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February 2015

Introduction to Baroque Music with Violinist Patricia Ahern

February 27, 2015 | Maureen | Comments (4)

Patricia AhernPlease join us at North York Central Library on Friday March 27 for an introduction to Baroque music. Patricia Ahern, a violinist with award winning Baroque orchestra Tafelmusik, will perform selections of Baroque music to illustrate her talk. Tafelmusik has been called one of the world’s top Baroque orchestras by Gramophone Magazine.

Baroque music is a style of European music that roughly spans the years 1600 to 1750. The love of theatricality during this time period led to the invention of a genre which is still flourishing today -- opera. Some well known composers of the period include George Frideric Handel, Johann Sebastian Bach, Johann Pachelbel, Antonio Vivaldi, Henry Purcell, and Claudio Monteverdi.

If you’d like to learn more about Baroque music before you come to the event, use your library card to log into Naxos Music Library on the Toronto Public Library Website. Here, you can listen to works by composers of the Baroque period. Or you can listen to The history of classical music, an audio book by Richard Fawkes, a hidden gem for your ears and mind. At the beginning, you will hear the soulful sound of Gregorian chant, then British actor Robert Powell infusing the first line of the book with life in his mellifluous, unhurried tones: "The sound of Gregorian chant -- the oldest music we have in the western world".

His voice is so well modulated and pleasing that even when he tells you about the walls of Jericho being brought down by trumpets, and the Christians being fed to lions to the sound of organ music, you will be lulled into a state of both relaxation and alert curiosity -- the perfect mood in which to time travel with Powell into music history. It's a great way to learn. You are treated to samples of music which really help you appreciate what Powell is saying in his delicious British accent. If you want, skip right to the section on the Baroque period. (The same title is available in Hoopla, Toronto Public Library's streaming music and video service.)

Patricia will begin her talk at 7:00 p.m. Please call 416-395-5639 to register for this free program.

Here are just a few titles from the thousands available to you in Naxos Music Library:

Richard Fawkes The History of Classical Music
"Recommended to anyone new to classical music or to informed listeners looking to plug any gaps in their knowledge." Gramophone Magazine. Narrated by award winning actor Robert Powell. (Most well known for his role as Jesus in Franco Zeffirelli's Jesus of Nazareth.)

Baroque Masterpieces

.

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra Concerti Virtuosi

 

 

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra House of Dreams

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Free Science Events in Toronto for March 2015

February 26, 2015 | Jeannette | Comments (0)

The Science and Technology Department of North York Central Library compiles a monthly calendar of free science and applied science events in Toronto. Applied science includes health, gardening, pets and food; all subjects found in the department's collection. Here is the March calendar (PDF).

March's highlights include:

The Toronto Public Library also offers many free science and applied science events:

March's highlights include:

Can't attend a program or want to read more about the topics covered? Try some of these titles:

Garments of paradise   Real food all year   Climate change   The essential guide to home herbal remedies   Healthy meals for less   Arduino for beginners   Teach yourself visually Microsoft Excel 2010   The complete visual guide to building a house

The Beautiful Brain: How Do We See the World?

February 20, 2015 | Jeannette | Comments (2)

Edit: Please note that the talk "The Beautiful Brain: How Do We See the World?" has been rescheduled (date and time to be confirmed). Tonight's talk will be delivered by Derek Wilson (York University) on "What Happens When Proteins Go Rogue".

I recently had surgery to correct my vision. I've needed glasses since sixth grade so it's been quite a different experience not having to wear glasses or contacts. Being able to wake up and see things clearly has been simply wonderful.

Working together, the eyes and brain allow us to perceive the world around us. As light hits the retina of the eye (which allows us to see), signals are sent to the visual cortex of the brain. There, visual information is processed.

So whether you are looking at a work of art or engaging in a daily routine such as driving, our visual sense and powerful brain let us react with adequate behaviours.

Join Dr. Georg Zoidl from York University, for a talk on the brain and visual perception on Wednesday, March 4 from 7 – 8 PM at North York Central Library in the Auditorium. He will explain what our perception of the physical world mean for us as individuals and as social beings.

Presented in collaboration with York University’s Faculties of Science and Health, this talk is part of the Neuroscience: How Your Brain Lives, Works… And Dies lecture series.

