Friday, May 10, 2019

Happy Friday! And now, a quick announcement.

We’re disappearing for two whole weeks! We haven’t had this much time off in ages. We’re not actually disappearing (tempting as it may be), but we’ll be away from the internet until Memorial Day. Folderol will return sometime that week, once we’ve caught up on everything.

Will we be visiting the parallel sites of Kcymaerxthaere? Well…probably not, but this site will keep you occupied for hours, if not days. There’s probably a marker near you, wherever you are!

Via Cassandra: You may have already heard of the Liberal Redneck, but did you know he’s now doing Game of Thrones recaps? They’re hilarious, too!

MC Marmot would like to remind everyone not to eat marmots. Especially raw. Because guess what, you might get THE PLAGUE. (Thanks to everyone who sent this – there were a bunch of you!)

Explore the weird crimes of the Victorians, like committing family members to insane asylums and stripping off people’s clothes. Humans are just weird.

Have a very spiffy rest of May, everyone! We’ll see you back here at the end of the month. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Have you heard of the Prittlewell Princely Burial Site? I hadn’t until today, when I found out about all the archaeological findings and the question of who exactly is buried there. 

Proof that there is a museum for everything: The Doorbell Museum! 

News archiving is in a terrible state. I know, you’ve heard me go on about this before. But now CJR delves into the gory details.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

How did people make maps in the past? Archaeology Magazine shows some very different ways of visualizing spaces. 

If you’re into making maps for games (or just for fun), check out the Medieval City generator! (I think I linked to something similar before, but this is a new site, at any rate.)

What really happened at Tunguska? Well, Miskatonic University was leading an expedition, see… 

From Cassandra: Behold, the spookiest Air B&Bs you can visit!

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

The Met Gala did not disappoint, happily, due to amazing forces of nature like Billy Porter. 

My love for steampunk will never die, but it has transmogrified over the years into interest in hauntology and now into psychogeography…all of which are related, in some strange way. I think. Anyway, Hookland is a meeting place for many of these interests as well.

Monday, May 06, 2019

Happy Monday!

Tonight is the annual Met Gala, which promises to be extra wacky because this year’s theme is Camp: Notes on Fashion. I may even watch the livestream if the outfits are especially out there!

Short stories via vending machines are now available to London commuters.

In 1624, Giovanni Battista Bracelli published a collection of drawings which were ahead of their time. Look at the cubist robot figures!

Friday, May 03, 2019

Happy Friday, and farewell to Peter Mayhew, the very best Wookiee.

From Zazoo: A long, very good article on Robert Smith’s wife Mary and the thirty year anniversary of Disintegration (ye gods, 30 yrs?).

Via Darran Anderson’s Twitter: Thibaud Poirier’s jaw-droppingly amazing photos of modernist churches…including Notre-Dame-du-Travail, built in 1902 and a steampunkesque marvel. Also, additional photos of modern churches in Iceland! (I spent a lot of time and even got married in a modernist church of sorts, so these are near and dear to my heart.)

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

Thursday, May 02, 2019

The Library of Congress has an online exhibit of old children’s books available for reading! I explored The Book of the Cat.

Awful Library Books takes a look at 1970s home decorating. I…think we may own this book. (Bunny likes bonkers ‘70s designs.)

Speaking of Bunny, here’s a link for him: Graffiti from 1700s bathrooms! It’s as crass/bizarre as one might expect.

Jessamyn visited all 183 of Vermont’s libraries, and did a talk about the quest. There’s a similar one going on in Massachusetts right now!

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Hello! Happy Beltane, Happy May, and Happy Reiwa Era. Today got unexpectedly hectic, so only two links today.

One of them, however, may keep you reading for quite a bit. Go to the Oddment Emporium and stay a while!

Meanwhile, Indonesia is considering moving their capital city, because Jakarta is sinking.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Happy Monday!

If you want to see giant statues, India is building lots of them. (I have yet to see anything like Argonath, however.)

This article on how nightclub culture influences the general population has about a dozen great links in it, so if you want to spend some time diving down that rabbit hole, I recommend it.

Meow Wolf is an immersive art…thingy. I think it has to be experienced, not described, most likely.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Happy Friday!

From Tedium: The joy of baseball, statistics, and doing the impossible. 

Via Now I Know: Did you know Amazon has its own mascot? Meet Peccy! 

From Zazoo: Behold, a Pete Burns prayer candle. (Also candles for nearly everyone else who’s anyone.)

From Cassandra: Is women’s sexuality really that complicated? 

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

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Bits and pieces today:

Nobody archived the early internet, which is something I’ve been banging on about for ages.

