Updates from May, 2005 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Ted Mann 11:22 am on May 26, 2005 Permalink | Reply  

    Craig McGettigan, Turkey Extaordinaire 

    Fair warning: This is another Treasure Trove update.

    First the good news: The code for the snail token was cracked yesterday. I was on the verge of solving it for myself, but those crafty internet bulletin boards beat me to the punch. It worked more or less the same as the Dragonfly — match up a pattern on a page (in this case, the dots on the snail page) with numbers, from 1-5; pair up the numbers to get a letter on the 5×5 grid; combine the letters to get an intelligible location. The only real trick here was knowing to read some of the decoded words backwards, just like you need to with the hidden poem words on the page.

    And, as with the Dragonfly token, there was a free for all once the solution — ANITA SP PICNIC AREA — was posted to http://www.tweleve.org. Anita State Park is in Iowa, right between Des Moines and Omaha. Know anyone in one of those cities? I sure do.

    Now the bad news: I called my friend Craig, who lives in Omaha, about an hour from Anita, and he wouldn’t agree to drive to the location until Saturday. I’d been calling frantically with Andy and my brother Doug, and we decided we couldn’t wait that long. Andy phoned his brother, who miraculously agreed to make the 5 hour drive to Anita. When he got there, at about 2am, there was a tree that exactly matched one of the trees in the book. In fact, it was the exact tree that preceded the page with the snails on it. What’s more, there was a knothole exactly where the book’s illustration suggested it might be. Unfortunately, there was also a railroad spike with a note attached. No token.

    Though I don’t know what the note said specifically, it was something along the lines of, “I found the snail token. Love, starthinker.” Sure enough, somebody posted to the message board as starthinker around the time the stake was discovered by Andy’s brother.

    Bottom line: We missed this thing by hours. Craig could have probably made it in time. Ugh, soooo close! For shame, Craig McGettigan, for shame. TurkeyMonkey doesn’t have a hall of shame, but we’re seriously considering making you the honorary inductee.

  • Update:
  • The guy who nabbed the snail token said that he found it at 8:10pm. I called Craig at about 5:30 or 6pm. It’s an hour’s drive from Omaha to Anita, Iowa. You do the math.

    Starthinker, the lucky new owner of Snail, posted a recap of his adventure here. Since he put in a copyright line at the top of the page, I won’t copy the pictures, but take a look. It’s the real deal.

  • Ted Mann 2:09 pm on May 24, 2005 Permalink | Reply  

    One Token Down, Tweleve to Go! 

    I can’t believe this. Over the weekend the first of the Treasure Trove tokens was found. What’s more, it was in Northeastern Pennsylvania, only about an hour and a half from Philly!

    I’ve been monitoring the bulletin boards devoted to the treasure hunt for months now, but there’s just so much damn content to read that I usually only check once a week. But on Friday, after Ana’s graduation from med school, and on Saturday, after my sister and family left town, I read a couple posts which pointed to a rock-solid solution for the dragonfly token (est. value: $25,000). The location was Rickett’s Glen park, up near the Delaware Water Gap. A handful of people had already driven there to search, but the big question mark was where to search. It’s an awfully big park, and nobody could pin down an exact location. Nobody, that is, until Elrohir, who found the token about mid-day Sunday.

    What’s really wild about all this is that the guy found out about the location from the same website I’ve been frequenting: http://www.tweleve.org. It was basically a three-step solution, and he got every step from the compadres at Tweleve. Apparently, though, he was the only one quick enough to piece the whole thing together into a coherent solve. Good for him. Bad for me. Given that this was the only day’s-drive token for me, it looks like I’ll be monitoring the eSavers from here on out.

    The token:
    Dragonfly Token

    The hiding spot (it was in the upper knothole):
    Dragonfly Tree

    The solution was derived by reading the veins on a series of leaves on page 44, using the number of veins on each side to find letters on a 5×5 alpha grid:

    The letters spell out the location: RICKETTSGLENFALLSTRAILSIGN

    • Gwynne 5:10 pm on May 24, 2005 Permalink | Reply

      Oh my god, it’s actually for real.

    • Gabe 5:53 pm on May 24, 2005 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not sure I believe it’s really been found. I saw Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory! I know the tricks!

    • admin 3:54 pm on May 25, 2005 Permalink | Reply

      Believe it, man! The author confirmed that it had been found on his website.

  • Ted Mann 10:33 am on May 16, 2005 Permalink | Reply  

    The Infinite Cat Project 

    My brother-in-law is at it again! He just sent me a link to “The Infinite Cat Project,” perhaps the wackiest kitty website he’s found to date. The project’s genesis goes back to when the website founder saw a cat picture posted to an Apple website, and then, shortly thereafter, he came upon another picture of a cat looking at a computer monitor displaying the first cat’s picture.
    http://www.infinitecat.com is building on this idea, with around 1,000 pictures of cats looking into computers screens picturing cats looking into more screens of cats looking at more screens. Or, as the site’s creator puts it:

    The concept [of] The Infinite Cat Project is, simply, cats regarding cats regarding cats in an electronic milieu.

