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Friday, February 29, 2008
Happy Leap Day, everyone! Alternatively, according to Wikipedia, you can call this Bissextile Day. Wikipedia also says that women are "permitted" to propose marriage during leap years. Oops, I was two years off. Sorry, Bunny.

Not only is it Leap Day, but it's also Friday, and that means...links from others!

From Cassandra: the secrets of our own solar system are pretty interesting, and a theory about Venus gets its own story. Also: a plaza older than the Giza Pyramid has just been discovered in Peru; scientists have figured out how Mayans got that blue pigment they used for decoration -- and for human sacrifices; and, for something completely different, Roger That Cards offer all sorts of snarky commentary for the outspoken.

Holly sends in a news story about Boy George and asks, "Is he in court more than out these days?"

From Bunny: how to make Hanna-Barbera's Wacky Races cars out of paper, and a goofy quiz asking you to discover which spice you are. (For the record, he was cilantro and I was basil.)

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Jinnet @ 2/29/2008 : comments: 1
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Happy birthday to Dawnowar and to Darren! Send them accolades. And cake.

What do your bookshelves say about you? I had no idea this was such a concern. Our bookshelves say that we are interested in practically everything, as far as I can tell.

This week's story about librarians being cool orginates from Houston. (I like the t-shirt.)

Cassandra, this one is for you: here's a way to track all the exciting developments in the web 2.0 world.

I often rail about how one day the apocalypse will come and knowing 2.0 technology will be no help whatsoever. The Obsolete Skills Wiki, however, can teach you what you need to know before it's too late! And with 2.0 technology, no less!

Women's History Month is almost here, and the BBC has an interesting article about the career choices for women in ancient Egypt.

Tomorrow is Friday, which means links from others. See you then!

Jinnet @ 2/28/2008 : comments: 3
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Wow, there was an earthquake in the U.K. , only a day or so after a big quake in Indonesia. Is the world rearranging itself?

Then again, it's the season for wild variations in temperature and general conditions. This weekend brings everything from the Iditarod in Alaska to the Swamp Buggy Races in Florida.

In slightly related news, did you know that every state has a different Arbor Day? (I didn't, until now.) Some states have already had theirs; most are in April.

For people interested in more spiritual and less tangible matters, here's a page of the most beautiful monasteries on the planet. (Oddee is a great website - check out their other features!)

Jinnet @ 2/27/2008 : comments: 2
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Riveting bulleted bits on this steampunk Tuesday.

  • Jake von Slatt has yet another interview out! Someone should anoint him as the official spokesperson of steampunk.
  • A brand new site from Myke Amend is very steampunk and also all about Lovecraft. Go now and join the fun that's just starting.
  • Another new steampunk community (they're springing up everywhere these days) is steampunk style.
  • Brush up on your Victorian manners with an interactive game. Later we will feature a punk manners game in which you can swear freely, throw things, and start a rebellion.
  • This "telepresence frame" just cries out for some steampunk ornamentation, doesn't it?

Jinnet @ 2/26/2008 : comments: 0
Monday, February 25, 2008
Some quick arty bits today:

Jinnet @ 2/25/2008 : comments: 1
Friday, February 22, 2008
Links from others! Thanks, everyone.

This just in from Bunny's alter ego Butch R. Cleaver: "Ben Chapman (we've met him a gazillion times) aka the Creature from the Black Lagoon, just died. A link to his personal site for ya.The Cleavers wish him the best in his cosmic journey as he was a heck of a nice fella."

Also from Bunny: Google to manage health records in Cleveland (as a test market for worldwide searchable medical records); social networking is shrinking in the UK; and a photo essay on shooting down that satellite, as well as the real story behind what sort of satellite it was. (It was a mess of a project, apparently.)

From Cassandra: a look at feminists and the Hillary Clinton campaign. Also from Cassandra: a completely weird story that will make you want to measure...things, if only to prove it wrong.

From Holly: The amazing world of pen spinning! Also from Holly: photos from the toy fair (our favorite is the monsters riding the escalator); the rising popularity of video games in libraries; the imminent comeback of the Smurfs; and a cute baby penguin eating "fish shakes" (also with a photo gallery, which shows that stuffed animal penguins are substituting for parental figures!).

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone. See you Monday.

Jinnet @ 2/22/2008 : comments: 1
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Kosovo's declaration of independence makes an interesting read. The first section is almost lyrical.

Having recommended library-related weblogs, LISNews went ahead and surveyed its readers to find the top non-library weblogs you should be reading.

Also found on LISNews: a fun concept for organizing one's books. (The comments are almost all negative ones, which I find hilarious. I actually want to try this in our house.)

The American Historical Association has begun a wiki for archives and special collections. It's brand new and a little bare so far, but there's a nice list of archives to browse!

De Montfort University in the UK is offering an "Online MA in Creative Writing and New Media." We are intrigued. Also a little confused.

