Friday, September 29, 2006

Amid the news that habeus corpus is now dead (along with, one suspects, a large part of American democracy), please consider the statistical chance of death by terrorism. (An aside: accidental poisonings happen this often? WTF?)

In slightly related news, these people are looking for "a Chief Librarian to manage the Detainee Library, under the direction of the Joint Task Force-Guantanamo Bay, Cuba." Yes, really. Adapatability is cited as a need, along with ambition. Wow. (Thanks, Courtney!)

From the Graveworm, three links:

1) Will Whitehorn, president of Virgin Galactic, said the firm was in negotiations over a reality TV show. In the show, contestants would compete to win a place on a space flight, the Press Association reported. Mr Whitehorn said: "The indications are that we can create a show that would give people the chance to go into space. It would be a cross between Dr Who, Star Trek and the Krypton Factor."

2) "The squirrels will be back," South Bay wildlife rehabilitator Norma Campbell said. "For every one you take out, two more will come in. It could be a never-ending project that isn't going to accomplish anything. "

3) a rant from a public librarian, and IT'S ALL TRUE. Ask any librarian about this and they will sigh and nod.

From Holly: a hamster gets too enthusiastic about exercising and learns that centrifugal force only goes so far.

From Bunny: Russian rocket boots! Commander Cody, eat your heart out! (Their claims of jumping 13ft with each step seem a bit exaggerated, however.)

From Glenna: a nuclear weapon effects calculator. Considering the way the world's going, this might be useful information!

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone. See you Monday.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Oy, today has been...a day.

More Banned Books Week (or Challenged Book Week) links: the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression has a page up, and Jessamyn takes a look at the informational resources out there on the subject.

Resizr is a great photo tool. Guess what it does!

The Smithsonian has a good article on Hatshepsut, one of my favorite historical people. It turns out that the destruction of most monuments dedicated to her may not have been out of rage or jealousy after all.

It's amazing how much variety there is in stamps. There's a huge amount dedicated solely to detective fiction. Who knew?

Tomorrow: links from others, hooray!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I'm thinking of specializing in spooky links for the month of October - spooky art day, spooky library day, spooky tech day, etc. Any feedback?

On to slightly spooky things! DI55 was the British real-life X-Files, apparently, doing their best to cover (up?) all things UFO. Interesting stuff.

Meanwhile, here in Ohio, the Devil's Oven is a coal mine that's been on fire for over 120 years. We're thinking of taking a road trip out there to see what it's like.

The Netherlands Military Tattoo is coming this weekend! It's Dutch! It's militaristic! It's not an inked tattoo!

Decrepit objects can be pretty, as this Flickr group dedicated to the art of demolition shows.

Take a guided tour of Balzac's Paris online. Isn't the internet grand?

And lastly, consider the zombie dove. Its time has come.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Finally, the future is coming! Driverless taxis are coming to Europe! Pilotless planes are in our near future! Woohoo!

Meanwhile, it's Banned Books Week, and some people are still stuck in the Middle Ages when it comes to letting people read what they want. Tim, over at Geistweg, has some good entries on the subject. Go out and read something scandalous this week, people. ("Scandalous" is meant rather saracastically.)

X-Entertainment has already started their Halloween countdown. Aw yeah. I love this time of year. (An aside: does X-Entertainment not have RSS feeds? And if so, why not?)

Red Bull has the coolest headquarters office ever. Slides! We need slides in our own office!

Meanwhile, over here in the states, a whole community based on a Hobbit shire is underway in Bend, Oregon. Man, I gotta get out to the Pacific Northwest soon.

Another reason Wikipedia is awesome: they have lists of the weirdest things, like this detailed compilation of Muppets eating Muppets. Wow, this happens a LOT. They need to issue a PSA on this on Sesame Street!

Monday, September 25, 2006

It's art and literature day!

Art: The Flickrblog is always a great resource for finding interesting photos; this small collection of spiritualism photos is amazing.

Art meets literature, sort of: the evolution of the speech balloon. Wow.

Literature: making poetry accessible to engineers. You build poems! Think of that way, they say!

Also, Margaret Atwood's invention Unotchit (mentioned previously) isn't doing as well as she'd hoped. They're tinkering about with it in an effort to get this "remote autographing" concept up and moving.

Random: After playing enough videogames, do you think about clicking on "real" objects? Or rolling them up, a la Katamari Damacy? (Long ago, in the era of text-based MOOs and MUDs, I remember a friend who had been online for several hours and tried to type "open door" when someone knocked on her dorm room door.)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Today: links from others and important sites to visit!

First off: John Scalzi is giving away an advance reader copy of one of his books to anyone who can convince him they deserve it. The entries so far are brilliant, and it's not too late to add your own! I also discovered the Robot Defense League via this thread. They want the book pretty badly.

