Friday, October 23, 2020

 Hello and happy Friday! The Spooky Librarians are taking next week off to properly celebrate Halloween (as well as our anniversary), so posts may be slim or nonexistent until November. If we don’t post again, here’s wishing you a wonderful, safe, spooky Samhain/Halloween! 

Before that, however, here are some links… 

Room Rater continues to be my favorite new Twitter account, and as a bonus, it’s led to some artists! Check out Ernesto Ybarra’s work. 

Over in the music world, Tom Lehrer has released all his lyrics into the public domain. 

At Green-Wood Cemetery, an altar for Dia de los Muertos has been set up for visitors. 

And finally, someone asked people if they would rather be hot or cold, and then made a map of the results. (Those of you who would rather be hot are very strange creatures.) 

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

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Reclaim the Records has been mentioned here before as an amazing organization, fighting for free public access to data (and helping many a genealogist in the process). Now they’re taking on NARA! 

The AP’s Fact Check is a fairly balanced look at the false claims ricocheting around media at warp speed. Check out the weekly roundup, in particular. 

Today I learned that China is mad about Sherlock Holmes. Who knew? (Well, probably most Chinese.) 

The National Library of Luxembourg has, perhaps, the most amazing (analog!) sign system of any library.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

 The Queen of Halloween herself, Elvira, has made a video about Halloween 2020. It’s definitely worth your time.

 One silver lining about all this has been the extra time spent on Halloween décor! We’ve got a lot going on outside our house, but EPBOT has some ideas for inside the home, too.

 I love that, along with the Egyptian discoveries mentioned in an earlier post, we’re still discovering “new” Nazca lines in Peru. As William Faulkner said, “the past is never dead. It's not even past.”

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

 Hello! Today’s rabbit hole subject: Kaspar Hauser.

 If you’re interested in bizarre stories about mysterious people, Kaspar Hauser is a good one. Was he a savant? An imposter? The truth is out there, somewhere. Aside from that, he was a fairly good artist, which I didn’t know until I saw this Public Domain Review’s post. (Also, Kaspar has inspired many songs, like Suzanne Vega’s “Wooden Horse.”

As a spinoff, Hauser’s Wikipedia entry links to a List of Unsolved Deaths throughout history, which is also fascinating stuff.

Monday, October 19, 2020

 Hello and happy Monday! Here are your arty links. 

Film/TV: The puppets from the old Rankin-Bass Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer are up for auction! The catalog is online and it’s wonderful. 

Architecture: Roof tiles that absorb energy and changecolor! What a neat concept. 

Visual Art: Thanks to Satori for sending a link to Michael Demeng’s website. If you like assemblage art, you will love this (I do!). 

Music: Vinyl is having a true resurgence, and Tedium explores the whys and wherefores. (Also, check out The Burning Ear for new vinyl releases.)

Friday, October 16, 2020


Happy Friday, everyone! Why not start the weekend with a discussion of the best horror movies of all time? Cassandra sent this in and I find it hilarious that #151 is Deep Blue Sea, put on the list only for this scene:


It’s also baseball playoff season, and one of the teams in the mix is the Houston Astros, known mainly these days for their cheating scandal. To that end, someone has made a great comic book cover!


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

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Back in the early days of the pandemic, the Smithsonian offered some escapism via digital puzzles. Now there’s a fall edition for us!

Also from the Smithsonian: There are still more coffins and secrets being unearthed in Egypt. It’s unbelievable how much is buried out there. I’ve been reading up about ancient Egypt lately and this is a really fascinating article about why some statues and artwork were defaced or broken.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

 Hello! Ready for some spooky links? 

Final Girl is counting down 951(!) scary movies this October! 

The Halloween Shirt Company has not only shirts, but also patches and buttons for your Halloween needs. 

Here are materials describing an amazing Lovecraftian adventure, done in a perfectly aged manner. 

Meanwhile, a 17th century ship has been found in the Baltic Sea, in good condition. Who knows what secrets it holds? 

And, also meanwhile, the pandemic is changing our dreams. I’ve had several people mention this recently.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020


Hello! Here’s today's rabbit hole: are Pompeii artifacts truly cursed? A viral news story tells about a recent return by someone who believes taking objects from the site caused a whole raft of problems in her life, including cancer(?!?). At the end of the story, it mentions that the site has received “hundreds” of similar items with stories. Really? Well, here are some 2015 stories about the same thing, plus an interview that suggests that this is possibly a brilliant method of getting items returned to the location. Explore and see what you think!

Monday, October 12, 2020

 Happy Monday. What color are you? No, really? Let an AI tell you! (Several of these are wonderful.)

 More later, possibly. It’s a little hectic at SpookyLibrarians HQ today.

Friday, October 09, 2020

 Happy Friday, everyone! 

From Cassandra: What was the most popular horror movie the year you were born? 

Also from Cassandra: The genetics of left-handedness! 

