Wednesday, September 30, 2015

It’s almost Halloweentime! And, if you go into Halloweentime withdrawal during the rest of the year, now is the time to sign up for the Secret Pumpkin exchange. In the middle of April, as far away from October as you can get, you can send and receive spooky goodness. (Don’t sign up unless you’re serious, though. You don’t want to aggravate Halloween lovers.)

 It’s also time for ghost stories, and there’s a very good, detailed one about Bobby Mackey’s, one of our local haunts.

Rowlf the Dog encourages the mood with a dramatic reading from the Haunted Mansion’s narration.

Sometimes, truth is spookier than the best ghost story. In Mexico, they’ve found a secret maze of tunnels under a city; meanwhile, an ancient Egyptian stele seems to feature a Cthulhu-like illustration.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

There’s water on Mars! Huzzah!

A time capsule from 1965 was just opened and…it…didn’t go too well. (Maybe we should bury some time capsules on Mars. There’s water there and all, but less water.)

In Greece, the Athens Bartitsu Club 1900 is going strong.

In France, Dismaland is going to house refugees. Good plan.

Also in France, the Machines d’Ile in Nantes has fall and winter themed exhibitions. I had no idea!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday! Links! Art!

Music: Start planning now; Lush is going to perform for the first time in 20 years. It’s scheduled for May 2016 in London.

Music 2: A music festival in Romania took blood as payment, in order to increase blood donations. At least, that’s what they SAID.

Architecture: The first house designed by Gaudi, Casa Vicens, is going to become a museum.

Theatre and history: Abandoned railway tunnels in Bristol are being turned into performance spaces.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Well, it’s Friday, and it’s pretty chaotic in Ohio since Boehner announced he was resigning. So let’s move on to some links from others, before diving back into the newstream!

From Satori: History, cats and ships! It’s a perfect lecture!

From Julie: “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is the most iconic song, according to science. I was about to argue, but then I saw the full list and it makes more sense. Lots of “classic” sounding songs there.

Back in the ‘80s, a young writer named Neil Gaiman wrote a book on a young band named Duran Duran. John Scalzi has some thoughts about it!

A professor at Ithaca conducted a study tracking all the role-playing game (RPG) books in public and academic libraries. The more you know.

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

Thursday, September 24, 2015

This week’s installment of “OMG what is happening to libraries” comes to you from the Atlantic. In a related story, however, millennials are reading more than earlier generations.

Look, it’s an annotated history of annotations!

Medieval history has been reinvented and reinterpreted over and over in literature, film, and now in video games. A historian talks about what medieval communities were really like (spoiler: there was a good deal of diversity, especially once the Vikings started moving around and adopting local cultures).

The statisticians at FiveThirtyEight calculate how to tell someone’s age from their name. Tangential question, based on one of their charts: does anyone know an older woman (or ancestor) named Willie? I have some Wilheminas in my family tree, but they went by Minnie or Mina. This popularity of “Willie” is a surprise to me.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Spooky synchronicity storytime! I was reading the BBC’s article on how “Happy Birthday” is now officially in the public domain….when Julie sent me a link to the exact same article. Great librarian minds!

It’s also the first day of autumn, and Google has set out a squirrel to wave at you.

It’s also edging closer to the date of the “rare harvest supermoon,” also called a “blood moon,” also called “the end of the world” according to a few people. Keep watching the skies!

It’s also the beginning of Bobtober! Follow him along for 40 spooky days and nights, won’t you?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago was dismantled and put away (or destroyed) after the fair…except for a few pieces which have turned up in storage!

The Metropolitan Museum of Art not only has a collection of historical musical instruments, they have a weblog about the holdings.

Here’s a skeleton alarm clock from the 1850s. Oh, those wacky Victorians.

Monday, September 21, 2015

And here we are, Monday again.

T.S. Eliot wrote an essay on “The Contemporary Novel” in 1926, but it was never published…until now! 

Thomas Pynchon has also written something new. Maybe. Possibly. It’s hard to tell, actually. 

Doctor Who is back, and here’s a handy infographic on all the villains of the series. (Bring back the Rani!)

Have you heard of Asha Bhosle? Not only has she sung on scores of Bollywood movies, she’s the inspiration for Cornershop’s “Brimful of Asha” hit. The more you know!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Happy Friday!

From Julie: Daleks are invading the London Underground. Be prepared to take the stairs quickly.

From Bunny: Jas. Townsend & Son, Inc. instruct you in the ways of 18th-century cooking, and it’s pretty darned awesome. (Except for the soldier rations. Those were probably the opposite of awesome.)

