"The box of books Diane Chen stumbled onto at John F. Kennedy Middle School's library was simply labeled, "Inappropriate to Shelf.
Objections to some books are on the rise: Libraries try to balance parents' rights to challenge books with others' rights to read what they wish
"The box of books Diane Chen stumbled onto at John F. Kennedy Middle School's library was simply labeled, "Inappropriate to Shelf.
The school's new librarian wondered, " 'Are they worn out? Is there something wrong with them? Are they potentially hazardous chemical journals for would-be-terrorists?' "
The answer was none of the above. Scared that the books — such as The American Heritage Dictionary 3rd edition, The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allen Poe, and The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger — could trigger a book challenge, a former employee had pulled them off the shelves." Read more....
"Want to be a Twitter ninja? Hordes of new users are joining and dreaming up new uses for it. As they do so, Twitter is maturing into a viable alternative not just to blog platforms but to RSS readers, news aggregators, media-sharing services, and communication tools. All you have to do to unleash the full power of Twitter is follow the right users and have the right tools handy." Read more...
"Wolfram Alpha, set to launch Monday, is more of an enormous calculator than a search: It crunches data to come up with query answers that may not exist online until you search for them. And sites like Twitter are trying to capitalize on the warp-speed pace of online news today by offering real-time searches of online chatter -- something Google's computers have yet to replicate." Read more...
According to Wolfram Alpha, I am 16,685 days old as of this writing. Good to know!
- Alison Ernst, Librarian
Have a long trip home?
Want to listen to a book?
has downloadable unabridged audiobooks. Bring your ipod to the library and tell
us which book you want from the list below. Click on Download Digital Download Books
The library has downloadable unabridged audiobooks. Bring your ipod to the library and tell us which book you want from the list below.
Click on Download Digital Download Books
My new favorites (at least for this week, until I read more) are:
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Think Survivor (as in the TV show), but to the death, and the fortunes of your community riding on your performance.
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Another post-apocalyptic dystopian novel. I'm on roll with them lately. Who would think the future on another planet could be so rural and folksey?
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman ; with illustrations by Dave McKean
Toddler escapes murderer, wanders into a graveyard, and is raised by ghosts. Nuff said.
Come and get 'em @ your library. - Alison Ernst, Librarian
I admit it. I take Facebook Quizzes to procrastinate...and because I'm oddly fascinated by the results. (Apparently I'm a wooden, icey, Unicorn with an Eagle Spirit Guide and I should live in Memphis...Who knew!) I came across the following articel which gives me pause... - Alison Ernst, Librarian
"While Web quizzes may be fun to take, they're also a powerful tool for companies to collect your data and even your money -- and often in ways you might not notice. We'll get to the spooky stuff in a moment, but let's start with the simplest method of quiz-based marketing: advertising. The very nature of a typical online quiz requires you to divulge all sorts of details about yourself. Those tidbits of info are like nuggets of gold for advertisers craving a way to connect with you." Read more!
110 Years Ago
It may strike you as odd that a story about a holiday is appearing in the spring. “A holiday in the spring?” you ask, and you might wonder whether your editor has finally lost his mind in the windowless depths of Schauffler Library. You might not be far wrong, but not on this score, because this story is not about Mountain Day, even though it sounds like it could be. Unscheduled holidays used to be called at odd moments in the academic calendar, especially when D.L. Moody was around to declare them. The surprise holiday at the Seminary during the spring was later known as “Bird Day.”
from The Hermonite vol. 12, no. 15; p. 228-9 (May 20, 1899).
[Untitled; Spring Holiday]
Thursday May 11, proved another decisive day in the history of the school. Mr. Moody placed an important matter of business before the teachers and pupils, and it was immediately acted upon with no sign of disagreement or discord. It is a remarkable fact that for twenty years Mr. Moody’s annual proposition of a holiday has never met with opposition, and the vote for its acceptance has never failed to be unanimous. To prove his statement of the perfect harmony in the school Mr. Moody suggested a holiday, and almost before he finished speaking the chapel rang with shouts of joy, and immediately plans for fishing and boating parties, picnics and drives were disclosed.
Favorite Reads of 4-Year Seniors! Class of 2009! Woo-hoo!
One of my favorite books is A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway. I really enjoyed the book because there was a riveting plot line, and the development of the main characters is superb. I also enjoyed some of the intentional ambiguity by the author, because that kept me continuously interested as to what was going to happen next.
Snow by Orhan Pamuk. I read this book before traveling to Turkey earlier this year and was taken by the story. It is the story of a writer who returns to Kars and finds inspiration, romance and political unrest. Snow shows readers what it is truly like to live in the Turkish "deep state".
