Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mystery Pictographs



Can you decipher this system of symbols? What does this language say or describe? The person who gives the precise answer (a general answer isn’t enough) will receive a signed and remarqued Imaginative Realism poster.

Note: I'm traveling (in Riverside, CA today), so I may not be able to check your comments or confirm your guesses until tonight.

52 comments:

Kata said...

Right, giving this a try. :D

Story about getting lost while looking for a certain house? And finally (number six) finding and entering the right one?

ivo.de.wispelaere said...

I think it has something to do with music or dancing. The ||: and :|| symbols define the dance that has to be repeated (that's how music notation works). The other symbols show you the dance moves seen from above or aside...
(just my guess :-) )

JoBi said...

It reminds me burglar code systems to identify possible targets.

murgadroid said...

I think it's square dancing notation.

nixar said...

Those are browser buttons.
Back, Stop, Url, Reload, Home .. I guess.

↷ ∥∶ ⌘ ⌂

Larry said...

The frustration of following a navigation system that brings you close to your destination but on the opposite side of the tracks.

Carl Knox said...

I'm going to have to go with Kata and Larry on this one: Sat nav.

various symbols including:
following a bendy road, using a roundabout whilst looking out for a hazard sign, a body of water, heavy intersection, video intercom usage, gates opening, and going under a bridge or tunnel before arriving at the destination.

Dakota said...

I did not need to see this 10 minutes after waking up. haha

Wow... Is the first word "You turn"? For the "U Turn symbol".and I see the repeat signs.

But then again with that logic, the first line says:
You turn sideways Pepsi around yielding houses, around yielding houses?

haha

Jeff Z said...

I agree with murgadroid, square dancing notation. "swing yer partner, do-si-do, allemande left and come back slow..."

Arnaud said...

Couldn't it be about flying, a bit like the Aresti system?

Ginger*:) said...

How on earth did you get my recipe for corn muffins?

Seriously if you come over here under the covered bridge and find the heart shaped door knocker on the front door, just tap three times and walk on in.

Christine Walker said...

1) you make two u turns and drive down a bendy road. You cross an intersection where no one walks inside the yellow lines. You hit a cul de sac, turn around and go north. Your destination is in sight, you just can’t get to it. You cross another intersection and are back where you started.

2) you make two u turns and drive down a bendy road. You cross an intersection where no one walks inside the yellow lines. You hit a cul de sac, turn around and this time make a left. Your destination is in sight, you just can’t get to it. You cross another intersection and are back where you started.

3)you make two u turns etc. You hit a cul de sac, turn around , see a river and decide to float your vehicle downstream for 2.7 miles. You are slightly damp, and your destination is in sight, but you just can’t get to it. You cross another intersection and are back where you started.

4)you make two u turns etc. This time you get to the cul de sac, manage to go both directions at once, north and south, defying all known laws of physics while driving at warp speed down a bendy road.Your destination is in sight, you just can’t get to it. You cross another intersection and are back where you started.

5)you make two u turns etc. You hit a cul de sac, turn around, and spend 45 minutes on a clover leaf exchange, sobbing desperately and promising you will never again order any drink with a little umbrella in it. It doesn’t help. You drive down a creepily familiar bendy road.Your destination is in sight, taunting you, but you just can’t get to it. You cross another intersection and are back where you started.

6) you make two u turns and drive down a bendy road. You cross an intersection where no one walks inside the yellow lines, and floor it for all its worth. Pedestrians scatter like bowling pins. Miraculously no one is hurt, but your car car goes airborne for an astounding 4325 feet. It sails through the window of a modest bungalow just as the lady of the house sits down for dinner.
On your way out the other side, you wave and tip your hat, making a mental note that she looks just Margaret Dumont, and that you really should send her flowers. Suddenly the impossible happens and you again split like an atom, making two u turns, both right and left at the same time. As you car reconnects to the pavement you rejoin yourself and speed through what looks like a neon version of the Arc deTriomphe. There in front of you is your destination. You have arrived.

rm-walsh said...

Blissymbols

Cody said...

Shhhhh! Alien crop circle creation guides. No one is supposed to have these!

Stapleton Kearns said...

No.

Rachel Brenner said...

looks like hobo symbols to me.

Arnaud said...

I still think it's a code depicting a flight choreography. Maybe for pterodactyles :)
Either that or it means "Buy Imaginative Realism" ;)

Erik Bongers said...

I also recognized those musical symbols ||: and :|| and would go for the dance notation.
Why would these symbols fit square dance best? What would e.g. the 'house' symbol stand for?

Another thing I noticed is indeed the U-turn symbol. So navigation was my 2nd thought.

But my prize for originality goes to Nixar: These surely must be browser buttons!!

Erik Bongers said...

Another option is instructions for pilots for an airshow stunt thing formation flying gig stuff (or whatever it's called).

Erik Bongers said...

Nope. Just checked. But stunt pilot symbols are fun too!

James Gurney said...

Some fascinating lines of thought here. Some have guessed the general category, but none have identified the specific activity that the notation describes.

I will say that I invented the each of the symbols as an aid to memory. So this notation is unknown, but the activity is not uncommon.

