Friday, July 30, 2010

Happy Friday! And many thanks to those who entered the book giveaway contest, either on Steampunk Empire or Steampunk Librarian. So far our entries have suggested the temporary resurrection of Tesla, da Vinci, Jesus, Maury Chaykin, and zombies. 

From Cassandra, politics division:   Forbes calculates the ten richest American presidents (Andrew Jackson?!?); the "pink sari" gangs of India gain momentum; and a spirited debate takes place over the political leanings of the Jedi.

From Bunny: author Anne Rice gave up vampires for Christianity, and is now giving up Christianity because she says it's a hypocritical establishment. (She makes some good points.) No word yet on whether she'll return to writing about vampires.

From Cassandra, science division: Hydrotherapy works for animals, including cats! Also, scientists are studying a large crater in Egypt thought to be caused by a meteor a few thousand years ago.

From Julie:  the lost (and now found) photos of Ansel Adams.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thanks to Bunny for sending me the latest news about copyright protection (or lack thereof). The part about professors using excerpts is especially interesting, as Inside Higher Ed discusses.

Attention, librarians: the Library of America now has its own weblog with all sorts of interesting posts, including 1928 video footage shot by Zora Neale Huston.  Also, the Zimmerman's research guide (long a trusted resource for legal librarians) now has its own weblog as well!

For word lovers: the early 1960s language of "Mad Men" is a work in and of itself. (I was surprised to find that "being on the same page" wasn't a commonly used term until the 1970s.)

For Margaret Atwood fans (hi Mom!): An interview discusses her views on dystopian futures.

For history buffs: the Leaning Tower of Pisa has finally been fixed in place, more or less, by way of a huge (and fascinating) endeavor.  In more recent history, the Smithsonian's exhibit on the works of female artists of the Hudson River School shows some fantastic art that's been overlooked throughout the years.

And finally, in slightly weird news: the Pope has written a children's book. (Regardless of your thoughts on this news, it's worth clicking the link to see the Pope in a baseball hat. Er?)

Tomorrow: Friday! And links from others.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I am pleased to note that this Lughnasa, we are finally inching closer to time travel capability. Huzzah!

Some random regional and historical bits follow!

This weekend also brings us the Great Texas Mosquito Festival. (Eeek.)

There is news that a wooden henge (akin to Stonehenge) is being unearthed at Fort Ancient, which is right near Spooky Librarians HQ!

Meanwhile, over on the other side of the pond, the British monarchy has joined Flickr.

And, if you can believe it, Ripley's has a collection of vampire hunting kits from around the world.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Look, doesn't this pique your interest? I'm giving away copies (yes, plural!) of Johannes Cabal The Detective over at the Steampunk Librarian and also over at the Steampunk Empire. Two recipients will be determined by chance, and one by creative effort. (Also, my review of the book is there as well.) The drawing will be on Friday the 13th, so you have time to craft an entry!

(Regular Folderol posting resumes tomorrow.)
Later today, there will be details on a book giveaway contest! It's a very good book and you'll like it, I promise.

For now, I give you modern-day Sherlock Holmes (no, really) and...Jane Austen's Fight Club.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Today's art related links separate into two categories: high-minded, beautiful art versus irreverent fun.

First, the culture. The Louvre has an amazing exhibit on Arabian sculpture going on right now; the museum's site itself doesn't have much, sadly, but the NYT article has more details.

What's it like to be a copy editor at The New Yorker? A great interview with Mary Norris shows some of the inner workings.

An order of cloistered nuns near Avignon are going to record an album of chants. (Best comment on the article: "That's so 7th century.")

And now, the goofy and the fun side. You can download and display disaster dioramas! An exhibit in LA asked artists to use a one-line synopsis of a Law & Order episode as inspiration!  And finally, an upcoming biopic of Serge Gainsbourg leads to an article about the man and the image he created.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Happy Friday, everyone. Let's start with the wonderful nerd protest at Comic-Con this week. I like to believe that love and humor always win out over hate.

From Cassandra: Who do you write like? I put in some various writing of mine and the consensus was that I write like Cory Doctorow. Ha! Where's my cape? I already have the goggles.

