Archive for October, 2011


October 31, 2011

Today is Hallowe’en or perhaps more properly All Hallow’s Eve. Traditional the time when the veil between this world and next is at its thinnest and the dead walk amongst us, these day’s it has taken on the modern associations of fancy dress, pumpkin carving and trick or treat.

To find out about the origins of Halloween

To have a go at carving a pumpkin try this fun online game

and if you are having a party you can find some great ideas for spooky food here

Minesweeper: The Movie

October 28, 2011

This is a tribute to the classic PC game Minesweeper:

And you can learn some Spanish too!


October 27, 2011

Just down the road from the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum has a little game called ‘Cracker’:

I Love Dippy

October 26, 2011

The Natural History Museum in London has plans to renovate the Central Hall but need your help. Here is their fundraising appeal:

Beer Games

October 25, 2011

Here are some games from the Black Sheep Brewery Website to keep you amused, but don’t play them at work or you’ll be feeling quite sheepish…

National Novel Writing Month

October 24, 2011

That time is almost upon us when budding writers all over the world take to their pens, word-processors and quills and begin to pen a 50,000 word masterpiece. At the Library, we have a few wordsmiths and so we thought it would be appropriate to publicise this:

NaNoWriMo challenges writers to compose a novel of 50,000 words in thirty days. That’s roughly 1670 words a day. Good luck to those who have a go!

1000 addenda

October 22, 2011

OK, we’ve had complaints already that we didn’t includ ‘Hats of Meat’ our most controversial post right back in the early days that nearly had the blog shut down!  Of course, since then Lady Gaga has made us look quite prescient.  But here’s the post:

And some sharp eyed person has noticed that yesterday we had a representative post from every year of existence *except* 2010.  (Do you people not have lives?)

Just to show that we weren’t having an off year, here are three favourites from 2010:

Twitter Typos

Chart Porn

50 Strange Buildings of the World

and keen as ever not to let it be forgotten: The Zargonic Effect


1000th posting on Thing of the Day!

October 21, 2011

After four years of rounding up the “bizarre and brilliant of the web” the Library blog reaches a milestone today with the publication of our 1000th posting. To celebrate this achievement we thought it might be fun to have a look back at some past TOTD favourites with a list of our ‘Top 10’ sites. So, in no particular order…

  1. Giant Lego Boulder
  2. Anamorphic Illusions
  3. Draw a Stickman
  4. Sodaplay
  5. Flurrious
  6. Wordle
  7. The Ugly Dance
  8. 21 Accents
  9. Galaxy Zoo and our very first entry in October 2007:
  10. Le Book

And in case you just had to have a new one:

Jemma Foster’s collection of 12 illustrated short stories made from recycled cardboard and painted by hand in Argentina.

Many thanks to all who’ve contributed links and ideas over the years.  Keep them coming!

The Chip Museum

October 20, 2011

Our Staff Social Club is organising a trip to the Bruges Christmas Market next month and it was pointed out to TOTD that Bruges is home to the Friet Museum.

There are links to two other intriguing museums for those interested in either chocolate or lamps.

[Thanks to PT for this suggestion]

The Curta Calculator

October 19, 2011

TOTD can remember when, back in the mid-1980s, the Department of Geography still had a variety of whacky calculating devices. These included a number of pinwheel machines, and even a large desktop machine with a Nixie tube display ( Best of all though was the collection of Curta calculators, possibly the world’s smallest mechanical calculating machine. They looked like a pepper grinder and were beautifully engineered. Learn more about the Curta here:

When you’ve read the manual you can try the simulator here: