18
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Today I got a weird FaceTime call from teenage girl I didn't know. They must have dialled the wrong number, but I was too intrigued to hang up. Instead, I covered my camera and turned off the microphone on my end.

I had to go out from my house to go shopping, but it was the worst experience! I think I had a hallucination! I couldn't wait to be back home, so I could look up what was wrong and tell all my friends about it. I don't know... can you help me understand why it happened? It seemed pretty extreme, but a lot of my friends say they've experienced the same longing feeling, and don't know why either.

I saw a whole lot of images in my hallucination, and I swear I could hear things... in different languages...

  • The first thing I saw was a fish, but instead of being smooth, it had right-angled corners all the way around.
  • Next I saw a couple of blue and yellow snakes. Then there were three snakes. After that, just one, but a third of its body had been removed!
  • I saw a yellow and black animal, with a variety of mushrooms in it. However, it looked like parts of the mushrooms had been cut off.
  • After that, two images side by side. One was a brain, and the other was the right half of a watch. It looked like a kids watch, and it was apparently made by Swatch
  • The next thing I saw was, oh, I've forgotten the name for it. If you click the globe button on the keyboard, you'll probably see its name.
  • I saw an image of some train tracks.
  • Next it looked like the night sky on a clear night out in the country.
  • Finally, I saw an image of what was going on in the centre of the sun.

When I recovered, I was filled with a deep sense of longing. I also had some writing on my hand - I must have scribbled it on myself when I passed out with my pen. It looked like this:

#79v0";nn78             +00             +00             +00
#   -*- coding: iso-8859-15 -*-
#  1💬79💬➡
#  9
#  +*
# +8
#  *             + *
#  .     +     +     +     +     +     +     +     +     +     +     +     +
#  @
print(int(79-4*(1/2)))
'''({}{}()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()())
$ 'main' (--)
 \
  \-[66]o-#R'6!'5O'''

(Hereon is not part of the puzzle, just some random notes)

This story is based on a fictional event and taken from there...

Part of an upcoming metapuzzle.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That's... clever! Must have been hard to find code that worked as such! $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Apr 13 '17 at 15:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @BeastlyGerbil It wasn't actually *that* hard - most of the code is separate. I might post a small wrap-up and some time, perhaps... $\endgroup$ – boboquack Apr 13 '17 at 22:20
16
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The code block is

A polyglot, i.e. programming code that can be run in multiple languages at once. Knowing @boboquack, many of these languages, esoteric or otherwise, are commonly seen on Programming Puzzles & Code Golf.

The first thing I saw was a fish, but instead of being smooth, it had right-angled corners all the way around.

Running the code in ><> gives 78

Next I saw a couple of blue and yellow snakes.

Running the code in Python 2 gives 79. This line reference's Python's blue and yellow logo.

Then there were three snakes.

Running the code in Python 3 gives 77

After that, just one, but a third of its body had been removed!

Running the code in Pyth gives 79 (Thanks @Ankoganit!)

I saw a yellow and black animal, with a variety of mushrooms in it. However, it looked like parts of the mushrooms had been cut off.

Running the code in Befunge gives 80

After that, two images side by side. One was a brain, and the other was the right half of a watch. It looked like a kids watch, and it was apparently made by Swatch

Running the code in Brain-Flak gives 72

The next thing I saw was, oh, I've forgotten the name for it. If you click the globe button on the keyboard, you'll probably see its name.

Running the code in Emoji gives 79

I saw an image of some train tracks.

Running the code in Rail gives 66

Next it looked like the night sky on a clear night out in the country.

Running the code in Starry gives 73

Finally, I saw an image of what was going on in the centre of the sun.

Running the code in Fission gives 65

Putting it all together:

78 79 77 79 80 72 79 66 73 65 is ASCII for NOMOPHOBIA, a proposed name for the fear of being without your cell phone

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I believe I'm missing an O from the answer. $\endgroup$ – Sp3000 Apr 13 '17 at 14:51
  • $\begingroup$ I believe the second line mentions Python 2 (couple of snakes), Python 3( three snakes ) and Pyth (a third of its body ~on~ removed). $\endgroup$ – Ankoganit Apr 13 '17 at 15:04
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, of course. That would explain the stray quote on the first line. $\endgroup$ – Sp3000 Apr 13 '17 at 15:05
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    $\begingroup$ @boboquack Not really - I recognised most of the languages from the code alone :P $\endgroup$ – Sp3000 Apr 14 '17 at 0:28
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    $\begingroup$ Would it be unkindly pedantic to remark that fission is not in fact what's going on in the centre of the sun? (Of course a random teenager might well get it wrong...) $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Apr 22 '17 at 15:18
5
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Most of the metaphors are still beyond my comprehension, but for starters, I'll try to spoil some of them.

Blue and yellow snakes:

The Python programming language. Running the code in Python outputs 79.

Yellow and black animal with mushrooms:

This is almost certainly Befunge (bee-fung[us]), an esoteric language. The code does terminate in a Befunge interpreter (it reaches the @ character), but it outputs nothing. Maybe it needs some input?

Brain:

Probably a reference to Brainf__k. The Brainf__k characters in the code:
+++------+++.++++++++++++----[]-
The code doesn't terminate. It writes 8 to the zero offset, then enters an infinite loop.

Train tracks:

Might be Ruby on Rails. I haven't tried this one out yet.

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ "Finally, I saw an image of what was going on in the centre of the sun." - might be about "wnin" (rot13 to not spoil it). $\endgroup$ – Marius Apr 13 '17 at 14:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Marius Oh, 'Sun'. That's nice. $\endgroup$ – BaSzAt Apr 13 '17 at 14:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Marius Sadly, it doesn't compile in that language. There's also a markup language called PbyqShfvba, but that's not what is happening inside the Sun. $\endgroup$ – BaSzAt Apr 13 '17 at 14:42

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