Friday, December 30, 2016

Goodbye, 2016! Here's a master list of year-end lists, if you need some reading material. Happy New Year, everyone. Be safe.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

May the Force be with you always.

Hi. Here’s a big roundup of links from the past week or so, to tide you over until the new year. We’re starting the new year with a lot going on, including but not limited to moving house, so Folderol may continue its slightly erratic schedule until everything settles down (IF it settles down). Thanks again for reading and emailing!

Is this woman the last of the disco ball makers? I hope not. I think we need more disco balls in the world.

If you’re trying to escape the madness of the world, here are a few places you could try (although you’re not allowed in most of them).

The Mosul Dam is leaking at a rapid rate, and might collapse soon. 

Bill Lucey takes a look back at 2016’s top stories. 

How many Muppets can you name? I thought I was going to ace this (I know my Muppets) but I only got 15 out of 25. Zazoo and Satori, consider this a challenge!

Did you know there’s a library in Wales which also operates as a hotel and conference center? I would love to visit.

Thanks again, everyone. See you soon.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

I actually had links for today, but Carrie Fisher is gone, and this is just way too much, 2016. Back soon.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Happy Solstice, everyone.

As a random, scattered entry in a random, scattered sort of year, here's my list of books read in 2016. I might go into some more detail later, but this is more of a reminder post to myself. If you've read any of the below and want to talk about them, though, comment away!

(It is probably not a surprise that I read mostly history, mysteries, and sci-fi. The more those three can be combined, the better.)


Tudors, Peter Ackroyd

Mary Boleyn, Alison Weir

Prisoners Base, Rex Stout  [re-read]

London Under, Peter Ackroyd

Behind the Palace Doors, Michael Farquhar

Foundation, Peter Ackroyd

Rebellion, Peter Ackroyd

The Silent Speaker, Rex Stout [re-read]

Where There’s a Will, Rex Stout [re-read]

Murder by the Book, Rex Stout [re-read]

The Grimoire of the Lamb (novella), Kevin Hearne

Plot It Yourself, Rex Stout [re-read]

Champagne for One, Rex Stout [re-read]

Two Ravens and a Crow (novella), Kevin Hearne

The Nightingale Gallery, Paul Doherty

The House of the Red Slayer, Paul Doherty

Chaplin, Peter Ackroyd

Absolute Monarchs, John Julius Norwich

Medusa’s Web, Tim Powers

On Stranger Tides, Tim Powers

The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman

The Guns of August, Barbara Tuchman

Jerusalem, Simon Sebag Montefiore

Careless People, Sarah Churchwell

Villains, Rogues and Scoundrels, Paul Martin

The Romanovs, Simon Sebag Montefiore

Scandals of Classic Hollywood, Anne Helen Petersen

The Monster of Venice, Douglas Preston

Bad Monkeys, Matt Ruff

Storm Front, Jim Butcher

The Mistresses of Cliveden, Natalie Livingstone

Dynasty: the Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar by Tom Holland

Fool Moon, Jim Butcher

The Six, Lisa Thompson

Midnight in Peking, Paul French

Carter & Lovecraft, Jonathan L.  Howard

The Devil You Know, Mark Carey

740 Park, Michael Gross

Friday, December 09, 2016

Sympathy for Olivio, a gorgeous red squirrel who got stuck in a manhole cover and had to be rescued, to much fanfare (and curvy-hips shaming). It's okay, Olivio. We've all had a rough year.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

I've been saying for months that the Mayans were just off in their calculations in four years, and that 2016 is the real reckoning.

My state is trying to pass a bill that would ban abortions, basically. Here's how you can offer your own opinion on the matter.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

I’m here, but snowed under (in work, not in literal snow, sadly). But fear not, there are still links! 

From Cassandra: The Blithedale Romance, where love conquers all.

From Julie: an ancient city in Egypt is discovered! (Isn’t it incredible they’re still finding things?) 

The Santa Tracker seems early this year, but it’s probably much needed.

The Internet Archive is setting up a backup in Canada. Good plan.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Transgender Law Center is hiring! Spread the word. (Thanks, Sparkle Queen!)

The New York Public Library now has TINY TRAINS that deliver books. This is adorable (and useful, too).

The Arcaid Images Architectural Photography Awards for 2016 are out, and they are amazing.

Also amazing and out now: the Wildlife Photographer of the Year winners! 

Have a good Thanksgiving, everyone. Folderol will be erratic for the new few weeks, but we’ll be around.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

For the soulless golem in all of us – the brilliant Molly Crabapple is using this insanity to raise funds for the Center for Constitutional Rights. (An alternate t-shirt at Redbubble raises funds for the ACLU!)

The rest of today’s links come to you from the UK, courtesy of Julie (thanks so much, Julie!).

Have you ever seen a fog bow before? It’s like a white rainbow. Maybe it’s heralding Gandalf the White. We can hope.

A museum's mummified crocodiles have hidden a secret for centuries – mummified baby crocodiles! Sobek was well pleased. most likely.

Monday, November 21, 2016

As we plunge into holiday season, posts will be erratic here for the rest of the year, most likely (also, I have some vacation days to use up). Thanks for reading, as always.

From Julie: Phantom big cats in the UK! I’m all for them.

Being a librarian with a date stamp, I could probably make these t-shirts myself, but it’s a fun idea.

