Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Hello, World! Buena Park Library is now on Instagram

Buena Park Library is breaking out, even further, into the social media universe!  Today, we posted our first photo on Instagram.  If you are not familiar with Instagram, it is a social media platform built primarily for mobile devices.  With Instagram, we will be able share photos and videos from our programs and events as they happen!

You can easily link to our Instagram account here: https://www.instagram.com/buenaparklibrary/

We will also be posting lots of other cool stuff, so follow us today and get in on all the action!

Our first Instagram post:

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St. Patrick: Who Was He?

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Every March in honor of St. Patrick, we wear green and celebrate all things Irish, but do we know the real story behind St. Patrick’s Day? Here are ten facts about the real Patrick and his honorary day for all of our curious readers.

1. The man wasn’t even Irish. (Gasp.) He was British.

2. At sixteen years of age, he was kidnapped and sent to Ireland; there, he was enslaved and forced to tend sheep. Baa.

sheep

3. As a slave in Ireland, Patrick became a Christian.

4. After six or seven years of enslavement, Patrick escaped aboard a pirate ship, but he eventually returned to Ireland after being ordained a priest.

5. In Ireland, he spent his life trying to spread Christianity, all the while being beaten up by thugs and harassed by the Irish upper class.

6. Patrick died on March 17 in the year 461. After his death, he was pretty much forgotten; however, as centuries passed, mythology around Patrick grew, and he became the patron saint of Ireland.

7. Until the 1970s, St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland was a minor religious holiday. The festivities were simple: the day’s celebration consisted of a big meal, and that was about it.

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8. St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in America have their roots in the Revolutionary War. During the war, many Irish soldiers held parades by marching together to celebrate their ethnic solidarity.

9. Some time in the nineteenth century, wearing green became a symbol of loyalty to Ireland.

10. For modern day St. Patrick’s Day, many Americans continue the tradition of parades, eat corned beef and cabbage–foods popularized by Irish Americans in the nineteenth century mainly because they were affordable–and drink a lot of Irish stout; on St. Patrick’s Day, Americans drink about 3,000,000 pints of Guinness.

corned beef

Have a fun and safe St. Patrick’s Day!

For Christmas Music Lovers (and Haters Too)

Christmas songsIf you are a Christmas music lover (and even if you are a Christmas music hater), you might appreciate these tidbits about seven songs we love (or hate) to listen to and sing around this time of year.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (1943)
This song makes us feel wistfully warm inside today, but its original lyrics were downright morbid: “Have yourself a merry little Christmas/It may be your last/Next year we may all be living in the past.” Yikes.

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas (1953)
Written by John Rox and first sung by ten-year-old Oklahoma City resident Gayla Peevey, this song was a huge hit in 1953. In the song’s honor, the Oklahoma City Times and a local television station successfully raised enough money to purchase a hippo for the city zoo, and Peevey presented Matilda, a three-year-old baby hippo weighing 700 pounds, to the zoo on Christmas Eve.

Jingle Bells (1850, published 1857)
Here’s a shocker: “Jingle Bells” isn’t even a Christmas song. It was intended by its writer, James Lord Pierpont, to be a Thanksgiving song entitled “One Horse Open Sleigh,” but it was so beloved by its first hearers that they altered the lyrics slightly and sang the song during Christmastime.

Last Christmas (1984)
Many people find this song incredibly annoying. I am certainly not one of those people, but if you are, you might hate it less if you knew that Wham! gave nearly $400,000 of the song’s royalties to relieve famine in Ethiopia.

Feliz Navidad (1970)
José Feliciano initially wrote this tune in Spanish but added English lyrics to make it more likely that American radio stations would play it. Feliciano, born blind from congenital glaucoma in a family of eleven boys in Puerto Rico, has a prolific music career beyond his world famous Christmas hit.

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (1934)
This song was written by Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie when Eddie Cantor needed a song to sing on the radio broadcast of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Within one day of the broadcast, 100,000 copies of the song’s sheet music were sold.

O Holy Night (1847)
The lyrics of this beautiful song were written by Placide Clappeau, a French wine merchant who was the mayor of a town in southern France called Roquemaure. The music was composed by another Parisian, Adolphe Charles Adam, who, near the end of his life, was a professor of music at the Paris Conservatory. The French lyrics were translated into English by John Dwight, a clergyman who is thought to be responsible for making Beethoven well known in America.

Congratulations! You are now semi-prepared to be a contestant on a Christmas song episode of Jeopardy.

And Now You Know: Turkey Fun Facts

turkey
In a few days I’ll be busy shopping for my family’s Thanksgiving gathering. Who’s with me? (Maybe I’ll see you at Costco!)

