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A Package For Professor Jones
December 13, 2012 11:21 AM   Subscribe


 
Heh. I thought about posting it this AM but was afraid it would turn out to be just another viral marketing stunt.
posted by COD at 11:28 AM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fucking Disney yanking our chains...
posted by inturnaround at 11:30 AM on December 13, 2012


Having gone there, I would say it is entirely within the realm of possibility that this is someone actually trying to have fun with the admissions department (my bet would be on an alum) and not a marketing stunt. This is the place that brings us Scav Hunt, after all. The creativity of the weirdos who go there knows no bounds.
posted by phunniemee at 11:33 AM on December 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


Is there a new Blu Ray release coming out?

but seriously, this is pretty neat, even if it is a viral marketing.
posted by jrishel at 11:33 AM on December 13, 2012


I think we can rule out current students because it's finals week now and absolutely no one would have the time to put something like this together.
posted by theodolite at 11:34 AM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


It could have been put together prior to this and dropped off now to mask a student's trail.
posted by Noms_Tiem at 11:36 AM on December 13, 2012


While I was at UofC, there were several different plots to create a dissertation for Dr. Jones, and conceal it in the dis. files at Haskell. I'm not sure if any succeeded (come to think of it, they would probably need to conceal it among the archives of the O.I.).
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:37 AM on December 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Internet: help us out. If you’re on Reddit (we’re not) or any other nerdly social media sites where we might get information..."
Metafilter? oh well, close enough I guess...
posted by Blake at 11:37 AM on December 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Impressively well done. I'm guessing there's no way it actually arrived from Egypt in that condition though, based on the few packages I've ever sent internationally through standard mail. (And are those valid Egyptian stamps? That would be really impressive.)
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:38 AM on December 13, 2012


So we're all just waiting for someone to say "It belongs in a museum" so we can pounce with a "So do you!" and go on with our day.
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:40 AM on December 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


At least we know they have top men studying this package.

Top men.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:40 AM on December 13, 2012 [42 favorites]


He should have mailed it to the Marx Brothers.
posted by zarq at 11:43 AM on December 13, 2012 [18 favorites]


Look for the young woman with "LOVE YOU" written on her eyelids.
posted by roger ackroyd at 11:44 AM on December 13, 2012 [9 favorites]


While I was at UofC, there were several different plots to create a dissertation for Dr. Jones, and conceal it in the dis. files at Haskell. I'm not sure if any succeeded (come to think of it, they would probably need to conceal it among the archives of the O.I.).

You probably could have managed to get it into the Reg with the right connections. My boss once added his hat to the catalog under the title Blue Hat, which was hilarious until he started getting overdue fines for it and had to bribe someone at the circulation desk to check his hat back in.
posted by Copronymus at 11:45 AM on December 13, 2012 [27 favorites]


Did someone notify Marcus Brody?
posted by Rock Steady at 11:45 AM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's one way to get around the $75 application fee.
posted by The White Hat at 11:46 AM on December 13, 2012


Indiana Jones. I always knew some day he'd deliver. I never doubted that. Something made it inevitable.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:48 AM on December 13, 2012


(come to think of it, they would probably need to conceal it among the archives of the O.I.).

You probably could have managed to get it into the Reg with the right connections



WHERE WERE YOU PEOPLE FIVE YEARS AGO.

There was a several-year stretch where I worked at the OI (security, overnight, keys to everything, only person in the building) and my roommate worked in special collections at the Reg.

We could have made this happen.
posted by phunniemee at 11:53 AM on December 13, 2012 [13 favorites]


Oh yeah, the Reg would be easy. Haskell would even be easier, you'd just need to walk right in and put it up on a shelf. The trick is actually writing a believable dissertation, and explaining the provenance of all the dead SA men all over your field site.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:54 AM on December 13, 2012


Strange. It didn't come through the mail, but someone still wrote the zip on the label?
posted by Ad hominem at 12:04 PM on December 13, 2012


Top men.

Camera pans up to reveal package being neatly filed away by a subterranean robot crane
posted by theodolite at 12:07 PM on December 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


and explaining the provenance of all the dead SA men all over your field site

Imagine the IRB paperwork for that ...
posted by carter at 12:08 PM on December 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


My god, that notebook was the entire reason I ever wanted a Moleskine.
posted by grubi at 12:11 PM on December 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


And are those valid Egyptian stamps?

