Friday, August 31, 2007

It's time for Friday links from others! Many thanks, everyone.

From Brendan: Feedburner and Blogger now work together, like a Reese's Cup for the geeky. Lovely.

From Cassandra: Women and horror; a more specific look at feminism and The Cat People; and a website on "Christian discipline" that has turned out to be a hoax (but was funny while it was operational).

From Dawnowar: the most awesome cake ever, featuring the Muppets!

From Bunny, who is evil: the creepiest, ickiest spider story ever. (Also, a related story about a gigantic spiderweb.)

Have a spiffy holiday weekend, everyone! We'll be off on Monday and see you on Tuesday.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Creative Fundraising Award of the summer goes to a Pennsylvania library currently auctioning off one of Dale Earnhardt's tires. Yes, really! (Well, not the award part. I made that up. But if such an award existed, this library would probably win it.)

Questia now features scores of public domain books, much like Project Gutenberg. This might be a good way to catch up on the classics. For images, Wellcome is a fantastic site, and everything is available under a Creative Commons license!

We now move into the educational portion of our post. By now you've probably heard about Miss Teen South Carolina's views on geography. Now MapsForUS is here to help the U.S. Americans who don't have maps of the Iraq and such. (If you're not up to speed on this issue, there's a video link on the site which explains everything.)

For the more geographically and politically savvy, Politifact covers what's going on in the world of our public leaders. (Check out the army of news researchers involved! News librarians rock!)

For both the mathematically inclined and the people who avoid math like a contagious disease: We All Use Math Every Day, working in tandem with the TV show Numb3rs, does its best to make math fun and useful.

And now, for some fun stuff: George W. Bush is visiting Australia for the APEC meeting, and an Australian newspaper suggests that you dress him in Aussie gear. (I particularly like the Dame Edna options.)

What are the 25 best opening lines of rock songs? Spinner has a list so that people can argue. (There is a distinct lack of gothy/new wave songs on the list. I think this should be remedied.)

Tomorrow: links from others!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I am sorry to report that I took the Bionic Assessment Test and am only 39% bionic. Don't count on me to save you from a burning car or anything. (Part of my low score is due to the fact that I didn't read all the instructions and completely bombed one section. Doh.)

Luke Skywalker's lightsaber is going up with the next shuttle! How cool is that? (I poked around a bit more and found that Chewbacca delivered the lightsaber to NASA, which is even better.)

A quick look at what's going on around the world: in Liverpool, the International Slavery Museum has opened in time to commemorate the bicentennial of abolishing slavery in England; an artist is going to Chernobyl with special cameras that capture radiation; Egypt has an amazing collection of funerary portraits from the Roman era; and a look at two years after Katrina in New Orleans.

Also, in Florida they captured a "melanistic bobcat" which is all black. They think this may solve the mystery of people claiming to see black panthers. I swear I saw a huge black cat up in Massachusetts one summer when I was little, but no one's ever believed me. Maybe it was one of these.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

For those of you who were watching the progress, the Cthulhu mosaic table is done at last! So far, no eldritch screams have been heard, but I figure it's only a matter of time. (We're plotting another creation already.)

As many have already seen, steampunk made the Sunday Boston Globe, with a gallery of photos as a sidebar. Superb job, everyone!

Sailing the Aether is a new steampunk-centered weblog (I always get excited when I find new weblogs!).

A few men to marvel at and/or stare at in disbelief for their way of seeing the world: Bert Hickman and his Teslamania site (be sure to check out the shrunken coins!), Mikael Carlson and his flying machines (be sure to check out the Bleriot with 1910 innards!), Bernie Lubell and his art installations (be sure to check out his Etiology of Innocence), and Fritz Kahn's drawings of the body as a magnificent machine (be sure to check out...everything of his, actually).

Monday, August 27, 2007

You may remember me talking about Joseph Cornell's work a few weeks ago. I just found out that there's a book and DVD of his art as well!

The most Art Deco city in the world is...Shanghai. Wow. I had no idea.

Here's an interesting point: with its media piracy and questionable food practices, China today is an awful lot like America in the 19th century. I wonder if Chinese equivalents of Upton Sinclair and Jacob Riis will soon make news.

Boring postcards can be fun!

Orchestras are going hi-tech. This might hurt concert halls.

Friday, August 24, 2007

It's Friday! Thanks to everyone who sent in links.

From Holly: who ya gonna call? Chicken Busters!

From Brendan: the Literature Map, which led him to the Angry Professor in a roundabout way.

From Bunny: there is an actual John Galt Corporation, and it was supposed to be in charge of some demolition work after 9/11. It's very weird and confusing.

Swiped from Tim: look, ThinkGeek sells chainmail shirts!

