Some of my favorite fun facts about Alan Turing
  • He would come to work at Bletchley Park in his pajamas and sometimes used a tie as a belt
  • He chained his tea mug to the radiator next to his desk because he was convinced someone would steal it due to the lack of cutlery in wartime England
  • He briefly brewed ale in Hut 8, the same room in which he decrypted Nazi codes, before someone higher up made him stop
  • He broke the chain on his bicycle and instead of fixing it or getting a new one he calculated exactly how many times he could peddle from point A to B before the whole thing fell apart. 
    • He also refused to share this number so nobody else could use his bike.
  • He joined Home Guard (which was kind of like the army reserves) during World War II as a hobby because he wanted to learn how to shoot a gun, and once he learned that he straight up stopped going. 
    • They told him if he didn’t continue with his shifts he’d be persecuted under military law, and he told them he wouldn’t be, because he had just written “NO” on the terms and conditions sheet when signing up.
  • He was sent to codebreak in America for awhile and he was overwhelmed by Americans being friendly and chit-chatty so he ended up talking loudly about how he’d been propositioned by a (fellow) gay man at his hotel so everyone would be weirded out and leave him be.
  • He had a teddy bear named Porgy he would practice his speeches to.
  • Honestly so much of his life was amazing and tragic but he was also just a weirdo nerd and I love him so much
Some facts you might not know about Alan Turing

I have just finished reading Alan Turing’s biography (written by Andrew Hodges) and I wrote down some interesting/cute/amazing/nerdy facts about Alan:

• Alan taught himself to read, but was quicker to recognise figures, and he had an infuriating habit of stopping at every lamppost to identify its serial number
• on picnic with his family, he wanted to gather the wild bee’s honey and observed the bees’ flightpaths to locate the nest
• he hated games at school, and he later said that the necessity of avoiding the ball in hockey had taught him to run fast
• his father loved literature and was pleased when Alan told him he liked one line from Hamlet - only to learn that it was the last line: “Exeunt, bearing off the bodies…”
• his first friend at school was Christopher, who he first met in 1927, and he was struck by him and “wanted to look again at his face, as he felt so attracted”
• during what Alan said was the happiest week of his life, he, Chris, and a friend went to the cinema and on the way back Alan wanted to test how much Chris wanted his company, so he hung back and then Chris “beckoned to me (mostly with his eyes) to walk beside me”
• he made a star globe out of a lampshade and woke up at 4am to look at the night sky
• in Chris’ memory, his family founded a prize which Alan won
• at Christmas 1934 Alan asked for a teddy bear because he never had one as a little boy - he got one and it was called Porgy
• when Alan was at Princeton in the US he complained in a letter that he didn’t like “the way they speak”, “the impossibility of getting a bath” and “their ideas on room temperature”
• Alan liked to chant the couplet “Dip the apple in the brew, let the Sleeping Death seep through” from Disney’s Snow White over and over again
• he broke up with Joan by reciting the closing lines of Oscar Wilde’s “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”
• he didn’t like the sight of blood and even once fainted when he grazed himself shaving
• he was an avid long-distance runner
• he wrote a short story about a gay man named Alec, but only three pages survived
• Alan died on 7 June 1954, most likely by committing suicide; the cause of death was cyanide poisoning (next to his bed was half an apple which might have been dipped in cyanide)