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Free Science Events in Toronto for July 2016

June 28, 2016 | Jeannette | Comments (0)

The Business, 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 July calendar (PDF).

July's highlights include:

  • July 7: Healthy Digestion - Learn more about the best digestive foods and exercises to increase metabolism and digestion.
  • July 12: Stem Cells: The Hope and the Hype - Join leading experts for a realistic view of what stems cells hold for all of us - now and in the future.
  • July 24: Water World - Discover how water works and how to keep our water clean.

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

At the Library, July's highlights include:

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

Digestive Wellness   The Healing Cell   Connecting the Drops   The Big Book of Maker Skills

The Music of Being   Crowdsourced Health   The Culinary Herbal   Open Data Structures

Here Comes the Summer Solstice!

June 20, 2016 | Ann | Comments (0)

Mandala titles for your reading interest!
Photo courtesy of Bart Everson on Flickr under cc Generic 2.0 licence.

While temperatures soared above the 30 degree Celsius mark after Victoria Day on May 23rd, summer officially begins at 6:34 pm today. As the commuter traffic dwindles, the Summer Solstice pours through the City hurling us into hot and humid weather. Today starts the season of swimming pools, bug bites and scorching sunburns.

Here are some historically hot topics for you to glance through on your patio:

Indian summer: the secret history of the end of an empire Empire of the summer moon: Quanah Parker and the rise and fall of the Comanches, the most powerful Indian tribe in American history The long summer: how climate changed civilization Martian summer: robot arms, cowboy spacemen, and my 90 days with the Phoenix Mars Mission
Freedom summer: the savage summer that made Mississippi burn and made America a democracy Summer of '68: the season that changed baseball-- and America-- forever The summer of beer and whiskey: how brewers, barkeeps, rowdies, immigrants, and a wild pennant fight made baseball America's game Red heat: conspiracy, murder, and the Cold War in the Caribbean

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Today also celebrates the longest day of the year. From this day forward, daylight hours gradually shorten over time. Six months from today, on Wednesday, December 21st at 5:44 pm, the Winter Solstice will mark the shortest day of the year. From that day forward, daylight hours with increase again until the next Summer Solstice arrives to complete the cycle. In contrast, the Spring and Fall Equinox mark the period when daylight balances evenly with the nighttime hours because the sun is directly over the Earth's equator. Paige Williams' (2013) article provides a detailed understanding on how seasons occur as a result of how our planet is tilted. 

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As the Earth tilts favourably towards the Sun at different areas of the world, people gather to celebrate this day with food and festivities. Here are four articles on Summer Solstice celebrations from around the world:

  1. Top 10 Summer Solstice Celebrations Around the World by Huffpost Travel
  2. 5 summer solstice celebrations from around the world by Mashable.com
  3. 5 Ways to Celebrate the Summer Solstice Around the World by Care2.com
  4. 15 Summer Holiday Traditions from Around the World by Becky Ferreira

Or, you can create your very own Summer Solstice festivity from WikiHow.

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Enjoy these previous TPL blogs as the summer moves forward:

  1. Summer Awakens the Wandering Traveler
  2. UFO or Weather Balloon
  3. Elizabeth Posthuma Simcoe, 1762-1850
  4. Let's Go to the EX!

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While planning your fun in the City, have a look at the following websites:

  1. Toronto Hogspot Activities/Events/Fun
  2. City of Toronto - Special Events
  3. Toronto festivals and events calendar

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Summer would not be complete without some amazing activities for the children and family across the City. Thursday, June 30, 2016, the TD Summer Reading Club registration begins and the book reporting starts on Monday, July 4, 2016! The program runs all summer long and ends on Saturday, September 3, 2016. Children are encouraged to sign up, read books, join in on some amazing activities, and spend the best part of the summer learning and having fun.

Summer Reading Club 2016

Enjoy this day and every sun-drenched day that is available for the next three months. The weather can only get better from this point forward. No matter where you reside, the Summer Solstice arrives to bring joy and celebration all around.

How Memory Changes with Age

June 10, 2016 | Jeannette | Comments (0)

My grandma often opens a kitchen cupboard and stares at it. “What did I need?” she would mumble. Sometimes she would tell us a story, not remembering she had already told us it. According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, 40% of people over the age of 65 experience some form of memory loss. It is an “age-associated memory impairment,” which is a normal part of aging.

