Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Friday and last day of 2010! We're going to celebrate the start of the new year by taking some time off. (I know, I just got back from taking some time off in December. After this, I will be back at the grindstone until spring, I promise.) Updates will be erratic and spotty until we get back to the usual schedule on Monday, January 10. The Spooky Librarians wish everyone a very happy new year!

From Julie: Neanderthals ate cooked vegetables. There goes THAT excuse for kids...

From Cassandra: Less work, more life! That's the Dutch way, and many Americans wish it was that way here as well.

Has anyone tried out Pinterest yet? From what I've seen so far, it looks like a librarian's dream!

Imgur has picked their ten favorite images of 2010.

Have a spiffy holiday and weekend and week, everyone! See you next year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's the last Thursday of 2010, and so we look to the lists....

The Millions asked several writers to list their favorite books of the year, and they complied!

John Scalzi opened up a thread for book recommendations on his site, and there are over 200 responses. Between this page and the Millions list, you can't complain that there isn't anything to read.

The National Film Registry has added 25 movies to its historic list, including The Empire Strikes Back, The Exorcist, and Airplane! My childhood is slowly becoming historic. Eeep.

Back in 1964, the job of a corporate librarian was a bit different than it is today.

Prison libraries, meanwhile, haven't changed quite as much. But that's not a bad thing, either.

The British monarchy is putting up old photos on its Flickr account, slowly but surely. The recent engagement inspired them to upload older engagement pictures, which are all kinds of fun.

I just discovered the Swiss Army Librarian. Hooray! More cool librarians!

Tomorrow: links from others as we say goodbye to 2010!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Today's a bit of a catch-all as I go through some old folders...

A course on the artwork of tarot is online! This focuses only on the art, not on tarot reading itself.

You can play Subway Bingo in New York, even if you don't have the actual app. Just print out the sheet and have fun!

Another potential chupacabra has been discovered, this one near where my mom lives. (It does look a lot like a hairless raccoon, I think.)

Bela Lugosi meets belly dancers in the mashup video "Whisper Hungarian In My Ear."

And lastly, this one's for Zazoo and Satori: Are you managing your garden gnomes efficiently?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Once again, many thanks to everyone who participated in the steampunk book giveaways of 2010! Perhaps we'll have more for you in 2011.

New Year's Eve brings out the steampunks, it seems; Euchronia will be holding its amazing biennial event in Australia, while LADEAD rings in the new year with a Prohibition-era theme.

Space Collective celebrates "the future of everything" regardless of the year!

A new issue of Steampunk Tales is out, huzzah.

And lastly, please take a look at the MultiCam Western Canada Tech Center, in all its gear-filled goodness.

Monday, December 27, 2010

And we're back! Today I bring you the good, the bad, and the bizarre.

Good #1: The Musée des Arts Forains is open to the public for a short time -- go and see amazing pieces of fairgrounds and carnivals from Europe's past!

Good #2: A museum devoted to the 8-track has opened in Dallas.

Bad #1: New York is ditching the poetry on the subways project?

Bad #2: The London Review of Books is ditching its personal ads?!?

Bizarre: The Great Wen is chock-full of lovely oddities. Good for perusal on a slow Monday!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's Thursday! But since tomorrow is Christmas Eve, it's like a Friday here at Folderol.

First off, however: a small gallery of literary tattoos. I am usually sort of "meh" on word tattoos, but I absolutely love the James Joyce one.

For Cassandra: Rural Britain, in their own words, now online. Oooo. It's an archivist's dream!

Being a law librarian, I end up reading all sorts of legalese as part of the job. Being an unrepentant geek, I am madly in love with Law and the Multiverse, in which the legalities of being a superhero are analyzed.

Disappointing News Article #1: John Cage will not have the #1 song in the UK this Christmas.

Disappointing News Article #2 (via Zazoo): The Brooklyn Tunnel tours are kaput. (There are photos of our tour on my Flickr account - it was great!)

Archaeology news from Julie: a new species of ancient humanoid is discovered in Siberia; Spanish archaeologists find a dozen cannibalized Neanderthals; and the Abbey Road crosswalk is now a historical landmark.

From Cassandra: Poetry!

From Josie: Steampunk cupcakes!

From Bunny: Ambient music for those holiday evenings!

Happy holidays, everyone! We'll be back on Monday.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Random bulleted items today! Whee!

Tomorrow: some library stuff, some links from others!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Congratulations to the winners of the giveaway contests, and many thanks to everyone who entered! Hopefully we'll have some more contests in 2011.

The film Young Sherlock Holmes turns 25 this month. I saw it in the theatres more than once when it opened, and it's still one of my favorite movies.

If you're scrambling for some last-minute holiday gifts, why not consult this list of steampunk-themed goodness?

Not on the list above but definitely on my imaginary wish list is the electric Miluira car from Japan. How gorgeous is this? (The price is insane, however.)

Oamaru's steampunk exhibition was such a success that it's going abroad to Australia, and possibly beyond!

Salon Futura is a great site for any modernist/postmodernist/futurist/etc., and they've been discussing steampunk on it recently.

And lastly, here's a lovely, intriguing sentence for steampunks this Christmas: "Terry Gilliam is godfathering "1884," to be co-produced by U.K.'s Steam Driven Films and France's 2d3D Animations."

Have a wonderful holiday, everyone! (And a happy Solstice, too.)

Steampunk Librarian - Drawing for The Buntline Special Giveaway Contest

Steampunk Librarian - Drawing for Flaming Zepplins Giveaway Contest

Steampunk Librarian - Drawing for Steampunk II Giveaway Contest

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's Monday! And we had some technical issues at home, so the contest videos for the Steampunk Librarian are not up yet. Hopefully they'll be uploaded tonight.

