A couple of months ago I have bought more than a thousand different obituary cards (second-hand :-)), varying in age from the first quarter of the past century until now. I still have to put all of them into a database and then study how they can be used/coded to reveal names, dates etc. Like in a booktest.
It could be done for example with Larry Becker’s system that is also used in Luna. However, since so many book tests already use the same principle, I’m also still looking for other strong systems that can be used.
I think, people will freak out if you know what is printed on a freely selected (1 out of 500 or more) obituary card...
May be forum members would be willing to share ideas on how to use the cards.
A "haunted deck" effect using the cards would be really creepy. Someone chooses a card that has a special meaning for that person for whatever reason. They then choose ten or more cards randomly and shuffle their chosen card into the pile. While the gathering watches in silence, a candle is lit. Then the cards begin to move and the chosen card emerges from the pack "under its own power." That would sure give me goosebumps and I know how it's done!
The main data received from every obituary card is the name of the deceased (which usually gives you the sex), birth date, death date. MAYBE one other unusual bit of information that can be summed up in one word. So given (fictitious info alert) Mary Hanley, 1919, 2014, nurse, you can weave an interesting story which includes her name, her sex, her occupation, her caring for others, her age when she died (95) and by doing a little fishing perhaps more. Four pieces of data could easily be displayed on the standard small cell phone for a quick peek- you just need a way to call it forth from a data base and get to your screen. The spectator sees the full data on the obituary card, and you only get a glimpse at the back of the card, so you need to be able to code in a number from 01 to 99 (99 cards is much larger than a standard deck of playing cards and there is probably no need to use more than that). It would be nice to be able to use color to indicate the first digit from 0 to 9. That leaves you with needing some way to code the second digit from 0 to 9 to completely identify the card with the four bits of data. For example, if white represents zero for the first digit, a white "2" = "02". If black = 9, then a black 2 = 92. Use a letter to number code, such as BLACKSTONE, in which B = 0, L = 1, A = 2, and so on up to E = 9. Combine color and the letter to write a little prayerful message on the back of the card, like "Blessed are the Peacemakers". If that is written in black ink, we have black = 9 and B = 0, so 90 is coded. "All is well with my soul" written in white letters would indicate 02. All you have to do is remember BLACKSTONE and your color codes (white, red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue, violet, brown and black) and a glance at the back of the obituary card tells you what to type into your phone to call up any of the 99 cards with their four pieces of data for you to expound upon.