EVPL Communities: professor.knowsitall@evpl's Blog Postshttp://evpl.org/community/blogs/All of professor.knowsitall@evpl's blog posts on the EVPL Communities site.en-USCommunityServer 2008 SP1 (Build: 30619.63) <![CDATA[Encore catalog currently unavailable]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2013/01/08/encore-catalog-currently-unavailable.aspx Tue, 08 Jan 2013 08:40:00 G1T 2426 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2013/01/08/encore-catalog-currently-unavailable.aspx to post your comments!

Orange barrelThe Encore catalog is currently unavailable due to maintenance. Our Classic Catalog is still available.

The catalog search box on our webpages have been modified to search the Classic Catalog. Once Encore is back up, the search boxes will be switched back to search Encore.

Thanks for your patience as we work to restore Encore availability.

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<![CDATA[Service unavailability on Thursday, September 13, 2012]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2012/09/10/service-unavailability-on-thursday-september-13-2012.aspx Mon, 10 Sep 2012 16:28:00 G9T 2407 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2012/09/10/service-unavailability-on-thursday-september-13-2012.aspx to post your comments!

Orange construction barrelA number of services at EVPL locations and on our website will be unavailable most of the day Thursday, September 13 due to system maintenance.

Unavailable Services 
Classic Catalog, Encore, & Mobile Catalog Checkouts of eBooks or downloadable audiobooks
Freegal Music Self-Checkout Stations
MediaBank DVD Dispenser Creating new cards
Checkout without a physical library card Account activities: paying fines, editing info, placing holds
Account lookup Certain databases: Books 24x7, Digital Sanborn Maps, LitFinder, Million Dollar Database, & Value Line Research Center

The following services will still be available.

Available Services 
Most of the EVPL website Most databases
Browsing OverDrive & Axis 360 collections In-library public computers with internet access
Checkout at the desk with a physical library card

The maintenance is expected to take most of the day. We appreciate your patience during the downtime and apologize for any inconvenience it may cause.

If you have questions, feel free to submit them below or call any EVPL location.

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maintenance databases fyi overdrive evpl.org encore classic catalog freegal mobile catalog mediabank axis 360
<![CDATA[Additional titles added to Axis 360 eBooks]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2012/08/08/additional-titles-added-to-axis-360-ebooks.aspx Wed, 08 Aug 2012 11:22:00 G8T 2405 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2012/08/08/additional-titles-added-to-axis-360-ebooks.aspx to post your comments!

Additional titles have been added to our Axis 360 eBook collection! Popular reads, such as the following, are now available:

The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly Bossypants by Tina Fey The Confident Woman Devotional by Joyce Meyer Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks Sin Undone by Larissa Ione

View all of the additional titles...

These additional titles, as well as all eBooks in our Axis 360 collection, are accessible through your Blio app or our Downloads page at evpl.org/downloads. Compatible devices include PC, Android, and iOS.

These titles are part of a test eBook partnership between EVPL and Hachette Book Group.

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<![CDATA[Support EVPL & save money with a free home energy assessment]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2012/07/26/support-evpl-amp-save-money-with-a-free-home-energy-assessment.aspx Thu, 26 Jul 2012 09:51:00 G7T 2399 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2012/07/26/support-evpl-amp-save-money-with-a-free-home-energy-assessment.aspx to post your comments!

Energizing Indiana logoWith the record-breaking temps we've had this summer, many are looking for ways to reduce their utility bills.

Energizing Indiana offers free home energy assessments to those who apply. An Energy Advisor will visit your home to perform the assessment. You'll receive step-by-step guidance; energy saving products, such as CFL bulbs, low-flow faucet aerators & shower heads, and insulation for your water heater; and a comprehensive report detailing additional ways to make your home more energy efficient.

This service is free, and the library Foundation will receive $25 for every energy assessment conducted through EVPL. Reduce your energy costs while helping our library Foundation!

Apply Now

[View:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AfkzcdHZ8k]

For information about our other environmental initiatives, visit www.evpl.org/goinggreen.

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maintenance energy weather fyi Indiana personal finance incentive programs green budgeting summer air conditioning heat free stuff appliances homeownership homes homeowners green living community interest energizing indiana
<![CDATA[Central Library CLOSED until NOON on Wednesday, May 30]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2012/05/29/central-library-closed-until-noon-on-wednesday-may-30.aspx Tue, 29 May 2012 14:09:00 G5T 2387 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2012/05/29/central-library-closed-until-noon-on-wednesday-may-30.aspx to post your comments!

Central LibraryCentral Library will be closed until noon on Wednesday, May 30 due to air conditioning repair.  Central's hours will be 12:00pm - 9:00pm.

All other locations are unaffected and will open as usual.

Thank you for your understanding as we improve your library.

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<![CDATA["Awake" an amazing TV show, cancelled after tonight]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2012/05/24/quot-awake-quot-an-amazing-tv-show-cancelled-after-tonight.aspx Thu, 24 May 2012 10:48:00 G5T 2385 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2012/05/24/quot-awake-quot-an-amazing-tv-show-cancelled-after-tonight.aspx to post your comments!

Awake TV show

I'm not a fan of hyperbole...but Awake is, without a doubt, the best show I've seen on TV in a long time.

