Indiana Jones Project
The Indiana Jones films are great, but the character of Indiana Jones himself has intrigued me much more over the years. A world-adventurer, professor, and archaeologist, Indy knows a great deal about almost everything.
His life of adventure is rich and enduring. Although much of the film's appeal is simple escapism, I believe that the powerful underlying message that makes Indy so magnetic is his fascination with mystery and the need to explore the world around us.
This page is dedicated to real life adventure and learning. The global media has tried to trick us into believing that there are no mysteries left in the world -- that the globe has shrunk so much that everything that can be done, has been done. I don't believe this myth.
Therefore, as a self designated explorer, I've started to compile some links and tools to help other people who share my fascination with the world. I hope this page helps you with both your journeys and your dreams.
What can Indy do in the field without adventure tools? Here are links to everything from waterproof paper for your log-books to geiger counters.
Rite in the Rain - "Rite in the Rain" is a truly amazing paper that is created specifically for writing field notes in all weather conditions. You don't ever have to worry about your field journal become an unreadable mess after getting soaked in water or humidity.
National Geographic Adventure Paper - Water-proof inkjet paper! Print those topo maps from your computer without fear that they'll be destroyed in bad weather conditions.
Forever flashlight - You may have seen cheap versions of these lights in the store. Believe me, if you're deep in the jungle, you'll want the real thing. You simply shake these lights back and forth and a capacitor is charged. Then the light will shine for almost 5 minutes. Very cool. When batteries are impossible to come by, this light is a life saver.
Geiger counter - In Indy's time, there was little need for a geiger counter. However, in the modern world with its use of depleted uranium shells and other hazards, you want to make sure that your explorations don't Doom you. I was surprised to find that geiger counters were not only available, but affordable. Buy one or find instruction here to build your own.
Pocket Sighting Level - Whether you're trying to locate the the Ark or mapping out a location for later exploration, this Pocket Sighting Level is perfect for preliminary survey and distance estimation. You can find this item in most Home Depot stores for under $20.
Homemade Fallout Meter instructions - In case you ever get caught in a blast zone, be sure to know how much life-threatening exposure you're getting!
Archaeological Starter kit - Here is a starter kit for the archaeologist. While you may not buy this kit, it will give you a sense of the basic kit. Here is another more general list.
Marshalltown Trowel - You can't be an archaeologist without a trowel! Here is the link to jump directly to their 5" archaeological trowel.
Choosing hiking boots - Here is a general guide to selecting good hiking boots.
Choosing a compass - This article describes how to choose a compass that's right for you. Pretty good summary of the basic features.
Making a bullwhip - A tutorial on making everyone's favorite adventure tool.
Indy is said to speak over a dozen languages. While learning a new language is difficult, here are a few resources to make it easier.
Loom of Language - The best book imaginable for learning multiple languages (written by
Frederick Bodmer). Covers the basic genesis of the language families, how to establish a working vocabulary, and tips about approaching language learning. I have found this invaluable in the languages I'm studying. You can read chapter 12 here.
How to Learn Any Language - The book (by Barry Farber) is wonderful because it gives you the courage to start learning no matter your age or experience. Excellent practical tips as well.
Pimsleur language - I have found nothing better than Pimsleur to get started. I wish some of the computer programs were decent (tried Rosetta Stone, Instant Immersion), but there seems nothing better than Pimsleur. I would suggest doing the first 30 lessons and then taking a class or reading a book to teach you the grammar and greater vocabulary. Barnes and Noble has a great deal where you can purchase the first ten lessons for under $30.
MyLanguageExchange - Wonderful site to help you master language. You can type chat (free), find pen pals (free), and even do voice calls (with paid reg) with speakers of just about any tongue.
Learning Mandarin Chinese - Excellent basic introduction to pronunciation, grammar, and symbol characters of Chinese.
Travel & Geography
What adventurer doesn't travel the globe? Here is some information on traveling, navigation, and geography.
Travel Writing - This book by L. Peat O'Neil provides excellent information on the topic from start to finish. For your journal and for wider circulation, it will be handy to properly write about your adventures. Here are the "10 and a Half Commandments for Writing" that are fairly useful. Here's an article about "Travel Writing for Fun and Profit."