For more information about the brain, take a look at these books:

Brain structure and its origins  The human brain book  A very short tour of the mind  We are our brains

Here are some DVDs about the brain:

How does the brain work  The intelligent brain  The nervous system  Your best brain

There are also books about visual perception:

Basic vision  An introduction to the visual system  A tour of the senses  Vision and brain

North York Central Library Talk: Wedgwood: Artistry and Innovation

February 13, 2015 | Muriel | Comments (0)

  North York Central Library Talk:

Wedgwood: Artistry and Innovation


Thursday, March 12, 2015

7:00 p.m. in the Auditorium

Speaker: Peter Kaellgren, Curator Emeritus,

Department of World Cultures, Royal Ontario Museum

Please call 416-395-5639 to register.


Wedgwood Artistry and Innovation                 Wedgwood Jasperware   
 

Josiah Wedgwood I (1730 to 1795) was one of the most successful entrepreneurs of the Industrial Revolution.  Since 1759, Wedgwood ceramics have constantly evolved to appeal to changing needs and tastes.  An identification clinic for ceramics is available for a limited number of people between 6:00 to 6:45 p.m. 
Please call 416-395-5639 to register for this free program.
 


Wedgwood The First tycoon                At Home With Wedgwood
       
     

 

You can see historical examples of Wedgwood ceramics in Toronto for free.  Just pick up a Sun Life Financial Museum + Arts Pass for the
Royal Ontario Museum or the Gardiner Museum.

Tutankhamun's Uncommon Encounters

February 13, 2015 | Ann | Comments (2)

 

National Gegoraphic featured video:  King Tut's Tomb
Photograph of King Tut's Mask courtesy of v.williams46 (flickr) under the Creative Commons licence 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

This year Ontario celebrates Family Day on Monday February 16.  It is a great day for people to share time with family and friends.  For those who like to spend their time immersed in ancient history, February 16 celebrates the 92nd anniversary of the discovery of King Tut (aka King Tutankhamen).  This day in 1923, Howard Carter discovered the inner burial chamber and gave rise to a social phenomenon rich in scientific research and folklore. 

Tutankhamun endured some (mis)adventures in life and in the thereafter.  These include physical injuries that hastened his untimely death, possible spontaneous combustion of his mummified remains during entombment, and the recent unfortunate breaking and hasty reattachment of the beard on his death mask.  

Other intriguing issues related to King Tut can be shelved under folklore.  These include the ever popular "mummy's curse" upon the opening of King Tut's sarcophagus and the successful plot to murder the young king.  In the late 1960s, scientists examined King Tut's remains using X-ray photography.  The initial images showed a crack in the lower back area of the mummy's skull.  This evidence suggested that King Tut may have been bludgeoned to death.  Ay(e), a  middle-aged close relative and counselor to the king, was the prime suspect in the young king's demise.  Ay(e) had a great deal to gain in murdering the child king and marrying the equally young queen, Ankhesenamun.  

Further scientific analysis debunks this initial theory.  Recent CT scans discount Ay(e) as the Tutankhamen's murderer.  The crack in the skull most likely occurred in the mummification process.   King Tut may have died due to an infection resulting from a serious fracture to his left leg.  The scientists did report two unusual occurrences while they performed a CT scan on Tut's remains.  They jokingly suggested that the sudden shutdown of power to the CT scanner and illness to one of the scientists may be caused by the mummy's curse for performing this "penetrating" procedure.  

 

The library has a good assortment of titles that would interest readers fascinated with topics on Tutankhamen and the history of Ancient Egypt: 

Discovering Tutankhamun: from Howard Carter to DNA.  By Zahi Hawass Tutankhamun's funeral.  By Winlock, Herbert Eustis, 1884-1950 Amarna sunset: Nefertiti, Tutankhamun, Ay, Horemheb, and the Egyptian counter-reformation.  By Dodson, Aidan, 1962- In the valley of the kings:  Howard Carter and the mystery of King Tutankhamun's tomb.  By Meyerson, Daniel
The golden king:  the world of Tutankhamun. By Hawass, Zahi A. The treasures of Tutankhamun and the Egyptian Museum of Cairo.  By Amenta, Alessia Tutankhamun's armies: battle and conquest during ancient Egypt's late eighteenth dynasty.  By Darnell, John Coleman A passion for Egypt: Arthur Weigall, Tutankhamun, and the "curse of the pharaohs."  By  Hankey, Julie

 

For those readers who would like to find out more on the possible murder plot on the young king, here are some gripping suggestions: 

The murder of Tutankhamen: a true story.  By Brier, Bob The shadow king:  the bizarre afterlife of king Tut's mummy.  By Marchant, Josephine The murder of King Tut: the plot to kill the child king: a nonfiction thriller.  By Patterson, James, 1947- Secrets of the dead. Ultimate Tut (DVD)

 

As new innovations in scientific research develop, the analysis of King Tut's artifacts and remains will continue to reveal a better understanding of how people in Ancient Egypt perceived life and death.  Perhaps not everything about King Tut will be answered--speculation and folklore will attempt to fill in those gaps.