As we age, our brains slowly decline in volume and blood flow to the brain also decreases. However, studies have shown that the brain is capable of regrowth and learning. Here are some helpful tips from the American Psychological Association on how to minimize age-related changes and improve memory function:

  • Participate in social and community activities
  • Physical activities and exercise
  • Train your brain
  • Have positive beliefs about aging
  • Avoid distractions

If you or a loved one is experiencing age-related memory difficulties, the Alzheimer Society of Canada offers some tips on how to cope:

  • Keep a routine
  • Organize information
  • Put items in the same spot
  • Repeat information
  • Make associations
  • Involve your senses
  • Teach others or tell them stories
  • Get a full night’s sleep

To learn more about memory and aging, join us at the North York Central Library for a talk by Dr. Shayna Rosenbaum, Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Biology, and Centre for Vision Research, York University. She will discuss the latest research on age-related changes to memory and brain function.

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What: How Memory Changes with Age

When: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 (7 – 8 PM)

Where: North York Central Library, in the Auditorium

For more information: Call the Business, Science & Technology Department at (416) 395-5613

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For more information about memory and aging, here are some books:

Memory and Aging   Nurturing the Older Brain and Mind   The Scientific American Healthy Aging Brain   Understanding Brain Aging and Dementia

Here are some books about improving your memory as you age:

100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer's and Age-Related Memory Loss   Brain Power   Keep Your Brain Alive   Your Best Brain Ever

There are also DVDs on how to keep your brain fit:

The Brain Fitness Program   Brain Fitness2   Functional Fitness Brain Power   Optimizing Brain Fitness

 

Truth and Reconciliation: One Year Later

June 6, 2016 | Carrie | Comments (1)

 

Fort ResolutionR.C. Indian Residential School Study Time, Fort Resolution, N.W.T. This work is in the public domain.


It's been just over a year since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada held its closing ceremonies and released its summary report of the findings into the history and legacy of residential schools in Canada. This included 94 broad recommendations, or "calls to action" aimed at redressing the legacy of residential schools and facilitating the process of reconciliation. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was launched in June 2008 as a result of the Residential Schools Settlement Agreement with the mandate to "inform all Canadians about what happened in Indian Residential Schools."

More than 130 residential schools operated across Canada and the federal government has estimated at least 150,000 First Nation, Métis and Inuit students attended them. The last school, located outside of Regina, closed in the mid-1990s. These schools were funded by the Canadian government and administered by Christian churches. The goal was to assimilate the indigenous population into the dominant Canadian culture and remove them from the influence of their families and culture. 

Join us at the North York Central Library on Monday, June 6 to hear Joanna Birenbaum, a Toronto constitutional and human rights lawyer, discuss the legacy of Residential Schools for Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous people in Canada, with a focus on the steps taken toward reconciliation since June 2015. In particular, Joanna will describe the innovative National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and its important role in the ongoing process of reconciliation.

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What: Truth and Reconciliation: One Year Later

When: Monday, Jun 06, 2016, 7 pm

Where: North York Central Library, in the Auditorium

For more information: Call the Society and Recreation Department at 416-395-5660

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If you would like to learn more about the history of residential schools in Canada, please take a look at the following books or visit one of Toronto Public Library's Native Peoples Collections located at North York Central Library, Spadina Road branch and Toronto Reference Library. These collections include books, CDs and DVDs, as well as language-learning kits, by and about the Native Peoples of North America with special emphasis on First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in Canada.

 

A knock on the door

 

A knock on the door: the essential history of residential schools from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. 2016

Ebook

 

 

Up Ghost River

 

 

Up Ghost River: a chief's journey through the turbulent waters of Native history. 2014

Ebook


    

 

 

Unsettling the Settler Within

 

Unsettling the settler within: Indian residential schools, truth telling, and reconciliation in Canada, 2010

 

 

 

 

 

  Residential Schools

 

Residential schools: with the words and images of survivors. 2014

 

 

 

 

The Final Report:

History Part 1 The history Part 2 Inuit and Northern Experience Metis experience

 

 

Missing children Legacy Reconciliation

Jazz Festival Preview: Chase Sanborn Trio Live!

