Wednesday, December 31, 2008
It really IS the end of the year, however, and Filmoculous has gathered all the "best of" lists together in one place.
Tomorrow begins the Year of Astronomy! I know Cassandra is thrilled. Speaking of space, apparently it really messes with spiders' heads. And speaking of Cassandra, she's sent in links on the science behind psychic phenomena, a new (to us) website on astrology, and an article on "Pop EP," or pop evolutionary psychology.
Happy new year, everyone! May 2009 be the year of awesoments as well as astronomy.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I was poking around in search of others interested in both steampunk and transhumanism, and found the Traveler's Steampunk Blog had just posted about such things. Synchronicity at work! (Also note the entry on dieselpunk, which is another fave of mine. Where are the robots, I ask you?)
Good for dieselpunks, steampunks, and anyone of a mind to trap/annoy something/someone: instructions on making a net-shooting gun. I'm tempted.
Jess Nevins, a fellow librarian who is well-known in the neo-Victorian world, is posting a penny blood from 1876 titled "On the Queen's Service." Good stuff.
And lastly, this is not steampunk at all but ties into the way we think of gender now and in the future: a fascinating article and accompanying slideshow on the Muxe of Mexico, who live in "a socially sanctioned netherworld between the two genders."
Monday, December 29, 2008
Painting: He lived five hundred years ago, but we're still discovering new sketches by da Vinci. These were on the back of a painting.
Photography: A Flickr slideshow titled "Please Don't Divorce Us" puts faces to the Proposition 8 fight.
Writing and film: A 1937 WPA filmed interview with H.P. Lovecraft is the first I've seen of the author in person, so to speak.
Speaking of the WPA, do we need a Secretary of Culture?
Film and music and art and more: Mashed in Plastic is a tribute to David Lynch. They have a YouTube channel for their video work as well.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Also, the link of the day, of course, is NORAD and Google teaming up to track Santa's progress around the globe. Maybe we should look into supersonic reindeer as a green alternative to travel in the coming year.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
If you're still looking for some last-minute gift ideas, Villainess soaps look like an excellent idea for the Neo-Victorian in your life. If there is one, that is. If the recipient is more of a tinkerer, perhaps you could interest him or her in this Tesla car alarm. (The entire Tesla Down Under site is amazing, but also bandwidth-heavy, so go in with some warning.)
Swiped from Matt of Enter the Octopus: a weblog devoted to mustaches of the 19th century.
And finally, Danny points out that Oddee has done a whole entry on gorgeous libraries, and as I won't be updating on Thursday, I send you there now!
Monday, December 22, 2008
The New York Public Library has joined the Flickr Commons group, and they have an incredible amount to share.
I think I would understand street maps better if they followed the subway motif, like this map of
Kaiser Wilhelm II's Prussian palace is going to be rebuilt in Berlin. Prussia will rise again!
Discovery of the day: NOTCOT is chock-full of interesting bits. Do go check it out.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
For the Cincinnati folks, however, Saturday is the night we bid farewell to the Club Creatures by having a crazy dance party for them. Come out and send them off to NYC in style!
From Holly: kung-fu squirrels! Yahhh!
From Cassandra: volcanic eruptions on Earth may have killed off the dinosaurs, and there may be ice volcanoes on Saturn's moon. (The existence of dinosaurs on Saturn's moon is still in doubt.)
If you appreciate the shoe-throwing shenanigans of the past week, you may wish to contribute a photo to Thank You For Throwing Your Shoe. Just a suggestion!
And lastly, I am not sure how I made it this long without hearing about Parry Gripp, but I'm remedying that posthaste.
Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Speaking of books, there is talk that the Newbery award winners can be "too challenging" for kids these days. Oh, whatever, people.
The media is dying. Have you heard? Now there's a Twitter feed that tracks the layoffs and the upheavals in real time.
The history of Illinois corruption makes for some fascinating reading, regardless of your political leanings. (Full disclosure: I am related to the Madigans, in a distant sort of way. I've only met them at weddings and funerals and whatnot.)
From Cassandra: The top ten archaeological finds of 2008.
And finally, here's some more library design porn for those of us who love looking at library architecture. These have a more modernist bent.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Meanwhile, for the rest of us entrenched in reality, there are free films to watch online! Check out Der Luftkrieg der Zukunft (The Airship Destroyer), a silent German film from 1909 with dirigibles and more! (The entire Europa site is amazing and worth several hours of study.)
Steampunk and taxidermy have a weird symbiotic relationship that I don't truly understand. Something about gears and bones and transhumanism, I suppose. At any rate, this computer mouse by Daniel Pon combines both worlds in one click!
Monday, December 15, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
From Bunny: the perfect geek gift -- a Dalek voice changer helmet. (Also good for steampunks -- think of the mods you could make to this!) Check out the video of the helmet in action, too.
From Cassandra: red wine and cigarettes may help fight Alzheimer's. This is the kind of medical research we need!
