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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Press Releases and Film News  |  Two Centuries On, a Cryptologist Cracks a Presidential Code « previous next »
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Allhallowsday
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« on: July 02, 2009, 01:06:02 PM »

Two Centuries On, a Cryptologist Cracks a Presidential Code 

For more than 200 years, buried deep within Thomas Jefferson's correspondence and papers, there lay a mysterious cipher -- a coded message that appears to have remained unsolved. Until now.

The cryptic message was sent to President Jefferson in December 1801 by his friend and frequent correspondent, Robert Patterson, a mathematics professor at the University of Pennsylvania. President Jefferson and Mr. Patterson were both officials at the American Philosophical Society -- a group that promoted scholarly research in the sciences and humanities -- and were enthusiasts of ciphers and other codes, regularly exchanging letters about them.

In this message, Mr. Patterson set out to show the president and primary author of the Declaration of Independence what he deemed to be a nearly flawless cipher. "The art of secret writing," or writing in cipher, has "engaged the attention both of the states-man & philosopher for many ages," Mr. Patterson wrote. But, he added, most ciphers fall "far short of perfection..." 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124648494429082661.html?mod=yhoofront
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indianasmith
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2009, 02:02:02 PM »

It is truly scary to look out how intelligent the founders of this country were, and then look at the average college grad today.  We have better gizmos, but we are profoundly ignorant of the foundations of Western Civilization.

Jefferson is my least favorite of our founding fathers, but he was incredibly intelligent.  SCARY smart!
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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2009, 08:50:35 PM »

But the really strange thing is what the cipher to Jefferson said when decoded:

"Yo, Jeffy!  What's up with that Sally Hemmings?  You hittin' that?"

See, some things haven't changed all that much in 300 years.
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