Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy end of 2009, everyone! There are lists for the best movies of the year, the biggest news stories of the year, the best sci-fi movies of the 2000s, lists of lists for the 2000s, and analyses of top lists. This should give you plenty of discussion/argument material for any parties tonight!

The Awl is running an "end of the '00s" series which is just awesome. Particularly interesting to Cassandra and me was the article on losing one's idealism (we don't blame baby boomers as much as the author, but it's an interesting take on our generation and its influences.)

Also from Cassandra: some thoughts by a sixteen-year-old Anais Nin from New Year's Eve 1919.

Mateusz Skutnik, game designer extraordinaire, has whipped up a quick game called "Where is 2010?" for our enjoyment. (I haven't found 2010 yet. I will keep looking.)

And finally, we take you out for the year with the help of the Clever Hamsters. Hit it, guys! Thanks to everyone for reading, commenting, and sharing, and we'll see you in 2010.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

As we come to the end of the year, expect an avalanche of "best of/worst of" links for tomorrow. For now, why not look at some particularly original gravestone portraits,  or read about Mary Shelley's invention of Frankenstein (and how it transmogrified over the years - thanks Cassandra!), or perhaps scheme up a way to transform a room's ceiling into a fiber optic starfield?

I am always saying I want one of the computers on CSI or NCIS. (I also want to work in a dimly lit environment and be able to dress like Abby Sciuto, in case anyone is listening...) In that vein, here's a tribute to the amazing magical "enhance" function available on those computers.

Also from Cassandra: a list from Doctors Without Borders of places needing the most help in 2009.  And lastly, a neat article from Listverse examines the top stories of 1909 and what's happening with them 100 years later.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hey, writers interested in steampunk! Steampunk Quarterly is offering $50 for your stories!

From the everything-old-is-new-again department: a hundred years ago, black velvet was the rage. Nowadays, monocles are making a comeback. Neo-Victorians, unite! Also, Thomas Edison's Laboratory Complex in New Jersey has re-opened, better than ever.

Over in Europe, you could theoretically peruse the online archives of Jugend Magazine while riding the Molli steam train down the streets of town (yes, really, on the actual streets!). If you're more interested in the Paris Exposition, the original Eiffel Tower designs are now online, too.

Monday, December 28, 2009

2010: The Year of Turquoise. That's what Pantone says, anyway. (I am kind of hoping they're wrong. It looks like a sickly shade of turquoise to me.)

As we get to the end of the year, the reviews and awards begin. National Geographic shows the photos of the year, and Regret the Error tallies up 2009's most regrettable mistakes in journalism. (Lots more of this sort of thing as the week goes on!)

Did you know that there are daily metal haikus on Twitter? Now you do!

And finally, something for Cassandra, who like me is working all week: the top hoaxes and forgeries in archaeology.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hey, Cincinnati people! The Shillito's elves are back in Mariemont through the end of the year! Hooray!

Cassandra sent a short and spooky Christmasy film. It reminds us a bit of Coraline.

Also from Cassandra, an oldie but goodie, in which Mulder and Scully discuss the holiday.

Last minute gift idea and/or a way to spend some giftcard money: Cats wearing wigs. Yes, really!

If you'd rather ditch all this commercialism and just be helpful during the holiday season, take a look at Unshelved's Answers website. There are a lot of people trying to find books from their childhood, and you could be the one who remembers the title!

A last link from Cassandra: the future, it's here. About freakin' time, too.

Is it Christmas? Not yet, according to this site, but check back tomorrow and find out!

Have a spiffy weekend and/or holiday, everyone! Back on Monday.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

As the end of the year approaches, the weblog abandons the themed days and offers up a mishmash of links. Whee! (We'll get back on track in 2010.)

Make your own Star Wars Lego figure! I made a steampunk-looking Leia. If you're into the combo of LEGO and Star Wars (and who isn't?), you should also check out the amazing photography of Avanaut. (Bonus Indiana Jones shots, too!)

Zazoo sent in this photo essay on the impromptu snowball fight that took place in Times Square over the weekend. Good stuff.

How well do you know your Christmas myths and history? There's a quiz, of course.

The NORAD Santa tracker is using Google Earth again this year, and is also featuring a countdown and all sorts of extras.

A minister in North Yorkshire advised a congregation to shoplift this season. Well, sort of.

Lastly: a lot of people land on this site via a search for info on Franz Reichelt, the unfortunate would-be flyer who plummeted to his death about a hundred years ago. (A Folderol entry long ago linked to the grainy footage of his adventure.) Now, with modern "wingsuits," it looks as if Franz's dream might finally become reality. Wow.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hey, good news! The Steampunk Tree House has found a permanent home at a brewery in Delaware!

The Adventures of the League of Steam have put out a "Fright Before Christmas" episode to celebrate the season. If you're still looking for steampunky gift ideas, there are all sorts of things out there this year, from books to ice cube trays!

There is also (a very limited amount of) time to get excited and make things. For inspiration, I recommend watching the pneumatic system at the New York Public Library, but that might just be me. Happy holidays to all!

Monday, December 21, 2009

We have not seen Avatar yet, but I'm always interested in stories like this one about the creation of the Na'vi language.

We may see the new Sherlock Holmes movie (I don't know yet, I'm sort of ambivalent about Holmes As Action Hero), but in the meantime, here's a defense of Watson. I always thought Watson was really underrated and unappreciated, so I'll be glad if the movie shows another side of him!

An edition of Alice in Wonderland that Lewis Carroll gave to the "real" Alice just sold for $115,000. Wowzers. (Thanks, Julie!)

I always liked the Bauhaus art movement, but since seeing the exhibit at MOMA I've been even more fascinated. A review of the exhibit goes into great detail. See it if you can!

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, the Autry National Center in Los Angeles is running an exhibit titled "Out West" which focuses on the little-known GLBT population of the Old West. This sounds really interesting.

And lastly, some architecture art goodness: Scott Teplin's Alphabet City imagines the letters of the alphabet as Dymaxion-like houses. Fun stuff!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday, hooray!

