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Feb 17

7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Calendars

Posted on February 17, 2015 at 11:10 AM by Craig Jacobson

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  1. There are over 40 different calendars in modern use.
    Calendar - David Ewing Duncan.jpgMany of these are religious calendars (e.g., the Julian, Erisian, and Hindu calendars), while others, like the Hebrew, Chinese, and Persian calendars, serve socio-political functions. Other notable calendars include fiscal calendars, ISO week calendars, and the astronomical calendar. Some countries and places still refer to local calendars, which are usually used in conjunction with a wider international standard.

  2. The oldest known calendar is 10,000 years old.
    A series of pits in Scotland appear to form a primitive lunisolar calendar, with 12 pits to track the lunar months and an additional alignment for the midwinter sun, so that the years would stay on track. The oldest undisputed calendrical monuments known are from Mesopotamia. The Mesopotamians are also responsible for dividing our time system up into blocks that are divisible by 12 – 24 hours in a day, split 12 & 12 between night and day, 60 minutes, and so on.

  3. The first solar calendar was devised by the Egyptians.
    Red Pyramid.jpgThey divided the year into 12 months of 30 days, and then added 5 intercalary days between years, creating the first 365 day calendar. Prior to the Egyptians, ancient cultures used either lunar or lunisolar calendars to track the turn of the year, which resulted in either a too-short year (usually 354 days) or a very complicated, mathematically-involved calendar system.

  4. 10 days of October didn't exist in 1582.
    Tibaldo and the Hole.jpgWhen Pope Gregory announced the switch from the Julian calendar in 1582, the change required jumping ahead in the calendar to make things line up. Each country that made the switch had to account for the difference somehow, and October 5-14th were selected as the lucky dates. Of course, not all countries made the switch immediately. Great Britain put off the change until 1752, and the extra centuries required 11 days (instead of 10) to make up the difference, while the Eastern Orthodox church still uses the Julian calendar to calculate religious dates.

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  5. J.R.R. Tolkein developed at least 3 calendars for Middle Earth's different cultures.
    Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves, and Men each marked time slightly differently. Other writers, including Gene Roddenberry and Terry Pratchett, have devised unique calendars for their fictional worlds as well.

  6. Ancient Athenians used at least 2 – and probably 3 – calendars at the same time, all the time.
    Apollos Fire.jpgOne was for religious festivals, one was for state functions, and the third helped guide agricultural decisions. This system was called the "Attic calendar," and has long since fallen out of use. Other historical calendars include the now-defunct French Revolutionary calendar (which started the new year in September), the Florentine calendar (which started each day at sundown), and the Pentecontad calendar (which had 7 sets of 50 days).

  7. In the US, a younger twin can be born before their older sibling on the first Sunday in November.
    Now and Ben.jpgWhy? This is when clocks "fall back" for Daylight Savings Time – meaning that one hour repeats itself. In November 2007, according to WebExhibits, "Laura Cirioli of North Carolina gave birth to Peter at 1:32 a.m. and, 34 minutes later, to Allison. However, because Daylight Saving Time reverted to Standard Time at 2:00 a.m., Allison was born at 1:06 a.m." Conversely, no babies are born between 2-3 a.m. on the second Sunday in March in (most of) America – that's when we "spring forward," so the 2 o'clock hour does not exist.

    Written by Carol M.
    All images courtesy of Easicat.
Jan 30

Epic Love Stories both Old and New!

Posted on January 30, 2015 at 4:10 PM by Craig Jacobson

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With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, why not dive into a good romance?
Frank L. Weyenberg Library has many great options both classic and new that are sure to make you laugh, cry, and fall in love along with these memorable characters:

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Wuthering Heights by: Emily Bronte
The sweeping love story of Heathcliff, a disadvantaged loner who is taken in as a child by Earnshaw, a well-meaning farmer, and Catherine, Earnshaw’s well-to-do daughter, also Heathcliff’s companion and object of his affection. But as Heathcliff’s love for Catherine grows, so do his insecurities, leading a once innocent romance to its unfortunate demise.
Romeo and Juliet by: William Shakespeare
Arguably the most epic love story ever written, Romeo and Juliet must deal with their feuding families in order to pursue a tragic, once in a lifetime love.
Pride and Prejudice by: Jane Austen
The story of independent Elizabeth Bennet, one of five daughters in the Bennet family. After refusing to marry for anything other than love, Elizabeth struggles to find Mr. Right. But when the wealthy and overly proud Mr. Darcy comes to town, Elizabeth must sort out her feelings for the man who is seemingly her opposite.
Other classics to consider:
Jane Eyre by: Charlotte Bronte
Les Miserables by: Victor Hugo
Gone with the Wind by: Margaret Mitchell