The Future of Storytelling is a pop-up immersive theater experience. I so wish I’d gotten to be part of Chained: A Victorian Nightmare!

Minor League Baseball is celebrating Latinx communities with Copa de la Diversión, and one of the best parts is the team names and logos, with hats and t-shirts available. The Mal de Ojo de Durham! The Cucuys de San Bernadino! The Ardillas Voladoras de Richmond (with a masked flying squirrel)!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Good news, fellow Americans! Our freedom of the press is sinking, and so is our life expectancy! Um, wait. (It's true, though. You can even determine your life expectancy by state. I'm living in the wrong place, apparently.)

Anyway. For the spooky, the Funeral Museum of Vienna is a lovely place to visit – even more so now that they have customized LEGO figures for sale in their gift shop! Hearses, ghosts, mourners, carriages…it’s all there.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Hello! Come with us as we quickly traipse through the past hundred years or so.

1900: Look at this gorgeous Art Deco calendar from Austria. I’m going to try to use it as a template for a birthday/event calendar.

World War I: Women went to work. Here are photos of British women doing pretty much anything and everything. 

The 1920s: Newsreels used their own created footage (the first fake news?) if they didn’t have actual footage of events.

The 2010s: Remember the Morbid Anatomy Museum? Good news, it’s (temporarily) back at Green-Wood Cemetery! There’s an exhibit which looks amazing this spring, and it starts this weekend with a spring garden party.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Happy Monday! And happy Earth Day. Google celebrates it with an information-rich doodle. 

Have you heard of Clara Rockmore? She was a child prodigy who later became a virtuoso theremin performer. Her story is fascinating. 

What would historical figures look like with modern hairstyles? There’s a Reddit for that! (Napoleon and Katherine of Aragon look surprisingly good in today’s styles.)

In 16th century Italy, nun choirs were the best in the land. (You had to really work to hear them, though.)

There’s a database of inks! I had no idea. Most of the details are hidden away, but there are some articles about the International Ink Library.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Happy (Good) Friday!

From Tedium: Hey, it’s Weird Paul! (We know Weird Paul, in that odd “we have corresponded online” sort of way, and he is super fun.)

From Cassandra: People with more intellectual humility have better general knowledge. 

Also from Cassandra: An episode of Cosmic Queries about the asymmetry of the periodic table! (Cassandra knows me well.)

Did you know there’s a Squirrel Photo Contest? Here are some of the finalists. 

A new project about Brooklyn’s queer history includes a walking tour! (Some NSFW historic photos at the end of this article, just FYI.)

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

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Today is all about the Mueller report, so here's a nice fun thing to distract you: Epidemic Tracking! Hahaha! (Oy.)

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Some scattered bits today:

 - Did you know they just made a movie about the Church of the Subgenius? (Note to Bunny: Craig Baldwin of Tribulation 99 is mentioned!)

- Atlas Obscura lists some local cryptids. My hometown Loveland Frog is on the list, and apparently it has somehow obtained a stick that creates sparks. This is news to me.

- Meanwhile, in Vancouver, college kids are living in empty mansions for super cheap. Living amidst the decline of an empire is weird.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Notre Dame cathedral fire is heartbreaking. Yes, it’s just a building. But it’s beautiful and historic, and any loss of historic beauty these days is especially sad. (Here is a photo of me up in the bell tower a zillion years ago.)

Monday, April 15, 2019

Happy Monday!

As 20th Century Fox closes down, here’s an oral history of what it was like to be on the set and part of the company through the years.

 Meanwhile, in the UK, Thomas Duke visits film scene locations and takes photos to show them in context.

What does it take to maintain and preserve the art in the Sistine Chapel? A lot of people, for starters.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Happy Friday!

Google is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus movement properly. I approve.

It’s time for the annual Carnegie Mellon Sweepstakes, which is a buggy race competition. They have to build their own buggy (more like a lightweight enclosed soapbox) and then race it through the streets. Anyway, it’s being livestreamed right now, and it’s hilarious.

From Julie: They've found a library catalogue from 500 years ago! Think of all the literature that’s been lost to the ages.

From Cassandra: The role of the Irish language in its relationship with England. (It’s…fraught, let’s say. The relationship, that is.)

Elsa Bleda’s Midnight Gothic Johannesburg photograph series is dark and lovely. Her Instagram is great, too!

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

Thursday, April 11, 2019

It’s National Library Week – the 61st annual one, apparently – and here are some links from others to celebrate!

From Scot: Some fascinating(?) facts about libraries and librarians. 

From Nicole: Being a librarian was once considered dangerous for women. (I sort of want to revive that idea of a Seaside Rest Home for Broken Librarians. I think it could make a nice sabbatical retreat in these modern times!)

