Monday, August 31, 2009

Quick bits this Monday...

Anyone going to Burning Man this year? Check out the Burning Man Earth site for ways to connect with others.

The guerrilla sculpture artists in Seattle are at it again! Some great culture jamming is going on in Los Angeles as well.

Male bellydancers are starting to become more common. (The first all-male troupe is touring!)

MaestroCam! That's really all that needs to be said.

At long last, someone else expresses my feelings about writing and the internet (it's an oddly optimistic one, apparently).

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday at last. Thanks to everyone for reading and sending in links!

First, a moment of silence for yet another casualty of 2009: Reading Rainbow is ending its run. Say it ain't so, LeVar.

From Julie: Upwards lightning! Wow!

From Zazoo: Madonna sticks up for the Gypsies, and the Hungarian concert audience is not won over.

From Josie: A look back at the New Romantics and Blitz Kids!

From Cassandra: The three faces of the Trifid Nebula, the ten best rock and roll feuds, the first intact ball and chain found in the River Thames, and what is apparently the first male tortoiseshell cat. (Love the name they gave him!)

From Holly via Tony: Christian Bale and Kermit the Frog debate who is really the Batman. Yes, really.

From my RSS feeds (I forgot to note the exact weblog, sorry): Women and science fiction warfare.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The big news this week in law librarian land was the recent ad sent out by West (one of the major legal publishers) and the subsequent brouhaha. Public relations people, take note.

In other happenings, the Open Book Alliance is solidifying against Google Books. This should be interesting.

The World Oral Literature Project's goal is to keep "dying" languages alive digitally for future generations. Chants, songs and poems are all included in the repository.

In other history-related links, you can take a virtual tour of New York City's obelisks, and if you're in California you can taste beer brewed from 45-million-year-old yeast!

Tomorrow brings links from others. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Happy Tomatina Day! And, in an odd juxtaposition, RIP to Senator Kennedy.

This weekend continues the wacky summer festival tradition, with art made of hay in Austria and all manner of ducks celebrated in Louisiana.

In the UK, there will allegedly be rhyming slang ATMs for Cockneys, with more variations to come. I'd like to see this tried in the US, although I don't think it would end well.

Happy news -- artist Lisa Snellings is now on Etsy, and she's having a sale on her poppets and other beautifully odd creations! Who doesn't need a Wilbur in their life?

Also, for the even spookier art lover: Pyramid Gallery features the puzzle boxes made famous in Hellraiser. I hope they have really good liability insurance.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Google is celebrating the 400th anniversary of the first public demonstration of Galileo's telescopes, and an article in the Guardian imagines what future generations will hold important. Steampunk is awfully steamy these days, but today we're looking at the futuristic punk aspect of all those gears and switches. Matt Staggs starts it off with his Greenpunk Manifesto, but there's been a lot of talk on the web about future ecological living recently, with Trendhunter's look at urban farming and the debut of MercuryHouseOne, a portable living space. A new deep storage battery may power the homes of the future with less effort and waste, and new hearing aids include inputs for mp3 and other audial enhancements! Treehugger then points out that the best way to save the planet is to have fewer (if any) children, which effectively puts a damper on the whole concept.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I always wondered what happened to Kit Williams and his Masquerade treasure. I read the book when I was young and was convinced I could find it, if only I lived in England.

As seen on Dawnowar's tumblr: in more nostalgia news, Candyland's 60th birthday was celebrated by turning Lombard Street into the board game!

There is a Book City in South Korea, it seems. Ooooo, ahhh.

If a singer falls off the stage into the orchestra pit, it's okay to find it hilarious as long as no one was hurt, right?

In other arty weirdness, a drag queen sells Tupperware at the Edinburgh Fringe festival, and Cool4Cats produces kits for making amazing, often entertainingly morbid paper automata.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday! Many thanks to everyone for reading and sending in links and being fabulous people overall.

From Bunny: Annoying people on Facebook! Are you one of them?

