HB V

is older than it's ever been and now it's even older

12/21/2000

Blog*spot came up briefly last night, making me feel pretty silly for moving the site, but it went down again as abruptly. If only I could get the archives to work. . . I still have a pretty good glut of material from the outage. This could get long.

I heard a story about an author named Don Foster this morning as I drove into work. He is a professor who attempts to figure out who anonymous authors are. Among his biggest scoops are attributing a Renaissance poem simply signed W.S. to that most famous W.S. Mr. Shakespeare. Now, he's on the trail of the poem "A Visit from St. Nicholaus" better known as "The Night Before Christmas." Basically, the poem was published in 1823 anonymously, and then later claimed by Clement Clark Moore when he published a book of poetry in the late 1840s. Moore was a stodgy old cuss and some people have long thought that the poem was far out of character. Now, in a new book, Foster argues that the real author was a guy named Major Henry Livingstone, who wrote poems about jolliness and drinking, from the examples I've seen. Perhaps the most damning evidence is a letter that Foster uncovered in Moore's archives to the magazine that first published the poem, inquiring as to who knew the anonymous submitter. After finding that all those that knew the story had died, he felt as if he could claim it.

Mysteries like that always fascinate me because of the axiom that the winner writes the history books. When revisionists can go back and question the accepted version of things, it always shines a bit of ambiguity into the Truth we think we know. Another mystery that's been hanging around since the 19th century is Edgar Allen Poe's cryptographical challenge. Poe was very into puzzles and ciphers, and he published (under a different name, of course; the attribution to Poe wasn't made until the mid 1980s) two coded messages for the readers to crack. One was figured out fairly easily but the other didn't get solved until, well, this year.

The intersection of the Real World and the internet world also interests me, and many of the readers of this blog will not be familiar with this one. The denizens of the net world will undoubtedly consider this old news. Last week a Mr. Bradley Chait and a Ms. Claire Swires had a brief email conversation that alluded to a sexual encounter they had. The text of said email can be found at the bottom of this page. Do not read this if you will be offended. You know who you are. After the two shared this brief (e)missive, Mr. Chait forwarded the chain on to some of his guy friends, who were so taken with Ms. Swires' penchant for performance that they forwarded it as well. Within a matter of days the thing had circled the globe, hitting all continents and making both Brad and Claire minor celebrities. Mr. Chait is now known as Brad the Cad by those wacky British tabloids, and poor Claire is having to fight off her fans, as she has gone into hiding. Brad will likely never get laid again.

Nathan, of Nathanism found my criticism of his site and Robotskull and posted a link. That's pretty cool. No, really. To my knowledge, that is only the second link ever to this site, after Sean's Weblog, which is still down as of this posting due to the Blog*spot outage. Samn of Robotskull sent me an email. It simply said "?" I wasn't sure what that meant, so in keeping with his repetition of the shortest correspondence in history, I sent the only proper response.

More later. . .

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