Ages 18+.

What do opera and bebop have in common?

Not much, except that today, October 10, is the birthday of both Thelonious Monk and Giuseppe Verdi. Thelonious Monk, born in North Carolina in 1917, is best known as one of the prime inventors of bebop, a kind of jazz that uses repitition of sound to create a jumpy, irregular phrasing out of standard tunes. Monk played music with the likes of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane. His two most popular albums are Brilliant Corners and Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane.

Giuseppe Verdi was born in Parma, Italy in 1813. His first opera, Oberto, performed at La Scala, was a modest success. After the tragic death of his wife, Verdi vowed he would never compose again but after reading the brilliant libretto of Nabucco, he changed his mind. Verdi wrote a total of 26 operas, his most famous, Rigoletto, La Traviata and Falstaff.

Buck O'Neil, A Baseball Legend Dies

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John "Buck" O'Neil, age 94, passed away in a Kansas City hospital Friday night. A player and manager for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues as well as the first black baseball coach when hired in 1962 by the Chicago Cubs, O'Neil was known not only for his love of baseball but also for life.

Buck was a fabulous storyteller and was "discovered" in his 80's when he appeared in Ken Burns series, Baseball. Read some of those stories like why baseball great, Satchel Paige called him "Nancy" in the Kansas City Star.

Famously Passionate and Moderate

William G. Milliken: Michigan's Passionate Moderate, by Dave Dempsey, will be discussed when the Sierra Club Book Club meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 10) at Nicola’s Books in the Westgate Shopping Center in Ann Arbor. The book is a portrait of Michigan’s longest-serving governor, a Republican who was born in Traverse City and fought in World War II. Milliken was lieutenant governor from 1965 to 1969, and was then voted into four-year terms in 1970, 1974, and 1978. The author is policy advisor for the Michigan Environmental Council. His other books include Ruin and Recovery: Michigan’s Rise as a Conservation Leader and On the Brink: The Great Lakes in the 21st Century.
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October New and Noteworthy

You don’t need me to harp on about the mega-bestsellers but I would like to bring you each month, some of the easy-to-miss new fiction titles. They might be mainstream or quirky; unusual and trend setting; from a newcomer worth watching or a little-known foreign powerhouse who nevertheless deserves a closer look. Some are personal favorites (you can probably tell) but many are exciting new finds.

One Good Turn* by Kate Atkinson.
The story continues from Case Histories. Crackling one-liners, spot-on set pieces and full-blooded cameos make for another absorbing character study.

Spring and Fall by Nicholas Delbanco.
Sweetly satisfying tale of college lovers reunite after 40 years.

The Uses of Enchantment* by Heidi Julavits
The mystery of what did happened to Mary Veal, a 16 year-old abducted from a New England prep-school. Enthralling, atmospheric tale of "sick twisted love".

American Cookery by Laura Kalpakian
A versatile writer serves up tradition and innovation in a saga based on the joy of cooking, complete with 27 recipes.

The Other Side of the Bridge* by Mary Lawson.
Follow up to her much acclaimed debut novel Crow Lake. Moral quandaries and human drama in the Canadian North.

Bliss by O.Z. Livaneli.
Gripping contemporary story of three travelers who change each other, by an eminent Turkish writer.

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
Much awaited sequel to her teen/vampire FFF Twilight* (See blog). Don’t miss this one!

The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas.
“(F)ast-paced mix of popular culture, love, mystery, and irresistible philosophical adventure” by a genre-blending young British writer and the author of PopCo. Edgy and worth a try.

* = Starred review(s)

Pinhole Photography Exhibition @ Malletts thru October 30

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Stop by Malletts Creek Branch to see some great photos taken this summer by teens who made their own camera out of a paint can. Yes, paint cans! Drop in and learn what pinhole photography is all about.

Postive Aging Series

Did you know that the latest census projects that Washtenaw County's population of people 65 and older will grow from approximately 26,000 today to nearly 73,000 in 2030? The Blueprint for Aging, a local partnership of consumers and agencies, is sponsoring a series of lectures on Positive Aging.

