Prize for Revealing National Secrets: Snowden Reporting Wins Pulitzer

April 15th, 2014

This week the Pulitzer Prize, journalism’s highest honor, was given to the reporters and news organizations that broke the stories on US government surveillance. This was from a mass of documents released by former US government contractor Edward Snowden, who released classified documents and broke US law. Snowden is now living in Russia to avoid prosecution in the US. Some people hail Snowden as a hero who should be protected. Others view Snowden as a traitor who should be prosecuted. The video below discusses the implications of the Pulitzer Prize.

For more information on Snowden here are a couple of sources:
CQ Researcher piece on Government Surveillance
Overview of the NSA Files from the Guardian

Pulitzer Prize renews debate over controversial NSA surveillance reporting

Description: Journalism’s highest honor was awarded to The Washington Post and The Guardian U.S. for reporting that raised questions about privacy, surveillance and security, despite criticism about whether they should have published the stories in the first place. Gwen Ifill discusses this year’s Pulitzer Prize winners with Geneva Overholser of the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy.

A Good Reason to Stay up Late: Total Lunar Eclipse

April 14th, 2014

In less than five hours (starting at about 1 AM), the moon will pass behind the Earth.  As long as the sky is clear enough, the event will be visible here.   Get live coverage and commentary from NASA. 

Or, if you’re really interested The Adler Planetarium is having a FREE Lunar Eclipse Viewing Party!

One Week of Free Access to Online Resources

April 14th, 2014

In honor of National Library Week, a few websites will make their content freely available online for one week. The sites include:

Total BooX, an ebook platform, is making its collection of 20,000+ ebooks available to read on Android, IOS, and Kindle Fire devices from April 13 through April 20.

Oxford University Press is offering access to its online resources from April 13 through April 19, including scholarly resources related to music, history, and medicine among other disciplines.

ProQuest is offering access to five of its databases this week, including its ebrary Public Library Complete collection of 27,000+ ebooks.

Happy National Library Week!

Pop in to the Pop-Up Book Fair

April 11th, 2014

Looking for something fun to do tomorrow? What better way to spend a Saturday in spring than in Oak Park at Curbside Splendor’s Annual Pop-Up Book Fair! Not only will you be able to meet independent publishers and authors, but comic book artist Chris Ware will be there conversing with literary scholar Hilary Chute, William Hazelgrove will read from his new novel The Pitcher, and Rey Andujar will perform Saturnalia. And what would a literary event at The Hemingway Museum be without readings and discussion about Oak Park’s most famous literary son? Best thing (or one of them): it’s free if you register online in advance!

Native Americans and American Film: 100 Years cont’d

April 9th, 2014

1975′s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a landmark in American film as Native-born actor Will Sampson was cast in a significant role as a Native American. His success in film and television marks a turning point for Native and First Nations performers.

Director Michael Apted’s Incident at Oglala [documentary] and Thunderheart [feature film] (both 1992) question the conviction of Native American leader Leonard Peltier for the murder of two FBI agents near Oglala, SD in 1975.

Comité de Defensa de Leonard Peltier Thunderheart [DVD New]

Films written, produced and directed by Native Americans begin to appear in 1998 including Naturally Native, Smoke Signals (both 1998) and The Business of Fancydancing (2002).

Naturally Native        

Other films in the collection include:

Windwalker (1980)
Broken Rainbow  (1985) Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature
Dances With Wolves (1990)
Black Robe (1991)
In the White Man’s Image (1992)
The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
Ancestral voices [Power of the Word series pt.3]  (1994)
Dance Me Outside (1994)
Sioux City (1994)
Dead Man (1995)
Skins (2002)
DreamKeeper (2003)
Four Sheets To The Wind (2006)
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007)
Trail of Tears: A Native American Documentary Collection (2001-2008)
Our Spirits Don’t Speak English: Indian Boarding School (2008)
We Shall Remain: America Through Native Eyes (2009)
Don’t Get Sick After June: American Indian Healthcare (2010)
A Good Day to Die  (2010)
Up Heartbreak Hill  (2011)

Books on Native Americans in film:

American Indians and Popular Culture / Elizabeth DeLaney Hoffman, editor  (2012)
Injuns!’ : Native Americans in the movies / Edward Buscombe (2006)
Visualities : perspectives on contemporary American Indian film and art /edited by Denise K. Cummings (2011)

Six-month-old giraffe to undergo risky operation

April 8th, 2014

Some time this week, Kyah, a giraffe residing at the Oklahoma City zoo will undergo surgery to correct a terminal defect.  It will be the first time this operation has been attempted on a giraffe.  Read the story here for further details.

“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…long before ‘glee’ “

April 7th, 2014

The young Mickey Rooney’s answer to all problems was,

“Hey kids, let’s put on a show!”

The library collection contains 4 of what MGM deemed his “Backyard Musicals”:

Babes in Arms (1939)
Strike Up the Band (1940)
Babes on Broadway (1941)
Girl Crazy (1943)

In the Greatest Classic Legends: Mickey Rooney & Judy Garland set.

Then travel through time and space to the New York High School for the Performing Arts with 1980′s Fame and reset the Way-back Machine to 2003 and enjoy Camp.

Sing out, but sing loud!

Babes in Arms Poster Movie 27 x 40 In - 69cm x 102cm Mickey Rooney Judy Garland Charles Winninger Guy Kibbee June Preisser Grace Hayes 1 of 1 fame poster   File:Camp.jpeg

A Study in Psychology: Stanley Milgram’s Obedience

April 7th, 2014

In the 1960′s, Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted a study considered to be essential to the field of social psychology. Resulting from the study was the film Obedience, which includes footage from the experiment. The film is summarized as:

“Considered one of the most famous experimental studies in psychology of all time, Obedience focuses on the conflict between obedience to authority and personal conscience. Conceived in the wake of the World War II criminal trial of Adolph Eichmann, who ordered the deaths of millions of Jews, the experiment was designed to explore how far people would go when under the instruction of an authority figure. Based on footage shot at Yale University, subjects were told to administer electric shocks of increasing severity to another person. Sixty-five percent of participants administered the experiment’s final massive 450-volt shock. Fifty years later, this experiment still resonates as people ask themselves, “Would I pull that lethal switch?””

The film is currently required to be viewed for some psychology courses on campus, and a DVD of the film is on reserve at the library. For added accessibility, the film is now also available to the MVCC community as a streaming video, accessible via the internet.

Film Blog: Breakfast Special(s)

April 4th, 2014

Breakfast is probably my favorite meal of the day. I make an omelet almost every morning (sometimes even for dinner) complete with mushrooms, onions, green peppers and cheese on top of toast. With that in mind, I decided to feature not one, but two films about breakfast.

Breakfast Special and Breakfast Special 2 feature unique breakfast places around the United States. They go everywhere from Portland to Chinatown in San Francisco to Hawaii. There’s a place that just makes pancakes with their very own maple syrup. If you go to the Maple Tree Inn, you can even see the trees where they collect syrup. They are only open 2 months out of the year and still have people lining up. There’s also a breakfast place in Portland that serves breakfast for your dog! How can you go wrong with that? These videos are also available for free on the PBS website.

As always, I’m including a video below for your review.


Lunar Eclipse

April 3rd, 2014



 April 15 is usually associated with tax day. This year  there  will be an exciting twist that will make you starry-eyed as you do your taxes.  “A total lunar eclipse will be visible to all in the United States that night.” The moon’s color for this “blood moon” eclipse will be a dusky red. Here is the  lunar schedule for Chicago viewers. Enjoy the show.