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Michigan Students Head to Olympics

Michigan Olympian SkatersUniversity of Michigan students and Ice Dancing couples are competing in the Olympics! One pair trains locally in Canton at the Arctic Edge and the other pair trains in Ann Arbor at The Cube. The University of Michigan has an article concerning them: Wolverines Garner Spots in Winter Olympics

Happy Groundhog Day!

Groundhog Day is rooted in a German superstition that if an animal casts its shadow on February 2nd, which is the Christian holiday of Candlemas, bad weather is coming. (Candlemas is the feast of the purification of Mary, Jesus' mother, in the Catholic Church, and is so called because mass is preceded by the distribution of candles.)

Groundhog Day was first celebrated in the U.S. as a Pennsylvania German (so called Pennsylvania Dutch) custom around the 17th and 18th century. This tradition goes back even further in time when the ancient Romans conquered the Teutons or Germanic peoples in the north and brought this custom with them. If the groundhog came out of its den and cast a shadow, 6 more weeks of winter were imminent.

The ancient Celtic pagan festival of Imbolc, celebrated this same day, is traditionally a time of weather prediction, and the old tradition of watching to see if serpents or badgers came from their winter dens is perhaps a precursor to Groundhog Day. Fire and purification are important aspects of this festival. The lighting of candles and burning of bonfires in the snow represented the return of warmth and increasing power of the Sun over the coming months.

For more information on this holiday, see the book Groundhog Day in our collection. For more on Candlemas, see Celebrations of Light, also in our library collection.

Valentines Day Trivia

St. Valentine's CasketValentine's Day is celebrated on February 14, traditionally in honor of a saint killed on that day in Roman times. Because he was caught marrying Christian couples, he was arrested, imprisoned and sentenced to death under Emperor Claudius in 269 A.D. He is the Patron Saint of engaged couples, bee keepers, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, plague, travellers, and young people. The casket with his remains, located in Dublin Ireland, is shown here. For more information on this saint, see the Saints and Angels website.

Countries of the World and Their Leaders, 2010

A new database is searchable via Gale Virtual Reference Library called Countries of the World and Their Leaders. A compilation of the U.S. Department of State, it reports on contemporary political and economic conditions, government personnel and policies, political parties, religions, history, education, press, radio and TV, climate, health conditions, and travel and passport restrictions in every country. Search all of Gale Virtual Reference Library or expand the heading under "Nation and World" to click directly and open up Countries of the World and Their Leaders.

UXL Encyclopedia of Mythology is searchable via Gale Virtual Reference Library

A new Encyclopedia of World Mythology is now searchable via Gale Virtual Reference Library. It contains all the classic Greek/Roman myths as well as Native North American, South American, Asian/Pacific, Norse, Judeo-Christian, Islamic and Hindi deities, legends, and myths. Search all of GVRL or search the mythology encyclopedia independently by expanding the "literature" heading listed under GVRL and click on UXL Encyclopedia of Mythology.

Winter Olympics

The 2010 Winter Olympics starts February 12 in Vancouver, BC and it's not too early to get enthused! Here are a list of websites pertaining to scheduled events, current news, Winter Olympics history and more. For an overview of the Winter Olympics, see "The Winter Olympics: An Insiders Guide to the Legends, the Lore and the Game" in Canton Library's collection. For other books on the Olympics for all ages, see the subject "Olympics" in our catalog.

Christmas Book Suggestion: "A Simple Christmas" by Mike Huckabee

A Simple Christmas: A former presidential candidate relates 12 personal stories that recall the spirit of Christmas in his life.

Haunted Christmas: Yuletide Ghosts and Other Spooky Holiday Happenings

If you like your Christmas spooky, then this book, Haunted Christmas, is for you. It contains 30 tales of Christmas hauntings including a history of haunted Christmases, specific cities (including Bethlehem) haunted at Christmas time, ghostly Christmas visits of historic persons and just generally creepy Christmas Eve and Christmas happenings throughout the world. Great for those who enjoy both Christmas and Halloween and wouldn't mind a blending of both!

Christmas Miracles - Book Suggestion of the Week

Christmas Miracles by Cecil Murphey
Celebrate the season of hope and miracles with these inspiring true stories that will warm the heart and touch the soul! From hearing invisible angels sing to miraculous healings, faith in the impossible will swell to bursting with this recent 2009 publication. Cecil Murphey is the co-author of the New York Times bestseller 90 Minutes in Heaven. He has published 108 books and lectures widely.

The True Saint Nicholas by William J. Bennett

True Saint NicholasIf you've ever been asked, "Who is Saint Nicholas?"...

If you've ever wondered if he is just a commercial invention...

If you've ever thought there is no such person...

You may be surprised to know the true Saint Nicholas.

You'll never again think of Santa Claus in quite the same way.

Camio Database is like visiting a museum

Camio Database has collected art and objects from various prominent museums around the world. Categories include photographs, prints, sculpture, paintings, decorative arts and useful objects, drawings and watercolors, costumes and jewelry, textiles and architecture. Check a category or type a country in the search box to see art, costumes, furniture, and more, from or by artists who lived in that country in various time periods. Click on specific portions of the screen to enlarge that section! A visually stimulating experience, Camio is your armchair museum on a screen!

Haunted Michigan

Don't you just love chasing after the spirits? For website links to information on haunted houses in Westland, Wayne, Canton, Plymouth, Ann Arbor, Detroit and other areas, see this Haunted Houses website. For an alphabetical city list of haunted sites in Michigan that explains why each is haunted, see Shadowlands Haunted Places Index. Check out the parapsychology section of our library for researching spooky phenomena. Have fun ghostbusting this Halloween!

Relic of New Saint to be Displayed in Detroit

Portrait of St. DamienThe relic of a new saint will be displayed October 13-14 at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Detroit. St. Damian of Molokai in Hawaii will be canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 11th. For information on the times of display and church services see the Archdiocese of Detroit news article. For information on this saint or his relic, see the Frequently Asked Questions: The Relic of Saint Damien of Molokai news article.

The Lost Symbol

Dan Brown's new thriller The Lost Symbol deals with symbology or the study of symbols with which the hero and heroine have to decipher secret signs of occult orders. To complement this exciting novel, here are related books in our library that deal with hidden messages and meanings in religious art, life and the subconscious.

The Sistine Secrets: Michelangelo's Forbidden Messages in the Heart of the Vatican

The Occult in Art

1000 Symbols: What Shapes Mean in Art and Myth