Understanding Lost – Draw Me A Hexadecimal

Hexadecimals are interesting; they’re sometimes used to encode messages, and that was the case with the DHARMA Initiative Recruiting Project alternate reality game. One of its components was Ajira Airways, whose logo was on the bottle found in the outrigger. This one’s for the code-cracking geeks and the book nerds: The source code for the Ajira Airways web pages contains embedded hexadecimal code, code that wouldn’t show on the page itself. When translated, one block of code gives the famous biblical passage from John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Given the Catholic sub-themes, that’s understandable.

But the hex in the source code for the flights page gives: “So off they started about Irish sport and shoneen games the like of lawn tennis and about hurley and putting the stone and racy of the soil and building up a nation once again and all of that.” This particular line comes from chapter 12 of James Joyce’s Ulysses, the “Cyclops” chapter, and the context seems apt.


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