Friday, July 20, 2018

Happy Friday!

The mysterious sarcophagus has been opened, and apparently it just contains three unidentified skeletons. That’s even WEIRDER.

From Zazoo: Two of Jim Henson’s children talk about growing up with the Muppets. 

From Holly: Chicago is vehemently opposed to ketchup. I had no idea!

Via Matt Staggs: A Canadian lynx found a way to use a camera crew to his advantage while hunting rabbits. (Beautiful footage of the lynx in the snow, too.)

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

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Banksy is here to help the libraries of Bristol! Hooray!

Meanwhile, here in the bonkers USA, the Knights Templar order has been revivified. Sort of. (This seems like not such a great idea to me, personally.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Are you a Big-Endian or a Little-Endian? Well, it probably depends on where you live. 

Climate change might even affect criminal detection, with thermal cameras needing some tweaks. 

An entomologist rates ant emojis. (Who knew there were so many different ant emojis?)

And now, your moment of zen, courtesy of NASA. These are (most of) my favorite colors in one image.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

I’ve gone back to playing 2048 in between reading the news, just to have something logical in this ridiculous timeline.

Honda’s friendly neighborhood Asimo robot has gone off to the AI afterlife. I checked on Aibo, and I’m happy to report it’s still around. 

If you have a spare $23 million, the house featured in Blade Runner and House on Haunted Hill (among many other films) is for sale. Some renovations are required due to earthquake damage, but who knows what spooky things could happen there?

Thanks to interns at the U.S. National Archives, we can look at some patents with a distinctly steampunky flair!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Happy Monday, and welcome to a special edition of Links from Others, normally reserved for Fridays!

From Julie: Five hundred years ago this summer, villagers in Strasbourg danced themselves to death. What happened, exactly?

Also from Julie: Newly discovered dinosaur skeletons reveal the existence of absolute units roaming the earth. 

From Matt Staggs and Curiosity Bomb: The recent heat wave in Wales is uncovering ancient settlement foundations. 

Also from Matt (among others): Who (or what) lies inside this huge black sarcophagus? A noble Alexandrian? A cursed mummy? Nyarlathotep?

From Satori: Scientists are puzzled about the purpose of hundreds of tiny carved spheres made in prehistoric times in Scotland. I agree with Satori, who says “some look suspiciously like role-playing die.”

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Hello! Would you like to live in a gorgeous monolithic dome? It can be yours if you have a spare five million dollars lying around. (Link from Bunny.)

Consider becoming a seed librarian. It’s fun, and you’ll be helping the planet!

The periodic table of the elements lends itself to all kinds of creative expression. This one has a haiku for each element, combining poetry with chemistry. Really, what more could one ask for?

Have a spiffy and safe holiday/week/weekend, everyone. See you soon! (We may be posting to our Instagram account while we’re out and about, so feel free to say hi over there!)

Monday, July 02, 2018

Happy Monday! We will be gone on various excursions over the next week or so; look for regular updates to start again around the 16th, maybe earlier. That being said, on to the links!

A long article about The National and my hometown, through the eyes of visitors from the UK, is a really interesting look at the band and our shared city. (Fun fact for Cincy locals of a certain age: Matt Berninger was on some of those 97X riverboat dance nights. I have totally forgotten what those were called; let me know if you remember!)

From Zazoo: Johnny Marr is not about to defend Morrissey these days. (Good call, Johnny.)

Here’s a wonderful way to spend some time: When a canal was drained in Amsterdam, all the objects in it were collected, scanned, and put online! Objects date from 2005 back to 10,000 BC (seriously), with tons of information about each find.

Friday, June 29, 2018

The news of the Capital Gazette shooting is awful.

There is still beauty in the world, though, and National Geographic has announced the winners of the Travel Photographer of the Year Contest. I recommend spending some time looking at all the entries. 

From Julie: A tomb thought to be the resting place of Lady Xia, grandmother of China’s first emperor, has also yielded the bones of a now-extinct gibbon (among other animals)!

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

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Well. This has been a week, hasn’t it. 

For daily updates, WTF Just Happened Today is a good source.

From 538: Entrenchment has led to some odd ideas about who makes up the US political parties.

In non-related news, check out Daniel Danger’s gorgeous artwork.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Today is National Writing Day in the UK, so write or type away!

Mars has gone into retrograde, which apparently is not as bad as Mercury going into retrograde but can still make life difficult. (Well, at least the world is calm and stable right n….oh.)

A compiled list of movies with a hauntology theme has shown me that I have not seen many films. (There are 190 movies on this list, and I’ve seen maybe a handful. Maybe.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Hello! It's a stupidly busy day here today, so I will leave you with one link, which ponders whether Charlie Chaplin invented the "distracted boyfriend" meme. (Evidence points to yes!). Many examples of the meme, plus the original film, can be found at the link. See you tomorrow.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Happy Monday, everyone. Let’s do our best to get through all this and help everyone we can along the way.

A newly digitized archive is online, showing over 9.000 photos of the Middle East and Northern Africa! 

