Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Here's a fun happy thing. I've known the Dark Side of the Net since ye olde days when I was reading alt.gothic by candlelight on a dial-up modem, so I am awfully thrilled to be cited as one of 13 seriously cool steampunk sites in a recent entry there! Thanks, Carrie!

I know many people who are or soon will be on the way to DragonCon; if you're bringing some steampunky accoutrements, try to make it for (what they hope to be) a world-record-setting photograph shoot of steampunks there.

How can you resist performers who go by the moniker of Absinthe Minded Professors? What if I added that there's a violin and dark storytelling involved?

Via the Airship Ambassador's interview with Ay-leen the Peacemaker, I discovered the Edwardian Promenade and immediately added it to my RSS feed. Many thanks to all involved in the discovery process!

And lastly...I've been featuring many links related to treasure hunts lately. Planet Slade has a wonderful recounting of the treasure hunt mania that took over much of England in the early 1900s.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I didn't plan it this way, but all today's links are just a little bit...weird.

For example: The first Klingon opera (on Earth) is set to debut.

A huge gallery of "alternate universe posters" reimagines* film and stage productions. I really like the idea of David Bowie as the Joker.

The galley of the Metronomicon, on the other hand, reimagines subway travel as something rather spooky.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum begins an online gaming experience in a few weeks. Even if you're not in the DC area, you can participate in Pheon. I'm intrigued.

And lastly, Better Book Titles are just what they say they are. (Language gets a little strong in several of them, but hey, sometimes books need to be described in strong language.)

* Blogger tells me that "reimagine" is not a word, but Merriam-Webster says it is. So there.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Happy Friday! Today we feature five links sent in by five people. Thanks, everyone!

From Brendan: Science and technology librarian weblogs!

From Nicole: Tea Party Jesus. It's just as scary as it sounds.

From Cassandra: The "Sending Messages" podcast. Really interesting stuff.

From Holly: The original Kermit the Frog goes to the Smithsonian!

And finally, from Bunny, who wants to know where this was during his college days: The Gamerator.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Today is another frenetic one, so I am raiding my stash of links saved up for just this sort of day.

First off, however, Cornell has an exhibit on Philip K. Dick, Blade Runner, and tales of electric sheep.

The always-swell Got Medieval talks about early copyright protection, aka cursing book thieves.

Want to know about legal research? Sure you do! Check out a new free website.

Definr is "the incredibly fast dictionary." I think I swiped this from Dawnowar a while back.

And this last one is swiped, I think, from Jessamyn of librarian.net: an Etsy spotlight on library-themed crafty things.

Tomorrow: (more) links from others!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Oy, it's a busy day, and so the links are brief but entertaining.

The 14th Annual Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals take place this weekend in San Diego! Cheer on your favorite dachshund!

The Grimm Brothers Brewhouse is open in Loveland, Colorado, and features brews based on fairy tales. It's brand new, so go support it if you're anywhere near there.

The (Armchair) Treasure Club focuses on hidden stashes like Clock Without a Face or Masquerade. It looks like it's mostly UK-based, but that doesn't mean you can't participate!

And finally, swiped once again from Warren Ellis: The Ghostlight Project. Ooooh. Ahhh.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hammacher Schlemmer, although always on the side of the overpriced, gets the terminology right with their "Victorian Futurist's Monorail" set. Great fun for both steampunks and those who dislike the steampunk label!

In a post which obviously attracts steampunky librarians, P.C. Sweeney ruminates on how steampunk can save librarianship. Huzzah!

Steampunk Magazine has a new issue...I think? Issue 7 is out, at any rate, and looks lovely.

Also, there's a Tumblr devoted to turn-of-the-20th-century images.

Also, China MiƩville has a weblog! I did not know this. (There are some steampunky bits and some radical bits and some general bits. Good stuff.)

Would you expect to find a museum devoted to Edison and gramophones in South Korea? No? Well, prepare to encounter the unexpected.

And lastly, a mysterious explorer by the name of Bertram Fiddle has appeared on the web and seems to be having all sorts of adventures.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday means sentence fragments and links to arty things!

Paper Dragon Books is a weblog (as well as an actual place in NYC) devoted to amazing book covers and bindings. Drool.

The hunt for the numbers on the Clock Without a Face continues! Looks like there are three left to find out there.

