Start Spring Break With a Magic Show

Start Spring Break with a Magic Show!Start Spring Break with a Magic Show!

Let's hope the nice weather holds out through this week when the Ann Arbor Public Schools have Spring Break.
Regardless of the weather, we'll have lots of fun things for kids to do.
We'll start out with a magic show. Ann Arbor's own Jeff Wawrzaszek will bring his new magic show to the Malletts Creek Branch on Monday April 2, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. This is for all ages. Who doesn't love a good magic show?
And Jeff is the best!

Here are some materials to help you try some tricks of your own.

The Forgotten Spaghetti Farmers

On this date in 1957, the BBC aired a groundbreaking report on the harvesting of spaghetti trees in southern Switzerland. Up until this time, many people in the UK did not consume spaghetti, and therefore were unaware of the painstaking process involved in spaghetti farming.

Though the images from the story are quite pastoral, spaghetti tree cultivation is not for the faint of heart. Improper care of the spaghetti tree can result in a crop of difficult-to-eat dancing spaghetti or the accidental transmogrification of the spaghetti tree into a pizza plant. At first thought, this may sound even better, but pizza plants are an invasive species, and almost always attract most of a neighborhood’s pests to one’s garden. Even worse, spaghetti storms (sometimes including meatball hail) have been known to happen in areas where genetically modified spaghetti plants are grown in large quantities. Scientists are unsure of why this may happen, but some hypothesize about a process similar to that where it rains frogs: waterspouts (spaghetti trees are largely farmed in low-lying wetlands or artificially-created ponds) rip the spaghetti from the tree limbs (which are weakened by unnaturally large spaghetti pods), transporting it to relatively high altitudes, and carrying it over large distances. The winds are capable of allowing the spaghetti to fall in a concentrated fashion in a localized area. Some tornadoes can suck up a spaghetti pond entirely, resulting in what we loosely translate as the fabled “rain of pasta.”

Festifools!

We are sure that the warm weather will return in time for Festifools when we team up with our awesome partners at 826michigan for a robot invasion! Join us at the Downtown Library this Sunday, April 1 at 2:00-3:45 to make a ridiculous costume and then we will parade down Liberty and meet up with the giant puppets in the alley. The foolery begins at 4:00 pm and we will be right in the middle of it all! Happy spring!

Sustainable Farmer and Entrepreneur Joel Salatin to Visit Ann Arbor

Joel Salatin, the well-known organic farmer, will be coming to Ann Arbor's Michigan Theater on Tuesday, April 24th by way of the People's Food Co-op of Ann Arbor (PFC), to "share how his farm serves as a prototype to the way local food can lead to our agricultural, environmental, and nutritional salvation. Noting that our food system now faces challenges in biosecurity, food safety, energy, integrity, and humane animal husbandry, he will explain how local production, processing, distribution, and patrons in the Ann Arbor area can reshape our food future."

Salatin's ideas and progress in the world of sustainable farming have been featured in Michael Pollan’s bestselling book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, in the documentary films Food, Inc. and Fresh, and also in his very own books, Folks, this Ain't Normal and Holy Cows and Hog Heaven. "Since his cutting-edge sustainable farm, Polyface Inc., began inspiring people throughout the world, his charismatic nature and ability to produce provocative and poignant proclamations about the unfortunate state of our food system have made him one of the most influential voices in the sustainable food movement today."

The event will take place at the Michigan Theater in Downtown Ann Arbor on Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 from 8pm to 10pm. Tickets are $15 for the General Public, and $13 for Students & PFC Members. Available at ticketmaster.com or surcharge-free at the People's Food Co-op of Ann Arbor.

Brick Bash 2012

Craving LEGOS? Join the community of Ann Arbor for some FREE Lego fun at the 2012 Brick Bash!

The event will feature displays of Lego creations crafted by talented Lego hobbyists from near and far! Even you can get in on the fun - there will be tables piled high with thousands of LEGO, Duplo, and Bionicle pieces for you to craft your very own creations. In addition, Bricks for Brains will have fun and educational building projects for everyone to take part in. For more information, see the list of featured exhibits and activities.

