1:15 update – Damn. This is why I don’t blog before coffee. Just corrected some crazyass typos and grammatical loop-di-loops. Sorry.

Today’s Cul de Sac comic strip reminds me of a pre-dawn breakfast conversation long ago at the Mummy Congress about how, once you reach in + vigorously stir up the brains w your hook, you can just pour them out of the skull.

The pathologists and anthropologists at the table despaired of ever getting the public to understand this because many people have little science education, which makes TV hospital and crime shows their primary reference point, so they don’t actually understand anatomical structures or the textures of putrefaction.

What I most remember about the breakfast was the way some computer scientists from another conference who had accidentally joined us got paler and paler until someone in our group patted one of them on the hand and tried to reassure him by saying something along the lines of, “If it makes you feel less squeamish dear, you can continue to believe your brains can be removed in chunks with a hook.”

I don’t believe it did.

Anyway, here’s the comic strip that made me laugh today: Cul de Sac: March 24, 2013.

Thanks to Matthew Francis for tweeting this link.

(I stayed on EST the whole week I was in San Diego at the Congress, which is the only way I was able to be so lucid at these early breakfasts before our 8 a.m. symposium start time each day).

this and the previous post were both updated/corrected tonight at 11 p.m.

The physicists have studied my closet. Round objects placed in the center of the room (pencils, marbles, liquor bottles) roll toward the closet. Ergo, there’s no reason for that door to swing out, let alone swing out slowly and creepily.

None of us really believe it’s haunted, of course, but it’s providing us much amusement. And no small amount of puzzlement.

[3 hours later]

I returned from dinner to find that the chair holding the closet door shut (seen in the previous post) was now in the closet. This was deeply weird until I realized that the summer conference housing has housekeeping service and I also had fresh towels.

Or, I have a poltergeist who can’t abide dingy linens.

The entomologists want to go find some martinis. We could consume gin and debate the possibilities, or I could just go to sleep and dream of all of the new and exciting mummy research I learned about today.

I’m voting for sleep.

My haunted closet door opens too slowly for me to stand there and shoot video, but I happened to be standing nearby when it started creaking tonight so I took some pictures. It opens a bit, waits a minutes, then opens some more. It’s creepy. The sequence of photos below were taken between 45 seconds and one minute apart.

I know, that’s only 6 minutes. I could stand there and shoot the video, but I’m lazy, ok? Lazy and tired. Who starts a 5 day archaeology conference at 8 a.m. every day?

I put a knitting needle through the hasp on the door earlier and when I returned to my room it was gone. I have a single room. Nothing else was touched that I noticed so I’m hoping I was just too tired and didn’t really “lock” it like I thought I did.

photo 1
photo 1.JPG

photo 2

photo 3

photo 4

photo 5
photo 5

photo 6

photo 7 (problem resolution)
Chair, photo 7

University of San Diego

The first day of the 7th World Congress of Mummy Science (being hosted here at the University of San Diego) was super-excellent. I’m also super-exhausted because I spent about 9 hours traveling to get here, dumped my stuff in my dorm room, and dashed over for the afternoon sessions, a plenary speech and a reception. I’m deliriously tired and actually slogged back to my room by 9. I wasn’t the only one since there are plenty of east coasters and plenty more participants from Europe.

I’m determined to stay up until 11 local time so I don’t wake up at 4 a.m. every day and then run out of steam before the parties start each night.

I chose to stay on campus because a) it’s crazy-cheap, b) the hall we’re all staying in is about 50 yards from the conference center, c) it’s crazy-cheap, d) I can sneak back to my room for (very necessary) naps and e) crazy-cheap.

The campus is beautiful, but with all this dark wood paneling and dark ornate furniture, this place would be my first-choice location if I ever decided to make a horror movie and set it on a college campus.

I My room is meant to be a triple, and has 2 big closets and a wardrobe. The closet doors like to slowly and ominously creep open, but I swear they stop moving if you look directly at them.

Haunted closet

Come to think of it, there are a lot of statues on this campus. I better not blink….

And on that note, it’s 11 PST. Stick a fork in my, I’m done.