Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween from Spooky Librarians HQ, everyone! For your ghostly entertainment, here's a plethora of haunted libraries. Oooweeeeooo!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

You know you're in California when there's an earthquake...and it's no big deal. At least, it wasn't here in Monterey. It was a 5.6 near San Jose; it rumbled through here and lasted just long enough for me to go "What the...hey, is this an earthquake?" (At the moment, I think cellphone access is down, however.)
Here I am in Monterey, this time with some fellow librarians I know and love! (They also have a car, so we've been able to see some stuff I wouldn't normally - photos will be up soon.) The official weblog of the proceedings is tracking most of what's going on. (Incidentally, as per usual, actual internet access at Internet Librarian is unpredictable and spotty, which is just bizarre. Yesterday's sessions on search engines took place in a room with no access! Madness!)

More soon...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Wow, there are a ton of links from others this week! Many thanks to everyone who sent in something. (Also, if you have something you want to share, feel free to post it in the comments; since I'll be at the conference next week, updates will be erratic and I'm all for people sharing links!)

In alphabetical order of contributor name and/or pseudonym:

From Bunny: the utterly fantastic Emergency Zombie Defense Station! The stick figure pictograms are my favorite part.

From Cassandra: the New York Times delves into what nightmares are made of; Alternet meets a sex mannequin that imitates life by making one do different things to get different results; and GLAAD says that the words "gay" and "lesbian" and the like are preferable to "homosexual" when writing articles. A quick poll among my gay friends affirmed this.

From Courtney: Creature Features brings you October Shadows 2007!

From Dawnowar: now you can send birthday cards from beyond the grave! Ooooweeeooo!

From Holly: the haunting story of a squirrel with eyes too big for its stomach, and how to build your own Sputnik. These two articles are unrelated, at least as far as I know.

Jase got his steampunky photos on Boing Boing! Woot! Yay Jase!

From Father Jeff: a brilliant but disturbing take on "Hurt" by...Kermit the Frog. (Jeff, you better say some Hail Marys for this one.)

From Mykol: Mystery Science Theatre 3000 replica bots! (Also, everyone should be nuice to Mykol, whose hopes and dreams were crushed last week by the Red Sox.)

From the Sparkle Queen (woohoo, the Sparkle Queen lives! I owe her a big long email): the SPOGG blog. (They already hate me for all my sentence fragments in this post, I'm sure.)

From Tony via Holly: our Cincinnati cops are the best, let me tell you.

From Zazoo: climate change is messing up New England's fall foliage tourist season something awful.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! I will try to update a bit next week, or at least post some pictures. See you then!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

As the good people at Library Etiquette point out, "Blogging at a library conference is a great way to avoid going outside and seeing exciting new places," but I am headed out to Internet Librarian next week and bringing the laptop along. Hopefully I will update every now and then, but the pull of the otters is strong, which is why I didn't sign up to get a "blogger" ribbon! (To keep track of other librarians who will be part of the Monterey invasion, Technorati is good for this sort of thing.)

Even the Library of Congress has stuff go missing - up to 17%, according to a recent review. I don't feel so bad about our stray missing materials now.

Combining the World Series and the Supreme Court may seem bizarre, but Oyez Baseball! does just that. Additionally, you can look up any justice, either modern or historic, and take a quiz to see which baseball personage they most represented. (I am a miffed bystander for this World Series, because I think it was Cleveland's turn to break their curse and win the whole thing. Boston seems like quite the juggernaut right now, though.)

For the word geeks: the Scripps Spelling Bee and Merriam-Webster have joined forces to create Spell It! - a study site for spellers. Nice!

Lots of links from others tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Best wishes to everyone in the San Diego area right now. A wildfire emergency website has been set up, which lists evacuation areas, power outages, etc.

Apparently the 10th annual Kinetic Race is still on for Ventura Beach, however, and looks to be as wacky as ever!

For those of you in Europe, this weekend marks another annual event, the Italian Job. Have fun!

Courtesy of Bunny, here is "Dead Rabbit," who performs zombie rap. Yes. Really. You've been warned.

Does everyone have their Halloween costume ready? (I don't, for the record. But it's close!)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Steampunky objects are popping up all over etsy, and they're taking notice over there. (I restrict my time browsing etsy, because I would spend all my money there easily.)

(If Squidpunk ever becomes a viable alternative, however, I've got a nice Cthulhu table just waiting for its day in the...night? Depths?)

A preview of the new volume of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is up at Entertainment Weekly, of all places. It looks mysterious and interesting, and why the hell are Mina and Quartermain so young?

