It’s an exciting evening for pre-history buffs, as they flock to a 3-D screening of the movie “Pangea: the Biggest Breakup in History.” The event has been organized by a local scientist, Dr. Viola Figueroa. Unfortunately, she is unable to attend, having taken ill. In her place, she has sent her nephew Alfredo. He arrives at the last minute, flustered, clutching a list of written instructions that he has not yet had time to read.
As the lights dim and the movie begins, a narrator’s voice says, “Prepare to journey more than 250 million years into the past, to a time when the earth contained only one supercontinent, known as Pangea.” Dozens of large dragonflies dart right out of the screen and the audience gasps in amazement at the realistic effects.
A buzz of cicadas fills the air, while huge ferny plants appear all around. Audience members realize they are no longer in theater seats, but rather are perched on rocks or sitting flat on the ground. Colorful beetles scurry about, and in the distance a lizard-like animal with a fin on its back lumbers between the trees. This is no mere movie. Continue reading “Escape Room: Breaking Up Pangea”
If you thought Summer Reading was only for kids, I’ve got some news for you! The Daniel Boone Regional Library is challenging adults to read three books, submit three book reviews and do seven fun, library-related activities. Complete the challenge, and beginning July 5, you’ll receive a prize. You’ll also be entered into a drawing for other fun rewards including an Amazon Fire tablet or a book store gift card.
Step One:Register for the Adult Summer Reading Challenge. Download a reading record to help you keep track of your reading, reviews and activities.
Step Two: Read three books and submit three book reviews.
The Columbia City Cemetery is the oldest and longest running business in Columbia. Burials began as early as 1821. The original entrance to the cemetery was actually on the east side where Locust Street becomes the entrance of Lucky’s Market. You will notice that most of the stones face the east. It was much later that the current entrance on the north side — off Broadway — became the main entrance. The cemetery’s original gates were removed and placed at the entrance of what is now the Maplewood Home in Nifong Park.
Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 by Dewey Decimal Diver
The Star Trek franchise launched in the 1960s, giving viewers a unique view of our culture as reflected through science fiction. The actors who have portrayed characters on Star Trek have themselves lived interesting lives due to the cultural influence of their work. Check out these documentaries featuring actors from the Star Trek franchise. Continue reading “Act Long & Prosper: Docs Featuring Actors From Star Trek”
Beginning May 22, PBS is hosting The Great American Read, “an eight-part series that explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels.” (Sorry nonfiction readers.) To choose the 100 novels, a public opinion poll surveyed approximately 7,200 people and the list was narrowed to the top 100 responses, filtering for just one title per author and combining series titles into one. You can find the list of 100 here. Over the course of the PBS series, there will be a nationwide vote to choose one book as America’s most loved novel.
I was surprised about many of the books on the list and wondered how in the world they made it. There are many on the list that I love and many that I just really didn’t like. I have seen, in post after post, people say they think they have to read them all. I have personally read 55 of the 100, and I will probably try to read a few more during the course of the series, but I resist the inclination to HAVE to read all of them. There are some that I just have no interest in reading. So, I have come up with a few alternatives. Continue reading “The Great American Read: Some Alternate Reads”
The Friends of the Historic Columbia Cemetery will be hosting their second annual History Comes Alive event on Memorial Day, May 28 from 1-4 p.m. Seven different “well-knowns” who are buried in the cemetery will come alive in monologues given by local actors. Chris Campbell, executive director of the Boone County History and Culture Center, wrote the scripts for these actors. In charge of costuming for the event is Monica McMurry of the Stephens College Theatre Department.
It’s May, the season for flowers, graduations and assessing your progress on the Read Harder Challenge. I’m sure there are a handful of overachievers who have zipped through all 24 categories on the checklist already. The rest of us, however, still have several titles to curate. Here are a few suggestions for challenge number three — a classic of genre fiction.
