Blogs

Children’s Poetry: Beyond “Where the Sidewalk Ends”

Not to cast any aspersions on America’s most beloved children’s poet, but there is much more to poetry for young people than the great Shel Silverstein. April is National Poetry Month, and thus a perfect opportunity to explore the wide world of children’s poetry.

From anthologies of works by modern children’s poets to poem picture books to novels in verse, children’s poetry is a wide open and growing genre full of humorous, touching, and imaginative writing that is sure to inspire and delight any child who is exposed to it.

Heart of a Samurai: NPR's Back-Seat Book Club Pick for May

Heart of a Samurai

In 1841, fourteen-year-old Nakahama Manjirō is fishing with friends when their boat is shipwrecked on an island off the coast of Japan. They are rescued by an American whaling ship and after requesting to stay aboard the ship, Nakahama becomes the first Japanese person to set foot in the United States. This incredible true story is the basis for NPR's Back-Seat Book Club selection for May.

Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus is the story of a boy who is a simple fisherman but dreams of becoming a samurai. He never lets go of his dreams, despite living in a society where there is no chance for changing your station in life. After his rescue from the island, he is given a great opportunity: travel to California and begin a new life.

Google lets users go for a 5TB Drive

Earlier this week, Google introduced Google Drive, a free cloud-storage system for Google users. Users get 5GB storage for free and can buy up to 1TB through monthly subscriptions.

Many years ago, when Gmail started, a Gdrive always seemed imminent. There was even a “g-drive” extension for Firefox, which turned a Gmail account into an online hard drive--except all the files were split into 25MB parts, limiting its usefulness. It also was an independent geek creation, not an official Google product.

Nathen Maxwell and the Original Bunny Gang

Cover of the album White Rabbit

Did you know that Nathen Maxwell, also of the Celtic punk band Flogging Molly, simultaneously leads this phenomenal reggae group?

Maxwell, evidently a jack of all trades, plays bass in Flogging Molly, but in the Bunny Gang surprises and delights in a different niche as guitarist, melodica player, and vocalist. Meanwhile, his dad, the artist known as maxwellvision [sic], plays drums and percussion, Michael Peralta takes the bass, and Nat Nelson is on guitar and vocals. With this humble arrangement, they manage to create a deep grooving smoothness of sound that's tough to surpass. This is music to dance to at its finest.

Moths Attack!

The Silence of the Lambs

With such a mild winter the Miller Moths have arrived with a vengeance, and just before them those little tiny moths (Clothes Moths) arrived en masse to my house. You know, the ones that will eat all your favorite sweaters and you won't know until the fall...

So with moths on the mind I thought I would throw together a little list of all things moth-y!

Mothman Prophecies This movie is a strange and lurid account of the strange occurrences that took place in the 1960s in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. With appearances lasting for only a year, the mothman has had a place in the canon of American urban legends ever since.

Looking for something awesome to read?

image of godzilla reading by Olivier Pichard

Do you know exactly the kind of book you want to read next, or are you looking for something different?

Do you really like funny stories? Perhaps steampunk is more your thing? Maybe you need to read some historical fiction for school? Looking for more books like A Child Called It? We have many excellent teen book lists for you to choose from.

Tech, Tea, and Bond...James Bond

Tea Leaf Reading for Beginners

April is almost over, but that doesn't mean that Fresh City Life My Branch adult cultural programming is! Join us this week and learn some new technology, sip a beverage, or dream about having a martini with James Bond!

Want to take your investing to the next level? Learn to use the Denver Public Library database ValueLine at Ross University Hills during Tuesday Technology Night on Tuesday, April 24 at 6 p.m. ValueLine has a wealth of information to help you make wise investment decisions--and it's always available with your library card from any computer!

Too Young For the Hunger Games books?

Everyone, it seems, wants to read the Hunger Games – even elementary school kids. But how young is too young? These are, after all, books that take place in a post-apocalyptic world in which teenagers are forced to kill other teenagers. Surely, they are not appropriate for younger readers.
Or are they?

Although the plot of the books is somewhat shocking, the author gives her subject matter a thoughtful and thought-provoking treatment that rises above the gruesome premise. The main character, Katniss, is a hero in the classic sense – a strong and smart survivor who makes interesting and even admirable moral choices within the immoral universe in which she finds herself.

The Dance Lane Is Open

Don Cornelius, creator & host of Soul Train

Don Cornelius and Dick Clark had us learning new dance moves beyond shake, rattle and roll.

Soul Train and American Bandstand set styles, pop culture trends, and introduced new artists to teens of all ages! I owe my  f-i-n-e dance skills to Soul Train while my neighbor says he collected 45s for artists appearing on American Bandstand. My friend Nancy remembered Madonna's performance on Clark's show, one of her first television appearances.

Here are a few of my favorite performers appearing on Soul Train:

How do you say "technology blog" in Spanish?

An angry cat speaking Spanish

I've been doing a lot of translating of materials for our Spanish-language computer classes lately, and now I stop and wonder every ten seconds what I did before the Internet. I mean, I'm old enough to remember a time when it wasn't there, when you actually heard your computer connecting to a network and there were no animated GIFs of bike-riding kittens to be had; but I often forget that.

When it comes to learning a new language - or honing your skills at one you've picked up - here's where I go:

Reference and Translation Help:

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