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Free Science Events in Toronto for June 2015

May 26, 2015 | Jeannette | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

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:

  • June 4: Your Brain on Acupuncture - Learn how acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine can help someone who is dealing with Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, concussions or paralysis.
  • June 7: Spring Babies at the Zoo - Zookeeper Sonya Dittkrist introduces new animal arrivals at the High Park zoo.
  • June 13: Leslieville Tree Festival - A celebration of the urban forest that includes activities for the whole family.

The 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 titles:

The simple guide to five element acupuncture   Nature's babies   Trees   The backyard beekeeper

The Scientific American healthy aging brain   The exoplanet handbook   No more dirty looks   PowerPoint 2013 on demand

Free Jazz Concert At The Library: Tara Davidson Trio

May 22, 2015 | Maureen | Comments (3) Facebook Twitter More...

Tara DavidsonSave the date! For the first time ever, a Toronto Jazz Festival concert will take place in a Toronto Public Library Branch! The Tara Davidson Trio will give a jazz festival preview concert at North York Central Library on Tuesday, June 16, at 7 p.m. Saxophonist Tara Davidson has hopped the globe to play at venues such as the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands, The International Jazz Festival in Lima, Peru, and prestigious concert halls, including Carnegie Hall in New York City, and the Kennedy Center in Washington D. C. So count your lucky stars, North Yorkers! Don’t despair, those of you who don’t live in North York – North York Central Library is on the subway line. Just hop on the rocket and zoom to this free concert. You can borrow Tara Davidson's latest recording, Duets, from the library. Call (416) 395-5639 to register for this concert.

The jazz festival, which takes place from June 18 to June 29 this year, began in 1987 and it has grown to be one of the most anticipated music festivals on Toronto’s busy summer music calendar. Over the years, the festival has attracted some of the giants of jazz, including Miles Davis, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, Sarah Vaughan, Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, Rosemary Clooney, Stan Getz, Etta James, Wynton Marsalis, Cab Calloway, Diana Krall, and Oscar Peterson. This year the festival will be celebrating Canadian jazz pianist Oscar Peterson’s 90th birthday! 

Here’s a selection of CDs you can borrow from the library – all of these artists have played at Toronto’s jazz festival:

Cheek to cheek Wallflower - Diana Krall Miles Davis - Kind of blue Harry Connick Jr.- Every man should know Oscar Peterson - Solo
Sarah Vaughan - After hours Dizzy Gillespie - Havin' a good time in Paris Dave Brubeck - Time out Ray Charles - Blues before sunrise Aretha Franklin - The Queen of soul

You can also stream jazz from Hoopla, accessed through the Toronto Public Library’s website with your library card. Here’s a selection of jazz available from Hoopla:

Miles Davis - The Best of Miles Davis Billie Holiday - Gold Benny Goodman - The Best Of Benny Goodman Nina Simone Her Greatest Hits Louis Armstrong - What A Wonderful World
John Coltrane - My Favorite Things Duke Ellington - The Jazz The Jazz Effect - Thelonius Monk The Best Of Bill Evans (Remastered) 20th Century Masters -The Millennium Collection - Best Of Ella Fitzgerald

If you'd like to learn about the history of jazz, check out the ten part documentary series Jazz, by director Ken Burns. The series was given a rating of 8.5 out of 10 by IMDb (Internet Movie Database). Borrow individual episodes of the DVD, or stream the series via Hoopla

Your library card gives you access to a huge collection of contemporary and classic jazz. Go to Naxos Music Library (Jazz) to stream music from this comprehensive collection, which includes music from labels such as Blue Note, EMI, Warner Jazz and Fantasy Jazz.

Naxos Music Library - Jazz

 

Related post:

Never read anything the same way twice: jazz books at TPL

Seeds and Gardening

May 15, 2015 | Jeannette | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

Gardening
My daughter pulling out weeds and getting the soil ready for planting.

When I was little, my grandma always kept our garden in the backyard full of delicious vegetables. Every spring and summer, she would tend to the cucumber, tomato, winter melon and pepper plants. She spent a lot of time in the garden, mostly to guard it against those pesky squirrels. Unfortunately, I haven’t planted anything myself since owning a home.

A few weeks ago, my daughter asked if we could buy some flower bulbs we saw at the store. We bought and planted peonies and ranunculus bulbs, flowers I had in my wedding bouquet.

There are many benefits of gardening for children. They learn to be responsible by caring for the plants. They also learn to appreciate nature. Most importantly, they learn to be patient. My daughter has been asking me every day whether or not our flowers have grown. Each time I take her outside to see and tell her that just like her, the flowers are growing but very slowly.