Also from Cassandra: how office roles can mirror family roles; another look at the mysteriously disappearing honeybees; the increasing weirdness of looking younger while getting older; and the "New Objectivist Institute for Second Life," which is...odd.
Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Google is watching you! Well, when you look at their updates to "street view" in Google Maps, it's probably true.
I think I've linked to Neglected Books before, but I don't think I knew they have a weblog!
I also had no idea that Dr. Peter Roget, of thesaurus fame, had such a strange life. Talk about a need for structure. Yikes.
InMyBook provides a greeting card and bookmark, all in one!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Cassandra has sent in so many good links I could probably feature her contributions for the rest of the week. Today's assortment:
- Now you have to look good even after you're dead. Gah!
- Check out the Theorem of the Day calendar for some good strong science. Makes a good gift for the budding scientist, too.
- An "eerie green cloud" in space has been explained. Cassandra's comment: "They lie." I also learned from this article that the Dutch word for "thing" is apparently "voorwerp," which is an infinitely better word. Hand me that voorwerp over there, would you? Thanks!
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
If you're thinking far beyond the holidays, however, there's now a handy steampunk's guide to the apocalypse. (It's a .pdf file, be warned. Hopefully the apocalypse will be Acrobat-friendly.)
Signs that steampunk may have gone an eensy bit too far: these Star Trek steampunkified wallpaper images and the recent birth of a Twitter steampunk group.
Signs that steampunk hasn't gone far enough yet: look, a steampunk brewery in Durham, North Carolina! Doesn't it make you crave one in your own town?
And finally, speaking of my own town, the Cincinnati steampunk corps are making an excursion to the Air Force museum at Wright-Patterson this weekend. All are welcome! You can even try to break away and look for aliens while there, but we will disavow all knowledge of you if you're caught.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Just in time for the holidays, there's a $500 fashion book starring Barbie. Er. You could also look at a short slideshow for free!
Yorick was going to be portrayed by a real human skull (donated by a man who wanted to be on stage after his death) in the Royal Shakespeare Company's latest production of Hamlet, but now they're not going to use it in the performance. Sad, really.
An in-depth analysis of Cinderella determines that it's all about what women want and how women hold each other back, and mother issues, and a lot more. (Cassandra, feel free to vent in the comments!)
The Poster Public Project has some great ideas. I like the first and last photos the best.
And finally, please consider making a donation to help out a scifi writer in trouble. Details -- and an awesome short story -- are at John Scalzi's Whatever.
Friday, December 05, 2008
It's getting to that time of year for reviews and recaps. The best 100 films of 2008 are listed in the UK's Times Online. You may disagree with their decisions. (Thanks, Cassandra!)
Here's a brilliant end-of-year idea: finger puppets of celebritieswho died in 2008! I wish I'd thought of that when we were doing the DeadLog way back when.
For next year's resolutions, Bunny suggests Stickk. His summation: "You wager an amount of cash and if you fail your goal the cash gets taken from you and given to a charity/organization you hate. Interesting incentive!"
From Cassandra: sometimes when you go deer hunting, the deer fights back. Keep that in mind.
And finally, via Gawker: I had no idea John Maynard Keynes had such an alternative lifestyle. I am rethinking my worldview of economists.
Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Another idea is to buy your favorite librarian some drinks and then watch the newest Librarian special onTNT this weekend. (Well, I think that would be fun, at any rate. Your mileage may vary, depending on the librarian.)
Did anyone else read the Nate the Great books growing up? Did anyone else think they'd seen Emily the Strange before, but couldn't remember just where? Well. Wow.
From Cassandra, some bizarre interview questions from Oxford and Cambridge, including "would you rather be a novel or a poem?" I'd rather be a poem, myself.
Google has their own advent calendar of sorts, counting down to 2009 with useful resources and widgets.
And lastly, found via Stephen's Lighthouse, the Typealyzer purports to categorize your writing according to the Myers-Briggs personality test. I put Folderol in and it told me the following:
ESTP - The Doers
The active and playful type. They are especially attuned to people and things around them and often full of energy, talking, joking and engaging in physical out-door activities. The Doers are happiest with action-filled work which craves their full attention and focus. They might be very impulsive and more keen on starting something new than following it through. They might have a problem with sitting still or remaining inactive for any period of time.
The most hilarious part of this analysis is that in real life, Myers-Briggs pegs me as an INFJ. Keep this in mind if you meet me in person, I guess!
Tomorrow: links from others! Thanks, all.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Cassandra sent in a really good article about the Mormon vs. gay battle, written from the perspective of a former Mormon.
From space: the Hubble Advent Calendar! A new image appears each day.
The always-great Oddee lists ten unique churches, all spectacular in different ways.
If all the place names in the world were literally translated...we'd live in a really weirdly named world. The Atlas of True Names displays such a world!
Bunny can vouch for the fact that pareidolia is a normal way of seeing the world for me (what that says about me is still up for debate). The Art of Darkness shows a seriously eerie photo taken during a fire. What do YOU see?
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
For the graphics geniuses amongst us: go forth and compete in the CG Society's steampunk contest, and win prizes for your efforts!
