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Carnegie Mellon celebrates 25th anniversary of 'smiley face'
AP on Bakersfield Californian ^ | 9/18/07 | Daniel Lovering - ap

Posted on 09/18/2007 7:43:53 AM PDT by NormsRevenge

It was a serious contribution to the electronic lexicon.

:-)

Twenty-five years ago, Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott E. Fahlman says, he was the first to use three keystrokes - a colon followed by a hyphen and a parenthesis - as a horizontal "smiley face" in a computer message.

To mark the anniversary Wednesday, Fahlman and his colleagues are starting an annual student contest for innovation in technology-assisted, person-to-person communication. The Smiley Award, sponsored by Yahoo Inc., carries a $500 cash prize.

Language experts say the smiley face and other emotional icons, known as emoticons, have given people a concise way in e-mail and other electronic messages of expressing sentiments that otherwise would be difficult to detect.

Fahlman posted the emoticon in a message to an online electronic bulletin board at 11:44 a.m. on Sept. 19, 1982, during a discussion about the limits of online humor and how to denote comments meant to be taken lightly.

"I propose the following character sequence for joke markers: :-)," wrote Fahlman. "Read it sideways."

The suggestion gave computer users a way to convey humor or positive feelings with a smile - or the opposite sentiments by reversing the parenthesis to form a frown.

Carnegie Mellon said Fahlman's smileys spread from its campus to other universities, then businesses and eventually around the world as the Internet gained popularity.

Computer science and linguistics professors contacted by The Associated Press said they were unaware of who first used the symbol.

"I've never seen any hard evidence that the :-) sequence was in use before my original post, and I've never run into anyone who actually claims to have invented it before I did," Fahlman wrote on the university's Web page dedicated to the smiley face. "But it's always possible that someone else had the same idea - it's a simple and obvious idea, after all."

Variations, such as the "wink" that uses a semicolon, emerged later. And today people can hardly imagine using computer chat programs that don't translate keystrokes into colorful graphics, said Ryan Stansifer, a computer science professor at the Florida Institute of Technology.

"Now we have so much power, we don't settle for a colon-dash-paren," he said. "You want the smiley face, so all these chatting softwares have to have them."

Instant messaging programs often contain an array of faces intended to express emotions ranging from surprise to affection to embarrassment.

"It has been fascinating to watch this phenomenon grow from a little message I tossed off in 10 minutes to something that has spread all around the world," Fahlman was quoted as saying in a university statement. "I sometimes wonder how many millions of people have typed these characters, and how many have turned their heads to one side to view a smiley, in the 25 years since this all started."

Amy Weinberg, a University of Maryland linguist and computer scientist, said emoticons such as the smiley were "definitely creeping into the way, both in business and academia, people communicate."

"In terms of things that language processing does, you have to take them into account," she said. "If you're doing almost anything ... and you have a sentence that says 'I love my boss' and then there's a smiley face, you better not take that seriously."

Emoticons reflect the likely original purpose of language - to enable people to express emotion, said Clifford Nass, a professor of communications at Stanford University. The emotion behind a written sentence may be hard to discern because emotion is often conveyed through tone of voice, he said.

"What emoticons do is essentially provide a mechanism to transmit emotion when you don't have the voice," Nass said.

In some ways, he added, they also give people "the ability not to think as hard about the words they're using."

Stansifer said the emoticon was part of a natural progression in communication.

"I don't think the smiley face was the beginning and the end," he said. "All people at all times take advantage of whatever means of communication they have."


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: anniversary; carnegiemellon; celebrates; genx; smileyface
Has it been 25 years? wow. :-)
1 posted on 09/18/2007 7:43:55 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

Yeah but who was the first to do “kiss my (|)”?


2 posted on 09/18/2007 7:46:05 AM PDT by Always Right
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To: NormsRevenge

and who was the first to -.- ? or 8)?


3 posted on 09/18/2007 7:50:50 AM PDT by Ancient Drive
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To: NormsRevenge
I prefer: SmileyCentral.com
4 posted on 09/18/2007 7:51:18 AM PDT by Red Badger (ALL that CARBON in ALL that oil & coal was once in the atmospere. We're just putting it back!)
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To: NormsRevenge
DO'H!