More UK news: the Domesday Book is available online for free now!

And finally, for the non-librarians and non-historians: test your reaction time by shooting tranquilizer darts at sheep. (You have to click the dart icon, not the sheep. It took me a few tries to realize this.) My reaction time is that of a "bobbing bobcat." They suggest I drink more coffee. Hm.

Tomorrow: links from others, weather permitting! (It's supposed to rain ice and sleet and other frozen objects all night and all day tomorrow.)

Jinnet @ 2/21/2008 : comments: 0
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
An exciting update on The Satellite Which (Eventually) Fell to Earth: bad weather is delaying the shoot-it-down operation. We're still holding out hope that it lands on our street.

Also, there's going to be a lunar eclipse tonight. You may get to see an eclipse AND a crashing satellite in the skies!

From Bunny comes a tale of something lurking in an English sewer. The workers won't go down in the tunnels any more, and a ghostbuster has been called. I think it's a C.H.U.D., personally. Others suspect a derelict, possibly one that's read this Modern Mechanix article on old-time horror movie makeup tips.

From Nicole: a look at the most sinful cities in the United States. Please note that my fair city ranks in the top ten in wrath and lust. And they say Ohio is boring!

And finally, who died on the day you were born? You may be surprised at the wealth of information here!

Jinnet @ 2/20/2008 : comments: 1
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Is everyone reading FreakAngels now? Oh, good.

Anyone worth his/her steampunk salt (?) knows to give thanks to Jules Verne and H.G. Wells for their inspiring stories. One inspiree was Walt Disney, and this weblog entry looks into just how much the 19th-meets-25th century ideal influenced early Disneyland.

If you're more drawn to the 19th century end of the neovictorian spectrum, the 19th Century Shop is definitely worth a visit. (They're looking for a archivist, too. What an absolutely wonderful job that would be!)

For the more futuristic among us, the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology is the place for you. And in the present day, we have some beautiful Stirling Engines powered by candles!

(And lastly, for the retro-minded who don't care much about steampunk, I give you The Old Robots, full of Omnibots and other awesome mechanized buddies.)

Jinnet @ 2/19/2008 : comments: 0
Friday, February 15, 2008
There's a plethora of links from others today. Thanks, everyone!

From Cassandra:

From Holly:

From Bunny: REM is open-sourcing its music videos! (I think they should make this retroactive, so we could theoretically make our own videos to all their back catalog as well.)

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone. We'll be back on Tuesday!

Jinnet @ 2/15/2008 : comments: 0
Thursday, February 14, 2008
According to U.S. News, librarianship is one of the hot careers in 2008. I'm always a little confused when my occupation makes these sorts of lists, but I am happy to see that I am apparently in the "smart speciality" subset.

Some interesting bits about public access to information: OpenCongress shows you what's happening in real time, the Public Library of Law (PLOL) is open for business; and journalists are debating Wikipedia as a valid source.

Tomorrow: lots of links from others!

Jinnet @ 2/14/2008 : comments: 2
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
This week's activities include celebrating the Year of the Rat at the San Francisco Zoo (everyone born in a Year of the Rat gets in for free!), attending the annual Jorvik Viking Festival in York, England (tomorrow starts it off with "Invasion Day"), and, if you can't do either of those, you could celebrate Valentine's Day at White Castle.

Artist Benedetta Bonichi's website is called "To see in the dark," so of course, we love it here at Spooky Librarians HQ.

Also in that slightly spooky fantasy vein, here's a look at the science behind some fairytales.

Jinnet @ 2/13/2008 : comments: 0
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Lots of happenings on the steampunk front of late: the craze has made it to NPR, a new Livejournal community dedicated to finding and/or making neovictorian clothes has sprung up, and the Earthenwood Bead Studio is celebrating a "week of steam." Huzzah!

Paleofuture shows us a vision of how people in 1939 thought the men of the 21st century would dress. I rather like the Ottoman influence.

The LEGO steampunk contest may be over, but that doesn't mean the creations have stopped - for example, Admiral Merryweather's Amazing Flying Machine is ready for takeoff (and probable imminent disaster)!

Scientists have created a device which fits on your knee and uses your own kinetic energy to charge items like cell phones. I'm thinking these would look quite dashing with some brass and gear emphasis.

Jinnet @ 2/12/2008 : comments: 0
Monday, February 11, 2008
Today we are all about visual art.

The creating: you can make your own Jackson Pollock work of art by moving your mouse around wildly (click the mouse to change color, press the space bar to erase the screen).

You can also use LEDs to make light doodles - they show you how to make your own on this site, which also has a gallery of creations.

The altering: Once again, b3ta has a great gallery of photoshopped work - this time, it's music album covers before the cropping took place. I love the Simon & Garfunkel one.

On March 1st, Cincinnati will run its version of the Iditarod, but with shopping carts and scavenger hunting. Er, well, yes.

