Nova Connect! our local job services office is offering free career assistance at Central Park Library in October. On Tuesday, October 5 from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, October 23 from 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. in the Cedar Room, Marianne Adoradio will offer tips on expanding your network and conducting information interviews as well as give an overview of all the free career services available.
Sign up by calling (408)615-2900 or stopping by the 2nd floor desk when you visit the library. If you forget to sign up, just come and bring a friend.
Central Park Library now has one desk in a more visible, central location on the 2nd floor for assisting you in finding the information you need.
Check out a Group Study room, find driving directions, get help in finding a book, magazine article, language CD and ask any other question you can think of at our new one-location service desk.
Most of the library's open hours, you can find older periodicals and newspapers at the Periodicals Desk and the Heritage Pavilion has staff to help you research genealogy or Santa Clara County local history.
Each year, the last week of September is Banned Books Week. It is a chance for you to celebrate your freedom to read, as well as remember the importance of our country's First Amendment, which includes the freedoms of expression and religion, among other freedoms. Another purpose of Banned Books Week is to draw attention to books that have been challenged in the past and also encourage people to read them.
The American Library Association (ALA) lists the most challenged books from the last 20 years. Here's a partial list in alphabetical order by title, as well as their location in the Santa Clara City Library:
Have you or a loved one ever experienced these symptoms?
Sudden difficulty talking or understanding words
Sudden loss of feeling or strange sensations on one side
Sudden weakness on one side of the face, arm or leg
Sudden severe unexplainable headache
Sudden decreased or blurred vision
Stroke is a medical emergency, and the first three hours are critical. Please join us for this free and informative session with Dr. Anne Burleigh Jacobs from Peninsula Stroke Association. The program is next Wednesday, September 29 in the Redwood Room from 10:30-11:30. Sign up by calling (408) 615-2900 or sign up at the Reference Desk when you visit the library.
This afternoon I've picked up the newest volume of Jeff Lindsay's Dexter series. As has been the case with the last four, I'm excited to get off work and start reading it. Which is surprising since I hated the third one and can't for the life of me remember the fourth. Come to think of it, the first two weren't all that amazing either but they hadn't gone completely off the rails yet.
So why keep reading them? For one, Lindsay has an amazingly playful use of language that makes reading the book fun despite the plot problems. Secondly, in a Bizzaroworld twist, the television show that was based on the books is excellent and I'm hoping the books will live up to it at some point. The show fixes most of the problems I had with the novels. Instead of the characters with the depth of cardboard cutouts Lindsay uses (cop sister whose dialog is 90% potty mouth, boneheaded tough guy detective whose dialog is 90% potty mouth, dependent girlfriend who never gets a chance to be seen as more than "dependent girlfriend", etc), the show sets these up as jumping off points and then further develops the characters' humanity. Lindsay still hasn't done this over the course of four books. One of the other major fixes is that the show pretty much stopped following Lindsay's plot after half of season #2. (A huge thank you for that. Demon destroyer Dexter is not really working for me.)
Sometimes the planets will align and the movie is either as good as or better than the book. Trainspotting is one of the few films that surpassed its source material. The novel is a chaotic shamble written phonetically in a slang-filled Scottish dialect. By the time you get a handle on it, you've already missed a bunch of plot points. The movie gives it a coherent structure and introduces the world to Ewan McGregor (causing a collective swoon among the women of my generation) and Danny Boyle (whose adaptation of the book Q & A you may have seen).
Considering the movie O Brother Where Art Thou is based on Homer's Odyssey, it would be earth shatteringly stupid to say it's better than the book. But the writers were smart about it. They took all the elements of the Odyssey and reconceptualized it as a prison break comedy in the 30's (with an excellent soundtrack). If you know the Odyssey, it's fun to pick out the allusions. If you don't, you aren't deprived of anything.
Ultimately, I'm talking about apples and oranges here though. Books are not movies and movies are not books. Both have a story to be told and both need to go at that story in different ways in order to be successful. So, I'm going to ease up on the Dexter series. Perhaps the show's story is superior (in my opinion), but that doesn't negate the fact that I (generally) enjoy myself when I'm reading demented Dexter's D-heavy descriptive diction. posted by jw
What's that in your hand? It has buttons with numbers and a power button at the top. That's right! It's your TV remote. Now, push the power button so your TV turns off. Well done! Oh, and your laptop, desktop computer, video game device, iPod touch, iPad? Turn those off, too.
Congratulations, you just turned off your electronic entertainment devices to participate in Turnoff Week, which is from September 19-25th!
Turnoff Week (or Digital Detox Week) was created in 1994 by Center for SCREEN-TIME Awareness and other organizations to encourage people to be selective about their media, have an active lifestyle, and participate in the community.
