Thursday, April 30, 2009

Many thanks to Julie, who sent in this story about a cat who visits a library in Kent every day. Every now and then I try to agitate for a law library cat, but no one ever listens to me!

The big reference questions right now are all about swine flu. ResourceShelf has put together a big compilation of useful links. Also, the CDC has its own Twitter feed for this sort of thing!

I admit that I am a sucker for a cute robot, but Addictomatic is a neat newsfeed site even without the accompanying droid. Check out the top news category, for instance.

Cracked brings you the most traumatizing (real) books for kids that have been published. Bunny can vouch for a few of these, as he sees a lot of "what is death?" books for kids in his library.

If you're feeling protective of older books, why not adopt one at the British Library?

I've seen some of these bookshelves in posts all over the web, but Oddee has them all on one page. I'd like the Autumn bookshelf, I think.

The Pulitzers are out, but they're not a guarantee to fame -- look at some of the fiction winners from the past.

The librarians at the Columbus Dispatch have a fun new weblog that looks back at the history of the area and the paper.

And finally, if you're stuck in the house for a rainy weekend (or quarantine, or whatever), why not check out SnagFilms? Free documentaries! What's not to love? (Psst, Cassandra: don't look at this site until finals are over.)

Tomorrow: links from others. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

You know the warm weather is coming when the kinetic sculpture races start. This weekend one's in Baltimore!

Also going on this weekend: the Festival of Fools in Belfast and the Padstow Blue Ribbon 'Obby 'Oss...thing.

For Wayde: Check out Mukuk Land in Alaska! It looks...interesting!

From Cassandra: they've found a mummified body in a New York City basement. Er?

And finally, It's My Scar is a novel concept -- making jewelry out of the shape of one's scars. The scar I've got on my face is a bizarre shape and it'd be interesting to see it in metal, that's for sure.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

You know, I may ditch this whole steampunk idea and embrace hobo-tech instead. Heh.

However, the Cincinnati League of Steampunks is going to be out in force in a few weeks on the grounds of the Loveland Castle. If you're in town, stop by and say hello!

Some artists doing beautiful work which may inspire steampunk types include Nemo Gould and Douglas Walker. In the world of fashion, Skingraft Designs continues to come out with jaw-droppingly gorgeous stuff.

The Steampunk Workshop has made some lovely lightswitch plates, and even showed you how they did it.

And finally, the Georgia Guidestones are not really steampunk at all, but they're mysterious and ancient-looking (although modern) and faintly post-apocalyptic. I think a road trip is necessary for further examination and investigation!
Okay, the schedule has now settled down and posting should resume on a more timely basis. For now, here's the belated Monday post!

Writers talk about their childhood memories of reading, in a variety of ways.

Was Edgar Allan Poe a genius or a fraud?

At first I thought this article on "brain music" would be about how songs get stuck in your head, but it's actually about the songs we make up in our head.

Fernando Chamarelli makes bright, beautifully detailed art.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Time for Friday links from others! Thanks, everyone.

From Satori: Did you know there are feral parrots in Brooklyn?

Found via a law weblog, I think: The Daily Otter. Otters!

From Cassandra: gorgeous treehouses, highlights from a recent UFO conference, what we could learn from Vulcans, and twenty things you probably didn't know about death.

Swiped from the Will Leitch Experience: hilarious quotes by former baseball player and current broadcaster Mike Shannon. Example: ‘‘It doesn’t matter if they’re home or away, or vice versa.”

From a mailing list: Maira Kalman visits the Supreme Court. Read the whole thing.

Swiped from Mary Robinette Kowal: a mind-blowing performance by 21 deaf dancers.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! Back on Monday or possibly Tuesday, depending on how the weekend goes.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The World Digital Library is open to all! Go and have a look!

The video offerings by PBS are increasingly wonderful, and they keep adding more material.

Are you reading the top fifty librarian weblogs? Or at least a high percentage of them?

Many thanks to Brendan for pointing out this tribute to Judith Krug from last week's On the Media.

The newest edition of web trends (in subway map format) is out! You can see it at Zoomorama for an interactive exploration, or just check out the giant-size version in Flickr.

Want to build your own book scanner? As Jessamyn says, it only takes 79 easy steps!

