7 December 2013
Librarians love to share books – with friends, family and of course the lovely people who come through the doors of our libraries. At Central Library Peterborough they like to have a bit of fun. During Cup and Show Week they had this silky dude on display.
During Movember they cut loose (and cut out) with a ‘tache themed display. So:
Hair be movels
Peterborough moustache you to come and brows our young adult shelves!
Comb through some fantasy, brush up on your dystopia or have a hair-raising adventure. Who knows, maybe you’ll even stubble onto a romance or two…
There’s something for everyone in these movels.
7 December 2013
Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England and great villain (or not) of English history, is still causing trouble.
The recent discovery of his remains under a car park in Leicester, made headlines around the English speaking world. Arrangements were duly made to inter him in a suitable tomb in the local cathedral. Enter Richard’s (collateral) decendants in the form of the Plantagenet Alliance, who pointed out that he had very little connection to Leicester and wanted him buried in York. Legal battles ensued which are yet to be settled.
Arguments have raged around him before. For centuries most accepted Henry V’s version of him, which depicted him as the deformed, ruthless murderer as portrayed in Shakespeare. He always had his supporters though and eventually doubts began to emerge, first among historians and eventually in popular culture. History had indeed been written by the victor.
Novels had an important role in convincing the rest of us that the princes in the tower story may not be true. The first one to come to my attention was The Daughter of Time (1951) by Josephine Tey in which a detective confined to bed investigates and concludes Richard is innocent. The second was . Elizabeth Peters mystery novel The Murders of Richard III published in 1974. Cynthia Harrod Eagles The Founding and A rose for the Crown by Anne Easter Smith also come to mind.
Richard has also been the subject of numerous other interesting fiction and non- fiction works including a recent one on the search for his remains. The various stories are well worth exploring.
Do you have any favourite novels about historical figures that we really must read?
6 December 2013
We don’t notice our scientists all that much, especially women scientists. So it was encouraging to see the not so shy and retiring Dr Siouxsie Wiles (of the long pink hair) recently receiving the Prime Minister’s Science Media Communication Prize. It’s great that there are prizes for communication in science.
Here in Christchurch we’ve learnt to value scientists who can explain their field in plain language. Where would we have been without Mark Quigley when we all suddenly developed an intense interest in earthquakes?
The ability to communicate science can be the foundation of a successful career. Stephen Hawking became world famous for explaining the difficult bits of cosmology to us. Now Sean Carroll, a theoretical physicist has tackled the Higgs Boson (or God) particle, one of the most esoteric of scientific concepts, in his book The Particle at the End of the Universe.
The book won him the Royal Society’s Winton prize, always a useful in guide to the best in science writing each year. If he can make particle physics into something I can make sense of, he will have certainly have earned it. The chair of the judging panel says
Carroll writes with an energy that propels readers along and fills them with his own passion. He understands their minds and anticipates their questions. There’s no doubt that this is an important, enduring piece of literature.”
Here in New Zealand we have the Callaghan medal and the Manhire Prize for Creative Science Writing, as well as The Royal Society of New Zealand Science Book Prize. The latter was won this year by the absorbing Moa . The society also provides an inspiring list of previous winners on its website to guide your reading.
If you prefer to just dip into something Compendiums of the best in science writing are also published every year and they’re a great way of keeping up with what is happening in the scientific world. Science journals like New Scientist are also great to browse and you’ll find plenty of them at the library.
So if you someone who likes to settle into the Christmas break with something to stretch your scientific knowledge (and I know that a lot of you do because our science books race out the door over the holidays) you should have plenty to keep you entertained.
6 December 2013
Posted by Donna under Christchurch
, Christchurch and Canterbury
| Tags: christchurch photo hunt
, Photo Hunt
Leave a Comment
I am proud to unveil this stunning set of winners from our Christchurch Photo Hunt. Congratulations to winners and entrants – you’ve added to our collection of Christchurch images and have helped Reconnect Christchurch.
Dianne Rolton is the overall winner and the winner of the Places category for this photo of a family with Father Christmas. Faith Sumner and children. Four Square shop on the corner of Milton and Selwyn Streets. circa 1952.
Taken at the time of the Queen’s visit in 1953. They show the buildings decorated to celebrate this event.
Andrea McHarg is the winner of the People category.