From my mom: Mountain Man, a band of three women. Yes, you read that right. They're good!

From Julie: A second henge at Stonehenge! Those crazy druids! Also from Julie: rediscovered Kafka papers and the One-on-One Theatre.

From Danny: "Just got this from another librarian, the URL [for Bookshelf Porn] doesn't look it but it's completely SFW - unless spending too much time on a website is bad for work..."

From Cassandra, part 2: the value of scavengers.

And lastly, from Zazoo, a video of a song we thought was very hardcore and super-cool back in the late '80s. Now that we see this performance, we realize we were completely wrong. (Still like the song, though!)

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone, and try to stay out of the heat. See you on Monday.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

How is the summer reading going? New York City's libraries have a program with recommendations for several age groups. It's been too hot here to do much except read; look for some reviews and fun announcements (and possibly even some giveaway contests?) in the near future!

If you're done with all the popular reading and looking for something more obscure, I direct you to Neglected Books and, in particular, their list of "good books almost no one has read."

Most people couldn't read the OSS Sabotage Manual of 1943 because it wasn't exactly out in mass paperback. But thanks to the internet, we can all now see it in PDF!

We also couldn't see what art was being sold off during the Third Reich era in Germany, but the Getty Research Center has just received a grant to start digitizing old auction catalogs. This could turn out to be very informative.

And while we're talking about secretive stuff, have you been reading the Washington Post's series about the U.S. intelligence industry? It's fascinating. And hey, there's even a shoutout to the researchers behind the project.

Tomorrow: Friday! And that means links from others!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Happy Wednesday, everyone. We are deep into festival season here, where everyone is running around celebrating everything. Some examples follow!

In Arizona, they're celebrating cowboys!

In Italy, they're celebrating unicorns!

In Glastonbury, they're discussing crop circles and other mysterious occurrences. ("Celebrating" seems too frivolous a word.)

In Key West, they're celebrating Hemingway!

And in Scotland, they're celebrating the Wicker Man. Wait, that sounds ominous. Well, anyway...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

There is a segment of the steampunk community which gets very concerned about definitions and descriptions and semantics. (You could probably apply that statement to nearly every interest group.) I saw "decopunk" mentioned somewhere and found that it has its own beginning of a Wikipedia entry, but then spun off from there into lovely crazy stuff like Raygun Gothic and Streamline Moderne. I considered rebranding myself as a DecoGothicModerneNanoPunk Librarian, but decided that would take too long to say and type.

At any rate, the whole idea started with the genius of Victorian Science Fiction, and fortunately some have kept true to the origins. The latest example is the Aethergraph, now available for perusal!

In the present evolution of whateverpunk, we have the winners of the DVICE "steampunk cylon" contest, and an announcement from Weta of new customized rayguns to be seen at Comic-Con.

Google tells me I have not mentioned Archive Designs before, but that seems impossible. If it's a repeat link, though, it's definitely worth it. Imagine a place with this sort of design, plus some Kilhouettes on the wall, and zing! Perfect, whatever else you call it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Storychord combines a song, a photograph, and a story, and then sees what happens. (It'd be interesting to compile a collection of reactions by readers.)

Did you know that J. Jonah Jameson is on Twitter? He is, and he is posting in all caps, and he is ANGRY. But also hilarious.

I doubt JJ would be a fan of slow reading. (Too slow!) But others think the interwebs have fried our brains and we need to go back to reading slowly and carefully and yada yada yada.

Jousting: the next extreme sport? Got Medieval (always a fun read) explains why it really shouldn't be.

The Smithsonian is hosting an exhibit of Norman Rockwell paintings, many of which are owned by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. The exhibit's website explores this slightly strange association. (Did you know Rockwell had thoughts of becoming a film director? I didn't.)

Meanwhile, way over on the other end of the art spectrum, The Quietus interviews Alan Moore, who is endlessly fascinating to me.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Happy Friday, everyone! On to the links from others!

As seen on Brendan's site: Asia Society's Rivers of Ice compares the glaciers of the Himalayas today to those of Sir Edmund Hillary's day, and the difference is startling. The glaciers are melting, whether or not anyone wants to admit it.

