Friday, February 28, 2020

Happy Friday! It’s a big day here. But first, some links from others.

From Cassandra: A new and intriguing theory about Easter Island.

From Zazoo: Possibly the most messed-up U.S. map you’ll ever see. I’m excited to discover I now live near so many unsettled territories.

The beautiful, otherworldly art of Kay Nielsen, who briefly worked for Disney.

And now, the announcement: It’s time for March Mammal Madness! The 2020 bracket is here, and here’s a recap of what we’ll be doing all through March. Expect a lot of scattered goofiness on here as a direct result. (Also some random rodent-biased trash talking on Twitter via my alter ego.)

Have a safe and spiffy weekend, everyone. We’re off on Monday again (this will be happening for a few weeks, due to various dental adventures) but we’ll see you next week.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Normally I wait until Monday to share the art-related links, but today is an exception because 1) we’re going to be out on Monday and 2) tonight is Surrealist Film Night at the Dali Museum! (Of course they’re showing Un Chien Andalou.) It’s part of the ongoing Midnight in Paris exhibit, which has all sorts of fun extras.

Also from Monday’s links: Check out Cheap Old Houses on Instagram. Some of the houses look awful on the outside but are still amazing once you get in the door.

NIOSH tried AI crowdsourcing to help code their injury narratives, and it worked pretty well! No report on whether anyone was injured during the process.

Forget the Dewey Decimal System. Forget Library of Congress headings. Now there’s…Subject Savvy? (I think this is akin to bookstore organization, but I’m not completely sure.)

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Hi there. Things are stupid busy today, so I will drop this amazing video here for now and possibly return with more substance soon!


Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Hello! Let’s take a quick random walk through history, shall we?

First off: the wonderful mosaic patterns of Tunisia. 

Next, here’s Charles Hemstreet’s Nooks and Corners of Old New York, published in 1899 but focusing on much older buildings and streets in lower Manhattan.

From there, we go to a WWI reenactor who makes her costumes as historically accurate as possible, and honors the real life WWI surgeon Dr. Anna Tjomsland.

And finally, in the present day, let’s read about the great Buenos Aires bank heist of 2006!

Friday, February 21, 2020

Hola and happy Friday!

But wait.

Could it be a Friday with no links from others? And no links of our own? Yes! (It must be February.)

We're off on Monday as well, but will be back on Tuesday, hopefully armed with some links to share. Have a safe and spiffy few days, everyone. See you next week.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

How do you decide if a photo on social media is real or fake? NYT Open has a two-part series delving into the conundrum facing news organizations and readers alike.

Meanwhile, there are now pigeons in Vegas wearing tiny MAGA hats. (This is real, amazingly enough.)

The University of Saskatchewan has developed an app to guide readers through The Canterbury Tales, and Terry Jones was a contributor!

As March Mammal Madness approaches, we’re checking out public domain images, and I’m happy to report that Creative Commons has a much improved website and search engine.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Today: Map fun! And Stevie Nicks, also for fun.

Do you know where the Middle East is? I mean, could you draw a border around the region? Probably not, and you’re not alone. 

Found for genealogy, but interesting for everyone: Map of US shows how the states were formed, and also has a separate page for each state which shows how the counties formed, plus a lot more.

What’s the oldest operating company in the world? Well, it dates back to 572 AD. Yes, really! This fantastic map shows the oldest company in (almost) every country. (Special shoutout to Sean’s Bar, operating in Ireland since 900.)

If maps don’t interest you, perhaps the early artwork of Stevie Nicks will? It’s a bit pre-Raphaelite in places.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Greetings! Mercury is in retrograde and as a result (well, maybe), we're having some network issues. At any rate, this will be a short one.

I don't know if there's an untranslatable word for tangled networks or retrograde Mercury, but if there is, Eunoia probably has it somewhere. 

Behold, a history of vending machines! 99 Percent Invisible looks at two millennia worth of the idea.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Happy Monday!

The last decade was filled with not just EDM and dubstep, but also a great deal of ambient and new age music. (Plus, the re-release of Plantasia, a Spooky Librarians fave, is mentioned!)