Science Fiction: Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” has also been published under the title “Blade Runner.” It has inspired a movie, a TV show and a series of graphic novels. The novel is an android-filled contemplation on the nature of consciousness. Sort of. Any androids reading this? If you were an android, would you know?
“The Dispossessed” by Ursula K. Le Guin is a book about walls: physical, psychological and social. The story begins with a physicist crossing a wall that contains the only “no trespassing” sign on his entire planet. Le Guin’s science fiction has space ships and cool technology, but it’s less about the wow factor of the technology than about its effect on societies and individuals. Continue reading “Classics of Genre Fiction: Read Harder 2018”
It’s neat when a novel reminds you of the practically limitless possibilities of fiction. It’s also neat when it reminds you of the practically limitless possibilities of reality. If you’d like to be reminded that one can not only write a fictional account of a race of super-intelligent monster dogs, but that, given the time, brilliance, resources (robot arms, 19th century Prussian fashion, etc.) and willingness to ignore a slew of ethical concerns, one might even create a race of super-intelligent monster dogs, read “Lives of the Monster Dogs” by Kirsten Bakis.
As a gentleman who is nearly as enthusiastic about dogs as I am about cravats and monocles, Bakis’ debut novel seems engineered to appeal to me. But while there are plenty of dogs dressed in the fashion of 19th century Prussian aristocrats, there is also a fair bit of animal murder, human murder and gruesome experimentation. One cannot build a race of dog soldiers without first trying and failing to attach wings to a squirrel or swapping the rear and front legs of an unfortunate cow. So, a century before the monster dogs make their home in Manhattan, Augustus Rank experiments wildly on all sorts of critters. Fortunately for the reader, rather than follow this path to its natural culmination of serial killing, Rank begins to achieve success and earns a patron. His patron funds him, and eventually, as an adult, Rank sets up an outpost in the Canadian wilderness where he can nurture a cult, mandate that the cult maintains 19th century Prussian customs, and continue to follow his dream of creating a race of dog super soldiers complete with robot arms and robot voice boxes. Though he dies before achieving his goal (but not before promising he would return from the dead when the time was right), his followers eventually complete his goal for him. Continue reading “The Gentleman Recommends: Kirsten Bakis”
This summer, the Daniel Boone Regional Library wants to applaud the awesomeness of libraries all over the world with the Summer Reading theme “Libraries Rock!” To celebrate this theme, I’ve compiled a list of books that are sure to strike the right note if you love music as much as I do. Our Summer Reading program is free, and we have versions for all ages. Sign-up begins May 30.
For Ages 0-5
Do you love the song, “The Wheels on the Bus”? Then you should try reading “The Wheels on the Tuk Tuk” by Kabir Sehgal. Drive around with the tuk tuk wala (driver) to see the fine sights India has to offer. As you sing along to the familiar tune, you will absorb tidbits of Indian culture, tradition and vocabulary.
What do you get when a cute little kitten paws at a piano? Musical history! In Lesléa Newman’s book “Ketzel, the Cat Who Composed,” composer Moshe Cotel tries his hand at a music contest but is feeling uninspired. When he’s about to give up, a stray kitten ambles across his piano, producing a compelling melody. Moshe quickly jots the notes down, and together he and his new companion compose an award-winning piece that captures the hearts of all who listen. Continue reading “Literary Links: Summer Reading 2018”
Countless numbers of people suffer with illness, some acutely, some chronically, some with mild, non-debilitating symptoms and some with devastating symptoms that severely impact their ability to lead normal lives. Often we aren’t aware of it because they don’t appear to be sick — they have “invisible” illnesses.
At the same time, many suffering with invisible illness are “missing,” because they are incapacitated to the point of being home bound or bedridden. They may be able to engage in life to a certain extent, but the quality of their lives is significantly altered by not being able to participate fully. For instance, taking care of basic necessities may be possible, but then there is no energy left for things that bring joy, connection or build community. Continue reading “May 12: CIND International Awareness Day”