Friday, August 29, 2008

Happy Friday, everyone! Go watch or read Obama's speech if you haven't already. It's a ray of hope as the long holiday weekend begins. Today we feature a chance to make your opinion known, a bunch of great links from Cassandra, and some other links I've been saving up over the past few weeks.

First off, from Bunny: ever wanted to have some input on a website design? Now you can! His college is working on a website revamp and has several different layout options. Check them out here and then vote for your favorite one here. You can even explain why you chose the one you did.

From Cassandra: the Virgin Mary has been spotted in a Canadian tree trunk, a pre-Incan mummy has been discovered in Peru, scientists discover that elephants know math, a list of the 25 best alternative bands of the '90s (I knew 24 of them, but Giant Sand was a total unknown to me), and a look back at alleged heretic Giordano Bruno.

Interesting links from around the web: See how you would look in a yearbook from past decades. (I tried this and looked like a complete mess, no matter what year it was; perhaps you will have more luck!) For more nostalgia, check out this list of forgotten candy from the '80s. I had no idea most of these had even disappeared.

More sugary weirdness awaits you at CakeWrecks! I like the mummy cake, actually. The rest are just bizarre. This interactive map of prescription drug abuse over the last decade may point to the origins of some of the cake designs. And finally, here's another list - this one documents the best fictional sports of all time. Of course, Calvinball is included. Hooray!

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone. Have a great holiday if you're in the U.S., and stay safe if you're in hurricane territory. See you Tuesday.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Look, anarchist librarian t-shirts!

I challenge you to watch the Hi-Fi Sci-Fi Library video and not have the song stuck in your head for several hours. In slightly related news, members of Generation X would now rather be labled "Generation Tech." Really? Admittedly, the main reason I am enamoured of the new Addictomatic news site is their cool little robot mascot.

Yahoo and Google now have their 2008 election sites set up. (According to Yahoo, Ohio is once again a battleground state.) Meanwhile, you can check out what happened at previous political conventions throughout history, thanks to Poynter.

More informational resources: the 2008 World Population Data Sheet is out, with all sorts of interesting facts, and the CDC has put up a really interesting (although tragic) website devoted to the 1918 influenza pandemic. (Is anyone else seeing TV commercials lately about potential pandemics? They're a little freaky.)

Tomorrow: links from others!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This weekend means Labor Day mania here at home (especially in Cincinnati, where the fireworks go off nonstop for a while), but if you're in the Netherlands you can avoid the pyrotechnics and see the Flower Parade instead!

If you're in London, on the other hand, you might want to check out this fellow's hierarchy of Tube lines and see if they match up with your own opinions.

If you can't go on a trip this weekend, you can go on an interactive one, at least! Take a look at this fantastic map of famous journeys (including Phileas Fogg's Around the World in 80 Days path).

Many thanks to Nicole for pointing out that the Attack of the B Movies has begun! Yes, we're already celebrating Halloween in August. Woohoo!

Current spookiness: the military is putting some serious funding into telepathic research. Eeep.

Past spookiness: the Hamilton family of Winnipeg took dozens of photographs documenting their interest in spiritualism and the occult, and the images were then donated to the University of Manitoba. Now anyone can see them, and they're quite wonderful.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Burning Man is underway, and once again I am not there. However, there's a staggering amount of stuff going on there; the steampunk-inclined can check out camps like the Bomb Bay Tea Camp, while the absurdists can visit the Shrine to the Oven Mitt. If you're over in England, keep your eye on what's going to happen in Liverpool next week; it's from the same people who brought you the Telectroscope, so you know it's going to be amazing. (I can't wait to find out what it is!)

IndyMogul has gotten in on the steampunk craze, showing you how to make goggles for under $10 in their latest episode. (Thanks, Bunny!)

Cassandra sent in this great post about 1888 last week, and I forgot to post it. It's still good!

Many thanks to Joseph, who came to visit us and brought along a box of Steampunk miniatures. I had no idea these even existed.

If you remember the wacky invention link I posted last week, you might ace the quiz from the BBC. (If not, try it anyway.)

Current reading news: Issue 2 of the Gatehouse Gazette is out! Future reading news: SteamPunk Live!: A Retrofuturist Dream is coming in November. Ooooh. Ahhhh.

Monday, August 25, 2008

It's Monday, and the internet connection is a little sketchy today. Hopefully this goes through!

The FlatPak house is a cool concept. Now they've shown it in the wild, thanks to their Flickr account!