For the epicurians: Fuel for the Boiler: A Steampunk Cookbook. Need anything more be said?
For the tinkerers: a lovely assortment of rayguns.
Monday, December 01, 2008
In less serious, more absurd matters, people are dancing their Ph.D. If their Ph.D. is in architecture, that means you really can dance about architecture, yes? (Found via Metafilter.)
Lunch bag art can be beautiful.
Monsters can also be beautiful -- and adoptable! The main page for Monster Workshop is worth a look, too, as is the weblog.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Both Cassandra and the Graveworm sent me this awesome story about a piano found in the woods of Massachusetts - in pristine condition, complete with bench. It's obviously for woodland animal concerts.
The winners of the Pimp My Bookcart contest have been announced! Congrats, everyone!
Danny, from the official Folderol outpost station in the Netherlands, points out this awesome quiz in which mimes re-enact famous album covers. Both he and I only got three right, but those of you who know your album names could probably beat our score handily!
If you're a librarian and looking for good weeding music (weeding your book collection, that is), there's a swap designed just for you! The deadline is December 31.
From Cassandra: Jupiter, Venus and the moon are all close together for Thanksgiving this year. Sounds auspicious, doesn't it?
Also from Cassandra: Merriam-Webster's word of the year is "bailout," DNA testing by authorities could extend to family members, and an article on the umpteenth death of irony includes this great quote: "When will someone proclaim the death of iceberg lettuce? I’m sick of it making my salads boring.”
Jim Denevan creates huge, gigantic, awe-inspiring designs. Go and look.
Alan Abel's website chronicles the parade of hoaxes he's created throughout the years.
And finally, isn't this what all puppeteers aspire to, in the end? A whole episode of Space Ghost recreated by puppets! Awesome, absurd stuff.
Happy Thanksgiving and/or weekend, everyone! See you on Monday.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Via Brass Goggles: "This steampunk cell phone concept has no display. No 3G. No data plan. No games. It doesn't even have a dial pad. You make your calls with binary-coded punch cards, steampunk."
Attention, photographers with a steampunk bent: Gatehouse Gazette wants you! The deadline is December 19th, so get to snapping.
Not everyone can be like Daniel Jubb, former child prodigy and currently mustachioed rocket scientist. But if you have aspirations along those lines, the incredible Information Unlimited shows you how to build, tinker and invent to a seemingly endless level.
Speaking of endless, I have only just now seen the stunning array that is the Neo-Victorian slide show. Wow. What fun!
While not exactly steampunk, pirates and steampunks often find common ground. This live map of current worldwide piracy might interest both groups. (Italy?)
Monday, November 24, 2008
A whole mess of punk rock memorabilia goes up for auction today at Christie's. Wow. Full listing and pricing is available!
Monty Python now has their own YouTube channel, figuring to join 'em if you can't beat 'em.
Google has an incredibly huge collection of images from Life magazine. Don't blame me if you end up spending hours there.
Jane Austen apparently mentioned baseball in 1789, which is throwing baseball historians into a furor.
I think I linked to the possibility of New York's Bellevue becoming a hotel before, but now there's a detailed article on it from New York Magazine.
Forget skyscrapers -- now we're going to have superscrapers! I look forward to seeing a spacescraper before long.
Friday, November 21, 2008
From Nicole: a two-faced kitten is born. Um, aww?
Keeping with the cat theme, Cassandra sends in news of cheetah cubs and an article on the sadness of LOLcats.
Also from Cassandra: Some deep philosophical questions to honor World Philosophy Day; an article on the 30th anniversary of the Jonestown Massacre; and some new investigations into deja vu.
From Danny: build your own papercraft graf zeppelin! Do it this weekend!
From Zazoo: the pygmy tarsier has been rediscovered in Indonesia, and it's super-cute in a Dark Crystal sort of way.
Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Barack Obama is going to have 21st-century fireside chats on YouTube. It's so nice to have a leader who embraces technology, isn't it?
The FTC has put out a bulletin giving advice on how to shop for the holidays in these turbulent economic times. It's mostly common sense, but still useful.
The Australians had a brilliant idea: wheelbarrow book service on the beach! They should add in an auxiliary traveling bar wheelbarrow and it'd be perfect.
The Guardian has two neat history-related articles: one on female war photographers and one which says the Colossus of Rhodes is going to be rebuilt as a giant light sculpture!
Somehow I managed to miss the fact that Emily of Shelf Check (and you are reading Shelf Check, right?) has another weblog called Poesy Galore. I highly recommend this entry.
Tomorrow: links from others!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Cassandra sent in a great article about the new ways to celebrate death. Gnomes not included at present.
The amazing Wellcome Library now has its own weblog!
A prehistoric site 6,000 years older than Stonehenge? Gobekli Tepe, located in Turkey, may have much to tell us.
And finally, something purely awesome: PlayZombies. Playmobil meets the undead, and everyone wins!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Because I am all about Jules Verne, I think this demonstration of making a pop-up book of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is just awesome. Make your own giant kraken!
