Friday, December 29, 2017

Happy Friday! And farewell to 2017. Ernie of Tedium looks back at the year. 

Is toasting really connected to toast? Apparently so! 

Another Star Wars quiz – which character from the Last Jedi are you? - told me I was Vice Admiral Holdo. I think I’m okay with that.

Have a safe and spiffy weekend and New Year’s, everyone. See you in 2018!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Happy Friday!

Even the CDC is in the holiday spirit, imagining the needs at the North Pole. 

A quiz for the nerds among us: Who said it, Kylo Ren or JD from Heathers? (I got 17/20. I might be a nerd.)

And in somewhat related linkage, here’s a montage of ‘80s movies dancing to take us out to the weekend and holiday. Have a safe and spiffy time, everyone! Posting may be erratic next week, but we’ll be back in the new year.


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Happy Solstice! It is apparently an inauspicious day for doing pretty much anything, so we should all just go back to bed, I think.

From Zazoo: Sesame Workshop got a grant for $100 million to produce shows for Syrian refugee children! 

Also from Zazoo: Songs you should not like. At ALL. (We had a discussion about a few of these, but we are mostly in agreement that these are terrible songs.)

People may mock Dan Brown’s writing, but thanks to him, occult manuscripts are going to be digitized and online for free!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

It’s the Solstice, or nearly the Solstice, depending on where you are, exactly, and you can watch it live from Newgrange! 

From Julie: A follow-up to yesterday’s UFO post, about mysterious alloys recovered by the US government. (Dear aliens: Please hurry up whatever process you’re following. We’re doing a terrible job of taking care of this planet.)

The death of Rasputin has become a legend in and of itself. Forensic scientists try to determine what exactly killed him.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

I took the “Which Star Wars Villain Are You?” quiz and got Kylo Ren. Bah.

NORAD’s Santa Tracker website is in full holiday swing, along with an advent calendar’s worth of games. 

When I was a kid, I was terrified of UFOs. (I blame this on Project UFO, which I watched at an impressionable age.) Now, however, I’m all for the aliens showing up, especially if they have extremely fast spaceships.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Happy Monday! We are back and have seen the latest star war. Here’s some information about John Williams and his soundtrack, from a few years ago when The Force Awakens was about to come out. 

A civic-minded guerrilla artist decided to fix a highway sign, and it actually worked! 

This very long article about China’s internet celebrities – and the way they alter their appearances, digitally and physically – is absolutely bizarre to me. The future is here, and it’s completely weird. 

Your moment of zen: Watch the Penguin Nest Cam! One chick has hatched already, the other’s about to, hopefully.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Happy Thursday! It’s like Friday for us, as we’re taking tomorrow off for some last minute holiday excursions and also for Star Wars, hooray.

Bill Lucey takes a look at the most read stories of 2017. (Remember when we couldn’t wait for 2016 to be over? Yes, well…)

Ernie at Tedium delves into the history of U.S. area codes. 

Via Tara at Research Buzz: The National Fairground and Circus Archive has digitized its materials and they’re online! 

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

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

It’s hard to top the headline of “There’s a Severed Arm Touring Canada and It’s Metal as Hell.” (I will add that it’s the arm of a saint!)

The Osher Map Library has an amazing exhibit right now about maps and art, called Go Where the Map Takes You: The Intersection of Cartography and Creativity. 

I love the idea of safes weighed down by secrets. From the same BLDGBLOG, here’s a lovely look at repurposing old warehouses and water towers.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Today’s rabbit hole: The fascinating world of Austin Osman Spare. 

Have you seen all the top time travel films? Will you have seen them in the future past?

Dangerous Minds takes a look at weird vintage photographs.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Happy Monday! Let’s take a quick sprint through history.

Why does the Colosseum hold so many unique botanical specimens? Theories abound, and so does the greenery. 

Michelangelo has come to the Met, and it’s been quite the undertaking. 

The American mall used to be an institution. What is it today? 

From Digg: the British Ecological Society’s best photos of 2017.

Friday, December 08, 2017

We return to our normally scheduled Friday Links from Others. Thanks, everyone!

From Julie: Behold, 100-year-old chocolates to be auctioned. Ew. (They should send them to Steve1989. He’d eat them.)

From Zazoo: Tis the season for cats to crash outdoor nativity scenes! 

From Satori: Did you know they painted marble statues in the olden days? Here are some concepts of what they looked like. 

From Cassandra: Sesame Street parodies Stranger Things (“Sharing Things”) and it’s pretty great. 

From Twitter, I think: What’s the deal with KFC and Japan and Christmas? Well, it’s a convoluted story. (I want to adopt the “Kentucky is Christmas! slogan, though.)

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

Thursday, December 07, 2017

This is turning out to be a very long day already, so here, have some fun with making avatars. Here’s mine!(This is a very idealized version of what I look like, but I had limited resources.)

