Ben Parzybok

will forget your name, and feel very badly about it

Help me figure out this 2D barcode so we can open the portal into the next universe

I snapped this shot in Brazil and my attempts at trying to decode that hand-painted 2D barcode (also called a matrix barcode) in the center of the photo have been in vain. I’d love to know what it says, which is obviously something like “Speak _____ and the wormhole will open”.

Anybody else have experience with barcodes or want to take a crack at it? Click the photo for the fullsize version, or use the crop below. To start you off, here’s a Google search for online 2D barcode decoder, and here’s an iTunes App store search for the same if you have an iPhone. The photo was taken within a block or so of here: Rua de Catete, Flamengo, Rio de Janeiro



Author: Benjamin Parzybok

My name is Ben Parzybok and I'm a novelist and programmer living in Portland, OR. @sparkwatson



  1. Brasil atXX quando vamos perder nossos herXXis

    X’s weren’t translated properly by my barcode reader on an android phone.

  2. Awesome, so that’d be: Brazil ??? when we lose our ???

    Which reader did you use?

  3. I installed it from Android Marketplace, called Barcode Scanner. Its based on the ZXing barcode library.

    It looked like the reader wan’t playing well with a few characters with accents, but I’m not sure.

  4. Enjoy the work platitudes. The message is moot.

  5. Brasil ate quando vamos perder nossos herois ?

  6. “brasil ate quando vamos perder nossos herois” or “brazil even we ask our hero” ????

  7. “brasil até quando vamos perder nossos heróis?”
    -Brazil even when we lose our heroes?-
    A statement brought on about what seems to be asking for a rebellion of some sort. That’s what it sounds like to me… I am not sure. It translates differently, depending on what translator you use. I would find someone who actually speaks portuguese or is an expert translator. Technology has it’s errors too.

  8. Hi people, i’m brazilian. I live near that qrcode.

    It means: “Brazil, when will we stop losing our heroes?”

    I also did not find anything about it on google, it seems like an attack against our social politics or something like that.

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