The building up on Tintop Hill

Let me tell you a story.

It’s about a university somewhere in the northeastearn United States. That college is, to my knowledge, still operating, although it is not as prestigious or as well-known as it used to be. Many of its departments are now defunct. That is, partially, what is allowing me to tell this story.

Like many others past and present, the astronomy department (also now defunct) maintained a private directory of webpages, on which members of the department could maintain personal pages. Ostensibly such things are usually for course information, research data people wish to share, or papers.

This department also had a backup system, very similar to the Wayback Machine (and perhaps even inspired by it). Every few days, the entire contents of the relatively small directory were saved to a server, with a date and a time.

In my travels, I was very privileged to be granted access to these backups. There were many interesting things in there; small curious, and little stories, controversies and scientific advances. One period of time, however, struck me very particularly. This story runs between September and December of 2003. That is what I am going to show you.

I have, naturally, changed many identifying details, including faces and names, as well as the name of the university. References to real locations have been altered where possible. Any email addresses in the site are new email addresses, created by me; you can email them, and I will endeavour to respond. (If you email me in-character I will respond in-character as well.)

You can work out the rest as you go. Like I did.