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Archive for April, 2013

You may be aware that April is National Poetry Month, but did you know that it’s also National Frog Month? It sure is! Frogs are very interesting animals known as  amphibians. That means they live in both water and on land during their lifetime. Frogs start life as tadpoles living in the water and then they change into a frog. This change is called metamorphosis. April is almost over but there is still to time learn about frogs and amphibians. The library has lots of books about frogs you can read. You can also learn about frogs from the WorldBookDigital database that is provided through Alameda County Library.

Here are a few frog facts that I found really interesting:

-Frogs don’t drink water, they absorb it through their skin.
-Frogs can breathe air through their skin too.
-Frogs have eyes that rotate so they can see in almost every direction.

Take a look at theses websites to learn more about frogs:

kidzone.ws – learn all about a frogs life and habitat

sfbaywildlife.info – learn about frogs in the San Francisco bay area

oaklandzoo.org – learn about amphibians at the Oakland Zoo

Animal Diversity Web – listen to different frog sounds

A celebration of National Poetry Month and National Frog Month:

Here is a frog haiku written by Matsuo Basho, a famous Japanese poet.

The old pond–
a frog jumps in,
sound of water.

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screen free weekYes, I know  it’s difficult to put those electronic gadgets away.  My current addiction is playing Candy Crush Saga on my Ipad!  I also love Words with Friends,  Hanging with Friends, Skee Ball, etc.  You get my drift.  Dare I say, the time I used to devote to reading seems to be taken up by my IPad activities. Then of course, there’s TV.  Now I just have the basic digital package from Comcast, but that means there are still a lot of stations to watch which uses up my free time. I also have Netflix streaming which adds to the goodies I watch.  It is wonderful to be be able to watch whenever I want to. Thank goodness, my cell phone is a dumb one or that would take up even more of my time.  Reading unfortunately, is now pretty much confined to what I can listen to on CD books in my car while I’m driving around the area.

I didn’t grow up with all these digital devices, but I sure can’t live without them now or so I think. My family got our first computer in the 1990’s when my kids were in elementary school.  We also got our first VCR then.  We had a great time with these devices.  Playing games, recording programs, etc.  Then the cell phone became ubiquitous, and now, I panic if I forget my cell phone at home, and I’m driving around without one.  My Ipad usually is with me wherever I go. My, how life has changed!

We are all so attached to our devices that sometimes we forget that there’s a world out there, and so much to do when we turn off all the screens that are demanding our attention.  This coming week, April 29-May 5, Screen Free Week reminds us that there is  life beyond our digital devices. Get outside and experience the beauty of nature.  Play a game. read (a real book!), daydream, enjoy family and friends in person, not just on a screen!  The hope is that this week of turning off the tv, the Ipad, the Kindle, the Blackberry, whatever you use that keeps  you away from real life, will be the beginning of a lifestyle change where you discover or perhaps rediscover that it’s more fun to get out and interact with life than just passively interacting with a screen all the time. Moving and getting out will give you real health benefits too.  You may find that losing those few extra pounds is a little easier when you move more and sit less. There is a place for our digital devices, but we need to realize that we can’t let them take over our lives.

Go to  the website for Screen Free Week and check it out today. There are ideas and resources to get you started.   When Monday comes you can start the challenge!   Are you in ?  Join me!

104/365 screen free week

104/365 screen free week (Photo credit: edan idzerda)

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At the Fremont Main Library
Saturday, May 4, 2013, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

What can meditation do for you? Meditation can help you deal with stressors in your life, it can boost your immune system, and it will help with your physical and emotional problems. In this presentation, Dr. Zaslove will present the latest medical and scientific data regarding meditation, as well as providing information on how to prevent and treat many diseases including high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, and chronic pain. He will talk about the vast amount of research spent on how meditation is the antidote to stress. Also Dr. Zaslove will explain how and why meditation helps you live in a way that gives expression to your spirit, the source of all healing and he will show you how you can use meditation to access your own healing powers.

Dr. Zaslove has been a resident in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1969. He was educated at the University of Columbia and trained at the University of California Los Angeles, School of Medicine and the Neuropsychiatric Institute. Dr. Zaslove has been practicing meditation daily for over 39 years and has served on the Board of Directors to Science of Spirituality.

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This year’s summer reading game theme, “Have Book—Will Travel” will take you on journeys. You can explore new places and experiences, meet travelers from around the world, and even plan your own summer adventure.

The library has many titles and formats for you enjoy. You could plan a road trip, join a marathon race, or live for a time in a very different place. Try these adult titles: “My First 100 Marathons” by Jeffrey Horowitz, “Road Trip USA,” by Jamie Jensen, or “A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail,” by Bill Bryson.

The game will run June 10 through August 10, using a bingo game format – you’ll win prizes by reading or doing the optional activities. However, the best prize is the one you give yourself, taking the time for an enjoyable reading adventure. Reading is for all ages.