Also with a Flickr account: the people at Kodak. Right now the photostream is mostly Beijing and the Olympics.

The real political art today is on the streets. Graffiti seems to be enjoying an artistic resurgence lately.

In France, they don't want your baby watching Teletubbies or any of that dreck. No TV aimed at children under three is allowed! (Not having children, I can't really say whether this is a good idea or not. Baby Einstein seems like crack to the toddlers I have known, though.)

Artist of the week: Brian Coldrick. I especially like "Old School" and the "25" series. Have a look!

Friday, August 22, 2008

It's Friday, hooray! Links from others follow.

From Nicole: Psycho Therapy. What do you see? I was told that I was mostly normal, "but still young." Well, that's good to know.

From Cassandra: the statue of a Roman empress is found, the descendants of John Steinbeck run into legal trouble, Aboriginal kids don't need what we call numbers in order to count, and spasmodic dysphonia is more common than you think.

Also from Cassandra: a very good article on Byron and what it means to be "Byronic" from 1953.

Found strewn along the information superhighway (remember when that was a common phrase?): a list of small countries to cheer on in the Olympics, a considered study on whether Batman could really do everything he does, and a cornucopia of optical illusions to dizzy you as you begin the weekend. See you Monday!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

It's that time of year again - the Bulwer-Lytton awards are out!

Google wants you to help free the airwaves so that everyone can have wireless access. There's some sort of paranormal story just waiting to happen out of this whole "between the channels" imagery.

By the way, librarians: here's a nice simple explanation of web 2.0 technology. Hee.

Speaking of social media, we want you to vote! Well, the Cleavers want you to vote. We're running a poll on our Subatomic series - you, the viewers, get to choose the theme of next week's broadcasts. Go and vote, and watch! (We just had our 100th episode, by the way. Wow.)

And now for something on the other end of the spectrum: behold, the largest monastery library in the world. It's gorgeous.

Tomorrow: links from others!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

In festival news, it's time for La Tomatina in Spain! Pelt someone with tomatoes! Or, if you're in Finland, you can throw your mobile phone at them instead.

If you're at home, however, you can follow the medals of the Olympics throughout history, thanks to the New York Times. I continue to be surprised at the large advantage the host country evidently gets.

Alternatively, you could get started on the Halloween season early and play this bonkers Scary Sleepover game. Apparently I'm no good at scare tactics, because I've played three times and still can't scare the contestant properly.

For something with more substance, the L.A. Times has a great article on Richard Dutcher, a former devout Mormon filmmaker who has just broken with the church.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Steampunk has reached the Hamptons. Egads.

In further support of my belief that steampunk is increasingly merging with goth, GOTH Magazine is putting together a steampunk art fashion book.

Sam van Olffen creates cyberpunk art as well as steampunk. His sepia works are just stunning.

The Daily Mail examines some inventions of yesteryear. Although the headline says 1920s, the burglar alarm dates back to the 1870s and looks quite steampunk-friendly...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Happy Monday, happy art links day...

Architecture: wow, a house in Italy that rotates 360 degrees. Amazing.

Music: have you ever wondered what all those national anthems sound like?

Photography: Flickr has a detailed map of Beijing now, so you can see photos as they're uploaded.

Art in unexpected places: behold, the color of money.

Literature: contrary to popular belief, being a writer does not necessarily involve a life of dissipation and decadence. But here's a list of ten writers who went to jail, anyway.

More literature: the Guardian has an ongoing series showing the rooms of various famous writers. Neat stuff.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Lots and lots of links from others! Thanks, everyone. In alphabetical order by contributor:

From Bunny: Weepuls! Who knew these things had their own name?

From Cassandra: the diaries of George Orwell, the Gallery of Symbolic Art, a haunted sanitorium-turned-hotel (potentially), an ancient Greek corpse found embalmed, and a gene that makes some scream and some laugh.

From both Cassandra and the Graveworm: the cloak of invisibility is on its way!

From Holly: an English bulldog saves a sack of kittens.

From Nicole: the Big Sur Bakery is still standing, hooray. (This place is wonderful. Go visit them.)

From Satori: the awesome new mural in Camp Washington!

From Wayde: Bomomo! Artistic, mesmerizing, and fun.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone. See you Monday.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

You can make your own READ posters over at ALA now. (This is a really old pic of me, but the first one I could find of me reading...)

Also, Librarian Gear is back! I especially like the bookmobile shirt.

Google Maps has a neat tracker for the Olympics, where you can see the medal counts, the events for the day, and the different locations for each event. (Check out the daily schedule to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff going on in a day.)

