Every Thursday at the dinner table, Ariel tells us what she’s learned in Linear Algebra. I listen politely and smile at appropriate intervals. She blathers about three-dimensional vectors and invertible matrices while I eat my pizza and then she says, “Oh, and I know how to do encryption now.”
My ears perk up. “Encryption?”
“Yeah.” She takes a gulp of milk, clearly not realizing the amazing coolness of what she’s just said. “You know, encrypting messages. That sort of thing.”
“Luke,” I say, “did you hear what Ariel said?”
“No,” Luke says, “I don’t listen when she stops speaking English.”
“Ariel knows how to do encryptions,” I say.
“Ohhh!” Luke rubs his hands together. “Now the NSA will be after her.”
Sadly, Ariel misses the opportunity to play sexy Spygirl and instead launches into the mathematical “stuff” that you do to encrypt and unencrypt messages—she doesn’t get that matrices aren’t cool and sexy.
Nonetheless, Matt demands to be taught encryption. Ariel laughs. “It takes a lot of math.” She means you have to be an uber-math nerd. That doesn’t seem to mesh with sexy Spygirl. Although the woman in the movie Sneakers was both. Maybe it’s possible…