The first Olympic Games were held in 776 BCE in order to honor Zeus, while showcasing Greece's finest athletes and promoting goodwill among Greek cities. The event lasted for one day and consisted of a foot race for men only, who competed in their birthday suits and were coated in olive oil.

Today, more than 9 million spectators will watch over 10,000 athletes (nicely attired and oil-free) from more than 200 countries compete in everything from springboard diving to table tennis. Here are some tips for following the action and planning your own Olympic celebrations.

Free Video Field Production with Denver Open Media!

Denver Open Media Logo

Do you enjoy taking iPhone footage of your cat chasing the laser pointer light around the living room? Perhaps you're a slightly more seasoned cinematographer looking to improve your understanding of lighting and audio. Either way, Denver Open Media's Video Field Production workshop is for you!

Join fellow video enthusiasts at the Central Library next Tuesday and learn the nitty gritty about cinematography, lighting and audio. This workshop focuses on the manual controls available through larger 3-chip DV cameras, such as the Sony PD170. Don't know what that is? Don't worry! Beginners are welcome too!

Superhero Summer!

Summer is a time for playing outside, relaxing, and watching the latest summer blockbuster at your local cinema.

A bonus for this year: 3 superhero movies! The Avengers was amazing, and while I haven’t gotten a chance to see the new Spiderman yet, it sounds like it’s pretty good as well. Last but not least? The new Batman movie, of course! Even though Bane (the villian) looks more like Jaws from The Spy Who Loved Me (or maybe Hayden Christiansen’s Darth Vader wearing headgear?), I’ll still give it a whirl.

Create a magical miniature garden space

Container gardening is the art of growing anything that would grow in a backyard garden in the confined space of a container. Miniature gardens take this to a new level with scale and perspective becoming essential elements. Many garden centers have taken notice of this popular hobby and regularly stock miniature plants and accessories.

A miniature garden can be created around the base of a tree or in any type of container, but something vintage or unusual can add to the charm. All it takes is some imagination and creativity. Miniature gardens take less time and money than real ones, but give similar satisfaction. You can utilize miniature arbors and fences, even tiny furniture and pots to "theme" your space or rely totally on miniature plants and herbs to create visual impact.

From Urban Homesteading to Miniature Crafting & Personal Safety--We've Got It This Week!

IMPACT Personal Safety

Fresh City Life My Branch has many offerings to help you feed and grow both your body and mind this week!

On Wednesday, July 25 at 6 p.m. at the Smiley Branch, join Sundari Kraft, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Urban Homesteading, and learn what urban homesteading is, how it looks in Denver, and how you can get started!

England, Great Britain, United Kingdom: What's the Difference?

Map of the UK: England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland.

Sometimes you find answers in unexpected places. I found the most succinct description I've ever seen of how England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom relate to each other in a library newsletter about travel guidebooks:

London is the capital of England.

England is a country.

Britain is an area that consists of England and the country of Wales.

  • Great Britain is the name of the island that is home to the countries of England, Wales, and Scotland.
  • The United Kingdom (UK) is a country that is a union of the countries on the island of Great Britain, along with the country of Northern Ireland (which shares the island of Ireland with the Republic of Ireland.)
  • [The Republic of Ireland is] a separate country that is not part of the UK.
  • London is also the capital of the UK.

Librarian Recommended!

It's a pretty well-known fact that librarians* are big readers.  Many DPL staffers have chosen this field because it lets us work with books, movies and music every day. In a way, we've devoted our lives to these things. So it makes sense that a book recommended by a library staff person is probably a pretty darn good book.

We now have this nifty new page on our website that lets you peruse staff reviews of our favorite library things. Whether you're looking for a light summer read, a tale of adventure or a new website to geek out on, look no further!

Coping with Grief and Tragedy

March 2001 Employee of the Month Award from Aurora Century 16

The events at the Aurora Century 16 Movie Theater have stunned and saddened people across the country. As a former employee of the Aurora Century 16 Movie Theater, my thoughts are with the employees and those in attendance last night.

I did not believe what I was reading this morning when I learned about the events that occurred while most of Colorado slumbered. Working at the Aurora Century 16 theater was my first job after I graduated from Purdue and moved to Colorado over 10 years ago. If you have never worked in a movie theater, it is not as glamorous as you might think. My work uniform involved wearing a vest with popcorn on it and a bow tie. Popcorn does have an alluring aroma, but not when you can't wash it out of your hair.

Spend Your Saturday with Fresh City Life My Branch!


Need to make some weekend plans? Join us for a Fresh City Life My Branch program on Saturday, July 21 and Grow Your Mind!

Do you have a little horse lover in your life? Join us for a family-friendly author talk by Peg Sundberg, author of the Cowgirl Peg series at Schlessman at 10 a.m. Her series uses horses and dogs to deliver character building messages to young readers. Dress in your best Western wear!

Creator of Encyclopedia Brown Dies

Donald Sobol

All summer long, my son has been on an Encyclopedia Brown kick – reading every book about the boy detective that the library owns.  The stories about the clever kid who solves mysteries with his brains are interesting and fun, and my son loves to read them out loud – and challenge me to figure things out before Encyclopedia does.  I never do.  And so it was with great sadness that we heard that Donald Sobol, the author of this beloved series, died this week at 87.

According to the New York Times obituary, Mr. Sobol wrote 28 Encyclopedia Brown books through the years, the last one just before he died.  Fortunately, we can look forward to reading Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Soccer Scheme this October.

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