It looks as if Cagemas, aka Cage Against The Machine, aka "the effort to get John Cage's 4'33" to the top of the UK charts for Christmas," may actually succeed! Go silence!

In honor of Tron: Legacy, I point you to Jeff Bridges's website, which is hand-drawn and written by the man himself.

Flickr is running their Best of 2010 series on their weblog. Good stuff!

Ever wonder what people are reading on the subway these days? Here's a sample, with illustrations to boot.

Swiped from Zazoo: you can turn your new Facebook profile into a work of art by manipulating the photos!

Lady Justice has had many looks through the ages. The blindfold is a fairly recent accessory, actually.

And finally, don't forget to look for the lunar eclipse tonight!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Friday!

Zazoo and I both read the GQ article about Winona Ryder and think others should, too.

Delicious is shutting down; if you have an account there, here are some suggestions for saving your bookmarks.

From Cassandra: Internet vs. privacy.

From Bunny: "Gary Gygax's widow is starting to auction off his entire collection of RPG stuff....and it's a huge collection. The first 200 items were listed below on the 8th of December...more to follow."

From Julie: Tate Britain's Christmas tree is unadorned in the name of art, and King Henry IV of France has finally found his head. Well, someone else found it. But you know what I mean.

From the Graveworm: iEvie! Evie is a young friend of ours who is now out to conquer the Internet.

From Susan: A touching poem about winter in Canada. Even if you don't like poetry, I recommend reading this one.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! We're doing more drawings of contest winners over the weekend and will post them. Hopefully our puppet won't get us into any more trouble.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's not quite this arctic here, but there's a lot of snow and the roads are not to be trusted. But, like the postal service, librarianship goes on regardless of weather!

The winners of the final Pimp My Bookcart contest have been announced!

A historian gives his viewpoint on the Wikileaks event and the impact it may have on researchers.

Alan Gibbons is trying to save UK libraries from budget cuts and reductions. It's a hard fight.

The definition of "information" is now the length of a novella. No wonder we have so much trouble with the word these days. (We're going through this at work in the process of marketing the library. Fun!)

The New York Times imagined the world of 2011 back in 1931 as part of the paper's 80th birthday. How many predictions have come true? Quite a few, actually.

Tomorrow: links from others!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

We're getting ready for another snowstorm (it's going to be one of those winters, apparently). In the meantime, I give you links!

The season for top ___ of 2010 is beginning along with the snow. Here are the 14 best astronomy photos of the year, and it's true, they're fantastic. The one showing the northern pole of Mars is surreal.

Also surreal: How Wings Are Attached to the Backs of Angels. No words, just images and music, and a lovely spookiness.

In Belgium, one man's found a way to celebrate the ugliness of modern civilization. Sounds like something out of a dystopian movie, but it's real!

This just in! Did you know that nuns are sometimes wild and crazy women? (If you are shocked by this idea, you have not met many nuns. I suspect.)

Advance notice for additional wild and crazy behavior: next week brings the Winter Solstice and the Burning of the Clocks. Start planning now! (Swiped from Julie's Facebook -- thanks, Julie!)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hello, and congratulations to all the winners of the first round of the holiday giveaway frenzy! We're doing another drawing this weekend for three more books; the entries are below if you, too, would like to be mentioned in a video by a gin-soaked Victorian puppet, and possibly win a book as well. Deadline for entries is this Friday.

Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded (Advance Reader Copy)

Flaming Zeppelins (Advance Reader Copy)

The Buntline Special -- now a true published copy, not an ARC! (I just got the new book yesterday.)

Pyr mentioned my review of The Buntline Special, which was a nice surprise.

Did you know that it's Steampunk/Alternate History Week? There's all sorts of activity. is running a poll to determine the best steampunk-themed book of the year, and the Steampunk Writers Guild has sprung to life fully formed!

And finally, for those of you with iPhones and whatnot, there's now an app for a steampunky Christmas Carol. Dickens would be so proud.

Monday, December 13, 2010

I am back! I saw all sorts of wonderful things in New York, including the Japan Fashion Now exhibit at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Meanwhile, in Madison, an art exhibit has been installed in an elevator. How great is that?

How often does music give you chills? (Some people don't have this experience at all, which surprises me.)

Draw This Dress explains itself in its title, but each post also links to the original. There's some great stuff here.

A writer goes in search of the Beats' Tangier today, with mixed results.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy Friday, everyone! Here are links from others. Videos of the drawings for the contest winners will show up over the weekend if all goes well, and we'll be back to our regular schedule on Monday.

From Julie: Chickens in chikinis! Knit a sweater for your fowl friend this holiday!

Also from Julie: the world's most expensive book is up for auction,  the DaVinci code  really IS in France, and "The winner of the annual Turnip Prize, awarded for art which requires as little effort and talent as possible, has gone to "Chilli n'Minors." Ha!!

From Cassandra: The Ice Hotel is open for business once again, and  the best meteor shower of the year is about to begin.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Back from New York! Look for a links-from-others post tomorrow. Also, it's the deadline for the first three giveaway books at the Steampunk Librarian, and photos from the trip are going up on Flickr now as I type!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Hi there. Still in New York, but have posted some more giveaway contests over at the Steampunk Librarian. Back soon with lots of links to share!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Hey New Yorkers! I'm going to be at the Biblioball tonight! Come out and say hi!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Holiday break time! Beginning tomorrow, I will be out and about in New York City for a few days, visiting the Club Creatures. If you see us, say hi! I'll be back next week and Folderol will have an erratic schedule until we get back to our regularly scheduled standard of normal on the 13th. (Book contests and giveaways over at the Steampunk Librarian will still be going on, so check there too!)

Satori sent a link to one of the sights we'll be seeing this weekend. Can't wait.

