Feb. 1st, 2009 01:05 pm
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Earth:Harmless/WikiGuide)
[ profile] dslartoo has a couple good links about depression from [ profile] fairgoldberry: Part 1, Part 2. Worth reading.

(Yes, a few items on that first list sound pretty familiar - both in my case and in someone else's. Dunno what I'll do about it.)

On a more cheerful note - I hope you enjoyed my Rabbit Hole Day entry this year; here are the ones I bookmarked of those I read, in no particular order:

packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (music)
I just got back from the Janis Joplin concert at Wolftrap ... it was amazing, but when she was talking about her time in California, and said she almost fell into full-out addiction, almost ruined her life - well, it made me think. What would have happened? Would tattoos still be the provenance of outcasts? Would we ever have had the inrush of female voices into the rock-and-roll scene, people like Stevie Nicks even have played rock? A tiny change to history - if we had Joni Mitchell still playing and Janis Joplin died young - and so much would have been different.

What might Jimi Hendrix have accomplished, if he lived as long as Jim Morrison? Where would Simon & Garfunkel have gone if Paul Simon hadn't died in a car crash in 1965 - would they have just been another obscure one-hit wonder? What could R.E.M. have accomplished if it were Marc Bolan died young and Michael Stipe still alive today? Heck, would Tommy Allsup be remembered the way Ritchie Valens is, if the coin toss had gone the other way?

I guess we'll never know.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (darwin has a posse)
Let's face it. You're in a blog rut.

Most of the time, you write about more of the same kinda stuff that you usually write about.

Maybe it's your day-to-day life, the stuff you did. Maybe it's topical news response. Maybe it's short fiction. Maybe it's re-linking random stuff you see on the internet. Maybe it's LOLCAT porn. (I hope it's not LOLCAT porn.) Maybe it's here on LiveJournal, or it's over on Vox, or Blogspot or Blogger or Blogblog or Postablogablowablog, or WordPress or Facebook or FacePress or FacePlant or maybe it's just your Twitter account. It's what you're comfortable with, I know, I know...

...but why not try doing something different, just for a day?

Tuesday. January 27th. Rabbit Hole Day is coming.

Pass it on.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (twisty little passages)
Remember my entry last Monday? Did you know my house is just about 4° off compass?

Yeah, I didn't either. Can I get a "not cool"?

Let's start with my door, shall we? Bedroom door, closed at night because the light on the corner of the industrial park shines right down the hallway, and it's aligned just about like this:
     ___---\ ,
\*---       '
(The asterisk is the hinge, the dashes and underscores are the door, the backslashes and periods and commas and primes are the frame. Yeah, I'm no ASCII master.)

Now, during rotation, the door remains constant length, right? And length is measured by max(x,y), right? Therefore, rotation goes like:
|      /:
|...../ :
|    /: :
|.../ : :
|  /: : :
| / : : :
|/  : : :
...with the end sliding north first, then west.

Now look at the diagram of my door again. Think about it for a second. Odds are you'll draw the right conclusion.

Welcome to my day.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to see if my digestive system is less pooched than the plumbing. Oh, and mop the bathroom floor.

Wish me luck.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)
[ profile] crisper reminds us once more that Sunday the 27th is Lewis Carroll's birthday, and we all know what that means. To quote the original post: Let's have a day where nobody's life makes sense anymore, where any random LJ you click on will bring you some strange new tale.

Remember also the LJ comm [ profile] rabbitholeday - some people post their day there, I usually just link it.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)
And that's the end of Rabbithole Day. You can read the whole day here. I hope you find it interesting, anyhow.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Silhouette)
No moon near the sun. It's the 27th. And it's impossible.

What do I mean? I mean that there's no way that we can lose a week, and no-one notice. The weather site went down – no-one noticed, my parents didn't even mention it. The moon's in the wrong place, and no-one is screaming about it. Are you going to believe that ten million horoscopists are just ignoring the incorrect constellations? There aren't even confused posts on my friend's list.

There's only one explanation. I have to go back to Number 1. This is not real.

I saw the movie, The Thirteenth Floor. And that's the only way it can work – if there's only a small world, and a shell to fake the rest. But they got the wrong date.

