Friday, March 30, 2007

It's Friday, and that means it's time for Links From Others! Thanks, everyone!

From Bunny: Real Movie Trivia and a radioactive watch. No self-respecting horror host should be without either one of these.

From Holly: two dancing boys who may never live this down.

From Satori: one of the more innovative contests out there right now.

From Danny: Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music, Version 2.5! Start clicking and lose yourself for a few hours. I am super-knowledgable about synthpop, darkwave, HI-NRG and goth, but I've never heard of some of the other subgenres on here. Nu-Italo? Synthtron? (Apparently I am a big Synthtron fan and just didn't know it!)

Monday is Opening Day for baseball season (yay!) and not only do we have a parade here, we have a parrot singing (part of) "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." Top that, New York!

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Via Libraryola, there is another Ning community out there for librarians who have weblogs!

Mt. Kisco needed to move their library books to a new building and came up with a great way to do it that got the community involved. Sometimes library PR can be fun!

Speaking of PR, here's an article to law librarians on how to make yourselves known as the indispensable creatures you are. (We've done most of the things listed. Now we're really really really busy. It's a little out of control.)

Oh, the things you'll find in books. Have you heard the one about bacon used as a bookmark yet? True story.

And finally...Search Engine Smackdown! Test your knowledge of Google et al and beat someone up. My Sergey Brin knocked out Bill Gates, but it was a struggle.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Forget the NCAA tournament - it's time for the Science Spring Showdown! (I forgot to put this up yesterday.)

NASA's Institute for Advanced Concepts (aka Futuristic Cool Stuff) is in danger of shutting down. This is particularly bad timing, since there's apparently going to be a huge solar storm that causes all sorts of problems in 2012. Nice going, Powers That Be.

If the globe warms up fast and the sunstorms hit, however, there may be some cool floating hotels, at least. Er.

Speaking of future issues, I'm fascinated by transhumanism. Here's a helpful list of terms and concepts for the curious. For those not so eager about the future, there's always the Antikythera Mechanism, which is just plain amazing. (With HP enhancement images, too!)

And finally, if you're interested in spooky things and want to contribute, the fine folks at Dark But Shining are looking for volunteers. Go and communicate!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

In the news today: semi-identical twins? Weird.

Today's theme seems to be sort of retro. Fantastic Plastic takes you back to the days of awesome lightweight spaceship toys; the Relaxman looks a lot like something out of a '70s space movie; tire manufacturers have just grasped the idea that walnut shells make for excellent non-skid material; and whoa, I never knew the Mac command key symbol came from a Swedish campground.

And then there are Bald Guy Greeting Cards, which are not retro, just funny.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Over the weekend, Bunny and I were looking at a meme which asked what your "life-changing" albums were. You know, I thought about it for a long time, and I don't think there is an album that actually changed my life. Books, yes - there are books that changed the way I saw the world, at least. But an album that totally opened my eyes to something completely new? I don't think so. Anyone else? (Of course, a lot of the respondents put weird reasons down for their picks that weren't really life-changing, so it may just be a term I'm overanalyzing.)

Anyway. Apparently reading isn't all that, either - a lot of people fake their way through reading "important" literature. (I was pretty good about reading everything assigned, but I did give up on Faulkner. Maybe I'll get it later on in life, but not when I was in college...)

Television Without Pity has been acquired (acquired? bought? subsumed?) by Bravo. This should be interesting.

Gay's the Word, a huge bookstore in London, is in trouble. Brits, support your indie bookstores! (I've been to this store and it's great.)

If you've ever wondered what the desks of creative people look like, wonder no more!

Citizendium, which aims to be Wikipedia with more accountability, has just launched. If you fancy yourself an expert on something, take a look and consider volunteering.

Fun art time: check out these awesome 19th-century broadsides.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Today: bunches of links from others! Thanks, everyone!

From Cassandra: the weird world of quantum physics, the even weirder story of how the mayor of Salt Lake City is agitating for the impeachment of George Bush, and why you should never piss off the librarians.

From Danny: Zoomquilt, Part 2! Awesome!

Also from Danny: an artist using technology to make some really cool art. Keep clicking on "random" and drag your mouse around on the image, too.

From Courtney: the ASCPA list of cute adopted cat contest winners. I think the perching brothers are my favorite, although I also like the story of smuggling out kittens from Afghanistan.

From Bunny: The Haunted Squirrel! He can see your future! Ooooo! (I asked a question and his answer was "not in this lifetime." Well, hmph. Stupid haunted squirrel.)

Tim has a fun idea: what would your own personal Jeopardy! board look like? I'm still figuring mine out, and I'm going to post it over there once I do.