(_8(|)

5 posted on 09/18/2007 7:51:37 AM PDT by Vaquero (" an armed society is a polite society" Heinlein "MOLON LABE!" Leonidas of Sparta)
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To: NormsRevenge

=^-^=

Kitty Smiley


6 posted on 09/18/2007 7:51:46 AM PDT by Eepsy (The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.)
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To: Always Right

Or...in my case ( | )

:-)


7 posted on 09/18/2007 7:52:04 AM PDT by duckbutt ( If you let a smile be your umbrella, then most likely your butt will get soaking wet.)
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To: NormsRevenge

; )~


8 posted on 09/18/2007 7:52:39 AM PDT by Vaquero (" an armed society is a polite society" Heinlein "MOLON LABE!" Leonidas of Sparta)
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To: NormsRevenge

__o0o0__(º¿º)__0o0o__


9 posted on 09/18/2007 7:53:32 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: 3catsanadog; agrace; airborne; Ayn Rand wannabe; Benrand; bloodmeridian; buzzyboop; ...
It's a 'Burgh


Thing.™

Click for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Forecast
Send FReepmail if yunz want on/off BPT list, 'n'at
Learn Pittsburghese!
Free Streaming 'Burgh Radio
The List of Ping Lists

10 posted on 09/18/2007 7:57:01 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: NormsRevenge
The details of my life are quite inconsequential.... very well, where do i begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we'd make meat helmets. When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds- pretty standard really. At the age of twelve I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum... it's breathtaking- I highly suggest you try it.
11 posted on 09/18/2007 7:57:17 AM PDT by Greg F (Duncan Hunter is a good man.)
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To: NormsRevenge

I seem to recall this was a common “discovery” in high school typing class.


12 posted on 09/18/2007 7:57:28 AM PDT by chrisser
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To: Always Right
Damn, you beat me to it.

10 years ago, high school dropout Luke Snodgrass says he was the first to use five keystrokes - a parenthesis followed by an underscore, a vertical line, another underscore, and finally another parenthesis - as a realistic "ass" in a computer message:

(_|_)

Snodgrass posted the emoticon in a message to an online electronic bulletin board at 2:31 a.m. on Sept. 18, 1997, during a heated discussion about which Facts of Life chick was hotter: Blair or Jo.
13 posted on 09/18/2007 7:59:14 AM PDT by GOPmember
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To: Greg F

Hey! Vilma gets around eh?


14 posted on 09/18/2007 7:59:58 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: martin_fierro

In honor of CMU’s contributions to the world they should put a neon smiley up on Mt. Washington, n’at. It could even wink....


15 posted on 09/18/2007 8:00:06 AM PDT by PennsylvaniaMom (Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean THEY aren't out to get you...)
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To: NormsRevenge
Those things as silly.

16 posted on 09/18/2007 8:00:41 AM PDT by I see my hands (_8(|)
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To: GOPmember

I’m not sure at all how such a discussion could be heated. It is clear to anyone with properly functioning eyesight that Blair was way hotter.


17 posted on 09/18/2007 8:08:09 AM PDT by Publius Valerius
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To: NormsRevenge

The other day I saw a Seinfeld episode where George claimed to have been the first person to use the phrase “It’s not you, it’s me” as a break-up line. And years ago, Ed McMahon claimed one of his ancestors invented mayonaisse, and that it was originally called McMahonaisse.


18 posted on 09/18/2007 8:09:11 AM PDT by Steve_Seattle ("Above all, shake your bum at Burton.")
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To: qam1; ItsOurTimeNow; PresbyRev; Fraulein; StoneColdGOP; Clemenza; m18436572; InShanghai; xrp; ...
Xer Ping

Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.

Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.

19 posted on 09/18/2007 8:09:30 AM PDT by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: martin_fierro

That’s Kilroy! I guess you have to be a little older to get it. Oh, crap...


20 posted on 09/18/2007 8:13:49 AM PDT by andy58-in-nh (Kill the terrorists, secure the borders, and give me back my freedoms.)
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To: NormsRevenge
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21 posted on 09/18/2007 8:15:19 AM PDT by GOPmember
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To: NormsRevenge
Wow, indeed! :-)

A friend of mine attended CMU something like 20 years ago and she put the symbol on everything, even letters she hand wrote to me and reminded everyone how someone she knew at CMU invented it. We didn't think much of it at the time... Now it's a ubitquitous part of our culture.

22 posted on 09/18/2007 8:15:40 AM PDT by fortunecookie (Finally catching up with posting...)
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To: NormsRevenge

(-:, Trying to get the kink out of my neck.


23 posted on 09/18/2007 8:16:15 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: martin_fierro

Kilroy; ubiquitous devil.


24 posted on 09/18/2007 8:18:11 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: Eepsy

My kitten smiley.

>^..^<


25 posted on 09/18/2007 8:22:55 AM PDT by I still care ("Remember... for it is the doom of men that they forget" - Merlin, from Excalibur)
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To: GOPmember
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
26 posted on 09/18/2007 8:39:58 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: GOPmember

You are a very clever satirist.


27 posted on 09/18/2007 8:40:41 AM PDT by GraniteStateConservative (...He had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here...-- Worst.President.Ever.)
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To: GOPmember

that’s incredible!


