Countries and Cultures
Why did Korean Airlines pilots crash more often than any other country? Why are Asian-Americans better at math than Americans and western Europeans? Why is your birth year important for how and in what field you succeed? Why do some geniuses thrive and others flounder? What did Bill Gates and the Beatles have in common? The answers to these and many other questions are tackled in this fascinating expose entitled "Outliers: The Story of Success" by Malcolm Gladwell, which studies what makes people succeed brilliantly or fail utterly.
To know more about St. Patrick, try "Patrick, the Pilgrim Apostle of Ireland" or "The Steadfast Man, a Biography of St. Patrick". To know more about his influence on Ireland, see "The Voice of the Irish: the Story of Christian Ireland". For a DVD, try "Patrick" narrated by Liam Neeson. For interests in famous Irish, try "The Irish 100: A Ranking..".
An interesting DVD about growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution is Persepolis, which was a 2007 Academy Award nominee for best animated feature. It is told from writer and director Marjane Satrapi's experience and point of view.
Lent is a season of fasting, spiritual and mental cleansing, and discipline. But how orthodox do the orthodox fast in these parts? Read this article from the Detroit Free Press to find out how. For a broader view of lenten festivities, see The Encyclopedia of Easter, Carnival and Lent in our library collection.
Tu B'Shevat (Tu from "tet vav," the Hebrew numeral for 15; b' (of); and Shevat (the month), is a minor Jewish holiday that focuses on ecology and connections to the natural world. Almonds along with dried fruits such as dates, figs, raisins and carob are eaten at a Tu B'Shevat seder. Other activities include the planting of trees and the drinking of wine. For more, see this article.
"The Namesake" is our choice for the February movie/book discussion, known as "From Page to Stage." Click on the link to find a copy of the book. A sound recording of the book might also be available. Register online to be able to attend.
"The Kite Runner" is the story of two boys growing up in Afghanistan, their unique friendship, how it is tried by sibling rivalry, torn apart by the Soviet Afghan War, and later by the Taliban. It is also about the redemptive courage and power to make things right once they have gone horribly wrong in a terrible world. Come join us as we view and discuss it in our meeting room at 2 o'clock on January 21st.
- Background Notes/Fact Sheets from US Department of State
- CIA World Factbook
- Country Studies from Library of Congress
- Member States of the United Nations
- Visual Geography series
- World Cuisines on the CPL kids' cooking page
Flags & Symbols
- CIA Flag pages
- Flags of the World vexillological community
- Gallery of sovereign-state flags at Wikipedia
- Gallery of country coats of arms at Wikipedia
- Heraldry of the World
- List of National Anthems at Wikipedia
- National Anthems played by the Navy Band