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Cesaria Evora: Miss Perfumado

by on August 1st, 2016
Cesaria Evora: Miss Perfumado Cover Image

My last World Music blog post about Orchestra Baobab centered on Dakar, Senegal.  From there it’s a short flight over to Cape Verde, the home of Cesaria Evora, “The Barefoot Diva”.  We have a CD of Cesaria in our collection called Miss Perfumado which I think you will love.

Map of the relationship of Daka, Senegal to Cape Verde

From Senegal, we move to Cape Verde to sample more World Music from our collection.

Many of the songs on this album are in the Cape Verdean style of Morna.

As it’s name implies, [Morna is] mournful music–an expression of loss and nostalgia, or sodade, an emotion frequently brought on by the emigration that is a basic fact of life in Cape Verde. (From Anastasia Tsioulcas in the liner notes of Miss Perfumado – 1991 Lusafrica)

My favorite track is called Sodade, which roughly translates to “longing” and can both describe the feeling of loss of love and the longing for home.  To me the music and the lyrics remind me more of Portugal than West Africa but it undeniably represents a creole-like mixture of both.   There is a beautiful dynamic between Cesaria’s rich warm voice and the higher pitched cavaquinho.  Unfortunately, I’ve not yet had the pleasure of visiting Cape Verde, but this music seems to capture the beauty and warmth in my imagination of what these islands must be like.  Check it out.

Clip of Sodade from Miss Perfumado

Reeling in some new podcasts

by on July 29th, 2016

PodcastsPhoto2Lots of my library coworkers love podcasts, so we put up a display of our favorites this summer.  (If you missed it, the full list is at the bottom.)  I tried and thoroughly enjoyed three of the shows:

The Dollop: The Dollop is two comedians discussing a topic or person from American History. One guy, Dave Anthony reads about a topic or person from American History, and the other guy, Gareth Reynolds, has no idea what the topic will be about each episode, so he’s consistently shocked or confused. It’s hilarious and terrible all at once. (Recommended by Rachael)  I agree – the episodes about “America’s Worst Lottery Winner” and “The Jones County Deserters” were both appallingly funny.

Judge John Hodgman: Do you ever feel you need someone to rule on life disputes with your spouse, co-workers, or friends to tell you who’s right? “Judge” and comedian John Hodgman does just that. (Recommended by Christina)  The episode titles alone are entertaining:  “Do You Want to Hoard Some Snowglobes?” and “Wrecks Libris.”

No Such Thing as a Fish: From the team behind long running British panel show QI (Quite Interesting) comes No Such Thing as a Fish. Every episode, four of the QI fact-checkers (or “elves” as they are called) scour the internet to present to you their four favorite humorous or interesting facts of the week.  (Recommended by Kristin)  I love QI — hosted by Stephen Fry and available on YouTube — and I’m glad to have even more of their random, bizarre facts.

Our full list of recommendations:

  • 99% Invisible
  • The Allusionist
  • Answer Me This
  • BBC The Conversation
  • The Bugle
  • Criminal
  • The Dollop
  • How Did This Get Made
  • Judge John Hodgman
  • The Last Podcast on the Left
  • Mortified
  • Myths and Legends
  • No Such Thing as a Fish
  • On the Media
  • Radiolab
  • Reply All
  • School of Movies
  • Serial
  • Sleep With Me
  • Snap Judgement
  • Surprisingly Awesome
  • Talking Theatre
  • Think Again
  • This American Life
  • Unqualified
  • Welcome to Night Vale
  • The West Wing Weekly
  • Wolf 359
  • WTF with Marc Maron
  • You Must Remember This

Share your favorites in the comments!

Crafting with Decoupage

by on July 28th, 2016
Crafting with Decoupage Cover Image

D2016 07 Decoupageecoupage is back in style! Recently I discovered a couple books in the Library’s collection about decoupage using Mod Podge, and it brought back a flood of happy childhood memories.

My friends and I used to make decoupage gifts for one-another. One of my favorites is displayed in my office – a cartoon from Western Horseman my friend decoupaged onto a board showing a girl riding a horse. The caption is “If you can read this bumper sticker … you might be kicked.” (It still makes me giggle.)

I also remember working with my Mom to make decoupage gifts for the holidays – one year we decoupaged our school pictures onto small boards as a gift for our grandparents. Read the rest of this entry »

ICPL Presents Songs of Peter Rabbit

by on July 27th, 2016

The Iowa City Public Library will celebrate Beatrix Potter’s 150th birthday next week with a special reading and performance of The Songs of Peter Rabbit.peterrabbit_peter_1280

Based on Potter’s beloved classic, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, the adaptation by composer Dudley Glass captures the trouble-making spirit of Peter Rabbit without losing the story’s cautionary lesson. Written for voice and piano, Glass’ version will be performed by ICPL children’s room staff during preschool storytime from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3, and Thursday, Aug. 4.