From Zazoo: the top 15 stories of 2009, as picked by CNN. That balloon boy story got a lot of press, didn't it?

Also from Zazoo: AntiPop Fashion 1984! My people! (Well, I wanted to be one of these people. I was a little too young and a little too rural and a little too poor to be part of this in 1984.)

From Cassandra: the worst album covers of 2009. Hey, I like that Patrick Wolf cover. The bird on the head one, though, not so much.

Also from Cassandra: the Poe calendar, ending soon!

From Julie: the octopi are getting smart and starting to make tools and shelter. Be afraid, and start reading your Lovecraft. Possibly related, and also from Julie, is the potential discovery of dark matter. Whoa.

Lastly, from Julie: a Dickens-owned toothpick sells for over $9,000. Scrooge would be so proud. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Have a spiffy and safe weekend, everyone. See you Monday.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy Saturnalia, everyone!

South Carolina is the place to be a library student at the moment. Not only are they running a contest to find new uses for old catalog cards, they've also put together a "Mildly Attractive Men of SLIS" calendar for 2010 -- which has sold out, it's so popular! Whee!

What kind of Twitter profile pic do you have? My current pic is actually a very normal "none of the above" type.

The AutoCompleteMe weblog features the stranger results from Google's autocomplete function, many of which are absolutely hilarious. Right now my favorite is the telepathic koalas!

More weirdness: behold the Biblioburro! We should start a pack of these and travel around the world. Also, in unrelated burro (but related weird) news, AbeBooks has their own Weird Books Room, featuring a different offering each week. Right now it's a book on plant psychics, but who knows what will be next? (Other than the plant psychic, that is. He/she might have an idea.)

Tomorrow: links from others!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Did you know that December is all-Cthulhu month at I did not! Now I have two weeks of posts to read!

For more Christmas-type stuff, you can look at unique Christmas trees from around the world...including a Pac-Man tree!

This Sunday, you are to do nothing but read. No, seriously.

More on 2012: chances of the apocalypse, based on previous predictions, are pretty slim.

And finally, something just plain weird and spooky: there's a bridge in Scotland that does not like dogs. Poor dogs!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tis the season for Tesla coil Christmas trees! We mentioned this last year, I think, but there's a new version for 2009.

Brass Goggles is also observing the season this month, and there are lots of posts these days.

Sillof is at it again, creating gorgeous steampunk versions of old favorites! Behold the Gaslight Legion of Doom!

Warren Ellis is also at it again, taking the piss out of steampunk with this week's featured design. (Get it while you can; the offer expires this weekend.)

Syzmon Klimek makes beautiful, intricate automatons; the web page may not be all that, but his creations certainly are.

If you're in the market for steampunkish stuff, there's a one-stop website that's been rescued from the ashes of Geocities! And if you're more in the market of making things rather than buying them, check out ConCraft Magazine for ideas and supplies and more.

Some of our local steampunks have discussed moving more toward the realm of Chap Magazine and the art of elegant manliness. In this regard, may I suggest a pinstriped cuirass for outings? Or, for those of us stuck in modern occupations, a rather steampunk-looking bracelet/arm cuff for rationalizing one's emotions. (Ha! This one cracks me up.)

Monday, December 14, 2009

If it's Monday, it must be art links...

Music: Paul and Storm are uploading seasonal songs which sound like They Might Be Giants songs. Hooray! Go and check out It Might Be Xmas.

TV: In an ongoing celebration of Sesame Street's 40th birthday, the National Post features 101 Muppets in one picture. If you mouse over each Muppet, you get a short bio. (Roosevelt Franklin was hard to find, but he's there!)

Books: Speaking of anniversaries, it's 50 years since In Cold Blood was written. The town hasn't forgotten what happened.

Photography: Flickr's Your Best Shot 2009 pool is jaw-droppingly amazing. Be prepared to lose some hours looking at everything!

Illustration: when an illustrator proposes, he really does it right. Wow.

Computer art: Continuity is a Flash game that messes with your mind and makes you think abstractly. This is a very good thing. Have at it!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Is Friday, is time for links from others!

From Julie: Penguins in tiny Santa jackets parade through Japan. Woo!

Also from Julie: possible mass cannibalism lurks in the past.

From Cassandra: The joy of old typewriters...and the value of them, too, judging from Cormac McCarthy's typewriter auction.

From Ned: Did you see that spiral light in the sky over Norway? There may be a perfectly logical explanation for it, but that hasn't stopped the conspiracy theorists or the caption contests!

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone, and keep watching the skies. See you Monday.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Okay, I am more or less back in action. On to the library and literary bits...

The 2009 winners of the Pimp My Bookcart contest have been announced! I am partial to the sheepdog.

Did you know there were awards for library videos? Me neither.

The internet has changed the world. This is not news. However, this visual representation shows it in vivid detail.

I thin the ALA should really make this READ poster. I know lots of Star Wars geeks who would like it.

Newsweek looks at the worst predictions of the decade. The economy was going to soar, while Google and iPods would disappear. Huh.

It's a sad day in literary publishing: Kirkus and Editor & Publisher are going out of print.

Tomorrow: links from others! Whee!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Well, hi. I seem to have some wacky cold or flu or something as of this morning. Hopefully it's a 24-hour bug and we will be back at full strength tomorrow. Meanwhile, check out the links on the sidebar and/or the Flickr contacts! See you tomorrow, hopefully.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

'Tis the season for the mainstream media to discover steampunk all over again! The BBC discusses the trend, as does Time. (The BBC's version talks about the impact of Doctor Who, which is an interesting point.)

It's also the season for steampunk-themed Christmas lists and raygun calendars for 2010! The list includes a book I'm dying to see -- Eva Hagberg's Dark Nostalgia. If you're into that sort of thing as well, you will probably want to see this virtual tour of a steampunked house. The list does not include this "flapping push toy," but it should!