A traveler’s photographs of their tour of Egypt in the early 1900s used a newfangled gadget called a panoramic camera, resulting in fantastic images.

Marcel Breuer was part of the Bauhaus collective, and went on to design Brutalist buildings with a surprisingly sense of weightlessness.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

If you’re in the legal community, or you know someone who is, and you’d like to help the current situation at the border, here’s a link – share far and wide. 

A Digg video shows where American accents originated. (My own American accent is a horrible mishmash of New England, Chicago, and edge-of-Appalachia, apparently. No wonder I have trouble with public speaking.)

The shadowy cryptic figures behind the Mysterious Package Company are creating something new called Post Mortem, and you can sign up for shadowy cryptic details. 

Meanwhile, in Belgium, you can escape for a weekend in a “secret cabin” off the grid, not knowing where you’re headed until the last minute. (This sounds really cool.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Hello. The world is, shall we say, not in a good place right now. Let’s do what we can to change that. In the meantime, here are a few minutes of escapism.

The world’s cities might have looked very different if some architects’ planned buildings had actually been built. The Atlantic details a few of these would-be structures. 

There was a time when zeppelins soared above the cities, and here’s an older entry from Gizmodo showing what that looked like. 

Artist Marcus DeSieno has created spooky “surveillance landscapes” from surveillance cameras capturing wide open spaces. They’re beautiful, and also creepy.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Hello and happy Monday… 

Art: Check out Mark Broyer’s After Hours photography. It’s lovely.

History: Americans learn about Benedict Arnold, but what exactly did he do? 

Art/Poetry; Meet Dom Sylvester Houédard, the beatnik monk or “monknik,” as he called himself.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Happy Friday, everyone.

From Julie: Continuing on our trains of the dead theme of the week, behold the Ghost Bus Tours of London, detailing the history of the Necropolis Bus Company! (I really want a Necropolis Bus Company badge and/or uniform.)

Local news: my city has several tours of our underground tunnels, including interesting facts about our (nonexistent) subway and our (quite good) beer!

Meanwhile, in Cape Breton, a gaggle of strongmen have arrived to pay homage to “Giant” MacAskill.

And finally, Dr Martens have added to their brand, with Joy Division and New Order themed boots! I love the Technique boots, although I fear I couldn’t quite get away with them at work.

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

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Two paths today: one for sports, one for reading!


The World Cup begins today! Google has you covered via today’s Doodle, and John Green gives a super-quick rundown of all 32 teams. (Joachim Löw is described as looking like “an aging Beatle trying to hail a cab,” which is about right.)


Once upon a time, there was a brilliant James Joyce scholar working on the definitive version of Ulysses. Then he disappeared. What happened to him? 

Emma Garman has started a new monthly column, Feminize Your Canon, at the Paris Review, featuring overlooked and/or underappreciated women in literature. This month: Olivia Manning!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

I have a desktop calendar at work, but I don’t do much with it. After seeing these amazing calendars created by a government worker in 1980s America, I am rethinking my attitude. It would be amazing to have a personalized history record like this!

The Elgin Marbles are still in London, and many people are unhappy about that. At least the marbles are being taken care of by conservation workers, however. (This is pretty fascinating if you’re into history and preservation.)

Earlier this year, I posted about the necropolis train in Los Angeles. Now it’s time to look at Victorian London’s contribution!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Greetings! We're back and getting caught up on everything. Back tomorrow at full strength, most likely!

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Quick, Americans – what job is most prevalent in your state? No worries, here’s a handy map! 

From Zazoo: Kat von D’s wedding dress was something else. (So was everything else about the wedding – check out the contortionist attendants, and the wedding cake!)

We’ll be gone the rest of the week on work-related business, so have a safe and spiffy weekend, everyone! See you next week.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Open Culture has a great, detailed look at the women of the Bauhaus movement. Relevant to my interests, as they say!

Also relevant: Martin Smith’s videos celebrating EPCOT as it was in the opening days. His latest, which we watched over the weekend, is all about the Communicore buildings. It's hard to overstate how much I loved Communicore.

From the same site as the previous link: Behold, news of haunted attractions!

Monday, June 04, 2018

Hello and happy Monday! We're doing some work-related travel this week, so posting will be sparse. We'll be back to normal schedule next week.

I was getting ready to write a screed about the theft of Anne of Brittany's "heart of gold" (her actual heart! In a gold reliquary!), but I found out that it has been recovered by authorities. Anne was really interesting, internal organs aside.

Friday, June 01, 2018

Happy Friday!

If you have some spare coin, the creator of Scarfolk could use a bit of it, due to some nefarious business complications.

Via Now I Know: The story of how Miami Vice came to define the 1980s, for a while at least. 

From Bunny: The Witch’s House in Beverly Hills has been restored, and there are amazing mosaics inside, plus all that lovely spookiness!

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

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Today we’re getting caught up on what I missed earlier in the week. (It’s Summer Associate Season in the land of the law firms and my attention is somewhat divided.)

First, and most importantly, a report on the annual Gloucestershire Cheese Race, plus a three-minute video of the most spectacular falls/bounces of the race. (Ouch.)