Where are our jetpacks? They've been here for a while, says an article in Reason, and it's, well, reasonable. But we want affordable jetpacks, you see!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Literature, music and culture (or lack thereof) are the themes for today...

The recently discovered portrait of Shakespeare appears to be authentic. Sadly, this will not put any controversies about who really wrote all those sonnets and plays.

Meanwhile, a new theory about the cause of death for Edgar Allan Poe seems to have a lot of sense behind it; they're thinking he may have had a brain tumor. (Bonus points are given for the poem in the comments!)

Picking on someone's misuse of grammar is popular these days. (God knows I do it often enough. Bunny thinks I missed my calling as a proofreader.) Many thanks to Cassandra for sending this to me!

It's Halloween season, and that means it's time to put dogs in all sorts of silly costumes.

They Might Be Giants has a video out for "We're the Mesopotamians." Yay! (TMBG is touring right now, too. Check out their website for more info.)

And finally, here's some good old culture jamming. Johnny's Toys is a local toy store, known for its "birthday castle." Suddenly, a small band of freedom fighters appeared on the scene...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Today: oodles of links from others! Thanks, everyone. In alphabetical order of link donor:

From Brendan: PC Mag's top 100 blogs, containing all sorts of goodies.

From Cassandra:

From Holly:

Swiped from Tim: you can get a copy of your file from Homeland Security by filling out these forms. I'm very tempted to do it and see what they think about me.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A reminder for those in the area: you can stop by Indigenous in O'Bryonville tonight and see the spooky librarians (and many more people!) at the Halloween art show!

Found on Librarian's Index to the Internet: did you know that today is Alaska Day?

WikiMindMap is a fun visual search engine for Wikipedia. I tried libraries and got some good results, and then I tried Halloween and got oodles of interesting subsets.

A steampunky purse made from old books is just plain awesome. And if you like those wild designs from the end papers of older books, you'll love this assortment from Drawger (add your own if you have some cool ones!).

Threadless is at it again, providing cool shirts for the masses. This one's even library-oriented.

Finally, some Flash fun: play library games! The second one ("I'll Get It!") is frighteningly similar to the shifts I have on the virtual reference desk.

Tomorrow: links from otherse!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wednesday means it's time for geographical and/or spooky links. Onward!

Google Earth has a (slightly hidden) flight simulator program embedded now, so you can soar above the states. Wheee!

Strange Maps, always fantastic, presents a 1937 map showing what was happening where. I was glad to finally get a grip on where the Mississippi Valley is, as opposed to the Ohio Valley. All that valleyness tends to blur a bit.

If it's October, that means it's time for the Circleville Pumpkin Show! I knew a girl who was the Pumpkin Queen one year. Yes. Really.

We've set the TiVo to tape anything Halloween-related. This was not one of our better ideas, because evidently every TV show ever made produced a "special Halloween episode." It's netted us some good finds amidst the junk, though, like DIY's Witching Hour specials.

And lastly, the truly spooky: how does it feel to die?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Something fun for the futuristic transhumanists among us: a free downloadable pdf of Raymond Kurzweil's essays from 2001-2003. (Thanks, Bunny!)

Behold the museum of flashlights, bringing you a vast array of tiny lights throughout the years.

So what attracts a person to steampunk? A discussion on LiveJournal brings up all sorts of interesting points. The overall answer is the same one I have: we were always interested in this sort of stuff, we just didn't know there was a name for it!

(I also like this comment: "It's the constant feeling that I was born a century too early or a century too late.")

And finally, Unhallowed Metropolis looks like all kinds of awesome. The bios are especially great.

Monday, October 15, 2007

A local paper did an article on the Halloween Hullabaloo art exhibit going on, and the Cthulhu table gets mentioned! Also, while poking around the net for other Hullabaloo-related bits, I found Morninglori's creations, which are awesome and fun and can also be seen at the exhibit.

And now, on to the Monday links!

If a piece of art isn't finished, is it still art? You could probably extrapolate this out to unfinished books, too.

On television, transgendered people are getting some representation for once.

Did you know there was an "unlucky" Verdi opera? Me neither!

I'm fascinated by Alan Moore, who brought us Watchmen, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and much more. An article about his latest (controversial) work takes place in the town where he lives.

And finally...Rona Jaffe, who brought us Mazes & Monsters, began a foundation which gives out awards to writers. Who knew?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Friday! Links from others! Thanks to all!