Monday, December 07, 2009

There are so many great exhibits going on at the moment, from the Bauhaus exhibit at MoMA in New York to Induced Epidemics in Hollywood (brought to you by Haute Macabre and the Museum of Death). Try to get out this holiday season and see some art!

Meanwhile, many grand plans for Dubai are on hold, including some truly over-the-top architectural visions. Dubailand does intrigue me, though...

John Taylor (yes, that John Taylor, of Duran Duran) thinks the internet has changed the way we interact with music and musicians. I think it probably has, too, but not in quite as negative a way as he sees it.

It's time for not only the year in review, but the entire decade! What are the most influential books of the '00s? (Check out the sidebar for similar lists of movies, songs, TV shows are more. And yes, the '00s aren't truly over until Jan. 1, 2011, but we had the same discussion at the end of 1999 and I don't think it's going to change any time soon.)

Lastly, the future of the piano may be fluid. Behold, the fluid piano.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Happy Friday, everyone!

From Julie: Pompeii joins Google Street View! (I now always think of the (recent) Doctor Who episode when Pompeii is mentioned.)

From Cassandra: Hey, did you know that truth has a gender? Sheesh.

From Zazoo: "An homage to the typeface Neutraface to the tune of Poker Face, with a bunch of geeky, bearded designers." This is brilliant.

From Josie: Amanda Palmer sings to the people of New York City. Fun was had by all!

As seen on Dawnowar: The evolution of the hipster throughout the decade. Yep, that's it, pretty much.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

If you want to know the sometimes tortuous routes we librarian types take to get to where we are today, check out The Library Routes Project (and add your own story if you like!).

From the New York Botanical Garden is here to help with caring for holiday plants!

MyPictr is a fantastic little tool for choosing and editing user pictures in Facebook, Twitter, etc. (As seen on Librarian in Black.)

For those of us who love words: Typographic Posters galore.

For those of us in the legal world: Watch a suspect eat the evidence. Really! And he would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for that meddling camera on the dashboard!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The weekend is approaching, and it's not too late to enter the Christmas Pudding Race or work on your Krampus outfit to terrify the urchins. (I like how the Krampus concept is gaining popularity lately.) Also, you can now decorate for the holiday with cozy Cthulhu ornaments.

If you'd like to ignore all this winter holiday business, fear not -- Key West is hosting its annual Pirates in Paradise festival this week. Drink rum and be merry.

And just for a spooky touch, gaze upon some of the creepiest landscapes from around the planet. Well, mostly from Iceland. But one's from Kentucky!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Hey there. I am back, sort of, and trying to get back in the swing of things, as it were. Fortunately, the crack team of (unpaid) link senders has been busy while I've been gone, which means you have all sorts of stuff to read while I get things together. Also, some photos are up over on the Flickr account. Have at it!

From Cassandra:

-- The jellyfish are coming. Be afraid.
-- Killing people for their fat sounds very post-apocalyptic.
-- Is our children reading?
-- A hundred movies online, for free!
-- a love poem (in prose form) to typewriters (PDF).

From Josie: An Art Nouveau exhibit has opened at the Cincinnati Art Museum, and looks beautiful.

From Julie:

-- "A first edition of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, which was kept in a toilet in Oxfordshire, sells for nearly twice the expected price."
-- A red phone box becomes the country's smallest library. Is it a Tardis in disguise? Because then it might be the largest library, you see...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Quick, how many people are in space right this second? (Well, people from Earth, that is.) Now you can find out instantly. Isn't the internet great?

The annual competition for the biggest liar in the world happens tomorrow in England. Really it does, honest. Then, on Friday, you can participate in London's Capture the Flag insanity!

Meanwhile, explorers at the South Pole are about to dig for Shackleton's whiskey. After they find it, they might want to consult Four Pounds Flour in order to construct the perfect historic meal!

In a bonus "links from others" day, Cassandra sends in news linking haunted house tales with the current housing crisis, as well as articles on euthanasia in Switzerland and what happens to your email after you die.

The links from others happened today because tomorrow I set off for New York City and a wild weekend with the Club Creatures! Updates may be posted on my Twitter account (username is jinnet) and possibly on my Facebook page (ditto), depending on phone ability and general mayhem level. There may be updates here as well, but if not, we will definitely be back and posting on the regular weekday schedule by the Monday after Thanksgiving. So have a spiffy week, weekend, and/or holiday, everyone! See you soon.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

We are about to swing into wacky vacation season here at Folderol; I leave for New York on Thursday and will be back next week just in time for the holiday to throw all the schedules off again. (Then I will be back through the rest of the year, though!) Posting may be erratic.

Over the weekend, I will be at the third annual Dances of Vice Festival! You should be there, too. It looks like it's going to be an amazing time. (DOV is also on Facebook, where they are posting additional details.) Related to DOV is Zelda Magazine, which just came out with its premiere issue. Buy it if you can!

Steampunky designers are encouraged to participate in the “Voyage of the Chrononought” Design Contest, running through the end of the year. Have at it!

Amazing steampunk-ish metalwork is at "Sara 013's" Flickr account; check out the FreakAngels choker. Beautiful stuff.

It was once proposed, in the mid-nineteenth centry, that London be zoned into hexagonal shapes. It's true! Strange Maps describes the London that could have been, and points to a book of such things which looks really interesting.

Currently interesting in British transportation: the proposed "road train" technology, in which drivers could link up in a lane and then read, sleep, etc., until they want to get off the road. I have been dreaming about something like this for years, usually during the annual drives to New England.

And lastly, a media update: Disney seems to have put the kibosh on a remake of Captain Nemo's adventures for now.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Today, we're all about the visual arts.
  • Love those doodles on Google? Now you can see all of them!
  • Lifespan, an installation by Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro, solves the problem of what to do with all those old VHS cassettes.
  • Flickr groups are wonderful things. I am currently enamored of the Minimal Black & White pool.
  • Den of Geek celebrates the corridors of sci-fi film! It's true, they're pretty spiffy.
  • And finally...Drench is the addictive time-waster of the day. (Start in the top left corner and work your way out.)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Happy Friday the 13th, everyone!