So, how do you sever your relationship with digital devices for a whole week? Here are some pointers:
Think before you push. Before turning on a device, take 60 seconds to think about your relationship with the device and why you feel the need to use it. What is the appeal? What could you do with your time instead?
Think of your friends. Invite them for a walk. Go window shopping. Cook and eat a meal together. Go on a hike. Go on a bike ride. Go camping. Go bowling. Make some jewelry. Be creative!
If TV is a high priority for you, let your DVR record the season premiere of Glee or Survivor for you to watch later. Your show will still be there next week if you decide to turn your TV on again after Turnoff Week.
Limit email checking to once or twice a day. If concerned, set up an auto-reply to let your friends and family know you're participating in Turnoff Week. Include a link to more information about the initiative. Maybe they'll decide to participate, too!
Back in 2003, Max Brooks released a book called the Zombie Survival Guide (yes, this is another zombie post... deal with it). As the title would suggest, it's basically a worst case scenario handbook for the "zombie apocalypse." This was the first time I had ever heard that term. The idea had been kicking around since at least the Romero films, but that was the point it hit a critical mass. Now, should you do a Google search on those two words, you'll find that roughly 50% of the Internet is dedicated to zombies and their eventual domination of the human race. What flying saucers were to the 50's, zombies have become to the 00's (pronounced "aughts" by some).
But I'm afraid zombies have "jumped the shark." (Actually, in the 1979 Italian film cleverly titled "Zombie," there is a scene in which a zombie fights a shark. It's... amazing. Somewhere during the struggle the zombie literally goes over the shark. So I suppose it could be said to have happened 31 years ago.) All trends have this fate. They start out as small but intelligent labors of love. Then, somehow, it pops up on the radar and becomes a mainstream hit. Subsequent attempts to repeat that success lack the spark that made the first one engaging and things begin to falter. Finally the trend goes into free fall. Shoddy product floods the market in a last gasp money grab and it all crashes down.
I know I've made this promise before, but this will be the last time I write about zombies. This current gimmick laden version of them has turned me off completely. I'm sorry zombies, but you are dead to me. posted by jw
Did you or do you know someone who waited hours in line for their iPad? Well, one lucky teen patron didn't have to wait in any line or pay anything for his iPad! Robert C. was the grand prize winner of the 2010 TeenRead summer program drawing. He won an iPad and a $25.00 iTunes gift card. Robert celebrated a birthday just two days before he received the news that he won. What a nice birthday present!
Robert, who is not one to read much for fun, was motivated to particpate in the TeenRead program so he could enter a drawing for one of three e-reader prizes. Two other teens, Jacob S. and Rainbow H., each won an iPod Touchand a $25.00 iTunes gift card. They had a choice of an iPod Touch or Amazon Kindle.
Over 850 teens signed up for TeenRead, a program that provided incentives for teens to read during the summer. Over 530 of them finished and earned a $10.00 Borders gift card. The gift cards were generously funded by the Foundation and Friends of the Santa Clara City Library.
The e-readers were paid for by a grant from the Michael J. Kirsch Foundation. The purpose of the grant was to encourage reading among teens using e-readers. It certainly motivated teens to read this summer. Collectively, they read over 6500 books! Two other iPod Touches were awarded earlier this year from the e-reader grant to the winners of the "Read This Book" commercial contest during Teen Tech Week in March. The winning commercial was of the book, A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. All of our winning teens, as well as other patrons with e-readers, can borrow e-books from the library or from home. Check out (no pun intended!) our Overdrive Download Station where patrons can download audio and electronic books directly onto their devices at the Library. Thank you to the Michael J. Kirsch Foundation and the Foundation and Friends of the Library for their generous support of the library and its teen patrons! Posted by nc
Before eating, be sure to wash your hands for 20 seconds. Not sure how long that is? Pretend it’s your birthday, and sing “Happy Birthday” once while washing your hands.
Follow these steps to stop the spread of bacteria:
CLEAN (wash your hands and all counters and utensils)
SEPARATE (don’t mix raw meat with vegetables)
COOK (to the correct temperature)
CHILL (refrigerate promptly)
Don’t eat foods that have been sitting out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Bacteria in food can double every 20 minutes when the food is at room temperature! Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot!
To be safe when cooking, use a food thermometer to cook food to the right temperature. Use this temperature chart to stay safe.
Be “egg”-stra careful when handling eggs, as they can contain the bacteria Salmonella, which could make you sick. Cook eggs all the way, and as tempting as it might be, don’t lick the raw cookie dough off the spoon.
Use food promptly. Fresh raw chicken should only stay in the fridge for 1-2 days before cooking. If you can’t cook it 1-2 days after buying, put it in the freezer where it will last up to 9 months if cut into pieces or 1 year if whole. Leftover cooked chicken can stay refrigerated for 3-5 days or frozen for 2-6 months.
Questions about food safety? Try these resources for more information: