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Border Codes

Mark Marino, Author

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Poem 13 -- Heat cramps

This code checks to see whether the data is current or expired.  If expired, it plays an alert.  Forever.  The pattern of this code is echoed in one of the poems.
Performing a freshness test, this section of code plays an alert message could signal dire consequences for the traveler. The information they are relying on for survival is out of date. Note how the code alternates between conditions and alert messages. The all-caps parameters "FOREVER" and "ERROR" leap out at the human reader in alarm.  The warning message is repeated.

A parallel sequence can be found in one of Amy Sara Carroll's most chilling works, which alternates between a voice, calmly describing symptoms and conditions and another full of imperatives which, like the alert message, repeats.
Heat cramps, relatively mild, signal dehydration and loss of sodium. Drink water, rest in the shade; seek water at twilight. Heat illness is an injury whose symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, fainting, nausea, vomiting. Redux: Drink water, rest in the shade; seek water at twilight. Heat exhaustion produces sweating, clammy skin, increased pulse and respiration rate, weakness, more fainting, nausea and vomiting. STOP. The choices from now on you make will dictate whether you live or die. Heatstroke happens when a person pushes on despite heat exhaustion. Trauma ensues—physical collapse, loss of consciousness, rapid pulse and respiration, a skyrocketing body temperature, severe disorientation, impaired motor skills, involuntary urination, dilated pupils. As heatstroke progresses, you will experience chest and arm pain, convulse, go into a coma. You will not be equipped to deal with these symptoms as they present themselves. Call 9-1-1 or 0-6-6 beforehand.
Compare this with a parallel section in Urrea's The Devil's Highway.
This page annotates: at line 123 - 132
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