The first event "Age with Attitude" will take place this coming Friday October 6, 2006 from 9:30 am to noon at the Village at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, 5341 McAuley Drive. Frank Cambria, the deputy director of Washtenaw County, will be the keynote speaker. Other community leaders will also address relevant issues on improving services for older citizens.

For more information, contact Virginia Boyce at 734-712-2718 or "vboyce@css-washtenaw.org".

Ann Arbor Area Business Monthly

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The Ann Arbor Area Business Monthly is available at all library locations. The latest issue is available for library use. Earlier issues circulate for two weeks.

Each issue has profiles of local businesses and businesspeople, articles on general business topics, on Michigan and U. S. laws and programs, plus pages of short briefs from local company press releases; columns by Mike Gould, “Small Business and the Internet”, and by John Agno, “Ask the ‘Coach’, answering business questions; a business events calendar; and other interesting columns, charts and statistics.

The September special issue is “dedicated to the University of Michigan and its huge economic impact on the local community.” There is a useful chart of 2006 U of M Major Development Projects with the estimated cost and completion date plus 2005-06 Completed Development Projects. The 2006 projects total 1.75 billion dollars. This issue has a useful directory of thirty-three sources for U-M Local Business Assistance. Each source has a brief description of the program, contact phone number, web site, and e-mail address.

Some interesting statistics from the August issue:

Ann Arbor “hotel occupancy rates averaged about 67 percent for 2005, up 4.5 percent from the previous year.”
“As of June 30, 2006, the total market vacancy rate, including office and flex space, was 13.2%…the highest total market vacancy rate since Swisher Commercial began its vacancy reports in 1994.” (Commercial Real Estate)
Tourism Statistics for Washtenaw County, 2004: $368 million in total visitor spending; 5700 jobs (direct economic impacts in tourism-related businesses).

New Fiction on the New York Times Best Sellers List (10/8/06)

If you loved the movie Gladiator and the TV series Rome, you might also enjoy the ancient Roman novels by Robert Harris. His latest enters the List this week. And John le Carre returns with another great book set once again in the killing fields of Africa. Fans of Alexander McCall Smith will also be pleased to learn that he has a new book to savor.

At #3 is The Mission Song by John le Carre: "An English translator, born in Congo, is sent by British intelligence to work for a corporate syndicate that wants to subvert Congolese elections."

At #7 is Imperium by Robert Harris: "A fictional life of Marcus Cicero, the Roman statesman and orator, as told by a household slave."

At #11 is The Right Attitude to Rain by Alexander McCall Smith: "The third novel featuring the philosopher Isabel Dalhousie is a mystery about the meaning of happiness."

Yes. Scientists can laugh at themselves.

You've heard of the Nobel Prize awards. In fact, the 2006 awards for chemistry, medicine and physics have already been announced. But this Thursday, October 5th, the Annals of Improbable Research Magazine will present the 2006 Ig Nobel Prize winners at the 16th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony at Harvard's Sanders Theater. The prizes are awared by Nobel laureates to scientists whose research "makes people laugh." Examples of past winners' papers include: for economics in 2005, the invention of an alarm clock that runs away and hides so that people have to get out of bed. For chemistry, the award was given for research to determine whether people swim faster in syrup or in water. And my favorite for that year, an experiment begun in 1927 in which a glob of black tar has been dripping through a funnel, a drop every nine years.

For two enjoyable if not outrageous books on science, try 101 things you don't know about science and no one else does either by James Trefil or The Pleasure of Finding Things Out by Richard Feynman.

U-M Health System hosts forum on Health Care Access and Insurance

How can health care costs be controlled and access improved? Find out at public forum on improving access to health care and related health care insurance issues that will be held at the Ford Auditorium at the University of Michigan Hospital [1500 E. Medical Center Drive] on Friday, October 6, 2006 from Noon to 2:00 p.m. "Innovations in Health Care Access: What some states are doing; what Michigan can learn" will feature speakers from Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts and a panel of experts. The program is one in a series in the University of Michigan Forums on Health Policy.

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