We all know the mental and emotional boost received from spending time in the sun, and the sunshine has other healthful properties, including acting as a germicidal, healing certain skin conditions and helping the body synthesize vitamin D. But, our beautiful, heavenly golden globe also showers down very harmful ultraviolet rays, which can cause premature aging of the skin (including sagging, wrinkling and age spotting) and worse, skin cancer. May 27 has been designated Sunscreen Protection Day, otherwise known as Don’t Fry Day, and protecting your skin from sun overexposure is actually serious business. Did you know that all tanning is a form of burning, even if it doesn’t hurt, and the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has declared there is no safe way to tan? Continue reading “Your Skin in the Sun: Remember, You Are Not Bacon”
Some artists shrug off fame and notoriety for various reasons, oftentimes attracting attention through their attempts at obscurity. Check out these docs featuring various reclusive artists.
“Exit Through the Gift Shop” (2010)
Banksy is a graffiti artist with a global reputation. This film tells the incredible true story of how an eccentric French shop keeper turned documentary maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner with spectacular results. Continue reading “Get Away From Me: Docs About Reclusive Artists”
Ah, June is coming! We can smell summer from here. Time to stuff our beach bags with a little romantic comedy, fantasy (featuring librarians, naturally), suspense, memoir and microhistory. Here are the books hitting shelves next month that librarians across the country recommend. Place your holds now to have them in hand for your upcoming vacations or staycations.
“Vinegar Girl” by Anne Tyler
“The newest entry in the Hogarth Shakespeare series brings The Taming of the Shrew into the modern world. Kate is stuck in a life taking care of her absent minded professor father and her sister, Bunny. When her father suggests a marriage of convenience in order to secure a green card for his lab assistant Pyotr, Kate is shocked. This is a sweet and humorous story about two people, who don’t quite fit in, finding each other. Tyler’s wonderful writing updates and improves on the original.” – Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA Continue reading “Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The June 2016 List”
On May 28, thousands of cyclists will descend upon Flat Branch Park in downtown Columbia to embark on a soiree on wheels along the MKT and Katy Trails. Cyclists participating in the annual Pedaler’s Jamboree will make the 35 mile trek to Boonville’s Kemper Park on Saturday morning. Riders will be greeted with a celebration at the terminus of the journey complete with food, beverages and a plethora of live music, including (among many others) Flint Eastwood, The Royal Furs, Hounds, The Kay Brothers and Violet and The Undercurrents, fronted by Columbia’s own Violet Vonder Haar.
Bike decor, good times and costumes are enthusiastically encouraged. The Pedaler’s Jamboree Rider Pass is $50 and includes the transport of all bags to Boonville so that participants are free to ride at their own pace, unburdened by heavy gear. Non-Riders are also welcome and can purchase a pass for the celebration at Kemper Park for $15. For $6, cyclists can enjoy a pancake breakfast on Sunday morning, during which riders can refuel before the return ride to Columbia. Shuttles are available to whisk cyclists and their bikes back to town, should they need a lift. Continue reading “Pedaler’s Jamboree: A Festival of Bicycles and Music”
Happy Birthday, National Park Service!
The weather is warming up, school is coming to a close, and we are making plans for the summer! What a great time to visit one of the National Park Service’s 411 sites, including 59 national parks. The National Park Service, under the Department of the Interior, manages memorials, seashores, historic sites and battlefields. They even manage the White House and four former prisons!
When I was a kid, I remember loading up in the back of our station wagon for vacation. No seat belts, y’all! We would go for a week or two and visit places like the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Great Sand Dunes or Estes Park in Colorado. We also visited Scott’s Bluff in Nebraska, as well as Mount Rushmore and the Badlands in South Dakota. The drives always seemed arduous, but they were made worth it by the thrill of whatever scene we came upon. I don’t think we were ever disappointed.
To celebrate this wonderful anniversary, I have been checking out a few books from the library collection. “The Wonder of it All: 100 Stories from the National Park Service” is a collection of stories from various parks employees and rangers about their experiences. I had no idea that the Gateway Arch in St. Louis was managed by the National Park Service. I also didn’t know that it had anything to do with the Scotts of the Dred Scott case. Continue reading “Happy 100th, National Park Service!”
