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.