Στήλη: Science-Technology


By Ermis Efthymiou-Mouzouras & Kleopatra Giannika



Cicada is the nickname of puzzle project by an organization called 3301, with the final goal, as thought by many, to recruit only the elite of problem solvers and language experts around the world. What started it all was a post on a forum style website called 4chan.



On the 4th of January 2012, a user on 4chan posted this image (This screencap seems to be the only surviving archive of the original 4chan thread) to the site’s /b/ otherwise known as «random» chat board.

1  3301orig2012cesarincluded

 The anonymous author who went by the pseudonym 3301 called users to uncover a message hidden within the image. What a small number of people realized was that someone had just set in motion one of the Internet’s most elaborate scavenger hunts to have ever existed. And so, the mystery of Cicada 3301 started to unravel. Within minutes of the image being posted, someone discovered that by opening the image file using a text editor, revealed a secret message. This string of text contained a cipher that once deciphered, revealed a link to another image.

At first, the image was looked at as a dead-end, but using an application known as OutGuess (hence the reference in the image), users were able to discover hidden information within this seemingly dead end. The information contained a link to a subreddit which in turn contained information about a book. The book along with a code were then used to uncover a now deactivated phone number that when called, played a pre-recorded message.

The message was:

«Very good. You have done well. There are 3 prime numbers associated with the original jpeg image. 3301 is one of them. You will have to find the other two. Multiply all three of these numbers and add a .com to the end to find the next step. Good luck. Goodbye.»

2  Decoy

   By the following day, the initial image had been reposted all over the Internet. A growing community of Internet detectives sought on a mission to solve this very elaborate puzzle but no one was quite sure what to make of it.

Who was the creator of it?

What was the puzzle for?

What happens if one solves it?


Many dismissed the puzzle as a big troll while others perceived its complexity as a challenge.

Before long rumors started going around that this was just the work of a secret society or a government agency looking for skillful recruits in cryptography, steganography and another related field to join its ranks.

All of those, of course, were nothing but a rumour.

The two missing numbers mentioned in the pre-recorded message proved to be the dimensions of the original black and white image. After multiplying the width and height of the image 509 and 503 respectively with 3301 and adding to the result “.com” at the end like the message directed users were led to a website (Archive of original site).

The website mentioned had a countdown as well as an image of a cicada. Once the countdown reached zero, the page was updated with a list of coordinates all of which corresponded to a location somewhere around the globe. 14 locations in 5 countries to be exact.

It was now up to participants to venture outside and look for clues. Those who thought of Cicada as the work of an organization had just confirmed their suspicions. In their opinion, only an international organization possessed the resources for a scavenger hunt of such magnitude. This was by no means the work of the average Internet troll. This was something much bigger than the work of just one person.

At each location there was a poster with a cicada on it and a QR code that once scanned led to an image that contained a riddle which led to a book and the book to a website. Here is where the puzzle got even more interesting. Only a special group of the first arrivals to this website were allowed to participate in the final stage of the puzzle. The site was eventually taken down and the following message appeared in its place:

«We want the best, not the followers.»

The selected few were also warned not to collaborate with others on the puzzle nor to share the details of this private state of the puzzle. Obviously, since we have this information it’s safe to say that not all the participants adhered to the warning. But those who did presumably advanced to the final stages of the puzzle and reached its very end.

After nearly a month of silence, the following image appeared on the subreddit announcing the end of the hunt.

3  ChmYzh5syO1KSEU18p6hZIzxFfLh3vk7dcwMVwAC-rk

Whatever happened to the individuals that Cicada was looking to find through this puzzle is a mystery to this date. The lack of information after the end of the puzzle was conceived by many as an indication that the puzzle had been nothing but a wild goose chase intending to waste everyone’s time from the start.

The questing of the original image still remains unanswered.

Who was the creator of it?

What was the puzzle for?

What happens if one solves it?

It later turned out that this was just the beginning.



The organisation behind the puzzle had the foresight to include an authentication code known as a PGP signature along with each clue. This allowed users to verify that an image or message was truly for Cicada and not an imposter looking to confuse the to-this-point-devoted followers of the game. All messages lacking a valid PGP signature were quickly disregarded as fakes.

