January 2012 Archives

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Michael Roberto isn't your typical "management guru." He's an academic. And his research will prove to you time after time why great leaders, from the CEO to the front line manager, depend on conflict, dissent and wise direction to give shape to great decisions.

You won't find bulletpointed lists, large fonts or touchy-feely anecdotes in Why Great Leaders Don't Take Yes for an Answer. Instead, you'll be brought face to face with the results of Roberto's years of intrepid data collection on decision-making from the inside of major corporations, NASA, mountain climbing expeditions and firefighting teams. From this data, Roberto has distilled key characteristics common to every critical decision, leading to its success or failure.

Roberto begins by reviewing a conceptual framework for the diagnosis, evaluation and improvement of strategic decision-making processes. Critical to this framework is his assertion that leaders first must "decide how to decide" by setting up the rules of engagement and procedure that will lead to a final decision. Part II focuses on the task of managing the conflict that he has determined is a critical component of good decision-making. Discussion of providing a platform for dissenting views and candid dialog follows. Part III of ...Don't Take Yes... concentrates on the equal importance consensus has in supporting great decisions. He presents techniques in which leaders can achieve consensus without compromising divergent and creative thinking. Part IV concludes with a review of how the leadership philosophy outlined in the book challenges the conventional views held by many managers about how to make critical decisions.

Roberto writes about critical decision-making methods and in an entertaining but highly informative narrative style. He calls the leader to dramatically improve their decision-making ability by welcoming other's input and acknowledging s/he doesn't have all the answers.

Submitted by Brian @ Washington Park


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Tonight at Center St. Library--The Big Read

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Join us tonight, January 30, 2012, at Center Street Library and hear the novel come to life as excerpts of To Kill A Mockingbird will be read by local actors, students and community volunteers. A moderated discussion about the themes of the novel will follow. The program begins at 5:30 p.m. We hope to see you there!

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and bring the transformative power of literature into the lives of its citizens. The Big Read in Milwaukee will focus on Harper Lee's American classic To Kill A Mockingbird.

For a complete list of Big Read programs click here.

Submitted by Jacki @ Central


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The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon

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For fans of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series of epic time travel romance, and her spinoff historical mystery novels about Lord John Grey, The Scottish Prisoner is another action-packed prequel chapter in the ongoing saga. Despite the title, this is mainly a Lord John book, alternating between his point of view and that of Jamie Fraser, who is the Scottish prisoner in question, a convicted traitor currently paroled in Lord John's custody.

Naturally everything gets complicated for Jamie and John in a big hurry: Jamie is contacted by an Irish revolutionary planning another uprising against the British throne, while John is hunting a corrupt military officer to fulfill a promise made to a friend on his deathbed. Their two concerns are soon entangled by the discovery of a mysterious poem written in Irish Gaelic, and before long John and Jamie are teaming up to fight crime despite Jamie's uncertain feelings about aiding the English, and John's unrequited feelings for Jamie.

The Scottish Prisoner is a great look at the beginning of a friendship that developed offstage in other books, but it will make a confusing starting point for anyone new to the series. Start with Outlander, for the epic time traveling romance of Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall, or Lord John and the Private Matter, if you'd rather read about a gay military officer solving mysteries and keeping secrets in 18th Century England.

Submitted by Mary Lou @ Washington Park


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Harry Potter Page To Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey by Bob McCabe

01harrypotter.jpg Even if you don't like Harry Potter, his books, or his movies, you will be awed by this magnificent tome. It contains drawings, story boards, scripts, props, photographs, maps, computerized graphics, and more. In the first half of this book there is a chapter dedicated to each of the seven Harry Potter movies and J.K. Rowling's novels. The second half of this masterpiece is dedicated to describing, drawing and photographing the characters, locations, creatures and artifacts involved in every step of the making of these movies. I love observing the scenery and costumes in films and they are wonderfully displayed in this book. You'll also see something unusual about some of the pages in this book. There are images that you cannot see unless you tip the book just so to catch the light. I think die-hard Harry Potter fans will be hard pressed to find something that happened in one of the movies that is not depicted or mentioned somewhere in this compilation of information and images. Enjoy! I know I did and then I went out and purchased a copy for my personal library.

