Sunday, August 28, 2005

Invisible Ink

I really like codes and ciphers and hidden messages.

When I was a kid my friends and I would exchange sheets of blank white paper with secret messages laboriously written out in lemon juice, invisible to casual scrutiny until you held the note over a lit candle. The heat of the flame would coax the words to appear in a satisfyingly aged-looking sepia hue accompanied by the acrid acidic smell of scorched citrus. How clever we felt. No-one could know our secrets!

These days the art of codes and ciphers - "cryptography" as it is more seriously known - is more or less the domain of the very very smart, involving complex and sophisticated concepts and lots of computer power. I have trouble understanding how to even implement something like PGP, let alone having the vaguest clue how it works.

I really like a lot of things about the modern world. Unlike Dennis Wilson, I think I was made for these times. But sometimes I long for the days of simple cleverness where a cool idea could be executed with ingredients from the kitchen cupboard.


Blogger Joe Fuel said...


By the way, the new Death Cab CD will be released on Tuesday.

You can pre-order it through the iTunes Music Store and get some nifty extras too.

August 28, 2005 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Pil said...

It takes me back to days of colouring in blank pictures with the yellow "magic" texta in the back seat of the car.

Hey, do you remember Fuzzy Felt?

August 29, 2005 10:43 PM  
Blogger anaglyph said...

I'd forgotten the Magic Yellow Texta! And yes, I do remember Fuzzy Felt. I think it's time for a revival.

August 30, 2005 8:33 AM  
Anonymous Cissy Strutt said...

I would feel cleverer, er, more clever, if I had figured it out without reading the comments. It is you, Mr Cow, who are consistently clever, insightful, amusing & thoughtful. Now, pass me the Felt.

August 30, 2005 3:16 PM  
Blogger anaglyph said...

Personally, I am dismayed at how few of my heretofore-assumed-clever readers failed to come to grips with this post. Lawks. What's a soul to do to pique people's sense of intrigue?

September 01, 2005 8:45 PM  
Blogger Radioactive Jam said...

I remember this one (now). Not sure why I didn't comment the first time around, because I thought it was cool then as now.

December 11, 2005 10:05 AM  

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