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Day 12 of our holiday finds us in the southeast town of Milton Keynes. For those of you keeping score at home, that's 900 miles we've travelled in Britain so far. We're here for no reason at all other than to pay homage tomorrow to Bletchley Park, where during the Second World War a team of mathematicians and computer scientists, including the legendary Alan Turing, laboured in secrecy to decipher the German Enigma. This single feat, more than any other, served to break the back of the Nazi war effort because, with fewer troops and in most cases inferior weaponry, they relied overwhelmingly on the element of surprise for their operational successes. Lacking secure communications, this advantage was severely compromised.

So, we celebrate this band of geeks who won the war for our side. But, being geeks ourselves, we're mostly here to check out their lab space and drool over their cool toys.

Which is good, because otherwise, Milton Keynes has got to be the most drop-dead boring location in Great Britain.
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June 2010

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