From the Graveworm: the ice in the Arctic is cracking. Eeeeek. However, Richard Branson just dedicated billions to eradicating global warming, which is slighty reassuring.

From Glenna: women ponder the amazing concept of "me time." Sheesh.

From Cassandra: a look at recent research regarding medical marijuana.

From various blogs: as a result of the recent harassment of a traveler with an Arabic t-shirt, shirts that say "I am not a terrorist" in Arabic have been created. Go and wear them!

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone. See you Monday.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Here's a random question: does anyone have any laptop recommendations? I'm going to try to bring a laptop to Internet Librarian this year, which means I have to actually obtain one. I don't need anything terribly fancy, just something for internet usage and maybe some writing. I know that Dells tend to catch on fire these days, but that's about it.

On to library alma mater has been in the news for some not-so-positive happenings lately having to do with plagiarism and identity theft (oops), but at least their library still rocks. You can download an mp3 tour of the library for your iPod, and be guided by either a student or a librarian. How cool is this?

To the moon, libraries! This would work well until a runaway comet breaks up the moon and causes disaster (see Thundarr the Barbarian for details).

The Vatican has opened up its previously secret archives of pre-World War II materials, which may help (or hurt) their case about their attitude toward Nazi Germany back in the day.

It's time to put away the beach reads and settle down with some good substantial fall reading. The San Francisco Chronicle has an especially detailed list.

Have you been keeping up with the Carnival of the Infosciences? I haven't, and I need to, because it has some great stuff.

For trivia addicts, Blufr tests your knowledge and gullibility when it comes to obscure facts. Its servers were pretty overloaded when I was trying it out, but it's worth a look.

And finally, for those of you who aren't librarians but have patiently waded through the library links, here's a moment of bamboo-inspired philosophy. Have I mentioned how much fun Laundryroom Swapmeet is?

Tomorrow: links from others!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Wow, is it already time for the Icarus Cup again? Time flies. As opposed to some of these contestants, most likely.

Tomorrow is International Peace Day. The world definitely needs it this year.

Whether or not you patronize the church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, you have to appreciate this LEGO rendering of the church headquarters.

For the spooky readers: Rhino Records just put out a new Goth Box, with 3 CDs and one DVD. (A question: Is Flesh for Lulu really considered a goth band? That's news to me...)

There's been a few online mentions lately of the mysterious city of Baalbek, which has amazing Roman architecture despite being located in Lebanon. Interesting stuff.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ahoy, it's Talk Like a Pirate Day! Go out and plunder t' your heart's content! You can even make your own warnin' sign, so as t' inform t' general populace o' your piratical intents.

More weirdness for ye: ye can make a Burger King hand puppet dance t' any o' several genres. This be somethin' I'd have created, I have t' admit.

You've seen t' OK Go treadmill video (posted here a few weeks ago); now see it in LEGO format! I can't even imagine how long it must have taken t' set this up.

And t' darkness, under cover, lurks t' Fight Science Club. T' first rule o' Fight Science Club is...well, actually, you're encouraged t' talk about fight science. Until t' ninjas arrive, anyway. And then t' ninjas fight t' pirates! Arrrrrrrrr!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Today I bring you tiny little bits of art for your enjoyment!

Painting: Edvard Munch's recently-recovered paintings will be back on display for a short while, before they go away for some touchups (apparently they're slightly damaged from the exciting adventures they had during their kidnapping).

Dancing: I remember reading a book at a very young age which described how ballerina's feet became black and bloodied from all that en pointe dancing. That pretty much shut down any burgeoning balletic dreams I ever had. And if I'd been able to read this article, which goes into even more detail, I may not have even gone into show choir. Agh.

Literature: Were the Iliad and Odyssey actually written by a woman? Cool!

Photography: If you've ever wondered where that phrase about "watching the birdie" came from, here's the answer. (I'm still not sure why people say cheese, though.)

Modern art/culture jamming: Banksy has crossed the ocean and wreaked some havoc at Disneyland recently.

Local art: Cincinnati is trying to find its arts identity. I expect many other cities have the same problem. Except they probably didn't go through that whole Mapplethorpe thing like we did.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Today: links from others. Thanks, everyone!

From Bunny: GWAR visits Joan Rivers...and they get along just fine! Joan seems to have a decent sense of humor, thank god.

From the Graveworm: giant catfish will take over the planet. I can vouch for the fact that there are some frighteningly huge catfish lurking in the ponds at Spring Grove Cemetery.

From Courtney: why not get involved with the Animal United Nations?

Baby toupees are for people with too much time on their hands...or for demented aunts/uncles. Muhahaha.

First the monkeys were taking soccer flags, now the squirrels are taking U.S. flags from cemeteries. There's a revolution brewing in the animal world, I tell you (see above article on catfish).

