Friday, December 29, 2006

A few post-holiday links for you this Friday: if you're currently in possession of some giant empty cardboard boxes, Mr. McGroovy has some fantastic plans and tools to help create cardboard castles, among other things.

Also, remember silver dragees? Remember how they disappeared? Remember the rumors that they were beautiful but deadly? Well, I do, anyway, and others have tracked them down!

The rest of today's links are brought to you by the Graveworm and feature Neil Gaiman's Mouse Circus, a painting of Jesus that seems to open and close its eyes, and the slightly disturbing "America's Future Codemakers & Codebreakers" site for kids at the NSA.

Have a safe and happy New Year's Eve, everyone! We'll be back on Tuesday.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Here's what's been going on in the library world over the past week or so...

Remember Ms. Dewey, mentioned a few weeks ago? Turns out she has a salacious past. Don't all librarians? (As an aside, I have a text file for Folderol links, and links that aren't self-explanatory usually have a description by them so I don't forget what they're about. The description for this one was "Ms. Dewey is hot.")

A new weblog tracks library videos, or videos featuring libraries. Yay!

Forbes explored the future of the book, and got pretty detailed about it. (Physical, tangible, printed books are going to stick around for a while, evidently.)

Hey, public librarians: next time someone mutters "I pay your salary" or "overdue fines are ridiculous" or something similar, you can direct them to this handy calculator which figures out how much someone would pay for library services if they were out in the capitalist world instead of within the friendly confines of the library. (It works best if you're in Maine, but even if you're not, it's a good estimate.)

Planning 2007 vacations? Check out the upcoming year's cool museum exhibits and scheme accordingly!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Huzzah, we're back! There are some photos up on Flickr.

Today is a little different here at Folderol. Normally I never do memes or tags or whatever they're called these days, because...well, no one's ever tagged me, so it's been a moot point. But right before Christmas, I got tagged by two - two! - different people for two different things. So here we go.

First, from Brendan:
  • Find the nearest book
  • Name the book
  • The author
  • Turn to page 123
  • Go to the fifth sentence on the page
  • Copy out the next three sentences and post to your blog.
  • Tag three more folks.

Since the books next to me are pretty dull reference materials like directories and dictionaries, this was a little difficult. But today, the closest book to me is GURPS Steampunk by William H. Stoddard. So I give you this excerpt, regarding the 19th-century theory that there was a planet between the sun and Mercury named Vulcan:

The attraction of the other planets explains 527 seconds of the shift; the other 38 seconds are unaccounted for. Their true explanation will only be found in 1915, when Albert Einstein will use his general theory of relativity to calculate the sun's gravitational field and find that it exactly predicts the discrepancy. Le Verrier, relying on Newtonian mechanics, thinks the explanation is a planet or a group of smaller bodies orbiting closer to the sun than Mercury, as the planet Neptune accounts for Uranus's orbital irregularities.

(Most steampunky stuff is not so technical...but hey, rules are rules.)

From Darren: 5 things you don't know about me. (Some of you may know all of this already. It's hard to think of things no one would know!)

1. I had so many strep throat infections when I was little that I lost part of the hearing in my right ear. They took my tonsils and my adenoids out when I was seven, and hey, no more strep since then!

2. I grew up on 360 acres of a women's organization founded in the 1940s. For a long time I thought it was perfectly normal to have houses with names and have people from all over the world visit constantly.

3. I wanted to be a classical recordist like Michala Petri until I was 12 or so, and faced the harsh reality that I'd never be that good.

4. my dad worked on an art installation with Robert Wilson back in the '60s. This is where my parents met, actually.

5. I own a pair of jeans and a pair of camo pants; everything else is long skirts or dresses, every day. I just think they're more comfortable.

I am going to be a rebel and not pick any people to do the surveys/memes/tag extravaganza, but if you're around this week and feel like participating, go for it! We get back to normal tomorrow.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Wow, lots of links from others today. Thanks, everyone!

First off: the ten library stories that shaped 2006. Yes, the tasering incident is included.

From Holly: a great rant about Pachelbel and an Indian ad for Peugeot.

From the Graveworm: detecting pythons.

Both the Graveworm and Satori sent in this story about Komodo Dragons - here's Satori's report in full.

They have just discovered that Komodo Dragons can self fertilize! There have been two females in two different zoos that have never mated or mated over two years ago but produced fertile eggs.

I’ve never heard about this phenomenon in any reptiles even though I was taking 200/300 level Biology classes in college, including Genetics!

Maybe David Icke is on to something and The Virgin Mary was really a Lizard Person...

Also from Satori: the Iams Cat Stare-Off! Can you outlast the cat?

From Courtney: lots of cats! Also, the official site for the Bodies Exhibition.

