Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy end of 2019! Here are a few last links.

From Cassandra: Here’s what happened to that recreation of the Simpsons house in Nevada. 

Via the interwebs: Behold, the 4K remastered version of “Take On Me!” 

And finally, tomorrow is not only New Year’s Day, but also Public Domain Day. Here’s to 2020 and 1924! 

Have a safe and spiffy New Year’s, everyone. See you next year!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Monday, December 23, 2019

Hello! If you're online today, please check out and vote for your favorite gingerbread house over at Lainey's website. They do this every year and the details are amazing. Happy holidays!

Friday, December 20, 2019

Happy Friday and happy almost-Solstice, everyone!

From Nicole: Behold, the first vegan burrito restaurant for squirrels! 

From Zazoo: Sesame Street characters doing impressions of each other! (The impressions of Bert and Ernie are wonderful.)

Via the interwebs: The most Boston story ever, involving a lobster heist. 

From Cassandra: Leo Tolstoy’s search for meaning in the world. 

Slightly related: Duende, the dark spirit of inspiration. (This was mentioned in passing in an article I read and I then went down the rabbit hole. Lorca and Nick Cave go into detail here.)

Have a spiffy and safe weekend and holiday, everyone. We’ll be here on and off through the end of the year, but no real set schedule until 2020!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

The top ten (or top 50 or top 100 or…) lists are continuing to roll in as we near the end of 2019. The Verge goes through the best gadgets of the decade (and this decade had a LOT of gadgets), while the Social Security Administration has tallied up the most popular names of the 2010s in the U.S.. (If you do anything with names in crafting, I recommend stocking up on, or practicing, the letter A.)

The Library of Congress tells the story of the first Christmas card, which includes a small child drinking a lot of wine. Or cider. But probably wine.

The last film of the Star Wars saga is almost out, but let’s take a moment and observe this kabuki version. I think Yoda would like it.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Hola! Today is unexpectedly busy (crunch time before the end of the year, I suppose) so here’s a mini Links from Others.

From Bill Lucey: Which news stories generated the more online traffic? 

From Zazoo: Here comes Baby Yoda with his “iconic” broth bowl (?!?)…

Via work: How many workers are involved in holiday deliveries?

Monday, December 16, 2019

Hello and welcome to another week!

Literature: Was Albert Camus murdered by the KGB? It’s possible! 

Film: Open Memory Box is the site for over 400 hours of East German home movie footage. Amazing.

Art 1: The Wowhaus creates some gorgeous works, like this spark mosaic in an old planetarium. 

Art 2: When conducting an art heist at a medieval cathedral, why not use medieval methods? (We do not condone art heists, obviously, but these people get some grudging respect for creativity.) 

Architecture: The world of underground bunkers done up for post-apocalyptic living is strange and fascinating, and led me to the discovery of a community somewhat near us!

Friday, December 13, 2019

Happy Friday the 13th, everyone. Last night was a Cold Moon indeed. At least Lord Buckethead and Count Binface are still around. 

From Cassandra: The science of stress and burnout. 

From Zazoo: Meet Baby Yoda, the cat! 

The Year in 5 – about the world today, social media, and more. 5, indeed.

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

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Today is the UK general election. More importantly, however, it is the day of Dogs At Polling Stations! There are also Cats at Polling Stations, and the BBC even shows some horses, foxes, raccoons, and more getting involved in political matters on their live updates.

The Library of Congress has another mystery photo question. Do you recognize this actress?

If you’re looking for the archive photos of the New York Post, they’re in Arkansas. Really!

Wikiview is a new offering from Wikicommons, letting you search images in a number of ways.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Today, we’re all about weird things!

Are you ready for the Christmas season? How about the weird Christmas season? Weird Christmas is here for all your needs, whether it be weird old cards, podcasts, ornaments, or whatever else you need.

Via the Cult of Weird: Dan Aykroyd has some ghostly and/or spiritualist leanings. (From here, I found some more information courtesy of Today I Found Out! Of course Egon would be the nonbeliever.)

And lastly: The Catholic Church made westerners weird. It’s true!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Greetings! Some bad news: Our advent calendar videos aren’t going to be up this year. (For what it’s worth, the Hot Wheels advent calendar, while featuring some fun cars, has also featured days where we open a door to find a ramp or a traffic cone, so it may not have made for the most thrilling viewing experience.)

However, here’s something fun: Behold, Russians recreating famous artworks. Come for the gorgeous models, stay for the unexpected goats and babies!

Also: Someone in Vegas is putting tiny cowboy hats on pigeons. While we at Spooky Librarians HQ do not condone imposing headwear on wildlife*, we have to admit this is hilarious.

*A Reddit poster asked “how would you feel if someone glued a whimsical hat to your head?”

Friday, December 06, 2019

Happy Friday / St. Nicholas Day / Krampus, everyone!

From Zazoo: “The Dark Crystal game is being released…and the announcement was made by a group of Fizzgigs!

From Cassandra: An amazing story about David Bowie’s last creative works. 