Both storytimes will be held in Meeting Room A. The performances also will be broadcast live on The Library Channel, Iowa City cable channel 20.

The Library’s preschool storytime is recommended for children between the ages of three and five. Younger and older siblings are welcome to attend, too.

For more information, call the Library at 319-356-5200.

ICPL Seeks Classic Book Cover Makeovers

by on July 26th, 2016

The Iowa City Public Library has reserved every display space throughout the building for our part in Recovering the Classics’ book cover makeover project.

We need your help to fill them.

In 2013, Recovering the Classics asked designers from around the world to re-imagine the covers for great books in the public domain. People all over the world contributed hundreds of recreated covers, 50 of which will be on display at the Library during the 2016 Iowa City Book Festival Oct. 4 through Oct. 9, continuing through the end of November.

ICPL’s exhibit of classic book cover makeovers by local artists and readers will be displayed throughout October and November, too. This project is open to participants of all ages and artistic abilities; anyone who wants to give their favorite classic book a new face is welcome to contribute. Here’s how:

  • Choose a title from the list of books that have aged into the public domain: www.icpl.org/classics
  • Make an original work of art that prominently features the book’s author and title.  All two-dimensional approaches (painting, photography, drawing, fiber, and digital creations) are welcome.
  • Drop off your cover at the First Floor Help Desk by 9 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19.

Only one submission per person, please.

For more information, call the Library at 319-356-5200.

Tales of a Budding Bicyclist Part 3

by on July 22nd, 2016

maxresdefaultI’ve blogged about biking in the past.  I thought that doing a third post might be too much, but I realized it has almost been a year since my last cycling-related entry (the days are long, but the years are short).  I think that RAGBRAI gets me in the mood to write about one of my favorite pastimes.  My escalation in bike riding could not have been foreseen.  Seriously, though, I went from not riding a bike to thinking that going for a 36 mile ride is a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon!  I feel like it’s time to invest in a new, better bike, and ICPL has a great resource to help figure out what’s best for me.

Last year during RAGBRAI, I got serious bike envy.  Let me explain–four years ago, I had decided that riding a bike to work would be a good way to exercise.  I walked into a local bike shop and told the friendly employee that I needed a bike to make my short-ish commute downtown.  They got me set-up with a no-frills bicycle for that very purpose.  I was (and still am) very happy with it (I would like to mention that I named my bike Road Warrior).  Thing is, I feel like I’m working harder than I need to on longer rides.  My bike is heavy with wide tires.  Hence the RAGBRAI bike envy.  Everyone had really nice bikes, and I was riding the bike I use to get to work everyday.

I have an idea of what I want to get, but I definitely needed to do research.  The Library has access to the Consumer Reports database (currently only available within the Library, but we’re working on it).  Consumer Reports is known for its unbiased information and reviews on numerous products.  They have a Bike Buying Guide.  I should mention that it’s a section that they’re no longer actively updating, but the info that is provided is very helpful.  They have a great “Getting Started” section that gets you thinking about BBGhow you want to ride, how much you want to spend and where you should get your bike from.  They recommend going to a bike shop.  We’re lucky to have so many options in Iowa City including World of BikesGeoff’s30th Century Bicycle and Broken Spoke.  Going for a test ride is important to make sure you’re comfortable with the bike.

They go through the different types of bikes, which was actually quite helpful for me.  I always assumed that my current bike was a road bike, but the description is more in line with a fitness bike.  Which makes sense, because it says that fitness bikes are good for commuting.  A performance road bike seems like the kind of bike that I’m interested in now.  After that, there’s a section about several brands of bikes.  I also appreciated this section due to the fact that I was only aware of a handful of popular manufactures.  Consumer Reports also has a guide for purchasing a helmet and great articles like “Gear Up for a Safe Ride.”  They recommend getting a mirror for your bike.  I do too!  I’ve found my mirror to be invaluable.

I’ll probably be getting that new bike relatively soon.  It takes me forever to make a decision like this.  I want to be happy with it, because I plan on riding it for years and years to come.

I LOVE the Johnson County Fair

by on July 22nd, 2016

2016 07 PLJC BoothThe Johnson County Fair runs July 25-28 and it’s my favorite week of the year. I grew up at the Johnson County Fair. My Mom was a 4-H leader, served on the Fair Board and 4-H Youth Committee and was the Home Economics Superintendent for many years. I spent many a happy day playing on the steps in Montgomery Hall, enjoying Lemonade Shake-ups, and getting tossed into the livestock watering tanks. What wonderful memories of growing up in Iowa!

