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# Dits and Dahs

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posted on Jun, 12 2016 @ 01:09 PM

Dits and Dahs

I stumbled into this by talking with a friend. We were actually talking about something else entirely and it was mentioned in passing. But I realized, I really didn't know much on the subject matter, other than the SOS code and that Samuel Morse invented it. So, I decided to read up on it a bit.

Quite a fascinating piece of our history. How it was used and how far back it goes in time. Most think it was invented in 1836. The telegraph was invented at that time, but I have come to the conclusion, that maybe..just maybe..the code itself was invented much, much earlier.

It has been proposed that the actual Morse Code was taken from the times and writings of Polybius. Found in the works of his fragments of book Polybius (203 B.C.E. - 120 B.C.E.), The Histories, fragments of book V. ( Affairs of Greece, fire signaling, excerpts 43-46)

It is as follows: We take the alphabet and divide it into five parts, each consisting of five letters. There is one letter less in the last division, but this makes no practical difference. 8 Each of the two parties who are about signal to each other must now get ready five p215tablets and write one division of the alphabet on each tablet, and then come to an agreement that the man who is going to signal is in the first place to raise two torches and wait until the other replies by doing the same. 10 This is for the purpose of conveying to each other that they are both at attention. 11 These torches having been lowered the dispatcher of the message will now raise the first set of torches on the left side indicating which tablet is to be consulted, i.e. one torch if it is the first, two if it is the second, and so on. 12 Next he will raise the second set on the right on the same principle to indicate what letter of the tablet the receiver should write down.

That is one supposition. But in some readings, it is also said that Samuel had trouble developing the code itself at first. It was supposed to be just a series of numbers:

The Morse Code was developed so that operators could translate the indentations marked on the paper tape into text messages. In his earliest code, Morse had planned to transmit only numerals, and to use a codebook to look up each word according to the number which had been sent. However, the code was soon expanded by Alfred Vail to include letters and special characters, so it could be used more generally. Vail estimated the frequency of use of letters in the English language by counting the movable type he found in the type-cases of a local newspaper in Morristown.[3] The shorter marks were called "dots", and the longer ones "dashes", and the letters most commonly used were assigned the shorter sequences of dots and dashes.

So, I am unsure if they were referencing the works of Polybius for the idea of the telegraph or for the invention of the code.

But there has been at least one more use of it throughout history (not the modern form of the telegraph, but the code itself) That one being the Ogham writings found on I believe 400 stones located in Ireland (mostly in Munster). The letters are said to be made up of marks of slashes, so, it is thought to be a primitive form of Morse Code in a sense.

The original form of ogham represented approximately 80 sounds from Gaelic, with 20 symbols arranged in four groups of five. Each group, or aicme, was made up of single strokes, easily carved in wood or stone, with each letter represented by one, two, three, four or five strokes and grouped in sequences of one to five located to the left, right, diagonally across or in the middle of a central stem-line (one stroke to the right is a ‘b’, two strokes is ‘l’, three strokes ‘v/f’, and so on).

Early Irish law indicates that stones like this could be called upon to underpin a legal claim to land, while saga writers tell of long-dead heroes who, having fallen in battle, were buried beneath stones bearing their name.

You would be surprised how many times it has been used in modern times and what it was used for. We do tend to repurpose things a lot. Originally invented to help with long distance communications, we found new ways to use it after new technology was invented and it no longer served its original purpose. Of course, we used it in military and war for a time. Transmitting secret messages and decoding the enemies secret messages. But it also can be found in the most unusual places in the today's world.

Mars

If you are able to speak the nearly ancient language of Morse code, then you may find a hidden message within Curiosity’s track prints on Mars. For those of you who aren’t as well cultured when it comes to decoding dots and lines, or don’t want to do the work, NASA’s Curiosity wheel prints spell out the abbreviation for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where the rover was designed and built.

From 2:02 - 2:43 roughly

The Strangler's song "Enough Time"

The Morse code solo at the end reads 'SOS. This is planet Earth. We are XXXXed. Please advise'. We thought we'd be clever and include Morse code to send that message out...

San Francisco Artist's flashing Morse Code from windows

By day, you’ll catch blinking lights in secret messages from artists right in the heart of San Francisco; by night, starting at 8 PM, videos project the artwork of those same artists who have been displaced.

King Kong (2005)

However, in the case of Peter Jackson’s King Kong remake, the director included a tongue-in-cheek message for savvy moviegoers who actually took the time to do translation work. Just before reaching Skull Island, SS Venture captain Englehorn intercepts a coded message calling for the arrest of Carl Denham (Jack Black). Yet the audible code does not actually say anything about an arrest and instead reads: “Show me the monkey!” – a campy hidden message in honor of the film’s titular ape that will probably make readers think twice the next time they see morse code depicted on screen.