From Satori: An exhibition of Jean Duffet’s “heroic size” work is opening in NYC. 

From a local library: Need to sign up for something, but don’t want followup emails? Behold, 10 Minute Mail is here to solve your problems (for ten minutes at a time)! 

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

Thursday, October 08, 2020

 Banned Books Week slid by without much notice this year. In fairness, there’s a lot going on! However, the Guardian had an article on the books banned most often in the US, and the ALA breaks it down further by the top ten banned books each year since 2001. 

In other book news, our local book festival has been canceled this year, but the writing contest is still happening.

How mindful are you these days? I took this quiz and it told me, and I quote, “You’re in the middle.”  I’m fine with middling mindfulness right now!

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

 Hello! Today’s a bit hectic, so there's just one link today, and it's something which relates back to Monday’s post. This time it’s not the forests, but instead the sounds of lockdown during a pandemic. Judging from the news, it looks as if several new lockdowns may be imminent, so perhaps there will be more additions. This is a very strange timeline.

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

 Today's post is the story of going down a rabbit hole...

When I was a kid, there was a board game that I loved called Music Maestro all about musical instruments. (Incidentally, when searching for a link to the game, I found that there was a sequel – Music Maestro II! – and that the original game is considered “vintage” as it came out in 1982. Sheesh.) The game included cassette tapes so that you could hear what the instruments sounded like. There were the usual suspects – piano, violin, trumpet – but also some odd historical instruments, like the rebec and the serpent. It turns out that there’s an entire website dedicated to the serpent, which I found thanks to Wormwoodiana  and their recent post. Despite all its faults, Isn’t the internet amazing?

Monday, October 05, 2020

Hello and happy Monday!

Sights, part 1: Have you heard of sapeurs? They’re Africans who follow the philosophy of La Sape, or the “Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégante.” They’re amazing and a sight for sore eyes in these crazy times!

Sights, part 2: If you’d rather view more disjointed and jarring images, might I recommend the collage portraits of John Stezaker?

Sounds: Close your eyes (after clicking) and listen to the sounds of various forests around the world! It’s immediately calming. At least, it was for me.

Friday, October 02, 2020

Happy Friday! And, as I said in an email to friends this morning, happy October Surprise to the COVID positive White House inhabitants! Schadenfreude aside, I'm hoping that perhaps more people will take the pandemic seriously now. Have a safe and spiffy weekend, everyone. See you next week.

Thursday, October 01, 2020

Happy October. Wouldn't we all rather be on the moon right now? We can imagine it, along with ten bands who are imagining a festival on the moon today. (Sure, why not, it's 2020 and anything goes right now.)

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

It’s almost October! And while the real world is doing its best to terrify us all, let’s have some spooky fun.

The HP Lovecraft Film Festival is going virtual this year, as so many other festivals are, and begins tomorrow. 

Grave gardening has always been a thing (at least, to me), but it’s getting some renewed attention.

Curl up with some spooky reads this autumn! But skip the one containing arsenic wallpaper samples. (Yes, it’s a real book!)

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The past: I read a reference to Marie Bashkirtseff once in a book and never knew who she was. Public Domain Review has provided the details!

The present: Drone footage of California’s orange skies meshes with the Blade Runner soundtrack just a bit too well for comfort.

The future (sort of): What will the neural net make of warning signs? Evidently they’re going to make it sound incredibly exciting and tempting!

Monday, September 28, 2020

 Hello and happy Monday!

The European Heritage Days festival took place last weekend, and one of the highlights was showing the medieval techniques used to build (and now rebuild) Notre Dame Cathedral.

Meanwhile, in the US, a Cincinnati hotel was designated one of the most endangered historic places in America. The Cincinnati Preservation organization has a very cool virtual guided tour that was a bit too cool for my standard laptop, but hopefully works on newer screens!

And finally, if you want to explore technology a bit further, check out AI Dungeon, where a neural net determines your fate. Usually.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Happy Friday! Hope everyone is safe and healthy. 

From Cassandra: Noam Chomsky surveys the current landscape. 

Also from Cassandra: Check out the secret life of a ghost hunter! I like his down-to-earth approach.

From the BBC: An oral history of Prince’s Sign o’the Times album (and all the music surrounding it).

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

Thursday, September 24, 2020

 History news: Vikings were not 100% Scandinavian? You don’t say!

 Preservation news: The Michelson Library is an amazing film research library, and it needs a new home. Help out, won’t you?

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

And now, a report on spookiness 2020 style. 

We would normally be planning our Halloween theme around now, but (general gesture at everything around us) this won’t be Halloween as usual. The CDC is currently discouraging trick-or-treating, but who knows, they may change their minds in a few days or weeks. The Halloween 2020 site is a great resource – you can look up your county, see what color it is on the risk chart, and then look at suggestions for Halloween shenanigans. (My county is currently yellow, and I am loving the “Yeet the Treats” suggestion.) 