If I'm right, the shell can't be very big. If I choose a random place far enough away, maybe it'll prove it.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (tired)
Okay, I've been thinking this out, and there's really only four ways this could be happening.

1. I'm no longer connected with reality. Could be insanity, could be brain-in-a-vat, Cartesian demon, whatever. Really nothing I can do, if so – I guess I should avoid trying to go places, cook, etc., just in case. Other than that, I'll just dismiss this one.

2. It's a hoax. Preposterous, but it's more likely than any of these other things.

3. It's the 27th, and whatever erased all the memories of the last week and put everyone back in their places somehow missed all the computers. Impossible, but fits the observations perfectly – better than 2, certainly, and probably better than 1.

4. It's the 20th, and somehow my computer is seeing the future. There's the time-travel paradox is the main problem with this one – especially since the posts from the 20th aren't the ones I made. I suppose you could postulate an alternative universe, though, and that would also fit the observations perfectly.

Now, the question is: how do I tell which one it is?

2, I'll know pretty soon. A hoax this huge will fall apart fast, and make a big splash. Then we'll laugh at the clever little hackers, reset our clocks, and go back to life as before.

Wait. My watch says the 27th. This is inconsistent with it being hackers. We'll shelve 2 for the moment.

As for the difference between 3 and 4, all I can imagine is astronomy. If it's the 27th, the sun, moon, and stars should be in the wrong place. Moon is easiest – a week is a quarter of a lunar month. According to this site, the moon would be waxing gibbous on the 27th, and therefore would be waxing crescent on the 20th., man – I think I'll have to go outside for this one. Further reports after observations.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (challenge)
This is impossible. This is absurd.

Those comment notifications weren't about the Nomic game. Well, weren't all about the Nomic game.

They're from the future. And the weirdest part is, there's my comments in there too. It's like ... it's exactly like I sat down to my computer one week from now, opened it up, and started surfing. The first fifty results on my friends page only run back to the 25th. All my webcomics have a whole extra week of updates. (Except No Rest for the Wicked, and now that I look, there's comments on the tagboard from the 26th. Oh, and Magellan, but he had a hurt wrist or something, no surprise there.) And my email has messages for a whole week in advance. Even my journal has a couple updates.

Dude, if I'd known this would happen, I'd have blogged some lottery results.


I'll be right back. I think I have an appointment with Google.

Edit: Crud. They took down the numbers. Curse you, Maryland Lottery, for being so on the ball!

(P.S. I'm going to go ahead and forward-date these to the 27th. They may as well be easy to find.)

Edit mk. 2: Wow, were there a lot of posts on the 20th.


Jan. 27th, 2007 10:41 am
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (efw O.P.)
Anybody else notice something odd this morning? When I booted my browser the NWS page was down, and I'm getting a lot of future-dated spam in my inboxes. Plus, for some reason, I've already got a "Welcome Back" message in my UMD box when school doesn't start until the 24th.

Also, it seems a lot more people are interested in Nomic than I expected – I've got 15 new comment notification emails overnight, it seems. I'll get right back to you! Don't worry!

Edit: For some reason, the web form is trying to future-date this post a week. I'm correcting it now.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Half-Face)
[ profile] nanakikun pointed out that Puzzle #2 isn't solvable – sorry! I must have misremembered it, or else whoever made the thing erred. I went through (whited out - highlight to see) Door #2 myself. EDIT: You can read the whole day of my adventures in Escherland here (credit to [ profile] chanlemur for the name).

Incidentally, to drop out of character for a moment, here are the Rabbit Holes among those journals I read:

EDIT mk. 2: And, of course, don't forget [ profile] crisper, the brave founder of our tradition, whose posted five entries here.

EDIT III - Son of Edit: My Rabbit Hole Day '06 memories list – I'm putting my favorites up there .
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Half-Face)
"To the Day Side", said the sign.

I stood outside the door, looking at it and feeling ridiculous.

"No-Puzzle Fee: $15", said the sign, in smaller type towards the lower half.

Well, that made things simple.

I walked in.