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Happy St. Nicholas Day! Julie just sent this article with the note “See, he is real!” We can but hope. 

Did you know there’s a real mansion in the jungles of Malaysia named Carcosa? After the spooky fictional Carcosa? It’s true!

National Geographic takes a look at the worst places on the planet to visit, geologically speaking. (Lots of lava, for the most part.)

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

It’s Tuesday and I’m confused by this GIF, which apparently most people can “hear.” Really? Do you hear anything? Let me know!

Retropolis has a fantastic business card construction kit so you can get organized in the new year. 

Atlas Obscura shows photos smuggled from the Soviet Union, showing all the walks of life during the 1970s.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Good morning!

Photography: Some wonderful person is photographing New York’s weird street posters. I love these.

Literature: The AV Club has a series called Wiki Wormhole, and by reading their installment on Alexandre Dumas, I found that there’s a real-life chateau of Monte Cristo one can visit!

Friday, December 01, 2017

World AIDS Day  (National AIDS Trust)

World AIDS Day (World Health Organization)

World AIDS Day (United Nations)

Something I wrote on this day in 2001. There is still no cure. But we're getting closer and closer.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Today, we celebrate the birthday of PONG! Well, it was yesterday, but still. Check out the Optimistic Almanac for details! 

For language nerds like me: A deep dive into all the accents on Game of Thrones. (Unsurprisingly, Littlefinger is making it up as he goes along.)

Related: the Dictionary of the Scots Language is good for hours of entertainment. Today’s Word of the Day is cahoochy!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

An exhibit on witchcraft in North America has opened at Cornell, and is there through most of next year! If you go after February, you could swing through Hartford and check out the Gorey’s Worlds exhibit at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. It looks like 2018 will be good for spooky roadtrips, provided we’re all still alive and functioning.

A huge auction of memento mori and mourning jewelry just took place. I think it’s mostly over now, but you can still see the items (and the prices at which they sold). 

I tripped over the amazing Necro Nom-nom-nomicon in my online travels. Spooky food and crafts! What’s not to love?

And finally, if you’re thinking of traveling internationally, here are some estimates on how long it’ll take to learn the language(s). I think it’s weird that German is supposed to be so much harder, but hey, what do I know, I’m here in America, where we can barely speak English these days.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Good morning! It's another one-link day (unless I get some more time later): Behold, ghost photography (of deceased children?!?) in the 19th century. (Actually, here are some additional links on the same topic: William Mumler was quite the character.)

Monday, November 27, 2017

Hello! We are easing back into normal work weeks slowly, so here’s just one link for today. It’s all about the complicated world of fake stage blood. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Greetings! It’s the day before Thanksgiving, and Tedium takes a good hard look at the (seriously interesting) history of mashed potatoes. (Controversial take here: I like them with lumps.)

For your family discussions: The Celebrity Perv Apology Generator! 

Have a good holiday (for those in the US) and a good weekend (for all of us), and we’ll be back next week.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Good morning! You may remember me posting comics and the like by Kate Beaton, who is a treasure. Kate’s sister Becky needs some financial help to participate in clinical trials in the U.S. If you have a bit to spare, it would be much appreciated. (Also, Kate is doing comics about their childhood on her Twitter account, with additional photos of them as kids, and it’s hilarious.)

From Cassandra: The Addams Family and the Divine Feminine. It’s true, they embody the maiden/mother/crone trinity, and make each phase look fun!

In New York City, if you play your cards and roll your dice just right, you can be a professional Dungeon Master (the Dungeons & Dragons kind, not the S&M kind. Although you can be that, too. But that’s not what this article is about!).

Monday, November 20, 2017

Hello, it’s Monday!

What’s your favorite color? Is it blue? Do you know why? (Also, if it is mustard yellow, you are apparently very strange.)

A new paint has the ability to cool buildings. (No word yet on whether or not it comes in colors.) 

Remember hidden tracks? They’ve been around for ages (be sure to read the Monty Python LP story!), but the mp3 era is not being kind to them.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Hi all. My father-in-law died, so we've been away, making arrangements and getting everything (and everyone) together. We'll be back on Monday for a short of week of posts before Thanksgiving. Have a safe and spiffy weekend, everyone.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Hello! We're still here, just super busy and handling some family stuff. However, never fear, Zazoo is here with some links to end our week!

The "Me Too" movement has a hairstyle, thanks to the amazing Laetitia Ky.

Have you seen those giant mirrors in New York apartments (or anywhere else, for that matter)? They're often called pier mirrors, and they make a place look enormous and filled with light!

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

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Today, we look to the stars!

EDEN-ISS is producing space food! Well, food in space, anyway.

Carrie Fisher suggested that space jewelry would be important in the Star Wars galaxy, and I’m amazed they didn’t think of this sooner.

