Secret codes

Stores, hospitals, entertainment venues, and other places where the public are together in large numbers, use secret codes to pass information between store employees. These are meant to be a secret as they don’t want to alarm the non-staff members or alert someone (like a thief) to the fact that they have been noticed. Many stores have their own codes – for example WalMart, but there are a number that are nearly universal in application
. This is a list of ten secret codes that may prove useful to you in future, or at least dispel any curiosity you may have if you hear them.

Here are a few examples:

In computer support, a variety of codes can be used when referring to a customer. One of these codes has become fairly well known on the internet: PEBKAC (Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair) but there are a variety of others that are lesser known. One of these is used when reporting a fault which has been fixed: “The fault was a PICNIC” (problem in chair – not in computer), or “ID 10 T Error” – ID 10 T is, of course, IDIOT. Let us hope that you never see this noted down on your file when a serviceman is fixing your computer.

Doctor Brown” is a code word often used in hospitals to alert security staff to a threat to personnel. If a nurse or doctor is in danger from a violent patient or non-staff member, they can page Doctor Brown to their location and the security staff will rush to their aid. In some hospitals, code silver is used to refer to a person with a weapon, and code gray can mean a violent person without a weapon. Hospitals have a huge array of various codes to describe all manner of situations. They often differ from hospital to hospital and they are usually not internationally recognized.

Code Adam was invented by Walmart but it is now an internationally recognized alert. It means “missing child”. The code was first coined in 1994 in memory of Adam Walsh, a six-year old, who went missing in a Sears department store in Florida in 1981. Adam was later found murdered. The person making the announcement will state “we have a code Adam,” followed by a description of the missing child. As soon as the alert is heard, security staff will begin to monitor the doors and other exits. If the child is not found within 10 minutes, the police are alerted and a store search begins. Also, if the child is found in the first 10 minutes in the company of an unknown adult, the police must be called and the person detained if it is safe to do so. In 2003, the US Congress passed legislation making a “Code Adam” program compulsory in all federal office buildings. A similar alert is called an AMBER alert, a backronym for “America’s Missing: Broadcasting Emergency Response” but initially named for Amber Hagerman, a 9 year old girl who was abducted and murdered.

More secret codes here

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The Graduate

The-graduateWe watched The Graduate last night.  It was released in 1967.  I enjoyed the movie back then and again last night.  Sometimes when I see a movie from long ago it just doesn’t hold up, but this one did for me.   Dustin Hoffman and Ann Bancroft were excellent and Katherine Ross is nice to look at too.

It was fun to see things from that era.  Like rotary dial telephones, phone booths, and especially a scene where Dustin Hoffman is drinking a canned beer and you can easily see that it was opened with a ‘church key’ (a device that punctured a can leaving a triangle shaped hole).

Church key

To this day, the soundtrack for The Graduate (Simon and Garfunkel) is my favorite soundtrack.

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