Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Robert Langdon visits Canada
Robert Langdon chuckled to himself. Just how much longer could he fool Harvard into thinking a symbologist was a real professor's title? Thank God for good publishers. And Wikipedia.
He surveyed his latest landmark. He was in Toronto, Canada. In front of him was the CN tower. Langdon chuckled. Unknown to most Canadians, the number of letters in "The CN Tower" was 10 - the same as the number of provinces in Canada - truly befitting a national symbol.
It did not escape his attention as well that Alberta and Ontario each had 7 letters, symbolizing the symmetry of political bipolarity of Canada. Whereas Alberta was Conservative, Ontario was Liberal. Many people thought the bipolars of Canada involved Quebec - they were wrong. Quebec had only 6 letters.
Langdon focused his attention on The CN Tower. Not many people knew a sinister fact about the CN tower. It had 6 elevators, each capable of moving at 6 metres/second, while the antennae at its peak was 6 ft. Together, they formed the numbers 666, which, affirmed mankind's desire to speak to God by the opposite of The Good - The Evil - again having 7 letters, same as Ontario, same as "CN Tower".
Langdon was to meet his friend, Moses Abraham, the chief tour operator of the most visited tourist attraction in Canada. And Abraham was late.
Langdon had first met Abraham at a seminar he had given at Harvard on Canada.
"Do you know," Abraham had asked the American audience, "that the USA gets most of its oil not from Saudi Arabia, but Canada?" Langdon had nodded, and added himself, "Yes. All cries about our oil crisis in peril is a tad alarmist as our greatest source of America's oil is a stable country, given that the world's smallest jail is believed to be in Rodney, Ontario, Canada. It is only 24.3 square meters (about 270 square feet)."
Abraham had also nodded, and thus the two had become best friends. And now, he was late.
Suddenly, a small boy tugged at Langdon's jacket. He was young, seemingly one of the many tourists. "I saw a man being kidnapped," He said, obviously breathless from the encounter. He dropped this." He handed Langdon a Blackberry, yet another Canadian invention. Langdon's heart skipped a beat as he recognized it was Abrahams' Blackberry, through the unique telephone number of the Blackberry that was also the Date of Canada's Confederation. 647-107-1867.
Langdon did not question why the boy did not go to one of the 11 policemen always present at the base of the tower. He did not think why a man who would kidnapped would, instead of using his Blackberry to alert 911, instead write a brief SMS that held the code to a puzzle that pointed the way to the enlightenment seeked by half the world at one time in the world.
Langdon was on the case.