Thankful to be turning the page on the calendar, at last, and finding myself faced with March 1. Still missing this immensely talented and incredibly self-destructive individual...click the play button below to hear John Belushi as the meteorologist...
Excuse my laxness in preparing fresh, original material... but I am getting ready for a Family Reading & Writing Night... takes up a lot of spare time! :-) So for your short viewing pleasure... from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana's ACES library...
A Mercedes-Benz commercial at a library? And funny?
This is one of those satires that I wish I had written... but I am happy to present it for your amusement... and acknowledge another's talent: Cracked.com
Happy birthday, Wilhelm Carl Grimm (1786-1859), the younger of the Grimm brothers, who traveled throughout their native Germany, collecting oral folklore and compiling it into several volumes entitled Children’s and Household Tales, or more colloquially as Grimms’ Fairy Tales.
The original tales were rather bloody and gruesome (some might say, grim), but when the brothers discovered that children were reading them, they softened them up a bit (the term “a bit” being relative, for in their version of Cinderella, called “Ashputtel,” the jealous stepsisters cut off their toes in an attempt to force their feet to fit the special shoe).
In recent years, there have been a spate of new children’s and young adult books (and a few television shows as well) that have used the Grimm canon and legacy as a springboard for various flights of fancy.
A Tale Dark & Grimm, by Adam Gidwitz, is an amazingly creative take on the tales that twists and turns, terrifies and tickles the fancy. With a Lemony Snicket-like narrator and the plucky Hansel and Gretel as protagonists, the story winds its way through a succession of other, more obscure tales — “The Three Golden Hairs,” “Faithful Johannes,” and “Brother and Sister” to name a few. In this re-imagining, Hansel and Gretel’s parents are not a poor woodcutter and his wife, but the King and Queen of Grimm. As always, parents do unspeakable things to their children. The twist? The brother and sister aren’t the abandoned; it is they who leave-- to find better parents. The magic is that as Hansel and Gretel become heroes by going out on this quest and by saving others, they also come to understand the source of their parents’ weakness’ and failings. High level? Yes -- this isn’t R.L. Stine’s cotton candy horror. But at the same time, “A Tale Dark & Grimm” is truly, laugh-out-loud funny, in the way of The Series of Unfortunate Events. How can you miss with an opening line like “Once upon a time, fairy tales were awesome.”
Michael Buckley brought out the first of The Sisters Grimm series in 2005, The Fairytale Detectives, and has been riding the fantasy wave ever since, with six additional novels spinning the tales of Sabrina and Daphne Grimm, sisters and the remaining descendants of the original Grimm Brothers. The premise here is that the fairytales were actually criminal case files, and all the characters are actually the residents (they prefer to be called “Everafters”) of a town in upstate New York called Ferryport Landing. Each book in the series presents a mystery or two for the girls to solve and they are intrepid sleuths who are bound and determined to get to the bottom of the most puzzling enigma: what happened to their parents? (Yes, another set of orphans; well, semi-orphans, they discover they have a long-lost grandma in the first book.)
The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman takes the premise that the magical objects in fairytales are real-- and that they actually have magical properties. Eight grader Elizabeth gets a job as a page at the New York Circulating Material Repository, which is like a library for objects, all types of objects: the obscure and the most-common, those of historic importance and those with contemporary ties. And then there are those magical objects, the secret ones, tucked away in the basement. That’s where she encounters the Grimm Collection, a room of magical items straight from the Grimm Brother's fairy tales. And that’s where the mystery starts: the magic mirrors, golden slippers, seven-league boots and other items are starting to disappear. Someone is replacing them with ordinary, nonmagical substitutes. And before she knows it, she and her fellow pages - perfect Anjali, hunky Marc, and snarky Aaron - are suddenly pulled into a semi-kooky, semi-dangerous adventure.
I wish you much Grimm reading...enjoy! And remember, you can always go back to the originals... there's a reason they are inspiring so many re-imaginings...they are truly timeless tales.
Why did the librarian slip on the library floor?
It was the non-friction section.
How many reference librarians does it take to change a light-bulb?
(with a perky smile) "Well, I don't know right off-hand, but I know where we can look it up!"
