Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The ADL has an extensive site documenting hate symbols. It’s good to know.

 According to the Chicago Reader, there have been numerous sightings of flying humanoids this year. We can only hope they’re here to help.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

I don't think I've linked to The Chirurgeon's Apprentice for some time (if at all), so I will rectify that right now with this article on the fear of "premature burial." Go explore the site, it's wonderful.

Monday, August 14, 2017

This is…a very dark time.

Local (extraordinary) choir MUSE sang at a gathering yesterday for Charlottesville. It’s lovely. Give it a listen. 

As a moment of escapism, here are Muppets wearing Miu Miu. Even Sam the American Eagle gets into the act.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Getting to Friday these days feels like a major accomplishment. We’re all still here!

Today’s Google offering teaches you DJ hip hop turntable skills. It’s really fun.

From Julie: A nine-year-old offered NASA their services as Planetary Protection Officer, and NASA replied! (They told him to stay in school, but keep in touch.)

Also from Julie: Conspiracy theorists are saying the upcoming eclipse is the harbinger of the end of the world. Maybe we should send the nine-year-old to deal with them.

From Cassandra: Before the eclipse, it’s the Pleiades! Here’s when and how to watch the meteors this weekend. 

From Zazoo: “Someone had the brilliant idea of collecting the Smash Hits interviews of Bananarama and asking them the same questions 30 years later!” 

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

Thursday, August 10, 2017

There are days when I’m super tired after work, which is crazy because, these days, librarianship is mostly computer work (with notable exceptions, like moving shelves of books). But lo, it’s not so crazy after all; it's my brain using up all the energy!

Speaking of librarianship, my alma mater had photos of Depression-era Kentucky “bookmobiles” (i.e. librarians on horseback) all over the library because, well, it was in Kentucky and horses are rather popular. The Smithsonian weblog has rediscovered the photos. 

Speaking of rediscovery, it’s always a little weird to say that archaeologists have “rediscovered” places. Fortunately, many archaeologists agree: ‘It’s not what you find, it’s what you find out.’ 

Speaking of…well, hm. I can’t really make this segue work, but Merriam-Webster has a list of words you may be pronouncing wrong. (Waistcoat? Really? I had no idea!)

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Well. So. Um. Hey, let’s look at space via the live feeds from Slooh and not think about our planet for a while.

If you insist on staying grounded, here’s a story about an Irish politician who believes fairies are damaging the roads. (Well, who knows?)

Also, the journeymen (and women) of Europe are still around, with amazing clothes and a wonderful culture.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

I love stories about number stations. Here’s an in-depth look at "The Buzzer."

In other “who exactly is running the show here” news, Virginians thought they saw a self-driving car over the weekend, but the truth was…something a little stranger. 

Danilo Correale’s “No More Sleep No More” looks at the effects of postmodern society on sleeping patterns. (More details at We Make Money Not Art.)

Want to help fund a steampunk documentary? Sure you do! 

Monday, August 07, 2017

Hello! It’s Monday. Here are some good reads about our various senses.

Smell: Why does a certain aroma transport you back in time? It’s about sensory integration. 

Hearing: Did you know there’s a standardization system for musical notes? 

Sight: The Greeks did not describe the sea or the sky as blue. So what gives? Well, it’s complicated. 

Not really a sense, except perhaps a sixth sense of terror: Archaeologists have discovered Tenochtitlan’s tower of skulls.

Friday, August 04, 2017


This weekend, we will be exploring the World’s Longest Yard Sale. For a few miles, anyway. If you see us, say hi!

From Cassandra: What really happened to the Canaanites? Now we know, thanks to DNA testing! 

I am all about the Tom Collins drink, but apparently it should really be labeled a John Collins. Hm. 

Science Resistance, take heart – there’s now 314 Action, a STEM-based nonprofit working to bring more scientists into politics.

The true identity of LA icon Angelyne has been discovered. It’s a fascinating story, but she’s very unhappy about being outed, so proceed with caution.

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

Thursday, August 03, 2017

If you look now, Boeing is flying an airplane in a route that looks like an airplane. On purpose!

Other dashboard trackers of interest include the brand new U.S. Press Freedom Tracker and the (also brand new) Securing Democracy tracker, which monitors Russian Twitter propaganda. Very interesting.

Sideways Dictionary is a resource that explains technical jargon through the use of analogies, which can be very helpful.

I still use RSS feeds and love them, but they’re falling out of favor. Fortunately, the How-To Geek demonstrates how to create a feed when needed.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

The Magic Weather account is my kind of forecast.

Did you know Canada has minted coins that glow in the dark? Be on the lookout!

In these erratic times, it may be a good plan to have an Elder Sign pendant as protection. (All of Cthulhu Jewellery’s offerings are lovely, though. in a darkly elegant way.)

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Happy Lughnasadh! And happy Eclipse month, which will take up more and more attention in the upcoming days.

I am stunned that I’d never read about Maillardet's Automaton until now. It sounds absolutely incredible. 

And speaking of steampunk things…La Machine just concluded their show in Ottawa. Jaw-dropping. Amazing. Just go and see.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Happy Monday!

RIP, Jeanne Moreau. 

Atlas Obscura has a good article about Nüshu, a Chinese written language specific to women. 

StoryThings is related to How We Get to Next, and aims to tell stories online in a way that speaks to readers. They have a conference coming up soon which looks like all sorts of fun.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Happy Friday! It is no small relief to wake up and find that while we are living in a seriously dark timeline, it is not the darkest one possible.

From my mom: Nuns are suing to stop a proposed pipeline. (Related: Seven hundred nuns publicly opposed the recent health care bill.)

