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Yuri Valentinovich KnorozovBorn 19 Nov 1922; died 31 Mar 1999 at age 76.Russian linguist, epigraphist, and ethnologist who played a major role in the decipherment of Mayan hieroglyphic writing. Remarkably, though not permitted to leave the Soviet Union during the post-war decades he focused on the Mayan language, Knorozov still managed to decipher the phonetic code of the pre-Columbian society on the Mexican peninsula. Others before him had tried to "read" Maya glyphs without success, because they tried to interpret them in terms of an alphabet. Knorozov instead advocated phoneticisms. He realized that the purported alphabet represented a part of the Maya syllabary, and then identified many of the syllabic marks, or glyphs, found on the many Mayan tombs and monuments.
A few minutes before the church services started, the congregation was sitting in their pews and talking. Suddenly, Satan appeared at the front of the church.
Everyone started screaming and running for the back entrance, trampling each other in a frantic effort to get away from evil incarnate. Soon the church was empty except for one elderly gentleman who sat calmly in his pew without moving, seemingly oblivious to the fact that God's ultimate enemy was in his presence.
So Satan walked up to the man and said, 'Do you know who I am?'
The man replied, 'Yep, sure do.'
Aren't you afraid of me?' Satan asked.
'Nope, sure ain't.' said the man.
Don't you realize I can kill you with one word?' asked Satan.
Don't doubt it for a minute, ' returned the old man, in an even tone.
'Did you know that I can cause you profound, horrifying agony for all eternity?' persisted Satan.
Yep,' was the calm reply.
'And you're still not afraid?' asked Satan.
'Nope,' said the old man.
More than a little perturbed, Satan asked, ' Why aren't you afraid of me?'
The man calmly replied, 'Been married to your sister for 48 years.'