However, the bean counters at NBC have already cancelled the show. Tonight's season finale will also be the series finale.

Yes, it stars Fez!Detective Michael Britten survives a horrific car crash with his wife and son as passengers. Following the accident, Michael finds himself living in two realities: one in which his wife survived but his son didn't, and one where his son survived but his wife didn't.

Michael alternates between the two realities every morning when he wakes. Happenings in one reality become clues for the other.

Definitely an interesting concept. But it's the writing, acting, and emotion that make the show so great. The cinematography is excellent as well, always alerting the viewer to which reality they are currently seeing (except for a few scenes that are intentionally vague).

Is one of the realities a dream? Are both? What is going on? We should find out tonight as the 13th and final episode airs.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this series (if you couldn't tell already), but you must watch them in order. They are available for viewing on Hulu.

[View:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk06mR-yt9w]

My Favorite Sleep/Dream Related Movies

So all this talk about Awake made me think about movies involving sleep & dreaming.  Below are 3 of my favs, and as I previously declared my love for all things Christopher Nolan it should be no surprise that two of these are his.

Inception - movie posterInception (2010) - Check our catalog

Ambiguous Plot Description: In a world where technology exists to enter the human mind through dream invasion, a highly skilled thief is given a final chance at redemption which involves executing his toughest job to date: Inception.  Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, & Ellen Page.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - movie posterEternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) - Check our catalog

Ambiguous Plot Description: A couple undergo a procedure to erase each other from their memories when their relationship turns sour, but it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with. Starring Jim Carrey & Kate Winslet.

Insomnia - movie posterInsomnia (2002) - Check our catalog

Ambiguous Plot Description: Two Los Angeles homicide detectives are dispatched to an Alaska town where the sun doesn't set to investigate the murder of a local teen.  Starring Al Pacino, Robin Williams, & Hilary Swank.

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action suspense tv shows accident thrillers movies drama dying Leonardo DiCaprio Joseph Gordon-Levitt christopher nolan al pacino car crash sleep alternate realities awake dreams
<![CDATA[Let's get Evansville on the (Google) map!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2012/04/26/let-s-get-evansville-on-the-google-map.aspx Thu, 26 Apr 2012 09:31:00 G4T 2379 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2012/04/26/let-s-get-evansville-on-the-google-map.aspx to post your comments!

Evansville is one of 6 international finalists in Google's 2012 "Model Your Town Competition."

Evansville native Randall Crane created a 3D model of Evansville's downtown using Google SketchUp and Google Earth. Google selected Randall's model as one of 6 finalists from a pool of 200+ entries submitted worldwide.

It's now a popularity contest, with the public being able to vote for their favorite. The winner will receive a $25,000 prize for local schools from Google, Inc. The deadline for voting is May 1st, so let's get those votes in!

How to Vote

  1. Go to http://www.google.com/intl/en/sketchup/competitions/modelyourtown/vote.html.
  2. Select Evansville.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page & click the "Vote for this town" button.

[View:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psS0f9KWXfQ]

More Info

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central library google evansville current events local public opinion voting maps fyi downloads news polls community community interest contests google earth downtown evansville
<![CDATA[Early voting for primary election available at EVPL locations]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2012/04/24/early-voting-for-primary-election-available-at-evpl-locations.aspx Tue, 24 Apr 2012 11:25:00 G4T 2377 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2012/04/24/early-voting-for-primary-election-available-at-evpl-locations.aspx to post your comments!

"Vote" buttonEVPL will host early voting at Central Library and four branches prior to the primary election day on Tuesday, May 8, 2012.

Locations

  • Central Library - 2nd Floor Quiet Study Room
  • McCollough Branch
  • North Park Branch
  • Oaklyn Branch
  • Red Bank Branch

Dates

Monday, April 30, 2012 through Friday, May 4, 2012

Times

Monday - Thursday: Noon - 6:00pm
Friday: Noon - 5:00pm

Polls will close promptly at scheduled time. You must be registered to vote in Vanderburgh County to vote early at the library.

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evansville voting fyi early voting evpl
<![CDATA[Harry Potter eBooks, downloadable audiobooks now available]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2012/03/30/harry-potter-ebooks-downloadable-audiobooks-now-available.aspx Fri, 30 Mar 2012 09:27:00 G3T 2368 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2012/03/30/harry-potter-ebooks-downloadable-audiobooks-now-available.aspx to post your comments!

Harry Potter eBooksHarry Potter eBooks & downloadable audiobooks are now available in our OverDrive collection!

  1. Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone: eBook | MP3 Audiobook
  2. Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets: eBook | MP3 Audiobook
  3. Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban: eBook | MP3 Audiobook
  4. Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire: eBook | MP3 Audiobook
  5. Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix: eBook | MP3 Audiobook
  6. Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince: eBook | MP3 Audiobook
  7. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: eBook | MP3 Audiobook

Why did it take so long? The Harry Potter titles haven't been available in digital formats until now. They released to the general public on Tuesday, with availability to libraries starting yesterday.

Now that they're available in digital formats, will you be reading/re-reading these books?

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audiobooks ebooks fiction sequels Kindle Fantasy OverDrive series bestsellers downloads fyi J K Rowling Young Adults harry potter
<![CDATA[SOPA & PIPA gaining attention after protest blackouts]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2012/01/18/sopa-amp-pipa-gaining-attention-after-protest-blackouts.aspx Wed, 18 Jan 2012 12:51:00 G1T 2349 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2012/01/18/sopa-amp-pipa-gaining-attention-after-protest-blackouts.aspx to post your comments!

