I drove out to UCI on my lunch hour, and got my first view of the newly-completed Student Center. There are actually some parts of the building left over from the previous one, but the whole exterior is new. Then I remembered a photo I’d taken of the old Student Center, back when I was attending the school, from the top of what was then the Humanites Office Building, now Murray Krieger Hall. Since I had extra time on parking, I decided to see if I could match the shot.

Here it is 10 years ago:

UC Irvine Student Center ca. 1997
UCI Student Center: Late afternoon, 1996–1997

And here it is today:

UC Irvine Student Center, 2007
UCI Student Center: Early afternoon, October 4, 2007

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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.

UCI Bookstore WWW page design contestI 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:

Fence with happy face cut into it

Which brings me to this sign spotted on the ring road at UC Irvine a few months ago:

“No” sign on the ground: horizontal bar with two circles above it.

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:

“No” sign on the ground: horizontal bar with two circles below it.

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:


Ah, nostalgia!