For those of you who haven't yet trashed your VCRs

The Morocco Experience

An exciting deviation from the average travel documentary, this Lonely Planet production attempts to recreate the overall tone of their popular guidebooks and website. Hosted by an adventurous back-packer, we get to see first-hand what it's like to hitch-hike on a mountain farm truck, barter services and goods at the local markets, accept invitations from locals to join them for home-cooked meals, and even ride a camel. Throughout his journey, our host speaks with many fellow travelers representing a wide range of cultures, male and female, young and old. This is a terrific source for when planning a Moroccan escape, and an even better source when you just need a 47 minute escape in the comfort of your own home. The Morocco Experience is vicarious living at its finest.

Free Comic Book Day - May 6th

1,850 comic specialty shops across the country will be giving away comic books on Saturday, May 6th. This is the 5th year running for "Free Comic Book Day" http://www.freecomicbookday.com/|
Vault of Midnight http://www.vaultofmidnight.com voted best comic shop for seven years straight is a participating store. The world of comics awaits!

'Let's Talk Mosaics!!' Lecture and Exhibit

Mosaic Rachel

Thursday, May 4 7:00-8:30pm Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room

Have you seen the incredible mosiac show Mosaics: Moments Captured In Glass By The Mosaic Sphere Studio on the 3rd Floor of the Downtown Library? If you're into mosaics on any level, be sure to attend this exhibit AND the accompanying lecture 'Let's Talk Mosaics' by instructor Yulia Hanansen. Her talk will discuss different periods in mosaic making, including modern American mosaics.

Birdwatching

April 26 is ornithologist, artist and wildlife conservationist John James Audubon's birthday---reason enough to pick up the addicting habit of watching birds. Here are a few ways to get started:

Lounge in your backyard with National Audubon Society North American Birder's Handbook. Pop The Audubon Videoguide to 505 Birds of North America into your DVD player, or Backyard Bird Songs into your CD player. Join the Washtenaw Audubon Society's "Tuesday Evening Birders" every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. through May 23 for evening walks at local birding sites (call 994-3569 for more info), or attend the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission's "May Morning Bird Walk" on Saturday, May 6, from 8-10 p.m. in the Brauer Preserve (call 971-6337 for more info). Visit the Haehnle Audubon Sanctuary and watch for Sandhill Cranes; read The Boy Who Drew Birds: John James Audubon, or marvel over Audubon's original plates.

"Books Change Lives" at any time of life

The Books Change Lives Program is part of the Ann Arbor Book Festival. BCL encourages readers to tell us about their favorite all-time book and how it changed their lives. Rachel's favorite book is Strider by Beverly Cleary. Here's what she had to say about it: "I don't know how many times I have read Strider, but I know it better than any other book. The situations that Leigh Botts faces make me love it so much. He found his comfort in writing about his anxieties and in running with his dog. The way he wrote about running made me want to run. In high school I started. Running boosted my self-esteem, kept me focused and lively, and helped me push myself. Like Leigh Botts, running helped me deal with my social awkwardness." Do you have a favorite book that influenced your life?

Young Parrotheads' fancies turn to . . . country music?

With the upcoming film release of Carl Hiaasen's Newbery honor book Hoot, there's potential to create a whole new generation of Parrotheads. Everyone's favorite resident of Margaritaville, Jimmy Buffett, not only produced and stars in the film, but he also penned much of its original soundtrack.

Of course, Mr. Buffett isn't the only artist who stands to benefit from an influx of new fans. Many country musicians carry on this tradition of carefree beach relaxation, not the least of whom is one of Buffett's most prominent successors: Kenny Chesney. Despite having such distinctly un-parrotlike hits as "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy," Chesney has staked his claim in the Parrothead pantheon with such songs as "When the Sun Goes Down" and "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem." Indeed, his 2004 album Be As You Are is a veritable smorgasbord of tropical freewheeling goodness.

Young and old Parrotheads alike may also enjoy the works of some other country greats such as Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, or the legendary Willie Nelson.

Videogame Panel Discussion: This Sunday!

AADL-GT Pad Logo
AADL-GT: Ann Arbor District Library Game Tournaments

The videogame industry is teetering on the precipice of the next console war. With Microsoft's Xbox 360 already established in the market, all eyes are on Sony and Nintendo, and what they'll announce at E3 in just a few short weeks. Sony's PS3 will be powerful and fast, but also embroiled in a disc format war could be disastrous for a product that may launch above $500. Nintendo's console, still codenamed 'revolution', has a radical new controller that offers intuitive play to a larger audience, a possible $199 pricetag, and a downloadable back catalog of 20 years worth of classic games. The all-important holiday season is fast approaching. Who will emerge victorious from the wreckage of the next console war? And, define 'victorious'!

COME SPECULATE WILDLY with a panel of gamers at Malletts Creek Branch on Sunday, from 1-3, featuring AADL-GT Season 1 Champion and Season 2 Runner-up, [gtplayer:143] (Stephen Savage), seasoned GT commentator and Season 2 comeback-story finalist [gtplayer:288] (Daniel Burgener), Lansing-based adult tournament competitor and gaming enthusiast Omokusaki (Zach Lark), and yours truly as your host and resident tattoo-bearing Nintendo Fanboy!

E-greetings to the Queen!

Queen Elizabeth II

Do you know what today is? It's Queen Elizabeth's 80th birthday!

Why don't you send her an e-greeting! (Did you know that Her Majesty sent her first email in 1976?)

Can't make it to the birthday festivities? Check out the BBC News for video footage.

Don't know much about her? Peruse AADL's collection on "Lilibet". She may not be as stuffy as you think...

Music to your ears... Food for your soul...

Join the University Musical Society in welcoming Sweet Honey In The Rock at Hill Auditorium on Saturday, April 22 at 8pm.

For over 30 years, this Grammy-award winning a cappella ensemble of six African American women have combined spirituals, hymns, gospel - as well as jazz and blues to raise awareness about the social injustices in the U.S. and around the world. The words are also beautifully interpreted in American Sign Language.

Can't make it to the concert? Or you've heard them and want more? Check out AADL's selection of their music.

Idol-mania!

So you think you're a true American Idol fan? Sure, you may know everything there is to know about season 5, but what about seasons 1-4? You better brush up kids, for there may be a quiz...

Need some "idol" extra credit? Check these out:

Kelly Clarkson
Ruben Studdard
Clay Aiken (Yes folks, he actually has a book out...)
Fantasia Barrino

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