Via Slashdot, here’s an abstract of a study of graffiti found on the walls of the Joseph Regenstein Library at the University of Chicago, performed by a member of its IT staff. You can also browse the full dataset, including photographs of the inscriptions made available under a Creative Commons licence.

The take-home messages (as obtained with Mickey Mouse statistics)?:

  • Smiley faces outnumber sad faces.
  • References to male primary and secondary sexual characteristics outnumber those to female.
  • “Love” and “despair” appear to rise and fall in sync over the course of the academic year.