From Julie: Thatcher is dead! Oh, wait. Thatcher is a cat.

Also from Julie: The Cloud is coming to London, complete with "interconnected plastic bubbles." Hooray, the future is finally on the way!

Also possibly in the future and also via Julie: perhaps we should eat more bugs. A New York City artist tries to convince his friends.

From Cassandra: the top five underrated horror films you haven't seen (Bunny is looking forward to checking this out as a personal challenge); artist Luke Jerram's work with perception; and the types of comments childless people often get from others (and how to respond to them; I admit that I am interested in trying out a few of these).

From Zazoo: Rickrolling hits iPhones!

Also from Cassandra: an online handwriting analysis. Both our results indicated that either we are horribly conflicted individuals, or the analysis process leaves a lot to be desired. But it's a fun exercise, regardless.

And lastly, something from Veterans Day: dogs welcoming soldiers home. Also kids, in the last video. I challenge you to watch these (especially the first and last videos) and not cry. But a good, happy sort of cry.

Have a spiffy and safe weekend, everyone. See you Monday!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays."

Anyway. From Julie: a sniff test to preserve old books! Excellent!

From old to new: I am not sure if anyone will be convinced that librarians are going to save the world, but I love the cover of this book due out next year.

The World Press Photo archive is open to anyone who wants to browse all 10,000 images. Hooray!

The Book of Odds is another great new online find. I love these sorts of things.

And finally, the latest from the Pew Internet American Life Project shows that people who spend lots of time online are not isolated socially at all -- in fact, they're more connected. I've been saying that since the internet took off!

Tomorrow: more links from others, and hopefully more time in which to post them.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Via Stephen Fry's Twitter account, here is an image of Trafalgar Square at the 11th hour on this Remembrance/Veterans Day.

Humans are not the only beings who grieve for the dead.

Ancient war news: the remnants of a huge Persian army may have been discovered in the Sahara.

Current war news, sort of: The Global Peace Index rankings are out for 2009. I'd like to move to New Zealand, please. Does anyone there need a couple of librarians?

Cassandra sends in a spooky story about people who have been guided by a "third man" in times of extreme crisis. Angels? One's subconscious? Who knows?

Also, the Large Hadron Collider continues to be plagued with problems. This time, a bird dropped some bread in it. (Maybe it was a bird from the future! Sent to stop the LHC! Hey, it could happen.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

We had some local steampunks over to our place last Friday, and it seems like a good time was had by all. There are photos over at the Steampunk Empire as tangible proof!

LA Weekly discovered Clockwork Couture and featured them, and Issue 9 of the Gatehouse Gazette has been published for your viewing pleasure. In even more literature news, Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan has also been published, and he's written a post discussing the illustrations and the book's concept in general.

New amazing steampunky weblogs keep appearing. Two I found this week: Decadent Handbook (specializing in the darker edge of Victorian/Edwardian art and literature) and the Steampunk Family (specializing in all sorts of things).

And finally...A man is building glaciers to stop global warming...and it's working! How wonderfully mad is that?

Monday, November 09, 2009

A whole lot of the interweb is talking about the fall of the Berlin Wall. (Those of you of a certain age can start humming "Right Here, Right Now" by Jesus Jones now.) Flickr has a blog post about the images from that time, as well as a photo pool of images from 1961-1989 Berlin. For the readers, today's Arts & Letters Daily has dozens of articles on the event.

The universe is beige. No, really, it is. (I like the "cosmic latte" suggestion, however.)

The work of Tom Gauld is great -- everything from LEGO robots to cartoons about writers.

And finally, for the creators among us, Warren Ellis's Whitechapel community is sharing their favorite Etsy artists and stores. Good holiday inspiration!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Happy Friday! The links are all over the place today. Embrace the chaos.

From Cassandra: Twitter meets Jungian analysis!

Cassandra also sent me this Etsy shop because it reminded her of me. I'm not really sure what that says about either one of us. Etsy is a treasure trove, but can also feature some truly strange items, and Regretsy is happy to point them out to us! (My current favorite is the offer of broken Wall-E charms for twenty cents. Er?)

One last link from Cassandra concerns asexuals. Anyone who grew up in the '80s is now thinking of Morrissey, admit it.

Tomorrow is Carl Sagan Day! It's true! Go and look at the stars.

And finally, here is the most amazing LEGO creation I've ever seen. (I've seen a lot of LEGO creations, just for the record.)

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Google is celebrating Sesame Street's 40th birthday with a great doodle on their homepage. Yay!

My new favorite Twitter contact is the Fake AP Stylebook. Anyone who has had to wrestle with the real stylebook is directed there right now. For instance: "While it's tempting to call them 'baristi' because of the Italian roots, the plural of 'barista' is 'journalism majors.'"

Book-related goodness fills out today's entry. Books are physical and tangible and associated with memories, so they won't die out anytime soon. Rare book libraries are fantastic, and you can visit them all over the country (and world). And finally, you can get all sorts of crazy bookends to keep them upright. (I am not too impressed with most of these, but it's totally worth seeing the Star Wars trash compactor bookend set!)

Tomorrow is Friday, which means links sent in from others. Even you! Go ahead!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

El Mirador, an ancient Mayan city, is being unearthed in northern Guatemala, and it looks absolutely amazing.

In Mayan-related news, people are starting to wonder what's going to happen if/when 2012 comes and goes with no catastrophic apocalypse.

However, in what seems like a blatant stab at tempting fate, a reenactment of the Titanic's maiden voyage has been scheduled for 2012. Sign up now! Er...really?

In Baltimore, there are men who know what it's like to stare at goats, and they discuss the new movie's real-life basis. (Apparently no goats were involved, but there were incidents with hamsters...)

Tonight is Mischief Night in the UK, with Guy Fawkes Day tomorrow. It sounds like the festivities are going to be pretty tame this Fifth of November, be warned.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Pressed for time today, so here are the week's steampunky bits in quick-time format!

PhonoVault -- your resource for steampunk and seriously retro music.