Google's homepage on 1/18/12With some websites (such as Google and Flickr) making statements today, along with other sites completely shutting down for the day (such as Wikipedia, reddit, and WordPress), the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) are gaining mainstream attention.

SOPA, in the U.S. House of Representatives, and PIPA, in the U.S. Senate, are bills are aimed at foreign websites that infringe copyrighted material.  The US Department of Justice would have the authority to block access to, as well as force advertisers to cease business with, an infringing site.  Search engines would also have to remove these sites from their search results.

Arguments against these bills (made by the tech giants named above, as well as eBay, Craigslist, Twitter, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and many more) claim that they're too vaguely written, they won't actually curb piracy, and that they could be applied to their own websites.  This is a big concern with sites that allow users to upload content, as the sites fear that they could be completely shut down due to infringing content that a single user might upload.

However, SOPA/PIPA supporters claim that things are being blown out of proportion.  Cary Sherman, CEO of the RIAA, has stated that there are safeguards in place to prevent false claims against sites.

This is an extremely basic look at SOPA & PIPA.  This post is intended to be an informative post, leading readers to additional/complete information; this is NOT an opinion piece.  Take a look at the additional info yourself, and if YOU have an opinion feel free to post it in the comments section!

More Information

  • Library of Congress: Read both the SOPA and PIPA bills in their entirety.
  • InfoWorld: "SOPA and PIPA: The pros and cons" article.
  • CNET News: "RIAA chief: Copyright bills won't kill the Internet" article.
  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context database: In this database, search for SOPA or PIPA for news, audio recordings, and magazine articles about these bills.
  • Stop American Censorship: AmericanCensorship.org, an anti-SOPA/PIPA site, provides infographics and videos about the bills.
  • SOPA Strike: A list of the websites striking and/or shutting down today in protest to SOPA/PIPA.

DISCLAIMER: These links are provided as a convenience, offering differing viewpoints.  The links are NOT an endorsement of these sites, nor the content contained within.

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google internet Twitter legislation Flickr copyright wordpress wikipedia riaa reddit electronic frontier foundation mpaa pipa craigslist department of justice ebay bills debate sopa
<![CDATA[Early voting returns to EVPL libraries]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/10/11/early-voting-returns-to-evpl-libraries.aspx Tue, 11 Oct 2011 09:59:00 G10T 2330 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/10/11/early-voting-returns-to-evpl-libraries.aspx to post your comments!

"Vote" buttonEVPL will host early voting at Central Library and four branches prior to the municipal election day on November 8.

Locations

  • Central Library - 2nd Floor Quiet Study Room
  • North Park Branch - Adult Reading Tower
  • McCollough Branch
  • Oaklyn Branch
  • Red Bank Branch

Dates

Monday, October 17, 2011 through Friday, November 4, 2011

Times

Monday - Thursday: 10:00am - 7:00pm
Friday: 10:00am - 5:00pm

Polls will close promptly at scheduled time.

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<![CDATA[[UPDATE] North Park Branch now open]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/08/26/north-park-branch-opening-at-noon-on-thursday-august-25.aspx Fri, 26 Aug 2011 09:15:00 G8T 2315 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/08/26/north-park-branch-opening-at-noon-on-thursday-august-25.aspx to post your comments!

As of 9:00am on Friday, August 26, North Park Branch has reopened to the public.

There is still a boil order in effect for the area, so water fountains will be unavailable.


Previous blog post, posted on Thursday, August 25 2011, 4:00pm.

North Park Branch will be closed until further notice due to a water shut off in the area.

We'll let you know as soon as it reopens.


Original blog post, posted on Wednesday, August 24 2011, 4:26pm.

Due to water main work in the area, North Park Branch won't open until noon on Thursday, August 25.

All other EVPL locations will be open regular business hours.

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<![CDATA[Red Bank Branch CLOSED June 20 - 22]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/06/16/red-bank-branch-closed-june-20-22.aspx Thu, 16 Jun 2011 16:48:00 G6T 2300 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/06/16/red-bank-branch-closed-june-20-22.aspx to post your comments!

Red Bank BranchRed Bank Branch will be closed Monday, June 20 - Wednesday, June 22 for HVAC replacement.

During closing all Red Bank programs will move to West Branch Library.

  • To check-out and return items, visit West Branch (open until 8:00pm).
  • To use public computers, visit North Park Branch or Central Library.

Thank you for your understanding as we improve your library.

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<![CDATA[Earthquake Drill @ EVPL libraries on Tuesday]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/04/15/earthquake-drill-evpl-libraries-on-tuesday.aspx Fri, 15 Apr 2011 13:40:00 G4T 2286 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/04/15/earthquake-drill-evpl-libraries-on-tuesday.aspx to post your comments!

The Great Central U.S. ShakeOutThe EVPL will be participating in The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut.  On Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at 9:15am, all EVPL locations will be participating in this earthquake drill.

At the time of the drill, an audio broadcast will be played announcing the drill.  Staff and customers in the building at the time of the drill are encouraged to participate by doing the following:

  1. DROP down to the floor.
  2. Take COVER under sturdy furniture.
  3. HOLD on until the "shaking" stops.

The drill will last approximately 2 minutes.

