- photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/57402879@N00/
Over the past few years, there’s been a lot of ongoing buzz (pun completely intended) in the news about honeybees. In late 2006, the hardworking honeybee began disappearing, and soon became a mysterious curiosity of the natural world, one that is now known as colony collapse disorder. A new study led scientists to discover that the cause of colony collapse disorder was more varied than originally thought. An article published in the New York Times asks experts in the field to weigh out the debate of the disappearing bees.
It’s true, these little insects aren’t all sting and honey. In fact, while doing a little research for this post, I learned that a third of the world’s food supply depends on pollinators like the honeybee.
Pollinate your brain with more information about nature’s hardest working creature at the Library.
Son of Jim Norris, homesteader, tying corn into bundles, Pie Town, New Mexico October 1940. Photographed by Russell Lee
As a CSA member, I’m getting my fill of beautiful vegetables. If you’re unfamiliar, CSA is an acronym for Community Supported Agriculture, and Pittsburgh has a nice selection of local farms to choose from. The idea is simple. You buy a “share” in the farm and gain boxes of vegetables and other edible items throughout the season. Naturally, like any investment there are risks involved, such as a disappointing crop due to insect snacking or destructive weather. Nevertheless, I love my veggies so I’m always searching for creative and new ways to enjoy them.
We have a harvest of cookbooks featuring vegetables at the library as well as a Web page dedicated to the subject of produce. One of my favorite food blogs is Farmgirl Fare which chronicles life on a farm and includes great seasonal recipes not to mention photographs of awfully cute animals (cats included). Epicurious has a seasonal cooking section to help you figure out what to do with the 4 heads of cabbage in your refrigerator.
Grab your apron, cutting board, freshly sharpened knife and favorite veggie, and get cooking.
I’ve seen a lot of moving trucks lately, and I mean a lot. Summer is a common time for people to do this much dreaded task. Whether your lease is up or you’ve decide to make an even bigger transition and buy a home, moving can be awfully stressful. Although the Library can’t offer to lend you a hand on a Saturday morning and help move a few boxes, we can help you find books to make moving a little easier.
Downsizing Your Home with Style: Living Well in a Smaller Space /Lauri Ward
The Moving Survival Guide: All You Need to Know to Make Your Move Go Smoothly /Martha Poage
How to Survive a Move: By Hundreds of Happy Dwellers Who Did (And Some Things to Avoid from a Few Who Haven’t Unpacked Yet) /edited by Jamie Allen and Kazz Regelman
The Don’t Sweat Guide to Your New Home: Settling In and Getting the Most from Where You Live / by the editors of Don’t Sweat Press
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Smart Moving / by Dan Ramsey
Get packing and good luck!
The Three Rivers Arts Festival is finally here, marking the unofficial start of summer in Pittsburgh. Farmer’s Markets, city pools, new spray parks, festivals and a ton of music make this city a great place to be for kids and adults, even during the doggiest days of summer.
As an adult, this kind of summertime activity sounds much more thrilling than the idea of spending a summer away from Pittsburgh stranded at summer camp. Thanks to the 90s children show, Salute Your Shorts, I can vividly remember how badly my little kid brain wanted to go to summer camp.
Sadly, I never went. But fortunately, a lot of people did, so there are dozens of books about horribly embarrassing summer camp experiences. Browse this list to discover books about summer camps that will surely make you cringe, cry and crack-up.
Camp Camp: Where Fantasy Island Meets Lord of the Flies, Roger Bennett and Jules Shell
Do-Over!: In Which a Forty-Eight-Year-Old Father of Three Returns to Kindergarten, Summer Camp, the Prom, and Other Embarrassments, Robin Hemley
Sleepaway: Writings on Summer Camp, edited by Eric Simonoff
Cabin Pressure: One Man’s Desperate Attempt to Recapture his Youth as a Camp Counselor, Josh Wolk
And let us not forget some all-time favorite films set at summer camp….
The Parent Trap
Wet Hot American Summer
The simple act of listening is easier said than done. A recent opinion piece in the New York Times commented on the lost art of reading aloud, nostalgic for a time before the existence of recorded audio books, when people practiced reading aloud to each other as entertainment.
Being read aloud to doesn’t have to be something adults do for children. Nearly a year ago, blogger Julie wrote about what has now become our annual read aloud series. Beginning this Friday, May 22, Eleventh Stack bloggers and other Carnegie Library staff will be reading aloud at Schenley Plaza for the Eleventh Stack Read Aloud Series. We’ll be making an appearance with an essay, story or poem in hand this Friday as well as Friday June 19, July 24, August 28 and September 25. We’ve chosen a theme for each month with May’s being mix-ups.
I’ll be reading under the tent at Schenley Plaza this Friday starting at noon, along with blog contributors Bonnie and Jude. Enjoy the simple act of listening and join us on your lunch hour as you listen to stories that will make you laugh, cry and think.
Lunchtime for lady workers of the Chicago and North Western Railway Company. 1943 Clinton, Iowa
Sunday evening 11:45 pm, I suddenly had an urge to make burrito filling in anticipation of my Monday lunch. Sounds totally insane, I know, but I don’t mess around when it comes to preparing a meal I’ll be enjoying when away from home. Midnight lunch preparation is something I do far too often. Bringing a tasty meal on the go is really simple and only requires a little planning the night before. Not to mention, you get to shop for those cute lunch accessories like a thermos or one of those adorably irresistible bento boxes. Consider these books for a little lunchspiration.
The Lunchbox Book, Sandy Harper
The Vegetarian Lunchbasket: Over 225 Easy, Lowfat, Nutritious, Recipes for the Quality-Conscious Family on the Go, Linda Haynes
Lunch Boxes and Snacks: Over 120 Healthy Recipes, from Delicious Sandwiches and Salads to Hot Soups and Sweet Treats, Annabel Karmel
The Top 100 Recipes for a Healthy Lunchbox: Easy and Exciting Ideas for your Child’s Lunches, Nicola Graimes
Vegan Lunch Box: 150 Amazing, Animal-Free Lunches Kids and Grown-Ups Will Love!, Jennifer McCann
image by Daniel Semper
Getting a new pet is always exciting, but imagine if you were a puppy, and you got a new home, and it just so happened to be the White House. This past week, Sasha and Mailia Obama got the puppy they earned, Bo, a six month old Portuguese water dog with family ties to Pittsburgh. Bo’s father, Watson, is a pet and breeding dog to a family from Ambridge.
Historically, first families have resided with a variety of first pets. Canine companions appear to be the most prevalent, however, silkworms, alligators and opossums are among some of the more unusual creatures on the list of presidential pets. Founded in 1999, the Presidential Pet Museum in Williamsburg, Virginia has answers to everything you want to know about first pets.
Test your knowledge of White House pets by matching the pet with its presidential pal.