Thursday, September 22, 2011


Thinking back to the first day of class, I remembered the photo Professor Koss showed us online.  It was a photo of a prisoner of war, taken by the enemy to show the American people that they were treating their captives well.  However, the prisoner was giving the middle finger to the camera, clearly showcasing his resistance to his captors.  Though the enemies didn't understand the meaning of the hand signal, the American people did, and they understood that the prisoners were not being treated well and were not giving in to their captors torment.

Similarly, I was watching a show called Prison Break, and the plot involves the capture of two people for the purpose of blackmail towards the main character.  The main character won't do what the captors want until he sees a picture of them alive and well, so the captors agree.  The picture he receives shows them subtly pointing to a location and time on a newspaper, hinting at where they're being held captive.  The main character is able to locate them and attempts to rescue them, but unfortunately fails.

In both cases, the prisoners are subtly hinting something to their audience in an attempt to receive help in some way.  


  1. Trying to understand certain codes that the military has to learn over many years. The codes are known by both the sender and the receiver which makes it very hard to detect and even better to display a secret message. The act of actually finding them after the message is sent is an even harder task because there is so much land to cover across seas.

  2. What amazes me about situations like this is that such a subtle hint is able to help people in such amazing ways or hurt them. When Professor Koss spoke about the U.S. published a news article with people depicting secret signs in the picture, the prisoners were tortured. Yet in other cases these subtle signs helped rescue them. I wonder if I would even be clever enough to sign something that would not be noticed by whoever was holding me hostage, but would reveal where I was or if I was okay.