From Josie: Karen Elson performs "The Ghost Who Walks" and it's quite lovely.

From Cassandra, part 1: An essay on modernity, love, irony, disenchantment, and more! Also, another in-depth article on the cartels of Mexico.

From Holly: A lizard is having a really rotten week, thanks to an elephant. (Entertaining for the humans, though! And probably the elephant, too.)

From Cassandra, part 2: The most iconic swimsuits (of recent times)! The best five mind-trippy movies (also of recent times)!  And, finally, another study of the Mona Lisa concentrates on da Vinci's artistic technique.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone. See you Monday!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The 2010 Bulwer-Lytton awards came out while I was away, I think. Better late than never!

The results of the 2010 Law Librarian Survey are now out as well. We are doing more with less, as per usual, really. Sooner or later, our "less" is going to become "next to nothing," as it has for public libraries, which is worrying a lot of people (for good reason).

Looking on the bright side, however, at least we're not in the post-apocalyptic world of Tomes and Talismans, a public broadcasting show from the 1980s which attempted to educate kids on library use. (Also available for purchase!)

If you know a quirky library, send it in to Library Juice; they're compiling a list. (Incidentally, the Reanimation Library is having a book sale this weekend.)

And finally, something for the historians: King Arthur's round table may have been an amphitheatre seating about a thousand people. Er?

Tomorrow: links from others!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy Bastille Day, everyone! Let us be French and mock others. It's fun! (I say this with love, honest.)

This weekend brings DaVinci Days in Oregon (oh, I am envious) and Snail Racing Championships in the UK (I am...not envious? But curious). Go and celebrate!

I was pressed for time today, so I asked the other half of the Spooky Librarians duo for some help. Without further ado, here are Bunny's recommended links:

Knightmare, possibly the best game show ever! (It was a British show from the late '80s to early '90s - we just discovered it yesterday.) Watch the episodes online - here's the first part of Episode 1.

Six boring New England locations made awesome by H.P. Lovecraft, from Topless Robot.

A nerd's tour of Silicon Valley!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How is it that I never heard of Jára Cimrman until this week? He seems like a classic steampunk protagonist!

Other findings that have fallen through the cracks and only recently been rediscovered include this rather cryptic-sounding steampunk exhibition at the Newcastle-Upon-Tyne's Discovery Museum and the online game Echo Bazaar, which uses Twitter as a registration and then leads you through a sort of "choose your own adventure" experience through the "Fallen London" of 1889. More details are available; I haven't begun my own game yet, but will soon!

The Imperial Anti-Piracy Squadron does just what its name says. Airship pirates, beware. (Not sure what Abney Park thinks of this gang yet.)

We end today's offerings with the Victorian Gadgets of Maurice Collins and a lovely (unrelated) weblog named Trial by Steam. Enjoy!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Apparently Paul the octopus is psychic, and no amount of vuvuzela noise can affect that!

While we're on the subject of animals, it's interesting to find out that squirrel vision includes natural sun glare protection. (I will have to speak to the squirrels in our yard; apparently they're supposed to have very good vision overall. Ours practically need a guide dog to help them find peanuts.)

The British Film Institute celebrates July by dedicating the month to cinematic visions of the future. It looks incredible. The lineup, that is, not necessarily the future depicted.

Meanwhile, the Pet Shop Boys are working on a score for the Royal Ballet. Neil Tennant has come a long way from the days of writing for Smash Hits.

Moscow has a new subway station named after Dostoevsky, and many say it's completely depressing. After seeing some photos, I don't think it's depressing so much as monochromatic. (And, as many people have pointed out, what do you expect from a Dostoevskaya station? Rainbows and flowers?)

And finally, if you have ever wished you had a baseball shirt of your favorite authors, your wish has been granted. Poe, Vonnegut, Thoreau, and even characters like Don Quixote and Hester Prynne have their own jerseys now!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Look, I have a vuvuzuela! Thanks, Bunny! (And Go Oranje.)

Friday, July 09, 2010

Happy Friday, everyone! We have lots of links sent in by readers today. Many thanks to all!

From Julie:  Napoleon's hair is auctioned off for thousands of dollars. Hang on to your hair, kids!