Each symbol describes a particular action. The actions must be performed by a group of people.

etc, etc said...

When I get to the bottom
I go back to the top of the slide
Where I stop and turn
and I go for a ride
Till I get to the bottom and I see you again
Yeah, yeah, yeah

qitsune said...

Synchronized unicycles choregraphy?

nana said...

I think it's a dance as well, but unless you know something about dancing, or even this particular type of dance it's very difficult to guess...
I'm guessing the house means return to the default position... ^^;;

Linda said...

Okay, I'll go with my original assessment - square dance calls?

Adam said...

The parallel lines remind me more of contra dancing or maybe English country dancing. Maybe the dots somehow indicate active/inactive couples? Seems like a lot of whirling and weaving going on too.

Lurking below the surface is the real question: how could one stamp the symbols using cut fruits or vegetables?

eric said...

i dont know why but i keep thinking this reminds me of two things

a scavanger hunt / treasure map

or some kind of wedding ceremony thing/ dance

are you trying to tell us you and your wife are going to renew your vows? and then have a scavanger hunt....man you got the freaking life!

Erik Bongers said...

Tai chi moves.

Samizdat said...

I've been staring at it on and off all day, but I'm completely stumped. Unless it's synchronised unicycling or a storyboard, I have no idea. Dying to find out, though!

Larry said...

Circle to the right, Swing your neighbor on the right 3/4 turn, up hall head back home pass neighbor left
Circle to the right, Swing your neighbor on the right 3/4 turn, hand over opposite back home pass neighbor left
Circle to the right, Swing your neighbor on the right 3/4 turn, crown your queen and head back home pass neighbor left
Circle to the right, Swing your neighbor on the right, dosado, swing to your right and head home pass neighbor left
Circle to the right, Swing your neighbor on the right 3/4 turn, Do Paso, swing back home pass neighbor left
Circle to the right, Swing your neighbor on the right 3/4 turn, balance facing partner side to side, pass through and head back home
repeat

James Gurney said...

Close, Larry, but I need the kind (tradition or style) of dancing and the name of the particular dance within that tradition.

Andy and the rest of the gang... said...

how about:
http://www.davidsmukler.syracusecountrydancers.org/Hunt.html

Larry said...

Community circles dance

R. G. Retriever said...

rats - the URL was truncated too soon. (Hunt.html was dropped off).

trying again:
http://www.davidsmukler.syracusecountrydancers.org/Hunt.html

country dances, called by Keith Hunt.
(contra dances, quadrilles, etc.)

(perhaps a duple-improper contra dance ?)

//j

JK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JK said...

Salsa dancing?

James Gurney said...

Not salsa, ballroom, square, or contra.

Deborah Secor said...

Minuet?

Kata said...

Waltz?
Break dancing? :P

Brian said...

Irish folk dancing

James Gurney said...

Brian: You've got it. Now which set is it?

Erik Bongers said...

Hmmm, I think you should give Brian his golden nugget. No one else is going to dare to ride on Brian's back to claim the price.

James Gurney said...

Erik: Good point, and it's only fair--Brian has won himself a poster. But I'll send another poster to anyone who can come up with the particular name of the set. There are a few dozen named sets in Irish set dancing, and this one should be evident to someone who is both an experienced Irish set dancer and a puzzle solver. Someone have a lifeline?

James Gurney said...

Brian--by the way I love your incredible dog portraits. If you'll email me your mailing address (to jgurneyart@yahoo.com), I'll send you a poster.

Meanwhile, maybe someone else will figure out the final solution.

Brian said...

Thanks James I sent off the email, I got your new book and its just awesome I recommend it to everyone.

Brian said...

I'll give the type one guess Quadrille

Jerome said...

hmm.. The Clare Lancers set?

D said...

I'm going to guess the Caledonian Set? http://www.setdancingnews.net/teacher/caledonian.htm
This isn't an exact match but it has six figures, each starting with circle and ending with house, the first one circling twice. It also says "there are slight variations in some of the figures in different areas."
I'll keep looking.

D said...

The Ardgroom/Beara polka set is another possibility
http://www.setdancingnews.net/teacher/ARDGROOM.HTM

D said...

All right, I talked to an expert (the author of that site), and he thinks it might be Clare Myserks/Mazurka. Since he knows more about it than I do, I'm going with that as my final answer.

James Gurney said...

D: You are correct! It is the Mazurka set. (jgurneyart@yahoo.com). Please email me your address, and I will send you a poster (as well as Brian, who guessed that the code described Irish dancing).

angelas said...

(life to death)
These symbols describe shortly different kinds of life starting with two couples met then lady became pregnant and start delivering the baby and after the first double slash and 2 points the life of the newborn is starting and this the same at 4 conditions 4 and 6 are differs now let`s talk about the differences
1- baby has been delivered and still with the family for a while then become ill and entered to a hospital and died .
2-after delivering the baby did n`t stay with them then died too.
3-baby stay with them then died.
4-couple had been separated before Pregnancy then back to each other and still together until death.
5- had a baby and life together in happiness until death.
6-this condition seem different because this couple still together without any children and their life seem immortal and full with love !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
that`s what i guess about this