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Monopoly : The Board Game

March 2, 2015 | Aleks | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

British_monopolyMonopoly; the game of trading and the fast-paced world of real estate. Entering its 80th year in the game board market, Monopoly is licensed in 103 countries, available in 37 languages, and more than 275 million copies have been sold worldwide. To win the game, a player must have complete domination in the market over the other players, usually through bankrupting others. 

The illustrious Monopoly has a deeper history then the 80 years claimed by owner Hasbro. It is argued that the game was originally created by Elizabeth Magie.  She had created a Landlord's Game in 1903 as a way to protest against American moguls. This is in opposition to Charles Darrow who has been accredited of having invented Monopoly in the 1930s and selling it to Parker Brothers. Find out more in this article or Mary Pilon's new book, Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game.

Monopolists - Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game

You can also listen to the story The Secret History of Monopoly on The Current at

There are many ways to spend this March Break with your family. If you are interested in getting out of the cold, here are some great books on board game fun for the family.

Under the Boardwalk The Games we Played The Story of Dungeons and Dragons 
The Grand Parents Handbook Unbored Games Serious Fun for EveryoneParty Games for Adults

There are also many opportunities to play board games at the library. We have programs for all ages. Board games can offer many life lessons, such as patience, diplomacy, and negotiation as children engage with their family and friends. 

In addition to being able to borrow board games at select libraries, there are also chances to visit cafes and pubs across Toronto for a time and place to dominate your opponents or to have a friendly match:

Snakes & Lattes

600 Bloor Street West , Toronto


Castle Board Game Cafe

454 Spadina Street , Toronto


Roll Play Cafe

10A Edward Street , Toronto


Snakes & Lagers

488 College Street , Toronto


Rooster Coffee House

479 Broadview Avenue , Toronto



Introduction to Baroque Music with Violinist Patricia Ahern

February 27, 2015 | Maureen | Comments (3) 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


Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra Concerti Virtuosi



Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra House of Dreams


The Beautiful Brain: How Do We See the World?

February 20, 2015 | Jeannette | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

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) Facebook Twitter More...

  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) Facebook Twitter More...


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) Facebook Twitter More...

...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

Digital Innovation Hub Librarian Internship Experience!

February 2, 2015 | Emoke | Comments (5) Facebook Twitter More...

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  


Shiny New Books for Movie Lovers

January 30, 2015 | Maureen | Comments (5) Facebook Twitter More...

As the year 2014 recedes into the rear view mirror, what better time to consider some pleasure reading for movie lovers? The Screen Actors Guild Awards have been handed out, and so have the Golden Globes. The Academy Awards will be held on February 22. Here's some reading for the cinephile's bedside table -- a selection of books published in 2014 about the world of film.

  Tinseltown   Scandals of classic Hollywood   Five came back   The 11 billion year
On a winter night in 1922, film director William Desmond Taylor was shot to death in his Hollywood home. The suspect list was drawn from the colourful cast of characters that surrounded him. The author digs into recently released FBI files to shine a light on this unsolved murder. While making his case, he takes the reader on a trip through the glamour and vice of old time Hollywood, where we meet an obsessed starlet, a stage mother, an unscrupulous actress determined to become a star, gangsters, petty thugs and a movie mogul who helped orchestrate a cover-up. Quote from the book: “Hollywood knew how to manipulate a crime. Their scenarists had been doing it for years.” From Publishers Weekly review: “Mann has crafted what is likely to be a true-crime classic.”
This book, inspired by the author's web columns of the same name, examines notable scandals, showing how they shaped and reflected America's changing social and sexual values. Chapters cover the sexual assault trial of silent film comic "Fatty" Arbuckle; silent action star Wallace Reid's drug habit and "dope parties"; and how stories about "platinum panic" Jean Harlow, racy Mae West, and "It Girl" Clara Bow always had to be followed by stories that they were no different from the rest of us.” Wide-ranging and surprisingly thoughtful, according to the Kirkus book review.

Five came back: a story of Hollywood and the Second World War by Mark Harris.
• eBook

Five Hollywood directors abandoned successful careers to volunteer for military duty in World War II. Frank Capra, William Wyler, John Ford, John Huston, and George Stevens contributed to the war effort by doing what they did best: movie making. They documented the war and created cinematic propaganda. Wyler filmed a combat mission of the Memphis Belle (a B-17 heavy bomber aircraft) over Germany. Ford got hit by shrapnel while filming the Battle of Midway. Stevens captured the landing of the troops in Normandy, the liberation of Paris and the horrors of the concentration camp, Dachau. His work was used as evidence in the Nuremberg trials. Harris shows how these legendary directors were profoundly affected by their experiences during the war.