    I’ll be happy to post a picture of YOUR cat as long as it’s shown looking at a monitor which bears the image of the latest picture in the ICP sequence.

    Cat MasseuseAs if this weren’t weird enough, the site also has a repository of tribute films, created in memoriam for cats who have moved on to the big litter box in the sky (including one of a cat named TM, which is kind of spooky given what’s emblazoned on the TurkeyMonkey mascot’s chest).

    There’s also a grabbag of random clips, including a troubling one of a cat massaging its owner’s neck and another clip of a cat literally flying off the top of a telephone poll. The only thing more bizarre than the premise of infinitecat.com is that my brother-in-law keeps finding these crazy sites.

    • Anderw Diller 11:50 am on May 22, 2005 Permalink | Reply

      What is that cat doing to that poor sleeping man? Scratching his neck out?

    • Gabe 5:58 pm on May 23, 2005 Permalink | Reply

      I got your infinite cats right here!

      Official: 200 dead cats found at animal worker’s home
      Monday, May 23, 2005 Posted: 8:57 AM EDT (1257 GMT)

      EAST ORANGE, New Jersey (AP) — A woman who founded a “no-kill” animal shelter was charged with health code and animal welfare violations after 200 dead cats were discovered rotting in garbage bags in her backyard.

      Marlene Kess, who has built a reputation in Manhattan as a caretaker of homeless and dying cats, had 48 cats inside her house, including 38 in one room, authorities said.

      Out back, 200 vermin-infested cat corpses were stuffed into garbage bags and apparently were going to be buried in a large hole that had recently been dug, said Sgt. Joseph Bierman of the state’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

      The cats were discovered after neighbors complained about the stench.

      “Oh my God, it was awful,” said Michael Fowler of the Associated Humane Societies. “The smell was horrible.”

      Kess, 56, is the founder and executive director of Kitty-Kind, which runs one of New York City’s few no-kill shelters.

      She said the cats died of natural causes. State SPCA spokesman Matt Stanton told The Star-Ledger of Newark an investigation into the death of the cats is “ongoing.”

      A longtime resident of Greenwich Village, Kess moved to East Orange in July.

      “I take very good care of them,” Kess told reporters Friday. “People who know me know there’s no cruelty involved.”

      Kess was cited for health code violations, including keeping an unlawful number of animals, harboring dead animals and causing an environmental hazard with the corpses. The SPCA, which enforces the state’s animal cruelty laws, charged Kess with 38 counts of failing to properly shelter cats.

      Authorities are allowing Kess to keep the 48 cats in her home because she promised to separate the sick animals from the healthy ones, Bierman said.

  • Ted Mann 3:35 pm on May 10, 2005 Permalink | Reply  

    Cursed Spammers 

    Why is it that I can’t manage to post a comment to my own blog, and yet the Goddamn spammers still manage to get through? Explain that to me, please!

    Name: online cigarettes
    Email Address: abcd@abc.net
    URL: http://www.online-cigarettes.ws/


    Cheap Cigarettes

    No matter what I do — installing “blacklist” filtering software, adding URLs and IPs and keywords to it daily, and manually deleting the ones that slip through the cracks — these friggin spambots still find ways to attack the site. So, I’m throwing in the towel.

    Not on blogging, but on this Movable Type software. Great as it has been for this inaugural year of blogging, Andy has been urging me to make the switch to WordPress for months now. Now that MT Blacklist has essentially started throttling every possible dictionary word, I’m ready to move on.

    Or, as the good folks on Press Your Luck used to say, “No whammies, No whammies, STOP!”

  • Ted Mann 2:57 pm on May 9, 2005 Permalink | Reply  

    Kitty Website Boom 

    My brother-in-law, Dan, has been bombarding me lately with emails about cat-related websites. Which is kind of strange because, as far as I know, Dan couldn’t care a whit about kitties. But still, the websites are hilarious and well worth a visit. Ever since the phenomenal success of mycathatesyou.com, which has now been adapted as a book, page-a-day calendar, and feature film, it seems
    stuffoncat.jpglike cat photo sites — or catotos, as I’ll now refer to them — have taken over from blogs as the next big internet craze.

    Stuffonmycat.com still bears the “coming soon” headline, though from the smattering of sample photos, it promises to be the perfect mixture of photographic art and borderline animal cruelty.

    Kittenwar.com is taking a different tack; rather than playing to humans’ inherent distrust of felines, or our desire to humiliate the animals by covering them in condoms and Urkel dolls, Kittenwar pits the kitties against each other in a battle of the cutest. You vote for whichever kitten is cuter and the site gives you an instant poll verdict. The real losers are, of course, the owners who submitted pictures of their cats, only to receive a pitiful 10 percent of the vote. Poor bastards.

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