Lucky 7 & the Ghost Kid

On December 14, 2008 · 6 Comments

It all started with an innocent set of queries captured by my web stats. They seemed to follow a common theme somewhat like "strange boundary five points ma. conn."[1] The only border anomaly between Massachusetts and Connecticut that I knew anything about was the Southwick Jog, which I featured back in October. I know when I’m out of my league so I consulted with an expert, no less than Steve from Connecticut Museum Quest who knows everything about anything worth knowing in Connecticut.[2] Nope, Five Points is just an intersection in one of the least populated towns in the state. There’s no good reason for a person to be wasting any time searching for that obscure spot — like that ever stopped foolishness on the Internet.

Five Points isn’t even that remarkable. Is that the best Connecticut can do? I thought maybe they didn’t deserve to get the Jog back, but I kept that to myself. Heck, I knew something in Virginia with seven right off the top of my head.[3] For your edification, Seven Corners:



View Larger Map

Standing at this spot you could travel towards any of seven very different destinations:

  1. East Broad Street, into the heart of the smallest Census Bureau "County Equivalent" in the United States. Do not speed, you will get a ticket!
  2. Wilson Boulevard, to a really cool Vietnamese shopping center.
  3. Arlington Boulevard East, past Sniper Depot.
  4. Leesburg Pike past one of the Dogfish Head Alehouses. Mmmm… beer.
  5. Sleepy Hollow Road to, I dunno, some guy on horseback with a pumpkin head?
  6. Arlington Boulevard West, where you could continue along U.S. Route 50 for another three thousand miles to Sacramento, California.
  7. Hillwood Avenue, to, some suburb or something?

Steve saved Connecticut’s honor though. He suggested that I revisit the Five Points map, slide it down another mile or so, and take a look here:



View Larger Map

OK, that’s downright ugly, I admit. There’s a whole spaghetti mess of roads coming together so I’ll let Connecticut off the hook. But then I got to thinking that there must be lots of other places with Seven Somethings. It didn’t take but a few minutes to find a whole pile of them. There’s Seven Peaks in Utah, and Seven Valleys and Seven Springs in Pennsylvania. There’s a whole mess of Seven [name your favorite geographic feature] wineries all over the United States. Let’s not forget the Seven Seas[4] either.

Then I found the ghost kid.

Seven Hills, Ohio is just outside of Cleveland. I popped down into Google Street View[5] somewhat randomly onto this exact image.

UPDATE: A refreshed Street View image erased the Ghost Kid but he used to be located right here:



View Larger Map

The remarkable thing is that the kid appears in only this single image. Click on any of the four directions and he simply vanishes. What’s really going on of course is that Street View uses composites of several area sweeps. The photo car can’t move in multiple directions simultaneously of course, at least not in this universe. Travel one block north on Crossview Road and the effect is demonstrated rather plainly by the lighting change.[6] The illusion of the disappearing child occurred when the images were stitched together to form a continuous road network. You didn’t really think I was advocating a ghost sighting, did you?[7] Please. Cynicism and skepticism are my dominant personality traits.



[1] This is the actual wording of a genuine query. Maybe you didn’t know that what you type into a search engine can be seen by the owner of the website on the receiving end once you follow the link? Be careful what you search. You don’t want to be the subject of ridicule. I’d still like to meet the Little Einstein who found my website recently with the query that said — and I am not making this up — "what states border Hawaii?"
[2]Take back the jog! Steve’s blog is so good that I read it regularly even though I’ve been to Connecticut only twice in my life. Check it out!
[3] I know an international spot with eight too, but I’m saving that for another day. Here’s a clue.
[4]I had no idea there was so little consensus on this point.
[5]Did you notice the massive addition to Street View a few days ago? Something like half of the United States is now available.
[6]The Street View of my home shows a beautiful Fall day. Click one image over and there’s snow on the ground!
[7]I liked the title of this post so I worked it in. It sounded like a cheesy movie title. I think I like the title better than the post itself.

On December 14, 2008 · 6 Comments

6 Responses to “Lucky 7 & the Ghost Kid”

  1. CTMQ Steve says:

    Gosh… where to begin besides a hearty “thank you.”

    1. Footnotes are fun![1]

    2. Back in the pre too-many-hits-to-keep-track days of my blog, I used to collect goofy/stupid search queries that landed on my site. Heavy hitters included weirdos looking for “antique enemas” and such (mentioned during a medical history museum visit) and my favorite “Let me axe you a question” which was a pun I used at a museum that featured a lot of old Collins Company axes, picks, mattocks, adzes, etc. And I darn well know the vast majority of those searching are “Little Einsteins” who don’t know the word “ask.”[2]

    3. That’s right, I know what an adze is and even own – and have used – one.[3]

    4. You failed to mention that Route 7 is part of your 7 corners. For shame.[4]

    5. CT has a series of hills near the mouth of the CT River called the Seven Sisters.[5]

    6. My house on street view features a brown lawn from 2 summers ago which has been remedied.[6]

    7. I figured I needed 7 bullet points… Now we’ll see if you block comments with more than one or two links like I do.[7]

    Cheers!

  2. [1] Indeed! I wonder if WordPress supports footnotes within comments. Let’s find out.

    [2] Ditto, except I’m freakishly addicted and I’m compelled to check compulsively every day. If the stats were updated in real-time I’d have to start working on my tinfoil hat. Oh, my wife’s running blog targets a readership that’s primarily women with small children. One of the entries she posted while training for a marathon attracted an inordinate number of queries on "hot sweaty mamas" I imagine you’ll have the same problem with your Leatherman artwork photos.

    [3] I used to be handy with a sparge bag although I no longer need one.

    [4] I wanted to leave something obvious for you to fret about while you were trapped in the ice storm. That, or it had something to do with our neighbors’ raucous holiday party the previous evening. Pass the aspirin, please, and stop typing so loud.

    [5] We should introduce them to the Three Sisters near Georgetown (The Pleiades was too obvious).

    [6] The Street View car always drives by at an inconvenient time. If I’d known in advance I could have done this.

    [7] I use a great spam solution that blocks, seriously, close to 99% of the bad stuff without it ever coming to me for moderation. I’ll allow any legitimate comment to come out of moderation as long as it’s not too self-aggrandizing or annoying.

    • Mike Lowe says:

      I’ve been to that waterfall and park. It’s really cool. I happened to see a pamphlet for it in my hotel as I was walking out to go drive up Pike’s Peak.

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