Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Book Review: Codebreaker by Stephen Pincock

I have always loved puzzles, mysteries and history. My step father was involved in cryptology during WWII with the Japanese. He would intercept messages and interrogate Japanese. The analysis methods in "Codebreaker" were intriguing.

This book not only gave the history of Cryptology but taught how different cryptological systems worked and provided problems to solve. Cesear shifts, frequency analysis [I loved this part because we use the same analysis method in Linguistics], enhanced monoalphabetic cyphers, Bazeries Cylindrical Device for Encryption, Morse Code, Vegenere Cypher, Babbage Analytical Engine, Kasiski Examination, Digigraph Substitution, Civil War: Stager's Cipher: uses transposition, Kerkhoff's Law, DFGX Cyphers; The World War II German Enigma Machine, Lorenz SZ40 (40 rotors) Digital Switches (on/off): Colosus; Navajo Code Talkers; The Digital Age: Double Encryption; Public Key Encription: Diffie-Hellman Encryption' RSA Security Encription; 340 Cipher; in order to use the computer assisted approach you need a good sample size. Quantum Mechanics Theory: photons can be in two places at once: quantum bytes can be zero and one at the same time: polarized light. Chaos Theory: Appear to be random but show patterns and elements behave interdependently.

Disclaimer: I am not associated with Stephen Pincock or Walker and Company New York. This is an independent book review with no financial remuneration.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Centre County and the Big Valley or "Kish" Valley, Kishacoquillas Valley

This place intrigues me. It is in the "Ridge and Valley Appalachains".."lying between Stone Mountain ridge to the north and Jacks Mountain ridge to the south"[1]. It is the current home of many Amish and Mennonite Families. My Sankey ancestors settled here around 1730 or 1750. It is a guess that they stayed in the valley about 50 years. North of Mifflin County is Centre County.
The Sankey family lived in Centre county from 1800 to 1860. My great grandfather was raised in Centre Hall with his cousin Laura Runkle.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

French and Indian War and Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland border issues

I really wanted to look on the web for more information about the French and Indian War. I have a hunch that maybe the Ward family was somehow involved. I probably should order a book from the local university and read up on it. I will have to add it to my ever growing to do list!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Yahoo Groups or GenealogyWise?

I really wonder which one is used more.... I joined a few more Yahoo groups for genealogy. I had to unsubscribe from the Transitional Genealogists forum because they do not have a digest version and I was getting bombarded with email. I really like the APG forum and for the most part the discussions are really useful. I like the fact that GenealogyWise is only for genealogy. I need to see if there is a writer's group on GenealogyWise.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Politics everywhere? Volunteer guidelines needed

Why is it that people sometimes have all the answers but don't want to do the work? It is a wise idea to have those with accumulated knowledge write some type of guidelines so newcomers know what they are getting into. This is especially true for Genealogy Societies. The details can be hashed out corporately with all involved in implementing them. From the business world I learned the value of job guides and writing them. When I was challenged by new responsibilities in a volunteer organization it was helpful to write a set of written volunteer guidelines. That is the way every one knows what is expected and people don't have hurt feelings. Also, every one starts on the same page. Processes and procedures can be ironed out later.
Your thoughts? My educational process has taught me the advantage for both student and teacher of a well written syllabus and the same goes for the well written set of volunteer guidelines. So from the business perspective and educational experience perspective the concept of volunteer guidelines would help to ease some of the tension that exists in some Genealogy Societies. Please note that I am not specifying any one Society but that volunteer guidelines let people know about preexisting expectations in a Society.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

William Pitt Riddell Confederate Records found on Footnote!

I was thrilled when I discovered that had digitized the Confederate records of William Pitt Riddell. He was the chief surgeon at the hospital at Houston Texas during the Civil War. He was captured and had to promise not to associate with the Confederates in New Orleans where he taught Chemistry at Louisiana State University. His brother John Leonard Riddell was the postmaster and Chemistry professor at Tulane University. William and John Leonard had another brother who was also a doctor: George Riddell who resided in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. George is my direct ancestral line.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Is it Safe to Let Our Kids Play Outside?

I have been struggling with this issue. As a mom I want to let my child experience some freedom yet I live in a urban setting and am unwilling to let him venture out alone. The rental population is transient and constantly shifting. In an apartment setting you may not know all your neighbors and door-to-door sales people are abundant. We have had car break ins and mine was stolen a few year back.

When I was a kid in Racine, WI. My cousins and I would walk down the street to the local dimestore and get candy. It was a small town and everyone always looked out for each other. My grandparents lived in the area for over 40 years.

It is rather unsettling that we no longer feel safe in our own neighborhoods. How many of you parents let your kids go out an play without directly supervision?
Do you think there is more crime or we hear about it faster because of the influence of TV and the Internet? How do you judge when they are old enough to go outside and play alone?