Thursday, April 30, 2020

Since we're not supposed to go out this Walpurgis Night (and some towns are getting creative on suppressing any would-be revellers!), let’s go on some virtual tours, shall we?

House Beautiful has a list of gorgeous libraries to tour. (I’ve been to the JP Morgan library and can vouch that it’s amazing.)

The Cincinnati Zoo has daily “home safaris.” 

The Smithsonian offers virtual tours of their Natural History Museum (among others).

And the National Parks have virtual tours as well, for all sorts of really interesting places!

If you have no desire to visit anything, even virtually, here’s some great news: LibraryThing is now free, so you can catalog your home library to your heart’s content!

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Hello! Do you need a haircut? If so, there’s a service that aims to help! 

The good folks who bring you Improbable Research and the igNobel ceremonies now have a weekly podcast. 

Today’s New York Times has a short video by dancers featuring a hand routine. I’m all about finger dancing, aka tutting, and this is a nice slow relation.

An upcoming book of photos shows London then and now through reggae albums. It looks fantastic.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Thanks to the pandemic, I may finally learn the rules of cricket! Google Doodles is re-running its most popular games, including one where you play cricket as a cricket.

Online reference is as busy as ever, but if you’re a bit luckier and have some extra time these days, you can take all sorts of interesting free online classes. Coursera is just one site offering some free content!

Monday, April 27, 2020

Hello and happy Monday! 

History: Social distancing was a bit more severe during the Black Death. 

Literature/history: The Byron bloodline was full of mad and bad behavior. 

Music: The Guardian started a series called “Listeners Digest” and you can explore the back catalogs of Kraftwerk, Bjork, Nina Simone, and many more!

For fun: From Zazoo: “In Spain, people can leave their homes to walk their 'pets' so they're getting creative...”

Friday, April 24, 2020

Happy Friday, everyone.

Also, happy 30th birthday to the Hubble Telescope! For something with such an unsteady beginning, it’s had an incredible life.

From Satori: “A similar epidemic in Northern China in 1910/1911 originating from the marmot fur trade… a very interesting compare/contrast on why and how it didn't get out to the rest of the world."

And finally, meet Pepper the hedgehog, conquering the increasingly difficult living room obstacle course! (The narration is wonderful.)

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

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Most sports are on hold right now, but the Name of the Year Tourney is just getting started! Go and marvel at the monikers some people carry.

If you’re in the midst of virtual meetings these days, you can liven up your background with Star Wars locations. 

If you like British sci-fi and interior design, you’re in for a treat: The chairs of Doctor Who and the chairs (and episodes) of Blake’s 7! 

And finally, I’m surprised and impressed with the way the internet has (mostly) held up under the sudden strain. Thanks, Vinton Cerf, and I hope your recovery continues!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Happy 50th Earth Day! Even if there isn’t much in the way of outdoor activities this year, there are lots of ways to observe today. The official Earth Day website has a planned day of live events to watch. NASA and the EPA also have their own pages for today.

And if you’d like to travel around a bit virtually, GeoGuessr is still around! They’re offering pro accounts these days, but you can still play for free.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Has the pandemic spoiled your birthday/spring break/vacation? Take a look at what one Australian family did to simulate their cancelled trip to Europe! 

(More soon, hopefully. Busy day here.)

Monday, April 20, 2020

Hi all! It’s a very Monday-feeling Monday here.

However, don’t worry – there’s art to celebrate, including bad art! This is a local (to us) initiative that begins on Wednesday. Go online and create something, even if you have no artistic talent whatsoever!
Meanwhile, for your artistic textual needs, check out Lordess Foudre, who has been contributing art to Warren Ellis’s weekly newsletter and is amazing. 

And there’s even art to be found in signs relating to the pandemic – here’s a collection of “due to COVID” signs!

Friday, April 17, 2020

Happy Friday, everyone.

As the glaciers melt, people are finding some amazing artifacts under the ice and snow. 

If you have Java or Flash, enjoy a few moments of zen with This Is Sand. 

From Cassandra: Does your brain tingle? Hers does, mine doesn't. Weird.

From Zazoo: “Here's something super cute: highlights from the Sesame Street coronavirus special.”

Stay safe, everyone. See you next week.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Hi there. We’re mostly back, but this will be a little short!

