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 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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.)
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.
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!
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.)
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!
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.)
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.
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!
(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.)