Also, the always-fantastic Instructables shows you how to make your own raygun, so you can properly fend off your giant kraken.
For attire, B. and I have been having a wonderful time sending each other links from Uniformalwearhouse. Some offerings are just goofy, but they have some great gems there if you search long enough!
Other weblogs to check out: Steampunk Pix, which provides just what it says, and Alrededor del Mundo's steampunk-themed site (written in Castillan Spanish).
Monday, November 17, 2008
Art: The School of Visual Arts in NYC is about to begin an exhibition based on Lovecraft's Call of Cthulhu, and it looks to be as spooky as you might suspect. (They're a little wobbly on the spelling of Cthulhu, but hey, that's understandable.)
Literature: The 400-year-anniversary of John Milton's birth is this year, and there have been all sorts of observances and celebrations. Over the weekend, a marathon reading of Paradise Lost took place.
Philosophy: Wow, Wittgenstein had one seriously weird life.
Photography: The amazing story of discovered photos from Hiroshima immediately after the atomic bombing of the city.
And finally, since the last link was quite somber and overwhelming, here's a bit of humor. A man tries to offer a drawing of a spider as payment for his electric bill. Polite confusion results.
Friday, November 14, 2008
From the Graveworm: "Didn't Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness start off just like this?"
From Bunny: At last, the flying cars are coming!
Cassandra sent in a whole bunch of great stuff:
- the first glimpse of extrasolar planets (it looks suspiciously like the Eye of Sauron to me)
- attempts to recreate spider silk
- the results of the Rabbit Hash election
- very, very bad poetry
- Tired of Jesus and Mary getting all the attention, Buddha has appeared in a wasps' nest.
- an inspiring article about an Iranian woman who has turned her home into a library for young women.
- Americans are tired of working, and need to take a tip from the Europeans.
From Zazoo: Doctors in Berlin are surprised to find that a bone marrow transplant seems to have cured a patient of AIDS. Further research is pending.
And finally, here's a moment of weirdness: Hello Kitty, Lady Bunny, Richie Rich, and Lisa Loeb all in the same place. Wow.
Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! Hope to see you at the protests. Back on Monday.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
-- The Obama administration has several pages of online information up already, including a page devoted exclusively to the transitional phase. Very cool.
-- Google is tracking flu trends across the country. Ohio looks as if the flu is imminent.
-- More and more lawyers are using Twitter these days to communicate.
Not really usable, but very fun: the good people at BookNinja had a "rebranding" contest for book covers. I especially like the new design for Kerouac's On the Road, but they're all fantastic.
Tomorrow: links from others! Send them on in and see your name in lights tomorrow. Or in 12-point type, rather.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
If you're not in America this weekend, there's lots to do. Pirates Week is going on in the Cayman Islands, the Canadians start the holiday season early with the Santa Claus Parade in Toronto, and the annual Pushkar Camel Fair is happening in India!
Spooky fun link of the day: the wonderful Paxton Gate store in San Francisco is opening a children's store, and they're open to listening to artists with ideas. Check them out if you can! (I've been there, and it's a fantastic store. I can't wait to see the new place.)
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Meanwhile, Married to the Sea displays another problem with dirigibles -- the difficulty of quick escape.
Have you been reading the Gatehouse Gazette? Issue 3 is out!
Edward Gorey fans will love the tale of the Calamity Coach. Trust me.
I've been saving Dave Lowe's post on how to make creepy books since Halloween, but it occurs to me that the process would also work well for steampunking journals and the like.
A heart made of gears? Yes! And it turns and spins!
For the UK readers, it's not too early to begin preparing for the Dickens Christmas Fair. For those in the US, the burgeoning Cincinnati League of Steampunks is having a tea excursion this Saturday -- if you're in the area and interested, email them or send me a message!
Monday, November 10, 2008
Somehow I missed the news last month that Bram Stoker's great-grandnephew is writing the sequel to Dracula. That should be interesting.
Attention, fellow readers labeled as Generation X: Did you read Highlights as a kid? You may love this website. It even has a quiz determining if you're more like Goofus or Gallant!
Artist of the week: Mark Wagner and his art from $1 bills.
What phrases get on your nerves the most? The OED has compiled a list.
Last week was not only important for elections, but it also brought the first scholarly conference on heavy metal in Salzburg! You really have to check out the program for "Heavy Fundamentalisms: Music, Metal & Politics." I love how a session on hardcore profanity and hard living is immediately followed by a tea break.
Friday, November 07, 2008
Seen on many weblogs this week: The Message to Obama Flickr pool. Even Scooter, the Club Creatures' dog, got in on the act and sent a message to the new president. (We are going to ask our cast of puppet MCT characters if there's anything they would like to say.)
Also, I had no idea that the Obama campaign had a Flickr account! The photos of Election Night are especially amazing.
From Tim: the voting sticker many of us wanted to get.
From Cassandra: the Leopard Man of Skye trades in his wild lifestyle for a comfortable retirement home. Well, these things happen.
