It only happens once a year. Today marks the 106th anniversary of Bloomsday. Pittsburgh has been formally celebrating since 1988, however the first official celebration occured in the form of a five month-long festival in Dublin in 1954. Perhaps you’re wondering to yourself, what is Bloomsday exactly? It’s a day commemorating the life of James Joyce as well as his novel, Ulysses. June 16 is the birthday of James Joyce; the day in which the entire novel Ulysses takes place in Dublin; and marks the first date of Joyce and his wife-to-be Nora Barnacle. Festivities on this day include dramatization and readings of Ulysses, pub crawls and sometimes a traditional Irish breakfast.
Diehard fans of Ulysses have been known to conduct 36-hour readings of the novel in its entirety. Though our local celebration doesn’t reach that kind of intensity, Joyce fans can look forward to a day of reading throughout the city, including the Main Library at 2:30 pm. For the full schedule of when and where, check the Bloomsday in Pittsburgh schedule of events.
I’m guessing that your childhood dream of growing up to be an astronaut never came true–or maybe it did. What do I know? Even if you don’t get the opportunity to launch shuttles into outer space, explore the vastness of the universe or experience zero gravity, you can still have a chance at being a lunar scientists. How?! What?! Yes. A lunar scientist, it’s true.
Moon Zoo, a project designed by NASA, is an interactive tool with high-resolution images of the moon for moon enthusiasts and astronomy admirers alike to pore over and over and over. Your well-trained eye can help NASA see the moon in unparalleled detail by identifying unseen craters, interesting features, odd details and perhaps abandoned astronaut accoutrements! Read more!
Natural Language, the sister-project of the library’s popular Sunday Afternoon Poetry and Reading Series, is an anthology including the work of over 30 Pittsburgh poets and writers who have read their work in the series since its formation in 2007. Curators of the series and fellow library workers, Renée and Connie, served as editor and designing editor of the anthology.
Thanks to a donation from the non-profit group Poets for Humanity, Natural Language has been published and is available for purchased this Saturday, May 8th at 2 pm. The event will feature readings from various writers and poets included in the anthology. Books are $10 and all proceeds support the preservation of poetry programming.
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Calendula. Edible - but only the petals!
Have you ever seen something so cute/pretty/fuzzy that you just want to hold it up to your face and take a bite (think kittens and little crocheted animals)? Well, I’ve found myself reacting this way toward vegetation, specifically pretty flowers that are blooming everywhere. With a little research, to my delight I’ve found list upon list of edible flowers guides. This is helpful in getting started with nutritious nibbling, edible exploration and spicy snacking.
I am no expert, so as a word of caution, just like anything in nature, be aware of what you’re eating, where it came from, and what’s possibly been sprayed on it, before you determine it safe to put in your mouth.
Chrysanthemum. Only eat the petals!
For further adventures in the world of pretty edibles, look for these titles at the Library:
Eat Your Yard! Edible Trees, Shrubs, Vines, Herbs and Flowers for Your Landscape by Nan K. Chase
Rosalind Creasy’s Recipes from the Garden by Rosalind Creasy
Edible Flowers: A Kitchen Companion by Kitty Morse
Jan Maher, author of Most Dangerous Women (a readers’ theater play), creates a work that is both a book, a play, and a teaching tool that engages audiences by having readers of the work act out roles of important women of the peace movement. Notable, but perhaps obscure or forgotten, figures include Emily Greene Balch, Barbara Lee, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Jeannette Rankin.
Title from data provided by the Bain News Service on the negative. Photo shows men and women on strike outside the Botany Worsted Mills in Passaic, NJ. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2008, and New York Times articles, 1912)
This Saturday, March 27, recount the forgotten history of the women who worked for labor rights, peace and justice over the past century. This is a recorded performance of Most Dangerous Women, featuring members of the Pittsburgh branch of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and Raging Grannies. A question and answer session will follow the screening.
Most Dangerous Women (film screening)
Saturday, March 27
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Ever wonder what the last words uttered by Joan Crawford were? Or what River Phoenix took to the grave? Any idea why Judy Garland’s body was kept in cold storage for a year? Local author, journalist and dead celebrity expert, Alan Petrucelli has answers to these questions and more in his book, Morbid Curiosity: The Disturbing Demises of the Famous and Infamous. Alan has contributed to many publications, including The New York Times, People, Us Weekly, Family Circle, Ladies’ Home Journal, USA Weekend, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, New York Daily News and Working Mother.
Join noted celebrity journalist Alan W. Petrucelli for a strange, startling and utterly fascinating look behind the word’s most notorious celebrity deaths. Joan Rivers calls Morbid Curiosity “ …a very funny, very clever book—it’s shocking and sinful, and I couldn’t put it down.” Robert Osborne, host of Turner Classic Movies says, “Morbid Curiosity is a cornucopia of Hollywood gossip and tidbits, much more humorous than macabre, delivered from a different point of view than any book I’ve read about celebs. It’s breezy, pithy, informative, odd and, despite its subject matter, certain to amuse.”
A question and answer session will follow the presentation.
Warning: Some photos that will be shown are actual, graphic crime and death scenes.
March 20, 2010
3:00pm – 4:00pm
Center for Museum Education – Classroom A
Money? Nope. This green will introduce a color other than white into your life. With seemingly no end in sight to the winter wonderland outside your window, March 20, the official start of spring, feels much too far away. Terrariums! They’re an easy and fun way to get your spring fix in the dead of winter, not to mention an ideal situation for the forgetful gardener who can’t seem to remember to water.
With no more than a glass jar, gravel, soil, plants, and some cute vintage woodland inspired trinkets, you can create your very own indoor ecosystem from the comforts of home. Between thrift stores and nurseries, all the low-cost supplies you’ll need can easily be acquired. Tons of online tutorials are available. Some places to get started can be found here, here, here, here, here, and here. And as always, the Library has a collection of resources to help you fashion your own personal forest.