While checking some dead links in the Internet Archive, I decided to see what they had of the website for the Literary Guild at UCI. This was a creative writing club we were both involved in back in college. There’s an abbreviated history of the club still online.
I looked at the earliest archived copy I could find, and noticed down in the corner a badge for a long-forgotten website contest. Every quarter, the UCI Bookstore holds a literary contest, sometimes poetry, sometimes short stories. In spring 1996, they decided to make it a website contest. I had just built a website for the club, and submitted it. Our site was one of the three winners [archive.org].*
Just for kicks, I decided to see which of the sites were still around.
- Literary Guild at UCI – gone. The club disbanded after the 2000 school year, and the defunct website was removed 2 years later. I still keep an archive of one segment, the collaborative writing projects, but it used to have 10 times as much writing, meeting minutes, club info and news, etc.
- The Orchid Weblopedia – gone. It appears to have moved around a bit for several years, but the top search result for the title brings up its last web designer, and a note saying that “this page no longer exists.”
- Ishmael’s Companion – the study guide for the book, Ishmael is still around, but it’s now a tiny part of author Daniel Quinn’s site.
1 out of 3. And even that one’s at a different location.
And so the link rot continues…
* I was hoping to link to an independent announcement, but the UCI Bookstore website only lists the most recent winners (Spring 2007), and while the Anteater Weekly regularly announced the winners, their archives only go back to 1997. I did find the announcement in the May 30, 1996 Zotmail Archive, but it doesn’t return linkable results, so you’ll have to search for it.
You know how tarps stretched across fences will often have holes cut in them to allow the wind to pass through, rather than turning them into sails? This fence around a construction site had half-circles cut into each segment. Someone with a sense of humor had altered several panels, though:
Which brings me to this sign spotted on the ring road at UC Irvine a few months ago:
My best guess was “No bored vampires,” but that didn’t seem likely. After walking to the other side, it became a bit more clear:
Aha! No skateboarding! Though it could easily be “No flat dollies.”
This sort of thing just goes to prove that no one has quite the same college experience, even at the same college. (In this case, the UCI School of Humanities, where I spent two years before coming to my senses and switching to a major I actually liked.)
It’s probably just as well.
The best line has got to be the grad student saying, “You’ll report me for your having sex in my office? ”
(via The Esoteric Science Research Center)
How often do you get to revisit an old in-joke? Six years ago, Katie and I were driving past the Inn-N-Out by UCI and noticed the sign was only half-lit. Katie exclaimed:
It’s an inn! The out is out on In-N-Out!
Last Friday we went back to UCI for a play and had dinner at the Indian restaurant across the street. As we left the parking lot, we saw this:
An intense deluge woke us up briefly around 5:00 this morning. I think I was awake enough to say “Damn!” and fall back asleep. It reminded me of something that’s been bugging me.
I looked through the first few pages of Otherworld #2 in the comic store yesterday. As at the end of the first issue, one character made a big deal about how it never rains in L.A.
Admittedly, people drive as if it were true. It starts drizzling, and people freak out. Three days of rain is billed as Stormwatch 2005 on the TV news. Some years we don’t get much rain at all.
But every 7 or 8 years, we get drenched.
I’ve heard people cite this year’s near-record rainfall as an example of the extreme weather that climate models predict for global warming. While I do think there are plenty of valid examples, this isn’t one of them. We got just as much rain in 1997—eight years ago—when the UCI campus flooded, stairs turned into waterfalls, streets and underpasses became rivers, and one student infamously bodysurfed naked down the hill next to the Student Center. (A yearbook(?) ad later remarked, “Who says nothing happens in Irvine?”) We got nearly as much rain two years before that. I knew someone from Vermont who brought friends out to visit during the heaviest period of rain. They got their preconceptions handed to them.
Every once in a while the cycle skips. Those skips coincide suspiciously with droughts. I remember tons of rain and the occasional hailstorm in the early 1980s, then it was all dry until 1995.
The thing is, while a very wet winter is uncommon for Southern California, it’s not unusual. In fact, it’s very regular. I recommend looking up El Niño as a starting point.