Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's the end of summer! At least, that's what we've arbitrarily decided for the upcoming long weekend here in America. As a result, there are all sorts of insane happenings going on here. But first...

Happy La Tomatina! It's today. Go throw a tomato at someone!

It's also Eid al-Fitr (some say it began yesterday, some say it begins today).

Burning Man and DragonCon are getting underway on opposite ends of the country here, soon to be joined by the Buffalo Wing Festival (occurring, surprisingly, in Buffalo) and a zillion fireworks festivals, including our own local shebang! Apparently we are now calling it Boomsday. Or something. The history page is pretty fun, detailing all the times things have gone wrong over the years.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Today we have an assortment of neo-Victorian novelties!

Conventions: it is not too early to start planning for (next) October's Okahoma Octipodicon odyssey!

Technology: not really steampunk, but bionic hands and whatnot are most definitely interesting.

Television: io9 examines steampunk on the small screen.

Reading: Have you been reading The Lair of the Clockwork Book? You should be! And you can also read (and see art, and much much more) at the Spectacular Moments of Wonder with Dr. Monocle.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Best of luck to everyone cleaning up in Irene's wake. Some of the flooding is unreal.

Artists and scientists working together? That's like cats and dogs living together!

In other news, senior citizens in Germany are taking up graffiti. Hee.

Frida Kahlo had to wear plaster corsets to support her spine. She didn't have to paint them, but she did, and they're lovely.

And lastly, some words are endangered, like aerodrome. Noooo!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Happy Friday, everyone! All the news reports here are about the impending hurricane. Stay safe, east coasters.

From Cassandra: a fascinating photoessay on the bedrooms (or equivalent) of children around the world. Click on the numbers after "synopsis" to see them all. It is probably no surprise that the one I identified with belongs to a Scottish punk/gothlet.

Also from Cassandra: What's Wikileaks really all about?

From Bunny: macabre humor about the end of the U.S. space program.

From Zazoo, a story about what is (no longer?) on Steve Buscemi's stoop in Brooklyn.

And finally, Muppet Mania, yay! Cassandra sends in the news that Miss Piggy will attend Fashion's Night Out, Zazoo points to the connection between hipsters and Muppets, and we finish off with the best video in a long time. Have a spiffy weekend, everyone, and stay safe! See you next week.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Okay, the earthquake was pretty minor compared to what people in California and Japan experience on a near-daily basis. But tell that to the people who had to reshelve the 13,000 books that fell off the shelves at the University of Maryland library!

The big news in law librarian land is that Bloomberg has made a bid to buy BNA, which is a major player in the world of legal news providers. Librarians, re-start your budgets...

On Firmer Ground is a new weblog geared toward law libraries and how they're handling themselves in a rapidly-changing world. It's good to know you're not alone sometimes!

Here's a new question to ask yourself: am I beer-worthy? This is in a lawyer context, but hey, let's all ask ourselves anyway.

Google+ is adding more share capabilities, which should be interesting. (If anyone wants a Google+ invite, incidentally, let me know -- I have a bunch.)

What happens when digital data becomes obsolete? Fortunately, people are finally tackling the problem.

Tomorrow: links from others!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It's an exciting time on the planet, what with the revolutions and the earthquakes and the hurricanes and all...

Happening this weekend: Football in the River! It might happen in the U.S. if the hurricane hits over the weekend, but in Gloucestershire it's a planned annual event.

In Austria, meanwhile, people are gathering to watch and discuss adventure and mountain climbing films. (Possible trip next year for my rock climbing, jet setting cousin?)

In Canada, they are focusing on apples and corn. Hey, it's the little things in life.

Above all the shenanigans, LEGO figures are traveling in space! Well, at least we're doing something up there.

If you like maps, and you like kaleidoscopes, check out the Rorschmap site. With customizable locations!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Attention, New Yorkers: there is an awesome kitten up for adoption who would fit in perfectly in a neo-Victorian household; imagine the one on the left in this photo with a tiny top hat if it helps. (Kitten adoptions happen often in this neck of the woods; check them out if you're interested!)

Many thanks to Vicente for sending a link to Smog 1888, which is dense (like actual smog!) and fascinating (unlike actual smog!).

Thanks also to Zazoo, who sent a link to this amazing New York City apartment. This is almost as good as the previous apartment he sent; the previous apartment wins because, well, it's also Batgirl's apartment, see.

In other comics news, are you reading Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant? The first 50 pages are available free!

