Summer is finally here! And we all know what that means in Michigan — don't we? Orange cones! Traffic snarls! Gridlock! It seems there's no avoiding it, especially in and around the Canton area where it seems that every major road is under repair — including right in front of the library. Well, as they say, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em — in song, that is. Sing along with gridlock! And to get you started just try any one of the many great songs about cars and driving from our list below. Start your engines!
Major League Baseball and the Detroit Tigers are teaming up to celebrate the country's Polish heritage at Comerica Park on Friday, May 28. The festivities will begin at 5:30PM prior to the Tigers' game with the Oakland Athletics which will begin at 7:05. This marks the 40th consecutive year that Polish-American Baseball Night has been observed in Detroit. The celebration will include Polka dancing and the singing of the Polish national anthem, as well as a special ceremony honoring volunteers and Polish fraternal organizations.
Michigan Week is celebrated this year from the 16th through the 22nd of this month. This annual tribute began in 1954 as a way to promote state pride among citizens, and to celebrate the state's rich heritage. The Library can help you learn more about Michigan's history, its tremendous natural resources, and its beautiful sights to visit and enjoy.
Oceans, the newest big screen documentary from Disneynature, will open in theaters — appropriately — on Earth Day, April 22. Using the latest underwater technologies, the film gives viewers an unprecedented look at the mysteries living beneath the seas which cover nearly three quarters of the earth's surface. In addition, for every viewer that sees the film during its opening week (April 22-28), Disneynature will make a contribution to The Nature Conservancy to save the world's coral reefs.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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).
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.