Welcome to the first entry in my libcodebusters series! In these, I’ll explain the various methods in my libcodebusters code and how they work. libcodebusters is basically a bunch of methods that allow you to encode and decode text with a variety of ciphers. I’ve made Java and Python versions of the code. The first method I’ll be explaining is that for Aristocrat encoding. The Aristocrat is a very well-known monoalphabetic substitution cipher with a few important characteristics:

Continue reading

I opened my eyes to darkness. It was some ungodly hour on Saturday morning, and I was struggling to make sense of a scene I just saw. I remembered the details really well,1 but how did everything happen if I had just been sleeping? It took a couple seconds before the realization hit me that I had been dreaming.2 Later that day, I recounted this occurrence to a friend, and he wondered if there was something more to the whole thing.

Continue reading

(DISCLAIMER: In case it wasn't obvious enough, this will be a pretty somber post. You've been warned.) Meet James. James is a rising senior at TJ. James likes to run and has been a part of TJ's cross-country and track teams. He's also passionate about photography and videography. Oh, sorry. Did I write "is"? Because I meant to write "was". Sadly, today marks one week since James committed suicide. James wasn't the first TJ student to unexpectedly pass away–he wasn't even the first in his own graduating class–but his death is the latest item added to a laundry list of mental health concerns at the school.

Continue reading

To my fellow Americans: happy Independence Day! As we all know, July 4th, 1776 marked the birth of the United States with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. But here's my hot take for the day–we're celebrating the wrong date. (And no, John Adams nerds, I don't mean we should be celebrating July 2nd instead.) In my view, the real date of America's founding is a few years later, on May 12, 1784.

Continue reading

Sped Up

I have an interesting quirk when it comes to classical music: I like to speed my music up. It's not drastic–usually anywhere from 5 to 15%, depending on the piece–but it is noticeable. I have friends who do similar things with TV programs or movies they might be watching, and it got me thinking about our attention spans. What's the use of consuming sped-up content, and why do we prefer it to normal speed?

Continue reading

Author's picture

Shreyas Mayya

Hello! I’m Shreyas. I’m currently a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, VA.