The Museum of Bad Art may have been linked before here, but it’s worth a second look!

The Catholic Church is slowly coming to terms with death…or, at least, how people handle remains after death. (Cremation rates are way up, evidently.)

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Hello, and Happy Otter Awareness Day! It’s good to be aware of otters.

It’s also the anniversary of Joan of Arc’s death, and Dorian Cope commemorates the girl from Donremy. 

SALt is a new product, providing “Sustainable Alternative Lighting” via lanterns powered by saltwater. 

And in local news, we have a major league soccer team in town now!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Good morning! As we get caught up from the long weekend, here is a VERY long post about hauntology music. If you’re looking for even more after that, the AV Club dives into the Boards of Canada discography. (I had not heard of Boards of Canada until now. Looking forward to exploring!)

Friday, May 25, 2018

Happy Friday, everyone. It’s been a week, hasn’t it?

From Julie: Watch out for zombies, warns a Florida town! Oh wait, never mind, just a power outage. (Um…)

Via Twitter: We Are the Mutants examines the Entourage Music and Theatre Ensemble’s 1977 work with Nebraska Public Television. It’s pretty wild.

Some brave souls have been streaming the volcanic activity from Kilauea for days now – you can watch it live right now. 

And finally, many thanks to Holly for taking us out into the long weekend with this absolutely brilliant Sesame Street ‘80s homage! Have a spiffy and safe weekend, everyone. See you next week.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Smithsonian’s weblog brings interesting historical news, like this discovery of a cache of tablets written in Meroitic, one of Africa’s oldest written languages, and also of the effect climate change is having on Mongolian burial sites. 

In related news, how do we protect our rare books from the climate, going forward?

I follow a lot of authors on Twitter, including some dead ones like Shakespeare. There are many more out there, some automated, some curated by the living. It makes for some fun interruptions in the day.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

World Goth Day was yesterday, but it’s never too late to enjoy some spooky words, courtesy of Merriam-Webster. 

The Order of the Good Death talks about Aztec mothers. Cassandra and I were discussing this and the concept of your afterlife being determined by the nature of your death. (Cassandra: “If you died by drowning, would you just hang out at the beach and wait to help others along?”)

Cities and Memory has a great soundscape project going on. (If you like this sort of thing, check out the Imaginary Soundscape!)

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

How We Get to Next has a new series, titled A Visual History of the Future, and it looks like it’s going to be fantastic.

Speaking of futures and history, here’s a 1922 concept of color television. Loudspeakers weren’t invented yet, so you have a Victrola-like contraption for audio!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Friday, May 18, 2018

Happy Friday!

From Julie: Time travelers are welcome at Stephen Hawking’s memorial service in June. 

Also from Julie: Scientists may have found a drug to combat the common cold! 

From Cassandra: Working class people are more empathic. Also more fatalistic. Well, you’ll have that.

From the people behind Retronaut: Freevious, high-quality public domain photographs!

From Twitter: The hockey playoffs have extended to a (friendly) Twitter war between the Winnipeg and Las Vegas public libraries. 

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

Thursday, May 17, 2018

It’s that time of year when the ranking of baby names comes out! Liam and Emma are at the top. I am pleased to report that my name is getting rarer every year. At some point today there will also be a state-by-state breakdown. 

Here’s something useful on Twitter for those of us in the legal world: Big Cases Bot posts downloaded filings of important ongoing cases. Very helpful, and free!

The Vatican has warned nuns “not to overindulge” in social media. Pfft. Good luck with that.

Bill E. Lytton had the brilliant idea to layer hundreds of photos together to create a visualization of London’s iconic landmarks. It looks like an Impressionist gallery.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Oooo, go check out today’s Google Doodle of Tamara de Lempicka, and then go learn about her, because both the art and the woman behind the art are fascinating.

The world’s first online Sikh museum is on the way!

Did you know about burial shoes? They’re a little different than regular shoes, due to, well, rigor mortis and the like.

Wil Wheaton spoke to NAMI Ohio about chronic depression, and it’s very close to personal experience (except for the fame angle!). Take some time and read it if you can.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Today we look at world history, in an oblique sort of way.

In Egypt, scientific instruments have determined that there are no secret passages in King Tutankhamun’s tomb. How disappointing.

In Myanmar, women are educating children about health and hygiene with the help of traditional marionettes. 

Originally from Argentina, Arturo Bonafont’s treatise on cane defense is now available in English!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Happy Friday!

From Satori via Save Ellis Island: Did you know Chef Boyardee was a real person? It’s true!

From Cassandra: Historical gynecological tools. This is a New York Times article and it locked me out after I saw a few images due to the paywall, and honestly, that was perfectly all right with me. 

From Retronaut: London street style circa 1906. I would kill for some of these skirts and shoes. Can we bring back Edwardian fashion?

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

Thursday, May 10, 2018

It’s Thursday and that means, as per usual, that it’s busy. But here, I found something that can entertain for hours: Make Your Own Bayeux Tapestry! You can add and delete people, animals and more, and create intricate battlefields or total chaos, depending on your mood.