Submitted by Valerie @ MPL Central



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Love Goes to Buildings on Fire by Will Hermes

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If you're a music fan and could pick any past time and place to experience legendary artists and performances firsthand, what would you choose? Swinging '60s London? Woodstock? Grunge-era Seattle? Rock journalist Will Hermes makes a good case for mid-1970s New York in his book Love Goes To Buildings On Fire.

Hermes provides not only a historian's account of the time period, but also his perspective as a teenager witnessing many of these artists himself. In Manhattan, the club CBGBs hosted seminal acts like the Ramones, Talking Heads, and Patti Smith. In the Bronx, young disk jockeys like Joseph Saddler (AKA Grandmaster Flash) began using their turntables as instruments and turning their between-record banter into songs of their own--giving birth to Hip-Hop. The convergence of immigrants from Latin America in New York led to the rise of modern Salsa music with the Fania All Stars and the careers of Hector Lavoe and Ruben Blades. And of course, Disco was pumping out of the dance clubs throughout the boroughs, reaching its height at the infamous Studio 54. Add experimental jazz, classical and avant-garde scenes to this mix and you have a city bursting at the seams with creativity.

The author intertwines these seemingly disparate threads into a narrative that reads like a love letter to the New York he once knew. Fans of all kinds of music will find much to savor in this energetic and captivating book.

Submitted by Brett @ Central


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Which Book Next? Today from 11 am to 3 pm

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Are you looking for a good book? Let us help!

Today, Wednesday, January 25, 2012 between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., leave a post on Milwaukee Public Library's Facebook wall.

Simply tell us the last three books you've enjoyed and we'll suggest your next read(s). "Like" us on Facebook today and then join us and your friends for Which Book Next?.

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The Great Snowstorm of '47

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It started with a weather forecast of "an inch or so of snow." By the time it ended, Milwaukee was shut down for days by its worst blizzard 65 years ago. Retired University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee professor Donald Neuman remembers it in When the Trolleys Were Stopped Cold-The Great Snowstorm of '47.

He follows it day-by-day from the initial forecast to the city struggling to get back on its feet with mind-boggling photos and stories from The Milwaukee Journal of streetcars and indoor phone booths becoming makeshift overnight "beds" for those who couldn't make it home and how Milwaukeeans helped each other with food, shelter and shoveling sidewalks and streets.

The Central Library has a display of blizzard photos and copies of The Milwaukee Journal, Milwaukee Sentinel and LIFE. and will have a program on Sunday, January 29th, 2012, 65 years to the day when Milwaukee's worst blizzard started.

Submitted by Van Lingle Mungo


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Tonight at Capitol Library--The Big Read

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Join us tonight, January 23, 2012, at Capitol Library and hear the novel come to life as excerpts of To Kill A Mockingbird will be read by local actors, students and community volunteers. A moderated discussion about the themes of the novel will follow. The program begins at 6 p.m. We hope to see you there!

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and bring the transformative power of literature into the lives of its citizens. The Big Read in Milwaukee will focus on Harper Lee's American classic To Kill A Mockingbird.

For a complete list of Big Read programs click here.

Submitted by Jacki @ Central


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The Arctic Marauder by Jacques Tardi

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The Arctic Marauder is a must-read graphic novel for any fan of the steampunk aesthetic; some critics have called it "icepunk." Only recently translated into English, The Arctic Marauder was originally published in French in 1974, and features beautiful woodcut-style monochrome art which sometimes eclipses the story being told.

The story takes Jerome Plumier from an ill-fated Arctic exploration back to France and out into the ice again in search of the marauder. It offers a satirical take on classic radio serials, including a narrator's voice commenting on the action. The dramatic conclusion definitely won't be what you're expecting!

Submitted by Mary Lou @ Washington Park


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Tippecanoe Book Club Reads The Last Lecture

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Tippecanoe Book Club meets on the second Wednesday of every month (except December) from 6:00 - 7:00 pm at Tippecanoe Library. New members are always welcome!


For February 8, 2012 the selection is The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.