The artist known as Vinchen is making statements out in the world. Take a look.

NPR listeners compiled a list of the top 100 suspense thrillers. Many (most?) of them seem to have film counterparts.

Parents have weird crafty arty things in their house. That's the premise here, anyway.

Friday, August 20, 2010

We have made it to another Friday, hooray. Thanks to Julie and Cassandra for today's links!

From Cassandra: the value of imagination. Also, a look behind the curtain of writing obituaries.

From Julie: college classes on Harry Potter! (My dad would be an excellent professor for this sort of thing.) Also, more information on the death of woolly mammoths (not the fault of humans, for once) and a look at the future of the universe.

Finally, something just for fun that I ran across earlier in the week: The Baseball Project, devoted to songs about baseball history by musicians like Steve Wynn and Peter Buck. Excellent stuff!

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone. See you Monday!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

While I haven't personally gotten into the "Day in the Life of a Librarian" movement, today's links are geared toward what it's like for a typical day in the trenches.

On one hand, you may have to put yourself in the shoes of a patron in order to understand what they need most.

On the other hand, like Tim, you might get a box of hate in the mail as part of the job.

Or, on a third hand, if you're a copy editor, you might end up in strange semantic arguments relating to Patrick Stewart's hand positioning.

The good people of Unshelved are having the last ever Pimp My Bookcart contest (well, the last one overseen by them), so go and enter and have a look around!

Tweets Of Old is a great idea for those of us into history and journalism - random snippets from old papers. I sent the one about saucy squirrels to lots of people; all of them responded with a bemused silence. Ha.

I'm catching up on my Awl reading. Here's a post about bookmobiles as "rural filesharing networks." It's true!

Tomorrow: links from others, whee!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

This Wednesday brings another assortment of escapism-related links, most of which landed in the UK area for some reason. Great Britain must be the place to go in August.

In Manchester, the First Backwards Running Championship takes place this weekend! Fun facts are included on the website. I hope they provide bandages and ice, too.

In London, meanwhile, they're mad for ping-pong. There are a hundred tables around the city, and this is the final week for you to start a pickup game with random strangers!

In Wales, however, they're on the hunt for witches. Seriously. Um, wow?

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC has an exhibit on the way the ocean was seen back in seafaring days of yore; possibly a good excursion on a really hot, dry day. (Even if you're not in the DC area, there's lots of stuff to look at via the online exhibit.)

And finally, in Berlin this weekend, they're sticking it to the man. Woo! (Link possibly not quite safe for work, depending on the workplace and their views on sticking it to the man.)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

As you can see by the weekend post, we had our giveaway for Johannes Cabal The Detective! Congrats to The Faustian Man, -F- and K. Kidder on winning copies (and psst, K. Kidder, send me your mailing address -- I've heard from the other two already). Many thanks to everyone who participated and spread the word, and we will hopefully have another giveaway for you next month!

DragonCon is only two weeks away. I won't be there, but I am envious of all who will be, and of the alternate history/steampunky track the organizers have planned. Take lots of photos, everyone!

The BBC is running (or has run? It's hard to tell) a series on Victorian pharmacies. Looks intriguing. Over here on this side of the pond, the always-manic Adult Swim people have crafted a frenetic "Victorian BMX" online game for those of you who love steampunk and, um, dirt biking. I'm sure some of you are out there.

Sometimes I find links and save them up for posts, usually with annotations so I can remember why I saved them. This post by the Steampunk Scholar has the description "teaching steampunk lit - fantastic." That sums it up, I think.

Also fantastic is this entry by the Bartitsu Society on using hatpins as self-defense weapons. Ladies, take note!

And finally, for the steampunk-minded in the Chicago area, there's a website just for you.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Choi & Shine Architects have come up with one of the best ideas ever, I think.

For the rest of Monday's links, we look at the past, present and future.

Past: The International Dunhuang Project seeks to centralize the amazing materials of the Silk Road - manuscripts, drawings, paintings, etc - in one digital location. It's amazing.

Present: Here's a list of the fifty best illustration blogs currently online! Go and explore!

Also,  vandals are cow-tipping in Vermont. The cows are fiberglass, but, you know, still.

