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.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Today I am breaking the rules and sending you to the Steampunk Librarian for a (photo-intensive) account of our adventure. Regular posts begin tomorrow!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Hello! We are back! But we're catching up with the backlog of work we left behind. In the meantime, you can:

-- check out our photos from the trip: Part 1 (the Henry Ford Museum) and Part 2 (Greenfield Village).

-- become a fan of Meet Cleaver Theatre on Facebook and get notified when new episodes go up! The latest one features a groundhog. You know you want to see it.

More substance soon!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Not really back, but near a computer again, and wishing godspeed to Mary Travers.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Happy Friday to everyone, a moment of silence for what happened eight years ago, and then on to the links sent in from others (many thanks).

From Dawnowar: The Librarian Pirate's Tumblr!

From Julie: the British Library has digitized over 28,000 rare recordings. Wow.

From both Julie and Cassandra (do you guys coordinate this? It's happened several times now!): the origin of fairy tales may be much older than previously thought.

From Cassandra: the return of the '80s, the secret of naming college courses, the odd story of the Orgone Energy Observatory, and the universe as an opera.

From my Twitter contacts: the British government has finally apologized to Alan Turing! Zazoo sent in an article from CNN on this as well. Online petitions do, at times, work. Now, about that petition for Thatcher's funeral...(love the ventriloquist option).

Have a safe and spiffy weekend, everyone. The Spooky Librarians have next week off from their respective workplaces (whee!) and are going to be both home and away as events warrant, so posting will be unpredictable until the 21st. See you soon!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I thought that perhaps we were the only librarian household to own a sledgehammer for exercise purposes, but the World's Strongest Librarian has proved me wrong! I highly recommend his website; there's more to it than physical strength. (One of his mantras: "Don't make anyone's day worse.")

Another great new librarian site (although potentially unsafe for work) is the community of Librarians Who Say Motherfucker. If you ever wondered if librarians gripe about patrons and students and co-workers and directors...the answer is yes. Yes, they do.

Neil Gaiman has more books than you do. Or, at least, he has a better way of displaying them.

For the historian, researcher, or insatiably curious: the British Library's Texts in Context website combines scores of resources for your learning pleasure.

And finally, my current favorite website is The Longest Poem in the World, which combines Twitter posts into rhyming couplets. Just now they featured "through the fire and the flames we carry on!!!/Today's flavors...Peach and Butter Pecan." (So far my all-time favorite is ""You are my rock, my strength and my salvation / Whoa! Stop and Shop has a gas station?!")

Tomorrow: links from others!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Happy 09/09/09, everyone. Are you getting through this Day Without Cats on the Internet? (If not, it's okay; has announced that "in typical cat fashion, we will ignore this ridiculous notion.")

It may be a day without cats, but not a day without Muppets! The always fantastic Topless Robot looks at the ten weirdest moments on The Muppet Show. The Vincent Price one is my favorite, but I also have a strange fondness for Roger Moore's spy-themed "Talk to the Animals" performance. And speaking of Muppets, I've been holding on to the following link for a while, hoping to find a good spot to mention Cookie Monster cupcakes which include cookies.

I haven't heard any mutterings about a 09/09/09 apocalypse, but there are lots of people prepared for such a thing at any moment. (There's been a lot of Fallout 3 playing at the homestead, so this seems familiar.)

And finally, if you're just looking forward to the weekend, the Aloha Festivals in Oahu are getting into full swing and look beautiful.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Friday, September 04, 2009

Friday! Today's links from others seem to focus on weird animals and phenomena, to my delight.

First off, from my Twitter contacts: Eddie Izzard is running 1,000 miles across the UK for charity, and is finding towns with the strangest names imaginable during the process.

From Danny: a book about a motorcycle-riding librarian who battles demons? Fantastic! (If I learn to ride a motorcycle, do I get to fight demons too?)

From Zazoo: is it a chupacabra? Is it just a really sick coyote? No one knows yet!

From Cassandra: Metallica calms monkeys. Well, um. Also, the problem of an increasingly unscientific America, a rather terrifying look at "positive lightning," and the Personas web project by MIT, which seeks to capture your online personality. The first time I tried this it told me I was made up of books and sports; I just tried it again and I am now a mix of books, genealogy, fame and religion. Ha!

From Julie: On land, the quest to become the World Gravy Wrestling Champion rages on. In the depths of the sea, fantastically beautiful "icy jellies" are photographed, many for the first time.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! We're taking Labor Day off and will be back on Tuesday. See you then!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Man, today is busy. Some quick library-related links:

Tomorrow: links from others!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Labor Day weekend is coming up, which means that most wacky festivals in the US transmogrify into fireworks extravaganzas. So instead, let's look at other options - many tailored for specific readers I know.

For instance! Carré d'Etoiles, a new concept in France, offers portable cabins with a transparent dome and sky viewing kit (telescope included) so you can watch the stars in comfort. (Cassandra, check this out.)

Would you like your city's stairwells to smell, well, fresher? (Bunny, this is for you. Also for Julie in the UK!) National Car Parks, Ltd., is experimenting with scents in various car parks around the UK, and asking for your votes. One option on the list is "fresh bread." Another is "wood fire," which seems like a bad choice for a car park, but hey.

For the Club Creatures and Jimmylegs, among others: CitySounds.FM features dozens of city "soundtracks," from Brooklyn to Berlin to Auckland, which are constantly updated. Seems like a neat way to hear new music.

For Danny, Jeff & Dan, and anyone else who traipses around Europe: Sandeman's New Europe City Walking Tours are free - free! - and look like lots of fun! Some cities have several different themed tours, others only one, but all of them look interesting.

And finally, for Danny, my mom, and anyone else who has been to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam: um, apparently the moon rock we gave you is a fake. Oops. Let the conspiracy theorists go wild!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Quick, check out Woot's shirt of the day today. It's only available today and is steampunky in nature! (Their summary -- "Wear this shirt: when you’re feeling a little steampunk, but not in the sort of way that would result in you dressing all goofy.")

The countdown for the Raygun Gothic Rocketship is at two days. If anyone is at Burning Man, take many photos and videos and report on what happens!

In other news, the eighth issue of Gatehouse Gazette is now out for perusal and appreciation!

We are pretty good about keeping on top of publications here at Steampunk Librarian HQ, but we are a dismal failure at keeping au courant with steampunk music. Fortunately, Sepiachord has that aspect of the culture covered, and we happily direct you there!

The x planes tumblr site features all sorts of aircraft, often historical, always interesting.

And finally, the New York Times has an article on the ultimate steampunk loft. Located in DUMBO (Brooklyn), it is part of a working clocktower. It's gorgeous and mechanical and vintage and modern all in one.