Spot the Darwin!

by Greg Mayer

A colleague from another college stopped by, and mentioned that he and his colleagues are moving to offices in a new building, but that there are only two shelves in each, and they’re not allowed to bring in more shelves or files because “donors like it when all the offices look the same.” He wanted to take a picture of my office to show them what a “real” professor’s office looked like, and he used a spherical setting on his cell camera that stitches together a dozen or more photos to create the image below. [JAC: click twice to enlarge.]

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to spot the Darwin. Not books by or about Darwin, but a 3-dimensional representation of Darwin. It’s not a very hard one. There are lots of books by and about Darwin in my office, many of which are easy to find, and I’m not sure how many are there; so, your secondary mission is not to find Darwin books, but to find all four copies of books by Jerry. This will require more skill– don’t forget to doubleclick to enlarge. (Also, can you figure out the dimensions of the office?) As usual, the prize will be bragging rights.

 

60 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Heh. I found Darwin.

    I think you can recover a bit of space, safely, by getting rid of that old Quattro Pro.

    • moleatthecounter
      Posted July 25, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Yes, Darwin was easy. JC’s books also, when one realises that the books are – at least some – in a********l order.

      Size? Looks vaguely office-sized to me, but that is only a guess…

  2. Posted July 25, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    I found it 🙂 … & I recognise many books that I have – but Jerry’s? !

  3. Mike
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I thought I had plenty Books, wow !

  4. GregZ
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Found him, he’s cute.

  5. freiner
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Is that the original Augustus John of Emir Feisal? (Or is it Alec Guinness?)

    • Posted July 25, 2018 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      It’s Faisal.

      • freiner
        Posted July 25, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t Alec Guinness playing the role of the Augustus John painting as directed by David Lean. These things can confuse me.

        • Posted July 25, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

          I read Seven Pillars of Wisdom in the form of a fine hardback edition bought in a used book store in some little town in the UK. It featured many illustrations, including a portrait of Lawrence.

          My friend looked at the portrait and asked, “why did they put a picture of Peter O’Toole in this book?”

          And Guinness played a convincing Faisal!

          One of my favorite movies. (Unfortunately, it’s too slow-moving for the rest of my family!)

          • freiner
            Posted July 25, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

            Ha! A nice story. That’s how I first encountered Augustus John and I think your friend’s response was also my first reaction to the portrait of O’Toole, er, I mean Lawrence. I probably found my copy of SPW in Pennsylvania, though.

    • Posted July 25, 2018 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Wonderful portrait.

      • freiner
        Posted July 25, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        Thoroughly agree. No kidding there.

  6. George
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Greg – you are NOT a recycler. A recycler would at least attempt to throw something out. Quattro Pro???????

  7. Posted July 25, 2018 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Found Darwin ok. Are you sure that can of Raid does not hurt insects? 😉

  8. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Got.
    Years ago I had visited a university that had even more restrictive policies where you were not allowed to have shelves other than the few provided, & you could not attach any pictures to the ugly bare concrete walls. So faculty had to hang stuff by wires. This was all because it would clash with the goddam architects vision of their ‘space’.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted July 25, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      I’m an engineer. I have serious contempt for architects who try to impose their ‘vision’ on what the users can do. That is NOT providing a service, it is not creating a functional building, in short it is making a defective product. (And frequently at excessive cost). They are trying to indulge their egos, invariably at someone else’s expense (both metaphorically and literally).

      (I do have respect for architects who provide the maximum usable space for the most economical price.)

      cr

      • Mark Sturtevant
        Posted July 25, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        Yeah. I remember too that the entire university was built by the same architect, so all buildings were like this. The floors were this pebbly concrete (very dirty – can’t be cleaned well), and lab carts with glassware made lots of obnoxious clatter when they were apologetically rolled by. Everyone hated it.

      • Posted July 25, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        I (also an engineer) like architecture that is both functional and also attractive. (I dislike the glass-box movement.)

        Cost is obviously important too.

        In all designed/engineered things, I value a good design aesthetic. It can be: Functional, economic, and beautiful, all in one.

        Just don’t give me any “isms”! 🙂

  9. Posted July 25, 2018 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Found Charles. Cute!

  10. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    ‘there are only two shelves in each, and they’re not allowed to bring in more shelves or files because “donors like it when all the offices look the same.”’

    That sounds like the usual bullshit that administrators (who have only ever read ten books in their lifetimes and think typing a formula into a cell in a spreadsheet is advanced mathematics/computer programming) like to impose on real professionals.

    I do admire Jerry’s office.

    cr

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted July 25, 2018 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Sorry, Greg’s office. I misread/misspoke.

      cr

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted July 25, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      I was an administrator for a lot of my career.

      • ploubere
        Posted July 25, 2018 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

        You were probably one of the rare good ones. I know it’s a tough job, one I wouldn’t be any good at, but so many don’t seem to understand that they’re supposed to enable staff, not impede them.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted July 26, 2018 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

          You’re no good unless you enable staff. You’re supposed to make their jobs easier, not harder, or you’re not doing your job imo.

  11. Posted July 25, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Kodak slide trays! I have only retained mine (a few) to keep certain slides in order. I have scanned all of slides (many thousands).

  12. Christopher
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    What a wonderful sight, a temple of learning. I love it. It only reinforces my desire to restart my biology degree so that I can comprehend all that lays between those covers, many of them already in my possession.

  13. Hempenstein
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Found Charlie. & saw a book with New Guinea in the title. Do you by chance have Searching for Pekpek in there?