Machinarium looks like a very cool new game.

MSNBC discovers steampunk and provides a slideshow of the haunted house in New York City.

The Monsterologist should delight any young explorer (or those who still want to grow up to be explorers).

Might the Hadron Collider be under attack from the future? Even the New York Times is discussing the possibility!

Coming Anarchy is a lovely site - how can I resist the slogan "speak Victorian, think Pagan"? Plus, they write about things like "deviant globalization."

The man behind PostHuman Blues, a wonderful website, has died. RIP, Mac Tonnies.

Monday, November 02, 2009

If you're near London, the first "adult puppetry festival" in years is going on this week! Check out SUSPENSE if you can.

An interesting result from a UK survey indicates that people who illegally download music also spend the most (legally) on music. Hmm.

Ingmar Bergman's estate will be preserved as an artist's retreat, hooray. You can see a slideshow of the home, too.

Another slideshow of sorts that you should scroll through features the works of artist Yinka Shonibare, who creates wondrous costumes and sets.

Poet Frederico Garcia Lorca's grave may be exhumed in Spain, along with dozens of others.

Today's lesson: Sometimes you should go with your instinct, like this man who bought an old painting for way too much money...and then found it was a masterpiece.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy (early) Halloween, everyone! May your weekend be delightfully spooky. I am selfishly glad I grew up in the freewheeling '70s and '80s; these days, I don't know if I'd be allowed to wear my childhood costumes to school. (I'm sorry, Princess Leia needs a blaster. Joan of Arc needs a sword. Wonder Woman...well, I guess she would be okay still, actually.)

The Whitechapel community has a Halloween video jukebox thread running, which features all sorts of great spooky stuff. If you're not on this forum, you should be -- people talk about comics, art, science, and even provide grammar lessons in the 2d and 3d conditional!

From Nicole: Would you like to decorate your living space to look like it's straight out of Rosemary's Baby? You would? That's kind of strange. But hey, go for it.

From the Graveworm: a huge meteorite crashed in Indonesia earlier this month, with video footage even, and no one in the western media seemed to care very much. Wait till the monsters/aliens/zombies start showing up.

From Cassandra: Amelia Earhart's fate may have been finally discovered. Also, the sociology in Jennifer's Body is discussed; Earth may have stolen the Moon from Mercury; we may read print and onscreen material in different ways; and happy 40th birthday to Sesame Street!

From Julie, big news about the web: domain names will now be allowed in non-Latin alphabets, such as Arabic and Chinese. Wow.

Have a spiffy spooky weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I did not get to go to Internet Librarian this year, which is very sad. Looks like it went well!

You still have time to send in an entry to the 2009 Pimp My Bookcart contest, and you can even ogle the competition.

If you know any librarians, you may catch a glimpse of them in the Library 101 video!

The New York Public Library celebrates the World Series* by creating a set of vintage New York and Philly players on the Flickr Commons.

Elsewhere in New York, the current attitudes in children's books are scrutinized.

My notes for the following link say, "old books become birds become kites - Clemens Habicht" and that's as good a description as any, I think.

Links from others tomorrow. Stay tuned!

*They created this BEFORE Game 1, obviously. Hee.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

This Halloween season has been a little less festive than usual at Spooky Librarians HQ, with life getting in the way of the holiday (including our current marshaling of forces against the flu epidemic, which has met with only limited success). Fortunately, there are oodles of other spooky people out there who are carrying on the spirit!

Many websites which are not normally spooky are filled with lovely dark things for October, such as Not Martha (and, shameful admission, I do like the real Martha's Halloween ideas each year as well). The Random Picture of the Day has featured spooky images all month, and even Major League Baseball has gotten into the spirit by providing pumpkin stencil patterns for each team. (If your team had a subpar year, like mine, you could construct an elaborate allegory as the pumpkin decomposes. Well, you COULD.)

The always excellent Drawn! points to Aly Fell's equally excellent Halloween-themed pin-up girls. I think Bunny would probably buy several of these.

There are also many out there who keep the spooky going year-round, such as Creepy Cupcakes and Para Abnormal: The Comic (I am especially loving the Bela Lugosi take on the Obama HOPE poster).

And here's a happy announcement for the Forteans and cryptozoologists among us! The CryptoZoo Museum will officially open November 1st in downtown Portland, Maine. Excellent.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This week's steampunk entry consists mainly of steampunky people looking pretty. Enjoy and be inspired!

Exhibit 1: The meetup at Brooklyn's Way Station was well attended, from the looks of it.

Exhibit 2: The Oxford steampunk exhibition brought out the extremely well-dressed!

Exhibit 3: SteamCon in Seattle looks like a great success.

Exhibit 3.5: The poster for the new Sherlock Holmes film is out, and is not exactly steampunk but not really NOT steampunk, either. I am of two minds, obviously.

In more literary matters, a call is out for authors of steampunk romances. You have until next April to send in your masterpiece!

"Technology forecaster" Paul Saffo (who doesn't like the words futurist or futurologist) predicts an increasing divide between the rich and the poor in our technological future. Anyone who has read Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age can see the Vicky culture in the making...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hello! Here we are with Monday links for you.

In art: I love the work of Andy Awesome and think it would look fantastic as a series of framed prints. Also fantastic is this image of space exploration over the past 50 years -- check out the huge original size for all the details.

Did you know that Albania has 750,000 abandoned concrete bunkers dotting the country? It's true, and a documentary is on the way studying what some people have done with these "concrete mushrooms," and what to do with them in the future.

Strong females apparently equal box office poison these days. Why is that, exactly?

Just in time for Halloween, you can visit the online Edgar Allan Poe Digital Collection at the University of Texas. Begone!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Happy Friday, everyone! Today's links are brought to you by Cassandra and Zazoo.

Cassandra, part 1: Get ready for the Moon Howl on SaturdayMonday! You can think about the newly discovered exoplanets as you howl at the moon, or ponder the passage of time in the galaxies, or meditate on the mystery of self-awareness. (Or you could just scream at the moon primally. That works, too.)