Cambridge University’s mysterious library tower is going to open for an exhibit! This looks like so much fun. 

For genealogists and historical researchers: Here’s a handy guide to phrases and abbreviations used back in the day.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Here we go on a quick trip round the globe!

The long-discussed underwater hotel in the Maldives is on its way to completion. I would love to see it, but think I would be terrified the whole time.

Behold the beautiful bird palaces of Turkey! 

In London, The Cauldron offers an immersive lesson in magical potion-making. Or cocktail-making. Same thing, really.

No matter where you are, you can enjoy the Cemetery Mixtape podcast. History and music! What’s not to love?

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

More art! Pete Amachree creates beautiful steampunk scenes – less gears, more atmosphere.

In a similar vein, bioluminescent insects have moved into an abandoned railroad tunnel in Australia, making it spooky and gorgeous. 

Over in the Netherlands, manmade earthquakes happen in Groningen as a byproduct of the nearby gas plants. Artist Sissel Marie Tonn has created The Intimate Earthquake Archive in response.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Happy Monday! Here are two artists for you.

Nick Georgiou makes incredible art out of books, and recently created scenes for Dolce & Gabbana. 

Masha Ivashintsova took over 30,000 photos of Soviet Russia; her daughter discovered them after Masha died and is putting them online, with accompanying stories. It’s amazing.

Friday, May 04, 2018

Happy Friday, and May the Fourth be with you! 

From Julie: Speaking of Star Wars, have you seen the plethora of Yoda-like creatures in medieval manuscripts? Seven hundred years old, he truly is!

Also from Julie: A postcard allegedly written by Jack the Ripper made a mint at auction.

Also also from Julie (thanks so much for sending all these great links, Julie!): “Corn much higher than an elephant’s eye,” thanks to an ingenious agricultural scientist!

March Mammal Madness may be over, but the alt-champion tardigrade (also known as TardiGandalf) is still winning over hearts and artists – take a look at the new swag available! 

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

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Today, let’s talk about ghosts.

Ghost nations: For a brief few years after the Bolshevik uprising, there were several dozen new nations in the former Russia. Here’s a look at many of them, complete with flags! 

Ghosts on campus: There are a few at the University of Vermont. 

Possible ghosts of ancient history: Archaeologists have discovered what looks like a mass child (and young animal) sacrifice in Peru, and are trying to figure out why the sacrifice occurred.

Ghost chickens! Well, not really. This is all about the Chicken of Tomorrow campaign, which aimed at (and succeeded in) getting more Americans to eat chicken. It also led to a delightful documentary. (Clicking on either link is not recommended for vegetarians, however.)

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Happy May Day! 

Did the Victorians have faster reactions than 21st century individuals? Maybe….but probably not, although it leads to some fascinating theories.

Paleofuture takes a look back at the life of the 1930s radio-equipped police officer. 

If you love space art, like Bunny, you will be thrilled by this IndieGogo campaign for a documentary on NASA artists!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Happy Monday. It looks like it’s going to be another exhausting week, so take a few minutes and travel down some of America’s quietest routes, thanks to Geotab and Google Maps.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Happy Friday! And a belated happy birthday to this weblog, which turned eighteen earlier in the month. Yes, 18 years of Folderol. It’s a legal adult now and can go its own way! (I’m not sure how much longer this will go on. Maybe we’ll shoot for an even 20 years?)

Anyway. Thanks so much for reading over the years. On to links from others!

From Bunny: “I Was Alive and I Waited For This” – an look back on what it meant to be a teenager in America as the Berlin Wall fell, and how events since then have not really turned out the way we thought.

From Cassandra: Alexa, please tell everyone the details of my private life. 

Also from Cassandra: Lou Reed and David Bowie in the age of Transformer

Found via Metafilter: Corey Press features medieval-like woodcuts of Lovecraftian monstrosities and more! It’s amazing, and I am seriously considering the purchase of a “Volo Credere” t-shirt. 

Found via Twitter: There was a horror-themed nightclub in Columbus, Ohio in the early 1940s. I had no idea, and think it should make a comeback ASAP!

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

Thursday, April 26, 2018

If you’ve got a way with words and are free in May, get thee to Austin for the 41st Annual O.Henry Museum Pun-Off World Championships! (I am terrible at puns, but appreciate them.)

Looking for something to read? Here are a hundred books about libraries. I have read a few, but not many, so am creating a summer reading list!

The Shigir Idol is much older than archaeologists first thought – older even than the pyramids. This is so cool.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Hello! Today I am captivated by Dale Bigford’s creation, Immortality for Sale. There are 20 lots of handmade props, each with a story behind it (here's the first one, for example)!

For those of you not so much into the spooky, fear not: It’s also World Penguin Day!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

What’s the birdcast for tonight? If you’re in the United States, find out with the help of real time migration maps! 

Meanwhile, in Abu Dhabi, the Louvre has created a roadside art gallerywith the help of local radio stations.

Tedium takes you through the history of the robotic arm. 

Retronaut has returned! (It never really went away. It’s a long story.)