From Bunny: twenty obsolete English words that should make a comeback.

Also from Bunny: "Otatamune from Japan...Further proving that Japan is WEIRD."

From Nicole: Have a wonderful sexist holiday!

Professor Scopps' Travelling Library seems like a wonderful idea.

Did you know that social media goes back to the 1700s? It's true!

And finally, totally unrelated to anything, here's a periodic table of the elements depicting Hall of Fame baseball players. (And here's the rationale for why the players are where they are in the table.)

Have a spiffy few days, everyone! Back soon!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Today is World AIDS Day.  (Even more information available here.) While I'm not really on board with the Digital Life Sacrifice idea (because it seems sort of...tacky?), the rest of this slideshow is really interesting. And if you're in the Boston area, Medicine Wheel Productions is holding its annual vigil today.

In unrelated news, a huge fossil has been discovered in a church (note the H.P. Lovecraft mention!) and an essay from Lapham's Quarterly has shown me Wilson’s Metropolitan Sepulcher, which would have been amazing if it had been built.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Steampunk Librarian Book Giveaway is in full swing! Here's what's up so far (go to each link to participate in the giveaway), with December 10th as the deadline to enter.
Two or three more will hopefully go up this week, with an added week to the deadline. Winners will have the books by Christmas! Go and enter now!

A book on steampunk self-defense will not be out till spring, sadly, but it looks like it will be great.

Monique Poirier's post on steampunk and Native American culture has been getting a lot of attention, and for good reason, because it's a must-read for anyone interested in how steampunk and other cultures blend.

A report from the Emerald City Steampunk Expo in Kansas depicts a wonderful time!

I had no idea that preparing tea involved putting the leaves through "agony." Yikes.

And finally, have you seen "The Narrative of Victor Karloch: A Victorian Ghost Story Puppet Play" yet? You should!

Monday, November 29, 2010

A stash of Picasso paintings has been discovered! Hopefully this is not another ruse by a forger pretending to be a Jesuit priest. (Art intrigue is exciting!)

Another cache of great art is on Flickr now, thanks to the son-in-law of Nick DeWolf. DeWolf took thousands of photos from the 1950s onward, and many are now online.

Tom Waits is going to publish a book of poetry. It'll be out too late for the hipsters on your Christmas list, however.

And finally, and completely unrelated, please to enjoy this history of the Soviet Union, as told through song and Tetris. (Once you get past the first minute or so, it really gets going.)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Opt-Out Day. Is anyone participating?

We'll be taking Thursday and Friday off for the Thanksgiving holiday, so today is a bonus Links from Others Friday sort of day!

First off: Cookie Monster would like to host Saturday Night Live. I would like him to do so, too!

Are shy people mentally ill? Er, well, when you put it that way...

From both Julie and Zazoo: one of the first Apple computers sold at auction for an insane amount of money. (The article reports that the computer will be made functional, but I wonder what it would run. Pong?)

From both my mom and Kevin: a flash mob performance of the Hallelujah Chorus!

From Zazoo: Cyndi Lauper continues to prove how awesome she is by using lipstick to fund AIDS research.

And finally, if you're at work today and it's slow, might I suggest this game in which you have to figure out the location from the Google Street View?

Have a spiffy holiday and/or weekend, everyone! (And many thanks to those who have entered the contests over at the Steampunk Librarian. Two are up so far, and there will be more soon!) See you Monday.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Starting today, we will be posting book reviews and giveaways over at the Steampunk Librarian for the next week or so! If you're interested in such things, I recommend subscribing to the RSS feed.

The Boston Globe, in an article about cinematic flops, includes Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow as an example. (According to the article, it flopped, but influenced movies like Avatar. Hm.)

A recent BBC report about abandoned British villages has made the Abandoned Communities website quite popular. This sort of thing fascinates me, as do stories like this one about the thriving community living in the tunnels of Las Vegas, and seems like the stuff of which scientific romance/steampunk tales are made.

And speaking of such things, did you know Transylvania was once an island? With dinosaurs that lived longer than others of their era? It's true, and Jess Nevins has the details! (Jess regularly puts out the most amazing stuff. He deserves to be much more famous than he is, and I'm not just saying that because he's a fellow librarian.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fairy tales may not win National Book Awards, but Patti Smith does! Hooray!

Did Michelangelo use male prostitutes as models for some of the figures in The Last Judgment? (If so, the male prostitutes of the time must have been in incredible shape.)

Recording concerts is not only allowed by some artists these days, but actively encouraged.

Years of one man's answering machine messages have been condensed and made into a film. If I had saved all my answering machine messages from college, I would have materials for one seriously strange film. I missed my chance!

If you  like psychology and superheroes (or supervillains), Dr. Rosenberg's website and weblog are worth a look. Surveys, too!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Friday, everyone! Many thanks to all the contributors for today's Links from Others post.

From Julie: a 3-D record of caves in Nottingham; a fight between an elephant and a crocodile; and the discovery of an alien planet!

From Zazoo: an interview with Lisa Henson on what it means to manage the Muppets, and a look at the just-finished tallest statue of Jesus, located in Poland.

From Cassandra: The Understanding Campaign and, unrelated, the question of humanoid rights.

From Nicole: The TSA meets The Resistance, up close and personal.

From Nina: an enthusiastic toddler loves conducting.

And finally, via my local library, an exhibit on the work of Charles Schulz.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

If I had a crazy amount of money and could do whatever I liked, I think I'd open a place like Libros Schmibros. It sounds great.

Also from the L.A. Times is an article on how libraries are reinventing themselves for the 21st century. (Yes, you've heard this before, but everyone's doing it differently.)

The San Jose Public Library has reinvented its website, which is gorgeous, and the Librarian in Black has some additional details from behind the scenes.

