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Scar States: Particles Lost in the Woods

Author: Ted Isidor

Editors: Shannon Tan and Kira Tian

Artist: Jenny Li

Story of the Lost Hiker:

Have you heard the story of the lost hiker in the woods? The story goes that while a hiker was exploring a nearby forest with the hopes of finding new places to explore, he soon lost his way and was in dire need of help to find his way back home. While walking through the forest aimlessly, the hiker heard an old man standing on a crossroad calling for him. When the hiker asked the man where he could find the nearest telephone to call for help, the old man answered: “follow the path on my right and you will find an old payphone at the end of the trail." After reaching the end of the trail, the hiker was surprised to discover that rather than finding an old payphone, another old man, identical to the one he last talked to, was waiting for him. He told the hiker, “the old payphone is no longer here, you must take the path on my right.” After this encounter, the hiker follows the instruction of the second old man only to end up where he started. In situations like this, characters like the hiker always seem to end up where they started, forming a path that can be used to find out the “trajectory” of this hiker and as well create an encoded message.