The Avengers Versi Gue

   Seumur hidup, nggak pernah malam Minggu gue sekonyol ini. Gimana enggak? Satu negara juga mungkin bakal guling-guling di lantai saking ngakaknya. Jadi begini sodara-sodara…

     Adalah Sabtu, 12 Mei 2012 pukul 21:00, gue ngajak nyokap sama bokap gue nonton The Avengers. Dan tibalah di Cinema XXI Mega Mall Batam Center sekitar pukul 21:30. Yaaaahh, sayang sekali, film The Avengers sudah mulai 15 menit yang lalu.

Poster The Avengers

Nyokap pun bertanya…

Nyokap: “Kak, mau nonton juga nih? Udah telat 15 menit.”

Gue: “Nggak deh, Ma. Udah penuh juga studionya. Mau duduk di mana?    Paling depan? Sakit leher ntar, Ma.”

Nyokap: “Ya sudah. Keputusannya nggak jadi nonton nih?”

     Sementara itu, gue ngeliat show board yang ada di dekat Mbak-mbak penjual tiket masuk. Bingung juga. Niat awal gue kan mau nonton The Avengers. Nggak lucu kan hanya gara-gara telat 15 menit gue nggak jadi nonton The Avengers. Oke…  in one sec, itu show board nampilin jadwal Midnight Show. Dan di Studio 1 ternyata ada film The Avengers. Yup!! Great pleasure. Tapi, show time-nya jam 23:15. Too midnight. Mmhh, nggak pa-pa kali. Yang jelas intinya, gue harus nonton The Avengers. 2 bulan sebelum film ini keluar aja gue udah menantikan with all my heart and soul. Chicklit!

Nyokap: “Kak, jadi nonton nggaaaak?”

Gue: “Jadi dong, Ma. Midnight boleh kan??” (muka nyengir)

     Nyokap gue nggak langsung mengiyakan sodara-sodara. Beliau melihat jam terlebih dahulu. Ternyata sang waktu pun baru menunjukkan pukul 21:40.

Nyokap: “Lama kali. Mulainya jam sebelas. Ini baru jam sepuluh”

Gue: “Cuma satu jam lebih kok, Ma.”

     Tiba-tiba bokap gue yang baru selesai nyari parkiran yang susah amat dateng menghampiri. Tap tap tap…

Bokap: “Lho, mana tiketnya? Nggak jadi nonton?” 

      Dalam hati gue, “Di samping faktor studio yang udah penuh, ternyata kita juga sudah telat dari show time-nya my great Papa.” Dan akhirnya gue hanya menjawab dengan gerakan bola mata yang seolah berkata, “C’mon, Dad!!”

      Sumpah ini bokap gue heboh banget. Akhirnya nyokap gue juga bingung sendiri. Mbak-mbak penjual tiketnya yang berbaju hitam bersanggul rapi itu sudah senyam-senyum dari tadi. Mungkin di hatinya, “Nih big fam sebenernya mau nonton atau kagak sih?? ” 

     Oke… skip!! Itu mungkin cuma imajinasi gue saja yang terlampau liar. Mmhhh, dududu. Akhirnya nyokap gue ke line untuk ikut mengantri membeli tiket bersama calon penonton lainnya. Gue sama bokap nunggu tak jauh dari line tersebut sekalian lihat Coming Soon Board yang ada di setiap jengkal Cinema XXI. Tak lama kemudian, nyokap gue datang sambil membawa tiket di tangannya. Buru-buru gue lihat. Firasat gue nggak enak.

           JENG!! Bener ternyata. Siap-siap gue membuka mulut…

Continue reading “The Avengers Versi Gue”

8 Innovative and Functional Computer Mouse Designs

Computer Mouse may slowly be replaced by touch pads and other touch sensitive devices but there is still a huge fan following for these extremely ergonomic devices that let us use computers in the easiest manner possible. In today’s post, we round up 10 Innovative and Functional Computer Mouse

 Designs. Some are chosen for their functionality while others for their extra ordinary designs. Hope you enjoy.

1) Headset

This unique computer / laptop mouse can be used as an internet phone with hands free, crystal clear quality sound Hi-Fi speaker function (48 KHz sampling rate). It also includes an acoustically isolated earpiece and microphone to protect your privacy and eliminate echo. This 800 DPI optical USB computer skype mouse can be used as a mouse / phone / speaker phone all in one compact little package. The USB cable is 6 feet long and gives you plenty of room to move about.

