Friday, July 31, 2009

Do NOT Eat These

Everybody wants to read humorous comedy recipes, right? Right? But we would never ever eat things like coffee salsa, baked lard or cod liver oil tart. The JamesOff.Net Recipe Generator just wants to amuse you. Here is one of the site's hi-larious recipes:
Port Surprise, Serves 5
You will need:
60g port
60g porridge oats
90g chocolate
rinse the chocolate
fry the port
fold in the port
saute the port
eat the chocolate
spoon the port onto a warmed plate
grill the porridge oats
put everything in the blender
JamesOff.Net Recipe Generator

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Not That Kind of Glutes

It seems like an epidemic. Gluten intolerant folks are everywhere. Ok, that didn't come out right. It's not like they revile wheat barley and rye, the stuff just makes them sick. And do the gluten-intolerant not eat? I think they must. So do the folks who publish cookbooks. They have entire cookbooks devoted to baking without gluten! The rice-four business must be booming. Here is a fine selection of cookbooks to assist in gluten-avoidance. I've only used the word gluten 4 times in this post, so I'll throw in a few extra for free. Gluten, gluten, gluten, gluten. That ought to be enough to satisfy any gluten glutton. Yeah, it's weak but I couldn't resist.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Just One Will Do

Hate to wash dishes? Neither do I! Because my husband does them! Those of you who are allergic to hot soapy water (and don't have a dishwasher) can save wear and tear on your lovely hands if you stick with one-dish meals. Plus, isn't it all faster when you just use one pot? (This isn't a rhetorical question because, as you know, I don't cook.) Apparently the whole single-dish method is all the rage because we have quite the selection of cookbooks on this topic. Click on the following for your introduction to the phenomenon.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Double J

Not a ranch, and I'm guessing no ranch dressing would be allowed. The movie based on the book Julie and Julia : 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 tiny apartment kitchen will be 'in theaters soon'. Julie, the maniac, decides to cook every recipe in Julia's Mastering the art of French cooking. Hilarity ensues. So for a little light reading get on the list for Julie's book. For a lot of information on cooking, read Julia's. For something in between read:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Joyful Cooking

I don't read cookbooks because I don't cook and it just makes me sad. Who will whip me up a French Silk pie like the one I had in Galesburg 20 years ago ? No one. Rats. I do have occasion to use the Joy of Cooking in my work as a Librarian and boy is it comprehensive. If you want to tell the difference between a male and female crab, page 379 of the 2006 edition will set you straight. Probably even tells you why it matters. Plus - and this can't have been in the original - there is a nifty graphic of a 'nutrition facts box' and how to read it. What can't this book do?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hidden Meanings

Find and circle the words related to the Apollo 11 Mission to the Moon! I'd tell you what words to look for, but where's the fun?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How They Did It

Are you interested in the technical aspect of the moon voyage? Like how on earth (hah!)they put together machines to not only get to the moon but land safely and move around on it's surface? Especially one as fragile as the LEM? NASA is ready to provide us with answers. Their web site has intriguing diagrams of the Apollo spacraft. Doesn't exactly tell you how they were made, but you can sure see what went into them.

Apollo Diagrams

For more detail on the missions, read:

Rocket men : the epic story of the first men on the moon

Dark side of the moon : the magnificent madness of the American lunar quest

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Phases of the Moon since the Dawn of Time

Well, almost. NASA has a web site that provides you with such juicy tidbits as: on what dates could you have experienced a full moon in the year 1857 BCE? So you're writing a novel about ancient Egypt and your main character gazes up at the sky - you want your moon to be accurate, right? No random phase for you, no siree. The tables also provides dates of eclipses, both solar and lunar. You could build your whole novel around just that - it's a gold mine! Even if you just want to find celestial events that took place in your lifetime.