Also from Cassandra: the story of a Los Angeles priest who came out against California's Proposition 8; information on a new invention which can analyze conversational patterns; and the conundrum of pregnancy among evangelical teenagers.
From Jeff M.: Depeche Mode playing "Enjoy the Silence"...atop the World Trade Center. Wow, I'd never seen this before.
From Holly: a retrospective on the Muppets is going on this month at the Siskel Film Center in Chicago! Ooooo.
VectorPark is addicting. And confusing, at times.
And lastly, John Scalzi discovered that the most important election of all went down in Colorado on Tuesday. Who knew?
Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Also seen on Unshelved: this awesome CHOOSE BOOKS t-shirt. I keep waiting for this part of '80s fashion to come back in style. It's got to, sooner or later!
Sad news: Rex Libris has ended its run. Go and get the whole series while you can!
If you're interested in Doris Lessing's work, check out the Golden Notebook Project, which begins next Monday.
If your tastes tend more toward the Beat Writers, you will be pleased to know that the collaborative novel by William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks, is finally going to see the light of day. (Incidentally, check out the photo in this article. Burroughs looked ancient even when he was young.)
FaberFinds is an awesome idea. Out-of-print books are brought back for two weeks, and they listen to suggestions!
If you're not reading Wild Secret Library (formerly known as the Secret Library Workers Union), you should be. This is my most recent favorite. "And everything they touched turned into information."
Here's one for the law librarians, courtesy of Cassandra: a man is suing to stop his own autopsy. It's actually very reasonable.
And here's one for Cassandra: the Mind Museum in Rome. Let's go visit!
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
On to steampunk links! You could travel the globe in considerably less time than Phileas Fogg did, but it's still expensive. (Plus you probably miss out on all sorts of wacky adventures.)
Reports are trickling in from the recent steampunk convention, and it sounds like a good time was had by all, especially the makers! And speaking of makers, Datamancer has a new beautiful ergonomic keyboard for viewing, and Jake von Slatt is working on a steampunk book with Jeff Vandemeer. Congratulations all around!
Scuttlebuggery is a slightly complicated but beautiful Flash game, full of absinthe and turpentine and spookiness. Go!
More game news: Gatheryn, an upcoming MMO game, looks beautiful. I am not well versed in the multiplayer online world, so this is purely a view from the sidelines - but it appears promising!
I had never heard of the UK's "sound mirrors" before this week, but apparently they are still standing, long after their use has faded.
An obituary of Martin Tytell also serves as a beautiful elegy for typewriters; those of us who love to fiddle with non-electronic devices can understand.
Monday, November 03, 2008
What books do Obama and McCain like, and what does that say about them? In other election-related happenings, check out the Gum Election. It looks like Obama is winning!
The Nationaal Archief, the largest archive in the Netherlands, has joined the Flickr Commons. There are some fascinating photos in the collection, including many from WWII.
A leftover Halloween link: the image of vampires has evolved continuously throughout the years. Who knew the original Dracula may have resembled Walt Whitman?
Imagine what Coney Island may yet become! That's the plan, at any rate.
And lastly, test your color vision skills with this hue test. I got a 7 (a perfect score is zero), which I considered pretty darned good.
Friday, October 31, 2008
From Cassandra: a quiz on War of the Worlds, and an interview with Stephen King on the 30th anniversary of The Stand.
From Darren, who put this in the comments but deserves to have it broadcast in a post: spooky sounds from NASA! This is completely fantastic. And eerie.
From Nicole, a truly terrifying vision: Hello Kitty wedding gowns. AGH.
More from Cassandra: the horror of the Rapture, and a great article on Rimbaud. (Rimbaud doesn't really have anything to do with Halloween, but he's popular with the melodramatic goth set, so it's relevant. Sort of.)
And finally, express your astrological sign in a spooky way!
Have a spiffy holiday and weekend, everyone! Be safe. See you Monday.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
It's also almost Halloween, and almost election time, and this means useful political and spooky info from librarians! From LII, I found the PBS kids' page on Halloween. For the adults, PBS is partnering with YouTube in the "Video Your Vote" project, in which you actually film your voting process (state law permitting). This is a very cool idea, and theoretically a way to prevent election fraud!
Britannica brings back its "haunted library" series for another year. I am disappointed to report that I haven't been in any of the libraries on the Ohio or Kentucky list.
Twitter has an election-based page, where you can sit and marvel at everyone pontificating in real time (it can get a little surreal).
And finally, in the midst of ever-bleaker economic news, here's an unexpected ray of sunshine: law librarians are still appreciated, at least in California. (This article does a great job of explaining why no, not everything is online, and no, shrinking the library does not really help anyone in the long run.)
Tomorrow: spooky links from others! Thanks, everyone!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The Evil Mad Scientists have so many incredible Halloween-themed projects that they made a dedicated page for all of them. Some are mechanical, and some are edible! Another edible find is this idea for gingerbread skeletons.
