The solution to the Voynich manuscript.

Alas, it's prosaic quackery, not even interesting quackery.

By now, it was more or less clear what the Voynich manuscript is: a reference book of selected remedies lifted from the standard treatises of the medieval period, an instruction manual for the health and wellbeing of the more well to do women in society, which was quite possibly tailored to a single individual.

The script had hitherto proved resistant to interpretation and presented several hurdles. Medieval lettering is notoriously fickle: individual letter variations, styles and combinations are confusing at the best of times. I recognized at least two of the characters in the Voynich manuscript text as Latin ligatures, Eius and Etiam. Ligatures were developed as scriptorial short-cuts. They are composed of selected letters of a word, which together represent the whole word, not unlike like a monogram. An ampersand is just such an example. [...] Systematic study of every single character in the Lexicon identified further ligatures and abbreviations in the Voynich manuscript and set a precedent. It became obvious that each character in the Voynich manuscript represented an abbreviated word and not a letter. [...]

One other noticeable difference from the Herbarium Apuleius Platonicus is that not a single plant name or malady is to be found in the Voynich manuscript. This was problematic until I realized that not only had the folios of the manuscript been cropped (the images of flowers and roots have been severed and the tops of folios hacked) but, more importantly, the indexes that should have been there were now absent. Indexes are present in many other similar books: a system of cross-reference for illness, complaints, names of plants and page numbers. For the sake of brevity, the name of both plant and malaise were superfluous in the text so long as they could be found in the indexes matched with a page number. Recipes require an index to function in a reference book. The same recipe format is replicated throughout the manuscript: recipes for bathing solutions, tonics, tinctures, ointments, unguents, purgatives and fragrant fumigations -- and not a name in sight. Not only is the manuscript incomplete, but its folios are in the wrong order -- and all for the want of an index.

Update: Ok, apparently that's likely bullshit. Though probably the real answer is prosaic and boring anyway.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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How to Turn Tap Water Into Bottled Water

Artisanal, single origin, small batch:

That early grocery rush could leave people without bottled water. Making matters worse, prices of bottled water on Amazon have reportedly increased since news of the hurricane broke. Even at regular prices, preparing for the CDC-recommended two weeks with cases of bottled water conceivably could cost a family of four with one dog more than $500 if they could only find 16-ounce bottles.

Certain corners of the internet have surfaced a technique for water preservation that is applicable in just such an instance. As long as the municipal water system is still intact, "tap water" can be run from a faucet into a storage vessel -- a jug, if you will. A canteen or large bottle will also work, as will a food-grade watertight sack.

Factory-bottled water costs around 2,000 times as much as artisanal-bottled water. The former is usually not recommended to be stored for longer than two years, while the latter can be stored for up to six months.

"Well, I don't have a jug!" some people might say.

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

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Still literally the worst

Facebook's widening role in electing Trump

Putin's propaganda farm bought around $150,000 in political ads from at least June 2015 - May 2017; Facebook was compelled to share the information and will be cooperating with ongoing investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The troll farm in question is the Internet Research Agency, a well-funded, well-established, nimble, English-speaking pro-Putin propaganda unit, and the ads are in all likelihood illegal. [...]

The total money spent (that Facebook would admit to) was allegedly responsible for around 3,000 ads with the potential to reach millions of people. Facebook isn't saying how many people actually saw them.

There were an additional 2,200 ads Facebook said it suspected were also Russia backed; the company has avoided making a positive statement. It's arguable that the world's biggest surveillance platform has the data to connect the dots; it simply isn't doing so for this problem. [...]

The language that Facebook "discovered" this is disingenuous. As if it had no way of monitoring its ad program, and a Russian troll farm blasting propaganda was akin to finding a coin purse someone left under a cushion. Whoa! Who knew, or had any way of knowing? Well, Facebook did.

Pretending otherwise is fool's errand; no one could be that incompetent at running advertising and metrics and simultaneously have the entire industry in a choke-hold. [...]

Facebook's minimizing of the problem, and pretending it's now fixed -- by deleting a few fake accounts -- is like minimizing gangrene. As if the accounts belonging to Putin's Internet Research Agency are a just tiny speck of bad actors and now they're gone, so phew, rest easy everyone.

The primary talking point is that the accounts have been removed because, by gosh, they violated Facebook's rules. They "misused the platform" by making fake accounts. Not by actively working against the company's alleged values around diversity. Or by making racists more racist and fascists feel like they're so validated that stabbing immigrants to death or mowing anti-racism protesters down with a car is not just a good idea, but the right thing to do.

Facebook said, "... we are exploring several new improvements to our systems for keeping inauthentic accounts and activity off our platform. [...] Cool, so as long as the real accounts of people at Russian or any other propaganda factories are the ones running ads, it's all good? [...]

Facebook could tell us more about what was in those ads and when -- like if both the domestic Trump campaign, and the Russian Trump campaign were coordinated in messaging -- but it won't. It could also tell us who was targeted with what, where, and when, but it hasn't.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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