This device supports 12 VoIP services including: Seamlessly integrated with Skype, VoipButser, VoipStunt, VoIPCheap, VoipDiscount, SparVoip, Internetcalls, poivY, WebCallDirect, VoipCheapCom, FreeCall, NetAppel and MTalk. The LCD screen allows you to see the contact list, Call list, Call history and also the Caller ID. There is a fully functional numberic keypad that allows you to make call with ease. There are also various chord music ring tones that cater to different tastes.

Continue reading “8 Innovative and Functional Computer Mouse Designs”


7.Nasi Lemak

Penangnasilemak Large
Other significant dishes: Roti canai (flatbread)
Most unusual dish: Pekasam Ikan (yeast coated fermented fish)
With roots in Malay culture, “nasi lemak” is a Malay word that literally means ‘fatty rice’. The name is derived from the cooking process whereby rice is soaked in coconut cream and then the mixture steamed. Sometimes knotted screwpine (pandan) leaves are thrown into the rice during steaming to give it more fragrance. Spices such as ginger and, occasionally, herbs like lemon grass may be added for additional fragrance. Traditionally, this comes as a platter of food wrapped in banana leaf, with cucumber slices, small dried anchovies, roasted peanuts, hard boiled egg and hot spicy sauce (sambal) at its core. As a more substantial meal, nasi lemak can also come with a variety of other accompaniments such as chicken, cuttlefish, cockle, stir fried water convolvulus, pickled vegetables, beef rendang (beef stewed in coconut milk and spices) or paru (beef lungs).



Other significant dishes: Papa a la Huancaina (yellow potato salad)
Most unusual dish: cuy (roast guinea pig)
Ceviche is relatively well known around the world. It is raw fish marinated in a citrus-based mixture, with lemons and limes being the most commonly used. In addition to adding flavor, the citric acid causes the proteins in the seafood to become denatured (effectively partly cooked). Traditional style ceviche was marinated for about 3 hours. Modern-style ceviche, created by Peruvian chef Dario Matsufuji in the 1970s, usually has a very short marinating period. With the appropriate fish, it can marinate in the time it takes to mix the ingredients, serve and carry the ceviche to the table. The classic Peruvian ceviche is composed of chunks of raw fish, marinated in freshly-squeezed key lime or bitter orange (naranja agria) juice, with sliced onions, chili, salt and pepper. Corvina or Cebo (sea bass) was the fish traditionally used. It is such an important dish in Peru that they have a national day for it.


Other significant dishes: kleftiko (lamb stew), fasolada (bean soup)
Most unusual dish: Patsa (feet and tripe soup)
Everyone loves lasagna – but if you haven’t tried moussaka you really are missing out on something quite extraordinary. Moussaka is the Greek equivalent of lasagna but it differs in a number of ways. Generally, it is made with veal or lamb (as opposed to beef), and instead of lasagna sheets it uses sliced eggplant (aubergine) or potato (in the Turkish version). The meat is flavored with cinnamon and pimento (allspice) and mixed with white wine. Like lasagna it is coated with a rich white sauce and it really is the most delicious Greek food.


Tom Yum

Tom Yum Soup-12825
Other significant dishes: Pad Thai (Thai noodles)
Most unusual dish: Laab Luead (raw pork dressed with pig’s blood)
Tom yum soup is a hot, spicy and sour soup which usually includes prawns or chicken and mushrooms, cilantro (coriander), lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and thai basil. It is a very fragrant soup (as is typical of much Thai food) and is very healthy – being very low in fat and carbohydrates. There are other varieties of tom yum, such as tom yum nam khon which includes coconut milk, but for the true delicious taste of Thailand you must try tom yum. Fortunately for most of us westerners it is possible to buy pre-made tom yum paste, which saves the many hours pounding all of the herbs together first. Of all the entries on this list (as well as the one above), tom yum soup is the one that most readers will have tried – but if you haven’t – do. Oh – and if you live in Wellington, New Zealand, the best Tom Yum soup in the city can be eaten here (as you can see by the rave reviews). [Recipe]