With all the shopping, prepping, and entertaining guests, we can become irritated, super stressed, fatigued, or all of the above. So let’s hit pause and take a five minute breather to learn a few fun facts about our fine feathered Thanksgiving friend: the turkey.

4,309
That’s the approximate number of calories you would consume if, for some reason, you decided to eat half of a 15 pound turkey by yourself.

Dark meat or white?
It’s true that white meat (1 gram of fat and 46 calories per skinless ounce) has less fat and fewer calories than dark meat (2 grams of fat and 50 calories per skinless ounce). But dark meat has more nutrients like iron, zinc, riboflavin, thiamine, and vitamins B6 and B12 than its white counterpart, so don’t feel guilty about eating it.

Why does turkey make me sleepy?
It doesn’t. Eating turkey and the tryptophan it contains doesn’t make you sleepy. What does make you sleepy is all the energy your body channels into digesting the four plates of food you ate.

sleepy

Disappointed
That’s how Benjamin Franklin felt when the bald eagle was selected to be the national bird. He thought the wild turkey was “in comparison a much more respectable bird.”

88
That’s the percentage of people in America who eat turkey on Thanksgiving.

Poor Popcorn
Popcorn, the National Thanksgiving Turkey that President Obama pardoned last Thanksgiving, died “of natural causes” a few months ago in July.

Save a turkey!
Delicious meatless dishes and faux turkey options abound for vegetarians and vegans.

thanksgiving
We here at the Buena Park Library District hope you will have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Remember to keep sane, savor the season with the people you love, and give lots and lots of thanks.

And Now You Know: Halloween History

How did we come to observe Halloween? There are several explanations for the existence of the holiday, but here is one plausibility.

Over 2,000 years ago, the Celts of Ireland and all over Europe considered a day corresponding to November 1 the beginning of their calendar year. On November 1, they held a feast called Samhain (pronounced Sah-ween). Samhain was the most important holiday of the Celtic year.

The Celts believed that ghosts, demons, fairies, and the souls of the dead mingled with the living  on Samhain. To protect themselves from unkind spirits, they left out sweets for the spirits to eat and disguised themselves in scary masks to trick the spirits.

The púca is a fairy of Irish folklore, able to change form and commonly taking the form of a yellow eyed horse.

The púca is a fairy of Irish folklore, able to change form and commonly taking the form of a yellow eyed horse.

As centuries passed, people from around the world added their own twist to Samhain. Catholic missionaries in Ireland promoted Samhain as a day to honor dead saints and called the day All Saints’ Day or All Hallows. The night before All Hallows became All Hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.

Halloween wasn’t popular in America until millions of Irish immigrants came to America in the 1800s, many of them fleeing Ireland’s potato famine. Americans began to dress in costumes and go from house to house asking for food or money, and by the late 1800s, there was a movement to make Halloween into a holiday about community rather than about ghosts, demons, and witchcraft. As a result, Halloween lost much of its supernatural and religious connotations by the turn of the century.

Cramped and overcrowded conditions on ships that sailed from Ireland to America caused so many deaths that the ships were called "coffin ships."

So many died in the cramped and overcrowded conditions of ships that sailed from Ireland to America that the ships were called “coffin ships.”

Today, Halloween is a huge consumer holiday in America. In 2012, Americans spent $8 billion on Halloween candy, costumes, and other related items. $8 billion! This year, the National Retail Federation predicts that the average American will spend $77.52 in honor of Halloween.

Want to learn more? Check out one of our excellent titles on the history of the holiday.

New E-books

Check out the newest additions to the library’s e-audiobook collection!  If you need more information about setting up your device, start at our digital library at: www.buenapark.lib.overdrive.com or contact the Reference Desk at: 714-826-4100 ext. 125

Sergeant Stubby  Unbreak my heart Michael Jordan  most dangerous animal of all  Lets just say  hiltons  Carsick  Aviators  10 percent happierThink like a freak

Happy Belated Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

I hope it’s not too late but this celebrated author and illustrator deserves a birthday shout out.  For those who don’t know, Dr. Seuss’ birthday was last Sunday, March 2nd.  We all know Dr. Seuss as the man behind the famous children’s book series with well-known titles such as The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, and The Lorax.  But there was a lot more to him than just children’s books.  In other words, here’s a list of interesting facts of the author we call Dr. Seuss:

dr. seuss

  • Dr. Seuss’ actual name was Theodore Seuss Geisel.
  • His works have spawned numerous adaptations, including television specials, feature films, a Broadway musical, and four television series.
  • Geisel’s birthday, March 2nd, has been adopted as the annual date for National Read Across America Day, an initiative on reading created by the National Education Association.
  • Although he received numerous awards throughout his career, Geisel never won the Caldecott Medal or Newbery Medal.  
  • Geisel’s figures are often rounded and somewhat droopy. This is true, for instance, of the faces of the Grinch and of the Cat in the Hat.  Almost all the buildings and machinery that Geisel drew were devoid of straight lines, even when he was representing real objects. For example, If I Ran the Circus includes a droopy hoisting crane and a droopy steam Calliope.
  • He was a perfectionist in his work and would sometimes spend up to a year on a book. It was not uncommon for him to throw out 95% of his material until he settled on a theme for his book. For a writer he was unusual in that he preferred to be paid only after he finished his work rather than in advance.
  • Getting the first book that he both wrote and illustrated, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, published, however, required a great degree of persistence – it was rejected 27 times before being published by Vanguard Press.