June 3, 2016 | Maureen | Comments (5)

Chase SanbornNorth York Central Library is partnering with the TD Toronto Jazz Festival for a free preview show. The Chase Sanborn Trio will perform at the library on Tuesday, June 21 at 7:15 p.m. Before the performance, Chase and his fellow musicians will give a workshop on jazz fundamentals. It doesn't matter whether you're a jazz newb who can't tell the difference between bebop and boogie-woogie, or a jazz aficionado -- all are welcome at the workshop, which starts at 6:00 p.m. Call 416-395-5639 to register for this free program.

Acclaimed trumpet player Chase Sanborn has played with some of the biggest, brightest stars in jazz, including Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and Diana Krall. He spent years playing on stages in Boston, San Francisco and New York, including legendary Broadway. (Fun fact: Chase has played lead trumpet for the long running Broadway musical Cats 1444 times!) Chase is now a vibrant force on the Toronto music scene, both as a performer and educator -- he’s a faculty member at the University of Toronto, in the Jazz program. In an interview with the musician, I came across a funny story about how he became a trumpet player. Although he's been playing trumpet since his elementary school days, the instrument wasn't his first choice. He wanted to play trombone, but his arms were too short to extend the slide. His second pick was saxophone, but by the time they got around to the kids whose names started with 'S' they had run out of saxophones! Thus a trumpet player was born.

The TD Toronto Jazz Festival runs from June 24 to July 3 this year. If you aren't already jazzed up about this great festival, here are some suggestions to get you in the mood:

 Borrow a Chase Sanborn CD from the library:

Double Double Perking Up Cut to the Chase

Watch a movie:

Satchmo Louis Armstrong The girls in the band Dancing on the edge Ella Fitzgerald the legendary first lady of song
Cannonball Adderley live in '63 Let's get lost Mo' better blues Ornette

Read a book:

The history of jazz Jazz The Penguin jazz guide The jazz book

Play an instrument:

The Hal Leonard real jazz standards fake book Berklee jazz piano Jazz classics Smooth jazz piano

 Get the kids involved:

Ella Fitzgerald - the tale of a vocal virtuoso Just a lucky so and so - the story of Louis Armstrong Jazz Oscar lives next door - a story inspired by Oscar Peterson's childhood
Before John was a jazz giant Mysterious Thelonious Charlie Parker played be bop Duke Ellington - the piano prince and his orchestra

Listen to some jazz:

Visit Naxos Music Library Jazz, one of the most comprehensive collections of jazz music available online. It offers over 100,000 jazz tracks from more than 9,000 albums. Over 12,000 jazz artists are represented. You can access the Naxos jazz library anywhere -- all you need is an internet connection and your library card. 

Naxos music library -- jazzBorrow a CD:

The library still collects CDs, so don't fret if you're a little old fashioned and like the simplicity of feeding a CD into a slot. I like the way the CD player in my car pulls the CD from my fingers, firmly, eagerly, it seems to me, like it can't wait to hit the road and start spinning tunes. If you're new to jazz, and want to dabble, consider the CDs below. You can't go wrong with these classics.

Kind of Blue,  Miles Davis.

A love supreme, John Coltrane.

My favorite things, John Coltrane.

Time out, Dave Brubeck.

Getz/Gilberto, Stan Getz and João Gilberto.

Ella and Louis, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. (Canadian jazz legend Oscar Peterson plays piano on this album)

Concert by the sea, Erroll Garner.

Genius of modern music, volume 1., Thelonious Monk.

Bennie Goodman at Carnegie Hall 1938, Bennie Goodman.

The essential Bessie Smith, Bessie Smith.

The complete Decca recordings, Count Basie.

The complete Savoy and Dial Sessions, Charlie Parker.

Mingus ah um, Charles Mingus.

Ella Fitzgerald sings the Cole Porter songbook, Ella Fitzgerald.

Our man in Paris, Dexter Gordon.

 

Free Science Events in Toronto for June 2016

May 31, 2016 | 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 June calendar (PDF).