From Cassandra: ways to visualize the Internet. I'm still waiting for the Cowboy Bebop version.

If you want to help out the world of botany, consider joining Project Budburst; you help keep track of what's blooming where and when!

Swiped from Jase: the Book Army, which connects you to authors you might like and other readers with similar tastes.

Tomorrow: more links from others!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day! Go outside and do something!

Tomorrow, everyone has to celebrate Shakespeare's birthday by talking like him. At least, people in Chicago have to. It's a law or something.

If you have nothing going on this weekend, you can see how far into Alabama you can throw a fish. Yes, really. Or you can watch b-movies online!

Eddie Izzard once said that before Stonhenge, there was Strawhenge and Woodhenge. It turns out that he was right about Woodhenge, which has been discovered in Ireland! Oh, those wacky Druids...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Issue 5 of Steampunk Magazine is out!

From Danny: the Legway. Also, from an earlier comment, the lichtharp (light harp), which is all kinds of cool.

From Bunny: how biology can inspire our future defense policies. Marmots, squirrels and penguins are all mentioned, hooray!

And in other animal news, Andrew Chase has made a mechanical giraffe which is gorgeous.

Did you know that our ears make sounds? They do, and scientists are looking at ways to use those sounds for encrypting purposes. Imagine a steampunked ear trumpet!

The good people at Pink Raygun are in a contest for their web comic Intergalactic Law. For promotion, they're giving away a Manmelter Mini from WETA! No self-respecting steampunk fan can resist a WETA product!
RIP to author J.G. Ballard and artcar genius Tom Kennedy. It's a sad week.

How well do you know your spring literature? Apparently I have to brush up on my poetry.

Another casualty of the recession is this gallery of half-finished buildings in New York. It's too bad -- I thought the New School would look pretty cool.

Speaking of New York, the Brooklyn Museum is getting all sorts of kudos these days, and they're also experimenting with electronic ways to support the institution.

Light painting is gorgeous, and there's a whole tumblr site devoted to it!
Hi there. Did you notice there was no update on Monday? Yes. Well. That's being remedied! There will be two posts today, sooner or later. Stay tuned.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday, hooray. On to the links from others!

From Holly, a truly weird article about blowing up the tunnels of ground squirrels in Spokane. We are highly pro-squirrel here at Spooky Librarians, and think this is cruel and unusual!

From Cassandra: UK readers are encouraged to join in the Great British Butterfly Hunt. There are worse ways to spend your summer. Also from Cassandra: a super-strong exoskeleton for soldiers, a charnel house under the streets of Boston, a giant statue of Jesus made from LEGOs, the 2009 Executive Paywatch, and how smile incidence predicts marriage success (huh?). brings you the ten coolest foreign words we need to absorb into the English language. (If you're into, check out Seanbaby's article on superheroes who crack up in odd and unpredictable ways, too!)

And finally, did you know that stamp machines are going the way of the pay phone? Weird.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you next week.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Happy High Five Day, everyone! And happy National Library Week, too. For the latter, you can take a moment to remember Judith Krug, you can watch Obama read Where the Wild Things Are to kids, you can cheer on the battles against librarian stereotypes, or you can make snarky comments along with the Annoyed Librarian. For the former, just find someone and high-five them...or smack them and say it's your version of a high five.

Punxsutawney Phil is as tired of winter as everyone else, apparently, and is trying to escape his home in the local library. Unfortunately, he ends up plummeting from the ceiling each time.

Eric Orchard drew this awesome shelf guardian for the public library in Columbia, Connecticut. Evidently goblin employment numbers are rising!

Peeps competitions are not limited to arty types, as previously posted; there's a law category, too. (Please note the law librarian in the last nominated scene.)

Tomorrow: links from others! High five!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Roberto Kusterle is the spooky artist of the day. (Not sure if all of his stuff is safe for work; most of it is.)

More cool spookiness is brought to you by DanteWorlds, which is a multimedia experience through "the three realms of the afterlife."

A Gallup poll finds that the number of Americans listing their religious beliefs as "other" is on the rise. Maybe the Jedi are increasing?

