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Archive for June, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #24
For this week’s Thursday Thirteen I decided to look at one of the best authors in the English language: J. R. R. Tolkien. Mind you, he’s also the best author in Elvish. Do you know any more fun Tolkien facts?

13 Facts About J. R. R. Tolkien
1. Tolkien’s full name is John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.

2. He was born January 3, 1892 in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

3. Three of the first languages that Tolkien worked on as a child were Animalic (he explored this one with friends, and did not actually invent it himself), Nevbosh (meaning “new nonsense,” Tolkien helped to construct it and enjoyed conversing with his friends in it), and Naffarin (the first language he worked on alone at age eight or nine.)

4. By 1904, Tolkien and his brother were orphans. His father (Arthur) died of rheumatic fever in February of 1896. Mabel, their mother, died of complications from diabetes on 14 November 1904.

5. Tolkien met Edith Bratt about four years after his mother died. They lived in the same lodging house. She was three years older than Tolkien, but they gradually fell in love. Actually, Tolkien adored her. Unfortunately, his guardian felt that she was distracting him from his studies, and that at eighteen he was too young to marry. Tolkien agreed to not see her for three years, and she moved away to stay with friends. At midnight on the day he turned twenty-one Tolkien wrote to Edith asking when he could see her again. When he learned that she had become engaged to marry another man he boarded a train and went to convince her to marry him instead. Needless to say, he was successful.

6. At one point during his first semester at Oxford, Tolkien stole a city bus as a prank, and took his friends on a joyride.

7. Tolkien fought in World War I and lost all but one of his childhood friends there.

8. In 1918, Tolkien was hired to work on what was to become the Oxford English Dictionary. Started in 1879, by the time Tolkien joined the team they had finally reached the “W”s.

9. Tolkien earned a professorship at Oxford in 1925. (Very few of the faculty actually had a “professorship” at that time. A high honor indeed.)

10. Tolkien’s four children were the ultimate inspiration for his fiction writing. Can you imagine the sorts of bedtime stories that they got to hear?

11. Tolkien was a big fan of clubs. Two of the clubs he was a member of at Oxford were the “Coalbiters” and “The Inklings.” C.S. Lewis was one of the members of The Inklings.

12. Rayner Unwin, age ten at the time, is the one who judged The Hobbit worthy of publishing. He was paid a shilling for his review. (For the record, his father, Sir Stanley Unwin, was the director of publisher George Allen & Unwin at that point.)

13. When Tolkien’s son Michael entered the army he listed his father’s profession on his paperwork as “Wizard.” It would seem that Michael really understood his father.

Sources:
Biography Resource Center Database
J. R. R. Tolkien: Creator of Languages and Legends by Doris Lynch

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If You Were Coming in the Fall

Emily DickinsonAh, Emily Dickinson. There is something so appealing and yet so elusive in her poetry. Just when I think I understand it, I realize there’s much more there than I saw at first glance. This poem about the absence of a loved one and the uncertainty of his return is one of my favorites. Van Dieman’s land is apparently another name for the island Tasmania which is now part of Australia. In any case, it is somewhere far away from where she is.

If you were coming in the fall,
I’d brush the summer by
With half a smile and half a spurn,
As housewives do a fly.

If I could see you in a year,
I’d wind the months in balls,
And put them each in separate drawers,
Until their time befalls.

If only centuries delayed,
I’d count them on my hand,
Subtracting till my fingers dropped
Into Van Diemen’s land.

If certain, when this life was out,
That yours and mine should be,
I’d toss it yonder like a rind,
And taste eternity.

But now, all ignorant of the length
Of time’s uncertain wing,
It goads me, like the goblin bee,
That will not state its sting.

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🙂 Tuesday, June 24, 2-3 P.M.
Magic Show by Dan Chan

Bay Area magician, Dan Chan the Magic Man and Kat the Acrobat and their dog Ace will be at Centerville Library to present an exciting show for your whole family.

This show will be held outdoors in the library’s patio. Some seating areas may not have shade so it is advised that you wear a hat to shield the sun.

🙂 Thursday, July 3, 2-4 P.M.
Family Movie Time–Bee Movie

Buzz buzz buzz…

Bee Movie is a buzz-worthy comedy that will change everything you think you know about bees. Rated PG.

A ticket is required to see this movie. Free tickets are availble one hour prior to show time. Seats are limited.

🙂 Thursday, July 10, 2-4 P.M.
Welcome to Narnia

Join us for a fun afternoon of exciting games and cool crafts. Get your passport to the Narnia World, travel around all the places and be entered to a raffle drawing for great prizes.

This event will be held outdoors in the library’s patio. Some areas may not have shade so it is advised that you wear a hat to shield the sun.

🙂 Tuesday, July 15, 2-3 P.M.
Tommy the Space Bug Adventure

Tommy loves books about outer space and space aliens. His greatest wish is to someday meet a real live space alien. Little did Tommy know his wish was about to come true. Zeenon the Alien travels millions of light years to visit earth and to meet interesting earthlings like Tommy. Mad scientist, Dr. Lost N. Space is also interested in Space Aliens…interested in selling them for millions of dollars! Will Tommy be able to save his new found friend from the evil Dr. Lost N. Space?

This fun puppet show is presented by Puppet Art Theater. It will be held outdoors in the library’s patio. Some seating areas may not have shade. It is advised that you wear a hat to shield the sun.

🙂 Thursday, July 24, 2-3 P.M.
Wild, Wacky, and Weird Videos from the Internet

Join us for an-hour play of funny, cool, and amazing Internet videos found by Centerville Library’s kids and librarians.