Horror-themed fonts make for great labels and invitations and whatnot.
If you are not reading the Paranormal Pastor, you should be!
Has anyone seen A Haunting on the Discovery Channel? Is it any good?
Apparently, the Jersey Devil has gotten tired of Jersey and is moving west. Meanwhile, graverobbers are making a comeback in San Francisco, only this time with an eye for copper instead of bodies. Here in the midwest, our local paper has a section on spooky happenings in northern Kentucky. Get Cassandra to tell you her stories of Bobby Mackey's some day!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Alternatively, I could use a time travel machine. This t-shirt is the next best thing. In related happy fun items, these blocks for a budding mad scientist are perfect holiday gifts, I think! (Friends with urchins, consider this your warning. Mwahaha.)
Yet another Steampunks for Obama button has surfaced. It's not too late to get your own!
You may not have a beautifully antiqued laptop, but now you can add a small dash of steampunk to a regular computer with these neato USB drives.
Since my interest in steampunk overlaps with futurism and transhumanism, the concept of body mods and extended life intrigues me. So the story of a 123-year-old cornea which still functions has all sorts of possibilties!
Did you know there's a Visual Steampunk show going on at the American Primitive Gallery in New York City? You do now.
Not steampunk, but just silly fun: Laura Ingalls Wilder, twittering away.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Also, you can build your own Obama figure out of paper, and then photograph it hanging out with you! I love that there are people in India and Australia, among other places, sending in the images. This is brought to you by the creator of Custom Paper Toys, which I've linked to before.
The Guardian asks artists what to do in times of economic uncertainty. The best advice comes from artist David Shrigley, who says, "The Muppet Show represents the pinnacle of human artistic achievement and should be viewed by all humanity during dark times to remind us of what is possible. "
Also from the Guardian: The 1000 works of art you should see before you die. This seems like a tall order to me, but perhaps it's not as staggering as it sounds. (I haven't counted up the art works I've seen so far, but I may when I get time!)
What does your favorite font you use say about you? Apparently, I secretly want to eat brains. (In the comments, it is also said that the font means I want to be in a mid-1990s coffeehouse, which is creepily accurate.)
And lastly, Postcard.fm is an updated version of the electronic greeting card, and I mean that in the best way possible. I haven't tried it yet, but be warned, I may soon!
Friday, October 24, 2008
From Bunny: "Where the candidates stand on technology issues (including outsourcing, privacy, net neutrality etc.)."
From the Graveworm: a bizarre story that shows that perhaps the brain is less necessary than we think.
From Cassandra: a court in India used a brain scan as a truth indicator. Wow. Also from Cassandra: creepy spiders are invading the United Kingdom, Halloween pumpkins get more and more elaborate, and here's a different spin on the Myers-Briggs personality test.
From Tony via Holly: Scotch tape can act as an x-ray? Is nothing safe? Also, a cartoonist matchup ends in a wonderful drawing of a squirrel in a top hat by Randall of XKCD.
From Satori: We remember back in 2004, when this map was fraught with dread, and are pleasantly surprised at how much better it looks right this moment.
From Zazoo: Electric Mini Coopers are on the way! Bzzzz! (They're really pricey, however.)
We take you out with the wonderful sounds of Max Raabe. Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
More interesting library news: the New York Public Library is getting a redesign, and you can now order The Hollywood Librarian for your own personal collection.
Meanwhile, Funny or Die has reworked Tears for Fears' library-themed "Head Over Heels" video. There are subtitles, so even people who need to be quiet can watch the fun!
What if Google breaks and its digital book collection goes missing? Not to worry -- a backup digital library is in the works, thanks to the universities.
If I knew that there was a systematic effort to get poems on the London Underground, I forgot, and am happy to be reminded. Slightly related is this analysis of what to drink while reading. Field tests need to be conducted!
Tomorrow: links from others, because it will be Friday, and that will be good.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I'm not going to subject you to it here, however. We have spooky creepy stuff to see! For instance, there's a gorgeous cake suitable for the bride of Dracula. There are also fantastic sculptures by Villafane Pumpkins and what may be the best and spookiest corset design of all time (sadly, it's sold out at the moment).
All of these pale before Sarah Palin's appearance on a Tales From the Crypt cover, however. Jere has already posited that Cindy McCain bears more than a passing resemblance to the CryptKeeper, so this is especially timely.
Halloweek begins this Friday in Toronto, and looks like an inordinate amount of fun. If you can't get there, perhaps you can try a corn maze? Usually there are petting zoos and all sorts of harvesty goodness surrounding the mazes, too!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Since I'm not in California, this means I'm at home, and am actually going to a meetup of the Cincinnati-area steampunks this Friday. It's true! Stop by and say hi! (Cassandra's response to this news: "You mean you're not the only one in this city?" Pbbt.) If you're planning something similar, there are lovely steampunk invite cards available on etsy now.
If you'd like a time machine -- and who wouldn't? -- you have until November 1st to enter the contest at Solaris Books. (It says in the fine print that the time machine doesn't work, but I bet some lithium or plutonium or other element would fix that right up.)
