Monday, August 31, 2015

We lost a lot of people over the weekend. Director Wes Craven is remembered, as is author/neurologist Oliver Sacks.

An architect decided to make tiny paper structures every day for a year. It ended up being an inspiring and amazing cumulative project, and you can see all of the creations here.

Two hundred years ago, a volcano erupted in Indonesia and created “the year without a summer” in Europe and North America. Scientists are finally putting all the pieces together.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Happy Friday! Many thanks to everyone who sent in links for today’s compilation.

Cassandra sent this article on Pitchfork’s “best songs of the ‘80s” mess with the subject line “I’m sure you have an opinion,” and yes, I sure do, but it’s not really printable. I’ll be over here listening to the “Burning the Existence” goth mix from Secret Thirteen, which I just discovered this week and where has it been all my life, anyway?

Zazoo sent in definitive proof that Park Slope has become a hipster haven/hellmouth, depending on your view of hipsters, with this new clothing line for children. For once, possibly the only time, I encourage you to read the comments.

Bunny sent an article on the benefits of coloring books with the message “see, you were ahead of your time!”

Longtime contributor Julie is back from sick bay, hooray! She sent in information on Mummy Brown paint (made from actual mummies – Wednesday Addams would be proud); the addition of “manspreading” to the Oxford dictionary; and a detailed analysis of Poohsticks. I don’t understand why Poohsticks is not a bigger deal here in the states. Do kids play it, and I’m just out of touch? Let me know!

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

Thursday, August 27, 2015

They’re queuing up for the last Terry Pratchett book. Sad.

Iraqis are racing to digitize their national library before items are destroyed.

Meanwhile, the Vatican is also digitizing their materials. They’re probably leaving out the especially spooky stuff, though.

Here in the United States, NARA is advising archivists how to handle electronic messages. (I predict that, in the future, archivists will look back at this time as a wasteland of lost materials.)

The New York Public Library has a list of children’s books which take place in a library. Have you read any?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Happy National Dog Day!

On this date in 1883, Krakatoa began erupting.

The Rosetta Disc is in space, aiming to confuse extraterrestials with our myriad of languages.

Halloween is edging closer, and LEGO is prepared with new monster minifigures. Who doesn’t want a tiny Banshee?

If werewolves are more your thing, good news – a three-day conference on lycanthropes and their world begins September 3, and it looks amazing.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Did you know there’s an Evil Archivist out there? Darkivists unite!

The U.S. National Archives is now on Instagram, and has some great images.

Behold the UK Bartitsu Alliance. No politics, just a good old-fashioned gentleman’s (and gentlewoman’s) fight club.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Happy Monday! Here be the links to arty things.

Music: The founder of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus is retiring after forty-six years.

History: You can visit the Harlem Renaissance virtually.

History + art: There’s a website devoted to Route 66 postcards.

Literature + art + much more: Islam SciFi is a fantastic community, and they could use some financial help. Go and see!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Happy Friday! You'd think today would be a nice calm end-of-summer day, but no, it's kind of hectic. So I encourage everyone to go outside and enjoy the day, and have a spiffy weekend, and we'll catch up on Monday. See you then!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

H.P. Lovecraft would be 125 years old today. While he had a lot of personal issues, to put it mildly, the worlds he created live on and on, which is a worthy achievement. Today, people gather in Providence for the three-day NecronomiCon (get it?), and there’s a whole lot going on, from historical walks to lectures to gaming.

In unrelated but still spooky happenings, the Smithsonian examines why creepy dolls are so, well, creepy. The article has lots of links to follow. Have fun going down the rabbit hole!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

RIP, Yvonne Craig. Batgirl is forever.

Yesterday, Ryan North got stuck in a hole (well, a skate bowl) and asked Twitter for help. Today, it’s international news!

If you like the idea of escaping from something (a skate bowl, a room, a planet), good news -- the Escape Room Directory is worldwide. I think it just encompasses rooms, though.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

You know what LED lights are good for? Adult-sized Lite Brite fixtures!

LED lights are also perfect for crafting magical weapons. Or, at least, weapons that look magical.

Speaking of magical, J.W. Kinsey creates steampunky tools, art, and even walls.

Hand-colored photographs of samurai warriors and their families are magical, too, bringing history alive.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Happy Monday!

History: The remains of an ancient female warrior have been found in Kazakhstan.

Art: What are the best illustrations for the Grimm fairy tales? Here are some for your consideration.

Literature: All hail the Weird Fiction!

Art + Literature = highly personal literary tattoos.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Happy Friday!

Via Cassandra: I did not know that HexBugs were also cat toys. The more you know!

