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The Exploradorks


Benjamin Costa is a 10 year old boy. He gets a kick out of practicing karate in his itsy-bitsy community of Beaverton. The last Census showed there were only about 826 people living there. His mother and father, Melissa and Noah, are both writers. Benjamin is quite fun-loving and persistent. But like any kid, he can also be disobedient. He has a bulldog named Jasper. They often go on jaunts together. One day, they went to the rainforest. They have been there at least a jillion times over the years. However, this time was weird.

It was a very slippery morning when they voted (how much does a bulldog vote count for anyway?) to slink out of the house. Benjamin pocketed his silly putty as the basement door shut behind them. Jasper moved around. They could see the rainforest a mile or so away. Benjamin opened his sack and withdrew an apple. He dished out a very small piece to Jasper. After a 1.5 mile walk they materialized at the rainforest. Benjamin's right pinky toe twinged so they stopped. "Jasper, look what I found!", he whispered. Jasper did a little circle. He used his silly putty to take samples. But samples of what? He had seen something like this in a magazine once, animal bones, shards of pottery, and possibly even part of a skull! I guess random heavy rains must have uncovered them. "How many hundreds of years have they been laying here for?", Benjamin thought. He observed a moment of silence and reflected for a few minutes, and felt somewhat mortal. "That's a good girl Jasper, you're so patient. I wonder what mother and father are making for lunch." When they got back to HQ, ramen was waiting on the kitchen table. Delicious!

Thirteen years whoshed by. Benjamin just turned 23, and Beaverton had grown up as well. There was somewhat more traffic and convenience stores. Curious people drove in and flew from all around to see Benjamin and see the rainforest. It turned out, the specimens that Benjamin so carefully collected belonged to our ancestors that frequented the area. These people were thought to have existed by archeologists, but evidence never turned up. Until Benjamin and Jasper, that is. How many cultural treasures lay under your backyard?

The technique I used to create this story was to make a structure, and then populate sections of it with random, but consistent, information. For example, keeping track of names, pronouns, objects, and numbers. I also use probability in various places of the story to determine if a situation would happen or not, for example, if one of the child's parents died, or if a certain phrase was said or not.

Here is the spreadsheet demonstrating this technique. Please credit Statisticool.com if you discuss or use it.

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