The first book that jumps to mind is one that I read this past summer called Tamar: A Novel of Espionage, Passion, and Betrayal by Mal Peet. It is a war novel about a spy's granddaughter uncovering their family's history after his unexpected suicide. I was drawn to this book first of all because the cover was shiny and literally caught my eye. And just as it is indicated, this is a book about espionage, passion, and betrayal which was very intriguing. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in this time period or anyone who is looking for a good read.
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. I love this book because it tells the story of two rival groups the Greasers and the Socs, and how their worlds collide. The main character, Ponyboy, meets a girl who is part of the Socs, and finds he has more in common with her than he could imagine. As the story unfolds it's interesting to see how both individuals potentially learn from one another. This book is full of, passion and vivid description. It should be on everyone's reading list.
I recommend The Book of Everything by Guus Kuijer. I read it sophomore year, and loved how quirky and imaginative it is!
My favorite book right now is A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. I read it my creative non-fiction class. I liked it because it was a great read, that staggered in both heartbreaking and genius moments!
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Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on DiscoverySchool.com
Twilight (check title for availability)
The big-screen adaptation of Twilight, Stephenie Meyer's bestselling vampire romance, is aimed squarely at its key demographic: teen girls whose idea of Prince Charming is a brooding, pale, undead teen who could kill you instantly at any moment. Such a prince is more fascinating than frightening to new girl Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), who moves to the rainy-gray town of Forks, Wash., to live with her dad (Billy Burke), the local sheriff who's puzzled by a series of "animal attacks." On her first day at school, Bella appears to (visibly) nauseate her lab partner, Edward (Robert Pattinson). Turns out the scent of her blood is this vampire's "brand of heroin," and his struggle not to kill her causes an irresistible pull toward her. Whether he's attracted for the normal reasons or because she smells especially sweet to him is vague in the book and even less clear on-screen; nonetheless, Bella falls hopelessly in love with Edward, which sets her on a dangerous path when a few nomad vampires show up in town, one particularly keen on tracking the human. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen), Twilight is full of funny moments--not all of which are intentional--and the casting, from Stewart to Bella's self-absorbed friend Jessica (Anna Kendrick) is spot-on. The weakest link, unfortunately, is Pattinson. While he certainly looks the part, his Edward could have used an extra injection of testosterone (Pattinson, who is British, used James Dean as a model for his American accent). In scenes where he growls about the temptation to kill those who would harm Bella, or flitting around a forest warning her how dangerous he is, he comes off more like a whimpering puppy than a debonair monster. The good news is, his chemistry with Stewart (particularly in their big kissing scene) is palpable, which, let's face it, is really what matters to Twilight fans most. --Ellen A. Kim
Arrested Development: Complete Series - Seasons 1, 2, & 3
(check titles for availability)
Season One: Winner of the Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy its first year out, Arrested Development is the kind of sitcom that gives you hope for television. A mockumentary-style exploration of the beleaguered Bluth family, it's one of those idiosyncratic shows that doesn't rely on a laugh track or a studio audience; it's shot more like a TV drama, albeit with an omniscient narrator (executive producer Ron Howard) overseeing the proceedings. Holding the Bluths together just barely is son Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman), the only normal guy in a family that's chock full of nuts. Hardworking and sensible, Michael's certain he's going to be given control of his family's Enron-style corporation upon the retirement of his father (Jeffrey Tambor). The fact that he's passed over instead for his mother (Jessica Walter) is only a blip when compared to his father's immediate arrest for dubious accounting practices, and the resulting freeze on the family's previously limitless wealth.
95 Years Ago
An article like this might cause a laugh or two, but that’s not why I offer it this week. Can you discern the underlying didactic message here? Don’t worry if you don’t “get” it; I’ll reveal the answer below.
from The Hermonite vol. 27, no. 13; p. 217 (May 2, 1914).
Two’s a company, three’s a crowd; and on the way to chapel, companies are much preferable. Imagine yourself with an earnest desire to reach chapel a little early – you are to be the speaker, perhaps, and wish to compose your thoughts before the beginning of the service. You are winding your way hurriedly in and out among the pairs of girls, when suddenly, about half-way up the hill, you find yourself confronted by a group of three. Now you may pass two people with a touch of the elbow and an “excuse me,” but with three barring your path, it is impossible unless you refuse to respect the lawn. The barrier strolls along, blissfully unconscious of your impatient, dogging footsteps and all the mental suggestion you are able to exercise avails not at all. Of course, if you should ask, they would gladly let you pass, but naturally you are reluctant to make the request.
