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Earth Days

The inspiring story of the modern environmental movement is related in Earth Days, part of the American Experience series presented on PBS. Director Robert Stone traces the origins of the movement through the eyes of nine Americans who were involved in the movement from the 1950s to the establishment of the first Earth Day in 1970. Debuting tonight at 9:00PM on most PBS channels, the DVD will also be available in the Library's collection on its release.

Environmental Documentaries

Although Earth Day is officially celebrated once a year - on April 22 - the Library has a great collection of environmentally-themed documentaries that are available all year round. From wildlife to climate change, from recycling to alternate energy, we have it covered!

How to Become a Master Gardener

Do you want to make your green thumb even greener? Earth Week is a great time to learn how to grow and care for your own vegetables, herbs, fruit trees and flowers. Master Gardener Anita Callendar will be at the Library on April 20 with an overview of the Master Gardening Program presented by the Michigan State University Extension. Join her and other future gardening gurus in the Community Room from 7:00-8:30PM. No registration is required.

Spirit Awards 2010

The 2010 Spirit Awards will be presented Saturday, March 6 In Los Angeles. You can watch the program live on the Independent Film Channel at 8:00 p.m. Given out annually by Film Independent, this year's nominees include Amreeka, Sin Nombre, (500) Days of Summer for Best Film, and Helen Mirren, Gabourey Sidibe, Samantha Morton, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Colin Firth among the actors nominated in both lead and supporting roles.

Countdown to the Oscars

Nominated for Best Documentary Feature, The Cove documents the abuse of dolphins by fishermen in Taiji, a sleepy lagoon off the coast of Japan. Animal rights activist and filmmaker Richard O'Barry - a former animal trainer who once captured the dolphins used on the television series Flipper - has four decades later renounced his previous profession. Instead he has captured on film shocking images of how the dolphins' habitat has been poisoned by the fishermen and their marine ecology endangered. The film received its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009.

BAFTA Honors 2010

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has bestowed its Best Film award on The Hurt Locker - the Iraq War film which has also been nominated for an Oscar in the same category. Kathryn Bigelow also won as Best Director, with the film winning in six categories over all. The ceremonies were held yesterday In London where Prince William - the new BAFTA president - was in attendance.

Countdown to the Oscars

Nominated for three Oscars ( Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay), An Education - based on the memoir by Lynn Barber - is set in 1961 London where suburban 16-year old Jenny is eager to start her adult life. Jenny gets the chance to shake things up when she comes under the spell of David - an older, urbane newcomer who introduces her to art auctions, classical concerts, and crowded pubs. The film stars Best Actress nominee Carey Mulligan as Jenny and Peter Sarsgaard as David.

Paczki Day!

As a Catholic kid growing up in Detroit, Paczki Day was always a very big deal at my school. The entire day was dedicated to fun, games and food, especially the yummy — and extremely fattening — Paczki which were provided for the students. Traditionally celebrated in the United States on Shrove Tuesday (i.e. the day before Ash Wednesday), to Americans of Polish descent - or any anyone who grew up in Metro Detroit — Paczki Day means eating paczki — those scrumptious jelly-filled, deep-fried donuts.

Countdown to the Oscars

Nominated for six Oscars (including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay), Up in the Air is an adaptation of Walter Kirn's novel about a human resources administrator (George Clooney) who flies around the country firing people for bosses who don't have the stomach for it. Director Jason Reitman's cast also includes Jason Bateman and fellow nominees for Best Supporting Actress Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick. Some scenes were filmed last year in Detroit Metro Airport!

2010 Academy Awards

Nominations for the 2010 Academy Awards have been announced, and many of the nominated films are already here at the Library. This year there are ten films nominated for Best Picture - the first time in over 60 years that this has been done (in the eight years from 1936 to 1943 there were also 10 best picture nominees).

Remembering Teddy Pendergrass

R&B legend Teddy Pendergrass passed away earlier this week after a long illness. Pendergrass, 59, got his start singing gospel music in Philadelphia churches, and later became a drummer for a local group called the Cadillacs. After merging with another more well known group, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, he became their lead singer in 1970. He later left the group and struck out on a solo career after signing with Philadelphia International Records - where his next several albums went gold and platinum. During this time he received several Grammy nominations, Billboard's 1977 Pop Album New Artist Award, an American Music Award for best R&B performer of 1978, and awards from Ebony magazine and the NAACP. A tragic car accident in 1982 left him paralyzed from the waist down. He made a dramatic return to the stage at the Live Aid concert in 1985, and in 1998 he founded Teddy Pendergrass Alliance to aid people with spinal cord injuries.

2009 National Film Registry Inductees

The National Film Registry of The Library of Congress recently announced its list of inductees for 2009. Among the titles is Michael Jackson's 1983 video Thriller, which is the first music video to be named to the Registry. Established in 1989, it now contains 525 films selected for their enduring importance to United States culture. Also included among the list of 2009 entries areThe complete list can be found here.

Year 2009 Top Movie Picks

Bolt (voices of John Travolta, Miley Cyrus) Super-dog Bolt is the star of a hit TV show whose life is filled with adventure, danger and intrigue. When he is accidentally shipped to New York City and separated from Penney, his beloved co-star and owner, Bolt immediately springs into action to save her from the forces of evil.

Coraline (voices of Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher) A young girl walks through a secret door that she has found in her new home and discovers an alternate version of her life. Based on the book by Neil Gaiman.

Up in the Air

George Clooney is getting alot of Oscar buzz for his role in the new comedy/drama  Up In the Air which opens today in the Detroit area. Jason Reitman's adaptation of the novel by Walter Kirn tells the story of human resources administrator Ryan Bingham who flies around the country firing people for bosses who don't have the stomach for it. He's also on the verge of reaching his goal of racking up ten million frequent flyer miles when his company decides to cut back on travel and fire people over the Internet instead. The supporting cast includes Vera Farmiga, Jason Bateman and Anna Kendrick.

Invictus

Opening in the Detroit area tomorrow, the film Invictus tells the inspiring true story of how newly elected South African president Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa’s rugby team, to help unite their country. Knowing that his nation remained racially divided - as well as economically - in the wake of apartheid, Mandela and team captain Francois Pienaar used the universal language of sport to rally South Africa’s underdog rugby team to an unlikely run to the World Cup Championship