Monday, October 16, 2017

Happy Monday, everyone.

While Ireland is preparing for Hurricane Ophelia, here’s some good news: Bodacious the Cat Shepherd is going to write a book! He may have some human assistance.

Meanwhile, in America, the creator of the Bodega Cats account talks about its origins.

For Dictionary Day, Haggard Hawks has a new word game – anagrams! 

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith is one of the newer synth artists, and she shows the (amazing) resources in her studio. 

Have you heard of ergotism? It’s a fungal infection which causes hallucinations (and several far less entertaining effects), and may have been a significant influence in Renaissance painting.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Happy Friday the 13th! National Geographic busts some myths about the Knights Templar, but regardless of what they were really up to, this day and date 710 years ago was a bad one for them. 

Ta-Nehisi Coates posted a photo of a set of Childcraft books, and wow, these were formative materials of my childhood. (I only had a few volumes, and I think they were from the 1975 edition, but I read them over and over and over.)

From Cassandra: A photobook shows the bizarreness of Camp Guantanamo. 

From Tedium: Where did trackballs come from? From Canada, as it turns out!

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

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Happy spooky Wednesday. Are you prepared for Halloween? (We’re not!)

Archaeologists have found a pet cemetery from ancient Egypt. No word yet on whether anyone has tried to use it to revive the dead.

The Royal Armouries get into the seasonal spirit with a post on vampires – how to spot them and how to hunt them down. 

Some monarchs were considered gods, or close to gods, and some still are today. 

Paris has an official lost and found office, called the Bureau of Found Objects, and this sounds like it would have been my dream job if I’d been born just a little earlier and in France.

And finally, if you’re looking for some unnerving fiction, try Nadia Bulkin’s short story Intertropical Convergence Zone, and see if it doesn’t stay with you afterwards.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

It’s only Tuesday and we’re awash in bad news. But there is also a Star Wars trailer.

Here is some video from EPCOT “behind the scenes” before the park opened. EPCOT is our future that never was, and it’s so sad.

In other matters, the future of autonomous vehicles is creeping ever closer, and BookTwo has a lengthy, fascinating post about what it means for us and the machines of today and tomorrow.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Happy Indigenous Peoples Day/Canadian Thanksgiving/Columbus Day/Monday, depending on your location and preferences.

For Canada, here’s a list of the “most Canadian” names by decade. It is totally fascinating, at least if you’re a names geek like me.

In Great Britain, meanwhile…well, here’s a site where you can enter any phrase you like, and then watch it fall apart behind Theresa May. (I’m still amazed they used stick-on letters for this. Why not a poster? Or a projection? Or…)

And for the arty among us, who can resist a headline like this: "Imagine If Antonin Artaud, William S. Burroughs And David Lynch Decided To Open An Industrial Nightclub." How can you not read this article?

Friday, October 06, 2017

Here we are, another Friday!

From Julie: A man claiming to be a time traveler was arrested in Wyoming. Apparently the aliens have to fill you with alcohol in order to send you back in time. It makes as much sense as anything that’s happened the past few years.

Also from Julie: the Nobel prize in medicine goes to scientists researching circadian rhythms. 

From Cassandra: “Believing in Hard Work is White Ideology.” 

Also from Cassandra: Are hunter-gatherers the happiest societies on the planet? Signs point to yes. (I would agree.)

From Zazoo: The nominees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame have been announced, and I'm with Zazoo – how is Nina Simone not in the hall already?

Also from Zazoo: Why not throw a Star Wars variety show? It’s fun!

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


Thursday, October 05, 2017

Do you believe in book fairies? You should, because they’re real!

And speaking of books, the Aberdeen Bestiary is now available online, in all its illuminated glory. It’s beautiful, go see for yourself. 

Archaeologists recently discovered an ancient mosaic workshop, which they have nicknamed “House of the Tesserae,” and I think I have found my Game of Thrones kingdom name.

Bill Lucey asked journalists about the upcoming World Series. Will Cleveland finally – finally! – win it all?