Certainly it is only thoughtlessness. No Northfield girl would intentionally be so inconsiderate of others, and the remedy, we know, has only to be suggested to be applied. It is simply this: Walk not three abreast on the way to chapel.
Another word on that same “way to chapel” that oft-repeated appeal from the unfortunates at the end of the line of strollers at the end of the lines to the strollers at the head: “Kindly walk a little faster, for if you do not there will be a seat in the gallery for us. Move quickly, please.”
The key to this article, and the reason I chose it to editorialize comes from the passing phrase, “unless you refuse to respect the lawn.” I like that expression. It does not suggest that we must always “keep off the grass,” but it does imply that we are responsible for the beauty of our campus. Now you may laugh, but please respect the lawn, especially the edges. –ed.
Google has launched a search feature that makes it easy to find and compare public data.
If you enter terms like “unemployment rate” or “population” followed by a U.S. state or county, you will see the most recent estimates.
"The data we're including in this first launch represents just a small fraction of all the interesting public data available on the web. There are statistics for prices of cookies, CO2 emissions, asthma frequency, high school graduation rates, bakers' salaries, number of wildfires, and the list goes on. Reliable information about these kinds of things exists thanks to the hard work of data collectors gathering countless survey forms, and of careful statisticians estimating meaningful indicators that make hidden patterns of the world visible to the eye. All the data we've used in this first launch are produced and published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau's Population Division. They did the hard work! We just made the data a bit easier to find and use.
Since Google's acquisition of Trendalyzer two years ago, we have been working on creating a new service that make lots of data instantly available for intuitive, visual exploration. Today's launch is a first step in that direction. We hope people will find this search feature helpful, whether it's used in the classroom, the boardroom or around the kitchen table. We also hope that this will pave the way for public data to take a more central role in informed public conversations."
For more information about how to use this new feature click here.
Slumdog Millionaire (check title for availability)
Danny Boyle (Sunshine) directed this wildly energetic, Dickensian drama about the desultory life and times of an Indian boy whose bleak, formative experiences lead to an appearance on his country's version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" Jamal (played as a young man by Dev Patel) and his brother are orphaned as children, raising themselves in various slums and crime-ridden neighorhoods and falling in, for a while, with a monstrous gang exploiting children as beggars and prostitutes. Driven by his love for Latika (Freida Pinto), Jamal, while a teen, later goes on a journey to rescue her from the gang's clutches, only to lose her again to another oppressive fate as the lover of a notorious gangster.
Seven Pounds (check title for availability)
The mysteriously titled Seven Pounds stars Will Smith as Ben Thomas, who flashes his badge as an IRS agent to gain entrance into the lives of seven strangers in need. To each, he offers something that will reverse their troubles, seeking to atone for a haunting past mistake. But when Ben starts falling in love with a young woman with heart trouble (Rosario Dawson), his carefully laid plans threaten to collapse. To reveal more of the story would diminish it. Smith is an engaging, charismatic presence, but the impact of Seven Pounds comes from Dawson--she has the kind of emotional transparency that shimmers off the screen. Which is crucial, because Seven Pounds requires considerable suspension of disbelief; some scenes push and pull at plausibility, and you may question a few plot turns after the movie is over. But as the story unfolds, the performances can carry you over these bumps. If you surrender to its gently circling rhythms and its luminous images (including the glowing undulations of a poisonous jellyfish), Seven Pounds will pack an emotional wallop, heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. Also featuring Barry Pepper (Saving Private Ryan), Michael Ealy (Sleeper Cell), and Woody Harrelson. --Bret Fetzer
Bourbon Princess Dark of Days
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds Abattoir Blues
Neko Case Middle Cyclone
Counting Crows Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings
Ray La Montagne Gossip in the Grain
Morphine Cure for Pain
Morphine Like Swimming
Soul Coughing Ruby Vroom
U2 All That You Can't Leave Behind
Tom Waits Rain Dogs
My Morning Jacket Evil Urges
Raconteurs Consolers of the Lonely
Angus & Julia Stone A Book Like This
U2 No Line on the Horizon
The Real Deal: Greatest Hits 1&2
From the New York Times. To read the entire article, click here.
April 24, 2009, 6:25 pm
“The Elements of Style” by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White has been released in a 50th anniversary edition. Prized for its focus on clear, concise language, this famous “little book” has been a source of guidance for writers, copy editors and college students for half a century.
But are its rules the be all and end all of writing?