800Px-Bigos In Kraków (Rynek Główny)
Other significant dishes: Golonka
Most unusual dish: Czernina (black duck’s blood soup)
Bigos (Hunter’s Stew), is a traditional meat stew typical of Polish, Lithuanian and Belarusian cuisines. There is no single recipe for a savory stew of cabbage and meat, as recipes vary considerably from region to region, as well as from family to family. Typical ingredients include white cabbage, sauerkraut (kapusta kiszona in Polish), various cuts of meat and sausages, often whole or puréed tomatoes, honey and mushrooms. The meats may include pork (often smoked), ham, bacon, beef, veal, sausage, and, as bigos is considered a real hunters’ stew, venison or other game; leftover cuts find their way into the pot as well.
Bigos is usually eaten with rye bread and potatoes. As with many stews, bigos can be kept in a cool place or refrigerated then reheated later—its taste actually intensifies when reheated. A common practice is to keep a pot of bigos going for a week or more, replenishing ingredients as necessary.


Pork Adobo

Screen Shot 2011-04-14 At 10.33.23 Am
Other significant dishes: Lechon, Sinigang
Most unusual dish: Balut (duck embryo eggs)
Before colonization by the Spanish, the Philippines had their own unique method of cooking with vinegar, which preserved food and made it incredibly delicious. Pork adobo is almost certainly the national dish of the Philippines for that reason. Adobo was employed initially as a method of food preservation, but in time — with the advent of refrigeration methods — adobo became used primarily as a method of flavoring foods before cooking. Adobo typically involves cooking meat for a long period of time in a mixture of vinegar, garlic, salt and laurel leaves (bay leaves). The dish is either cooked until dry or cooked until a little of the cooking liquid remains as a sauce. The meat become very tender and the bite of the vinegar is removed whilst the flavor remains. It is a delicious dish that everyone should try. Pictured above is pork adobo I made with pork belly – it is served with rice and french beans.


Kimchi – 김치
Other significant dishes: Bulgogi – 불고기 (marinated beef – often called Korean Barbeque)
Most unusual dish: Bosintang – 보신탕 (dog stew)
I had to put Korean food (한식 – Hansik) first because it is my current passion . Also, it is quite unique in that much of the food is not prepared just for taste, but for health also – as has been the case for thousands of years. Much of Korean food is based on fermented products (naturally preserved) such as gochujang (hot pepper paste) and doenjang (soy bean paste – like Japanese miso). This gives it the easily recognizable red color. In addition to these pastes Korean food often includes hot pepper flakes – an essential ingredient in kimchi (which is pronounced gim-chee, NOT kim-chee, despite the spelling). Kimchi is fermented cabbage. There are many types of kimchi – cabbage kimchi (the most common), radish kimchi, water radish kimchi, etc.
Different recipes exist for each type, but one which I think is best for cabbage kimchi involves making a thick slurry with rice flour and water, and adding to it all of the seasoning: hot pepper flakes, scallions, Asian chives, raw oysters (or fermented squid), garlic, ginger, onions, pear and fish sauce. This is then spread on the individual leaves of the cabbage (which is kept whole). The cabbages are then kept in a container (traditionally outside in earthenware pots, but these days usually in glass or plastic in the fridge) where they ferment over time. Kimchi has a fresh taste and a crunchy texture and you can eat it immediately or when it is very well fermented (when it takes on a more sour flavor). For many Koreans, Kimchi is eaten with breakfast, lunch and dinner, and is such a staple part of the Korean diet that most Korean homes have a separate kimchi refrigerator. When Kimchi gets too sour to enjoy, you can use it as the basis for kimchi pancakes or kimchi stew.



Black Hat Crackers
The Internet abounds with hackers, known as crackers or “black hats,” who work to exploit computer systems. They are the ones you’ve seen on the news being hauled away for cybercrimes. Some of them do it for fun and curiosity, while others are looking for personal gain. In this section we profile five of the most famous and interesting “black hat” hackers.

