Discovery Launch Tonight!

STS-116 is scheduled to launch tonight, Thursday, December 7th, at 9:36pm ET. Their mission is to rewire the space station. Since 1998 it has been running on a temporary electrical system. Two new solar panels were successfully installed in September, so everything should be set to switch to the permanent system.

You can watch the launch live at NASA’s website.

Among the crew will be Sweden's first astronaut, Christer Fuglesang.

Pride of Baghdad

Writer Brain K. Vaughan’s latest graphic novel, Pride of Baghdad, follows the story of four lions that escape from the Baghdad Zoo during a U.S. bombing raid in 2003. The story was inspired by actual events. (You can read the BBC story here.) Vaughan explores the idea of freedom and what it means to the individual. His characters come from different backgrounds and generations, each representing a different point of view on their situation. Vaughan’s method of telling this story, through the use of anthropomorphism, works well to get his feelings on war across without sounding too preachy. The illustrations and color by Niko Henrichon add to the story by giving the reader a good feel for the locations.

There are some very graphic depictions of violence, so this book is not for children.

Incubus Has Number One

Incubus has its first number one album on the Billboard 200 Chart this week with Light Grenades. In 2004, A Crow Left of the Murder debuted at number two on the Chart.

Burning Ring of Fire

Warm up on a cold winter night by reading or listening to this great book on Johnny Cash, The Man Called Cash. Follow the steps of Johnny Cash from his humble beginnings in Arkansas as a sharecropper's son to his death in Nashville. The Book on CD is read by Rex Linn, who offers his Southern voice to give the story a very nostaglic feel.

Local Historian Grace Shackman to Speak

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Grace Shackman, well-known Ann Arbor historian and author, will discuss her latest book Ann Arbor Observed at the library's 'Sunday Edition' program on Sunday, December 10 at 2:00 p.m. at the Pittsfield Branch. Ms. Shackman's book consists of a selection of articles she has contributed over the years to the 'Ann Arbor Observer's' 'Then and Now' feature. She will read from the book, speak about her research methods and local history sources and resources. The book, which makes a fine holiday gift, will be for sale at the event and a book signing will follow. It's a great opportunity to meet a delightful local author and learn about some intriguing chapters in Ann Arbor's history.

Gary Webb author of Dark Alliance found dead two years ago

Gary Webb broke the story in the San Jose Mercury News of the link between the CIA, Contras and the crack epidemic in Los Angeles that turned to the book Dark Alliance. His articles have been archived on the web here with list of AADL search of the contras. Plus video in his own words and an interview.

The Rouge: Photographs by Michael Kenna at UMMA

This past weekend The Rouge: Photographs by Michael Kenna opened at the University of Michigan Museum of Art Off/Site, its temporary home while the museum is under renovations.

“English landscape photographer Michael Kenna first toured the Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan, in 1992 and returned to the site over a number of years. The resulting photographs capture the smoky atmosphere, the dramatic structures, and the bold silhouettes that give this early twentieth-century technical marvel at the center of modern American industry its character.”

Kenna is not the first photographer to take an interest in the Rouge Plant. While Charles Sheeler’s famous Rouge Plant images were admittedly Kenna’s inspiration, others like Diego Rivera have taken a more painterly approach to this subject in his mural at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Check time/date for scheduled docent guided tours of the exhibition and read up on Michael Kenna in the library's collection.

Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life

Hey, Listen to this! Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life is available on BOCD. Simone is somebody worth getting to know. She's witty. She's adopted. She's in love with a boy who spends most of his time with another girl. Her birth mother, Rivka, steps into her life at age sixteen, and everything she's taken for granted about family, love, and faith needs to be re-examined.

Pas de duck

Fairy tales meet ballet in the anime series Princess Tutu. The mysterious Herr Drosselmeyer offers Duck—a sweet but clumsy ballet student—the chance to help one of her classmates. When she accepts, he gives her a pendant that transforms her into the magical Princess Tutu, whose beautiful dancing has the power to heal people’s hearts. There’s just one problem: whenever Duck acts like a duck, she turns into one. Quack! Is she a girl dreaming of being a duck, or a duck dreaming of being a girl?

The library also has lots of books about ballet and sound recordings of the ballets Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, both of which are referenced in the series.

The Play Ground

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The Play Ground read Moss Hart's classic autobiography ACT ONE when we were young and we have been fans of this brilliant man ever since. It details his rags to riches life including his longtime collaboration with the moody George Kaufman. This weekend the UM Department of Theatre & Drama will present YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU which opened in 1937 and was the third hit by the golden playwriting team. The play won the coveted Pulitzer Prize, a rarity for a comedy. Kaufman and Hart wrote an amazing eight plays during their ten-year collaboration, each wildly successful including The Man Who Came to Dinner and I'd Rather Be Right. The Play Ground will happily have an aisle seat at the Power Center this weekend. League Ticket Office 734-764-2538, December 7-10.

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