Via Springwise: Sheep Inc. sells sweaters that last a lifetime, and if you buy one, you also “adopt” a sheep and get updates on its life. 

There’s lots of horrible news in the world these days. But there is also some beauty and some good news to be found. Here’s a site for when you’re feeling overwhelmed. 

Have a safe and spiffy weekend, everyone. We’re taking Monday off but will be back Tuesday! (Also, our Advent calendar posts will return. We’re going to do a week at a time this year, I think.)

Thursday, December 05, 2019

It’s that time of year again, when everyone compiles “best of” lists. But it’s also the end of a decade, or nearly the end of a decade, depending on how you chart time. In any case, bring on the lists of the decade! 

By the way, next year’s color will be Classic Blue. Pantone says so, anyway.

Also next year: Libraries2020 is a new site from EveryLibrary , dedicated to getting the word out about public libraries during the 2020 election campaign and beyond.

Did you know that sites ending in .org are facing an astronomical price hike if the Internet Society sells the domain name off? SaveDotOrg is asking for your help.

And now, for something fun: The true tale of John Scalzi and The Case of the Felonious Bread, featuring 4,500-year-old yeast and an intrepid hound!

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Finally, the future is edging closer, with the advent of flying motorcycles! Keep watching the skies! 

(Speaking of advents, our advent calendar posting will be a bit delayed due to some technical complications. Keep watching for that, too.)

Benjamin Sack creates intricate impossible cityscapes, and if you’re in Berlin, you can see them firsthand at an exhibit. 

I had not heard of Ira Cohen before, but his Mylar Chamber images are trippy and wonderful.

Monday, December 02, 2019

Hello and happy December! This means it’s time for another Advent calendar. This year, we’re opening up Hot Wheels. See below for Day 1!

The Apostrophe Protection Society is admitting defeat in its valiant attempt to preserve good grammar. (The website, fortunately, will stay up for the foreseeable future.)

AI Weirdness is back to suggest some lovely(?) holiday pie flavors for you! 

And Grant Snider has a beautiful little comic about iridescence.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Greetings! It's been surprisingly busy right before the Thanksgiving break, so SpookyLibrarians HQ is throwing in the towel and taking off until next week. Until then, we leave you with this Fizzigig puppet from The Dark Crystal. Have a safe and spiffy week/weekend/holiday, everyone! Back next week.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Happy Monday!

I read Tedium’s article about tape hiss and then fell down a rabbit hole, trying to find the noise that played at the beginning of many cassette tapes. It’s called XDR (or test tone, sometimes) and of course I should have checked Metafilter first. 

Umberto Eco talked about what Casablanca, Hamlet, and The Count of Monte Cristo have in common – they’re wildly imperfect, which, oddly, makes them great. 

Why are haunted houses creepy? Aeon explores the spooky hallways in our minds.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Happy Friday!

From Cassandra: Sleep detoxifies the brain, and scientists have found out how. So cool!

From Satori: An obscure song (“Animal Song”) from an obscure band (The Europeans) that none of us had heard before. The video is worth watching!

In other music news, a statue of baby Jesus looks eerily like Phil Collins.

Via Popbitch: Every emoji used in Twitter, in real time! Watch the storm of emojis rain down. It’s sort of zen in a way.

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

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Amidst the furor about “factcheckUK,” there’s some good news: Real fact checking platforms are on the rise. 

I absolutely love historical photo detective work, and this instance from the Library of Congress brings attention to an obscure photographer! Also, for the techies among us, the LOC has a lab site with datasets. 

Do you know your Boolean search terms? Do you know them well enough to survive the zombie apocalypse? Welcome to Zombool, aka the Library of the Living Dead! (I am totally installing this on my laptop.)

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Somehow I either missed EPBOT or found it long ago and forgot to bookmark. In any case, check out their holiday party theme! 

It’s NaNoWriMo, and Janelle Shane’s AI is here to help suggest some brilliant opening lines for your novel. Some are actually pretty great and would make good writing prompts.

Via EPBOT: Look at these amazing cosplayers and their Scooby-Doo villain costumes! My favorite is included!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

My dad used to carve as a hobby, so I’m not sure if my fascination with this chip carver extraordinaire has to do with nostalgia or with its appeal to my detail-oriented nature, or maybe both. I’m not sure I have the steadiness needed for chip carving. In any case, check out Tatiana Baldina’s work! 

CERN is a place of particle physics mystery, but also home to everyday actions like balloons and pets and bikes and whatnot. 

The Met has a new exhibit beginning next week that should appeal to anyone of a steampunky bent: it’s all about the innovations of the Renaissance-era European courts. (And that’s before next year’s Met Gala, all about time!)

Monday, November 18, 2019

Happy Monday!

TV weirdness: OK, I had no idea whatsoever that there was a fifth roommate in The Young Ones, in plain sight, for real!

Film 1: Here are some obscure folk horror films for the Wicker Man fans out there (hi).

Film 2: What are bad movies, exactly?

Historic writing: A look at Roman blueprints, labels, and informational signage!