The $11 billion year: from Sundance to the Oscars, an inside look at the changing Hollywood system by Anne Thompson.
• eBook

Thompson focuses on 2012, a watershed year for the movie industry in Hollywood. "From executive firings and hirings to the stories behind films that almost never made it to the screen, Thompson's journalistic flair makes her analysis of the film industry a compelling and page-turning read." Kirkus book review.

Meryl Streep So anyway   Watch me Carsick

Meryl Streep: anatomy of an actor by Karina Longworth.

This book looks at the brilliant career of three time academy award winner Streep, focusing on ten pivotal performances, including her turns as Margaret Thatcher (The Iron Lady), Julia Child (Julie and Julia) and Sophie Zawistowska (Sophie’s choice), a performance so emotionally devastating I haven’t been able to watch it again. Lavishly illustrated, with lots of interesting biographical details and quotes, such as this one, from 2006, in which Streep modestly sums up a career that's still going full throttle: “My achievement, if you can call it that, is that I’ve basically pretended to be extraordinary people my entire life and now I’m being mistaken for one.” Other actors put under the spot light in the Cahiers du Cinema’s "Anatomy of an Actor" series: Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, and Marlon Brando.   

So anyway by John Cleese.
• eBook
• eAudiobook

“In this rollicking memoir Cleese takes readers on a Grand Tour of his ascent in the entertainment world, from his humble beginnings in a sleepy English town and his early comedic days at Cambridge University (with future Python partner Graham Chapman), to the founding of the landmark comedy troupe that would propel him to worldwide renown. Twisting and turning through surprising stories and hilarious digressions--with some brief pauses along the way that comprise a fascinating primer on what's funny and why--this story of a young man's journey to the pinnacle of comedy is a masterly performance by a master performer.”

Watch me: a memoir by Anjelica Huston.
• eBook
• eAudiobook
• Audiobook
• CD Talking Book (Restricted to print disabled patrons)

"Picking up where A story lately told leaves off, when Anjelica Huston is 22 years old, Watch Me is a chronicle of her glamorous and eventful Hollywood years. She writes about falling in love with Jack Nicholson and her adventurous, turbulent, high-profile, spirited 17-year relationship with him and his intoxicating circle of friends. She movingly and beautifully writes about the death of her father John Huston and her marriage to sculptor Robert Graham. She is candid, mischievous, warm, passionate, funny, and a fabulous story teller.”

Carsick by John Waters.
• eBook
• eAudiobook
• Audiobook
• CD Talking Book (Restricted to print disabled patrons)

In 2012, cult film director John Waters set out from home carrying homemade signs inscribed with declarations such as “I’m not psycho” and “midlife crisis.” Thus began a nine day hitchhiking adventure from Baltimore to San Francisco. Along the way the director know as “the pope of trash” formed an unlikely friendship with a young republican in a corvette, got picked up by an indie band on tour, and met an assortment of ‘ordinary’ Americans. Library Journal calls Carsick a “rollicking, raunchy romp that delivers big-time laughs.”

  World film locations-Toronto   Toronto theatres and the golden age of the silver screen   Werner Herzog - a guide for the perplexed   The science of Interstellar

World film locations: Toronto.

Have you seen any film crews on the streets our city? You don’t get out much if you answered no to that question. Toronto has been the star of many movies, but just like an actor, it usually isn’t playing itself. In Good Will Hunting Toronto played the role of Boston, and the University of Toronto played the role of Harvard University. In Mean girls, Toronto played the role of Evanston, Illinois. Toronto plays jazz age Chicago in the Academy Award winning 2002 movie musical Chicago. World film locations: Toronto explores the role that the city has played in many films, including Pacific Rim, Cinderella Man, and American Psycho. The author of this book will be giving a talk at North York Central Library on Wednesday September 16 on the history of filmmaking in Toronto.

Toronto Theatres and the golden age of the silver screen by Doug Taylor.
• eBook

“Movie houses first started popping up around Toronto in the 1910s and '20s, in an era without television and before radio had permeated every household. A century later the surviving, defunct, and reinvented movie houses of Toronto's past are filled with captivating stories. Explore fifty historic Toronto movie houses and theaters, and discover their roles as repositories of memories for a city that continues to grow its cinema legacy. Features stunning historic photography.” If you are interested in the history of movie theatres in Toronto, you might also like to have a look at The nabes: Toronto’s wonderful neighbourhood movie houses, which provides a visual record of neighborhood theatres of the past.

Werner Herzog: a guide for the perplexed by Paul Cronin.

An updated edition of interviews with director Werner Herzog, whose impressive list of credits includes such diverse projects as the unforgettable documentary Grizzly man, the tragic story of grizzly bear enthusiast Timothy Treadwell, and the cult crime movie Bad Lieutenant: port of call New Orleans. Among the Herzogian gems of wisdom in the book: “There is nothing wrong with spending the night in jail if it means you get the shot you need.” Reviewed in The Independent and The Telegraph.