So, The next time you see/hear dits and dahs while you're out and about during your day or searching the web, or just reading a book..it could be more than just a spelling error, a song, a painting, or tracks in the sand. Someone could be speaking to you...secretly. And unless you take the time to notice, you'll miss what it is they are trying to say.

As always, thanks for reading and hope you found some value in this somewhere.

blend57

edit on 12-6-2016 by blend57 because: (no reason given)

edit on 12-6-2016 by blend57 because: (no reason given)

edit on 12-6-2016 by blend57 because: (no reason given)

edit on 12-6-2016 by blend57 because: The usual stuff..

posted on Jun, 12 2016 @ 01:26 PM
a reply to: blend57
Nice thread! When I saw the title, I knew it would be about Morse code. My grandpa was a ham radio enthusiast. I remember him sending messages in Morse. He would actually say, "Dit dit dit, dah dah dah" or whatever. Not into the microphone, of course, but to me as the message was being sent. Then he'd translate.

posted on Jun, 12 2016 @ 01:26 PM
that was an interesting fact about the Mars Rover. By looking at the huge Jet Propulsion Laboratory logo on the rover i would've never guessed it was built there.

posted on Jun, 12 2016 @ 02:59 PM
a reply to: blend57

SOS

Like someone saying 'help me'...

It would only work if the other person knows the 'code' also...
edit on 12-6-2016 by TNMockingbird because: after thought, you'll get it!

posted on Jun, 12 2016 @ 04:28 PM
a reply to: blend57

Great thread Blend57, I love morse code.

-... .-.. . -. -.. / .. / .-.. --- ...- . / -.-- --- ..- .-. / - .... .-. . .- -..

To translate morsecode.scphillips.com...

posted on Jun, 12 2016 @ 04:29 PM
a reply to: blend57

Nice thread! And at the end of The Clash's London Calling is the SOS signal played on feedback through the guitar! Wonder if people noticed?!

S+F

posted on Jun, 12 2016 @ 04:34 PM
a reply to: Quantum12

Clever.

posted on Jun, 12 2016 @ 04:35 PM
a reply to: TNMockingbird

I might send you one too! Lol

posted on Jun, 12 2016 @ 06:41 PM
a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

Wolfenstein 3D In Episodes 3 of the registered version of Wolfenstein 3D the music seems to include a Morse code beeping in the background. The message is: TO: Big Bad Wolf DE: Little Red Riding Hood Eliminate Hitler. Imperitive: Complete mission within 24 hours. Out

It is also found at Fenway park on the left field scoreboard. On the statue of Liberty, in the Nokias SMS receiving message tone..lots of places now a days.

I didn't know that about The Clash's London Calling..thanks for sharing that!

a reply to: Quantum12

-. .. -.-. . .-.-.- / - .... .- -. -.- ... / ..-. --- .-. / ... .- -.-- .. -. --. / .. - / ... --- / ..- -. .. --.- ..- . .-.. -.-- .-.-.- / ...- . .-. -.-- / -.-. .-. . .- - .. ...- . .-.-.-

a reply to: TNMockingbird

Thanks! I didn't know if anyone would be interested in such things. Nice to know there are some who are. Now I'm going to be looking for this code everywhere for a bit... Wonder if I'll find it anywhere else..

a reply to: Skid Mark

Must have been fun doing that with your dad. Probably some good memories there. My dad and I watched the stars a lot when I was young and I know those are very, very fond memories I have with him. Maybe I'll break out the telescope and spend some time doing that with him for fathers day. Much better gift for both of us then a hallmark card. Thanks for the idea! (it was your post that got me thinking about it)

edit on 12-6-2016 by blend57 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 12 2016 @ 06:49 PM
a reply to: blend57

posted on Jun, 12 2016 @ 06:54 PM
a reply to: blend57

I think that I will see code all of the time as well

LOL!
edit on 12-6-2016 by TNMockingbird because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 12 2016 @ 06:57 PM
a reply to: TNMockingbird

Where is my message in code? Lol
edit on 6 12 2016 by Quantum12 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 13 2016 @ 12:28 AM
a reply to: blend57

Thanks.

I got up to about 35 words per minute send and 37 or higher--pretty fast, whatever the rate, IIRC, or was told--to receive, IIRC. . . . in the Navy. I sat at a typewriter to receive and kept up with the stream receiving by typing faster than my classmates could.

Old salts carried 8-24 letters in their head before writing them down. I couldn't do it that way. LOL.

I've forgotten too much. I need to look a website up and relearn it. It can come in handy.

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