Future: Thanks to Satori, who sent in this story about the winner of the "next big artist" competition. Will this really be the next big thing?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Happy Friday the 13th! Cassandra starts off this week's installment of Links from Others in spooky style, with a creepy story about rabid bats in Peru. However, on a brighter note, "Monster High" dolls may be the latest trend.

Julie sends us right back to creepyville with a story of a Massachusetts man who had a plant sprout in HIS LUNG. Aieeeeee.

Bunny reports that the world is collapsing around us. Well, the US, anyway.

Cassandra also sent in a story about how the web has changed people's concepts of plagiarism.

Tim says the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle has finally been solved. Sure, that's what they WANT you to think.

NYC correspondent Zazoo sends in news of a Pop-Tarts cafe in Times Square.

And finally, Josie plays us off with Gary Numan performing "Cars" with....cars.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! Check back for a special video update (provided the stars align correctly) in which the winners of the book giveaway contest are announced.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I had heard about the book avalanche at Indiana State University, but didn't have a good link to the story until Julie sent me one. Many thanks, Julie! (I looked for a link to the scene from "The Mummy" where this happens, but didn't find it.)

After the cleanup, maybe the library staff can play croquet? (Love the title for the tournament. It's The Masters of Library Science. Hee!)

Steve Martin is honored by the New York Public Library! So is Ethan Hawke. That's a strange combination.

Genealogists know the aggravation of trying to do research in states where county boundaries are always changing. The Newberry Library has the answer: an Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. I just looked up my own county and apparently it once stretched all the way to what is now eastern Michigan!

Tomorrow: links from others! Also the last chance to enter the contest for a copy of Johannes Cabal The Detective. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Okay, it's August, it's hot, everyone hates their jobs, and escapism is today's key concept.

Lonely Planet has a list of wacky museums to visit; the comments include more interesting suggestions. For those brave enough to go outsidfe, there are watermelon festivals in Arkansas and midnight races in Stockholm, while the UK offers up international flying contests and the UK Mobile Phone Throwing Championships. Whee!  For those looking for something more transcendent, Eulogy Magazine has debuted, and features the stuff of life and death to ponder.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

If it's Tuesday, it must be steampunk day...

First I showed you the book cover, then I showed you a map of where the book's action takes place, and now I am providing an excerpt from the book itself! The book is Johannes Cabal The Detective by Jonathan L. Howard, and we have multiple copies to give away. The deadline for entering the contest is this Friday at 5 pm (Eastern Standard/Daylight/whatever Time), and you can enter by posting a comment either on the Steampunk Librarian or on the Steampunk Empire, depending on your views on libraries and empires.

(If all goes well, the drawing will be filmed Friday evening, much like I threatened hinted at the last time we had a giveaway, and perhaps your name will be among those announced by a disgruntled steampunk puppet. How can you resist?)

Read the excerpt here. Many thanks to Max at Doubleday! (Copyright © 2010 by Jonathan L. Howard. Reprinted with permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.)

In other steampunky news...if you liked the shadow art of The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello, you may also like the short and lively Flash game called Little Wheel, in which a robot must restart its city.

Continuing yesterday's ideas on alternate historical fiction, Richard Harland writes about how steampunk fits into the mix. Meanwhile, Charlie Jane Anders points out that steampunk and zombies go together like peanut butter and chocolate, especially when you add time travel as a bonding agent. (Er, or something like that, anyway.)

Imagine a steampunky Inspector Gadget...or rather, here, it's been imagined for you!

As pointed out by Charon (the most dangerous beauty alive), steampunk-themed tattoos are increasing in number and in detail.

Many thanks to Tim for pointing out that Tesla is one of the contenders in the Great Wikipedia Edit Wars.  Of course he is; after all, he mastered the Glorious, Impossible Plan (tm Warren Ellis).

Thanks to everyone for sending in links and contributing to the comments. Good luck to those of you hoping to win a free book on Friday!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Happy Monday. Today, as per usual for a Monday, we bring you information on art and history!

The Smithsonian has its very own Art-O-Mat now, dispensing art for $5.

As Kodachrome fades into history (what does Paul Simon have to say about this, anyway?), Colorama is enjoying a sort of revival.

Also unexpectedly enjoying a revival of sorts: cassette tapes!  And indie bookstores aren't dead yet, either!