  1. Jonathan James: James gained notoriety when he became the first juvenile to be sent to prison for hacking. He was sentenced at 16 years old. In an anonymous PBS interview, he professes, “I was just looking around, playing around. What was fun for me was a challenge to see what I could pull off.”
    James’s major intrusions targeted high-profile organizations. He installed a backdoor into a Defense Threat Reduction Agency server. The DTRA is an agency of the Department of Defense charged with reducing the threat to the U.S. and its allies from nuclear, biological, chemical, conventional and special weapons. The backdoor he created enabled him to view sensitive emails and capture employee usernames and passwords.
    James also cracked into NASA computers, stealing software worth approximately $1.7 million. According to the Department of Justice, “The software supported the International Space Station’s physical environment, including control of the temperature and humidity within the living space.” NASA was forced to shut down its computer systems, ultimately racking up a $41,000 cost. James explained that he downloaded the code to supplement his studies on C programming, but contended, “The code itself was crappy . . . certainly not worth $1.7 million like they claimed.”
    Given the extent of his intrusions, if James, also known as “c0mrade,” had been an adult he likely would have served at least 10 years. Instead, he was banned from recreational computer use and was slated to serve a six-month sentence under house arrest with probation. However, he served six months in prison for violation of parole. Today, James asserts that he’s learned his lesson and might start a computer security company.
  2. Adrian Lamo: Lamo’s claim to fame is his break-ins at major organizations like The New York Times and Microsoft. Dubbed the “homeless hacker,” he used Internet connections at Kinko’s, coffee shops and libraries to do his intrusions. In a profile article, “He Hacks by Day, Squats by Night,” Lamo reflects, “I have a laptop in Pittsburgh, a change of clothes in D.C. It kind of redefines the term multi-jurisdictional.”
    Lamo’s intrusions consisted mainly of penetration testing, in which he found flaws in security, exploited them and then informed companies of their shortcomings. His hits include Yahoo!, Bank of America, Citigroup and Cingular. When white hat hackers are hired by companies to do penetration testing, it’s legal. What Lamo did is not.
    When he broke into The New York Times’ intranet, things got serious. He added himself to a list of experts and viewed personal information on contributors, including Social Security numbers. Lamo also hacked into The Times’ LexisNexis account to research high-profile subject matter.
    For his intrusion at The New York Times, Lamo was ordered to pay approximately $65,000 in restitution. He was also sentenced to six months of home confinement and two years of probation, which expired January 16, 2007. Lamo is currently working as an award-winning journalist and public speaker.
  3. Kevin Mitnick: A self-proclaimed “hacker poster boy,” Mitnick went through a highly publicized pursuit by authorities. His mischief was hyped by the media but his actual offenses may be less notable than his notoriety suggests. The Department of Justice describes him as “the most wanted computer criminal in United States history.” His exploits were detailed in two movies: Freedom Downtime and Takedown.
    Mitnick had a bit of hacking experience before committing the offenses that made him famous. He started out exploiting the Los Angeles bus punch card system to get free rides. Then, like Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, dabbled in phone phreaking. Although there were numerous offenses, Mitnick was ultimately convicted for breaking into the Digital Equipment Corporation’s computer network and stealing software.
    Mitnick’s mischief got serious when he went on a two and a half year “coast-to-coast hacking spree.” The CNN article, “Legendary computer hacker released from prison,” explains that “he hacked into computers, stole corporate secrets, scrambled phone networks and broke into the national defense warning system.” He then hacked into computer expert and fellow hacker Tsutomu Shimomura’s home computer, which led to his undoing.
    Today, Mitnick has been able to move past his role as a black hat hacker and become a productive member of society. He served five years, about 8 months of it in solitary confinement, and is now a computer security consultant, author and speaker.
  4. Kevin Poulsen: Also known as Dark Dante, Poulsen gained recognition for his hack of LA radio’s KIIS-FM phone lines, which earned him a brand new Porsche, among other items. Law enforcement dubbed him “the Hannibal Lecter of computer crime.”
    Authorities began to pursue Poulsen after he hacked into a federal investigation database. During this pursuit, he further drew the ire of the FBI by hacking into federal computers for wiretap information.
    His hacking specialty, however, revolved around telephones. Poulsen’s most famous hack, KIIS-FM, was accomplished by taking over all of the station’s phone lines. In a related feat, Poulsen also “reactivated old Yellow Page escort telephone numbers for an acquaintance who then ran a virtual escort agency.” Later, when his photo came up on the show Unsolved Mysteries, 1-800 phone lines for the program crashed. Ultimately, Poulsen was captured in a supermarket and served a sentence of five years.
    Since serving time, Poulsen has worked as a journalist. He is now a senior editor for Wired News. His most prominent article details his work on identifying 744 sex offenders with MySpace profiles

White Hat Hackers
Hackers that use their skills for good are classified as “white hat.” These white hats often work as certified “Ethical Hackers,” hired by companies to test the integrity of their systems. Others, operate without company permission by bending but not breaking laws and in the process have created some really cool stuff. In this section we profile five white hat hackers and the technologies they have developed.