In the lobby, there was an elevator and another door. The elevator was behind a subway-style turnstile, with a cash slot in it, blinking cheerfully. "Puzzle Bypass - $15" was emblazoned boldly above. The door, on the other hand, proclaimed, "Puzzle Gate - Trivia: Monday/Thursday, Math: Tuesday, Riddles: Wednesday, Logic: Friday. Closed weekends." A smaller paper sign said, "JAN 27: LADY & TIGER PUZZLE - Choose the right door (there is only one!) to advance".

I was lucky, indeed. Raymond Smullyan's books had adorned my house before I was born, and it showed. With a grin plastered across my face, I opened the door and turned down the hall.

Room 1: Three doors, each with a sign. No numbers, but I could see they weren't needed. The three signs said,




...all in nice clear block letters.

I copied these down for your entertainment, so I won't spoil it for you. Suffice to say that I solved this one, and proceeded onwards, into another hall.

Room 2: Three signs, three doors, again. Reading them off in numerical order:
  1. "All the wrong doors have signs that lie."
  2. "Door 1 is the right door."
  3. "Door 2 is the right door."
Piece of cake.

At this point, I found myself at the base of a handicap ramp leading up to the next floor. I wondered momentarily why there wasn't a stair, but I realized that they must have wanted to accommodate wheelchairs. I was somewhat surprised at this modern touch, but then I remembered the wireless internet and continued up.

...where I encountered a fellow taking down the signs. We tried to talk, but he didn't speak English – eventually he just opened a door for me and shooed me through. I guess they were closing up. Awfully disappointing.

Anyway, I wasted no time, having gotten through. Straight back down (and I knew it was day – it was bright out), out the door, around the corner and into the church...

...and into a concert. A string quartet was playing something I didn't recognize, right in front of the door I needed. So I sat, to wait out the concert, almost tempted to tap my feet in my impatience. Fortunately they were very good.

(By the way, I think it may have been a Mozart-only concert – I did recognize a couple pieces, and all of it sounded like a similar style. It wasn't all strings, either – a fellow who looked like the pianist from the pub played something on the organ as well.)

The concert ran very late, or so it seemed to me, and the people took quite a while to file out afterwards. Eventually the crowd dispersed enough to let me through, and I rushed into the back room.

The lizards were moving! They were! I didn't stop to watch them, though – first thing I did was look for the exit. Standing up against the table, I caught sight of it – eight feet overhead. Fortunately, the table was right there, and I was able (by dint of very careful balancing) to throw my bag through first, and then leap and catch the edge. A pull-up, another gravity tilt, and I was on my bed!

...right on top of my backpack and all the books from my shelf. Ouch. Climbing off, I turned around.

The posters were ordinary. It was over. Suddenly, I realized that I had no evidence of this ever happening, besides a missing five dollars.

And, if I'm lucky, a few posts on LJ.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)
Nothing. Three hours walking, and nothing.

I walked easily at first, just went straight away from the river on a nice thoroughfare, but nothing happened. I walked past a house after the first couple corners, and past a windmill at a distance of a couple hundred feet after that, and then I was just in the middle of the fields. I walked through them for an hour before I began to get suspicious, and after two hours I turned around.

The river was right there. I might as well have been on the Red Queen's raceway – it took me all of forty minutes to get back to the public house from there. No point in trying this anymore – next step, I don't know. I guess I'll walk around town again. Maybe the sun will come up in a few hours, I don't know.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Silhouette)
My next move was to walk through the town. I did leave five dollars as a tip – probably overgenerous, and I only have a dollar left, but I did. Anyway, it was a miniscule town, though it had a lot of trees – there was another canal running between the public house and the bulk of the town, and there were a bunch of boats tied up to the shore there.

The center of the town was dominated by a big church. I considered for a moment, and then went in.

I wasn't disappointed. There was the vaulting ceiling, the pews, the altar and the podium, and it was magnificent. The wood was rich – it must have been very old, but it glowed. Also the paintings were impressive, and the stained glass. No-one was there, but the lights were on. I went into the room in back.

And was shocked to see Reptiles.