Want to learn more about seeds and gardening? Learn how to save seeds in the city with the Toronto Seed Library at the North York Central Library. In this all-ages information session, we’ll be reviewing the basics of seed libraries and seed saving plus have free seeds on hand for everyone. There will also be a children’s planting workshop. Bring any gardening questions you may have and staff from the Toronto Seed Library will be more than happy to answer them.

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What: Seeds & Gardening

Where: North York Central Library, in the Auditorium

When: Saturday, May 30 from 2 – 4 PM

Registration: Call (416) 395-5649 (Science & Technology department) or (416) 395-5630 (Children’s department)

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In the meantime, here are some books on seed saving:

Saving vegetable seeds   Seed sowing and saving   Seedswap   Seed to seed

The library also has e-books you can access on an e-reader, mobile device, tablet or desktop on seed saving:

The complete guide to saving seeds   The complete idiot's guide to seed saving and starting   The manual of seed saving   Seed libraries

There are also books about gardening:

Beginner's illustrated guide to gardening   Canadian gardener's guide   How to buy the right plants, tools and garden supplies   Small space garden ideas

E-books on gardening:

Derek Fell's grow this   The New York Times garden book   Rodale's basic organic gardening   Urban gardening for dummies

Get gardening ideas from e-magazines that you can access on your mobile device, tablet or desktop:

Canadian gardening   Country gardens   Garden making container gardening  Homes and gardens

Want books about gardening for kids? The library has books for that, too:

The book of gardening projects for kids   Gardening lab for kids   I can grow things   Square foot gardening with kids

 

May Days Are For Parties, Weddings, and Travel

May 11, 2015 | Ann | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Spring arrives with bright floral colours and the sun's warm glow across the land. Temperatures rise as the days grow longer. To celebrate the upcoming summery weather enjoy this time outdoors. What better way to shake off the winter blues than to throw an outdoor party for family and friends. Here are some colourful suggestions:

Fairy parties:  recipes, crafts, and games for enchanting celebrations by Colleen Mullaney Sleepover party!:  games and giggles for a fun night by Jamie Kyle McGillian Kids parties by Lisa Atwood The party book by Jane Bull
Let's party! by Alison Bell The kids' pick-a-party book: 50 fun themes for happy birthdays and other parties by Penny Warner Sleeping over by Melinda Beth Radabaugh Costume parties: planning a party that makes your friends say "wow!" by Jen Jones

Not only is this season a grand way for children to enjoy outdoor festivities, this season is also a way to celebrate a new life of love and happiness. Weddings need not be expensive to be glamourous, unique, and special. Have a look at the following title suggestions to see how to design a wedding of a lifetime. 

Style me pretty weddings: inspiration & ideas for an unforgettable celebration by Abby Larson Weddings by Hilary Sterne The Knot complete guide to weddings: the ultimate source of ideas, advice & relief for the bride & groom & those who love them by Carley Roney Wedding style:   hundreds of tips and secrets from the professionals for styling your own big day
Plan the perfect wedding on a small budget by Elizabeth Lluch The broke-ass bride's wedding guide by Dana LaRue Wedding expert: 400 things you need to know to plan your big day by Bettie Bradley 1000 best wedding bargains by Sharon Naylor

For those who want to travel beyond their workplace to see the flourishing flora and fauna in a cool northern terrain, why not head off into the Canadian wilderness. Experience the natural quietude that many artists and writers derive their artistic inspiration from. Here are some titles that will take you far and wide across our home and native land: 

Dazed but not confused: tales of a wilderness wanderer by Kevin Callan Trails and tribulations: confessions of a wilderness pathfinder by Hap Wilson Chasing Clayoquot: a wilderness almanac by David Pitt-Brooke Paddlenorth: adventure, resilience, and renewal in the Arctic wild by Jennifer Kingsley
The great Central Canada bucket list: one-of-a-kind travel experiences by Robin Esrock Canada's road: a journey on the Trans-Canada Highway from St. John's to Victoria by Mark Richardson Dutch gentlemen adventurers in Canada, 1811-1893 by Herman Ganzevoort and J. Th. J. Krijff More trails, more tales: exploring Canada's travel heritage by Bob Henderson

Enjoy the blossoming of warmer days ahead by taking the time to celebrate life, love, and landscapes at their finest.  

