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Embed stories in your computer

December 2, 2008 |  8:17 am


Installing the Tumbarumba extension in Firefox will hide stories in your browser; they'll remain tucked away for an undisclosed amount of time, slowly surfacing on the Web pages you're browsing. The emergence is subtle and gradual, and you'll need to interact with the story text to get it to open up and expand. How can you tell the story text from the text of the website you're on? Tumbarumba's developers say it'll show up "as textual absurdity." And one of the 12 stories has the word "mermaid" in its title, which will probably look kind of absurd in the middle of your bank statement.

Checking out the story titles is easy enough on the Tumbarumba site, but it's kind of cheating. The idea is to secret the stories away and let their appearance be a surprise, a gift.

Our intention is for the reader to not only have the pleasure of finding and reading the stories, but also the momentary disorientation of stumbling upon a nonsensical sentence. ...

But if you want to kick Tumbaruma's tires, you might want to know whose stories are included; the author list is after the jump.

The project is a collaboration between author Benjamin Rosenbaum and installation artist Ethan Ham. They created Tumbaruma for the website of New Radio and Performing Arts, based in Boston. I found out about it because of blogger Gwenda Bond's enthusiasm.

If you've tried it, tell us about it in the comments.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo of the Cambria Branch computer lab by the San Jose Public Library via Flickr


The authors of Tumbarumba.

  • Haddayr Copley-Woods
  • Greg van Eekhout    
  • Stephen Gaskell    
  • James Patrick Kelly    
  • Mary Anne Mohanraj    
  • David Moles
  • John Phillip Olsen    
  • Tim Pratt    
  • Kiini Ibura Salaam    
  • David J. Schwartz    
  • Heather Shaw    
  • Jeff Spock

All bios and credits are available on the Tumbarumba site.