And finally...have you seen Escort's video for "All Through the Night" that syncs up the song with the Muppets? If not, you need to see it right now; it will make your day. Some detail on how they did it is available, too. Disco's not dead, man.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

This week is all about new exciting library developments! Well, mostly.

New websites: Carl Malamud is arguing that case law should be freely accessible to all. As a result, he's begun a free database of cases that start in 1880 and will go forward, evidently. (The site is given in the article; I went there this morning and it was a work in progress, but it only began on Sunday.)

Another new development: Freebase, which is Wikipedia-like but intends to only use open source and Creative Commons material. It's brand new and looking for volunteers!

A new people search engine (well, new to me, anyway): Pipl. It finds all sorts of interesting things for people. I found Bunny's email address from ten years ago (it doesn't work anymore, for the record).

The Reader Advisor's Online Blog is a great starting point for finding new material to read. (I also subscribe to Bookmarks Magazine, which I highly recommend.)

The Alaska State Library has a neat idea on how to use a weblog: they're putting up unidentified photos and asking the public if they recognize the people and places.

For the law librarians: finding information about expert witnesses just got a lot easier with this resource guide. Nice.

And finally, did you know that Sunday is Women's Equality Day? It is! Celebrate!

Tomorrow: links from others!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Happy belated birthday to H.P. Lovecraft, who would have turned 117 yesterday. I bet he would have created a bizarre story about this actual concept of a lunar ark.

Is cremation bad for the environment? Or is it better than the alternatives?

Those of us familiar with the ever-moving raves of the '90s will immediately grok the idea of Hidden Kitchen, a Parisian dining experience that changes locations each time.

Meanwhile, back here at home, Jungle Jim's just won a contest for the best restrooms!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

If it's Tuesday, that means it's time for another Steampunk Librarian entry...

The Airship is Coming! So says the Post and Tele Museum in Denmark, which has a great exhibit going on about zeppelins. The page explaining dirigible construction is especially interesting.

More interesting sites about the past: Vitaphone Varieties examines films and photos from an earlier age, while the Classic Typewriter Page celebrates the instruments we used before computers showed up.

Jeff de Boer creates elaborate, beautiful, steampunk jetpacks! If you like this sort of thing, be sure to visit the rooms of the Internet Craftsmanship Museum . Lots of inspiring stuff is lurking there.

And lastly but not leastly, a wonderful weblog: Yours in a White Wine Sauce!

Monday, August 20, 2007

I had no idea there was a Color Marketing Group which determines the "hot" colors for a particular year or season. They even have detailed their forecasting methods. Evidently this year's colors are green, blue, brown, and red. (Er. Seems like a good way to cover one's bases, there.)

In more artistic news, Dresden's Old Masters Picture Gallery has opened a wing in Second Life, with 750 paintings displayed. Wow. I finally have a reason to visit Second Life!

After some authors die, their creations continue. Sherlock Holmes is a particularly visible example, and it seems that James Bond will join him in the future. (If the authors don't like this turn of events, maybe they could pool their afterlife money and scare readers and agents with these possessed books. Har.)

A stranger, more serious story about a late author: Arthur Miller's son Daniel had Downs Syndrome, and was never acknowledged or mentioned by his father until very late in his life. There's some interesting speculation on how his work reflected this conflict.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Lots of links from others today; we'll go through them alphabetically. (Note to Brendan: your email got accidentally zapped by the spam filter - could you resend it?)

From Bunny: the boss of a Chinese toy factory hangs himself as a result of the current recall. (Since the FDA chief was executed a few weeks ago, maybe he was trying to avoid a similar fate?)

From Cassandra: the awesome Horror Movie a Day weblog, a story about Stephen King being mistaken for a vandal when he signed some books in a bookstore, and a look at the propaganda surrounding marijuana these days.

From Courtney: the bizarre tale of the duct tape bandit from Kentucky.

From Danny: the Yangtze River dolphin is thought to be extinct. Where's Douglas Adams when you need him?

From Holly: a giant LEGO man washed up on the beach of a Dutch resort! It turns out that he goes by Leonard and even has his own webpage, although no one is quite sure who he is or what he's doing floating about visiting various countries.

Also from Holly: the best flyer ever, and an update on solving Rubik's Cube (Holly's comment: "I thought people had moved on from this by now.")

From a relative who goes by Mink: they can't take away our freedom! Mink are running amok in the Berkshires! Run for the hills! Woohoo!

From Satori: the mystery of the annual visitor to Poe's grave may be solved, as a 92-year-old man has come forward. They call the whole thing a hoax, but is it really? I think it's taken on a life of its own at this point, regardless of how it started.