Speaking of etsy, Curious Oddities not only has a shop set up there, but a weblog for similarly themed discoveries!
And finally, Rideable Bicycle Replicas look like great fun. Someone, of course, needs to construct a steampunky bike helmet now.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Architecture: Plans are underway for a building in Dubai that's to be one kilometer tall. Yes. One kilometer. Hopefully they're also looking into supersonic-speed elevators.
Crafts: Art festivals (and the artists participating in them) are yet another victim of the tanking economy.
Music: are there groups that appeal to only men? Or only women? And what does Sparks have to do with any of this? (I am posting this mainly for Cassandra, who gets livid at these sorts of articles.)
Photography: the Flickr Commons has its first Canadian participant with photos from the Musée McCord Museum.
Sculpture-like art: The delicate and mind-boggling art of papercutting has its own weblog.
Spooky art bits: The new art gallery Centquatre just opened in Paris, in a building which used to be a massive and elegant funeral parlor. How cool! Also, for the season: Tim Burton's Vincent is on YouTube, and the related videos of Poe's Raven make for lovely watching, too.
Friday, October 17, 2008
- Funny, albeit scary -- Palin as President. Roll your mouse over the picture and look for hidden treasures/sounds!
- Scary and aggravating -- McCain's take on abortion rights and health care in the last debate.
- A fascinating article on transgender children. Cassandra and I have been talking about this over the last day or so -- there's a lot to discuss about it.
- First Google is said to dumb us down. Now they say it makes us smarter! Clearly, Google is made of magic.
- Tasmanian Devils are dying out, due to an odd infectious cancer. Yes, infectious.
- A conservative priest stabbed Pope John Paul II in 1983. I wonder if the current pope wears a Kevlar undershirt.
- The BBC asked the public for its favourite words, and the results were highly entertaining . I am going to do my best to work "scrimshanker" and "kakistocracy" into my everyday vocabulary.
Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
More cheerful stuff: here's a slideshow of books to read to kids in times of financial crisis! Many of you who grew up during the '70s will remember these. Maybe we're more prepared than we think.
Similarly reassuring is the realization that sometimes geniuses don't start out as prodigies. We can still become renowned! It's not too late!
In Calcutta, the "neighborhood of books" is often filled with sheep and threatened with shutdowns, but perseveres.
A work-related link, for those of us asked to print articles and whatnot for people: Print What You Like lets you customize print jobs from webpages! Brilliant!
And finally, exercise your brain by trying to stump Akinator, who will guess any real or fictional person you imagine. I stumped him with Ofra Haza, but only barely -- she was in his almost-guessed list! (I tried Boy George next and he got it right away.)
Tomorrow: links from others, and lots of them, too. Stay tuned.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
This in from Cassandra: "It's as if we are tempting fate. It's as if we want zombies to be real." I think she has a valid point, especially considering how many gates to hell currently exist in the UK.
This weekend brings the Hastings Borough Bonfire, too! Over here in the States, we have similarly scary happenings...such as the Mullet Festival and the Woolly Worm Races. Erm.
Returning to the zombie bit, though -- even if you're going to rise up eventually, wouldn't it be nice to have some designer coffins, either in life or afterwards?
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
The goths are not impressed with these attempts at making pets look steampunk. I'm not sure if they'd look more favorably upon this be-goggled paper squirrel.
If you prefer miniatures, however, fear not -- now there's a tiny steampunk keyboard for a tiny dollhouse steampunk computer!
It often seems as if all the steampunkish convos are taking place on the coasts, but happily the Void Company is throwing a bash in Knoxville.
And lastly, someone is Twittering as if it's 1908. (There are many great links within.)
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Stephen Colbert cottons on to what some have known for ages: librarians are secret agents of Communism, what with our socialized lending of goods and all. Sneaky, eh?
From Cassandra, a link for librarians: Hein Online has a weblog, by the way. They're on Facebook, too!
Also from Cassandra: CEOs may want to watch their backs during this economic crisis. Also, due to a lack of pine cones, squirrels in Russia have gone bonkers and attacked a dog. (I have several questions about this. Squirrels eat pine cones? There's a pine cone shortage? WTF is going on in Russia?)
From Holly: Perhaps the squirrels are exacting revenge for Twirl-a-Squirrel. I'm very tempted to try this for our bird feeder, but I'm afraid of what our squirrels would do.
Found at the last minute: this may be the coolest library in the universe.
Back on Tuesday! See you then.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Artists to check out: Keith Thompson, who creates gorgeous gadgetesque images, and Marque Cornblatt, who creates all sorts of fantastic things -- here's a video of his steampunk kinetic sculptures from the 1990s.
Flickr user Nicrosin has fashioned an anachronistic bluetooth headset! Sadly, it doesn't work. Yet, anyway.
Attention, Chicagoans! Check out the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry! It's going on until March, so you have time.
You also have time to plan your trip to Melbourne, Australia, in order to celebrate Euchronia on New Year's Eve. Best to start plans now, though.
