Friday, June 26, 2009

Wow, what a week, eh? RIP to all the various people, famous and not so famous, who have left this plane of existence.

Friday means links from others. Many thanks to everyone!

From Julie: photos of what may be one of the world's earliest musical instruments. Also, Neanderthals may have been eaten by homo sapiens, which would have spawned many an ethical argument on the internet if such a thing had existed at the time.

From Danny: eight European places that still feel "untouched" by commercialization. He vouches for Leiden!

From Cassandra: ten inventions that changed the world, investigating the chemistry of love, and the stalking habits of great white sharks.

Have a spiffy weekend and week, everyone! Posts may occur here, but they're more likely to be over on Twitter (and be more of the "hey, we're in a town and just saw a squirrel" variety). See you soon!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

More on Ohio libraries: the town where I grew up had a rally yesterday for its library, which may be shut down if the budget cuts go through. The Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County has photos of the rally on its Flickr account (in other news, PLCH has a Flickr account, which I didn't know!) For northern Ohioans, Shuttered Library is reporting on events, developments, and ways to help. And even if you don't physically visit a library that often these days, consider that the cuts mean that the websites will go, too.

In more cheery library and history news, the National Archives now has its own YouTube channel, and HBO's library is making the old "March of Time" newsreels available. You have to register to watch them, but it's free.

Slate's Explainer explains it all to you! This is a nice resource for commonly asked (but complicated) questions.

The Western New York Legacy Project is a gorgeous online repository of maps, photos and more.

And lastly, Geek Your Library. Always!

Tomorrow: links from others, before we set off for a week's vacation!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I am excited (?) to report that I work only blocks away from the most dangerous neighborhood in America! Take that, DC and New Orleans! (Thanks to Bunny for sending this.)

Anyway, in other parts of the world, the Glastonbury Festival begins today and the Swamp Soccer World Championships take place in Scotland this weekend. Swamp soccer looks pretty fun, actually. Speaking of festivals and whatnot, the SpookyLibrarians are going to be gone next week, gallivanting about the Northeast, so updates will be erratic. We'll be back to normal after the 4th of July.

Cassandra sent in a bizarre story about a child who isn't aging. Freaky.

Julie sent in an amazing "audio slideshow" on Saturn. When I was a kid, my favorite planet was Saturn. I think it still is.

Also from Cassandra: Ecological burial is the future, hooray!

Thanks to everyone who wrote, called and spread the word about Ohio's libraries. Many library websites have "gone dark" or posted introductory screens informing patrons what would happen if the cuts go through, and the news is getting out.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

First off, here's something on the librarian side of the Steampunk Librarian. If you're in Ohio or know someone who is, take a moment to look at the current situation facing the state's public libraries and see how you can help. As an example, if this goes through, half of Cincinnati's library branches may close, and that means twenty of forty libraries will shut down. Thanks.

For the Egyptologists among us, from Satori: "The Brooklyn Museum is providing real time mummy “unwrapping” updates.They just discovered one of their female mummies is acually male."

The revolution will not be telegraphed, be warned. However, before that happens, there are all sorts of technological diversions. In the gaming world, there's a sudden upswing in steampunk, ranging from Forgotten Futures ("The Scientific Romance Role Playing Game") to Golemizer. In communications, Steampunk Tales is available on the iPhone! Powerless is a short steampunky film, while War of the Worlds: Goliath is a much longer steampunky film.

We end with a look at an ever-closer credit-based future, as Japan considers abolishing cash.

Monday, June 22, 2009

We start off today's art links with a vision of the future: 3D Olympic film every night in the London of 2012! Well, maybe. I think it sounds pretty awesome, myself.

This very serious look at the architecture of Star Wars is great. My favorite part, from the description of the Senate Building on Coruscant: "Extensive refurbishment followed a duel between Chancellor Palpatine and Jedi Grand Master Yoda."

It's a sad time in film, for 20th Century Props is closing.

From the sound of it, Russian female artists who followed the wave of Futurism were radical and amazing.