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Laughter Yoga

Laughter Yoga combines Unconditional Laughter with Yogic Breathing (Pranayama). Anyone can Laugh for No Reason, without relying on humor, jokes or comedy. Laughter is simulated as a body exercise in a group; with eye contact and childlike playfulness, it soon turns into real and contagious laughter.   The concept of Laughter Yoga is based on a scientific fact that the body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter. One gets the same physiological and psychological benefits. Excerpt from Laughter Yoga International

 

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Hogwarts (at Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios, Florida)

Hogwarts (at Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios, Florida)

 

Hold on to your sorting hats—The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is coming to Universal Studios in Southern California! This is great news for West Coasters and folks who don’t like to fly and so can’t visit the extant WWOHP in Orlando, Florida at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

According to the collider.com (who made the announcement at the end of 2011) the earliest WWOHP would open is 2015, according to “a previous report” (it would be part of the already existing Universal Studios Hollywood.)

We will look forward to hearing more about this project!

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untitledIf your child goes to school in the Fremont Unified School District, and if you owned one of the Apple i-products, you might want to down load this free app from the App store.

iFUSD is the official iOS Application for the Fremont Unified School District.  It has really awesome features such as Push Notifications about important updates for the schools that you choose, emergency status updates,  grades and attendance data access for Junior and high schools, access to District news and calendar, information on the community/Board of Education, schools locations/maps, and function like 1-click calling to your children’s schools.

This app was made in coordination with the FUSD Technology department, an involved parent, a high school student developer, and many other high school students from Mission San Jose High school.

For more information about the app, please click here.

So, just check it out!!  iFUSD will help you stay safe and up to date!

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First the reminder:  Be smart and back up everything saved on your computer hard drive — today.  Take it from one who learned the hard way.  Our home computer died a couple of months ago and with it went my “stuff”, including photographs, recipes, saved pages and other bits and pieces that meant something to me.  I hope to find someone who can recover things from that dead hard drive, but at odd moments I think of my lost collections and of possibly reconstructing what I had.  I know I lost two poems introduced to me in long-ago high school literature classes.  After leaving home for college, and for the longest time before online searching became possible, every time I found myself in a book store (remember them?) or any library, I would browse anthologies of poetry hoping to find either poem listed in some book’s table of contents or index.

The feelings each poem evokes, if not their words, have stayed with me through the years.  One fires me up, bringing up defiance and strength in the face of adversity.  “Invictus”, Latin for unconquered or unbeaten, is the title of William Ernest Henley’s poem that left a lasting impression on my teen and adult self.  Invictus also is the title of a 2009 movie that starred Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela, the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize winner who spent 27 years in prison for campaigning against apartheid and then served as South Africa’s first black president.  The other poem encourages patience and reflection and reins me in.  At moments in my life, recalling Vernon Watkins’ Triads has guided me to my senses.  I found these poems again online and now I share them here for safekeeping, sort of.  At any time I can search the library catalog for poems, but for now I intend to keep my resolution to do scheduled backups of my computer hard drive.

Triads
by Vernon Watkins (1906-67)

Who am I to load the year with continual misunderstanding?
I will not accuse winter of a protracted hardness,
Nor spring of callousness, nor summer of regret.

The oak-leaf changes; green gloss cups the acorn.
First hidden, then emerging from resistance to statement,
The fruit holds nothing in its fullness but the tree.

To have held through hail, stormwinds, and black frost in darkness
Through the long months, gives meaning to the bud when it opens.
Song loses nothing of moments that are past.

So my labour is still: it is still determination
To resolve itself slowly in the weathers of knowledge.
By virtue of the hidden the poem is revealed.

Remember Earth’s triads: the faith of a dumb animal,
The mountain stream falling, music to the wheat-ears;
The salt wave echoing the grieving of the bones.

The lamb leaps: it is stubborn in its innocence.
The hawk drops, in the energy of instinct,
Dawn fires kindle perfection like a sword.

Fires: the hawk’s talons, the tongue of the chameleon,
In a peacock’s wings’ lightning the contraction of glory,
In death the last miracle, the unconditional gift.

What do I need but patience before the unpredictable,
The endurance of the stepping-stone before the footprint,
Cadence that reconciles wisdom and the dance?

I need more, I need more. In the moment of perception
Fit me, prayer, to lose everything, that nothing may be lost.
The stone that accumulates history is falling.

History is a pageant, and all men belong to it.
We die into each other: remember how many
Confided their love, not in vain, to the same earth.

Invictus

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Pop Concert/Dance Performance

Fremont Main Library will present a pop concert/dance performance with local band, Music No Line, Saturday, April 20 from 1-4 p.m.

Music No Line was established in 2011 with members mostly from Hong Kong and Taiwan. They will be performing English, Mandarin, and Cantonese pop songs and lead the audience in line dances. The music is a rousing combination of disco and rock and roll with some ballroom mixed in. The audience is encouraged to dance along.

This is a free program. All are welcome.

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