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jo ann berthelot

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Yuri Valentinovich Knorozov

Born 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.

Student exams

Two college seniors had a week of exams coming up. They decided to party instead.

Their biggest exam was on Wednesday and they showed up telling the professor that their car had broken down the night before due to a very flat tire and they needed a bit more time to study. The professor told them that they could have another day to study.

That evening, both of the boys crammed all night until they were sure that they knew just about everything. Arriving to class the next morning, each boy was told to go to separate classrooms to take the exam.

Each shrugged and went to two different parts of the building. As each sat down, they read the first question. "For 5 points, explain the contents of an atom."

At this point, they both thought that this was going to be a piece of cake, and answered the question with ease. Then, the test continued.

"For 95 points, tell me which tire it was."

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