The candy industry, meanwhile, is gearing up for its own virtual celebration this Halloween. Watch that space to see what they propose on Oct. 1st

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Monday, September 21, 2020

 Hello and happy Monday. Here’s a tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg that’s well done. RIP, RBG.

New York’s High Line wants some input on its next art installation. I think that nearly all the proposals are amazing; the absurdist in me loves the giant pigeon, but I could easily be persuaded to vote for something else!

The Virtual Online Museum of Art, or VOMA, is here for everyone who can’t/won’t go to the brick and mortar museums of the world right now.

Friday, September 18, 2020

 Happy Friday! Just one link today, and it’s for the name nerds: The Social Security Baby Names rankings are out. Olivia and Liam are the #1 names for 2019, but the website is so much fun for looking at different states, how name popularity changes over time, and more. (Evelyn is getting super popular, which I find interesting. Also surging in popularity is Theodora, which is fantastic!)

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

Thursday, September 17, 2020

If you work in a library and want to freak yourself out, read NYU’s studies on contagion rates of various printed materials. (I saw this after going through about two book carts full of stuff. Aieee!) 

If you excel at grammar and know others equally as persnickety, get yourself (safely) together for a few rounds of Stet! It’s a game which would be a perfect warmup to a proofreading test (and I just agonized over whether it should be “that” or “which” before deciding it didn’t matter that much). 

Fun futuristic news: Holographic menus are here! No word on whether proofreaders are necessary.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

I think I’ve found a new hobby – phenology, the art (and science) of studying one’s own environment to chronicle the changing of seasons,and the changing of the climate.

Dorothy Parker’s ashes have gone on a literal journey sinceher death – from a filing cabinet to Baltimore and now to Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx! (I’ve been to Woodlawn and it’s beautiful. Can’t wait to go back and see Dorothy at some point.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Tuesdays used to be all about steampunk here on Folderol. We’ve moved away from that a bit, but did you know that a new concept in physics is known as “quantum steampunk?” It’s true! Jules Verne would be proud, I think. 

A brand new penny arcade game (yes, really!) lets you take aim at John Wilkes Booth before he takes aim at Abraham Lincoln. 

Con artists have been around for ages, but the recent story of Anna Delvey has prompted a look back at some other women in history who convinced others of their (nonexistent) fortune.

Monday, September 14, 2020

 Hello and happy Monday!

 In the midst of all this climate catastrophe, the Factum Foundation is working to preserve Venice, among many other artistic treasures

Those of us who are a certain age may remember the Ben Is Dead zine. Here’s a (slightly NSFW, some of those images were racy) look back. 

Behold John Malkovich, transforming himself in homage to several iconic photographs with the help of Sandro Miller!

Friday, September 11, 2020

 Happy Friday!

 It’s a little strange to consider Patriot Day this year, as we’re in the midst of a pandemic which has killed so many more Americans.

Major League Baseball has opened up its Film Room to the public – you can watch games of the past, make your own highlight reels, and more. 

And lastly, RIP to Dame Diana Rigg, who will forever be Mrs. Peel to me. Here’s a highlight reel of her own, from the fourth season of the Avengers.



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

Thursday, September 10, 2020


Have you ever wondered what Roman emperors really looked like? Well, wonder no more – Daniel Voshart has created photorealistic portraits. (As always, I like Marcus Aurelius in particular.)

 Have you ever wanted to create your own supervillain? Well, get to it, because AI is coming! Janelle Shane’s latest post shows some, er, interesting candidates. I do like the idea of a supervillain who has a toaster for a head.

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

 Forrest Fenn, the man who buried treasure for explorers to find, has passed on into the next level of treasure hunting.

 My hometown made the cryptozoological Monster Map! We’re very proud. (I think.) 

I have not been keeping up with the goth world and hadn’t thought about Voltaire in some time. Evidently he’s started a “gothic homemaking” YouTube series!

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Friday, September 04, 2020

 Hello and happy Friday! It’s the Labor Day weekend here, which usually means a big fireworks show on the river. This year, the show is cancelled. Sort of. Instead, there will be fireworks from a secret location. It’s all very weird. I suppose that makes sense for 2020.

 I leave you with the best use of big data I’ve seen in a while – the Central Park Squirrel Census!

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

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Did you know that “knowledge workers” are more productive when they work from home? A new study proves it! 

2020 has been one strange year (so far), and archivists are aware of how important it is to document this while we’re living through it. 

Hilary Mantel is done with historical fiction for a while after finishing her Thomas Cromwell trilogy. I think that’s understandable. 

Speaking of Britain, the English National Opera is puttingon La Boheme as a drive-in performance. Flash your headlights to show your appreciation!

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

 A short but link-filled post today!