If you like riddles and/or driving yourself bonkers, there's a whole site of increasingly difficult brainteasers for you. I got the first question wrong, so this is obviously not my forte.

Fun factoid of the week: you can, indeed, make a silk purse out of a sow's ear!

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone. See you Monday.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

First off, please note the little search box in the upper right corner. You can search the spookylibrarians site for old Folderol posts and the like now, and it seems to work well so far. Thanks to Tim for suggesting it!

Also from Tim: The Library 2.0 group on Ning, which, as he says, is a social network similar to MySpace, but with better web design. The movers and shakers are on there; check it out! (I am not on there - yet, anyway - but may be soon. I always feel that I'm not hardcore enough for some library communities.)

I am on Twitter, however, as are a lot of other librarians, and new uses for the application are being investigated as we get used to it and experiment a bit. (I swiped this from Library Stuff, which also pointed out that John Edwards has his own Twitter account and blog. Now THAT is cool. Instant updates from the campaign trail! Think if everyone was doing this!)

The contest for Oddest Book Title is afoot, and a discussion among law librarians has turned up some seriously strange titles, too, such as "No justice, no piece!: a working girl's guide to labor organizing in the sex industry." Hee.

Fun with history! TimeSearch shows you what was happening when and where; the Presidential Timeline concentrates on U.S. presidents from the 20th century onward.

For those of us who search for medical articles, Relemed looks interesting - evidently it searches for relevancy between terms in PubMed articles. I haven't tried it out yet, however.

Tomorrow: links from others!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Oi, today has been yet another crazy day. But it is spring! (Link swiped from Cassandra.)

Today's sign of the apocalypse: cows are eating chickens.

I haven't seen Pan's Labyrinth yet, but I love this quote from director Guillermo del Toro: "At a certain age, I accepted monsters into my heart." It's an interesting article about personal religion and its relevance in the film.

A quick goofy geography quiz: can you name all fifty states in less than ten minutes? I zoomed through 40 of them in two minutes, then got stuck on the other 10 for another five. Sheesh.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

First off, this is the best fairytale ever. Parents, go read it to your kids!

An update on the R2D2 mailboxes: there are two in the Cincinnati area! I will hunt down the one downtown and take a photo. Also, here's a "teaser" trailer for the announcement of the Star Wars stamp.

More nostalgia: remember when playgrounds were dirty and dangerous and lots more fun?

Asteroids are coming and there's nothing we can do, aieeee! Well, maybe. Alternatively, you could not worry about crashing meteors and instead make art from Red Bull cans. (Bar owners should really get in on this; I bet they have enough empty cans lying about.)

Monday, March 19, 2007

And we are back! Some pix of our wacky trip are up at Flickr.

During our travels, we went by the well-known castle in Lexington, KY...which is now going to become a bed and breakfast. This is awesome, because the castle is amazing.

Cool artists of the week: Lynn Geesaman and Thomas Allen. I think that Topple and Chemistry are my favorite Allen works.

The quest for Leonardo da Vinci's Battle of Anghiari is continuing...perhaps with the help of high-tech weaponry!

Hamlet went on trial last week for the murder of Polonius. It ended in a deadlocked jury. Ha!

The story of how Alice in Wonderland got published in Russia is bizarre and very...Lewis Carroll, somehow.

They're making Edward Scissorhands into a dance production! This I have to see.

And finally, a wonderful mashup in which Bob Dylan reads Dr. Seuss: Dylan Hears a Who.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Hooray, it's Friday. We plan on escaping the rat race for a few days and so updates will be sporadic over the next week, but we'll be back to normal by the 19th. In the meantime, in case I miss them, happy St. Patrick's Day, happy Ides of March, and happy birthday to Dr. Matt!

And now, the links from others. Thanks, everyone!

From Holly: Nayio has an answer to that age-old question of "Do you know this song? It goes like this..." (I worked in a record store for a little while, and yes, this happens a lot.) You can now hum the song, and Nayio will try to identify it for you.

From Cassandra: a Salon article examining how we read (as opposed to what we read).

Also from Cassandra: Can't figure out how to decorate your room? Get a design psychologist!

From Tim: R2D2 mailboxes are coming! Woohoo! Now all we need are some Dalek mailboxes...

Also from Tim: analyzing one's media consumption. I think my media consumption is so high it probably veers toward requiring an intervention; if I get time, I may post my self-analysis.

And finally, the Truck Driver's Gear Change, which is a phrase describing the change in key that ends many a rock song (Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer" is a prime example). They seem to think this is a problem. I actually love this in songs; it's even better if you yell out "Modulate!" when the key change happens, in my opinion. I guess this is why I'm not a music critic.