And here’s your song of the day.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Small acts: Help out Mabel, a feisty feline who has battled a bunch of ailments over the years. I have a soft spot for Mabel – feisty tabbies are the best.

Politico is tracking what we’re calling a transition (some, like me, may instead call it a trainwreck in progress) and also has a PDF newsletter. 

Moment of light: Yayoi Kusama’s art is wonderful, and you can see a current exhibition of hers online.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Small act of the day: TransLawHelp is here to do what it says. Spread the word. (Many thanks to Sparkle Queen for the link.)

Smile of the day: Sesame Street takes on the mannequin challenge. (Probably the most intricate one I’ve seen so far!)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A photographer has tracked down the people in his works and recreated the shots. It’s really amazing, and there are background stories to the people in the photos. Chris Porsz’s other galleries are great as well.

I’ve joined the ACLU and set up a monthly donation. They're already hard at work. Consider it, won’t you?

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Southern Poverty Law Center is tracking hate incidents – if you’ve seen or experienced something, report it here. 

You can also contribute to a fund helping legal name/gender changes. 

For those who need a break, the Richard Balzer collection of images in motion is pretty neat, if somewhat hypnotizing. The full collection is here.

Friday, November 11, 2016

It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah. Godspeed, Leonard Cohen. 

Some other links for you this Friday:

The Hidden Almanac for today is lovely and much needed. Take two minutes and listen.

Cracked says Don’t Panic. (Your mileage may vary widely on this one.)

John Scalzi coins the Cinemax theory of racism. 

A long list of nonviolent methods of resistance. 

Stay safe, everyone. See you soon.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

So. Wow. Darkest timeline it is, then.

Some links prepared earlier in the week:

- Why are dreams so often the origin point of revelations or spiritual journeys? Neurochemistry, apparently.

- A record of Scottish people accused of witchcraft has been digitized. (I looked and haven’t found any relatives…yet.)

- City gates were popular once. I guess they might be again.

Take care of yourself, everyone. See you soon.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

So, today is sort of important. Vote!

From XKCD: if you’re interested in voter turnout and the effects of social media, check out Civic Innovation. 

For those of us who have already voted and need some distraction, check out the story about sumo wrestlers and cats! There’s even a book about the cats, who look unimpressed by sumo. (Then again, cats are pretty good at looking unimpressed about nearly everything.)

Monday, November 07, 2016

From Twitter just now: “Feels like a combination of Christmas Eve and the day before major, possibly life-threatening surgery.” Ain’t that the truth.

In related linkage, regardless of your politics, this look at Hillary Clinton and her feminism throughout her life is fascinating.

The Impakt Festival has just wrapped for 2016, but Haunted Machines will be curating the 2017 festival. Can’t wait to see what they do!

Good news, Bunny – Brutalism is back! 

Artists are scooping up discarded analog train station departure boards. I love these.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Friday, hooray!

The Music Map is just plain amazing. Zoom in to find information on just about every genre and subgenre of music since 1880, plus playlists! I found my goth spot, and the first song was “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” so I think they’re on point.

Google honors Walter Cronkite’s 100th birthday today. I remember him well.

How do presidential transitions work in the era of social media? Here’s what they’re going to do this time round. (Also, Americans: VOTE, for the love of god. I voted early this year, and it was great!) 

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

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Cubs win! 2016, man. It’s the weirdest.

The Columbia Journalism Review says journalists can learn from librarians. Huzzah.

I found a plethora of wonderful sources at Internet Librarian, and here are two: IFTTT (If That, Then This), which helps automate alerts and social media, among many others, and Time Travel, which continues the effort to save the web for posterity.

To say this election season is stressful would be a massive understatement. Fear not, the Weather Channel, of all places, is here to save the Election Day with a promised nine-hour marathon of smooth jazz and weather scenes. Brilliant!

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

It’s time for Game 7 of the World Series. One of the teams will break the longstanding curse! Which one? Bill Lucey has some World Series facts for you while we wait to find out the winner.

Forget bank accounts, now there are underground gold vaults in Switzerland. Really!

The Willard Suitcases Project is heartbreaking and amazing. There’s also a weblog with more details on each suitcase.

And finally, for no particular reason: Horsecom! Headphones for you and your horse!

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Hope your Halloween was properly haunted! Happy All Saints Day to those who celebrate today.

The spooky holidays may be (about) over, but we still have spooky links! Vulture has a roundup of dozens of conspiracy theories, some of which are new to me (Chaucer was murdered?!?).

Pulp Librarian is back and posting wonderful oddities on the regular!

Michel Lagarde makes amazing images – here are just a few. 

And lastly, we may or may not know the writer/director/star of The Blair Dog Project, a “found footage” homage/parody of the most recent Blair Witch movie. Hee.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Google celebrates with a very fun (but pretty difficult!) Halloween game. 

The creepy clowns, they just keep coming. Here’s a (slightly outdated) U.S. map showing the recent invasion. 

Vintage photos of Halloween costumes are great. The more homemade the costumes are, the freakier they look!

And finally, here’s a nice roundup of spooky podcasts. Happy Samhain!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Happy Friday!

 From Zazoo: “The best part about Pete Burns passing is that all these stories keep coming out. Here's an interview with Lynne, and an awesome pic I've never seen before... There's even a whole Twitter page dedicated to stories about customers who tried to buy a record from Pete at Probe record store in Liverpool when he worked there. It's pretty funny...he threw the "Enola Gay" single at someone!” 

