Friday, December 21, 2018

Happy Friday, happy Solstice, happy Yule, happy Yaldā Night! 

It’s also the beginning of Capricorn season. Hooray for this acknowledgement that Capricorns often get a raw deal from astrologers (“your color is brown, you are known for being dull as dirt”) and that Capricorn season can be weird and fun as well.

The original Mickey Mouse was…pretty terrifying, frankly. 

Library Planet aims to be a crowdsourced Lonely Planet for libraries, and it’s well on its way!

Via Matt Staggs on Twitter: Vintage Ad Browser may suck away several hours of your time, which might be good if you’re looking for something to do over the holidays.

Happy Holidays, everyone! Updating will be sporadic until the new year begins and we settle into January. Have a safe and spiffy time. See you soon.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Some bits and bobs as we start winding down for the holidays...

I love subway maps, and things made to look like subway maps, so of course I love this subway map depiction of the human anatomy, in painstaking detail, no less!

Calgary’s new library is amazing. Go visit if you can.

Tim Klein makes art out of jigsaw puzzles, as many use the same die cut pattern. The results are fantastic. 

The Louis Armstrong House Museum’s archives - photos, recordings, everything - are now online!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

It’s already far too late to order Scarfolk Christmas items…which is probably a relief, honestly.

Also on Twitter: Terrible Maps! Does what it says!

In observance of the winter solstice, you can help Zooniverse chronicle the historic weather conditions of the Antarctic and the Southern Ocean.

If you’re spooky and like spooky music, good news! Metafilter has some suggestions for dark-tinged holiday music. 

Also for the spooky: Scary Christmas characters in literature!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

I had no idea the British government has a Cabinet Office Briefing Room A for emergency situations, which abbreviates to COBRA. On purpose! From the website: “At COBRA meetings, decisions and a possible response, sometimes simply a press conference, are made under real or imagined conditions of emergency and/or crisis.”

Does G.I. Joe know about this?


 Anyway. In other news, the Miss Universe pageant was held, with the mandatory level of insane costumes we have come to expect and appreciate. Tom and Lorenzo have several entries on the madness; this is the first. 

From Holly: Please admire Sir Nils Olav, a most distinguished penguin! 

Google is celebrating Paul Klee’s birthday, which is a wonderful reason to look at his art.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Behold, Monday once more.

In southeastern Ohio, they’re creating an Art Corridor which will eventually wind along 230 miles of hilly loveliness, including some art at my alma mater. 

World War I changed the horror genre, permanently.

The remake of Suspiria celebrates dance in a way the original film didn’t, and here are some examples of the inspiration behind it, all of which are super cool.

Is background music playing where you are right now? Do you notice it, even? It’s become more influential recently.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Friday, hooray!

It’s that time of year where we tend to look back and sum up. CrimeReads lists the best historical crime novels of the year, and Bill Lucey tracks the most read online news stories of 2018. 

It’s also that time of year when you hear certain songs. I’ve been playing Whamageddon and haven’t heard it yet! I haven’t heard Fairytale of New York, either, but that will probably get fixed quite soon.

What 19th century character trope are you? Find out with this random generator! I am pleased to report that I am a Dashing Bohemian with Ulterior Motives. Well, obviously.

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

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Hello hello and Happy St. Lucia Day. We’re back and we have links!

How many of you have photos of mid-century mid-aged women at Christmas, like these? (We have a bunch; the Chicago side of the family resembles these photos a great deal!)

Medieval London was a hive of scum and villainy, and now you can see exact details of the 142 murders committed between 1300 and 1340. It didn’t take much to start a fatal argument, apparently. 

The Wellcome Collection takes us around the world with ten objects related to death. 

And in prettier news, the architecture for 2020’s Dubai Expo looks like it will be amazing, with an interactive Poem Pavilion among the designs.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Hello! We’re going to be off tomorrow and a few days next week for some end-of-year maintenance and preparation. So consider this a Friday of sorts! (Our LEGO advent calendar videos will be posted each day, though. There’s even a handy playlist now.)

From Nicole: What should you read this month, based on your astrological sign? All of these look pretty good, to be honest.

If you’ve found the Brexit omnishambles confusing, you’re not alone. Fortunately, John Bull is here to guide us through Adventures in Brexit. Well. Sort of. It’s much more entertaining than anything else I’ve found. (Scroll down to "latest.")

On a related note, BoingBoing points to a text adventure game (if you can call it that) in which you are in charge of the British Occult Defence Agency, and must make budget cuts. Is protection from pixies more important than the holiday party? Only you can decide!

My dad’s favorite Christmas show was The Box of Delights. (Doctor Who alert: Patrick Troughton plays a starring role!) Now there’s a stage version, which looks just as magical.

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

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

It’s Krampus season! I like the idea of St. Nicholas and Krampus as the original good cop/bad cop team.

Weird Christmas posts items on Twitter about…well, weird Christmas ephemera, and they also have a podcast! 

Speaking of audio presentation, apparently the BBC is presenting The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.

Why are Victorian mansions the de facto haunted house in media? JSTOR Daily has the answer! (The article in the sidebar, about burying people in the foundation of buildings, is creepier, in case you’re interested.)

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

I understand a day of mourning for a former president, but what madness is this?!? 

John Scalzi is running his annual Whatever Holiday Gift Guide this week. Read it to get some gift ideas, or promote your own work to others! 

AI Weirdness has another great post on song beginnings. I am partial to “I don’t know the baby” and “I can dance if you want my life.”

Until this week, I had not heard of Lily Dale, New York. Now I can’t wait to visit this home of Spiritualism! If you’re psychically inclined, you can even become a registered medium.

Monday, December 03, 2018

Hello and happy Monday!

One of our alter egos got its hands on the 2018 Star Wars LEGO Advent Calendar, and is doing a day by day recap of the treasures within its cardboard walls. Here’s December 1st – subscribe for more mayhem as the month goes on!

A repeat for the season: Dangerous Minds does a deep dive on winter pagan celebrations. 

From Cassandra: An amazing portrait book of wild animals. 

Also from Cassandra: We are all just cogs in the machine, man. 

From Julie: Trepanation! It used to be good for what ailed you. Possibly.