Cryptographie et Littérature à Porrentruy

Dans le cadre des activités du Cercle Littéraire de la Société Jurassienne d’Émulation, Didier Müller, professeur de mathématiques et d’informatique au vénérable Lycée Cantonal de Porrentruy, féru de cryptographie, père de l’excellent site web (qui comporte notamment une section « Ars Cryptographica » que je recommande vivement !) et auteur de plusieurs ouvrages de vulgarisation dans le domaine, donnera une conférence intitulée « Les codes secrets dans la littérature » le jeudi 20 janvier 2011 à 20h00, Salle des Hospitalières de l’Hôtel-Dieu, Grand-Rue 5, à Porrentruy. Je ne pourrai malheureusement pas m’y rendre, vu l’éloignement géographique, mais je suis convaincu que cette conférence sera passionnante !

Chicago for Cryptographers

There are some interesting things to do for a cryptographer when being in Chicago, besides attending scientific workshops.

For instance, the Museum of Science and Industry has an incredible exhibit of a 70-years-old German U-boat, the U-505, captured during WW2 by the Americans, who managed to tow him secretly in Bermuda for the purpose of reverse-engineering its technology. Among other findings, German codebooks and Enigma machines were found out to be quite useful in decrypting several messages related to the position of other German U-boats (pictures of Alexandre Karlov).

The same museum possesses the Piccard Gondola, which was used by Auguste Piccard and his twin brother Jean Piccard to break the world altitude record by an hydrogen-filled balloon. It is not without a certain surprise that I learned that Auguste Piccard was (also) a … Belgian citizen. This fact seems to be little known as the Wikipedia article on him does not say anything about his double citizenship; however, it appears that the Encyclopædia Britannica confirms this information.

Finally, the New-York strip steaks of Joe’s  Seafood Steak & Stone Crab, 60 East Grand Avenue as well as the sashimi of Friends Sushi, 710 North Rush Street, are just incredible !