But first, some self-promoting announcements:

1. Heir of December Media, home of Meet Cleaver Theatre, MCT: Sub Atomic and the PuppetBrad show, now has a video home on Veoh! (The videos are also available on YouTube; you can syndicate through Veoh. It's all very cool.)


Yep, that is my stained glass. Eeek! A slightly different version of the Angel of Death is at the show (the one pictured above now lives in Toledo, where she is happily reaping souls), as is the Cthulhu mosaic table I made over the summer and a bat-themed glass & wood box I made with Mr. Kazendei. If you're near Cincinnati this month, try to stop by and check out all the local artisans - I've seen a few pieces already and they're all very cool!

Now, on to the links...

From Tony, via Holly: The ninja-pirate debate continues.

From Lulu, via Bunny: one of the most bizarre Star Wars-related performances I have ever seen. And I've seen a LOT.

From Danny: a bat costume made from an umbrella! Genius! Also, a motion-activated lighted coffee table. I particularly like the idea of watching the cat's tail activate the lights.

From Cassandra: rebel nuns in Poland, a young inventor named Benjamin Franklin in Salamanca, and the dark side of Charlie Brown's alter ego in the comics.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Random language news: I've always likd hyphens in a sort of hey-look-I-can-mash-words-together way (it must be the German in me), so I was prepared to protest this new movement toward getting rid of hyphenated words. Then I read the article and I have to admit that I don't use hyphens for any of the changed words they list, so my argument wouldn't be terribly strong. (Citing "ungainly horizontal bulk" isn't a very strong argument either, however.)

Current event announcement: Today is National Coming Out Day. I remember this being a big deal when I was in college.

Law librarians: it's fun to be online, isn't it? (I mean this quite seriously. I love virtual reference.)

New libraries: check out this Library on the Lake in Shanghai. It looks awesome. (Actually, it looks like a level in Katamari Damacy. Roll around and pick up the books!)

Found via there's a British underworld gangster called The Librarian. This would be kind of cool if said Librarian wasn't responsible for kids getting shot.

And finally, for the non-librarians among us (or the librarians who want to slack off and have some fun with tagging): play ListenGame and categorize some songs by emotion!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Here's a freaky test: are you left-brained or right-brained? The dancer started out spinning counterclockwise for me, and then I focused and got her to switch directions more or less on command. I'm not sure if this means I'm flexible, wishy-washy, or just good at giving myself a headache.

Yoko Ono dedicated the Imagine Peace project yesterday in Iceland, on what would have been John Lennon's 67th birthday. This looks so cool.

Has anyone tried Lucid, a legal absinthe for us Americans who can't handle the European wormwood?

If you act fast (and have a spare few million), you could own the house that inspired "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" by H.P. Lovecraft! I checked the realtor listing and it's still for sale.

'Tis the season to shop for spooky things: Grandin Road has pricey but pretty stuff, while Curiosities has some more manageable trinkets for this time of year.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

While I was in San Francisco, we went to an absolutely amazing store called Paxton Gate. It's highly recommended for anyone into science, history, or art...including steampunks!

Continuing on with the art/steampunk combo post...the always fascinating Instructables website shows you how to make your very own mad scientist goggles, and if you're especially hardcore you could try to replicate this voltmeter-ammeter bra. Eeek.

A gallery of tarot card designs shows how infinite the symbols behind the cards can be, while a gallery of old photos themed around crime and punishment show how it's possible to waste entire days and nights poking around Flickr.

If you want old-fashioned housewares and lighting, Rejuvenation is the place to go. I love the light switches!

And finally, Haiku for You is not steampunk, but is a collaborative art weblog - send in your story and they will turn it into a haiku with an accompanying illustration. Neat idea.
Hi there. Yesterday got a little hectic and no entry went up. But there are lots of California photos on Flickr to look at! There will be a big combo entry later on today; stay tuned.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Today: links from others! I'm still getting caught up from the trip - thanks to Cassandra and Holly for sending in some links!

From Cassandra: a page of wonderful time wasters and an article on the incredible Wellcome collection.

From Holly: the cats of Russia's Hermitage Museum.

From both of them: the winners of the IgNobel Prizes, and an account of the proceedings!

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone. We'll be back to normal posting schedule on Monday!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I'm back! I ran off with Jojo and the Club Creatures for a few days in San Francisco, which was a blast. Photos will be up on Flickr soon, once I get caught up with everything.

For now: go forth and celebrate National Book Month!

For the genealogy buffs, here's an amazingly huge repository of links that will take months to work through.

I may have linked to the Fact Checker before, but I don't think so. Even if I have, you should check it out again, as they analyze current political statements on a constantly updated basis.