To recommend videos, please email the links to Beth at ebuchanan@aclibrary.org You will receive a small prize for your submission.

🙂 Tuesday, July 29, 2-3 P.M.
Ventriloquist Steve Chaney and ‘Corny Crow’

Funny ventriloquist Steve Chaney and “Corny Crow” are visiting Centerville Library again! They will bring us marionettes, sock puppets, hand puppets, and people puppets (that means YOU!) Don’t miss this really fun show full of non-stop laughters for the entire family!

This show will be presented in the library patio. Some seating areas may not have shade. It is advised that you wear a hat to shield the sun.

🙂 Thursday, August 7, 2-3 P.M.
Buggy Crafts for Children

Come and have fun making a fancy bug spiral mobile with us. For children of all ages but younger ones should be accompanied by an adult.

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Book Review: Art Dog

Art Dog by Thacher Hurd is the story of a mild-mannered museum guard named Arthur who has a secret identity. On nights with a full moon he becomes Art Dog! He leads a quiet life until one night when there is an art theft from his museum. Can he save the Mona Woofa? Mr. Hurd takes some of his artistic inspiration from masterpieces, such as Van Gogh’s Starry Night, which is a personal favorite. It would seem that although I do enjoy this book’s storyline, mainly I love Art Dog for its art. (I know, big surprise there.) Even the paintings in Arthur’s museum are part of the story, as they are all dog versions of famous paintings. What else could you ask for in a picture book? Well, I suppose that having a nice simple plot helps some, too. Add a bit of good versus evil and a case of mistaken identity and you have a recipe that is sure to be a winner. Give Art Dog a try, and I think that you’ll find that you agree.

Why not read Art Dog yourself?

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Online Photo Sharing

Last week I offered you a beginning look at blogging. This week I bring you a clever little video about Online Photo Sharing. The video deals primarily with flickr, but it does mention a couple of others in the field.

Tip: If you use flickr, and also use your pictures on your blog, why not direct traffic to your blog by including a link to the post that uses a particular picture in the description of that picture on flickr?

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Thursday Thirteen #23
The Library that I work at is in Fremont, so I figured it was about time that I did a Thursday Thirteen about the town I work in. As you might imagine, I discovered a thing or two along the way. So, without any more ado…

13 Facts About Fremont, CA
1. Fremont, California is 52 years old this year.

2. Five communities came together to form Fremont back in 1956 – Centerville, Irvington, Niles, Mission San Jose, and Warm Springs.

3. Fremont has its very own Urban Legend – The White Witch of Niles Canyon. Early newspapers apparently do not have a mention of the woman who was supposedly killed and became the ghost. (Click on the link for more info on this story.)

4. Fremont has its very own silent film theater and museum. And why not? After all, the Essanay Film Company was in Niles. Charlie Chaplin worked for them at one point, in fact.

5. Did you know that Kristi Yamaguchi grew up in Fremont?

6. According to the Fremont City website, the record high temperature in Fremont is 106. This occured in some July or other. (It doesn’t say.)

7. Believe it or not, Mammoths once walked in Fremont. If you would like to see the proof, as located by a couple of young fellows in the 1940s-1960s, you can stop by the Wes Gordon Fossil Hall. It’s part of the Children’s Natural History Museum in Fremont. Also, did you know that one of the North American Land Mammal Ages is called “Irvingtonian”?

8. The Niles Canyon Railway is part of a railroad museum that includes train rides. Hey! You can even Rent a Caboose! (The Niles canyon tracks are part of the Transcontinental Railway.)

9. The California School for the Deaf is located in Fremont.

10. According to an article in the Fremont Main Library’s clipping files, Fremont’s Al Bernadin invented MacDonald’s Quarter Pounder in 1972. (Talk about leaving an impact on American culture.)

11. Ardenwood Historic Farm, as the name suggests, is a park that contains, among other things, Patterson House, farm animals, and a working Blacksmith Shop. Oh…and a horse-drawn train.

12. The Fremont city website lists the record low for the city as 22. (From some December or other.)

13. Fremont is the farthest South you can take BART (the Bay Area Rapid Transit system) in the East Bay. It’s the end of the line…or the beginning, depending upon how you look at it.

Sources:
* Ardenwood Historic Farm
* The BART Map
* The California School for the Deaf
* The Fremont City Website
* FremontOnline
* Janet Cronbach, Local History Librarian – Fremont Main Library
* Niles Canyon Railway
* Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum
* The Wes Gordon Fossil Hall

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Ben JohnsonBen Johnson was an English playwright and poet. Born on this day in 1572, Johnson was a contemporary of Shakespeare, though he is probably less well-known today than his fellow playwright and sonneteer.

“My Picture Left in Scotland” is one of my favorite Ben Johnson poems. Johnson gave his picture to a woman, who left the picture in Scotland. Seems as if she wasn’t too impressed with his exterior, no matter how well he spoke or wrote.

 I now think, Love is rather deaf than blind
For else it could not be,
                                That she
                                   Whom I adore so much, should so slight me,
                                        And cast my suit behind :
                             I’m sure my language to her was as sweet,
                                     And every close did meet
                                      In sentence of as subtil feet,
                                     As hath the youngest he
                                  That sits in shadow of Apollo’s tree.

                                     Oh ! but my conscious fears,
                                     That fly my thoughts between,
                                   Tell me that she hath seen
                                   My hundreds of gray hairs
                                    Told seven and forty years,
                                  Read so much waste as she cannot embrace
                                      My mountain belly and my rocky face,
                                   And all these, through her eyes, have stopt her ears.

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