The end-of-year lists are already beginning; here's the list for the top words of 2010. (Vuvuzela!)

Did you know that fairy tales are barred from winning the National Book Award? I didn't.

Mark Twain wouldn't let his full autobiography see publication until 100 years after his death. That time is now, and there are some interesting additions to be found in the full story.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I am sort of appalled to see that the Christmas celebrations begin this weekend. The Santa Claus Parade in Toronto? Christmas is still over a month away! The birds are still migrating!

Ahem. Anyway. Speaking of bearded men, Druidry is now a valid religion in Great Britain again.

Unrelated to either holidays or religions, this weekend brings the Innova Fair in Brussels, the Vertical Marathon (73 stories!) in Singapore, and the World's Biggest Liar Competition in England.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Okay, I missed last week, but I am making up for it this week by announcing a slew of book contests. In the days to come. there will be reviews of several books, and giveaways contests for most of them! Books include:
Keep watching this space for more info!

On to other steampunky happenings. The Steampunk Empire (not to be confused with the Vampire Empire mentioned above) is having a design contest for a pin to be worn by Empire members. Deadline for design entries is November 28.

It's already winter in Minnesota, and the steampunks there are having a mystery event this weekend!

Seattle, meanwhile, is staking a claim as the most steampunk city in America. I think they have a valid point.

And finally, the Steampunk Wiki is gaining pages at a rapid rate.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hey, readers in the Cincinnati area: are you interested in this lovely feline? He is a young male tabby, extremely affectionate, gentle, and housebroken, and needs a home with either other animals or a bunch of people, because he hates to be left out of the pack and will complain if he is! (Names bounced off him so far have included Adric, a la old-school Doctor Who, and Whitman, for his yawp.) I think he would make an excellent shop cat, myself.

In other literary and entertainment news...I had no idea Dr. Samuel Johnson was alive and well and on Twitter.

Can John Cage's 4'33" become the number one Christmas song? Let's try!

The University of Texas is going to be the repository for Spalding Gray's works.

Writer Tom Lubbock has a terminal brain tumor which is robbing him of language, and he's writing about it as it's happening. It's horrible and fascinating.

And lastly, and more cheerfully, comic artist Ryan North has a great idea. "I have a digital picture frame in my living room, and any new photo you upload to Flickr and tag "chezryan" will show up there. The internet now controls the decoration of my living room. LET'S DO THIS."

Friday, November 12, 2010

Well, the week is almost over, thankfully! Links from others, and life should get back to normal (or what passes for normal around here) next week.

Listed alphabetically by contributor:

From Bunny: Dick Van Dyke was saved by porpoises! It's true! Cue the Mary Poppins music! (Our alternative theory: the dolphins were all "no, we don't want him, you can have him back.")

Also from Bunny: The potential chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee says that God won't let global warming happen. Well, okay then.

From Cassandra: Women in law firms are encountering new problems in advancing up the ladder as the economy falters.

From Jack Beltane: the odd story of a British man who was brought back from the dead thanks to...tobacco smoke?

From Josie: Behold, it's Edward Scissorhands Jr!

From Julie: The Large Hadron Collider created a miniature Big Bang! In unrelated news, scientists finally figured out how cats drink.

From various libraries: Tomorrow is National Gaming Day! Go celebrate in some fashion.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Have a spiffy weekend, and see you Monday.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hi there. Life got a little crazy this week between the work and the health, but we'll be back on Friday. Honest!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Research mania means a delayed Folderol, bother. Check back soon!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Congrats to our friend JoJo Baby on the premiere of a documentary featuring him (and directed by Clive Barker!); the Chicago Reader did a nice interview.

More strange and beautiful stuff: the loveliness of urban decay.

Some enterprising souls decided to bring to life the musical instruments depicted in Hieronymus Bocsch's art. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the music they make is pretty bad.

Appalachian crime fiction is nice and dark and suitably spooky.

Quick, name a female Pop artist. Can you think of any?

And last but not least, Save the Words. Commit to keeping a word alive!

Friday, November 05, 2010

dflksdBRAINSSS. Oh, wait. Right, Friday, links from others!

From Josie: A fantastic video of a 1939 Halloween party.

From Zazoo: Jon Stewart, the voice of a generation.

From Cassandra: what looks to be a very interesting article on procrastination (I haven't finished reading it yet! Haha!).

As seen on Metafilter: motivational posters from the 1920s.

Linked from Warren Ellis: Coilhouse does a really great interview with David J!

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

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Happy 11th birthday to LISNews, one of the best (if not THE best) sources of news for librarians.

A librarian at NPR has a book out, titled All Facts Considered. Isn't that awesome?

Also awesome: the ALA will present a new award for GLBT children's literature.

Thirdly awesome: the Dead Sea Scrolls are going to be digitized!

And now, in a belated Halloween/Day of the Dead observance, we are going to talk about zombie librarians. BRAINSSSS. Zombies like libraries. Ergo, some librarians end up zombies. But they are smart and photogenic zombie librarians, and even have their own calendar!

Tomorrow: links from others! Unless I become a zombie librarian. Then tomorrow's post might just be "sdlkgdjrthBRAINSlskturzzzz."

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Well, elections are over, and that was pretty depressing. Let's move on to chronicling violent celebrations.

This week in Great Britain, there will be fireworks! And also barrels of flaming tar carried by burly men!

Here in America, we're using up our Halloween pumpkins by throwing them great distances.

In India, meanwhile, Diwali begins this weekend.

If you're still agitated about the state of the world, these maps of stereotypes might be depressing, but they're also rather hilarious. (I like focusing on Iceland and Ireland, particularly.)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

I thought I'd be talking about some new books today, but I found out that the publication dates have changed and so I'll postpone that subject for a while. In its place: controversy!

