I'm hoping to get the webinar on YouTube. Below are the slides, in PowerPoint 2007 format.
I just received information on two more notes that have been discovered. The person that found them (who wishes to remain anonymous) discovered these today. I'll be receiving the actual notes later this week. For now, I hope these photos will suffice.
Both notes were found wedged between pages 16 and 17. This certainly is a pattern.
These are the photos for the first note I found.
I thought it would be useful to write a summary post of what we know and what we don't about the Weldon notes. An FAQ, if you will, since the same questions keep popping up.
If you have any more questions, I'd be happy to discuss.
I keep hearing things like "sorry to disappoint, the notes don't mean anything, it's an art thing". That is certainly a strong possibility. I'm not sure why that should disappoint at all! I find the idea that these are a form of art really interesting. That still doesn't solve the mystery, though. Who put them there? When were they put there? What was the artist thinking? How did they create the font? I have all kinds of questions, so if it is art, I'd be delighted if the artist stepped forward.
There are now 11 more notes to work with! These were all discovered by the same gentleman who spent a Friday afternoon searching Weldon library for the notes. I will have more details later. So far I know the following:
I'll post more information when I get it (including book names, locations, etc.)
Two more notes have surfaced. Here is the first one:
I was provided the following details about the note:
I believe that I have one of the coded notes you've been analyzing. I found it in a library science book last summer, and have been puzzling over it for months (along with the help of computer coders, mathematicians, and other librarians in my program).
The feather is green with painted white lines and dots. The table behind the feather looks like a standard IKEA table.
Note that the code on this note is different than the one on the orange feather note, though on this note the text feathers are coloured green as well.
The second note was discovered by a different individual - here is a scan of the note:
Here are the details I was sent:
This letter was indeed found at DB Weldon on Jan 25, 2013. It was in a book titled "Mind Over Matter" by Barclay (GV1111.B26 1973b, DBW stack, ISBN:9780672518676). Unfortunately I don't know what page it was tucked into since it fell out of the book before I could open. The letter was in a plain white envelop except for some small print on the back that appears to be from TD Bank. The back of the note had a typed link to 000xyz.blog.ca
Earlier I had tweeted that this note came from Taylor, but it turns it is was from Weldon as well and was discovered over a year ago.
This note appears identical to the green jewel note, except the diamond symbols are coloured blue and not green. The vase is even the same.
There are now five notes in total:
Matt Law pointed out that the exact images appear to be nearly the first thing that appears when you conduct a Google image search for those terms (pillow, glass, vase, table).
I'm not sure we're any closer to solving this, but it's been fun seeing all these notes.
I received an e-mail from a Weldon library staffer. It reads, in part:
I have two more of these notes I've found, see attached for photos. Unfortunately I don't have the title or page info where they were found. They're the same format -- wingdings-esque font, special symbol in the code, small item contained in envelope, and larger image in bottom-left. They have the same URL on the back.
I've been totally intrigued by these envelopes, and for a while was considering finding an amateur cryptography message board to share them with. My coworkers, alas, are not quite as thrilled by secret coded messages, and speculate that they were part of a scavenger hunt, but have no other concrete knowledge of the origins of the messages.
I hope this helps you on your search! Keep me updated!
Each of these came with an object as well, but they weren't leaves. Note that different symbols are in colour in these notes, which matches the object in the note.
I was in the D.B. Weldon library at Western University on Sunday and discovered some form of cryptogram in one of the books in the 3rd floor stacks. This puzzle is really bothering me - I will pay $100 to anyone that can solve it.
I took the book International economics : trade and investment by Søren Kjeldsen-Kragh (call number HF1379.K535 2002) off the shelf and there was a plain white envelope in it. The envelope was near the front of the book; I had assumed someone was using it as a bookmark. It fell out of the book and I picked it up, while stupidly closing the book (so I'm not sure which page it was on. Roughly page 100 or so).
I opened the envelope and discovered the following note and plastic leaf. The leaf was not attached to the note in any way, I just placed it there:
All the letters are in black, except for the leaf symbol which is green. The letter appears to be colour laser printed. The physical leaf is made of plastic and has two paint splotches on it - one red, one cyan. I'm not sure what the grey pillow-shaped object is supposed to be. My friend Jordan suggested that the cyan and red paint splotches could indicate that the note is to be read with 3D glasses, something I need to try.
Chris Demwell did an analysis of the symbols, which is available here. There are over 40 different symbols, so this looks like more than a straight letter substitution. The font is Wingdings-esque, but appears to be custom made.
The back of the note contains the URL 000xyz.blog.ca which goes to a plain site titled DBW Stack (e.g. DB Weldon stack).
Let me know if you have any questions about this and I will post more info. It's bugging the heck out of me. Again, I will gladly pay $100 to anyone that can solve the mystery.
Answer: Incredibly bad. Attached is a very, very preliminary draft the London section of first paper in our Future of Southwestern Ontario series. I would love your feedback on things we can change or add to make the final report more useful.
I have been struggling for some time to figure out where Mayor Fontana was getting his figures that the city is up 5,000 jobs since he became mayor. He had mentioned that the figures came from the LEDC, but I could not find anything on the LEDC website that included this statistic. I took a closer look at the LEDC's Activity Update and, sure enough, the following figures are on Page 13 of their report:
Total Employed (in thousands)
With a source given simply as Statistics Canada. Fontana became mayor on December 1, 2010 so only the 2011 and 2012 figures are relevant here. Sure enough: 247,800-242,900 = 4,900, so that's likely where the Mayor got 5,000 from.
But which data set did the LEDC use from Statistics Canada? Turns out they used the CMA data from Table 282-0116, which is the same data set I used. The criticism from the Mayor that my numbers weren't perfect because they include parts of the county was a red herring, as the same holds true for the LEDC's numbers as well.
(As an aside, none of this jobs discussion has anything at all to do with the LEDC, other the fact the Mayor mentioned them as a source).
I'm still not entirely sure how the LEDC got their specific numbers, but it looks like they took a monthly average from the StatsCan data:
Total Employed (in thousands)
The 2012 number is slightly inflated because there was a significant job decline at the end of the year, with employment peaking at 250.4 thousand in June and dropping to 246.1 thousand in December.
The bigger issue is that Fontana's numbers completely ignore 2013! There were 247,200 Londoners employed in January 2013. That number had fallen by nearly 4,000 by the end of the year, with 243,300 employed in December.
So there's the difference between my numbers and the Mayor's: his figures were inflated by 4,000 because they were a year out of date so they didn't include 2013's job losses.
In today's London Free Press, Patrick Maloney has a terrific piece on the ongoing Sle-Co debacle. I found councillor Swan's comments particularly interesting:
To Swan, the move is proof some of the LEDC’s functions need to be brought back under city hall’s direct control — and the focus needs to shift more toward hanging onto existing employers and helping them grow, not just luring new ones.
“We spend all our time trying to do attraction and I’m not sure we’re doing enough to serve local businesses,” Swan said.
“It’s all about getting the big hit, the big company . . . our focus needs to be more on local retention.”
My experience with the LEDC was quite positive, so I have nothing critical to say about them. The general point, that cities spend far too much attention trying to land the big foreign company rather than assisting local firms is, I suspect, correct. I say suspect because I would want to see peer-reviewed studies before concluding that cities that focus on local development perform better economically than those that try to lure firms to relocate. But there are several reasons to believe Mr. Swan's general point is probably true:
Again, this is something I want to study - I put a lot more faith in the data than I do my hunches. Until then I have to believe that Joe Swan's general point is correct.