From the post: "...the stamps themselves are pasted on and look like they have been photocopied."
posted by ericb at 12:12 PM on December 13, 2012


This package is very well done. It belongs in a museum.
posted by Noms_Tiem at 12:13 PM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


So we're all just waiting for someone to say "It belongs in a museum" ...

The folks at The Atlantic have said it.
posted by ericb at 12:14 PM on December 13, 2012


It's worthless. But if they take it, bury it in the sand for a thousand years: it becomes priceless.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:17 PM on December 13, 2012 [9 favorites]


Just a quick note to keep non-nerds in the loop about what nerds think of this.

There is some debate around the nerd sites over whether the notebook is handwritten. Some nerds maintain that if it were written with a period appropriate fountain pen there would be no pressure marks. Other nerds note that the writer must have been right handed due to lack of ink smuding. Some nerds have done a detailed analysis of the letters and have deduced that the writing seems to be far too uniform. I, however, happen to know a professional calligrapher and her handwriting is incredibly uniform, as she is not "writing" but drawing pictures of letters.

Once us nerds have completed our work we will notify the non-nerds of our findings.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:22 PM on December 13, 2012 [16 favorites]


You're digging in the wrong place!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:25 PM on December 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is Metafilter. What non-nerds do you imagine you're addressing?
posted by DarlingBri at 12:26 PM on December 13, 2012 [19 favorites]


Was about to send that to the UChicago non-nerds and wanted to run it past some nerds first. I hope nobody minds that I have elected myself nerd ambassador on this, but I have people skills.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:30 PM on December 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Was about to send that to the UChicago non-nerds and wanted to run it past some nerds first.

UChicago non-nerds? You've obviously made some kind of typo, because I do not understand what that phrase could possibly mean.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:34 PM on December 13, 2012 [9 favorites]


UChicago non-nerds?

Actually, I knew one guy who played football, was in a frat, and actually had great disdain for the fact that he had to be in college in order to do both of those things. (Most of the "jock"/frat-type people I knew also doubled as fairly solid nerds.) He played video games a lot, and his username was olivenig (he was Greek, you see) and it always showed up whenever friends would turn on their xboxes and it made me feel bad inside.

So there is at least one.
posted by phunniemee at 12:39 PM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]




> because I do not understand what that phrase could possibly mean.

The admissions department.
posted by mrzarquon at 12:39 PM on December 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Don't look at it. Shut your eyes. Don't look at it, no matter what happens!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:39 PM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you’re on Reddit (we’re not) or any other nerdly social media sites where we might get information about this

I'm not judging them. They clearly asked for us nerds to help.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:40 PM on December 13, 2012


We have top men working on it right now.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:42 PM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Some day I'll read the whole thread before commenting. Some day.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:44 PM on December 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


You Americans, always over addressing for the wrong admissions.
posted by chavenet at 12:45 PM on December 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Zip codes weren't in use until 1963. I think Indy was well retired by then.
posted by OmieWise at 12:48 PM on December 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


And by "retired" we mean he's stuffed in a crate in a very large warehouse.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:51 PM on December 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Actually, I knew one guy who played football, was in a frat, and actually had great disdain for the fact that he had to be in college in order to do both of those things. (Most of the "jock"/frat-type people I knew also doubled as fairly solid nerds.)

Yeah, my U of C experience was that even the people who exuded the most disdain for the nerdy trappings of the school were too willing to talk about Marx or The Iliad to pass for anything other than nerds in another environment.

Good to know there was one, though.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:53 PM on December 13, 2012


Look, the UofC had a whole taxonomy of nerds. There are probably multiple cultural anthropology dissertations detailing all the different nerd strata, there. It's literally nerds all the way down.
posted by NoRelationToLea at 12:59 PM on December 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


I didn't mean to impunge on UofC's nerd cred. By invoking reddit they are clearly looking for a specific type of nerd that may be in short supply there. They don't want a dissertation on this, they need some wizards who spend all day trying to detect photoshops by looking at the pixels.

I think maybe we can just clean up the findings, remove any cat pictures , rages faces, and delete phrases like "le gem" and "nailed it", and forward it to the nerds there for some kind of marxist deconstruction.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:08 PM on December 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


There are hobbyists who make Indiana Jones replicas just for fun. For example, this wonderful diary, which I found at the Indy Lounge forum.
posted by Scienxe at 1:19 PM on December 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Zip codes weren't in use until 1963. I think Indy was well retired by then.

