Category Archives: geek life

UChicago’s Indiana Jones package mystery solved!

Last week, I reported on a mysterious package that ended up at the University of Chicago for Indiana Jones – it turns out that the mystery of the Lost Ark’s journal has been solved! UChicago’s Admissions Tumblr reports that the package was indeed a replica prop from eBay being sent from Guam to Italy, when it fell out of its packaging in Hawaii – and since the interior “package” appeared to be legitimate with an address, it made its way to the university.

The University has been allowed to keep the replica prop, while the journal’s maker will create a replacement for the original intended recipient. Most likely, the postal service opened up the package because it was leaving a red line around the globe as it traveled.

UChicago gets package for Indiana Jones

The University of Chicago received an unusual package recently, addressed to Indiana Jones. Some pranksters sent a package containing a replica of Abner Ravenwood’s diary, some replica money, postcards, and pictures of Marion and had it slipped into the incoming mail at the admissions office, which is housed in the building that formerly held their geography and geology departments.

As mentioned in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jones was the protégé of Professor Ravenwood at the University of Chicago, before their falling out over Abner’s daughter, Marion. The admissions office is trying to sort out who sent the package and why… but it seems pretty obvious to me that Abner needs to keep his documentation away from the Nazis, and sent it to someone who could use it. The bigger mystery: if Professor Ravenwood died in Nepal, who mailed it from Egypt? (Also, the addressor appears to have misspelled “Illinois” and added a ZIP code, which didn’t exist yet in the 1930’s, when Raiders takes place.)

“Doctor Jones! I’m so glad you’re back! Your mail is on your desk.” — Irene, Indy’s secretary at the college

In the meantime, the University has set up an email to accept information about the package: indianajonesjournal@uchicago.edu. Is it from a prospective student? Is it just an elaborate hoax? Is it some sort of guerilla PR work to ramp up for some new Indiana Jones announcement – some sort of new story focusing on the legacy of Abner Ravenwood? It’s not the first time Abner’s death had been exaggerated.

Rumor: Disney looking into buying Hasbro?

Anti-trust lawyers must be wringing their hands with glee at this one: MTV Geek is saying that after acquiring Lucasfilm (pending approval) Disney will be turning to Hasbro. Or rather, that they’re having “discussions.”

Buying Hasbro would give Disney the rights to Transformers, G.I. Joe, Dungeons and Dragons, and My Little Pony, among others. And by folding in the toys, they’d be getting a bigger share of the Star Wars pie as well.

Now there’s a James Bond nail polish collection

This is just getting ridiculous, honestly. If the ‘manliest’ franchise of them all, James Freaking Bond, has a nail polish collection, why can’t we? (I do hope I’m speaking too soon, given we of a a major release date or two coming up in 2013…)

You can get up close and personal with the Bond swatches at The PolishAholic and Polish Addict: I’m partial to Live And Let Die and The World Is Not Enough, while The Spy Who Loved Me may make for a good Phantom Menace Amidala look.

The Skyfall line is OPI’s holiday collection, and should be available at salons and (some) beauty retailers now.

Barbie expands her horizons as ghost, alien Empress

Just in time for Halloween, io9 spotted these unique and kind of awesome collector Barbies: The Battlefield-Earth-meets-Poison-Ivy Empress of the Aliens and the ghostly Haunted Beauty. They’re both limited editions and clearly not for kids, though given some of the crazy expensive Star Wars stuff we’ve seen, $100 doesn’t seem all that steep. Or maybe that’s just the 8-year-old Barbie lover in me speaking.

Bree Brouwer blogged about another wacky sci-fi Barbie, Goddess of the Galaxy, who’s got a Lady Gaga/Elizabeth I vibe. Pretty nifty!

Convention tip #14: Don’t be a creeper, or, basic human decency 101

There’s been a lot of talk about people being inappropriate at conventions lately, in large part because of an incident at ReaderCon last month with author Genevieve Valentine. (Here’s a very long list of all the posts/responses/reaction.) It’s a disturbing story, in large part because it’s by no means uncommon, and thus something I felt I had to address in this series.

Yes, a lot of the things under the cut are ‘common sense’ about treating people respectfully and acting like a functional adult in public. But not common enough, sadly.

There was one incident at the last Celebration that was widely publicized. Was it the only one? Was it even the most extreme? I can’t say. I do know I’ve seen at least one woman talk about being made to felt uncomfortable by other attendees at CV, and that’s more than enough reason to write this.

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Mary Poppins to face Voldemort at the Olympics?

A British newspaper is reporting that a 40-foot He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and Mary Poppins – among other noted characters of British literature – will be featured in the Opening Ceremonies of the London Olympics on Friday. The Sunday Times writes:

About 30 actors each depicting Mary Poppins, the magical English nanny played by Julie Andrews in the 1964 Disney film, will descend from the roof of the stadium on wires and “float” to the ground with their opened umbrellas. The nightmare will be banished and happiness restored. “It’s a jaw-dropping sequence,” said one source.

If this is true, it’s going to be completely batshit. I hope it’s true.

In other news, I hear they’ve reached out for some rather unorthodox help in other areas.

Free Comic Book Day – go get your comics!

May the Fifth be with you! May the Thors be with you? Or something.. But get out to your local comics book shop to get your free comics for this annual celebration of sequential art. As previously mentioned, Dark Horse has a few different offerings, including a Han Solo and Chewbacca Star Wars story, ‘The Art of the Bad Deal’, in a flip-cover comic that also has a Zack Whedon-penned Serenity comic. Both stories have a common theme – a man and his ship. Dark Horse’s second freebie is a flip cover for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Guild. Combine both free comics together, and you will also have a two part story of Caitlin R. Kiernan’s Alabaster.

From other publishers for Free Comic Book Day: The Avengers, The New 52, Yo Gabba Gabba!, Simpsons, Mouse Guard, Transformers, Peanuts, and a whole lot more!

To find a comic shop near you, call 1-888-comicbook or visit ComicShopLocator.com.

Sorry, nerds: Tupac hologram at Coachella was not actually a hologram

A lot of George Lucas jokes have been made over a ‘hologram’ performance by dead rapper Tupac Shakur at the Coachella music festival on Sunday, but it wasn’t a hologram at all.

Coachella’s Tupac was a 2-D creation of Digital Domain Media Group, who won a visual effects Oscar for aging Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. And it was projected using technology dating from the 19th Century:

The effect relies on an angled piece of glass in which a “ghostly” image is reflected. “A piece of glass can be both transparent and reflective at the same time, depending on how it’s situated relative to the audience,” said Mr. Steinmeyer, pointing out the secret.

In the Victorian version of the trick, the glass reflected an actual actor, situated out of sight in near the orchestra. On Sunday night, the image was projected on a piece of Mylar—a highly reflective, lightweight plastic—stretched on a clear frame.

A similar effect was used in 2003 to project an image of Frank Sinatra. Virtual Tupac may go on tour later this year with other (living) hip-hop stars