Autodidact: self-taught


Brief Lives: Webcomics About Geeks

by V. L. Craven

Whilst I have yet to work out what career I would find most fulfilling, there are certain career-paths I find somewhat interesting. Talking to people in those professions would involve, you know, talking to people, and, therefore is out of the question. Luckily, there are webcomics about geeks that illustrate the ins and outs of those professions so I can get an idea of what it’d be like to work in those fields without having to spend years working my way into the career only to discover I hated it.

Join me in a tour of the lives of:

Web designers: .net  by Brad Colbow, Ah, the life of a web designer. You just want to be simultaneously geeky and creative and the people who will give you money to do those things are entirely lacking geekiness or creativity.

The Oatmeal has a hilarious example of this, as well.

Software developers: Not Invented Here  by Bill Barnes and Paul Southworth. Sort of like Dilbert but more tech and less misogyny. And there’s a Goth character.

Internet service providers: User Friendly [this is currently on hiatus, but if you start at the beginning there are daily strips from 1997 to 2009. Hopefully, Illiad will eventually return to us with regularly scheduled strips.]

  Geek Gifts


Video game developers: The Trenches  by Mike Krahulik, Jerry Holkins, Scott Kurtz. The comic itself is enlightening, but the blog posts beneath each comic are written by people in the video game industry and those are…eye-opening.

Librarians: Unshelved  by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum. Books! Books everywhere! And the general public! The general public everywhere!

Grad students: PHD  by Jorge Cham. Sometimes I think that if I excelled at structured learning, I’d enjoy a life in academia. Then I realise I’d have to get through grad school…

fucknogradschool is a Tumblr account (page? blog?) rather than a comic, but it gives an excellent idea of what post-grads feel/think/experience.

On the other hand…

Bonus Content!

In a similar vein, Penny Arcade is about gamers and gaming, written by gamers. I have never played a first person shooter or MMORPG or…most other types of very popular games, but I enjoy learning about them and hearing people’s reactions to them. Their blog is also amusing and informative and helps me keep up with what my gamer friends are on about.

Also, PA is where I learned about 3-D printing, thanks to these strips:

Here is a video of 3-D printing:

Super Extra Bonus Content!

Shapeways is a site with lots of nifty products created by the general public…who happen to know how to design in three dimensions. You can also create your own designs and they’ll print them for you.

Thank you for joining me in this tour of careers-I-find-interesting-but-not-interesting-enough-to-pursue.

And if you know of any web comics about writers or bookshop employees, please leave a comment.



by V. L. Craven

This week’s links are all about libraries. Rowr.

Biblio Coimbra, Portugal

This is a 360, zoomable pamorama of the Long Room at Trinity College, Dublin.

This is an even more impressive 40 gigapixel 360 panorama of the Strahov library in Prague. Seriously, zoom in. You can see the woodgrain on the shelves. It’s completely mad.

Libraries at the Movies : A blog about libraries and librarians on film. Film reviews written by a librarian; each review explains what the film has to do with repositories of books and the people who work in them (the repositories, not the books. It isn’t about members of Jurisfiction , unfortunately.)

From Flavorwire: the 25 Most Beautiful Public Libraries in the World , the 25 Most Beautiful College Libraries in the World , and 20 Beautiful Private and Personal Libraries . Bonus! Bizarre Looking Libraries from All Over the World

From Mental Floss: 15 Spectacular Libraries in Europe

Libraries is a spectacularly beautiful book of photography of the world’s libraries by Candida Hofer.

And Unshelved . It’s a webcomic by Gene Ambaum and Bill Barnes.

You can also check the ‘Libraries’ page at the left of this blog for photos of books and such. It’s under Images, then Photography faaaar down the page.



by V. L. Craven

Stunning Images of Libraries from Around the World
[All of these images are beautiful; none of them are mine.]


Stiftsbibliothek Klosterneuburg Austria


Stiftsbibliothek Klosterneuburg Austria


Osterreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna


Oesterreichischen Nationalbibliothek, Vienna


Universiteitsbibliotheek Utrecht


Universiteitsbibliothek Utrecht


Royal Portuguese Reading Room, Brasil


Royal Portuguese Reading Room


Biblioteca Nacional Rio de Janeiro


Library of Parliament, Ottawa

Czech Republic

Strahov Monastery Library in Prague

Interactive, 40 gigapixel, panorama of the Strahov Library in Prague .

Narodni Knihovna Prague


Guess what this is a picture of. Go on, guess.


British Library, London


Arts End, Oxford University


Bodleian Library Old, Oxford University


Duke Humfrey’s Library in the Bodleian, Oxford University


BNF, Paris


BNF, Paris


Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek


Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek Weimar


Deutsche Bibliothek Frankfurt


Central Catholic Library, Dublin


Marsh’s Library Dublin


Marsh’s Library, Dublin


Biblioteca Angelica, Rome


Biblioteca Angelica, Rome


Biblioteca Seminario Patriarcale, Venice


Handelingenkamer, Netherlands


Rijksmuseum Research Library Amsterdam


Librije Walburgskerk Zutphen, Netherlands


Deichmanske Biblioteket , Oslo


Biblio Coimbra, Portugal


University of Edinburgh

Playfair Library Hall, University of Edinburgh


Playfair Library Hall, University of Edinburgh


Biblioteca de la Real Academia De La Lengua, Madrid


Biblioteca de Palacio e Convento de Mafra


Biblioteca Menendez Pelayo Santander


Stadsbiblioteket, Stockholm


Stadsbiblioteket, Stockholm


Juristische Bibliothek, Zurich


Juristische Bibliothek, Zurich


Stiftsbibliothek St Gallen


Stiftsbibliothek St Gallen

United States

New York Public Library Reading Room, New York City


Patience and Fortitude, the New York Public Library lions


Pierpont Morgan Library, New York


Andrew Dickson White Library, Cornell University


Chancellor Green Library, Princeton


George Peabody Library, Johns Hopkins University


Linderman Library at Lehigh University


Meskill Law Library, University of Conneticut


University of Michigan Law Library

Powered by WordPress