Monday, January 31, 2011

It's Monday, and that means it's time for music and art and the like...

Chopin may have had temporal lobe epilepsy. I did not know he hallucinated monsters emerging from a piano!

I think the literal versions of New Yorker cartoon captions make more sense than the "true" captions, myself.

I also think that these real-life overheard conversations in comic stores are sort of terrifying.

The 33.3 art show presents album covers as reimagined by artists and designers. Good stuff!

And finally, I love the Brazilian street art by Speto.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Happy Friday, everyone. I'm following the latest on Egypt, thanks to the BBC real-time feed, so this is a little shorter than usual. Many thanks to everyone who sent in links!

From Julie: Is the Kindle slowly conquering the book? Maybe!

Also from Julie: "The Mystery Of Edwin Drood is to be given a new ending in a major BBC adaptation." Weird, that.

From Nicole: Sleep helps protect memories from corruption. What if you WANT corrupted memories?

Have a spiffy and safe weekend, everyone. See you Monday.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hi there! Today we have happy perky library links, instead of the doom and gloom that's often the case when discussing the future of the profession. I didn't plan it that way, it just seems to be a quirky week.

For instance, a hawk got into the Reading Room at the Library of Congress, which led to all sorts of shenanigans. Two starlings, named Frick and Frack, were called in for assistance!

Meanwhile, the Washington DC area is commended for its new library designs. (Hawks are not usually included.)

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library debuted its digital archives; more material will be added.

Glenna Herald continues her series about Twitter and libraries -- check it out!

The University of Cincinnati has launched an online exhibit about the Cincinnati Stock Exchange, which operated from 1914 to 1995. Lots of photos and articles and information!

I'm fascinated by these photos of Australian criminals from the 1920s. The site links to the New South Wales repository, which includes crime scene photos as well.

And finally, here's a wonderful commercial from the Finnish Library Association! See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Happy Australia Day!

Other festive happenings this week include the Gasparilla Pirate Fest in Florida and the Egyptian Marathon in Luxor. (I don't see anything indicating the latter has been canceled due to the unrest in Egypt, so hopefully everything is copacetic there.)

The most detailed map ever made of North American dialects is online and available for study. It's amazing we understand each other as well as we do, really.

The iPad now has an app that lets you travel through time in London. Who needs a DeLorean or an Omni?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

There's speculation that steampunk increased in popularity due to its parallels between Victorian and modern times. Two books recently written -- one on the craze of "true crime" reporting in Victorian London and one on the perils of 19th century anarchist terrorism activity -- would seem to add some support to that theory.  (I think one could draw parallels between any two eras without much difficulty, really, but this is a fun road to explore.)

A retrospective on 2010, of sorts: awards for best steampunk-themed website/book/film/and more have been announced on Facebook!

Matthew David Surridge has written a wonderful essay on steampunk-themed fiction, exploring works by Tim Powers, Felix Gilman and China MiƩville (among other authors) and sticking up for adventure fiction. Huzzah!

There are going to be many opportunities to debate steampunk culture this year: has a list of steampunk-related conventions for 2011.

And, if you can't get to any of the conventions, you could make your own steampunk-esque compass and go geocaching out in the woods or the city where you live. (You should do that anyway, really. Geocaching is all kinds of fun.)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Is the Poe Toaster truly gone? Very sad, if so.

Next year, in honor of the 2012 Olympic Games, Shakespeare plays will be presented in 38 languages. Golly.

Behold the Levytator, an escalator that can go around corners and curves!

Also behold Looptagger, a DIY method of stencil graffiti. I'm so tempted to try this.

And finally, the Architects of Air have created Mirazozo, a mashup between an inflatable castle and a dancefloor and a kaleidoscope. I hope it travels to the rest of the world!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday, hooray!

From Bunny: Betelgeuse is going to go supernova and our sky may look like Tatooine's for two weeks. This is not a drill! (If/when this happens, it will be amazing.)

In similar fashion, why not make over a planet, with NASA's blessing?

From Julie: Might sudden climate change affect not only animals like dinosaurs, but whole civilizations?

From Tony: Socially Awkward Penguin is...well, socially awkward!

From Jess Nevins's site: Indian pulp/noir fiction. Oooo. Ahhh.

Also from Julie: The "sequel" to Catcher in the Rye will be banned in the U.S.?

From John Scalzi's site: The Smiths Project, which looks and sounds incredible.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Today's moment of surreality: Finger-width analysis is a little-known requirement of library school. Fortunately, it's falling by the wayside!

The Library of Congress has posted a lovely tribute to photographer Milton Rogovin.

Everything old is new again, including books featuring Sherlock Holmes and James Bond. Wow.

Egypt says that New York is not taking proper care of the obelisk in Central Park, and might demand it back. (Much like the sentence about the Library of Congress above, we're personifying everything today. Egypt is a sentient being! So is NYC and the LOC!)
And finally, in news of actual people, the tomb of Caligula may have been discovered.
Tomorrow: links from others!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It's getting into the time of year where people do their best to entertain themselves amidst the winter blahs. There's snow sculpting in Illinois! There's pigeon racing in England! There's whisky drinking in Canada! There's, uh, setting a hillside on fire in Japan! (Yes, really.) And, in the meantime, Cuba is working on its first zombie movie, Juan of the Dead.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hello! We're having some technical difficulties today, so hopefully this transmission will go through in one piece.