From Bill Lucey: Appreciate your local library - it does more than you might think!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Today: Space! More specifically, black holes. We have an image of one for the first time, and it looks disturbingly like the Eye of Sauron. Maybe Tolkien was on to something. There are lots of cool stories and images at the linked sites.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Thanks to the always-amazing We Make Money, Not Art, I learned that the Center for Technological Pain is here to solve the problems of this modern age. Who among us does not need a Tranquility Cube? 

Also, from Beyond Victoriana: Check out the new issue of Neo-Victorian Studies! (And happy ten years of steampunk to Diana / Ay-leen!)

Monday, April 08, 2019

Happy Monday! It was difficult to get going this morning. So let’s look at toys and games, shall we? 

Found via Tedium’s chronicle of the history of the erector set (which takes some unexpected turns), the Toy Hall of Fame has everything from sticks to pinball machines. They also have a weblog – this post on jigsaw puzzles is great. (Cutouts? No picture to go by? Awesome!)

Related, and at the same place (Rochester’s The Strong), is the World Video Game Hall of Fame. 

And finally, a new robotic museum in Korea might be constructed by robots. Hopefully they will let humans visit, at least.

Friday, April 05, 2019


AZ Central just published an incredibly detailed, extensive investigative report about how so many state laws are now dictated (almost verbatim) by corporations. It’s sort of terrifying. Highly recommended. (Also, the interactive graphics are amazing. This is what 21st century media can be like.)

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, here is what to make if you’re having a 1920s Italian Futurism party. (Hey, I don’t know your life. You might be planning just such a shindig.)

Psychiatric drugs can be literal life savers. But what happens if/when it’s time to stop taking them? The studies haven’t caught up with that just yet. This is long, but worth the read.

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

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Behold, the championship battle of March Mammal Madness!


Thanks for watching, everyone. We're now going to sleep for about a week. (But there will be some links tomorrow!)

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Tonight we finish off March Mammal Madness! Huzzah!

In related conservation news (sort of), did you know there are dark sky sanctuaries? A new one has just been established in Nevada. 

If you ever wanted the ballroom table settings from the Haunted Mansion, good news! Here’s how you can recreate it on your own! 

These super interesting Irish surname maps shows where families were likely to be in 1901 and 1911. It’s also broken down by religion, what languages were spoken, and more!

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Watch as our crew reenact "Are You Afraid of The Dark" for March Mammal Madness's Final Roar! (This was fun.)


Monday, April 01, 2019

Happy Monday, Happy April, and Happy April Fools’ Day, although we really don’t need that sort of thing in these ridiculous times. That being said, ThinkGeek always has some great products on this day (check out the Banksy Burned Toast Toaster offer!) and Google lets you play Snake in several different cities. Sort of.

Also, today is a bonus Links from Others day! (March Mammal Madness ends this week; we will return to normal afterwards, we hope.)

From Satori: Thomas Dambo’s giant trolls are visiting Kentucky’s Bernheim Forest for a short while.

From Cassandra: How did flappers deal with menstruation? 

From a bunch of sources: The mystery of the Garfield phones washing up on Brittany shores has finally been solved. 

An article in the Paris Review talks about what we believe, and links to Philip Pullman’s essay on the same topic, encompassing magic, faith, and reason.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Happy Friday! Watch as the Elite Trait gets whittled down to the Final Roar in March Mammal Madness. (Also, we do a brief homage to early '90s game shows.)

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Happy Opening Day! My city takes this rather seriously. 

There are several other March Madness-type tournaments going on, but is there one more bonkers than the Name of the Year contest? I think not!

Is this the thumbprint of Leonardo da Vinci? Maybe! Amazing.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

MC Marmot explains March Mammal Madness's Sweet 16!


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Monday, March 25, 2019

Friday, March 22, 2019

Happy Friday! Here is our latest Rodent Recap.

 (This video may disappear and hopefully reappear later today, once we re-upload it with the typo corrected. I'm going to wait until school is mostly out for the day!)


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

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Good morning! We are deep in March Mammal Madness, obviously, which may be why today’s links seem rather number-heavy.

Bill Lucey analyzes the numbers in the new Congress. 

Here’s an amazing chart which tracks the most populous cities from 1500 AD to modern times. (I LOVE stuff like this.)

Something else I love is the Guardian’s ongoing “Unbuilt Cities” series. In its latest installment, it looks at bridges designed but never built. (Look at that Washington DC bridge!)

And finally, here’s how to make practically anything out of paper or cardboard. Wow.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Happy Spring, everyone! Here is a new March Mammal Madness Recap.

 (When this is over, we are going to sleep for about a month.)