“The Story of My Teeth” came into existence the way most novels do: at the behest of a Mexican juice company. But rather than merely extol the virtues of juice while spinning a tale about juice bandits who turned to a life of juice thievery due to being criminally deprived nature’s finest nectar during their formative years, Valeria Luiselli chose to tell a better, stranger tale.
The novel, in addition to being a “collaborative translation” with Christina MacSweeney, was also workshopped with workers at a juice factory. She would send a chapter, factor in their feedback, then write the next chapter. The novel’s quality makes it clear that more writers should seek the feedback of factory workers. Indeed, I’m so inspired by her tactics that I’ve taken the liberty of mailing this post to a number of factories. As you can tell, I’ve yet to hear back, but I imagine their feedback will transform this post into something nearly as magical as her novel, at which point I will use their suggested changes for the 10th anniversary edition of this blog post (“Now in 3-D and edited by factory workers!’). Continue reading “The Gentleman Recommends: Valeria Luiselli”
From May 16 to May 22, the city of Columbia will host activities aimed at promoting non-automotive transportation. The 15th annual Bike, Walk and Wheel Week will feature festivals, group bike rides, free city bus rides and more. As always, your library can provide resources for inspiration and information.
In the first category, I suggest Ben Montgomery’s book, “Grandma Gatewood’s Walk.” In 1955, 67-year-old Emma “Grandma” Gatewood left her Ohio home, telling her children and grandchildren she was going on a walk. Several months later, she’d earned the distinction of becoming the first woman to hike the entire 2,050-mile Appalachian Trail. Continue reading “Bike, Walk and Wheel Week”
Here is a new DVD list highlighting various titles recently added to the library’s collection.
“How to Change the World”
Trailer / Website / Reviews
Playing last year at the True/False Film Fest, this film is the story of the pioneers who founded Greenpeace and defined the modern green movement. Discover how this group of like-minded and idealistic young friends in the ’70s would be instrumental in altering the way we now look at the world and our place within it.
“Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead”
Trailer / Website / Reviews
Playing at Ragtag Cinema last year, this film takes a look at the history of National Lampoon, from its beginning in the 1970s to 2010. There was no hipper, no more outrageous comedy in print than The National Lampoon, the groundbreaking humor magazine that pushed the limits of taste and acceptability — and then pushed them even harder. Continue reading “New DVD List: How to Change the World & More”
I am not an impulse shopper when it comes to clothes or everyday groceries. I’m a disciplined gal, sticking to my list. However, when it comes to farmers’ markets, I cannot resist the jewel-toned eggplants, the deep green and curling kale leaves, the delicate mushrooms. Many times a summer I find myself with a counter full of fruits and vegetables without a clue as to how to integrate them into my week’s meal planning.
We are lucky to have a number of farmers’ markets in Boone and Callaway Counties (see our local produce subject guide for details). If you, like me, want to make sure your locally sourced veggies don’t wind up rotting in your crisper drawer, check out some of these cookbooks for delicious inspiration.
Williams-Sonoma’s “Cooking From the Farmers’ Market” includes not only recipes but also helpful tips for picking the freshest produce and best ways to prepare various fruits and vegetables. The pictures are gorgeous, and there are three recipes provided for each ingredient highlighted. Many of the recipes are simple with minimal ingredient lists — when the produce is fresh, you can let that sun-ripened flavor be the star of the show. I can’t wait to try baked eggs with spinach and cream or sugar snap pea risotto! Continue reading “Feasts From Your Farmers' Market”
Imagine this: you are a citizen of a Democracy where individual rights and privacy are supposedly its most sacred principle, and yet 24/7 you may be tracked by the government, corporations and even the city in which you live. You constantly wear or use devices that send out signals and information transmitted to millions of different data-gathering entities. A future such as this, predicted by the likes of George Orwell and Aldous Huxley, may have seemed very frightening little more than 20 years ago. Such a future, however, is in the here and now. Continue reading “Big Data and "Choose Privacy Week"”