Dave Reynolds is the winner of the Highly Commended Prize for a series of family photos which captured the judges’ attention. Here are some of his photos.
Julia Thomas is the winner of the Highly Commended Prize for her special study of waiting for the milkman.
This boarding house stood on the corner of Worcester and Barbadoes Streets.
See all images and judges’ comments on our Christchurch Photo Hunt 2013 page.
5 December 2013
Posted by ruby2shoesnz under Learning
| Tags: Blogging
Today I have learned about blogging, something I never thought I would do. But then I didn’t think I would ever use a mobile phone to text. Now I sit happily in bed at night texting flat out. I have found friends and family find it more convenient and I get quite a surprise when I find out how many texts I have sent each month.
I ask myself if it will be the same with blogging. I wonder if in the night I will be suddenly inspired and instead of just writing in my head I will leap out of bed, go directly to my laptop and start writing my blog.
Time will tell…..I hope that some of my blogs might be of interest and not just some rant. Certainly a lot to be said about saving the draft and perusing the next morning!
I found a book about blogging called Creative blogging that looked useful however it is an e-book which is a whole other story!
Just one question where did the word blog come from?
5 December 2013
Posted by katccl under Christchurch
, Christchurch and Canterbury
, New Zealand
| Tags: community
, earthquake recovery
, Farmy Army
, Gap Filler
, Greening the Rubble
, lifelong learning
, professional development
, Student Volunteer Army
Today is International Volunteer Day, which is an annual event dedicated to celebrating and recognising all types of volunteers around the world.
Volunteering is a wonderful way to experience new challenges, develop new skills and get involved in the community. Our web page provides all sorts of information about volunteering in and around Christchurch.
Volunteering in Canterbury came into the spotlight after the earthquakes when organisations such as the Student Volunteer Army, the Farmy Army and many others were involved in the massive clean-up effort. These contributions really showed how much can be achieved when people come together with a common purpose to benefit the community.
The volunteering spirit has endured post-quakes with initiatives like Greening the Rubble and Gap Filler, amongst others, actively using volunteers in the quest to fill empty sites before permanent redevelopment.
My own experiences of volunteering helped me to discover if the career path I wanted to go down was right for me. I wanted to get into the museum sector and was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to help out at my local museum. I was able to find out about this type of job in a very hands on way and meet people who could tell me more. This experience initially led to a part time job and helped me get onto a Museum Studies course.
So, whether you have a little time or a lot of time have think about volunteering as you never know where it will lead you – and if you know a volunteer say a big thank you to them today.
4 December 2013
Mathematics and fiction have long been uncomfortable bed partners. In fact, you may be hard-pressed to think of any novels that successfully combine the two. But they do exist, and here’s the proof.
My lovely new Book Discussion Scheme book club has just had its third meeting. The first book that we were allocated was The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. This is a great starter read for any group and we wallowed in it. But the gods looked down and thought: “well, they’re getting mighty pleased with themselves, let’s send them some maths”.
As a result our second read was The Housekeeper and the Professor and this is so not the Mills and Boon bodice ripper that you might have expected from the title.
Instead this is a restrained piece of writing translated from Japanese about love and family and mathematics and memory loss. I can honestly say that had I picked this book up in a library, I would never have taken it home. Why not? I hear you ask. It has actual algebraic formulae in it, is why. This is not a book about maths in the abstract, these characters actually do maths.
But this time we all knuckled under and read it, because we’d taken a vow at the start of our new book club to read outside our comfort zones. OK, so some of us skipped over the maths bits and some of us read the baseball sections with glazed pre-frontal lobes and a few of us did both those things. And given that it is only 180 pages long, you would be forgiven for thinking that didn’t leave much to get through. But we did it. And if you fancy being in a group that reads and talks and grows and has fun, maybe you’d be interested in joining one of the library reading groups.
And in case you actually are a maths/arts person, here are a couple of other reads to try:
- Foucault’s Pendulum – Umberto Eco (not for the faint-hearted, a hellishly difficult read)
- The Solitude of Prime Numbers – Paolo Giordano (I’m betting it’s not going to be a barrel of laughs)
- Addition – Toni Jordan (maths and the obsessive compulsive, in addition – sorry, couldn’t resist – it is funny!)
Seems like numbers are very much on my mind: this is my centennial blog, in the Year of the Snake on my Beatles Birthday. Or 26. Go do the maths!