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Lost Blogging: FINALE!

Posted on Saturday, April 15th, 2006

Dave!The identity of my "lost blogger" from this week is revealed and explained in an extended entry. Don't read any further unless you are totally stumped! If you are new to the game, and want to give it a try, read the introduction here and then the entries are here: Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four, Day Five. And for those 40 of you who entered a correct guess in the runner-up drawing, I'll be posting the T-shirt winner tomorrow (Sunday) after I've found somebody to draw a name out of a hat for me.

Thanks to Kevin for coming up with such a great idea, Pauly for writing The Lost Blogs book, and to all of you who participated. I had a lot of fun with the project. But the fun has only just begun here at Blogography! Starting Monday, it's another week of entirely new big fun...

Blogiversary III

And now... it's time for the reveal...

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GENERAL COMMENTS
When Kevin first mentioned this project, I knew I wanted to participate, but I also knew that I would be unable to do a good job of it. I am a visual person, and writing is not a strong point for me... it's hard enough for me to write as myself, and writing as somebody else would be disastrous. So I decided that I wouldn't even attempt to write great clues, but instead supplement my feeble skills with pictures. Some people found this distracting and didn't like it, but it was the best way I knew how to participate, so I'm sorry if you are one of them.

What follows is an entry-by-entry "cheat sheet" explaining the various clues and what they mean. Once I've given out hints for each of the entries, I'll explain what the entries actually meant, and who my "lost blogger" identity is...

ALL ENTRIES
This Lost Blogger is constantly referring to how "Tom" doesn't belong on his page. You should ignore "Tom" because that's just a spoof of "MySpace" where 99% of the people there have "Tom" listed as their friend. You should also ignore the "DaveSpace" banner and the ad that's inside of it, because that's not part of this person's journal. Everything ELSE, however, IS a clue.

ENTRY #1 (click here to see it in a new window)
There is not a lot of information here, because it's the first day and I am just setting things up. Useful information includes...

  • This Lost Blogger is male, 35 and experiencing financial problems.
  • This Lost Blogger has held a lot of different jobs and has been successful in none of them.
  • The job that this Lost Blogger has at the time "things start to happen" is in an office (more specifically, a pencil sharpener sales office).

ENTRY #2 (click here to see it in a new window)
Everything you need to know about the identity of this Lost Blogger is right here. However, the clues are a bit difficult to decipher unless you are a sci-fi geek. Useful information includes...

Lost Blogger Clues

  • That would be John Stamos, Aaron Carter, America's Princess Paris Hilton, and Marvin the Martian.
  • The Looney Toons characters are visually presenting "genres": Sci-Fi (Marvin again), Westerns (Yosemite Sam), Romance (Pepe LePew)... and has Wile E. Coyote reading a BOOK! This Lost Blogger has connections with all those things!
  • This Lost Blogger is starting to get the writing bug.
  • This Lost Blogger is being heavily influenced by the DaveSpace journals he is reading... it's getting him to think of a "whole new world" - perhaps a world where you might find the photo he has chosen for himself: Marvin the Martian!

ENTRY #3 (click here to see it in a new window)
This is the entry that really blows everything wide open. It actually presents clues for things that are more well-known than Entry #4, but are not as easy to guess. Useful information includes...

  • This Lost Blogger is married and straight.
  • The new design here is in an African theme. This Lost Blogger's photo is of Mt. Kilimanjaro, one of the most recognizable landmarks from Africa. This Lost Blogger mentions Africa directly in their entry.
  • The animals shown (lion, chimp, elephant, ape) play a very important part in "the project" that this Lost Blogger is mentioning.
  • That's Minnie Driver and Michael T. Weiss (he's the guy who played "The Pretender" in the television show of the same name). They had the same job in two DIFFERENT works which tells you EXACTLY what "the project" is going to be.
  • That's Jane Seymour. She's a bit of a red herring, but her first name is important to "the project".