June's highlights include:

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

At the Library, June's highlights include:

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

Nature's Babies   Learning Virtual Reality   Space Probes   Homemade Sourdough

The Healthy Homemade Pet Food Cookbook   How to Raise Monarch Butterflies   Understanding Brain Aging and Dementia   The Everything STEM Handbook

 

Spring Cleaning

May 13, 2016 | Jeannette | Comments (8)

The weather is finally consistently warm and pleasant. Now it’s time to get out the vacuums, dusters and cleaning supplies to remove the buildup of dust and dirt from the winter months.

Last weekend, I thoroughly vacuumed the house. I moved beds, couches, dressers and other furniture to reach places that are often missed. This weekend, I plan on removing the curtains and throwing them in the wash. Rugs and throw pillows need to be cleaned and dried in the sun. Oh, and I can’t forget those stuffed animals.

I also like to open all my windows to let fresh air into the house. And don’t forget to check your air duct cleaning schedule. It may be time to get those professionally cleaned, as well.

Spring cleaning isn’t just about cleaning. It’s also an opportunity to organize and declutter your home. Store away winter jackets, sweaters and boots that we hopefully won’t be needing until December. Organize your closet and throw away or donate any unwanted clothing.

The library has many books with cleaning and organizing tips to help you get started.

Here are some books about cleaning:

Express Housekeeping   Household Hints   Joey Green's Kitchen Magic   Keeping House

Looking for an environmentally friendly way to clean? Try these books:

Homemade Cleaners   Household Cleaning   The Organically Clean Home   Planet Home

Need help with organizing and decluttering your home? There are books for that, too:

Declutter Anything   Decluttering Your Home   The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up   Never Too Busy to Cure Clutter

I have to admit that I don't like to clean. But it's something that needs to be done. Looking for a shortcut to cleaning? There are actually books for that, too:

Clean it Fast, Clean it Right   Just Clean Enough   No Time to Clean   Speed Cleaning 101

Mothers as Artisans of Compassion

May 6, 2016 | Ann | Comments (0)

Titles on compassion at tpl.caImage courtesy of BK under CC 2.0 Generic Licence

The term, mother, brings to mind someone who loves, protects, strengthens and endures. Mothers do their best to raise their children to face the world in all its pain and glory. 

Motherhood

More images of Dorthea Lange from the Library of Congress
Image courtesy of Boerboy from Wikimedia Commons

As Dorthea Lange's photograph of the (1936) migrant mother so aptly illustrates, a mother loves and worries about the well-being of her family. The face behind the Migrant Mother was that of Florence Thompson. Florence, at that time, had seven children, few resources, little food and concerns causing her brow to furrow. Her image has become part of the human folklore around a mother's undying strength and compassion through the Great Depression.

Clearly, motherhood is no easy task no matter what era. Care-giving skills are based on love, trial, effort, error and success. Many mothers rely on experiences passed on from family and friends who have gone through these roles themselves.

Jeanne Garbarino's (May 11, 2012) article called, Motherhood Defined: It is in the heart of the beholder, compiles brief excerpts from different people of what motherhood entails. Matt Shipman's comment summarizes how mothers project strength while setting aside their own feelings of trepidation, "Motherhood is letting your kids think you are ten feet tall and bulletproof, so they feel you can keep them safe — even though there’s stuff out there that scares the hell out of you."

The library offers resources on this topic with information for mothers at different stages in their lives. These resources can reinforce a new mother's course of action as well as provide a chuckle or two for those who have made it through the early stages of parenthood.

The M word: conversations about motherhood   Mindful motherhood: practical tools for staying sane during pregnancy and your child's first year Motherhood (DVD) Mommyblogs and the changing face of motherhood
Mothers, mothering and motherhood across cultural differences: a reader The mask of motherhood: how becoming a mother changes everything and why we pretend it doesn't Dorthea Lange: a life beyond limits No caption needed: iconic photographs, public culture, and liberal democracy 


Mothers and Life Challenges

More titles on tarot cards available at North York Central Library
Image courtesy of Nocturbulous under CC 2.0 Generic Licence

The Rider-Waite Tarot deck portrays motherhood in the form of the Empress. The image shows a regal lady dressed in a loose-fitting gown befitting a young woman in early pregnancy. The green lush background, flowing river, the crown of leaves and stars circling her hair, and the pomegranate printed dress symbolize fertility, Earth and life. The cushions providing her with comfort are adorned with Venus symbols. All the symbols offer an impression of a new season emerging with new life. Everything in this image appears sunny, ideal and soothing.