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

It’s October, the spookiest month of the year, and we have some seasonal goodness for you!

Loch Ness has a livecam, so you can keep watch for Nessie at any time. (There are also sheep to be seen.)

Dinosaur Dracula (formerly X-Entertainment) celebrates October properly each year. Come for the Halloween mood table, stay for the (truly frightening) two-year-old Burger King Halloween Whopper.

Final Girl counts down to Halloween with hundreds of movies!

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Here’s a mishmash of links, since it looks like this week might be a confusing mess…

Even after the Hindenburg disaster, tourists could take a zeppelin tour of Washington DC.

I thought I’d talked about x-ray music recently, but it turns out it was five years ago. More Soviet bone goodness it is, then!

Irish Archaeology features photos of small town life from over a hundred years ago.

Winona Ryder will always have a place in my heart, and I’m glad she’s back on screen.

RIP, Tom.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Quiet today, for Vegas and Puerto Rico and Catalonia and more. Oy. Back tomorrow.

Friday, September 29, 2017


If you’d like to help the people in Puerto Rico and Mexico, the Hispanic Federation has launched the UNIDOS campaign. 

From Julie: The Smithsonian Design Museum has digitized over 200,000 objects. Yes, 200,000! 

From Zazoo: NYC’s archaic cabaret law may finally be on its way out, hooray! 

Also from Zazoo: the story of Blacklips, the performance art group that confounded New York in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s. Special shout out to Psychotic Eve!

Stikmen have invaded my town, and they’re adorable.

October is only a few days away, and it’s never too early to start your Halloween decorations! 

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

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Not only is it National Poetry Day, it’s also Banned Books Week! So go read some banned poetry, or anything else you like.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Have you climbed the mountains of Kong? Probably not, because they don’t exist, even though they were on maps throughout the 1800s. 

Mt. Everest is more tangible, fortunately, and in 1933, a biplane flew over it. The resulting photographs are gorgeous. 

The 2017 Underwater Photo Contest winners have been announced, and they are also gorgeous!

And finally, five Shiba Inu dogs show you around Hong Kong’s Old Towne Central. Watch the intro video, it’s great.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Because there is not enough going on in the world, Mount Agung may erupt, and 75,000 people in Bali are evacuating. 

In other news (because there is always other news, and we can’t obsess over all the bad news or we’ll become paralyzed)… The IgNobel awards were held last week, and, as always, were highly entertaining.

It’s the European Day of Languages, and Haggard Hawks has a list of great words and phrases. (They also have a list of fiendishly difficult quizzes.)

And finally, consider the Optimistic Almanac for your daily pick me up! Tori does great work.

Friday, September 22, 2017

We’ve made it to Friday, huzzah.

From Julie: Behold, the winners of the Gurning World Championships! (Frightening images abound.)

Also from Julie: Behold, a flower preserved in amber 100 million years ago. Wow.

From Zazoo: The owner of Brooklyn’s Way Station has penned a cocktail guide for sci-fi fans! 

Also from Zazoo: Argosy Books is the oldest bookstore in New York City. I’ll have to visit.

Via Warren Ellis’s newsletter: post-punk stamps! 

And speaking of post-punk, maps out the city as it was in the 1980s. Go and have a look, it’s great.

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

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Another week, another attempt to contact U.S. representatives and ask them not to take away healthcare. And maybe help out Puerto Rico’s power grid. And a lot of other issues. Resistbot can help.

If you’re not in America, or you’re on hold, or you need something else to do, fear not. The Library of Congress now has a crowdsourcing project involving newspaper photos and illustrations!

Also, if you haven’t seen it yet, this ten-minute timelapse video taken over a period of thirty days on a cargo ship is mesmerizing. The stars! The storms! The sunrises!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Rohingya…Earth is in a perilous state.

Also, in Cuba, there’s apparently some sort of sonic warfare going on, and everyone is confused.

On this date, Annie Besant died. She’s known for Theosophy, but did you know she organized the first labor strike by unskilled workers?

