"The radial pattern on the left of the plaque shows 15 lines emanating from the same origin. 14 of the lines have corresponding long binary numbers, which stand for the periods of pulsars, using the hydrogen spin-flip transition frequency as the unit."
I certainly remember that, and I’m sure that you do, too.
Well, I'm very excited to tell you that I believe that a reply has been received. Bryan Williams doesn’t know; Bill O’Reilly doesn’t know, nor does Larry King. But I do. And now you will too, because Veritas-Any Day Now is breaking the story today and you are, indeed, fortunate to be reading this journal at this time.
How did I find this information you ask, this extraterrestrial reply to our primitive message sent some thirty years ago? And the answer is so prosaic that I am almost reluctant to share it; but I do feel confident about its veracity. That we would be contacted by way of ersatz instructions for the installation of a bath mat in a shower is to me a clear demonstration of a highly developed extraterrestrial intelligence and a concomitant and ironic sense of humor. No, nothing in the "return plaque" (cardboard, not anodized aluminum, mind you) about what we primitively call pulsars or anything about "hydrogen spin-flip transition frequency" or embarrassing representations of naked beings. Instead, our extraterrestrial neighbors have provided what I believe to be instructive glyphs or cartoons, if you will, as a gesture of goodwill and out of their concern for beings with tragically diminished intelligence. All so very cleverly encrypted as instructions for the installation of a non-slip bath mat to be used in a shower. Brilliant.
And to state the obvious, do these representations, found on the reverse of the cardboard bath mat cover, purportedly as instructions, provide any guidance for the installation or use of a mat on the floor of a shower? Certainly not. Nothing about these glyphs is helpful in relation to this "soft as grass bath mat" or preventing an old man from falling in a shower or, indeed, in relation to human existence in any pedestrian or microcosmic sense. It is my belief that this symbology, this intergalactic gesture, is macrocosmic in nature, and during this past week I have begun the exciting work of a preliminary decipherment and will now share with you what I can confidently say about my progress.
If you would use your cursor and move over the areas indicated by red circles in the illustration above, a caption will appear with my earliest conjectures as to the deciphered message.
And may I say that I am happy to share this exciting information with you, my loyal readers.
And it goes without saying, May the force be with you.
Addendum: I would further like to share that the bath mat is of course of superior quality—what would you expect from the design capabilities of highly intelligent extraterrestrials?—even though the “grass” mat is blue in color. A mistake? Certainly not. A message? Most assuredly. Undeciphered as of this date, but clearly a message, perhaps of an ecological nature. "Blue grass bath mat," the package says. Anagram? I’m working on it . ###
28 September 2007