The EVPL is participating in this earthquake drill to bring awareness to disaster preparedness in an effort to keep our staff and customers safe.

More Info

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central library mccollough branch north park branch oaklyn branch red bank branch east branch stringtown branch west branch fyi earthquake earthquake drill
<![CDATA[MediaBank DVD Dispenser now available at Central]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2010/11/16/mediabank-dvd-dispenser-now-available-at-central.aspx Tue, 16 Nov 2010 08:51:00 G11T 2228 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2010/11/16/mediabank-dvd-dispenser-now-available-at-central.aspx to post your comments!

MediaBank DVD DispenserThe MediaBank DVD Dispenser is now available at Central Library's Popular Materials Center! The dispenser can be accessed during Central's regular business hours: Monday through Thursday 9am - 9pm, Friday & Saturday 9am - 6pm, and Sunday from 1pm - 5pm.

Access the MediaBank Catalog at http://media.evpl.org to browse the collection, and place up to three reserves on Bestseller Express DVDs that are currently available in the dispenser.  You then have 4 hours to bring your library card to the MediaBank DVD Dispenser and check out your DVDs before your reserve expires, making the titles available to other customers.

Questions?  Take a look at the MediaBank FAQ, visit Central Library, or call us at (812) 428-8246.

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<![CDATA[Early voting at EVPL libraries]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2010/09/28/early-voting-at-evpl-libraries.aspx Tue, 28 Sep 2010 10:48:00 G9T 2209 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2010/09/28/early-voting-at-evpl-libraries.aspx to post your comments!

"Vote" buttonThe Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library will host early voting at five locations this year.  Early voting will take place three weeks prior to the November 2 general election.

Locations

  • Central Library - 2nd Floor Quiet Study Room
  • North Park Branch - Adult Reading Tower
  • McCollough Branch
  • Oaklyn Branch
  • Red Bank Branch

Dates

Monday, October 11 through Friday, October 29

Times

Monday - Thursday: 12:00pm - 7:00pm
Friday: 12:00pm - 5:00pm

Polls will close promptly at closing time, regardless of the length of the line.

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evansville voting fyi early voting evpl
<![CDATA[Christopher Nolan movies you've probably never heard of]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2010/07/27/christopher-nolan-movies-you-ve-probably-never-heard-of.aspx Tue, 27 Jul 2010 16:14:00 G7T 2179 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2010/07/27/christopher-nolan-movies-you-ve-probably-never-heard-of.aspx to post your comments!

With the success of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and the now-in-theaters Inception, Christopher Nolan has become a pretty popular guy.  And rightfully so.

However, most folks don't realize that Nolan has been making films for over 10 years.

As a fan of fine cinema, I've been following (wait for it...) Nolan's films ever since seeing Memento for the first time, shortly after its DVD release.  And while his previous films didn't enter the public consciousness upon their release, at least compared to the level of his Batman films, they should have.  These are amazing films.

So without further ado, I present a brief look, with purposely-ambiguous plot descriptions (i.e. NO-SPOILERS!), at Nolan's non-Batman/non-Inception films.

Following - movie posterFollowing (1998) - Check our catalog

(...EPIC pun! Sorry, back on topic...)

Ambiguous Plot Description: An aspiring writer, obsessed with following strangers on the streets of London, forms a partnership with a burglar, breaking into flats and prying into the personal lives of the tenants.

Nolan's debut, a low-budget 70 minute black-and-white film, definitely hints at the director's future.  The interesting thing about Following is the way the story is told...completely out-of-order.  Scenes are shown in a completely random order.  At first you'll be extremely confused, then less so as you start putting the pieces together.  At the end, when all is revealed,...um, wow.

Memento - movie posterMemento (2000) - Check our catalog

Ambiguous Plot Description: A man, suffering from short-term memory loss, uses notes and tattoos to hunt for the man he thinks killed his wife.  Starring Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Joe Pantoliano.

Like Following, Memento is not presented in chronological order...but it makes more sense here, in the context of the story.  Amazing, one of my favorite movies.

Insomnia - movie posterInsomnia (2002) - Check our catalog

Ambiguous Plot Description: Two Los Angeles homicide detectives are dispatched to an Alaska town where the sun doesn't set to investigate the murder of a local teen.  Starring Al Pacino, Robin Williams, & Hilary Swank.

Incredible, occasionally disturbing, performances by Pacino & Williams.  Things quickly spiral out of control after [plot point that I won't reveal]...

The Prestige - movie posterThe Prestige (2006) - Check our catalog

Ambiguous Plot Description: A mysterious story of two magicians whose intense rivalry leads them on a life-long battle for supremacy -- full of obsession, deceit and jealousy with dangerous and deadly consequences.  Starring Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, and David Bowie as an amazing Nikola Tesla!

Based on a book of the same name, The Prestige was released between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.  Strangely enough, it hit theaters right around the same time as The Illusionist...another film about magicians set during the Victorian Era.  On its own, The Prestige is the better film; it also stars Scarlett Johansson, which gives it bonus points in my book.

And there you have it...the Christopher Nolan movies you've probably never heard of.  But now you have.  Check em out and sound off in the comments below.