From Zazoo and Satori: Debbie Harry is wearing a crazy hat which may have been made by NYC design talent extraordinaire Machine Dazzle. 

From Twitter: How good are these college athletes at drawing their own team’s logo? Well, none of them is an art major, most likely.

Also from Twitter: Gladstone, the chief mouser at the UK Treasury, reflects on a year in office. 

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

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Good morning! Before the next catastrophe hits, here are some library and/or law-related links for your reading enjoyment.

For a feed of legal news, is a bare-bones, easy to read site. (Found via Metafilter Projects)

We previously posted about librarians using Narcan for heroin users. Library Journal and Catapult have more on what it’s like to be a first responder / librarian, and whether or not that’s something librarians should be doing.

The Library of Congress published a book all about the card catalog, and the Washington Post celebrates it as an art form (the catalog, not the book…although that’s definitely a piece of art in its own way).

Librarian Zoe Fisher has an absolutely fantastic essay at the Rumpus about libraries and how they can change your life. She has a weblog, too!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

My feelings this morning are accurately summed up by this comic, brought to you by Emily’s Cartoons (which are great, check them out). It’s going to be a long slog.

Meanwhile, southern Europe is increasingly on fire and drought-ravaged, due to climate change.

In a month, a solar eclipse will take place, and you can see how much of it you’ll witness in the U.S.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Happy Monday!

Literature: The Strand Bookstore turns 90 this year, and how I wish I’d been able to see “Book Row” back in the day.

Art: The Parallax Gap is an ongoing exhibit at Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., showing “iconic ceilings of U.S. buildings.”

Travel: Eurostar now features a virtual reality experience for passengers traveling underwater. I’m not sure I’d do this; I don’t really like remembering I’m underwater and could be crushed at any moment. (Same for NYC subways. I’m under the East River right now? That’s nice. Lalalalalala.)

Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday! And it’s Marshall McLuhan’s birthday, too. Google Doodle remembers.

From Zazoo: A wonderful point about the “bathroom bills” issue. 

Also from Zazoo: More on Steve Whitmire’s departure from the Muppets. It sounds…messy. 

From Holly: Forget American Girl dolls, these Lottie dolls are cooler. They have an astronomer and a paleontologist! And free biographies of great women! And more!

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

Thursday, July 20, 2017

ProPublica has a chilling, detailed project about how many U.S. women died of childbirth-related causes in 2016. Definitely worth your time.

Pew Research has some good news – millennials are most likely to use public libraries! 

What was the biggest (and/or best) movie the year you were born? For me, it was The Godfather and Pink Flamingos. This…may explain some stuff, actually.

Make Your Point is a daily email which aims to improve your vocabulary, one word at a time.

And lastly, Retronaut has a gallery of car crashes from 1930s Boston. There were a LOT of cars going into the water, apparently.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

While I was out east, I got to visit Woodlawn Cemetery. I was amazed when I just happened upon the grave of Elizabeth Cady Stanton; I had no idea she was buried there. Today marks the anniversary of the Seneca Falls convention, and also marks the date of death for Margaret Fuller. It’s a good day to read up on history and women’s suffrage.

In other news, there’s a Scottish island for sale, complete with a lighthouse (which is also a murder site). The only thing I don’t like about it is the lack of trees.

And speaking of trees, I have encountered many wolf trees, but didn’t know the name for them. Now I do!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

It's another busy morning, but fear not - Bill Lucey has a fantastic post on websites, podcasts, and apps recommended by journalists. Some are familiar, but I haven't heard of others, and am going to check them out as soon as it calms down around here.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Friday, July 14, 2017

We’ve made it through another week!

NPR does some good work. However, current contract negotiations are not going so well. Here’s more info, and how you can help. 

From Julie: Personal correspondence has been discovered near Hadrian’s Wall. This is so cool.

Also from Julie: Mars is not friendly to microbes. I mean, you really can’t blame the planet.

Just how big is the ice shelf that broke off Antarctica? Here are several frames of reference, depending on where you live.

The Theme from S’Express is a classic (and I will fight anyone who says differently). Here’s some background on its creation, back in the wild days of sampling without permission.

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

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sneakers, tennis shoes, or gym shoes? I admit, I say gym shoes. I guess you can tell where I’m from. (I also say “you all.” I’m a linguistic mess.)

NPR’s Fresh Air has thirty years of shows digitally archived for your (re)listening pleasure! 

Atlas Obscura has found one of my favorite libraries, the Conjuring Arts Research Center. 

Need a useless social media app? Meet Binky! It doesn’t do anything! It’s awesome in a surrealist way.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

In planetary news, we now have to redraw all our maps of Antarctica. Yikes.

It’s Henry David Thoreau’s 200th birthday, and the society in his name is celebrating all week. 

It’s also the birthday of designer extraordinaire Eiko Ishioka! 

Remember last week’s story about Amelia Earhart? Well, it was a short-lived theory. 

While the world is still turning, it’s not too late to see the amazing 12th-century churches in Ethiopia, carved from volcanic rock.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Good news, for once! Silent films – nearly five hundred of them – have been found in the Yukon! 

Back in WWI, Parisians protected buildings and monuments with sandbags. They also put tape on building windows, and some got artistic. 

The planned Shiki-Shima train in Japan is slow, and that’s on purpose. It’s so you can enjoy the scenery both outside and in.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Happy Monday and happy Palindrome Week to you. The NY Mag article on climate change is the most important read today, but here are some others.

During WWII, textiles were used for espionage, including messages delivered via knitting.

Robert Macfarlane’s Twitter is filled with the beauty of nature and the words used in describing it. 