Exactly a year and a day after the original image was posted, a second image (This Pastebin dump seems to be the only surviving archive of the original 4chan thread.) followed, whose PGP signature finally matched that of Cicada’s.

4  Cicada 3301 quebra-cabeça criptografia, matemática, literatura 4

   Naturally, this led to the Internet going on a frenzy and the search for what this new puzzle led to once solved had just begun.

Round two was on.

The second puzzle was very similar to the first. The new image contained a message which led to a book, which in turn produced a link (the link used here is a mirror since the original has been taken down). The link directed to an .iso file that when booted from (Video of boot sequence) uncovered, among other files, led to a recording titled «The Instar Emergence«.

While people searched through the audio track for clues, a forum user found a Twitter account that was created shortly after the first download of the audio track and fit the overall style of Cicada. The account led to an image. The image proved vital to the continuation of the puzzle but the runic alphabet included with it would remain a mystery for quite some time.

Like the first puzzle, a new list of coordinates was revealed of8 locations in 4 countries that made once again aspiring solvers take to the streets for a new clue.

Eventually, the trail went cold again. A small number of individuals had once again been selected to partake in the final private stage of the puzzle.

Unlike the first puzzle, the second did not conclude with an official message from Cicada. Cicada had vanished once again leaving everybody no closer to an explanation. The original questions that were raised by the first image still remained unanswered.

Who was the creator of it?

What was the puzzle for?

What happens if one solves it?



At the beginning of 2014, it came time for round three. On the Cicada tTwitter account, an image was posted which led to a book, the book contained a link (This onion has since gone offline) and it was more of the same. Visiting the site, users found another image, this time a collage of four paintings by William Blake. What was even more strange this time was that the puzzle seemed to revolve around a strange book. The book is titled «Liber Primus» meaning «First book in Latin and was this time unlike all previous books written by Cicada. The runic alphabet that had been uncovered a year earlier in 2013 finally made sense as the book was mostly written in runes. The book appeared to be Cicada’s manifesto of sorts. The strange writing within the book has been compared to that of a cult. Nevertheless, the book is comprised by a multitude of clues and codes. For example, one of the pages advised participants to seek out a website in the deep web but the site remains undiscovered to this day. Another page led to a website containing another recording titled «Interconnectedness» A large portion of the book has yet to be translated. The runic text on some of the pages appears to have layers of encryption much of it yet to have been decrypted. Only 19 out of the 74 pages have been translated.

2015 went by without the launch of a new puzzle. This led to many believing that the Liber Primus had to be completed if Cicada was to return once again. This speculation was confirmed at the beginning of 2016 when Cicada encouraged the re-examination of the book with a new tweet.

More than 4 years have gone by since the book was first discovered and minimal progress has been made. The questions raised by the original image still go unanswered.

Who was the creator of it?

What was the puzzle for?

What happens if one solves it?



Uncovering Cicada Wiki Documentation of the puzzle by solvers

Iddqd Archive of miscellaneous puzzle assets.

Idkfa A toolset for working with the Liber Primus book.

OutGuess Steganography software used extensively by Cicada 3301. Official website is archived.

Telegraph uk article on Cicada

Rolling Stone article on Cicada

Cicada 3301 Wikipedia page

Liber Primus

Solved Pages

Unsolved Pages

Liber Primus Symbols A 4chan thread about the odd symbols featured on the pages of the book.


Hyperlinks used in the document:






















Hyperlinks used in the Sources section:









The First Image of a Black Hole

      By Philip Antonopoulos and Chris Galanis


One of the concepts that intrigued the scientific community since its theorisation was the black hole. Black Holes were first coined by an English cleric and amateur scientist named John Michell, who saw the possibility of the existence of a black hole through Newton’s laws of gravitation. Later, Louise Webster and Paul Murdin at the Royal Greenwich Observatory identified the first black hole, Cygnus X-1.

But what is a black hole? A black hole, to our latest knowledge, can either be formed by the gravitational collapse of a star or from high-energy collisions. Gravitational collapse is when a star’s fuel runs out and it cannot maintain its mass, causing it to collapse into itself to form a singularity, a point where density is infinite. By the same process, if two particles of Planck mass, the fundamental mass that cannot be divided anymore, collide with each other at extremely high speeds, they form black holes. Black Holes are regions of spacetime that have such gravity as  not to let anything get away – not even light itself.


