C-SPAN's 2012 StudentCam Local Winners

Today, C-SPAN announced the 75 winning videos in the 2012 StudentCam video documentary competition. C-SPAN's StudentCam is an annual national video documentary competition that encourages students to think seriously about issues that affect their communities and the nation.

This year students were asked to create a short (5-8 minute) video documentary on a topic related to the competition theme “The Constitution and You." Students were asked to focus on any section of the Preamble, Articles, or Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

148 students from across the country are winning a total of $50,000. A record 1,203 entries were received in this year's competition.

Congratulations to our local winners!!!

Ruby Emberling, Maria Newton, and Delaney Wright
11th Grade Pioneer High School
"Students' First Amendment Rights"

Tamar Hofer, Andrew Siddall, and Jassadi Moore
11th Grade Pioneer High School
"First Amendment Rights for Students"

Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee

Diamond Jubilee: Queen Elizabeth II Diamond JubileeDiamond Jubilee: Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee
February 6 marked the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's 60 year reign starting in 1952. To read about the Diamond Jubilee celebrations click here. Recent biographies written about the Queen include: Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch by noted biographer Sally Bedell Smith. Smith follows the young princess as a student to a love-struck teen (after meeting Philip) through her current reign. This is a well-written and engrossing account of a Queen that successfully balances royal tradition and modernity. Another title, The Real Elizabeth : an intimate portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, takes on the subject of the role of the monarchy itself specifically under her auspices over the past 60 years and how it has changed over time. And do not forget, her royal consort, Prince Philip, who has served by her side (and one step behind her). There is a recent biography, Prince Philip : the turbulent early life of the man who married Queen Elizabeth II that focuses on his turbulent childhood as his family is exiled from Greece (where he was born) to his mother’s schizophrenia and his father leaving him at an early age in order to live with his mistress. His charm and good looks eventually win him the hand of the-then Princess Elizabeth for whom he renounces his titles, religion and even family. A storybook romance indeed! To read more about their life together, read Philip and Elizabeth : portrait of a royal marriage. Movies about her include Helen Mirren’s outstanding portrayal in the Queen and the British TV show, Queen : a dramatic portrait of one of the world's most powerful women, as well as several documentaries including Windsors, a royal family.

Detroit 1-8-7 on DVD

In the crime drama Detroit 1-8-7, an Inner-city homicide unit is led by Michael Imperioli as Detective Louis Fitch. He and his top-notch colleagues investigate homicides in Detroit. The show is more character driven than police procedural, and the acting is great.

A fun fact about this show, is that it was filmed where it’s set. The pilot was shot in Atlanta, but the remainder of the series was filmed on location in Detroit. The series originally ran on ABC from September 21, 2010 to March 20, 2011 and has since been cancelled.

The show was intended to be a mockumentary, but it switched gears after the Detroit Police Department cancelled all real-life documentary ride-alongs after a controvercial shooting while another documentary was being filmed. Even after editing, bits of the mockumentary are still evident in Detroit 1-8-7’s pilot episode.

If you’re looking for another cop show, because perhaps, like me, you can’t get enough police dramas, then give Detroit 1-8-7 a try. But be warned that it’s no Wire or Homicide: Life on the Street.

Lance Armstrong Finishes 2nd at Panama 70.3 Triathlon

One year after Lance Armstrong's second retirement from professional cycling, the seven-time Tour de France champion entered the long-course triathlon world, stunning a deep field of professional triathletes by clinching 2nd place overall, just 42 seconds behind winner, Bevan Docherty, who ran Armstrong down at the very end of the run portion of the race.

Lance was almost a minute behind the leader coming out of the 1.2 mile swim, but he made that time up on the 56-mile bike (no surprise there), moving into second place. On the 13.1 mile run, he passed American Chris Lieto to take the race lead until the final few miles, when Olympic medalist, Docherty, ran him down.

Armstrong and his Livestrong foundation bring a lot of attention to the endeavors he tackles, and his impressive performance in his first long-course triathlon is sure to bring more spectators and participants into the multi-sport community. If you are interested in completing a triathlon this year, the AADL has books and video to help you get trained and motivated for the swim-bike-run challenge.

Teen Fiction Turns To Television

J.L. Smith's The Vampire Diaries and Sara Shepard's Pretty Little Liars are popular teen novel series that have been made into successful television series. The shows are enjoyed by both adults and young adults, so don’t let the word “teen” scare you.

The Vampire Diaries TV series, now in its third season, takes place in Mystic Falls, Va., a small town haunted by supernatural beings. Two vampire brothers start at Mystic Falls High, one good and one evil, and both end up vying for Elena’s soul. The show focuses on the adventures of this love triangle and their friends as they deal with their dark pasts.

The television series Pretty Little Liars is set in the fictitious town of Rosewood, Pa. Now in its second season, the show follows four friends as their little group falls apart following the disappearance of their ring leader, Alison. A year after Alison's disappearance, the friends start receiving messages from someone called “A.” This mystery person threatens to reveal the clique’s dark secrets. Is it Alison? And if not, then who? The girls are on a mission to find out.

Feeding the Downton Fever

If you are one of the 142 library patrons waiting to catch up on the First Season of the PBS Masterpiece Theater's Downton Abbey, or you'd scheduled your Sunday activities around the Second Season now in progress, then read on.