Friday, November 15, 2019

Happy Friday! Today’s links (except one) are brought to you by Cassandra. Thanks so much for the links!

- Consciousness is hard to define and hard to explain, and maybe it’s always there but maybe it develops and…well, it’s difficult, okay?

- “Hysteria” accounted for many issues women encountered in the past, and women writers explored the system that purported to treat such a thing. 

- The story of Jerold Haas is sad and fascinating, and I’m wondering if we knew any of the same people, as we went to the same university and were about the same age.

 - Vashti Bunyan made an album in 1970 and then gave up, but the music kept going and brought her back for more, thirty years later. 

And for the Twitter users, this thread of real-time reactions to reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula is absolutely, hilariously brilliant.

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

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Librarian Twitter is some of the best Twitter around, and here’s one example! 

The Internet Archive is adding and customizing its digital audio offerings. You can also check out UNESCO’s digital archives, or, if you like German techno, you can listen to over 200 GB of mixes, courtesy of DJ Mag.

And finally, if you like crowdsourcing projects and the night sky, consider helping out at Lost At Night, which studies light pollution.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

I don’t know what it is about Belgian surrealist and symbolist painters, but I absolutely love them. William Degouve de Nuncques will always be my favorite, but I just discovered Paul Delvaux, and wow. 

Meanwhile, there’s amazing modern craftsmanship going on in the world of cosplay, as Talon’s work demonstrates. 

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has revisited and refreshed their Good Omens offerings! 

Venice is underwater again. The photos are a curious mix of tragedy and blasé people getting on with their lives...which is how it works, I suppose.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Hello! We have some random bits today.

Flashbak has an amazing story about Alexei Leonov, the first man to walk in space. Come for the suspenseful story of how dangerous the mission was, and stay for Leonov’s art of what he saw in space.

Meanwhile, you can make your own orrery, and Make shows you how! 

Biodegradable sequins mean you can be fabulous and environmentally aware. Just think of the mermaid costume possibilities.

Friday, November 08, 2019

Happy Friday!

From Zazoo: How Lana Del Rey are you? This quiz will tell you! (Zazoo and I are both 75% Lana, apparently.)

Also from Zazoo: the changing populations of creatives in NYC. (Comment from Zazoo: “If you click on the map, you can see how creatives are fleeing the Village and the Lower East Side in droves! Thanks, NYU!”)

From Cassandra: Do mass protests work? It depends on who's protesting. 

Also from Cassandra: Ain’t no party like a Mercury Transit Party, cause a Mercury Transit Party can crack your telescopes if you’re not careful!

Via Popbitch: The Argos Book of Dreams, i.e. catalogues from the 1970s up to today. I was not familiar with Argos, but it looks like the British version of the late lamented Service Merchandise in the US. Plus, catalogues from the 1970s and 1980s are always fantastic.

And finally, behold Quilty, the escape artist cat looking for a (secured?) home! He even has his own Instagram now.

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

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Today is split between the spooky and the wanderlust!

Spooky: Happy 10th anniversary to Murder By Gaslight, and here’s to many more.

Also spooky, sort of: What’s up with the Mandela effect (also known as The Berenstain/Berenstein Bears question)?

Wandering: A look back at Baltimore Jack, a fixture for several years on the Appalachian Trail.

More travel: Why did Nashville become the center of country music?

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Hello and happy Election Day!

Halloween may be over, but it’s not too late to browse the Public Domain Review’s spooky offerings. (Check out the photos of the Paris catacombs!)

Speaking of photos, Bernard Eilers experimented with color before Kodak made it mainstream, and his photos are gorgeous. 

And because I absolutely love old photos, especially mugshots that show character, here are some ne’er-do-wells from Nebraska. (Check out the related links at the bottom, too!)

Friday, November 01, 2019

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Greetings! The Spooky Librarians are taking tomorrow off for our favorite holiday. We may be back on Friday, but just in case, here are some links from others.

From Cassandra: The top 100 horror movies of all time! Do you agree?

Also from Cassandra: A new horror anthology is out for the viewing! 

From Springwise: Seven ideas for a more sustainable Halloween, including turning your pumpkin into beer.

Via Merriam-Webster: How knowledgeable are you about regional monsters? I got 10 out of 13, which seems about right.

Happy Halloween/Samhain to all! See you either Friday or next week, depending on how celebratory we get.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Hello and happy Monday!

Language: What do colors represent in different languages? (Also, did you know that “grue” is a combined word for blue and green?)

Architecture, sort of: Manzhouli is a city on the border between Russia and China, and is both nations and neither, in a strange way.

Design: The British Museum has an exhibit on “emergency cash” bank notes from Germany after WWI. Some are downright beautiful.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Happy Friday!

Today, Tedium celebrates spooky pop culture, including horror hosts and Halloween songs! 

From Julie: The oldest treasures from twelve libraries. Did you know the Library of Congress has cuneiform tablets?

From Cassandra: A recent presentation at Ernst & Young is, uh, completely out of sync with modern life. 

A Buzzfeed quiz based on Disney villains promises to evaluate how evil you are! I was only 30% evil. Apparently, however, I am married to someone who’s 100% evil. Yipes.

