Make a Video–FAST

If you’re an expert at something or think you’ve got a special skill to show the world, now’s your chance. “Instructables,” the awesome how-to website is sponsoring a “Teach Me Fast” video contest with “Forbes.” All you have to do is demonstrate how to do something in 30 seconds or less.

I know you have some weird ability or unusual trick that you could teach others.  Just record your video, upload it to YouTube, Blip or some other hosting site and embed it on the “Instructables” site.  Then just sit back and wait for people to vote for your video as their favorite.  The grand prize winner will receive a “Flip” video camera, a T-shirt and some cool patches and stickers, not to mention bragging rights for your video being the hands down favorite. Don’t delay. The entry deadline is September 13, 2009 and the online voting will begin September 14.

If you can’t think of any unique skills that you have to share, check out the contest and vote for your favorite. Maybe seeing someone else’s unique talent will inspire you to remember something that you are famous for.

Even if you don’t want to make a video, do yourself a favor and check out some of the cool postings on the “Instructables” website. This site can give you easy instructions on how to do anything. If you want to learn how to do it, someone on “Instructables” can show you how.

Some Changes, and Back to…Ew…

It’s that time of year again, Bits and Bramblers! It’s time to use all those new folders, notebooks, and pens you just bought. That’s right—it’s time to go back to school!

Yeah…I’m sorry. Really, I am. In fact, I’m not going to keep up the fake enthusiasm. Going back to school isn’t fun. There’s the whole…”getting up early” part. And the meeting new teachers and other kids part. And the learning your new schedule part. And then there’s the learning-new-things-and doing homework part. Not fun.

…But the thing is? It doesn’t have to be all bad. Maybe you’ll catch on to your new schedule super fast, and maybe those new teachers and other kids will actually be…awesome. And as far as learning new things goes, trust me—it’s always good. Because the more you know, the better off you’ll be (except maybe algebra. I never got the algebra thing.) And don’t forget—if you ever need help with your homework, well…all you have to do is ask your faaaaavorite librarian, right? That’s why we’re here, after all!

In fact, the only all-bad thing is getting up early, and that kind of sucks no matter how old you are. Blech.

So…chin up, Bits and Bramblers. You’ll get used to all the back-to-school-changes in no time.

But while we’re on the subject of changes—there are a few of them coming up here at M/RCPL. Remember the whole…mess this summer? Well, the good news is all of your faaaaaavorite branches get to stay open. But in other news, our hours will be a liiiitle bit different.

Here’s a list of your faaaaavorite branches and their new hours (this way, when you need help with your homework, you’ll know whether or not we’re open!) The new hours will begin on Tuesday, September 8th:
Main Library
Sunday: 1 – 5 PM
Monday –Thursday: 10 AM – 8 PM
Friday and Saturday: 10 AM – 5 PM
Bellville, Lexington, Madison and Ontario Branches
Monday – Thursday: 10 AM – 7 PM
Friday and Saturday: 10 AM – 5 PM

Butler, Lucas and Plymouth Branches
Monday – Thursday: 11 AM – 7 PM
Friday : 11 AM – 5 PM
Saturday : 9 AM – 3 PM
Crestview Branch
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday: 11 AM – 7 PM
Wednesday and Friday: 11 AM – 5 PM
Saturday : 9 AM – 3 PM

Now…after all the talk about changes, let’s talk about a few things that are going to stay the same—like Bits and Brambles. We’ll still be posting about awesome books and cool websites, as well as sharing funny videos—like this one (it’ll make your first day look easy!)

FORTY YEARS Ago, Something BIG Happened…

Now, I understand that the phrase, “It happened forty years ago,” usually means the story that you’re about to hear will be unbearably boring. Not this time, though. Because something big happened forty years ago in Bethel, New York…the Woodstock Festival & Concert!

Woodstock was supposed to be a big party, where you listened to incredible music (by The Who, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Carlos Santana) and slept under the stars. But the big party kept getting bigger…and bigger. There were traffic jams up to twenty miles long to get to the festival…and there were around 500,000 guests!

So the big party turned into something even bigger. It turned into an event—three days of peace, love, and music that represented an entire generation.

In honor of Woodstock’s fortieth anniversary, you can stop by your faaaaaaaaavorite library and experience the concert through DVDs like Woodstock and Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music. If you’re all about the music, though, you can listen to CDs like The Best of Woodstock.

And speaking of the music, we’ll leave you with a classic performance that took place nearly forty years ago—and it’s still amazing. Here’s Jimi Hendrix with “Purple Haze.”

Raise Your (Left) Hand If You Know What Today Is…

…That’s right, it’s Left-Hander’s Day! Here at the library, we’re very big fans of this day—because a lot of your faaaaaaaavorite librarian’s all happen to be Lefties (including me!) So all you Lefties celebrate—and all you Righties pay attention. Because I think you’ve been keeping us down for far too long!

Seriously, think about it…throughout history, left-handed people haven’t had it easy—and I’m not just talking about 3-Ring Notebooks or those stupid little scissors, either. For awhile, people thought left-handed people were clumsy, stupid…even evil.

Really, Righties? Evil? Are you sure you’re not just…jealous?

I mean, after all…there are lots of studies about how Lefties process information different than Righties—Lefties “are thought to process information using a ‘visual simultaneous’ method in which several threads can be processed simultaneously.” (And let’s not forget that the left side of the body is controlled by the right side of the brain, so…Lefties are the only ones in their right minds. Take THAT!)

Also, studies show that Lefties have natural advantages when it comes to things like playing sports, and that a high number of artists and scientists are left-handed. I mean there have been tons of great Lefties throughout history, like Alexander the Great, Babe Ruth, Prince William, President Obama...even Bart Simpson!

So even if you’re not lucky enough to be Southpaw, raise your left-hand in celebrate with us! I’ll leave you with a couple of my faaaaavorite Lefties, Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr (along with John Lennon and George Harrison, who—even though they aren’t all Lefties—are all still awesome!)

Wanna Race? TYPE Race, That Is…

I know you, Bits and Bramblers. You’re the kind of people that brag about how fast you can text, right? You probably have lightening fast thumbs. But here’s a question for you…how fast can you type?!?!?

You can practice a little (in fact, you can consider it a warm up,) by taking the Speed Typing Test. After that, you should be ready to race…well, to type race. I’m sure any other type of race would require a little more effort…

Aaaaaaaanywaytype racing. If you head to TypeRacer, you can race other typers (although, you might have already guessed that part.) The cool thing is, you race by typing quotes from classic books and movies like Monty Python and the Holy Grail. You even get your own little VW Bug Avatar, that keeps track of your progress, as well how fast everyone else is typing (But here’s a tip…don’t spend too much time focusing on the cute little VW Bugs…keep your eyes on the road—er, I mean—keep your eyes on the words.)

So rest your thumbs for awhile, Bits and Bramblers…and see how fast you can type! Maybe you’ll even get to type this quote…