50 Years Ago
Outreach, though it has not always existed under that name, has always been part of the fabric here. In our earliest years, students would, of a Sunday, occasionally fill vacant pulpits in neighboring towns, or teach in the local Sunday Schools. From these roots, our students have continued to acknowledge need, both spiritual and material, in their immediate surroundings and beyond. The most recent issue of The Bridge recounts the recent visit by Arn Chorn Pond (class of 1986) and his efforts to heal his country through music, and a campaign by members of the class of 2012 to raise money for schools in Pakistan. Here is an account of an outreach program from 50 years ago.
from The Hermonite vol. 72, no. 13; p. 1 (May 2, 1959).
37 Hermonites, 39 Northfield Girls Attend Rabbit Hollow Work Weekend
A group of Mount Hermon and Northfield students is spending this weekend at a work camp which is being held at Camp Rabbit Hollow in Winchester, New Hampshire. Due to the plan which the Students’ Council proposed of giving free weekends to those boys who had none left but nevertheless wanted to attend the camp, thirty-seven boys from Hermon are attending the work session.
Reverend James Robinson, who founded Rabbit Hollow, is well known to Hermon students as a result of his popular visits as guest speaker in the chapel. Dr Rob[inson is the minister of The Church] of the Master in New York City.
Camp Rabbit Hollow serves the underprivileged children of New York has been built entirely by the labor of students from Amherst, Mount Holyoke, Williams, the Northfield Schools, and other institutions. The students who left Hermon at 2:30 Friday afternoon will be used to build cabins, clear brush, and paint some of the camp’s buildings. However, the weekend will not be one of all work and no play. Softball and dancing will fill much of the campers' free time, and Sunday worship will be held on the shores of Forest Lake.
The article goes on to list the boys who attended the work weekend. On a separate subject: the inquisitive reader may wonder why there is part of a word, and a phrase in square brackets in the article. You editor has supplied a reasoned guess about the contents of a line of type that was left out of the original. –ed.
"The ideal would be to develop an inexpensive system that would allow the user to communicate through a wired baseball cap that's hooked up to a home computer system. A somewhat more intrusive system, which would involve implanting electrodes just under the skin, could significantly improve the pace of communication..." From MSNBC
University of Wisconsin researcher Adam Wilson composes a Twitter message using a system that reads his brain waves.
The ALA's Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2008 reflect a range of themes, and consist of the following titles:
1. "And Tango
MakesThree," by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Anti-Family, Homosexuality, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group
2. "His Dark Materials Trilogy" (Series), Philip Pullman
Reasons: Political Viewpoint, Religious Viewpoint, Violence
3. "TTYL"; "TTFN"; "L8R, G8R" (Series), Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Offensive Language, Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group
4. "Scary Stories" (Series), Alvin Schwartz
Reasons: Occult/Satanism, Religious Viewpoint, Violence
5. "Bless Me, Ultima," by Rudolfo Anaya
Reasons: Occult/Satanism, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Sexually Explicit, Violence
6. "The Perks of Being A Wallflower," by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Drugs, Homosexuality, Nudity, Offensive Language, Sexually Explicit, Suicide, Unsuited to Age Group
7. "Gossip Girl" (Series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
Reasons: Offensive Language, Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group
8. "Uncle Bobby's Wedding," by Sarah S. Brannen
Reasons: Homosexuality, Unsuited to Age Group
9. "The Kite Runner," by Khaled Hosseini
Reasons: Offensive Language, Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group
10. "Flashcards of My Life," by Charise Mericle Harper
Reasons: Sexually Explicit,Unsuited to Age Group
April 22, 2009 was the 50th birthday of the writing classic Elements of Style.
From the Star Tribune, Minnesota: Laurie Hertzel reports, "My first copy of Strunk and White was a small blue paperback that I bought at Kreiman's Bookstore in Duluth when I was in high school. I was mad about E.B. White -- his dry wit, his clear, beautiful sentences, his dying pigs -- and I figured his book on language would be wonderful. Of course it was, and is, and now, 50 years after it was first published, it's wonderful and leather-bound, with gilt trim." More.
From NPR.org: Marc Acito notes, "Strunk and White says, "Write with nouns and verbs." (2) Myself, for one, is relieved to know this, as I have been trying to write with macaroni and cheese. " More.
From the Boston Globe online's "Off The Shelf" section: Author Geoffrey K. Pullum's main complaint, however, is with the way Strunk and White ("grammatical incompetents'') teach grammar, particularly given that "'Elements' settled in as the primary vehicle through which grammar was taught to college students and the general public.
Pullum rails at blanket dictums such as "use the active voice,'' pointing out that there are completely appropriate uses of the passive voice and poking fun at the fact that Strunk and White apparently unwittingly lapse into passive voice in a number of places.