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

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Guess what? This internet here is super fragile and could collapse at any moment! Isn’t that reassuring?

Um. Well, don’t worry. Scientists have taught rats how to drive. Wait, that’s not reassuring either.

At least we now have Moby Dick in emoji format. Wait, that’s terrifying.

(Sorry, everyone. Maybe tomorrow’s links from others will bring better news!)

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Halloween is creeping ever closer!

Metafilter has a mega-post on spooky stories from the 18th century. 

Rare Halloween Videos does just what it says – weird cartoons, movies, and specials from over the years.

Behold, the world’s largest Ouija board! Unsurprisingly, it’s in Salem, Massachusetts.

If you like bats, the Smithsonian has some travel suggestions for you.

A current exhibition at KEEP Contemporary in Santa Fe features Tarot cards, including Lee Moyer’s deck of sci-fi writers!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

News from the past, present, and future today.

Past: In Egypt, they’re opening up 3,000-year-old sarcophagi that most likely hold the mummies of priests. 

Past meets present: Another incarnation of Nancy Drew arrives! (I had all the “yellow” series, I think.)

Present: The U.S. Army is working with Tom DeLonge of Blink-182 on UFO weapons research. Yes, really.

Present meets future: Want to be the face of a robot? You can be!

Monday, October 21, 2019

Friday, October 18, 2019

Happy Friday!

Via NYC Urban Legends: Beware of wolves after dark, lest you end up honored by the Ed Koch Wolf Foundation Memorial. (This is all around great.) 

From Cassandra: What does it mean to be “resilient,” anyway? 

Via Tedium: Do we need a registry for historic internet sites? 

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

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Rest in peace, Representative Cummings. 

The search for answers about Amelia Earhart goes on. The latest attempt is using DNA testing. 

The Internet Archive is here to save the day with 2500 MS-DOS games available! 

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year award features a marmot! MC Marmot is quite pleased, but hopes this was all a dramatic show put on for the humans by a savvy fox-marmot combo, and that the marmot was not harmed. (Many thanks to Satori, and to others who sent us this story.)

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

I was looking for spooky links, and I found a goldmine. Behold, the Countdown to Halloween! Dozens of websites are taking part this year. Have at it!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Hello! This looks like it’s going to be a very busy week, and therefore Folderol may be even more of a grab bag than usual. Consider yourself warned!

John Scalzi is known not only for his sci-fi books, but also his bizarre burrito creations. Fortunately, Hothead Burritos has created a nutritional guide for these sorts of culinary escapades! 

If you’re still casting about for some Halloween costume ideas, the neural net is here to help. Cleopatra on vacation! Ghost in a packet of potato chips! Vampire in a hot tub! ROBO-ACCIDENT! 

For the futurists: check out the Carbon Ruins Project and its ongoing exhibition.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Happy Monday!

I just discovered My Modern Met, which has amazing posts like this one on Hong Kong’s “vertical graveyards.” 

For the more musically inclined, there’s Synth Evolution, which goes into intricate detail on the machines behind the music.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Happy Friday!

In my corner of the world, all the local news is about BLINK, a weekend-long art installation. It started with a parade last night and keeps going, with music and art galore, even on the bridges. 

From Zazoo: Arcadia Earth, a sort of Meow Wolf that’s environmentally themed and in NYC until January!

From Julie: Wine therapy in the Middle Ages. It’s just as useful today, I expect.

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

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Today is a bit of a grab bag. Here we go!

- The glaciers of Mont Blanc 100 years ago and today, in comparison photos. I love these sorts of interactive photos.

- Bill Lucey talks about baseball in Ireland. I’m all for it, personally.

- The world’s largest steam locomotive has been restored and is on the rails right now, making a short tour of America!

- Artificial intelligence is all the rage right now in the legal world. Here’s a look at what it actually means. 

- Behold, the signature film of every major city, more or less. Agree/disagree?

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Today is busy, so let's have a look at what Pitchfork believes to be the best 200 songs of the 2010s (so far, anyway). I went down the list and I know about 15 of them. I will now go get my cane and start yelling at kids to get off my lawn...or maybe go listen to some modern music, depending on my mood. Yikes.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Guess what helps humans get over the uncanny valley issue with robots? Googly eyes! 

A new exhibition at the Met explores the world of Emperor Maximilian I. There’s an interactive website as well. 

You’d think Egypt would have given up all its secrets by now, but no – a temple of Ptolemy IV has just been found. 

And for something completely different, follow the adventures of Chunk the Groundhog!

Monday, October 07, 2019

Happy Monday!

If book fairs were like this one, as imagined by Grant Snider, I’d go to more of them for sure. (Shirley Jackson Fun House! What could possibly go wrong?)

What’s the best architecture of the 21st century so far? I’ve been to exactly one on the list, so I have to get on that, I suppose.

Philadelphia is hosting a fantastic art installation that shows a 17th century “ghost ship” in the harbor. Here's how it looks live!

