Fact and Fiction

Thoughts about a funny old world, and what is real, and what is not. Comments are welcome, but please keep them on topic.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Photo quiz

Here are 3 photos that I took whilst in the Land's End area of Cornwall:

How are these photos related? Give details to justify your answer.


At 16 August 2006 at 12:08, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice pictures, dude. The first is so like the end of the Wicca Man. Taken as a (w)hole - a load of cock, as Freud might say.

At 16 August 2006 at 17:09, Blogger Steve said...

Thank you for the accolade.

The photo that looks like the final scene of The Wicker Man is actually a trellis-like tower carrying a load of aerials, which is lit up from behind by the rising sun.

At 17 August 2006 at 01:19, Blogger caterpillar said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 17 August 2006 at 01:41, Blogger caterpillar said...

Mundanely, they relate to the "Pi quest". The first is an Aeriel, relating to the album. The second is Travedah, relating to the "gross" co-ordinates in Pi, the song, and the third is a Train (might as well capitalise on the idiom) relating to the theory of another gnostic artifact hidden somewhere, ibid., and to new revelations you came to in Cornwall (where you visited Eden).

At 17 August 2006 at 20:40, Blogger Steve said...

New revelations? Eden? Wherever did you get those ideas?

Indeed the photos do relate to the "Pi" quest (for the uninitiated, "Pi" is a song on Kate Bush's album "Aerial"):

1. The first photo is the actual aerial on Carn Bean near St Just in Cornwall at OS coordinate SW383332. This OS coordinate is hidden in the "Aerial" sleeve notes as the first digits of the following digit blocks of "Pi":

3.1415926535 897932
3846 264 338 3279

As usual, you have to reverse the two blocks of digits (i.e. 383->383 and 233->332) to obtain the required OS coordinate.

I rather liked the way the rising sun motif is combined with the aerial motif in this photo.

2. The second photo is indeed Tredarvah in St Ives in Cornwall at OS coordinate SW533385. This OS coordinate is hidden in the 6 most strongly stressed digits 3..3..5..5..8..3 as sung in "Pi".

As usual, you have to reverse the two blocks of digits (i.e. 335->533 and 583->385) to obtain the required OS coordinate.

This location distinguishes itself by being surrounded by a circle of trees, two parts of which are visible in the photo (i.e. near and far arcs).

3. The third photo is actually a narrow-gauge locomotive that runs around a small circular track at a wildlife sanctuary near St Ives in Cornwall. The place is called Paradise Park, and it is at OS coordinate SW555366.

I don't recall ever finding this OS coordinate hidden in "Pi" (but I'll bet it's hidden in there somewhere), but there is a lot of circumstantial evidence that it is alluded to in the song. For instance, the (infamous) 22 missing digits of Pi in "Pi" represent a tunnel that the Paradise Park railway runs though at one point on its circuit, one of the strongly stressed 3's in "Pi" is also sung sharp just like a train whistle, and there are various other interesting things that point to the Paradise Park railway...

At 18 August 2006 at 16:49, Blogger caterpillar said...

I just assumed it was The Eden Project based on the foliage. Looked a bit too tropical to be growing outdoors, so I figured it was in a greenhouse. It would have to be a big greenhouse, to find a train and track in it, and TEP is in Cornwall.

As for new revelations (didn't mean it in a biblical sense; mentioning Eden might have made you think that), the fact that you came back with 3 Pi-related photos (welcome back, by the way) means you've got something on your mind that you want to tell us about the story...

I guess the gague of the railway connects in some way to the mention you made of gagues in your Pi site?

At 18 August 2006 at 17:46, Blogger Steve said...

I took quite a few photos connected with "Aerial" album in one way or another. The 3 photos that I posted (especially the first 2 photos) were ones that had a simple and convincing explanation in terms of information hidden in the album.