He also takes issue with their injunction against the split infinitive, arguing that it "has always been grammatical and does not need to be avoided.'' More.
Love it, hate it, 50 years is a darn good run. - aae
A Novel Idea
One day, about five years ago, Phillips was daydreaming while working a dull job as a salesperson for a cutlery company. She had always liked sewing clothes and recycling old materials into handmade crafts, and she had heard about purses made from cigar boxes or old license plates. So she began to sketch a design for a book purse.
"The book kind of pretty much decided what form it was going to be," she says. "The spine becomes the bottom of the purse, because I keep the cover completely intact." She adds handles and a vintage button to match.
She started experimenting using Reader's Digest Condensed Books, which she describes as "book-shaped objects." She sold them quickly, and her business took off. Now she has a company, Rebound Designs, and sells her creations at craft shows.
Read the entire article. And check out links to audio and video of this story.
From the American Library Association website:
Judith Fingeret Krug, 69, the long-time director of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) and executive director of the Freedom to Read Foundation, who fought censorship on behalf of the nation’s libraries, died April 11 after a lengthy illness.
Krug, who often said, “Censorship dies in the light of day,” was the director of OIF and executive director of the Freedom to Read Foundation for more than 40 years. She was admired and respected for her efforts to guarantee the rights of individuals to express ideas and read the ideas of others without governmental interference.
Through her unwavering support of writers, teachers, librarians and, above all, students, she has advised countless numbers of librarians and trustees in dealing with challenges to library material. She has been involved in multiple First Amendment cases that have gone all the way to the United States Supreme Court. In addition, she was the founder of ALA’s Banned Books Week, an annual week-long event that celebrates the freedom to choose and the freedom to express one’s opinion. Read more.
45 Years Ago
The periodic “State of the World” lectures of today have their roots in events like this interscholastic “International Weekend” in 1964.
from The Hermonite vol. 77, no. 12; p. 1 (April 18, 1964).
International Weekend Hosts Schwartz, 20 Schools
Last Saturday, April 11, Mount Hermon and Northfield held their International Weekend. This year they and representatives from twenty other independent schools examined the question, “Is the Communist bloc breaking up?” The principal speaker was Dr. Harry Schwartz of the New York Times.
In studying the state of the Communist bloc today, the conference members concentrated on the so-called “satellite countries” of Eastern Europe. Throughout the winter the student body has been prepared for the discussion through bulletin board displays around campus and the offering of excellent movies on many of these nations.
In his opening lecture in Camp Hall, Dr. Schwartz spoke to a large audience of students from Mount Hermon, Northfield, Abbot, Choate, Cushing, Concord, Dana Hall, Darrow, Emma Willard, Groton, Lawrence, Lenox, Loomis, MacDuffie, Milton School for Girls, Pomfret, Putney, Stonleigh-Hill Prospect, Suffield, Vermont, Williston, and Windsor. Also attending were two representatives from the Assembly of Captive European Nations – Mr. Gyula Szentadorjany, a leader of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, and Mr. Algirdas Landsbergis, the Lithuanian Secretary of the council.
Dr. Schwartz is himself an expert on Soviet affairs. He recently received his Ph.D. from Columbia and taught economics for several years at Syracuse University before joining the New York Times editorial staff.
The main point of both his opening lecture and his closing lecture at Northfield was that we must realize that the Communist bloc is no longer a monolithic monster whose only aim is to destroy the West, and that we should revise our foreign policy accordingly. He said that since no one seriously believes that there will be a third World War, the armed camps of East and West are breaking up, and nations are now acting according to their own national interests. Moscow has split with Peking [Beijing], Washington and Paris are drifting apart, the Eastern European nations are no longer at the beck and call of Kruschev. Dr. Schwartz suggested that the U.S. should begin looking out for its national interest by withdrawing from Viet Nam, by becoming more tolerant towards Castro, by recognizing Red China. But most important, we must discard the old image of the Communists as horrible, blood-thirsty fanatics who are united toward our destruction.
After Dr. Schwartz’s first lecture, the conference divided into about twenty-five discussion groups of twenty members to digest and dissect what they had just heard and to compare it with their knowledge of the Communist bloc countries. The evening lecture was followed by a spirited question period.
Although student interest at Mount Hermon was not at a particularly high pitch for the conference, and participation could have been increased, the organizers of the International Weekend, Bill Norris, Bill Green, and Mr. Jon Prentiss, still feel that this year’s conference was a rewarding one, perhaps the best yet.
Editor’s note: Bill Green, class of 1964, has since been one of our “State of the World” speakers.
Secrecy (check title for availability)
From Bullfrog Films
In a single recent year the U.S. classified about five times the number of pages added to the Library of Congress. We live in a world where the production of secret knowledge dwarfs the production of open knowledge. Depending on whom you ask, government secrecy is either the key to victory in our struggle against terrorism, or our Achilles heel. But is so much secrecy a bad thing?
Secrecy saves: counter-terrorist intelligence officers recall with fury how a newspaper article describing National Security Agency abilities directly led to the loss of information that could have avoided the terrorist killing of 241 soldiers in Beirut late in October 1983. Secrecy guards against wanton nuclear proliferation, against the spread of biological and chemical weapons. Secrecy is central to our ability to wage an effective war against terrorism.
Secrecy corrupts. From extraordinary rendition to warrantless wiretaps and Abu Ghraib, we have learned that, under the veil of classification, even our leaders can give in to dangerous impulses. Secrecy increasingly hides national policy, impedes coordination among agencies, bloats budgets and obscures foreign accords; secrecy throws into the dark our system of justice and derails the balance of power between the executive branch and the rest of government.
This film is about the vast, invisible world of government secrecy. By focusing on classified secrets, the government's ability to put information out of sight if it would harm national security, Secrecy explores the tensions between our safety as a nation, and our ability to function as a democracy
In Search of History: Spies Among Us (check title for availability)
The era of McCarthyism and the House Un-American Activities Committee during the Cold War is often dismissed as fascist demagoguery. Now shocking evidence gleaned from declassified secret Russian cables and newly opened KGB files shows that Soviet penetration indeed ran deep; even the Congressman who set up HUAC was on the KGB payroll!
The Library of Congress, UNESCO and 32 partner institutions on April 21 will launch the World Digital Library, a website that features unique cultural materials from libraries and archives from around the world.
The site will include manuscripts, maps, rare books, films, sound recordings, and prints and photographs – available unrestricted to the public and free of charge.
The browseable, searchable site will function in seven languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish)
From PC Magazine online: "Once upon a time, PCs were the primary tools for connecting to the Internet, with programs like One Laptop Per Child being conceived to harness their power. Globally, the mobile phone is now the primary communication tool. This shift has had a stunning impact on developing nations, the wireless industry, and even the Internet itself." and
"Here in the U.S. it is easy to take mobile technology for granted. With every man, woman, and child over the age of 11 carrying a cell phone, mobile access can be more of an annoyance than a technological wonder. Still, for much of the developing world, wireless has leapfrogged landlines. There are only 1.27 billion fixed-line subscriptions globally, but wireless technology has helped connect populations that are unreachable by landlines. In 1990, there were about 14,000 mobile phone subscriptions in Africa, according to the ITU. Today, there are 280 million." Read more...
70 Years Ago
One feature no longer present at our school is its literary societies. Tau Pi was the principal club at Northfield, and survived successfully until the school merger as a drama society, though it bore no resemblance to its ancestor, which had been a bastion of “the few” in an otherwise egalitarian environment. At Mount Hermon, the situation was somewhat different. By the mid-1930s the clubs had become increasingly like their counterparts on the college scene, fraternities. They were not so much places for rowdyism or antisocial behavior, but certainly they had become exclusive cliques. In 1939 the clubs were under the microscope of the powers that be, and even the student body was sharply divided about the usefulness of the societies, as you may read below. The faculty were not: in a one-sided vote activities of the Mount Hermon literary societies were severely curtailed in the fall of 1941 and over the summer of 1942 they quietly disappeared from the school.
from The Hermonite vol. 52, no. 13; p. 2 (April 12, 1939).
Student Letters Discuss the Problems of Clubs and Open Forums
[Pro] In recent months, the societies, or better known clubs have been making heroic efforts to regain their lost prestige on the Hill. They have, to some degree, gained recognition, recognition that begins to show some light in favor [of] the clubs; but not enough. The alternatives recently laid before the clubs are evidence that not everyone is against them. However, it seems that more persons should show interest in their favor.
There are several reasons why more persons should try to help their cause. If you have noticed, during this uncertain year for the clubs, they have remained calm and collected, continuing with their functions as in past years and not allowing the spirit of brotherhood to be lessened by the pressure brought to bear upon them. They have responded to recent demands in conducting themselves in such a manner as to contribute more to the good of the community as shown by recently presenting open forums and the more recent and very successful song fest. Moreover, the clubs have been very open minded in receiving the many biting criticisms thrown at them. It is quite evident that at this time, as much real democratic club spirit exists among the societies as ever did although they are supposed to be down and out. Such spirit is to be admired and should merit recognition from the community.