Notice that the package's typewritten address label does not include a zip code. The code has been added in pen in the appropriate space, presumably by a postal employee.
posted by vibrotronica at 1:22 PM on December 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


I want this to be an application for the visual arts program or something, and I want that application to result in an admission offer. Is there anyone here who doesn't?
posted by 1adam12 at 1:37 PM on December 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Are you insinuating that this isn't genuine?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:39 PM on December 13, 2012


By invoking reddit they are clearly looking for a specific type of nerd that may be in short supply there.

Once again, there is no type of nerd that is in short supply at the University of Chicago. Reddit was likely just the easiest way to get in touch with the ones they wanted.

There is no need to hoard nerds, people. Rumors of a nerd shortage are entirely false.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:58 PM on December 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


I want a transcription of the Abner Ravenwood journal.
posted by immlass at 2:18 PM on December 13, 2012


isn't he at Marshall? or Barnett?
posted by randomkeystrike at 2:58 PM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, Indiana taught in Illinois?

*mind blown*
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:18 PM on December 13, 2012


Did anyone else notice that they misspelled Illinois?
posted by percor at 3:51 PM on December 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Lo, these many years ago, I worked in the Preservation dept. at the Reg, and my husband worked in Acquisitions. Ah, the missed opportunities!
posted by mogget at 4:03 PM on December 13, 2012


percor: "Did anyone else notice that they misspelled Illinois?"

Yes! Leading me to guess the person responsible is a prospective student, as I'd expect any current student or alumnus/a to be able to spell it. (Also, I'm not sure why a current student or alum would send such a package to Admissions specifically, although I suppose that if they liked their alma mater enough to want to create viral publicity for it they might.)
posted by beryllium at 4:17 PM on December 13, 2012


I , too, worked in the Preservation department at the Reg, and spent the summer of 2010 in the stacks in the Harper basement. We packed up all the old, little-used and red-rotty books and processed them for shipment to a commercial book bindery so they could be put in preservative boxes so that they didn't disintegrate and work their way into the delicate mechanism of the robot arms in Mansueto when they were moved there.

Among all the old newspapers and New Zealand parlimentary reports and proceedings of state legislatures (in one of which I found the greatest erratum of all time: "On page 283, the word 'graveyard' should read 'school play-lot.'") , I found stashed two 1970s-era Playboys, a number of love letters, more used condoms than seemed entirely necessary, and several books that were at least three hundred years old. I joked with my colleagues that I wouldn't be surprised if we also found a diadem or Professor Snape's old Potions text. This will do nicely in their stead.
posted by coppermoss at 4:23 PM on December 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


I'm not sure how there's a mystery about who made it -- here's a current listing for another one. Looking at that seller's feedback history, it looks like he's sold several of them. One of them on November 21st to a buyer in the US.
posted by hades at 5:09 PM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure how there's a mystery about who made it

Wow, I almost wish it had remained a mystery. Dude cranks them out on a lazerjet, probably by the dozen, complete with misspelled label.

Museum Status: Does not belong.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:22 PM on December 13, 2012


It is a very nice prop, however, and there's still some mystery in how it got delivered to UChicago. So there's that. But, yeah, sorry to be a party pooper. My guess is that ebayer "llilbec" is responsible, since their feedback on the one they purchased was posted a couple of days ago, and if I'd bought something like that as a prank on the admissions office, I'd want to get it into their hands ASAP after receiving it myself.
posted by hades at 5:31 PM on December 13, 2012


Oh, and I see there's been an update, with the theory that one of the packages escaped its outer packaging in transit to a buyer, and was rerouted by the USPS. I like that theory, although it suggests that I can get free mail delivery by pasting fake foreign stamps onto packages, giving them realistic looking postmarks and somehow injecting them into the delivery stream.
posted by hades at 5:36 PM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, there is the mystery of why the zip code with hand written on the label. What are the chances llibec bought one, and dropped it in the mail just for the hell of it. Or, the guy who makes them dropped one in the mail without proper packaging. The whole thing could be a mixup. The thing does have fake canceled stamps on it, would the USPS deliver it?
posted by Ad hominem at 5:37 PM on December 13, 2012


Why in gods name does the admin dept have a tumblr?
posted by cyclotronboy at 7:21 PM on December 13, 2012


Why in gods name does the admin dept have a tumblr?

To connect with potential students via social media?
posted by Jahaza at 7:48 PM on December 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you’re on Reddit (we’re not) or any other nerdly social media sites where we might get information

I was just reading about this randomly elsewhere and it doesn't look like it even got to Reddit.
posted by jessamyn at 9:28 PM on December 13, 2012


Aww, I spent last year working in Preservation and my boyfriend works in Special Collections. Which is to say I still have an in, for the next six months. Fire away, my friends. Fire away.
posted by stoneandstar at 11:30 PM on December 13, 2012


By invoking reddit they are clearly looking for a specific type of nerd that may be in short supply there.

