Saturday, March 31, 2012

Cesar Chavez Day

"From the depth of need and despair, people can work together, 
can organize themselves to solve their own problems 
and fill their own needs with dignity and strength."

Cesar Chavez was a pioneering civil rights activist. He overcame poverty and prejudice to organize the first successful union (United Farm Workers) for America’s farm workers. Chavez fought for fair wages and humane treatment for farm workers in California through nonviolent means such as boycotts, fasts,and marches.  Also of concern to Chavez was the health of farm workers as pesticides used in agriculture were not strictly regulated at the time.  Chavez went on hunger strikes to protest the use of these chemicals. In 1968, a 25-day hunger strike helped earn better pay and medical benefits for farm workers.

Cesar Chavez Day is celebrated as a state holiday in California, Colorado, and Texas. 

Books the library has about Cesar Chavez... BPLD Catalog - Cesar Chavez

State holiday celebration info, curriculum, resources and his biography in many different languages...

Cesar Chavez Foundation...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Do You Believe in Magic?!

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that Magic Johnson has bought the Los Angeles Dodgers (not to be confused with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim who got Albert Pujols) for a cool 2 billion dollars.  Too bad that McCourt guy still owns the surrounding lands of the stadium including the parking lots. 
But another baseball tidbit slipped by many people.  Today was actually the first official baseball game of the regular season.  Yup, the Seattle Mariners duked it out with the Oakland Athletics in Japan and the Mariners won 3 to…ah, who cares about those teams because baseball season is finally here! 

The Buena Park Library District has many baseball books to help you get back in the swing of things ranging from famous players to teams to seasons. 
Maybe your child, grandchild, or yourself (there’s no late starts in baseball!) are joining a baseball league?  The BPLD has many books to help them throw that curveball, steal that base, and become an all-around Babe Ruth on the baseball diamond.

This season should be a doozy, especially for Dodger fans (and Angel fans too, I haven’t forgotten).  Reading can only enhance it.  And the Buena Park Library District has got it covered!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Tuesdays with Melville

OK it's not Tuesday.  I did plan to put this up next Tuesday but I just couldn't wait the whole weekend.  Unless you are reading this on a Tuesday, in which case, happy Tuesday and please enjoy the humor of my post title which at this moment is absolutely making sense to you!

I have Melville shenanigans to report:  a few weeks back, an employee had loaded up a cart of supplies he needed for some repair work.  Don't ask me why but one of the items on his cart was a big ball of twine.  At some point he walked away from his cart and when he returned the ball of twine was gone!  Flash forward to this week when the same employee ventured down into the basement machine-room... what should he discover but the all but forgotten ball of twine!  So he took a picture...
Do you see it?  It's between those paper bags.  Yes, it's the same color as the bags, look hard!

Now who would want to steal a ball of twine and hide it in the basement?  Perhaps a ghostly cat who likes to hide out there?  But there's one more thing.  You can't tell from the picture but that ball of twine is really big -- much bigger than the average ball of yarn that a normal sized kitty would be able to bat around.

Melville, are you a mountain lion??

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Book vs Movie Review: The Big Sleep

The Book: 1939
I think it took me this long to get around to reading this book because I have never been a mystery fan.  However, after finishing I immediately embarked on a quest to read every single one of Chandler's books, and when I finished that I started on Dashiell Hammett because I suddenly could not get enough of those hard-boiled detectives.
The Big Sleep introduces Philip Marlowe, Chandler's iconic detective. The Thrilling Detective sums him up pretty well:  "Philip Marlowe, for better or worse, is the archetypical private eye....He runs a single man operation out of the Cahuenga Building in Los Angeles... he likes liquor, women, reading, chess and working alone... He used to work for the district attorney, but was fired for insubordination, thus starting a cliche that still hasn't run out of steam." 
This book has everything you could want from a detective story: double-crossing, family secrets, cover-ups, gangsters, blackmail, femmes fatales, vice, a wise-cracking hero, and a twisting and turning plot. It is, however, definitely not politically correct. The intolerance of the time manifests itself in a certain dismissive attitude towards social minorities. If you can get past that, Marlowe is, in his own gruff way, actually quite the gentleman, especially when compared to Dashiell Hammett's cold and sometimes morally ambiguous "Continental Op" (you should read those books too!).