It seems that those minors who pretend to concern themselves with the club situation and who furnish constant detrimental criticism, are apt to jump to conclusions without due consideration. They do not realize that they are dealing with a tradition in the clubs that dates back to the early days of the school. They also must remember that the clubs consider their situation seriously and at the times when they may seem to show little progress, or even a bit hesitant, they are actually thinking the matter through in order to avoid any mistakes in movements taken too suddenly. It takes months to build a house that can be destroyed in an hour.
It is said that two heads are better than one. The clubs have the one good head and so combined with a sympathetic and carefully considering community as the other head, they should succeed.
[Con] To all thinking students:
The recent discussion of the alternatives before the clubs at Hermon was a very important meeting. Putting the whole affair out in the open is bound to lead to better understanding between the two factions. But the other and less cheerful side that it brought out is that the students are frequently narrow-minded and unwilling to admit that the other side has any viewpoints worth seeing. The changes that have been proposed are not radical, and the clubs would lose little if any of their prized independence and social contacts. But rather than admit even a few concessions, they keep their straitlaced outlook and damage their own futures.
From what I have been able to gather from talking to club men and listening to the many sessions that this ultimatum has brought about, I see that the clubs have either to accept the terms laid down by the Headmaster or face unconditional surrender of all of their rights. If they choose the latter, they will surely be a thing of the past, and all institutions that are unwilling to change with time to meet new requirements cannot expect any better fate than this. Although I am ignorant of what is at stake, I have presented what logically fits the situation. Some say that a non-club man will not present arguments against the present club system – here they are.
Picturing the Promise (check title for availability)
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From the publisher:
Standing in the Shadows of Motown (check title for availabilty)
Standing in the Shadows of Motown is a must-see film for any fan of the Supremes, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, or any other classic Motown stars. This swinging documentary celebrates the Funk Brothers--the team of studio musicians who powered dozens and dozens of hit Motown songs--by combining reminiscences, reenactments, and clips from a recent concert put on by the Funk Brothers, featuring singers like Chaka Khan, Ben Harper, and Joan Osborne on classic tunes like "What's Going On," "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," and "Heatwave." This crafty gang of elderly musicians will charm your pants off with a slew of entertaining anecdotes. Though it seems that there's a lot of dirt they're declining to dish, the movie deftly outlines the history of Motown, surely the most significant music label in American history--the label that turned segregated "race music" into chart-topping success. A soulful delight. --Bret Fetzer
A Hard Day's Night (check title for availability)
From Amazon.com essential video
The Fab Four from Liverpool--John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr--in their first movie. Nobody expected A Hard Day's Night to be much more than a quick exploitation of a passing musical fad, but when the film opened it immediately seduced the world--even the stuffiest critics fell over themselves in praise (highbrow Dwight Macdonald called it "not only a gay, spontaneous, inventive comedy but it is also as good cinema as I have seen for a long time"). Wisely, screenwriter Alun Owen based his script on the Beatles' actual celebrity at the time, catching them in the delirious early rush of Beatlemania: eluding rampaging fans, killing time on trains and in hotels, appearing on a TV broadcast. American director Richard Lester, influenced by the freestyle French New Wave and British Goon Show humor, whips up a delightfully upbeat circus of perpetual motion. From the opening scene of the mop tops rushing through a train station mobbed by fans, the movie rarely stops for air. Some of the songs are straightforwardly presented, but others ("Can't Buy Me Love," set to the foursome gamboling around an empty field) soar with ingenuity. Above all, the Beatles express their irresistible personalities: droll, deadpan, infectiously cheeky. Better examples of pure cinematic joy are few and far between. --Robert Horton
T.R.: The Last Romantic, by H.W. Brands
Mr. Gonzalez: "In this mammoth biography, Brands adeptly relates T.R.'s 'strenuous life,' beginning with Roosevelt's inauspicious sickly childhood and throughout his unceasing exploits and adventures. Although Brands's book has not been the most acclaimed study of T.R., I personally found it more engaging and insightful than Edmund Morris's treatment of our 26th President. "
Mr. Gonzalez: "The Book of Job deals with those big nagging philosophical questions of why evil persists in our world, and the purpose of suffering. A beautiful book, it reminds me to keep questioning my own beliefs and traditions while knowing that I will never reach any final stage of omniscience (and that's all right!). "
Children of Gebelawi, by Naguib Mahfouz
Mr. Gonzalez: "Mahfouz is the Arab author most well known globally, and deservedly so. Children of Gebelawi (or alternatively titled as Children of the Alley), allegorizes on the three 'religions of the book' - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and their three respective prophets. "
The Idiot, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Mr. Gonzalez: "I just borrowed Dostoyevsky's great masterpiece from the library and it quickly vaulted to my top favorite books! The central character is the author's attempt to create a naturally and completely "good" man. His interactions with 19th century Russian society provide an excellent reflection on social values for humanity as a whole."
