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From xanath: For your reading amusement, I offer you the worst novel ever written.

I won't put the author's name or the title of his work in my journal entry, because he doesn't deserve the Google search result.

It's books like this which give vanity publishing a bad name.

TV: Last night, I saw an interesting show on The History Channel concerning the plot by the Pazzi family to assassinate Lorenzo and Juliano dei Medici in 1474. Poor Juliano wound up very, very dead in Il Duomo, but Lorenzo survived. Anyway, it seems that the plot went a lot farther than just the Pazzi banking family. Apparently, Pope Sixtus and the Duke of Urbino were also involved in planning it, with the Duke being the major player.

This was discovered by a man named Simonetta, whose ancestor Chico (sp?) Simonetta had written down details of how to decipher codes which were used in medieval times when writing secret communications. Simonetta had in his possession a little-known letter written by the Duke of Urbino to Pope Sixtus, and he used his ancestor's guide to decipher the letter.

I was interested in how heavily deciphering strategies are dependent upon the language used. I suppose that should have been an intuitive conclusion, but whereas, in English, the most common letter is 'e;' in Italian, it is 'a.' In Italian, it is also helpful to find the vowels first, and you can pretty much be assured that the terminal letter of a word will be a vowel, which simplieifes this process. I found all of this quite fascinating.

And the guy they had playing Lorenzo in the re-enactments--wonderful face! Picture a very elegant, well-groomed Snape in Italian Renaissance attire. Nice!

What the assassins did to Juliano, though, was unspeakable. Nineteen stab wounds with poignards, at least three of which were to the skull by a right-handed attacker. Having seen that skeleton, I can understand why Lorenzo went after the Pazzi like the wrath of God. *shakes head*

Food: I discovered something tasty, yesterday--Cheddar and Horseradish Pub Cheese, by Rondele. Mmmmm! It probably isn't the same as real pub cheese from England, but it's better than nothing and goes well on crackers. I also discovered and bought something else I'm curious to try. It's a pastry filled with Brie cheese, portabella mushrooms, and caramelized onions. It's prepackaged; you just bake it. Normally, I don't care for Brie, but this sounds tasty.

At the moment, I'm drinking down a bottle of vampire lemon water--LaCroix lemon-flavored water. Mark and I used to watch Forever Knight, so the brand name makes me giggle.

Blogs: Well, darn! It looks like The Diplomad has stopped posting. Looks like they're going to leave the blog up for a while, at least.

I so wanted that gorgeous French song with the kick-ass soprano soloist (Beyonce!) and the boys' choir to win the Best Song Oscar. I think it was called "Follow Your Path." It was gorgeous!

Alas, it didn't win. I did like Jorge, the guy whose song did win, though. He sang his thani-you speech in Spanish. Very neat!

*sigh* I see Finding Neverland totally lost out. That is such a shame, because it was a brilliant movie, every bit as good as The Aviator. I haven't seen Million-Dollar Baby yet, though I was impressed with Hilary Swanke.

Jump back February 27th, 2005 Go forward