 There is something unaccountably cruel about the fact that Halloween 2020 falls on a Saturday AND a night with a full moon…and yet, from Salem to New Orleans, events have been canceled or severely curtailed. One silver lining is the avalanche of fun masks. I particularly like the Silence of the Lambs mask.  

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

 Happy Tuesday, and happy September. I agree that the arrival of fall always feels like the start of a new year.

 Imagine a weapon of mass…germination? Behold the seed bomb! 

Meanwhile, this wearable air purifier is probably very effective, but looks sort of uncomfortable.

Monday, August 31, 2020

 Good morning and happy Monday. It’s been difficult to wake up and get going today, so here’s something for the eyes and something for the ears. 

Eyes: Travel may be constrained these days, but you can still take sightseeing flights over Antarctica!This looks amazing. 

Ears: The remake of “Tower of Strength” is out, featuring artists like Gary Numan, Martin Gore, Gene Loves Jezebel and more. Have a listen!

Friday, August 28, 2020

 Happy Friday! 

Google is honoring Alexandre Dumas today, and focusing on one of my favorite books, The Count of Monte Cristo. 

Satori sent a followup on yesterday’s post about the new statute in Central Park. Let’s get some more women in there, please. 

Also from Satori: Lewis Miller Design is freshening up NYC streets with huge flower installations. 

And finally, the long read for the weekend: How do you gaze into the abyss during dark times such as these? 

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

Thursday, August 27, 2020

 It’s Thursday! And that means I’m busy. But here are two fun links. 

The most popular baby names in England and Wales for 2019 have been released. Kylo Ren is still inspiring names, regardless of your feelings toward the latest Star Wars movies!

 A new statue in Central Park honors Sojourner Truth, Susan B.Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. I hope to see it sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

 I just found out that most of the goth/alternative artists of my youth have united to remake "Tower of Strength" for COVID-related charity reasons. As "Tower of Strength" is one of my favorite songs, I am absolutely giddy.

Via Propnomicon: Zachary Zeydh has created the amazing Journal de Z, a journal of a Lovecraftian exploration that has to be one of the most detailed projects of this kind that I've seen.

Tarot decks are so numerous these days that you could probably find one with any theme you imagine. However, let's take a look at the Egyptian Tarot Deck(s), which began as far back as the 1780s.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

 Have you seen the Melbourne Monolith? Microsoft Flight Simulator has a few bugs, but some of them are pretty great. Janelle Shane shows you some examples!

The Library Time Machine observed the surreality of a deserted London amidst the lockdown. Now, with things opening up somewhat, there are other this ban on restaurant background music in Scotland. (Who would have foreseen that?!?)

Leonardo Ulian creates art using circuitry and other electronic materials, and it's absolutely gorgeous. 

Monday, August 24, 2020

 Happy Monday. In these times of ever-increasing doomscrolling, you may be pleased to know that Miskatonic University is working to provide a safe campus for its faculty and students. Sort of.

The amazing John Coulthart has revamped his website. Take a look, it's incredible.

Brutalism is enjoying a comeback of sorts (probably because life right now is rather brutal). 

And lastly, here's another story of antique book theft...from the inside.

Friday, August 21, 2020

 Happy Friday!

 Have you heard of the Simulmatics Corporation? They basically created the future in 1960. It’s a little eerie.

 Indoor activities may be limited for the near (and far?) future, but there are still farms, and Food and Wine lists their best in each state. (For Ohioans, good news – Young’s Dairy Farm made the cut!) 

Kevyn Aucoin was a brilliant makeup artist. Now, the Makeup Museum is digitizing his equally brilliant journals. 

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

Thursday, August 20, 2020

 Whether or not you (or someone you know) is going back to school physically or virtually, there’s probably something in this mega-list of research resources for you. There’s an unbelievable amount of information here! 

For those of you interested in following the money: The COVID Money Tracker. 

For those of you interested in search engines, there are some very specific alternatives to Google. (I’m delighted to see engines like Command-E!) 

And finally, as if the pandemic wasn’t enough, the people of Iowa are in a really bad way after the derecho last week. Many still don’t have power. Donate if you’re able, won’t you?

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

 Hello! It’s a busy week here, but let’s think back to a time when we could go to concerts like Lollapalooza and Coachella and Glastonbury. This ‘90s festival generator comes up with lineups; then you click on each band and you’re taken to a live performance! Good times. I just watched World Party and Saint Etienne.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020


Have you heard of the American Society for the Protection of Magical Creatures? No? Well, you should take a look. There’s a plethora of material to investigate, and even the “NonMagical About” page has dozens of links to explore! 

On this date one hundred years ago, Tennessee ratified the 19th amendment, giving American women the right to vote. It was not an easy battle! To commemorate the day, here’s a Schoolhouse Rock song I used to know by heart. 


Monday, August 17, 2020

 Hello and happy Monday! 

