Saturday, August 8, 2009


Check out this perfect souffle my wife made (using Alton Brown's recipe):

Friday, August 7, 2009

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy "Order for Destruction" translated from the original Vogon

Infocom's classic interactive fiction version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy came with a fantastic assortment of feelies -- cool little trinkets and papers to encourage people to buy the game instead of just making a copy of their friend's.

Among them were an "order for destruction" of Arthur Dent's house and a similar-looking form that appeared to be an order for the destruction of Earth. However, it was written in an alien alphabet (which looks like a cross between Greek and Cyrillic), so there was no way to be certain.

I decided to take another look at it recently, to see if it was written in some kind of code. It turns out that it's just a simple cryptogram! I figured someone out there on the Internet must have deciphered this by now and posted it somewhere, but I can't actually find any other page about it on Google, so I guess this is the Internet debut. Drumroll please...

(BTW, all typos are reproduced verbatim. A few "uppercase" alien letters were undecipherable; those are represented with question marks.)


Be it known that on thi sday the 4th of October in the year of our Lord 1982 that by decree of the Domicile Demolition Department of Randomshire County, the residence of Arthur Dent of 122 Country Lane in The Town of Randomswich shall herewith be demolished, destroyed andotherwi se transformed into nondescript heap of pulverized rubble; thi sorder to be carried out postehaste, said resident(s) having evacuated said premiseswithin Now daysof the issuance of:

(Check one)
  • National Emergency
  • Black Plague hazard
  • Technical mattersfar to complex for the
    average layperson to begin to comprehend.
  • It'sin the way.
Said property hasbeen seized by Right of
Eminent Domain For Future Use As:

(Check One)
  • Parking Facilities
  • Shopping Mall
  • Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Hunting grounds
  • New officesfor Domicile Demolition
  • Vacant lot
  • Other (Please specify): Part of
    bypassbetween point A and point B.


We the undersigned do hereby authorize
the execution of thisorder through the
powersvested in u sby the State. God Save!

Commissioner, Domicile Demolition Department
Vice Commissioner, Domicile Demolition Department
Mail Clerk, Domicile Demolition Department

Copy 1. For issuance to Resident

There's also a few barcodes, though only one of them seems to parse. It evaluates to 051051010289, which seems to be a UPC symbol for a nonexistent product, though with a manufacturer ID belonging to Infocom.