cat in the hat

Want more Seuss?  You didn’t even have to ask!  The Buena Park Library has got you covered.

“Think left and think right and think low and think high.  Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” – Dr. Seuss

Winnie the Pooh Day!

Today is A.A. Milne’s birthday!  Though he was born long ago on this day in 1882 he will always be remembered for his children’s story books, particularly Winnie the Pooh and his friends.  You know the gang.   Christopher Robin, Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet, Roo, and Winnie, of course,  made reading fun!

WinnieHere’s some interesting things about Winnie the Pooh that you may not have known:

  • Winnie the Pooh first appeared on the printed page in 1926.
  • All of the characters were based on toys that were owned by the author’s son.
  • Pooh Corner in Hartfield, East Sussex, is where the books were written.
  • Winnie the Pooh has been translated in numerous languages, including Latin.

Winnie the PoohAnd you didn’t even have to ask.  We have plenty Winnie the Pooh books here at the Buena Park Library. 

So celebrate Winnie the Pooh Day by reading some storybooks about Winnie and his friends.

It’s Computer Science Education Week!

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From csedweek.org :

Why is it important for students to learn computer science?

Computer science is a foundational field for every 21st century career or field of study. Learning the basics of computer science prepares students for a world that is increasingly dominated by technology. Research shows that students who study computer science also perform better at math.

Besides, computer science is where the jobs are. More than 50% of all jobs in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) are computing jobs. Some other stats:

  • Computer science is one of the highest-paid college degree for new graduates.
  • Computer programming jobs are growing at two times the national average — but there aren’t enough graduates to fill these jobs.
  • Nine out of 10 K-12 schools do not offer computer programming classes.
  • In 35 out of 50 states, computer science does not even count toward high school graduation.

See this infographic for more information.

Want to learn?   Code.org has links to free online tutorials and the Buena Park Library has books to help you on your way!

 

Thanksgiving : Trivia Edition

This Thursday, November 28th is Thanksgiving Day!  Of course, we all know about getting together with loved ones feasting on turkey, stuffing, gravy, watching Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (or at least I do), and the food coma that ensues but do we know the quirky things about Thanksgiving?  Well, brace yourself!  Here’s some Thanksgiving trivia to tide you over till this upcoming holiday.

Thanksgiving 2

  • The modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is commonly traced to a poorly documented 1621 celebration between the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts.
  • Potatoes were not part of the first Thanksgiving.  Irish immigrants had not yet brought them to North America.
  • The use of the turkey in the USA for Thanksgiving precedes Lincoln’s nationalization of the holiday in 1863.  Alexander Hamilton proclaimed that no “Citizen of the United States should refrain from turkey on Thanksgiving Day,” and many of the Founding Fathers (particularly Benjamin Franklin) had high regard for the wild turkey as an American icon, but turkey was uncommon as Thanksgiving fare until after 1800.  By 1857, turkey had become part of the traditional dinner in New England.
  • After the first Thanksgiving, the observance was sporadic and almost forgotten until the early 1800s.  It was usually celebrated in late September or October.
  • Thanksgiving Day did not become an official holiday until Northerners dominated the federal government. While sectional tensions prevailed in the mid-19th century, the editor of the popular magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book, Sarah Josepha Hale, campaigned for a national Thanksgiving Day to promote unity. She finally won the support of President Abraham Lincoln.  The holiday was annually proclaimed by every president thereafter, and the date chosen, with few exceptions, was the last Thursday in November.
  • In 1941, Congress made Thanksgiving a national holiday and set the date as the fourth Thursday in November.
  • In the early 1960s, “Black Friday” came to be used in Philadelphia to describe the post-Thanksgiving shopping rush.
  • Each Thanksgiving, the President “pardons” a hand-selected turkey, sparing the bird from someone’s dinner table and ensuring the rest of its days are spent living.  President George H.W. Bush was the first president to actually offer a turkey pardon in 1989.

Thanksgiving

The Buena Park Library also has books on all things Thanksgiving.  Check them out here!  And who can forget about those delicious Thanksgiving cook books?

Have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving everyone!