Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween, everyone! We have a fun surprise in store for the kids in our neighborhood. I'll try to take photos and put them up later.

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

Even the ALA is asking Congress for stimulus money these days. Weird times, these are.

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

Halloween is almost here! The links are pouring in. Many of these are from Cassandra, to whom I am eternally grateful.

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

Today has been the sort of day where I could really use a raygun.

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

Swiped from Brendan (who covers all things political in our extended family, thus freeing me to post silly stuff): possibly the best Obama image ever.

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, 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

Links from others! Thanks, everyone.

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

This week's library-related shirt: Be a bibliophibian!

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

The Steampunk Convention is almost here! I've been on the west coast around this time of year recently, but will not be there this time, so will miss the convention. Sniff. However, J. Daniel Sawyer is convention-bound, and is getting himself up to speed with steampunk-themed films. Similarly, you can study up on literature with this extremely useful guide to a steampunk scholar's library!

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

Today we dance about architecture. Or something like that, since it's Monday.

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

It's Friday, and on this "links from others" day I turn the wheel over to Cassandra! Thanks!

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cassandra sent me a story about a college librarian who was shot and killed in Texas. Turns out that it was a part-time worker in the library who did the shooting. Yikes.

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

The photos are up! And now, on to the spooky links...

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

I am back, the wedding was lovely (photos will show up on Flickr sooner or later this week), and now we return you to our regular posting schedule!

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

Yesterday I was at a funeral. Tomorrow I leave for a few days for a wedding. All of this wreaks havoc with the posting schedule! Today we have a mishmash of library-related items and links from others; I'll be back on Tuesday with a similar combination.

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

We start today's steampunk entry with a link from Dan (many thanks, Dan!) who points out that even if others are sick of steampunk, Neil Gaiman still thinks it's great. So there. In a related story, John Norris of MTV discovers that you can be vegan and still wear steampunky attire.

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

This week's posting will be a little erratic. However, today we're on track with reading, art and music links for you!

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

Links from others on this Friday. Thanks, everyone!

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

It's Banned Book Week! The L.A. Times and NPR weigh in on the concept.

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 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

It's October, the spookiest month of all, and in celebration the SpookyLibrarians have a redesigned website! Huzzah! Eventually, Folderol will get cleaned up a bit as well. Incidentally, Google is celebrating its 10th birthday with a look at its interface circa 2001; here's what Folderol looked like in the early days of 2002.

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!