This immensely popular British period drama set in a grand country house in North Yorkshire is largely the creation of actor/writer Julian Fellowes (with illuminating behind-the-scenes tidbits), whose niece, author Jessica Fellowes has published The World of Downton Abbey (photography by Nick Briggs) - a companion book about the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants, as well as insights into British society in the early years of the twentieth century.

If you and your friends are caught up in the Downton fever that's sweeping the country, the New York Times has some smashing ideas that involve theme parties (tiaras optional, menus suggested).

If your participation tends to be the solitary variety, or you are already suffering from fear of withdraw once the last episode airs on February 19, then be comforted that the major publishers have already anticipated your needs with a further reading list.

Readers Advisory Guru (and my good friend) Neal Wyatt has come up with her impeccable suggestions in this RA Crossroads article "What To Watch (and Read) After Downton Abbey" that is sure to bring you many hours of reading/viewing/listening pleasure until Season 3.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #302

Just about now - as the days get shorter and the temperature dips below freezing, my reading drifts toward the upbeat and heartwarming, and I am glad to have found Angelina's Bachelors : a novel, with food *.

Angelina D'Angelo's Frangelico Chocolate Dream Cake (recipe included) is to die for and unfortunately her husband Frank did just that. Grieving and listless, she turns to her one passion - cooking. To make ends meet, she gathers the hungry bachelors in the neighborhood and offers to feed them. Apart from the out-of-this-world meals she painstakingly prepared daily, each of them comes to find community and riches far beyond his/her expectations.

Angelina marks the fiction debut for cookbook author and TV cooking-show producer Brian O'Reilly whose "keen ear for the neighborhood (South Philly) swells lends a charming, timeless quality to the tale."

And the recipes by Virginia O'Reilly... they are fabulous. The O'Reillys are no strangers when it comes to food and cooking. Between them, they have published two cookbooks (Mission: Cook!: My Life, My Recipes, and Making the Impossible Easy, and Impossible to Easy: 111 Delicious Recipes to Help You Put Great Meals on the Table Every Day), with Robert Irvine, the star of the Foodnetwork television program they produced, called Dinner Impossible.

Unlike recipes in other novels, these are neither cute nor cheeky. They are gourmand-serious and kitchen-tested. I have ordered my own copy of the book so I could try out the Stracotto (Italian Pot Roast) this holiday season.

* = starred review

Things We Love: Food and Television

TVTV
It is that time of year when we begin thinking about food just a bit too much, and plan meals and treats that would be perfect for such and such occasion. Why not celebrate food a little further with some quality cooking shows on DVD! They are ever-entrancing and sure to have you grabbing snacks from the kitchen as you watch.

Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations: Chef and author Anthony Bourdain travels the world sampling local foods and culture. His dry wit and honest opinion of food and culture keep this show lively.

Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie: Gourmet travels the world to serve you a feast of culinary trends, exotic ingredients, and food-obsessed personalities. Exploring the world through food never looked so yummy.

America’s Test Kitchen: In the most watched cooking show on public television, viewers can learn the secrets to foolproof home cooking along with no-nonsense reviews of kitchen equipment and supermarket ingredients.

Cook’s Country: Christopher Kimball and your favorite chefs from America's Test Kitchen turn their no-nonsense approach to cooking to the American repertoire, turning bad food into great food through careful testing. Set in a farmhouse of interesting characters, this show is a hoot.

Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home: Two of the world's most talented and engaging chefs, Julia Child and Jacques Pepin, gather in Julia's famous kitchen to present the essence of great home cooking.

Oliver’s Twist: Chef Jamie Oliver shows us how to shop for the freshest, most flavorful ingredients and then it's back to his flat where he rustles up some tasty dishes for his friends. Jamie’s charisma and food knowledge make me want to bike down to the local bakery and buy some fancy breads after watching this show.

Chef! Famous chef Gareth Blackstock struggles with dividing time between wife Janice and the restaurant. It's a good thing he can let off steam with his remarks.

Now back away from the TV and go stir that sauce!

Go West, Television Viewers

There are several classics in the history of television programs set in the old west. A few of them have recently hit the shelves at AADL.

Gunsmoke was on the air from 1955-1975, and is the longest running dramatic series in the history of televison. Set in 1873 in the frontier town of Dodge City, Kansas, Gunsmoke centers around Marshal Matt Dillon and his adventures with saloon-keeper Miss Kitty, Doc Adams, and Deputy Chester Goode.

Another western drama, The Virginian, aired from 1962 to 1971. It was television's first 90-minute western series, and ran for nine seasons, making it television's third longest running western. Set in Wyoming around the year 1886, and loosely based on a 1902 novel by Owen Wister, the series revolved around the foreman of the Shiloh Ranch, known as The Virginian, and his fellow Shiloh Men.

For more westerns, check out the movies in our westerns section, as well as the hit TV show Bonanza.

Famed TV Writer Mark Rothman Reads From His New Book of Essays

Tuesday November 1, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Remember laughing to hit shows such as "Laverne and Shirley," "Happy Days," and "The Odd Couple"? Come to the library and meet the man behind the humor! Famed TV sitcom writer Mark Rothman reads from his book "Mark Rothman's Essays: Many About Show Biz and All About Life."

Whether you watched the shows in the 1970s or saw them in reruns, Rothman's work has made many generations of tv-viewers laugh and escape in his memorable characters.

Books will be available for sale with a book signing following the presentation.

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