Jeff, an artist, created the Dream Captcha to mashup the traditional dream-catcher and anti-spam gunk -- as a result, his dreams are free of spam:
Dream Captcha is a play on the idea of a traditional Ojibwa dreamcatcher and the technology of CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart).
So the idea of the dreamcatcher is something I’ve been exposed to since I was a young kid. In elementary school we learned how to make them. When I went on school trips to historic Waterloo Village in New Jersey, we saw them on display. After reading the entry on dreamcatchers in Wikipedia, it was interesting to read that they’ve become somewhat “tacky and over-commercialized due to their acceptance in popular culture”. I’m definitely from a generation that saw it as part of popular culture, kind of like it was the thing-to-do to wear a ‘holy rosary’ as a necklace.
Then there’s the idea of Captcha. Silly trivia: I went to Carnegie Mellon University where the Captcha technology was developed. Don’t you love that? As Wikipedia defines it, a Captcha “is a type of challenge-response test used in computing to ensure that the response is not generated by a computer”. You’ve probably encountered a Captcha before. You’re at a website, about to fill in a comment, and then the website asks you to type the letters you see in a box–the letters are all squiggly and distorted. Basically, a robot can’t read those letters, but a human can, so hurray, the site isn’t overloaded with spam and porn and whatnot. However, the Captcha technology isn’t limited to squiggly letters, and in fact, is readily deciphered by newer robots today.