The Butter Battle Book, by Dr. Seuss
Mr. Gonzalez: " Certainly no other book on international relations theory is as entertaining as Dr. Seuss's treatment of the Cold War arms race. "
25 Years Ago
In the early 1930s, The Northfield Schools were forced to adapt to a changing educational landscape in the United States, a landscape marked by the rise of widespread public secondary education, and the diminishing role of ecclesiastic institutions as sources of scholarship funding for individuals interested in attending schools like ours. The resulting schools looked far more like other prep schools than they ever had. They remained inexpensive, and kept much of their core mission, but no longer did they refuse to accept students for being too wealthy. A few small internal programs, coupled with partnerships with larger national organizations somewhat offset the difficulty of attracting students from the most difficult economic circumstances, but in the early 1960s, then school president Howard L. Jones had a grander vision. What follows, alas, documents its end and not its bright beginning. Your school archives can help you learn more details, and will show you the programs which followed.
from The Bridge vol. 15, no. 18; p.1 (April 11, 1984)
ABC Loses Funds
A program which places minority students in high schools has stopped providing scholarship money for the students it sends to NMH. A Better Chance (ABC), which NMH helped found, originally provided a substantial amount of the needed financial aid, but even as the tuition rose, it reduced the percentage it paid. Starting with the next academic year, it will pay none.
The decision, announced at the end of last summer, leaves NMH with the prospect of raising the money itself. How it will do so is still being debated. In the future, the school may accept fewer of the students ABC will continue to attempt to place, accept them with less financial aid, or accept them for a shorter period of time. In the past, most of the ABC students have come for three or four years.
Some of the 42 ABC students currently at NMH were worried when they received notification from ABC telling them that their money would be cut off. But for them, at least, there is no cause for concern; as Mr. Cooley, the Associate Dean emphatically affirmed: “No ABC student will lose the right to be here.” Their money will be found somewhere.
The greater challenge that NMH faces now, according to Mr. Cooley, is to take a fresh look at, and reaffirm its commitment to minority students in general.
.......to learn more about literature from the francophone world!
Francophone: of, having, or belonging to a population using French as its first or sometimes second language.
FROMAGE presents a selection of books in the library, written by authors from the francophone world translated into English.
and many more !!!!
The original idea behind this project was to offer a variety of work from francophone writers of various parts of the world, and to have the books in English to be accessible to all.
How to enter the contest:
Poems must be original work of no more than 60 lines and may concern any subject.
Entries of any poetic form are welcome. Examples include, but are not limited to, ballad, cinquain, clerihew, haiku, kyrielle, sonnet, and triolet. You can look up these forms and others at : http://thewordshop.tripod.com/forms.html.
One entry per person.
Three categories will be judged:
Poems may be submitted in languages other than English, but will not be judged as a separate category unless the following criteria are met:
Type, draw, or neatly print your poem and submit it to a librarian at the Schauffler Library circulation desk.
Submit 2 copies of your poem; they should be clipped together:
For more information contact: Peter Weis (413)-498-3469; firstname.lastname@example.org
Schauffler Library - Northfield Mount Hermon School; One Lamplighter Way, Mount Hermon, MA 01354
Snark : A Polemic in Seven Fits (check title for availabilty)
( February 01, 2009 )
"It's Mean, It's Personal, and It's Ruining Our Conversation," exclaims Denby (Great Books), longtime film critic for The New Yorker. The noun snark, an apparent conflation of "snide" and "remark," harkens back to Lewis Carroll's fictional animal, though there's no need to "hunt" for this incarnation of the beast; it's ubiquitous according to Denby, and it's nasty: "the most dreadful style going, and ultimately debilitating." Not to be confused with satire, which at least has human betterment at its heart, snark plays on others' vulnerabilities to no good end. Snark is not a recent phenomenon; Denby traces its origins back to ancient Greece and is not himself above naming names, counting writers James Wolcott, Joe Queenan, Tom Wolfe, and Maureen Dowd (who actually gets a whole "fit," as the book's sections are called, to herself) among its better-known current practitioners. Alice Roosevelt Longworth might not have appreciated it, but this relatively brief, witty (a quality he claims that snark lacks) work is highly recommended for all libraries. -Ellen Gilbert, Princeton, NJ