From Cassandra: Interrogation in depth and sensory deprivation. It’s a tough but fascinating read. 

From Holly: Have a Girl Scout cocktail! 

 From Twitter: A man, dressed as a tree, was arrested for blocking traffic. Just another day in Portland, Maine.

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I’m back from Internet Librarian, and it was great. Look for some useful links in the very near future!

Today, however, we honor yet another loss in 2016 – Pete Burns of Dead or Alive. Pete was a major inspiration to Zazoo during our formative years. I saw him in concert once – as anyone who saw Dead or Alive in concert can attest, it was always an experience. While this song is now bittersweet, since Pete died of cardiac arrest, it’s still one of my favorite songs and videos. Safe travels, Peter Jozeppi.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Happy Friday! I am off to Internet Librarian soon, and will be there most of next week. I won’t be posting here, and probably not on Facebook, either (I am avoiding FB these days, mostly due to politics), but you can check out my Instagram for fun photos.

Links from Zazoo end our week here (thanks, Zazoo!):

- “I would have never guessed [Howard Stern’s] fostered over 300 kittens!"

-  “Cyndi typically says she avoids politics, so I was surprised to see this...”

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

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Breaking news that is good, for once! They’ve found another room at the Winchester Mystery House!

The U.S. postal service now has jack-o-lantern stamps for your Halloween missives.

Did you know that there was a clown scare in Boston in 1981? Atlas Obscura is on the case! (Check out the related stories, too. Clowns are everywhere, man.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Years from now, we will look back on 2016 with a sense of bewilderment, I think.

Back in the 1960s, EPCOT planned a cashless city. They were just ahead of their time!

Also ahead of its time is Bradley W. Schenck’s Asynchronous Bombastitron. Marvel at it, and its companions!

Steampunk Universe is an anthology dedicated to a fully diverse steampunk experience, and you can help fund it now. Go and get involved!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Friday, October 07, 2016

Happy Friday! I’m just going to be spending the day playing with this retro-wave 80s text generator, and recommend you do the same.

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

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Fellow librarians: I am headed to Internet Librarian later this month! I am an introvert, but friendly – if you want to meet up, or just say hi, let me know.

Ancient library wars were vicious, because materials were so scarce. Reading about Pergamum led me to this awesome timeline of library activity throughout the centuries.

 Here’s yet another take on the weird ways Americans pronounce words. Evidently I talk like a northerner, except that I say “you all” (and will probably slide into “y’all” territory as I get older; it seems unavoidable if I keep living where I do).

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

If it’s October, that means it’s time for the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival! 

 And now, for some random links:

- Our seas carry a lot of cargo ships. I mean, A LOT.

- There’s a new book out on the 1900s Tong Wars in New York City’s Chinatown, and it looks fascinating.

- A Jawa lawn sculpture with LED lights! Utinni!

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

For Joy Division and/or physics fans: You can now create your own version of the Unknown Pleasures cover! 

Speaking of sound, Bergen Assembly’s Infinite Ear installation looks like it was incredible.

The Bartitsu Society examines the historic and cultural aspects of the martial art, and how, why and where they intersect.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Sometimes, all my worlds collide: George Lucas has donated $1.5 million to the Norman Rockwell Museum. 

 In a total non sequitur, I really like the Urban Rigger concept, currently underway in Copenhagen for student housing.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Happy Friday!

 From Julie: “Smart Skin Enables Magnetoreception.” Whoa.

 From Twitter: Dark tourism is on the rise, for several reasons. Lots of great links in this story, and if you like this sort of thing, Vice’s “All In Your Head” site has more of it!

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

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Today’s Google Doodle honors the birthday of Ladislao Jose Biro, who gave us his namesake pen. Hooray!

There are rumors going around that NYPL Labs may be going away. I hope the rumors are unfounded, but in any case, I’ve been spending some extra time over there helping with Building Inspector and other projects!

In more research news, the U.S. Census has a site showing the records of the famous and infamous.

Time Magazine has a “vault” of their old editions, which makes for some great reading.

If I ever win a lottery, I may reserve some time at the Studio Padron. It looks like an amazing reading retreat!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Clowns are terrorizing America. Apparently, anyway. It’s kind of weird, even with Halloween approaching.

Meanwhile, the first National Ghost Hunting Day is scheduled for this Saturday. What could possibly go wrong?

If you opt to stay inside and refrain from encountering ghosts and/or clowns, there’s a coloring book for goths which sounds perfect. (I know the joke is to color everything black, but consider the perkygoth, and maybe try for some polka dot patterns!)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

How is it that I did not know more about the Elephantine Colossus of Coney Island? It had an entire hotel inside! (It’s gone now, but Lucy the Elephant is still around in New Jersey.)

Orlando has a new steampunk-themed chocolate emporium, and EPBOT has lots of photos! 

Evaptainers use electricity-free refrigeration technology, which is pretty amazing and futuristic.

In somewhat related news, Elon Musk is talking about getting to Mars. Hooray, we make progress!

Monday, September 26, 2016


How do thieves manage to steal 12 tons of lead? This is a serious question. It’s not like you can casually walk around with it or anything.

The Tate Museum is trying something interesting with artificial intelligence, pairing up modern photos with classic paintings. 

Emily Bronte didn’t leave much personal information behind, but we’re still trying to find more about her and her family. 

 Identity thieves are strange creatures, and the Chameleon of Nantes might be the oddest of all.