Monday, April 23, 2018

Happy Shakespeare Day (and Monday)!

A David Bowie installation is now in a NYC subway station. Go check it out if you’re in the area. 

Mondo Mascots is one of the best Twitter accounts out there. Now there’s an article on the man behind all the crazy photos!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Happy Friday!

Janelle Monae is awesome. This is an unarguable fact. Here’s a NY Times article about her which also includes several of her videos!

Want better acoustics in your home/studio/gallery? Why not bury a horse skull under the floor? Seriously, that’s what was done back in the day, and it worked. From this same link, I found David Byrne’s “Playing the Building,” which is super cool.

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

Thursday, April 19, 2018

What’s it like to go into an Amazon bookstore – a real, brick and mortar Amazon bookstore? Chuck Wendig has investigated and reported on his findings! 

Curator John Overholt does a daily roundup of special collections images on Twitter, such as this one. It'sa great idea.

I know it’s Squirrel Week, but take a moment to consider participating in MuttMix, where you try to identify which breeds are in a dog. It’s for science, it's free, and you don’t have to be a dog breed connoisseur to take part!

Chrome has a lot of hidden (and surprisingly useful) bells and whistles. I didn't know many of these, so I'm spreading the word.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

An update from yesterday’s post: The angry badger has left the castle. Its demands, and (dis)satisfaction thereof, were not made public.

Britain From Above shows a panorama of 20th century Britain as seen from the air. (No word as to whether any badgers are in the photos.)

New York City stopped building subway systems in the 1940s. What’s up with that? Citylab investigates. 

Archaeologists have found the skeleton of a medieval man who not only survived an amputation, he even sported a knife as a prosthesis. You go, medieval knifehand man.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

It is Squirrel Week! How well do you know squirrels? (I, apparently, do not know squirrels well, even though I thought I had learned a lot during March Mammal Madness. Back to the books!)

In probably unrelated news, an angry badger has shut down part of a Scottish castle. Best line: “There was no indication as to why it was angry.” (Perhaps it’s upset there is no Badger Week?)

UPDATE: There is indeed a Badger Week, and it's Scottish Badger Week, at that! Calm down, angry badger, you'll have your time in the spotlight next month.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Happy Monday! We’re all still here, it seems.

I have not seen Muppet Guys Talking yet, but I will soon, and everyone else should, too.

In the meantime, here's a cheerful news item from Julie: Half of your body is not human. More than half, even!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Happy Friday the 13th!

In honor of the spookiness of the day, here's a long article about growing up in the 1970s and the “hauntology” aesthetic that resulted for many people, myself included. (This is all about Britain, but I think it was true for parts of America, too, at least in rural areas.)

From Satori: Just another day as a public librarian, getting punched in the face and all.

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

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Take some time to read about it, or to talk, or whatever suits your own situation.

When local newspapers shut down, we lose a lot of history – and also lose information about the spread of disease, for instance.’s Magazine Rack has thousands of issues, all for free! I am partial to Smash Hits, but they have everything from Playboy to Soldier of Fortune to Atari Club.

From a coworker: a list of fierce fictional librarians. (Anyone else remember Rex Libris?)

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Hi there. I got blindsided by a bronchial infection out of nowhere and have been out for a few days. While I work on properly breathing again, check out Adam Hall's art!

Friday, April 06, 2018

Friday, hooray!

Most of April 1st’s pranks and hoaxes were minimized by it being Easter Sunday, but Satori points to the Mutter Museum’s announcement as one that was especially well done. I agree!

From Twitter: Tokyo Fashion, which finds amazing people nearly every day.

Who owns 221B Baker Street these days? It’s a mystery worthy of former occupant Sherlock Holmes.

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

Thursday, April 05, 2018

March Mammal Madness has come to an end! You even get to see a tiny clip of us at the end. Many thanks to everyone for watching and encouraging us to participate in this wonderful performance science.


And now, for something totally different and for the library-oriented among us, check out the winners of the Edible Book Festival. You will not be disappointed!

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Hello! Unexpectedly busy today. Here are two links:

First, for the inventive and cheerful: Today's Google Doodle celebrates John Harrison's marine chronometer. 

Second, for the romantic and/or gloomy: A couple married for almost 73 years arranges to die together with medical assistance.

And also, here's the penultimate Rodent Recap:

Monday, April 02, 2018

Happy Monday!

Architecture: Should the Union Carbide building in Manhattan make way for something new? A fierce debate is raging. Meanwhile, here’s some information about Natalie de Blois, the architect of the building.

Art: In New Orleans, Kara Walker’s “Katastwóf Karavan” is finally in place. Listen for the calliope! 

Theatre: In that Scottish play, is the dagger Macbeth sees before him real or illusory? And how do you handle that on the stage?

Friday, March 30, 2018

Happy Friday!

Sunday is not only Easter, not only April Fool’s Day, but also “Whan That Aprille Day,” a day to “celebrate al the langages that have come bifor, and alle their joyes and sorrowes and richesse.”

Via Matt: The art of Burning Man comes to the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery! 