Free Science Events in Toronto for May 2015

April 28, 2015 | Jeannette | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

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:

The 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 titles:

The Lorimer pocketguide to Toronto birds  Extreme explosions  Toxin toxout  What does a black hole look like

Soap and water & common sense  46 science fair projects for the evil genius  The mindful way through stress  Learning Python

Asian Heritage Month Double Event: Iranian Architecture and a Musical Performance

April 24, 2015 | Maureen | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Celebrate Asian Heritage Month this May with two events at North York Central Library on Saturday, May 23. The afternoon will begin with an overview of the architecture of Iran. At one o'clock, Dr. Rafooneh M. Sani (Eastern Mediterranean University, Cyprus) will showcase Iranian architecture from the ancient to the contemporary. The magnificent city of Persepolis will be one of the topics of her presentation. Persepolis has a fascinating history. In 1930 archaeologists began excavations of this ancient city, which dates back to 515 BCE. The destruction of Persepolis came after the army of Macedonian king Alexander the Great looted it in 330 BCE. The city that had been known as “the richest city under the sun” was destroyed by fire, possibly as revenge for the destruction of the Acropolis in Athens 150 years earlier, by Xerxes, King of Persia.

2009-11-24_Persepolis_02  Persepolis. Photo credit: Hansueli Krapf. Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0           

After Dr. Rafooneh's talk, you'll have time for a treat at the North York Centre food court (just a one minute walk from the library) before the second event begins. If the weather is fine, you can sip your coffee outside, in Mel Lastman Square, an urban oasis just steps from busy Yonge Street. Sit by the fountain or the reflecting pool and consider the modern Canadian architecture that borders the square.

Be sure to come back to the library in time to get a seat in the auditorium for the three o'clock performance by the Shiraz Ensemble. The musicians will perform Persian instrumental music on instruments with intriguing names: the Tar (Persian long-necked lute), the Tombak (goblet drum), the Kamanche (spiked fiddle), and the Santour (dulcimer).

Both events are free. They will take place in the North York Central Library auditorium and will be conducted in English and Farsi. Please call (416) 395-5639 to register.

Here are some books with beautiful images of the architecture and art of Iran, which you can borrow from the library:

  Persian art and architecture Islam Splendors of Islam  

 If you are an ancient history buff, consider borrowing these movies on Persepolis:

Persepolis rediscovering the lost capital of the Persian Empire "In 520 B.C. King Darius I of the Archaemenids had a forty acre terrace piled up at the foot of the Kuh-e-Rahmat, the Mount of Mercy, in the central Persian plateau. Here the new capital of the Persian Empire was to arise, Parsa, or Persepolis."

 

 

Persepolis stage of kings

 

The pace of this movie is unhurried, and I mean that in a good way. It's a great antidote to movies with explosions, bullets, and nerve shattering sound tracks. The camera lingers on the awe inspiring ruins of Persepolis and the beautiful relief sculpture adorning it's walls and columns, while traditional music softly plays. These sculptures, which scholars believe were once brightly painted, depict fascinating scenes, such as representatives of subjugated nations bringing offerings to the King. It's easy to slip into a dream of the distant past, watching this movie.

 

Persepolis recreated, or Shukūh_i takht_i Jamshīd (no cover image available)

You have the option of watching this movie in Farsi or English. It begins with a stunning opening shot -- the camera pans the ruins of Persepolis against a crimson sunset sky. The halls and palaces of Persepolis are digitally recreated in this movie.

This is a Big One: North York Central Library presents Mona Eltahawy!

April 23, 2015 | Emoke | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

Mona Eltahawy photoAs soon as I heard about Mona Eltahawy's upcoming book entitled: Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution, I knew I would be interested in this woman's work.

According to her official website, Mona (Egyptian-American activist and journalist) is an award-winning columnist as well as international public speaker on Arab and Muslim issues and global feminism. She is based in Cairo and New York City.

Mona is a contributor to the New York Times opinion pages, and her commentaries have appeared in several other publications and she is a regular guest analyst on various television and radio shows. She appeared on most major media outlets during the 18-day revolution that toppled Egypt's President. In November 2011, Egyptian riot police beat, sexually assaulted and detained her. Eltahawy was named one of Newsweek's '150 Most Fearless Women of 2012.'

In her book Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution, (released this month), she crafts an argument about the complexity surrounding women's sexual and political identities in the Middle East and uses her experiences of sexual assault as well as her conflicted feelings about the hijab to unveil what she identifies as false choices for women in Islamic societies. Her book is very well-reviewed in Library Journal, which describes her account as "a strong, insightful, and well-researched analysis of many issues connected to Middle Eastern women's autonomy (e.g., the hijab, marriage, female genital mutilation). Her personal insights set this work apart."

Mona Eltahawy will read from her book at the North York Central Library Auditorium on Monday, April 27th, 2015. Free tickets are required and are available by clicking here.