Friday, September 23, 2016

It’s a bonanza of links this Friday, to make up for the relative scarcity around here lately!

El Santo would have been 99 today, and there’s a fantastic Google Doodle to celebrate. (Well, Rodolfo Guzmán Huerta would have been 99 today. El Santo, as we all know, is immortal.)

From Julie: They’ve discovered the remains of an Anglo-Saxon palace! Or something very like it.

Also from Julie: How many books have been published in the history of the world? (Spoiler: a LOT.)

From Cassandra: a deep paper about military commissions and how they’re working out for the U.S. today.

Also from Cassandra: the University Title Generator! I am now the Deputy Manager of the Office of Neighborhood Diversity. Or I would be, if I worked at a university. And I had an automatically generated job title.

The 2016 Ig Nobel winners were announced yesterday. I think my favorite is the rock personality study.

I have just discovered Madame Clairevoyant’s horoscopes, and they’re very cool, regardless of your beliefs in astrology.

And lastly, a political note. Dedicate Your No-Trump Vote is a website in the making, and they’re looking for submissions. Do you have a story? Let them know. Thanks.

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

Thursday, September 22, 2016

I’m fascinated by forensic genealogy (if you know anything about it, tell me!), and now it’s helped solve the famous mystery of Lori Ruff. 

The library of the future is in Denmark, apparently. (And it looks really cool, too.)

Stephen King headlines the National Book Festival, taking place in Washington DC this weekend. While you’re there, you can participate in the scavenger hunt for “literary smut” to commemorate the start of Banned Books Week.

Did you know that Bill Clinton and Hilary Rodham met in the Yale Law Library? It’s true!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Today is the annual International Day of Peace. Given the state of the world, it seems ironic. But still important.

If you’re a fan of ghost signs, you’re in luck – there’s a site and an app for them! 

 Halloween is just around the corner, at long last, and here are 31 excellent horror gifs for you to use and enjoy.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Today is bringing many computer issues. So, while we get that sorted, please enjoy these amazing Agatha Christie stamps!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Avast, it’s Speak Like a Scurvy Pirate Day! Arrrr!

Th' true crime genre be wit' us fer over four hundred years. Like piracy!

Did ye be knowin' that Hunter S. Thompson absconded with Hemingway’s elk antlers? 'N that he felt guilty, but never returned them? But blimey, now they’re back!

Art 'n dogs, a perfect combination, next t' parrots.

If ye send an emoji to th' New Amsterdam Public Library’s Twitt account, they’ll be respondin’ wit' an image. Be off ahead, give a go' it 'n spy wit' ye eye!

Friday, September 16, 2016

It’s been a long week in a long year. So here’s a kitten cam! Also, some leftover fun links:

Behold, Crookes' Residual Ectometron – The Ouija Electric Edition. 

They might be making a movie about the Winchester Mystery House! With Helen Mirren! Eeee!

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

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Congratulations to Carla Hayden, our new Librarian of Congress! She even has a brand new Twitter account. 

I’ll always be a news librarian at heart. Caryn Baird talks about the profession and shares some tips. 

Kerry Mansfield’s project, Expired, celebrates the marks and stamps library books acquire over time.

Facebook knows everything about you. Well, several dozen things, at least.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

It’s already been a long day here. So, for links, here are some long reads.

I had never heard of Evliya Çelebi before this week, and now I’m fascinated by his life and his writings. 

Ancient Egypt had lots of demons. Now there’s an online catalog describing them! More information from the Independent, including illustrations.

Here’s a list of all the Futuro Houses which exist today. So very very cool.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Today's Google Doodle celebrates Yma Sumac, which is all kinds of wonderful.

They’ve found the HMS Terror, 168 years after it sank! (Honestly, naming a ship “Terror” was sort of asking for it, I think.)

Moving forward through time, here’s a summer safety tip from 1895. I know it’s almost fall, but swimming is still happening around here.

Disney seriously considered building a Myst-themed park!

Close to home, a steampunk-esque building is open for business in Covington. Neat.

Monday, September 12, 2016

A new week, some new links!

 Music: Classical clubbing is now a thing. Living in the 21st century has its perks.

Theater: Malay puppets perform a retelling of Star Wars, and the puppets themselves are amazing.

Art history: What do depictions of Nero in art tell us about the emperor?

Television: Behold slow TV, brought to you by Norway and taking the world by (slow-moving) storm!

Friday, September 09, 2016


From Julie: New studies prove that it really was bubonic plague in London 350 years ago. (And we think 2016 has been rough.)

From Cassandra: The Booth Poverty Map, compared with a 2000 map, is all sorts of fascinating.

From the vaults of Links I Meant to Post But Never Did: Behold Carol Kaye, the beach girl bass player among the Beach Boys.

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

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Oh, Thursdays. Always with the busy.

Fortunately, here’s something entertaining for the history buffs among us: Looking to past presidents to get that “presidential look.” 

Also, an important quiz! Based on Shakespeare, is your life a comedy or a tragedy? (My result: “Your life is a tragedy + ghosts.” Well, then.)

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

You’ve heard me sing the praises of the Mysterious Package Company before. They have a new Kickstarter project which looks incredible, and is already funded (let the stretch goals begin)!

The postal services of the world are marvelous creations. This Blog Delivers tells you all about the weirdness you can get up to when mailing.