Thanks to the Mysterious Package Company, I have discovered the nocturlabe, which is all kinds of complicated coolness.

And finally, this is not about outer space, just being spacy: Reddit has a hilarious thread about the stupid things we do while our brains are on auto-pilot.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Monday, November 06, 2017

Happy Monday. This is a rather uncertain week at Spooky Librarians HQ, so the links will be similarly scattered.

If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, or if you just like medieval cities, this Medieval Fantasy City Generator is all sorts of fun.

China’s Music Bureau was founded in 120 BC. It was rather short-lived, but the history and concept is fascinating.

Libraries damaged by Hurricane Irma could use your help. As an example of what they can do in return, some libraries lend out protest banners!

Friday, November 03, 2017

Happy Friday. It’s the end of a rather bonkers week and I don’t have many links, but here we go! 

From Zazoo: A badger wanders into someone’s house and tries on the lifestyle of the family cat. 

From Dorian Cope: On this day, Olympe de Gouges died. She’s a woman who should get more attention than she does. (This applies to both Dorian and Olympe!)

Have a safe and spiffy weekend (and Guy Fawkes Day/Bonfire Night). See you next week.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Happy Day of the Dead! Here are some fantastic photos.

Good news, everyone: Borderlands Books will have a permanent home in San Francisco. 

Weird news, everyone: There are mysterious “voids” in the Great Pyramid of Giza. (Alien spacecraft hangar? Grain storage?)

Literary fun, everyone: Behold, Literary Tea, with scores of blends designed and named after authors!

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

If you're not quite ready for Halloween to end, fear not - NASA has you covered with spooky sounds from space!

(More later, hopefully.)

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween, everyone! We’ve been documenting our preparations over on Instagram.

From NIOSH: A safety-related Halloween quiz. Even vampires have safety concerns, you know.

The presentations from Haunted Machines & Wicked Problems, this year’s Impakt Festival, are up on YouTube already.

Via Matt Staggs: Medieval society had a very different view of the dead. 

From Julie: Behold the reconstructed face of an accused witch! (Spoiler: she looks very normal and not at all haglike.)

Have fun tonight, everyone. See you in November!

Monday, October 30, 2017

And we’re back! Today’s a grab bag of links as we prepare for Halloween and dig out from the past week of stuff.

From Cassandra: A film on Halloween safety. They don’t like masks, apparently.

From Julie: A manuscript of a 1621 witch trial in Yorkshire. (Fortunately, the accused were acquitted.)

If you like your witches to be more Shakespearian, you may be interested in this mobile Globe Theatre replica! 

And closer to home, here are some spooky stories from the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and the Occult.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Happy Friday! And it’s happy day-before-vacation for us – we’re taking next week off to prepare properly for Halloween and celebrate the season. Back around the 30th!

For now, here’s a cornucopia of links from others. Thanks, everyone!

From Satori: The bull that ran through Brooklyn earlier this week now has a name (Shankar) and a new home at an animal sanctuary. Hooray for happy endings.

From a coworker: Hotel concierge dogs and distillery tour guide cats! 

From Julie: Stonehenge builders were fed by Scottish cows and pigs, apparently. (Ancient catering services?)

Via Tedium: Behold, the cornhole champions! (Cornhole is very big in this part of the world. It’s...a little strange, honestly.)

And finally, a Haunted Machines exhibition opens next week, and, as always, it looks incredible. 

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

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Happy Diwali! 

Silent films have found new life as social media GIFs.

How do the writers come up with all those Jeopardy categories and questions/answers? 

What’s it like being an orchestra librarian? It’s a whole different occupation than a “normal” librarian. (Your definition of normal, of course, may vary.)

And finally, a lament from Cleveland Indians fan Bill Lucey: this was supposed to be our year!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

In more “how to help” news, here are two GoFundMes for helping those in Mogadishu.

In other, brighter Somali news, over 10,000 music tapes have been found, bringing back memories of the “golden age” of music.

Some odd stone structures have been discovered in Saudi Arabia. Lava channels? Foundations? No one knows quite yet.

Trail webcams can result in some wonderful images. Here are some examples. (Look at that raccoon teamwork! Also, be sure to click on the “31 more images” button at the bottom.)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

World Food Day was yesterday, but food is vitally important every day, so…

If you’re looking for ways to help Puerto Rico, World Central Kitchen is doing amazing work. They’re even helping to feed the National Guard (which brings up another set of questions, but anyway…)

Springwise has a “World Food Day Innovation Snapshot,” which is full of fascinating ideas.

In non-food news, who is the mysterious John Quincy St. Clair? Apparently he lives (or lived) in Puerto Rico and patented many mysterious inventions, most of which sound like sci-fi or steampunk gear. He hasn’t registered anything since 2007, however. Has he gone time traveling?

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 NĂ¼shu, 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.)