Travel Survival Tips - Before you head out, be sure to check out this great list of travel tips. Essential information.
You will need more than a little instruction on everything from communication to outdoor how-to. This sections will contain training aids to prepare you for your great trek.
Outdoor Handy Book - Nothing better than Dan Carter Beard's Handy Book. Covers everything including fishing, sailing, rigging, rafting, hunting, and knot tying.
How to Use a Compass - An illustrated guide on how to use a compass. Includes general instructions and suggested exercises.
Roping a Moving Target - A rope may not be quite as romantic as a bullwhip, but it can probably be used in more real-world situations. Here's an illustrated guide on using a rope to lasso a moving target. Here is a guide to trick roping.
On Call - Book by Shane A. Marshall and John Ruedy that details emergency room procedures and trauma diagnosis for medical students. Covers everything from handling life-threatening situations to prescribing the right medication. Very cool information.
Blissym - This invented language is a simplistic logographic language that may come in handy.
Quickscript - A simple shorthand that can be learned in a matter of weeks. You need to keep a journal and you need to keep it private from cursory reading. Quickscript is the ticket. Here is a general overview that includes a free PDF download of the original Quikscript manual. Here is more info including its connection to George Bernard Shaw.
Learn Rock Climbing in a weekend - This book by Kevin Walker teaches the basics of rock climbing. While not all encompassing of the art, provides a good basic introduction.
Multiple Mentality - This article provides instruction on how to use your brain to do six things at once! Odd, but very interesting. Check out the Rex Research site for other strange and wonderful fringe technology and inventions.
Survival and excavation
Any adventurer has to prepare for survival in numerous challenging environments. These items provide the basic guidebooks I have run across to help you live through even the most dangeous and hostile territory.
How to surive on land and sea - This book by Frank C. & John J. Craighead provides countless survival tips and general information.
Wilderness Survival - Entire web site containing information contains in the U.S. Army Field Survival Manual. Great stuff on survival psychology, planning, water and food procurement, and varieties of terrains.
Digging Tunnels and Underground Rooms - Basic tips on digging in tunnels. Remember, any underground activity can pose danger. Safety first!
Pulling Through - Novel by Dean Ing that gives a good understanding of survival nuclear style. Even shows you how to construct a simple radiation detector. The first half of the book is a post-nuclear fiction story. The 2nd half has contruction plans for air filters, bicycle-based power generator, and sanitary potty. All of these are built with scroungable items.
Action Hero's Handbook - This silly but fun book shows you how to catch a Great White Shark, track a fugitive, establish communication with extraterrestrials, and other things. There's also an Action Herione's Handbook.
Eating Bugs - It may not be gourmet, but here is a page on all types of bugs you can eat. By the way, the word for bug eating is Entomophagy.
History, Archaeology, and Anthropology
Basic Techniques of Dating in Archaeology - This introduction to archaeological dating includes relative dating, absolute dating, and a general background of accuracy in examination.
H.G. Wells outline of history - Excellent overview of the world and its development. Slightly dated, but I haven't seen anything more modern that can replace it.
Flotte's Outline of World History - Great web site that has a general outline of history starting at pre-history and leading up to the modern day.
Contemporary anthropology: An anthology - You need to know something about archaeology and anthropology. This volume has much to teach.
Committee for the Archaeological Exploration of Derbyshire Caves in the early 1920's - Fascinating detail of cave exploration at the beginning of the 20th century.
Secret Masonic Handshakes - You never know when you'll be in a foreign land and have to pass yourself off as a Mason.
Indy Film sites
For the legend that was the genisys of this page, here are web sites relating to the Indiana Jones films.
Indiana Jones - Official site from Lucasfilm/Paramount. Includes synopsis of Indy's film and television adventures as well as Indy gaming.
Indyfan.com - One of the biggest and most well known fan sites.
TheRaider.net - All the most current news as well as articles, interviews, and fan creations.
TheIndyExperience.com - Great site with some of the most current Indy Film news and all kinds of information on the films, DVDs, games, etc.