I took this Buzzfeed quiz, aimed at calculating my age and height from my “fall aesthetic” (?) and it told me I was 34 years old and 5’7”. I took it again and picked my second choices and it said I was 18 and 5’5”. Well, one of those four figures is right at least.

Friday, October 04, 2019

Happy Friday!

Also, happy Inktober! Go and take a look at all the incredible art being created this month.

Lana Del Rey has a new album out, and she has a good interview at the LA Times about music and life in general. 

From Cassandra: Not many people today know who Emma Tenayuca is, but that should change, because she was pretty amazing.

And finally, from the completely random files: Listen to Wikipedia in real time! From the site’s About section: “Bells indicate additions and string plucks indicate subtractions.” If you have trouble, click “enable sound” and then refresh the page; that worked for me.

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

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Did you know that a surprising amount of books published between 1923 and 1964 are in the public domain? A blog at NYPL explains why, and also goes into detail on how they’re figuring out what’s available. (All the NYPL blogs are great, by the way.)

In somewhat related news, here’s what to think about when furnishing a library. 

Have you ever wanted to see the parliamentary buildings of every nation? Now you can, thanks to this handy review thread on Twitter!

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

March Mammal Madness is still many months away, but fear not: Fat Bear Week starts today. Get your bets in quickly!

It’s also the beginning of Final Girl’s annual SHOCKtober, and this year brings “31 Days of Suspiria, 31 Days of Reviews,” so check her out each day.

Hercule Poirot as the murderer in his investigations? It could (often) happen! 

How many U.S. cities can you name? Start typing and watch the country get populated with the places you know. (I think “cities” can also mean towns, incidentally. I put down some tiny places which got counted, plus a few which didn’t.)

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Did you know that 007 was John Dee’s secret agent number? Well, sort of. This information is part of an essay about Ian Fleming and Aleister Crowley and a bunch of other occult types. 

Michael Fogelman creates plotter art, and much more! 

Motorized scooters are nothing new, as this 1959 film demonstrates. (This one was collapsible and could be ridden into the office, theoretically. It also might impale the user accidentally.)

James Ewing creates items which look like they could quite easily transport you to another time and/or place…or transport someone/something else here. His website is lovely, check it out.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Happy Monday!

An AskMeFi post reminded me of the wonderful Things Magazine weblog, still going strong.

Pompeii is still giving up secrets to researchers. 

Does anyone remember the Atari game Entombed? Do you know that the maze in it is a complete mystery, even now? 

And speaking of, from Cassandra: Can anyone identify this possible 1980s song? It’s another complete mystery! (See, the '80s were great, and still full of secrets. Like Pompeii, but with a better ending.)

Friday, September 27, 2019

Happy Friday!

From Julie: Baby bottles from prehistoric times still have remnants of animal milk. 

From Cassandra: Cult books that aren’t hip any longer. (This may be one of the few lists containing both Atlas Shrugged and Jonathan Livingston Seagull.)

Also from Cassandra: Do open-minded people have a (literally) different view of reality? 

From Zazoo: Hooray for Billy Porter! 

Also from Zazoo: “Wow, sometimes things change fast.” I would have loved these dolls when I was a kid.

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

Thursday, September 26, 2019

It's Thursday, and that means an avalanche of work! Updates later, hopefully. If not, see you Friday!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The spooky past: From Darklore, here’s a very detailed look at Doctor John Dee. 

The spooky past, part II: There’s an amazing database about witch hysteria in Scotland, with a map showing where accusations took place and what happened to each person. (Especially interesting if you have Scottish heritage!)

The spooky present: Escape rooms are all the rage right now. Why, exactly?

The spooky future: Well, becoming a tree is not really spooky, I guess, but postmortem plans seem to creep out people. Anyway. Trees! They’re good! Why not look into becoming one?

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

With the news of the UK’s Supreme Court ruling, Lady Hale has become a sensation, and her brooches are getting all sorts of attention. Hooray for spooky brooches!

The Chicago Steampunk Exposition is gearing up for this weekend. There are lots of interesting artists and vendors on the site for all your retrofuturistic needs!

Connecting the globe to the internet was (and still is) a major shift in technology. Ernie from Tedium takes a look at the history (Peter Gabriel features prominently, surprisingly!) and also points to the Right to Preserve twitter account.

Did you know that NASA almost built a floating airport on Lake Erie? It’s true!

In more “did you know” news, Seoul is working on a citywide cryptocurrency coin. I think. (Cryptocurrency confuses me no end, so I may have this wrong.)

Monday, September 23, 2019

Happy Equinox! It’s still ridiculously hot here, but hope springs (falls?) eternal.

In conjunction with the Global Climate Strike, check out the For Forest art installation in Germany. 

And just for fun, check out my cousin Maura, who has been doing amazing things in dance for years now!

Friday, September 20, 2019

Happy Friday! It’s Oktoberfest time here, which is a big event. Yesterday I actually got to see the Running of the Wieners (i.e. dachshunds), which was chaotic and adorable. Here’s a photo gallery! 

From Cassandra: What do animals think about? Maybe Jainism is on to something.

