Lonely flower


Here’s a poor, lonesome, sad-looking yellow flower amid a sea of beautiful red ones.  I kind of feel sorry for the little fella.  Look at all those holes in its leaves.  Maybe they planted it as a sort of sacrificial lamb.  Yeah, that’s it.  This noble flower is slowly giving its life that its more attractive brethren may live on.  Touching, really.  Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken at the City of Hope’s rose garden, and part of my famous Garden series.

Long day today.  I may or may not be actually posting this well after midnight on Thursday morning.  Behold the wonders of WordPress – as far as my Loyal Readers can tell, this went out at 11:15 PM on Wednesday.  Bwa ha ha.

And I think it’s pretty obvious that it’s about time for me to go to bed.  So let’s move right along and consider LRN4’s condition, shall we?

We had her second visit to the substitute doctor today.  Spent about six and a half hours in the clinic, what with having her blood drawn for testing, getting her daily anti-fungal IV meds, having red blood cells infused, waiting for her doctor appointment, visiting with the doctor, and getting a shot of Neupogen.  These things take time.  We skipped our daily stair climb because we were so ready for lunch.  I’ll make her work twice as hard tomorrow.  Otherwise, she felt good and it was a quiet day.

I made a teeny tiny bit of progress on the iOS program today.  It was another one of those days when it’s hard to concentrate.  I’m trying to do a bunch of stuff I don’t really know how to do, so it’s slow going.  I’m also at the point in the project when I doubt my ability to do it at all.  Which is silly – it’s a very straightforward problem and I’ll get it figured out.  I’m just frustrated with it right now.  Tomorrow is another day, although it’s possible LRN4 will prevail upon me to take the holiday off.  We’ll see.  I’ll at least be taking the evening off, as we’re planning to go to Monrovia to see the fireworks and possibly the concert beforehand.  Should be a fun evening.

I have much better news to report regarding my cryptography class: I got the extra-credit programming assignment done.  Started looking at it in Objective C and quickly decided that I didn’t want to rewrite all the code the professor gave us, so I bit my lip and did it in Python.  So now I’m a Python programmer.  The point of the exercise was to demonstrate for the student why it’s not secure to reuse one-time pad encryption keys.  They call it one-time for a reason, after all.  We were given eleven ciphertexts that had been encrypted with the same key, along with the algorithm used for the encryption.  Per the algorithm, the encryption key was chosen at random – not even the professor knew it.  Our assignment – if we chose to accept it – was to decrypt the last message.  If we were caught or killed, the secretary would disavow all knowledge of our actions.  The crux of the solution was the knowledge that when you use one ciphertext to encrypt another ciphertext when both were originally encrypted with the same key, the resulting ciphertext effectively eliminates the effect of the key and you get kind of a mishmash of the two plaintexts.  You can then manipulate and compare the texts to reveal a plaintext character for each column where one of the plaintext characters was a space.  If you have enough texts to encrypt against each other, you can fill in most or all of the columns with the plaintext.

That’s the theory, anyway.  As I said, I figured out enough Python to write a program that encrypted each of the first ten ciphertexts against the eleventh one and printed them one above the other and – lo and behold – the message was easily discernable!  There were a few characters in there that I had to fill in, but that was easy.  I ended the day feeling so successful that my earlier struggles were blunted a bit.  So I had my ups and downs today.  More like downs and ups.

And it’s way too late again tonight, so I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: cheese fire causes traffic meltdown!

See you tomorrow.

One Response to “Lonely flower”

  1. Shannon Says:

    Congrats on the crypto class!

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