* Due to the closure for elevator repair, the Downtown Library is not currently available to select as a request pickup point. Please select another location for new requests.

Computer outplays man!

Ten years ago today, on February 10, 1996, IMB’s Deep Blue computer defeated world chess champion Garry Kasparov—the first such victory by a computer in a tournament. Kasparov won the tournament, beating the computer three times (the other two matches were draws). In a six-game rematch the following year, Deep Blue came out the victor. Read about these exciting man vs. computer chess battles in Behind the Deep Blue: building the computer that defeated the world chess champion and Kasparov versus Deep Blue: computer chess comes of age.

Lincoln scholarship continues to flourish

Abraham Lincoln's birthday anniversary (Sunday, February 12) is an appropriate occasion to note the ongoing contributions to the historical appraisals and biographical investigations which are continuously amplifying the huge literature on the 16th president. Richard Carwardine's soon to be released Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power will probably be one of the most important Lincoln books of the next few years. Written by a British scholar, the book is a judicious, generally laudatory, portrait of Lincoln as man and president. Joshua Shenk's Lincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled his Greatness claims that Lincoln was a lifelong sufferer of depression, but that he used it to strenthen his resolve and commitment to the causes he fought for. A more controversial analysis of Lincoln's personality is C.A. Tripp's The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln, by a well-known therapist and former Kinsey sex researcher, which argues that Lincoln was bisexual, and exhibited many homosexual traits.

Older and Wiser?

Do you wonder what's ahead in life? Did you enjoy Tuesdays With Morrie? More moving and unexpected treasures lie in Am I Old Yet? and the documentary film Sunset Story. Think on!

Think Cool Thoughts by Elizabeth Perry

The city is hot. Angel is hot and wants nothing more than to be cool. She counts ice cubes in the hope that they will magically make the summer heat end. Elizabeth Perry's first picture book is a journey into the magic and wonder of childhood.

2006 Grammy Winners

U2 won big last night at the 48th Grammy Awards, taking home an award in every category for which they were shortlisted, including best album (How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb) and best song ("Sometimes You Can't Make it On Your Own"). Mariah Carey's The Emancipation of Mimi won best contemporary R&B album. Kanye West protege John Legend won best new artist, and American Idol Kelly Clarkson won best female pop vocal and pop vocal album. So who gets your vote for favorite performance of the evening? McCartney, with his ripping rendition of "Helter Skelter"? Or Sly Stone, just for showing up in that blond mohawk...?

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Bestseller List (2/5/06)

It was so exciting to see the lastest novel by Bernard Cornwell on the List last Sunday. I love historical fiction and for my money, there is no better writer than the creator of the terrific Sharpe series. For a blast from the past, give him a try.

At #4 is Death Dance by Linda Fairstein: the former Manhattan district attorney has her fictional alter ego investigating a ballerina's disappearance.

At #10 is The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury: a grand adventure involving the notorious Knights Templars, the Vatican, a secret coding device and hidden treasures.

Video Art

Fluxus member and collaborative video, electronics, and performance artist Nam June Paik passed away January 29th, so it seems appropriate that University of Michigan art, dance, ethnomusicology, and electrical engineering professors are collaborating on "vidGod" February 10 & 11. Billed as an "electronic opera," this twenty-first century piece fuses the immediacy of live human performers with the possibilities of electronics and computer-generated sound and images. Two free performances on Friday, February 10th and Saturday the 11th at 8 PM. "vidGod" will be performed at the Duderstadt Center Video Studio, 2281 Bonisteel Boulevard at Murfin, North Campus. For more information please call (734) 615-3726 or see this news article from the Duderstadt Center.

The Origins of Life

origins

There are many ways to participate in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads 2006: Revolutions In Science project. One approach is to explore in-depth a topic covered in the programs.

The renowned science professor and author Robert M. Hazen offers an accessible and current discussion of the Origins of Life in a 24-lecture expedition on book on cd. Dr. Hazen introduces you to the scientists in the forefront of ongoing research on the evolution of the universe, the theories that have driven that research and the controversies that surround the theories.

Phoebe Gloeckner @ Neutral Zone Wednesday, Feb. 15 (7-9 pm)

Graphic novelist, Gloeckner, will talk about Diary of a Teenage Girl: An Account in Words and Picturesand other works. New York Times Sunday Magazine says Gloeckner is “one of the most accomplished [cartoonists] in terms of mastery of the medium”. Check her out at ravenblond.com.

Alan Shalleck, Curious George collaborator, has died

Shalleck

Alan Shalleck, 76, who collaborated with Margret Rey on dozens of Curious George books and film shorts, was found dead today at his home in Florida.

Curious George, the lovable mischievous monkey created by Ms. Rey and her husband Hans in 1939, makes his big screen debut this Friday, February 10 in Curious George.

Police are treating Mr. Shalleck's death as a homicide.

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