From Danny: a detailed list of 19th century fictional detectives. Awesome.

From Cassandra: A runway for prehistoric animals, the 100 best sci-fi movies of all time, the dark side of the author of Lord of the Flies, and the strangest office complaints out there. (Related: the most ridiculous buzzwords in the office!)

From Julie: What if zombies were real? Also, what happens if no one uses deodorant and then rides roller coasters?

From both Julie and Cassandra: Mozart was killed not by Salieri, not from nervous exhaustion, but by strep throat. Yikes.

The cheeky squirrel who jumped in front of a camera is now world famous, and you can put him/her in your own photo thanks to the Squirrelizer! You can look at random photos that have been squirrelized as well, although there's no guarantee that what you see will be safe for work.

Miss Piggy has been interviewed on her recent collaboration with fashion designer Marc Jacobs. I think. Miss Piggy has a way of making an interview all about her, you know.

And for the Star Wars fans out there: you probably heard about John Scalzi's column on the technology (or lack thereof) in the film, and think it is either hilarious or sacreligious. I am firmly in the hilarious camp, myself. Read the part about the Death Star Throne Room and try to tell me that's not funny!

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone. See you Monday.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Beloit College has put out its annual "mindset" list of incoming freshmen, which gets scarier as I get older (I suppose that's how these things tend to work). Most incoming freshmen, it says, were born in 1991. Gulp.

Moving into the future, the San Jose Public Library system has launched its "text a librarian" reference service, which looks brilliant. Also, Mumbai has opened its first digital library, hooray!

The Louisville Public Library still needs a lot of help and support after the disastrous flooding of last month. Please help if you can.

The good people at ResourceShelf have a new list of helpful online resources. Did you know you can search all Craigslist postings in all cities at once? It's true!

Check back tomorrow for links sent in by others! Thanks, all.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

How on earth (or any other planet) have I not discovered Propnomicon until now? It's Lovecraft-fillled, steampunkish, craftily mysterious goodness and more!

This week brings all sorts of weird contests and festivals. In Ocean City, New Jersey, they mean that literally -- it's Weird Contest Week. Over in the UK, the International Birdman competition gets underway in Worthing, while the International Festival of Street Theatre takes place in Aurillac, France.

We are big fans of Archie McPhee, which is probably no surprise. An article in the Palm Beach Post recommends which McPhee item you should buy according to your astrological sign. I think my Gemini friends would like their gift, while my Sagittarius friends and relatives would be confused.

If you are not reading Warren Ellis's blog (or his work), you should be. It's through him that I found the amazing God Trumps cards (now with Part II!) featured by the New Humanist. Fantastic stuff.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

You know what needs updating? X-rays, that's what.

I do believe that "Being a role-playing game on the topic of the High-Flying adventures of Beatrice Henrietta Bristol-Smythe, DBE" is the longest game title I've ever seen. On the other hand, another steampunky game now out is simply entitled "Mechanism."

Other new steampunkish stuff: artwork and information on the book Affinity Bridge and a t-shirt design which reimagines the ride of Paul Revere with GIANT ROBOTS.

The Swimming Cities of Serenissima sounds like another book or game, but instead is a very tangible art/performance project which took place this summer. Glorious photos are available to show what happened.

And finally, do you know an Anachrolush? Whether you do or not, you should read the weblog belonging to one.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Happy Monday, everyone. On to art news...

A Russian woman bought a ceramic mug at the Louvre's gift shop and then promptly threw it at the Mona Lisa. The article goes on to say, "Doctors were trying to assess whether she was suffering from Stendhal Syndrome, a rare condition in which often perfectly sane individuals momentarily lose all reason and attack a work of art. " Really? Wow!

A Toronto subway station is temporarily transformed into several different scenes by artist Justin Broadbent. I think I like the chandelier one the best.

Married to the Sea has really been hitting it out of the park lately.