Via John Green: DNA solves a Presidential genealogical mystery! Warren Harding’s “love child” is proven to be his, genetically.

Serious question: Do you remember these Bears as Berenstein or Berenstain? There’s a whole theory built up around what you remember.

And finally: It is a (possibly little-known?) fact that I love Motown, so I leave you for the weekend with this completely awesome performance by the third, fourth, and fifth-graders of Baldwin Hills Elementary in Los Angeles. (If you like this, there’s a whole bunch more videos, including a jaw-dropping rendition of Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation.”) Have a spiffy weekend, everyone. See you next week.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Happy Left-Handers Day! If you’re not left-handed, you can try your hand (haha) at everyday tasks using your nondominant hand and see what it’s like for us. (I was delighted to find “cutting bread” on the list. Finally, an explanation for my total failure to slice bread straight!)

 In other news:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Oh, right, Folderol! This was ready to go up earlier today, and then life got in the way and I forgot. Here it be!

The competition in this Dark Crystal creature fabrication contest was fierce. And amazing.

Strange Maps, always a favorite of mine, looks at the mapping of city fires throughout history.

If we only knew Welsh, we would have applied for this job on a remote, haunted island. I mean, look at it!

Since I can’t go off to a remote Welsh island, I instead took a look at Avoid Humans, which tells you where the deserted places are near you. I am unsure about their accuracy, because the first place they listed for me was a brewery. (Then again, it was 10 a.m. when I looked at this, so they could have been right…)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Hi! We’re working on something behind the scenes – stay tuned for it, probably later this week.

In the meantime, please enjoy the bizarre sounds of Sam Conran’s Kabbalistic Synthesizer! Here are some sounds from it, and here is some more detail, thanks to the good people at We Make Money Not Art.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Here’s a great discovery: an odd old photo turns out to be the first image of the Smithsonian castle.

I don’t think I had heard of Joe Gould until I read about him in the New Yorker. It’s a long story about a bizarre man who knew many of the premier writers in New York in the early 20th century. I also hadn’t heard of Augusta Savage until now, and wow, she is amazing and I'm off to learn more about her.

A defense of handwriting points to an aspect I still love: the connection between mind and body. Writing by hand is a very different experience (to me) than typing.

And, lastly: Wobblebots! You can make them yourself!

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Hi there. The Spooky Librarians will be exploring (a tiny part of) the 127 Yard Sale during part of tomorrow, so Folderol will take Friday off. Have a spiffy weekend in advance, everyone!

From Zazoo: the Associated Press is uploading a veritable treasure trove of historical footage to its YouTube channel.

From Bill Lucey: Possibly, historic baseball saloons are among the footage mentioned above!

From Twitter: Brace yourselves, parents: Tiger Beat is back! (I looked at the September cover and know exactly three out of the dozens of people pictured there. Wow.)

From a library cohort: Japan has a new “Book and Bed Hotel,” which is heavy on the books but light on the privacy. Bring headphones, maybe?

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Remember when we used to go around the world on Wednesdays and see what was going on? Let’s do that again!

In the Amazon, the idea of pristine rainforest has been challenged by the discovery of ancient cities in the jungle. Nature has a way of erasing humankind, albeit very slowly.

In India, they’ve run into an age-old problem: setting feeders out for birds means that you’re also feeding (or fighting) squirrels. (Thanks to Ratatosk4, who keeps up on all squirrel-related news.)

Meanwhile, in New York City, it’s been hot (not as hot as it’s been in Iran, which is terrifying), so WNYC has helpfully compiled a map of the hottest subway stations in the city. Stay away from the 4/5/6 at the Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall station! (I was at that station not long ago, actually, and can verify it's pretty stifling.)

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Today, let’s talk about the future.

First off: Women, the future needs you! 

Next up: An open letter (with many distinguished signatories) discusses concerns about AI weaponry. Jamais Cisco goes into more detail. 

What’s your algorithmic citizenship? Citizen-Ex is a browser extension that shows you where you browse and what that means.

Described as a cross between IMDB and Wikipedia, the brand new MakerBase tells you who made the technology you use.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Happy Monday!

Have you heard of Harry Partch? He rebelled against traditional Western music and not only made his own music, but also his own instruments. Efforts are underway to recreate one of his works, which means recreating the instruments, too.

Long, long ago, when I lived in France for a few months, I would see a short puppet show (like Spitting Image) in between news broadcasts in the evening. If I ever knew the name, I forgot it, but it turns out that “Les Guignols de l’Info” is still alive and well and on French television, and even the politicians support the show.

Robert Louis Stevenson was a man of contradictions, who managed to lead an extraordinary life despite some serious obstacles.