The event will take place at Morris Lawrence Building on the campus of the Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan and last all day Saturday, March 24th from 11am to 6pm. Both admission and parking are free!

U-M Memory Connection phone line offers memory loss and dementia advice

To better assist patients and their families and friends, the University of Michigan Health System has created a phone line to help connect people to memory loss and dementia services and information. The phone number for this new service, the U-M Memory Connection, is (734) 936-8803. Trained professionals who understand conditions related to memory and/or thinking changes such as Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body disease and vascular dementia are available to answer calls Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm.

March's Books to Film

The most anticipated feature film this spring is perhaps The Hunger Games (PG-13), to be release on March 23rd, based on the novel by Suzanne Collins. In a bleak future, the United States has been reduced to a dictatorship with 12 districts. Every year, in order to prevent uprisings, the ruling Capitol forces one boy and one girl from each district to fight each other to the death in a nationally televised arena --- and only one will survive. Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts and make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love if she's ever to return home.

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax is the 3D-CG adaptation of the classic tale of a forest guardian who shares the enduring power of hope. The animated adventure follows the journey of a 12-year-old as he searches for a real Truffula Tree, the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To get it, he must find the story of the Lorax, the acerbic yet charming character who fights to protect his world.

John Carter, a Disney production (PG-13) based on Sci-fi novel A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton, this sweeping action adventure set on the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom (Mars) tells the story of John Carter, who is inexplicably embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions amongst the inhabitants of the planet, and discovers that the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands.

Based on the fairy tale of Snow White by The Brothers Grimm, Mirror, Mirror (rated PG) retells a wicked enchantress's schemes and scrambles to control a spirited orphan's throne and the attention of a charming prince. A star-studded cast - with Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen; the fresh-faced Lily Collins as Snow White; gorgeous leading man Armie Hammer as the Prince, and the incomparable Nathan Lane as Brighton, the Queen’s right hand man.

THE MOVIE I AM MOST EAGER TO SEE :
Already out on the coasts but hopefully coming to theaters near us is Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, starring eye-candy Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt, and the dynamicKristin Scott Thomas; directed by Lasse Hallström (Chocolat)

Based on the 2007 novel by Paul Torday, where a visionary sheik believes the peaceful pastime of salmon fishing can enrich the lives of his people, and he dreams of bringing the sport to the not so fish-friendly desert. Willing to spare no expense in order to turn the dream into reality, he enlists Britain's leading fisheries expert and the Prime Minister's overzealous press secretary. This unlikely team will embark on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible, possible. Check out the recent review and trailer in EW.

Chesstastic is Happening

Make the most of your Sunday, by stopping by the Traverwood branch of the Ann Arbor District Library and play a game or two of Chess one of the world's most popular games. Chess boards are provided, and all ages and levels of players are welcome.
From first moves to checkmate, the library has materials to help you improve your game,
click here for some of those titles.
Traverwood, March 18, Sunday | 1-4 PM | All ages

Going to the PowWow?

If this weekend's Dance For Mother Earth Pow Wow inspires you, check out the CD More Kid's Pow Wow Songs. The Library also has many other recordings of Native American music.

You can read a story about a young Jingle Dancer in this book by Cynthia Leitich Smith. Or, try the photo essay, Pow Wow by George Ancona, and Pow Wow: A Good Day to Dance by Jacqueline Dembar Greene.

Cloudwalker; Contemporary Native American Stories is a collection of six short stories about modern Native American children's lives and how they blend traditional Native culture with mainstream American culture. Children of Native America Today is a photo essay featuring 25 of the more than 500 native cultures of the U.S. as well as a section on urban Indians.

This year's Dance For Mother Earth is the 40th annual Pow Wow at U.M. Here's a link to articles and photographs from past Pow Wows.

I am the Lorax! I speak for the trees!

Celebrate The Lorax and Read Across America at our Toast to The Truffula Trees craft program on Thursday, March 15 at 7 pm at the Downtown Library! Families with children of all ages are invited to make a ridiculous Truffula Hat out of recycled materials from our favorite treasure trove, the Scrap Box. A dramatic reading of The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss, will entertain creators as they color, cut and glue with pom poms, pipe cleaners, stickers and lots of colorful recycled junk!

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