The science of interstellar by Kip S. Thorne.

“Interstellar, from acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan, takes us on a fantastic voyage far beyond our solar system. Kip Thorne, the physicist who assisted Nolan on the scientific aspects of Interstellar, shows us that the movie's jaw-dropping events and stunning, never-before-attempted visuals are grounded in real science. In chapters on wormholes, black holes, interstellar travel, and much more, Thorne's scientific insights--many of them triggered during the actual scripting and shooting of Interstellar--describe the physical laws that govern our universe and the truly astounding phenomena that those laws make possible.”

Canadian Opera Company Talk: Wagner's Die Walküre

January 16, 2015 | Muriel | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...


Canadian Opera Company Talk: Wagner's Die Walküre

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.

North York Central Library Auditorium

Please call 416-395-5639 to register for this free program.

  Die Walkure CD   Die Walkure CD 2   Die Walkure Complete Vocal and Orchestral Score

Wayne Gooding, editor of Opera Canada magazine, examines the different ways Wagner's matchless epic has been translated to the stage from its premiere in 1870 up to the present day.  Special attention will be given to the winter 2015 revival of Atom Egoyan's COC production, starring "internationally celebrated opera diva," Christine Goerke as Brünnhilde.  

The Valkyrie Die Walkure        Die Walkure DVD 2        Die Walkure DVD

Richard Wagner A Life in Music       Wagner & Me       Wagner & Cinema

Be sure to visit NAXOS, the online music library available through Toronto Public Library, and listen to great music spanning medieval to modern - classical, jazz, electronic, world music and more, and find expert educational content.   

Learn more about the scientists in "The Imitation Game" and "The Theory of Everything"

January 9, 2015 | Carolyn | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

Holiday movie releases usually range from action-packed to family-friendly. Two of the movies I saw over this holiday season didn't fit into the usual categories; instead, they're based on the lives of two of the twentieth century's most intriguing scientists.

The Imitation Game tells the story of the British intelligence officers who cracked the German Enigma machine code during the Second World War. It focuses on the contribution of mathematician Alan Turing - in particular the machine he developed to decrypt the coded German messages. According to a BBC web page published to mark the recent centenary of Turing's birth, historians estimate the codebreakers' achievements shortened the war in Europe by two to four years and saved millions of lives.

In the movie, Turing uses a crossword challenge to recruit staff for the Enigma project. The reality was somewhat different, but crossword puzzles did play a part in the recruitment of wartime codebreakers. Try your hand at the original puzzle from January, 1942; if you can solve it in fewer than 12 minutes, you might have been a candidate.

Recontstruction of the Bombe codebreaking machine at Bletchley ParkBy Antoine Taveneaux (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The efforts to break enemy codes remained secret for decades after the War, but the information has been declassified in recent years and Bletchley Park, site of the codebreaking work, has been opened to visitors who can see a recontruction of the decryption machine built under Turing's direction.

Alan Turing's other claim to fame is that he is considered to be one of the fathers of computing and artifical intelligence. In fact, the name of the movie, The Imitation Game, comes from his famous 1950 paper Computing Machinery and Intelligence (PDF). Turing proposed the game as a test to determine whether machines could think. The Turing Test is still used as one measure of artificial intelligence.

The Theory of Everything is based on the memoir Travelling to Infinity: my life with Stephen by Jane Hawking, and tells the story of her marriage to renowned cosmologist Stephen Hawking. It depicts the period from Hawking's arrival at Cambridge as a graduate physics student in 1962 until their divorce in 1995.

The film focuses more on Hawking's personal life than his work, but there are several scenes in which he discusses his theories about singularities and black holes. There was a physics advisor on set to ensure that the explanations, while simplified for the benefit of the audience, were also accurate. If, like me, you're a bit intimidated by Hawking's ideas, check out this video from The Guardian's Made Simple series. It's Stephen Hawking's big idea in 150 seconds:


The film depicts the early symptoms of Hawking's illness and his diagnosis with ALS, a motor-neuron disease, at the age of 21. Voice and movement coaches worked with Eddie Redmayne to ensure that his portrayal of Hawking as the illness progressed was as realistic as possible. There's a fascinating video in the movie's website that describes how he prepared for the role.

If you're interested in learning more about the lives of these two remarkable scientists - whether you've seen the movies or not - why not have a look at any of these books, available at many Toronto Public Library branches:


Alan Turing: the enigma by Andrew Hodges The Man Who Knew Too Much: Alan Turing and the invention of the computer by David Leavitt The Essential Turing: seminal writings in computing, logic, philosophy, artificial intelligence, artificial life, plus the secrets of enigma
book, eBook book, eAudiobook  


Travelling to Infinity: my life with Stephen My Brief History The Illustrated Theory of Everything
 book, eBook book, audiobook, talking book, eBook, eAudiobook  


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.