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In 2002, there was a short-lived mystery television show about an IRS agent who travels to Push, Nevada to find out about a strange mishandling of tax money by a casino. It ran for seven episodes before it was cancelled.
I watched it. There was a mystery that the viewer could solve, because in every episode there would be a clue or two. If you solved the mystery first, you won $1,045,000. I was into this. I sat there with my notepad and puzzled over the different random words. When the show ended prematurely and I was left feeling cheated, I figured I didn’t have enough clues to figure out the puzzle. THIS WAS WRONG.
What really happened was this:
The final clue given during Monday Night Football was “Spaces and punctuation count. Don’t count the first episode. Then 5th place, 1st, 9th, 1st, 5th, 7th, 4th, 1st, 2nd, 7th, 5th, and 2nd places in order.” By taking the appropriate letters from each episode (5th letter of “television” is V, 1st letter of “orange” is O, etc), the word VONGEYELNAIL was spelled. Replacing EYE with the letter I (as a sign in the background of the clue instructed) produced the word VONGILNAIL, which translates into the phone number
. The first person to call that phone number won the contest. -Wikipedia
Turns out, the puzzle DIDN’T ACTUALLY MAKE ANY SENSE.
I’d like to apologize to Artifice Mag for my last post, in which I promised them a submission. I even told them that I was “working on it.” This is not true. I don’t even have an idea for a submission, and to say that I was working on one would be fallacious at best. I hoped that by broadcasting my intentions my brain would break into song and my fingers would tap out some miracle. Alas.
Kudos for Clayton’s Secret Notebook by Grant Martin
Clayton’s Secret Notebook is a great alternative to your iPod for the plane, bus, subway, or anyplace that provides you with a small but significant chunk of free time. Adam Holwerda serves up 15 short stories and poems (mostly stories) in easy-to-digest bites that go down like so many sliders after a month-long diet of spinach and broccoli.
Not to suggest that Holwerda’s work is the literary equivalent of fast food—in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Clayton’s Secret Notebook is filled with timeless tales that will entertain you, enlighten you, and stir your imagination. When was the last time your iPod did all that?
So if you’ve been telling yourself that it’s time to start reading again, Clayton’s Secret Notebook may be just what you’ve been waiting for. Think of it as a gateway drug to a more serious reading habit.
Oh, and I almost forgot: The very last chapter in this book, “The Idea Jar,” gives the reader a unique behind-the-curtain peek at the author’s thought process regarding each of the previous chapters. Here’s hoping that more writers follow Adam Holwerda’s lead on this—he could very well be at the forefront of a trend with this approach.
Purpose: To discern the Chocolate to Raisin ratio (C/R) in two popular brands of chocolate-covered raisin.
Hypothesis: Brachs’ chocolate-covered raisins have a higher C/R than do Raisinettes.
Step 1 - Take an equal mass of each sample, preferably a large mass. Something like two or three pounds. Step 2 -Melt the chocolate off of each sample, separating the chocolate and the raisins. You should have two bowls for each brand. Step 3 - Pour the raisins in a blender, liquifying them. Step 4 - Compare the volume of each sample of raisins to its volume of melted chocolate. Step 5 - Record data. Step 6 - Take the bowls of blended raisins and squeeze them together. Make each one into a super raisin, and then pour the melted chocolate over it. Step 7 - Record data.
Experiment: Do it.
Analysis: Although this isn’t a valid way to determine quality between the two brands (as more bad chocolate isn’t necessarily a good thing) you will at least be able to calculate a C/R that isn’t exactly indicative of anything, because your sample size was too small. Also, you made a really big mess trying to make the super Raisinette, and as you were eating you discovered it was mostly raisin once you got past the thin outer shell. When you threw up you found that you had made an uncanny likeness of Barack Obama in brown and purple on the kitchen floor. Then you realized you were hallucinating.
I know you’re not a real thing, and writing a letter to you is like writing a letter to Tyler Durden, but I want to tell you some things about myself.
First, I have 30 followers. Maybe ten of these followers actually read my blog. The rest have been inactive for more than three months. You should know this about me.
Second, I graduated high school in 2005, and I’m graduating from MSU on Saturday. Popularity was never really something I cared about. I exist to the side of popularity. So, while I find the ranking system interesting, what would be more interesting to me would be a way in which posts that are well-written, interesting, thought-provoking, and original could be plucked out of the Tumblosphere (see, I can make up words too) and show up on a tab (You could call this tab: Interesting). Because when I click the Popular tab, I see a lot of stuff that makes me realize just how bloated Tumblr has become.
I don’t want this to be the Youtube of blogging. Please. Don’t make it a popularity contest. As Andrew Pile put it, feedback loops are death…death loops? I don’t actually remember how Andrew Pile put it.