Thursday, December 31, 2015

And here we are at the end of 2015. Thanks so much for reading and sending in links over the past year!

A programming note: For the first two weeks of January, I have jury duty (for the first time ever). As a result, posts may be sporadic or nonexistent until Jan. 19th. But! Watch this space, because we are trying something new for 2016 – Folderol on YouTube. It’s going to be a series of strange lists, curated by the Spooky Librarians and our friends. We’ll post the first episode here soon, and will then encourage people to subscribe, spread the word, and send in ideas for lists! The regular Folderol will continue on – the video channel is a side project, and we hope it goes well.

For now, celebrate the end of the year, ponder why we sing that weird Scottish song, and, while you’re at it, ponder the mysteries of historical migration (especially in Ireland), as we migrate toward 2016.

Thanks again, everyone!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Tomorrow night millions of people will watch the ball drop in Times Square. But why? Turns out that method was an early way of synchronizing watches on the hour in cities. Thanks, NYPL!

If you’re making resolutions for 2016, why not consider participating in the Sketchbook Project? Art is good for you!

The Thinker’s Garden has a great article on Alexandra David-Neel, one of my idols – did you know you can visit her home in Provence? – and Helena Blavatsky.

The French Alps are mostly known for skiing, but you can hunt for crystals, too!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

RIP, Lemmy. There was many a glass raised to you last night!

The most popular names for 2015 are out, and some people are, apparently, naming their children after Instagram filters.

If you’re going to act in a Shakespearian play and your character’s going to die, chances are you’re going to be stabbed. Or perhaps poisoned. Or, perhaps, stabbed AND poisoned. But probably not baked into a pie. (That would be quite the acting challenge, however!)

Monday, December 28, 2015

Happy post-holiday Monday!

 Did you know that Greece wants to rebuild the Colossus of Rhodes?

It’s time for the annual best-of lists – here’s one for the best books of 2015.

These great photos of New York City in the ‘40s and ‘50s were taken by Frank Larson, and now there’s a website for the photos (I had trouble getting to it this morning, so it may be overloaded).

Atlas Obscura examines the world of universal signage.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

So I’ve been reading a book on underground London (the literal underground tunnels and subways, that is) and found that an enterprising journalist once rode his bicycle through secret tunnels and wrote about it for Christmas. (Then the entryways to the tunnels were “carefully secured” so that other would-be urban adventurers were dissuaded. Bah humbug.)

From Julie: Here’s what Pangea would look like these days, with all the countries and borders. Going to Morocco would be so much easier!

Discovered on Twitter: We Rate Dogs. Have a look, it’s great.

And from Google: Choose what side of the Force to support. Bunny picked the Dark Side (no surprise there); I am on the Light Side because Rey is awesome, and also to bring balance to the Force in our family. Have fun!

Happy holidays, everyone! We’ll be back next week.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Springwise has a list of gift suggestions for the makers in your world. There are some really cool ideas here.

If you’re done with gift shopping and just want to kick back and analyze a movie that isn’t Star Wars, good news! Tom and Lorenzo bring you an in-depth fashion critique of Heathers.

If you’d rather play computer games, more good news! Mateusz Skutnik has given us a new Submachine!

And finally…even though I’m always fascinated by baby names and the way names change throughout history, I think the UK might be in for some seriously weird name combinations if these predictions hold true. (Queenie?)

Monday, December 21, 2015

Happy Solstice, everyone!

For the next two weeks, it’s going to be a grab bag of links around here. Feel free to send in anything you like!

From Julie: Amazing Victorian Christmas cards. I love the one with the mouse riding the lobster (yes, this card, and more, is featured in the article).

Also from Julie: Elves! They’re not the happy harmless helpers you may think they are!

Have you heard of the Kitty Convict project? It’s genius.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Happy Friday!

We have been very carefully staying off social media for the last few days, avoiding any Star Wars conversations. Hopefully we’ll see it this weekend and then we can freely interact with the interwebs again. So links are a little scarce this Friday as we head into the holiday season, but fear not, we’ll be back up to (hyper)speed shortly.

From Satori: America’s Best Doughnuts! I have been to exactly one of these places. Obviously, this situation needs to be rectified.

From Julie: Hooray for yarnbombers, who have knitted adorable holiday-themed woolen mailbox covers for Kent!

We’ll be around through the holidays, although on a slightly erratic schedule. Happy holidays to those going off for vacation/school break/whatever!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

We’re back!

Long ago, the Knights Templar were rumored to protect great treasures. No one’s ever been able to find it, however.

Today, the owner of is hiding $10 million in gold and silver, in case the economy crashes. It’s somewhere in Utah. Maybe.

Meanwhile, the Library of Congress has a complicated off-site storage facility for protecting the country’s historical information.

And in the future, how will we store the sum total of human knowledge? They’re working on that.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Today, we look at the future, and then at the past.

 The future is almost here: In Dubai, firefighters are going to use jetpacks to deal with high-rise fires! The Martin Jetpack is providing the technology.

I had not heard of Zofia Rydet before today. At age 67, she decided she was going to photograph the inside of every house in Poland. She didn’t get to everyone, but she created thousands of photos showing an amazing cross-section of Poland in the late twentieth century. Fortunately, many of those photos are now available digitally!

Programming note: Tomorrow is the (final, we hope?) dental surgery day, so we’ll be off, but hopefully back on Thursday. See you then!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Happy Monday!

If you slow down the song of crickets, it sounds eerily like a choir in a cathedral. Listen and see what you think. (Thanks, Bunny!)

There’s a wonderful modernist mural hidden in a mountain in Scotland. No, really!

An artist has recreated the “Shordiche” of Shakespeare’s time.

I see Edith Wharton’s home whenever I visit my relatives in the Berkshires, but I had no idea that ghost tours are held there!

Friday, December 11, 2015

And here we are, Friday again. (I’ve been confused all week as to what day it is.)

If you like collaborative projects, and you like Shakespeare, then Shakespeare’s World is probably right up your Elizabethan alley. That sounds vaguely impolite, doesn’t it?

From Cassandra: Let’s talk about demagoguery! It’s fun!

Via David Lynch on Twitter: Forget the demagogues, let’s try meditation. Some scientists think it could change the world.

Via Jonathan L. Howard on Twitter: Did you know there’s a building in Manchester that screams? It’s true! No information is available on the building's attitude toward meditation, demagoguery, or Shakespeare.

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

Thursday, December 10, 2015

We’re back! And it’s a busy catching-up sort of day.

The Washington Post is moving and the old building is being torn down. Many past and present journalists are writing on the walls before they fall to the wrecking ball. 

More links as I get more time. In the meantime, enjoy this most excellent video!


Tuesday, December 01, 2015

An update, because you really have to see this. From Tracy: Behold Sam Barsky's sweaters, which he knits and then wears to the places depicted on said sweater! (Thanks, Tracy!)
World AIDS Day. December 1. 

This half of the Spooky Librarians is off to New York! I’ll be back late next week. In the meantime, I recommend checking out Weird Fiction Review and MondoHeather, two wonderful websites.

Does anyone else remember the Great Women card game? I learned so much history from this game! (And yes, it was played like rummy.)

From Cassandra: “Strange maps for strange times.”

Have a spiffy week/weekend/week, everyone! See you soon.