What this image does not capture are the unexpected life experiences that all mothers must face on a daily basis. Even with the best of intentions, challenges can occur and mothers are only human. In some situations, mothers may no longer be available for the family. Many people survive these difficulties and learn to cope, becoming stronger over time. Here are some moving stories with themes of interpretation and acceptance of life's obstacles. Self reflection can reshape these experiences towards a better future.

My secret mother: two different lives, one heartbreaking secret: a memoir Battle hymn of the tiger mother The loss that is forever: the lifelong impact of the early death of a mother or father Our mothers' spirits: on the death of mothers and the grief of men: an anthology
Not becoming my mother: and other things she taught me along the way Mother in the middle: a biologist's story of caring for parent and child Pieces of my mother: a memoir Divine secrets of the Ya-Ya sisterhood (book & DVD)

Extraordinary Moms 

Despite life's obstacles, a mother who tries to make it her goal to provide care for her child is an amazingly extraordinary person. Mastering the daily demands of motherhood with care and compassion and preparing for future emergencies are keys to success. Stories and lessons by extraordinary moms inspire the rest of us to appreciate what it takes to do that extra bit to make life a wonderful journey for everyone involved.

Successful single moms: thirteen stories of triumph I know how she does it: how successful women make the most of their time How she really does it: secrets of successful stay-at-work moms Peaceful parent, happy siblings: how to stop the fighting and raise friends for life
The mother of all parenting books: an all-Canadian guide to raising a happy, healthy child from preschool through the preteens The mindful parent: strategies from peaceful cultures to raise compassionate, competent kids Dolphin way a parent's guide to raising healthy, happy, and motivated kids Nurtureshock: new thinking about children

Mothers face so many challenges. It is a special role that many women take on to help raise wonderful families. We would like to wish you and your family a bright and warm Mother's Day this Sunday, as you celebrate and remember her marvelous achievements in your life.

 

Related blog posts:

Free Science Events in Toronto for May 2016

April 28, 2016 | Jeannette | Comments (3)

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 May calendar (PDF).

May's highlights include:

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

At the Library, May's highlights include:

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

The Orchid Whisperer   Make - The Annotated Build-it-yourself Science Laboratory   Running Injury-Free   Small-Space Container Gardens

Atoms Under the Floorboards   The Best Natural Homemade Skin and Hair Care Products   Natural Posture for Pain-Free Living   The Allergy Book

 

Our Fragile Planet: Magazines to the Rescue

April 15, 2016 | Jeannette | Comments (4)

Display
Our Fragile Planet display at North York Central Library

It's Earth Month 2016 and the time has come to take seriously our impact on the planet. Toronto Public Library is happy to present the best of our collections on environmental education, geared to children, teens and adults. Watch for environmental displays in branches across the city and pick up some reading material. At the same time, please join us for Our Fragile Planet, our free environmental programming series. Learn about issues that impact our city, and what you can do to tread lightly on our planet.

 

Next Friday is Earth Day.

The library has been celebrating all month through the Our Fragile Planet environmental programming series and displays at the branches. The displays feature books, magazines and DVDs on topics such as conservation, recycling, sustainable living, gardening and more.The goal is to get people thinking about the environment and what we can do to make a difference.

While we should be thinking about the environment throughout the year, Earth Day is a great way to remind us of our impact on the natural world. Magazines are a great way to get us thinking about the issues. With thought-provoking articles and stunning images, it’s a good place to start.

Here are some magazines on the environment available at the library:

Canadian Field-Naturalist   Earth   Nature   On Nature

There are also wildlife magazines:

Audubon   BBC wildlife   Birding   Canadian Wildlife

Try growing your own vegetables or planting flowers to attract wildlife. Here are some gardening magazines:

Canadian Gardening   Garden Making   Mother Earth News   Ontario Gardener

Want to read something right now? The library has magazines available online through Zinio that can be read on your computer, tablet or phone: (Don’t know Zinio? Here’s a guide.)

Environment and wildlife magazines available online:

Audubon   Earth   National Geographic   Smithsonian

Gardening magazines online:

Better Homes and Gardens   Canadian Gardening   Garden Making   Mother Earth News

It’s always important to be mindful of how we impact the environment. So let’s take this chance to make a difference.

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