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Monday, March 18, 2019

Hello and welcome to a special Monday edition of Links from Others!

From Julie: Scientists have actually gone back in time! We can fix everything, people! (I mean, once they can go back more than a millisecond in time. It may take a while.)

From Cassandra: You whippersnappers don’t understand what it took to get into college!

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates Seiichi Miyake, creator of tactile pavement.

Merriam-Webster has a new quiz on colors, and it’s really hard.

Coming later this year: Muppet stamps!

The Bauhaus art school turns 100 this year, and CityLab is doing a special on it that is full of great, great stuff. I saved up a bunch of different links before I realized it was all part of the same special, which should tell you something about my love for the Bauhaus ideology, I guess.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Happy Friday, everyone! We'll be featuring Links From Others on Monday.

 For now, here is a Friday MMM recap:


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

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Happy Pi Day, everyone! 

Also, here is a Rodent Recap of the first full night of the March Mammal Madness battles. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

For the spooky among us: Behold, March Vladness! Vote for your favorite goth song!

Google Earth is featuring a Carmen Sandiego game. Just as I was about to apprehend the criminal, my computer crashed. I’m not sure if this was Google Earth or Carmen Sandiego’s doing, but fair warning.

Timo Aho and Pekka Niittyvirta have created a light installation in Scotland that shows how high the sea levels will rise if we don’t act on climate change. They should do this everywhere, really.

Yunil Nam has imagined an amazing, Jules Verne-inspired underwater city which would create a coral reef with the remains of dead humans. How soon can we start on this?

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Monday, March 11, 2019

Happy Monday! It’s time for the madness to begin, so if you don’t see much of us in the next few weeks, you know why. 

However, many other March contests are happening, including the 2019 Tournament of Books at the Morning News! 

Did you know that the Library of Congress has an Innovator in Residence? Jer Thorp is making beauty out of data.

Friday, March 08, 2019

Happy Friday! Today’s Google Doodle is a lovely combination of words and art.

From Cassandra: What do dreams mean? 

Also from Cassandra: The enduring message of Wonder Woman. 

Do you want to see the weirdest logo for each MLB team? Sure you do! (I really like the robot elephant for the A’s. They should consider that for future uniforms!)

You can vote for the Readers’ Choice Winner in the annual Smithsonian Photo Contest. Hover over each photo for more details. (All of them are amazing, frankly.)

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

Thursday, March 07, 2019

It begins! Starting next week, March Mammal Madness consumes our lives for a brief time. We did an explanatory video of what MMM is:


 Videos will be plentiful in the days to come, but we'll also post some non-MMM links. Honest! (Then we return to normal life in April.)

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Finally, XKCD has provided the definitive “soda or pop? map. (Medicine broth!)

Speaking of maps, here’s a list of the richest and poorest counties in each state. It makes for interesting comparisons.

Have you heard of anthropometry? How about Bertillonage? It was an exploratory method of identification, which might have been useful if it had been in the days of stringent computer limits and not human error. (Well, okay, probably not even then.)

A new book on Thomas Merton explores the paradoxes of the hermit/traveler/bon vivant/contemplative.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Happy Mardi Gras! Celebrate with New Orleans tonight, before it’s time for Lent. Bill Lucey has some thoughts about what to give up, and why. 

Somehow I missed the sad news that Royal de Luxe’s giant puppets have retired. 

Look, a whole website dedicated to old track railways and monorails and the like! 

You’ve probably seen Thamesmead, even if you don’t know the name – it’s been the background to A Clockwork Orange and that terrifying Aphex Twin video, among others. (I think I found a birthday present for Bunny in the 50 Years of Thamesmead book.)

Have you heard of Letitia Elizabeth Landon? Probably not, which is a shame, because she was called the female Byron” of her day. She died very young and is only now getting some recognition.

Monday, March 04, 2019

It’s Monday! It’s also National Grammar Day! Did you know that “won’t” was once considered as ill-mannered as “ain’t”?

Here’s some more on that bizarre DAU project. Every time I read something new, it sounds weirder and weirder.

A new theory on space-time, using the amplituhedron, leads to a physicist saying that we’re looking for the question, not the answer, to the universe. Well, of course. Douglas Adams told us the answer a long time ago.

What is it like to be the world’s greatest art thief? It’s…kind of strange, honestly, going by this profile.

Friday, March 01, 2019

Happy Friday! Happy March! Happy St. David’s Day! And, most importantly, happy March Mammal Madness Bracket Drop Day! Go and print out your bracket, and get ready for the mayhem to follow! 

From both Erin and Julie, who know my brand: A German rat is rescued from a manhole. None of this is a euphemism, honest.

