Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Spectres Reveal Themselves!

- Ghost Busters, 1984

Thanks to an experimental new photography method, one so highly technical that I can't go into it here, we are able to provide you with actual physical images of the apparitions haunting your local library. I must warn you, these images may be unsettling for some of you. Think twice before following the link.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Strange Happenings

"Symmetrical book stacking. Just like the Philadelphia mass turbulence of  1947."
- Ghost Busters, 1984

As even a non-Ghost Busting scientist can tell you, no human being would stack books this way. It's illogical and frankly not something a mortal being is capable of. So, we couldn't help being alarmed when these seemingly random symmetrical book stackings began to crop up around the library. We've chosen to document this paranormal activity. You know, for science. See the spine-tingling photos below for what can only be concrete evidence of the supernatural at work. (We have ruled out the possibility of smarmy, egg-headed librarian humor. It couldn't be that.) Stay tuned for further paranormal developments.

* Note: The signs referencing the eerie similarity to Ghostbusters were added by library staff.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Recommended read: The Lost Cyclist

The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Tale of an American Adventurer and His Mysterious Disappearance
by David V. Herlihy
NEW 796.6 HER
Find it in the catalog!

The title of this book refers to Frank Lenz, a 25 year-old from Pittsburgh who embarked on a cycling tour around the world in May 1892. A clerk at a brass factory, he had previously entered different races before deciding to try touring full-time. His tour proposal, in which Lenz estimated a two yearlong bicycling tour through North America, Asia, and Europe, was accepted by Outing magazine. Lenz acted as their correspondent, writing about his journeys and providing his own photographs (he was an amateur photographer) to accompany the articles. He started in the United States before crossing the Pacific by ship, then traveled through China before continuing on through Burma and India before his death in Turkey in 1894. When they didn't hear from Lenz for several weeks, family and friends worried about what happened to him, and Outing (after lying about his safety) eventually sent another cyclist, Will Sachtleban, to discover the truth behind what happened to Lenz in Turkey.

Will Sachtleban (from Alton, IL) and Thomas Allen were college friends who completed their own bicycling world tour. Their tour lasted three years in duration, and they came home just as Lentz was starting his way through China. The first part of the narrative goes back and forth between following Lenz for a chapter and then Sachtleban and Allen. The second part describes Sachtleban's struggle to get the truth about Lenz's death and his slow progress toward a trial. Because of the tension in Turkey between the Kurds and Armenians, Sachtleban encountered problems getting people to talk to him and then stick to their stories.

The Lost Cyclist is a really fascinating read, and not just because of the mystery surrounding the fate of Lenz, who insisted on traveling through Turkey even after others recommending he go through Russia. I couldn't believe the long distances that cyclists like Lenz, Sachtleban, and Allen traveled--they had to carry all their supplies with them (including bulky cameras), and encountered curiosity and even animosity when visiting foreign countries where it was a rarity to see white people, let alone white people riding odd machines like bicycles. Lenz was sometimes greeted with cries of "foreign devil," with stones and other objects thrown at him. This sort of reaction was the opposite to what cyclists experienced across the United States, where cycling clubs, journalists, and friends held dinners and parties for them. The book also includes many black and white photographs taken by Lenz during his journeys.

If you are interested in this topic you may also want to read the article "The Last Ride of Frank Lenz" by Geof Koss from Adventure Cyclist.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cool Stuff on the Web: Hop Cast

 Check out the Hop Cast

This video podcast by Chicagoans Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder should be appreciated by beer enthusiasts of all varieties. New fans of craft beer will find Brad and Ken's beer reviews very useful. Hardcore beer geeks will love the interviews with commercial and home-brewers. Chmielewski and Hunnemeder have traveled around the country visiting different breweries, but Chicago breweries really take the spotlight on the Hopcast. And why not? Chicagoland has some of the best breweries in the country. My favorite episode is an interview with Gabriel Magliaro and Matt Gallagher from Half Acre (my current favorite brewery).

The Hop Cast definitely have a laid back and casual vibe to it.  Brad and Ken aren't such huge snobs that they would throw away a bottle of beer just because it's a couple of years old.  The hosts have a wacky sense of humor and their podcasts often feature friends and family members.  However, they have also had Chicago food royalty like Rick Bayless and Paul Kahan of Publican on the show too.  The Hop Cast will definitely deepen your appreciation for the fine craft beer produced in this area.  Drink well and responsibly!

For even more information on beer, check out one of these awesome titles:

Great Beers: 700 of the Best from Around the World (2010).  
641.23 GRE (New Non-Fiction)
Find it in the catalog!

1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die (2010).  
641.23 ONE (New Non-Fiction)
Find it in the catalog!

Tasting Beer: An Insider's Guide to the World's Greatest Drink (2009).
Mosher, Randy.
641.23 MOS
Find it in the catalog!
Check out my earlier review.

Extreme Brewing: An Enthusiast's Guide to Brewing Craft Beer at Home (2006).
Calagione, Sam.
641.873 CAL
Find it in the catalog!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bill Bryson at the Chicago Public Library

Author Bill Bryson will be stopping in Chicago as part of his book tour for the recently released At Home: A Short History of Private Life. This Wednesday, October 13, Bryson will be at the Harold Washington Library. Visit the Chicago Public Library's event page for more information about his appearance. It starts at 6 PM and is first come, first served.

Bryson is one of my favorite authors, and I've loved his past books Notes from a Small Island, A Walk in the Woods, and I'm a Stranger Here Myself (just to name a few). No matter what the subject matter, he always injects humor into the discussion that makes you think about any number of things--history, people, culture-- from a different angle. If you can't attend his appearance in Chicago, you can still enjoy his new book At Home by putting yourself on hold for the book version or audiobook version.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

witches, potions and spells oh my

It's that time of year again, you know the dark, scary time when all good witches and wizards are out getting ready for the most important night of the year....Halloween.

"Double double, toll and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble". Come see all things witches and wizards at our display at the library until then end of the witching hour.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Young and Restless Event: Trivia Night

Brain full of useless information?  Don't waste it!  Join us for Trivia Night this Tuesday (October 12th) at 7 PM.  We will be meeting at Emmett's Tavern in West Dundee (128 W. Main St.).  Perhaps you can even put us know-it-all librarians to shame.  We will bring a variety trivia games with us as well as our sparkling personalities. 

The Young and Restless is a new group at the Dundee Township Public Library District for twenty and thirty somethings.  You can find out more about us by joing our Facebook group or giving us a call at (847)428-3661 x 308. 

Register for this event online.