More Info

  • IMDB.com: Find out more about Christopher Nolan on his IMDB page.
  • Amazon.com: Purchase the movies from Amazon using the Public Library Friends' referral link.  All of Nolan's films, except Following, have been released on Blu-ray.
  • Mementos - The Freshmaker: CollegeHumor's Mentos commercial.  In the style of Memento.
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suspense dark knight romance london thrillers batman movies british murder mystery independent films Hugh Jackman book david bowie magician christopher nolan robin williams al pacino michael caine christian bale
<![CDATA[Website Unavailability on Tuesday, June 29]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2010/06/28/website-unavailability-on-tuesday-june-29.aspx Mon, 28 Jun 2010 14:25:00 G6T 2171 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2010/06/28/website-unavailability-on-tuesday-june-29.aspx to post your comments!

Orange barrel!On Tuesday, June 29, shortly after closing at 9:00pm, the following sections of our website will be unavailable due to site maintenance:

These sections will be unavailable as we upgrade library software. New versions of our library software are released periodically, adding new functionality to our website & fixing issues users have encountered.

Immediately after the upgrade, our Classic Catalog will have a new & improved interface!  Other exciting new features are in the pipeline, so stay tuned.

We appreciate your patience during the downtime and apologize for any inconvenience it may cause.  If you have questions or comments, please submit them below!

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<![CDATA[3DTV, or how your brand new HDTV is already obsolete]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2010/01/27/3dtv-or-how-your-brand-new-hdtv-is-already-obsolete.aspx Wed, 27 Jan 2010 13:34:00 G1T 2038 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2010/01/27/3dtv-or-how-your-brand-new-hdtv-is-already-obsolete.aspx to post your comments!

3DTV WOW!In case you were unaware, 3D is once again all the rage.  With the record-breaking success of Avatar, movie studios, TV networks, and electronics manufacturers are looking to capitalize on this recent surge in popularity.

There has never been a good way to reproduce the "3D movie theater" experience at home (those red/blue glasses don't count!).  That will supposedly change with 3DTVs (3D-capable HDTVs).  All the major TV manufacturers had 3DTVs on display earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show, with the first models expected to go on sale this summer.  Movies will be available in 3D on Blu-ray Disc, and TV networks may broadcast in 3D (ESPN & The Discovery Channel are launching 3D channels).  Sony has also demoed PlayStation 3 videogames in 3D.

In non-techie terms, 3D video works by having footage from two perspectives...one for the left eye and one for the right.  By using 3D glasses, video intended for the left eye is hidden from the right eye and vice versa.

You've probably seen DVDs that come with the old-school red & blue glasses.  While the 3D effect is okay, these glasses decrease brightness, give everything a green hue, and can even cause headaches/eye strain.

Most movie theaters nowadays use polarized 3D (i.e. glasses with grey lenses).  This provides for incredible 3D without affecting color or brightness.  But this isn't possible at home, as it requires a projector with a special lens and a special screen to project onto.

LCD Shutter Glasses3DTVs will utilize wirelessly-synchronized shutter glasses, while quickly alternating between the left & right perspectives.  The lenses are actually thin LCDs that darken & lighten.  So the TV will display a single frame intended for your left eye, the right lens on the shutter glasses will darken completely, and only your left eye will see the frame.  The next frame is only for your right eye, so when the TV displays it the left lens will darken & the right lens will lighten, making the frame viewable only to your right eye.  As this will be running at 120 frames per second, it should appear silky smooth to the human eye.

Being the nerd that I am, in-home 3D definitely sounds cool.  But with prices dropping on HDTVs, will consumers be willing to pay a premium for 3DTVs?  Will folks that already own a HDTV go through the hassle of upgrading?  Will current-gen Blu-ray players be 3D-compatible, or will they have to be upgraded with newer players?  And will movie/TV-watchers and gamers scoff at having to constantly wear dorky 3D glasses?

What do you think?  Sound off in the comments below!

More Info

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dvd blu-ray tv shows 3D hdtv hollywood Avatar discovery channel videogames 3dtv espn technology
<![CDATA[UPDATED: Book Cart Drill Team competing in "Tri-State's Got Talent"; your help is needed!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/12/02/book-cart-drill-team-competing-in-quot-tri-state-s-got-talent-quot-your-help-is-needed.aspx Wed, 02 Dec 2009 15:35:00 G12T 1964 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/12/02/book-cart-drill-team-competing-in-quot-tri-state-s-got-talent-quot-your-help-is-needed.aspx to post your comments!

UPDATE (12/7/09 10:30AM): It turns out that the deadline for viewing was NOT Friday, December 4th, as originally stated.  The actual deadline is FRIDAY, DECEMBER 18th.  So we still need your help!

Below is the original blog post, with corrections made in red.


The EVPL Book Cart Drill Team burst onto the scene last September at Central's 5th Anniversary Celebration.  With a complex routine based on Lord of the Rings, the EVPLBCDT wowed the crowds.  (Missed it? See the epic performance here!)

The EVPLBCDT has a new drill, based on Alice in Wonderland, and is currently competing in Tri-State's Got Talent!  We've uploaded our video entry to 14newstube.com, and we need YOU, our adoring fans, to watch it.  The top 10 videos, based on number of views, continue to the next round of qualifying, with the eventual winner earning a spot in The Really Big Show scheduled for February 13, 2010.  Help the EVPLBCDT simply by watching the video below, but hurry...the deadline for viewing is 11:59pm on THIS FRIDAY, December 4th FRIDAY, DECEMBER 18th.

