TED-ED video about the Voynich manuscript

I’m pleased to say that there is a new educational video about the Voynich manuscript which I was invited to script, published by the prestigious TED-ED group:

It was published only yesterday and already has 382,753 views, which is gratifying. (My nephew told me that it is number 8 in the list of Trending YouTube videos worldwide, but you can tell the level of competition in that race by the fact that it is being beaten by ‘I got stung by bees 3000 times’ and ‘How to cut and color your own hair’!)

I was asked to script it some months ago, and the process of working with the TED-ED editors and animators was an inspiring one. It might not be a perfect representation of the manuscript and people’s research on it, but that is partly because we were given tight time limits and editorial guidelines. However, any errors or omissions are of course my own responsibility.

One thing I was not able to do was to name names of current scholars such as René Zandbergen,, whose work has been one of the (few) real contributions to our understanding of the manuscript in the last 100 years. However, in the full lesson itself, I was able to mention his work and refer people to his and other websites. See the full lesson here:

http://ed.ted.com/lessons/the-world-s-most-mysterious-book-stephen-bax

 

I hope you like it.

7 Comments

  1. I really think this guy is on to something. Please watch this video, and the two he made before this one.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lhtZc-nFNt0

    • MarcoP

      Hi Jodie, the author of this very interesting video is Derek Vogt. You will find he posted a number of contributions on this site. His analysis is partly based on ideas that were discussed by several people through the years; for instance, the possible identification of the top-left star in f68r3 (EVA:dcholday) with a Persian name of Aldebaran was mentioned by Stephen in April 2014. Derek added much to these ideas, in particular formulating a more extensive phonetic theory and arguing for a connection between Voynichese and the Romany language.

      It seems that this line of research currently faces the difficulty of accessing linguistic competence in the late medieval forms of the Romany language. See Derek’s comment here.

  2. Dorothy

    Hi Stephen,

    Your video peaked my interest and did some digging.
    I dug deep into Georgian and even possible Naga roots through history and language.
    A bridging language I came across is called Khutsuri script.
    It can be written multiple ways which transcended to Georgian.

    I came across this blog site as a result.
    This could just be a unique handwriting through Khutsuri script.

    At least that is my layman’s theory..
    I am a struggling college grad highly adept at computers facing modern job hunting challenges.

  3. Darren Worley

    Thanks to Stephen and the creative team, its a well produced video. I thought the narration was fair and balanced.

    I hope that as a result, more academics become interested in the subject in addition to children and educators.

  4. Stephen Bax

    I’m glad you liked it – it is fun to see the familiar pictures animated. I was hoping for a full animation of the liquids passing through the tubes and the bathing, but maybe next time!

  5. MarcoP

    Thank you, Stephen!
    I greatly enjoyed the video and I hope it will help get young people interested in our frustrating hobby 🙂

  6. Dear Stephen,

    this video was very well done!!!
    While it’s not central to the message, the playful animations of some of the drawings in the MS do stand out.

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