Particles not animating as I would expect

Hey guys, I have been a LONG time away from Blender, and recently thought I might pick it up again for some relaxation, and for fun decided I would try recreating the tutorial shown on blendernation a while back.(

I tried to follow the instructions, but for some reason when I apply the texture to the “time” modifier of the particle system, the particles follow the texture for a time, (slowly starting from the left to right) and then they go haywire and begin “starting” from everywhere in the text! Here’s is a video: and here’s the blendfile (note, it is quite large, ~42MB):

I hope this is an easy problem to diagnose!