Whether it be murder, archaeology, science, or Egyptology, you will find something intriguing in the titles and the online articles suggested here.  Come visit the Society and Recreation Department at the North York Central Library to browse our Ancient Egypt collection.  And please visit the Toronto Public Library Pinterest site for more amazing images on all things Tutankhamen. 

Everybody Eats

February 11, 2015 | Jane | Comments (1)

...whether intricately prepared or straight from the freezer, whether from the backyard garden or shiny supermarket. The dudes at my dog park talk pork recipes, my sister has inordinate pride in her pie crusts. Tomorrow (Feb. 12), is the last day of Winterlicious, the Toronto festival that allows us all to try something, or someplace new.  

We eat for pleasure, have memories wrapped up in the recipes we cook, and of course food sustains us.

If only we could, like Jennifer Bain, “Eat for a Living”. You can at least come to hear her talk about what it's like though. Jennifer Bain is the food editor for the Toronto Star and will provide a “free – ranging” (no cooped up chat here) talk about how she came to be a food writer, how Toronto’s food landscape is changing, and about the process of writing a cookbook.

A little context: Bain’s Toronto Star Cookbook won the 2014 Taste Canada award for best English regional/cultural cookbook, and has hometown foodies feeling very proud. 

                     Toronto Star cookbook: more than 150 diverse and delicious recipes

 The talk is at North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge St., in the Auditorium, on Wednesday, February 18 from 7:00 to 8:00 pm.  

Meantime, read, explore...try out a new recipe. 

Bitter: a taste of the world's most dangerous flavor, with recipes   Cooking with Les Dames d'Escoffier: at home with the women who shape the way we eat and drink  Note by Note Cooking  Cuisine and culture: a history of food and people
Cooking for Geeks   Plenty More   Vegan Pressure Cooking  The Cookbook Library

Is sugar the new fat?

February 6, 2015 | Carolyn | Comments (2)

Sugar Cubes   Photo by Uwe Hermann. Creative Commons licence.

From the Paleo diet to buttered coffee, fat is making a comeback after decades in the dietary wilderness.

For years the conventional wisdom was that dietary fat was responsible for many chronic health problems. Studies starting in the 1960s appeared to show a strong relationship between saturated fats and heart disease, and low-fat diets and food products enjoyed decades of popularity as a result. As David Katz, Director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, noted in a 2012 blog post, "The food industry saw opportunity in the low-fat message, and reinvented the interpretation of the message to suit its profit-driven motives. The era of highly-processed, starchy, sugary, salty, low-fat foods was born."

Recent research has discredited the earlier studies, leading to declarations that the war on fat is over. 

So what has replaced fat as the new dietary culprit? How about sugar. Increasing sugar consumption is being linked to rising rates of obesity and diabetes, and recent research suggests that it is at least as responsible for other poor health outcomes, including heart disease, as fat. The pendulum has swung so far that some even suggest sugar may be toxic.

To read more about sugars and fats in our diet, and their health effects, have a look at these books, available in a variety of formats:

Fat Chance: beating the odds against sugar, processed food, obesity, and disease Why We Get Fat: and what to do about ir Sweet Poison: why sugar makes us fat
available as a book, an eBook and an eAudiobook available as a book, an eBook, an audiobook and an eAudiobook
The Big Fat Surprise: why butter, meat and cheese belong in a healthy diet Year of No Sugar: a memoir Salt, Sugar, Fat: how the food giants hooked us
available as a book, an eBook, an audiobook, an eAudiobook and a Talking Book available as a book and an eBook available as a book, an eBook, an audiobook and an eAudiobook

 

Franchising: Reliable or Risky?

February 5, 2015 | Kathryn | Comments (0)

I was surprised to learn recently that more than half of all retail sales in Canada--accounting for more than $60 billion--are currently conducted through franchises. Given these statistics, one might think that purchasing a franchise is a perfect introduction to business ownership for aspiring entrepreneurs.

As with all new business ventures, though, it's important to conduct extensive due diligence--or research--to determine if franchising is a good match for you. A recent Toronto Star article featured an unfortunate story about a franchising opportunity that did not work out for a group of pharmacists who bought into Target stores in Canada. Target closed Canadian operations within two years and an opportunity that initially appeared so lucrative for the investors turned out to be a big disappointment. This is not to suggest that all franchise opportunities end this way. Some franchise arrangements can work very well because buyers profit from well-established business models and instant brand recognition. 

