March 2011 Archives

Happy Birthday, Eiffel Tower!

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Construction on the Eiffel Tower was completed 122 years ago today. It took 2 years, 2 months and 5 days to build and was only expected to last for 20 years. The Eiffel Tower still stands today and has almost 7 million visitors annually.

Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower has a great website where they offer a lot more than tools to plan your visit. You can also see galleries with photos and videos, play games and download the Eiffel Tower app.


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Aldo Leopold Book Discussion at Central Library

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Join us at the Central Library Krug Rare Books Room for a book discussion on Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac.This collection of essays has informed and changed the environmental movement and stimulated a widespread interest in ecology as a science. Join us for a discussion of Leopold's work as well as our environment in general. A responsible relationship between people and the land they inhabit becomes more important everyday. What ideas do you have to inspire change?

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Tuesday, April 5th from 6-7 p.m.
Central Library Krug Rare Books Room
814 W. Wisconsin Ave.

This event is a Language of Conservation Program. 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.


Photo curtesy of the Aldo Leopold Foundation




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MPL has a new database to sample!

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Milwaukee residents can enjoy a six month trial of the database Access Video powered by Films on Demand. This database provides streaming for educational videos on various topics. Teachers, do it your selfers, and those of you who are just plain curious can enjoy content on the topics of Home & Family, Health & Wellness, Career Planning & Resources, Trades & Technical Skills, Science, Math & Technology, Social Sciences, History, Language, Speech & Literature, Visual & Performing Arts, Business & Economics, Archival Films & Newsreels, Crime & Law. To find the link to this database, you can click on the categories of Education, Library Databases, Library Databases for Remote Use and Movies Radio & TV. Make sure you try it soon because the trial expires September 16th, 2011.


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William Powell Jones @ MPL

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William_P_Jones.jpgOn Tuesday, March 29 at 7:00 p.m. in Centennial Hall, William Powell Jones will be the featured speaker for the fourth Frank P. Zeidler Memorial Lecture. Jones is the author of the award winning book The tribe of Black Ulysses : African American lumber workers in the Jim Crow south, and professor at UW-Madison in the history department. He will discuss the building of the labor movement among workers in the public and private sectors, the current struggle, and its role in defending the existence of a middle class in the United States. Professor Jones has participated in the movement to protect the labor rights of tens of thousands of public employees in Wisconsin. The doors will open at 6:30 for this event. For more information, call (414)286-3011.



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Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

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Exxon ValdezTwenty-two years ago today the Exxon Valdez oil tanker struck the Bligh Reef and dumped 11 million gallons of oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound. The spill damaged more than 1,300 miles of shoreline, killed hundreds of thousands of birds and marine animals and devastated the livelihoods of people in the area. Oil from the Exxon Valdez still affects wildlife today and there have been numerous long-term economic effects to the region.

To find out more about the Exxon Valdez oil spill the Milwaukee Public Library offers Internet resources and books. Additionally, new resources have been added to our collection about the more recent BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


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"Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death"

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Patrick Henry.jpgOn March 23, 1775, orator and statesman Patrick Henry gave a rousing speech to the Virginia Provincial Convention, urging that the Virginia militia be armed for defense of the colony against England. The text of the speech was not published until 17 years after Henry's death, leading to some historical uncertainty as to the exact words he uttered, but those present at the time reported hearing "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" These words have taken their place among some of the most memorable in American history.



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flood.pngWith the arrival of Spring comes an increased risk of flooding for many areas in the United States. Stay prepared with for spring flooding with some advice from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) blog, via USA.gov:

  • Make a plan - Your family may not be together when a flood hits, so it's important to know how you will contact one another, how you will meet up in a safe place and what you will do in case of an emergency. Not sure where to start? Ready.gov has a great checklist for making your family emergency plan.
  • Get a kit - An emergency kit can be your life line after an emergency. It should sustain yourself and your family for up to three days. For flood prone areas, keeping your important documents in a sealed, airtight container will keep them safe from water damage. See other tips on getting your emergency kit in tip-top shape.
  • Know your risk - One of the most important steps of being prepared is to find out if your home is at risk for flooding. After you know your risk, check out this tool to estimate the financial impact a flood could have your home.
  • Protect your property - A final step to make sure you're prepared for flooding is to purchase flood insurance. Unfortunately, most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. Talk to your insurance provider about your policy and consider flood insurance coverage.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services also has a comprehensive site with information on mold, drinking water safety, utility service interuption and more. Check out their Flooding and Safety page for additional useful preparedness tips.


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Learn How to Grow Your Own Groceries!

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Hrushikesh_kulkarni_vegetables.jpgThis backyard gardening course will teach you how to design, plant and care for a productive vegetable garden. By growing food at home, individuals and families save money, eat healthier and avoid commercial food safety scares. Space is limited. Please call 286-3011 to register.

Location: Zablocki
Date: April 2nd, 2011
Time: 10am to noon

Location: Capitol
Date: April 20th, 2011
Time: 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.


