Terry Pratchett, not just for reading!

The Color of Magic

For years I have tried and failed to make it all the way through a Terry Pratchett novel, but his movies, now that's another story...

I don't know why, I try and try yet Pratchett's novels are just beyond me. I love witty books, I love quirky British novels, I like footnotes and random asides in fiction but I just cannot read Terry Pratchett, but his movies, now those I can get behind.

Raise your nerd quotient! Learn to code!

A bunch of nerds

Lately, my nerd level has felt at low ebb. I’ve yet to find a RPG game to replace my last obsession, and I’ve finally caught up with all the comics I missed while I was out of the country. I found myself wondering: what new activity can I take up which I will have difficulty explaining to my beautiful and surprisingly patient wife?

So I’ve decided to learn JavaScript.

There are fantastic resources online for those who want to learn how to code: I’ve started at Codecademy, which provides a series of self-paced, online tutorials on JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. It’s gamified, meaning that you can earn points and badges for completing lessons and projects, brag about it on Facebook or Twitter, and you can compete against friends, should you have any.

Let's go hiking

Peterson Field Guide to Birds

Spring is the time of year when people start to hit those trails again, and the holds lists for hiking guides just sky rocket. But don't just stop at the trail guide learn more about your hike with some of these excellent materials.

Add some depth to your trek by bringing along a field guide or two:

5 Great Zombie Movies

In honor of Zombie Appreciation Month, here are some amazing zombie movies. We may have an entire year to wait before the movie adaptation of World War Z is unleashed, but these should help pass the time until then. Keep them on hand in your bunker.

Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Director George Romero is the granddaddy of the classic school of slow, creeping, persistent zombies. Although some of his later “Dead” movies are arguably superior in quality, this is the one that started it all. It deserves your undying respect.

Crafts, Books, and Courts--and It's Not Even the Weekend Yet!

Great House

So many things to do, and that's not even counting all the great events this weekend! Fresh City Life My Branch has something for YOU this week!

If you're itching to see flowers growing in your yard, make it happen! Get a bit messy with Throw & Sow Seed Balls, Wednesday, May 16 at 6 p.m. at the Smiley Branch!

Email Safety - How much do you know about Phishing?

No Phishing

I know, most everyone can determine that the letter from the exhiled Prince of France is a fake.  You will not get back $3 million for your meager $2,500 investment.  And I know you know that.  But scammers also know you know that, so they have moved on to new tricks, are you prepared to avoid them?

This topic has recently been troubling me because I have gotten several emails from our "System Administrator" informing me that I am over the limit on my mailbox storage, emails that I know are fake.  The problem is, they are written convincingly enough that I'm worried that if people don't know what to look out for, they could be taken in by it. 

Here's the full text of the email that was sent to me:

What Would You Do??

Cover of Defending Jacob by William Landay

I read Defending Jacob about two months ago and the story and its ethical issues have stayed with me.  Given the circumstances in this well-written novel, I find myself still puzzled about what I would do.  The ending was a complete surprise to me.  What would you do?   

Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His fourteen-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

Maurice Sendak 1928-2012

Celebrating the life of author and illustrator Maurice Sendak.

Author and illustrator Maurice Sendak passed away last week.  His work inspired and intrigued, with stories and pictures that were at once magical, beautiful, and strange.  I fell in love with Sendak as a child, and rediscovered him as an adult when I was working as a nanny.

The Last Waltz and Music Documentaries

Levon Helm

The recent death of The Band's Levon Helm brought back fond memories of watching The Last Waltz. Directed by Martin Scorsese, the film documents The Band's final show in 1976 at San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom and is considered one of the best concert films ever produced.

Listening recently to his 2007 Fresh Air interview, I learned that Helm wasn't very keen on having a big farewell but went along with it. The concert featured all the major players in the folk, country, and rock scenes of the time including Clapton, Emmylou Harris, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and Van Morrison (in a very memorable bedazzled maroon leisure suit giving a passionate rendition of Caravan complete with high kicks).

Georgia On My Mind

O'Keeffe missed her goal by about 18 months. She was 98 when she died in 1986.

Her outsized paintings of flowers have kept the art world buzzing for decades. But here are some details of Georgia O'Keeffe's life and art that you might not know. Click on the artworks to see the hidden facts.

1. Georgia O'Keeffe wanted to live to be 100 years old. When she died in 1986, how old was she?



2. Though she eventually made New Mexico her permanent home, where was O'Keeffe born.




3. What well-known photographer first exhibited O'Keeffe's work in the 1920s? (He also went on to marry O'Keeffe and take over 700 photo portraits of her.)




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