Easter Eggs

July 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm (Blogging) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Understandably, it’s a little late in the year to be writing about Easter.

But I’m not talking about these sorts of Easter Eggs (though I will definitely have to try making these eggs next April, especially since Easter next year falls very close to my birthday).

I’m talking about clues, hints, and things implied though not directly expressed. I’m talking about how language evolves and changes as our lives and technologies expand and change.

According to Wikipedia, an Easter Egg is

An intentional hidden message, in-joke or feature in a work such as a computer program, web page, video game, movie, book or crossword. The term draws a parallel with the custom of the Easter egg hunts observed in many Western nations as well as the last Russian imperial family’s tradition of giving elaborately jeweled egg-shaped creations by Carl Fabergé which contained hidden surprises.

The Easter Egg Archive, which lists found Easter Eggs in DVDs, Software, Movies, Music, TV, Books and Art states that

Our general rule is that the reference must be either extremely subtle or extremely well hidden to be considered an Egg. Basically if even a die-hard fan or “expert” is unlikely to find or catch the reference, it can be considered an Egg. Also, it helps if you can identify some personal significance behind the reference.

This post was to be about how I use Easter Eggs in my blogging but after reading these definitions I’d have to say that’s not quite what I’m doing.

This post is about how I like to use links when I blog.

I am at heart an academic. I like to learn. I like to teach. If I could afford it, I would still be taking university courses.

Links are my blog’s footnotes; they expand on and define the concepts I am using.

For me these footnotes:

  • are used as an alternative to long explanatory notes that can be distracting,
  • are used as a bibliographic tool, ie where did that item originate from,
  • are used for additional information or as explanatory notes,
  • are used as a signpost to direct the reader to more information,
  • are used  to point to a quote or expand on a viewpoint,
  • are used to acknowledge information gained from another source.

It’s like going for a walk and stumbling onto unexpected graffiti (see above picture). The walk is like blogging, something I normally do, and the graffiti is a link to something different and unexpected.

I like to link in such a way that it leads you, the reader, to somewhere both semi-expected and unexpected.

In last week’s blog, The Case of the Colourful Locks, the mystery link takes you to a website called Stop, You’re Killing Me which is a resource for lovers of mystery, crime, thriller, spy, and suspense books. The Ed McBain link, rather than going to the author’s website which would be an expected link, takes you to CRIME & MYSTERY WRITING a website that contains resources on these two topics.

April’s post Things That Make Me Smile: Book Edition consists of pictures and brief sentences hinting at books, the links take you to the books that these pictures remind me of. Here I was experimenting with illustrating both the concrete (actual books) and the conceptual (how I picture these books). The links are there so that you can get an idea of who I am and what I see.

May’s Poetry Interlude is more abstract. Here you have an original poem with links that tease and tantalize. I’m trying to show you who I am, what I love and believe in which is not an easy task using a question, just words and one picture.

Let’s see if I can expand on this a little more.

In the poem’s fifth stanza, dressed to kill is linked; the link takes you to a website about Lizzie Borden. I like to read about famous unsolved mysteries, Lizzie’s is one I’ve read a lot on – pretty well every book ever written and the original trail transcript as well. Lizzie’s dress is important to the case and thus I thought an interesting link for this elusive phrase in my poem about time travel. Linked in the final stanza of the poem, the term creature applies to how I see myself, as aloof, mythical, non-human, and links to the Wikipedia definition. I ask myself, does my interest in the morbid paint me as inhumane?

My links, like me, are not really dangerous but under the right circumstances could we be? My links are sort of unexpected but not really and not always. My links expand on what I like and perhaps they help you to see who I am.

In the picture above, is an Easter Egg, a creature.

Here are additional links to actual, sanctioned Easter Eggs for other geeks like me:

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