Isadora Duncan’s autobiography is, in some ways, fictionalized, and a fiction author talks about using it in her own work.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Happy Friday!

Zazoo and Satori introduced me to Ken Nordine’s “Colors” album while I was visiting, so we found this especially funny. From Satori: “How Yellow affects your state of mind and then this ‘related article:’ Why we all need green in our lives.”

From Julie: Maybe forgetting things is just the brain’s way of weeding out useless information. (I don't recommend trying this as an excuse after an exam, however.)

From Mental Floss: What are the most distinctive (American) names of each generation?  (Also, babies being born these days belong to the "Homeland Generation"? Yikes.)

From Twitter: Maker Faire Nantes is here, and looks amazing!

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

Thursday, July 06, 2017

We’re back! And the world is still turning! Huzzah!

A rediscovered photograph has added to (or perhaps solved) the mystery of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance.

The remnants of a basilica have been found underwater in what was once Nicaea.

Do you know Latin? And magic? Your help in transcribing manuscripts is hereby requested!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Happy Solstice, everyone! 

I am not a fan of summer (and, of course, I managed to be born during a time of global warming, rather than during a little ice age, more’s the pity). However, if you’re like me, here’s a way to get through the heat. 

Here’s a long but great read: Lovecraft, Ballard, and architecture in the 20th century. 

Have a spiffy several days, everyone! We’ll be back after July 4th.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Dorian Cope’s On This Deity continues to be incredible. Today I learned about Voltairine de Cleyre, whom I’d never heard of before, and I really should have. Down the fascinating rabbit hole I go! 

If you’re looking for something to do, History Unfolded could use your help finding local news articles about the Holocaust. It’s easy and helps get a bigger picture of how newspapers reported on what was happening throughout the 1930s and 1940s.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Happy Monday! This is going to be a short week for Folderol, as we’re off on various adventures starting Thursday and going until July 4th. As a result, this week will be a mixed bag of links each day.

How does one celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation? Well, some German Protestants have created a robot pastor. Yes, really. It can bless you and possibly argue theology with you (well, eventually).

How well do you know the neighborhoods in your city? Click That Hood tests your knowledge (worldwide!). I learned that my city’s neighborhood boundaries are completely bonkers. Also some city planner has tried to rename one of our neighborhoods as a hip acronym, which seems like a waste of time.

Where are Americans throughout the work day? This handy bubble animation shows you. 

Makezine revisits the wonderful world of steampunk, huzzah!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Happy Friday! And happy Bloomsday, even if James Joyce wouldn’t be celebrating it, most likely.

We are now in the midst of Gemini season, which can be…tricky. Madame Clairevoyant explains it all. 

From Keli via Twitter: Hello Kitty now has her own tartan. Sure. Why not.

From Zazoo: Bananarama is back together! And they talk about it in a new interview! 

From Julie: The headline “Chinese scientists to grow potatoes on the moon” says it all, really.

Also from Julie: An amazing replica of the Parthenon built with banned books. This looks so cool. 

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

Thursday, June 15, 2017

What is a library? That question has been asked about eight billion times, but The Smart Set takes a stab at it. 

And, in somewhat related news, Philadelphia librarians are training themselves to administer Narcan to overdosers. 

A Kickstarter to digitize the diaries of Holocaust victims and survivors is about 1/3 there. Donate if you can! 

The Tiny House movement meets the Little Free Library movement in this tiny traveling French library! You can see how they built it, and see other houses the company makes as well. (Bonus photo of a very cute dog, too.)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

So much terrible news lately. Here are a few non-terrible links as escapism.

Sasha Trubetskoy makes some incredible maps, including this one which turns the roads of the Roman Empire into a subway system. 

Did you know there are haunted vineyards? Makes sense, I guess. Here are a few.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

In times of increasingly dystopian possibilities, let’s take a moment and consider America’s utopian efforts throughout the years.

I was cleaning up some RSS feeds and discovered the Hauntological Society has moved to Tumblr, and also found the Institute for the Future’s website. Lots of great stuff in both places.

There’s a Sherlock Holmes themed hotel in Hanover, and it looks amazing! (Found via the Bartitsu Society, which points out the fitness room’s décor.)

Monday, June 12, 2017

Hello! Ready for another week of madness?

In Los Angeles, vintage buildings are finding second lives as museums. 

Eirik Brandal makes amazing sound sculptures and DIY synthesizers. Look and listen!

Friday, June 09, 2017

Happy Friday, everyone! I'm deep in reading analyses and stories from yesterday's goings-on in the U.S. and the U.K., and apparently everyone else is too, because we have no links from others this week. Have a safe and spiffy weekend, and we'll be back with more posts next week!

Thursday, June 08, 2017

If you’re in DC today, look out – the local bars are offering shots during the Comey hearings. (Not gonna lie, I would totally be at one of those bars if I were there today.)

Meanwhile, in Great Britain, it’s election day. If the stakes weren’t so high, the Monster Raving Loony Party would have my backing.

Tomorrow is International Archives Day! Celebrate by preserving something near you. Like a nation, maybe.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Today, thanks to Dangerous Minds, I discovered the wild world of Apache dancing. Wowzers.

Also from Dangerous Minds: here is a collection of old photographs of very serious nuns. 

Strange Maps has a post on Curiocity, an amazing work about London that has its own book and its own website.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Today, the Library of Congress observes D-Day with this collection of military maps. 

For something completely different, we turn to…pushball! Apparently it was quite the craze for a while across the pond.

Monday, June 05, 2017

In the midst of all the chaos, here are some gorgeous posters celebrating Wonder Woman. I really like this one in particular. 

