Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads Event: Timothy Ferris

On Thurs., Jan. 29, Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads author Timothy Ferris will speak at 7:30 pm at the Morris Lawrence Building at Washtenaw Community College. The author of Seeing in the Dark will talk about the contributions of amateurs in the field of astronomy, both in the past and today, and share his thoughts on the universe around us. Ferris has won numerous awards for his astronomical writing, including being a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He has also created several PBS documentaries, including one based on Seeing in the Dark.

Join our online discussion of the 2009 Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads title today to get warmed up for the talk.

Autism Study

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The University of Michigan Autism and Communciation Disorder Center (UMAAC) is collaborating with reseachers at the University of California Davis, and the University of Washington to evaluate the impact of intervening with toddlers age two and younger who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. This study seeks to determine if intensive early intervention can reduce the language impairments and social deficits associated with autism.

The intervention, the Early Start Denver Model, fuses developmental and relationship-based intervention techniques with applied behavior analysis teaching strategies. It focuses on using play and positive interactions to teach a developmental curriculum designed for each child based on current abilities and interests.

Prevent Home Foreclosure

You are invited to attend a free workshop on how to avoid losing your home to foreclosure. It will take place on Wed., Jan 21, 6-8 pm at the Bryant Community Center at 3 W. Eden Ct., Ann Arbor. Dinner and childcare will be provided. The speakers will be from the MSU Extension & Washtenaw County Treasurer. Please call 734-994-2722 with questions.

News from the Ypsilanti Historical Society

Helen McAndrewHelen McAndrew

Join us at the Ypsilanti District Library (5577 Whittaker Rd, Ypsilanti, MI) on Saturday, January 10, at 11:00 a.m. for the unveiling of an online archive of the Ypsilanti Historical Society's newsletter, Ypsilanti Gleanings. This event will include a demonstration of the site and a presentation on Ypsilanti history by Al Rudisill, President of the Ypsilanti Historical Society.

Join us for one of the upcoming Discussion Leader Training Sessions

Learn how to start a discussion of Seeing in the Dark in your organization, church, neighborhood or just with friends by attending one of the two community Discussion Leader Training Sessions. Wednesday January 7, 2009: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: aadlfreespace. Register online to join the training session at the Ann Arbor District Library or call 327-4555.

A second Discussion Leader Training Session will be held Monday, Jan.12, 7:00 – 8:30 pm at the Ypsilanti District Library - Community Meeting Room, 5577 Whittaker Road in Ypsilanti. To register, call the Ypsilanti District Library at 482-4110 ext. 1303.

AATA Introduces a New Route

The Ride2The Ride2

The Ride (a.k.a. the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti bus system) has introduced a new route just in time for the holidays. On December 1, AATA began service on Route 17; Amtrak-Depot St. This route starts and ends at Blake Transit Center and offers service to City Hall, Community High School, Kerrytown, and the Amtrak station on Depot St. For people like myself, who are planning to take the Amtrak train out of the city for the holidays and who have light baggage, this route offers convenient access to the train station for $1 (or less) per trip. For more details on Route 17 and other services of The Ride, visit their website or call at (734) 996-0400.

Ann Arbor-style Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens' classic "A Christmas Carol" will be brought to life on the stage of the Performance Network in true Ann Arbor fashion soon. Included in the cast will be former Ann Arbor mayor Ingrid Sheldon, Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Susan Pollay, WUOM on-air host Charity Nebbe and University of Michigan Professor Malcolm Tulip as well as Performance Network Executive Director Carla Milarch. This special offering will be held only on Sunday, December 21 at 7pm. A reception will follow with tempting homemade holiday treats. Tickets are tax deductible and can be reserved by calling 734-663-0861. See Ann Arbor’s ghosts of Christmas past, present and future come to life during this unique reading at Performance Network.

Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count

Washtenaw Audubon SocietyWashtenaw Audubon Society

Looking for a break from the holiday hustle and bustle? Try a more relaxing weekend this Saturday, December 20th by joining up with the Washtenaw Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count. Each year for over a century the Audubon Society has organized local groups of birdwatchers to compile a list of all the birds spotted across the continent. The results help researchers track bird populations and identify habitats at risk. You can be a part of this international effort (and hone your bird identification skills) by signing up with the local chapter of the National Audubon Society.

Lookback Time: The Detroit Observatory

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In Seeing In The Dark, author Timothy Ferris writes, "Peering far into space means looking deep into time gone by. This phenomenon, known as 'lookback time,' makes historians of stargazers." Historians and stargazers alike can enjoy a look back in time to 1854 by visiting the Detroit Observatory at 1398 E. Ann St. In its day, the Observatory housed the first large telescope constructed in the United States, for years the third largest refractor in the world. It was the training ground for many 19th century astronomers, saw the discovery of 21 asteroids and 2 comets, and remains the most important physical legacy of the University's early scientific preeminence. "I cannot speak of the Observatory without emotion," said former UM president Henry Tappan. "No one will deny that it was a creation of my own." (Historic Buildings, Ann Arbor, MI)

Although the dome is currently not operational, rendering the telescope unusable, the Observatory was fully restored in 1998 and the astronomical instruments remain intact and operational. Read more about the Observatory's legacy and watch for upcoming open houses in conjunction with UM's winter theme semester.

Go! the Board Game

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Learn to play the board game Go or test your skills against members of the University of Michigan Go Club. Players of any skill can enjoy Go. This Saturday, December 13, from 2:00-4:00 at the Traverwood Branch/AADL, all ages are welcome to play.

If you need to brush up on the basics, check out Go Basics or Go for Beginners. The US Go Association site is a great source for Go-related links and resources. The U-M club regularly meets at the Espresso Royale Cafe at State Street and North University, 7-11 Thursdays and 1-5 on Sundays. See you Saturday at Traverwood!

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