Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Word Verification Part 2

First, I'd like to say thanks to everyone for playing along with the last post. From the comments I intuit that others are just as interested in this phenomenon as I am. And after an especially poignant comment from /t, I've decided to remove the word verification step from this blog. I'll deal with the spam in another way!

I organized the letters provided in the comments of the last post in order. The anagram generator allowed 25 letters at a time, which made four separate clauses, and a few letters left over. The string of letters was

So without further ado, here's what the anagram generator gave me back:

cultenommakeworinesliyers = A Lily Knows Cemeteries Mourn

esbobethableritscocoutrele = Cheer Cost A Bubblier Stole Toe

stcoclerzoignealkiessper = Pi Kills A Egocentric's Zeroes

izmobugenredifedofrowsman = Embodied A Unfrozen Frog Swims

What all this means, I have no idea. There were over 40 000 anagrams for each of these lines and I picked the ones that seemed to make the most sense, though I admit I wasn't able to consider all the options (160 000 +). All in all, I would say this experiment was a failure. And though I did not presuppose the conclusion, it seems that blogger is not (at least by way of anagrams) trying to tell us anything, but the line about the unfrozen frog really makes me stop and think.... hmmmmm...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Word Verification

I'm not sure how it started, but I've taken an interest in the letters blogger asks for as word verification. Love it or hate it, this little anti-spam device seems to be here to stay (and by the way, if anyone knows how I can avoid spam comments without it, please let me know). I've been writing them out in the comments I leave on other blogs for a while, and others have been leaving them in comments for me here (strange how traditions like this start, eh?).

Lately I've developed the sneaking suspicion that these apparently random strings of letters are not as random as they seem. Sometimes they're names, or verbs, or strange hybrid-compound words. Sometimes I think that there's a code inside the letters, or something that the blogger bots are trying to tell me about the future. And so I've decided to initiate a little experiment.

If you drop by and feel like leaving a comment, could you please type in the word verification that you are asked for in the comment window. Once I have enough letters I plan to put them together in an anagram generator and see what comes out. I'm betting that it'll be like playing a Beetles record backwards or staring at the sun for too long, and that some deep and mystical secret of the cosmos will be revealed. Either that, or whatever blogger has been trying to tell us in its own way could be cleared up.

Thanks in advance for your help. I'll post the results as soon as I have them...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Inside Job -- A Short Play

A bank in the middle of the night.

Two desks and chairs are set up, one stage left, another stage right. On each desk is a lamp, computer screen, papers, pens. Waste bin on floor beside each desk.

A long counter along back of stage. Counter is positioned such that the side on which the teller would stand is facing audience -- ie. the audience views the scene as though looking through the back wall of the bank.

Soft yellow lighting.

Curtain rises.

Very long pause -- at least 30 seconds -- all quiet.

Two robbers, BIZZ and BUZZ, enter stage left. Both dressed in all black clothes -- both have black gloves, large black backpacks, black ski-masks. They creep on tips of toes across stage, but BUZZ accidentally knocks over a waste bin, which makes loud metallic clang.

BIZZ: Shhhhhhh! You nincompoop! Do you want us to end up in jail?

BUZZ: Sorry. My bad. The place seems so different in the night time, and I can hardly see a thing through this mask.

BIZZ: (pointing to ceiling) You see those cameras up there? If it wasn't for the mask they'd know it was you who let me in. Just try and be quiet, will ya?

A spotlight illuminates the backdrop and moves from left to right. BIZZ quickly lays down flat on the floor, while BUZZ turns and looks at the passing light. The sound of a car passing from speakers. BIZZ stands up and looks at BUZZ. Pause.

BUZZ: Only a car going by. Thought the worst for a minute there.

BIZZ: Let's just get this done and get out of here. Are you sure the alarm isn't going to go off?

BUZZ: Of course I'm sure. I set up the access code, and it said it was disarmed.

BIZZ: Fine so. Fine.

They walk slowly on tips of toes to center front. They stand side-by-side, facing the audience. BIZZ holds out his hands and mimes touching an imaginary wall. He puts his ear to the imaginary wall then steps back and looks at BUZZ.

BIZZ: How is it that you're the president of this place and you don't know the combination to the vault?

BUZZ: Well, I never needed to know. It's the managers who open and close this thing. And maybe it's because the share-holders don't exactly trust me. Who could blame them in light of recent events?

BIZZ: And you're sure about the money being in there?

BUZZ: At least eight million dollars. Cold hard cash.

BIZZ removes his backpack and takes out a stethescope. He puts the buds in his ears and extends the other end to the imaginary wall with his left hand. He reaches his right hand out and turns it, as though spinning a combination lock. Sound of clicks from speakers. BIZZ spins his hand the other direction. More clicks. Spins other direction. More clicks. Still listening through stethescope.

BIZZ: I think I've almost got it. That sounds right. Almost there. Got it!

Sound of latch releasing and hinge creaking over speakers. BIZZ and BUZZ shake hands earnestly. They step through the imaginary vault door to the very edge of stage, facing audience.

BIZZ: A room full of money. I've never seen such a beautiful thing in my entire life. Christmas has come early this year! Let's get the cash in the bags and get out of here.

They mime taking piles of money and putting it in their backpacks.

BUZZ: What are you going to do with your share?

BIZZ: I was thinking of getting a house in the Hamptons, and maybe a little sports car. That and pay back my debts to the loan sharks. There's going to be nothing but possibilities for me from now on. What about you?

BUZZ: I was thinking on retiring early. Maybe move to somewhere with a nice warm climate...

Sound of a hinge creeking. BIZZ and BUZZ turn back. Curtain falls and there is the sound of vault door slamming shut. BIZZ and BUZZ are on edge of stage, still visible to audience, facing curtain.

Pause -- 5 seconds. BIZZ and BUZZ turn and face one another.

BUZZ: Oh yeah. The door has an auto close mechanism.

BIZZ: And let me guess. It can only be opened from the other side.

BUZZ nods his head.

BIZZ: We're screwed.

Light fades out leaving BIZZ and BUZZ in darkness.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Contingency Plan

I have worn out all my words
torn out page after page
to tell how you run like restless water
how you ride the driven rain

and I know I disappoint you
my bright morning star
no matter the distance between us
I can't know who you are

when I question in eddy currents
what my pupils take in
and water tastes of sulfur
writing is a contingency plan