Julian Cope observes the 15th anniversary of Dee Dee Ramone’s death. 

There’s a Dr. Seuss museum opening in Springfield, Massachusetts!

And finally, here’s an in-depth look at the history of alphabet blocks.

Friday, June 02, 2017

And so we have made it – barely – through another week. Oy.

Are the pigeons involved in a Russian scheme? (Or, as Zazoo suggested, is this pigeon actually a remote control drone?)

From Satori: the next prime minister of Ireland might be the gay son of an Indian immigrant. It’s true!

The full archives of Omni are now available online, for your escapist pleasure.

I had not heard of Toyen before reading an interview with China Mieville. Now I’m fascinated.

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

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Thursday! That means it's busy. Also, apparently robots are studying me, as there's a 65% chance they'll replace me once I burn out. 

Robots, however, cannot replicate the smell of old books (yet, anyway). An intensely detailed study analyses what makes up that aroma. (Check out the wheel at the bottom of the report!)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Today’s links are sort of morbid until the last one. I’m just warning you ahead of time.

The most dangerous autopsy took place in the UK recently, when Alexander Litvinenko’s body was examined.

Some martyrs are forgotten, but their ornamentation lives on. Meet the bejeweled skeletons! 

A Course In Dying examines approaches to death, among many other things. There’s a newsletter, too.

And finally, Google honors Zaha Hadid and her architecture.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Hello! Here are some historic links.

Martin Manhoff was posted in the Soviet Union in the 1950s, and made several color films. You can see Stalin’s funeral, city life, and more. It’s fascinating.

I took a “which American Revolution figure would you be” quiz – twice! – and got Benedict Arnold both times. The nerve! See if you get someone else. (Is it because I said I like snowy days? Is that it?)

Friday, May 26, 2017

We’ve made it to another Friday!

From Julie: Art from bacteria? Yes! Check out these amazing images. 

Also from Julie: Behold, the spider named for Gryffindor. 

From Zazoo: Muppets in MOMI, coming in July!

Also from Zazoo: Lana Del Ray and Stevie Nicks are collaborating. Seems like the perfect match. 

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

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Greetings. Another busy Thursday with a lot of background stuff going on. We'll be back tomorrow with links from others. See you then.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Manchester, Syria, Big Sur. It’s a dark week.

Somewhat fitting, then, is this ranking of 225 Cure songs. Most of my favorites are ranked way too low, but to each their own. (I do agree with putting most of the “newer” stuff at the bottom, though.) 

If you’re into history and have a morbid curiosity (hello!), the old admission books from a Philadelphia prison make for fascinating reading.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Happy World Goth Day, fellow spooky people!

Today would be the 75th birthday of Richard Oakes, and marks the date of death for Victor Hugo in 1885.

Preserving film hasn’t really gotten easier with the advent of digital technology, unfortunately.

We’re still watching the Mister Rogers Twitch marathon, and here’s a lovely remix (which I have probably posted before, but hey, it’s Monday, we could all use it).


Friday, May 19, 2017

Happy Friday! We’re all still here!

Big Muppet news: a prequel series of The Dark Crystal is scheduled for Netflix! 

Also Muppet-related, from Zazoo: “MOMI is showing a 1990 Muppet special of the Muppets visiting Disney World!” 

Also from Zazoo: Lana del Ray, as photographed by David Lachapelle. It’s as bonkers as you might expect.

William Shakespeare (or perhaps someone working for him) is posting timely quotes on Twitter, and it’s pretty great.

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

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Chris Cornell has died, Roger Ailes has died, a special counsel’s been appointed to investigate the president, and it’s barely 9 a.m. in this “anything can happen at any time” universe we’re in at the moment.

So, with that in mind, why not spend a few minutes helping the Library of Congress solve some mysteries? They have a whole series of “identify this person” photos, as mentioned earlier, and the latest installment is out (and there are still a lot of unidentified people from previous posts).

There’s a new Instagram account, LibrarianLooks, dedicated to showing what we librarians look like.

A drag queen reads to kids in Brooklyn! This sounds like so much fun. Three cheers for the Brooklyn Public Library.

Not library-related at all, just kind of fun: There’s a livecam at the famous Abbey Road crossing, so you can watch people try to imitate the Beatles in real time. (When I last looked, there were some tourists taking photos, plus other people just trying to catch the bus.)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the 115th anniversary of the discovery of the Antikythera mechanism. We still don’t know exactly how it came into being (or why the technology was lost after its creation), which makes for wonderful mystery.

Wanna buy a cottage in Edinburgh? It’s in a graveyard. (I don’t see the problem here, honestly. It looks amazing.)

Someone went to an art museum and used FaceApp to create smiling masterpieces. It’s pretty great, actually.

Hooray, there’s a new interview with Grant Morrison, and it covers everything from Brexit to Grand Theft Auto.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Someone online compared our current political situation to the first episode of (the newer) Battlestar Galactica, where the Cylons attack every 33 minutes. I agree. (And we don’t even have good jump technology, which makes it more exhausting.)

To counter this, however, there’s a marathon of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood going on right now, showing every episode from 1968 onward (click here to watch live, it's great). We watched a bunch of episodes last night and they are truly wonderful (and, in more than a few cases, truly weird).

The Bletchley Bar in London serves coded cocktails – you have to break the code in order to get the drink! (My dad would have absolutely loved this concept.)

 The NMAAHC has a great post on five black women who bicycled over 250 miles in 1928. (With pictures!)

Monday, May 15, 2017

Happy Monday!

The Eurovision Lemurs have all the details on 2017’s Eurovision. Like many things these days, the winner was a surprise.