Ravenwood Castle is somewhat close to us, and features not only a castle but cottages and a pub for gaming! If we visit, I'll report.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Ahoy! We be back, 'n once again, 'tis International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Go 'n bother scallywags wit' yer pirate ways! We'll be back tomorrow wit' some more substance fer ye.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Happy Friday. Amidst the chaos, here are a cornucopia of links. Thanks, everyone!

From Zazoo: A bizarre-looking creature washed up on a Texas shore after Hurricane Harvey.

From Julie: Farewell, Cassini. 

Also from Julie: New mummies discovered in Luxor! I’m amazed there are still undiscovered tombs. 

What happens when London’s Science Museum gets into a Twitter battle with the Natural History Museum? Exhibits of the strange and unusual, and a proposed break for tea halfway through, of course. 

An update: While Salvador Dali’s mustache was untouched by time, the exhumation proved that the woman who claimed to be his daughter is not related. 

In more DNA testing news, a Viking warrior turned out to be female! 

And finally, here in the U.S., the list has come out for each state’s top five baby names in 2016. Apparently, a lot of Noahs and Avas are going to be running the country in a few decades.

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

Thursday, September 14, 2017

We start off today with a paean to libraries, and everything that books mean to us, from last month’s Guardian.

Also, hooray for microfilm and microfiche! No, really. It’ll outlast us, provided we keep the machines going. (Additionally, via this article I found the Tedium newsletter, which looks like it’s going to be great reading. Look, the history of corduroy! It’s hip again!)

John Scalzi’s Whatever is 19 years old today. Folderol is about 17 1/2, which seems unreal. Thanks for reading this tiny voice shouting out into the void, everyone.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Happy random Wednesday!

- Squirrels organize their nuts in a very specific way. Well, of course. Squirrels are smart.

- Remember the crime scene dollhouses? They’re being fixed up for exhibit! 

- Cleaning old maps is a delicate operation. The New York Times looks at what it takes for NYC maps.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Hello! If you’ve got some free time to help with crowdsourcing, the Planetary Response Network will need volunteers to process hurricane satellite imagery. (I think they’re caught up for now, but there will be new data arriving very soon.)

The Victorians sang the body electric. Well, sort of. They were fascinated by electricity, at any rate. 

Also, Victorian women demonstrated both good archery form and good archery fashion. 

The tuxedo Etti-Cat was a (brief) mascot for the New York Transit Authority in the 1960s. The first ad in this article is my favorite.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Happy arty Monday. Hope everyone is safe out there.

Koi Division does fish-related covers of Joy Division. Really, what more do you need to know? 

Christies has listed 101 fascinating factoids from its online magazine, each with its own link, each arts-related in some way. 

How good are you at identifying colors? Merriam-Webster will put you to the test. (I started out strong, but it gets tricky near the end.)

I had not heard of the mysterious disappearance of Arthur Cravan (nephew of Oscar Wilde) until now. What do you think? Faked death? True accident? Reinvented persona? None of the above?

Friday, September 08, 2017

So we have hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, and…well.


 It’s also Friday, and some lovely people have sent in links, so let’s get to them.

From Cassandra: Is there such a thing as a “true self”? (Probably not.)

Also from Cassandra: The living wage discussion in this nation is so completely broken.

From Satori: Iggy Pop and Alice Cooper headlined a concert together in 1971. Also, Alice Cooper lived for a short time in a Cincinnati frat house. Hee.

From Zazoo: The Muppets at the Hollywood Bowl? Yes, it’s true, this weekend only! If you’re not in a disaster area (or, actually, if you are in a disaster area and need somewhere to go), go visit with Kermit.

Stay safe, everyone. See you next week.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

The fates are conspiring against me (and a lot of other people, to be fair) and so there are no links to be had today, either. Hopefully we'll get a bit of breathing room and be back soon!

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Hello! Here we are with another ominous week. If you're in the U.S., call your representatives about DACA. If you're in the path of Hurricane Irma, start preparing. If you're elsewhere, batten down the hatches and hang on. Back tomorrow with some links.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Happy Friday!