Recent YA Romances:
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The Fault in Our Stars by: John Green
The new staple of teen romance, The Fault in Our Stars tells the story of Hazel and Gus, two teenagers who meet at a cancer support group. But while bad health and the fear of the unknown threaten to tear them apart, their shared wit and quirky view of the world lead them to an unforgettable love that neither expected.
If I Stay by: Gayle Forman
In life we are all forced to make choices. But what if that choice is a decision between life and death?  When her parents and younger brother die following a tragic car accident, comatose seventeen-year-old Mia is torn between living a life of grief but returning to her loving boyfriend and joining her close-knit family in death.
Eleanor and Park by: Rainbow Rowell
The year is 1986 when two, wise beyond their years, star-crossed misfits decide to give love a chance, despite knowing that fate and circumstance will undoubtedly succeed in driving them apart.
Other recent YA romances to consider:
How to love: a novel by: Katie Cotugno
Open Road Summer by: Emery Lord
My Life Next Door by: Huntley Fitzpatrick

Modern Romances for Adults:
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Me before you by: Jojo Moyes
Me before you tells the story of sweet but ordinary Louisa Clark as she goes to work for Will Traynor, a wheelchair bound former athlete who is struggling to cope in his current state. Though Will is moody, mean, and at times frustratingly stubborn, Louisa refuses to treat him like a child, and in time finds herself breaking through his barriers and caring for the man much more than she ever imagined. But after discovering Will’s “plans” for the future, Louisa sets out on a mission to prove to him that his life is worth far more than he realizes.
The Longest Ride by: Nicholas Sparks
In classic Sparks form, The Longest Ride interweaves the touching love stories of an elderly widower stuck in an isolated embankment after a car crash and a young college student as she falls in love with a reckless cowboy.
The Rosie Project: a novel by: Graeme C. Simsion
Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has struggled with love for as long as he can remember. But when an acquaintance tells him that he would make a ‘wonderful’ husband to the right woman, he decides to put his intellect to good use, thus creating The Wife Project.
Rosie Jarman is surprising, fun, fiery, and confusing; in a nutshell, everything Don is not looking for, and so, with that in mind, she is immediately disqualified as a candidate. However, as the opposites get to know each other, Don decides to embark on a new quest, using his supreme DNA skills to help Rosie find her long-lost father, learning along the way that love is something that can’t be explained with science, it must be felt with the heart. (Note: If you like this one, keep an eye out for Simsion’s highly anticipated sequel, The Rosie Effect.)
Other Modern Romances to consider:
Blood Magick by: Nora Roberts
Bared to You by: Sylvia Day
A Perfect Life: a novel by: Danielle Steele

Young and old there is always a good romance waiting to be read. Stop into the library today and our Reference staff will help find the perfect one for you!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Jan 19

Explore Legendary Titletown!

Posted on January 19, 2015 at 10:17 AM by Craig Jacobson

Untitled Document when pride still.jpgAt the time this blog post is being written it is unknown whether or not the Green Bay Packers will have defeated the Seattle Seahawks and advanced to Super Bowl 49. Regardless of the result this past Sunday, the Packers have a long and storied history that is worth delving into for all ages. There are many great figures from coaches to players that will be remembered for years to come.

For teen and young adult readers, there are a wide array of quality biographies and memoirs included in the library collection. In When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi, author David Maraniss gives depth and authenticity to one of the greatest football coaches in history by detailing his life from humble beginnings to Super Bowl champion. Most recently, retired wide receiver Donald Driver details his life on and off the field in Driven: From Homeless to Hero.

curly.jpgFor younger readers, we have a variety of Packer biographies including Curly Lambeau: Building the Green Bay Packers and Brett Favre: the All-Time Leader. These two titles are high interest for boys and girls who are looking to learn about the history of two all-time greats. The board book Green Bay Packers 101 serves as an introduction to the very young fan. Finally, fans of all ages will enjoy For the Love of the Packers: An A-to-Z Primer for Packers Fans of All Ages.

for the lov of.jpgIf you are looking to relive or share with a younger generation the Packers greatest games, the NFL Greatest Games Series: Green Bay Packers Greatest Games is a good starting point for recent Packers history. It may be more accurate to describe this set as the Packers greatest games during the Favre-era, as nine of the ten included games are taken from this period. To go further back in time, The Complete History of the Green Bay Packers, 1919-2003 provides an inside look at the early years, highlighting legends Curly Lambeau, Vince Lombardi, and placing a special emphasis on the 1967 Ice Bowl versus the Dallas Cowboys.

There are many more materials available at your library to explore the rich history of the Green Bay Packers. Ask staff at the reference desk and we will be happy to help direct your search!