In Beijing, thousands of people live in underground bunkers. They’ve made a whole community there, literally under everyone’s noses.

Ursula Vernon talks about working with fairytales, and also about gardening. 

Female Surrealist artists are enjoying a renaissance of sorts, and it’s excellent timing. Here’s a Surrealist Survival Kit for you!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Welcome to another Friday in these interesting times!

 The word of the day is “grok.” It’s a perfectly cromulent word, we are happy to say.

Two ravens have snagged the WikiCommons photo of the year. (The photographer helped a bit.) 

Sarah Palegic is out to change some minds about drag queens and disability.

From Zazoo: Sinead wants to donate her old clothes to transvestites. Any takers?

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

Thursday, May 11, 2017

So, Resistbot is a pretty great way to contact your representatives without calling them. I recommend it.

Unsplash is a free resource for high resolution photographs. Worth a look!

The remains of five archbishops of Canterbury have been discovered, in what sounds like a wacky day at work. 

Thousands of years ago, a scribe detailed how a comet apparently hit the planet and caused a mini ice age. (Um. Can we petition the comet association to visit again? We could use a reboot. And a cooldown.)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

So. Er. Here we are, then. Can we get the Large Hadron Collider to work on possible alternate universes?

In possibly related news, a dinosaur has been (re)discovered, and has been named after Zuul. Sure, why not.

Back in Tudor England, Mary I used her phantom pregnancy as an excuse to burn heretics. It’s true! 

Here are America’s deadliest highways, shown by state. The worst one is in Florida, which is not a surprise.

Kaiju Big Battel is just amazing and possibly the perfect distraction for when you need a break.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Even teething was deadly, back in the good old days. (The so-called remedies of the time did most of the damage, from what I can tell.)

Let’s spend the rest of the day looking at dog names in NYC! (Note to Zazoo & Satori: there are 50 other dogs running around the metropolis with your dog’s name. I’m surprised there aren’t more!)

Monday, May 08, 2017

Good morning. Here are some arty links for your Monday enjoyment.

Art: Banksy is back with a statement about Brexit. 

Art, perhaps: California has a museum dedicated to bunnies. It’s a little different. 

History and philosophy: Plato left Athens after the death of Socrates…but then returned.

Literature: Support this Kickstarter for an alphabet book with multiple cultures, creatures, and creativity!

Friday, May 05, 2017

Friday once more. Be safe out there, everyone. 

From Holly: Pet squirrels were once all the rage! 

From Julie: Breaking news: drunken crayfish are more social. (I’d like to be the person in charge of getting crayfish drunk.)

From Twitter: Angelica Dass is working on a chart of skin colors, and it’s pretty fascinating. (I’d like to see something like this for eyes, too.)

Have a spiffy weekend. See you next week.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

May the 4th be with you. We all need it right now.

Relatedly, here are ways to find government and corporation information online. 

Lady Jane Franklin spearheaded polar exploration, in an effort to find her missing husband. She did much more, too.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

How do you feel when you find out that what you believed is wrong? A great comic from the Oatmeal.

In related news, Einstein did not get bad grades at school.

Also somewhat related: Romania struggles with tourists wanting to get the full Dracula experience

And now, for something different: Check out this spiral of arches through history, an exhibit at the Islamic Arts Festival.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Oy, today got away from me. Here, have a glimpse of the future! SmartFlower creates portable solar energy, and Elbow wants to bring back cassette tapes, but in a cool way.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Good morning and happy May Day. The news is pretty dire, so I recommend Madame Clairevoyant’s weekly advice, once again.

Meanwhile, Patti Smith is living her best life, and has purchased Arthur Rimbaud’s home in France. Wow.

Friday, April 28, 2017

The chaos and absurdity of Fyre Festival seems to fit right in with the world today. My favorite detail so far is the dinner, which was two slices of bread, two slices of cheese, and some burger toppings. High cuisine!

From Julie: O noes, ebooks are no longer cool! (Um…were they supposed to be?)

 From Zazoo: Excellent news – Bananarama are reuniting! Siobhan is an essential part of the group. (Hey, some of us have very strong feelings about our ‘80s pop.)


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

Thursday, April 27, 2017

If you’re in New York City today, check out the High Line, where there’s an installation regarding Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. (And you can get a copy of the book there for free!)

A second “doomsday vault” is underway, and this one is for data. 

Speaking of, USA Facts is a new site (created by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer) full of data on the government. It looks like it might be a great resource.

Did you know that “themself” is an actual usable word? (My autocorrect doesn’t, and keeps trying to fix it.)

I missed National Indexing Day (it was March 30) but it’s not too late to read this article celebrating this oft-overlooked profession!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Today’s Google Doodle honors the Cassini spacecraft before it dies in the name of science. You go, little spacecraft.

Bog bodies are slowly giving up their secrets, thanks to modern technology.

I can’t believe I haven’t found Strange Remains before now! They’re also on Twitter. 

If you’re into both paper and Halloween, you’re in luck – here are haunted houses you can print out and create, all free!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

It’s World Penguin Day! Help support a penguin. They’re much more awesome than us humans.

Also today: the anniversary of Portugal's Carnation Revolution. My mom told me about this years ago, as she knew some people who were there when it happened, and the radio message has stuck in my mind.

Yesterday marked the Sechseläuten holiday in Zurich, which looks like all sorts of fun.

O’Reilly Auto Parts has a flux capacitor for sale! Well, not really. It’s always out of stock (due to time travelers, most likely).

Monday, April 24, 2017

Happy Monday!

Art: Will Christo’s Mastaba project come to life in the UAE, after forty years of planning?

Media: What happens to old TVs? It’s a complicated story. 