EVPLBCDT's video entry
(Video will open in a new window. Direct link.)

And due to fan demand, we've filmed an EXCLUSIVE BEHIND-THE-SCENES LOOK at the EVPLBCDT.  In this informative video, you'll get an up-close look at the team and find out more about the sport/art of professional book carting.

Thanks for your support and we hope to see you in February at The Really Big Show!

More Info

  • 14newstube.com: Check out videos from all Tri-State's Got Talent competitors, and vote on them with your views!
  • EvansvilleArc.org: Find out more about Tri-State's Got Talent and The Really Big Show.
  • YouTube.com: Check out these book-carting videos on YouTube...you may not think of librarians the same again!
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central library current events fyi fun laughter polls anniversary music book cart drill team evplbcdt
<![CDATA[Website Unavailability on November 12 & 13]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/11/12/website-unavailability-on-november-12-amp-13.aspx Thu, 12 Nov 2009 15:05:00 G11T 1937 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/11/12/website-unavailability-on-november-12-amp-13.aspx to post your comments!

Orange BarrelEncore, an online catalog we introduced in December 2008, is currently being upgraded!  There may be brief outages this afternoon while the upgrade is completed.

Shortly after closing on Friday, November 13, additional upgrades will be performed.  During that time, approximately 6:00pm to 10:00pm, the following sections of our website will be unavailable:

New versions of our library software are released periodically.  These upgrades add new functionality to our website & fix issues our users have encountered.

We appreciate your patience during the downtime and apologize for any inconvenience it may cause.

If you have questions or comments, please submit them below!

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<![CDATA[Changes to EVPL eNewsletters]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/10/01/changes-to-evpl-enewsletters.aspx Thu, 01 Oct 2009 13:17:00 G10T 1880 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/10/01/changes-to-evpl-enewsletters.aspx to post your comments!

eNewslettersFor several years, we've offered an assortment of eNewsletters.  On our eNewsletters page, patrons have subscribed to eNewsletters and received them via email.

Unfortunately, our content providers have discontinued the following eNewsletters:
  • BooksTV
  • Chapter-A-Day
  • Meet the Author
  • Meet the Illustrator
  • Pearl's Picks

Email subscribers have already received the final issues of these eNewsletters and won't receive new issues in the future, as there won't be any.

On the brighter side, we have added a new eNewsletter: New DVDs.  Movie buffs can subscribe to be notified of new releases every month!

Visit our eNewsletters page today to check out the changes, view current issues, and sign-up to receive future issues via email!

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fyi email newsletters evpl.org enewsletters nancy pearl
<![CDATA[Central's anniversary celebration SUNDAY features mini-golf, Book Cart Drill Team, & more!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/09/25/central-s-anniversary-celebration-sunday.aspx Fri, 25 Sep 2009 11:59:00 G9T 1869 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/09/25/central-s-anniversary-celebration-sunday.aspx to post your comments!

[View:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ha5bDFdZMU&hl=en&fs=1:240:205]
View larger version.

Starting with a press conference on Thursday, September 17, we've been honoring Central Library's 5th anniversary with some special events.  Our Film Festival wraps up this afternoon with a showing of Citizen Kane.  On Saturday, we'll be hosting a Poetry Festival.

On Sunday, party with us at Central Library's Anniversary Celebration!  There will be activities & entertainment for all ages to enjoy.

How many times have you had the urge to play mini-golf in the library?  Satisfy that urge on Sunday, when we'll have 18 holes of mini-golf set up in Central's stacks (on the 1st & 2nd floors)!  And don't worry...there won't be any water hazards.  Get your golf game on from 1-5pm.

Enjoy some food & music in the café garden from 1-4:30pm.  We'll be grilling hot dogs & hamburgers!

Over 20 cakes will be on display in the lobby from 1-3:30pm as part of our Cake Decorating Contest.  Vote for your favorite!  Winners will be announced shortly before 4pm, and the cakes (& punch) will be served from 4-5pm.

Nothing will prepare you for our Book Cart Drill Team's first public performance at 2:30pm in the lobby!  With epic choreography & drama, the team will recreate a famous battle from literature (& a recent movie trilogy).  With book carts.

We'll also have a scavenger hunt & appearances by literary actors (can you guess who they are?) throughout the celebration.

There will be something for everyone at Sunday's Anniversary Celebration.  Hope to see you then!

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<![CDATA[Please pardon our mess: Parking deck repairs at Central Library]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/09/21/please-pardon-our-mess-parking-deck-repairs-at-central-library.aspx Mon, 21 Sep 2009 13:32:00 G9T 1857 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/09/21/please-pardon-our-mess-parking-deck-repairs-at-central-library.aspx to post your comments!

Orange construction barrelDue to repairs to the parking deck, portions of Central Library's parking lot will be closed at varying times until mid-November or when construction is complete. 

Parking is still available in Central's underground parking garage. The entrance is slightly east of the parking lot entrance on Chestnut Street.

Also, due to the limited parking availability, new meeting room reservations for the Browning Events Room will not be accepted until the repairs are complete. 

Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience and intermittent noise.  Please contact library administration with any questions or comments you may have.

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<![CDATA["Hot Fuzz" a modern spoof film worth watching]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2009/09/15/quot-hot-fuzz-quot-a-modern-spoof-film-worth-watching.aspx Tue, 15 Sep 2009 15:20:00 G9T 1850 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2009/09/15/quot-hot-fuzz-quot-a-modern-spoof-film-worth-watching.aspx to post your comments!

Hot Fuzz movie posterWhile channel surfing several weekends ago, I happened upon Naked Gun 33 1/3 airing on Comedy Central.  I used to love the Naked Gun series, with Leslie Nielsen portraying a bumbling Lieutenant Frank Drebin.  It made me recall some of the other "classic" (I use that word subjectively) spoof films of the late 80s and early 90s, like Spaceballs, Hot Shots!, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights.  Okay, so none of these movies are all that great, but I still enjoy them to this day.  And it's not just from nostalgia-goggles...the lame, in-your-face comedy cracks me up.

I then thought about the current state of the spoof movie...and it's a bit painful.  From the Scary Movie's to Meet the Spartans to Superhero/Date/Epic/Disaster Movie, things have come a long way.  In my opinion (and on IMDB & Rotten Tomatoes), most of these movies are unwatchable.  But someone's watching them, as they all make millions (and Sci-Fi Movie & Scary Movie 5 are in the works).

It was there, in the midst of that frightening darkness, that I recalled a beacon of hope...a 2007 film called Hot Fuzz.  I rewatched it to get the bad taste out of my mouth and was amazed...a modern spoof movie that's witty & funny!

Hot Fuzz, in a nutshell, is a spoof on the "buddy cop" movie (i.e. Rush Hour, Bad Boys) from the guys that created Shaun of the Dead (a romantic comedy, with zombies!).  Here's the official plot summary, better than what I could come up with:

Official police businessNicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is the finest cop London has to offer, with an arrest record 400% higher than any other officer on the force. He's so good, he makes everyone else look bad. As a result, Angel's superiors send him to a place where his talents won't be quite so embarrassing - the sleepy and seemingly crime-free village of Sandford.

Once there, he is partnered with the well-meaning but overeager police officer Danny Butterman (Nick Frost). The son of amiable Police Chief Frank Butterman, Danny is a huge action movie fan and believes his new big-city partner might just be a real-life "bad boy," and his chance to experience the life of gunfights and car chases he so longs for. Angel is quick to dismiss this as childish fantasy and Danny's puppy-like enthusiasm only adds to Angel's growing frustration.

However, as a series of grisly accidents rocks the village, Angel is convinced that Sandford is not what it seems and as the intrigue deepens, Danny's dreams of explosive, high-octane, car-chasing, gunfighting, all-out action seem more and more like a reality. It's time for these small-town cops to break out some big-city justice.

Over-the-top grocery shootout? Check.This movie is absolutely hysterical!  Pegg & Frost always work great together, and Hot Fuzz continues that trend.  Their dialogue, characterization, everything is A+!  Every "buddy cop" and over-the-top action movie cliche is taken on here.  Whether it's the humorously-overdone gore, the hilariously-brilliant plot you won't see coming, the insane gunfight at the end, the FOUR cliffhanger endings, or "firing your gun in the air and yelling 'aaaahhhhh!!!'" (ala Point Break), you will laugh profusely while watching this movie.  Unless you have a condition that prevents you from laughing.

Below is a short clip of one of my favorite scenes.  If you find yourself laughing, you owe it to yourself to watch the whole movie!

[View:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqIFSvFdVR0]

More Information

  • Library Catalog: Check the availability of Hot Fuzz on DVD.  The EVPL has widescreen and fullscreen versions.
  • Theatrical Trailer: Check out the theatrical trailer for a glimpse of the humor, guns, & gore.
  • User Reviews:  The movie has an 8.0/10 rating on IMDB and a 90% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
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action reviews humor fiction comedy british simon pegg parody murder buddy cop movie gore comedy central police leslie nielsen
<![CDATA[PINs updates for self-checkout & in-library computer usage]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/08/18/pins-updates-for-self-checkout-amp-in-library-computer-usage.aspx Tue, 18 Aug 2009 15:27:00 G8T 1767 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/08/18/pins-updates-for-self-checkout-amp-in-library-computer-usage.aspx to post your comments!

PINsLast March, the EVPL introduced PINs for security & privacy reasons.  At that time, PIN numbers became required for users accessing their library account on our website.  Upon logging in for the first time, users were prompted to create a numeric PIN to be used on subsequent logins.

Last week, we completed phase 2 of the PINs rollout.  Self-checkout terminals (available at Central, North Park, & Oaklyn) now require users to enter their PIN number prior to checking out items.  Users that haven't yet created a PIN will be prompted to do so.

Phase 3 of the PINs rollout will occur soon.  Beginning Thursday, October 1, 2009, PINs will be required to use in-library computers.  Upon logging into a library computer, users will be presented with a textbox for their library card number and a new textbox for their PIN.

The EVPL cares about your privacy, and PINs are a way to safeguard it.  With these new security measures in place, your account & personal information (such as address, phone number, etc.) are safe in the event that your library card is lost or stolen.  Beginning Thursday, October 1, PINs will prevent others from using your library card to access public library computers & exhausting your time daily time allotment.