The project was the idea of a Ph.D. student, Prof Falcke, in 1993. No-one believed that the ideα was achievable. But he realized that the specific radio emissions of the black hole could be detected by telescopes on earth.

After 20 years, Prof. Falcke persuaded the European Research Council to fund the project. The total cost of the project was over 40 million pounds.



One telescope was never enough to capture the image of the black hole. Therefore, eight telescopes, located over the earth, constructed a huge network. There were three in the USA, two in Europe, one near Hawaii, one in South America and one at the South Pole. All telescopes sent the information to the central processing centres, located in the USA and in Germany.


The team has already set their next goal, the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy! This will be far more difficult, not because of the distance of it, but because of an unknown reason, the light ring around the black hole is getting slimmer and darker.



BBC News https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-47873592

Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_hole

Phys.org https://phys.org/news/2019-09-team-world-black-hole-image.html


Poisonous Snakes in Greece



Balkan whip snake

1   The Balkan whip snake is a medium sized snake, which is commonly met in the island of Crete. It can reach a length of 1m, but is usually much shorter. It is completely harmless for humans, as it’s non-venomous. When caught and feared, it may bite fiercely, but cannot cause any trouble. It usually lives in rocky areas near sea level, as it prefers warm places, but has also been observed at altitudes up to 1400m. Whip snakes are diurnal and usually like sunning during the day. It preys mainly on other reptiles, large insects, small mammals and, occasionally, young birds. It hunts mostly on the ground but climbs very skillfully on bushes and low trees. In fact its Greek name dendrogalia, meaning treecat, is taken after its cat-like climbing on trees. When hanging it stands still and it is very difficult for someone to distinguish the snake from the branches.


Leopard snake


The leopard snake is the most beautiful species of snake in Greece, with characteristic orange-red markings on its back. In Crete it is called ochentri, which means viper, which is incorrect as the snake is completely harmless. This false impression has been caused by a V sign on its head, which is similar to that of vipers. The Greek name is spitofido, i.e. house snake, originates from Cyclades Islands, where people deliberately brought leopard snakes in their cellars and storage areas, so as to control mouse populations. It reaches up to 1.2m in length and prefers places up to 1600m altitude. It feeds on rodents, lizards and sometimes young birds, ambushing among rocks and over bushes. They mate on late spring and females lay 2-8 eggs. If caught it is very likely to bite, but still it is harmless.


Cat Snake


The cat snakes in Kefalonia island (in Ionian Sea) are called holy snakes, as they are linked to a religious tradition dating back in ancient times. The wonder takes place every year at the church of Virgin Mary in Lagouvardo, known also as Virgin Mary of Snakes. According to the tradition, when the nuns were once threatened by the Turks, they prayed to Virgin Mary. Then, snakes appeared miraculously everywhere and surrounded the monastery, scaring Turks off. Since then, every year between 6-16 August, small snakes with a small cross on their head appear in the rocks of the belfry. The snakes are believed to bring good fortune and non-appearing is perceived as a bad omen. It is characteristic that the snakes did not appear in 1940 and 1953, the years of the Second World War (in Greece) and the catastrophic earthquake in Kefalonia, respectivelly.


Dice snake


The dice snake is a kind of water snake, which occurs frequently in the permanent wetlands, the sea shores and rock pools of Crete. Many Cretans call it as water snake, but this name actually belongs to the relative species of Natrix natrix, which is absent from the island. Finally there is the suspicion that the dice snake of Crete belongs to a separate species, but it hasn’t been confirmed yet. If picked up, this snake will rarely bite, but it can and does emit a strong-smelling fluid and make a whistling sound in an attempt to put its tormentor off. It also pretends being dead by turning upside down, with open mouth and its tongue out. It is non-venomous and usually reaches 80cm in length. It mates in the spring and females lay 5-25 eggs in the summer.