I’ve always been a proponent of sky burial, although I doubt it would go over well in American cities.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

The Library of Congress has revamped their Today In History site, and it’s great!

In other random news: Do you have a unisex name? FiveThirtyEight has just the report for you.

Friday, September 02, 2016


From Julie: “Ancient Egyptian stories will be published in English for the first time.”

From Zazoo: “The Today show [in Australia] had Bananarama as guests, and played Bangles songs to welcome them. Bah!!!”

 From Cassandra: Visuwords! This is all kinds of fun. I put in “folderol” and got directed to “frippery” and “rubbish,” among other words.

Did you know Melrose Place featured subversive art? It’s true! 

London commemorates the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire with a projected inferno on St. Paul’s Cathedral. Sounds reassuring, doesn’t it? (It does look cool, though.)

Have a spiffy holiday weekend, and avoid hurricanes and infernos whenever possible. See you next week.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Have you heard of Anne Carroll Moore? She was a librarian who changed children's literature, but she hated Stuart Little. (To be honest, I always thought that book was pretty weird, myself. I'm much more a Charlotte's Web fan.)

Are you seeing and smelling more skunks recently? Here's why!  (The main reason: juvenile skunks aren't very street smart yet. Sort of like new freshmen on campus this time of year.)

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Today is chock-full of projects! Possible updates later. In the meantime, take a look at these gorgeous photos of metro stations around the world, photographed by someone with the same name as a classmate of mine, but not the same person (this was very confusing for a few minutes, though). Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Today, I discovered Untapped Cities, and their series on the New York City That Never Was. History, steampunk, futurism, architecture…it’s a perfect mix for me. (Also, they do tours!)

Meanwhile, SETI reports that they may have possibly maybe sort of heard a signal from deep space?

Monday, August 29, 2016

And we gear up for another week…

Have you heard of Basil Bunting? I had not until this morning. Now I’m intrigued.

New York is planning a shape-shifting building. Seriously!

Hidden clues in video games? It’s a real thing, and there’s a subreddit dedicated to solving the mysteries.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Happy Friday!

From Cassandra: Say why to drugs! 

Also from Cassandra: What’s up with eastern Kentucky? (Oh, the stories some of us have...)

Also also from Cassandra: Dress pant sweatpants. For the 21st century!

From Zazoo: A cat fosters an abandoned baby squirrel monkey. Aww!

From Julie: Sir Nils Olav, ambassador penguin, is now Brigadier Sir Nils Olav to you and me. (Aww!)

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

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hooray for National Parks! (Keep them going, don’t let them be privatized.)

Far above the parks, the Hubble Telescope watches the stars. And now you can follow along with it, live!

A Nova Scotia library is moving into a church, and it’s going to be gorgeous! (Also, Margaret Atwood is helping with the fundraising.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

In more “2016 is the weirdest year ever” news, John Travolta is now an honorary deputy sheriff in my city. Erm.

The Thinker’s Garden is back with a tale of Italian organized crime, circa 1800. 

Did you know that ghost ships lie under San Francisco? Not just a few, but dozens!

The Library of Congress has thousands of gorgeous photochrome prints, like this image of Mont St. Michel. It’s a lovely way to spend some time.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A short one today.

Look, typewriters are still alive and well in India! 

Damn Interesting lives up to its name with this report of a 1931 submarine expedition which embarked with the goal of sailing under the polar caps. It went...well, just read and see.

Monday, August 22, 2016

It’s Monday once more, and here’s some election activity we can enjoy: voting for General Mills monster cereal mascots! (Count Chocula is currently in the lead. I’m pulling for Booberry.)

Dorothy Parker was born on this date. Here’s some interesting information explaining why her ashes are in Baltimore instead of New York City. 

Ancient Egypt had a multitude of tattoo artists, it seems. Check out what archaeologists have discovered!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Happy Friday!

From Julie: Librarians have their own Olympics! 

From Keli via Twitter: A ghost town in Italy is the perfect place for the Hide and Seek Championships (last link is in Italian).

From Twitter: A new American Girl doll hails from Detroit and celebrates Motown.

From Holly: A side-by-side comparison of 2016’s Batman v. Superman and 1966’s….well, just watch it and see. I especially like the Lex Luthor shots.

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

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Remember when you could call a number and get the exact time? You still can! 

There’s a theory that Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville were more than friends. This is new to me, but plausible, based on this argument.

Comics Empower is an amazing website that works to bring comics to the blind. Here’s their intro page; if you’re sighted, you can then check this page. 

And finally, in law librarianship: Forget about parachutes, what color is your CFR? (They change colors each year. It’s true!) Law librarians have created a coloring book/workbook explaining U.S. law. (Bonus points for using the Ohio Revised Code as an example!)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Hieronymus Bosch died five hundred years ago, and there are exhibits and books celebrating him and his weird, weird art. Hooray!

For urban and rural explorers alike, here’s a list of abandoned places to investigate. Some are legal, some aren’t, so consider yourself warned.

Propology shows you a plethora of tantalizing props.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Oooo, more windfarms! It’s starting to look like the future!

Speaking of the future, don’t you want to know more about the Great Gzhurka’s spaceship? Bradley W. Schenck will tell us, eventually, I hope.

For those looking to the past, here are some lovely illustrations of shopping back in the 1920s. I like that you could purchase outfits for flying.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Ancient graffiti from medieval times tells us about the people from yesteryear.