Via AI Weirdness: Mushrooms, as named by the neural net! 

Did you know that a rural Kentuckian took on the world of fancy croquet and won? It’s true! I had never heard about this before, and it's a great story.

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

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Thursday means a grab bag of somewhat bibliophilic links! Here we go!

I’m not going to be at Internet Librarian this year, but best wishes to those who will. Hope it’s swell!

The Gladstone Press is reviving the classics with new covers and more details. It looks great so far.

The By the People project is looking for volunteers to transcribe women’s suffrage materials, like letters by Susan B. Anthony!

Why do people call men dude, or bro, or bud? Here’s a short history.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Here is your (very occasional) Kryptos update: No one has figured out the fourth part of the sculpture yet. 

I knew about Anita Berber’s escapades in Weimar Germany, but I don’t think I knew the story of Lavinia Schulz & Walter Holdt, who made incredible (and evidently, incredibly painful) masks.

As glaciers melt and coastlines erode, there are actually new islands being revealed. Maps are being updated constantly. 

Have you heard of Clementine Barnabet and her voodoo cult of serial killers? It’s true! And no one knows what happened to her. Seems like inspiration for many a spooky game/film/story.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Today, we’re looking at old photos.

First up are these fantastic colorized photos of a costume ball in Romanov Russia in 1903! (The Vintage News has some good articles on its main site, too, such as this story about a Siberian archaeological discovery of a skeleton with an ornamental belt buckle which looks like an iPhone.)

Over at the Public Domain Review, you can see photos of roadside America as it once was. (To be honest, some of that is still around, based on our recent trip through the highways and byways of the nation.) You can see more at Flickr or at the Library of Congress, which has made them most of them copyright free!

 And if you haven’t visited for a while, Shorpy is always worth a look.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Happy Monday. Didn’t we just do this?

Why don’t more museums appreciate street art? Incidentally, if you’re into street art, check out Satori’s extensive Flickr album. 

Scientists theorize that Bach had extremely large hands, which gave him an advantage in playing. Fun factoid: Edna St. Vincent Millay wanted to be a concert pianist, but she was told that her hands were too small (she couldn’t reach a full octave), so she turned to poetry instead.

 We’re losing musicians at a rapid rate these days. Farewell to Ric Ocasek; here’s one of my faves.


Friday, September 13, 2019

Happy Friday…Friday the 13th, that is! And not only that, it’s a full moon! And not only THAT, but it’s a micro-moon! (This is apparently a thing?)

From Julie: Archaeologists have discovered Neanderthal footprints! 

From Cassandra: Student debt is changing American families. This is terrifying.

Also from Cassandra: Consider walk and talk therapy. I think they might be on to something here.

Via Twitter, I think: There’s a new craze sweeping Europe – giant hide and seek games in IKEA stores! Sadly, IKEA is not really on board with this concept.

And finally, two videos for you:

From Zazoo: An Iggy Pop (or Iggy Pop-pet) performance that goes very badly for one of the performers. 

From Bunny, in commemoration of the recent death of Daniel Johnston: an amazing short film featuring him having a conversation with his younger self. Bonus: Lana Del Rey was an executive producer, and covers “Some Things Last a Long Time,” which is brilliant.

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

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Today is the 29th IgNobel ceremony! You can watch it from the comfort of your home (or wherever you may be), or you can get there in time for the lectures this weekend.

Facebook follows you around, even when you’re not on Facebook. But fear not, now you can delete your history…well…sort of…ok, not really. Yikes.

Tomorrow: Lots of links from others on Friday the 13th! Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Hello! Here’s a question: If you work outside the house, how long is your commute? Apparently the average commute has stayed the same throughout history, even though the transportation methods have changed radically. This is a really cool article with maps to illustrate the historic commutes.

And speaking of distance and maps, behold the Terrible Maps account! It’s pretty great.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Update, just for fun: Waffle House has its own poet laureate!
Hello! All is well here, just busy and pressed for time. Updates either later today or tomorrow, depending on how everything shakes out.

Friday, September 06, 2019

Happy Friday!

From Zazoo: Meet Bones, a would-be cat burglar who happens to be a cat.

From Bunny: Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness is here to help with local questions!

Via Twitter: Check out street artist Peeta and the amazing optical illusion murals they create.

Are you ready for Halloween season? We are! The Blackout Experience looks extremely cool and slightly terrifying.

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

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Look, it’s the library many of us need at this point in time and space: The Bartender Library! Also includes some cookbooks and tomes on glassware and whatnot. 

Historically Hip is a new podcast exploring the news libraries of northeast Pennsylvania.

National Geographic points out that rising sea levels may impact internet and other communications. In possibly related news, a half-ton sea data station has mysteriously gone missing. (Is Nessie on vacation near the Baltic coast?)

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Hello and happy September!

It’s the 100th anniversary of U.S. respiratory protection (no, seriously, it is), and you can see bizarre historic masks as the CDC recaps the last century.

Speaking of respiration, did you know there was a huge scare in the 1890s about library books spreading disease? 