I believe I may have linked to Tatsuya Tanaka’s miniature calendar before, but the calendar is still going, with something new every single day! It should be a regular stop on everyone’s daily web browsing schedule. 

Vladimir McCrary has had a career as wide-ranging as his name. Basketball player, model, poet…he’s a fount of energy. 

From Zazoo: "Enough is Enough" by Babs and Donna Summer is the theme song for a new LGBTQ+ campaign in the Trump era.”

Friday, August 14, 2020

 Hello and happy Friday! No links today, except this reminder that the Perseids meteor shower is still going on up in the sky (provided there are no clouds in the way). Have a safe and spiffy weekend, everyone. See you next week.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

 It’s Thursday, and you know what that means – not much time to post links! But here are a few. 

The COVID-19 Law Lab is an effort to gather all the legal documentation worldwide on the pandemic. North America isn’t represented very well (yet?), but other parts of the world have a lot there.

 IFAR is the International Foundation for Art Research, and their website has all sorts of neat information. There’s even a page for stolen art.

 Tedium has a great, detailed post about the history of online news. It was a different world back then, you young’uns!

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

 Happy Wednesday. Here are some random bits and pieces to enjoy! 

We are big fans of Meow Wolf, and are delighted to find out that they’re opening an “immersive supermarket” in Las Vegas next year. Many thanks to Satori for sending this. (Satori also said, “I bet they didn’t plan how important grocery stores would be when they were in concept phase.” Ha.) 

The Mysterious Package Company has also added to their repertoire, with the spinoff Curious Correspondence. If you sign up, you get a mystery package/puzzle each month. 

From Cassandra:  A recent Netflix horror movie was filmed in an abandoned (and haunted, of course!) Kentucky mansion. Lots of secrets there, I bet. 

And finally, just for fun: Due to all the recent baseball shenanigans, New York governor Andrew Cuomo suggested that the MLB play in a New York “bubble.” Someone on Reddit took the idea and renamed all the teams tomake them more NY-friendly. My personal favorite is the Brooklyn Bagels, but I also like the Greenwich Stonewallers.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

 Hello. Remember when we used to travel about and look at things? Those were good times. 

Anyway! Here’s a look at modern Singapore, and how it’s become a futurist dystopia of sorts. (Thanks to Cassandra for sending this!) 

The motorcycle gets a fabulous-looking reinvention here. I miss Art Deco. Maybe we can have a 21st-century revival.

After World War II, French fashion came back to life with the help of the tiny mannequins of the Théâtre de la Mode!

Culturespaces creates a different kind of immersive exhibit, where you’re surrounded by the art in a space. It looks incredible. They have a page of their venues, and each one is worth seeing – here’s just one example.

Monday, August 10, 2020

 We’re back! Well, sort of. While we get caught up on everything, here are two links from others! 

From Bill Lucey: Irregardless is now a perfectly cromulent word, even if my spellcheck doesn’t think so. (It does think cromulent is a valid word, though. Hm.)

 From Nicole: Behold, the Women of Science Tarot Deck!

Friday, July 24, 2020

Hello and happy Friday! 

The Spooky Librarians are going to be on staycation for the next two weeks. Updates may happen, but may not, depending on when we get up in the morning. We may go to the World’s Longest Yard Sale, depending on weather and COVID numbers, but other than that, we don’t have much planned. 2020 is so strange. 

Anyway! On to links from others! 

From Cassandra: A new group, ReImagine Appalachia, is working to bring jobs and sustainability to the region. There’s much more on the organization here. Looks fantastic. 

From Satori: The “battles” among museums on Twitter have been providing much-needed culture and humor each week! The most recent competition, for “best bum,” is especially good. 

The Swedish island of Gotland is using medieval knights to encourage social distancing. I already wanted to visit Gotland; this is an added incentive!

 Have a safe and spiffy weekend/week, everyone. See you in August!

Thursday, July 23, 2020

I’ve been waiting to post a link to Baseball Theater for MONTHS now. It’s new and looks like it’s going to be an amazing resource for baseball fans, especially during this weird abbreviated season.

If you’re going to protests, be aware that tech companies may be following you via your phone, and then using your demographic information. 

Drive-in movies are having a renaissance in this pandemic-stricken world! You can search for drive-ins near you, or just soak up the nostalgia.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

For those of you who love maps and technology (like me), you may also love these real-time transit maps on circuit boards! (Found via The Map Room, which always has very cool map-related info.) 

For those of you who love space (like Cassandra), you may also love this simulation of sunsets as seen from other planets and moons. has a bit more information on how this came together. 

And for those of you who love David LaChappelle (like Zazoo and Satori), he’s back with a new installation in London! (Also, he has become a farmer in Hawaii. Like you do.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2020


There’s a website now dedicated to COVID innovations. The mother of necessity strikes again!  One fun new idea is LUSH’s mini-soap which dissolves in thirty seconds of handwashing. Good idea for kids! 