Teen Video Game Tournament @ Central Library

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On Saturday, March 26 at 1:00 p.m., the Teen Advisory Board is hosting a Super Smash Brothers Video Game Tournament and Video Game dance-off at the Central Library. Show off your gaming skills and your moves! Prizes will be awarded to the top three players in each tournament. In order to be eligible for prizes, contestants must register. Registration and open play will occur for the first 30 minutes of the event. This event is sponsored by the Helen Bader Foundation and Best Buy.

For more information, call (414)286-3011.



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Happy Saint Patrick's Day

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Looking for some Irish recipes to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day? Try this one from the March 15, 1979 edition of the Milwaukee Sentinel or access the full article for more recipes, including Corned Beef, Soda Bread, Blarney Puffs and Colcannon.

Rainbow Leprechaun
Irish Apple Slices

1 egg yolk
1 cup sugar plus 1 tablespoon
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup margarine
1 cup corn flake crumbs
2 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 to 10 apples

Frosting:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg white beaten until stiff

To make dough, add flour, salt, margarine and one tablespoon sugar. Mix egg yolk with milk and add to dough. Roll out half of dough, spread on 10 by 15 inch jelly roll pan. Spread corn flake crumbs over dough. Slice apples with one cup sugar and cinnamon and mix together. Spread over dough and corn flakes. Roll out other half of dough and cover apple mixture. Bake at 350 degrees one hour.

To make frosting, mix ingredients together and pour over apple slices when completely cool.


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The Scarlet Letter

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Scarlet Letter.jpgOn March 16, 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter was published. This masterpiece of American literature, like many other of Hawthorne's works, is set in the Puritan New England of the 17th century, a time period which haunted the author. (He had good reason to be strongly influenced by that time period, as one of his forefathers, John Hathorne, was a judge during the Salem witchcraft trials.) The story of Hester Prynne, who conceives a child during an adulterous affair and must wear a scarlet letter "A" on her gown as a badge of sin, has left a lasting mark on popular culture, inspiring operas, songs, and movies, including the 2010 film Easy A, in which a straight arrow high school girl sees her life parallelling Hester Prynne's after a little white lie about losing her virginity gets out.


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"The Ides of March Are Come"

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On March 15, 44 B.C. Gaius Julius Caesar was assassinated in the Roman Senate by a group of senators led by Gaius Cassius Longinus and Marcus Junius Brutus. The "liberators", as the senators called themselves, felt they were saving the Roman Republic from the grip of tyranny by removing Caesar from power.

Cesar-sa_mort.jpg One of the most famous accounts of the assassination is Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar. Among the most oft-quoted of the play's lines are those spoken by a soothsayer warning Caesar of the impending attempt on his life: "Beware the Ides of March" - the Ides referring to the 15th of the month according to the Roman calendar.

Caesar is regarded as one of the greatest historical figures in the Western world. Read more about his life and legacy in Philip Freeman's Julius Caesar, or one of the many other biographies available at the library. For a modern retelling of Caesar's death, check out Richard Appignanesi's graphic novel Julius Caesar. If you're a fan of Shakespeare's play then you'll enjoy browsing through the First Folio edition of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar available digitally through Internet Shakespeare Editions.

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College and Scholarships 101

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Not sure how to get your college journey started? Want to stand out in your college or scholarship application? Don't know the difference between the ACT, SAT, IB and Ap? How can you prepare for college before you even get to high school? COMPASS Guide's trained advisers will answer these questions and more. This program is available at multiple locations, and no registration is required. Have a look at our calendar to see which session works best for you.


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Teen Volunteer Opportunity @KIDSfest

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Are you a teen looking for a fun volunteer opportunity? Volunteer for the Milwaukee Public Library at KIDSfest! Help the library promote the summer reading and other library programs while making crafts in a fun, energetic environment. Not only will you be volunteering for Milwaukee Public Library, but you will also be particpating in Global Youth Service Day!

KIDSfest is held at the State Fair Park in West Allis on April 16 and 17 from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. If you are interested, contact David Sikora at (414) 286-3076 and ask how you can volunteer at KIDSfest.



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Spring Forward

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Blue Clock
It may not feel like spring just yet, but Daylight Saving Time begins this weekend. Don't forget to spring your clocks forward 1 hour this Sunday, March 13 at 2 a.m. or before you go to bed Saturday night.

For more information on Daylight Saving Time take a look at this information from NASA.


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Funny - She Doesn't Look 52!

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Barbie.jpgWhen the Barbie doll first went on display on March 9, 1959 at the American Toy Fair in New York City, she was the first mass-produced toy doll in the United States to sport an adult figure and features. Over the years, Barbie has been wildly popular, but she has garnered her share of controversy. Although fans appreciate that the doll is portrayed as having various careers from doctor to astronaut, her detractors have said that her rather unrealistic physique can contribute to negative body image in young girls. Whatever one's opinion, there's no denying Barbie's popularity, since more than 800 million of the dolls have been sold around the world.