From Zazoo: crime-solving leeches! A Shakespeare play discovered via plagiarism software! Atheist ads on NYC subways!

From Cassandra, part 2: If you want to wear a sexy costume this Halloween, you are crazy, but at least get creative about it. Maybe you could emulate the (sexy) death of email. Or the (sexy?) effects of the nuclear waste surrounding my home town . Not sexy, per se, but just plain awesome is the website titled My Parents Were Awesome, in which people send in old photos of their parents looking fabulous. I have one of my mom that I'm very tempted to send.

Appropos of nothing, why not donate some money this weekend so that you can see "the famous Bohr-Einstein debates about quantum measurement, [recreated] in puppet show form" by Chad Orzel? I mean, how can you resist? Puppets! Physics! (Found via John Scalzi.)

Have a spiffy and safe weekend, everyone. Back on Monday.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Today seems to be all about the social networking, past and present. Back in the olden days when we had to type uphill and by candlelight, Usenet was the place to be. Then the archives went to Google, and then they sort of...vanished. But now they're returning, thanks to Wired!

I tend to forget about my Twitter account for a week or so at a time, which is why I am terrible at responding to people over there. But there are some great uses for it, like Tweetminster and Historical Tweets!

I am better about Flickr, and the news over there is that you can now tag people (with caveats and considerations). This should be...interesting.

The Merry Librarian wants to hear your crazy library story! We all have them. Share with the group!

Jolkona allows you to see where your donation goes in a detailed way. This is a really neat concept, I think, and I'll be interested to see if other organizations start to emulate it.

Tomorrow: links from others!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hm. The modern-day Mayans aren't buying the whole "world ending in 2012" concept.

X-Entertainment is up to their usual Halloween countdown madness, which is always a must-see. The Halloween Crafts pool on Flickr is also going wild with wonderful stuff, like these spooky spinners!

Another seasonal read is HauntStyle; I'm particularly fascinated with their post on a coffin ride.

New Yorkers, take note (and ignore the above story regarding 2012): The Doomsday Film Festival is upon you this weekend! The Cleavers wish they could be there. I like how attendees can play Fallout 3 and Left 4 Dead. Nice touch. Also in New York, the Nightmare Haunted House is going on, and there's a weblog detailing some of the effects and additional events.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I took this last summer and was a Gadgeteer. Apparently my tastes have changed a bit.

Your result for The Steampunk Style Test...

The Ragamuffin

18% Elegant, 55% Technological, 13% Historical, 48% Adventurous and 60% Playful!

You are the Ragamuffin, the embodiment of steampunk playfulness. Chances are, you approach the genre from a much more casual and lighthearted standpoint than most other fans. To you, there is always an element of play inherent in the genre, and you may very well enjoy fashion as much for the opportunity to dress up as for the style itself. You probably wear goggles as an accessory, and rarely as actual eye-protection. Your outfits are likely to incorporate a lot of brown or cream, and combine large boots, Victorian corsets or vests, aviator caps or bowler hats, and gypsy skirts or slacks, simply because you like them all.

Take The Steampunk Style Test

Anyway! Steampunk Month continues over at, with all sorts of neat posts and book excerpts. As for books, has anyone read Kage Baker's stories? They look intriguing.

Also intriguing: the web production titled Riese: The Series. The costuming alone looks awesome!

Steampunky websites with fabulous names: Strange Undisciplined Dreams of Great Things and the Electro-Plasmic Hydrocephalic Genre-Fiction Generator 2000.

The artist known as Tin does quite beautiful art with robotic overtones.

And finally, a poster that could serve as the Steampunk Manifesto!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Attention, Generation X: if you like lush, color-saturated paintings, but haven't found any subject matter that interests you, may I suggest the work of Robert Burden? Serpentor and Battle Cat portraits are available!

Good comic fun: Heroes on Facebook. This should be a continuing series, I think. JJ Jameson definitely needs a real-time Facebook news feed.

Bad comic fun: Discovery Kids is going to an all-Hasbro-toy lineup? Really? (Thanks to Bunny for sending this!)

It's playoff season, and the Library of Congress has some great vintage photos in their Baseball Americana set on Flickr.

The Wooster Collective is now on YouTube! Hooray!

Could New Orleans become the center of new architecture? Some people think so...

Lastly, for the Club Creatures: Scouting NY details the places from movies in the city, showing how they look now and how they looked on film. Neat stuff.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Links from others today, beginning with a look at yesterday (via Dawn). Hee.

From Bunny: Democrat Alan Grayson gives his esteemed colleagues what-for. Good stuff.

From Cassandra: Telling people to calm down doesn't help. I am shocked and amazed! Also from Cassandra: the economy has resulted in Americans getting creative for Halloween, and if you find fairy tales interesting you should definitely be reading this weblog on fairy tales and fantasy literature.

From Josie: The Cat Piano, a rather Cowboy Bebop-esque short film narrated by Nick Cave!

From Julie: Edgar Allan Poe gets a second funeral, you can improve your brain by juggling, a Sussex library is lending out power monitors, and a new theory suggests that global warming is being offset by a cycle of ocean cooling. (I hope this is true. I'd rather be cold than hot.)

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Someday I'm going to do a survey on which days are busiest in a law library. I think Thursday would rank first or second. This is why Thursday entries tend to be of a staccato nature.

Why libraries are important: an author's viewpoint.

Why libraries are important: a parent's viewpoint. (Or, why budget cuts are bad for libraries.)

Two fun lists: one discusses America's "coolest" bookstores (hey, I've been to the Strand! I'm slightly cool!) and one points out resources for free stock photos.

Want a radical militant librarian t-shirt? I do!

Lots of links from others tomorrow! Yay!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Are you still figuring out your Halloween costume? If you want to get inspired, or perhaps just spend several hours looking at your options, the Coolest Homemade Costumes website just might be the answer.

Bob Burns knows how to do Halloween right, of course.

The Library of Congress also knows a thing or two about the origins and folklore of Halloween. (Really, the LOC knows a little about everything.)

