Saturday, February 11, 2017

Where In the World Is Izabella Kaminska?

Something's up.

We haven't seen her byline since January 17ths "A lesson in fake news from the info-wars of ancient Rome".
And that was at the paper. She hasn't posted at FT Alphaville since January 12ths "Why Morgan Stanley is talking down autonomous car expectations".

So what is going on?

We know she's either still alive and tweeting--or conversely and improbably, departed and spirit tweeting--her Twitter account. (thanks for the links!) So.....

Today marks a full year since Izabella last put something on her personal blog, Dizzynomics.
And that may be a clue.

But first some background.
On New Year's Day 2016 she posted a puzzle "A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma" which we caught up with on Jan. 3 and--like thousands of other readers--attempted to solve:

Where in the World Is Izabella Kaminska and Can We Find Her Before the NSA and GCHQ Do So?

There is a post on her personal blog, written as free verse quatrains and I think it's obvious she's trying to send us a message that the intelligence services can't easily decrypt:

Seldom are tributes or tolls enough.
Adroit is the honourable man.
Supplication is rejected.
No wait, the eyes are open!

Well that doesn't help at all. The first two lines give us a Canadian politician who believed in eugenics while the next two, the Muslim Holy practice of Dua'a.

This is taking longer that I had budgeted for so, unless we catch a break very soon I may need to try another approach.
The next quatrain:
Only he who does not feel his own worth will pass.
Whatever worth is worth.
You seek what?
Path to riches or enlightenment?

Gives us a) The NeverEnding Story (film) - Wikiquote
Great, just great.

And b) Either LinkedIn, Siddhartha or Ephesians
Not much insight at LinkedIn and, while the other two have more substance, I'm running out of time.

One last shot before I begin doing letter substitutions

History is a summation of that story.
Only a leap from the bear’s back will prove one’s worth.
Ever the covenant and the locality is relevant.
Not the toll.

A leap from the bear's back? Bern or Russia?
And King Arthur?

Or bare back? Putin? Shirtless?
Riding a bear?

Here's the rest of "A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma".

For me I'm going to take a break and see if I can decipher the new Kremlin calendar:

Six weeks later Dizzynomics went silent after this final post:
Riddle solution
The clue was a signpost to this and this. 
(click through for links) 

The solution was a bit of a puzzle itself but seemed to verify we had been on the right track with the ursine ref.
Here's our February 13th, 2016 final answer:
Dizzynomics put up a post referencing Rawaici.
Schoolboy French reminds us that ici is "here", that's easy enough.

A bit of googling turns up the coat of arms of Rawa, Poland:

File:POL COA Rawicz.svg
A woman on a bear while another bear, apparently under the influence, admires a flower.

So..."Party Here"?

I believe Rawaici may be an invitation to a cocktail party to discuss riding out the bear market.

Or, longshot, if you're into heraldry and heraldic vexillology, it's simply:
Shield Or with bear Sable facing dexter, a maiden on its back.
The maiden, vested in royal attire Gules and a crown Or, with flowing hair and hands upraised and expanded, all proper.

 Out of the crest coronet, between two antlers proper, a bear facing dexter. His left arm in front is lowered, and another one holds a rose on a stem, all proper, which the bear carries to his snout.
 I'll probably stick with the first interpretation but note there isn't any respondez info.... 
However, reflecting all the above matters, the cryptic message and solution, Putin, the intelligence services, the bears with no offsetting bulls etc. and based on the dates of Ms. Kaminska's last journalistic communications, it might be that she is somehow tied up in the January 11 disappearance of ex-MI6er Christopher Steele, author of the Trump dossier.

The theory goes something along the lines that Izabella is a real world James Bond with Paul Murphy the real Dame Judi Dench.

Murphy/"M" may be no coincidence.