Have a spiffy weekend and week, everyone! I'll definitely see you a week from Monday, and perhaps sporadically before then.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Happy International Women's Day! (Thanks to Courtney for the reminder!)

It's also the beginning of the International Polar Year...which apparently lasts for two years. Yeah, I don't know either. Maybe each pole gets its own year.

Mr. Humphreys is no longer free here on earth, but he may be dressing angels in heaven. Sad news.

What kind of stars do you have at your local library? Around these parts, we have Peter Frampton and Bootsy Collins! Rock on!

Google Answers has gone away, but some former members have formed UClue. Interesting.

If, like me, you love cities and photographs, this repository of photographs of cities should delight you.

And finally, after having seen a few people try this out, I am following the herd and am now on Twitter. If you want the occasional snarky or cryptic one-liner from me throughout the day, become my friend! There's even an RSS feed.

Tomorrow: links from others!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Another bullet-ridden day today. Sorry, it's been a little hectic here lately.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Wow, today has been a little bonkers. That means you get...bullets!

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Graveworm sends in a follow-up to Friday's sand circle story: apparently it was an art installation...from a former Special Ops Air Force worker. Er?

Oregon's libraries are in big trouble. I'm thinking that people should start chaining themselves to libraries, like they did with trees.

The correlation between Islamic art and higher mathematics has been pointed out recently, and I have to ask if that wasn't awfully obvious already. (Maybe it's just because I've been looking at Islamic designs for mosaics and the like, though.)

The Beeb is coming to YouTube, hooray!

Here's another list to argue over: the top 40 magazine covers of the last 40 years. Some I agree with, but I can think of quite a few that didn't make the list.

Defective Yeti has a great Cliche Rotation Project contest in the works. My new favorite, replacing "looking for a needle in a haystack," is "looking for a clock in a casino."

Richard Wagner, cross-dresser? It's likely, say the historians. Wow!

Friday, March 02, 2007

They call this the "they had to ask" post...

First off, I always operate under the idea that my favorite book hasn't been read yet. This is why my "to read" list is over 200 books at the moment. I'm a little cracked that way.

Having said that, here are the top baker's dozen, as of this particular moment:

The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
Freedom and Necessity - Steven Brust & Emma Bull
The Name of the Rose - Umberto Eco. Foucault's Pendulum, too.
The Diamond Age - Neal Stephenson. Also Snow Crash.
Housekeeping - Marilynne Robinson
Good Omens - Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
The Nero Wolfe mysteries by Rex Stout
Dear Enemy - Jean Webster. A sequel to Daddy-Long-Legs, which is also good
A Distant Mirror - Barbara Tuchman
Gaudy Night - Dorothy Sayers
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen - Alan Moore (the book, not the movie)
The Sherlock Holmes mysteries - Arthur Conan Doyle
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne

Near-misses (i.e. books that I still recommend but aren't my all-time faves)
Sunshine - Robin McKinley
The Archivist - Martha Cooley
A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Madeleine L'Engle

And finally...the original incarnation of Folderol included a booklog section. That disappeared eventually, and I started another listing of what I was reading in 2005, but stopped that around August. Every now and then I think about starting it up again. Anyway, if you care, here's what I read January-August 2005 (with brief commentary to boot):