Ticketmaster continues to gouge consumers with bizarre processing and handling and venue fees. To end on a good note (pun not intended, but I'm keeping it), however, check out this amazing video to Aaron Copeland's "Hoedown" in which the musical score is brought to life via the magic of stop-motion animation!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Happy birthday, Cassandra! And happy Friday to everyone else. On to the links...

From Danny: the great and horrible Nyarlethotep will be available to invade your home in September, for a high price. Also available in black!

Found via Dawn: A great weblog titled When Is Evil Cool?

You see a lot of weird stuff in baseball, but I've never seen anyone else do what Josh Womack does here. I thought it was a special effect the first time I saw it!

From Cassandra: On Rwanda and forgiveness.

We occasionally mock the overly dramatic online, but people with "Munchasen by Internet" are on a whole different level.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! Tune in to see the Civil Rights Game played in my hometown tomorrow, and we'll be back on Monday.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

For tracking what's going on in Iran at the moment, both Twitter and Flickr are good, continuously updated resources (keep in mind that some of those Flickr images can be brutal).

The Obnoxious Librarian from Hades has been publishing a weblog for two years now, and is holding a contest to celebrate! The deadline is July 25.

One of our local libraries has a great online Darwin exhibit -- go and browse!

Having a photographic memory (or something close to it) is a great help to librarians, but super-recognizers take it to an entirely new level (and should probably be recruited for espionage purposes).

There's talk of testing for legal research skills as part of the bar exam for lawyers, and I would definitely encourage that development.

Speaking of research, this comic imagines what would happen if papers had comments like articles online do. My favorite: "I haven't read the paper yet, but..."

And finally: if you like e-books but miss the smell of old paper, mourn no more, for Smell Of Books is here to help. Also available in scents such as Eau You Have Cats. Ha. May not be available in your locality and/or dimension.

Tomorrow: links from others!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Mermaid Parade invades Coney Island this weekend! The Club Creatures are going and will hopefully report on the shenanigans. If you're on the west coast, you can watch surfing dogs instead of mermaids (which seems like a fairly equal tradeoff to me), while people in Washington, DC can see racers in the annual Soapbox Derby zip past the Capitol Building.

This weekend also brings the summer solstice, and Stonehenge is, as always, the place to be. If you're not into that sort of pagan fun, you can attend the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII's coronation instead, or hop over to Belgium to witness a reenactment of the Battle of Waterloo! Then the Mermaid Parade will crash into the battle and it will all be a glorious mess.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

This week's assortment of steampunk-inspired links ended up on the more pragmatic, DIY side of life for some reason. To wit:

And finally, for the impractical and imaginative: huge leviathan battleships in the skies! Aieee!

Also, a note: the Steampunk Librarian (aka the Tuesday posts) has been available on its own over at Vox, and will now also be mirrored on the Steampunk Empire for the forseeable future. Oooh, ahhh.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Happy Monday, everyone. New photos are over on Flickr, and here we go with art links!

Literature: If you want a small girl to grow up to be a Supreme Court justice, perhaps you should consider introducing her to Nancy Drew mysteries.

Literature & history: Thanks to the wonder of technology, you can follow Flaubert's revisions of Madame Bovary via an interactive website.

Painting: What's so great about the Mona Lisa, anyway? Well, since you asked...

Music: Forget the vinyl revival, it's cassette tapes that are coming back into favor.

Sculpture fun: A life-size Gundam warrior? A life-size Jabba the Hutt? Yes to both! Amazing work.

Creativity boost: The Brainstormer gives you random concepts to try to mesh together in fiction, art, or anything else you like.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Happy Friday, everyone! Many thanks to those who sent in links.

From Bunny: A woman misses the Air France flight which crashed recently...and then dies in a car accident. Mentions of Final Destination and Appointment in Samarra are inevitable.

From Julie: The millionth word in the English language is about to be recognized! Huzzah!

From Cassandra: searching for Joan of Arc, death on celluloid, and The Sanctuary, "a grassroots effort of pro-migrant, human-rights, and civil-rights bloggers and on-line activists dedicated to the enactment of meaningful immigration reform that is practical, rational, fair and most of all humane."

And finally, from Danny (copied from his email):

"Menno's started his quizzes again, which are sort of visual clue-based puzzles, where he tweaks some things to make it a bit hard. But the questions are not always obvious from the image, even if google-translate might help with most of them.