When I first thought about writing a weblog dedicated to neovictorianism/steampunk, it was around 2003 and I thought that the topic would occupy an incredibly tiny and obscure corner of the internet. To say that the popularity of steampunk these days surprises me is a vast understatement; I had no idea what was coming. (The steampunk librarian idea won out -- narrowly -- over a weblog based on Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe mystery stories; I'd have been equally surprised if that concept had come into vogue and people had begun growing orchids and saying "Pfui!") Now that goggles and corsets are increasingly commonplace, the inevitable backlashes have grown in frequency and volume. The latest kerfuffle stems from Charlie Stross's entry on the genre. Jeff Vandermeer has weighed in, as has Dr. Fabre of the Steampunk Tribune. The arguments are not new to anyone who has participated in discussions on literary genres or subcultures, regardless of one's views on steampunk. Sure, some people are cashing in on the genre's popularity, and some are trying on the trappings as a new identity. These people will, in time, find another avenue. There are others who have felt an affinity for this time and place in history since they were children; that will not change, even if others reimagine the era to fit their own ideas. Cory Gross runs the Voyages Extraordinaires website and avoids the steampunk label assiduously for many good reasons, but in his essay on scientific romances he captures my thoughts rather perfectly:

Nurtured on such tales, we are invited to reinvest in our own histories, to reclaim ourselves. That, ultimately, is the point of this exercise in studying history and creatively adapting it. Neither slavishly recreating it as a lark nor lazily citing an alternate history, but to integrate one's past with one's present. This pleasure helps to integrate oneself in the narratives of history so that they can give depth and breadth to one's present. This works itself through everything from simple aesthetics that refuse to give up the beautiful things of the past to a realization of oneself in one's society and time. In the end, the enjoyment and appreciation of Scientific Romances is very much about today.
(I admit that as a librarian and amateur historian, I am also wildly supportive of anything that leads people to read and learn about the past. I'm kind of silly that way.)

Meanwhile, in New Zealand, the League of Victorian Imagineers have opened their "Steampunk: Tomorrow As It Used to Be" exhibition, and it looks like quite the occasion! And WebUrbanist gets in on the trend, pointing out several amazing items in decor and furnishings.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Happy November! A few photos of our Halloween are over on our Flickr page. It was a good night for all.

Also good: the signs at the Rally to Restore Sanity. There's a huge Flickr pool of them, and lists of the best ones (with more in the comments).

The death of handwriting has been greatly exaggerated, it appears. (Thanks to this article, I discovered the wonderful Pencil Revolution website!)

You can now generate your own alternate reality television. It couldn't be any weirder than what's actually televised these days. For example: a jellyfish theremin!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Friday! On to the links sent in by others (thanks, everyone).

First I sent this list of terrifying Sesame Street costumes to Holly. She responded with this list of "sexy Halloween costumes that shouldn't exist." Read both of these with the lights on for safety.

From Julie: A machine to record and interpret dreams? Cinema is becoming reality very quickly these days.

From Zazoo: a Cincinnati daguerreotype may be the one of the oldest photographs of people recorded.

From Cassandra: Behold, the amazing Bennett Robot workshop!

Have a spiffy weekend and Halloween/Samhain/All Saints Eve, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Today is a crappy day, and filled with meetings to boot. Both Unshelved and Shelf Check understand how I feel about (most) meetings. On a tangent, however, doesn't Shelf Check's idea for a social physical library sound fantastic?

Internet Librarian has just ended. I am envious of those who were there; it sounds like a lot of interesting presentations happened this year.

I thought the ALA's Feminist Task Force was gone, but no! Even the Women in Libraries newsletter is back!

Political season fun: weird things officials say, Tumblr version.

Halloween literature fun: Hark, a Vagrant! takes on Dracula. I like the "modern woman" strip the best.

Tomorrow: links from others, and no meetings, I hope!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

So, anything happening this weekend? Oh, that's right...

Also! Many thanks to Julie, who sent in links to Brighton's Zombie Walk (called "Brighton Beach of the Dead," hee) and Brighton's White Night, which sounds absolutely fantastic. I am off to convince the other Spooky Librarian that we need to take a trip to Brighton sometime.

(This is an interrupted posting; hopefully more links will follow later today!)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Congratulations to Giada, winner of our giveaway drawing for The Half-Made World! Many thanks to everyone who participated, and fear not, there will be more giveaways (and probably more snarky videos).

You may remember Tor's Steampunk Month from last year. This year, they've revamped it into the Steampunk Fortnight, with more great articles like this timeline of steampunk music.

If you happen to be near Hartford, Connecticut this Halloween, you might consider attending Miss Kitty's Halloween tea party at the Mark Twain House, which appears to have all sorts of fun events going on this weekend.

Lovecraft never warned us about Cthulhu taking over the Treasury, did he? Well, it's too late now...

Many thanks to Julie, who sent me a link to this wonderful map of the Internet in 1901 (from a bigger page of wonderful maps!).

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's Monday, but it's also our wedding anniversary! Happy seven years! (Photo by Holly Olson, who is super talented.)

In Los Angeles, Beautiful Monsters combines modern dance with animation and other art forms on the stage. It sounds awesome.

How will writers and readers handle a paperless society?

 In related matters, are there any essential books any longer? There's an interesting point here about the "common culture" of shared reading.

Time-lapse photography shows just how pervasive San Francisco's fog can be. (I am reminded of Eddie Izzard's bit about the fog in that town.)

Meanwhile, in Cleveland, graffiti artists are getting some recognition. (Love the "READ" work, obviously.)

And finally, there's a new database for tracking down the stolen art of the Holocaust era.

Friday, October 22, 2010


We'll be drawing a name out of a (top) hat tonight, and it might be yours! Last chance to enter the contest here. Watch this space for a silly video announcing the winners.