Candles in modern times tell us about the people of today, and what weird scents they like! (This article does not mention Witches Brew. It should!)

Friday, August 12, 2016

Today has been incredibly frustrating. Fortunately, it's Friday.

CyberSquirrel gets some recognition from the media! 

Our local "solar nun" has died.

Have you heard of headis? It's ping pong, played with one's head instead of paddles (and with a bigger ball). It's...different, that's for sure. 

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

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Good news, everyone! This may all be a computer simulation! Elon Musk thinks it might be, anyway.

In this reality, whatever it might be, Hamilton is a big deal. The New Yorker puts a library-related spin on the historical figures. Aaron Burr read a lot, it turns out.

Meanwhile, in London, a new indie bookstore has launched one-hour delivery service.

In Indonesia, a microlibrary has been constructed using ice cream buckets. And it’s actually pretty!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Lata 65 is a Portuguese art movement which encourages senior citizens to learn street art, as taught by street artists themselves. I absolutely love their logo!

In today’s “the apocalypse is nigh” news, America’s corpse flowers are all blooming at the same time, for unknown reasons. Well. That’s not creepy at all. Eeep.

Manchester, so much to answer for…like the futuristic architecture which never came to be, thanks to austerity measures.

In happier news, here’s a lovely article about Doorkins Magnificat, the cat of Southwark Cathedral.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Today ended being a strange catch-all of links. Enjoy!

Happy National Book Lovers Day! 

Good news: Dorian Cope’s On This Deity has returned. 

Nervous about public speaking? Practice with dogs. I highly endorse this program! It would have helped me, at least.

Kate Beaton won an Eisner award! 

From Dave: Strange phenomena caught on film. Weird natural occurrence, or something for the X-Files?

The wonderful people at How We Get to Next take a look at space cannons. (And so we come full circle to science fiction!)

Monday, August 08, 2016

It’s International Cat Day! We’ve talked about literary cats several times, so here’s a look at a few seafaring felines. 

Book Marks assigns grades to books based on reviews (a la Rotten Tomatoes), so consult the site if you’re looking for something new to read.

Why did Byron’s friends burn his memoirs? Some new books try to figure out the reasons. 

I had never heard of H.T. Tsiang, who had a remarkable life, and I’m glad he’s getting some attention.

And finally, here are some noteworthy elevators from around the world.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Happy Friday! Possibilities for your weekend include:

- walking on this absolutely terrifying glass-bottomed cliffside walkway in China (thanks, Julie!)

- watching the Olympic Games in Rio (good luck, everyone. Also, the mascots are as weird as ever)

- playing NASA’s Mars Rover game (it’s very hard to avoid crashing the thing)

- enjoying PIZZA FROM AN ATM (seriously! Here in my hometown, no less!)

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

Thursday, August 04, 2016

I am increasingly convinced the world ended in 2015 and this is all a hallucination.

Anyway. Sad news, the Shipwreck Librarian is getting out of the business! But the snark will continue, fortunately.

From Tara Calishain’s excellent Research Buzz: The U.S. Electric System Operating Data page shows usage in real time, which is pretty amazing.

Meanwhile, in Toronto…

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

This weekend brings us the Route 127 Yard Sale, also known as the World's Longest Yard Sale, and it goes right through my town! Meander through the sales and have fun (and stay cool).

Back in the day, schoolgirls created amazing maps by hand. I’m tempted to try my hand at something like this.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

The latest Junktown gathering happened in Prague about a month ago, and the photos are incredible. 

Clothing featuring the art of a city, literally, taken from manhole covers and the like! (Tangent: I went looking for an alternative word for “manhole,” because, I mean, geez, but did not find any suitable replacement. Get on that, linguists.)

Mercenaries are back. Here’s some history and some news on where they are these days.

Monday, August 01, 2016

It’s very sad news that This has ceased publishing; it was a wonderful way to find fascinating articles. We mourn/celebrate by posting a bunch of links found through This. Good luck with future endeavors!

- What it’s like to live in Venezuela these days. 

 - Behind the scenes at Politico. 

 - What does a last name mean, really? 

- What goes into making a suit at the highest level of tailoring?

 - Remember the Gucci murder? (I didn’t, so this was all new to me!)

Friday, July 29, 2016

Happy Friday!

From Julie: Exploring the history and possible future of the split-sleep schedule. I am pretty much doing this on a regular basis anyway, which makes fitting in with the modern world awfully difficult.

From Digg: How much longer is mosquito season where you live (in America)? We have two extra weeks where I live. Bah!

From Twitter: A British council office is experiencing an influx of squirrels, who are eating people’s lunches and setting off alarms. I suspect Cyber Squirrel is doing reconnaissance ops.

For weekend reading: A compilation of long, detailed articles about Prince! 

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

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Guys, I do not get into politics much here, but really, check out the speeches from this week’s DNC. They are amazing and inspiring.

If you’d rather be incensed, however, here is madness: Bob, Gordon and Luis have been let go from Sesame Street! WTF?

What role would you play in a fairytale? Apparently, I would be…a fairy. Well. Okay then. (At least I’m not the “damsel in distress.”)

Animal live cams are great. Here’s a list of several, and here is a subjective ranking of a few!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

It’s a rough world out there in this year of 2016. Here are a few bits of escapism.

First off, Pokemon Go players can walk shelter dogs in Indiana. It’s a win-win!

For Wonder Woman’s 75th anniversary, she’s getting some truly gorgeous postage stamps. 

