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.)