Future selections are:

March 14, 2012
When the Killing's Done by T. C. Boyle
April 11, 2012
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee




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Fairy Tales for Angry Little Girls by Lela Lee

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Kim aka the Angry Little Asian Girl was Lela Lee's first Angry Little Girl, whose idea was conceived while Lee was in college. The character starred in a video short which was developed into a DVD with five Angry Episodes. The video was met with such acclaim, Lee was asked to put Kim on t-shirts, which quickly sold. When marketing the Angry Little Asian Girl, Lee needing to branch out to include more diverse characters in order to be profitable. Hence, Angry Little Girls were created and many of these characters can be found in her book, Fairy Tales for Angry Little Girls. Besides Kim, we are introduced to Deborah the disenchanted princess, Xyla the gloomy girl and Wanda who is super positive.

The book is presented in comic book form with primary colors and minimalistic detail to the drawings. The narrative is not extensive but the words are powerful and of course angry. The fairy tale retellings include "Snow Yellow and the Seven Short Men", "RapPunsWell" and "He's No Beauty in the Least." The heroine of each tale is not at all similar to her original counterpart. She questions, she doesn't sweetly comply and you wonder if they really do end up happily ever after.

Although it looks like a children's book on the outside, the inside is not meant for the young or easily offended. If you enjoy sarcasm, have a warped sense of humor or just want to read something concise but unconventional, check out Lena Lee's book Fairy Tales for Angry Little Girls. You can read more about the Angry Little Girls and browse through their comic strips on the website Angry Little Girls.

Submitted by Lori@Central


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Portrait of a Monster by Lisa Pulitzer

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On January 11, 2012, Joran van der Sloot pled guilty to the 2010 murder of Stephany Flores in Peru. Flores was reported missing five years to the day after Natalee Holloway, an Alabama teen, disappeared while on a high school trip to Aruba. Van der Sloot was the main suspect in Holloway's disappearance and presumed murder. This chilling book covers both cases and presents plenty of details about the events surrounding the two crimes, including the titular monster's deliberate and cagy actions following the brutal murder of Flores, a young woman he had met playing poker.

In spite of the depth of the coverage and the vivid descriptions of the night clubbing world in Peru and Aruba, the reader never really gets inside of van der Sloot's head, and the portrait suggested in the title is frustratingly incomplete. That may have to do with the ever-changing scenarios that the young man himself presents as the truth about what really happened to the two women. The chapters alternate over place and time, from Aruba in 2005 to Peru in 2010, and the narrative is gripping. Even fans of true crime literature who feel they've heard enough about these events due to the intense media coverage of both should find this title interesting. I know I did. Check catalog availability.

Submitted by Anna W @ MPL Central


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mindy.kaling.jpgYou may know Mindy Kaling as drama queen boy-crazy shopaholic Kelly Kapoor from the hit T.V. show "The Office," but did you know she is also a writer, executive producer, director and all around funny woman extraordinaire? It's true! In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Mindy (or Min as I like to imagine myself calling her) shares hilarious stories from childhood through her "Office" days. We may not all be able to relate to awkward meetings with Hollywood execs, but awkward childhood photos and Conan O'Brien obsessions? Yep.

Mindy's irreverent humor especially shines through when she explores the formation of her comedic voice, her journey to television stardom, and musings on the nature of friendship (all friends should read the Best Friend Rights and Responsibilities chapter. As Min would say, it's both your right AND your responsibility). A little self-effacing, a little chatty, and all kinds of awesome, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? is a welcome edition to works by smart, funny and successful women such as Tina Fey and Hilary Winston.

Submitted by Kristina @ MPL Central


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Molly Fox's Birthday by Deirdre Madden

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Molly Fox and the narrator are long time friends with associates and experiences in common. Molly is an Irish actress and the nameless narrator is an Irish playwright. Molly is in the States, and the playwright is staying in Molly's Dublin home to jump start work on a new play. Being in Molly's house, surrounded by things Molly loves, the author begins to appreciate the subtleties of her dear friend. Visitors to Molly's home on her birthday bring opportunities for conversations with Molly's friends, fans and brother and provide more insight into the characters that have been part of their shared and private lives. The friendship between Molly and the narrator's brother, a Catholic priest, is particularly engaging and of great surprise to the narrator. Molly is more of an enigma after learning more about her. This is a character-driven rather than plot-driven book and the roster is varied and interesting. Check catalog for availability.