In Timbuktu, a dedicated team is struggling to restore ancient manuscripts. This is a pretty amazing story, from a place that doesn't get much attention these days.

A little belated: the Urban Journal had an entire issue earlier this year dedicated to "the Creative Library." Interesting stuff.

Also a little late (I'm just now catching up on some library-related RSS feeds) is Library Juice's take on the librarians in Generation X. I'm part of this generation, and agree that we're often overlooked amidst the boomers and the millennials. It's the quiet ones you have to look out for, though. Muhahaha!

Tomorrow: links from others.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Yuk. Sick with stomach bug or food poisoning or something. Links may follow later on today, or I'll just be be back tomorrow, depending on how the day goes.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Datamancer has done it again. The Archbishop computer is a thing of beauty.

Another new bit of steampunk-inspired fun is the latest Venture Brothers episode, which brings in Tesla, Twain, Wilde, Crowley, Fantômas, and Sandow. And the Avon Lady, too.

Meanwhile, near Vail, Colorado, a mysterious genius continues construction on his copper-roofed observatory. (I tried to find some more information on this, but struck out.)

While steampunk celebrates the Victorian era, there are a lot of ethical issues facing people who like the aesthetics but deplore the realities of the time. A really interesting discussion on colonialism, imperalism, and how POC (people of color) feel about the era is taking place. Highly recommended reading.

Modern life has its own share of ethical conflicts, of course. How You Can Save the World is a new website, sponsored by the Sci-Fi channel, that tackles issues such as environmentalism, futurism, and nanotechnology.

(By the way, a flying car is out there. It's not terribly pretty just yet, but it's out there!)

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century is a creation of the 1930s, so steampunk purists can ignore this last bit. I have a passion for the '30s and '40s, however (I'm considering changing my slogan to "long skirts and flying cars," regardless of what time frame this encompasses), and so I think these Buck Rogers prototypes are absolutely glorious. The entire website is great, too!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The news today is pretty grim, so I'm going with cheerful goofy links.

For example, why not critique the fashion choices in the Olympic Parade of Nations? A lot of Americans thought our team looked far too elitist and preppy, but there were also complaints about costumes from citizens of Australia, India, Malaysia, and several other nations. (Who chose Hungary's color scheme, anyway? White dresses with red flowers all over them? Really?)

Street performing, for those not in the know, is damned hard work. So is being a magician -- scientists are now studying the neuroscience behind their illusions.

Cats like cardboard. They also like sitting on things. Ergo, a cardboard cat chaise lounge is a brilliant idea, and here's how you can make your own!

Accordions are cool again. Thanks, They Might Be Giants! (They're not mentioned in the article, but they should be.)

And finally, speaking of music, here's a wonderful index of all the musical guests on Sesame Street though the years. Enjoy!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Tomorrow! See you there!

And now, links from others. Thanks, everyone!

From Cassandra: Psychic dogs and "small, cheap, swarming robots."

From Bunny: a plethora of ways to express yourself.

From Holly: a story that will make you cry, as it shows both the best and the worst of humanity. Also, a fun, colorful photo to cheer you up afterwards; a warning to guys as to why you shouldn't drink your girlfriend's beer; and a hard-hitting analysis of the presidential candidates' pop culture favorites.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! Back here on Monday.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

It's almost here!

Also almost here: the Olympics.

Right here and right now: LibraryThing has a MILLION free book covers!

Here and gone: Comic-Con. But librarians were there! And so was NPR!

The library of the future is being built in Portland, Oregon with an eco-roof. How cool is that?

Links from others tomorrow! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Yep, this Saturday we're combining forces, taking over a neighbor's yard, and selling all sorts of stuff. Be there! (Additional posters, hand-designed by Bunny, will follow tomorrow and Friday

If, and only if, you are not able to attend our fabulous yard sale, there are some other options for the weekend. For example, the British Open Crabbing Championship is going on, as is the Puck Fair in Ireland (now with a really spiffy website, too). And the annual Tugfest contest happens this weekend between the citizens of Iowa and Illinois, with a huge tug-of-war taking place across the Mississippi!

If you're headed to Beijing for the Olympics, or headed to the couch to watch said Olympics, you can create your own Chinese name. I have some doubts on the accuracy here. Apparently my name would be "Sagacious serenity" which, while fun, is probably not all terribly on-target.

Slate has a great compilation of the oddest travel guides ever published. I think I'm getting #8 for my dad this Christmas (don't tell him).