The disappearing: paintings worth millions of dollars are stolen in Zurich. I keep trying to imagine what it would be like to be part of an art thief gang. Are they cultured? Are they high-tech?

Also, it's the end of an era: Polaroid is discontinuing its instant film. Nooooo!

Jinnet @ 2/11/2008 : comments: 3
Friday, February 08, 2008
Links from others! Many thanks, everyone.

From Cassandra: scientists may have found a way to reverse memory loss; Christians are spreading the word through GodTube; rural Kentuckians are banding together to work for justice; United for Peace is getting ready to observe the fifth year of the Iraq war; and philosophers ruminate on cats seeing themselves in mirrors.

From Holly: a surfing kitten. I have no idea how or why the cat puts up with this.

From Satori: a movie about Jim Henson is in the works!

From a few different places: the Barbie Tarot. I'm not quite sure what to think about it.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! If you're free tonight, the Club Creatures will be DJing their final night at Bronz. It promises to be a wild night.

Jinnet @ 2/08/2008 : comments: 0
Thursday, February 07, 2008
The great Case of the Library Book Theft has been making the rounds among the law librarians this week. The whole opinion, although in PDF, is worth a read. Pink bedsheets! Bad disguises! A librarian named Mrs. Gooch! An discussion of a cheap stun gun that includes the opinion that the gun is "incapable of causing serious injury, unless it is, perhaps, poked directly into someone�s eye." Also, it happened at Transylvania University. I have been to TU and it is not nearly as cool (or gothy) as its name might imply.

Has anyone played Book Chase yet? What's it like? I am genuinely curious.

Also sweeping the biblioblogosphere this week: these very cool library-themed wedding invitations. The Spooky Librarians went for a sort of 1930s pulp book cover theme for their invitations, but then again, they're kind of weird. I'm not sure where this wedding is happening, but if it's near Pittsburgh, they could have the reception at the Library! (I especially like their names for the menu items.)

Books on cassette are going the way of VHS tapes. Start collecting them now!

Some places to check on an ongoing basis: the experiment labs at Google (you can join experiments and try out new ideas); the Mark Twain Project (with 2300 digitized letters alone!); and the Not in Worldcat weblog, which concentrates on rare and obscure items that you don't often see in catalogs.

Tomorrow: links from others!

Jinnet @ 2/07/2008 : comments: 2
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
The crazy folks at bt3a decided on a contest to design "maps that told the truth." The results - twenty or so pages' worth - are great fun.

Meanwhile, the huge Texaco road map from the 1964 World's Fair is disintegrating. Won't someone restore it? (The whole site on the Tent of Tomorrow is fascinating. I love World Fairs.)

Sweeping the online news this week: why are all the undersea cables being cut? The prevailing theory seems to be monsters. I'm thinking perhaps techtonic shifts. Or maybe Cthulhu. In that case, it might be good to check out the ways to preserve (or neatly wrap up) your online presence once you're dead and gone.

Jinnet @ 2/06/2008 : comments: 0
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Happy Mardi Gras, everyone!

Here is my confession of a would-be goth and/or steampunk and/or neo-victorian: I've never worn a corset. Fainting Room is a new site which is quite attractive and may finally push me into the world of strange constricting clothing. I've always been more the tomboy pirate type, which is why I gravitate toward sites like the new Boys' Own weblog.

I also have no tattoos (which makes me un-punk, I suppose), but look at this gorgeous steampunk heart!

I think the IVY project is quite a lovely idea...even more so if it consisted of small cogs and gears which eventually connected to make a machine, yes?

Jinnet @ 2/05/2008 : comments: 0
Monday, February 04, 2008
Happy birthday Satori!

(Satori also chronicled our Puppy Bowl party from the weekend.)

Things are a little hectic here today, so I leave with with two things: FlapArt (for confusing the general public) and the Mandala of Perfect Happiness (for general cheering-up purposes).

Jinnet @ 2/04/2008 : comments: 1
Friday, February 01, 2008
Friday, hooray! Thanks to everyone who sent in links this week.

From Bunny: who is the mystery computer geek in EPCOT's revamped Spaceship Earth ride? (Apparently Judi Dench does the narration for the updated ride. Neat!)

From Holly: the son of the governor of Kansas is selling a game set in prison, titled "Don't Drop the Soap." Yes. Well. Er.

From Cassandra: Which existentialist production is most like your life? My results were all over the place. I think I may be in an absurdist production instead.

Also from Cassandra: ADHD drugs may not work in the long run; people are concerned about the allegedly Chinese bodies used in plastination exhibits; paintings of Abu Gharib situations turn out to cause more emotional reactions than actual photographs; and War in Context looks at the news from a post-9/11 viewpoint.

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone! See you Monday.

Jinnet @ 2/01/2008 : comments: 1

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