Performance: Cuba’s drag kings and queens are known as “transformistas,” which seems like the perfect word.

History/Audio: Today’s Optimistic Almanac tells the story of Shackleton’s daring rescue operation. Get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton, indeed.

Friday, April 21, 2017

We have made it to another Friday, hooray!

From Julie: This art machine traps your arm until someone comes along to free you. I think I would panic and probably break the machine. Or my arm. Possibly both.

From Cassandra: Psychedelics might indeed take your mind to a higher state of consciousness

Also from Cassandra: The myth of “making a superbaby” and one mother’s experience.

From the Awl: Eleanor Roosevelt is inspiring, so they created the EleanorBot to Tweet quotes from her every few hours. I was obsessed with Eleanor when I was young, so of course I think this is awesome.

From FiveThirtyEight: what’s the mortality rate like in your U.S. county? This is a fascinating interactive chart which shows the trends from 1980 to 2014. You can even narrow it down by type of cancer.

From Twitter: The Redneck Revolt is a bunch of good ol’ boys and girls who actually care about their fellow boys and girls, regardless of sexual orientation, place of birth, color of skin, etc. It’s kind of amazing and inspiring.

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

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Today is busy. (Oh, that’s right, it’s Thursday. Thursdays are always busy.)

What’s it like to be a lexicographer? Let’s find out what they do at Merriam-Webster! 

Archaeologists have discovered new Egyptian statues and also, possibly, the site of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Whoa.

Bad news, librarians – apparently the robot replacements are on the way, starting in Dubai. Maybe. We’ll see.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Google Earth is new and improved! Now we just have to work on the actual planet…as the icebergs are heading our way, literally and metaphorically.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Are you a Render Ghost? Do you know someone who is? (These are people who are in stock images, often unbeknownst to them.)

Where are the space hotels of the future we were promised? Amazingly, there are still plans afoot!

Monday, April 17, 2017

It is Monday once more. A long, detailed interview with Margaret Atwood is a good way to start the week.

Also, here’s an essay on Julio Cortazar’s Berkeley lectures. (I read Blow-Up and Other Stories at an impressionable age.)

Politics has seeped into Eurovision. Is nothing sacred?

Friday, April 14, 2017

Happy Good Friday. (That always sounds weird.)

Here’s a lovely tribute to Carrie Fisher. Try not to cry.

Behold the winners of the 2017 Peeps diorama contest! 

From Matt S. via Twitter: Modern art was used as torture during the Spanish Civil War. Yes, really. It’s kind of amazing.

I took this quiz and got “Older Female Executive in Male-Dominated Workspace,” which…I guess? Sort of?

Balm for the soul: You can watch a live feed of kittens in Iceland. There are usually at least two kittens awake and trying to cause trouble. Also, there’s tiny mod furniture around them!

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

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wow, the news just keeps getting worse and worse (and weirder and weirder).

So: Birding! It’s nice and relaxing and might save your sanity.

On the other hand: Medieval Yorkshire villagers mutilated the dead to make sure they wouldn’t rise up and, well, you know.

Monday, April 10, 2017

I am somewhat back in action, finally. Happily, it's just in time for Squirrel Week! More soon.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Currently fighting off my annual bronchial/sinus infection, which is my own personal sign that spring is here. Grrrr. Back soon.

Monday, April 03, 2017

It’s Opening Day, which is kind of a big deal here. (Although it’s raining. Oh well.)

Here’s a Friday link for Monday! From Julie: A Shakespearean-era notebook has been discovered. This is every historian’s dream.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Revival Initiative intends to do just what it says, and bring Wright’s buildings back to life. 

You’ve seen Brutalist London, now see Brutalist Paris!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday links from others! Thanks, everyone! 

From Holly: There’s a Wax Trax documentary, huzzah!

From Satori: Now you can own a Labyrinth plush worm. Really!

From Zazoo: “Lana del Rey is back with a new album! This time, she's a witch (albeit a good witch) who lives in the H of the Hollywood sign. Where else???”

From Matt Staggs via Twitter: Abandoned Masonic lodges make for some great urban explorations. 

From Twitter: Crayola is getting rid of one of its colors (spoiler: it’s dandelion) and replacing it with another (spoiler: it’s…some kind of blue, to be named later). People get very emotional about crayon colors, I’ve discovered.

Also from Twitter: The AMAZING (and long) story of Oliver Napoleon Hill, a con man of epic proportions who is still revered today. It’s a wild story, and worth your time.

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

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Here’s some good news: The Associated Press has deemed it okay to use “they” as a gender neutral pronoun. Finally!

Some more good news: NASA’s Image and Video Library is searchable, and it’s amazing, and you should go look at it now and think about space and stars and not about how messed up the planet is at the moment.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Well, today’s links turned out sort of dark. This is your warning!

What happens to houses after tragedy occurs? This is a fascinating article about selling homes which are “haunted” – either by murder or by suspected paranormal activity.

A BBC article on “survival condos” led me to the Survival Condo website. You, too, can own a survival condo if you have a lot of money. They sort of look like the Vaults from Fallout, only much nicer.

Someone built a bot which prints out everything Trump tweets, then burns the paper, then tweets about it. Genius.

Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman in space. Today, she is 80, and a hardline Putin supporter, but she says the same thing about our planet as everyone else who has seen it from afar – protecting the planet is paramount.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Happy (busy) Tuesday!

The Library of Congress is featuring dirigibles, as shown by this example. 

On This Deity observes the day Virginia Woolf died. 

A ghost plane crash? No one is quite sure what happened over Lake Superior last week.

The Haunted Random Forest festival takes place in Brighton next month and looks fascinating.