28 posted on 09/18/2007 8:43:21 AM PDT by trillabodilla (Jesus Saves)
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To: PennsylvaniaMom

There's a precedent!

29 posted on 09/18/2007 8:43:49 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: NormsRevenge

I invented the “High-Five”, so there!


30 posted on 09/18/2007 8:47:57 AM PDT by the_devils_advocate_666
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To: NormsRevenge
Playboy centerfold...

(o)(o)
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket ).(
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket ( Y )

A tank...

__( )=========::
/~~~~~~~~~\
\O.O.O.O.O/

31 posted on 09/18/2007 8:57:42 AM PDT by GraniteStateConservative (...He had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here...-- Worst.President.Ever.)
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To: NormsRevenge
A bear...

  .'"'.        ___,,,___        .'``.

 : (\  `."'"```         ```"'"-'  /) ;

  :  \                         `./  .'

   `.                            :.'

     /        _         _        \

    |         0}       {0         |

    |         /         \         |

    |        /           \        |

    |       /             \       |

     \     |      .-.      |     /

      `.   | . . /   \ . . |   .'    

        `-._\.'.(     ).'./_.-'                         

            `\'  `._.'  '/'

              `. --'-- .'           

                `-...-'

32 posted on 09/18/2007 9:00:11 AM PDT by GraniteStateConservative (...He had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here...-- Worst.President.Ever.)
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To: NormsRevenge
"Momma told me someone would try to steal my smiley-face idea! "


33 posted on 09/18/2007 9:00:19 AM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: GOPmember
the later modified Snodgrass v2.0 included the place the sun doesn't shine...

(_!_)

34 posted on 09/18/2007 9:02:57 AM PDT by woollyone (whyquit.com ...if you think you can't quit, you're simply not informed yet.)
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To: woollyone
LOL!

And, upon the subsequent release of v2.1, the famous "pimply ass" icon was introduced to the cyber world.

(: ! :)
35 posted on 09/18/2007 9:14:58 AM PDT by GOPmember
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To: GOPmember

LMPAO!


36 posted on 09/18/2007 9:19:28 AM PDT by woollyone (whyquit.com ...if you think you can't quit, you're simply not informed yet.)
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To: Greg F

Thank you for making me laugh.


37 posted on 09/18/2007 9:33:32 AM PDT by KC_Conspirator
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To: NormsRevenge

Whatever the history, at least we have another excuse to drink.


38 posted on 09/18/2007 9:53:37 AM PDT by Nachoman (My guns and my ammo, they comfort me.)
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To: I see my hands

All your base as belong to us.


39 posted on 09/18/2007 10:42:24 AM PDT by Erasmus (My simplifying explanation had the disconcerting side effect of making the subject incomprehensible.)
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To: GOPmember; woollyone
OK youse guys.

What's this?

(_|_)

...a nudist sitting down.

And what's this?

(_!_)

...a nudist getting up.

40 posted on 09/18/2007 10:50:28 AM PDT by Erasmus (My simplifying explanation had the disconcerting side effect of making the subject incomprehensible.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Headline should read “Smiley emoticon”. The Smiley Face was actually created by Harvey Ball, in Worcester, MA as a marketing campaign for an insurance company.


41 posted on 09/18/2007 10:54:06 AM PDT by SuziQ
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To: GraniteStateConservative
"Playboy centerfold..."

Pffft...

Ascii Art "naked ladies" at http://chris.com/ascii/

42 posted on 09/18/2007 11:03:59 AM PDT by gnarledmaw (...Somewhere between Yeoman Rand and the M-U on the cover of Bone Hill...)
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To: NormsRevenge

Jeeze. How about a party for the guy who first put 80085 on a pockec calculator and called it “BOOBS”?


43 posted on 09/18/2007 11:07:43 AM PDT by ozzymandus
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To: martin_fierro

Ahhh...but shouldn’t it be Toshiba now?


44 posted on 09/18/2007 11:08:59 AM PDT by PennsylvaniaMom (Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean THEY aren't out to get you...)
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To: NormsRevenge
http://despair.com/frownonthis.html

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Media Relations
Email: media@despair.com
Web: www.despair.com
ABOVE: Dr. E.L.Kersten, Founder and COO of Despair, Inc.,
Announces Plans to Sue Millions for Trademark Infringement.

DALLAS, TX - January 2nd, 2001 - In a move that has millions across the Internet community frowning, Despair, Inc. today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) had awarded them a registered trademark for the 'frowny' emoticon which serves as their logo.

At a press conference, Despair's COO, Dr. E.L.Kersten, announced his intentions to sue "anyone and everyone who uses the so-called 'frowny' emoticon, or our trademarked logo, in their written email correspondence. Ever."