  1. Stephen Wozniak: “Woz” is famous for being the “other Steve” of Apple. Wozniak, along with current Apple CEO Steve Jobs, co-founded Apple Computer. He has been awarded with the National Medal of Technology as well as honorary doctorates from Kettering University and Nova Southeastern University. Additionally, Woz was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in September 2000.
    Woz got his start in hacking making blue boxes, devices that bypass telephone-switching mechanisms to make free long-distance calls. After reading an article about phone phreaking in Esquire, Wozniak called up his buddy Jobs. The pair did research on frequencies, then built and sold blue boxes to their classmates in college. Wozniak even used a blue box to call the Pope while pretending to be Henry Kissinger.
    Wozniak dropped out of college and came up with the computer that eventually made him famous. Jobs had the bright idea to sell the computer as a fully assembled PC board. The Steves sold Wozniak’s cherished scientific calculator and Jobs’ VW van for capital and got to work assembling prototypes in Jobs’ garage. Wozniak designed the hardware and most of the software. In the Letters section of, he recalls doing “what Ed Roberts and Bill Gates and Paul Allen did and tons more, with no help.” Wozniak and Jobs sold the first 100 of the Apple I to a local dealer for $666.66 each.
    Woz no longer works full time for Apple, focusing primarily on philanthropy instead. Most notable is his function as fairy godfather to the Los Gatos, Calif. School District. “Wozniak ‘adopted’ the Los Gatos School District, providing students and teachers with hands-on teaching and donations of state-of-the-art technology equipment.”
  2. Tim Berners-Lee: Berners-Lee is famed as the inventor of the World Wide Web, the system that we use to access sites, documents and files on the Internet. He has received numerous recognitions, most notably the Millennium Technology Prize.
    While a student at Oxford University, Berners-Lee was caught hacking access with a friend and subsequently banned from University computers. reports, “Whilst [at Oxford], he built his first computer with a soldering iron, TTL gates, an M6800 processor and an old television.” Technological innovation seems to have run in his genes, as Berners-Lee’s parents were mathematicians who worked on the Manchester Mark1, one of the earliest electronic computers.
    While working with CERN, a European nuclear research organization, Berners-Lee created a hypertext prototype system that helped researchers share and update information easily. He later realized that hypertext could be joined with the Internet. Berners-Lee recounts how he put them together: “I just had to take the hypertext idea and connect it to the TCP and DNS ideas and – ta-da! – the World Wide Web.”
    Since his creation of the World Wide Web, Berners-Lee founded the World Wide Web Consortium at MIT. The W3C describes itself as “an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff and the public work together to develop Web standards.” Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web idea, as well as standards from the W3C, is distributed freely with no patent or royalties due.
  3. Linus Torvalds: Torvalds fathered Linux, the very popular Unix-based operating system. He calls himself “an engineer,” and has said that his aspirations are simple, “I just want to have fun making the best damn operating system I can.”
    Torvalds got his start in computers with a Commodore VIC-20, an 8-bit home computer. He then moved on to a Sinclair QL. Wikipedia reports that he modified the Sinclair “extensively, especially its operating system.” Specifically, Torvalds hacks included “an assembler and a text editor…as well as a few games.”
    Torvalds created the Linux kernel in 1991, using the Minix operating system as inspiration. He started with a task switcher in Intel 80386 assembly and a terminal driver. After that, he put out a call for others to contribute code, which they did. Currently, only about 2 percent of the current Linux kernel is written by Torvalds himself. The success of this public invitation to contribute code for Linux is touted as one of the most prominent examples of free/open source software.
    Currently, Torvalds serves as the Linux ringleader, coordinating the code that volunteer programmers contribute to the kernel. He has had an asteroid named after him and received honorary doctorates from Stockholm University and University of Helsinki. He was also featured in Time Magazine’s “60 Years of Heroes.”