From Cassandra: Do you really want to know what happens to cadavers? Well, ok then!

And finally, not really Halloween-related but very geekily awesome: Jones Soda has a limited-time Dungeons & Dragons collection. Healing Potions and more!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Over the weekend, we discovered that our awful carpeting (which had covered the living room floor for who knows how long) was hiding a wood floor with a border design.

I was sort of hoping that we would uncover an intricate design in the center of the room, which would be a mysterious coded message to a secret treasure in a faraway land...but, um, there wasn't anything. Still, we are pretty excited about the corners.

Other recent discoveries include the collection of Richard Balzer, who has a treasure trove of objects made before movie cameras, such as thaumatropes, myrioramas, and other optical toys, with flash galleries and tons of information.

Disney is planning a movie titled John Carter of Mars, and the casting has begun. I'm not sure how I feel about this yet. Tentatively optimistic, perhaps?

Steampunk must now be truly mainstream, as it's an actual party theme this season. (Some good ideas in there, regardless!)

More examples of the steampunk mindset infiltrating regular life: The Clockwork Man is one of those "hidden object" games that may or may not be a guilty pleasure when whiling away winter evenings. If you prefer your games to be a bit more action-packed, keep your eyes peeled for The Guns of Icarus -- it was originally scheduled to debut online yesterday, but has been pushed back a bit.

Speaking of guns...dieselpunk, a sibling of steampunk, is growing in popularity and web presence, hooray! It's darker and grittier and more mechanized in general; think 1930s rather than 1890s. The website just keeps getting better and better.

Punks and geeks of all sorts may be interested in an iPhone app called The Universe Splitter, which does just what it says. Sort of. (I am not well versed in the world of apps, as my cell phone looks like it's from 1989 and behaves accordingly, but this looks like fun.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Quick notes today, as time is short this Monday!

Was Raymond Carver's voice determined by his editor?

Did anyone in the UK watch Synth Britannia last Friday? It looks like it was great!

Check out the many fantastic LEGO photos (including recreations of famous images) by Balakov.

Friday, October 09, 2009

As I said on Facebook earlier, we are in the midst of getting a new furnace today, and I am listening to many exciting (and expensive) crashes and pings going on in the basement right now. Fortunately, it is Friday! And that means links from others! Many thanks, everyone.

From Cassandra: raccoons are attacking in gangs now! Also from Cassandra: a debate on whether anxiety is innate or learned, the mystery of telepathy, how MDMA can be beneficial, not just recreational, and news about the discovery of a sister site to Stonehenge that they're currently calling Bluehenge.

From Holly: Ohio is a piano! You can play routes from city to city, or watch as certain counties are played in song.

From Julie: The Shroud of Turin is recreated by a scientist using material from the Middle Ages. "If they don't want to believe carbon dating done by some of the world's best laboratories they certainly won't believe me," he said. True, but interesting nonetheless!

From my mom: The concept of local currencies is really taking off in some areas. It'll be interesting to see how this develops.

Thanks again, everyone, and have a spiffy weekend! See you Monday.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Today's random assortment of links will be even MORE tenuously linked than planned, because I managed to somehow delete the entire original post right before publishing. YARGH.


Terry Pratchett talks about what it's like to have Alzheimer's. Most amazing quote, to me at least: "The brain is filling up the space with something else."

I am an avid fan of old photographs, so you can imagine how much I love this collection of a 19th century artist and world traveler who painted his black and white photos (and left instructions on how he did it).

The FCC has put online, and welcomes discussion on net neutrality.

Journalism's gallows humor is still around: behold the Magazine Death Pool. RIP, Gourmet.

And finally, just because it's baseball playoff season and I've wanted to post this for a while: Umpire Tim Tschida performs the rarely seen interpretive "Balk de Pitcher" dance.

Links from others tomorrow. Lots of 'em!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Happy Gothtober, everyone! (Do check the website. It's different each day, with films and crafts and all sorts of goodies, and their theme this year is of a drive-in theatre, which is just great.)

Today we talk of Jung and Lovecraft. Jung's "Red Book" is to be published early next year, and a fascinating article details the why and how of the book and its journey to public eyes. In related happenings, a weblog has set out to detail the phenomenon of synchronicity when it's noticed.

Lovecraft, on the other hand, is missing. Well, not really, but that's the premise of the similarly titled webcomic (the first episode is here). Meanwhile, Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs has debuted a Lovecraft-themed collection of aromas. While I think Miskatonic University sounds nice, I would be worried about wearing a perfume titled Cthulhu or Herbert West or Night-Gaunt or...

And finally, greetings to another spooky library type, the Paranormal Librarian! (Found via Susan on Facebook -- thanks Susan!)

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Royal De Luxe was at it again over the weekend, this time in Berlin! They never cease to amaze.

The good people at have dedicated October to steampunk, so you should get over there and immerse yourself in some good writing. On the graphic novel side, io9 has a great article on François Schuiten -- his website, although mostly in French, is definitely worth a visit for the art of it all.

A Brooklyn bar named the Way Station is to open soon, and promises to bring steampunk to the neighborhood. They have a page on Facebook listing events and more information; I may check it out when I'm in town next!

And 'tis the season: Behold, a steampunk haunted house. Ooooh, ahhhh.

More stuff coming out that may interest steampunky types: Boilerplate in book format and Rotor'Scope, a "fiendishly difficult" computer game. And for the retro gamers, take a gander at the Frankencade Machine!

(As a postcript, I will mention that I list steampunk-type events over on the Steampunk Empire as I find them; if you have an event, please feel free to hop over there and list it as well! We're going for a comprehensive calendar!)

Monday, October 05, 2009

Hey! Did you know that the founder of Cirque Soleil is up in space this very moment? (As in outer space, not just up in the air somewhere?)

Also, did you know that Steven Spielberg and George Lucas are fans of Norman Rockwell? I didn't, but the two directors are lending their collections to the Smithsonian for a 2010 exhibit.