The letters from T. S. Eliot to Emily Hale are finally open to researchers, and they seem to be…well, depressing. 

Raphael’s tapestries are returning to the Sistine Chapel, to mark the artist’s 500th birthday.

An ongoing exhibit at Yale celebrates the pre-Raphaelite “Victorian Radicals.” 

What does your name look like in colors? Thanks to a new website and a synesthete, you can see how someone with synesthesia “sees” your name!

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Friday and happy Valentine’s Day!

March Mammal Madness is approaching, stealthily, like a…stealthy creature. But look, there are valentines this year, with hints as to the 2020 contenders! 

I’m all for Anna’s new map of the USA, even with “Ohio 2.” I have the same argument about Idaho as she does about Wyoming. Are we really sure these states exist?

They Might Be Giants is celebrating the 30th (!!!!) anniversary of their “Flood” album. It still holds up.

From Nicole: Which zodiacal dog breed are you? 

Did Jeanne Calment really live to be 122? It’s a bit of a controversy, but it looks like she really did.

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

Thursday, February 13, 2020


When Google Reader vanished, I looked for other RSS readers and settled on Inoreader. They’ve been great, and now offer a feature that lets you add newsletters to feeds. It’s very helpful if you’re trying to reduce email!

The Wall Street Journal, of all places, has an excellent article about New York City’s “hidden” member libraries. The article is behind a paywall, but the libraries themselves are as follows:

The New York Society Library 

The General Society Library

Center for Fiction 

Poets House

All of them are worth checking out – virtually, if not in person!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Hello! It’s a bonkers week here – off yesterday, back today, gone tomorrow, back Thursday and Friday, hopefully. Ergo, it’ll be a mixed bag of links!

Soviets imagined the 21st century much like everyone else – improved transportation, lots of space exploration, and so forth. The monorail on the moon is an especially nice touch.

LowTech Magazine, on the other hand, cautions against too much technological insanity, preferring to combine old and new ways of thinking. For example, consider the Chinese wheelbarrow! 

Explorers have found the skeleton of an ancient shark in Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave system. See, anything can be in a cave!

Sheffield City Council asks if you would be sure if you were dreaming. (The actual Sheffield City Council denies all knowledge of these flyers. It’s probably an art project. Or maybe that’s just what they want you to think...)

Friday, February 07, 2020

Happy Friday!

From Cassandra: What Pluto is like, and what Venus is like. Let’s hope we find out more!

From Zazoo: Billy Porter’s on Sesame Street! And, of course, some people are upset. 

Via John Scalzi: How do you treat your books? I have done everything except lawful good and chaotic evil…which sort of sums up my attitude toward life, I suppose.

Local alert: The Loveland Frog(man) may have harassed a family near the Loveland Castle! (My hometown was…sort of strange. I think it’s now much more normal.)

Have a safe and spiffy weekend, everyone. See you next week – we will be a bit erratic due to some more dental adventuring, but we’ll be around!

Thursday, February 06, 2020

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Here’s a headline I can support: “Russian priests should stop blessing nukes.” I mean, come on. 

Meanwhile, Nyx Cosmetics is coming out with a whole line based on The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Goth power!

Speaking of, sort of, Louis Vuitton’s new fall promo campaign takes the angle of pulp novel covers. There are some fun ones.

Alaskan ghost towns can be pretty eerie. Here’s a photo essay on Kennecott Mines, which is preserved in time.

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

I am delighted that BLDGBLOG is back, for many reasons, but the latest is this post, which accurately sums up my current attitude to the state of the world. 

Behold, the first issue of Rituals and Declarations is out, and looks fascinating. A bit more information is available here. 

Did you know Ian McKellen kept a journal of sorts during his LOTR days? It’s true!

Monday, February 03, 2020

Hello and happy Monday.

From Bunny: The groundhog saw its Jungian shadow and is predicting an everlasting winter of the soul. It happens.

The Internet Archive has what looks like the whole run of Weird Tales (1923-1954, at least). Go and explore!

Bruce Goff was an American architect who created truly amazing residences, and he’s only now getting some recognition.

Slightly related: Our love of modern ruins.