We’ve Kept You Posted

Yearly Recall Takes
a Blurry 2015 Picture

It was a year of record refugee waves, with boatloads of heartbreaking stories landing en masse on European shores. Greeting them, equal parts of compassion and vile political pettiness, and a stunned world reacting as it usually does: with violence.
As usual too, there were plenty of staggering deaths – massive, laser-focused, or undiscriminated – due to terrorism, war strikes, stampedes, and in the U.S., racism and too many guns. And, of course, a fair share of encouraging news about climate change, for instance.
This post hardly covers them all, though. For these Colltales stories we’ve picked are more of a counterpoint to what was going on then. Rather than rehashing what was on everyone’s devices in 2015, they run a parallel track of commentary, criticism, and even comic relief.
Just as global temperatures kept rising, our pulse on the year’s events was better reflected on the weekly editorial Newsletter/Curtain Raiser. So we were free to report another kind of news, neither Pollyanna nor downright depressing. You know, the Colltalers preferable way. Enjoy.

The terrorist attack that killed nine journalists at the Paris offices of the Charlie Hebdo, on Jan. 7, was arguably the biggest news of the first three months of 2015. But the following day, we featured Elvis Presley‘s 80th birthday. And never looked back.
Stories about crows, unemployment, that old fave Voynich Manuscript, and a quirky take on Valentine Day followed. A personal darling was the 450th anniversary of Rio, our city of birth. Bandit Maria Bonita, cats, caturally, and life after death, online, completed the bunch.

By then, the biggest refugee crisis of our era was already creeping in, but within the U.S., an old scourge was robbing the headlines: racism. Our own second quarter, though, was deep into Continue reading

L’Enfant Savage

This Ancient, Mysterious Book
May Have Been Written by a Boy

There are just a few things we like better than books. Like rare books. Mysterious, single-edition books. Books no one knows who wrote them, or what they’re really all about.
We told you about the Voynich Manuscript. Still impenetrable, despite efforts of the best minds of our time. Legendary cryptologists and code breakers, all have tried their hand at it and they all failed.
Now, here’s another one: Le Livre des Sauvages, which like the Voynich, also seems to have come to light years after it was written. But apart from that and the fact that it remains Continue reading

Age of Voynich

“Most Mysterious Manuscript
in the World” Has Been Dated

When American antique book dealer and collector, Wilfrid M. Voynich, discovered the manuscript that now bears his name, in Frascati, near Rome, he couldn’t have known that the enigma of its authorship would be still strong, almost a century later.
For since its discovery, in 1912, celebrated cryptologists and scholars, many of whom went on to start intelligence and Continue reading