From Josie: John Galliano's new fashion collection is just as strange - and as awesome - as ever.

From Satori: Sylvia Ji has an exhibit going on right now, and if you can't see it in person you can at least see her lovely work online.

From Zazoo: the BP board game from the 1970s is eerily prescient. Creepy.

Related, from Bunny: a warning to cleanup workers in the Gulf right now, with scary statistics about the crew from the Exxon Valdez disaster. (That being said, the article has comments by people saying, "Hey, I was there, and I'm not dead yet," so perhaps more investigation is needed.)

Also from Bunny: "The ten most terrifyingly inspirational '80s songs." Includes a truly scary photo of Steve Perry.

From Cassandra: The Smoking Gun Research Agency is open for paranormal-related business in Connecticut! Also from Cassandra: relationship advice for empaths, custom cremation urns (with a photo that scares me), and fish-design coffins (which do not scare me).

From the Sparkle Queen: an update on the Clock Without a Face project. One number was found in Ohio!

Going back to the disaster in the Gulf Coast, there's an auction going on right now by Web-Comics to help, with all proceeds going to the Colbert Nation Gulf of America Fund. I like Kate Beacon's Aquaman drawing in particular.

And now, the final World Cup related links for 2010! (A photo, however, may go up tonight or tomorrow; Bunny surprised me with something fun that needs to be shared with the viewing audience.) Even NASA says the Jabulani ball used for the tournament has problems. A python that was being used to "influence" the outcomes of games has been seized, but Paul the octopus and Mani the parakeet are still free and predicting winners. However, Paul and Mani have picked different victors for the final game. Ooo, the suspense!

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Let's start with all the depressing library stuff first, so we can end with the more cheerful links.

A Nation Without School Librarians and Losing Libraries are both websites using Google Maps to depict the problems libraries are facing in the United States. (Both sites were found via rosefirerising, who always posts really interesting material.) Good for presentations, editorials, and debates.

A librarian at New Mexico State University is documenting the homicides in Ciudad Juárez, and the statistics are just staggering.

What lies under the New York Harbor? All kinds of things, as it turns out! (Related: Underwater New York is an art project currently going on in Brooklyn; I saw it when I was there and highly recommend it.)

Collecta is a new (to me) site for tracking real-time news in various social networking circles; you can customize the search to include or exclude specific applications. Neat!

And finally, something nice for librarians, since we tend to like lists: The Librarian's Book of Lists is coming out, and there's a top ten list of the more interesting features!

Tomorrow: links from others!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

(Apologies for the wacky blank posts which are appearing occasionally; there's a browser war going on that's causing weirdness. Hopefully it's temporary.)

It is a zillion degrees pretty much everywhere right now, including here. But festivals go on regardless! The Vermonters will have their hot air balloon festival and the bog snorkelling triathlon will go on in Great Britain, as will the annual 3 Foot People Festival. (I thought at first this was for "little people," but it turns out to be for kids 5 years and younger.) In Australia, where it should not be as hot right now (theoretically, anyway), it's time for the Camel Cup! (Fun fact: Australia has a wild camel population. That must be interesting.)

If you'd rather hide in the air conditioning, Fortean Times has some great feature articles, including one on The Southwark Mysteries. I love the idea mentioned at the end of the article.

Stay cool, everyone. (I get to go swimming tonight and am giddy about it.)

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

And we're back! Photos of nature and family have been uploaded, and now it's back to the daily updates. Today: steampunky stuff!

First there were steampunked Star Wars costumes; now there are steampunked Star Wars portraits! Greg Peltz is doing beautiful work. I especially like Chewbacca's monocle.

The people at More Intelligent Life have discovered steampunk!

A new LiveJournal community, budget_steam, has been created to help creators who don't have gobs of filthy lucre lying about. There are pointers and discussions and pictures, plus more!

The Steampunk Tribune mentioned Scott Bradlee some time ago, but I have only just now seen and heard his work. Go and be entertained!

The New York Public Library has a wonderful gallery of ornamentation and pattern designs from the "pre-Victorian" era through the days of Art Deco. It's a fantastic place to go for inspiration.