Let’s take a moment to appreciate Cornelis Drebbel and his circulating oven, one of the first constructed feedback loops. See, alchemists have their uses!

Friday, August 30, 2019

Happy Friday and happy long weekend to those of us in the US! It’s time for the annual fireworks craziness here. And now, some random links!

Baby names for England and Wales! Oliver and Olivia are the most popular, which seems like this will lead to schoolroom confusion in a few years.

Bloomberg has a great interactive piece on the periodic table. 

From Kensie: It’s never too early to start planning for Halloween! (Seriously, it’s only two months away. We’ve started already.)

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

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Thursdays! Arthur Dent was right, I can never get the hang of them. Fortunately, Julie has come to the rescue with a great link about a newly discovered skull which challenges the linear evolution theory. Go and explore!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

So. Er. While the world continues its bizarre turning, we continue with some links.

A newly discovered hoard of coins leads to a discovery about a Norman-era tax scam! 

Speaking of, Potosí, the “city of silver,” had its own authenticity issues. 

In the 1930s, someone came up with a solution to the difficulties of parallel parking. 

Let’s take a look back at the resurrectionists, specifically Burke and Hare, who made a living off the dead.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Today’s links are brought to you by this Metafilter post about mallwave, in which someone likens the nostalgia for the malls of the ‘80s and ‘90s to “American hauntology,” and wow, are they ever right. The whole thread is great, with links to treasures like Midnight Television, the work of Mark Fisher, the Dead Mall series on YouTube, and The Midnight, a current band trying to recapture a bit of that sound. Go and immerse yourself!

Monday, August 26, 2019

Happy Monday, everyone!

Literature/language: Do you speak Internet? Gretchen McCulloch has written a book about the ever changing lingo online, and it’s getting a lot of attention. 

Architecture: Hooray for the “ordinary” architecture, bringing a little color to everyday life. (I love the bird castle shown in the article.)

Architecture Part 2: It’s back to school season, and the IKEA hackers are hard at work tweaking products to meet their needs, like this brilliant idea of using children’s furniture to create a home office. 

Visual art, in a sense: DarkSky shows weather maps both current and historic, and their maps show the worldwide temperatures.

Friday, August 23, 2019

It’s a Friday Links Extravaganza!

From Julie: Bread has been baked using ancient yeast. Apparently it tastes amazing!

From Zazoo: “Lizzo has a new flavor of Absolut! Absolut Juice, of course...

From Cassandra: What kind of role model are you? I got Mr. Rogers. I presume it’s the puppets.

From several sources: A squirrel attended a Twins baseball game on two consecutive nights. Way to go, squirrel!

Via AI Weirdness: Let’s have neural nets name the new XFL teams. I would LOVE a team named the Wombatz.

Tedium looks back at the social networks we’ve used. Is it time for a revival? (As someone still blogging after 19 years, I say sure, why not.)

Texting has weirded capitalization norms for a while. Now it’s affecting popular songs! 

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

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Time for one of my favorite things: names! What’s In a Name is a great interactive tool showing American names between 1918 and 2018. This is even more comprehensive than the Social Security database. (Also, my name was most popular in 1947. I thought it would be earlier than that.)

Meanwhile, the Reddit genealogists are discussing the most unique names they’ve found in their research. (Preserved Fish! Bwahaha!)

If you’re more into colors than words, here’s an interactive display of book covers over the past 11 years, grouped by similarity. You can search for books within the display, too…I think. I tried it and my browser crashed, so proceed with caution.

For the historians: Check out the Casebooks Project, showing medical records from 1600s astrologers! Yes, really! The prescribed treatments are…quite something.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Did you hear about the Miskatonic University’s expedition to Tunguska? No? Well, there’s a Kickstarter that can tell you all about it. 

Behold the heavy metal cowboys of Botswana! They look awesome.

In 1973, a computer at MIT predicted how our civilization would end. Um. It’s happening rather soon. 

Many thanks to Nicole for sending this great video of the earth’s rotation and the Milky Way. Wow.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Occasionally I raise the idea that time isn’t linear, and Bunny tells me that’s bonkers. But look! Here’s someone else asking if time has a set direction! 

Also, in somewhat related thinking, what sort of gait is best in life? Ambling, apparently?

Due to short-lived technology, future historians will most likely look upon this age of the internet in total confusion.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Good morning and happy(?) Monday…

Literature: Was John Steinbeck a spy for the CIA? Signs point to yes! 

Art: The Metropolitan Museum of Art has an analytical chemist on staff, showing that art and science can coexist successfully.

Random: Behold, a YouTube channel dedicated to squirrel obstacle courses. This is the perfect antidote to Monday.

Friday, August 16, 2019

We’ve made it to Friday!

From Bunny: Have you heard about the TV head guy? He has a TV for a head and is putting TVs on porches. It’s true!

From Satori: A kid found a mammoth tooth while on vacation in Amish country. My Amish country source reports that an entire woolly mammoth skeleton was once discovered there, and suggests Woolly Mammoths as a new mascot name for the local teams.