This time it's:

1. which videoclip
2. who is this
3. who is this
4. who was the painter
5. which tv show
6. which book/novel
7. which movie
8. which album
9,10,11. who is this

Have fun." ;)

Yes, do have fun, and a spiffy weekend too! See you Monday.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

It seems like Thursday posts bring doom and gloom more often than not, especially in the area of news libraries. Recently, ABC has closed down its in-house library. A list is being compiled and is constantly growing, sadly.

When videos disappear from YouTube, do you wonder why? YouTomb is documenting the process.

Everyone, even the government, is joining Twitter these days.

Has anyone signed up to try Hunch yet? It's brought to you by one of the co-founders of Flickr, which automatically makes me more interested in this than in Bing or any other new venture.

In honor of Pride Month, New York City's libraries are featuring a literary pride march. (Bigger view of the map here, with some details.)

And finally, here's a bright spot: meet Nyx, the amazing library cat!

Tomorrow: links from others! Thanks, everyone.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Shhh, listen. Do you hear that humming? Do you? Well, hopefully not, because it's driving people mad.

The David Lynch Interview Project is underway, and as far as I can tell from the map, he's headed eastward.

This weekend offers all kinds of fun. Pride Weekend gets underway in earnest, including our local Cincinnati parade (please ignore this year's slogan, or make your own swine flu joke). In San Francisco, the 6th annual RoboGames will be going on; in Hungary, Suzi Quatro headlines the International Harley-Davidson Festival (!); Dusseldorf celebrates Japan Day; and in Wales, the Man vs. Horse Marathon occurs, which is something I'm really sad to miss.

Finally, here's a nice combination of both spooky and travel-related material: Japan is encouraging people to attend baseball games with monster-movie themed posters for games. These are completely awesome, featuring dragons and giant carp and more!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The amazing, incredible people of Royal de Lux are at it again. A giant diver appeared in Nantes last weekend, walking the streets and looking for his niece, who was on the Titanic. Yes, really. There are additional photos on many French websites, including this nice compilation, and there's even video.

We can't travel through time like the marionettes of Royal de Lux do (and someone really needs to get working on that, by the way), but we can look back via gorgeous photos, like the Field Museum's set on the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, or by reading papers from a hundred years ago, as the New York Times is doing with its Times Traveler section. Today's is especially fun, not only for the bishop ranting against the "new woman [as] a freak" (talking about suffragettes) but for the story about Cincinnati fruit dealers getting shaken down by a gang. One shop, Cianciolo's, is still on Main Street downtown! (Another unfortunate dealer died "after eating a banana given to him by a stranger." Those gangs were sneaky.)

Fortunately there is an increasingly steampunkish appreciation of the past. Arcattack presents popular music performed by Tesla coils! Slouching Toward Bedlam is a text-based game (no grues, however) set in 1885 London! There are specific tutorials for steampunking a photograph now, and best of all, the people who brought you the Steampunk Treehouse at Burning Man are now hard at work on the Raygun Gothic Rocketship.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Well, the rest of Europe may have veered right in the recent elections, but the Pirate Party made some inroads in Sweden...

The Pogues have never mentioned Sweden in their songs, but they've mentioned a whole lot of other places, and this t-shirt from the 2008 tour shows them all. This is pretty brilliant.

In other t-shirt fun, Wire and Twine is a Cincinnati-based production that puts out some great shirts. Cincinnati natives will like the Transit Map for Optimists, but I think everyone will love the "Stop the Remakes" shirt. Because it's true, the remakes need to be stopped.

Even the dead are on Twitter, and tweeji lists them all. From there, I found this great website on Anaïs Nin, so even if you're not into Twitter, you may find something valuable!

Various album covers have been reimagined as Pelican book covers, and there are some great ones in the mix. I like how Phil Collins has been given his full knighted title, for instance.

Craig Kosak paints ravens and horses and much more, and they're all gorgeous in a stark sort of way.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Links from others, and many thanks to them! This week's entry is video-heavy, so keep that in mind.