As for new revelations, do you recall that you said that you didn't find any flowers at the tin mine? You said here:

"I'm not quite sure what to make of your exhortations to examine the flowers at the base of the Tin Mine. In light of your comments over on the Bertie page about unwelcome outside interference and jokes (sorry for the cross-linking, btw), I wonder if you were just being flippant? In any event, I did visit the Mine (see flickr for photos), but didn't find a vase. There were flowers at Men-an-Tol itself, but none at the mine..."

Do you recall what date it was that you saw no flowers?

The reason that I ask this is that when I arrived at the tin mine on 24th July 2006 there were 3 vases of flowers, all of which were clearly many days past their best. Not only that, but these flowers were periodically replaced (seemingly by pixies in the middle of the night!) throughout the entire duration of my stay in Cornwall, up until 12th August 2006.

As for whether the flowers were just that (i.e. a floral display), or whether they were being used to encode information (e.g. in the number and arrangement of the flowers), I have no positive results on the second of these possibilities. Naturally (most people would call this highly unnatural!), I applied my "pattern detecting" tricks to the flowers, and there were consistent ways of extracting locations and times/dates from the various instances of the floral display.

OK then, the acid test was for me to turn up at the locations/times/dates that I had extracted from the flowers, and to see what happened there. Sadly, the result in every case was that nothing obvious happened, so I have to conclude that either I misread the information, or there was no information encoded in the flowers in the first place.

Sadly, I now tend towards the view that the flowers were just that (i.e. a floral display), but I can't shake off the suspicion that something odd might be going on. Why were there no flowers when you were there, yet there was a continuous display of flowers for the entire duration of my visit?

At 18 August 2006 at 18:43, Blogger caterpillar said...

I should probably have followed up when you asked me about the flowers... I meant to say that they might have been there, and maybe not. Just that I didn't see any. Also, I'd already been to Men-an-Tol by the time I read your post, so I didn't have my eyes open for flowers.

I did walk around the building and saw the "Colossus Caves" entrance, but I didn't notice flowers at all. I did see a floral arrangement down at Men an Tol, which are in my photos. I examined them, took a few shots and figured it was some locals or visitors sprucing the stones up. In the same vein, I also found a small red gem (hmmm... sounding like Colossus Cave again) in fairly clear view just under the O stone. I took all of this to be just decoration, or offerings from some visitor, and figured it was ultimately uninteresting. So that's why I say I might have overlooked or just not paid any attention to flowers up at the Tin Mine, whether they were there or not.

I see from your photo that the sign at Tredarvah has changed since my visit. What does the new sign say?

My flickr photoset "Pi" has three new photos for those points.

At 18 August 2006 at 18:45, Blogger caterpillar said...

Also, just randomly, I happened to hear KB on the radio last night doing a cover version of "Sexual Healing". What a voice...

At 18 August 2006 at 19:05, Blogger Steve said...

The tin mine flowers are always placed in a recess at the base of the chimney. If you walk all the way around the building then you can't possibly overlook them.

I have a photo of the signpost at Tredarvah that I took on 10th December 2005 which reads:


I have another photo (a companion of the one that I posted here) which I took on 6th August 2006 which reads:


There are actually 3 houses inside the circle of trees (this is shown on the OS map), and these are their names. Originally, there was only one house (I have an old 1996 vintage OS map that shows this), and it was called "Tredarvah".

The "TREDARVAH" appears washed out in my recent photo(s). I don't recall it having this appearance to my eyes when I was there. I presume the photo's exposure is not ideal.

"Sexual Healing" is the B-side of the KOTM single, and I agree that it's the voice that heals you pretty well all by itself!

At 17 November 2006 at 17:01, Blogger caterpillar said...

Hi Steve,

I noticed recently that you've decided to take down your Great Big Circle website. I think it's a pity, but ultimately that's your decision.

There were a few things I wanted to follow up with you on the whole story, but I don't want to go into them here. I wonder could you could drop me a line by email? Take my blogger display name and add 69@eircom.net to get my email address. I would really appreciate hearing from you!


At 17 November 2006 at 18:22, Blogger Steve said...