Despair filed suit yesterday in a U.S. District Court in Dallas, alleging trademark infringement against over 7 million individual Internet users. The company has requested separate injunctions granted against each. It is believed to be the largest single trademark dispute in history.

According to USPTO records, Despair originally filed for the mark in June of 1998, and was awarded a registered trademark for the 'frowny' emoticon logo on May 2nd of this year. Since that time the company has, through the use of the FBI's controversial new "Carnivore" Internet wiretapping system, surreptitiously monitored unencrypted Internet email and compiled a list of over 7,000,000 individuals who have used the ":-(" emoticon in email.

Compliance with the injunction will require the defendants to provide to the court and Despair, Inc. a report, in writing under oath, setting forth in detail the manner and form in which the defendant has complied with the injunction to destroy any email in which they have used the offending mark. Despair has also petitioned the court to require defendants to submit a handwritten letter which repeats the phrase ":-( is a registered trademark of Despair, Inc." one-thousand times. A ruling on the petition is expected within a week.


INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY SPECIALISTS STUNNED

The decision to award Despair, Inc. with a registered trademark for the :-( symbol left many in the field of intellectual property law stunned.

Suzanna Larkow, I.P. specialist of Larkow, Madley & Associates, said of the issuance, "This is a defining moment in the history of intellectual property law. To extend official registration to an emoticon, one who's common usage predated the existence of the trademark holder by several years, defies common sense and establishes a dangerous precedent."

Albert Firkus, co-editor of IP Monthly, offered a less dire assessment of the grant, "Whether the issuance is a dangerous one remains to be seen. What is certain, however, is that it appears that someone has finally bested patent 5443036 for most ridiculous intellectual property filing in history."

Despair's controversial trademark action is only the latest in an ongoing series of high-profile intellectual property disputes.

Amazon.com courted enormous controversy after being awarded patent protection for their "1-Click" ordering system, which allowed registered customers to place orders without having to rekey their credit card information. Critics protested that "1-Click" did not merit patent protection. Most argued that it fails to meet the necessary standard of being "unique, specific and non-obvious" because it relies so heavily on the commonly used (and unpatented) technology of "http cookies".

Larkow saw striking parallels in the actions of Amazon and Despair.

"They are legally equivalent, unique only insofar as one is a patent and the other, a trademark. HTTP cookies have been commonly used by programmers since Netscape introduced them years ago, yet Amazon has received a patent for one. Emoticons have been in circulation even longer, yet Despair has trademarked one. That Despair was inspired by Amazon's move seems obvious, given that they even included a reference to the date of Amazon's patent in their 2001 Calendar."


"AN INNOVATIVE STAND"


For his part, E.L. Kersten acknowledged being inspired by Amazon's legal manueverings and had nothing but praise for founder Jeff Bezos at the press conference.

"Once again, Jeff has proven to be a true innovator. He's really inspired a new movement in the dotcom universe- frivolous, destructive intellectual property lawsuits. I couldn't be happier to be a part of the revolution."

ABOVE: Kersten and one-time enemy Kim Polese
treat Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos to dinner to honor
Amazon's "innovative stand against innovation".

Kersten informed reporters he had personally taken Jeff Bezos and his wife to dinner, to congratulate him on his willingness to "take a innovative stand against innovation", and also to inform him that Bezos was amongst the 7,000,000 who had violated Despair's trademark.

According to Kersten, Bezos burst into his "terrifying" trademark guffaw before letting fly a litany of obscenities and storming out of the restaurant.

Kersten then intoned gravely, "Let our message to trademark violators be clear. Whether you are a 4th grade nothing using your momma's AOL account, or you are Time Magazine's "Man of the Year", we are going to hunt you down, and when we do, we're really going to give you something to :-(® about."


KERSTEN CONSIDERS NAME CHANGE

Kersten concluded the already baffling conference with yet another surprise announcement. He is seriously considering changing his name from Edward Lawrence Kersten to simply ":-(".

"The idea of having a name which so succinctly symbolizes unhappiness has enormous appeal to me."

Kersten said he had made no firm decisions yet but warned reporters not to plan to call him "the C.O.O. formerly known as Kersten" if he decided upon the change.

As the conference abruptly ended, Carla Pitt, manager of Despair's Customer Disservice™ Department, was overheard to remark, "Would this finally mean we can finally call him "Colon" to his face?"


UPDATE:Facing International Outrage, Despair Offers Compromise, Apology on :-( Ban



45 posted on 09/18/2007 1:32:46 PM PDT by zeugma (If I eat right, don't smoke and exercise, I might live long enough to see the last Baby Boomer die.)
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To: ozzymandus
How about a party for the guy who first put 80085 on a pockec calculator and called it “BOOBS”?

That's 58008 and you have to turn it upside down to get the secret message.

46 posted on 09/18/2007 2:09:07 PM PDT by SoothingDave
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