If you're interested in eclipses, check out:

Monday, July 20, 2009

Before we met the Moon

Today is the 40th anniversary of actual real Men on the Moon. This week we celebrate with Moon Stuff. Does anyone remember when the moon was made of green cheese? When we didn't have a clue as to what was up there? H. G. Wells. Jules Verne. Margaret Wise Brown. They informed our impressions of the moon - swarming with HUGE intelligent bugs, reachable by shooting yourself out of a cannon, or just a pretty thing to hear our good-nights. For those of you that enjoy graphic novels the original League of Extraordinary Gentlemen starts with a delicious combination of different literary versions of the moon and its denizens. Best part of the book.

Graphic Source: Ray Harryhausen

Friday, July 17, 2009

This Week in Silly

It's been just ages since you've had a name randomly picked for you from a list of funny words. Let's do a nice gentle one (or at least it should be). The Fluffy Kitten name generator! We can be happy and bouncy and carefree. At least I thought so. Then I found out my Fluffy Kitten name is Nightmare Tubbybottom. Who would name a kitten Nightmare? Sure, if the kitten grows up and turns out like my sister's cat that would snarl right in your face when you were on the stairs, then you name them Nightmare. Not when they are Fluffy Kittens. Go get a name and see if you come out with something nicer. Although they were kinda on target with the Tubbybottom part.

Graphic credit: Dover

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Movies from the East

I know, you've seen all the blockbusters and the mainstream movies and you want something different! Now is the time to hit the East Side Library. They have all this stuff that is really interesting but a bit short on star power. Unless you are blinded by Balthazar Getty and Henry Rollins. Or Kenneth Branagh! He used to be kind of a star.

Kaidan Shinkichi, a handsome 25-year old man, was cursed as a baby when his father killed a businessman. During a dispute, Shinkichi accidentally injures his wife, Oshiga, in the face. The injury doesn't seem very bad at first but the infection soon spreads and Oshiga dies. The deadly curse is far from over.

Wallander Three new crime dramas based on books by Henning Mankell; Sidetracked, Firewall, and One Step Behind follow Inspector Kurt Wallander, a disillusioned everyman, as he struggles against a rising tide of violence in southern Sweden. 2 DVD's.

The couple A Jewish Hungarian is forced to hand over his wealth to the Nazis for the safe passage of his family out of occupied Europe, only to find his two remaining servants are left trapped in a web of deceit and danger, and he is their only hope for survival.

Feast A group of patrons at a bar struggle to survive a ravenous family of flying beasts focused on eating them. Who will survive and who will become their meal? Balthazar Getty, Henry Rollins. I'd go for Getty. Rollins looks like he'd be tough and stringy

Hogfather It's the holiday of Hogswatch in the parallel universe of Discworld, the night when kids anticipate presents from the beloved Hogfather. But someone--or something-- wants the Hogfather out of the way. Now it's up to the most unlikely of heroes to get the holiday back on track before humanity loses all hope.

The descriptions are taken right from the catalog, so you know I am not making these up.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Grey Hounds

I had lots of preconceptions about greyhounds. I thought they were all gray. I though they were small-to-medium sized. I thought they were thin all over. Then I saw one in Walgreens' parking lot a few weeks ago. This beauty was cream-and-caramel colored, big, and had a barrel chest you could fit an actual barrel into. I understand one can adopt dogs that have retired from their racing careers, which is nice. There's an organization in Iowa devoted to just this. Here's a link to their web site: Heartland Greyhound Association The Association explains that since racing greyhounds had such a regimented life, as a pet they will need special attention. Here are two books with more detail.

Adopting the racing greyhound

Retired racing greyhounds for dummies

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gardening Variety

How many kinds of gardening are there? More than I can list. Here's a taste of the more exotic types:

Pit Gardening Has nothing to do with peaches.

Courtyard Gardening Not just for the castle anymore.

Night Gardens May have an emphasis on fragrance.

Rain Gardens Not about gardening in rainy places but conserving water.

Knot Gardens. But they are! Gardens! Hah!