Via Facebook: Sox News! 

Via my local paper: Thief gets stuck in elevator after pulling off heist. Oops. You don't see this happen on Grand Theft Auto.

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

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Today, we get back to basics. Like reading! ALWAYS READ. Semper Legens. It’s a new t-shirt you can get from Topatoco (inspired by this comic).

Recently, Romania offered free public transport to anyone reading a book. 

In Scotland, the Wigtown Book Festival is almost here, and it looks like a wonderful time.

And, in London, Official Papers UK keeps people up to date on parliamentary publications.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Monday, September 14, 2015


It’s not too early to think of Halloween costumes. I highly recommend Take Back Halloween for ideas on female heroes/women of note.

Melissa McCracken paints what she hears – she has synesthesia, and her art is fantastic.

Matthias Schaller started examining the palettes of master artists, and what he found filled a whole book.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Happy Friday!

If I had lots more time, I’d work on about a dozen crowdsourcing projects. The latest, AnnoTate, looks incredibly cool, and gives you access to artists’ journals and sketchbooks!

From Cassandra: A clown motel. In Nevada. What could possibly go wrong?

From Julie: Finally, a formula which tells you which tights to wear, according to the weather!

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

Thursday, September 10, 2015

How good are you at knowing children’s books? I got 20 out of 23, but I guessed on a few (and I missed the Harry Potter one, oops).

Shelfie helps you back up your personal library digitally, by discovering what’s available online for free. I may give this a try, actually.

Who keeps track of corrections or significant edits in the media? NewsDiffs! They’re doing yeoman’s work.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Regardless of one’s feelings about monarchies, 63 years is a long time to last at anything, including being a queen. Congratulations, Elizabeth.

As a complete non sequitur, let’s talk about Lovecraft, the good and the bad, and how his legacy just seems to grow over time like some sort of eldritch creation.

Sometimes I find links and save them for later, with short descriptions so I can remember why I saved them. For Sofiane Samlal’s LEGO photography (or “Legography”), I just put “awesome LEGO.” I think that’s a pretty good summary. In Samlal’s photos, LEGO minifigs deal with real world problems. Well, sort of. I especially like his rendition of Invader’s mosaic techniques, but Magneto battling Wolverine over tea is a close second. (Batman putting up MISSING posters for Robin is up there, too.)

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Oy, it’s a Tuesday that feels like a Monday.

Burning Man 2015 is over, but there are wonderful photos to remember it by, and also the news that Susan Sarandon brought some of Timothy Leary’s ashes to scatter at the festival.

The color black has been reinvented several times by artists; here’s the most recent interpretation.

An EcoCapsule looks gorgeous and lets you travel the world. What’s not to love?

Friday, September 04, 2015

Happy Friday! And happy long weekend to those of us in the U.S.!

XKCD invites you to take a random survey. It’s pretty fun, actually.

From a co-worker: Old Maps Online goes back to the 15th century, and is all sorts of interesting.

From Cassandra: Are trigger warnings a problem for college students?

Also from Cassandra: The Blood Moon is coming and the world is going to end later this month! (Um, trigger warning, I guess, if you’re frightened of the end of the world, or of the moon?)

From Julie: Creepy lullabies! Julie says, “Guaranteed to help keep children awake!”

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

Thursday, September 03, 2015

And we’re back!  

Drones help protect Macchu Picchu and other archaeological treasures. This is a use of drones I can support.

The Digital Public Library of America has new exhibits online, hooray.

When natural disasters strike museums, who you gonna call? The American Institute for Conservation Collections Emergency Response Team, that’s who. (It’s not that catchy, but in this case, the results matter so much more than the name.)

A struggle for control of the New York Times is underway. The biggest takeaway from me was that there was a woman named Iphigene in the family. Wow.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Greetings! Today is a bit of a grab bag. We’ll be gone tomorrow while one of the Spooky Librarians (not me) has some painful extensive dental surgery. Send good thoughts, and painkillers if you have any to spare. (Kidding. We hope.)

Last week, I talked about Islam and Science Fiction’s GoFundMe campaign. This week, here’s an interview at Beyond Victoriana. I love the Islamic Star Wars illustration so much.

From sci-fi to science: Why not get a scarf or a painting with cellular art? Someone on Twitter linked to the brain cells scarf as a “back to school” image, and I think it’s gorgeous.

From science to magic: The Center for Tactical Magic has a Tactical Ice Cream Unit. I mean, what more does one want from life? The good people at We Make Money Not Art interview the founder of the Center. It’s a great read.

See you Thursday!