The New Yorker has a series on Leonard Bernstein and the files created on him by the FBI. The part about his "Mass" work is particularly interesting.

I'm intrigued by tilt-shift photography. Is it difficult?

Albus Cavus is doing really neat things in the world of community art. Go and look.

Rifftrax, made up of many of the same people who brought you Mystery Science Theatre 3000, is going to be simulcasting a live riffing of Plan 9 From Outer Space in theatres nationwide! If a cinema near you is on the list, go there on August 20th and experience the fun. (There seems to be a definitive lack of options for my area, but it looks as if most states are carrying this somewhere.)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Happy Friday, everyone! Today we feature links sent in by others, which are much appreciated (both the links and the senders).

From Cassandra: a list of controversial banned films (Life of Brian? Really?); a recommendation that we travel to asteroids; a look back at Woodstock, 40 years later; Malcolm Gladwell's take on To Kill A Mockingbird's views on race and the South; a wacky story about a pregnant cow making a run for it at a county fair; and an article on Ireland's recent law against blasphemy, which pretty much ensures that none of my relatives (myself included) can ever visit the homeland again.

From both Cassandra and Julie: an opera created by Twitter!

From Julie: Upright pianos are to be scattered around Bristol ,which sounds awesome, and Augmented Reality comes to mobile phones, which sounds vaguely sinister.

From Satori: a gorgeous look at the Rare Books Collection of the New York Public Library.

From my mom: a story from my alma mater, which is working on a technology that derives energy from urine. They call it "pee power." Um. Thanks, Mom. I think.

From Zazoo: A look at Sesame Street in different countries, and how Muppets help kids everywhere to understand the world in which they live. Good stuff.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I got (happily) sidetracked Tuesday night and watched the Perseides meteor shower, which is still going on and is definitely recommended. As a result, here's a catch-up entry!

Did you know there are lunar librarians out there right now, walking around with moon rocks and everything? Wow. I'm envious.

The World Pipe Band Championships take place in Glasgow this weekend. Go!

You can follow LIS News on Twitter now, so you can stay in the loop easier. That's where I found this contest for altered books at the Pratt Library in Baltimore.

Have you ever thought that a book cover looked awfully familiar? Turns out that images get reused quite often.

Tomorrow: lots of links from others (thanks, everyone)!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Steampunks! Get yourselves to the Great Wunderkammer Giveaway! It ends on the 21st, so get there soon.

Also on the horizon: the Steampunk Exhibition at Oxford University! You could spend quite a lot of time just looking at all the artists' websites on this page.

Has anyone taken the zeppelin-flying class offered by Airship Ventures yet? (More info on the company via this Gawker post, which suggests nefarious connections between Airship Ventures and Google and geneticists and futurists and all sorts of things.) RiverOtterWidget has a trophy all set for when the airship races eventually begin!

Musician extraordinaire David Byrne has constructed a mindboggling contraption that allows you to "play the building." Nice!

Writer Cherie Priest tackles the big question of what steampunk actually is. One of the best lines: "It is lots of fun. If it isn’t lots of fun, you’re doing it wrong."

Steampunk also apparently encompasses the animal kingdom these days as well, with elephants and monkeys getting in on the trend.

And lastly, for those of us who look beyond the Victorian age for stories of computations and gears: a new theory on the Antikythera mechanism opens up all sorts of ideas.

Monday, August 10, 2009

More international arty news this Monday!

In the Netherlands, they've invented "green" graffiti -- high-powered hoses that clean while making art. Good idea!

In Paris, the Louvre has launched an English language site, which is very nice and well-done.

In Belgium, restoration efforts have shown that a painting thought to be painted by a student of Rembrandt's is actually by Rembrandt himself.

In Florida, the battle goes on over Jack Kerouac's mother's will; evidence seems to point to its being a forgery. Who knew his estate was still an issue?

Another battle, this one for Polaroid, is also still going on. The Impossible Project is making progress, against all odds. Hooray!

