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15th December 2012

10:21am: Fellow U of C people
Is it really possible that I'm the first one to notice this?

Somebody has apparently played an extremely good practical joke on the Admissions Department:

We don’t really even know how to start this post. Yesterday we received a package addressed to “Henry Walton Jones, Jr.”. We sort-of shrugged it off and put it in our bin of mail for student workers to sort and deliver to the right faculty member— we get the wrong mail a lot.

Little did we know what we were looking at. When our student mail worker snapped out of his finals-tired haze and realized who Dr. Jones was, we were sort of in luck: this package wasn’t meant for a random professor in the Stat department. It is addressed to "Indiana" Jones.

What we know: The package contained an incredibly detailed replica of “University of Chicago Professor” Abner Ravenwood's journal from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.


We know this sounds like a joke/hoax… it’s not (at least, from our end).  Any hints, ideas, thoughts, or explanations are appreciated. We’ve been completely baffled as to why this was sent to us, in mostly a good way, but it’s clear this is a neat thing that either belongs somewhere else— or belongs in the halls of UChicago admissions history.

Internet: help us out. If you’re on Reddit (we’re not) or any other nerdly social media sites where we might get information about this, feel free to post far and wide and e-mail any answers, clues, ideas, thoughts, or musings to indianajonesjournal@uchicago.edu  (yes, we did set up an email account just to deal with this thing). 

18th November 2011

5:42pm: I've been remiss...
I've been remiss in informing people about my sister's ongoing auctorial career in this space, with only the excuse that I hardly ever post to this space at all.

The least I can do is mention the publication of the combined Griffin Mage Trilogy, to make up for my failure to mention the earlier publication of the original volumes.

If anyone out there intends to read them, but hasn't yet gotten around to it: how would you like to do an experiment for me? Try reading them out of order with the second volume first: 2, 1, 3. I think this should work at least as well as publication / chronological order. Yes, one of the main outcomes of book one will be spoiled for you (the cover text already does that for you, mostly), but another major element <i>ought</i> to work just as well, and I'm curious to see if it does.

Most of the people I've talked to like the second volume better than the first, too.

19th March 2010

2:48pm: It really does happen
Wednesday evening, I got polled on a major issue. No, seriously. Gallup called with some questions about quality of life, which  turned out to be largely background for -- surprise! -- the health care bill.

I suppose I was never sure that real people got called; certainly it's a first for me and I'm not sure I even know anyone who's been counted for a national poll.

I also can't help feeling that answering those questions gave me more political influence than any of my last several votes, let alone attempts to contact my congressional representatives. (My congressman's seat is about as safe as Nancy Pelosi's and his political opinions, shall we say, diverge from my own.)

8th July 2008

1:16pm: The City in the Lake
Today is the official release date of The City in the Lake. This has been a long time coming, long enough that it managed to come as a surprise to me to find the date no longer in the future.

It's a young adult fantasy -- meaning, in this case, that it's aimed at teens and avoids sex scenes. I suppose some might question my objectivity in recommending it, given my supra-fraternal* interest in the author. But of course that would be an error: I'm not claiming that everyone I know is going to like it, just that it's a good example of its type. For instance, as a traditional fantasy with a purely invented setting, I don't know whether it will be to princeofcairo's taste, and of course mollpeartreehas the excuse that she doesn't actually like fantasy. Those of you without such excuses. . . well, let me know what you think.

There's a review
here if you want a second opinion by someone who isn't a blood relation. Rachel herself has a webpage (on her site, mostly about her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel kennel) left over from when the book was accepted here, more about the process of writing, and getting the book sold, than what it's actually about. Aspiring authors may find that interesting.

* What should the equivalent term to fraternal be for sentiment towards one's twin? A quick search finds two Latin words for twins, but I am not finding an adjective derived adjective actually exists for geminus, -a or gemellus, -a

4th March 2006

5:55pm: So there's good news and bad news
The good news is: no one was hurt, and I lost virtually none of my personal property.

The bad news is: there was a fire in my apartment building last week. The fire started in a wooden annex on the back of the brick building and -- at least on my upper floor -- the actual fire damage was entirely contained in that area. The only things I lost were a few items stored back there, none of it valuable or important. This considerably tempers the basic reaction of shock and horror, since it is so much better than what I was envisioning immediately after being informed. By the Fire Department investigator, incidentally, who called me at work under the mistaken impression that my landlord had already reached me with the basic news.

My first thought once I saw the place was that they would just tear off and replace the annex, do some fairly massive cleaning, and replace some windows and the locks on the doors the firemen broke down. However, it appears the other parts of the building sustained more serious damage, such that I'm now being told it will be four to six months before the building is again habitable. Under the circumstances, I don't expect that I will want to move back into the building from wherever I end up.

Since my brother has a house in the area, I'm staying with him while pursuing a hurried sort of apartment search. (And I got time off work, so that's good.) But my normal social activities, such as they are, will have to be curtailed for the moment: no gaming, and don't take it personally if I can't make it to, say, your Oscar party.

5th April 2004

3:41pm: Lee Harris's book
As promised to mollpeartree a while ago, my thoughts on Lee Harris' Civilization and Its Enemies. This is less a review than a litany of complaints, I admit. Consider this a measure of my disappointment in the book.

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