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There's a Snake Under My Pillow - and other Peace Corps stories

Peace Corps logo

Back in the early 1990s, just after finishing college, I was shipped off to the Central African Republic (CAR) with the Peace Corps as a math teacher. The first few weeks of training were spent in a village in Cameroon called Batié. I remember landing at the Douala International Airport on a balmy June evening hoping to see elephants and giraffes roaming around in the distance. Ah, the naïveté.

Movies that are just plain BRUTAL

Movies that are just plain BRUTAL

Your emotions and sanity will be tested. You've been warned...

You will get scared, cringe, and become fearful and sad. How much can you really take is totally up to you. You can easily turn off the DVD or Blu-ray player, but I can guarantee you that these 2 films will never leave your mind.

Living Large in a Tiny House

Although some trace the beginning of the Small House Movement back to Susan Susanka's 1997 book The Not So Big House, visionary architect Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian houses could be considered the original inspiration. Designed for the middle class of the 20's and 30's, these one-story homes, with their open floor plans, connection with the outdoors, and simple materials also influenced the design of the ranch houses of the 50's.

Storytime Music!

Here at the Children's Library we know storytime wouldn't be the same without music!​

Why is music an important part of storytime? Singing, one of the Every Child Ready to Read early literacy practices, helps kids learn new words and letter sounds as they are stretched out to fit the rhythm of the song. Music without words is also beneficial because it helps children learn about rhythm and patterns. Finally, music is fun! The more kids associate having fun with reading, the more they'll want to read.

Oh, did that pass the Bechdel Test?

Miss Congeniality

While putting together a quick DVD display at the Ross-Broadway Library Branch this morning, I started thinking about the Bechdel Test. In case you have never heard of it, it's a simple test developed by a cartoonist in the eighties about women in film.

To pass the test a movie must have three things:

100 Years of Bierceitude

Ambrose Bierce, posing with an erstwhile critic

It was one hundred years ago today... or maybe yesterday. Or it could have been one hundred years ago two months from now. The point is that roughly a century ago, after leaving Washington D.C. at age 71 to join Pancho Villa's army and making it as far as at least Chihuahua, American author Ambrose Bierce disappeared.

Plaza Voices: Exploring New Ways of Talking to One Another

Hands of Plaza participants

Hi, my name is Will Smith--no not that Will Smith, I’m the OTHER Will Smith! I have been involved with Plaza since the beginning. I’ve mostly been sharing basic computer skills with folks who have little computer experience, or helping people solve specific computer problems.

ZINE 15: recap

ZINE 15: keep 5, trade 5, distribute 5 for other library customers

On Saturday, March 15, Byers Branch Library hosted the first ZINE 15 event, and it was AWESOME! We designed our very own zines, resulting in a fabulous array of drawing styles. Since we created no-staple zines, we were able to make several copies and fold them into booklets right away. After our hard work, we enjoyed reading each other's stories and trading zines.

Godzilla!!!

The king of the monsters is back! Mayhem, destruction and giant monsters! O how is missed you... and check out the mash up of Godzilla footage and classic Blue Öyster Cult "Godzilla" at the bottom of the page.

Whether you're familiar with Godzilla movies or not, these films always have the same plot: Tons of dialog, several very bizarre characters, and Godzilla can be either the good guy or the bad guy. But, what makes these films so good are the epic battles, giant monsters, and extensive destruction.

Don’t Leave Me This Way: The Rebirth of Soul

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

While the heyday of soul may be fifty years in the past with the likes of Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, and Jackie Wilson, a new swell of artists influenced by these early pioneers is rising and moving audiences around the country. Marked by strong frontmen and women, these folks have moves and energy straight from a James Brown playbook and backing bands that have licks of their own. Be prepared to have your soul stirred and, if you’re like me, end up with a goofy, strained grimace on your face and an air mic primed for lip syncing.

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