 And here is the Rodent Recap of the Elite Trait contest last night. The Final Roar is Monday and the championship battle is Wednesday!


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

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Well, today was supposed to be Opening Day, but nature is not cooperating. Spring, therefore, is not officially here yet.

 However, the Sweet Sixteen of March Mammal Madness is here! The Elite Trait battles are tonight!


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Skellig Michael, aka the island in The Last Jedi, is stark and beautiful and fairly inaccessible. (Also, it has lots of puffins.)

Archaeologists have discovered remnants of Chicago’s White City while preparing for the Obama Presidential Center! 

The Marquis de Sade’s 120 Days of Sodom is at the center of a huge fraud scandal. I think he would be pleased.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

More March Mammal Madness below! It all ends next week.

If you’re looking for something else, and if you were around in the 1980s and remember stories about the bizarre Bhagwan in Oregon, Netflix now has a documentary about the cult. (If you weren’t around in the 1980s, take a look anyway. This was a seriously weird episode in history.)

Monday, March 26, 2018

Happy Monday! It’s another busy week for us at Spooky Librarians HQ; things will return to semi-normal after next week.

Language: The Lewis and Clark expedition added hundreds of words to the English language. 

Art: Science has discovered some fascinating secrets behind Picasso’s artwork. Also related (and referenced in the article): did you know the Louvre has its own particle accelerator for art? 

Poetry and more: The Bohemian group at Carmel, California was creative and freethinking, and then they got obsessed with death and it all fell apart, more or less. (Poets!)

Friday, March 23, 2018

Happy Friday! Here's another recap of mammalian madness. Have a spiffy and safe weekend, everyone. Back next week with a more normal schedule!


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Hi there. With illness, snowstorms, and March Mammal Madness, this week is kind of a wash. But here's the latest recap, and there will be another one tomorrow, and then hopefully we can reset to normal next week!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

OK, we missed Monday due to a stomach bug of some sort, and are now catching up. In the meantime, here's another Rodent Recap!


Friday, March 16, 2018

Happy Friday!

It was another long night of March Mammal Madness, but it was very fun. Even the Washington Post is taking notice. 

 Have a spiffy weekend and St. Patrick's Day, everyone! See you next week.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Hello! We are currently enveloped in March Mammal Madness (see below), but if you’re not into mammals for some reason, the CJR has a good, important story on the importance of a newspaper’s archives, especially in this transitory era of analog to digital.


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Here’s a goldmine of old infographics, which are my catnip. (Please do not follow the “25 Ways in Which We Use Asbestos” advice.)

 How to combat fake news? Make a game of it! In Get Bad News, you try to create fake articles, and in doing so, you will hopefully recognize the signs of “fake news” in the wild, as it were.

 March Mammal Madness is upon us once again! Behold!


Monday, March 12, 2018

It’s Monday, and it’s going to be a really busy week here, so entries may be short. Onward!

Igor Lipchanskiy puts himself just out of sight of many album covers, and shows you the “real” story.

The Library of Congress has rediscovered some rare old photos, including one of Harriet Tubman! 

If you haven’t seen Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party, I recommend it highly. Here’s a story about how it was made. 

Miskatonic University has a NYC branch that specializes in horror studies! Who knew?

Friday, March 09, 2018

We have made it to Friday!

From Satori: Behold, Mac Sabbath. It’s…a thing, definitely. (Fortunately, Black Sabbath likes them.) 

Sheerly Genius is working on tights that are made from bulletproof fibers. Where was this in the ‘80s? (Then again, a lot of tights ended up strategically ripped, so perhaps it’s just as well.)

My new favorite Instagram account is that of a cat named Dog who helps sell fish. Yes, really. Apparently, Dog does not mind wearing costumes, which makes for some amazing photos. 

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

Thursday, March 08, 2018

It’s International Women’s Day! The Guardian is posting live updates from around the world. Meanwhile, Mattel has produced an “Inspiring Women” line of Barbies, which sounds goofy at first, but the dolls are actually pretty great. Small steps and all that.

If you like history and crowdsourcing projects, check out the American Archive of Public Broadcasting - WGBH FIX IT Transcript-a-thon! It’s correcting transcripts, gamified.

Too many books at home? Here are some design ideas for reading nooks and book storage.

Bill Lucey takes a look at the connections between St. Patrick’s Day and Opening Day. Soon!

And finally, on a personal note: Tonight, we get to see Neil Gaiman in person, courtesy of our local public library. Woot!

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Wow, today is busy. Only two links today, and one is a page of animated gifs from the CDC on driving safety, presented solely for the novelty value of a page of animated gifs.

The other is related to driving as well: Goodyear is working on a new tire incorporating living moss, which aims to reduce CO2 and produce oxygen. How cool is that?

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Special Link from Others edition, thanks to Julie, who sent this wonderful story of snow people grieving “for their fallen comrade” during the recent storms. 

Changeist has…changed! Their website has been revamped, go check it out.

Also changing things up a bit: Velcro City Tourist Board, looking at futurism and whatnot. (Futurism is especially tricky these days, unsurprisingly.)