Many thanks, everyone! Have a spiffy weekend. See you Monday.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

You know what libraries really need? A perfume that evokes memories of leather bindings, brittle pages...and "a hint of mildew." I'm thinking they should also add some subtle undertones of toner, coffee, and scotch tape. Pop culture has always had a slightly skewed view of librarians, as this presentation shows, but that makes it fun. (I am excited to find out more about "edu-core" band BlöödHag.)

Ever wondered what it was like to be a law librarian? No? Well, I'm going to show you anyway. Here are the big issues facing us these days. On the flip side, a bitter law librarian burns his bridges on his way out the door. (The comments indicate that it's a male librarian. My favorite comment, however, is the one which ends "Most law librarians are weirdos, anyway." This is my new motto.)

Bringing books to the people, instead of the other way round, has been around as a concept for centuries. However, in Venezuela they've recently recruited mules to act as bookmobiles. They call them bibliomulas. Hee!

Wikipedia vs. encyclopedias, part 1742: a list of the mistakes in the Encyclopedia Britannica that have been fixed (or not repeated, at least) by Wikipedia. Every source is fallible, people. Use these resources as starting points, not final destinations!

Speaking of destinations, you can now create personalized Google Maps. Hooray! Also, for farther travels, Arizona State University and NASA are working together to bring the Apollo space images online.

Tomorrow: lots of links from others!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The always-fascinating Damn Data explains how Theosophy revived the concept of cremation in the west. It's odd to think cremation was such a taboo here until recently. Most people I know plan on being cremated when they go. Thanks, Madame Blavatsky!

A brief look across the nation:

In Arizona, the cowboy poets are gathering.

In Ann Arbor, they've got urban fairies.

In New York City, they have the Surveillance Camera Players (other chapters have sprung up around the globe!).

Meanwhile, Russia may have tried to claim the Arctic, but they used footage from Titanic to try to convince the rest of the world. Er...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The big steampunk news is Datamancer's appearance on the Wall Street Journal's Tech Diary! Steampunk is getting famous. Eeek.

I pre-ordered my copy of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier yesterday. It sounds like it will be less Victorian and more all across the centuries, which makes it even more fun to me. For those dedicated to Victoriana, though, there is 221 Baker Street in Los Angeles, which looks to be a faithful recreation of the Sherlock Holmes residence. (I particularly like the Chemist's Corner.) If you are a Holmes fan, by the way, the Sherlockiana weblog is a must.

Due to inflation, the penny dreadful of yesteryear has transmogrified into the Dollar Dreadful. It still looks like the olden days, though!

Pretty photos of gears and clockwork from a talented watchmaker make me happy. I expect it makes other steampunky people happy too.

A futuristic link from Bunny: batteries made from paper? Amazing! Think of how small mechanized bits could become! Also becoming reality: bones made with the help of inkjet printers. Wow.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Hello, and welcome to your weekly whirlwind of liberal arts links.

Music: The tumblr version of 120 Minutes gives you actual alternative music videos from back in the day, before emo took over.

Language: do you hate the misuse of quotation marks? For proofreaders, English teachers, and nitpicky grammar types, Quotation Marks chronicles the madness.

Art: make a skull every day! Why? Why not?

History: you have probably seen LOLcats. Now there is LOLhistory! (This is probably only amusing to history geeks. I really like the General MacArthur post.)

Art: Contortionists turn their body into art pieces. The photo gallery is darned amazing.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Links from others, as it is Friday. Thanks, everyone!

From Holly: Thai cops are punished with Hello Kitty armbands. Er?

From Bunny: a prominent Young Republican is in hot water for molesting another man. Eeep.

From Cassandra: the absolute creepiest thing you will see today.

From Courtney: Wal-Mart is selling Biblical action figures!

From the Graveworm: a super-cool floating powered lightbulb, based on Tesla's inventions.

Swiped from Tim: Brits don't know their road symbols, and I can't really blame them. I got 5 of 10 right, and think the first one is the vaguest symbol ever. (My guess was "Warning, Schrodinger's cat may be ahead. Or not.")

Other fun stuff: a Chinese TV show fights fake antiques by smashing them, and Blackle thinks we could save a ton of energy by going to grey type on a black background. We'd be more stylish then too, if perhaps a bit more visually impaired.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Happy International Day of the World's Indigenous People!

(The UN needs to work on more user-friendly titles.)

Are you a librarian suffering from burnout? Symptoms include rudeness. This cracks me up for some reason.

I hadn't looked at the Internet Library for Librarians in years, but it's still going strong and is still a great resource. I should start revisiting old bookmarked library sites.

How many of the 52 most influential photographs have you seen? (Well, 51, really. I don't think the last one counts.)

