Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hi there. I am headed east tomorrow for our annual family 4th of July celebration, so Folderol will be quiet until next Tuesday. (I know, try to get by somehow.) As a result, today is a collection of links from others and some fun stuff I found on my own!

From Julie: Earth's gravity, in high-definition!

From Cassandra: Scary movies, tales of cyborg composers, and the story of the Lost Boys of Cairo.

Retro fun: photos from the Vintage Computing Fair at Bletchley Park!

Futuristic (?) fun: the Coke Zero and Mentos-powered rocket car!

Present fun: a vending machine's offerings, sampled and reviewed.

Have a spiffy week/weekend/holiday, everyone! Safe travels if that's what you're doing; if not, we have recently discovered AudioSurf (a little late, from the looks of it) and highly recommend it if you're staying in. See you Tuesday!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Is everyone ready for the Steampunk Bizarre? You have about two weeks!

Many thanks to Jeff C., who sent in this link to additional photos of the ModVic steampunked house in Massachusetts. It's absolutely gorgeous.

Also gorgeous: the furniture design of Dennis Slootweg. The pieces look like they'd be quite at home in the study of the Nautilus.

The Age (Australia) examines the Melbourne steampunk scene in a detailed article, huzzah.

And finally, Art Nouveau bleeds into the steampunk world often enough that I think the images from this National Gallery of Art exhibition will be of interest.

Monday, June 28, 2010

It's the sort of Monday that inspires gloomy songs by gloomy songwriters. Anyway. On to the links...

As a person who often experiences pareidolia, I am pleased to report it has its own weblog now. Ha. 

The Indianapolis Museum of Art has a new hundred-acre art park, and you are encouraged to touch, climb on, and gallivant all about the art! I will have to investigate this firsthand and report back.

If horror films are so popular, why not take it to the stage?

William-Henry Ireland managed to convince many people that his works were those of Shakespeare's. Then he owned up to the hoax and couldn't get anyone to believe him. There's a moral in this somewhere, I'm sure.

Two websites to check out: USA Today's Character Blog, which explores the "cultural landscape," and Ephemera Studies, which looks back at the landscape of yesteryear.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Happy Friday, everyone! I finally went through my inbox and pulled out all the links sent in by others over the last few weeks, so there's quite the smorgasbord of reading material for you.

From Danny:! It also has a sister station -- Ha.

From Bunny: noted author Wendell Berry is mad at the University of Kentucky, and is pulling his papers from their archives. He has a justified reason, too.

From Julie: a cat with bionic feet! Also, robot workers in hospitals (the future, it's on the way) and a photo gallery of Antony Gormley's "6 Times" sculptures.

Cassandra and Julie often seem to be on the same wavelength; Cassandra sent in an article about Gormley. Also from Cassandra: a piece on interviewing writers; the strange history of human-dolphin interaction; a fascinating in-depth series on how we know what we don't know (and/or don't know what we don't know); and, finally, the possibility that we may not have much time left to worry about all of the above, anyway.

And lastly, from Zazoo, a bit of news that suggests that perhaps we've reached the end of civilization as we know it: Debbie Gibson and Tiffany will co-star in Mega Python vs. Gatoroid. (They do not play the titular creatures, as far as I know.)

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! Thanks for reading. See you Monday.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Librarians of the world, how did you choose your profession? Your stories of origin are requested.

Boston may not cotton to the idea of a citywide reading program, but they've given at least four libraries a stay of execution until the end of the year. Small mercies and all that.

It's summer, and that means it's time for summer reading lists! Rebecca Blood has compiled a list of lists.

Historians and archaeologists are thrilled; the oldest known icons of Peter and Paul have been unearthed in Rome.

Links from others tomorrow, to celebrate Friday!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Right now everything is very exciting, with the earthquakes and the World Cup and all. In the UK, they're preparing not only for the next round, but also for Swamp Soccer. Meanwhile, vulture brains are apparently in demand for good luck among South Africans. Er?

It's also the 40th anniversary of the Glastonbury Festival!  (Is it always muddy there?)

Beyond the mud and earth, NASA has a lovely page where you can, um, "space your face." (I have no idea why.)

Even farther above (or, perhaps, below): the Vatican Hall of Shame lists the worst popes ever.

And finally, something different for those of us who have been known to dress in weird costumes. The Princess Alexa Foundation collects donated costumes, props, and toys for terminally ill children. If anyone needs to escape from reality for a while, it's these kids, so consider contributing to the cause!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Many thanks to Josie for suggesting a visit to the Lovecraft exhibit at the Observatory Room in Brooklyn. There are photos of the exhibition in the Flickr set of the trip, and it was fantastic!