Monday, March 27, 2017

When I read that some people keep hearing a fictional character in their heads after finishing a book, my first thought was, “wait, this isn’t something that happens to everyone?” (Hello, and welcome to my brain!) I am now totally intrigued by Hearing the Voice and similar studies.

The amazing Yayou Kusama Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the Hirshhorn (mentioned previously) took a lot of planning to set up properly. 

Beyond Curie has some fantastic posters featuring women in science – ostensibly for the Science March, but good anytime and anywhere!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Happy Friday! Sorry about the light week. We should be back to normal by next week. Hopefully. Maybe.

From Cassandra: Sesame Street has a long and glorious history of mocking our current president. 

From Julie: Scientists have reconstructed the face of a 13th century man from his skeleton. He looks like an everyday sort of person!

Have a safe (and spiffy) weekend, everyone. See you soon.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

It’s time for the Peeps to appear, both in stores and in the annual Legal Peeps contest! Diorama deadline is March 31st.

Urban librarians, unite! And help fix the world, it’s in dreadful shape at the moment. (Their swag shop link isn’t working, but apparently there is zombie librarian swag out there somewhere.)

An archivist’s dream: Finding a treasure trove of candy wrappers, ticket stubs and more in the crawlspaces of a Chicago theatre.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

It’s not too early to start thinking about Halloween! Well, maybe it is. But if you’re the type who doesn’t think so, the Order of the Thinned Veil may interest you.

This epic Twitter thread is…well, it’s just epic. (And still going!)

Mammal Madness continues! Follow along with some rodent-themed recaps!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Good morning! It's a super busy day here. But it is also World Poetry Day, so take a few minutes to explore and dream. See you soon.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Alas, it is once again Monday…

Poor Yorick has been portrayed by many skulls over the centuries – some real, some fabricated. 

Philip Pullman’s new trilogy is not a sequel, nor a prequel, but an “equel.” Hee.

The other day, we were wondering what happened to Google Glass. It turns out that it’s alive and well in factories. Who knew?

I love currency art, so this NY Times article is right up my alley.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick’s Friday. Stay safe out there, everyone.

From Julie: Here is a project I can get behind – cycling to draw figures (in this case, a happy goat) via GPS.

From Cassandra: Reading aloud as adults can bring unexpected comfort, especially in tense times.

From Twitter: tape in the form of “toy blocks” (LEGO, etc.)!

Also from Twitter: Classic movie lines, performed by Sesame Street characters. They’re all great, but Grover doing “Top Gun” is my favorite, I think.

See you next week, everyone! Also, more March Mammal Madness videos are available for your viewing pleasure/confusion. (Even NPR got in on the action!)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

We have a smorgasbord of somewhat library-related links for you today.

Musical history link: the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts has acquired Lou Reed’s archives. 

Beautiful link: Endpaper designs! I love these.

Depressing link: Russia is shutting down the only Ukrainian library in Moscow. 

Absurdist mystery link; Who’s hiding empty AI bottles throughout the public library? 

Fascinating (if somewhat ominous) link: What will happen when the Queen dies. (The “Rats” system sounds especially odd.)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

In the midst of March Madness (both basketball and mammal), there’s also the Name of the Year tournament, featuring real individuals with real (incredible) names! 

Now I Know is always a source of great information, but today’s is especially interesting to me: “The Invisible Wall Around Most of Manhattan” taught me about eruvin, something I had no idea about until today (and am now finding out how much more I don’t know)! Highly recommended.

Conflict Kitchen, located in Pittsburgh, features cuisine from areas with which the U.S. is currently in conflict. It’s sobering, educational, and delicious, somehow all at once.

If you need a break from the world, the Konica Minolta Planetarium can take you (virtually) into the Yakushima Forest with its “Star Night Healing” program. This looks amazing.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Oy, Daylight Saving Time, are you really necessary? (Nothing personal, you understand. I just like sleep.)

The Smithsonian has a great list of the world’s smallest monuments. Check out the mice fighting over a piece of cheese!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Happy Friday!

In a heartwarming story, a monastery adopted a dog and gave him a tiny friar robe. It’s super cute. 

From Zazoo: A Gowanus artist creates a dynamic “RESIST” sign in building windows. 

Also from Zazoo: Gillian Anderson’s new book looks fascinating. 

Also also from Zazoo: RIP, Tommy Page. 

 As the March Mammal Madness continues, some random rodents have recapped the action so far. (You, um, may recognize some voices. Or puppet faces. Maybe. I don’t know.)

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

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Sometimes, going down rabbit holes lead to great discoveries. Like this possible Templar structure! The Mirror has the photos, the BBC has the details.

I think I may have been born at the wrong time – I’d have been pretty good at library hand, as long as fountain pens weren’t involved (being a lefthander means lots of contorting and/or smearing).

Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirror Rooms” exhibit at the Smithsonian is drawing record crowds. I’d love to see “The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away” in particular. Go if you can – it looks like this is something that needs to be experienced in person!

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Happy International Women’s Day. Here’s to facing down adversaries with strength and grace. 

Tonight the division battles begin in March Mammal Madness! It’s entertaining and educational!

The “Walled Off Hotel” in Bethlehem is a real hotel, operated by Banksy, and opens this weekend. Check it out, it’s amazing. (Check out the “questions” section too.)

Alternatively, you can stay overnight in a floating capsule, and land on an island the next morning if all goes well. It’s supposed to begin at the end of this year in a Dutch-themed amusement park in Japan (which looks pretty wild in and of itself). This sounds absolutely perfect to me. Your mileage may vary.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Hello! It's another crazy day here. Hopefully this is not the new normal.