Although I am tempted to try this salt water and electricity method of etching, I think I'm a bit too danger-prone to attempt it. But I encourage other, braver, stronger souls to have at it.

A Steampunk Sesame Street? A Steampunk Sanrio? Yes, all that and more!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Happy arty Monday, everyone!

Did you know that The Tempest may have started life as a musical production? Hm. I'm imagining a song about the brave new world.

The Taj Mahal is in a precarious state, due to pollution and erosion and whatnot.

I had not heard of the Barnes collection of art before. The history of the collection is fascinating, as is the description of the display technique.

Art via Tumblrs: check out 365 Abstracts (self-explanatory) and Windoodles (dry erase markers on windows -- vandalism of the best kind!).

And finally, a piece on digitally storing one's analog keepsakes. I really like one of the comments on the article:  "There’s also a second class of possession that’s just kept around for the memory of it and not the actuality." (Can you tell we're cleaning out our house these days?)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Happy Friday! This post is sponsored by lots of coffee.

From Julie: why not purchase a lovely home in Sweden which comes complete with a free skeleton?

From Holly: the joys of motherhood! (She vouches for its authenticity.)

From Cassandra: the joys (har har) of big pharma.

From Bunny: life lessons from Conan the Barbarian, in honor of the new movie.

Boey has a zombie apocalypse print available for sale; check it out.

And finally, a live look-in at Brooklyn kittens! They're being adopted at a rapid rate, so look fast.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone. See you next week!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I'm starting today off with a pedantic complaint that only fellow journalism majors and/or journalists will appreciate: our local newspaper is now mixing serif and sans serif fonts on the front page. (Not viewable online, but trust me, it's going on in print.) GAH.

Anyway! On to the links...

The New York Times may have its issues, but font selection is not one of them, and neither is their signage. Even the restrooms have archival images!

Also in New York, the Brooklyn Library is running a neat little program on its patrons and where they read books.

Georgetown University has a pronunciation guide to law firms! This is brilliant -- and useful for law librarians!

If Sir Mix-a-Lot is looking for money these days, there's an idea out there for him...

Tomorrow: links from others! Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hooray, the 2011 Bulwer-Lytton Contest winners have been announced!

If I were in England, I'd be at the Rewind Festival this weekend, reliving the best of the '80s. The British Birdwatching Fair happens this weekend, too, and looks lovely, but I'd probably not be there. Just so you know.

If I were closer to San Diego, I'd love to check out the Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals, with dachshund racing fun.

Strange Maps is a great site, and recent posts include thoughts on the St. Michael ley line (with a digression about Woolworths) and a map of the worst vacation spot ever. Good stuff.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

This week, it's all about the gatherings, it seems!

Some photos from GenCon give a slight hint of how much steampunk there was. It was impressive, to say the least.

If you're looking for places to show off your finery and meet others, there's Renovation SF, going on this weekend in Reno and featuring a decidedly steampunk bent. One example is a panel entitled " Ultimate Steampunk – Could the Victorians Have Built a Flying Carriage?" David Malki! will be taking photos and sending them out on Twitter! On the other side of the country, the people behind the ever-fantastic Coilhouse are throwing a fundraising party in New York City this Sunday, and it looks like it's going to be amazing.

Looking into the future, the Time Traveller's Ball is happening next month here in the Midwest (come visit us, we're fun people!), and then in October, back on the west coast, Anaheim is hosting "Steampunk: History Beyond Imagination." You can't complain that nothing is going on in the world of steampunky stuff these days.

Many thanks to Bunny, who sent me the link to these 1920s mugshots. I'd featured a few of them before here, but this post annotates several photos with the stories behind the faces, adding to the experience!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Happy Monday, everyone. Some brief bits to start the week...

New Order aren't speaking to each other these days, which is sad. (Well, Peter Hook's not speaking to the rest of them, to be accurate.)

Dancing, whether to New Order or ballet, is good for you.

The Bell Jar was published in America forty years ago. What do we think of Sylvia now?

Edgar Miller was overshadowed by his colleague Frank Lloyd Wright, but managed to leave his mark in Chicago.

Indian English is an ever-evolving source of fun, as Samosapedia shows!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Happy Friday!

From Cassandra: a calendar of meteor showers. (This weekend is supposed to be great...if you are somewhere it's not raining. We are not pleased, here in the land of the rainy weekend forecast.)

From Bunny: the London Blitz in colo(u)r, and a "name that sound" game featuring arcade video games!