ENTRY #4 (click here to see it in a new window)
This entry focuses on something that this Lost Blogger is not as well-known for, and so I made the clues a little bit easier to guess. It's still very important, and could be used to easily verify the information in Entries #2 & #3 if you weren't sure. Useful information includes...

  • This Lost Blogger is caucasian, has two kids (with another on the way), and now 37 years old.
  • This Lost Blogger's wife is named "Emma".
  • This Lost Blogger is somewhat successful after the previous two projects (from the previous two entries).
  • That's molten lava in the background, and volcanic rock in the foreground.
  • That's Aaron Eckhart, Alfre Woodard, and DJ Qualls there... they had the same job in the SAME work which gives you a major clue as to what this Lost Blogger's latest project is going to be.
  • That's one of The Fantastic Four's comic book villains "The Mole Man", followed by a drill-bit for rock, followed by The Mole Man again... what do these things all have in common? They drill into the earth, baby!
  • That last photo (of a dinosaur) is a bit of a red-herring, but critical to the new project that this Lost Blogger will soon be working on.
  • This Lost Blogger's photo is of a "Gorn" from the television show Star Trek - he is kind of a "lizard man", which will also be important to the new project.

ENTRY #5 (click here to see it in a new window)
This entry is set up so that anybody with access to Google can figure out the identity of my lost blogger. Useful information includes...

  • This Lost Blogger's photo is their ACTUAL photo this time.
  • This Lost Blogger's occupation is that of a writer.
  • The photos are as follows: Tarzan (and Jad-Bul-Ja, the Golden Lion); John Carter of Mars and Deja Thoris, princess of Helium; A movie Tarzan performing a "Tarzan Yell" with Jane by his side; Duare from Pellucidar (and if you Google any of it, this Lost Blogger pops up immediately).
  • This person's friends are Carson, Venus, Carson, Venus (and if you Google "Carson Venus" this Lost Blogger pops up immediately).
  • At the time of this entry, this Lost Blogger had written 63 books... the most popular of which took place on Mars, in a Jungle, or under the surface of the earth. These creations are so popular that movies, radio plays, and other stuff are created on their basis.
  • This Lost Blogger has a writing rivalry with the author Otis Adelbert Kline, and the only person to sell more books than him in 1931 is Zane Grey (and Googling Otis Adelbert Kline along with most any other piece of info on this page will cause this Lost Blogger to pop up immediately).
  • This person's immediate project will involve Venus.

   

----------------------------

THE ANSWER!!!

ENTRY #2... put it all together, and everything is leading to the book "John Carter and a Princess of Mars".

ENTRY #3... if I were to tell you that those animals are named Jad-Bul-Ja, N'kima (NOT Cheeta), Tantor, and Kerchack, would you know that they pal around with Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle? Minnie Driver voiced "Jane" in the Disney animated adaptation of Tarzan, and Michael T. Weiss voiced Tarzan himself in the animated television series. Miss Seymour has the first name of Jane, who is Tarzan's wife-to-be. All things here are leading to the book "Tarzan of the Apes".

ENTRY #4.... the actors (Eckhart, Woodard, Qualls) were all stars of the movie-flop "The Core". The Mole Man lives underground. The rock drill can get you underground. The lizard man could be a "reptoid" from the dinosaur-infested "inner world" at the center of the earth. These are all elements of the first "Pellucidar" series book, "At the Earth's Core".

ENTRY #5... all info is leading to a first book in the "Carson of Venus" series, which would be "Pirates of Venus".

   

And who wrote all these famous books? Why, that would be EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS, the identity of my lost blogger!!

   

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IN CONCLUSION...

Edgar Rice Burroughs is one of my most favorite authors. I have read every one of his stories that I've been able to find. I have an extensive collection of his works in paperback. He is a true visionary, and a brilliant author in all genres... including Sci-Fi, Westerns, Romance, and Mystery. I highly recommend that you check out his stuff... mostly because most every movie adaptation of his books has sucked ass. Tarzan, for example is reduced to a grunting idiot in many movies ("ME TARZAN, YOU JANE!") which is the complete opposite of the Tarzan in the books (where he is an eloquent speaker of at least a dozen different languages). Burroughs' first work, A Princess of Mars, is probably my favorite book of all time. It is highly imaginative science fiction that's a truly stunning debut for a writer. I've read it at least 30 times.