I took the site down 10 days ago, on the first anniversary of the release of Aerial. Some of the information that I had posted there during the early stages of my analysis of Pi had become out of date, so at the very least the web site needed a major overhaul, but taking the site down was by far the easiest option.

At 17 November 2006 at 23:50, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeez guys, get a life...

At 18 November 2006 at 01:06, Blogger Steve said...

Please put in some time to check the raw data (i.e. the song Pi on Aerial). There are statistically significant patterns of numbers hidden all through Pi; look in the lyrics, the melody, etc.

If you are unable to detect these patterns, or to acknowledge their existence when shown them (as my Pi website did), then I am unable to help you further.

At 23 November 2006 at 01:33, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, this is a message for Dave
Em, this is Steve here
I found one of your many leaflets in the park here today
Eh, consider me your friend, Dave, em,
I don't know when we'll meet,
eh, because I have a life

(now unfortunately, steve had forgotten to leave his number, but I dialled 1471 and was lucky enough to find it. Now, I rang him that day, left him a message, and strangely he didn't get back)

__V_ ______'_ _________ ________Y _X________

At 23 November 2006 at 09:24, Blogger Steve said...

The space cadets are really coming out of the woodwork now I that have taken down the Pi site! I'll not (yet) delete the comment above, because it is a good example of someone who hasn't bothered to look at the raw data.

At 19 April 2007 at 19:25, Blogger Declan said...

Hi Steve,

Caterpillar here again. I was thinking about our conversations here and I was put in mind of some things...

The more I think about it, there most likely were flowers and a vase there when I visited the Tin Mine. Someone else had driven up when I was there, and I didn't pay much attention. In retrospect, they had been placing new flowers there.

Another detail that I didn't relate was that I found several dead bees around Men-an-Tol itself and on the path to the Tin Mine. One was alive, but obviously having difficulty. I'm not a bee doctor, but I picked it up to examine it. I could only determine that it was very sluggish and unlikely to improve.

Thirdly, I'd like to thank you again for putting up the site and doing the work. I don't have anything as nice or unique as that Tesla portrait to give you, but I thought you might appreciate this sequence. I thought it fitting, at any rate.

I think that's all I've got to say for now. I'm glad to say that what started off as an interesting mystery remains so. That being so, I'm wondering if anything can be derived from this "Pi story"? I think the answer is "yes". At least, when I look back on it, I do think that. If the "Pi story" is a story at all, then I wonder about this part of it and what its story should be.

At 19 April 2007 at 20:39, Blogger Steve said...

Hi! It's been a while (approx 5 months) since you commented here.

I think recollections from this separation in time are unreliable, so I take your memory of flowers at the tin mine with a liberal pinch of salt. I have paid surprise (i.e. no-one knew that I was in the area) visits to the tin mine to check whether flowers were there, and on every such occasion flowers were not there. However, on every occasion when it was known that I was in the area, there were flowers at the tin mine. This could be a statistical fluke, but the number of experimental samples that I have collected makes it unlikely.

Tentatively, I assume that someone I know is taking the pi$$ out of me, by placing flowers at the tine mine whenever they know that I am in the tin mine area; this would be easy to arrange because there are lots of friendship links between where I live and the tin mine area of Cornwall.

As for your bees and the gem stone, I'm sure these are common things that you might find in the area. What would be interesting is if there was some pattern in the repeated occurrences of such events.

I don't know what to make of the integer sequence you point to, i.e. numbers of edges of polygons constructible with ruler and compass. Why is this sequence fitting?

As for the Pi web site, I will probably put it up again in the future, but it will look rather different, because I will include some maths to show quantitatively that there is a high probability that information is hidden in the song. I am amazed that no-one with a mathematical background has yet come forward to back me up on this; after all, they have access to exactly the same raw data as me.

At 20 April 2007 at 01:58, Blogger Declan said...

Steve said...

I don't know what to make of the integer sequence you point to, i.e. numbers of edges of polygons constructible with ruler and compass. Why is this sequence fitting?

