Recently some folks at the New York Public Library discovered a box containing old reference questions from the 1940s to 1980s. They’ll be posting the questions to their Instagram account on Mondays (starting today), but have shared a bunch with us today, noting, “we were Google before Google existed.” (On that note, Neil Gaiman once pointed out, “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one.”)


My favorite:

  • Can you tell me the thickness of a US Postage stamp with the glue on it? Answer: We cannot get this answer quickly. Perhaps try the Postal Service. Response: This is the Postal Service.
Buffalo: Proving it still has that chip on its shoulder

January 29th, 2015 — BUFFALO, NY

Yesterday afternoon, NYC based site, The Gothamist, released the Buffalo-centric puff piece, “Millennials Are Moving To Buffalo & Living Like Kings,” sending both hard working and unemployed Buffalonians into a mass, social media panic, seeing who could share the post and tag their referenced friends faster than the next.

“I see you Lulu!”

“Big ups to my guys Billy and Pat!”

“CC: Jason and Bernice!”

The piece, one of seemingly hundreds of stories being released on a monthly quota, was yet another way for bitter Western New Yorkers to pat themselves on the back and remind each other that Buffalo isn’t all that bad when the wind chill goes into the negative. Focusing on musicians, preservationists, restauranteurs, and more who made the decision to leave NYC for the comfy (and cheaper) confines of the Elmwood Village and beyond, the article gave the city citizens another reason to love the city, and for a hot minute, remove that chip that every one of us was born with on our shoulder.

Naturally, as we Buffalo citizens love to do, the moment we get some dap (albeit redundant dap), we immediately break each other down, and the backlash began. Response pieces were written, witty statuses were posted, Youtube videos were smugly shared, and carefully selected emoji stickers were pasted. Hipsters were called out for taking refuge in their parents’ basements. Suburbanites defended their home turfs. Basically, trolls were trolls. Haters were hating.

When asked of the article, local blogger, Teddy Kielbasa, 34 of Normal Ave., was surprised at the LACK of shares from some of Buffalo’s more noticeable citizens.

“Where was Sly on the share? That guy tries to sell me a keyboard every night. I see his check ins on Facebook – ‘Currently napping in front of Goodbar’ – Are you telling me he couldn’t take a moment and help get the word out of how great and welcoming a place like Buffalo is to live.”

When curiously asked for a comment, steak monger, Russ Salvatore, not realizing that their season was long over, simply asked when he could “help out” the passionate Buffalo Bills fans sell out a game by purchasing the cheapest tickets in the league, something “Kings” should be able to afford.

Several Spot Coffee employees were encouraged by the post.

“We were all told that our $.25 raise should be coming any day now so we hope to move from a five person apt to a more “regal like” 4 person palace on the shallow East Side. This article shows we are making progress. I may even turn the heat on this winter. A real King should live in luxury.”

Once the social dust settled, things got back to normal. Boosters were frantically looking for that next piece of click bait, hooking their bait for the next round of trolls.

“Top 10 Reasons Why Owning a Car in Buffalo is Hipster”

“5 Ways Buffalo’s Black Rock Neighborhood Can Be the Next Paris.”

“The Best Organic Food Can Be Found at the Rite Aid on Bryant and Elmwood. Here is why”

Shit like that.