Top 7 Fictional Detectives

7.Sam Spade

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Private detective Sam Spade was invented by Dashiell Hammett. He only appears in one novel and three short stories, but remains important as the first example of a detective in the hard-boiled genre. Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, among others, was inspired by Sam Spade. Spade is the main character in “The Maltese Falcon” (1930). He runs a detective agency in San Francisco with his partner Miles Archer, who gets killed early in the novel. He’s not afraid of a fist fight or firearms. He appears to be cynical, but still has a sense of duty. The story also involves a typical femme fatale. He was played by several actors, of which the most famous remains Humphrey Bogart (photo) in the movie adaption of 1941.


Inspector Roderick Alleyn

Detective Chief-Inspector Roderick Alleyn (pronounced “Allen”) is a British detective who appears in thirty-two novels by New Zealand writer Ngaio Marsh. It started with “A Man Lay Dead” in 1934, when a murder game ends with a real murder. Other examples are “Vintage Murder”, “Artists in Crime”, and “Overture to Death” – where the murder method is especially interesting. As the younger brother of a baronet Alleyn is another example of a gentleman detective. He works for Scotland Yard, where he eventually reaches the rank of Chief Superintendent. Society journalist Nigel Bathgate often helps him during his investigations. Initially a bachelor, Alleyn later marries painter Agatha Troy. Of the three actors who have played him in TV adaptions the best known is Patrick Malahide (photo).


Jules Maigret

Commissaire Jules Maigret is the only one in this top ten whose stories were not written in English, but in French. Although his author, Georges Simenon, was Belgian, Maigret himself is French and works in Paris. He holds a quantity record by appearing in seventy-five novels and twenty-nine short stories. Maigret usually smokes a pipe, drinks a lot and wears a heavy overcoat. He’s a more realistic character than most of his colleagues in the Golden Age of Detective Fiction. His method of investigation comes close to the way a real policeman would work. His successes are based on team work, routine research and tenacity, rather than individual brilliancy. Maigret has been played by several TV actors, of which Jean Gabin was the first, and Bruno Cremer (photo) the most famous.


Lord Peter Wimsey

Lord Peter Wimsey was created by British author Dorothy L. Sayers. He’s the archetypal gentleman detective. Solving crimes is a hobby for him. In the second novel “Clouds of Witness” (1926), he has to take action because his brother is suspected of murder. He’s a round character with a past. After getting injured during World War I he was rescued by his later manservant Bunter, who also helps him with his investigations. Wimsey falls in love with Harriet Vine, and marries her. He likes to cooperate with Chief Inspector Charles Parker from Scotland Yard. These novels are still worth reading, because they are simply good literature with a broad perspective on British society in that era. Wimsey himself may be a gentleman, but he meets people from the lower classes, like the farmer in “Clouds of Witness” who suspects Wimsey of having an affair with his wife. Several actors have played Lord Peter Wimsey, including Ian Carmichael (photo) in a BBC series.


Miss Marple

Miss Marple - Joan Hickson - M Blog Hu
Agatha Christie’s Miss Jane Marple appeared first in a series of short stories in a magazine, later collected as “The Thirteen Problems”. This elderly spinster with a remarkable talent for amateur sleuthing can be followed in twelve crime novels, including “The Murder at the Vicarage” (1930) and “The Body in the Library” (1943). She lives in the small village of St Mary Mead, where she finds the opportunity to study human nature. She sees analogies with people and events she knows from village life, which helps her to solve many mysteries. Intuition and psychology are quite important to her. She can annoy the police investigators, who initially see her as an old busybody, until they have to admit she was right. I have to admit I used to be prejudiced against “the old bat” myself, but after reading her stories I became gradually convinced that she belongs to The Big Three of fictional detectives. She was played in movies by Margaret Rutherford and Angela Lansbury, and on TV by Helen Hayes, Joan Hickson (photo) and Geraldine McEwan.