I love these negative space illustrations by Noma Bar, and am completely baffled (in a good way) by the nanosculptures of Willard Wigan.

Two new biographies of L. Frank Baum are hitting the stores and libraries; they sound like interesting reading, as the man was a fascinating product of his times.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Today is heavy on the law library reference links, because, well, that's what I do. For example, the 2009 list of the Best Free Reference Websites is out, and is enormously useful!

Also: law librarian Glenna Herald has an article about how Twitter is affecting the legal profession, especially in the instance of jurors using Twitter. Interesting stuff.

Lexis and Westlaw may have to change their methods, as law firms change the way they charge clients for online research. This is a big issue right now in law firms and law libraries.

This week is Banned Books Week, and while I am obviously all about the freedom to read whatever one likes and resist censorship in any form, I could have sworn we just had Banned Books Week a few months ago. Apparently I'm not alone in feeling sort of burned out on this event. At any rate, the ALA has a page of useful resources on the subject, and I love the Flickr picture on that page.

And finally, something unrelated to legal issues: the Anne Frank House now has its own YouTube channel, which includes actual footage of Anne (if only for a few seconds). It's rather breathtaking to see her caught on film, I think -- do check it out.

Tomorrow: many many links from others! Check back and see!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

October is almost here, so Wednesdays will soon be all-spooky links to celebrate. But in the meantime, you have 24 hours to get to Harvard and see the 19th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony live! (Yes, Bostonians and New Yorkers, this means you.)

Also, many Halloween festivals and extravaganzas begin this weekend, such as Shriekfest in Los Angeles. If you're looking for haunted houses in your area, the Dark Side of the Net has a fantastic list of links.

If you want to decorate your own house in a slightly haunted way, Pillboxdesigns has some wonderful ideas. (The Nosferatu decal would completely creep me out if I saw it in person. Just so you know.)

And while looking for other creatively interesting people and crafts, I found someone who not only makes amazing things, she's even in my home town! The things you find online...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

According to the blogosphere, I am under strict instructions not to label this panorama of Grand Central Station's largest clock as "steampunk." So I will say, instead, that if you like gears and clockwork and century-old architecture design, you may like this panorama.

Fortunately, this link sent to me by Danny has no such restrictions. Behold, the 12 coolest steampunk gadgets!

Killer Robot Design does amazing work with refurbished objects -- I love the wooden table. Meanwhile, artist Kazuhiko Nakamura has an online "Mechanical Mirage Art Gallery" that must be seen to be believed, and there are now even steampunk graphics for sale!

MAKE Magazine wants your work entered into their annual Halloween contest for tinkerers of all kinds. A recently disqualified entry (no microcontroller) is still worth a look, as it heralds the arrival of...steampunk beer goggles.

And finally, sometimes the headline says it all: "250-Foot Long Hybrid Airship Will Spy Over Afghanistan Battlefields in 2011." Airships! Over the desert! Wow!

Monday, September 28, 2009

I remember reading about the Crazy Horse memorial back in the late '70s or early '80s and thinking wow, that'll be amazing when it's finished. Yes, well. It may still be finished one day!

One day we may also find all the art that's been stolen over the years. It could happen. Interpol has put together a database in order to help track everything down.

Here at Spooky Librarians HQ, we occasionally discuss how fun it would be to have a metal detector. A British man living on disability thinks it's incredibly fun, now that he's discovered a stunning treasure trove of ancient Anglo-Saxon gold.

Not quite as stunning but still wonderful is the recent restoration of the detailed Art Deco ceiling in the Empire State Building. Look, gears! It's steampunk!

If you have an insignificant object and you want to sell it, find someone to invent a back story. (Ebay sellers have used this trick for years with "haunted items.") Now, Significant Objects matches writers and objects to increase profits for all.

Like graphic novels? Find math baffling? Give Logicomix a try -- it's a Greek graphic novel about Bertrand Russell, mathematics, and more.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Rejoice, for it is Friday, and I bring you a whole bunch of links sent in from readers. Many thanks, everyone!

From Cassandra: the vice-chancellor of Buckingham University is a sexist pig. Also from Cassandra: surrealism makes you smarter, addiction is less clear-cut than it may seem, old books are being destroyed to save us from lead poisoning, and sex robots are on the way.

From Julie: sheep are working as landscapers and crocodiles are working for the Mafia! Also, newly digitized parish records detail deaths from bubonic plague, and a new exhibit by artist Luke Jerram finds the beauty in disease.

My mom recommends economist Robert Reich's weblog for anyone interested in current events. (Thanks, mom! I think it's great that she reads blogs.)

Bunny wants everyone to know how a college library is really used (he says this is "spot on") and also provides our moment of zen to close out this week's postings. Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Most of today's links were found accidentally or through my RSS feeds. For example, I was looking up "boho luxe" after reading about it in an article and then found a primer on how to dress "like a sexy librarian." Well then.

Librarian in Black points to a frankly amazing resource on the BBC's website: learn several languages in several different ways, all for free! I can't wait to explore this.

Gary Price's ResourceShelf has a wealth of information on the current battle concerning Google's book digitization efforts. The Open Book Alliance, opposed to Google, has also started a weblog.

And finally, for the language lovers, Wordsmith's "A Word A Day" is a constant source of education and entertainment. Did you know that Beau Brummell died penniless in a mental institution, for instance?

Tomorrow: lots of links from others! Come back tomorrow and see them all!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Apparently, northern California and London are the places to be this weekend. I present the evidence:

In London, the Great Gorilla Run is going to stampede through the city (can gorillas stampede?) as the London Tattoo Convention occurs. Someone should combine the two and run through the city as a tattooed gorilla.

In northern California, the ArtCarFest gets underway, as does the Salsa Festival! (Combination ideas for this include a car dressed as a chile pepper.)

If you are nowhere near ether locale, fear not, there's always something weird and wonderful to be found elsewhere.Take, for example, Donny Dirk's Zombie Den in Minneapolis (website threatens to debut soon!), which looks like a must-see to me.