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Google's New Recipe Search Tool

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Finding the right recipe is a breeze with Google's new recipe search feature, Recipe View. With Recipe View you can narrow any search to recipes by clicking on the Recipe toolbar on the left side of Google's search screen. You can also filter results by ingredients, cook time, and calories all from a single screen. Try searching for specific recipes ("Apple cobbler"), individual ingredients ("banana") or more open ended terms like "birthday." Bon appetit!
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Receipe View was launched February 24, 2011 and is currently available in the U.S. and Japan.


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Used Book Sale This Weekend!

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Come to the Bookseller in Central Library, and take advantage of our spring cleaning sale. Books will be half off and all proceeds will benefit the library. While you're there, be sure to have some coffee and a treat from the M cafe. Check out their menu ahead of time.

Location: Central Library Bookseller
Date: March 12th
Time: 9am - 4pm



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Bypass Automated Operators

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TelephoneDo you hate calling customer service lines and getting automated operators? If so, you may want to check out GetHuman.com. This website offers phone numbers and instructions on how to get a real person when calling over 2,200 customer service lines. You can either search for a specific company or browse their A to Z list. The site also provides estimated wait times and callers can rate their success when using the recommended tips.


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Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

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Dr. Seuss.pngTheodor Geisel was an American writer and illustrator who went on to great fame and fortune under the pen name Dr. Seuss. He was born on March 2, 1904 and, in spite of having recieved no formal art training, he captivated children and adults alike with his nonsensical rhymes, fantastical drawings and clever stories.

Come to Central Library on March 5 to celebrate the 107th birthday of Dr. Seuss! Join Browser the library lion and the Cat in the Hat for music, games and fun! Reel in a good time at the fish pond, meet REAL turtles and take part in silly stories.
Cookie hats will be available to decorate and eat, and have your face painted. Chris Fascione will provide live entertainment at 10:00 a.m. and noon, while Kidsplay will play at 11:00 a.m.
The fun begins at 10:00 a.m. and last until 1:00 p.m.

The celebration continues throughout the month at the neighborhood libraries!

Atkinson - featuring Fox and Branch
Wednesday, March 9, 6-6:45 p.m.

Bay View - featuring Kidsplay
Wednesday, March 9, 6:30-7:15 p.m.

Capitol - featuring Kidsplay
Monday, March 14, 6-6:45 p.m.

Center Street - featuring LaBak the Magician
Saturday, March 19, 2-2:45 p.m.

East - featuring LaBak the Magician
Monday, March 14, 6:30-7:15 p.m.

Forest Home - featuring LaBak the Magician
Tuesday, March 15, 6-6:45 p.m.

Martin Luther King - featuring LaBak the Magician
Wednesday, March 9, 6-6:45 p.m.

Mill Road - featuring Fox and Branch
Monday, March 7, 4-4:45 p.m.

Tippecanoe - featuring Kidsplay
Wednesday, March 16, 6:30-7:15 p.m.

Villard Avenue - featuring LaBak the Magician
Tuesday, March 8, 5:30-6:15 p.m.

Washington Park - featuring Kidsplay
Tuesday, March 8, 6-6:45 p.m.

Zablocki - featuring LaBak the Magician
Saturday, March 12, 1-1:45 p.m.



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The Best Sites for Free eBooks

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Mis ebooks, o photo © 2008 Javier Candeira
The holidays are over and you finally have the new eReader you've always wanted. What next? Free ebooks of course! There are thousands of free ebooks just a mouse click away. Here are some of the best sites to find your next great read.

ManyBooks.net

  • Search for books by title, author, genre, and language. The site is well organized and easy to navigate. Look through recent reviews, browse the New Titles section, and check out the Special Collections page. Use the Help page to find instructions on how to download titles for your particular eReader.
Project Gutenburg
  • Project Gutenburg is the grandfather of all free ebook providers. It has more than 34,000 books (mostly public domain texts) and all ebooks on their site can be "freely downloaded: choose between ePub, Kindle, HTML and simple text formats." You can search by topic, top downloads and titles, recently added, and by title word(s) and author. Check out the "How To" page for answers to commonly asked questions.
Google Books
  • Google Books has free ebooks from the public domain. To search for free electronic books, select "Full View Only" in the Advanced Book Search form (this filters out books for purchase and preview only texts.) Google's Book Help- Read has helpful information on supported eReaders and how to manage your ebooks.
Memoware
  • This is a great site to browse with tons of ebooks available to read on your PDA and PC. Use the Memoware eBook Primer to gain familiarity with the formats available on the site.
Of course, don't forget about the ultimate site for the newest and most popular ebooks: your library! Anyone with a valid Milwaukee County Library card has access to OverDrive Downloadable Media. Visit the Digital Download Center for a guided tour and start downloading today!


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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from March 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

February 2011 is the previous archive.

April 2011 is the next archive.

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