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My Missing CDs
...and other missing items

Since August 2006 my CD collection has been gradually going missing. The CDs vanish from the CD pile and cannot be found no matter what - they are nowhere in my gaff at all. This peculiar behaviour is due to macroscopic quantum tunnelling, described here. I describe the situation in some detail as background to my Volvo Amazon project article, so I will not spend too much time on it here; basically what's happening is that following periods of high CPU load on my quantum processing system, CDs are observed to disappear without trace; they reappear in some indeterminate location at a probable distance of many miles because in terms of their wave functions they might have been already there. This is the same mechanism by which radioactive nuclei emit particle radiation, only it's happening with CDs instead of subatomic particles. (No, my CDs aren't radioactive, it won't harm you if you find one, but it might do you some good if you put it in your CD player.)

Where my CDs are ending up is a matter of question; there's a slightly greater chance that they're now somewhere in the Hampshire area rather than anywhere else, but it's not presently possible to locate them accurately enough to go and get them back. I have therefore taken to writing my email address and website URL on all my CDs so that anyone who finds them can tell me about it; if you are reading this page because you have found one of my CDs, then do please get in touch, even if the CD isn't an original. (I'm keeping backup copies of my CDs on a SCSI RAID array now, with distributed off-site backups of the ones I'm fondest of, and I can foresee the proportion of CD-Rs in the playable collection getting steadily larger as the originals tunnel away; while it may be trivial to burn another copy from the backup, I'd still like to know where the tunnelling ones are going to.) Unfortunately, the two CDs that have gone missing so far did not have the contact information written on them, as it was their disappearance that caused me to start doing that. But you might have found one that does have my details on it that I haven't discovered the loss of yet.

In addition to the CDs, another significant item that has disappeared through tunnelling is the original circuit diagram for the electric fan thermostat in my Volvo 164. This was safely stored in a folder with various other Volvo-related documents; it was placed in the folder on Monday 4th December 2006, and had disappeared by the evening of Thursday 7th December 2006. Unfortunately, as with the two abovementioned CDs, it did not have any additional information on it to identify it as mine. It was simply a circuit diagram scrawled in pencil on a piece of lined A4, somewhat creased and stained with engine oil and antifreeze. Again, as with the CDs, if you should happen to have found such a document I would appreciate it if you would get in touch.

Then, on the night of Saturday 20th January 2007 - Sunday 21st January 2007, another item decided to vanish. And again, it didn't bloody have my website URL or email address on it. One reason for this is that I had only just bought it - I hadn't even taken the plastic wrapping off yet. Another is that it's not really possible to write on it. There is a third reason, which you will readily deduce if you happen to find it. It is quite a small object. If you find it, keep it - I hope you appreciate it :-) - but again please get in touch.

Update:Friday night, 9th March 2007 - was not a totally shit night after all. This item was rediscovered - minus its plastic wrapping, inside the webserver. So it tunnelled somewhere in its wrapping, then tunnelled out of the wrapping into the innards of my server. Or someone found it and unwrapped it and then it tunnelled into my server. By the state of it wrt dust etc., it looks like it's arrived within the last few days. This and other observations tend to the conclusion that someone about a hundred miles away is also operating a quantum processing system of considerable but as yet not fully realised potential. If you read this page, please get in touch. I think it would be of great benefit to both of us...

And now I have discovered that yet another item has gone missing. It is the V5C (registration document, "logbook") for my Volvo 164. The last time I saw it it was in the folder where I keep all the documentation relating to the car, some time in December 2006. But on trying to refer to it today (Friday 9th February 2007) I discovered it was no longer there. Naturally, I have notified the DVLA... but if you find it, please post it back to me - note that the DVLA cocked the address up so you will need to change the "8" in the house number to a "0". Please include a covering note so I know what happened...

Update: The V5C has now reappeared - mixed up with some completely unrelated papers in a completely different house...

Then last night (Wednesday 21st March 2007 - Thursday 22nd March 2007, at about 5 in the morning) a truly remarkable tunnelling event took place. This one involved a Clipper lighter, of translucent white plastic with the base of the lighter coloured in black with marker pen to foil lighter thieves. I put it down on my bed and as I let go of it I felt something strange about the way it lost contact with my fingers. So I looked... and the bloody thing wasn't there any more. It had tunnelled in the very instant I let go of it.

A significant factor in this particular event is that earlier in the day I had been attempting to embed quantum steganographic data in an HTTP POST request. Other indications already tend to lead to the conclusion that the data was received and extracted with at least some success, and it is highly likely that the tunnelling of the lighter is a related event. For this reason I would be extremely pleased to receive any information concerning the sudden and apparently inexplicable appearance of a translucent Clipper lighter with black marker pen on the base on or after the morning of Thursday 22nd March 2007. It would be much appreciated :-)

At some time during the week or two preceding Thursday 14th June 2007, my CD of XII by Barclay James Harvest underwent a tunnelling event. This is the remastered version of the CD with the usual random selection of bonus tracks tacked on haphazardly to the end of the original album, and also in the case is a CD-R containing only the original tracks, to save the hassle of having to program the CD player every time I play it. I must say such an event is hardly surprising given the extreme level of quantum activity over that period.

The list of items that have gone missing due to tunnelling so far is as follows (the dates are a bit vague because of the indeterminate time between when I last played the CD and when I went to play it again but found it missing):

 Artist   Title/Description   Approximate date of tunnelling 
 Pink Floyd   The Final Cut   August 2006 
 Pink Floyd   Animals   Between Tuesday 3rd October 2006 and Friday 6th October 2006 
 Not a CD   Circuit diagram of Volvo 164 electric fan thermostat   Between Monday 4th December 2006 and Thursday 7th December 2006 
 Not a CD   Mysterious small item in plastic wrapper   Night of Saturday 20th January 2007 - Sunday 21st January 2007 
Reappeared in the days preceding Friday 9th March 2007
 DVLA (Not a CD)   Registration document (V5C) for my Volvo 164   Between December 2006 and Friday 9th February 2007 
Reappeared evening of Friday 15th June 2007
 Not a CD   Translucent white Clipper lighter with blackened base   Night of Wednesday 21st March - Thursday 22nd March 2007, at about 5am 
 Barclay James Harvest   XII   Week or two preceding Thursday 14th June 2007 




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