September 2010 Archives

Are you a genius?

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BrainThis week the MacArthur Foundation announced its Fellows Program winners. These awards, often referred to as "genius" grants, come with a $500,000 stipend that can be used however the winner chooses. The primary purpose of the MacArthur Fellows Program is "to enable recipients to exercise their own creative instincts for the benefit of human society."

There are 23 fellows this year including an indigenous language preservationist, a stone carver, a fiction writer, an author/screenwriter/producer and a high school physics teacher. The winners received phone calls in the past two weeks telling them they were selected. Most didn't even know they were under consideration.

Check out the MacArthur Foundation Website where you can watch videos about each winner and learn more about the program. And, yes, you should take this as an invitation to be creative in your own daily endeavors. You never know who's watching.


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Feliz cumpleaños to Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

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Don Quixote and Sancho.jpgMiguel de Cervantes Saavedra, considered the preminent writer in Spanish literature and one of the greatest authors in any language, was born on or about September 29, 1547. His life experiences, which ranged from being an avid reader and a devoted soldier to being captured and enslaved by pirates, influenced his literary works, including his masterpiece, Don Quixote. The novel's memorable title character is so bedazzled by tales of romantic chivalry that he sets off to save the world, famously tilting at windmills, which he believes to be giants. The book inspired the Tony Award winning musical Man of La Mancha, which in turn became a movie by the same title.


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October Book Clubs

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Check out what our neighborhood library book clubs are reading in October and join the discussion!

Tippecanoe Library

Wednesday, October 13 from 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Song Yet Sung by James McBride


Song Yet Sung

East Library

Tuesday, October 19 at 7:00 p.m.
Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama


Dreams from My Father


Bay View Library

Wednesday, October 20 from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen


Water for Elephants


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Comic Books Are Not Just For Kids Anymore

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V for Vendatta jacket.jpg If you're over the age of 18 and enjoy reading comic books and graphic novels from publishers like Vertigo and Fantagraphics, come to a meeting of Not Just for Kids Anymore, The Washington Park Comic Book & Graphic Novel Book Club. Books that will be read in this group are the equivalent of "Rated R" movies and are not appropriate for children. Intended for mature readers (18+).

Date: 10/12/2010
Start Time: 6:45 PM
End Time: 7:45 PM
Library: Washington Park
This month's selection is V for Vendetta by Alan Moore & David Lloyd.
Just in time for the 5th of November!


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Join the After-School Club!

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Are you looking for enriching after school activities for your child or teen? The After-School Club can help! All branch libraries in the city of Milwaukee host after school activities such as crafts, games, arts, dramatic play, and more! The After-School Club offers separate session times for children and teens. Kids and teens can hang out with friends while engaging in fun activities. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the library at (414) 286-3011.



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Everyone Loves A Contest

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I love contests, so when I heard about Challenge.gov I was ecstatic. The idea behind this Website is that U.S. government agencies post challenges and the public provides solutions. Examples of current challenges include creating nutritious school lunch recipes, composing wake-up songs for NASA astronauts, and developing digital forensic investigative tools, techniques, and methodologies. There are also often prizes for solving challenges.


Challenge.gov
I've had some problems accessing the site, but hopefully they'll get all the bugs worked out soon. From what I've seen I think it'll be worth the wait. Now you'll have to excuse me while I try to help NASA find new ways for astronauts to do their laundry in space.


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Nathan Hale's Only Regret

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Nathan Hale.gifOn September 22, 1776, Revolutionary War patriot Nathan Hale was hanged by the British as an American spy. He was just 21 years old. This teacher turned soldier volunteered when General George Washington asked for a man to pass through British lines to obtain information on the Red Coats' position. Hale was captured and sentenced to die. Tradition has it that his stirring final words were "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." These words and his conduct have made him one of America's most memorable heroes. To learn more about him, check out Nathan Hale: The Life and Death of America's First Spy.



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Milwaukee Artists in the 1930s

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Join MPL on Saturday, October 9th at 2:00 p.m. in the Krug Rare Books Room for Paper, Pencil, Portrait: Milwaukee Artists in the 1930s, the latest program in the Richard E. and Lucile Krug Rare Books Room Educational Series.

During the hard times of the Great Depression, a close-knit community of Milwaukee artists struggled to make ends meet while continuing to create. Throughout the 1930s they forged a camaraderie that is reflected in a group of 39 portraits owned by the Library. Sketches were done by artists such as Kendrick Bell, Ruth Grotenrath, Fred Logan, Alfred Sessler, Schomer Lichtner, and Gerrit Sinclair. Some of the artists portrayed in the sketches include Robert von Neumann, Gustave Moeller, and Paul Clemens.