Monday, March 05, 2018

It’s Monday morning and there are new words and phrases in the dictionary! 

If you’d rather read older material, you can immerse yourself in Jane Austen via special themed weekends in Vermont. 

And for even older scribblings, you can learn the art of palaeography (deciphering old handwriting) online!

Friday, March 02, 2018

And we’re into Friday!

From Zazoo: Hurrah, Ladyton is back! And it looks like IAMX is back, too. 

Via Matt Staggs: Some amazing photographs of Los Angeles when it was all wetlands and watersheds. 

Botnik, which creates all sorts of things using predictive text and algorithms, now presents the lifestyle site Goob! I like the dogs headline the best.

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

Thursday, March 01, 2018

It’s March 1st, and that means the bracket for 2018 March Mammal Madness has dropped! (We are…very invested in this contest, as you may have guessed.)

If you’re looking for something more history-based, check out the amazing suffrage diary of Kate Parry Frye, and check out the Woman and Her Sphere website, too!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Via BLDGBLOG, there’s a fascinating “semi-fictional” exhibit about geothermal energy going on in California – check out Magnetic Futures if you can.

Blink-182 sang that aliens exist, and singer Tom DeLonge is getting closer and closer to making that his life’s work. 

The northernmost piano in the world is in Pyramiden, an abandoned Soviet town in the Arctic. 

For something closer to home, photographer Jonathan Higbee captures the many wacky coincidences that occur daily in NYC.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

It’s not too late to catch up on Steampunk Hands Around the World, going on all this month!

If you don’t like steam much, how about sun? Solarpunk is gaining ground, so to speak.

If you are indeed a sun worshipper, fear not – a new (temporary) tattoo can tell you when your UV exposure is nearing dangerous levels. 

Artist Dan Bell is drawing maps of England’s national parks with a distinctly Tolkien twist.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Friday, February 23, 2018

Happy Friday!

From Satori: Soft Cell is gearing up for one last show in London. 

From Zazoo: A Brooklyn puppeteer performed in the opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics! 

Speaking of Brooklyn, Zazoo, Satori and I have been having lots of fun with the Brooklyn Bar Menu Generator. (From this, I learned that ramps are a vegetable. I liked it better when I thought actual building ramps were part of the menu.)

From Cassandra: Cringing and blushing means you’re human, and that’s not a bad thing these days. 

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

Thursday, February 22, 2018

It's another hectic Thursday...

Media Literacy in the Age of the Machine, by one of my journalism professors, is great (and timely) reading.

I think I've found my dream library in Portugal. The bats there help with pest control!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Is it possible I have not linked to Grim London before today? Wow. I highly recommend it – it’s hours and hours of spooky history!

In the midst of all the awful literal carnage these days, here is some fantasy carnage (possibly bad taste, possibly cathartic, depending on your view) involving all 45 American presidents in a battle to the death. 

For more fantasy goodness, there’s going to be a Warhammer LARP in Russia later this year, and the costumes are incredible.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Greetings! It’s going to be 80 degrees here today. It’s also going to be very watery. Exciting times. 

We talk about Chernobyl, but there’s a place in France that’s been a no-go zone since WWI. I had no idea.

For your gothy, steampunk, and/or entomological needs: an amazing beetle wardrobe!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Greetings! Sorry about the lack of posts this week; we will be back next week at full strength, barring any disasters. Have a safe and spiffy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Hello. We are marginally back, partially sick with the bug that's going around and partially sick of the world. As a tonic, we offer this lovely video, courtesy of Zazoo. Go climb that mountain, Stevie the Cat! Back soon.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Hello! It’s a hectic day here, as Illness Season has arrived (I am fighting it off at the moment). So enjoy some time traveling, courtesy of Merriam-Webster, and consider the Be Time meditation bus that is in New York City (it looks pretty cool inside, I have to say).

Monday, February 12, 2018

Friday, February 09, 2018

Hello, we’re back! All is well and thank you to everyone who sent in links!

From Zazoo: Portuguese Podengo dogs are super cute (we may be biased, as we know one personally), and they have their own dog show in June! 

From Satori: Scientists review products on Amazon and it gets a little weird. And hilarious.

From Julie: Spiders with long tails have been discovered, trapped in amber. Yikes.

RIP, John Perry Barlow. 

A hundred years ago, suffragettes got death threats and hate mail. Some things never change…

 And also, guess what it's time for, once again?


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

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Hello everyone! Folderol is packing up for a week or so, while we take care of some stuff. All is well and we’ll be back next week, probably by Wednesday. In the interim, enjoy these links!

From Cassandra: Raising a child free of gender stereotypes. This is long but fascinating, and close to home!

You can help the Boston Public Library transcribe anti-slavery manuscripts. 

Beneath a parking garage in France, an urban farm is growing food! 

On my to-read list: Jinnealogy, which combines religion, history, and the supernatural.

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

Monday, January 29, 2018

Hello, we’re back. Happy Monday!

Biophilia is not just a Bjork album; it’s also a theory about designing buildings that celebrate nature. It’s a little complicated, but the feeling biophilic design evokes is simple.