Over the past 18 years, while working at the Iowa City Public Library, I’ve had the privilege of working with the Public Libraries of Johnson County to organize and staff a booth in Building B where we share information about our libraries with the community. The Public Libraries of Johnson County organization reminds me a lot of the 4-H organization and Johnson County Agricultural Association: We focus on youth development,  share in the joy of learning by doing, and recognize while we may come from different places we all contribute to the civic life of our community. Read the rest of this entry »

ICPL Recommends…

by on July 21st, 2016
ICPL Recommends… Cover Image

On KCJJ with Captain Steve and Tommy Lang this morning, Melody and I had a great time discussing what ICPL staff are reading this summer.  Here are some of the books we talked about if you are looking for your next read:

My favorite book of the summer is Rush Oh! by Shirley Barrett. Our narrator and hero, Mary Davidson is looking back to the 1908 whaling season in New South Wales. That year her father, a whaler was having a very bad year—there just doesn’t seem to be any whales to catch. She was also in charge of the Davidson Read the rest of this entry »

It’s not the heat, it’s the corn sweat!

by on July 21st, 2016

corn-field-c-keeva999-flickr-creative-commonsCorn sweat, what on earth is that you ask? Well, let me tell you. Corn sweat is evapotranspiration and according to the United States Geological Survey evapotranspiration is the sum of evaporation and transpiration. The transpiration aspect of evapotranspiration is essentially evaporation of water from plant leaves. Transpiration rates go up as the temperature goes up, especially during the growing season, when the air is warmer due to stronger sunlight and warmer air masses. Higher temperatures cause the plant cells which control the openings (stoma) where water is released to the atmosphere to open and the more humid it becomes.  And while evapotranspiration does not make it hotter, it makes it more more humid and that makes us feel much hotter.

The Washington Post just ran an etreamely informative article, complete with a map of corn acreage by county and a chart of relative humidity clearly corn mapshowing how high humidity can make it feel  oppressive inside without adequate cooling and make  activities dangerous for those who work or recreate outside.  This type of weather can also be life-threatening for livestock.  In fact the National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning with the following precautions:

AN EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING MEANS THAT A PROLONGED PERIOD OF DANGEROUSLY HOT TEMPERATURES WILL OCCUR. THE COMBINATION OF HOT TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY WILL COMBINE TO CREATE A DANGEROUS SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE LIKELY. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER…STAY IN AN AIR CONDITIONED ROOM…STAY OUT OF THE SUN…AND CHECK UP ON RELATIVES AND NEIGHBORS. YOUNG CHILDREN AND PETS SHOULD NEVER BE LEFT UNATTENDED IN VEHICLES UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE DURING HOT WEATHER WHEN CAR INTERIORS CAN REACH LETHAL TEMPERATURES IN A MATTER OF MINUTES.

Most of us have air conditioned homes and workplaces, but if you don’t or if you are going to be outside for prolonged periods of time, it’s important to stay hydrated.  The American Red Cross offers the following suggestions:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Eat small meals and eat more often.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
  • Postpone outdoor games and activities.
  • Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.

If you would like to learn more about weather and heat and humidity and corn sweat, come find us at the Information Desk on the seconsnowfalld floor of the library.  Weather is one of our favorite subjects to research.  And don’t forget, winter is only a few short months away…

 

 

 

 

ICPL announces August Classes for Adults

by on July 20th, 2016

August classes at the Iowa City Public Library are all about being social. The Center and the Library are teaming up to offer beginner and intermediate classes for Facebook and Pinterest.

Our beginners’ class will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 5, at the Senior Center with Facebook Basics and Beyond. Participants will discuss the Facebook interface, go over privacy settings, and get a feel for how they can connect and stay connected to friends and family.

What is Pinterest? is the second social media class being offered with the beginner user in mind. Join us at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, in the Computer Lab at the Library. Check out how Pinterest is used by learning to navigate the interface and understand how pins are shared and followed.

To follow-up on this class, users can also take the intermediate class, Pinterest Tips and Tricks, which will also be held at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13. Discover how to organize and use your Pinterest account to the fullest potential!

Facebook Tips and Tricks is the new intermediate class that is being offered twice in August. Come and learn how to get control of your timeline and home feed. Find new ways to connect on Facebook by creating an event or group. Classes will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 16, at The Center and 2 p.m. Monday, Aug. 29, at the Library.

Classes will be held in the Computer Lab on the second floor of the Library and in room 208 at the Senior Center. Classes are taught by an ICPL librarian. Classes are free, but space is limited, so patrons should register early.

Visit www.icpl.org/classes to register online for classes held at the Iowa City Public Library. You can also register by calling the Library at 319-356-5200. To register for classes at The Center, call 319-356-5220.





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