Graeme Reid, Assistant Director of the Museum of Wisconsin Art, will discuss this group of artists and the impact they had in the arts.

Seating is limited. Please call the Art, Music & Recreation Department at (414) 286-3071 to register.



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Come to Villard Library and explore various styles of art with artist Jeanette Wright-Claus. This six-week, hands-on course will cover abstraction to realism. Learn about famous artists and discover the artist in you.

Fridays, October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
and November 5, 3-4:30 p.m.

Attendee must be between the ages of 6 Years and 14 Years old.

Registration required; call 286-3011 to register.


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The Bloody Battle of Antietam

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Battle of Antietam.pngA couple of years ago, on a road trip to Washington D.C., my husband, son and I more or less stumbled upon the site of the Civil War's Battle of Antietam and found ourselves spending several memorable hours walking the grounds. September 17th marks the anniversary of that battle, the bloodiest in American history, during which there were over 20,000 casualties. This serendipitous sidetrip was quite stirring, and while I don't necessarily see myself embarking on a Civil "Wargasm" tour of battlefields as described in Tony Horowitz's Confederates in the Attic, I was interested to see that the Milwaukee Public Library has many books about battlefields of the War between the States, including The Complete Civil War Road Trip Guide, which includes ten weekend tours and more than 400 sites, from A(ntietam) to Z(agonyi's Charge). For additonal information about Antietem National Battlefield you can also check out the website of the U.S. National Park Service.



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What does MCFLS mean?

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Have you ever gone to Milwaukee Public Library's catalog, CountyCat, and noticed at the top that it says Milwaukee County Federated Library System? If so, you may have wondered what this system is and how it differs from the Milwaukee Public Library. Milwaukee County Federated Library System logoThe whole idea behind library systems is that through working together and sharing services and materials all of the libraries that are part of the system can better serve their users. For example, if you are a resident of Milwaukee you have access to materials and services of 27 libraries, rather than just the 13 Milwaukee libraries. This is because the public libraries in Milwaukee and the other public libraries in Milwaukee County are part of the Milwaukee County Federated Library System (also known as MCFLS).

If you use library databases you also may have noticed that some of them are available only in the library while others offer remote access. Being part of MCFLS helps lower the cost of these databases, but the Milwaukee Public Library and the other Milwaukee County public libraries still have to pay for their own databases. This means when you try to use the library's databases you are limited to what your municipality has purchased access to. Take a look at Free Subscription Databases by Residence to find out the available resources paid for by your library.

For more information, check out the MCFLS Website, MPL Facts, Figures, and Policies and Library History.


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Earth Poets & Musicians @ MPL

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Celebrate the Autumn Equinox with poetry and song!

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(In the photo from left: Harvey Taylor, Louisa Loveridge Gallas, Jahmes Tony Finlayson, Suzanne Rosenblatt, Jeff Poniewaz and Holly Haebig)

On Thursday, September 23rd at 7:00 p.m. in the Loos Room of Central Library's Centennial Hall, Earth Poets and Musicians will deliver an eco-empowering performance. Since 1988 the Earth Poets have been performing together in praise and defense of the natural world. With the addition in the past decade of two singer-musicians, they have added music and song to their celebration of our planet.

This event is free and open to the public. It is part of the Language of Conservation program series. The Language of Conservation is an initiative of Poets House in partnership with the Milwaukee County Zoo and Milwaukee Public Library, made possible by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.


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"The Star Spangled Banner" is penned.

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U.S. flag being hung up.jpg On September 13 of 1814, Francis Scott Key wrote a poem to commemorate the sight of a lone U.S. flag he witnessed flying over Fort McHenry while it was under attack by the British during the War of 1812. Francis Scott Key had a high personal stake in the successful defense of Fort McHenry. He had been able to negotiate the release of his friend Dr. William Beanes from British captivity in nearby Baltimore. However, they were not allowed to leave until after the attack on Fort McHenry had failed. The resulting poem was originally called "The Defence of Fort McHenry" and it was later set to the music of a popular English drinking tune called "To Anacreon in Heaven" by composer John Stafford Smith. It was printed in newspapers and eventually people began to refer to it as "The Star Spangled Banner." It was adopted as the U.S. national anthem in 1931.


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OctopusI have found Merriam-Webster.com to be a great place to look up definitions of words and to listen to proper pronunciations. And recently, thanks to the advice of a colleague (thank you, Jacki!), I discovered Merriam-Webster offers even more online. Here's a list of other helpful features you can find on Merriam-Webster's Website:

• Videos - Wondering what the plural of octopus is? How about the difference between rein and reign? Merriam-Webster offers clear, concise videos on a variety of topics (and they're interesting to watch!).

