Archive | December, 2007

Library Holiday Closures

holidaybuilding.jpgSunnyvale Library will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, December 24 and 25. We will also be closed on Monday and Tuesday, December 31 and January 1.

All other days the Library will be open normal hours.

Happy Holidays!

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Gentlemen of the Road

Gentlemen of the RoadGentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon

Looking for an escape, an adventure?  Michael Chabon’s latest novel takes you to 10th-century Khazaria, the fabled kingdom of wild red-haired Jews on the western shore of the Caspian Sea and an adventure worthy of Kipling.  The ’gentlemen’ of the title are con men and adventurers skilled at fighting, healing and just staying alive.  During their travels they encounter wild Vikings, marauding armies, escaping royalty, elephants, noble horses, and evil rulers.   A fun read with some interesting parallels to modern times.   The book is illustrated by Gary Gianni the current illustrator of Prince Valiant.

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Parents’ Guides to Video Games

Wii and KidTo the average parent or grandparent of a teen or tween, it can seem that kids often speak an entirely different language. Today’s young person is fluent in a slangy mixture of pop-culture references, cellphone shorthand, and electronics abbreviations. Merriam-Webster recently had nearly everyone past their mid-30s scratching their heads when they recently announced their Word of the Year for 2007 was ‘w00t’ (yes, with two zeroes instead of the letter ‘o’), a video gaming term briefly defined as an expression of joy.

If you watch much TV, you may have seen the recent Verizon commercial in which a teenage girl laments the fact that her parents actually bought her a pony for Christmas rather than the new cellphone she really wanted. Parents hoping to avoid similar miscommunication with their children when it comes to the overwhelming world of video games may have help.

What They Play (www.whattheyplay.com), billed as “The Videogame Guide for Parents”, was created by a pair of entertainment industry veterans and according to the web site “offers parents a deep, searchable collection of information that objectively describes the themes, content and player experience of the latest and most popular videogames.” Most video gaming sites tend to be written by gamers for gamers, making the content nearly unintelligible for the uninitiated. What They Play helps bridge that gap, so when a teen asks for the latest MMORPG, they won’t receive a bag of trail mix. Of particular note is the feature article “Making Holiday Wishes Come True: Helping parents understand the videogames their kids are asking for” which breaks down the differences between various consoles and games. This may be a must-read if you still don’t know the difference between PS3 and PSP or Manhunt and Mario.

And just in case you were thinking it, a word of advice: Don’t buy the pony.

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Ice Sheets

ice sheetice sheetice sheet

ice sheetice sheet ice sheet

Today marks the 2nd International Polar Day, this time focusing on Ice Sheets.  The Greenland Ice Sheet and the Antarctic Ice Sheet are the only ice masses large enough to be classified as ice sheets.  Composed of snow compressed into ice over one kilometer thick on average, these ice sheets are the largest reservoirs of fresh water on earth.  Several major expeditions across Antarctica are in progress to study the ice sheets.  With stunning photos, the book Islands of the Arctic describes the evolution of the physical landscape and includes a discussion of glaciers and ice sheets.  Field Notes from a Catastrophe; Man, Nature, and Climate Change addresses the problem of the melting polar ice sheets from every angle and asks what can be done to save our planet.

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Felt Forward: Modern Designs in Knitted Felt

feltforward.jpgTry a hot technique in knitting that’s been around for centuries. Author Maggie Pace in Felt Forward: Modern Designs in Knitted Felt  has pulled together projects for clothes, accessories and home decor that aren’t too difficult and make a big impact. Thorough instructions and numerous illustrations make this book a good choice for winter projects.

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