I got a sneak peek at the first episode of a new Great Big Story series called "Cracking the Code of Cicada 3301." It doesn't answer the question of who is behind the puzzle world of Cicada 3301 or why it was created, but that's because no one knows. Instead it focuses on a few people who have spent a good part of their young lives solving the maddeningly difficult puzzles posted by Cicada 3301. It's worth watching.
In 2012, a secretive group calling itself 3301 began recruiting for “highly intelligent individuals” online. Candidates had to prove their skills in codebreaking, cryptography and computer programming by solving a complex puzzle dubbed Cicada. It required knowledge of steganography, contacts on the ground everywhere from Seoul to Sydney, and the ability to obtain a copy of William Gibson’s famous disappearing poem “Agrippa.” What was the purpose of the puzzle? No one knows, but many set out to solve one of the internet’s greatest mysteries. At the age of 15, Marcus Wanner became one of the few to crack the code. But the Cicada challenge didn’t end there. Suddenly, more mysterious codes appeared—including a 58-page book of runes known as the “Liber Primus.”
Robert Ballard is the oceanic detective who turned up the Titanic in 1985, the lost Nazi ship Bismarck, and many other shipwrecks. Now he’s off to to find Amelia Earhart’s plane that hasn’t been seen since she and her navigator disappeared over the Pacific ocean on July 2, 1937 during their flight around the world. […]
In 1971, “DB Cooper” hijacked a plane from Portland, Oregon and eventually parachuted into the Pacific Northwest wilderness with $200,000 strapped to his body. He was never seen again. The D.B. Cooper tale continues to thrive in popular culture while sparking a seemingly endless stream of theories about the mystery man’s identity. In fact, a […]
Want to keep the dentist away? A little tooth care at morning and night isn’t bad, but it won’t keep the stains from smoking or fried foods at bay for long. If you enjoy your food and want to avoid the consequences, an upgrade from that old analog toothbrush can make a huge difference. Among […]
If your office works at all, it uses Microsoft Office. Those icons for Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook are as familiar around some workplaces as the coffee machine. So familiar, in fact, that they get taken for granted – and rarely used to their full potential. Whether you need a crash course in the essential tools […]
It’s a great time to be a maker. 3D printers are on store shelves for anyone to buy, and coder kits like Arduino and Raspberry Pi are letting kids as young as 9 or 10 dive into the Internet of Things. Here are a few examples of our favorite tech toys, all priced low enough […]