Don’t Blame the Pigeons

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It’s the 15th century, and wireless communications are flourishing. The Cardinal, Sir Dickcheney, sensing imminent invasion from the enemy, has instructed his trusted servant Walker (for centuries known only as “W”) to deliver a message to a military outpost on the remote frontiers of the kingdom, 500 miles away. “Prepare to attack.” reads the message. W’s problem: he has to get it there in 24 hours. His only option: wireless. He runs up to the tower where the master pigeon trainer, Rummy, awaits. They exchange a secret password and W hands Rummy the message. Rummy affixes the message to one of the prize pigeons and off it flies.

Ten hours later, the pigeon alights on the outstretched arm of - an enemy soldier. Unbeknownst to Rummy, the outpost has already fallen to the invading forces. The enemy soldier composes a response - "Enemy has moved! Send forces to the south!" - and sends the pigeon back. Upon its return, the ...

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