Announcing the New Built-in Orderly Organized Knowledge Device, Otherwise Known as the BOOK!
It's a revolutionary breakthrough in technology: no wires, no electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on. It's so easy to use even a child can operate it. Just lift its cover. Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere--even sitting in an armchair by the fire--yet it is powerful enough to hold as much information as a CD-ROM.
Here's how it works: each BOOK is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of paper (recyclable), each capable of holding thousands of bits of information. These pages are locked together with a custom-fit device called a binder which keeps the sheets in their correct sequence. By using both sides of each sheet, manufacturers are able to cut costs in half.
Each sheet is scanned optically, registering information directly into your brain. A flick of the finger takes you to the next sheet. The book may be taken up at any time and used by merely opening it. The "browse" feature allows you to move instantly to any sheet, and move forward and backward as you wish. Most come with an "index" feature, which pinpoints the exact location of any selected information for instant retrieval.
An optional "BOOKmark" accessory allows you to open the BOOK to the exact place you left it in a previous session--even if the BOOK has been closed. BOOKmarks fit universal design standards; thus a single BOOKmark can be used in BOOKs by various manufacturers.
Portable, durable and affordable, the BOOK is the entertainment wave of the future, an many new titles are expected soon, due to the surge in popularity of its programming tool, the Portable Erasable-Nib Cryptic Intercommunication Language Stylus...
Thank you to IFLANET for borrowing privileges!
When did our dreams shrink? When did we go from asking the wild blue yonder questions, from imagining all the possibilities when John Glenn orbited the Earth for the first time... to being excited over an iPad app like
Here's a test given to 8th grade students in 1931 by the West Virginia Department of Eduction before granting diplomas. The original link is from a blog post on the Washington Post's website.
Amanda Knox, convicted murderer, whose conviction was later overturned by an Italian appeals court, just signed a $4 million dollar deal with Harper Collins. Earlier this week, Italian prosecutors asked the country's highest criminal
court to reinstate the murder convictions of Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito. Prosecutor Giovanni Galati said he is "very convinced" that Sollecito and Knox were responsible for the Nov. 1, 2007, stabbing death of British student Meredith Kercher, who shared an apartment with Knox in Perugia, Italy.
One hopes the public will stay away from this stinkhole and spend their money on something more deserving of their time and hard-earned cash... it's the only way that publishers will stop bending over for "celebrity" authors.
Prediction: Casey Anthony and Drew Peterson will soon enjoy similar rewards...
Central Connecticut State University, released the latest editio of its survey of literacy in America's most populous cities, and somehow Washington, D.C. came out on top. ????? For the second year in a row. Chicago came out 29th on the list. New York, the hot burning center of the publishing universe, tied with Austin, Texas for the 22nd spot. Of course, consider the methodology. The study focused on six indicators of literacy: newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment, and Internet resources.
Notice that it mentions nothing about the I.Q.s of politicians...
And the rest:
2. Seattle (what better thing to do on rainy days than read?)
3. Minneapolis (what better thing to do during cold, snowy winters than read?)
4. Atlanta (what better thing to do on really hot, humid summer days than stay in the air-conditioned comfort of your home and read -- or sit in the shade of the veranda, with a fan, a book and a tall glass of sweet tea?)
5. Boston (well, they have Boston College, Harvard, MIT, Tufts, UMass, etc. etc., all those high-octane students add up to LOTS of literacy)
6. Pittsburgh (well, with an ancestral philanthropist like Andrew Carnegie, who funded over 2500 libraries across the U.S., Pittsburghers darn well better be literate!)
7. Cincinnati (no clue -- I visited the place in my childhood and have fond memories of eating shrimp on a boat/restaurant floating on the Ohio river -- I know I read there that summer, but I can't vouch for anyone else!)
8. St. Louis (great little city, home of Washington University, which aspires to be the Harvard of the Midwest -- oh wait, that's the University of Chicago -- and Ted Drewes Custard, the Fabulous Parabola, toasted ravioli, and a stone's throw from the Cahokia Mounds. I guess they read, too!)
9. San Francisco (the fog inspires one to curl up with a book)
10. Denver (well, you can't ski all the time)
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