This discovery about a secret Viking message is special - and will put a big smile on your face. For years researchers have tried to crack a Viking rune alphabet known as Jötunvillur. It is found in some 80 inscriptions, including the one above, which dates from the 11th or 12th century. Recently the news broke that a runologist in Norway was successful. It turns out that you had to replace the rune character with the last letter of the sound it produced. So the rune for “f”, which was pronounced like “fe”, represented an “e”. And so researchers were able to decode the 900-year-old message on the piece of wood above, which turned out to be - wait for it… - “Kiss me”! It gets better, however. It turns out that coding and decoding such messages was a playful game, a leisure activity. This is clear from the fact that some of the inscriptions invite the reader to solve the code, stating for example “Interpret these runes.” This, of course, makes the discovery of the “Kiss me” message even more sensational. The kiss was no doubt the reward for the successful individual who cracked this particular message. Two Viking lovers entertaining themselves with a playful coding game - that came with a delightful climax. Awesome.
More information: this Norwegian article originally reported the story, which is also the source of the image (made by Jonas Nordby, the researcher who cracked the code). I picked up the story from the invaluable Medievalists blog (here).
A small sampling of the street photography by Nur Uretmen, a self-described amateur photographer from Kusadasi, Turkey. Her images allows us to see the beauty of her homeland beyond the front pages or tourism brochures.
12-year-old girl:I don't want kids when I grow up.
Society:You'll change your mind when you get older. You're only 12. You're too young to know what you want.
16-year-old girl:I'm pregnant.
Society:How could you be so stupid? Do you know anything about safe sex? You should be ashamed.
20-year-old woman:I'm a single mother with an infant son.
Society:You should've gone to college first. You need a stable career before you can support a child.
33-year-old woman:I'm married and my spouse and I both have stable careers. I have two young daughters now.
Society:You're not staying home? Who's going to take care of them? You're just going to put them in day care while you work? That's selfish of you. You can't expect to raise decent kids with a full-time job.
45-year-old woman:I just had my first child.
Society:Why would you have a child when you're that old? Do you realize the health risks of being pregnant at your age? When your kid is a teenager you'll be a senior citizen. That's inconsiderate of you.
60-year-old woman:I haven't had any children.
Society:Your life must be so unfulfilling. Is there something wrong with you? Why didn't you want kids? How strange.