A yoga studio in Toronto doesn’t have to worry about such things – they were already socially distant, thanks to these tiny geodesic domes they use for hot yoga! (This is probably the only way I would do hot yoga. I could pretend it’s some utopian future.) 

Meanwhile, in Barcelona, the Gran Teatre del Liceu has reopened with a concert livestreamed to humans and with a theater filled with plants as an audience. I’m betting the plants enjoyed it a great deal.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Happy Monday! I've been spending part of my morning playing with Boil The Frog, a site that does a sort of "six degrees" connecting to musical artists. It's great for finding similar music to explore (although it doesn't have many of the more obscure artists, be warned.) Many thanks to Bunny for sending it!

Friday, July 17, 2020

Hi there. It's been a long week and I have no links left at the end of it all! So I'm taking today off. Back next week with more content. Have a safe and spiffy weekend, everyone.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Here’s something to distract a bit from current events: learn hieroglyphs! Google has a new project that teaches about hieroglyphs, shows you a way to send messages, and even offers a crowdsourcing project to help AI recognize damaged hieroglyphs for archaeologists and historians. Neat!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Hello! It’s a busy day behind the scenes, so here’s something short and goofy. In Rapid City, South Dakota, there are statues of every U.S. president in the downtown area. It’s like the Presidential Grove in my city, but a bit more…monumental. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Hi and happy Bastille Day. 

Followup from yesterday: My family has heard about the Berkshire UFOs, but has no additional information. (Also, there was a plaque to mark the alien arrival! But now it’s gone. Oops.) 

So many people have died this year, but Grant Imahara’s sudden death seems especially unexpected and unfair. 

Janelle Shane has some interesting facts about whales, many of which are completely false as she’s asked AI for the interesting facts. (There’s a good Darth Vader dialogue at the end, though.) 

As the pandemic seems to be zooming along quite happily through the summer heat, I think this is my socializing plan for the foreseeable future.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Hello and happy Monday. 

Window Swap is a lovely idea – you get to see a window view from someone else, anywhere in the world. Keep clicking to see more! You get city skylines, trees, the occasional cat or dog, and sometimes a waterfall or mountain range.

Usually, around this time of year, I’m out east visiting family. This year we’re not there, due to the pandemic, and nearly everything there is closed as well. It’s made for an interesting summer. However, the same region is also featured in a new Unsolved Mysteries episode, about UFO sightings in 1969. I had no idea! (I’m asking my family about it now.)

Friday, July 10, 2020

Happy Friday, all! 

From Cassandra: Look up this month and you may see a comet in the sky. (Right now, outside my window, it is sunny and raining at the same time, along with thunder, so anything is possible.)

 Local fossil hunters, take note: Dry Dredgers are amateur geologists exploring the region’s history (and rocks!). 

If you miss the weirdness of late night public access television, try EXP TV. It may bring back old memories, or serve as inspiration to create some new ones! 

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

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Hello! Here’s a public service announcement: Please do not microwave your library books. (2020 is SO WEIRD.)

 However, if you want to try this redesigned gin vending machine, I’m all for it.

People have always been interested in “weird news,” such as the above. Sir Hans Sloane lived in a few hundred years ago and collected strange news items along with his scientific research! (The British Library’s “Untold Lives” blog is the source of this gem, and highly recommended.)

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

I linked to Atlas Minor a few weeks ago, and I’m linking it again, because it’s oddly reassuring to see someone else in the same headspace. 

In the middle of summer, it may be refreshing (in a weird sort of way) to experience Antarctic expeditions and see how they dealt with the elements

In the middle of summer, however, you can sponsor a beehive at Green-Wood Cemetery. I love that the honey is called “The Sweet Hereafter.” 

And for something completely different: IKEA instructions for creating various horror characters, with bonus Han Solo in carbonite.

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Hello! We’re back (although, to be honest, we didn’t really go anywhere). 

If you think 2020 has been a slog, imagine what Petrarch went through, living through 25 years of plague. Let’s hope we’re not going down that path. 

Thomas Becket’s shrine has been painstakingly recreated digitally. Now you can see what it looked like in the 1400s! 

Imagine that you’re helping a friend move into a new place, and suddenly your foot goes through the floorboards…and you end up falling into a well from the 1800s. (PSA: many old houses are not up to code!)

 In (only slightly) more recent news, Lee Miller is finally getting her due.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you’re all well and safe. 

The Spooky Librarians will be off next week, but we’re not actually going anywhere, so there may still be some random updates. Back to regular posting after July 4th

MoMA has a planned fall exhibit on home movies, which is completely my jam. I hope I get to see it, but if not, at least some of it is online. 

Kate Pierson of the B-52s has rental cabins and Airstreams in New York. Now she has Airstreams available in California’s desert, too! 

You may remember Pepper the hedgehog warrior from earlier posts. She has a companion, Tuck, who has joined the challenge! Also, hedgehog bowling has begun. 