Source:  https://www.cretanbeaches.com/en/fauna-and-animal-species/reptiles/snakes




The Komodo Dragon

By Kanistras  Konstandinos & Mitsikas Panagiotis

The Komodo dragon is the largest existing lizard species. The dragon is a monitor lizardof the family Varanidae. It occurs on Komodo Island and a few neighbouring islands of the LesserSunda Islands of Indonesia. The popular interest in the lizard’s large size and predatory habits has allowed this endangered species to become an ecotourist attraction, which has encouraged its protection. Another common name for it is The Komodo Monitor.

The lizard grows to 3 metres ( about10 feet) in total length and attains a weight of about 135 kg (about 300 pounds). It digs a burrow as deep as 9 metres (29.5 feet) and lays eggs that hatch in April or May. The newly hatched young, about 45 cm (18 inches) long, live in trees for several months. AdultKomodo dragons eat smaller members of their own species and sometimes even other adults. They can run swiftly and occasionally attack and kill human beings. Carrion, however, is their main diet item, although they commonly wait along game trails to ambush pigs, deer and cattle.

They rarely need to capture live prey directly, since their venomous bite delivers toxins that inhibit blood clotting. It is thought that their victims go into shock from rapid blood loss. Some herpetologists note that the physical trauma of the bite and the introduction of bacteria from the Komodo dragon’s mouth to the wound also play roles in slowing and killing prey. Komodo dragons often find their prey in the process of dying or shortly after death.







By Thanasis Safridis, George Paisios and Margaritis Tsapikounis


(Google Image: https://www.cmo.com/content/dam/CMO/Home%20Page/1046x616_Modern-Commerce-2.0-Technology-Sets-The-Stage-For-A-New-Round-Of-Disruption.jpg)


Technology is the result of the application of scientific knowledge to create an object with practical benefit. More precisely, it is defined as the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, particularly in industry.

Technology does not extend much in a wide field and deals with the knowledge and use of tools and techniques, and how it affects a species’ ability to control and adapt to its environment. One of the most important devices in technology is the PC.

The computer is a machine made mainly from digital electronic circuits and secondarily from electrical and mechanical systems, and is designed to process Information. The computer is an automated, electronic, digital reprogrammable generic system that can process data based on a set of predefined instructions or commands, which collectively are called a programme.

Every computer system, as large or as small, is made up of the hardware and the software. The basic components of the computer hardware are the central processing unit, the central memory, the input / output units, the internal (or external) read and write units such as hard disk, DVD, SSD and peripheral devices such as printer, scanner, modem, etc.


Source: Wikipedia

Top 5 Best Smartphones of 2017

    By Ilias Tzoudas and Andonis Pavlopoulos (A Class)


1) Samsung Galaxy Note 8


Samsung’s Infinity Display earned the highest rating ever from DisplayMate and is 0.1 inch bigger than the S8 Plus. There is 6GB of RAM, the fastest Qualcomm mobile processor, advanced S Pen functionality, dual rear cameras with OIS, the ability to add inexpensive microSD cards, new Bixby assitant and a hardware button dedicated to its use, improved front facing camera, Samsung Pay payment technology, wireless and fast charging, IP68 dust and water resistance, a USB Type-C standard port, and traditional 3.5mm headset jack. There is nothing missing from the Galaxy Note 8 and it deserves the top spot.

2) Apple Iphone X


The iPhone X is the first unique iPhone design we have seen since the original iPhone launched 10 years ago. It has a large 5.8 inch front display with minimal bezels and no front home button. A Samsung OLED panel is used for the first time on an iPhone. There is a dual rear camera setup with a new way to use the iPhone due to the lack of a home button and traditional power button.


Without buttons on the front, the iPhone X relies on advanced facial recognition to unlock and use Apple Pay. It performs reliably and far exceeds the functionality of Samsung’s iris scanning technology. Apple finally includes wireless charging too so you can conveniently charge it by simply setting it down on a wireless charging device.


3) Huawei Mate 10 Pro


The Mate 10 Pro has a 6 inch 18:9 OLED display, Kirin 970 processor with neural network processing unit, Android 8.0 Oreo with EMUI 8, 4/6 GB RAM, 64/128 GB internal storage, dual rear cameras, 8 megapixel front-facing camera, and massive 4,000 mAh battery.