Well, if the song is about the constructability of pi by running in a great big circle, then the sequence is about the constructabililty of various approximations of the circle. I think you've done an excellent job in weeding out what sorts of theories are constructible from the song itself, and which patterns are just ephemeral. I liken that to the process of figuring out which polygons are constructible and which are not, using only Pi (the song and/or straightedge and compass) as raw data.

At 20 April 2007 at 16:55, Blogger Steve said...

Aha, I see what you mean now. Though, if I wanted to construct a circle I wouldn't go via a sequence of polygonal approximations; I would go straight there in one step using my pair of compasses! However, I guess that the lengthy process of analysing the song Pi is more akin to a constructing a sequence of polygonal approximations to a circle.

Someone asked me the other day how much of the whole Aerial album I had looked at in the same depth as Pi, and after a brief think I realised that I have looked at only 3 songs in any depth, all of which contained hidden material (with a high level of statistical significance), so there is probably loads of yet-to-be-discovered stuff hidden elsewhere.

At 22 April 2007 at 18:12, Blogger Declan said...

Steve said:

I am amazed that no-one with a mathematical background has yet come forward to back me up on this; after all, they have access to exactly the same raw data as me.

I was thinking about that and it struck me that the puzzle is more like a crossword puzzle than in a statistically samplable space. If it were that easy, everyone would have plugged it into their CRM 114 by now.

At 22 April 2007 at 23:30, Blogger Steve said...

I agree that it is like a crossword puzzle, in the sense that you have to fit several pieces simultaneously to find the correct solution. However, it involves statistics because when you try to fit the pieces together there are still many feasible solutions, so you have to consider many independent sets of data in order to resolve the uncertainty.

This has been a recurring problem with Pi (etc), where there are some clues that are unambiguous, but others that are totally ambiguous. To protect myself from being duped (or from duping myself) I have learnt to be very selective about what I admit as "evidence".

At 23 April 2007 at 19:19, Blogger Declan said...

Steve said

This has been a recurring problem with Pi (etc), where there are some clues that are unambiguous, but others that are totally ambiguous. To protect myself from being duped (or from duping myself) I have learnt to be very selective about what I admit as "evidence".

Yes, I know what you mean. Sometimes things will just pop out at you. I got a mail yesterday with the name "Sama Bakht" in it. How I parsed it was "Endgame: Malone Dies Waiting for Godot" without apparently going through the obvious intermediate step. A little while later I was thinking about this peculiarity of some "signals" and "messages" I remembered that there was a message I hadn't read yet, in a book that I had in the other room. I found the (as yet unread) copy of "Net of Jewels" (it has an attractive Klimt reproduction on the cover) and sure enough, stuck into the back spine there was a message: '"Samarataine: * fip a scoubidous -- rue de RivoPi"

The examples are apropos of nothing really, and I'm not making any connection on seeing a "Pi" there or anything. Just commenting on the strange way that the mind forms patterns into information.

At 23 April 2007 at 19:52, Blogger Steve said...

I am well aware of the propensity for the brain to see patterns. As it happens, this sort of thing has been my "day job" for the past 20 years or so.

When I say that some clues are ambiguous, I don't mean that they are totally random, but that there is some leeway in their interpretation. Your examples appear to be random, so I am not going to even try to guess where they came from.

I always apply statistical tests to any perceived pattern, which verifies that it is likely to be genuine rather than the result of a coincidental arrangement of random elements. This is part of the standard scientific method, so it should not be controversial. This aspect of the way that I have analysed Pi (etc) is not sufficiently appreciated, which is a pity.

At 23 April 2007 at 20:28, Blogger Declan said...

Your examples appear to be random, so I am not going to even try to guess where they came from.

Yes, totally random. My thinking patterns generate a lot of brown noise.

At 23 April 2007 at 22:37, Blogger Steve said...

So, I passed your little test. That's a relief!

At 24 April 2007 at 13:15, Blogger Declan said...

If you heard any laughter coming from my direction, I'm sure it was just an echo. I was just making a comment about no point.


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