Archive for the ‘science’ Category

Cryptographers have a sense of humour.

Or maybe they’re just nuts.

Read the following excerpts from peer reviewed papers and judge for yourself.

Inspired by Carter and Wegman, we use simple primitives which we call NUT (for “n-Universal Transformation”) since they are so cheap to implement. We propose construction methods for block ciphers that we call COCONUT (for “Cipher Organized with Cute Operations and NUT”), PEANUT (for “Pretty Encryption Algorithm with NUT”), and WALNUT (for “Wonderful Algorithm with Light NUT”).

Decorrelation: a theory for block cipher security, S. Vaudenay

Then this other bunch of guys comes up with a new cipher:

In this paper we will suggest a new block cipher called DONUT (Double Operations with NUT) which is made by two pairwise perfect decorrelation modules. DONUT is secure against boomerang attack.

New Block Cipher DONUT Using Pairwise Perfect Decorrelation, Dong Hyeon Cheon et al

(Don’t ask about the boomerang…)

I’m not surprised if, when cryptanalyst come up with a new, powerful attack that breaks all known ciphers, they call it Cryptonite.

And it pays to watch movies after all… Who knows? One day you might get to cite them in your papers! See citation 28:


The title of this paper is… <drumroll>… “Dial C for Cipher”. And in case you didn’t catch the allusion, the authors are kind enough to add a footnote:

Refering to the famous movie by Alfred Hitchcock Dial M for Murder[28]…

Dial C for Cipher, Thomas Baignères and Matthieu Finiasz

The same authors are responsible for another cipher, the Krazy Feistel Cipher. Why “Krazy” and not “Crazy”? There might be other reasons (remember what I said about them being nuts?), but take a look at the initials…

(do I hear clucking?)


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From The Filter:

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darwin & facebook

From bioephemera:

[W]ith Facebook-like fanaticism, [Darwin] maintained a correspondence with some 2,000 friends, including 200 clergymen.

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the X-possesor’s tale

You ask why I can’t stand my ex-fiance?
He’s madly obsessed with – guess what? DNA!
He’s always turned on by that nucleic acid,
But everything else leaves him soggily flaccid!

I’m fine with him spending his days at the lab,
Indulging in macromolecular drab,
Taking his centrifuge out for a spin,
Observing the Meselson-Stahl with a grin,

Engaging in blottings of all orientations,
Electrophoresing PCR preparations,
Betting on base-pairs in agarose gel,
All goggled and gloved in his lab-coated hell!

You’d think back at home he’d talk something besides,
But NO! He just raves ’bout his dear nucleotides!
I’m a tolerant girl, I can stand every flaw,
Except for this last one, this final last straw:

When asked about kids, he said, “Kids? Four’s sublime!
We’ll name them Guan, Aden and Cytos and Thym!”
Which isn’t so bad, really. Would’ve been fine,
If only his stupid last name wasn’t Ine!

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Turns out that the words “fluorine poem” top the list of search terms that lead to my blog.

Which is misleading, because, up till now, there hasn’t been any poem on fluorine anywhere on this blog.

Poems are aplenty, but the only mention of Fluorine in this whole site is in my blogroll, where I have a few links under the heading “Sulfur Trioxide Fluorine”.

Funny. No one seems to want poems about sulfur or trioxides. Only fluorine.

Anyway, since there seems to be a demand for poems about fluorine, I’ve churned out a short little elemental ditty, dedicated to all you fluorine-loving rhymesters out there…

My name is Fluorine, from fluorum, “to flow”,

My symbol is F, and 2 is my row,

I’m in group number 7, atomic number, 9,

And my weight is 3 more than a fifth of Bromine.

My brothers in crime are the halogen gang,

When we’re not making salt, we’re making a bang!

My bros are reactive, I’m even more so,

I can burn hydrocarbons at temperatures low!

Did I mention my race? I’m a yellowy-brown,

And when I react, my oxidation number goes down.

Alone as a gas, I’m a poison; but don’t worry:

My electrons are usually shared in a hurry

With hydrogen, carbon and plain water, too,

And metals and even the noble gas crew.

You can find me in acid, in toothpaste, in salts,

But mostly, I’m doing the CFC waltz. 😛

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