I was very lucky to get some steampunky reading material right as I was leaving for the trip in the form of an advance reading copy of Burton & Swinburne in the Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder. I'll have much more on this closer to the publication date (in September), and probably another giveaway as well; so far it looks like it's going to be a swell read. The book also touches a bit on the "darker" implications of steampunk; coincidentally, the League of Extraordinary Writers tackles the combination of steampunk and dystopia in a recent post. (While we're on the subject of steampunk writing, Lou Anders has published a stirring defense of the steampunk literature trend.)

Some stray bits of steampunky goodness:

H.G. Wells's The First Men in the Moon is getting a BBC treatment in the near future, and looks like fun!

I am currently coveting some of the Retroscope Fashions.

"Edison-era" light bulbs are horribly energy-inefficient, sadly, but they look lovely if a small bit of atmosphere is needed.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A fun quick link before I leave:   World Cup matches in LEGO form (scroll down to the bottom of the page for the list)! Vuvuzela noise included, yay!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Happy Bloomsday, everyone! (If you are not in Dublin, you can still celebrate!) Today is a busy day, because tomorrow I go on an adventure to New York. Among the festivities are the Coney Island Mermaid Parade and a free concert event by JG Thirwell. Wowzers.

Since I am not sure I'll have time to update tomorrow before leaving, we're featuring links from others today, Thanks, everyone!

From Julie: Christopher Lee is honored with an award...for his metal opera.

From Zazoo: "Interesting article that answers two important questions: 1) What is digital graffiti? 2) What is former MTV VJ Alan Hunter doing these days?" (If you're in Florida this weekend, check it out!)

From Cassandra: a two-faced kitten. Eeek.

From Josie: The Ross Sisters sing about potato salad and bend their bodies in completely freaky ways.

Have a spiffy rest of week and weekend, everyone! Updates are possible, but more likely via Twitter or Facebook (info on all that sort of stuff is on the contact page). Back on Monday!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Apparently yesterday was International Steampunk Day, which shows you just how current I am. Well, happy belated day to all the neo-Victorians!

Disney is more with it than I am -- their Mechanical Kingdom is quite steampunky. Scott Westerfeld echoes my thoughts. After all, the Haunted Mansion + EPCOT + 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea equals something which had a profound effect on me as a kid, and is often called steampunk these days...

Also an influence: all the space talk and art during my childhood. This lunar explorer looks like it was designed in 1880!

The International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers,and Teachers of Handwriting (IAMPETH) seeks to keep history alive. They offer lessons as well as their services.

Michael Demeng's assemblage work is fascinating and beautiful, and may appeal to those of a steampunk bent.

And finally, news that Philadelphia now has a monthly night of steampunk finery at Dorian's Parlor. The website is as lovely as you'd expect!

Monday, June 14, 2010

I think I am in the minority here, but I love the vuvuzelas at the World Cup and am glad they aren't banned.  I think Justin Bieber is much more annoying, so I am happy to find that I could take 23 of him in a fight.

The Telegraph has a wonderfully long and detailed interview with Joanna Lumley, who is nothing at all like her character on Absolutely Fabulous.

The Dictionary of Regional English is almost finished! Are we ready to learn about things like "sky blue" (aka hopscotch) and "devil strip"?

And lastly, if you think the cupcake craze is too feminine for your tastes, you may appreciate the Butch Bakery.  Arty, manly cupcakes!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Thanks to all who send in links! One day I'll post the backlog of random stuff I found on the web which doesn't fit any other category, too. Maybe a rare weekend post or something is in the near future...

From Julie: an amazing collection of 75 silent films! They're on the way back to the US for preservation.

From Cassandra: Feminist Hulk gets an interview!  Also from Cassandra: the uneasy relationship between Big Pharma and the DSM, as well as more reports in our continuing series about animals vs. humans. This time it's foxes attacking infants and dogs being dyed to look like tigers and pandas (the dogs have not rebelled yet, but you know it's only a matter of time).

From Josie, a related link: the secret bloodlust of the common squirrel. Hey, it's not their fault human fingers look a lot like peanuts.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

First we bring you doom and gloom, then some humor.

Doom! The NYC library system is teetering on the edge. Join the 24-hour read-in this weekend at the Brooklyn Public Library and show your support.

Gloom! Libraries, they're going under all over.

Super gloom! What if BP spilled oil all over your hometown? See the extent of the damage superimposed over a map.

