At Home With the British Royal Family

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle is the largest inhabited castle in the world - its footprint takes up 13 acres and the floor space equals 484,000 square feet. But it is kept immaculate for the Britsh Royal Family, who reside there for most of the year, and an adoring British public, who flock to the castle in droves to enjoy its beauty and history and the many events which mark the turn of the royal year. The castle is almost a thousand years old, steeped in tradition and ritual, and houses art treasures and memorabilia from the reigns of 40 British monarchs. Adjoining the castle is the Home Park - a 655 acre tract of forests, waterways, two working farms, the stables for the royal horses (known as the Windsor Greys), the Ascot racetrack, polo fields, a sanctuary of red deer, a local farmer’s and artisan’s market, and assorted estates and cottages for castle employees.

How in the world does one keep up appearances on a property that large and important? With a devoted staff of over 300 people, which includes chamber maids, liveried footmen, flagmen, fendersmiths, stablemen, chefs and cooks, librarians (!), furniture craftsmen, clocksmiths, rangers, farmers, art restorers and event-planners, who keep the castle ticking away in perfect order and precision. In 2005, a film crew was allowed special permission to record the happenings at the castle for an entire year, following the Queen and her family as they preside over state dinners, horse races and processions, and the castle staff on the rounds of maintaining and showing off the castle through every season. The result is this most engaging dvd Windsor Castle: A Royal Year.
Windsor Castle

Archaeology for Kids

Looking for a book on archaeology for children that is packed with detailed information, fabulous photographs, and a link to an educational website? Pick up a copy of The Usborne Introduction to Archaeology : Internet-Linked here at the AADL. Even without access to the internet, this book is a complete reference work on its own. Readers will learn about archaeological techniques (like dendrochronology and thermoluminescence dating), and a variety of archaeological sites around the globe. Explore Teotihuacan, ancient Persepolis, Harappa, Mesa Verde, and Egypt's Valley of the Kings, just to name a few. Access to the internet will link you to Usborne's educational website where you can take virtual tours of famous ancient sites, follow finds from discovery to restoration, participate in activities like unwrapping a virtual mummy, or follow links to other great archaeology sites for kids like the American Museum of Natural History's ArchaeOlogy: Clues from the Past.

Palabras Luminosas--Latino Language, Laughter, and Lore

Palabras LuminosasPalabras Luminosas

Magical Rain Theaterworks visits on Sunday, July 26, from 2-3pm in the Downtown Library Multipurpose Room to perform Palabras Luminosas. Palabras Luminosas is a dramatic and fun collection of stories from throughout the Americas with Latino stories of traps and tricksters, animals, food, and the marvelous oddness of everyday life. This is a great program for the whole family--what a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Important Catalog News!

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There’s a new way to find foreign language materials at AADL. Let’s start by calling them World Languages. If you are looking for materials in Arabic, you would go to Advanced Search and click on call number & enter World-Ara. There's a new collection, too: Youth Lang-Learn. Wait! There’s more! The Basic Reading and ESL collections are now called Language Learning or Lang-Learn for short. You can even look for Lang-Learn Fiction with Reading Levels for adults. We look forward to searches becoming easier for you and everyone as we tweak our catalog and roll out a new one.

The New York Times: The Complete Front Pages 1851-2008

The Old Gray Lady has covered all these events and more:

Lincoln’s assassination, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Lindbergh’s solo flight across the Atlantic, WW I, the Normandy Invasion, the Titanic disaster, Watergate, and 9/11.

If you give this book to a history buff you may never see him or her again. About 300 of the most momentous front pages are printed in this mammoth book. Also included are 3 very user friendly DVDs that cover every single front page through 2008.

If you don't ever hear from me again you'll know what happened.

Vacations to Enrich Your Life

On our new book shelf here at the AADL you can pick up a copy of The 100 Best Worldwide Vacations to Enrich Your Life, written by Pam Grout & published by National Geographic. The author's intent, as she states in the introduction, is to alter your idea of what vacation is meant to be and offer you the potential to change your life. The experiences are divided into four categories: arts and crafts getaways, learning retreats, volunteer vacations, and wellness escapes. Even if you can't afford some of the fabulous ideas set forth in this book, it's still enjoyable to read about them. Consider a three-day mahout (elephant wrangler) training course in Thailand. Spend a month working for African Impact, a lion rehabilitation center in Zimbabwe. Master the art of blending scotch at the Glengoyne Distillery in the Scottish highlands. Ride horses to Machu Picchu's sacred sister city, Choquequirao, Peru.
The trip that caught my attention is run by COBATI (Community-Based Tourism Initiatives) in Kampala, Uganda. Instead of a typical African safari package that does little to benefit the locals, COBATI homestays offer the amazing opportunity to stay in small, rural villages and learn about the real Uganda. Visit banana plantations, stay with midwives, learn beekeeping & mushroom growing, attend community weddings, visit flower farms and see homesteads with Ankole longhorn cattle (indigenous to Uganda for at least seven centuries). Interested? Visit or head to the library for a copy of this unique travel guide.

Encounters at the End of the World

See Antarctica as you have never seen it before in the newest achievement from critically acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog. Encounters at the End of the World is a documentary that provides a rare glimpse into the lives of the “dreamers” – the men and women who work and live in the loneliest place on earth.

From McMurdo Station – the largest community in Antarctica – to the scientists, zoologists and physicists studying Antarctic life at their small camps, Herzog interviews these extraordinary men and women who have dedicated themselves to uncovering the mysteries of the largely untouched continent, as well as those “hopeless dreamers” who have simply ended up at “the end of the world.” Encounters was nominated for a 2009 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and contains a haunting score by David Lindley and Henry Kaiser, also producer.

Space Tourism!?!?!?


Never thought you'd live to see the day when space travel become a tourist attraction, did you? Well, you're living it! Russo-Hungarian software developer Charles Simonyi is traveling with two other personnel who'll be relieving Space Station crew members who recently returned to Earth via Discovery shuttle. Simonyi, Gennady Padalka, a Russian air force colonel and Michael Barratt, a flight engineer and space physician, are expected to dock at the International Space Station at 9:14am EST Saturday morning. Simonyi isn't publicizing how much he paid for passage aboard the Soyuz rocket, bound for the ISS. However, the list price is $35 million. This is Simonyi's second trip to space, and he's indicated that the cost of booking a seat on space shuttles has increased for since his first trip.

Iraq National Museum Reopening

The Iraq National Museum is reopening this week, the Associated Press reports. Following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, the museum suffered a chaotic fate chronicled in the book The Looting of the Iraq Museum, Baghdad : the lost legacy of ancient Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia, which largely corresponds to what is now Iraq, was where the world’s earliest civilization developed around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Artifacts from the Stone Age through the Babylonian, Assyrian and Islamic periods had been collected at the Iraq museum. But when it was ransacked six years ago, armed thieves stole thousands of artifacts, prompting archaeologists around the globe to join recovery efforts. Still, almost half the artifacts remain missing, including an estimated 50 items of strong historical significance.

German book to film


Academy Award nominee for best foreign film, Germany's Der Baader Meinhof Komplex tells the true story of Germany's radical terrorist organization, the Red Army Faction. The group's violence took place during the late 60's-80's and included bombings, robberies, kidnappings, and assassinations, culminating in a mass suicide of many of the leaders. The movie is based on the German non-fiction book by journalist Stefan Aust and both book and movie will soon be released in the states. In the movie, you may recognize several of the performers, including Moritz Bleibtreau from Tom Tkwer's famous German movie, Run Lola Run and Martina Gedeck from the Academy Award winning film, the Lives of Others.

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