Library Assets!

April 24, 2014

320px-Carl_Spitzweg_021Budget woes have you in a tizzy?  No worries, sell some art!  What a wonderful asset to own (and such an appropriate piece for a library), and what a difficult decision to have to make.  I’m hoping that is it not out of dire need that the library is considering the sale . . . what a treasure!

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “The Milwaukee Public Library board will meet Tuesday to discuss the possible sale or permanent loan of one of its treasures, ‘The Bookworm,’ the most famous canvas by German romantic painter Carl Spitzweg.”  According to Paula Kiely (the Director of the Milwaukee Public Library), an undisclosed party has made an offer on the work (which is reportedly valued in the neighborhood of $400,000).   Apparently there are three versions of this particular painting: the first version (painted circa 1850) currently resides in the Museum Georg Schäfer in Schweinfurt and was originally listed under the title “The Librarian;” the second version, an exemplar of the first, was painted a year later and found its way into the hands of an art collection in New York City and was eventually bequeathed to the Milwaukee Public Library in the early 1970s; a third version was painted in 1884 and is owned by a private collector.

World Book Night 2014!

April 23, 2014

WBN2014 LogoNoBkgdSpreading the love of reading, person to person.  I was too late to sign up for this wonderful program this year, but I will definitely have to make a better effort to get involved in this initiative next year.

How It Works

The Book List

Lists from Previous Years

Check out the World Book Night full website here.

And, in case you didn’t know, or had simply forgotten, today also just happens to be the birthday of William Shakespeare!  Happy Birthday William!

Tackling the Seven Wonders of the World!

April 22, 2014

The Piano Guys have set out to film and/or perform in front of all Seven Natural Wonders of the World.  Their first stop: the Great Wall of China . . . not too shabby at all!  One down, six to go.  Next stop on the list: Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janiero.  I’m a huge fan of these guys.  To learn more, check out their webpage.

The Refrigerator Police!

April 21, 2014

How safe are the foods in your refrigerator?  Here is an infographic that can help remind you of safe food handling techniques from planning and shopping, to cleaning and storing, to preparation and cooking, to storing and reheating.  It even discusses such topics as the sources of food health risks (food borne illnesses and other contaminants) and food allergies.  Let’s be safe in all of our food handling procedures!

Food-Contamination

Happy Easter, 2014!

April 20, 2014

Did you know that  . . .

Easter is one of the biggest holidays for consuming candy (second only to Halloween).  Here are some fun facts for you to ponder.

  • 120 million pounds of candy purchased.
  • 90 million chocolate bunnies.
    • 76% of people eat the ears first.
    • 5% eat the feet first.
    • 4% eat the tail first.
  • 700 million peeps.
  • 16 billion jelly beans (just in America).
  • 70% of all Easter candy purchased is chocolate.
  • Annual spending on Easter candy: $120 billion.

Source: Internet Retailer, Barna Group, National Retail Federation, National Confectioner’s Association

Multitasking!

April 19, 2014

multitaskingdemotivatorSo do you think you are the king of multitasking?  You may want to rethink this.  According to an article [courtesy of National Public Radio (NPR)] on the topic, we aren’t nearly as good at it as we think we are. Which plays right into the sentiment expressed in this demotivator (courtesy of www.despair.com).

“Humans, they say, don’t do lots of things simultaneously. Instead, we switch our attention from task to task extremely quickly.” (NPR)

“Squirrel” This One Away!

April 18, 2014

If you are looking for a challenging origami pattern, and if you are a huge fan of the animated movie series Ice Age, then here is one that is sure to please.  Scrat and his acorn.  Be sure to block out a good  chunk of time, the demonstration alone is over an hour long.  But the end result looks awesome.  Happy folding!

You’re Talking Nonsense!

April 17, 2014

Have you ever caught yourself rambling and wondering if you were actually saying anything of consequence?  Or perhaps you simply like to make up words and phrases.  As I was growing up I would frequently find myself creating unintelligible  words or phrases — whether out of boredom or merely creativity (or some combination of both), I could easily entertain myself with this pastime.  My favorite all-time phrase: mum-bolly gowanna, di-eejageta boot-a, doochy-boof.  Yeah, I know, pretty twisted, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

galimatias

\gal-uh-mey-shee-uhs, -mat-ee-uhs\, noun;

confused or unintelligible talk.

Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate, by Eugene Ehrlich.

Here’s to Libraries, Week Thirteen!

April 16, 2014

Located in St. Gallen (Switzerland), the Abbey Library of Saint Gall Abbey-St_Gallis not only the oldest collection in Switzerland, but is “one of earliest and most important monastic libraries in the world.” (Wikipedia)  The library (along with the Abbey) was built in the Rococo style and was named a World Heritage Site in 1983.  It represents an excellent example of a Carolingian (north European, Pre-Romanesque architecture from the late 8th and 9th centuries) monastery.

The collection includes:

  • nearly 160,000 volumes.
  • 2,100 manuscripts from the 8th through the 15th centuries.
  • 1,650 incanubula (printed pre-1500) and older books.

“A library is a hospital for the mind.”  (Anonymous)

Source: photo courtesy of danieldalton.me  (BuzzFeed).

Cheesecake of the Month – April 2014!

April 15, 2014

Now that spring is upon us, here is a recipe for a new cheesecake flavor that I can’t wait to try . . . I’m not sure about the combination of flavors in the filling (kiwi and lime juice [albeit only a couple of tablespoons]) or the garnish for the top (kiwi and apricot preserve), but I’ll give it a try one of these days.

Kiwi Cheesecake

Filling:
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
2 cups ricotta cheese, drained
1 cup sour cream
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
5 eggs
3 medium kiwis, peeled and pureed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon vanilla

Garnish on top:
3 medium kiwis, peeled and sliced thin
1/2 cup apricot preserves

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch cheesecake or springform pan with 3-inch sides with parchment paper.

For the filling:
In a large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese, ricotta, sour cream, and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in kiwi puree, flour, lime juice and vanilla. Pour into prepared cheesecake pan. Bake in preheated oven for 55 to 65 minutes or until the top is light brown and the center has a slight jiggle to it. Cool on a rack for 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before garnishing.

For the garnish:
Place sliced kiwis on top of cheesecake. In a small saucepan, heat apricot preserves. Press through a sieve. Brush on top of kiwis. This will keep the fruit looking fresh.

Tips:
To drain ricotta, place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl, place the cheese in the strainer and let stand for at least 1 hour or overnight in the refrigerator.
When purchasing fresh kiwis, they should be firm like a ripe tomato.
Use fresh lime juice. Bottled lime juice can have a metallic taste.

Source: 125 Best Cheesecake Recipes by George Geary (this is a fabulous recipe book).


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