Random Thursday: Faulty Memories, Weird Truths, and Good GNUs

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

Hey, you writer people out there—check out last Tuesday’s post!

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When my BP drops, I have a latte.

Coffee Type

Actually, mine is Coffee Positive.

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I Hope So . . .

Mediation Remediation

I’d suggest adding a little blood to our caffeine streams,
but that’s just crazy talk.

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Let’s Take a Vote!

At first, this seems like an awesome live-action  memory game . . . but it isn’t.

It’s better.

Don’t bother clicking—I’ve posted the solution at the end.

No peeking!

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GNUs for Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett

“You know they’ll never really die while the Trunk is alive[…] It lives while the code is shifted, and they live with it, always Going Home.”

— Lipwig von Moist, Going Postal, Chapter 13

I was first introduced to Terry Pratchett’s imagination when I chose The Colour of Magic as one of the twelve books I bought for a penny way back when Book of the Month Clubs were a Big Thing and my mother wasn’t watching.

For that story alone it was the best scam I ever fell for—I read everything Terry Pratchett ever wrote and have been a devotee of the magical Discworld and its different sort of sanity ever since.

So when I learned last week that he had passed away, I told myself that his characters and worlds and sharp wit were so loved that somewhere, it has all become real.

This didn’t help as much as I’d hoped.

But then my husband, who is as big a fan as I, showed me an article that did.

In Going Postal, readers are introduced to “the clacks”, a series of semaphore towers that stand in for the telegraph for the Discworld, which has no electricity. The towers that make up “the Trunk”, can send messages “at the speed of light” using standardized codes.

In the book, three of these codes are central to the plot:

G: send the message on
N: do not log the message
U: turn the message around at the end of the line and send it back again

The people who operate the Towers—half coders, half mechanics, half crazy—have a special way of honoring those who died in service:  The names of the dead are sent in code from Tower to Tower, never logged and never ending, always remembered while the towers still stand.

And now, some Reddit fans of Sir Terry have created a way to send him name through our world’s version of the clacks—the Internet—in the form of a code called the XClacksOverhead, which sets a header reading “GNU Terry Pratchett” in the coding of one’s website or blog.

If you’re interested in honoring Terry Pratchett in this way, or are interested in passing this idea on to fans who are technologically savvy enough to do this, the various codes and instructions are here.

No one will be able to see his name unless they look for it in the coding, but it will be there, sent on and ever circling, and always Going Home.

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The Battle-Cry of my Demographic

Memory Stump

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The Verdict?

It’s totally doable, as long as you can get 100 people to follow the same, simple process.

So, no.  Never take this bet.

Instead, we should run the bet, and make a boatload of cash of those 100 people.

Who’s with me?

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7 thoughts on “Random Thursday: Faulty Memories, Weird Truths, and Good GNUs

  1. Thank you for the giggles and for the explanation of the GNU for Terry Pratchett. I’d glanced at something about it last week and never made it beyond the headline.

    • Any time, Lisa!

      The GNU is kind of technical—I had to have a friend explain hte coding, and then why I couldn’t get it down on a free WP site. But he’s putting it in his website, so that’s one way to pass this on! 🙂

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