Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Back in 1859, a "space storm" caused what came to be known as the Carrington event. If the same thing occured today (and it very well might, according to NASA), we're in deep trouble. On that cheerful note, let's delve into steampunk!

Steampunk World has published a wonderful post chock-full of links on Victorian London, and promises even more detail in the future, while Make delves into the (gorgeous) history of airships.

Meanwhile, Colombia has embraced ethernet cable as a hip new fashion accessory. Well, sort of. It does look very cool. I think the Club Creatures were the inspiration, personally. (And speaking of the Club Creatures, it's official; I'm going to be accompanying them to the Dances of Vice May event in New York! Woohoo!)

I don't explore Second Life very often (my first life takes up enough of my time as it is), but there's a vibrant steampunk community going on over there, and they even boast a Miskatonic Valley among its geography. Ooooh, ahhhh.

Steampunk and vaudeville and burlesque all seem to be melding together in some odd fashion, so people interested in steampunk may also like Matt Hoyle's Barnumville photography. I know I do.

And lastly, the rich may just buy "Jeeves Wooster lights" outright, but they look ripe for DIY experimentation among the poorer and punkier of us!

Monday, March 30, 2009

A follow-up from last Monday: the New York Times discusses why we're still so interested in the story of Sylvia Plath and her family.

For Bunny: what do you think of the British buildings of the 1970s?

The rest of today's post consists of art which appears in strange formats, like Ghost in the Machine, which is a set of portraits made from cassette tape (check out Robert Smith!). There's also art via radiology, art created via an accident of the camera, and paintings recreated in LEGO by Marco Pece (via this post at Oddee, which shows the original paintings for comparison.)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Today's public service announcements: You should not worry about vampires in Boston. In unrelated news, you are asked to turn your lights off for an hour tomorrow night. (I've seen questions about how this affects NCAA tournament watching; I have no idea. Xavier lost last night, so no one here in town cares any more!)

From Cassandra: what sex is your brain? Apparently mine is more female; I got a score of 14. (Whatever.)

Also from Cassandra: murderous beekeepers in Australia, a haunted pub in Wales, a mass gravesite of Irish immigrants, a Thai fireman dresses like Spiderman to save an autistic boy, and an article examining how brains perceive time asserts that our version of "right now" is abour 2.5 seconds.

From Satori: rogue botanists are roaming Brooklyn! Aieee!

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone. See you Monday!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

You may not be a Mover and Shaker (yet) in the library world, but you can be a Shover & Maker! Join in!

Also, the Librarian Trading Cards weblog is back, and there is much rejoicing.

An article in the Guardian examines the state of British libraries; unfortunately, an article from earlier in the week details how the British Library can't find 9,000 books. Oops. Bad juxtapositioning there.

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are the focus of an exhibit at the San Francisco Public Library! (Actually, all the exhibits at SFPL look very cool.)

Via Jessamyn's Twitter: a spreadsheet of all known/suspected musicians/bands with Twitter accounts. Neato.

Tomorrow: links from others!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Vampires never die, and neither do lengthy articles about them! The New Yorker is the latest to examine the popularity of the undead.

If you want to give your infant a really good head start in life, consider equipping them with Mysterio apparel.

This weekend, you can attend any number of events, including the 10th annual Tattoofest in Tampa, the Smithsonian-sponsored Kite Festival near the Washington Monument, or (my personal favorite) the World Pooh Sticks Championship near Oxfordshire, England. Have fun!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Happy Ada Lovelace Day! Celebrate women in technology!

The Club Creatures went to the Dances of Vice event in NYC last weekend, and had a wonderful time. I may be joining them for the May gathering! (I have to start planning an outfit right away, if so.)

The Library of Congress has a site titled "Chronicling American" which looks at events from the papers of 100 years ago. The entry for March 7, 1909 is taken from Ogden, Utah's Morning Examiner and concerns Count Zeppelin and his amazing machine. Photographs included!

Also at the Library of Congress: some enterprising types have started a Flickr tag called "Great Mustaches of the LOC" and the photos definitely live up to the hype.

From the young adult section of the library comes this recommendation for Mainspring, a steampunky sort of book which sounds like something I need to read right away.

There is something about the combination of steampunk and LEGOs that just seems to inspire people. The latest concept depicts steampunk Ghostbusters. I especially like Egon's outfit. If you like your objects a little bigger than LEGO, check out Mike Rivamonte's amazing robot creations.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Oh, this is sad. Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath's son has killed himself, 46 years after his mother.

Some links that put me in mind of specific readers: for the Club Creatures, check out the Fata Morgana exhibit going on at the Dabora Gallery in Brooklyn. For Danny, is it true that Dutch universities are going toward an English-only model? And for my friends in advertising and branding, Lovely Package is a weblog all about packaging design.