However, the Blessing of the Bikes is still taking place this weekend at St. John the Divine in New York City, so many bikes evidently still consider themselves Christian. Also going on this weekend: the Rotary River Rally in Tempe, in which you are encouraged to build a watercraft out of cardboard and then try to stay afloat, and the Fiesta Oyster Bake in San Antonio, which not only features oysters but also boasts Night Ranger as part of the entertainment! How can you resist?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

If it's Tuesday, that means it must be Steampunk Librarian day on Folderol. Today we have a lot of links sent in by others, for which I am (as always) eternally grateful. Thanks, everyone!

From Dan: Warren Ellis's new work Ignition City will most likely appeal to the steampunk crowd. I know it appeals to me, at least.

From the Desert Librarian: Girl Genius, one of the shining pillars of steampunk, is something I've never gotten around to reading, even though I always hear wonderful things about it (I know, I suck). I do mean to remedy that soon!

From Bunny: you can buy actual remnants of the Gemini space mission from an auction. How amazing is that?

The historical photos from the Library of Congress always have wonderful material for inspiration. Look at this photo of "Russian Princess Schaikowski and Aviator Abramowitsch," read the comments about how this may have been Abramowitsch's last flight, and see if you aren't tempted to write a story or draw a picture or something.

If you haven't seen the London Particulars shop on Etsy yet, you definitely should - it's beautiful stuff.

Everyone likes to argue about movies, right? Here's a list of movies considered steampunk. Agree? Disagree?

And finally, a wonderful interview with Patrick Gyger discusses "the history of the future," which is what steampunk is all about, at its core.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Before I forget: I think it was nine years ago this week that Folderol was born. Isn't that crazy? Nine years! If this weblog were human, it would be a third-grader! Many, many thanks to everyone who has read, commented, sent in links, and encouraged me in my madness.

Peeps are not just a (questionable) foodstuff, they are also a sign of spring and, for some, a medium for art. The Washington Post provides a gallery of Peep art which is pretty amazing.

Some new websites have debuted in the art world. ArtBabble features a wealth of art videos, while The Tools Artists Use is fairly self-explanatory (but very educational).

Artists are also reclaiming abandoned buildings, which might be considered illegal but might also be considered the best thing that could happen.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum puts on a monthly scavenger hunt called Ghosts of a Chance that looks great. DC readers, go check it out and report back!

What can the sounds within the earth tell us? Quite a lot, possibly.

Another story on the death of Nicholas Hughes focuses on his own accomplishments in life and the town in which he lived. Hopefully the community and his family will get some respite now.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Finally, it's Friday. Links from others will carry you through to the weekend! (I'm actually saving some of the links for next Tuesday, when steampunk takes over for the day. Many thanks to everyone.)

As seen a whole bunch of places: Wrong Tomorrow aims to evaluate predictions for the record. This is going to be fun.

Walk Off Walk has a summary of blog postings on the sudden death of Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart. How awful.

From Holly: Who doesn't love Super Grover? Much better than Elmo.

From Cassandra: The Getty Research Institute is taking the archives of the Guerilla Girls, yay! Also from Cassandra: Pride may not be so bad after all, albinos in Africa have a terrible time of it, and where are those '80s metal rockers now? Wow, Lita Ford still looks great.

Ryan of Dinosaur Comic fame had a brilliant idea: a cheatsheet t-shirt for time travelers. It's also in poster form!

Have a spiffy weekend and/or holiday, everyone. See you Monday.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Shelf Check has been on a roll lately. If you don't read it every day, you should!

Librarians' Index to the Internet has also been putting out some great stuff recently. This week, they're featuring links to a photogallery of European libraries and the amazing Mirage Bookmarks site.

Via Information Wants to Be Free: San Jose State University has put together a wiki for library science publications. If you're thinking of writing an article, this is a great resource.

The Library of Congress has gone YouTubing! (Thanks, Cassandra!)

Is the future of the digital book named...Vook?

For the law librarians: Georgetown has put out a great guide to free or low-cost legal research resources. Have at it.

Tomorrow: links from others!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

An addendum to yesterday's steampunk post comes from Jen. Well, erm...

Cassandra sends in a fascinating article about the real Area 51; since the project going on there has been declassified, people are talking about the testing facilities and how the locals were kept in the dark about what was going on out there.

Cracked takes on the evolution (or perhaps de-evolution) of vampires through the years. Best line: "Nosferatu was the Atari 2600 of vampires."

