Sunday Things - yet another edition

posted in Links by Cargo Cult on Sunday March 26 2017

More random linkage dredged from the bookmarks!

Not exactly an MD5 hash.
Kit Williams's Golden Hare - an ARG long before ARGs existed, Masquerade was a 1970s puzzle book which reached out into the real world, attempting to lead its solvers to literal buried treasure. Almost a cautionary tale in how ARGs can go wrong, things soon fell apart. The shadiness continues in a second, equally fascinating article.
Inside the Secret World of Russia’s Cold War Mapmakers - the Soviet Union had two sets of maps, with deliberately vague and inaccurate ones made for usage by its general populace, and gorgeously accurate ones - of the whole world - kept secret for use by the military and above. And, with the collapse of the USSR, many were left behind and sold on. Now available on eBay. I've got one of the Pacific Northwest...

Strandbeest Evolution

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Strandbeest Evolution - I first read about these elegant, wind-powered monsters some time in the 1990s in New Scientist. I love that Theo Jansen is still perfecting, evolving and hybridising them.

Bonus Useful Skills For After The Apocalypse corner:

  • Rough Science - some kind soul has uploaded the complete set to YouTube. Ideal material for insomniacs, this BBC / Open University show had scientists building unlikely things from near base principles. Taking a photograph with horse manure, a sparkly rock and a magnifying glass? Yes. Also the subject of last week's mini-puzzle, solved by Acolyte Pace after a bit of prompting - I'd found precise coordinates for the filming locations for all six series: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
  • Primitive Technology - for if the apocalypse was really spectacular. Glorious Australian loon making useful stuff from mud, rocks and trees.

Article comments (now closed)

Pace's gravatar

1. Good stuff again

Posted by Pace at 6:39PM, Sunday March 26 2017

That masquerade article was absolutely fascinating. I'd never heard of it. Quite an interesting bit of pop culture with absolutely no similarities whatsoever to anything that may have happened around these parts. Funny how people will read far more into things than the creator intended. Ahem.. eh.. but all for the good as long as they enjoyed the process! (And the world before the internet was far more interesting in some ways.)
Your bookmark collection is quite impressive, keep it up!

phuzz's gravatar

2. Masquerade

Posted by phuzz at 6:05AM, Monday March 27 2017

I vaguely remember hearing about Masquerade, I guess the unsatisfying ending was the reason I never heard more about it.
I assume you learnt some lessons from it before doing your own ARGs?

Cargo Cult's gravatar

3. Re: Masquerade

Posted by Cargo Cult at 11:01PM, Sunday April 9 2017

I've got some terribly vague memories of some treasure hunt thing in the UK with someone continuing to dig in near-random places, desperate to find a perhaps non-existent prize - not sure if it was Masquerade or not, but that sort of thing was in the back of my mind when designing stuff for the Portal 2 announcement ARG.

How to tell people a puzzle is over, or if they're looking in the wrong places? Difficult.

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