Week 4, Challenge 5 – “Influence”

Challenge posts will always have spoilers.

Happy Halloween, Students! Stella has a treat for us. Let’s get to it!

barking _ dogs. I
my frequency radiance. chokehold

to angrier science. o
gigantic jesters want. aneurysm

_ mark cypher. sergeants
_ grating a

 Like one student said, this looks a little like free-form poetry. To me, this looks like code. It is neither. I tried breaking it down by the things it was referencing like “frequency” and “radiance” or “barking _ dogs.” This could point toward frequency measurements like Hz. Unfortunately, this is also the wrong path.

Start by counting the letters in each word. Count “_” characters as zeroes, and leave the periods where they are, presumably as decimal points. You will get this list of numbers.

  • 704.1
  • 298.9
  • 277.1
  • 874.8
  • 046.9
  • 071

If you’re anything like me, you’ll try the thing that didn’t work before just to make sure you’re actually wrong. I tried comparing these frequencies to musical notes. This challenge has nothing to do with frequency. Don’t be as stubborn as I am.

Let’s Google the numbers. Hmm, they all seem to correspond to an ICD-9 diagnosis code. Let’s build a list of those codes.

  • hirsutism
  • unspecified psychosis
  • porphyrin metabolism
  • Open wound of other and unspecified parts of neck, without mention of complication
  • Unspecified slow virus infection of central nervous system
  • hydrophobia

Like I said before, happy Halloween! We’ve got bites, infection, hair growth, psychosis, and fear of water. Sound like some werewolves, witches, zombies, and vampires to me. Considering nothing seems to tie this all back to one particular type of creature, we’ll have to go general. You might try “monster,” like I did, and find that that doesn’t work. Don’t forget plural forms, students. Never forget plural forms.

stl.la/monsters takes us to today’s Halloween reward.