toynbeemovie

In an idle moment, I typed my author name into Google (who doesn’t?) to see what matched up – and my screen was suddenly filled with images that seemingly had nothing to do with my efforts as an writer.

I discovered a whole collection of images that described something called Toynbee Tiles – and even a movie that had been made about them.

The picture above was a particular head-scratcher and I was compelled to follow the thread in order to fully satisfy my curiosity.

The thread led to a post on Cranesareflying, a blog that devotes a whole page to the making of the movie.

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Both Cranes and Newsworks, describe how Jon Foy, an ex-punk band member (Red Devils), was inspired enough by the mystery to make his budget movie about the Toynbee tiles – and won an award as a consequence (The Sundance Film Festival).

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Thom Powers and Jon Foy;

Thom Powers & Jon Foy

The same story turned up on Philadelphia Weekly and then on Red Dirt Report, an Oklahoma news page.

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Wired Magazine provides a concise explanation for this phenomenon, suggesting a quasi-religious campaign stated by Philidelphia’s James Morasco, who died in 2003. However, the tiles still continued to appear until around 2010, as far apart as NYC and St. Louis.

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There are numerous comments (some banal and pointless, but many refer to tiles seen on city streets, one as far back as 1992) at Metafilter.

Flickriver has posted a whole collection of these from various cities.

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And if all that wasn’t enough for you, you can now buy the tee-shirt. :D

toynbee tee shirt

I wonder if Fox Mulder has one of these? :D

Has anyone else out there seen or heard about these before now?

I’d be interested to hear.

This was not at all what I’d expected to find when I Googled my name. Have any of you done that  – and been very, very surprised by what turned up?

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