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Alan Turing Jack O'Lantern Cracks the Halloween Code

Turing_pumpkin_2Check out this great Alan Turing Jack-O'Lantern. It was created using a stencil taken from a blog that posts them for graffiti artists. While I've posted about Turing here before, I think that the creator of the Jack O'Lantern, Meryl, sums up the points of Turing's tragic bio quite nicely:

"The gentlemen depicted is Alan Turing, who is considered the father of modern computer science... maybe you've heard of the Turing test for artificial intelligence? He was British and worked for the British secret service as a mathematician and cryptographer until he was convicted of being a homosexual (which he was and which was considered a mental illness under the law). To avoid being sent to prison, he had to agree to undergo estrogen hormone therapy and he did for a year, but the homosexuality conviction caused him to lose his security clearance and therefore to lose his job. He killed himself a year later by eating an apple poisoned with cyanide, which seems a little ornate, I think. It's quite a sad story, but he makes a delightful pumpkin."

I'd have to agree.

For more on Turing read our previous post about the codebreaking machine he devised during World War II that has been recreated at Bletchley Park, England.
(via boingboing)

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  1. I'm partial to the Battlestar Galactica Cylon jack-o-lantern myself, but I'm a geek like that...

    Posted by: chrisb | Oct 27, 2006 11:46:48 AM

  2. Could Andy pass the Turing test?

    Posted by: Anita Woodward | Oct 27, 2006 11:57:59 AM

  3. That's a terribly sad story...*sniffle*

    Posted by: Derrick | Oct 27, 2006 12:08:27 PM

  4. Speaking of geeks... Eraserhead pumpkins are the best!

    Posted by: AMS | Oct 27, 2006 12:51:24 PM

  5. I'm compelled to say that I think it sucks some of my gay peers can crack jokes and criticize the downfall of one of our own.

    The poor man completely lost control of his destiny; he lost his career, status, social support, and was coerced into being experimented on!

    So what if his suicide might appear flashy, showy, flowery, or excessively ornamented (ornate). We can show a little more respect by being less facetious about it; yeah I'm talking to you too DERRICK "sniffle".

    Posted by: David | Oct 27, 2006 12:52:00 PM

  6. Um, I'm pretty sure Derrick was being sincere, DAVID.

    Posted by: Anita Woodward | Oct 27, 2006 1:15:38 PM

  7. The gay, experimental electronic duo Matmos just made a mini-ep about Turing. You can read more about it at: There is also video available of them performing this material, using an actual enigma machine, at: In the interest of full disclosure, I am the younger brother of one of the Matmos guys.

    Posted by: Matt | Oct 27, 2006 1:26:19 PM

  8. LOL

    I was being serious. Silly.

    *phew* boy, some of you are tightly wound...

    Posted by: Derrick | Oct 27, 2006 2:55:10 PM

  9. A great book about a gay man by a gay man: "ALAN TURING the enigma" by Andrew Hodges. A biography that does not omit the sex.

    Posted by: jessejames | Oct 29, 2006 2:18:59 PM

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