One function that distinguishes the Huawei Mate 10 Pro from the Pixel 2, for the enterprise, is the capability to connect via the USB Type-C port to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse for a nearly full desktop experience. The Galaxy Note 8 can do this through the DeX device, but the Mate 10 Pro doesn’t even need a separate device to perform this function


4) Google Pixel 2 XL And Pixel 2


The Google Pixel 2 XL has a large 6 inch 18:9 display, Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB and 128GB integrated storage, single rear 12 megapixel camera, IP67 dust and water resistance, a 3520 mAh battery, and dual front stereo speakers. The smaller Pixel 2 has a 5 inch display and smaller battery while the rest of the specs are the same as the XL model.

 5) Samsung Galaxy S8/S8 Plus


Samsung’s Infinity Display looks fantastic and minimizes the top and bottom bezel while removing anything on the sides which roll down from the front to the back. Everything seen in the Note 8, except for the S Pen and dual rear camera, is present on the S8 and S8 Plus.



The Earth Needs You

By Olga Kakou & Anna Tzelepi (A Class)images8A1CZ4I5


The population of our planet is increasing constantly. The population growth, unfortunately, has many adverse effects, one of which is the pollution problems. Pollution is a process of contaminating the environment in a way that it becomes unsafe to use. The contamination usually occurs through the chemical substances; however, it is not limited to tangible effects. The pollution can also take the form of the light, sound (noise pollution), or heat. The effects of pollution are devastative.

One of the pivotal issues nowadays is the water pollution. The enlargement of the population means more trash and garbage. The rubbish dumps decay and the toxic substances permeate the soil going to the rivers and oceans. Moreover, tons of garbage is thrown directly into the water. There are even special islands for garbage in the oceans.

Even though the technological development offers various approaches to garbage utilization, most of the poor countries do not utilize innovative technologies. Thus, pollution becomes the leading cause of death in underdeveloped, low-income countries. Nevertheless, water is contaminated not only due to regular garbage utilization. The plants, factories and mills are the key pollutants of the water. The process water from factories goes to the rivers and seas in neighborhood areas. In some rivers, the water is contaminated to the critical level and is banned for use. The fish and living environment of natural ecosystems are contaminated by dangerous chemicals that cause either the death of the entire ecosystems or hurts the consumers of the contaminated products (seafood, fish, water, salt).

Another big humanity’s challenge is air pollution. Air consists of nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor and inert gases. When the typical structure of air is altered, we can observe the effects of air pollution. The primary reason of air contamination is the effect of the burning fuels. The smoke floats in the air and most people breathe it in. Further, it affects the health resulting in respiratory diseases, cancers and other problems. Another type of air pollutants are dangerous gases, such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and chemical vapors. Those gases undergo the reactions in the higher atmosphere layers and return to the surface in the form of the dangerous chemicals (acid rains) that ruin the living environment. Moreover, carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide create the so-called “greenhouse effect” when the radiation is absorbed while the heat is prevented from escaping. It is a natural process.

However, the high concentration of the gases makes Earth warmer and affects the natural processes on the planet. Thus, air pollution is one of the contributors to the global warming.

The growth of population and the technological progress have imprints on the ecological stage of Earth. The extraction of natural sources, work of factories and plants, and other products of human activity result in various environmental problems. The pollution of water, air and sound has extremely negative effects on our environment. The effects of the pollution include acid rains, detrimental diseases and illnesses of people and animals, and global warming. The environmental pollution is the global problem that calls for radical actions for environment protection and rehabilitation. More than that, the problem should be resolved on a global level by the united efforts of the global community.

Our Lives with Computers

By Sotirios Douklias & Evaggelos Tzefrios (A Class)

  Computers have been in our lives for years. Ever since Apple and Microsoft released the first ever computers for home and office use, back in the seventies, everyone experienced the need to have at least one computer. The question is, are computers as useful as they seem? 



Firstly, a computer does not really have a single use. Everyone uses their computer for different purposes: homework, video editing, graphic design and office work are some of these purposes. Nowadays, many jobs revolve around computers, so it would be an understatement to call computers useless.


Many people rely on computers for several reasons. These days, it is by all means difficult to live and work without the use of a computer. Even jobs that didn’t use to need one to be conducted now depend on computer use. A doctor for example, may use his/her computer to schedule appointments.