The BBC also seems to know my brand, as they’ve just put out something on hauntology! 

And finally, in equally important news: Careful researchers have determined that it would take 693 years to surface Lake Superior with a Zamboni. Now you can rest easy and enjoy the weekend. See you next week!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Today, I found two projects that are close to my dream jobs!

In one, names are analyzed by decade and then compared to names in cinema. (My name, by the way, skews to the "Drama" side. Probably French dramas, I bet.)

In the other, a man has tracked down the stories (and families, in many cases) of the people in old photographs. The Library of Congress wrote about him, and he has his own website as well with more on the project. (Bonus to any of my mom's family reading this - he lives in the Berkshires!)

I also found something Bunny would love: the power of using D&D in classrooms.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Carnival season continues (outside of politics! Haha…sob), and here’s a look at Fasching, a darker version which takes place in southern Germany and looks incredible.

Have you ever heard of Dau, a sort of film/art/artificial city/immersion piece which went on for years and years and recreated the USSR between 1938 and 1968? The first film has just come out (I think) and it sounds absolutely bizarre.

 A man in Indiana has been “acquiring” artifacts for decades, and the FBI went after him…and now there are human bones involved? Yikes.

In 1959, the lovely city of Burbank, California interred a time capsule, which included some predictions on what the future would be like. In 2009, the capsule was unearthed, and, well, we haven’t come quite as far as those 1959 Californians hoped.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

We're back! But super busy. Please look at Billy Porter's amazing Oscars garb, a tribute to the House of Xtravaganza, and we'll be back soon.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Happy Friday! Thanks to everyone for sending links!

From Holly: Superconductivity, as demonstrated by swing dancers. Educational and entertaining, the perfect combination!

From Cassandra: Write or Die, the app which motivates you to keep writing!

Also from Cassandra: Your moon sign and your diet. (Apparently I have a “heavy relationship” with food. Yikes.)

From Satori: Siobhan Fahey (of Bananarama) and Marco Pirroni (of Adam & the Ants) talk about how they met and how they relate to each other. 

From the interwebs: Obvious Plant is having an exhibition of toys that never were! It’s in Los Angeles next month. Go see Useless Man and Casey the Bad News Messengerbot!

For the politically minded among us, a website that asks: Has Roger Stone Violated His Gag Order Yet? (I will be checking this periodically…)

And finally: Mick Cave and the Good Seeds, your friendly Australian gardening service. How brilliant is this?

Have a safe and spiffy weekend, everyone. We’ll be off adventuring on Monday, but will be back on Tuesday!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

So I was going through my lists of library weblogs (and related sites) and realizing that I’m veering more toward spooky history folklore and away from librarianism proper. Just an observation. (Spooky Miscellany, maybe?)

Anyway! Jessamyn has posted How to Help Someone Use a Computer, which is old but still probably the best advice on how to teach someone about computer usage.

I just got Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey from the library, and can’t wait to dive in.

What was the deal with Elizabeth I’s makeup? It’s a long story!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Hello! Today has been filled with March Mammal Madness prep (check out ASU’s LibGuide for all the details on this year’s competition, which is coming up crazy fast), so links are few, but impressive. Check out this interactive map of the sounds we use to communicate – humanity has a sort of common language!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Today is…a bit random.

Via Flaskbak: Pop stars posing with their younger selves! Most are fantastic, some are bittersweet.

Via Paleofuture: Why not have a drive-thru grocery store? People have been trying since the 1920s, but it never works very well.

Via Public Domain Review: The Cleveland Museum of Arts has released over 30,000 images into the public domain! Huzzah!

Via a few different sources: The Victoria and Albert Museum led to Curtis Moffat’s work, which then led to more on Curtis Moffat (some photos nsfw in an artistic sort of way?) to Nancy Cunard, to more on Nancy Cunard and this photo, in particular, which reminds me of nothing so much as Siouxsie Sioux. Websurfing, old school style!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Friday, February 15, 2019

Friday once more!

From Cassandra: What’s in a love potion? Well, possibly poison… 

Via Digg: See what your (United States) city’s climate will be like in 2080. (New Englanders, it’s time to get air conditioners.)

In hopefully unrelated news, a popup restaurant offers glow-in-the-dark ramen for a meal!

AI Weirdness is back with more bizarre tales from neural nets. The recipes are, as always, amazing. 

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

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine’s Day! You can observe it demurely through Victorian acquaintance cards, or wildly through the 2019 March Mammal Madness Valentine set (featuring some contenders in the 2019 competition, no less)! Or you can wait until tomorrow and celebrate Lupercalia, which just might be a good tradition to revive. 

Via my cousin Jeff: There’s a combination bookstore and wine bar in his town, and I didn’t know about it until this morning. What madness is this?

