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.