Delivery to my PO Box ~10.02.2008, which then got held for 2 weeks because
a) it had postage owed on it (!?) and b) the post office here sucks and doesn't keep
hours that anybody working a 9-5 job can possibly ever make. So this sat for a while.
Contents: what looks to be part of a men's 'veni vedi vici'-themed tie, torn into a small piece.
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Attributed to Julius Caesar. It think it. Julius having defeated Pompey and rested for some time in Egypt made haste to Pontus by way of Asia minor. there his did battle against Pharnaces, king of Pontus son of Mithridates who had defeated a Roman army in that same place. The battle having ended, Caesar sent a message to the Senate in Rome VENI VIDI VICI", I came, I saw, I conquered.
near a terminal 10.17.2008
Simple always strikes me as best so I put in 312 and bell to google. The thinking, if it even rises to that level, is that anybody can determine how much deficit postage will be before they mail something. So the 312 could be intentional especially since I don't think they've ever done that to you before. The second point is that pictures are what hold most people. So that leaves us with the stamps which have pictures of what we call over here "the liberty bell." So put in 312 and bell to google and a fair amount of stuff comes up but one of them is a reference to "Cryptology Digest #312" which has some reference to "bell" as well. I hit the reference and bingo up comes a long, rather spirited discussion of conspiracy or conspiracies involving encryption and direct reference from somebody at Bell Labs about German, Dutch, French, Italian and a little bit of English--if practitioners do such and such procedure. What further struck me is that those languages come up with the procedure but the message doesn't in itself make sense or at least it doesn't unless you're one of whomever might be the intended audience or recipients. All this is mixed together with flame-war type rhetoric from some participants but dealing with important issues centering on U.S. government encryption, how it may be part of a ruse that is hiding what the transmitters really send and so forth. Deliberate disinformation and that sort of thing. In short, reading that reference is much like reading many of the more learned comments that appear on your site. Interestingly, the various contributors disagree sharply as to the meaning, including things that probably seem far-fetched to most more or less normal people. What especially struck me was that some of the discussion could be used on any data base including the one you have assembled. It also reminded me of what some contributor of yours (this site) said earlier but not too long ago about Bohr. Bohr was originally of the opinion that even the United States couldn't produce an atomic bomb unless "they turn the whole country into a factory" or something like that. It is known that after the U.S. actually used two of the bombs, Bohr saw Teller and said "See, I told you so. The whole country was turned into a factory." The actual quotation is extremely close to what is quoted in the last sentence but I don't have time to run it down. It'd be fairly easy to find for someone who has the time and is interested in nuclear physics. Point being that Bohr thought the bomb was so crazy that initially at least, he couldn't believe anybody would do it. Same way with this Cryptology #312--some of the ideas advanced seem so crazy that it is very unlikely they could possibly be true. Yet Hiroshima and Nagasaki made the craziness real, even to Bohr.