Puffer Fish

Last night on Survivor, the La Mina tribe attempted to catch fish to eat, but all they could catch were poisonous puffer fish.
However, there was a close-up shot of a porcupine puffer in the water that could have been Porky's cousin.
You don't know who Porky is? He's our friendly resident porcupine puffer in the Downtown Youth Department.
Anyone else see this episode and can back me up?

Friend on Freedom River by Gloria Whelan

Louis hears a voice from the bushes. A runaway slave and her family want to cross the Detroit River to Canada where they will become free. Louis remembers what his father told him before he went up North to work for the winter. “If you don't know what to do, just do what you think I would have done.” Gloria Whelan captures the courage and determination of slaves and those who helped them travel the Underground Railroad in this excellent book for young readers.

Celebrating Poetry: Gwendolyn Brooks

Gwendolyn Brooks was named Poet Laureate of Illinois in 1968, served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1985-86, and won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1950 for Annie Allen. She wrote over twenty books of poetry and is one of the most celebrated American poets. The Essential Gwendolyn Brooks brings her many works together and provides a complete view of her passion, versatility and genius.

Other works by Brooks include: The Bean Eaters, In Montgomery, and Other Poems, and her two-part autobiography, Report from Part One and Report From Part Two.

The Play Ground

"Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow." So the refrain goes, but it didn't play well when The Play Ground was stranded in Providence, Rhode Island during the blizzard of '06. One definite plus was getting to hear Paul Farmer speak at Brown University on Monday evening. This amazing person has proved that one man can make a difference with his medical work in Haiti, Rwanda and Russia. He is a magnetic speaker who gets things done. A medical rock star for sure. Mountains Beyond Mountains:The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder reads like fiction and will inspire you.

Ballroom dancing sizzles on screen

When pre-teens from New York City schools learn and compete in ballroom dancing, the visual results are magnificent. Simply the expressions on the kids' faces make this film worthwhile, but there also are plenty of rich, human stories. On a winter night at home, this DVD could provide family entertainment for children about 8 and older. Enjoy Mad Hot Ballroom!

This children's music engages the brain

Some music created for children puts my brain right to sleep. But What kind of cat are you?! by Billy Jonas, is one of the many good ones. The title song asks questions and answers them with challenging words. Later on, the disc offers songs such as "Alien in my lungs" and "Bear to the left." If you're running low on stimulating music for your car or home CD player, this one is lively and fun.

Calling all quadrillion-dollar bills

What if a boy in Flint stumbled on a quadrillion-dollar bill, and the government wanted it back? And what if the face on that hot bill was soul father James Brown? Well, then you would have a rocking fun book for children age 9-12, a book that is so clever that you can read it aloud to the entire family. Christopher Paul Curtis also wrote The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 and Bud, Not Buddy, both award winners, and both great choices for young readers.

Dangerous Mining

Mining and mining accidents have been very much in the news lately, with four separate accidents claiming lives in the past weeks. As NPR’s Morning Edition discussed this morning, some critics of mining industry regulations are beginning to wonder about the industry regulators’ efficacy. The Federal Mining Safety and Health Administration is charged both with ongoing industry regulation and supervision as well as rescue efforts in mine emergencies. However, as the film Salt of the Earth explores, it takes a lot more than a federal agency to make real changes in miners’ lives.

Edna Lewis, Queen of the Southern cooking revival, 1916-2006

Edna Lewis

Edna Lewis, author of four cookbooks that renewed national interest in Southern cuisine, died Monday, February 13, 2006 at the age of 89.

Ms. Lewis's second book, The Taste of Country Cooking (1976) highlights recipes and cooking techniques she learned as a child on the family farm, given to her grandfather, a former slave. It is considered a must-have on the shelf of the best chefs in America.

Her last cookbook, The Gift of Southern Cooking: Recipes and Revelations from Two Great Southern Cooks (2003), was co-written with Scott Peacock, a chef who has taken care of Ms.

Michael Gilbert, creator of Patrick Petrella mysteries, has died

Michael Gilbert

Michael Gilbert, universally regarded as the master of the classic English murder mystery", died Friday, February 8, in England.

A fantastically prolific writer who penned his mysteries on his commute to and from his full-time job as an English solicitor, Gilbert reveled in intricate plots, meticulous detail, and a web of red herrings. His first novel, Close Quarters (1947), launched him firmly into the golden age of the British mystery.

Gilbert's beloved character, Patrick Petrella, was a Sergeant when he first appeared in the 1950s in short stories in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. Petrella worked his way through the ranks to Detective Superintendent in a series of titles, including Young Petrella, Petrella at Q, and Roller-Coaster.

Mr. Gilbert, who was 93 when he died, had served at one point as legal adviser to Raymond Chandler.

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