Nature, particularly trees are central to this lovely book of essays. Several of the narratives were unusual enough that I wondered if they had been fictionalized. They seemed more like creative nonfiction than essays. For instance, “Moon Trees” begins with this sentence, “There are cinnabar trees growing on the moon. “ But soon the world of facts—and interesting ones—becomes paramount.
Did you know that astronaut Stuart Roosa brought lots of tree seeds—katsura, loblolly pine, sycamore, sweet gum, and redbud onto Apollo 14’s moon expedition? Unfortunately, he did not get chosen to land on the moon so he brought these seeds back, and 450 of them were planted and studied by scientists. But they just grew normally like tree seeds that had never left Earth. However, for a brief while, Roosa got to combine his early career as a forest service Smoke Jumper (saving beautiful trees) and an astronaut whirling through space. Read more about Limber
Cocoanuts was the first feature film starring the four Marx Brothers: Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Zeppo. It may also have the distinction of being the first true movie musical, that is, a movie where the musical numbers were meant to be part of the story telling process rather than a performance for audience within the movie. It wasn’t that the studio didn’t plan to have a band playing with the musical scenes. A “band” was hired for the first day of shooting. Apparently they were to follow the actors around ready to play whenever someone was tempted to burst into song, but the director soon realized there was no reason to have them around and that they would distract from the plot of the movie; something that the Marx Brothers were already managing to do pretty well on their own. Read more about Cocoanuts and the Marx Brothers
Joan Rivers passed away Thursday September 4, 2014 after suffering complications from surgery. Rivers was perhaps best known for her standup comedy and somewhat caustic wit. In addition to her standup work she has been featured in a number of movies and authored a number of books. The link below will produce a list of the many items in the MCPL collection that highlight her accomplishments
Opening - Season One: It was the dawn of the third age of mankind, ten years after the Earth-Minbari War. The Babylon Project was a dream given form. Its goal: to prevent another war by creating a place where humans and aliens could work out their differences peacefully. It's a port of call, home away from home for diplomats, hustlers, entrepreneurs, and wanderers. Humans and aliens wrapped in two million, five hundred thousand tons of spinning metal, all alone in the night. It can be a dangerous place, but it's our last, best hope for peace. This is the story of the last of the Babylon stations. The year is 2258. The name of the place is Babylon 5.
Babylon 5, created by J. Michael Straczynski, came to our Televisions in the early 1990’s, about the same time as Star Trek’s Deep Space Nine. The two are often compared. Fans of each have called one a “rip-off” of the other. The truth is they were both developed and planned independently of each other. Babylon 5 did something that was amazing at the time; it got Trekkers and Trekkies alike talking about a new show. Some of them even thought this new series was better than Star Trek. Read more about Babylon 5
There are dog people in this world and then there others! Sorry, cat afionados. But for you lovers of all things canine, this new book of photographs with New Yorker's "best friend" stories will charm you. When you think of it, what could be more counterintuitive than a Manhattan or Brooklynite pup? Imagine the crowds (homo sapien primarily), the honking horns, lights, and police and fire sirens. It's enough to set even a human howling.
The photos are lovely. They include: an endearing poodle with its mouth open leaning into the wind from a cab window, a Great Dane crossing a car-filled side street, and several mixed breeds running free past colorful graffitied walls. There's even a refreshing series of summer beach scenes with dogs coated in sand or racing into the surf. Famous photographer William Wegman is shown with four of his graceful dog models: Flo, Topper, Candy, and Bobbin. Read more about The New York Dog
Monroe County Public Library's hours are changing for the first time in 25 years, highlighted by 2 additional open hours on Sundays at the Main Library in downtown Bloomington. Beginning September 2, the Library's new hours will be:
Main Library Hours
Monday–Thursday .... 9 a.m.–9 p.m.
Friday–Saturday .... 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Sunday .... Noon–6 p.m.
Ellettsville Branch Hours
Monday–Thursday .... 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
Friday–Saturday .... 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Sunday .... 1–5 p.m.
The Library's decision to increase Sunday hours at the Main Library is driven be three factors—the request for "expanded weekend hours" in the Library’s 2012 Community Survey, the recent addition of parking meters in downtown Bloomington that have created new barriers to Library service for many, and interest expressed by the Board of Trustees to review hours for the first time in 25 years.
“Our goal with the hour shift is to make it easier for people to visit the library,” says Library Director, Sara Laughlin. “We’d like to see those people who have not been coming because of the parking or because of the schedule.”
With the expansion of Sunday hours, the Library also hopes to make downtown Bloomington a Sunday destination for community members. The new Sunday hours will provide more opportunities for community organizations to host meetings and events at the Library. Downtown businesses and community organizations can contact the Library for partnership opportunities and to book meeting rooms or the auditorium.
With the newly renovated auditorium about to open, the Library will be hosting a greater variety of entertainers and programs. Sunday program highlights in the new auditorium this fall include:
Talk Like a Pirate, with The Pirate Flags from 4–5 p.m. on Sunday, September 21. Live music with Bloomington’s own band of scurrilous rogues, The Pirate Flags.
Silver Screen Sundays at 3 p.m. every fourth Sunday: 9/28, 10/26, 11/23. Classic movies on the big screen.
"Good Night and May God Bless" from 2–3:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 19. Storyteller Stephanie Holman on the early life of Hoosier Red Skelton.
Nutcracker Fantasy from 2–3 p.m. on Sunday, November 16. Dancers from IU Jacobs School of Music perform The Nutcracker ballet.
Gustafer Yellowgold's Show from 1:30–2:15 p.m. on Sunday, November 30. Morgan Taylor's multimedia performance featuring his character Gustafer.
In order to add the additional hours on Sunday, the Main Library shifted its Friday and Saturday hours to 10 a.m.–6 p.m. The Ellettsville Branch hours also shifted slightly. The branch will now be open 10 a.m.–6 p.m. on Saturdays.