Street Use is a newish site examining how people make use of technology in unexpected ways and places. It's definitely worth a look.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone. See you Monday.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Today, a little something for everyone who works in or occasionally visits a library.

For librarians tired of being chained to the reference desk: join the Librarian Fit Club!

For librarians gearing up for Banned Books Week: Google is now in on the act with a Banned Books page.

For people lost at the Seattle Public Library, there's a "wayfinder" person you can consult. (I have to visit this library soon. It sounds cooler each time I read about it.)

For crafty sorts: the Antique Pattern Library. (I'm always looking for weird mosaic/stained glass pattern ideas.)

For wordsmith geeks: the Eggcorns Database. My favorite so far is the ten-year track position. Hee!

For people in Ohio who want to get out and enjoy nature this weekend: a map of the state's covered bridges. We have a lot.

Tomorrow: links from others!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Okay, then, I am back among the land of the living. Sort of. Don't ask me any difficult questions.

First off, though, belated congrats to Rob! And happy what-would-have-been 90th birthday to Roald Dahl (thanks, Glenna).

On to spooky stuff. Are creepy, haunted-y feelings caused by low frequencies instead of ghostly spirits? Have Russians discovered Can an elaborate setup of dominos satisfyingly squish a tomato every time? (Okay, that last one isn't scary, just fun in a demented sort of way.)

It's the season for fall festivals, but there's also ArtCarFest this weekend, in case you're into such things. Go check it out and report back!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Gah. I hate being sick. Folderol will be a little erratic until I get over the Bug from Hell.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Today: lots of links from others. Thanks, everyone!

From the Graveworm: major, sci-fi storylike steps are being taken to warn the people of the future about the nuclear waste sites of today. Hopefully this will be easier to understand than hieroglyphics, which are mentioned in the story.

From Zazoo: an interesting look on the 9/11 Pentagon attack, bringing up the whole "where was the plane debris, anyway?" question again.

Also from Zazoo: 97x, the future of rock and roll, is about to go under again. Any zillionaire philanthropists out there who feel like rescuing a landmark radio station?

From Glenna: what Pre-Raphaelite personality trait are you? Both she and I got "thoughtful." Hm.

Also from Glenna: more intersex fish have been discovered. Can intersex mammals be far behind? (Okay, yes, they probably are, but still.)

From Bill: BYU finds a use for seven tons of old law books - as mulch. I wonder if the Cincinnati Park Department would like some outdated books for their landscaping needs.

From Courtney: women sick of being harassed on the street can now post photos of offenders. (I love that the site is called HollaBackNYC.)

From Holly, the best excuse of the week: when there are no goats on the road, you're bound to speed. I especially like the caption for the photo of the goat.

Also from Holly: Sock Dreams have all sorts of great hosiery offerings! And they're affordable!

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone. See you Monday.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The big news on the library lists this week is about Google (as it often is); this time, they're reviewing the full-text, copyright-free downloadable books made available and the just-announced historical news archives search. The archives are very seldom free, which might discourage people, but it's actually a good way to look for, say, genealogical articles - and then use your library's databases to get the article in its entirety! The book bits look okay, too, although I am not terribly enthused about reading an entire book online. (You can download them in PDF and print them out, though.)

More fun with words: Omniglot tells you all you'd ever want to know about languages, while the idea of Europanto mashes a bunch of languages together (check out the discussion on Metafilter for some excellent examples of Europanto in action!). When I lived in France, I ended up speaking a sort of mangled Franglais for most of the time (and when I got back to the states, too); I think I'd do excellently well with Europanto as a true language.

Sometimes the headline says it all: Education Department Mined Hundreds of Students' Records as Part of FBI Antiterrorist Operation. Grrreat. In less Orwellian news, or perhaps more Orwellian, depending on your view of alternative history, the Mythopoeic Award winners were announced recently.

Tomorrow: links from others!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The photos of our OSR trip are up over on Flickr, along with some other interesting locations we visited like the Mysterious Revolving Ball of Marion (which revolves incredibly slowly, as it turns out). Fun times!

More spooky news: you can view a recently discovered mummified Mongolian body via a photo gallery, or look into a new burial concept from Sweden in which one's body is frozen with liquid nitrogen and then pulverized. I was sort of hoping that other people could shatter the body with a sledgehammer or something if they wanted, but it's all very controlled. But cool, nevertheless.

In Japan, there's a whole activity based on polishing bits of mud. How have I not heard of this before? They're called dorodango, they look like marbles, and they're absolutely bizarre.

Meanwhile, in New York, a performance group goes slo-mo in Home Depot. I love this kind of stuff.

And for those of us in Ohio, Jon Stewart is coming for a week to film the Midwest Mideterm Midtacular. Go and prove that we are not all conservative wingnuts!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

We are back! We found no ghosts, but had fun nevertheless. Regular posting, along with photos of the trip, will resume tomorrow.