The business department at the North York Central Library has a variety of resources to help you quickly get up to speed on the important challenges related to this growing field.

Canadian Business Franchise Handbook 2015
The Canadian Business Franchise Handbook is a great place to start.  The first half of this guide walks the reader through the issues involved in setting up a franchise. This includes information about legal obligations, franchise agreements (or contracts), hiring strategies, bookkeeping, marketing, social media and dispute resolution. 

The chapters are written by various experts in the field, including lawyers, marketing and communications specialists, public relations advisors, bankers and franchise consultants.

The second half of the handbook contains an index of franchisers

For a more global perspective on potential franchise operations, Bond's Top 100 Franchises gives an in-depth analysis of their top annual picks.

 Bond's Top 100 Franchises_Canadian Business Franchise Magazine Canadian Business Franchise Directory

Canadian Business Franchise magazine, published five times a year, includes articles on a variety of franchise-related topics.  One of the feature articles in the January 2015 issue is "Franchise Basics: The Seven Most Common Negotiating Mistakes," which sounds very useful!

For accurate contact information, our Canadian Business Franchise Directory contains the names, phone numbers, email addresses and websites of a diverse range of franchisers. Additionally, we have the annual Franchise 500 by Entrepreneur magazine, containing the top-rated American franchises divided by business type. 

Whether a franchise business turns out to be right for you depends on a variety of factors. Please visit us on the fourth floor of the North York Central Library to gather more information. In the meantime, consider putting a hold on the following books--we will deliver them to the library of your choice!

Franchise Bible Buying-a-franchise-in-canada

Digital Innovation Hub Librarian Internship Experience!

February 2, 2015 | Emoke | Comments (7)

Emoke at Digital Innovation Hub
Photo of me at the Toronto Reference Library Hub

Recently I finished a librarian internship at the Digital Innovation Hub at the Toronto Reference Library. I had the honour of spending about five months there, getting to know what goes on in the hub and learning how to do my own 3D printing along with figuring out the other software that customers use there, such as Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and MakerWare, to name a few!

The Digital Design Technician staff and others who work at the hub are knowlegeable  about 3D Design, 3D printing, website design, Adobe software and the Asquith Press self publishing book machine services. I learned a lot from them by shadowing their public Digital Design Classes and generally running around the hub watching and listening to how they are helping customers and asking them a million questions along the way. 

This internship changed librarian work for me forever! For a few months, I was not answering reference questions or taking care of a collection of books, but instead; helping architects, engineers, students, inventors, designers, artists, and the general hobbyist or maker with their 3D printing and creative work. I was teaching 3D Printer Certification classes, helping out at the International Book Fair, Maker Faire, and a Hackathon event with the Ryerson Digital Media Zone and Penguin Books. I also helped anyone that walked by learn about the space and gave various group tours.

My time there was a wake-up call about the future direction libraries are heading in. Many customers asked me why the library of all places would have a Makerspace or tech lab. I always tried to answer as eloquently as possible, but really, the answer is pretty simple: the library world has to keep up with innovation, especially technological innovation and offer it in an accessible, helpful and educational way to the public, just like they have always done with computers, programs, and services. 

I was always quite proud of how impressed the public was that the library has a space for 3D printing, designing and printing your own books, and a whole slew of other nerdy techy equipment to help you with your work or play.

Enough said. Go see for yourself how awesome and techy the library has become!

The Innovation Hubs blog

Toronto Reference Library Digital Innovation hub

Fort York Library Digital Innovation hub

MakerBot Replicator 2

 3D Printer, MakerBot Replicator 2 in action!

3D Printing at the Library

 2 Makerbots at the Toronto Reference Library Digital Innovation Hub.

  3D Selfie
 
  3D Selfie, using the XBOX Kinect scanner and software

Side View

 Side view, 3D selfie!

 

Please browse through some books and ebooks the library has to offer about libraries and technological innovation, and digital innovation in general!

The Embedded Librarian  Jump-Start Your Career as a Digital Librarian  Transformed Library

3D Printing  Make: 3D Printing  3D Printing for Dummies

3D Printing with Autodesk  3D Printing  Make: The Makerspace Workbench

Design & Modeling for 3D Printing  Makerspaces

illustrator Foundations  

ebook

Welcome to North York Central Library. We're one of the City's most welcoming spaces, open to all for study, research, relaxation and fun.

Our extensive digital and print collections, programs and services are yours to use, borrow and explore. Expert staff are always on hand to help. Meet us in person or join us online.