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Discover scenic Kcymaerxthaere!
February 4, 2010 9:13 AM   Subscribe

"Kcymaerxthaere is the name of a parallel universe that shares, to some degree, our physical planet." Its historical markers can be found on the sea floor off Scotland, in Berlin, or all over America; historical sites include Embassy Row in Paris, Illinois, Krblin Jihn Kabin at Joshua Tree in California, and the Rock Wall of Stoan Orange Glef in Spain. A blog chronicles new installations. (via "The Believer")

It's chronicled by Geographer-at-Large Eames Demetrios, who gave a TED talk about it. He's the grandson of Charles and Ray Eames, creators of the Powers of 10 film.
posted by Zed (22 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
I would hereby like to profess my love for all things that rough up the edges of my reality without causing me to fail a company mandated random drug test.

I'm sure they're working on a test for whimsey even as we speak.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:24 AM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Kid Charlemagne, for the crime of possession of imagination in the first degree, I hereby sentence you to three years in a cubicle, without possibility of a soul.


Interesting project - this world will take time to explore properly.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 9:51 AM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think this is wonderful, for whatever it's worth. Thank you for the post.
posted by thankyoujohnnyfever at 9:52 AM on February 4, 2010


Yeah I'm pretty much loving this really, really hard. Great post.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 9:54 AM on February 4, 2010


Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius.
posted by grobstein at 9:55 AM on February 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


A couple thousand years from now, some archaeologist or the equivalent will dig up one of these plaques and either say "Man what?" or initiate a major academic fracas when he publishes about this previously unknown civilization.
posted by happyroach at 10:01 AM on February 4, 2010


I've read some of the links but was still unclear on the concept. It may be because I am slower on the uptake than most. For the benefit of those who, like me, did not grok what is going on, is it that: some people have created a make-believe historical timeline separate from our own; created one or more websites to publish and discuss said timeline; and erected various monuments at real-world locations to memorialize fictional events and other aspects of the make-believe timeline? If that's the case, then I think it is pretty neat. But I want to make sure that I am not missing something neater than that.
posted by Slap Factory at 10:23 AM on February 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Dear fantasy world creators: Stop making everything hard to pronounce and/or spell. There's a reason we don't all write things in Welsh (NOT WELSH-IST).

OK, done pissing on your parade now. Carry on.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:29 AM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


You've got the gist, Slap Factory. My impression is that there's isn't anything like an established comprehensive fake history, but that Eames is making up stuff as he goes along and finds opportunities to install plaques or sites (but I'm just guessing.)
posted by Zed at 10:39 AM on February 4, 2010


Salvor Hardin: "Kid Charlemagne, for the crime of possession of imagination in the first degree, I hereby sentence you to three years in a cubicle, without possibility of a soul.


Interesting project - this world will take time to explore properly.
"

And without possibility of playing DnD!
posted by symbioid at 10:46 AM on February 4, 2010


This is the sort of thing that makes me want to start a comment with, "You know, this is usually the sort of thing that I'd like to like, but..." I don't think that it's an alternate history so much as a reimagining of the landscape, similar to the way that China Mieville and Terry Pratchett have reimagined London with New Crobuzon and Ankh-Morpork, respectively, while keeping some essence of its essential Londonness.

But, at least at first glance, it doesn't seem that deep; I agree with Zed that it's probably just made up as Eames goes along. The thing that sets me off, though, is that there's this air of "well, it is deep, but you're just not getting it yet." Note, for example, the nigh-insufferable "FAQ", or the glossary, in which almost everything is "pronounced roughly as it looks" and most words are just mildly to severely distorted English words, which reminds me of a story that I read about some kid who invented a "micronation" in his bedroom and invented a pseudo-language for it that was this sort of mock-Romanian created by appending "-çü" or something similar to ordinary English words. Not that there's anything wrong with just farting around and winging it, but I'm assuming that they still aren't giving out TED talks to casual, ashcan-slipstream fartistes.

Still, I'm a sucker for secret histories, and there's always room for improvement. I occasionally have business in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, near the Paris "Embassy Row" installation, so I'll probably have a look the next time I'm in the area, assuming that the parties involved haven't given up and moved on to something else by that time.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:17 PM on February 4, 2010


Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius.

grobstein, Jorge Luis Borges would be so proud.
posted by IAmBroom at 4:07 PM on February 4, 2010


Double
posted by tellurian at 5:35 PM on February 4, 2010


ah, nuts.
posted by Zed at 6:13 PM on February 4, 2010


Kcymaerxthaere

My brain keeps trying to process that as an abbv txt msg

OKC'MERETHNXBYE!
posted by straight at 8:24 PM on February 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials triology came to mind, with alternative-Oxford and alternative-Bergen and whatnot.
posted by Harald74 at 1:34 AM on February 5, 2010


I live just round the corner from Bragansas. The plaque is well made, I'll give it that.
posted by gravelshoes at 3:22 AM on February 5, 2010


I'm sure they're working on a test for whimsey even as we speak.

I find that this works.
posted by Splunge at 4:13 AM on February 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Double, yes, but the old thread is closed, so I'll say here that this sort of thing reminds me strongly of how a good game of Lexicon feels.

In the spirit of disclaimerism, I should say I ran a game that made it halfway through the alphabet for a while a few years ago. It was a hell of a lot of fun.
posted by kalessin at 4:32 AM on February 5, 2010


Double, yes, but the old thread is closed
True that, but I still flagged it for forms sake.
How does that work anyway? – I like to think that the mods invoked the wayback machine and saw that March 17, 2008 was a healthy enough time for a repost. The site has undergone a major revision and also that there was enough extra information (re: Eames + TED) to let the post stand (but sheesh! 31 favorites to my lousy 1).
I was happy to revisit after forgetting about it for a couple of years, so thank you, last letter in the alphabet.
posted by tellurian at 12:43 PM on February 5, 2010


Relics of alternate realities are generally known as pragmaclasts.
posted by SPrintF at 6:04 PM on February 5, 2010


I'm going to make a blog of MeFi threads that were deleted in an alternate timeline.
posted by grobstein at 4:32 PM on February 7, 2010


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