The Academy of American Poets has a beautiful poster for 2009, and is also accepting contest entries via a Flickr pool through April 15!

Have six of Shakespeare's works just been rediscovered? Some think so!

I read Clay Shirky's essay on the future of newspapers last week and am still thinking about it; I highly recommend it to anyone interested in society and media.

And finally, graphics can help us understand what happened to the economy. Maybe. Possibly.

Friday, March 20, 2009

It's Friday, it's spring, and it's National Astrology Day. Whee!

The "links from others" post is sponsored by Cassandra this week. For your reading pleasure, she provides:

If you're looking for something to do this weekend online, why not see how many of these "99 Things You Should Have Already Experienced on the Internet" you've seen? (For the record, I've seen 40. Apparently I'm a loser.)

Also, if you like QI and its twittering companion qikipedia, you may also like the Museum of Curiousity and its new Twitter stream.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The 2009 Library Movers & Shakers have been announced, and I actually know some of them, which is exciting! Also, it's fun to have the Shanachies on the list.

On AskMetafilter, there's a discussion going on about which questions get asked the most of librarians by patrons. Sadly, "Where's the bathroom?" is probably the winner, followed by "Can you fix the copier/printer/computer?"

Today's depressing news: handwriting is a dying art, and newspapers are a dying industry.

Today's cheering news: the Portland (Maine) library is getting an ultra-modern makeover, and a discovery in a Geneva archive may lead to identifying millions of WWI soldiers in unmarked graves.

Tomorrow: links from others!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Another asteroid just missed us. Whee!

In other planet activities: the Festival of the West happens this weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona; the Denver March Pow Wow takes place in, well, Denver; the 13th annual Victorian Festival is going on in Port Townsend, Washington; and the city of Bologna, Italy is hosting a convention of...sugar packet collectors. Yes. Really.

Also, archaeologists have discovered the grave of a "vampire" in Venice (thanks, Cassandra!), and if you take the Tube in London, you may encounter Ray Parker Jr. singing the Ghostbusters theme song with beatboxers. Yes. Really.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Catching up with steampunk around the web...the winners of CG Society's Steampunk Myths & Legends contest have been announced! You can see more details on their site, including this detailed look at Steamnocchio.

EgoPHobia's guest steampunk issue has hit the web. There's all sorts of stuff to explore there (and probably even more if you can read Romanian).

Elizabeth F. sent in the link for Clockwork Couture, which is, of course, all kinds of awesome.

The wondrous brains at SteamGear Lab have created an EyePod. With an eye! Get it? It's totally functional, too.

Finally, Gawker reports (via the Wall Street Journal) that smoking an actual old-fashioned pipe is a cool thing to do amongst the young and hip these days. Who knew?
Here are your St. Patrick's moments of, er, zen. Steampunk-related post will follow shortly!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Today we're all about the visual arts. To wit:

Art with crayons is one oeuvre of Christian Faur's, and the work is beautiful.

Who here has not mutilated/altered their Barbies? Is it art or violence or social commentary?

Doodling is good for your brain. (I'm no good at representational art, but I can draw some great cartoon bugs.)

USA Network's Character Project sent a dozen artists out into the country to capture the "characters" you see on a daily basis.

Justseeds, a "Visual Resistance Artists' Cooperative," has all sorts of goodies to read and buy and ponder.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Today is a double entry, because tomorrow I'll be off continuing my education via a museum visit. So! In library news, here's a wonderful list of links to library special collections (via metafilter), a link to NPR's "In Character" series (via lii.org) and a pointer to the New York Times's new weblog on the economy (also via lii.org, although I found this map of the happiest and unhappiest states all on my own there. Wow, no wonder everyone around here seems depressed. They are!)

In news from others: Cassandra sends in a story about the "planet-hunting" Kepler mission, a fascinating article about the current archbishop of Canterbury, and a study of why crowds behave the way they do. Satori reports that the Masstransiscope is just as cool in person as it looks on the web, and that Czar Nicholas and all his children really were killed, which makes us both sad for some unknown reason.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! Back on Monday.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Quick, how many countries can you name in five minutes? I got 85. Spelling counts!

More interactive demands: how many "classic" sci-fi/fantasy books have you read? Out of this list of 124 total books, I've read 20. Yikes. My geek credentials will be revoked.

News from around the world: there are warrior women in Ukraine and mummies of monsters in Japan.

And finally, if you prefer your monsters less mummified, how about seeing them in letter format?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

How have I not heard of Legend before? It has Richard Dean Anderson! And Q from Star Trek! And steampunky accents!