Also from Satori: Murals and basketball courts don’t mix, evidently. 

From Zazoo: Two male penguins are hatching an egg together! 

From Cassandra: Have you ever stopped to think about how subversive The Wizard of Oz really is?

From local news: There’s a new roller coaster coming to town, and it looks rather impressive. 

And finally: Serena Williams vs. drones. Who would win? (Hint: it’s not the drones.)

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

Thursday, August 15, 2019

A great article in the LA Times spotlights their outpost of the Free Black Women’s Library, which started in New York and pops up in various places around the nation.

UNESCO has added several new World Heritage properties, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s work!

The true website we need in these challenging times: The Pigeon Movie Database. Does what it says on the tin. Fantastic.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

I had no idea there was a site dedicated to Fortean Ireland. See, you can learn something every day! 

Closer to home, an “unknown bipedal creature” was seen last week near Spooky Librarians HQ, evidently.

Speaking of monsters and whatnot, check out Ray Harryhausen’s restored monsters! They’ll be at an exhibit in Scotland next year.

Will we ever get to Mars? Maybe, but not to stay, according to this analysis. So much for Cowboy Bebop coming true. Bah.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Hello! Today I’m pointing you to the Nonument Symposium, which took place in June and was dedicated to “the hidden, abandoned, and forgotten monuments of the 20th century.” The good people of We Make Money, Not Art went to the symposium and have two mega-posts about it, full of fascinating photos and links. Check it out if you can.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Hello and happy Monday!

Literature #1: Was John Keats a graverobber? Some believe he was, and have laid out their arguments.

Literature #2: Behold the literary tattoos of the New York Public Library staff! Check out the comments for additional contributions.

Music #1: Every Noise At Once is a digital music map that plays samples of each genre – over 3,300 of them. Check out the links at the very bottom of the page, too, for more amazing data sets like Every Place At Once. 

Music #2, sort of: Iron Maidens Laundry, at your service!

Friday, August 09, 2019

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Hi there. We lost my mother-in-law on Friday, so we've been offline a lot, trying to get everything (and ourselves) together. We'll be back tomorrow with Links from Others (many thanks to everyone for sending them in) and then be back to semi-normal next week. Thanks.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Hi all --

We'll be on a short hiatus here while we're dealing with some tough family stuff. We're fine and we'll be back next week, most likely. See you then.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Happy Monday!

Sad news from the makersphere: Make Magazine and the Maker Faires are in trouble. (They’ve been in trouble for a while, but I’ve been out of the loop for a while as well and just got caught up.) Make Community has risen from the ashes, so join up and keep the makers making!

Meanwhile, fake festivals are…a thing? They look kind of fun, to be honest.

Paging Bunny: Eastern Blocks is a photography book depicting the concrete buildings behind the former Iron Curtain.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Hello! Sorry for the unexpected day off yesterday. Life gets in the way sometimes.

Sunset Magazine almost lost its entire archives, which would have been absolutely tragic. (This is a recurring nightmare for archivists.)

The man who found the Titanic is now searching for Amelia Earhart’s airplane. Best of luck!

The Library of Congress has a great Flickr account, and it’s now added a “Library of Congress Life” account, which shows the daily goings-on.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Folk horror, urban wyrd, hauntology…whatever you call it, it’s fascinating, and there’s a lot of it out there. 

(Apologies for the short post! More tomorrow)

Monday, July 22, 2019

Happy Monday! Time for some arty links.

Photography: Check out NASA’s archive of Apollo photos. 

Literature/History: How many copies did some famous books sell in their first year? 

Music, goth department: Peter Murphy is doing a residency in NYC in August, performing all his solo albums, plus a night of all Bowie songs and a night of all Bauhaus. Break out the corsets and boots!

Literature/Art: The Lost Words honors the disappearing words in nature. It’s a beautiful book, too.

Music, 1970s department: Mort Garson’s Plantasia album has been re-released! Play this for your plants. They will love it.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Happy Friday!

Today’s Google Doodle features Mike Collins talking about the moon landing. It’s definitely worth your time. Plus, there's a "how it was made" video! 

From Nicole: An interview with Wendell Berry, covering religion, love, nature, and one’s sense of self.

From Cassandra: In 1959, Isaac Asimov asked how people get new ideas. 

Also from Cassandra: The bystander effect might be a myth! 

Alan Moore is (allegedly) retiring from comics after the latest installment of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comes out, so people are looking back at his body of work and his impact on comics.

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

Thursday, July 18, 2019

I used to go on and on about the Elgin Marbles (well, I still do, but haven’t linked to many articles about them lately). Now the British Museum is “considering” loaning tabots – sealed so that only Ethopian priests can view them – back to Ethiopia. Geez.

The National Book Festival is next month, and check out the very cool poster!

The Atlantic has an assortment of Chernobyl photos taken immediately after the disaster. Chilling stuff.

DNA testing has led to all sorts of discoveries – good and bad – among families, and here are two stories. Family secrets can be difficult to handle.

Meanwhile, in somewhat related material, Springwise tackles an explanation of big data – what it is and where it might be going.