And finally, check out Sean Hexed's Gross of Goblins, full of whimsy and fun and a little spookiness.

Friday, August 07, 2009

We have made it to another Friday, huzzah hooray, and now is the time when we post links from others, plus some leftover bits.

From Tony: Disney is going steampunk with their newest game?

From Julie: the ethics of using robots for war. (This is a hot topic lately and is getting discussed in several places.)

From Holly, with whom I have an ongoing discussion about Muppet physiology: the latest opinion. (I encourage you to check out the other entries on the Surviving the World site, too!)

From Cassandra: To be in Paris in August would be wonderful.

Also from Cassandra: a new weblog in The Atlantic takes on the concept of intelligence, while scientists study the latest Jupiter crash.

Both Julie and Cassandra sent in this awesome BBC article about rooks reenacting Aesop's fable. You people know me well! (I highly recommend you watch the videos on that page, too.)

We end this week with two links. For the pessimist, I give you the Global Incident Map. For the optimists and/or those young at heart, I give you Stormtroopers 365. Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Appropos of nothing, here's a video of a cat getting lost on the baseball field last night during the Kansas City-Seattle game. While the cat looks pretty freaked out, the video is entertaining (and has a happy ending).

In bad library news, the Louisville Free Public Library suffered massive flooding during the storms last week and really needs your help.

In more cheerful library news, a Facebook group dedicated to suggesting a library-themed ice cream flavor to Ben & Jerry's has come up with some great names (also check the New Yorker comments). (Thanks, Danny!)

More bad library news: the Reno Gazette-Journal has laid off their news librarian of over forty years.

Possibly inspiring library news: Mick Jones of the Clash is now a "guerrilla librarian"! Rock on!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

There was some excitement yesterday when it looked as if The Blob had made an appearance in town, but it turned out to be concentrated soap instead. (The photos look ominous, though!)

In other spooky news, a "ghost sculpture" is proposed for a lighthouse in Wales (thanks, Julie!) and the Last Messages Club purports to send communications from beyond the grave (thanks, Cassandra!)

This weekend brings all sorts of adventures, such as the Route 127 Yard Sale, which now stretches 654 miles and begins tomorrow! Farther north, the annual Twins Days festival occurs in Twinsburg, Ohio, and even farther north is the Heinola Sauna World Championships (with the awesome subtitle on the English language page of "This is how the hell must feel like"). InZurich, the Street Parade (the Swiss version of the Love Parade) takes over on Saturday, and Sunday brings the Dances of Vice brunch in Brooklyn.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I didn't know there was a new movie on Dorian Gray coming out next month. I also don't know if it's supposed to be any good, but it looks awfully pretty.

More retro and/or steampunky links include Wondermark's "Steampunk'd" comic and the New York Times article on the "new antiquarians," which led me to Hollister Hovey's weblog.

Also from the NYT: the oddly fascinating world of telegraph abbreviations, and a comparison to today's Twitter limitations.

Sara of The Steampunk Home points to the beautiful Pictorial Webster's dictionary, just published last week, and the narrator of the Daily Steampunk recounts his/her trip to the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen, Germany, including photos!

Monday, August 03, 2009

The world's largest outdoor arts festival is going on right now, and it's in rural Japan. (Tokomachi, to be specific.) It looks like it takes effort to get there, but is worth it!

Meanwhile, in London, gritters (aka guerilla knitters) have been busy gritting the tunnel. You have to see it to understand it.

A lot of amazing artistic creations seem to be coming out of Brooklyn these days. (I presume it's because the Club Creatures live there now.) Behold the Gamelatron, "the world's first and only fully robotic gamelan orchestra."

We end today with some incredible artists: Christopher Conn Askew, who creates gorgeous, lush prints I would buy if I could figure out how; Ann Carrington, who makes intricate portraits and objects with everyday items like buttons and safety pins; and Rhode Montijo, who brings you Skeletown! I especially like Wilfredo, the worried worry doll.