Find her book and others of a similar subject at the Toronto Public Library below:

Book Title: Headscarves And Hymens: Why The Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution  Book Title: Muslim women reformers : inspiring voices against oppression  Book Title: Women in the Middle East and North Africa : change and continuity  Book Title: Price of honor : Muslim women lift the veil of silence on the Islamic world

Link to the ebook version of Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution:

http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDM3262348&R=3262348

 

A Modern Plague

April 2, 2015 | Carolyn | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

In Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio curses the feuding families by wishing "A plague on both your houses". I find it interesting that in Shakespeare's time a plague - a disease - was considered one of the worst curses one could wish on an enemy.

Burying Plague Victims of TournaiBurying Plague Victims of Tournai. Public doman image.

What was once known as a plague we now call a pandemic - a widespread outbreak of a communicable disease, sometimes with a significant mortality rate.

Fear of pandemics is understandable

The Black Death (bubonic plague) killed over 50 million people in Asia and Europe between 1339-51, and the single worst pandemic in recorded history, the Spanish flu, killed about the same number of people in a single year (1918-19). Other pandemics, while not as deadly, have also had devastating consequences.

But is it rational?

On the one hand, we have more information about prevention, causes and treatments for communicable diseases than ever before. It's easier for public health officials to communicate alerts and warnings. On the other hand, increased international travel has meant that disease can spread more quickly than previously around the globe.

Learn more

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 10,000 people died during the recent Ebola outbreak. The speed with which the virus spread, the lack of effective treatments and the high mortality rate caused concern and fear around the world. There were similar concerns during the SARS outbreak in 2003 and over the possible reappearance of avian or bird flu.

Preparing to enter Ebola treatment unitPreparing to enter Ebola treatment unit 
[CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Graduate students from the University of Toronto's Department of Immunology want to clear up some of our misconceptions about Ebola. On Tuesday April 14 they will be giving a talk at the North York Central Library about how viruses infect humans. Focusing on the Ebola virus, they will discuss the biological and sociological factors behind the recent outbreak and explain why the virus spread more in some regions than in others. 

What:   What's in an Outbreak?: an overview of Ebola and infectious disease

Where: North York Central Library

When:  Tuesday April 14, 7:00 pm

To learn more about Ebola and other infectious diseases, check out these websites:

 Books and DVDs about infectious diseases are available at library branches:

 

Plague has long been the subject of novels and films:

Free Science Events in Toronto for April 2015

March 26, 2015 | Jeannette | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

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 April calendar (PDF).

April's highlights include:

  • April 9: Epigenetics: A New Frontier, human epigenomes is the 'instructions' which tell the DNA whether to make skin cells or blood cells or other body parts. In this talk, the speaker will introduce the topic and the data and outline some of the challenges.
  • April 14: Debunking the Top Cancer Myths, leading experts from Sunnybrook's Odette Cancer Centre will discuss the myths relating to colorectal cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer.
  • April 25: 6th Annual Black Diabetes Expo, presented by the Canadian Diabetes Association and its Caribbean Diabetes Chapter, this educational event brings together products, resources, speakers and experts to show how you can help prevent and manage diabetes while improving your overall health.

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

April's highlights include:

  • April 1: Common Misconceptions About the Universe: From Everyday Life to the Big Bang, at Bloor/Gladstone branch. A fun introduction to astronomy by learning and "correcting" common misconceptions about the universe, from everyday life to space aliens, black holes and the birth of the universe - the Big Bang. No science background needed.
  • April 9: Mental Health 101, at Eatonville branch. Presented by Reconnect Mental Health services, this information session will review the current mental health system and where we have come from. An overview of mental illnesses and treatments will be described as well as supports available and how to access services.
  • April 14: Music to Better Your Health: Ideas from a Music Therapist, at Annette Street branch. Research increasingly shows that music has positive effects on our physical and emotional health. This evening will provide an information session about music therapy, followed by an interactive workshop exploring ways everyone can use music to improve their health and well-being.
  • April 22: Rosetta: Deciphering the Language of Comets, at North York Central Library. In November 2014, the world witnessed the first time man landed a spacecraft on a comet. How did we get there? What will we learn? Highlights from one of the most exotic places ever visited with Sebastian Daemgen.
  • April 25: iMovie for Beginners, at Fort York branch. An introduction to using iMovie on the Mac. Basic video editing techniques will be taught like using transitions and titles, adding audio and a soundtrack, cutting and splicing, and using the timeline.

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

Epigenetics  Cancer  The African American guide to living well with diabetes  The universe

Complete mental health  Music therapy  Comets  IMovie

Introduction to Baroque Music with Violinist Patricia Ahern

February 27, 2015 | Maureen | Comments (4) Facebook Twitter More...

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

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Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra Concerti Virtuosi

 

 

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra House of Dreams

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