Meanwhile, it is Friday! Many thanks to everyone who sent in links.

From Zazoo: Meet the iPhone subway band! Also, a really interesting article on New York's Julius bar, which was one of the key locations in the struggle for gay civil rights.

From Josie: a song and video which brings together Mark Ronson, Boy George, Jake Shears of  the Scissor Sisters, and more!

From Mykol, who knows I have a thing for history: the BlackandWTF Tumblr.

From Cassandra: Big Pharma and academia are in bed together, it seems.

From Major League Baseball, as the playoffs continue: Were you at a playoff game? Now you can find yourself and share it on Facebook. Cool, if slightly creepy.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The weird state of libraries these days is exemplified by the range of articles about them. On one hand, the library has become too commercialized and is losing its spark. On the other hand, hey, with all this technology, we could open a National Digital Library!

Speaking of technology, MetaLib is a new resource from the U.S. Government, searching multiple agencies and other sources for federal information. Hooray!

I've linked to the early film footage of San Francisco before. Now, an historian has pinpointed the date -- only a few days before the 1906 earthquake hit. Yikes.  (I love this sort of research. The Library of Congress's Flickr stream is another example of people finding facts by studying the tiny details.)

Blank on Blank serves as an audio archive for previously unheard interviews. Interesting crowdsourcing stuff here!

And finally, a book will be out next Tuesday, and you should buy it, and here's why.

Tomorrow: Friday! And links sent in by readers.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

This is the best time of year, with Halloween quickly approaching and the fall weather making any excursion fun! There are too many festivals and celebrations going on to count. If you're into corn mazes, there's a directory for finding one near you; if haunted attractions are more your style, there's a directory for that, too. There are even shows for pumpkins this weekend! (And, on an even more localized note, Carnival Noir 2010 arrives this weekend; if you go, tell Zahara the Spooky Librarians sent you.)

Whether you're looking for gory ideas or are just interested in theatre history, this propmaker's examination of the Grand Guignol's tricks is worth a read. (My favorite line: "When money became tight, the theatre would prefer to stab women rather than men, because their smaller costumes were cheaper to clean.")

If seeing all that gore traumatizes you, perhaps you could bond with one of the patients at the Psychiatric Clinic for Abused Cuddly Toys. I believe the sheep is my favorite, but they're all rather appealing...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Many thanks to everyone who's entered the giveaway contest so far! We'll be drawing a name from the entries this Friday, so anyone who comments on that post before then will be entered.

In other steampunk news, the previously-lauded steampunk version of Iron Man is now entangled in a scandal! Heavens!

With Halloween approaching, the Steampunk Tribune crafts a lovely writeup of all the costuming and accessorizing resources out there. They're there year-round, of course, but you might find some special deals this time of year.

If you plan out being out and about for the holiday, and you are anywhere near Pittsburgh, be sure to check out The ScareHouse, which has a decidedly anachronistic tone. Dieselpunks did a great interview with Scott Simmons which goes into more detail.

Readers know I have a particular interest in the inclusive nature of Steampunk, especially toward different cultures. Multiculturalism For Steampunk is right up my alley! I'm thrilled to see more and more of these sites online.

The Circus of Brass and Bone is new, it is steampunk, and all donations go to a wonderful cause. How can you resist visiting?

In other reading news, The Wonderful Future That Never Was is...well, wonderful. It's all the Popular Mechanics goodness of yesteryear, summed up with copious illustrations.

And, if you find yourself inspired after reading all these reviews and summations of steampunk-influenced literature, your own town's history can serve as a jumping-off point for your own writing. As an example, I discovered the history of nearby Kings Mills and its cartridge factory via this article and think it deserves its own story.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hello hello. Do you have your costume for Halloween yet? If not, here are some ideas to get you started...

The act of handwriting helps your brain retain concepts. (Anyone who has a visual memory can elaborate on this idea ad infinitum.)

Concept cars! Fifty years of them! From Japan! Go look!

Moscow is starting to embrace its graffiti artists, at long last.

Feign is a free game that messes with your head -- or, rather, your eyes. I found three people before I got too dizzy to go on.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The book review and giveaway contest is live! The drawing is in one week and you can enter the contest here. Woot!
Happy Friday, everyone! Later today there will be a post pointing to a book review/giveaway over at the Steampunk Librarian. (And while it is slightly steampunk, it's more than that, so I think that anyone who likes free books should go take a look once the post is live.)

Right now, it's time for links for others. Yay!

From the Sparkle Queen: "I saw this Folderol-worthy article in the Boston Phoenix. Also, a book trailer (a concept that I still can't fully get behind)." Literary tattoos! I admit, I'm tempted.

From Julie: an amazing photograph of lightning striking the Statue of Liberty.

Also from Julie: Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine may become reality!

From Zazoo: Also possibly becoming reality is Wonka gum which tastes like a three-course meal!

Also from Zazoo: a McDonald's commercial featuring a gay teenager. Kudos to McD's.

From Satori: Kaiju Big Battel [sic] is going on this weekend in New York! I'm so envious.

Swiped from Jimmylegs: This weekend also brings us National Feral Cat Day. Look into a TNR organization near you!

And finally, this weekend also brings us the start of MLB's league championship series. Texas Ranger (and former Cincinnati Red!) Josh Hamilton is a recovering addict and he has avoided the champagne shower celebrations so far this year. So his teammates threw him a special celebration with ginger ale. The video is awesome. Go baseball.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday for regularly scheduled Folderol goodness, and check back for the giveaway post later this afternoon.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Today, we're talking history. Unshelved brings us "a nostalgic reminder of a time when men were men, librarians were women, and computers were the size of rooms."