And finally, NORAD is tracking Santa again this year (that's Santa this time, Danny, not Satan!), and they're getting increasingly high-tech about it on their website.

I'll be off tomorrow and back on Tuesday or Wednesday, most likely. Happy holidays, everyone!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Today is the Carl Sagan Memorial Blog-a-Thon, in honor of the tenth anniversary of his death. If you have some ruminations on Sagan, post them today!

On to the spooky stuff. Why haven't I heard of Seahenge before?

The H.P. Lovecraft Society wishes you a happy holiday, and warns you to look out for fishmen. Sherlock Holmes is apparently on the case, however. Perhaps he can explain Cryptomundo's top 10 mysterious animals of 2006; the last one is my favorite.

Despite the Christian holiday coming up, there are a few new books out arguing that Satan has gotten a bad rap through the centuries.

In one of the creepiest forecasts I've ever heard, scientists discuss the advent of implanting false memories. Aieeeeeeeeeee.

I'm taking off Friday, so tomorrow will be a combo post of library links and links from others!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Happy birthday to my mom, my grandmother-in-law, Amanda Lepore, and others! In honor of your birthday, we feature some truly silly stuff.

Monday, December 18, 2006

If it's Monday, it must be Art Day...

Operation Fragmentation is currently going on in Columbus; the challenge was for artists to combine an authentic military item and a designer military toy.

For virtual visiting, there's the new Surreal Art Collective.

And then there are those who think that artists should stay away from their art once they've created it. This strikes me as a really funny dilemma for some reason.

A gorgeous idea: a kaleidoscopic house. You could put dolls in it and have them trip out.

A new study says that night owls are more creative. Ha! Vindication at last!

It's time for the "best of 2006" album lists (are they still called albums?), but Blender has a different take: they look at the most disastrous albums of all time. (Maybe they were recorded during the daytime.)

Friday, December 15, 2006

[Addendum: Folderol is switching over to the new! exciting! version of Blogger, so there may be some issues to work through. Just a heads-up.]
Happy birthday Zazoo!

And now, some links from others...

From Holly: squirrel studies!

From Cassandra: study your palm to see how sexy you are. I am a "confident" 7, ooo ahhh.

From Bunny: this awesome video of an eight-year-old parodying Bill O'Reilly's rants has everyone all upset in conservativeland.

From Courtney: the world's tallest man helps save two dolphins. This sounds like a cartoon episode, doesn't it?

And finally, some retro fun: Career romances for young moderns.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Today we have some new shiny library things! Search Engine Land and Library Talk are both pretty self-explanatory, and they're both new arrivals, so go check them out.

BuzzFeed is also fairly new on the scene, and points the way to the other cool new places online.

I was going to say that Wordie, yet another new site, was like LibraryThing for words. Then I poked around the site a bit and found that the creators of Wordie and LibraryThing are friends. Well then! Perfect!

The daily book news & reviews blog at the Madison Public Library is not new, but it's new to me, and I think it's a brilliant idea.

And finally, I have seen a lot of obit weblogs since we killed off our own site's DeadLog, but I think the Blog of Death is my favorite so far.

Tomorrow: links from others! It's also Zazoo's birthday tomorrow, so say hi and come out to dance with us.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Five women are dead in Ipswich, and England's already referring to the killer as the new Jack the Ripper. Yikes.

'Tis the season to worship the sun and observe the solstice! Oh, and those newer religions want to celebrate something, too.

Also sun-related: the very cool NASA Sun-Earth Viewer.

This list of the ten most bizarre people on the planet is more akin to a list of "people who have had really strange things happen to them," but it's a fun read.

If you love bizarre creatures more than people, this list of Ray Harryhausen's cinematic creatures should fill you with joy. And if animatronics are your thing, you'll soon be able to see over 100 animatronic dinosaurs in Dubai's Restless Planet!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Wow, it's a long week already, isn't it? Ergo, today is all beepy boopy escapism.

Did you ever sympathize with the poor asteroids that were shattered to bits in the old Atari game? Asteroid's Revenge gives you a chance to get back at the mean spaceship!

The Asteroids spaceship is not listed among the ten best movie spaceships ever (probably because there was no movie involved). I don't remember a film called Explorers, though.

Kore Ja Nai Robo is a Mazinger-looking robot thingy that acts as a USB plugin. (I think they should make Dalek USB plugins that yell "exterminate!" every now and then, just to keep you on your toes.)

If you're near Amherst, Massachusetts this month, check out the exhibit called Science Fiction Art from the Golden Age, featuring the work of Hubert Rogers. Oooo, ahhhh.

If you prefer more analog fun, the 2006 Good Gift Games Guide is out!