I fell down a rabbit hole yesterday of Ben’s state-by-state reviews of sites on the National Register of Historical Places. Hilarious and educational, especially if you're interested in architecture! But beware if you are a fan of round barns and/or covered bridges (he isn’t. A fan, that is, not a barn or bridge).

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Carnival season is upon us! You can get an early start in Quebec or in Venice, depending on what side of the Atlantic you find yourself.

If you need some costuming inspiration (whether for Carnival, conventions, or other occasions), check out these fantastic Cthulhu creations.

Princeton’s exhibit on life and death masks is extensive and amazing. Highly recommended!

Strange Maps always has great posts. Here’s one about a possible border change in Kosovo, and what this might mean militarily and diplomatically.

This may be the only time I link to the Daily Mail: For the 40th anniversary of “The Warriors” film, here are scenes of NYC from then and now.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

It’s been raining for days here and everyone is slightly gloomy. So let’s have some links about ruins and mausoleums!

After World War I, postcards showing ruins were…well, not popular, exactly, but often-purchased souvenirs of what had happened.

A mausoleum design from the 1800s inspired Britain’s iconic telephone box! (No word on whether it had any influence on the TARDIS.)

Stelios Faitakis is an artist using Greek Byzantine imagery in very modern ways. The Instagram account has some absolutely incredible work.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Here we are again, facing another Monday…

What would the Empire State Building look like if it was a Brutalist building? Or Art Nouveau? Wonder no longer, here are nine alternate versions to see! 

Rome Reborn is a VR project which looks very cool. Check it out, especially if you have access to an Oculus Rift.

I have found some excellent news, courtesy of Zap Actionsdower’s website on former chain restaurants: There are new GD Ritzy restaurants opening up! I’ve been telling people about their peanut butter & jelly sandwiches for years. Huzzah! (The whole website is great, particularly if you grew up in the Midwest. Burger Chef, Roy Rogers, Rax…they’re all here.)

Friday, February 08, 2019

Happy Friday!

From Bunny: Letter Locking, something neither of us had heard of before. It’s intricate and amazing! 

Very sad news from Ireland, where Bodacious the Shepherd Cat has left us. (This is a beautiful post, but you will end up in tears, be warned.)

As some escapism, may we suggest Sporcle quizzes? There’s an especially difficult one on baseball at the moment, but there’s something for everyone here.

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

Thursday, February 07, 2019

This week, you should really drop everything and get over to the Color Our Collections website, in which over 100 institutions from all over the world are participating. Free coloring sheets and coloring books, this week only! Everything is in here, from architecture to zoology.

Unrelated but very cool: LA County libraries have a program in which you can “read away” your library fines. Brilliant idea.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

The (magnetic) North Pole is on the move, and now that the shutdown is over, we have the science to show where it is! (Much more detailed science can be found on the National Centers for Environmental Information website.)

Meanwhile, if you’re waiting for the stars to be right, you can go to Czocha Castle in March and celebrate CarcosaCon. What could possibly go wrong?

The Monster Librarian is here for all your horror needs.

Atlas Obscura asked people about fairy tales that scarred them as children, and wow, there are some weird ones out there. (For me, it was The Snow Queen. You get something in your eye – through no fault of your own – and become an entirely different person? GAH.)

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Happy Lunar New Year! If you’re into AI, you can make your own shadow puppets with Google and a webcamera.

The OED is looking for examples of work slang (library “weeding” is mentioned), and you can contribute directly! 

The wondrous mind behind Webomator could use some financial help these days. If you’ve got a bit to spare, please consider it.

Staying fit was a concern for businessmen even over a hundred years ago. Behold, physical exercises, with time lapse photographs to illustrate them!

Monday, February 04, 2019

Happy Monday! And Happy February. You know what that means…March Mammal Madness is just around the corner! The Roving Rodent Reporters will be back to cover all the 2019 shenanigans. Stay tuned.

Dreyer’s English is newly published, and if you enjoy wordsmithery and grammar, this is your jam. 

Meanwhile, it turns out that a bestselling novelist has…some…issues, I think? People are extremely weird.

Speaking of weird, how about a list of creepy nuns in cinema? 

Via Warren Ellis: Venkatesh Rao suggests that old blogs can become elder blogs or late-style blogs. I have no idea what Folderol is (or is becoming?), as it creeps up on its nineteenth (!!!) birthday. It never went through the virality phase, so perhaps it is still growing and learning!

Friday, February 01, 2019

Happy Friday!

From Julie: What does your body language say? OK, well, see, it might mean… 

From Zazoo, quoted directly from his email: “Patrick Stewart is coming back to Star Wars!” (He says he meant to type Star Trek, honest.)