Who knew Mongolia would produce so many talented opera singers? 

Bobbi Baker Burrows, the photo archive custodian for Life, has died.

The Ransom Center digital movie poster collection is extensive and amazing.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Happy Friday! Many thanks to everyone for sending in links. Our posting schedule may be a little off for the next few weeks, but we’ll be here in spirit.

From Cassandra: Behold, the death positive movement, driven by women. 

From Satori: One genealogist is proving the hypocrisy of the immigration panic…and showing that many of us have the same story, just from different time periods. (I want to work for this woman.) 

From Dave: H.P. Lovecraft meets Billy Joel and they make lovely (?) music together. 

From Julie: Part of a Dead Sea Scroll has been deciphered! 

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

Thursday, January 25, 2018

It’s Virginia Woolf’s birthday, and it’s also Burns Night, so celebrate as you see fit!

In other news, home movies from 1945 St. Louis have been discovered, and they’re lovely – they’re the home movies of gay men, flying under the radar as best they could during the era.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Happy Friday! Quick news: We’ll be gone part of next week, so posting will be erratic at best.

From Satori: Are cats aliens from outer space? Let’s look at the facts.

From Cassandra: How sensitive are children to their environment? It seems there are three distinct types.

From Julie: Vindication for the rats! The Black Plague was spread by fleas and lice, most likely. 

From Metafilter and elsewhere: Behold the amazing names of grit trucks (gritters) in Scotland and England. My favorite so far is Gritsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Anti Slip Machiney, but there are so many good ones.

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

Thursday, January 18, 2018

It’s the 10th anniversary of the Flickr Commons, which is not only a wonderful time-waster but also a great resource for education, genealogy, artistry, and so much more.

On the other side of the image media, we have the Swim Reaper, New Zealand’s water safety mascot! This is amazing.

Women Farmers of Appalachia is a photography and interview series focusing on female-run farms, and it’s beautiful.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

There was a meteor over Detroit! There are reports of jets flying around to investigate. (Also, the meteor has its own Twitter account, because of course it does.)

Nexto is a very cool new app which tells stories about your surroundings.

If you’re feeling creative, the Decent project channel is very inspiring.

Climate change is revealing some buried secrets, like this Scythian tomb in Siberia. (I don’t know much about the Scythians – they seem fascinating.)

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Greetings! It’s my birthday, and it’s also Lin-Manuel Miranda’s birthday. He’s posting some old home movies on his Twitter, and they’re hilarious.

Keas are among my favorite animals ever, and New Zealand is setting up curbside gyms for them, in hopes they’ll stop moving traffic cones around randomly. (See? They’re awesome.)

Champing is camping inside a church. Often with furnishings and provisions, even!

Queens (the NYC borough, that is) has some bizarre and wonderful architecture, and All the Queens Houses celebrates the glorious weirdness of it all.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Happy Friday!

From Julie, two disconcerting stories: A man thought dead wakes up in a morgue, and a deep dive on what we really experience during anesthesia. 

If you’re looking for something more lighthearted, check out the candidates for Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics mascot. Which is your favorite?

We’ll be back on Tuesday, weather and political upheavals permitting. Have a safe and spiffy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Yep, it's a busy Thursday. If you're on Twitter at all, there's a news service that I'm trying out and it seems okay so far. More tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

They’ve made a movie about the Winchester Mystery House! You can see the trailer at the house’s website. Everyone should visit this house if you can, it’s incredible.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

What did the people of the past predict for 2018? Some predictions actually came to pass!

At the Tate, you can take a virtual reality tour of Modigliani’s studio. This sounds amazing, and is getting rave reviews. 

Also in London, you can travel back in time a different way and see WWII films in an underground tunnel. (All the Hidden London programs sound great.)

Light from plants? Yes! Living Light is working to produce light via photosynthesis.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Greetings! It’s all ice and sleet and rain and who knows what else here. However, here is a super cool story about how a scrap of paper found on a pirate ship was traced to a book. Seriously, take a look!

Friday, January 05, 2018

Remember when we thought 2018 might be a little less frenetic than 2017? Ha. We were so young and innocent then!

From Julie: You can now drink a cappuccino with your selfie on it, drawn in foam. (I agree with Julie’s comment: “Why?”)

The Guardian has a great page of sport photography as seen from above. 

Why are some of us left-handed? It might be due to our spinal cords, not our brains. 

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

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Some random bits of goodness on this inauspicious day:

- The Bodleian has an exhibit on the Shelleys and their works.

- Thomas Sopwith, a geologist, was also trained in cabinetmaking. This combination resulted in amazing depictions of strata! 

- Imagine the newer Star Wars characters in Regency costumes. Pretty awesome.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Hello and Happy 2018! We are settling in and trying to stay warm (it’s kind of cold out there). 

Fortunately, Pantone’s color for 2018 is a lovely peppy purple. (This is pretty much the color of our gaming room, actually!)

Why do nature sounds help us relax? The answer seems rather obvious, but fear not, scientists are on the case!