  • Alphabet Abecedarium by Richard Firmage. The why and how of letters. It was okay; I had hoped it would be a little more fascinating than it was.
  • I, Claudius by Richard Graves. Basically a big old book of royal gossip. Spiffy!
  • Dark Matter: A Novel by Philip Kerr. Sir Isaac Newton, alchemy and atheism.
  • March Violets and The Pale Criminal by Philip Kerr (2/3 of Berlin Noir Trilogy). Dark 1930s detective stories. Incidentally, I think Philip Kerr must have gotten his heart smashed irrevocably into pieces at some point in time. No happy ever afters, ever, in his books. The 3d novel in the trilogy is set in 1948 Berlin and was too bleak to finish.
  • 2d Class Urgent by Nick Bantock. A sort of how-to book.
  • Sex with Kings : 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge by Eleanor Herman. Fun factoid: Bastard children were thought to be prettier and smarter than legitimate offspring because they were conceived out of love rather than duty. In actuality, they were better because they weren't so inbred.
  • The Naked Olympics by Tony Perrottet. The chariot races were the demolition derbys (derbies?) of their day.
  • A Matter of Taste: How Names, Fashion and Culture Change by Stanley Lieberson. Fun factoid: when the name Jennifer took over the world in the 1970s, other names ending in -er got a boost as well, like Amber and Heather.
  • The Anubis Slayings by P.C. Doherty. Murder and political intrigue during the reign of Hatshepsut. Part of a series.
  • Alexander the Great by Paul Cartledge. Probably much better if you're deeply enthralled by military strategy. About halfway through It abandoned all pretense of linear thought and started skipping around his life at random. Argh.
  • Route 66 A.D. by Tony Perrottet. Starting in Italy and ending in Egypt, this is a modern-day recreation of the journey that ancient tourists undertook. It was crowded and chaotic then, too, apparently.
  • The War of the Roses by Alison Weir.
    "I want to be king!"
    "No, I want to be king!"
    "Now we are old and dying, and someone else is king. Drat."
  • Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography by Douglas Keister. Pretty self-explanatory. Did you know there's a secret society dedicated to bugs?
  • Weird Europe : A Guide to Bizarre, Macabre, and Just Plain Weird Sights by Kristan Lawson and Anneli Rufus. I am so taking this book to Europe next time I go.
  • Baseball and Philosophy by Eric Bronson (ed.). An example: the batter starts at home, but the object is to go away from home, through a field full of opponents, and to get back home safe. Symbolism abounds. Discuss.
  • Poison: a history and a memoir by Gail Bell. Part genealogical mystery, part poison manual.
  • American Gods byNeil Gaiman. Roadside attractions are America's sacred places. Brilliant.
  • Sunshine byRobin McKinley. Neil Gaiman called this book "pretty much perfect," and it is. It's paranormal, but in an ultranormal tone that keeps you hooked. It also made me want to drop everything and start baking cinnamon rolls. That may have been just me.
  • The Codex by Douglas J. Preston. Indiana Jones meets the Da Vinci Code in the Mayan jungle. Crazy and fun.

(No Amazon links included here, but I can get you details if you like.)

Special, three-for-one day! Here's our big announcement for Meet Cleaver Theatre.



Meet Cleaver Theatre has lots of new media for you krypt-kids to snack on!
We've been pushing new bits for over a week now, but instead of bugging you relentlessly, we thought we would wait and dump it all on you at once (like your helpful boss or instructor).

Check out our profile on Myspace as well as our main site to see our fancy new online channel via "Brightcove"! For you kiddies with slower connections, we've duplicated all of our new material onto our Youtube channel as well! Be on the look out for 6 (count'em...SIX) new full length episodes of Meet Cleaver Theatre coming to your viewing area soon! All are chock full of trivia, skits and more wondrous ephemera than you can shake a martini at!

See Butch get arrested and put in the clink! See Joan get a new lease on life! Discover the mysteries of the talking Lovecraftian manuscript! Watch the climactic battle between the Cleavers and a new arch super villain! St. Corman enlightens the audience...the Paranoid Neighbor battles Deep Ones and the Cleavers learn the benefits of staying fit from Hercules himself!!! Now that's a spring break to remember!

So stop on by to visit your favorite psychotronic family as they bring you new trailers, new music videos and even behind the scenes footage from Universal Studios! Thanks to everyone for your support!

Cheers, The Cleavers

Today is a two-parter! Right now it's links from others; later on there will be a special bonus post with my list of books (as discussed in yesterday's comments).

From Satori: child safety experts call for limits on the imagination. How much do I love The Onion?

From the Graveworm:

Thanks, everyone!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Hey there, RSS users. I am experimenting with Google Reader and am not sure what I think about it yet. It seems a little...glitchy. Then again, Bloglines (my current standby) is also glitchy at times. Any opinions?

A brand new site for the law librarians: Open Congress promises to pull together not only the Congressional documents but also the buzz on the web about bills and acts and whatnot. Should be interesting to see how it works.

Meanwhile, the Library Ninja would like to remind you that books can be just as useful as computers. Plus, books can be used as a weapon - they can inflict some pretty vicious papercuts.

If you're a fan of the Oscars and a librarian, take note: the Academy is looking for a librarian/archivist. Ooooooo.

If you're more interested in spy stuff and super-secret defense intelligence, maybe you could get a job at the Pentagon and contribute to the Intellipedia. (I'm intrigued. What does it look like? What kind of stuff is on there? Are there flamewars?)

Anniversary time: The Cat in the Hat turns 50 this year, and Montessori education turns 100. Go and celebrate one or both!

From Cassandra: Pride and Prejudice is, allegedly, the best book ever. So say the BBC respondents, anyway.

Historical maps are cool. Online historical maps are even cooler!

Lastly, a search engine that uses a visual interface: Quintura, which has been revamped lately. I admit that I am not a big fan of these visualization techniques, but then again, I tend to like lists. Your mileage will most likely vary.

Tomorrow: more links from others!