Hercule Poirot

Hercule Poirot appears for the first time in Agatha Christie’s “The Mysterious Affair at Styles”, published in 1920. He is a retired Belgian police officer who came to England during World War I as a refugee. Poirot solves mysteries with his “little grey cells”, occasionally without even leaving his room. With his strong preference for symmetry, order and method, he has something of a comic book character. Captain Arthur Hastings is his best friend, who relies too much on his intuition to solve a mystery by himself, but often helps Poirot with his observations and accidental remarks. Poirot’s secretary, Miss Lemon, is very efficient, but in contrast to Hastings she doesn’t have any imagination. Chief Inspector Japp from Scotland Yard isn’t too bright, but Poirot often sends him in the right direction. Detective writer Ariadne Oliver, who is partly based on Agatha Christie herself, believes in female intuition. Poirot is surely one of the greatest fictional detectives, because he was involved in so many unforgettable crime novels, including “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd”, “Murder on the Orient Express” and “Death on the Nile”. Poirot was brought to life in movies by actors Albert Finney and Peter Ustinov, and by David Suchet (photo) in the ITV series.


Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes, a creation by Arthur Conan Doyle, remains the archetypal detective who solves mysteries by logical reasoning. He appears in only four novels, of which “A Study in Scarlet” (1887) was the first, and “The Hound of the Baskervilles” (1902) the most famous. At least as important are the fifty-six short stories. Two of my personal favorites are “The Red-Headed League” and “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle”. Holmes believes in the science of deduction: the principle that any problem can be solved if the necessary information is given. He is surrounded by people who are less bright than him. Dr Watson is a good observer, and can relate the cases in detail as first person narrator, but he never comes to the correct conclusion by himself. Inspector Lestrade is the not too clever police investigator with a lot of tenacity once he’s on the right track. His archenemy Professor Moriarty only appears in two stories. As a private person Holmes is quite eccentric. He uses cocaine, and never gets romantically involved, although he does have feelings for Irene Adler from “A Scandal in Bohemia”. Of the many actors who have played Sherlock Holmes I’ll just mention Basil Rathbone and Jeremy Brett (photo).


Apakah Anda memiliki otak yang encer dan pandai memecahkan sandi? Jika iya, maka mungkin Anda dapat membantu Badan Investigasi Federal (FBI) Amerika Serikat untuk memecahkan sebuah sandi pembunuhan.Menurut laman MSNBC, sudah lebih dari 11 tahun FBI berusaha untuk memecahkan sandi yang menyimpan misteri pembunuhan seorang pria di kota St. Louis, negara bagian Missouri, Amerika Serikat.

Misteri ini dimulai pada 30 Juni 1999, saat Ricky McCormick, 41, ditemukan tewas terbunuh di rumahnya. Di dalam celana McCormick ditemukan dua lembar kertas bertuliskan huruf-huruf acak yang diduga merupakan sebuah sandi.

Tim pemecah kode FBI telah berusaha mati-matian untuk memecahkan sandi tersebut, namun mereka belum mendapatkan jawabannya. Hingga kini, tidak ada satupun tersangka yang ditangkap terkait pembunuhan ini.

“Kami sangat pandai dalam memecahkan sandi. Namun, dalam kasus ini kami membutuhkan bantuan,” ujar Dan Olson, kepala badan Pemecahan Kode FBI.

“Pemecahan kode ini akan dapat mengungkap keberadaan korban sebelum dia tewas dan dapat mengungkap seluruh misteri pembunuhan ini,” lanjut Olson lagi.

Olson mengatakan bahwa sandi yang ditemukan oleh FBI pada jasad McCormick dibuat dalam format yang tidak pernah mereka lihat sebelumnya.

Menurut catatan FBI, McCormick tidak lulus SMA namun dia dikenal sebagai seorang jenius otodidak. Anggota keluarganya mengatakan McCormick kerap menggunakan tulisan-tulisan sandi sejak kecil, namun tidak ada yang mengetahui apakah ada yang mengerti maksud sandi-sandi tersebut.

FBI meyakini catatan sandi berisikan lebih dari 30 baris kata tersebut dibuat McCormick tiga hari sebelum kematiannya. Inilah sandi yang membuat FBI pusing:

Lebih Dari 11 Tahun, FBI Belum Mampu Memecahkan Sandi Ini
Lebih Dari 11 Tahun, FBI Belum Mampu Memecahkan Sandi Ini
FBI berharap jika ada yang dapat memecahkan sandi tersebut, dapat menghubungi mereka di alamat : 

FBI Laboratory
Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit
2501 Investigation Parkway
Quantico, VA 22135
Attn: Ricky McCormick Case