I give the book 4 out of 5 Dangerous Dames! 

 The Movie: 1946
I fell in love with the movie long before I ever opened the book, but reading the novel added to my appreciation of the movie.  For one, the movie is a good deal more tame than the book.  Movie censorship at the time meant that the dialogue had to skirt around some of the grittier aspects of the story.  And of course, the romance between Bogart's and Bacall's characters took center stage as the studio attempted to cash in on the popularity of their first film together, "To Have and Have Not".  However much this deviates from the book, I'm not complaining.  Their chemistry is really something to watch.  When they met in 1944 she was 19, he was 44 and married.  Bogart divorced his wife in 1945 and he and Bacall were married the same month.  Just look at them!

Since the plot is complicated, having read the novel actually helped me get a better grip on what was going on.  Even if the intricacies of the story don't quite sink in on the first viewing, the movie bears endless re-watching (at least I think so).  Then again, who needs plot when you have so many gorgeous people?  Just look at all these smoldering gazes...

I give the movie 4 out of 5 Dangerous Dames!

I just can't decide which one I like better!
Which one would you choose?

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Time for Tin Foil Hats?

There have been a number of stories in the news about the recent coronal mass ejections from the sun. (CMEs are bursts of super hot plasma - charged particles - speeding away from the sun at incredible rates of speed). You can take a look at the websites of Popular Science , the Los Angeles Times, and NASA for more information on solar flares and CMEs.

If you would like more information about how solar flares can affect life on this planet, the Buena Park Library has the book by Jeff Kanipe "The Cosmic Connection: how astronomical events impact life on Earth".

We also have some new acquisitions on astronomical topics:

Celestial delights: the best astronomical events through 2020 by Francis Reddy

Reports of the effects of the solar flare washing over the earth this morning have noted minimal effects; however, this might be a candidate for the list of ever popular excuses ... "Why didn't you finish your homework?" "Sorry, coronal mass ejection". Now, where is that aluminum foil?

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The Irish in America ... or "Why Corned Beef and Cabbage?"

According to the U.S. Census website there were 34.7 million U.S. residents who claimed Irish ancestry in 2010. This number was more than seven times the population of Ireland. The History Channel website reviews a number of traditions surrounding the St. Patrick's Day holiday. The tradition of eating Corned Beef and Cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day was a purely Irish American invention. In Ireland, the traditional St. Patrick’s Day dinner would consist of boiled cabbage and bacon. However, in late 1800’s America, the cheapest cut of meat was brisket and brining the meat would preserve it. The poor Irish immigrants would serve this at their dinner.

[Looking for some authentic Irish recipes? Try Irish Cooking by Biddy White Lennon and Georgina Campbell Call Number 641.5941 LEN]

Infoplease, the online almanac, has more information on St. Patrick’s Day and all things Irish.

Finally, if you want to "get your green on" the Library has some Irish movies and music you might enjoy!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

March 2nd is Dr. Seuss' 108th birthday!

It's no coincidence that this day was chosen for the premiere of the movie adaptation of his beloved book, The Lorax.  And it's no wonder that The Lorax is the showcase book for this year's Read Across America Day.

Check out these heartwarming and inspiring quotes from the man himself at Thinkexist.

Flavorwire has an entertaining article highlighting iconic Seuss characters and ranking them from best to worst. 

And did you know there is a Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden in Springfield, Massachusetts?  Well now you do and you can plan your next family vacation accordingly!

Attention All Artists

The Volunteer Guild Bookstore at the Buena Park Library is having a special sale during the month of March. ALL Art books will be 20% off!!! Shop early for the best selection.