For our one link today, behold the gorgeous Futuracha Pro font, which changes as you type! I would send out all my correspondence using this font if I could.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Good morning! We are a bit scattered today, so there’s just one link. It’s a good one, though – check out these early 20th century magazines, celebrating surrealism and modernist art.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Happy Friday!

If you’re on Twitter, check out the ongoing #sciart tweetstorm. It’s gorgeous.

From Holly: All hail Joey the pet squirrel, who defended his home from a would-be burglar!

From Julie: The amazing story of the “Polish Schindlers” who protected Jewish people against Nazis in an extraordinary way.

Also from Julie: A look at the Wodaabe culture in Chad, and how men decorate themselves in a ritual for women. It’s pretty amazing.

From Zazoo: A Mardi Gras float celebrates the life of George Michael! 

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

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Hi there. Sorry about yesterday – we had some wild weather and not much power for posting purposes!

The Atlantic’s Timeline function shows you what’s happened in the world throughout your lifetime. It’s mostly serious stuff, but this cracked me up:

“This is what Hollywood thought teenagers looked like the year you became one.”

(Many a person has compared me to Ally Sheedy in the above photo.)

Also from the Atlantic: A Benedictine monk is helping to save Islamic manuscripts.

“Never read the comments” is well-known advice. But what if you had to prove you’d read an article before commenting on it? One news site in Norway is experimenting.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Do you know of any artists who have run into trouble at U.S. borders? Share the Art Borders Project. 

Also share the Shadowing Trump group, which consists of several brilliant individuals.

China’s “zombie factories and unborn cities” are real, not dystopian fiction, and the subject of an eerie photoessay.

Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, the feral bunnies are taking over. (Eeek? Yay?)

And speaking of mammals, it’s time to fill out your bracket for March Mammal Madness 2017! There are lots of great entrants (including one non-mammal). I am partial to the quokka, but haven’t quite decided yet.

Monday, February 27, 2017

It’s Monday, and it’s the day after the Oscars, and is anyone else starting to seriously wonder if we’re in an alternate timeline and/or science experiment?

I’ve linked to Soundcities before, but it was a while ago, and it’s grown by leaps and bounds since then.

Bunny showed me NativLang’s YouTube channel over the weekend, and I’m hooked, even if I’m occasionally totally lost.

Meanwhile, in design news: Roller guardrails are less smashy and more bouncy for you and your car!

Friday, February 24, 2017

It is Friday once more, huzzah.

Serious links:

- The New Yorker has a long, detailed report on the relationship between Russia and the United States – how it’s changed throughout the decades, and where it might be headed now. I recommend this – take some time and read it.

- Frommers reports that travel to the U.S. has taken a nosedive. Gee, I wonder why.

Fun links:

- It’s the year of the Resistance Rooster! 

- Hot Kenobi places action figures in all sorts of situations. Check out the superheroes demolishing beer cans. Also check out the superheroes recreating La La Land's dance moves.

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

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Newly discovered, possibly habitable exoplanets! Living in perpetual twilight with possibly black plants? Close enough to each other to planet hop (per this excellent poster from NASA)? Sign me up. 

You can track the progress (or lack of) recent administration nominations and nominees in this handy database. 

When imagined places become real: a list by the Guardian. Did you know there’s a whole town with streets named for Tolkien characters?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

How deficient are the bridges in your (American) town? Now you can find out! (The rates for where I live and work are surprisingly low, considering we have a massive, very creaky bridge over the Ohio that everyone says is a disaster waiting to happen. It makes driving very exciting.)

The underground tunnels of Malta are full of secrets (and more than a few film crews).

If you’re wondering how far one has to walk in Arkham in order to encounter something terrible, wonder no more – now there’s a street map of the town! (The answer, by the way, is “not very far, no matter where you are.”)

A Tim Burton-themed bar is opening in NYC’s East Village. The drink menu looks especially entertaining.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

In Russia, filmmakers are running into some bizarre problems. Censorship is forbidden, but insulting “religious feelings” is a criminal offense, and a new film on Tsar Nicholas II sets one issue against the other. 

Lost in the Past tells of days gone by, including this fascinating look at the Edwardian dancer Maud Allan. 

Jeffro Uitto creates incredible art. Look at the driftwood eagle! Look at the archway!

Harvesting water from fog can be done, and is being done now. Some parts of the future don’t look so bleak.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Happy Monday!

Good news – there’s now a Resistance Calendar to help you get organized.

The puppets are coming (literal puppets, not figurative ones) and there are some amazing shows out there at the moment.

Why were all the doomed poets lionized? Isn’t there something to be said for surviving? So goes a review of Deaths of the Poets

 Over the weekend, I discovered Ameno by Era. It’s not a new song, and the video is hilariously over the top, but the music is great. Listen!


Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday! Here is some good news, to balance out….everything else.

At 4 pm Mountain Time today, the 2017 March Mammals Madness announcement bursts forth, like a butterfly from…wait. Well, anyway, the divisions will be announced, along with a lot more!

If you like LEGO, and you like Dungeons & Dragons, why not both? (These could also double as miniatures for campaigns!)

From Zazoo: Boy George paid for the funeral of Pete Burns, and it was apparently an '80s reunion of sorts.

And finally, our alter egos Butch and Joan Cleaver made it into the Horror Host Hall of Fame! Induction ceremony is at Horrorhound next month. We've gotta find and unpack our outfits.

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

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Hi. Today's post is super short and is provided to you courtesy of Julie, who sent in this amazing story of rare book thieves. We don't condone book thievery at all, but this sounds like something straight out of a James Bond film! Back tomorrow with more.