now derelict building colloquially known as “The Red House” on Montpellier Hill in Dublin. If this wasn’t an amazing enough feat, Hayes also broke a complex microdot enciphering system which had baffled the American OSS, as well an enciphering system used by the dreaded Sicherheitsdienst (or SD), the intelligence section of the SS. The breaking of the latter code was instrumental in the Allied victory at the Battle of the Bulge.

Few individuals can be said to have altered the course of the second World War on their own, but Hayes was one such individual – and he did it not with a gun, but with a detailed knowledge of the complex algorithms and mathematical permutations involved in the art of cryptography.


(via Colm)
via:colmmacc  crypto  codes  hermann-gortz  wwii  dublin  ireland  richard-hayes  cryptanalysis 
11 days ago by jm
The solution to the Voynich manuscript
To those who have studied medieval medicine, and possess a good knowledge of its origins, the classical physicians Galen (AD 129–210), Hippocrates (460–370 BC) and Soranus (AD 98–138) among them, the Voynich manuscript’s incorporation of an illustrated herbarium (collection of plant remedies), Zodiac charts, instructions on thermae (baths) and a diagram showing the influence of the Pleiades side by side will not be surprising. They are all in tune with contemporary medical treatises, part and parcel of the medieval world of health and healing. Bathing as a remedy is a time-honoured tradition: practised by the Greeks and the Romans, advocated by the classical physicians, and sustained during the Middle Ages. The central theme of the Voynich manuscript is just such an activity, and one of its chief characteristics is the presence of naked female figures immersed in some concoction or other. Classical and medieval medicine had separate divisions devoted to the complaints and diseases of women, mostly but not exclusively in the area of gynaecology, and covered other topics such as hygiene, food, purgatives, blood­letting, fumigations, tonics, tinctures and even cosmetics and perfumes: all involved “taking the waters”, by bathing or ingesting.
history  voynich-manuscript  codes  medieval-medicine  thermae  herbaria 
september 2017 by jm

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