… and stuff you didn’t
25 years ago, an artist installed an encrypted sculpture called Kryptos outside the CIA’s headquarters. It contained four encoded puzzles designed to challenge the spooks eating their lunch. Three of these brain teasers have longed been cracked, but the fourth has withstood all-comers. The artist this week revealed a clue that might finally uncover its hidden secrets. Cryptography is arguably the most important science of this century, and I recommend Simon Singh’s book as a readable primer.
Alongside managing distraction mentioned last week, another theme I expect to return to regularly is accessing creativity. John Cleese is (not?) surprisingly a champion of this, and this week told a wonderful anecdote about the prolifically inventive Thomas Edison,
“[Edison] thought that he got his best inventions when he was on the verge of falling asleep, and he used to sit in a chair holding ball bearings in his hands, with a brass bowl under his hands, so that when he fell asleep he’d drop the ball bearings and the noise would wake him up, and in that way he could spend quite a long period of time in that twilight area between being very tired and actually falling asleep, and that’s when he said he got most of his ideas”