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April 2011

The Game's Afoot! A New Sherlock for the 21st Century

April 18, 2011 | Claire | Comments (1)

Sherlock season188
Imagine Sherlock Holmes stripped of his atmospheric Victorian surroundings, his hansom cabs and foggy streets and that iconic pipe.    How would he function in today's world?  That's the challenge that BBC writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss took up last year when they created the three-episode series Sherlock.  In this uber-modern interpretation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic stories,  Holmes has a webpage and a cell phone, and covers himself in nicotine patches for mental stimulation.  Doctor John Watson still chronicles his adventures with Holmes, but on a blog rather than with a quill pen.  The London Eye dominates the landscape, and  Holmes and Watson still reside at 221B Baker Street.  Some things simply cannot be changed.

I've been a fan of Sherlock Holmes since reading his original adventures over 30 years ago, and, while I loved the previous Grenada television adaptations starring Jeremy Brett, with their rich period settings , I found this new series totally fresh and exciting.    Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, playing Holmes and Watson,  have interesting chemistry;  while Watson is traditionally portrayed as looking up to Holmes, Freeman's Watson seems unsettlingly aware of Holmes's dark side.   Cumberbatch's Holmes is satisfyingly complex;  acutely intelligent and cerebral, intense, adventurous and athletic, somewhat impatient with duller mortals and occasionally just plain rude,  he elegantly dominates the screen and is brilliant fun to watch.  The writers give him some interesting lines.  At one point he snaps to a prickly police officer: "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath.  Do your research!". 

Although the series is updated, the writers include lots of references to the original stories, and part of the fun of watching is catching them all.  Sherlock was a smash hit in Britain, and a season 2 has been promised.  TPL has season 1 available on DVD, as well as many other well-known adaptations.  If you're a real fan, be sure to also check out the Arthur Conan Doyle room at TPL. 


Facebook for Parents at Riverdale Branch

April 8, 2011 | Claire | Comments (0)

Do you have kids, teens or tweens who use--or want to use-- facebook?  Come to  Riverdale branch to find out what parents should know about this popular social networking tool. 

Topics covered include:

  • How young people are using facebook
  • Risks your child or teen may not be aware of
  • Safety rules for social networking sites
  • Cyberbullying:  what is it? How can you help prevent it?
  • How to understand and use privacy settings
  • How to talk to your kids about social network use

Monday, April 11, 7-8 pm at Riverdale Branch. Please call to register: 416-393-7720

Eating Chinese: From Ginger Beef to the Dragon Cafe with Lily Cho at Riverdale Library

April 1, 2011 | Claire | Comments (0)

Lily2On Wednesday, April 6, from 7-8:30 PM at Riverdale Branch, Lily Cho, author of Eating Chinese:  Culture on the Menu in Small Town Canada will guide us through the history of the cuisine which North America calls Chinese.  A perfect complement to TPL's One Book, Midnight at the Dragon Cafe, Lily's knowledge of Chinese Canadian cuisine provides a fascinating lens into Chinese Canadian culture and history.   We hope you will join us for this fun and informative evening.  No pre-registration required.  

Riverdale Branch is located at 370 Broadview Avenue, at the corner of Broadview and Gerrard.