Friday, September 18, 2015


Emily Frankel reminds John of things he's written, and praises him for creating memorable lines, phases that stay in her mind.

Shrugging off her compliments, John insists he's a "rhymer" and describes what he learned from Alan J. Lerner when he was working with Alan, in rehearsals for "On A Clear Day."  

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Hey, is the way you lock your front door going out of style?

3D printers can make keys that will open standard locks and, yes, high security locks.

Two MIT students have developed PHOTOBUMP -- software that lets people order a "bump" key from any online 3D printing service provider. All you have to do is unload a photo of a keyhole.

Lock pickers use bump keys. 

They insert the key, which they have designed to touch all the pins in a lock, and bumping it. tapping it with a mallet, they can get the pins to align with the key.

Last year these students demonstrated PHOTOBUMP at a conference. They sent a key to a 3D printing service that complied. (Later, the service said if they had known the students' purpose, they would not have printed the key; subsequently, they instituted a policy stating they would not print anything that posed a security risk.)

Jos Weyers, a champion lock picker and vice president of the Open Organization of Lock Pickers (aka ToooL), said anyone with the right device and software can make a bump key.

Unpleasant facts: A normal lock you buy at Home Depot can be picked. Even locks sold as "bump proof" can sometimes be bumped open. Already high quality printers can produce copies of standard household keys; soon, as 3D printers get better, anyone will be able to print a high security bump key.

In Europe there are hundreds of different types of locks. With just a few brands of locks dominating the US home lock market, our locks are especially vulnerable. Weyers said, "If the burglar has a bump key for one Schlage lock, another for Kwikset, he would own more than half the town."

What about "keyless locks" --are they reliable? No. Here's  a link: Home Logic --are Electronic locks safe -- it lists the various brands that cost $200-$300; also tech information about their reliability.

Based on what I've learned from this website, I am NOT going to change the lock on the front door of our building. We are a rather small building on a street full of others, the same size, with no lights -- our building's entrance door is lit night and day -- not a good bet for a small-time burglar. And each floor inside the building, has double doors with "fox locks" that are very difficult to open, even with the right keys.

I'm just sharing what I've learned to help you figure out what you should do if you are vulnerable.