January is National Mentoring Month (NMM). This program was started in 2002 to emphasis the importance of being a mentor in your community. Three organizations worked together to make this happen, the Harvard School of Public Health, MENTOR and the Corporation for National Community Service. You can find out more by going to the NMM web site.
On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, a massive earthquake struck Haiti at 4:53 PM, providing yet another blow to the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
During this time of catastrophic devastation and loss of life, people around the world are holding the citizens of Haiti in their thoughts.
We all know that it is important to keep both your body and your mind sharp at any age. Exercising the brain can actually improve memory function, increase awareness, and provide a better overall sense of wellness. But did you know about some of the interesting ways you can sharpen your mind at Darien Library?
Here are a few ideas to try:
Flickr photo (above) courtesy of RavenCore17.
Looking for information on Population, Economic , and Geographic data then "Commercial Atlas & Marketing Guide" is the book for you. Located on the 2nd floor at 912 Map. Below is a sampling of the amazing lists available which also includes colorful maps.
*Areas NECMAs (New England County) by Population, Income, & Sales.
*Business Manufactures by State.
*Retail Sales by State.
*47 Major Trading Areas by Population, Income & Sales.
*Population by MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area).
* Population by CBSAs (Core Based Statistical Areas)
Seneca wrote "veritas odit moras"-- literally, "truth hates delay." It is a fitting motto for Arts & Letters Daily, a wonderful website filled with links to dozens of magazines, book reviews, blogs-- in short, one-stop shopping for people with insatiable curiosity. While thoughtful, erudite essays are only a click away, the list of diversions will leave you howling (be sure not to miss Dennis Dutton's Smoke-Free Carmen.) And if you really have time to spare, scroll all the way down to the bottom and check out the list of classics. Thought provoking essays from years past are a window into the prevailing zeitgeist.
Back in 1947, area codes were introduced in North America and on this date in 1951, the very first long distance call without operator assistance was completed (the mayor of Englewood, New Jersey called the mayor of Alameda, California). Today we take area codes and direct dialing for granted...but in Connecticut, that's all about to change.
Starting this Saturday, November 14, two new area codes are being overlaid in both the 203 and 860 regions. That means even if you're making a local call, you have to include the area code. Nobody's phone number is changing, no new charges for local calls will go into effect, but we'll all have to re-program speed dials, fax machines, alarm systems, call forwarding settings, and everywhere else our numbers are embedded. Think of it as Y203K...no bunkers or canned goods necessary.
So if you're trying to reach us, don't forget to add the 203 area code no matter where you're calling from, and we'll all avoid telephone-related hang-ups!
Picture from Flickr user mag3737.
It's been less than a year, but memories of our old library building are starting to fade, and we're already taking all of the new features and better qualities of this building for granted. One of the most popular new features has been private study rooms...just take a look at these "before" and "after" pictures to see the difference!
Our private study rooms are situated throughout the Library and can accommodate between one and eight people. There are two in the Power Library on the Lower Level, one on the Second Floor, and four on the Mezzanine. All are free and available either by reservation or walk-in request. Full details are here, and advance reservations (if you live or work in Darien, or are a Friend of the Library at the $300 level or higher) can be made here. Make our study rooms your home-away-from-home today!
Galileo is one of history's most famous scientists. His contributions to astronomy, physics and humanity's understanding of the universe are peerless. August marks the 400th anniversary of his eight-powered telescope that led to a twenty-powered telescope and his discovery that the surface of the moon is not, as had previously been thought, completely smooth.
In honor of his August telescopic achievements, Slate.com has a short article explaining why we refer to him by his first name only. Renaissance Italy was not a hotbed of name standardization, and surnames were fluid and inconsistently used. Galileo and Galilei were both surnames used in his family, making his name akin to "William Williams." The name Galileo, then as now, was unusual enough to stand on its own as an identifying mark.
This summer has not been an easy one for home gardeners. Usually August is the time when you feast on fresh peppers, cukes and beans from the garden, dig up zucchini bread recipes for squash that has grown to the size of a small child, and bite into fresh tomatoes of all colors and sizes. Not so this year. The long, wet days of May, June and July turned out to be ideal for an outbreak of the fungus-like oomycete pathogen Phytophthora infestans, literally translated from the Greek as "plant killer" but commonly referred to as Late Blight. Symptoms include brown spots on leaves, rotting fruit, and a fuzzy spore-like coating. It only attacks members of the Solanaceae family, but that includes two garden favorites: tomatoes and potatoes. If you suspect your garden may be infected, the experts at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station recommend removing the entire plant and placing it in a plastic bag-- do not compost it!
If this all sound vaguely familiar, it is: Phytophthora infestans was responsible for the great Potato Famine in Ireland in the 1840s. Much has been written about the famine and the Irish diaspora, both fact and fiction, and Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Keneally's The Great Shame is one of the best. A monumental work, it tells the story of the Irish people who fled the famine and of their tragedy, survival, and ultimately triumph in the new world. Don't let the size of it put you off; Keneally's prose is as engaging as a good novel.
Flickr photo by martine266
Forty-five years ago today, Charlie Wilson, one of the masterminds of the Great Train Robbery, broke out of prison. He spent the next four years of his life on the run from the law. Most of the stolen money was never recovered.
True crime is a popular genre that offers "reads like a novel" appeal with the added bonus of being non-fiction. What happens to the baddies from those stories after the heroes ride off into the sunset? Enter the prison story.
More interesting, perhaps, are the stories of those who escape. Like Charlie Wilson, the people who manage to break out of prison or otherwise evade the law always fascinate. Stories of daring escapes from Alcatraz or Wild West gunmen prove interesting long after their ferocious protagonists are gone.