Videos and lectures worth watching, books worth reading

Right now there are so many interesting videos, lectures and books that I could fill an entire blog article with them.

Deutsche Version

Whoever is interested in the Voynich manuscript will sooner or later come across the name René Zandbergen. This is no coincidence, because René is, in my opinion, the leading expert in this field. His Voynich website is the best online resource on the subject.

Quelle/Source: Schmeh


René’s Voynich Lecture

If you want to experience René live, you can do so next Sunday at 6 pm (German time). Then there will be an online presentation by him in the ICCH group. Unfortunately, this presentation is not yet announced on the ICCH website. Therefore I quote in the following the summary in full length:

The Voynich Manuscript is a 15th century illustrated manuscript with more than 200 pages of text in an unknown script. It has resisted 100 years of cryptographic attacks. Every year, several new tentative solutions are presented, only to be rejected very quickly.

The present talk will not follow this doomed path, but look at a remarkable, and largely unknown part of the history of this manuscript, namely its supposed discovery by Wilfrid Voynich in the Villa Mondragone near Frascati, Italy. Voynich was very secretive about this, and essentially all we know from him was his statement in 1921 that he discovered it in some forgotten chest in a castle in Southern Europe. The later owner of the manuscript, Hans P. Kraus, proclaimed in the 1960’s that this was Villa Mondragone.

What really happened has only been unraveled in recent years, based on independent sources about these events. It involves confiscations of major monastic libraries, books hidden in cellars, fights between the Italian State, the Vatican and the society of Jesus, and Hungarian attempts to recover the treasures of the lost library of Matthias Corvinus. We will see that Voynich did not discover anything, but got involved in a very good deal due to his personal character. In this deal, the Voynich Manuscript was just one of approximately 30 books, and not even one of the most important ones.

The dial-in link is available, as always, on request from me. A short mail is sufficient. The link will not be published on the website for security reasons. The participation is free of charge.


My next talk

Speaking of ICCH lectures: I gave the last talk in this series together with Elonka Dunin on October 3. It was about solving historical ciphers with modern methods. If you missed the presentation, you can watch it on video. Again, the link to the video has not been published, but I will be happy to send it upon request.

Quelle/Source: Schmeh, Dunin

If you want to relive the talk (with minor changes), you can do so on October 20. Then I will give a talk with Elonka on the same topic at the National Museum of Computing (Bletchley Park). This is an online-only event. Participation £5.98, you have to register.

Quelle/Source: Schmeh


Dave’s new Zodiac video

Speaking of videos: Blog reader Dave Oranchak has created an interesting video on the latest Zodiac theory I recently reported on:

Dave also doesn’t like the new “solution” to the case.


Richard’s Kryptos Videos

Blog reader Richard Bean has created some interesting videos on cryptos sculpting. Let’s start with an introductory talk from 2019:

In the following presentation from 2020, Richard analyzes the still unsolved Kryptos part K4:

And finally, here’s a new video from Richard, also about K4:


Nils’ videos

Blog reader Nils Kopal also publishes interesting videos from time to time, on his Youtube channel. The following example is from August:


My city talk appearance

If you want to experience something real with all the videos and online appearances and also live in the Gelsenkirchen area, you should make a note of December 11. Then I will appear at the “Stadtgespräch”:

Quelle/Source: UP TO DANCE

Here you can register. There was already a similar event, but it had to take place without an audience because of Corona. If nothing comes up, there will be an audience this time.

Recommended books

Finally, I would like to mention two books. After all, it’s only ten weeks until Christmas, so it can’t hurt to already have possible gifts in mind.

First, blog reader and comedy hacker Tobias Schrödel has published an interesting work: “WTF? This is how the web ticks”.

Quelle/Source: Arena

Together with his two co-authors, Tobias explains how the Internet really works. The topic of encryption also comes up from time to time, even though it is not the main focus. There is even a separate chapter on security, explaining viruses, passwords and modern cryptography, for example.

An absolutely worth reading book publication also comes from Benedek Láng. Benedek is the leading expert on the Codex Rohonci, and his book is also about it. The title is The Rohonc Code.

Quelle/Source: Pennsylvania State University Press

By the way, the photo on the cover is mine, which I am very proud of. I will dedicate a separate blog article to this book soon.

Have I forgotten any important video, interesting online presence, lecture or book in this list? If so, please report.

If you want to add a comment, you need to add it to the German version here.

Further reading: Prince Edward opens new exhibition at Bletchley Park


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