A few places I visited on my quick trip to NYC:

House of Wax (combining the Morbid Anatomy Museum with dark décor and delicious drinks) 

Twenty Sided Store (heads up, February is DM Appreciation Month!)

Enchantments (beautiful, spooky, and with bonus cats)

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

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Happy Thursday! It’s like Friday here, because (weather permitting) I’m NYC bound tonight. So this is a bonus links from others day!

From Julie: If you want fewer insect bites, wear stripey clothes. Or paint yourself with stripes, which works even better!

From Holly: Behold, the Gothicat. (Bonus video of Kittens of Mercy performing “This Purrosion” here!)

From Cassandra: “Party (and publish) like it’s 1923.”

Via Matt Staggs on Twitter: King Tut’s tomb is being restored to its full grandeur. 

Who were Sherlock Holmes’s contemporaries in Victorian mystery-solving? Some deserve to be rediscovered! 

Have a safe and spiffy few days, everyone! I’ll be back later next week.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

So I’m going to be in NYC for a few days (updates will be erratic), and I was looking at the TSA website to see if there would be any delays or other strange happenings, and I found their A-Z list of what one can bring on a plane. It’s quite practical and dry…until they get to light sabers! A toast to whatever Star Wars geek managed to get this on the official record.

If you love maps and you’re not reading The Map Room blog, you should remedy that right away. From there, I found GeoLounge, which has this great post on medieval travel guides and maps.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Good morning! Did you see the Super Blood Eclipse Wolf Moon thingy over the weekend? B. was very disappointed he didn’t transform into a werewolf upon seeing it.

In other planetary news, the magnetic north pole keeps moving, which is confusing our cell phones. 

James Turrell is getting ready to open the Roden Crater to visitors, even though it’s not finished (and won’t be for a long time). This looks like something out of a Jodorowsky film.

Kids of the 1980s (hey, that was me) predicted what the year 2020 would be like. Some visions were surprisingly accurate, others…not so much. (From the same site: You can relive the past by going on old Disney rides via YouTube!)

Friday, January 18, 2019

Happy Friday!

From Zazoo: “Macaulay Culkin and Michael Jackson. What's surprising is that they had a completely normal friendship...” 

For Holly: This may be the oldest surviving print of the periodic table! 

I knew some of Mary Oliver’s work, but never realized she was from Ohio and also lived in Massachusetts. No wonder her world seems familiar! 

Have a safe and spiffy weekend, everyone. We’re off on Monday but will be back Tuesday.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Yesterday was Museum Selfie Day, and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History observed the day with some animal friends. 

Quiz time! How well do you know Edgar Allan Poe, and can you tell the difference between his writing and emo lyrics? I got 12/16 right (with the comment: “You know your Poe—and are very in touch with your emotions. *Applauds somberly*”).

If you want a more personal quiz, there’s yet another personality test out there. According to this, my openness to experiences score is 75 out of 100. My extraversion: 17 out of 100. Ha! (It’s true.)

The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology has online exhibits as well as in-house displays, and this online exhibit of different fabrics is super interesting.

You may have heard that China sent a robotic lander to the far side of the moon. But do you know the significance of the Chang’e name? (The Wikipedia article is short on mythology, but completely worth reading for the section on the  1969 Apollo mission conversation.)

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Hello! Today’s my birthday, and I found a painting expressing my attitude toward middle age (and 2019 in general) perfectly.

Many thanks to Cassandra for her birthday sentiments. I agree! 

Also many thanks to Julie for this long, super fascinating article on CERN’s plans for an even larger hadron collider! (I mean, what could possibly go wrong?)

Lynsey Addario’s photos of life during wartime are heartbreakingly beautiful. Definitely worth a look.

Via Retronaut: Female motorcycle riders! Including Amelia Earhart on a scooter and an amazing English mail carrier with enviable shoes on a Triumph.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Occasionally I go on about how the Hadron Collider has (unintentionally, I hope) split us off into an alternate universe akin to Back to the Future II, where anything goes. I don’t really believe that, but I am fascinated with the Collider and with CERN, and was delighted to discover that there’s an arts residency at CERN! Who knows what secrets could be unlocked? 

In the meantime, however, we are stuck in the present. A theory about Bird Box (including spoilers, be warned) suggests that the monsters are really social media. Oooo, interesting.

Fortunately, there are places like Hookland, accessible via both social media and our imaginations, full of mystery and potential.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Happy Monday! Please enjoy the Embroidered Computer, and consider adopting a HeroRat! 

(These two things are not connected, I’m just pressed for time today.)

