Spies & Spymasters Virtual Happy Hour

Creepy Cryptology with Alexander Boxer

Rendezvous Info
Thursday, October 29, 2020
5:30 PM – 6:30 PM EST

This Halloween season, we’re putting the crypt in cryptology! Not really, but who could resist that pun?  Join us for a look into a steamy cauldron of astrology, cryptology, and steganography with data scientist Dr. Alexander Boxer.

Bartender Keith Dengenis from Dish at the River Inn will be shaking up a cocktail suitable for a spooky night, his Marrying potion. (Recipe below)

Then we’ll gather around a crystal ball—or just a computer screen—to hear from Boxer, the author of A Scheme of Heaven: The History of Astrology and the Search for our Destiny in Data. He’ll be dissecting the strange and wondrous ways that ancient people made sense of the heavens using astrology as predictive technology.

He’ll also take a look at steganography, its connection to astrology, and how everyone’s favorite code-breaking couple the Friedmans got involved. According to Boxer, “Steganography is a much more devious craft than conventional cryptography since, while it’s obvious that a text in cipher is concealing a secret message, however difficult it may be to decipher, the object of steganography is to deflect suspicion that there’s any secret at all.” He’ll be joined for an interview by the ultimate sceptic Vince Houghton. Is our former historian back from the dead? Nope just visiting!

You’re welcome to ask questions after the talk – whether they relate to the past or…your future!


Drink: "Marrying Potion"


1.25 oz Sauza Tres Generaciones Tequila 

1 oz Cointreau 

Juice of 1 Lemon (Trust us use lemon not lime!)

2 oz Raw Apple Cider 

Grab a shaker. Pour in Tequila, Cointreau, apple cider, & lemon juice. Shake away! Pour into a glass over ice. Enjoy! 

Cocktail Recipes for Espolòn 100% Agave Premium Tequila — Tequila Espolon