A geeky mystery from the new GG

Last week, I heard but did not see the CF18 jets that did a flyover of Ottawa to commemorate David Johnston becoming Canada’s new Governor General. While I believe that the monarchy is a dated institution that ought to be scrapped, I do appreciate one modern touch Mr. Johnston brought to his office, in the form of a geeky mystery built into his coat of arms. Along the bottom is a palindromic binary sequence: 110010111001001010100100111010011.

Converted to decinal representation, that is: 6830770643. In hexadecimal, it is: 1972549d3.

The decimal is pretty close to the current estimated world population. The number is also a Sophie Germain prime.

The CBC Inside Politics blog has been puzzling over the sequence, without success. So has Slashdot. Whatever the meaning of the string is, it seems to be better concealed than the MD5 hash in the emblem of the United States Cyber Command.

Any ideas?

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

3 thoughts on “A geeky mystery from the new GG”

  1. Maybe this new GG is planning to test our minds.

    I am glad that all of our GGs of late have been quite good.

    A suggestion: we can suggest to the British that we can rent out our GG to be their King (which solve our imbalance of having a British King ? Queen for 143 years). Maybe we could have the rental of our GGs to be the British monarch for 143 years and then compare which works better for Britain and Canada.

  2. Congratulations on passing over 12,000 visits last month at 12,656. Was this the first time your site has crossed this threshold of essentially 400 visits a day.

  3. Don’t bother trying to crack the Governor-General’s code
    Steven Chase
    Globe and Mail Update
    Posted on Wednesday, October 6, 2010 9:53AM EDT

    A spokeswoman for the office of the Queen’s new representative in Canada has bad news for amateur code breakers puzzling over David Johnston’s coat of arms.

    Don’t bother trying to find a hidden message in the string of zeros and ones that adorn the Governor-General’s heraldic design. There is none.

    “It is not as deep as people thought it might be,” said Annabelle Cloutier, an official at Rideau Hall, the viceroy’s residence and office. “It was really just a symbol.”

    Apparently, sometimes a row of digits is just a row of digits.

    This will surely disappoint would-be cryptographers who have filled pages of Internet websites with speculation and jokes about the ultimate meaning of 33 gold-coloured characters at the bottom of Mr. Johnston’s coat of arms.

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