Apart from that, computers have also enhanced many jobs. For example, civil engineers can now design buildings without the traditional way (paper and pencil), which makes both their work and lives easier.


Computer variants also exist. Laptops and smartphones, though less powerful, are two proud examples. A laptop can do anything (almost) a regular computer can do, plus it can be carried around. Smartphones on the other hand, are less powerful than every computer or laptop out there but they are the easiest to carry around. They are also useful for scheduling appointments and for browsing the Internet.

Now, what about addiction? Of course, computers are there for our own good but addiction can always occur. Extensive use of a computer can result to eye damage and headaches. That said, computers should always be used with a “schedule”.


Dangers can also occur when someone is using a computer. Thousands of people get hacked every day, which leads to computers getting practically destroyed and personal data being stolen. The Internet is a very dangerous place and, although our computers are our guides for this particular purpose, one cannot always be safe behind his/her screen.



About Black Holes…

By Dionysios Gakis

black hole

          Nowadays, there is a lot of concern about these “black holes” in space. Many movies have as a theme people travelling in them or trying to escape from them. Some people believe that black holes are a danger for life on our planet. So what are really black holes and how dangerous are they?

          In fact, black holes are the final stage of life of some very massive stars, they are dead stars. They have huge masses and as a result, a very strong gravitational field. They can “swallow” every single object which is near them, even a star. When something is swallowed by a black hole, it cannot escape from it and stays inside forever. They are so compact, due to gravity, that even light cannot escape from a black hole. As light cannot escape from a black hole, we do not see black holes (they are dark). That’s why we call them “black” holes.



          So the definition which is given to black holes is regions of spacetime (according to Einstein’s relativity there are four dimensions in space: length, width, height and time) where gravitational forces are so strong that even electromagnetic radiations (light) or other particles cannot escape. These points in physics are called “singularity”. It is logically impossible but all the mass of black holes is broken apart to a single point, to what we understand as “nothing”. In these regions of spacetime, all our physic laws do not apply!

          As we do not see black holes, are we sure that they really exist? First of all, our cosmological models expect them. In addition, there are ways in which we can deduce their existence. One way is the detection of gravitational waves. These waves are emitted, as their name implies, when the gravitational field somewhere in space changes. Black holes change the gravitation and emit gravitational waves.



          Imagine an astronaut entering a black hole. What would happen? First of all, he would feel that he moves very fast. Then, the astronaut would become something like spaghetti (extremely thin) until he finally reaches the singularity point to become nothing. Journeys in black holes are not desirable! However, let’s suppose that the astronaut survived the journey; where would he go then?

          According to some theoretical views, the mass would be transferred through a four-dimensional bridge into another hypothetical space, parallel to ours. This bridge is called Wormhole or Einstein-Rosen Bridge. In that space, the mass would be entered through a “white hole”, something like an opposite of a black hole. This bridge and the two holes can be compared to a throat and two mouths. However, we should mention that such astronauts’ trips are not totally possible due to contradictions with theoretical models.

          Now, are we in danger because of black holes? Relax, no – or not yet. Our Sun will never become a black hole because it is a low-mass star. Even if it became, planets would continue to orbit the Sun. The death of humanity would come not from the existence of the black hole, but from the lack of the warmth and the beneficial rays of the Sun (photosynthesis, etc.). Nevertheless, we believe that a huge black hole is located in the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way, but the Sun is far away from it.



By Tsakonas Chris, Tzolas John & Farmakis Zachary (A Class)

τριγωνο των βερμουδων

The Bermuda Triangle is a loosely-defined region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean, where many aircrafts and ships said to have disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Most sources believe that there is a mystery. The vicinity of the Bermuda Triangle is one of the most heavily travelled shipping lanes in the world, where ships often cross through it for ports in the Americas, Europe and the Caribbean islands. Cruise ships and pleasure craft regularly sail through the

Persons accepting the Bermuda Triangle as a real phenomenon have offered a number of explanatory approaches such as paranormal explanations. One explanation is connected with the mythical lost continent of the Atlantis. Sometimes connected to the Atlantis story is the submerged rock formation known as the bimini road off the island of Bimini in the Bahamas, which is in the Triangle by some definitions.
There is also many natural explanations like methane hydrates, human error, gulf stream violent weather and compass variation.