  14. Liz
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    I couldn’t find the fourth book anywhere. Love the emerald ash borer firewood magnet.

    • Liz
      Posted July 25, 2018 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Think I only got two actually. I don’t believe the book with the orange binding is one of them.

      • Liz
        Posted July 25, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        I just found Faith vs. Fact. This is very exciting.

  15. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    OK, found Darwin. Not far from a box for the TI SR-51A. I had a TI-59. In those days the programmable-calculator holy wars were between TI and HP, algebraic vs Reverse Polish. (This was long before MS-DOS vs DR-DOS or Internet Explorer vs Netscape…)

    Truly, Dr Mayer is a squirrel. I envy that office!

    (I’m just clearing out my home office, with the aim of being able to see most of the carpet for the first time in a decade, and I’m discovering folders dating back to 1974 at the back of some shelves…)

    cr

  16. pierluigi Ballabeni
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Darwin was easy. Of the books I only found Speciation but I cannot read the titles or authors of the books at îts sides.

  17. Merilee
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Love the bookish clutter but the curvy photo makes me seasick🙀

  18. Serendipitydawg
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Weirdly, my cursor was over Darwin when I clicked to enlarge so he was instantly revealed! Onto part two, though I suspect that may be beyond my patience 🙂

    I would estimate the size of the office as snug bordering on undersized.

  19. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Next challenge – count the books!

    cr

  20. Monika
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Yep, Charly spotted!

    I bet it’s not the donors, it’s the administrators! A real office has to have lots of books, lots of stacks, even FiNo (First in Never out) stacks are fine.

  21. BJ
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    I’ve always found that many of the smartest people have the messiest work spaces. I wonder why that is.

    • GBJames
      Posted July 25, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Boy, do I feel smart! 😉

      • BJ
        Posted July 25, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        I’ve always suspected that I’m the world’s smartest person. If someone would just confirm my initial feeling with a good study, I can finally have validation.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted July 25, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

          A general rule is that smart people are untidy, but usually know roughly where everything is.

    • freiner
      Posted July 25, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Oh, I have the answer to that written down over here. No wait, it’s not in that pile. I’ll try this one. No. Wait. I put it in that book over there — no, over on the other shelf. Wait, it’s in the stack under the table. Hold on. I’ll get back to you.

      • BJ
        Posted July 25, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        I’ve had this exact interaction with my psychiatrist on several occasions.

  22. Terry Sheldon
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I note the birthday coupon from Half Price Books on the computer screen. One of my favorite stores in the whole world!!

    • Liz
      Posted July 25, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      It might be that the fourth book is an e-book hidden in the blurry print.

  23. Desnes Diev
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    I found James Randi but no Darwin. Did I missed something? 😉

    Is it a cetacean rib above the deer skull (in the back of the computer screen)?

  24. Sastra
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Got the Darwin.

    I mean, I really do. Bought him at one of the TAMs. He’s wearing spectacles and handcuffs.

    Oh, it’s Darwin all right — but sometimes he likes to pretend he’s James Randi.

  25. Liz
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    I think the orange book is a second copy of Why Evolution is True. Faith vs. Fact is in a different section. That’s my guess. The office might be 15′ x 20′.

  26. Posted July 25, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    I count approximately 7 X 14 ceiling tiles, so that means a size of approximately 14 X 28 feet. My guess.

  27. Michael Fisher
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    10 ft x 9ft 6 in

    OFFICE DIMENSIONS [Assuming the ceiling tiles are standard 1′ x 1′ US size]

    There are two lighting strips of 1 x 8 tiles [each strip being two units of 4 tiles length]

    [A] DOOR TO WINDOW LENGTH

    + 1.25 tile. To start of strip near the 3-legged Meyer
    + 8 tile. lighting strip
    + 0.8 tile. at the window
    = 10 feet

    [B] WIDTH
    +1.75 tile
    +1 tile. lighting strip
    +4 tile. strip to strip
    +1 tile. lighting strip
    +1.75 tile.
    = 9.5 feet

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted July 25, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Mayer [sp]

    • Liz
      Posted July 25, 2018 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      Impressive!

  28. Posted July 25, 2018 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    I’ll bet all those books could fit on one micro SD card.

    • Christopher
      Posted July 25, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps but you can’t download the smell, the texture, the heft… and old science books are the best.

  29. Barbara Radcliffe
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    I found CD (too easy) but only Speciation by Jerry. Thank. You for letting us take a tour of your bookshelves. I really enjoy doing so. Also pleased to hear the hypothesis that messy offices are a sign of high intelligence! I once worked in an (open-plan) office with a clean desk policy. One could have any amount of crap on one’s desk during the day, but it had to be clear at night! I decided that if they wanted to pay me my hourly rate for 30 minutes putting stuff away in the afternoon and another 30 minutes getting it out in the morning, that it was there problem!

  30. urthmothr
    Posted July 25, 2018 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    I found the Darwin soft sculpture. I’ll let the others find the books and estimate the office size. I do want to scan the book titles, though…

  31. Posted July 25, 2018 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    Found only 3 books by Jerry.

  32. Diane G
    Posted July 26, 2018 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    What a treat to be invited to snoop through someone else’s office!

  33. Hempenstein
    Posted July 26, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Weirdly enough, since it’s a slow morning I came back for a second look (without looking at the answer in the subsequent post) and the very first title my eye landed on was Speciation, with WEIT beside it.


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