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!