If you’re in New York and need an impressive space for a few hours, consider Spacious, which rents out high-end restaurant space during the day.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I am sort of back, after a sinus headache and/or migraine yesterday. (Fun!) While I get organized, relive the wonder of the 12" remix, thanks to this amazing thread on Metafilter!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Happy Friday, everyone! Back to normal (whatever that is) next week. Have a spiffy weekend.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Today's pleasant news: There's going to be an Atlas Obscura book! 

Also, if you're looking for something to do, AnnoTate has new material for crowdsourcing efforts, like the letters of Felicia Browne.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Monday, July 18, 2016

If you'd like to follow along with the madness that is the Republican convention, Metafilter has a thread for you.

If you'd like something more escapist, test your literary knowledge via this quiz from New York City's Strand bookstore. (I got 39 out of 50, which probably means I wouldn't get hired.)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

If you’re going to be in Cleveland for the Republican convention next week, or if you’re interested in hearing about the place out of morbid curiosity, Bill Lucey is here with interesting facts about the city! It’s going to be…interesting, that’s for sure.

Speaking of the U.S. election, FiveThirtyEight is live with their election predictions, updated daily.

In happier news, it’s National Ice Cream Month, and you can learn all sorts of fun facts about ice cream.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Let’s turn our minds back to the past for a few minutes and contemplate the art of WWII bomber jackets, the wacky inventions like “mind expander chairs” of the 1960s, and the beautiful furniture that Bel y Bel creates from vintage cars and scooters. Deep breaths.

Monday, July 11, 2016

I’ve been playing Ingress for just over a year, so it’s been fascinating to watch people freak out over Pokemon Go. (I also know next to nothing about Pokemon creatures, so have been asking Bunny for details. He was excited to catch a Bellsprout. It looks like an animated bell pepper. Sort of.)

In other news of different realities, let’s all take a field trip to Mars!

Friday, July 08, 2016

I wonder if, in the future, the year 2016 will be regarded as some sort of watershed point in western (or American) society.

Stay safe, everyone. See you next week.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

The news is, once again, discouraging and frustrating. Here are a few unrelated links.

Yesterday, the Los Angeles Central Library celebrated its 90th birthday. It sounds as if it’s hosted quite the cast of characters in its nine decades.

You can browse Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s scrapbooks online now. Photos, articles, and more!

Julian Cope, the best punk pagan around, has organized the SydArthur Festival. Take a look. It’s mystical and wonderful (and free!).

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

More on Juno’s mission to Jupiter! 

Six months on, no one has discovered the identity of the man found dead (from strychnine poisoning - ?!?) on Saddleworth Moor. This BBC exploration has some really interesting ways of showing data - just keep scrolling and maps become animated, for instance.

In other morbid news, why not gaze upon some Victorian-era photographs of dead children? Or explore how tuberculosis has affected fashion? (Sorry. Sometimes the links follow a dark theme, despite my best intentions.)

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

And we’re back! In body, anyway, if not quite in spirit.

Hooray for Juno! It’s nice to have some good news for once.

From Julie: Amazing optical illusion painting. 

Also from Julie: Today is the last day to see Susanna Hesselberg’s vanishing library piece (the title of which hits me right at my core) at the Danish biennial Sculpture by the Sea festival. 

Where does England go from here? A short manifesto examines a possible silver lining.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Well. Here's what I posted on Twitter just now:


This 2016 is defective and I would like to return it, please. I believe the six-month warranty is still in effect. Er, right?


That being said, Folderol is taking a week off and will be back after July 4th, provided the world does not implode or explode or anything exciting like that. Stay safe, and see you soon.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

A sit-in today at the U.S. Congress, a vote for/against Brexit today in the UK. We live in interesting times, don't we?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Monday, June 20, 2016

Happy Solstice! (Many thanks to Cassandra for the link.)

 I am still not really sure how much I want to interact with the outside world, so links may be on the skimpy side for a while. Today, we feature modern ghost towns – one in China, one in Uganda. I think they should start calling these Ozymandius cities (Ozymandia?).

Friday, June 17, 2016

Links from others this Friday. Thanks, everyone, and here’s hoping for some better days to come this year.

From Cassandra: The connection between human sacrifice and social inequality. 

From Julie: They’re auctioning off the Hammer Horror tomb from Lust of the Vampire! 

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

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Today’s escapist links:

- Trntbl is the 21st century turntable you didn’t know you needed.

- Broomgate! Controversy sweeps the sport of curling!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

If, like me, you are feeling a strong urge to escape this planet, NASA has some motivational posters for you.  Let's go to Mars!  I volunteer for the night shift.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The outside world is just all sorts of terrible and I’d rather not interact with it, frankly. So here are some fascinating news articles having to do with the past: A lost medieval metropolis has been discovered in Cambodia, and they’re making new discoveries about the Antikythera mechanism.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Greetings! Folderol will be on hold until next week. However, in the meantime, there’s a chance Meet Cleaver Theatre could be returning from the abyss. What do you think? Should we resurrect it?

In 1920, vampire fashion was all the rage. Seriously, take a look. Although they seem to think “Asiatic” equals “vampire,” which is…odd.

Has the mysterious A858 code been solved? Its creator seems to think so, but codebreakers disagree! 

The Morbid Anatomy Museum’s latest exhibit, called “House of Wax,” was once part of Castan’s Panopticum in Berlin. I just might be seeing this in the near future, and if I do, I will report back!