Other stuff you should know: a steampunk Frankenstein monster is in existence, and a steampunk fairytale photoshoot is scheduled to take place in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens on April 25. Mark your calendar.

Speaking of Brooklyn, the artists behind Teetering Bulb live there, and create beautiful art that's now available for purchase!

Transhumanism may not mesh with some people's idea of steampunk, but it does with mine, and so this story about a real bionic eye seems to fit in well with today's theme.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Happiness is finding a new artist you like and then discovering that he's part of a current exhibit at the local art museum!

Meanwhile, the Smithsonian Art Museum is featuring a look at 1934's WPA artists.

If you think a movie should have ended differently, you're not alone; How It Should Have Ended gives their suggestions.

Hilary of Spirits Dancing made a Virginia Woolf puppet that is wonderful. I especially like the last photo in the entry.

I love reading the reactions of kids to books and movies and art. Bookie Woogie posts a family discussion each week on a different children's book, along with kid-contributed artwork!

The State Archives of Florida and the Oregon State University Archives are among the latest to join the Flickr Commons, and they both have incredible images to share from their history. (If you're not checking out the Commons on a regular basis, you should be!)

Friday, March 06, 2009

Friday, hooray! Here we are with links from others and whatnot.

From the QI elves: the wondrous city of Sybaris. They're especially impressed by the wine piped directly into the homes from the vineyards. (I am, too.)

Found via Chris Z: the wondrous cello trio from Latvia called Melo-M; here's their rendition of the theme from Ghostbusters. (Check out their other stuff, too -- it's all great!)

From Cassandra: a wondrous pink dolphin, the (allegedly) most beautiful words in the English language,* a great photographic exhibit for Women's History Month, the growing popularity of cats on leashes,** and some thoughts about the future of reproductive rights.

And finally, if you're not at work (or have a permissive sort of workplace), 25 Things About My Sexuality takes that "25 things about me" meme and runs with it into a darkened alley where anyone can confess anything.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

* I beg to differ on at least a few of the words on the list.

** We once tried to put our cat on a leash. It was not exactly a success.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Today Folderol is being servicey and providing you with useful information...whether or not you want it. And so:

The St. Louis Fed has a timeline of the current financial crisis, so you can keep track of how much money you don't have at the moment.

However, Congressional Research Service reports are becoming more freely available -- still not complete and all in one place, but getting there!

It's Women's History Month; go and get educated.

Agatha Christie's country home is now open to the public. Ooooh. Ahhhh.

Via John Scalzi: Random House is offering free sci-fi and fantasy book downloads! Free! Woohoo!

Tomorrow: links from others. Also, Friday. About time.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Today's wacky religious news, courtesy of Cassandra: Italians are being asked to give up texting for Lent. What could possibly go wrong?

This weekend brings the annual Frozen Dead Guy Days festival in Colorado! If you prefer your dead guys less frozen and more symbolic, the Gravestone Girls have a lovely catalog of items created with images taken from gravestone rubbings.

It turns out that I'm living in the ninth unhappiest city in America. Um, yay? (A comment from someone else who lives here: "We should knuckle down and try to make the top 5!") Meanwhile, StrangeMaps posts a visual rendition of the slogans of each state.

The excellent Cracked.com has an article on the way your brain messes with you on a daily basis. It's a little frightening, actually.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Eaton 2009 conference looks amazing. Anything titled "Extraordinary Voyages: Jules Verne and Beyond" is bound to be interesting, right?

The Aether Emporium is newly on Twitter, hoping to disseminate steampunk to the masses in 140 characters or less.

Gothla US: the Divining happens this weekend. Steampunk meets goth culture meets belly dancing. Wow.

River Otter Widget Studios not only has a great name, but makes awesome functional steampunky gadgetry!

And finally, which of the following is not a true story? An amputee gets a functional prosthetic mermaid tail; a school board member wants madness to be part of the curriculum; and a meteor just missed hitting Earth last night. Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Dr. Seuss would be 105 today, if he were still with us. Go read something in his honor.

(Also, personal note: my grandmother would be 90 today, and she was just as cool as Dr. Seuss, if not more so. Miss you, Gram. Also, sorry the world now knows you were born in 1919 and not 1920, like you always told me to tell people.)

Dusty Springfield died ten years ago today, and the Pet Shop Boys have posted a tribute to her on their website. Meanwhile, the Boys are working on an electronic ballet, which sounds like it's going to be all kinds of cool.

Leonard Cohen is playing Coachella this year!

Despite the awful economy, movie attendance is up, just like it was in the 1930s. To quote the article: "Americans, for the moment, just want to hide in a very dark place."

Ever wonder where those props from films go, if they're not auctioned off? Wonder no more!