The Facebook interpretations continue; check out the story of Passover as told by updates. I'm thinking a Biblical series could very easily be done in this manner...

And finally, I thought the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers was a joke at first, but then I went to the website and discovered that they are real, and absolutely awesome.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

We have a follow-up report from last month's post about Legend! Danny has seen several episodes and says they're worth watching. (Thanks!)

Also, from last week's comments, Dan sends in this great link about a British team looking to break the steam car world record. Oooo.

Swiped from Ookee: this 1934 BMW motorcycle is gorgeous and steamy and futuristic-looking all at once.

Compressed-air gramophones are new to me, but were apparently all the rage at one time. There's a giant page full of images and details for anyone interested in the Auxetophone and its ilk.

Artist Christian Hammer is working on a super-secret project, but can share some steampunk cards in the meantime. They look fantastic.

Two resources that are always worth checking out: The ongoing steampunk category page at Dark Roasted Blend and the Etsy Steam Team weblog, which includes Twitter updates.

And finally, because in my world steampunk and transhumanism are alike: what's the value of mind uploading, anyway? Quite a lot, some think.

(Also, when we colonize the moon, we really need this currency up there, because really, we have to have Jules Verne honored in some fashion.)

Monday, April 06, 2009

Today, a quick look at the arts.

Music: Cassandra sent this reminder that Kurt Cobain died 15 years ago today. Wow, we're old.

Art: The work of James Jean is spooky and beautiful.

Photography: On April 1, the Flickr Commons looked at goofy pictures in their collection. I particularly like the wombat on a bicycle.

Film: Another casualty of the economy is the Toronto film location library. Booooo.

Architecture and history: In honor of Opening Day, the New Yorker looks at the new playing fields for the Mets and Yankees.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Happy Friday, everyone. It's time for Links from Others! Many thanks to all.

Swiped from Ookee: it turns out that we missed Cthulhu Day yesterday. Hopefully our suffering will be brief.

From Cassandra: another part of our ongoing "man v. nature" series covers deranged geese and the discovery that cats' nervous systems can repair themselves (nine times, maybe?). Also from Cassandra: a brain trick of never-ending music scales, a photo gallery of famous models through the years, the Tiger Beatdown weblog (which is specializing in a beatdown of misogynistic moviemakers this week), and a helmet that can control a robot. (Best quote: "Honda said the technology was not ready for general use because of potential distractions in the person's thinking.")

From Julie: The Aenid as told by Facebook. Hilarious (and fairly accurate, too!); even the "people you may know" section has been customized. There's also Hamlet as told by Facebook. Better than CliffsNotes, perhaps?

From Satori: "NYCGo has a whole year long section about GLBT rights dedicated to the 40th anniversary of Stonewall." This is definitely something to bookmark and check on throughout the year.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

This is probably a leftover April Fool (although it'd be great if it wasn't), but the Archivist character in Diablo is wonderful. He kills with books!

The National Museum of Health & Medicine already has a weblog with one of the best titles anywhere (The Repository of Bottled Monsters); now they have an account on Flickr as well. (Perhaps not surprisingly, some of the images are graphic and/or potentially disturbing, so you may want to wait until you're not eating lunch or something.)

Did you know YouTube has a whole channel for academia? Well, now you do.

After Clay Shirky's essay on the future of journalism, a lot of people had a lot to say. One recent roundup of reactions comes from NYU's journalism department.

One of my big concerns about the changing media world is what happens to the photographs and archives from the papers. In one case, at least, there's a happy story: Wright State University is preserving the archives of the Dayton Daily News.

Heidegger vs. a Kindle: who would win? Well, this essay doesn't really put them in a fighting arena together, but it's an interesting discussion nonetheless.

And finally, here's your depressing graphic of the day: the U.S. economy state by state, courtesy of CNN.

Tomorrow: links from others, and there will be some very cool ones, so come back!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The internet is fraught with danger on April Fool's Day. An ongoing list of online shenanigans is being compiled; I point you in particular to The Economist's announcement of Econoland, Google's struggle with CADIE and GMail's Autopilot program, the Guardian's switch to Twitter, and (for the academics and legal professionals) the uber-merger that will create SPEW.

For those of you not impressed with online pranks, or those who want to take it offline and have some face-to-face fun, why not explore this customizable poison label generator? Have fun!