Oh and yeah, definitely not. Like fully half of my Scav road trip last year was spent absentmindedly crossreferencing things in conversation and on NPR podcasts with reddit.
posted by stoneandstar at 11:33 PM on December 13, 2012


coppermoss: "I , too, worked in the Preservation department at the Reg, and spent the summer of 2010 in the stacks in the Harper basement. We packed up all the old, little-used and red-rotty books and processed them for shipment to a commercial book bindery so they could be put in preservative boxes so that they didn't disintegrate and work their way into the delicate mechanism of the robot arms in Mansueto when they were moved there. "

Oh man, Harper Overflow. I was sent to count whatever was there in the summer of 2005 because I guess the higher-ups realized they had absolutely no idea what was even down there at that point. It wasn't the worst way to spend a couple days in a dank basement. At least there was a whole bunch of weird junk down there to keep it interesting, like you point out.
posted by Copronymus at 6:05 AM on December 14, 2012


Among all the old newspapers and New Zealand parlimentary reports and proceedings of state legislatures (in one of which I found the greatest erratum of all time: "On page 283, the word 'graveyard' should read 'school play-lot.'") , I found stashed two 1970s-era Playboys, a number of love letters, more used condoms than seemed entirely necessary, and several books that were at least three hundred years old. I joked with my colleagues that I wouldn't be surprised if we also found a diadem or Professor Snape's old Potions text. This will do nicely in their stead.

I've told the story before, but somewhere in some U of C library is lurking a book that contains a detailed accounting of the sexual conquests of a carillonneur who probably fought in World War I.

Also, having sex in college libraries even at the U of C is a noble and honorable tradition, but seriously throw away your used condoms.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:15 AM on December 14, 2012


isn't he at Marshall? or Barnett?

Yeah, I'm not quite sure what the Chicago connection is. Dr Jones seems to have divided his career between Barnett College in upstate New York (Cornell) and Marshall College in Connecticut (Yale).
posted by Dreadnought at 6:32 AM on December 14, 2012


Yeah, I'm not quite sure what the Chicago connection is. Dr Jones seems to have divided his career between Barnett College in upstate New York (Cornell) and Marshall College in Connecticut (Yale).

People at the U of C are firm in their conviction that the inspiration for Indiana Jones was a U of C professor; there are a few candidates. When I was there I also heard people say it was Robert Redfield, but I can't find anywhere on the internet saying that, and frankly it doesn't make a ton of sense because Robert Redfield was an anthropologist not an archaeologist. I mostly heard that from people who had Redfield's son James Redfield as a professor, so I'm going to chalk that one up to wishful thinking. Also, James Redfield, who seems like he has maybe left Hyde Park once in his life (I'm sure this is not true, but it seems like it), is about as far from Indiana Jones as you can get.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:42 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


It was posted to reddit 5 times. Nobody cared because it had nothing to do with pokemon.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:23 AM on December 14, 2012


Yeah, I'm not quite sure what the Chicago connection is.

Jones did his undergraduate and graduate work at U of C. You'll note that the package is not addressed to "Dr." Jones; presumably it was sent before 1926, when he broke with Ravenwood, and it's been lost in the mails since.
posted by Iridic at 8:46 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Iridic: "Jones did his undergraduate and graduate work at U of C. "

Yup. See this insanely long wiki bio for much more detail.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:16 AM on December 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


The spelling issue with Illinois is present on the ebay auction as well - so I would say not simply similar to what is auctioned, but for sure actually from the same creator.
posted by kreinsch at 2:17 PM on December 14, 2012


A follow-up post on the Admissions Tumblr: "Most plausible, least exciting: someone purchased one from the replica-maker on Ebay that we linked to yesterday, and on its way to the recipient, it wormed its way out of an outside package. Thinking the Egyptian postage was legit, a wayward mail carrier wrote on our zip code and it hitchhiked its way to our office."
posted by Copronymus at 12:03 PM on December 16, 2012


The real lesson from all this is that the USPS can be fooled by photocopied Egyptian stamps.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:24 PM on December 17, 2012


The Mystery of Univ. of Chicago’s Indiana Jones Package Has Been Solved -- "It was a replica shipped from Guam."
posted by ericb at 1:48 PM on December 17, 2012


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