Attention, fellow geocaching enthusaists: be careful about your caching. Ottawa, in particular, would appreciate not having any more bomb scares. (Oops.)

Cassandra and I have developed an ongoing "crazy Catholics" link exchange lately. Today we both found the story about the descendants of the Knights Templar suing the Pope, and she then trumped that by finding this absolutely bizarre article on a recently deceased bishop's inquest. (Speaking of Catholicism, today's XKCD is particularly fun.)

Finally, here's one last link combining travel and spookiness: the always-wonderful Curious Expeditions takes a look at the art of mourning.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Your result for The Steampunk Archetype Test...

The Aetherist Bodger

The aether carries the information, the aether is information. You are one of the few who know the ins and outs of Aether Terminals. You can access information across the Aethersphere, tapping into the Aetherpipes of anyone you want and stealing the information stored in their datatanks. Some think of you as a myth, a legend created to scare people. You are no myth or legend, you are quite real and you are currently reading the Queen’s AetherMissives.

Take The Steampunk Archetype Test at HelloQuizzy


Okay, we're done with tests for now. (An Aetherist Bodger, eh? That's probably spot-on.)

Now, on to steampunk web happenings. The good people at Modofly are holding an art contest with a steampunk theme; send in their submissions by August 10!

EgoPHobia is a very cool Romanian e-journal. Their latest issue is steampunk-themed and even includes an interview with Johnny Payphone, which is definitely worth the read.

Cory of Voyages Extraordinaires is vociferously not a steampunk. However, his site is celebrating Steampunk Month this August, and those of us who love his website and its attention to detail are thrilled.

I live with a man who's a huge fan of 1970s Op-Art. This makes our interior decoration scheme a little off-kilter at times, what with the dark woods and the chrome furnishings trying to co-exist. We've found common ground in these incredible space travel posters, though, and are planning our living room!

More art links: Ian, aka seriykotik, creates beautiful photomontages that look like dark Victorian cityscapes and portraits. The metal sculptors at Klaatu Varata are turning out magnificent work - my favorite is this alligator made from salvaged steel. An "anachronotechnofetishism" art show is taking place in Seattle next month (I am deeply envious).

Where are our futuristic buildings, anyway? (And where are the jetpacks?) They're appearing, but at a maddeningly slow pace. Oobject takes a look at the 15 modern buildings that come closest, in their eyes, to reflecting the city of Blade Runner.

Since energy is such a hot topic these days, dirigibles seem to get more and more press. The New York Times has an article on zeppelins; in the process of reading it, I discovered that there's an actual Zeppelin University. Some enterprising student should really start a t-shirt business there and capitalize on steampunk's recent popularity.

Speaking of capitalizing, this image scan sequencer is (by the website's own admission) not really steampunk, but has a definite charm and intricacy about it.

And lastly, who knew that there were 17 steampunky computer creations out there already? I think I'd only seen five or six until now!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Before we get to the links, a quick announcement: there's going to be a huge, extraordinary combination yard sale this Saturday where the Spooky Librarians combine their stuff with the Club Creatures' castoffs and everyone wins! Details to follow.

The BBC has several stories on the death of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, including this piece on the various tributes to him around the world.

Yet another museum has a Flickr presence - this time it's the Powerhouse Museum in Australia.

The Selby is a great new site which shows the homes and working spaces of artists, authors, and free thinkers.

Where are China's female artists? As the Olympics bring attention to all things China, this is a really fascinating look at how artists live there.

Folksy, the UK's Etsy, is just getting ready to launch.

David Tennant is playing Hamlet? I had no idea. The various portrayals (male, female, skinny, round, young, old) are remembered.

From Bunny: the awesome wooden sci-fi sculptures of Michael Rea.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Links from others! Thanks, everyone.

From Bunny: Dan D. Pea of the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council is here to invade your nightmares and encourage your legume consumption. Wow.

From Cassandra: A 48-year-old school prank emerges from the deep; a different portrait emerges from under a van Gogh painting; artist Tomi Ungerer emerges from obscurity; and all sorts of oddities emerge from the pages of the Weird Encylopedia.

Also from Cassandra: you can now own the universe!

From Danny: the zombie librarians are on the loose. Muhahaha!

From Holly: an absolutely dizzying way to paint a carpark.

From a few different sources: The Dark Librarian is here to protect the rest of us from you crazy patrons. I wouldn't mind some of his gadgets.

And finally, one last link from Cassandra: the strange and fascinating love story of Genesis P-Orridge and Lady Jaye Breyer.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.