An American ambassador to Great Britain is going to start another war between the two countries if someone doesn’t instruct her on the proper way to make a cup of tea. This is…not the way to do it! 

Have a safe and spiffy weekend and week and following weekend, everyone. See you in July!

Thursday, June 25, 2020


One of the bigger issues facing librarians at the moment is if/when/how to long to quarantine books. The latest studies seem to say 72 hours. 

Meanwhile, coins are becoming scarce. No, seriously. 

Also, a Saharan dust storm is on the way across the Atlantic. (Apparently this happens, to a lesser extent, nearly every year? But of course 2020 is extra.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Hello! Some bits and pieces for today, in very short sentences. 

Travel may not be that easy right now, but you can engage in some virtual tourism, at least. 

Thanks to paleomusicology, we may soon be able to hear what the music of Teotihuacan sounded like

MakeZine reports on how the Black Lives Matter street murals were created. 

Grave goods are the items left on tombstones, and they can be all sorts of odd and fascinating things. 

Atlas Minor is a new discovery. Hooray for weblogs!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Hi again. Still kinda swamped here. Back soon, honest!

Monday, June 22, 2020

Hello and happy Monday. Running late today; check back tomorrow for some links! Thanks.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Happy Friday, and happy Juneteenth! 

From Zazoo: “There's a petition in Tennessee to replace confederate statues with statues of Dolly Parton. Yes, please!” 

Also from Zazoo: Weird towns in the United States. There’s a lot of weird stuff out there, that’s for sure. 

Random news tidbit: Did you know hummingbirds can see colors we can’t?

My new favorite website is Drive & Listen, which takes you all around the world and lets you listen to the local radio. Right now I’m in Oslo!

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

Thursday, June 18, 2020

If you’re in America, you can track the COVID-19 infection rate by state over at Place your bets! 

As libraries reopen, there are lots of changes afoot, especially in public libraries. From this story, I found, which is definitely worth a look. 

Meanwhile, a huge Mayan monument has been discovered, thanks to remote sensing technology.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

So, the Royal Ascot races have begun, but no one can be there in person. No worries, people are putting on silly hats at home for the occasion! 

Meanwhile, in New Zealand, you can watch people try to do the Time Warp in front of a statue of Riff Raff. (Every time I check, no one’s there because it’s the middle of the night, but you may have better timing.) 

Feral House Publishing often has great offerings, and they’re diving into “Tramp Lit,” like A Tramp’s Philosophy and The Lives and Extraordinary Adventures of Fifteen Tramp Writers.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Hooray for some good news, courtesy of the Supreme Court, of all places! 

If you’re casting about for something to read, check out HiLoBrow – especially this list of 250 adventure novels. 

For smaller adventures, why not read Bess Truman’s account of wanting to bob her hair?

Monday, June 15, 2020

Hi and happy Monday! Back tomorrow with some links, honest.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Greetings! I'm having a very hard time getting started today, so there's just one link. Imagine you wrote a book about your life. What would the cover be? Makes you think!

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Have you heard of Doggerland? It was once a settlement on the land between England and Europe, now far under the sea. But archaeologists are exploring the remnants. 

If you find that a vampire killing kit is suddenly necessary (hey, I can't judge, who knows what else can happen this year), this should cover everything you need. There’s even a handbook and other materials you can print out! 

And finally, Screenshots of Despair is here for your recommended daily allowance of absurdist gallows humor.

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Someone has finally found Forrest Fenn’s hidden treasure in the Rocky Mountains! Now, the legal wrangling begins... 

Crouch Rare Books have made some of their wonderful maps into digital jigsaw puzzles you can play for free!

 Wondermark ponders how our current actions impact the future. (Also, timecops.) 

I know I always link to the Public Domain Review, but this week’s offering is something really special. It hits all my buttons – history, geography, sound, and an overall feel of hauntology. Check out Julian Chehiran’s essay.

Monday, June 08, 2020

Happy Monday, everyone!

Just one link today, but it's a glorious one: Bizarre food platings from restaurants. They start out relatively normal and get increasingly demented! Back tomorrow with more.

Friday, June 05, 2020

Happy Friday!

 From Zazoo: A new Sesame Street town hall is coming this weekend. 

From Cassandra: Some calm words from a leader? Who’d have thunk it? 

Julie Noelke’s April self explains the pandemic to her January self. Then her April self gets a visit from her June self. Really, 2020 is…something else. 

Castext is offering free access to attorneys working pro bono for protesters, journalists, and more. 

Stay well and safe, everyone. See you next week.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Tuesday, June 02, 2020



Take a trip back with us, won’t you? 

1918: Video chat is predicted with “Telephot,” which looks very steampunk and slightly cumbersome. 

1937: Behold Keedoozle, the first automated grocery store! It looked amazing, but evidently was a bit too ahead of its time. 