You'll thank me later for the laugh. For now you have options that may be new to your repertoire of plantings. Dig away.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Books on CD

Commuters! We have many many books on CD to make your drive more interesting. Biographies! Patterson! Evanovich! You can search them separately in our catalog - just click on Power Searching then scroll down and select Format: Books on CD. Each of our six buildings carries a nice selection, and audio books check out just like print books. Meaning you get to keep them three weeks, with two renewals if there are no reserves. So keep your mind bright and sparkling, your hands on the wheel, and your eyes on the road. Just can't guarantee you'll be as happy as this gal.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Rubik's Smooth

Hi, folks! It's Friday Fun Time! Today's frivolous offering is a nifty little site that will turn any graphic (seems to prefer jpegs) into a Rubik's cube. Well, a graphic representation of a Rubik's cube. An actual 3-d working puzzle does not jump off your computer screen. Yet. I wonder how Carrot Top would look on a cube. Better? Worse? Maybe best not to think about that. But your dog would look cute as a bug! Amuse yourselves...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Happy Songs

We have set of books, Popular music, in which a most entertaining list of song titles appears. In volume 1900-1919, on page 292 we have: Pig Latin Love; Piking the Pike (A reference to the St Louis Fair Midway. What did you think it meant?); The Ping Pong Song; Pink Lady Waltz ; Pinkerton Detective Man; and the euphoniously named Pinky Panky Poo. They sound enormously cheerful. Even Pinkerton Detective Man is a novelty romance song. Where was the angst? If you're feeling angst-ish, these books are fun to browse for a chipper hour or two. Browse because they live at the Central Library and they don't check out. But they enjoy visitors.

Photo: The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Magazines Galore

We have beaucoup magazines in the DMPL system! And except for the latest issue of the magazine, they all check out. Oops. One more exception. The Central Library subscribes to magazines of local interest and they don't check out. They live in the Iowa Collection, which is separate from where you find your Vogue and your Horticulture magazines. If you are interested in Iowa magazines, ask at the Information Desk, the staff there can easily direct you. Here is just a few of the non-Iowa titles we subscribe to. A drop in the bucket! The tip of the iceberg! The icing on the cake!

Suggested by Kristelle Larsen

Monday, July 6, 2009

We're back - all of us!

All six buildings of the Des Moines Public Library resume regular hours today. You know what this means? Franklin opens at Merle Hay Mall today! It's very exciting! Stop in and check it out, over by Target, where The Gap used to be.

Photo Courtesy Gerry Rowland

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy 4th of July

All six locations of the Des Moines Public Library are closed Friday July 3 and will reopen Monday July 6th. That includes Franklin - Monday will be their first day open at the Merle Hay Mall. Yay! Enjoy your celebration of The United States of America. According to infoplease, clambakes are traditional for the 4th. Good luck with that.

Graphic Source: Dover Publications

Thursday, July 2, 2009


One of my favorite quotes: "Every word she writes is a lie, including "and" and "the". That was Mary McCarthy speaking of Lillian Hellman in a 1980 television interview. I would love to have met either/both of these ladies. Especially if they were in the same room. McCarthy is most famous for her 1963 novel The Group, which tracks the lives of eight women who graduate from Vassar together in the 30's. Caused a bit of a stir for the frank attitude toward sex. Read her quirky autobiography, Memories of a Catholic girlhood. This book is unusual in that she fictionalizes aspects of her life - but she tells you which aspects.

Graphic Source: Biography Resource Center

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Riverview Park

Oh, the memories of Riverview Park. I never saw it whole - my husband and I stopped by to see it before the recent renovations and it was like an archaeological dig. You could see parts of concrete walls and some rails where the rides had been. As you might have noticed, there is plenty of interest in the old place. Thus the wonderful web site devoted to Riverview. 'Fading Memories of Riverview Park' is packed with memories and a plethora of photographs. Sure looks like it was fun - I envy those of you who visited in its prime. But everyone can stop in at the North Side Library and look at their memorabilia from Riverview!

Suggested by Andrea Marasco