But wait! This anachronism is still in use at the Library of Congress! And speaking of the LOC, their newspaper chronicle weblog is still going strong. A recent post featured a 1910 article reporting on Theodore Roosevelt's first trip in an airplane.

Also from the government: A YouTube channel of public resource videos. (I think I may have posted this before, but they're always adding stuff.)

Picture books, according to the New York Times, are on the way out. This seems odd. [Fun library anecdote: Once, while working in a public library, B. was asked if they had any Where's Waldo? books...on CD.] Thanks to this article, however, I really want to read Monsters Eat Whiny Children.

Tomorrow: links from others, because it'll be Friday, hooray!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The leaves are falling here and it's getting nice and spooky in time for Halloween!

On the interwebs, the spookiness is increasing, too. Shellhawk's Nest is featuring Halloween-related content all month, and the always-great Final Girl is celebrating SHOCKtober!

Crafty people, check out this great idea for pumpkin decorating. I may try it myself.

Meanwhile, Muppet Labs shows you how (not) to conduct a proper ghost hunt.

The Weekend of Horrors happens this weekend in lovely downtown Burbank, California! If you're not into the horror, there's a nice kid-friendly Woolly Worm Festival going on in North Carolina this weekend, too.

And finally, something cool and creepy: Solace is a video game which takes you through the stages of grief. Um...neat?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Get ready for a week of activity in steampunkland! We're going to be posting some giveaways later this week, including a review/giveaway of Felix Gilman's The Half-Made World, which hits bookstores today! As a preview, you can check out Felix's website (I particularly like how the bio page changes each time you reload). This quote from an interview serves as a nice preview, too:

What is it about speculative fiction, in general, that most appeals to you?

The strange, the grotesque, the absurd; the capacity of really strange fantastic fiction to reflect back how odd the actual world is. Also, monsters.
More on all that soon!

I am happy to report that the Victorian Drilling Machine Halloween Project has been fully funded, and hope that those of you in southern California visit the finished product and share their experiences.

The Steampunks Vs. Zombies battle is imminent! Which side are you on? (Regardless of your alignment, both factions feature some great information and links. Consider it reconnaissance, not betrayal, if you investigate.)

Bartitsu, aka the art of gentlemanly self-defense, is not only fascinating but also gaining popularity thanks to the new Sherlock Holmes productions! A documentary is in the works and you can see a preview now.

Craftster focuses on steampunk (with links to projects), and an Edwardian Era Tumblr is perfect for inspiration.

Victoria 2 is available for the gamers. Expand, exploit and conquer! But please restrict such behavior to the game.

And lastly, I am seriously considering the blue bumper sticker here, as this is what I say to people on a regular basis anyway. (I also highly recommend anything Wondermark from this site; there are all sorts of wonderful things there!)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hi there. Did you miss me Friday? It was an unexpected absence, but I am back and have the links from others to prove it!

From Julie: Apparently, the record for mattress domino-style toppling has been broken.  (Er?)

From Cassandra: scary songs, scary studies of ghosts, and the value of anger!

From Zazoo: Grover, Old Spice, and YouTube is a winning combination.

Back to normal (more or less) tomorrow, with giveaway contest news!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

First, the important news: new ALA "Read" posters are out, featuring the Harry Potter gang. (I am told this is important, anyway...)

A Dutch airport has its own library. How cool is that?

The University of Texas at San Antonio now has a "bookless" library. I'm not sure yet if this is cool or not.

What happens to personal libraries after the person dies? The Boston Globe has a story about the book collection of one writer, which makes you think. (If the Spooky Librarians were to plunge off a cliff, someone would have a whole lot of geeky/spooky/old books to handle.)

The New York Times looks at the current state of the Chicago Tribune. It isn't very pretty.

If you'd like to do some investigative journalism of your own, the new Influence Explorer shows the contribution links among politicians, companies, and "influential individuals." It's user-friendly and rather eye-opening.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

It's the best time of the year -- Halloween season! Instructables has an entire Halloween category, and the always-wonderful X-Entertainment has begun their annual Halloween countdown (actually, they began it last month - they start early over there).  If you're the type of person who makes their own decorations, you might look to MRX Designs for inspiration on the spooky and cobwebby; if you'd rather decorate with the work of other artists, Annie Vicar's Dolls and Skellery site is gorgeous and suitably dark for the holidays.

It's also baseball playoff season (and my home team is in it this year so I am especially excited, even if some of their fashion choices are a little wacky); Got Medieval has illustrated proof that baseball was being played hundreds of years ago by monkeys and nuns, even. (Well, maybe.)

Meanwhile, even as fall arrives, Great Britain is STILL having festivals which involve throwing things. This week, it's horse chestnuts, thrown by people in strange costumes. I never realized the British were so violent!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

As cooler weather approaches, steampunk seems to be heating up. The Chicago group has noticed there are loads of events on the horizon in their area.  If you're nearer to New York, Brooklyn Indie Market is throwing the third annual Steampunk Day at the DUMBO Loft October 24th. And (jumping forward in our anachronistic time era a bit here), if you have a love for Indiana Jones 1930s-era adventuring, hop over to ConGaloosh this weekend as it celebrates the now-gone but much-loved Adventurer's Club in the world of Disney.

Even if you're at home and can't travel much this fall, fear not -- a substantial number of books are coming off the presses! We're going to be having more giveaways and reviews here very shortly as a result, maybe as soon as next week. In the meantime, check out the Mad Hatter's steampunk-themed month of books.  And for the makers and the tinkerers, Steampuffin (great name, great logo!) is hosting the 1st Annual Steampunk Form & Function Design Competition!