Friday, January 11, 2019

It’s Friday! It’s also the first day of my phone being out of commission (temporarily, hopefully), and wow, do we get used to technology fast. I feel totally unmoored, albeit not in an entirely bad way. (Obviously, if you want to get hold of me over the next few days, email me!)

Via the always entertaining Now I Know: The VA has a wide variety of emblems for tombstones, depending on one’s beliefs. There’s even a Druid symbol! (Also one which looks very Star Trek, but is actually the Kohanim Priestly Blessing…although Leonard Nimoy used it as the inspiration for the Live Long and Prosper gesture!)

The London Transport Museum is giving overlooked female artists their due in an exhibit showing their work for the public transit network. I really like Dora Batty’s art! 

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

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Confused by world events? Well, there’s not much I can do about that, but I can point you to a handy A-Z explainer of the Brexit chaos, at any rate. (For the US chaos, WTF Just Happened Today is still one of the best I’ve found.)

If you live in New York City or know someone who does, chances are you can find the building in these property tax photos from the 1930s and 1940s, now fully digitized by the NYC Municipal Archives. 

“Virtually unraveling” does not mean having a nervous breakdown online…or, at least, not always. At Cardiff University, they’re using this method to rediscover damaged materials. 

What would you wear at your funeral? Some morticians have stories! (If the zombie apocalypse happens, people will be…badly dressed, apparently.)

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Hooray, we’re not in the middle of a national emergency! (Yet, anyway. It’s the little things.) 

Creepbay is the spooky auction site I’ve always hoped to see.

Dungeons and Dragons is not only more popular than ever, it’s gone multi-generational! I would have loved to see my dad and aunt playing D&D. It would have been hilarious.

Via Strange Maps: You can now compare the true geographic size of countries using The True Size site. You can pick a nation and then drag and drop it over the rest of the world to compare. Brazil is huge!

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

What happened to the incredibly expensive Salvator Mundi, possibly painted by Leonardo da Vinci? It’s…very complicated, and involves Saudi Arabia, Russia, the Mueller investigation, and god only knows what else.

Haggard Hawks’ word(s) of the year reflect(s) the state of mind of many English speakers, it seems. 

As a form of escapism, check out this amazing “Fake Britain” map, showing nearly all the fictitious places in England, Scotland and Wales. From Misselthwaite Manor and Castle McDuck to Dibley and Broadchurch, it’s all there!

Here’s a lovely look at academically-inspired tattoos on people at VCU, and what the tattoos mean to them. (Includes art by Charon Henning, artist extraordinaire and art director of March Mammal Madness! You’ll know her work when you see it.)

Monday, January 07, 2019

Here we are again, another Monday to conquer…

Fine art: Art heists tend to be described in oddly romantic fashion, and this story of a recent theft (and possible destruction?) of five paintings in Paris is no exception.

Art and literature: Did you know Edward Gorey was born in Chicago? Count me among those who thought he was British!

Sound: Kristen Gallerneaux explores the surreal world of soundscapes. She’s also a curator at the Henry Ford Museum! 

Science fiction: Who are the forgotten greats? The article lists several, but the comments (nearly 150 so far) lead to many, many others.

Friday, January 04, 2019


The MERL (Museum of English Rural Life) went viral in 2018 over its “absolute unit” sheep. Here’s some more about the museum and how it uses social media (I am a big fan of the MERL).

Did you ever wonder what music the Apollo 11 astronauts listened to? Now there’s a playlist and some stories about how they came to be.

Music news from Zazoo: Bootsy Collins is hanging up his bass (for live performances), and Duran Duran once took on Spandau Ballet in a televised pop quiz!

David Maurer was fascinated with language, especially crime-related slang, and we’re lucky he wrote (most of) it down for us.

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

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Happy Folklore Thursday, everyone! There are lots of stories about what to do in the new year, plus stories about Epiphany and Befana. (I remember Befana from Tomie dePaola’s book.)

Brazil’s Museu Nacional was ravaged by fire, but you can take a virtual tour of how it was before the flames. 

The Free Music Archive was on life support, but it’s been revived, hooray!

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Hello and Happy 2019!

Yesterday was Public Domain Day, the first time in a long while that several works were released into the public domain. Duke Law School’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain has all the details. 

Bestsellers often don’t stand the test of time, and classics often aren’t appreciated until much later. Lithub lists the biggest fiction bestsellers of the last hundred years, alongside the publication dates of some now-loved stories.

What countries have dominated U.S. news since 1900? The Pudding has created an interactive chart, using NY Times headlines. 

Also interactive, in its own weird way, is the Choose Your Own Band-Aid “Do They Know It’s Christmas” song! (I know the season is over, but this was too good to save until next December.)