Have a spiffy week and weekend, everyone. See you soon.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I’ll be on vacation for part of this week and next, so posting will be erratic and theme-free. Regular posting resumes June 13th.

Burying the forgotten among us is an invisible (but weighty) responsibility. Here’s a look at one man who handles the job. 

Related, in a way, is the job of identifying John and Jane Does who are found dead. I had not heard of NAMUS before.

In sunnier news, Bill Lucey discovers the best places to read this summer. 

William T. Horton was an illustrator and a contemporary of Aubrey Beardsley, but few have heard of him. This is a shame, because his art is stark and spooky and beautiful. Go and learn!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Happy Friday!

From Bunny: Beautiful Brutalist buildings! 

From Julie: Vintage photos of equally vintage bookmobiles! 

Also from Julie: Using embroidery to repair vases? Yes! 

Our video this week looks at how transportation options transformed American society:

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! We’re off on Monday and will be on vacation soon, but we should see you next week.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

It’s Spelling Bee season again!

The Guardian has a neat series called Public Streets by Public Books going on, and one of the more recent entries about a street in Rangoon is really interesting.

The Brooklyn Museum has an “Ask” app that connects you to real live people. Fun concept.

Time capsules can be amazing. They can also be somewhat embarrassing. Extrapolate that out to intergalactic time capsules, and, well…

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

It’s Towel Day! It’s not Thursday, but we’ll manage somehow.

Tomorrow, on the other hand, is World Dracula Day. So now you’re prepared.

Continuing our theme of awesome women which started yesterday: today’s heroine is Rose Mackenberg, who worked with Houdini to flush out spiritualism frauds.

Does your city have a flag? Is it terrible? That can be fixed! (Also, per Eddie Izzard, if you have a decent flag you can then go forth and conquer other cities. Theoretically.)

And finally, if you like creeping yourself out, here’s a handy list of weird Wikipedia pages.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Have you heard of Marianne North? She was a Victorian-era woman who lived a life of fierce independence. She sounds like the inspiration for Amelia Peabody. 

Imagine hearing this in 1906 while shopping for a phonograph. I think I’d have nightmares.

The above link came from the fantastic Public Domain Review, and so does this examination of automata throughout the years.

Monday, May 23, 2016

It is Monday once more, and we turn our attention to the arts. Well, literature, mostly.

There’s a new book on the Romanov dynasty which looks like great fun, if you’re into history.

There’s also a new book on Edith Piaf, focusing on the world around her and her life.

Shakespeare’s plays address the problem of hunger in Elizabethan times.

And if you’re not into literature, how about the concept of pigeons creating art in the Brooklyn evening sky? It’s happening right now!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Happy Friday!

From Julie: An altar cloth may be part of a gown which belonged to Elizabeth I. Thrifty!

From This: some gorgeous photos of early computers. 

This week’s Folderol features haunted musical instruments! Take a look!

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

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Remember last week’s post about whether physical library cards are disappearing? Well, on the other side of the spectrum, the Los Angeles Public Library has a new card designed by Shepard Fairey. See, they can be pieces of art!

Today’s Google Doodle in the U.S. celebrates the life of Yuri Kochiyama. Here’s some more about this amazing woman. 

Arrrr, pirate libraries be on the rise. (Not that sort of pirate; it’s just fun to say.)

Do you live in a nerdopolis? Would you like to? Springwise examines the rise of the knowledge cities. (Incidentally, if anyone’s hiring in Zurich, I’m available.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Today, we bring you maps!

First of all, National Geographic has a new weblog, called All Over the Map, which does what it says on the tin.

Thrillist has produced some maps of the U.S. and Europe, delineating what each state/country is best at and worst at. Come to Ohio for the libraries, but don’t drink the water, evidently. is not a website dedicated to existential despair, but instead to the obscure motorways in and around the UK. (Driving down one of these may cause existential despair, though. I’m not saying it won’t.)

Role-playing games are full of maps, just absolutely chock full of them, and here are some details about one person’s process in creating them.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Do you read the Two Nerdy History Girls? You should, because they have great stuff. Example 1 is this post on double rings, a jewelry trend right now which is not new at all.

Also, from their links: Victorian Commons, which is profiling the members of Parliament between 1832 and 1868.

Also also from their links: Nourishing Death’s post on Swedish funeral candy. Perhaps some enterprising funeral home could reignite this trend.

In more “everything old is new again” items, Paleofuture examines the 19th century’s equivalent of the Hyperloop concept. (They were stymied by curves and height.)

This video from Digg shows a machine making drop candy as they did in ye olden days. It’s sort of mesmerizing.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Psst! Did you know good storytellers make great partners? It’s true!

A Milan street artist is transforming abandoned manholes into tiny secret rooms.

A Burglar’s Guide to the City is not really a guide for a modern thieves’ guild, but is, instead, a new way of looking at urban infrastructure.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Happy Friday the 13th!

It’s a sad and unlucky day for readers of the Toast: they’re closing down the site July 1st. But they’re going out on top, so that’s something to celebrate.

From Julie: the truly great Star Wars escalator in Tel Aviv. 

From Zazoo: Sometimes, antiques appraisers can get carried away… 

From Twitter: Squirrels get annoyed when you lock walnuts in a box. Well, of course they do!

This week’s Folderol brings you some strong female characters from young adult fiction! Have a look!

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