From Julie: “Are they really out there?” Let’s hope!

From Zazoo: “People always told me Whitney Houston was gay, but I didn't believe it. But this new documentary says she had a relationship with her female assistant for 15 years!”

Also from Zazoo: Behold, the new voice of Kermit! We both think it sounds a lot like Jim Henson’s Kermit, which is a relief.

As seen in several places online: Old postcards of resorts in the Poconos and Catskills, compared to the same view in the modern day. So much work went into this, it’s amazing.

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

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Hello! Here is your slightly random passel of links.

Twenty years ago, Princess Diana died. Bill Lucey asked several writers and journalists about their reactions and experiences. 

Hend Amry (who is great and should be followed on Twitter ASAP) put together some amazing examples of mistranslations. Who knew meatballs were part of the Paul Is Dead conspiracy theory?

Burning Man may be old hat these days, but the art and architecture that's being created there is still out of this world.

Far away from the playa, floods are hitting southeastern Asia much worse than they are in Houston. Here’s how to help.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I am told Mercury is in retrograde, and that’s why everything is complicated. I hope so, because the retrograde ends next week.

Anyway. An enterprising duo has visited every single railway station in the UK! Huzzah!

In news that should not be too surprising, archaeologists have posited that the Ark of the Covenant may have been part of pagan worship at some point.

And if you’re looking for ways to help the flooded, Americares is a good resource.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Well, hello. Another unexpected day off yesterday. (It’s been that sort of month.)

If you’d like to help libraries affected by Hurricane Harvey, the Texas Library Association has suggestions. 

While everything else is falling apart, the KLF/Justified Ancients of Mu Mu are back after 23 years, taking over Liverpool and creating new art out of chaos. Hooray!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Hello! There was an unexpected day off yesterday, and now here we are at Friday.

Today’s Folderol is brought to you by Zazoo and Satori, who sent in some great links.

From Zazoo: “Brian Henson is directing a puppet thriller starring Maya Rudolf and Melissa McCarthy called the ‘Happytime Murders’."

Also from Zazoo: “There's a new behind-the-scenes Dark Crystal book coming out.”

Also also from Zazoo: Jane Wiedlin is back with a new band and a new video! 

From Satori: A vacant lot in Brooklyn, intended for a pre-school, may be the burial site of both Revolutionary War-era soldiers and of slaves. Satori’s comment: “If they move forward with the school, I know a GREAT ‘plot’ for a new Poltergeist movie.”

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

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Here’s another Ursula Vernon short story. I’m a big fan, obviously.

Do you remember Geedis, of the Land of Ta? No? Well, apparently not many people do. It’s a mystery!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Happy Day After the Eclipse!

Today, I am just showing you links I got in my email, thanks to Changeist and Warren Ellis. The Impakt Festival is coming in September, and looks as intriguing as ever. Meanwhile, How to Future does what it says on the tin, as does the Time Capsule Retrieval Service. It’s good to have some positive thoughts about the future, in these not-so-positive times.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Well, we’ve made it through another week, just barely. This is such a strange time.

We’re taking next Monday off to (carefully) watch the eclipse. Cassandra sent an article about how some small towns in Kentucky are handling their moment in the (lack of) spotlight. I suggested one of them do a Wicker Man sort of thing, but I don’t think anyone’s taken me up on the idea.

From Zazoo: The best food truck name in NYC: Desperately Seeking Sandwich. Hee.

You can now wear your astrological sign on your sleeve, sort of. I admit I like the Capricorn offering.

Make Magazine looks back at the amazing Mold-A-Rama machines. 

In Alberta, one smart squirrel is preparing for winter by raiding campground outhouses. 

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

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Bill Lucey asked several historians and writers about the Battle of Dunkirk, and got several fascinating answers. 

The Library of Congress has a Flickr set of great bookplates – I could have sworn I posted this before, but the archives tell me no. So voila.

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.