Those of you who know your '80s music may remember Julian Cope. His wife Dorian has a site of her own called On This Deity, which discusses people throughout history whom the mainstream has forgotten. It's absolutely fascinating stuff.

We end with two more intriguing ideas. One is how to design the city soundscape of the future; the other is the new publication AltHisFiction, concentrating on alternate historical fiction and searching out submissions.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Happy Friday! Many thanks to everyone who sends in links and keeps the Friday tradition going.

From Zazoo: Puppets, New York City, and a real-life treasure hunt? Sounds awesome!

From Julie: Is milk from a cloned cow safe?

From Bunny: What movies predict for the next 40 years.

From Brian C., also sometimes known as Puma: Behold, Trundle Manor!

From Cassandra: a really fascinating look at the patterns of generations throughout history. (My generation, like the Lost Generation before us, is kind of doomed.)

Also from Cassandra: the strange history of women's baseball and an analysis of the Wikileaks brouhaha.

As seen on Scalzi's Whatever: what happens when big cats (lions, tigers, etc.) are given catnip?

And finally, since I have been badgering people with this all week, I give you a 1995 cover of Oasis's "Wonderwall." (We think Meet Cleaver Theatre should branch out into music videos.) Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Hey, fellow law librarians! Have you seen the new website for the Federal Register? It's thrilling to use something not designed in 1995!

Also for law librarians: the Library of Congress has a new weblog for us, called In Custodia Legis.

In other library news, the Human Library (mentioned several times previously here) has a spiffy website and has gone worldwide.

For public/academic librarians: If you have a copy of Revolutionary Voices in your library, don't get rid of it. (Via Emily at Shelf Check.)

PDFEscape is for users who don't have and/or don't want to deal with Acrobat. (The version of Acrobat I use at work likes to implode around 3 pm every day. I have no idea why. I am considering using PDFEscape in the afternoons as a workaround.)

And finally, something for the spooky and the offbeat! Burlesque Paraphenalia reprints one of the DeMoulin Bros. catalogs, which are fantastic and bizarre and should be (inter)national treasures. The site includes a 24-page excerpt you can download. I think I would love a Ferris Wheel Coaster Goat. (I mean, who wouldn't?)

Tomorrow: links from others!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

This weekend brings the world's Largest Yard Sale, which now stretches from Michigan to Alabama! If you're anywhere near Route 127, I highly recommend finding your way there sometime this weekend. Not only are there treasures among the junk, there's also entertainment and homemade food and all sorts of surreal fun.

Also starting this weekend, Cincinnati begins the "Play Me, I'm Yours" art exhibit, where decorated pianos are strewn about the city and people are encouraged to play them. (They say that the pianos will be protected from the elements; as this is August in a river valley, that should be interesting to watch.)

Meanwhile, Chicago is offering fitness classes geared toward surviving the zombie apocalypse. Perhaps they know something we don't.

Virtual travelers, take note of the amazing Travelers in the Middle East historical photo archive!

Otherworldly travelers, take note (and try not to take offense) at the Periodic Table of Irrational Nonsense, covering all sorts of extrasensory and extraterrestial and extrastrange phenomena.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Today, as part of the ongoing giveaway contest for Johannes Cabal The Detective, I get to share a map of where the action takes place.

Copyright © 2010 by Jonathan L. Howard

Reprinted with permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc., New York

Contest drawing is Friday, August 13! You can enter at the Steampunk Librarian or at the entry at the Steampunk Empire.

In hindsight, Cabal may have benefited from this steampunk RFID globe, which was on view at the Maker Faire in Dearborn over the weekend. (I have to get to a Maker Faire one of these days.) In related fair and convention news, a Wild Wild West con is scheduled for next spring in Tuscon!

J.J. Abrams is reported to be steering a cinematic adaptation of Boilerplate. Sounds like an intriguing combination. Over at the Film Cynics, meanwhile,  top steampunk films are discussed; this is a different list than the kind I normally see, which makes it especially interesting.

And finally, via Metafilter: Behold the Telephone Newspaper of 1901!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Today's post is much abbreviated because I am on my way to see The National play in Columbus tonight. In the meantime, however, I bring you Jack Beltane's entry on "rock on rock" and encourage you to discuss and/or argue amongst yourselves! Back tomorrow!