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.