Moving toward the light: psychology students take a crack at fictional characters. I wonder if vampires get Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Bill Lucey runs down some famous blunders in history, inspired by the latest baseball controversy.

And finally, speaking of blunders, some choice bits of AP American history exam essays are collected and posted each year. I can't recommend these highly enough, especially for history geeks. (If you are a history geek and can't access the full lists, send me an email and I may be able to help.)

Tomorrow: links from others. That means tomorrow is Friday!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Festivals and spookiness, as it is Wednesday and that's what we do here on Wednesdays.

First, the festivities. We're concentrating on North America this week; Toronto celebrates Woofstock (with a rather amazing website), the Rose Festival happens in Portland, Hawaii gets ready for a weekend full of Kamehameha Festival madness, and the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival of Boston sets sail. In local events, the 17-day (!) Cincinnati Fringe Festival wraps up this weekend, but not before the Drag Races take place. (That last link is a Facebook event page; if you can't see it, I will briefly explain. Drag queens, high heels, downtown, running.)

Slightly spooky: Robert Bigelow talks about space -- and UFOs -- in the New York Times.

Super spooky: make your own demon baby! Yikes!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Fragments of information and sentences today, mostly having to do with steampunk...

Details are sketchy, but it looks as if La Machine is at it again this summer, this time with a floating steampunk greenhouse!

A pirate ship is going to make its way to Burning Man, and you can follow the construction progress (and contribute by purchasing some Tripod Sentinels, too, if you like).

Sigrid Ellis has some good food for thought on the "politics of steampunk" after attending a panel at WisCon. 

The Age of Steam is a group steampunk weblog, which is a great idea!

A dream home would have these doors from Nethercraft, a reproduction of this Bugatti desk, and some secret passageways that opened using these sorts of mechanical irises. Ooooh. Ahhhh.

AQUA-Naval Warfare is a new game involving submarines and oceans and gadgetry. Looks complicated but fun!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Happy Monday, everyone. On to the arty links...

Design/architecture: Plans for Sukkah City in New York are afoot; it looks fascinating.

Music: Laurie Anderson is composing music for dogs!

Writing: What have authors never been asked in an interview, and what would they answer? Now you know.

Art: A new artist colony is in operation this summer on Governors Island.

Theatre: Remember Victor/Victoria? It's part of a grand tradition on the stage.

Film: Need a summer blockbuster villain? Here's a handy flowchart for casting purposes.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Happy Friday, everyone! On to the links.

From Julie: Meet the Hispaniolan solenodon! It looks a bit as if it was cobbled together from pieces of other rodents.

From my mom: the story of a man who memorized the whole of Paradise Lost, just for kicks.

From Cassandra: Feminist Hulk! YAY! Also from Cassandra: the diversity of language, the history of mermaids and sirens, and the legal implications of owning a robot. (Since they are now working on robots which can attend meetings for you, the legal issues are bound to multiply.)

From around the web: "A Partial Map of your TARDIS." Incredible! I hope there are more in the series.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone. See you Monday.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Sometimes, library matters hit the mainstream. Wikipedia has a FAQ for librarians! The LOLcats go to the library!  Boing Boing (and the rest of the internet) shows the Librarians Do Gaga video!

Nostalgia alert: Sesame Street now has an ebooks website. There is no Monster At The End of This Book yet, unfortunately.

More nostalgia, in a slightly spooky way: Scouting NY visits the abandoned Grumman airplane factory.

Tomorrow: lots of links from others!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Festival season is well and truly under way now. Montana is celebrating dinosaurs, Wisconsin is celebrating cheese (no big surprise there), Oregon is celebrating hot air balloons, and London is celebrating the bizarre. No boredom is allowed this weekend!

Speaking of London, the British Library has an exhibit on amazing maps throughout history, and a Daily Mail article lists one opinion of the top ten in the collection. The Soviet propaganda map is not to be missed.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

It's the Tuesday that feels like a Monday, and we are scrambling to get back into the rhythm here at SpookyLibrarians HQ. Last weekend brought approximately a zillion conventions, many of which had steampunk aspects. Some photos from MARCON are up, and some from the World Steam Expo as well -- the Steampunk Empire should have many more as the week goes on!

While Abney Park played at the World Steam Expo, the BBC Technology Index gang took on the challenge of crafting an apparatus to play a wax cylinder record made by another band, The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing. Perhaps this could be the beginning of a trend?

And lastly, here is some slightly obscure steampunky humor, to tide you over while we get organized.