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SuzyQ's Blog

Fall Astronomy Day

Fall Astronomy Day (October 13) is a good time to read up on some of the noted astronomers of the past, or watch an informative documentary:

Galileo in Rome: the rise and fall of a troublesome genius by William R. Shea and Mariano Artigas

Copernicus' secret: how the scientific revolution began by Jack Repcheck

Edwin Hubble: mariner of the nebulae by Gale E. Christianson

Galileo: a life by James Reston, Jr

Kepler's witch: an astronomer's discovery of cosmic order amid religious war, political intrigue, and the heresy trial of his mother by James A. Connor

Carl Sagan: a life by Keay Davidson

Exploring America

In the spirit of Columbus Day read about some of the other explorers who ventured out in search of new worlds:

Amerigo: the man who gave his name to America by Felipe Fernández-Armesto

Henry Hudson: dreams and obsession by Corey Sandler

La Salle: a perilous odyssey from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico by Donald S. Johnson

Over the edge of the world: Magellan's terrifying circumnavigation of the globe by Laurence Bergreen

Champlain's dream by David Hackett Fischer

Hernando de Soto: a savage quest in the Americas by David Ewing Duncan

The Great Chicago Fire

The Great Chicago Fire burned from Sunday, October 8 to Tuesday, October 10, 1871. The fire started in or around a barn on DeKoven Street, but despite the fact that the O'Leary family lived in the area, the legend of Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicking over a lantern is probably just that - a legend. More than 300 people died in the fire, 100,000 were left homeless, and four square miles of the city were destroyed. Although the Chicago fire, perhaps, the most well known from in American history, there have been significant fires in other major cities as well - Boston, Pittsburgh and Detroit included. To learn more about them check out Seven Fires: the Urban Infernos that Shaped America.

The great fire by Jim Murphy

Smoldering city: Chicagoans and the Great Fire, 1871- 1874 by Karen Sawislak

City of the century: the epic of Chicago and the making of America by Donald L. Miller

City of big shoulders: a history of Chicago by Robert G. Spinney

October Birthdays

Read about some of the fascinating people who were born in the month of October!

Home: a memoir of my early years by Julie Andrews — October 1

The life of Graham Greene by Norman Sherry — October 2

Buster Keaton: cut to the chase by Marion Meade — October 4

Chester Alan Arthur by Zachary Karabell — October 5

Rocket man: Robert H. Goddard and the birth of the space age by David A. Clary — October 5

This little light of mine: the life of Fannie Lou Hamer by Kay Mills — October 6

Rabble-rouser for peace: the authorized biography of Desmond Tutu by John Allen — October 7

Italian-American Heritage Month

About 5.5 million Italians immigrated to the United States between 1820 and 2004. The greatest surge occurred between 1880 and 1920 when more than 4 million Italians came to America. October is the time to celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Americans of Italian descent in all walks of life.

New Documentaries on the Shelf

The world before her [videodisc] by Kinosmith, Telefilm Canada and the Rogers Group of Funds through the Theatrical Documentary Program present a film by Nisha Pahuja ; writer and director: Nisha Pahuja

The house I live in [videodisc] by Charlotte Street Films presents an Edgewood Way production ; producers, Eugene Jarecki, Melinda Shopsin ; written and directed by Eugene Jarecki

The reluctant fundamentalist [videodisc] by IFC Films and Doha Film Institute present a Mirabai Films and Cine Mosaic production ; produced by Lydia Dean Pilcher ; screenplay by William Wheeler ; directed by Mira Nair

Defiant requiem [videodisc] by Partisan Pictures ; the Defiant Requiem Foundation ; PBS ; producers, Peter Schnall & Doug Shultz ; director/writer, Doug Shultz

Why ships sink [videodisc] by produced by Jonathan Challis, Olly Jones, Lisa Mirowitz ; directed by Jonathan Challis ... [et al.]

Teachers in the Movies

Just in time for back to school!

Freedom writers [videodisc] by Paramount Pictures ; Double Feature Films ; MTV Films ; Jersey Films ; Kernos Filmproduktiosgesellschaft & Company

Goodbye, Mr. Chips [videodisc] by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures

The great debaters [videodisc] by The Weinstein Company presents a Harpo Films production

A lesson before dying [videodisc] by Spanky Pictures production in association with Ellen M. Krass Productions

Like stars on Earth [videodisc] by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment presents a PVR Pictures and a Aamir Khan Productions film

School Days

Now that school has begun for another year, this would be a good time to learn about some extraordinary teachers both past and present:

A schoolteacher in old Alaska: the story of Hannah Breece by edited and with an introduction and commentary by Jane Jacobs

Nothing daunted: the unexpected education of two society girls in the West by Dorothy Wickenden

The water is wide by Pat Conroy

Teacher man: a memoir by Frank McCourt

Beyond the miracle worker: the remarkable life of Anne Sullivan Macy and her extraordinary friendship with Helen Keller by Kim E. Nielsen

In the sun's house: my year teaching on the Navajo reservation by Kurt Caswell ; afterword by Rex Lee Jim

The March on Washington, 1963

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom took place in Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963. One of the largest political rallies for human rights in U.S. history, it was the site of Martin Luther King's historic I Have a Dream speech. In a year marked by racial unrest and numerous civil rights demonstations, Dr. King pleaded to "let freedom ring."

Nobody turn me around: a people's history of the 1963 march on Washington by Charles Euchner

Behind the dream: the making of the speech that transformed a nation by Clarence B. Jones and Stuart Connelly

The dream: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the speech that inspired a nation by Drew D. Hansen

The 1963 civil rights march by Scott Ingram

Computer Basics

Do computers confound you? We can help! Get an introduction to the world of computers and technology in our Computer Basics class. We'll talk about what a computer is and how it works, and how to tell it to do what you want. Learn the very basics, such as turning it on and using the mouse, and prepare for more advanced uses. No experience required! Join us Friday, September 13 from 11:00 AM -12:00 PM. Space is limited so register here.

New Documentaries on the Shelf

Australia's first 4 billion years [videodisc] by Essential Media and Entertainment ; WGBH ; written, produced, and directed by Richard Smith

Bill Moyers [videodisc]: On the Hudson by Thirteen/WNET ; Public Affairs Television ; produced and directed by Monica Lange, Tom Spain, Kathleen Hughes, and Tom Casciato ; written by Tom Spain, Tom Casciato, Kathleen Hughes, and Bill Moyers

The ghost army [videodisc]

Great Barrier Reef [videodisc]

Last shop standing [videodisc]: rise, fall, & rebirth of the independent record shop by produced Rob Taylor ; directed by Pip Piper

Letters from Jackie [videodisc]: the private thoughts of Jackie Robinson by MLB Productions

Living downstream [videodisc] by a film by Chanda Chevannes

Mars landing 2012 [videodisc]: The new search for life by Cerebellum Documentaries