1968: The Whole Earth Catalog makes its first appearance! Over fifty years later, we now have the Warp Earth Catalog, a mixtape of sorts for these tumultuous times.

2002: Meet Cleaver Theatre makes its first appearance! And now in 2020…we’re back! Check out the first new episode!

Monday, June 01, 2020

Happy Monday, everyone. Hope you’re all safe and well. 

Christo, artist extraordinaire, has died at the age of 84. 

A pristine mosaic floor from Roman times was unearthed in Verona! It’s incredible. 

How did Renaissance architects create those domed cathedrals? Researchers have a new theory. 

Tedium has a great post on the theme music of Sherlock Holmes over the decades.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Happy Friday, all! 

Sanctuary Astrology sends out an occasional newsletter, and their most recent was “free fun stuff to do for each sign.” They had all sorts of interesting resources, but the best was Astronaut, a website that shows you bits of the newest and most “unseen” videos uploaded to YouTube. We got hooked on it last night and saw everything from graduations to accordion playing to classes, all around the world! 

Have a safe and spiffy weekend, everyone. See you next week. To show you how our week has been, here’s an update from MC Marmot, trying to land the March Mammal Madness Recap satellite.


Thursday, May 28, 2020

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Hey you! Wanna be a DJ? Now you can mix to your heart’s content using public domain music, thanks to a new project from the Library of Congress! It’s still a work in progress, but it looks like fun. 

Speaking of music, Janelle Shane asked some AI to write some song lyrics. It…did not go well. At all! Although some of it did turn out rather poetic. 

 And here’s something great: a squirrel obstacle course! No squirrels were harmed and it’s a fantastic look at how ingenious they are.


Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Street artists have reflected society’s recent changes. Check out The Rebel Bear for some especially good stuff!

 In local news, the Bicycle Card company is being demolished; here’s a neat little story from their history about hiding secret maps in a card deck.

 For something completely random, experience Pac-Man as a first-person shooter!

Friday, May 22, 2020

Happy Friday and happy long weekend, although it’s very weird this year! 

I used to work at a newspaper, long ago when news librarians were a thing, and this is how I remember the workplace. 

For some entertainment, check out Live from Snack Time, where NYC children tell you how it is. My current pandemic-related favorite: “Adult: Well, how’s your family, are you getting along? Kid: Well, they aren’t my family anymore.” 

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

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Today’s Google Doodle is a wonderful musical odyssey which teaches you about the mbira! 

If you’re stuck inside (or bored of going on neighborhood walks), try quarantine bingo

If you have access to some good paper and you love vintage computers, try recreating them via Papercraft! 

And finally, the Public Domain Review has a fantastic book on old English customs. Did you know that hot cross buns date back to Roman times?

Wednesday, May 20, 2020


How about some games today? You can be a Marginalia Hero, fighting medieval beasts with a click of the mouse! Or you can try navigating the International Space Station with NASA controls, which looks incredibly difficult. 

It’s the centennial of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, huzzah, and here’s a look back at the film. Love those sets.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Hello! Crazy busy day here as we start to talk about "reopening" and all that good stuff. Back soon with links!

Monday, May 18, 2020

Happy Monday! 

In the art world, there’s a battle going on to save Oslo’s Picasso murals. 

In the history world, there’s a battle going on about forged and/or stolen Biblical-related papyri. 

In the film world, there is…no battle, hooray, just a story about how several stuntmen embodied Jason Vorhees over the years. 

In the AI world, things are always weird, and this collection of escape rooms is no different. (I particularly like “The Room with a Chance of Being In It.”)

Friday, May 15, 2020

Happy Friday, everyone!

We don’t have much in the way of links today, so please enjoy the sounds of a treehouse with a fireplace during a rainstorm (sounds unsafe, but hey), and we’ll see you next week. Have a safe and spiffy weekend, everyone.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Today we’ve got some links about medieval Britain and modern America to entertain you. 

First, the Yanks.  At the Library of Congress, one of their efforts aims to use AI in the Chronicling America newspaper digitization project. 

Meanwhile, Cincinnati’s airport now has a giant floor-scrubbing robot zooming around. 

In Shakespeare’s time, the plague was a regular occurrence that often shut down theatres for months. Pestilence and plague mentions abound in his works. 

Over at the Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments, you can see and hear a whole cacophony of creations!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

One of my favorite places in the world, Mont-St-Michel, is having a rough time during the pandemic. 

Vogue takes you on a virtual tour of vintage Paris. If you like the old film that's included, you’ll love Guy Jones’s YouTube channel, where many vintage films are available! 

The Met Gala’s theme this year is “About Time,” and the gala itself had to be postponed until possibly October. The exhibit looks amazing (as always) and happily, people at home celebrated Gala time by creating fantastic DIY versions of previous looks. (I was really looking forward to this year, with the theme and all; I hope they get to have it later this year.)