Did you know that MAKE Magazine has a channel on YouTube? And that Jake von Slatt has an episode?

I am always behind on Second Life happenings, but they're having a contest in which writers are invited to create a steampunky twist to a Grimm fairytale. Ooooh.

Facebook is becoming quite the gathering place for steampunks. The Steampunk Tribune has compiled a list!

And finally, a look at new books in the coming year. I discovered that the second book in Mark Hodder's Burton & Swinburne series is out in March and pre-ordered it already! Huzzah!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy Friday, everyone! It's a three-day weekend for me, so here are the links from others and we'll see you back here on Tuesday.

From Julie: Antimatter streams from thunderstorms on Earth. Yikes?

I asked the Graveworm about the news concerning Ophiuchus, as I thought we knew this already, and he informs me that a) scientists recalibrated star charts this week, leading to the updated news and b) it's not news, as his site has had this information up for over a decade!

From Nicole: Look out, the prairie dogs are making a run for it...

From Zazoo and Satori: a map showing the recent reports of dead birds, fish and the like. Creepy.

If you're talented at haiku, you could end up as a character in John Scalzi's latest book! Well, at least your name would end up there. The contest ends Sunday, so act fast.

Swiped from Guy: Downtown Cincinnati, as it looked in 1973. It's rather different now.

From Josie: The Big Fat Quiz of 2010 is up! I will be watching this overt the weekend.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone. See you Tuesday.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Happy Thursday. Here are some links to what's making the rounds in librarian weblogs and emails!

Flavorwire gathered up photos of the home libraries of celebrities. I think I like Karl Lagerfeld's the best, but am intrigued by Diane Keaton's. (I think Keaton needs more books, though. And more furniture.)

The annual list of most literate cities in America is out. Cincinnati just missed the top ten this year. (This list always strikes me as odd, but fascinating.)

Is it time for Library Renewal? Get involved!

If you're a European librarian and cyclist, consider Cycling for Libraries, an "unconference" to take place on the roads between Copenhagen and Berlin.

The New York Times is chronicling the Civil War in their Disunion project, which is all sorts of interesting.

And finally, just for fun: why not consider some obscure Christian names, in light of the Pope's recent encouragement to use saint names for children? (I know a Jezebel! And a Dorcas! It's true!)

Tomorrow: links from others!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's a new year for festivals and holidays and weird happenings around the world!

In the UK, home of wacky festivals, they are conducting some sort of celebration this weekend focusing on a bear made of straw. I think. There is mention of a bonfire, and also this tidbit: "Recently the Straw Bear has made friends with a German Straw Bear." Well, okay then!

Meanwhile, Miami is having what looks to be a fantastic Art Deco festival. (No bonfires, however, as far as I can tell.)

The U.S. is observing Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday this Monday with several ways to make it a day of service.

Not an event, but just plain cool: the undercity of New York (and a few other places, too). We are all about urban exploration here at Spooky Librarians.

And finally, just for fun: Le Cyclop! In France! Eeek!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happy 2011, steampunky types! I direct you to this post from the people of MAKE magazine, which in turn points to the incredible Celestial Clock project.

The awesome people of Tor Publishing now have a whole page on Facebook dedicated solely to steampunk, and they post multiple times each day. I'm tempted to shut the Steampunk Librarian down and just send everyone there, because the stuff they're finding is fantastic.

Another wonderful website, the Steampunk Home, points to this re-usage of electrical insulators as lighting. Awfully pricey, but beautiful.

A new issue of the Gatehouse Gazette is out, and it's focused on the Weird West!

And finally, a group of New York City steampunks went on an excursion to the Harry Houdini exhibit at the Jewish Museum. The exhibit is there until March, so you still have time to see it if you weren't along on the adventure!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy 2011, everyone! We are back from the sea and sun (see the photos over on the Flickr badge) and ready to go. Many thanks to everyone who sent in links while I was gone -- today is a special bonus "links from others" day as a result!

If Dr. Seuss had done a book based on Star Wars...(Cassandra)

No pardon for Billy the Kid after all. (Julie)

The Romantic poets and the scientists of the era are compared and contrasted in a great book I'm reading. (Cassandra, who also lent me the book!)

Coney Island's iconic "Shoot the Freak" was accidentally demolished. Oops. (Zazoo)

Musical instruments made of ice? Yes! (Are the venues for the concerts kept at freezing? The article doesn't say!) (Julie)

Searching for Sasquatch in Minnesota. (Cassandra)

The psychology of "trolleyology" and how it works in wartime. (Cassandra)

And finally, a few new websites to check out in this new year:

Everyone knows there's another hellmouth in Cleveland, right? Some of us are investigating!

A librarian makes the switch to culinary arts and invites us along for the ride. I'd recommend this site even if the librarian/culinary artist was not a relation of mine!