Pooler Jones and I were sucking Guinness in McDaid's pub in Dublin and Pooler was arguing with a toothless girl of about 20. The Irish were still too Catholic in the first years of the 3rd Christian millennium and the young girl was alternately spitting and making a high-pitched whistling sound as she tried to counterpoint Pooler and his anti-papist diatribe. When, I wondered, would the Irish throw off the yoke of their pseudomorphic Christianity, change their priorities and buy their people some teeth. "Testiculos habet et bene pendentes," Pooler said, as if that should cinch the deal. Papa Ratzi was the new Pontiff and Pooler and I had been speculating aloud in the bar whether or not he had sat for the ancient tradition of the Inventory of Papal Tools. It was blowback from the Pope Joan Scandal and since then every new Pope had to show up at the Chiesa San Giovanni in Laterano and sit on a red marble chair with a hole in the seat while selected Cardinals gently probed under the papal robes to verify the sex of the pope. "Balls he has and well hung ones too." That was the formula needed. "You're a tight shite and the devil has you in his sack!" The toothless girl spat. But I could not help but marvel about the devil's sack and the things it could carry.
We began the Spike Speculum Veeaye in the summer of 2005 with a false start. We were toying with the idea of a code sent across the waters of the 45th Parallel North - that, and we were interested in ensouling a part of our local environment which had been getting bad press. To control erosion around a state road the highway department had resulted to Rip Wrap and some of the locals were pissed off about the aesthetics. Not Kenny La Roche. We like rocks and we like stone as an element of wilderness design. Most of us still worship the last glacier for all of its gifts of Kames, Morains, and Kettle Holes - for the rolling hills and all of the boulders. But we thought the site could do with a dollop of meaning. Maybe, we thought, if the site itself could speak it could tell us what it knew about the Great Work and whether or not there had ever been a Great Workman. Skippy, Minister of Propaganda for Kenny, was quivering & groping to explain the new sciences connected with Mirror Neurons and the part they played in consciousness and creativity, and in synesthesia and autism. He kept screaming that Elephants could recognize themselves in mirrors & that only the Great Apes, some Monkeys, and Men were supposed to master that illusion. Not even the Angels could see themselves in a mirror. So our thoughts drifted towards Specula as a medium for sending and receiving codes.
But first we had to test the medium: we planned to use especially calibrated & sitcheeated arrays of mirrors to reflect both natural sunlight and also the swinging arc of vehicle headlights as they rounded the curve on a road directly across the lake from the site and its new Rip Wrap. Slag was arguing for Morse Code and his math said that we could spell out our message in reflected light with about 72 small mirrors, once we got the tech down which could differentiate between dots and dashes. SOLVE ET COAGULA. That's what the Light would say in Morse. But then since that's Latin the code would not yet be totally decrypted. The viewer of the light, who could know that was Morse and that the Morse = Solve et Coagula would know nothing of the Message if he could not then continue and decode Latin into English where the Message would now read: Take it Apart - Put it Together. Now what? So what the hell does that mean? If that's all the further you could go you would still be an infinity from the meaning.
Slag had already cut a handful of test mirrors which we were going to use to try and break down moving light into Morse. First, he cut a bunch of steel rods into varying lengths between 16 and 30 inches. Then he bent one end of each rod into a pleasing arc which could present a platform to the sky at various AOAs - angles of attack. The plan was to weld a 3" by 3" steel plate to each rod which could then serve as a stable platform upon which to glue a 6" by 6" mirror. We set each mirror on its plate in the attitude of a diamond. We feel that there are things lurking behind some of the mirrors on these pages, and you should too.
Then we were going to stick 14 of the mirror-rods into a large stone where Slag had predrilled holes to accept the steel. The design was simple: 3 rows of standing mirrors set at various heights and AOAs. 60° of Azimuth split the mirror faces on the rows. The first row had 5 mirrors, low and angled towards the morning light. The second row had 4 mirrors, about 16 inches higher than the 5 in row one. They were eye to eye with the viewer when the viewer was on Earth. The last row was again 16 inches higher than row 2 and had 5 mirrors which were looking up at the afternoon. The faces of the mirrors in each row were set to curve in a horizontal arc of 30°.
"Steganography is the art and science of writing hidden messages in such a way that no one apart from the intended recipient knows of the existence of the message; this is in contrast to cryptography, where the existence of the message itself is not disguised, but the content is obscured."

"Generally, a steganographic message will appear to be something else: a picture, an article, a shopping list, or some other message. This apparent message is the covertext ...The advantage of steganography over cryptography alone is that messages do not attract attention to themselves, to messengers, or to recipients."
Thanks to the Devil Worshippers at Wikipedia for the heads up on the Steganographic. All viewers confronting all messages should be warned.
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