Harry Potter's Creator Denied U.S. Award

In the spirit of Banned Books Week, BBC News reported today that J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, was denied a top U.S. award because some White House officials believed her books encouraged witchcraft. According to the news article, Matt Latimer, a former speech writer for President Bush, said that certain members of the Bush administration prevented Rowling from receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom because they felt that the Harry Potter books promoted witchcraft.

The award has been given to other authors of challenged and banned books in the past, including John Steinbeck, author of The Grapes of Wrath, and Harper Lee, author of To Kill A Mockingbird.

Team America: World Police

Kim Jong IlKim Jong Il

Kim Jong Il has been in the news of late, what with choosing his successor and the nuclear tests North Korea has been conducting.

Unfortunately, as troubling and serious as these developments are; it brought to mind one of my favorite movies Team America: World Police.

Michael Vick to Work with Humane Society on Teen Dogfight Prevention

LucasLucas

Michael Vick, convicted, bankrupted, and imprisoned because of his dogfighting business, left prison before dawn this Wednesday morning. He returned to VA to serve the last portion of his sentence under house arrest. His plans after his official July 20th release include a return to NFL play, as well as participating in a partnership with the Humane Society. The partnership would target teen involvement with dogfighting. I wonder if he'll also adopt a rescued dog as a companion animal? For some entertaining and heartwarming stories about rescued and rehabilitated dogs (including an episode about the Vick dogs), check out this great National Geographic mini-series. Try Dogtown: New Beginnings and then there's more quality doggie time to be had with Dogtown: Second Chances. The library also has a great selection of books on how to retrain and help your own adopted dog adjust to his or her new life with you.

Air handlers have arrived downtown

Get ready to feel more comfortable when using the downtown library.

Our contractors have a portable crane set up on the city parking lot next to the library. They have just about finished removing the old air handlers from the building, depositing the pieces in a large roll-off container in the parking lot. The parts had to come out of the basement through a large pit on the north side of building that provides access to the basement through wide double-doors--intended for just such purposes. Those two pieces of equipment have been heating and cooling the building since it was originally constructed in the 1950s; the new units are expected to do a better job.

The library had a total of five air handlers, but the others are of more recent vintage.

Emily Toppled from Top of Baby Names

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Jane Austen Rules! That can be the only explanation for Emma bumping out Emily for top girl's name in this year's Most Popular Baby Names List. The coolest part is the Search Page where you can enter your kids, grandkids or future kids names and find out where they rank. You can check popularity by state, change in popularity and much more. I checked out the Popular Names for Twins and mine did not make the top 100. That's what I get for not being alliterative. BTW, we've got lots of Baby Name books if you don't want your next one on the top 10 list.

Online News Delivered!

Are you sad that your traditional newspaper may no longer be delivered to your doorstep? Do you want to learn how to make that news come to you electronically, but don't know how?

Join us for the Online News Delivered class this upcoming Wednesday, and learn all about it! We'll explain how you can get your local, national, and world news from your favorite media sources delivered to your RSS Reader or E-mail automatically, and help you set everything up. Register today by phone or online!

Recap: Online News Delivered class, Wed., May 13, 10am-12pm, Malletts Creek Branch, Registration Required.

Online News Delivered

Are you sad that your traditional newspaper may no longer be delivered to your doorstep? Do you want to learn how to make that news come to you electronically, but don't know how? Join us for the Online News Delivered class this upcoming Wednesday, and learn all about it! We'll explain how you can get your local, national, and world news from your favorite media sources delivered to your RSS Reader or E-mail automatically, and help you set everything up. Register today by phone or online!

Online News Delivered, Wed, May 13, 10am-12pm, Malletts Creek Branch, Registration Required.

Time to Climb Everest

While we enjoy a spring afternoon, Mt. Everest expedition teams are sleeping somewhere near or on the mountain. Depending on the approach they staked their tents in Tibet or Nepal.

Keep on top of the latest Everest expedition news: MountEverest.net

Elevations
Ann Arbor: 256 m (840 ft) What's the highest point in Ann Arbor?
Nepal-side base camp: 5,380 m (17,700 ft)
Tibet-side base camp: 5,180 m (16,990 ft)
Mt. Everest peak: 8,844.43 m ± 0.21 m (29,017.16 ± 0.69 ft)

Everest books:
1996 climb
2006 climb

Everest DVDs:
1996 climb
Everest: beyond the limit

Before MSU game - read this

I know virtually nothing about college basketball, but apparently MSU has a fighting chance of becoming the national college basketball champ. Suddenly, I’m a fair-weather MSU fan. Looks like I’ll have to wait my turn for When March Went Mad: The Game That Transformed Basketball, by Seth Davis, which recounts the season leading to the March 1979 NCAA finals, in which MSU’s Magic Johnson squared off against ISU's Larry Bird. Sounds like a good history of the NCAA basketball tournament.

Where is journalism headed?

With the Ann Arbor News closing in July, many people are talking about the future of journalism here and across the country. Already the new venture, Ann Arbor.com, has set up community meetings in April, asking readers to help shape their upcoming product, which will include daily reporting on the web and a bi-weekly print edition. In this environment, we all may want to check out books such as What Would Google Do? with cutting-edge ideas on information technology management, journalism, and creativity in business.

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