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SuzyQ's Blog

The Mystery of 2012

According to the plot of a new film being released on November 13, the world will come to an end on December 21, 2012. Supposedly based on the fact that the Mayan calendar "runs out" after that date, there has been a slew of books, articles and websites devoted to this phenomenon - as well as the aforementioned film 2012. So what's it really all about?

Great Michigan Read

This year's selection for the Great Michigan Read is the memoir Stealing Buddha's Dinner by Bich Minh Nguyen. Sponsored by the Michigan Humanities Council, this is the second year for the statewide program which inspired more than 500 programs and events in 2008. Stealing Buddha's Dinner chronicles the author's migration from Vietnam to the United States in 1975 and her life growing up in Grand Rapids in the 1980s. Nguyen will embark on a five-city author tour on October 13-17, with stops scheduled for Lansing, Grand Rapids, Midland, Traverse City and Plymouth. She will speak at the Penn Theatre on Saturday, October 17.

Homer & Langley

E.L. Doctorow's latest novel Homer & Langley is based on the true story of the Collyer brothers, notorious for their compulsive hoarding in the first half of the 20th century. The two unemployed siblings lived together for thirty years in their New York City home, where they obsessively collected items such as newspapers, books, furniture, chandeliers, and musical instruments, while at the same time setting booby traps in the hallways to protect against intruders. Their amazing story is often cited as an example of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Hollywood comes to Library's rescue

According to an article in the Detroit Free Press, Hollywood is coming to the aid of the McGregor Library in Highland Park, Michigan. The library was forced to close in 2002 because the city couldn't afford to keep it open. Actor Danny Glover will reportedly star in a film - titled Highland Park - which will tell the story of the struggle to reopen the library. Significant restoration will be done on the building as part of the film project, and it is hoped that this will eventually lead to the library reopening.

Hispanic Heritage

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from mid-September through mid-October each year. The resources in this Special Collection provide an introduction to the culture, identity and direction of the diverse population that is Hispanic.

Culture

Arte Latino: Treasures From the Smithsonian American Art Museum by Jonathan Yorba: This book documents 50 Latino artists from the U.S. and Puerto Rico as they explore their identity and influence on U.S. culture over the past two centuries through various media.

Edward M. Kennedy

Senator Edward M. Kennedy passed away early this morning after a long battle with cancer. He was 77. Kennedy, nicknamed "Ted," and known as the "Lion of the Senate" was first elected to represent Massachusetts in 1962. He is one of only six senators in U.S. history to serve more than 40 years. Throughout this time he played major roles in the passage of such landmark legislation as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act. He has also been one of the Senate's foremost champions of health care reform. Speaking to reporters after hearing the news of Kennedy's death, President Obama called him "not only one of the greatest senators of our time, but one of the most accomplished Americans ever to serve our democracy."

Three Days of Peace and Music

"By the time we got to Woodstock, we were half a million strong." Those words, written by Joni Mitchell in her famous song about the event, perfectly captured the feelings about the music festival for those who were there. It was forty years ago on August 15, 1969, that thousands of people gathered in rural Bethel, New York to attend what would become an historic outdoor concert. For those who attended - and even like Mitchell - those who could not, Woodstock became a defining moment.

National Inventors Month

This is the month for all your great ideas for a "better mousetrap" to be considered once again! Started in 1998 by the United Inventors Association of the USA, the Academy Of Applied Science and Inventors' Digest Magazine, August has been designated as National Inventors Month, celebrating invention and creativity.

Get the Facts about Health Care Reform

Confused about the debate over health care reform? President Obama has unveiled a new "Reality Check" site to help you get the facts on this very important issue. The site has fact sheets, videos, and links to related sites such as Health Reform.gov. It also allows users to receive updates via Twitter and Facebook.

The Summer of '69

Do you remember Hurricane Camille? Woodstock? Apollo 11? The Manson Murders? The Stonewall Riots? If so, do you remember what all of these history making events have in common? They all occurred in the Summer of 1969. For an overview of some of these events check out CNN's Special page. For a perspective on the entire year you can also read Rob Kirkpatrick's recent book 1969: the Year Everything Changed. Or check out Wikipedia's timeline for a day-by-day breakdown of this seminal year in American history.

Traverse City Film Festival

The 2009 Traverse City Film Festival opens today at the historic State Theatre. Originally opened in 1918 the theatre has been the main venue of the festival since it began in 2005. This year's offerings include The Answer Man starring  Michigan's own Jeff Daniels, and Julie & Julia starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. The festival ends on August 2.

You Can't Judge a Movie by its Trailer - or Can You?

Have you ever sat through a seemingly endless parade of  previews at your local cineplex waiting to see the film you just paid for, only to wonder if the ones that are coming out in the next few months  are really  as good (or bad) as they seem to be?

Walter Cronkite

The man once known as "the most trusted man in America" passed away Friday at the age of  92. Walter Cronkite, the legendary journalist and TV news anchor for CBS, retired in 1981 after a long and distinguished career. Recruited by Edward R. Murrow,  Cronkite joined the network in the early 1950s after proving himself with his excellent coverage from Moscow during World War II.