And finally...TagGalaxy is a way to search Flickr, but in such an interesting way that it reminds me of Edward from Cowboy Bebop searching the internet.
Monday, October 06, 2008
Music: Did Bach's second wife write many of his works?
Music, mostly: Behold, Edinburgh's Really Terrible Orchestra!
Art: Monique Motil's work is dark and strange and beautiful.
Reading: California does some truly odd stuff with reading level requirements, apparently.
Grammar fun: Sarah Palin's sentences, diagrammed. Someone should make these in mobile form.
Friday, October 03, 2008
From Bunny: women who live as though it's a bygone era. I thought this was a joke, but apparently it's real. Wow.
From Holly: Statler and Waldorf discuss political debates. Make this a regular feature, NYT!
From Dawnowar: Are you tone deaf? I haven't taken this yet, or else I would report my findings.
From the Sparkle Queen: Things That Make Us [Sic], a new book by Martha Brockenbrough, is right up my alley. Down my alley. Something like that, anyway. Go read it!
From Cassandra: the most terrifying thing I've seen in the past few weeks, and that's including interviews with Sarah Palin and the financial meltdown. Also from Cassandra: possible snow on Mars, the mystery of the stranded beaked whales, vacations in which you can help the advance of science, and the wackiness that is this area during Halloween (even the crimes are in costume).
And a final link from Cassandra -- happy Lesbian & Gay History Month, everyone! Have a spiffy weekend. See you Monday.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
For reading banned (or even mildly controversial) books, a burning bookmark makes a good accessory. (Thanks, Dawnowar!)
In other library-related news, the Librarians' Internet Index has merged with the Internet Public Library. Hooray! Also, I discovered that Public Resource.org has a fantastic set of assorted state codes, for those of you who are occasionally asked for those sorts of things.
The people at Google Labs have cooked up another interesting site for the election: InQuotes, where you can compare the candidates' soundbites on various topics. LLRX has a great roundup of fact-checking websites, and the 24 finalists for "Get Out the Vote" posters make interesting viewing.
A bit of history to end the entry: the Model T turned 100 yesterday, and there's a Flickr group dedicated to photographs of America before 1962 - in color!
Tomorrow: links from others. See you then.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
This weekend brings several Oktoberfests, including the conclusion of the big one in Munich. Also being feted this weekend: eggplants in California and pearls in London!
Meanwhile, Halloween plans are already afoot. Check out the wonderful Spookshows site, and look at the amazing way you can freak out the neighborhood using Hallowindows!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The past: The Extraordinary Voyages of Jules Verne suggests that perhaps Verne was involved in Gnosticism, coded messages, and more! The trailer is online. Has anyone seen the whole thing? How is it?
In 1888, Alaskans believed a mastodon was on the loose. Bigfoot sighting? Aliens? A robot elephant?
In the present day, we have a lovely steampunk caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland, created by artist Bryan Coffee. It's now showing as part of the Noxious Fumes exhibit at the Rivet!
Another artist to watch is Andrew (aka Android) Jones. Beautiful stuff.
Sex and steampunk? Yes!
The future! Abney Park has worked out some agreement with Airship Ventures, and on October 31st you could be part of a dirigible voyage over the Bay Area. Wow. What better way to spend Halloween, I ask you?
For those on the other side of the country, the Brooklyn Indie Market is holding a steampunk-themed event on October 25th. It looks like great fun.
If you're nowhere near San Francisco or New York, you can lose yourself virtually in the City of Ember and play a pipeworks game. I am normally okay at these things, but so far I have flooded the city numerous times. Oops.
Monday, September 29, 2008
If you can still afford art, however, I recommend the work of Madeline von Foerster. Gorgeous.
Tour de Lovecraft looks like a fun book for the spooky people in your life! (I haven't read it yet, so I can't say for sure.)
Flickr and Yahoo have released some photo-taking bicycles into the wild and are seeing what happens. (Librarians may have noticed that Jessamyn has one of these right now!)
Another neat Flickr find is the Analog group, dedicated to honoring non-digital film formats.
Friday, September 26, 2008
From Cassandra: the geography of personality, Darwin's struggle with faith, a scholarly analysis of horror movies, the brain disorder that causes people to get lost, the sociopolitics of gay senior citizens, and the news that we might all be from Mars after all.
From Satori: an awesome website on all things mosaic, including a weblog.
Have a spiffy & safe weekend, everyone! See you Monday.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
- Banned Books Week starts on Saturday! Go read something controversial!
- A look at Galveston County libraries after the hurricane.
- Lucy Maud Montgomery (the creator of Anne of Green Gables) suffered from depression. So does Maurice Sendak. This seems horribly unfair somehow.
- Via the Morning News: in 1931, a fifth-grade class put together a book of very short stories. Now the book has been scanned so everyone can read it (and you should, because several stories are hilarious).
- News libraries are now offering to answer reader questions! This is my kind of dream job. Take a look at one example at the OC Register's weblog.