• Trend Watch - If you want to learn about words that have been top lookups recently on Merriam-Webster.com check out their Trend Watch page. For example, on August 11 one of the top lookups was rancor thanks to the jurors in the trial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. They used it in their note to the judge.

• Top 10 Lists - For the curious among us, Merriam-Webster offers Top 10 Lists that are helpful, Top 10 Commonly Confused Words, and fun, Words For Things You Didn't Know Have Names.

• New Words & Slang - This is Merriam-Webster's collection of user-submitted words. It's where words go before they make it into the dictionary.

So whether you simply love words, want to improve your grammar and spelling, or need to submit a word for dictionary consideration, Merriam-Webster.com has something for you.


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Hurricanes

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Hurricane Galveston.jpgHurricane season is here. While weather reports follow the path of Earl, we remember five years ago when Katrina wreaked havoc in the Atlantic region, costing at least 1,836 people their lives as well as resulting in property damage estimated at $81 billion.

On September 8, 1900, the most deadly hurricane in U.S. history tore through Galveston, Texas, killing between 6,000 and 8,000 people. To learn more about this spectacular disaster, check out Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson.



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dialog_bubble2.jpgForest Home Library is hosting an English Conversation Circle on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. running from September 15th through December 15th.

It is a great opportunity to practice basic conversational skills, learn English vocabulary and American expressions in a small group led by a native English speaker.

Circulo de conversación en ingles en la Biblioteca de Forest Home. Practica sus habilidades básicas de conversación, aprender vocabulario en ingles y expresiones americanas en un grupo pequeño guiado por un hablante nativo de ingles.


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Looking for Inspiration?

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Summer is almost over. The new school year is here. The Labor Day weekend will be here and gone before we know it. I can certainly use a boost. How about you?


Ted Logo


A Website I often turn to when I need some inspiration (or education or a cure for boredom) is Ted.com. TED (it stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a small nonprofit organization that is "devoted to ideas worth spreading." Since 1984 they've hosted invitation-only conferences where some of the world's most fascinating people are challenged to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Fortunately for those of us not lucky enough to receive invites, TED makes these talks (called TEDTalks) available for free.

You can search over 700 TEDTalks and other performances TED calls Best of the Web. My favorite TedTalks include JJ. Abrams' Mystery Box and Malcolm Gladwell on Spaghetti Sauce. Some of the great performances they offer are the Stanford commencement speech Steve Jobs gave on How to Live Before You Die and Randy Pausch's Carnegie Mellon talk about Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.

Take a look for yourself (a good place to start is the Top 10 TedTalks). I bet you'll find something to take your mind off of the end of summer. Well, for 18 minutes anyway.


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Two new digital collections

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The Milwaukee Public Library proudly presents its two latest digital collections: the Horace Seaman Wisconsin Infantry collection and the Milwaukee County Marriage Certificates.4th Wisconsin Infantry Officers
The Horace Seaman Wisconsin Infantry collection is comprised of 127 images from Colonel Horace M. Seaman. Most of the photos are of the 3rd and 4th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry units that served in the Spanish-American War. A number of the photos are from Colonel Seaman's service in the Wisconsin National Guard. A few personal photos of Colonel Seaman's father are also included.

A Milwaukee County marriage certificate
Milwaukee County Marriage Certificates is a collection of 20,000 marriage records and certificates from Milwaukee for the years 1822 through 1876. The records were discovered in the 1960s in a box at the Milwaukee County Courthouse. The box also included some miscellaneous documents pertaining to the marriage such as permission to marry slips, authorizations, and land deeds. Many of these documents were not in very good condition. Research by the Milwaukee County Genealogical Society (MCGS) indicates that most of these certificates are not recorded at the Milwaukee County Courthouse. Some of the records appear in the Wisconsin Pre-1907 Marriage Index and some do not, as such these records are a significant addition to Milwaukee genealogy resources.

In 1999 the MCGS arranged to have the records refilmed, adding location citations. In 2000 MCGS volunteers created alphabetical indexes for bride and for groom. Roger Cobb with Lois Molitor acted as project coordinators. Over 42,000 names were put into the database that produced the indexes. Unfortunately, the original copies that were filmed in 1966 have vanished. In 2009 the microfilm copy of the marriage certificates was digitized. The digital images of the certificated were combined with the index created by the MCGS to produce this digital collection.


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This page is an archive of entries from September 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

August 2010 is the previous archive.

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