Many of Burrough's earliest works are available FREE from Project Guttenberg.

Writing as Burroughs was a daunting task. One thing I wanted to do was gradually make his "DaveSpace" change from entry to entry, just like all those "MySpace" sites I've seen. Each time his speech gets a little more stupid, and his site design gets a little more garish and ugly. After twenty years, he's practically unintelligible, just like I find most MySpace journals to be.

One thing I worked very hard to do was capture events of Burrough's actual life around the time that his entry was written. This was not always easy, but it was the least I can do. Certain things, like the feud with Otis Adelbert Kline, were real. Kline wrote books that were very much in the style of Burroughs. Burroughs shot back by writing books that took subjects from Kline. Kline then retaliated by taking ideas from Burroughs. Another fact is the horrible financial troubles that Burroughs faced in life. Even once his writing took off and he had become enormously popular, he still had problems with his finances from time to time. If you are at all interesting in his fascinating life, there's a quick Wikipedia entry here, and ERBzine has more in-depth information here.

So, to any of you who stuck it out this long... thanks! I'd love to get your comments on this project so that if I ever do something like this again, I'll have a better idea of what works and what doesn't.


Categories: Memes 2006Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. Brandon says:

    Excellent work. Since I don’t have any idea who Edgar Rice Burroughs is (and I’m sure my wife doesn’t either) other than what you just told me, I have to say I had absolutely no chance.

    I think your entries captured what this contest and excercise was all about almost better than anyone else. I got a few comments that complained about the anachronisms in my writing. But the point is that these historical figures have computers and technology avaialable to them. These aren’t just diary entries, they are blog posts – A totally different monster altogether. I think a few people couldn’t differentiate between the two.

  2. SJ says:

    I was one of the ones who tripped myself up by ignoring the images and focusing on the words. AND I STILL DIDN’T GET HIM! Once you pointed out that the images WERE the clues, I went back and looked, and BAM! The Princess + Martian was all I needed, but the rest confirmed it.

    All extremely clever, and brilliant in its execution!

    P.S. Tars Tarkus. Just seeing that name makes me want to read the whole series again. Next to Dejah Thoris, Thuvia was my favorite character!

  3. Claire says:

    Wow! I am very impressed. I have to say though . . . I still have no idea who this. I don’t read science fiction. But I will take your word for it. Good job!

  4. Dave2 says:

    Brandon: At least half of the people who guessed correctly had no idea who Burroughs was until they put the clues together and did a little research. I admit that unless you knew who wrote Tarzan, this would be difficult without Google and the Internet Movie DataBase. But since I knew that 99% of the people playing would be using Google and such, I decided to use him anyway. I can only hope that people who DIDN’T know Burroughs, are now interested enough that they might give Tarzan or John Carter a try… they are an awesome series of books that are well worth reading!

    SJ: Yep, for people who KNEW who Edgar Rice Burroughs was, I was terrified that my second entry would give it entirely away. Even my character’s DaveSpace name was a clue… Rage-A-Saurus rhymes with “Deja Thoris”, it has three initials (just like “E-R-B” which Burroughs used to refer to himself often), it implies dinosaurs (which was a staple in some of his lesser known works, such as “Pellucidar”), AND it starts with “rage” which just about every character from Tarzan to John Carter experiences in almost every book! When I first started reading ERB, I found it funny how all the characters were “enraged” at some point in the book! :-)

    Claire: Even if you read romance and adventure and HATE science fiction, you would still enjoy Burroughs’ Tarzan and John Carter books! He is one of the most popular American writers ever, and his creations have been used (or copied) for dozens (if not hundreds) of movies you’ve probably seen! Give one a try and see… Tarzan’s romancing of Jane is hotter than any Daniel Steel book! :-)

  5. Bec says:

    I am hiding under my desk with shame.
    I love Edgar Rice Burroughs and have read a lot of his work.
    I am thinking that maybe I shouldn’t have taken my brain out for a good cleaning? It obviously didn’t work… Have to say it was really disturbing when you started writin lik dis on the final entry…
    Congratulations on a throughly intriguing Lost Blogs series.

