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tnjrp
2011-Dec-05, 11:20 AM
Just in time for the Finnish indepence day, the "prophet" Veikko Latavala has cracked the pesky code of a book that has confounded (godless) scientists for centuries: The Voynich Manuscript.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2069481/Prophet-God-claims-mysterious-manuscripts-code-cracked.html

Or so he and his "business associate" say anyhow... And who are we to challenge it, eh? :p

Latvala has been publishing religious pamphlets and prophesies for something like 20 years. His latest predictions include the resignation of Finnish goverment "before Christmas" (but he probably neglected to mention if it was Xmas 2011...) and the collapse of EU "within three years" (so in autumn of 2014 at the latest).

Perikles
2011-Dec-05, 01:35 PM
Or so he and his "business associate" say anyhow... And who are we to challenge it, eh? Indeed. And a source such as the Daily Mail would never print anything remotely suspect :D. So
Mr Ketola refused to explain how Mr Latvala deciphered it, saying: 'Mr Latvala said that no one "normal human" can decode it, because there is no code or method to read this text, it's a channel language of prophecy.
Q.E.D.

Cougar
2011-Dec-05, 04:52 PM
And who are we to challenge it, eh? :p

Right. Rational people like us have a hard time arguing with irrational people.

Solfe
2011-Dec-05, 07:14 PM
Odd, but one line of translation reads: "Plant is 10 centimeters by its height."

Wasn't the metric system created in 1799? So the book was using them for 400(ish) years before they were invented?

Gillianren
2011-Dec-05, 08:30 PM
Obligatory XKCD: http://xkcd.com/593/

Donnie B.
2011-Dec-05, 11:17 PM
I think the proper place for the quotation marks in the thread title is one word farther along.

Rhaedas
2011-Dec-06, 01:31 AM
Obligatory XKCD: http://xkcd.com/593/

So the real question is, is it a player's guide or a DM edition?

Solfe
2011-Dec-06, 06:10 AM
Dungeon Master's Guide, all of the tables and list are a giveaway. Second edition DM's guide started with malaise and plants, then moved on to travel in the outdoors and planes, climate, cosmology and deities, magic items, then all of the wandering monster tables.

The manuscript must be either zeroth edition or perhaps an alpha test. :)

Grashtel
2011-Dec-06, 01:11 PM
I think the proper place for the quotation marks in the thread title is one word farther along.
I disagree, both words need quotation marks.

tnjrp
2011-Dec-07, 07:01 AM
Odd, but one line of translation reads: "Plant is 10 centimeters by its height."

Wasn't the metric system created in 1799? So the book was using them for 400(ish) years before they were invented?It was written by another prophet...

publiusr
2011-Dec-12, 07:02 PM
Now for me to have him translate the Book of Dzyan...

Ivan Viehoff
2011-Dec-14, 02:19 PM
Odd, but one line of translation reads: "Plant is 10 centimeters by its height."
Wasn't the metric system created in 1799? So the book was using them for 400(ish) years before they were invented?
Noah's Ark was measured in the metric system, according to a modern Spanish translation of Genesis I just checked (purely as literature in translation, you understand).
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=genesis%206&version=nblh
Thus apparently Noah was told to make the Ark 13.5m tall and put a window 45cm below the roof. Spurious accuracy in unit conversion affects even biblical translators, it would appear. The original lengths were 30 cubits and 1 cubit. Apparently the standard Egyptian cubit was about 526mm (+/- 3mm), though that is from a later era than Noah. The Sumerian cubit was 519mm. However I see a modern English translation, that gives the dimensions of the ark in feet and inches, treats a cubit as a foot and a half, which is probably a suitable approximation for avoiding spurious accuracy. 45cm is close to a foot and a half. Draw your own conclusions.

Gillianren
2011-Dec-14, 07:29 PM
What's wrong with just saying a cubit?

