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  • #91
    See "as a darkness..." thread for starters. :)

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    • #92
      Tonight: two rules and one challenge. Here & Later: maps of darkness past to voice the stars . . .
      from MZD's facebook.

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      • #93
        EEP! I finally found something after following an embarrassingly long, dead trail (but at least I can tell you exactly how to navigate NASA's mission dataset library and how the fuck THEMIS works). I should mention for context that most all of the URL codes I found from the starbase.jpl site are index files that point to one or more images on an internal server that we cannot access. However, they contain identifying information, such as mission name, phase, orbit number, etc. So we MUST be able to find them SOMEWHERE...right???

        http://pilot.wr.usgs.gov/ is the USGS Imaging Node Server. Guess what it does! Just guess!

        It's got three tools of note: the first is a "map-a-planet" tool that allows you to start from a base image of any planet, input coordinates, and create your own map of whatever region you are interested in. Number two is an image locator tool, and the third is a map finder. Whyyyyy is this so awesome?

        Because you can input data from all of those starbase.jpl links and it will take you to the exact image(s) or map they reference! BOOYAH!
        For example:
        http://astrogeology.usgs.gov/search/...35E-100mpp/cub
        is a mosaic map containing all of the images from all of the orbits referenced in the "Odyssey 2001" links.

        Have I got time right now to locate all of them? No. But you do. Go there. Go there now.
        Last edited by po-m; 09-16-2014, 05:06 PM. Reason: Terrible, horrible, very bad grammar.

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        • #94
          In mathematical terms a/0 is undefined. Kind of like space.

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          • #95
            And in the end, the answer was...infinity. So much for NASA.

            Ghosts of Departed Quantities

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            • #96
              Well I was pretty bummed to find out that the snow leopard's territory does not overlap our latest GPS coordinates... maybe it did at one point in history?

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              • #97
                So, I finally made some time (and sacrificed sleep) to put the stars together. In a nutshell, the grid:

                MZD star box layout - Oct2.png

                Dates of that section of picture / order of appearance.

                I don't know what to *do* with the grid, but I'm glad we have at least that.

                Full discussion on that place with my stuff.

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                • #98
                  Steganography is the art of hiding a message in plain sight. In computing, this often means disguising a message or a file inside of another file. There are many ways to do this and many different tools to make it relatively easy. Secretbook is a Chrome plugin that allows users to encode messages inside images that they've uploaded to facebook. Once uploaded, someone in possession of the password can use Secretbook to extract the hidden message.

                  For instance, with Secretbook installed, one can view MZD's first star post on facebook , hit Ctrl-alt-A to bring up the interface, and try different passwords. If one uses the password, "48-371204-9-7265" (the GPS string included with the first black square way back in January 2013), then Secretbook displays the message text.

                  Outguess is another steganography tool, a command-line program that runs on Linux or Macs (I haven't managed to compile it on Windows yet, but that's probably my fault). To run Outguess, you give it a command like so:

                  $ outguess -k "48-371204-9-7265" -r star-image.jpg message.rtf
                  What you may infer from that command is that I'm again using text string from the first black square post as the key to extract a message from the first star image. I'm outputting to "message.rtf" because, as I've learned, the message is an RTF file that contains the following text:

                  One by one our skies go black.
                  Stars are extinguished, collapsing into distances too great to breach. Soon, not even the memory of light will survive.
                  Repeating the same process with the text from the first black square and the second star image yields:

                  Long ago, our manifold universes discovered futures would only expand. No arms of limit could hold or draw them back.
                  And that's as far as I got before I had to stop working on it and do something else. Now I'm home with a computer where I apparently can't run Outguess, so I post this now to turn this over to whoever else would like to have a crack at it. Good luck!

                  It should be noted, by the way, that I didn't arrive at this solution on my own -- it required a massive hint that pretty much connected the dots for me after I'd been trying steg approaches unfruitfully for quite a while. Also, I don't think this is the full reveal. These messages that I've extracted and that presumably exist in other images don't necessarily account for the GPS locations (which DO seem significant) or specific connections to The . There's plenty to discuss, at least.
                  Last edited by MoleculaRR; 10-10-2014, 08:18 AM.

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                  • #99
                    Holy shit MoleculaRR!!! Excellent!

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                    • Thanks to heartbreak for helping finish the deciphering. And obviously MoleculaRR for his, well, full explanation of how to break the code.

                      star image messages, decoded using the black box numbers (two returns between messages):

                      One by one our skies go black.

                      Stars are extinguished, collapsing into distances too great to breach. Soon, not even the memory of light will survive.


                      Long ago, our manifold universes discovered futures would only expand. No arms of limit could hold or draw them back.


                      Short of a miracle, they would continue to stretch, untangle and vanish — abandoned at long last to an unwitnessed dissolution.


                      That dissolution is now.


                      Final winks slipping over the horizons share what needs no sharing:

                      There are no miracles.


                      You might say just to survive to such an end is a miracle in itself.

                      We would agree.

                      But we are not everyone.


                      Even if you could imagine yourself billions of years hence, you would not begin to comprehend who we became and what we achieved.


                      Yet left as you are, you will no more tremble before us than a butterfly on a windless day trembles before colluding skies still calculating beyond one of your pacific horizons.


                      Once we could move skies.

                      We could transform them.

                      We could make them sing.


                      And when we fell into dreams, our dreams asked questions and our skies, still singing, answered back.


                      You are all we once were but the vastness of our strangeness exceeds all the light-years between our times.


                      The frailty of your senses can no more recognize our reach than your thoughts can entertain even the vaguest outline of our knowledge.


                      In ratios of quantity, a pulse of what we comprehend renders meaningless your entire history of discovery.


                      We are on either side of history: yours just beginning, ours approaching a trillion years of ends.


                      Yet even so, we still share a dyad of commonality.


                      Two questions endure. Both without solution.


                      What haunts us now and will allways hunt you.


                      The first reveals how the promise of all our postponements, ever longer, ever more secure — what we eventually mistook for immortality — was from the start a broken promise.


                      Entropy suffers no reversals.

                      Even now, here, on the edge of time’s end, where so many continue to vanish, we still have not pierced that veil of sentience undone.


                      The first of our common horrors:


                      Death.


                      Yet we believe and accept that there is grace and finally truth in standing accountable before such an invincible unknown.


                      But we are not everyone.


                      Death, it turns out, is the mother of all conflicts.

                      There are some who reject such an outcome. There are some who still fight for an alternate future. No matter the cost.


                      Here then is the second of our common horrors.

                      What not even all of time will end.

                      What plagues us now and what will always plague you.


                      War.


                      VEM 5 Alpha System
                      Planck Epoch 10^-41
                      Encryption 1/5
                      Last edited by Ellimist; 03-05-2015, 11:32 AM.

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                      • Two questions endure. Both without solution.
                        So what are the two questions? This revealed text raises many questions -- more than two, certainly. And does "without solution" mean "not solveable" or "not yet solved"?

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                        • We have more black boxes with numbers than we do star pics, maybe the two questions are yet to come.

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                          • Full a/0 pic with text (Version 2.0)

                            Higher contrast text

                            I prefer Version 2.0 but some people might have better luck with the higher contrast.

                            Will add more text as we get it.
                            Last edited by heartbreak; 10-11-2014, 09:41 AM. Reason: Version 2.0

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                            • Shut. Up. This is awesome!

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                              • *smile*

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