From Aaron: a playlist of Basil Poledouris music, good for dramatic moments (in life or in gameplaying).

From Zazoo: Behold the Long Island Puppet Theatre & Museum! It looks wonderful.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you next week.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Here's your moment of historical trivia! On this date in 1892, Lizzie Borden was arrested on suspicion of hacking her parents to death. More articles available, thanks to the Library of Congress.

Libraries are doing the search thing wrong, but hopefully will get the future right. (This is pretty much how articles on libraries go these days; half encouraging, half disheartening.)

Remember the Biblioburro? Now it's a documentary on PBS!

Kickstarter project of the week: Contribute to this project of photographing libraries across America. There's also a weblog detailing the adventures along the way.

And finally, something to have a good solid geeky argument about, courtesy of NPR: the top 100 sci-fi/fantasy books. I've read 21 1/2  on the list (I gave up halfway through Cryptonomicon).

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A link to absurdist Photoshopping of looters in the UK, because it's better to laugh than cry, right? (I like the one with the Maypole.)

For those planning weekend escapes: there's a tug of war over the Mississippi River (Iowa vs. Illinois); free ice cream in Austin, Texas; Elvis Week at Graceland (beginning today); and the annual Reverse Running UK Championships take place this weekend.

For those looking for spooky stuff beyond the news headlines, have a look at some abandoned atomic reactors. Eeek.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Londoners (and those near London), stay safe. The West Londoner is doing an excellent job of keeping tabs on the situation. (My city went through a minor version of this ten years ago, and it is no fun at all.)

This weekend brings the annual Time Travelers Picnic (or maybe it's more than annual, depending on the traveler...) on Governors Island. You can RSVP on Facebook if you like!

How to Be a Retronaut has a gorgeously detailed post on the mapping of Africa, which should appeal to all the explorers.

This equally gorgeous tool chest of a 19th-century piano maker should appeal to everyone aesthetically, but especially those of us with a steampunky bent.

Joseph Drust makes steam minions! Of all kinds!

And here's some happy news: we're going to have another book giveaway soon as a back-to-school event; look for copies of The Rift Walker and Ghosts of War among the offerings. Stay tuned.

Monday, August 08, 2011

We are back from GenCon! My photos won't do it justice, so I refer you to the Flickr gallery. It was great fun. (Note the little girl dressed as a Dalek!)

As we get caught up, here's a roundup of links from others...

From Bunny: stories of antimatter, slightly creepy "robot babies," a possible Hello Kitty-themed Street Fighter game, and a short video of a cat totally freaking out.

From Cassandra, news of Mexico's increasingly terrifying situation.

From Julie: new discoveries about all kinds of things -- "Peter the Wild Boy," lost Hitchcock footage, and possible "bubble universes." Wow!

From Zazoo: Crop circles are evidently the fault of drugged wallabies. No, really!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The spooky librarians will be gadding about at GenCon! Say hi if you see us. It's not like it's going to be crowded or anything. Hah.

Also going on this weekend: the Great British Beer Festival in London, Twin Peaks Fest in Washington, Twins Days in Ohio (not to be confused with Twin Peaks Fest, although that could get really interesting) and Mustard Day in Wisconsin.

And, on a much more serious note, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony takes place this weekend, too.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

In perhaps the most startling "what is steampunk?" article of all time, Christwire tells me that "steam sex" is going on all around us. I had no idea! (Really, I didn't, and cannot direct you to any such events. And here I thought I was au courant.)

Back in the more normal(?) world of steampunky stuff...If you're in Massachusetts around August 28th, you might want to check out the Tea Revelry in which you can see the ModVic house and much more!

Abney Park, known for their music, now has an "Airship Pirates" role-playing game on the horizon. Good idea!

Forget going a hundred years back; try the concept of clockwork spanning 10,000 years! Check out the website for more information.

Many thanks to Bunny for sending a link to the Library of Congress's set of Photochrom Travel Views, dating from the 1890s-1910s and showing the world of the Victorians in color.

And finally, Historic LOLs imagines a Comic Con steampunk costume that would definitely guarantee some elbow room...

Monday, August 01, 2011

Quick bits this Monday:

Happy 30th birthday, MTV. I shall always remember you as you were before 1995 or so.

Umberto Eco talks about books!

Brooklyn is the new art mecca, especially the Bushwick district.

Ooo, I think I'd have been tempted to major in "spatial humanities" if it had been around in my undergrad days.