Ivan Viehoff
2011-Dec-14, 09:07 PM
Many translations do, of course, use cubits. My observation is merely that many translations of books and articles do often convert units, for varying reasons. For example a French text translated into English might translate metric to imperial; either because "The Ecrins National Park covers 91,800 ha" might not be a useful way of describing it for the target audience; or else because "He saw the broad from about 10 metres" is just not how the kind of narrator who describes a certain type of woman as a "broad" would describe approximate distance, assuming here an attempt to convey the style of the original into English, for the entertainment rather than the education of the audience. Thus in translating early texts into accessible modern language, perhaps one should describe approximate lengths in a way that the target audience might describe such approximate lengths, considering the overall approach of the translation. Though by translating the lengths in cubits into modern units, one loses the numerological values that the ark's dimensions were intended to convey by the writer. or later editor/compiler, of that section of Genesis. Though I would expect that certain translators would entirely happy to divert attention from numerological implications.

HenrikOlsen
2011-Dec-14, 09:47 PM
Just checked my Bible, Danish translation from 1871, reprinted in 1919. It uses "alen" as a 1-to-1 replacement for cubit which makes it about 6/5 of the original but reads well and keeps the numbers.

Gillianren
2011-Dec-14, 10:02 PM
Makes me wonder where the illustrated "Bible" (it's really more of a highlights reel) I had as a child is so I can look up what unit it uses--or if it uses one at all. I'm pretty sure my actual Bible uses cubits.

HenrikOlsen
2011-Dec-15, 12:19 AM
Just noticed, should "bible" be capitalized?

SeanF
2011-Dec-15, 02:16 AM
Just noticed, should "bible" be capitalized?
As you used it ("my bible"), I would say not. If you're using it as an abbreviated title, then yes, as it's a proper noun.

Gillianren
2011-Dec-15, 03:16 AM
Just noticed, should "bible" be capitalized?

Yes. It's the technical name of the book in question.

Solfe
2011-Dec-15, 03:50 AM
I just grabbed the three nearest Bibles and each says "cubits".

Yes, I collect bibles, the older the better.

SeanF
2011-Dec-15, 03:55 AM
Yes. It's the technical name of the book in question.
Depends on how it's being used. It's not only a proper noun, but is also used to refer to any authoritative work. The Bible is an example of a bible. :)

Ivan Viehoff
2011-Dec-15, 10:40 AM
Just checked my Bible, Danish translation from 1871, reprinted in 1919. It uses "alen" as a 1-to-1 replacement for cubit which makes it about 6/5 of the original but reads well and keeps the numbers.
Those are called "ells" in English. The Viking ell as used in Iceland up to about 1200CE was the same as a cubit, so there was not necessarily a difference depending what the translator had in mind.

In English, I have mainly come across ells in fairy tales, for example the kind where someone has to weave many ells of cloth overnight. But few people know what an ell is. It turns out that there is a good reason for this, namely the ell varies considerably from place to place.

Once the Viking ell had vanished into history, the Danish ell was about 635mm, presumably the one to which you refer, but this was the shortest of the various standard ells in later medieval times. The longest was the French ell at about 1372mm, which in fact is 2 Danish ells, close as can be told. In Britain, there was a standard English ell (ca 1143mm - 45") and a standard Scottish ell (ca 941mm - 37"), but cloth sold in ells in Britain was often sold in Flemish ells, which was a much shorter 686mm (27").

HenrikOlsen
2011-Dec-15, 12:46 PM
The "alen" (cognate with albue 'elbow') was in common use until replaced with meters by law 1912 so here most not too young people have a reasonable idea about what it is.

It is another of those body based measurements that are so handy for a carpenter to use, it's the distance from the tip of the straightened middle finger to the tip of the bent elbow which makes the "natural" aka "the one the carpenter always have at hand" alen 45-50cm (because it's really closer to 1/2 yard, 1/4 fathom, 1 feet in most people) even though the ones based on 2 "standard" feet are 60+cm.

And as "cubit" is just another English name for that measure, from the Latin cubitum 'elbow', they are both natural choices for the translation.

Perikles
2011-Dec-15, 12:59 PM
The Bible is an example of a bible. :)This should be on the "the" thread as well. :D