And lastly, it's not too early to start planning for BlogDay on August 31. Consider participating and expanding your horizons!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

It's 102 outside (yes, really) and it's hard to get motivated to even update, much less walk around the neighborhood. But in case you live in a more temperate climate, try WalkScore and see how pedestrian-friendly your living area is! I put our house address down and we got a score of 31, which is deemed "unwalkable" although we can get to the basics if need be.

Big happy Meet Cleaver news! Butch got interviewed for the Midnight Podcast, and here's an mp3 of the interview. Listen to our fun madness!

Finally, someone is taking time travel seriously! If you're rich and want to help, feel free! (There's all sorts of interesting things on his faculty page.)

A neat link from DawnoWar: who have you outlived so far? I just outlived Andy Kaufman and, if I make it another year or so, I will have outlived Princess Diana. Yikes, I'm old.

From Cassandra: so, does alien life exist? Can we get a definitive answer? (Probably not till the spaceships land on Earth. But it's fun to speculate.)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hi. I've been engrossed by Daymare Town and its similarly spooky (and rather steampunky) siblings lately. It's especially fun playing these at night! I told someone the other day that I thought these sorts of games should be used in place of the logic section in standardized testing. Creative problem-solving, I can do. Logic puzzles, not so much.

The rest of today's posts are the result of following trails along the web and finding interesting things along the way. I started out reading about flying tanks, and then somehow ended up finding Just Imagine, a film from 1930 I've never seen (but need to!). In the process, I found out that what I really like is now called Raygun Gothic. Hee. (A lot of steampunk aficianados ignore everything from 1910 or so on. I am not one of those aficianados; I'm fascinated with everything through the 1930s, including the pulp stuff and the art deco and all that.)

You knew it was only a matter of time: behold, Steam Trek!

If you know Russian, you can breeze through the amazing Moscow Metro site a little more easily than the rest of us. Fortunately, you can click away merrily without worrying too much and see some amazing photos and scans (also, the URLs are in English, which helps).

Insects + gears = wow.

And lastly, I love how "analog" is becoming a synonym for retro these days. Ooooh, analog!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Attention Muppet fans: the Center for Puppetry Arts Museum in Atlanta is going to receive old/retired Muppets from the Hensons! Obviously a road trip is in order.

In more broadcast news, the future and/or possible demise of public access television is being discussed. This has hit the horror host community awfully hard.

A treasure trove of old photographs from British cinema has been discovered in a filing cabinet. Wow.

An online exhibit of art by convicts shows some truly interesting work.

Just for fun, an interview with Dita von Teese, burlesque star. I have a thing for Dita, okay?

And also just for absurd fun, you can flip type upside down. There's a webpage for everything these days!

Friday, August 03, 2007

There's all sorts of stuff going on this weekend. If you're in the Chicagoland area, check out the AAUW Art Showcase in Elgin (Holly's photography is there!); if you're anywhere between Michigan and Alabama, the Route 127 Yard Sale is happening; and tonight the Club Creatures pay tribute to Pete Burns of Dead or Alive with a Cowbell Chaos night. Good times!

Links from others (thanks, everyone!):

From Nicole via Cassandra: read your own palm! We all tried it and found it fairly accurate, frighteningly enough.

From Holly: they've found the gene for left-handedness.

From Cassandra: a really interesting take on how Disney views masculinity; a look at which law firms are giving money to which 2008 presidential candidate; and scary news about lightning strikes in China.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The good people at ResourceShelf have put together a comprehensive list of resources for the Minneapolis bridge story, including a link to sources for streaming audio and video coverage.

A former news researcher is detailing her last months online though the Oregonian. This is difficult to watch, but ultimately very affirming.

And now for something completely silly: this spoof article is about a proposed Hottie Librarians calendar. I think ALA should actually go with this; it'd be a great fundraiser.

LLRX has a great pathfinder for gay and lesbian law. It looks as if it covers a lot of transgender-related law, too.

Why should you, as a librarian, care about and promote this Web 2.0 business? Well, here's a rather detailed list explaining what it is and why you should care.

Tomorrow: links from others!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

For those who are both morbidly and geographically inclined, MyDeathSpace now features a map. Someone could probably build a thesis around this.

Also geographic and spooky: is there a huge network of secret tunnels under Tokyo? Doesn't it make you want to go explore? You can take along an umbrella straight out of Blade Runner when you go! And if you get hurt, you can use these crime scene bandages. Er, well, that last part might not help you convince authorities.

Esoterica is one of my favorite publications. Just look at the titles of the articles.

This in from Cassandra: an Australian priest goes bonkers on some skater kids and ends up on YouTube. Nuns everywhere are put on notice to hide their rulers (or look for cameraphones before rapping knuckles).