Submitted by Chris @ Central


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City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare

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I could not read this series fast enough. I immediately fell in love with the two main characters Clary Fray and Jace, a Shadowhunter who tracks and kills demons. After a straightforward beginning the story gets both complicated and more interesting. The short of the story is that Valentine, a Shadowhunter gone evil, reappears and gathers an army to capture Idris, the secret and hidden capital of the Shadowhunters.

Now come the multitude of supporting characters - faeries, vampires, werewolves, angels, demons and more - are just as interesting as Jace and Clary. To mention a few: Simon, Clary's long time best friend and reluctant vampire, Jace's beautiful sister Isabelle and withdrawn brother Alec, Clary's clever mother Jocelyn, her mother's best friend a werewolf named Luke, and lastly Magnus a powerful warlock who plays a strong role in the outcome of this trilogy. You can see what I mean about the story becoming quite complicated. Also to be noted, the genealogy of Clary's family is a bit bizarre, but all is revealed at the end of the trilogy.

Book two is City Of Ashes. I couldn't wait for the final battle in book three City Of Glass. I'm happy to report that I was not disappointed.

Every once in awhile I pick up a book that is so overflowing with characters and places that I need to keep a list. This was one of those books, series actually. Now I wish I had kept that list, because the author recently released a fourth book that centers around Clary's werewolf friend Simon, City Of Fallen Angels.

Submitted by Valerie @ MPL Central



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Snow! Wind! Boswell moves Dervish event to Friday

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The new year is starting off with a great new novel from a local author! Ayad Akhtar will be at Boswell this Friday, January 13, 2012 at 7 p.m.

(The event was previously scheduled for Thursday, but we're in for some snow and strong winds, so it's been rescheduled.)

In this debut novel, American Dervish, Hayat, a young Muslim-American boy, must juggle cultural identity, faith and family history in suburban life. At a time when he is only just starting to come of age, his mother's mysterious sister comes to live with his family in America. The rift between his father and his aunt, a beautiful, enigmatic and intelligent, but also devout Muslim, brings tension to the home. Hayat, however, develops a relationship with his aunt that bridges him to a world he has never known, with tragic consequences.

Ayad Akhtar, an American-born, first-generation Pakistani-American, grew up in Milwaukee, continuing on to earn degrees from Brown and Columbia universities. An actor and screenwriter, his 2005 film The War Within was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and an International Press Academy Satellite Award.



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The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

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Lauren Olamina, the fifteen-year-old narrator of The Parable of the Sower, a classic science fiction novel, is unusual in two ways. She suffers from a neurological condition called hyperempathy, which causes her to feel the pain of others when she sees it; her father has taught her to hide her condition to keep others from using it against her, but as a child Lauren would bleed through her skin if she saw someone else bleeding. Lauren's other unusual characteristic comes out in the poetry that is scattered through her journal: she is the author--the discoverer, as she puts it--of a new religion, one she calls Earthseed, which teaches that God is Change.

There's plenty of change going on in Lauren's world, which is nearly as compelling a character as Lauren herself. The story opens in 2024, and though it was written nearly twenty years ago this vision of the future remains creepily plausible. Lauren lives in a walled neighborhood in southern California, a last bastion of seeming normality in a world where unemployment, poverty, global warming, and designer drugs have left the world outside a terrifying chaos. Water is more expensive than food, arson is on the rise, and the government is powerless to help anyone.

In the midst of it all, Lauren is trying to be ready for what comes next, but no one is ever really prepared when the big change comes.

Submitted by Mary Lou @ Washington Park


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Bay View Library Book Club Reads Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

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Bay View Library Book Club meets on the third Wednesday of every month from 6:30 - 7:30 pm at Bay View Library. New members are always welcome!


For January 18th, 2012 the selection is Freedom by Jonathan Franzen.