Or you could put your name on toast. What? It's a viable option!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Today, we're featuring DIY art! Penguin is letting you design your own book cover, and Beck wants you to design his latest CD artwork. Let your imagination run wild!

Along the same lines, an enterprising TA asked students to draw a turkey for the last question on their exams. Some students are more artistic than others...

Today I learned about horror vacui, the fear of empty spaces that leads to filling up rooms with knick-knacks and coloring in every available space of paper. I can understand the paper part, at least.

If you remember the fiasco of "who do you look like" MyHeritage photos from last week, you will appreciate Banterist's examination of who most resembles the six wives of Henry VIII -- or, as MyHeritage reports, the six wives of Jake Gyllenhaal. Yeah, there are a few bugs in the system.

For people into LEGOs and rock bands: Brickshelf reproduces some famous lineups!

For people into skulls: I Want Your Skull is your own little bit of cyber-paradise.

Friday, December 08, 2006

It's Links from Others Day! Thanks, everyone.

From Satori: the Muppet NewsFlash, for all your Muppet news needs. Also from Satori: a recommendation of dark chocolate-covered Altoids. I can't really even begin to imagine what they taste like, but Satori says they taste a little like York Peppermint Patties.

From both Bunny and the Graveworm: scientists are using sound to levitate small animals. Awesome!

Also from the Graveworm: an ancient 72-gear analog computer has been discovered; there are videos and podcasts and all sorts of information on Rosslyn Chapel; and David Lynch has just spoken out against the "official explanation" of what happened on September 11th.

From Holly: My Hands Are Bananas. Berlin is really like this all the time, right? (This was actually made in Montana. Is Montana like this?)

From Zazoo: an environmentally friendly Hummer, a really great source for discographies, and news of a planned ABBA museum. Wow.

And finally, the big news this morning is that someone found a severed foot at a gas station...except now they're saying it's not a human foot. (I am betting on it being a movie prop or something. But anything is possible in this town.)

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone, and hold on to your feet! See you Monday.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Grrr. Okay, I finally caved and added word verification to the comments, because the spam is starting to arrive. (I'm going through and deleting it, but it's slow going.) Sorry for the added inconvenience!
Whoa, a tornado hit London? Is Mary Poppins in town?

More surprising news: Google Answers has gone the way of the dinosaur. I didn't expect that to happen; I thought they were doing a pretty brisk business.

The Cincinnati Public Library has a plan for the 21st century. Most public libraries will be looking at similar changes, I bet.

Along with the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian consistently has great online exhibits. They've had panoramic maps of hundreds of cities up for a while now; for something more seasonal, they've put up the holiday greeting cards of Bauahus-influenced artist Werner Drewes. (I wish they'd sell these as holiday cards, actually - I'd definitely buy them and send them out!)

The U.S. Mint is also doing very cool things these days. Next up: dollar coins with the faces of the first presidents. Maybe Americans will finally warm up to the concept of dollar coins.

A new site about old photos: Old Pictures tells the stories behind the pictures. What an awesome idea!

For librarians (and non-librarians) who are looking to digitize analog audio: behold the Plug & Play USB turntable!

Tomorrow: lots and lots of links from others. See you then.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Today's trip around the world is mostly contained to Europe, for some reason.

Starting in New York, you can learn about Dreamland, a long-gone amusement park that was once part of Coney Island and featured, among other attractions, "Liliputia," the town of 300 midgets. Wow.

Going across the pond, you can look for elves in Iceland, browse the real-life locales of Storybook England, control the colored lights in a building during Stockholm's Colour By Numbers exhibition, and mourn (or celebrate) the closing of Erich von Daniken's Mystery Park in Switzerland.

Going farther east, Japan has awesome manhole covers! I like the squid ones especially.

And for those into symbolism, the "secret" Rosicrucian symbols are online now, so I suppose they're not that secret any longer.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

If you like the idea but not the price of a Roomba, MAKE shows you how to construct one of your own. I think they should call it a Vroomba. Vrooom!

The rest of the links today sound like Surreal Theatre gone wild. A harpsichord made of LEGOs! A robot museum in Japan! An office in a garden! Columbus, Ohio as a potential spaceport! And yet, they're all for real. Go and explore.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Hey, remember last week's post about how Cleveland was going to wow the film world? Well, er, they've hit a bit of a snag...

So what kind of reader are you? Apparently I am a "Literate Good Citizen." Hm. I feel so...normal.

Anyway, as part of my literate good citizenship, I've read (and loved) Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. A recent interview with Robert Pirsig catches up with him and how he's been since the events leading to that book.

Los Angeles was the birthplace of noir, or so it claims (I think Berlin might have an argument to make there), and the myth lives on even today.

And lastly, librarians can be artists too! Another installment of Art by Librarians is at the Dayton Metro Library right now.