Yet another mention of the fantastic DeMoulin Bros. catalog pops up in an article over at The Smart Set, another set of "what will the world look like in 2000" illustrations has shown up over at Historic LOLs, and the BBC plaintively asks why travelators -- aka moving walkways, but "travelator" is such a better word -- have not become commonplace outside of airports. (They also have them in Las Vegas, for what that's worth.)

Monday, October 04, 2010

It's Monday, and that means links about the fine arts, you see.

In writing, it's Anne Rice's birthday today. (Thanks for the link, Cassandra!) Also, Franz Kafka's papers are currently trapped in a struggle which seems rather, well, Kafkaesque.

In music, a bust of Frank Zappa has been unveiled in Baltimore.

In cinema, a promotion for Buried offered viewers the opportunity to watch the film in a coffin. Gah!

And finally, in theatre, we take another look at Sarah Bernhardt.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Also! This just in from Danny: it's Follow a Library Day on Twitter!

(many thanks, Danny!)
Happy October 1st, everyone! Let the countdown to Halloween begin!

From Holly via Tony: a memorable exchange in court.

From Brendan: Hey, did you know librarians don't do anything? Geez.

As seen in various places around the web: those garish Vegas carpet patterns have a secret purpose. Of course they do!

And finally, try the Globe Genie and magically transport yourself to anywhere in the world. I've tried Antarctica and North America so far.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hark, it is Banned Books Week! Librarians, unite and defeat the forces of stupidity and narrow-mindedness! Take heart from those superheroes who have done battle in courtrooms (and are now part of a nifty library exhibition)! Join forces with the Evil Librarian Supervillain (hey, even supervillains are anti-censorship; check out the post on the banned books)! Battle the corruption even if it comes from within, for not even libraries are havens of effective leadership! (I know, it's shocking. Take a deep breath.)

If you're still up for battle after taking on the book banners, try taking on the endless march of technological progress as it makes older systems obsolete and their materials irretrievable. This is a major concern among archivists. I think programmers and technicians who speak old technology languages will be in big demand sooner rather than later.

Fortunately, the Baseball Hall of Fame is working toward digitizing its materials (and hopefully planning ahead, too). Bring on October!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Today I am actually pointing you toward places I've been! In person! Well, most of them, anyway. I haven't been to Los Angeles, where ShriekFest is getting underway, but October is almost here and I'm gearing up for the spooky posts.

It's also time for corn mazes and apple picking, and last week we were at the Cold Hollow Cider Mill way up in Vermont. Their cider donuts are freaking amazing.

The Brooklyn Botanical Garden is another place I've visited, and this weekend they're having the 2010 Chile Pepper Fiesta! I am intrigued by the mention of the "ghost pepper."

And lastly, back to the spooky and the ethereal. Check out these Crucifairies.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Administrative note: The Steampunk Librarian (aka Tuesday's postings) has moved to Typepad for the time being. I'm not sure yet if this is a permanent move, but that's where it is for now!

Nader Elhefnawy's guest post on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America website is all about steampunk. It's long and detailed (over 40 footnotes!) and a must-read for anyone interested in the genre. And if you're interested in steampunk-themed literature, why not take The Bookkeeper's Steampunk Challenge? It's a year full of reading, all geared toward steampunk (pun intentional).

The latest group to embrace steampunk may give readers pause: it's DARPA. Who knew that Babbage's levers might be more useful than semiconductors?

I had not heard of Strowlers until now. (I thought perhaps they were all-terrain strollers.) They are most definitely here and out in public, and are even throwing the first StrowlerCon later this fall in Boston!

The intricacies of Muslim art and dress seem to complement steampunk quite well, so it's wonderful to see a growing interest in Muslim steampunk. 

And finally, if you're in the area, be sure to check out Cirque Acirca's mural as it's being created this week in Grand Rapids. It's part of the 2010 ArtPrize competition, so you can also vote and support steampunk-loving artists and entertainers!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hi, we're back! Sort of, anyway. While I get caught up, here's another edition of Links from Others. Many thanks to everyone who sent in material!

From Zazoo: A burlesque version of Animal Farm is on the way. Wow. Also from Zazoo: OK Go's new video, which features many amazing animals of its own.

From Julie: Was it Moses or ordinary winds parting the Red Sea? Are supernatural entities real after all? Are questions truly unanswerable?

From Cassandra: Populations decrease as civilization improves. Why? Show your work.

And finally, from Tim, a truly deep question: could vampires use touch panel screens?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hi all! Off for an adventure today. In the meantime, please remember that DEVO was right about everything, and everything is better with Muppets.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Special bonus Monday edition of Links from Others! Thanks, everyone!

From Julie: The last "sin-eater" is celebrated with a church service. (I thought this was going to be opium-related at first.)

From Cassandra: Are student cheaters psychopaths? Yikes!

From Tim: Watching someone use a computer. As Tim said, any public librarian can relate to this. (Librarians in other institutions may as well -- I know I do!)

Also, via Scalzi: Explore the amazing world of UnicornPegasusKitten!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Happy Friday, everyone!

Administrative note: Right after disappearing for a few days, we're going to disappear for a few more days. Irritating, isn't it? But we have a week off, and while I may update throughout the week, it'll probably be sparse. (Also, Vox is shutting down at the end of the month, so I have to move the Steampunk Librarian to new digs. Fun!) Regular posting should resume on Monday the 27th!

From Nicole: Scientists now believe that being an only child isn't so bad after all. Well, that's a relief.

From Cassandra: Will October 13 bring UFO revelations? A former NORAD officer thinks so.

Also from Cassandra: cosmology as theology and Buddhist monks with guns.

From  Julie: In Somerset, a chef attempted to create the most expensive cheese sandwich...and it looks like he succeeded!

Swiped from Odd Brian: the son of Harpo Marx has launched a new website devoted to the actor.

Have a spiffy weekend and following few days, everyone! Updates are possible, stay tuned.