Future selections are:

February 15, 2012
Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell

March 21, 2012
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte




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Check out eBooks Today

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Did you know you can check out eBooks from the library for your Kindle, Nook or other mobile device? The Milwaukee County Federated Library System is pleased to offer OverDrive Downloadable Media, a FREE service offered through the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium. OverDrive allows you to select and download audiobooks, ebooks, videos or music to play directly on your computer or on supported portable devices. Click here to get started.



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Bizarre History by Joe Rhatigan

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History can be fun; really it can, especially when it is about outlandish events, inaccurate details and weird historical figures. Joe Rhatigan's newest book: Bizarre History: Strange Happenings, Stupid Misconceptions, Distorted Facts and Uncommon Events is just that. It is certainly not a history textbook. Instead it is a compact and fun book recounting historical facts in short passages from ancient time through the present. Some chapter titles are; Our Fearless Leaders, When Things Were Rotten and War Stories.

You can find out which presidents had crocodiles as pets in the White House and which First Lady once chased her husband out of the house with a butcher knife. There is an account of a French King who enjoyed animals so much he used pigs as musical instruments in such a way that PETA would be protesting at his palace. Besides snippets of strange facts, there are amusing drawings and quotes from notable figures about history. The section proving false some of the information we learned in History class was entertaining and educational. Betsy Ross did not design the American flag; Magellan did not circumnavigate the globe and others. The part relating stupid predictions is hilarious and surprisingly mind-opening. Rhatigan even includes a section of resources to verify his facts are fact.

Enjoy Bizarre History as an enjoyable read and don't be surprised if you learn something new about the old. Keep in mind that Napoleon Bonaparte stated, "History is a myth that men agree to believe".

Submitted by Lori@Central


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By George by Wesley Stace

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By George is truly told by two Georges. One George is the grandson of famous ventriloquist Echo Enders. This George delights in his performing family but struggles with finding truth and clarity in a family familiar with illusion and diversion. The second George is the dummy of Echo's son Joe. While it took Joe a while to find his voice as a ventriloquist, dummy George is exhilarated by performing and always eager to banter. This George is a witness to history as Joe performs for the troops during WWII. The two Georges inevitably meet and the human George is able to reconcile deceits with reality and also put his own mark on family history. It's a loving but unusual family and most of the characters are engaging. The information about performing in a past era adds interest too.

Submitted by Chris @ Central


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Which Book Next? January 25 from 11 am to 3pm

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Are you looking for a good book? Let us help! Wednesday, January 25th between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., leave a post on Milwaukee Public Library's Facebook wall. Simply tell us the last three books you've read and we'll suggest your next read(s). "Like" us on Facebook today and then join us and your friends on Wednesday, January 25th for MPL's second Which Book Next event.

Submitted by Jacki @ Central


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You Never Give Me Your Money by Peter Doggett

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Even if you're an absolute Beatles fanatic like I am, it may seem that there could be nothing more out there worth reading about them. After all, what else is there to say about the World's Greatest Band Ever (No Arguing)? Well, rock journalist Peter Doggett has found some new things to write about the old group in his book You Never Give Me Your Money. It primarily covers the post-breakup years, beginning just after the Sgt. Pepper period and leading up to the present day. Doggett follows the Fab Four as they navigate through solo music careers, various political and social causes, and personal relationships. He also describes in great detail the sticky financial and managerial messes that drove wedges among them personally and ultimately prevented any possible reunion. He dispels popular rumors about them (No, neither Yoko nor Linda broke them up) while dangling other tantalizing possibilities in front of us (would John and Paul have worked together again in New Orleans in 1975 if Yoko hadn't intervened?) Doggett's evenhanded and thoughtful book is a great way for Beatles fans to catch up on their heroes and a worthy addition to the band's ever-growing bibliography. Yeah Yeah Yeah!

Submitted by Brett R. @ Central


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East Library Book Club meets on the third Tuesday of every month from 7:00 - 8:00 pm at East library. New members are always welcome!


Future selections are:

February 21, 2012
Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff

March 20, 2012
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee




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This page is an archive of entries from January 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2011 is the previous archive.

February 2012 is the next archive.

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