Friday, September 29, 2006


The library and Volunteer Fairfax are sponsoring four volunteer fairs for teens. The fairs help students in middle and high school find volunteer opportunities with local groups that will help them fulfill the community service hours required by area schools.

The fairs are scheduled for October 3 at 7 p.m. at the George Mason Regional Library in Annandale; October 5 at 7 p.m. at the Pohick Regional Library in Burke; October 7 at 2 p.m. at the Thomas Jefferson Library in Falls Church; and October 14 at 3 p.m. at the Centreville Regional Library.

“Teens offer the talent and energy that many local agencies seek,” says Kate Wanderer, our volunteer coordinator. “The fairs allow young people a chance to meet with representatives from local nonprofit groups and learn more about how to help their community.”

More than 30 organizations are participating in our teen volunteer fairs, including:

Alzheimers Family Day Care Center
Area Agency on Aging Cluster Care Program
Clean Fairfax Council
Computer Learning Centers Partnership
Earth Sangha
Fairfax County Area Agency on Aging
Fairfax County Community and Recreation Services, Baileys Computer Clubhouse
Fairfax County Community and Recreation Services, Dept. of Therapeutic Recreation
Fairfax County Dept. of Family Services Higher Horizons
Fairfax County Office of Partnerships
Fairfax County Park Authority
Fairfax County Park Authority, Providence Recreation Center
Greenbriar Learning Center
Greenspring Retirement Village Community
Herndon Adult Day Care Center
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Lion's Eyeglass Recycling Center
Mark of Excellence Community Outreach Program
Mason Neck State Park
Northern Virginia Training Center
Our Neighbor's Child
Reston Association
Volunteer Fairfax
Western Fairfax Christian Ministry
Wexford Manor Community Resource center

Check with the host library branch to find out which organizations will be at their branch. For information about becoming a library volunteer, check the volunteer section of the library’s Web site.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Arrr, Matey!

In case you missed it, September 19 was Talk Like a Pirate Day. (Thanks to the library blog in Waterloo, Maine for that bit of information.) The folks up north even provide a link to popular pirate phrases. For all things pirate, including a list of every pirate movie ever made, check out Pirate's Cove.

Lest you think piracy is part of the world’s romantic past, it still occurs with estimated losses of between $13 billion and $16 billion per year in U.S. dollars, particularly in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. You can even browse a month-by-month list of piracy incidents compiled by the United Nation’s International Maritime Organization.

Whether you’re interested in the exploits of modern pirates or those from the golden days of piracy (such as Edward "Blackbeard" Teach, Bartholomew Roberts ("Black Bart") or Jean Lafitte), check out:

Dangerous Waters: Modern Piracy and Terror on the High Seas by John Burnett.

Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates by David Cordingly.

The Outlaw Sea: A World of Freedom, Chaos, and Crime by William Langewiesche.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Merchant Seamen, Pirates and the Anglo-American Maritime World, 1700-1750 by Marcus Rediker.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Fall Classics

Fall is just around the corner, and TV fans know that means it’s the time of year when TV networks reveal their new shows and return their old hits.

September 15 marks the anniversary of at least four shows that became part of U.S. popular culture. The oldest is "The Lone Ranger," which premiered in 1949 when TV was a new technology. The show featured Clayton Moore as the Lone Ranger and Jay Silverheels as Tonto. The two traveled the West fighting injustice. Those of a certain age will never forget Moore’s signature line, “Hi Ho, Silver, Away!” or Rossini’s “William Tell Overture,” the show’s theme. The series ended in 1957.

"Columbo" celebrates its 35th anniversary this week. Peter Falk played a quirky, cigar-chewing detective who slouched around in a rumpled raincoat and literally nagged suspects into confessions. The series ended in 1978 but resurfaced in 1989 with made-for-TV movies; the last one aired in 2002.

Other shows celebrating their anniversaries this week include "I Spy" (1965-68), in which Bill Cosby made history as the first African American starring in a major TV role; "CHiPS" (1977-83), which featured two motorcycle-riding members of the California Highway Patrol; and "Bachelor Father" (1957062), a sitcom that featured John Forsythe as a bachelor whose life is complicated by his niece moving in. Forsythe later went on to hits such as “Dynasty” and “Charlie’s Angels.” Check out:

TV Guide, Fifty Years of Television by Mark Lasswell.

Please Stand By: A Prehistory of Television by Michael Ritchie.

Glued to the Set by Steven Stark.

The Box: An Oral History of Television, 1920 - 1961 by Jeff Kisseloff.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Galveston Storm

August 28 was the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of the Gulf Coast. September 8 marks the 106th anniversary of a Category 3 hurricane (less severe winds than Katrina) that unfortunately took more than five times as many lives and destroyed the city of Galveston, Texas.

The Galveston Storm lasted 18 hours, killed more than 5,000 people and left 8,000 homeless. The tragedy captured the imagination of the public, and in 1904 a Galveston Flood show was created at Coney Island, NY. Housed in a building at the resort, the city was recreated with model buildings. Visitors watched “the scene of horror” on a 200-square-foot stage complete with wind, waves, thunder and lightning. Check out:

Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History by Erik Larson.

Divine Wind: The History and Science of Hurricanes by Kerry Emmanuel.

Path of Destruction: the Devastation of New Orleans and the Coming Age of Superstorms by John McQuaid.

In Katrina's Wake: Portraits of Loss From an Unnatural Disaster by Chris Jordan.

The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast by Douglas Brinkley.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Barbecue Season

The Web site Barbecue'n on the Internet says it all: “Barbecue is an important part of a balanced diet.” This Labor Day weekend, grills across the country will be fired up for a taste of a summer favorite — whether chicken, beef, pork, fish or veggies on a skewer.

Barbecue was introduced in the U.S. in the 19th century. During cattle drives, cowboys used this slow method of cooking for the less desirous cuts of meat they had to eat, such as brisket, pork butt, pork and beef ribs and goat, which needed longer cooking times to tenderize (Barbecue History -- Pioneers also may have used the method as they traveled West, since many were poor and couldn’t afford better cuts of meat (The Barbecue

Whatever its origins, barbecue has become an American tradition. While some still fire up charcoal briquettes, many have moved up to natural gas and propane. For tips and recipes, go to The National Barbecue Association and check out:

Raichlen on Ribs, Ribs, Outrageous Ribs by Steve Raichlen.

Grilling: More Than 175 New Recipes From the World’s Premier Culinary College by The Culinary Institute of America.

Taming the Flame: Secrets for Hot and Quick Grilling and Low and Slow BBQ by Elizabeth Karmel.

The New Gas Grill Gourmet: Great Grilled Food for Everyday Meals and Fantastic Feasts by A. Cort Sinnes.

Good Times, Good Grilling: Surefire Recipes for Great Grill Parties by Cheryl Jamieson.

Do you have a favorite grill or BBQ recipe? Let us know!