  6. Rabbit says:

    I’d never heard of Edgar Rice Burroughs and I managed to refrain from googling ANY of the lost bloggers, so I had no chance of guessing yours. I was very tempted on day five when I thought, “I KNOW he wrote Tarzan. If I just look that up, I’ll find his name.”

    The spoof of MySpace and visual clues were a unique and creative touch that really made your blog stand out. I think that despite your claim that writing is difficult for you, you did a great job with the campaign.

  7. Karl says:

    Very well done, Dave. I was rather stumped until the last day. On day 4 I *almost* guessed Jules Verne, thinking your visual clues were indicative of “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and “Lost World.” But I decided to stick it out another day before sending in my official guess. Glad I did. Quite fun.

  8. Dave2 says:

    Most all incorrect guesses were for “Jules Verne”, which surprised me a bit. As of entry #2, my “lost blogger” was given a location of “USA”. I guess that the “Journey to the Center of the Earth” was such a compelling solution for entry #4, that it was easy to ignore the little details. :-)

  9. Great job Dave and I love how the clues all come together I did not realize the pictures were part of the puzzle. As soon as I knew that I was able to put it all together with Tarzan. I have read Tarzan and few other of his works but now I think I will dust them off.

  10. Eve says:

    First off, you did a brilliant job of lost blogging here. I think it was above and beyond, with all the image clues and such, though I’ll admit, I too was one of the people who focuses on the writing and ignored the images. But, I did get right away what you were doing with the MySpace thing and thought it was hilarious.

    After the first entry, I guessed the time period and that it was a writer, though it might have just been gut instinct. By the third Africa entry, I was starting to narrow it down, but was too scared to guess yet. The second I opened the fifth and last entry, I knew.

    While I am familiar with Burroughs’s Tarzan, I know nothing of the author’s works in other genres, especially Western and Romance (I’m really not all that interested in those genres). That’s probably why I was thrown off a bit.

    I will definitely give a look at the link to free books and see if anything else grabs my attention.

    Bravo, Dave!!!

  11. suze says:

    i had no clue what so ever. but your clues and redherrings and the davespace blog were all brilliant. you’ve simply blown me away. well done!

  12. Bre says:

    Excellent! I’ve only read a few of his works, but I’ve enjoyed everything I have read. I’m impressed at all the thought and creativity that went into such specific hint dropping! Awesome!!

  13. Belinda says:

    Yup, I had to get totally slapped in the face by that final entry to get to ERB. My two early guesses were Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and Philip K. Dick. Yikes. I actually right-clicked on the final picture to see the name “Ed” before it REALLY hit home. DUHHHHH.

  14. Neil says:

    Wow! What a puzzler! Is it Jules Verne?

    Your entries were a lot of fun.

  15. *lynne* says:

    i had no idea who you were. well done! and congrats on the win! :-)

  16. Nicole says:

    Congratulations, Dave! I had no idea who you were. But now I have a recommendation for my next book to read (or at least who the author will be)! So thanks!

  17. quillhill says:

    I’ve stumbled upon The Lost Blogs just a bit late. Yours has me quite perplexed. I went to entry #5 first, and when I read sentence number five I knew who it was. Further clues, such as mention of Kline, confirmed. What’s perplexing is how, with four other entries as well, all of your readers were stumped? It’s surely evidence of some kind of major failure in our twenty-first century society.

  18. Jill says:

    Wow. Wow wow wow wow wow.

    I am happy to gush my fandom here (completely out of character for me.)

  19. Eve says:

    I am back here in the archives baby to bring you the latest news:

    Carter Of Mars On Hold, about how Jon Favreau is putting off doing John Carter of Mars for the time being so he can do Iron Man. Consider yourself informed, my friend.

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