I do not mean I saw reptiles, I saw "Reptiles", the etching. The table was the same – the cactus, the package of cigarette papers with "JOB" written on it, the drawing, the open book, everything. The only flaw was that there were no moving reptiles.

Someone spoke behind me, in a Germanic language. I don't know what he said – when I tried to write it down, he looked over my shoulder and wrote for me, "Sie ziehen während des Tages um." I said "Danke schön" to him, I think he was speaking German; he replied "Bitte." I walked out, and returned to the public house to think, and to post the entry.

I don't know what he said, but I think "Tages" has to do with day – "Guten Tag" and all that, you know. If I really am in "Night and Day", that means that maybe I should be trying to get to the Day side. I think they were side-by-side in the picture, with the river running on the outside edge each time – that means that if I walk away from the river, maybe I'll find it.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Green RZ)
Having dressed, I took a minute or two to decide which picture I should enter.

I have four Escher prints on my walls: Night and Day, Reptiles, Three Worlds, and Puddle. (That last one is the one with (surprisingly enough) a puddle that has the tire tracks and footprints running through and past it. I honestly forgot the title – I had to look it up myself.) Now, while I could enter any of them, a moment's thought revealed to me that (a) Night and Day is looking down from rather a dangerous height (hence the breeze), (b) Reptiles shows nothing but a table, so it might be difficult to get anywhere, and (c) Three Worlds is perched above a substantial body of water. That left (d), Puddle. Having thus decided, I carefully cleared the bookshelf under the poster, climbed onto it, and stepped into the picture.

Do you remember that scene in Monsters, Inc. when the main characters are jumping through all those closet doors? Remember that one where they jumped through the door that was horizontal and falling, and when they got out they fell sideways, because that was now down? Well, it wasn't that severe, but the change of gravity did hit me, going through the poster. I did manage to land on my feet, though.

I stood and looked around. Comfortingly, the frame of the poster through which I entered was still present, hanging with a cheerful indifference to gravity some seven feet above the ground. The road on which I stood was muddy, just as depected – it passed through tilled fields, but I could see little else. It was night.

A sudden impulse caught me, and I looked up. Gleaming, in the air, I saw a triangle of bright white birds flying by, their brightness all out of keeping with the dimness of the night. "I'm in Night and Day", I realized, happily. "Hofstadter was right; they are all connected behind the scenes." With this to fortify me, I paused to take notes (I want to make this as complete a narrative as possible), and set off down the road, towards the sounds of water and the distant birds.

I walked for about half an hour before I reached the outskirts of the town. I passed through a few more fields before crossing a bridge – I could see a river from there, but the bridge was over a feeder stream. Actually, it was probably a canal – streams aren't that straight.

Anyway, the road paralleled the river for a distance, with fields on the other side, until it made a sharp turn in front of a pair of buildings. (There was a line of ships steaming down the river – I feel I should mention those.) Fortunately for me, the one I approached seemed to be some sort of public house or inn, and I was able to go in.

Um, Escher was Dutch, I think. And I was reminded of this, very strongly, when I discovered that all the signs were in Dutch or German or something. A few minutes of gesticulation with the bartender served to inform me that (1) I could get a glass (well, mug) of water (I tried saying "wasser", because I thought that was the German for it), and (2) no, it wouldn't cost anything. This was most fortunate, as I had no Dutch money. I guess I'll have to leave American dollars as a tip.

I just noticed that they have wireless internet here. I have no idea if it's the same Internet as back home – for all I know, it could be that the school's Internet can cross the border of the poster. But on the off-chance that it is, I'll go ahead and post this now. Then I'll see what else I can find.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Half-Face)
I awoke this morning to the distinct impression that a breeze was passing through my room. I knew it was impossible – the window was shut, as was the door – until I opened my eyes.

I had four Escher prints on the wall when I fell asleep last night. Somehow, they'd all opened like windows to the worlds within.

I've read Gödel-Escher-Bach; I know what I have to do. I'll put on my boots and long pants, I'll fetch my ... drat, I forgot my digital camera! Well, I'll bring my computer, anyway. I promise you all an entry as soon as I'm back.

Confused? Check here for an explanation of Rabbit Hole Day.


packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

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