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.