What Matters in Jane Austen

January 28, 2013 marked the 200th anniversary of the publishing of Pride and Prejudice. Its author, Jane Austen, is as popular as ever. Pride and Prejudice alone has had at least four film adaptations. A search in the library database Literature Resource Center on Jane Austen yields 843 results. And now this statue of her famous hero, Mr. Darcy, has been erected in Hyde Park, London. Though of course not from Austen’s text of Pride and Prejudice, the statue’s resemblance to Colin Firth in the 1995 BBC production is uncanny. If your interest…continue reading →

Oh My Bears!

Bear feeding at the Wildlife Center of Virginia on May 23, 2013. Spring 2013 has not been kind to the black bears in Virginia. The Wildlife Center of Virginia has admitted 19 black bears for treatment—a record number. The center, located in Waynesboro, cares not only for black bears but for all native wildlife—birds, reptiles, mammals and amphibians. During the cubs’ treatment you can join internet users from all over the world in watching the black bear cubs and other patients on the center’s live Critter Cam.  Two video cameras are trained on…continue reading →

The Great Gatsby

“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father told me something that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.” With the release of the movie are you thrilled by all things Gatsby? If so, you might want to check out the Princeton University Digital Library. You can view F. Scott Fitzgerald’s manuscript—in its original longhand form. (Fitzgerald used not a computer, not a typewriter, not even a pen to write. The manuscripts you can see are written in pencil.) The Princeton Digital Library has high-resolution digital images of The Great…continue reading →

College Students Set World Record!

Last week two college students set a world record to promote summer reading at the Seattle Public Library. Their record? Knocking over books! Actually, the students and volunteers set up 2,131 library books as dominoes. I wonder who gets to put them back on the shelves? Hmmm…. Enjoy this video of their achievement:continue reading →

Clench Your Fist to Get an A

It’s true! At least according to a study published in the online journal PLOSone (the Public Library of Science) and titled Getting a Grip on Memory: Unilateral Hand Clenching Alters Episodic Recall.  Researchers Ruth E. Propper, Sean E. McGraw, and Michael Weiss of the Department of Psychology, Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey; and Tad T. Brunyé of the Psychology Department, Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts conducted a study to determine if fist clenching could improve memory. Participants were divided into several groups. One group was given a rubber ball to squeeze…continue reading →