MAKE Magazine calls for a new movement – the Civic Response Corps. 

Law librarian Greg Lambert has a podcast for the current times called “In Seclusion,” where he explores what the legal and researcher worlds are doing these days.

From Cassandra: Is an out-of-body experience actually an inner ear problem? Maybe!

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Hi all. Still here, but experiencing some technical difficulties. Back soon with more links!

Monday, April 13, 2020

Happy Monday!

Bernie Sanders may no longer be running for president, but you can still have him run through a Mario-like platform game! 

Did you know crossword puzzles didn’t appear until 1913? There were several other word games out there already, however. 

As the current situation has drawn a lot of comparisons to wartime, here’s a story about a musician who played to BBC listeners during the start of World War II.

Friday, April 10, 2020

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

From Cassandra, a bunch of good reads: David Bowie’s final years, how to comfort an upset friend, and a story of Kentuckians driving out Illinois carpetbaggers (“This is how we do it in Kentucky, baby!”).

If you’re wondering how your county/state is doing in terms of social distancing, there’s now a scoreboard you can consult. There are a lot of mitigating factors, obviously, like the population of essential workers and how far away one needs to travel and whatnot, but it’s an interesting site.

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

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Even in a pandemic, Thursdays are busy.

Street artists have seized the moment to reflect the current state of everything. 

Some archaeologists must not play video games, where you must explore every nook and cranny. They finally looked below a mummy (after about a hundred years) and found paintings of a goddess at the bottom of her coffin!

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

It’s Holy Week, and at Warsaw’s Temple of Divine Providence, a priest is hearing drive-in confessions. Necessity and invention and all that!

Meanwhile, the Center for Inquiry (the Skeptical Inquirer people) have a live website dedicated to quashing scams and miracle cure claims related to the coronavirus. 

If you’re home baking, why not consider these Dungeons & Dragons-themed cookie cutters?

And finally, for something completely different: here are vintage photos of the Grateful Dead’s “wall of sound” for live performances. I’m not a Dead fan, but I can appreciate the technical wizardry here!

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Hello! Here are some random links.

Quarantine life, part 1: Four roommates recreate classic paintings, using what they have in their home. The results are pretty amazing, frankly. 

Quarantine life, part 2: An Italian priest livestreams Mass…but forgets to turn off the Facebook filters. Hilarity ensues!

If you’re looking for a different take on personality tests, here’s a detailed one which then shows your closest matches from a variety of different films and TV shows. B and I both took it, and he is Mr. Burns while I am Lisa Simpson, and Petyr Baelish (aka Littlefinger) while I am Samwell Tarly. Ha.

Monday, April 06, 2020

Hello and happy Monday. Hope everyone is safe and well.

Since most of the world isn’t traveling right now, museums and historical sites are opening up virtual tours. Here’s a list of seven; I’m looking forward to exploring Versailles, and the Musee d’Orsay site has a section talking all about the history of the building.

You never know where Salvador Dali will turn up – even in a North Carolina thrift store, apparently! 

Bunny saw Utopia’s “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now” video right when MTV started up, and then never saw it again. He thought it was a fever dream until he saw it again last week. No one we know remembers seeing it, either, but the song is practically guaranteed to stick in your head (and the video will confuse you with its bizarre art direction choices). Enjoy!

Friday, April 03, 2020

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

From Holly: A cellist finds herself stuck inside with her cello and a roomful of puppets. Hilarity ensues! 

In more puppet news, also from Holly: The Jim Henson Collection is offering a virtual museum tour on Mondays. 

Google has a new Doodle today, encouraging people to stay inside and stay safe. (Wow, our society has changed dramatically in the space of a few months…)

From my uncle: The new 9-to-5 anthem! "Workin' 9 to 5...or whenever to whenever..."

See you next week, everyone. Stay safe.

Thursday, April 02, 2020

We're finally at the end of March Mammal Madness! Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

In these parlous times, at least we have Dolly Parton to help. She’s going to read bedtime stories! 

Meanwhile, in Wales, a large herd of goats have overrun a small town. I think the town could work with this and figure out a way to get the goats to landscape the place.

I work in Ohio but live in Kentucky, so I have to listen to two different governors talk about pandemic issues. Fortunately, they’re both doing a fairly good job; our Kentucky governor even has a meme following.