From Danny: Behold, the world of 2000! Also, the most pointless machine ever. (I think this might have some use in fixing blown fuses or something, however, with a little tweaking.)

From Julie: Not only is J.D. Salinger not writing a sequel to Catcher in the Rye, he's going to sue the man who is.

From the Graveworm: Cthulhu is on Facebook, and he (it?) has thousands of fans already.

From Bunny: Pygmy jerboas are very strange-looking. I finally realized that they are dead ringers for Q-Bert of '80s video arcade fame.

From Cassandra: the earliest known sound recordings have been discovered, the number of real-life superheroes on the street is increasing, the struggle between sex as a mental vs. physical experience goes on, and creative movie title sequences have their own website.

And finally, a video to end the week with, via a combination of finding this article about Mayor Bloomberg meeting his Muppet counterpart and Brendan's posting of one of my favorite Sesame Street performances ever. Muppets, Pete Seeger, baseball -- they're all here! Have a spiffy weekend, everyone. See you Monday.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Scattered museum and library-related links today, as it is Thursday and Thursdays are always busy around here for some as-yet undetermined reason.

When budget cuts hit home: the Seattle Public Library will close for a week around Labor Day. Even the online catalog will be unavailable.

Some news librarians still have jobs, though! One of the news researchers at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel co-writes the Flori-DUH weblog, which is fun and weird and entertaining even if you're not a Floridian.

I didn't know there was an Anne Frank Center in New York City until today. I'll have to visit.

The Private Library is a new weblog jammed full of links and information. Go and spend a few hours there!

Indicommons combines gorgeous old photos of Algeria with words from Albert Camus to great effect.

And finally...I've admired Sarah (aka the Librarian in Black) for many years now, and not just for her stylish black clothing! Her latest post on Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a real eye-opener, and has multiplied my personal and professional respect for her tenfold.

Tomorrow: links from others -- many thanks to everyone who has sent them to me this week!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Wednesday entries are always a little short. Sorry about that.

Spring turns to summer with the arrival of the Grand Floral Parade in Portland this weekend, the Telluride Balloon Festival in Colorado and the NYC Swim Marathon. (Swimming 28.5 miles around Manhattan seems awfully dangerous to me, but marathoners tend to think differently.)

Over in Europe, the golems are taking over Prague and a gorgeous jellyfish crop circle has invaded an English farm (thanks Julie!).

Freaky neuronaut news from Cassandra: light-sensitive proteins enable scientists to track brain activity. Wow.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

First off, Aloysius is conquering the legions of steampunks online and corraling them at the Steampunk Ning Empire. Events, photos, a forum, and much more are to be found! (He's a benevolent tyrant, so it's okay. I recommend you join!)

More events taking place this year include "Sphinx & Drinks" at the Egyptian Rosicrucian Museum in San Jose this July and WindyCon (featuring a steampunk theme this year) in Chicago this November. Start planning now!

The Punchdrunk theatre company recently had a wild gear-laden installation under London's Waterloo Station -- photos are online and there are rumors it may return in the fall.

You know steampunk is getting mainstream when there are actual "steampunk jewelry" suppliers online, by the way. Not that I'm complaining, as I'm one of the types who want this look and art in the mainstream so that it's easier and cheaper to find!

These steampunk rides, on the other hand, will never be mainstream, but they are amazing and worthy of wonder for that very reason.

And finally, for those of us who also love the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s: Dieselpunks!

Monday, June 01, 2009

We break your brain this Monday by linking to various mythbustings. The famous bust of Nefertiti may only date back to the 19th century! Fairy tales may not be the result of oral tradition! Vincent van Gogh didn't cut off his ear, Paul Gaugin did! (Well, maybe not.)

Another brain-breaker is the prediction that we'll be able to store 10,000 films on one DVD in about five years. Get ready to make lots of backups of that one precious DVD.

Fellow surrealists rejoice: the Magritte Museum opens to the public tomorrow in Brussels!

If you've always meant to read David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest but were daunted by its length, fear not: the Infinite Summer project is here to help.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has published its annual list of the 11 most endangered historic places; Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple is among them.

Caroline of The Hills are Alive does wonderful, fascinating photographic work, and you can browse her Flickr site for hours.