Haven't created a PIN yet?  Don't sweat it!  Follow these simple steps:
  1. Access the My Account page.
  2. Type in your name & library card number, LEAVING THE PIN FIELD BLANK!  Click the "Submit" button.
  3. You'll be prompted to create a PIN.  PINs must be between 4-30 numeric digits and not be overly-repetitive.  Type your desired PIN in both boxes (to prevent against typos) and click the "Submit" button.  Your selected PIN is now active!

For more information about PINs, check out the PINs Help page.

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<![CDATA[Encore unavailability on Monday, July 27]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/07/24/encore-unavailability-on-monday-july-27.aspx Fri, 24 Jul 2009 09:48:00 G7T 1702 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/07/24/encore-unavailability-on-monday-july-27.aspx to post your comments!

Encore constructionEncore, a new online catalog we introduced last December, will be upgraded to a new version on Monday, July 27.  Encore will be temporarily unavailable during the upgrade process.  We don't have an exact time yet for the upgrade, but I will update this post once our vendor lets us know what time to expect it.

The new version of Encore introduces new features, some cosmetic changes, and fixes for pesky bugs.

What do you think about Encore?  Post your thoughts in the comments section below, or complete our online survey.

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<![CDATA[Reminder: DTV Transition happening FRIDAY!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2009/06/11/reminder-dtv-transition-happening-tomorrow.aspx Thu, 11 Jun 2009 16:13:00 G6T 1584 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2009/06/11/reminder-dtv-transition-happening-tomorrow.aspx to post your comments!

Evil DTV MonsterOn Friday, 2.8 million households will riot in the streets when their TVs cease to work.

Okay, slight exaggeration...hopefully there will be no rioting.  But the "2.8 million households" statistic is no joke, according to figures released yesterday by Nielsen Media Research.  Even after a four month delay, 2.8 million households (2.5% of the US television market) are still unprepared.

Television stations nationwide will stop broadcasting in analog (the standard used for the past 60+ years) and broadcast only in digital starting tomorrow.  Older TVs without a digital tuner will require a digital converter box to pick up digital broadcasts. If you're still confused about the DTV transition, or not sure if you're prepared or not, check out my previous blog posts DTV 101 (part 1): The "Digital TV Transition"; Converter boxes and DTV 101 (part 2): The pros & cons of going Digital.

If you've already been watching DTV, you're encouraged to re-scan for channels tomorrow.  Stations should be boosting their digital transmissions, which should hopefully resolve reception issues viewers have encountered.

I'm happy that the DTV transition will finally be over with...as long as I'm actually able to watch TV when it rains (currently having signal dropouts!).  Are you excited about DTV?  If you've been watching DTV, have you had any reception woes?  Share in the comments section below!

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<![CDATA[Services available to laptop users at EVPL libraries]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/04/27/services-available-to-laptop-users-at-evpl-libraries.aspx Mon, 27 Apr 2009 13:31:00 G4T 1451 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/04/27/services-available-to-laptop-users-at-evpl-libraries.aspx to post your comments!

Do you have a laptop?  Bring it in on your next visit to the EVPL to take advantage of the following services!

Wireless Internet Access

Wireless Internet AccessWireless internet access (aka Wi-Fi) is available for free at all locations.  If your laptop has a wireless network card (odds are that it does), you'll simply need to enable it and connect to the "evpl-public" network.

Wireless internet access is compatible with Windows & Mac laptops, and most portable devices containing a Wi-Fi radio (such as cellphones, PDAs, etc).  Check out our Wireless Internet Access page for step-by-step instructions on connecting with your specific operating system.

 

Wired Internet Access

If your laptop doesn't have wireless capabilities, wired internet access is also available at all locations.  Bring an ethernet cable with you and ask a staff member for assistance.  Wired internet access is compatible with Windows & Mac laptops.

 

Laptop Printing New!

Laptop PrintingA service we just recently added, laptop users can now print to library printers while at any EVPL location!  By running a small print client from our website, library printers at the user's current location will appear on their laptop just like locally-connected printers would.  Upon printing from the laptop, the print job can be paid for & retrieved from any Print Release Station at the user's current location.

Laptop printing is compatible with Windows laptops; Mac compatibility is not available.  Check out our Laptop Printing page for step-by-step instructions on using the Mobile Print Client on your laptop.  As the Mobile Print Client is only available on personal laptops used within the library, the "Launch Mobile Print Client" button is purposely disabled on all other computers.

 

With the increasing popularity of laptops, netbooks, and other connected portable devices, we're pleased to offer these connectivity options to our users.  If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please post them in the comments section below!

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internet technology fyi evpl.org computers mp3 players mac tutorials electronics iphone wi-fi printing
<![CDATA[Beatles fans & plastic rockers: mark 9/9/09 on your calendar!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/archive/2009/04/16/beatles-fans-amp-plastic-rockers-mark-9-9-09-on-your-calendar.aspx Thu, 16 Apr 2009 14:58:00 G4T 1430 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/" target="_blank">Music Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/archive/2009/04/16/beatles-fans-amp-plastic-rockers-mark-9-9-09-on-your-calendar.aspx to post your comments!

September 9, 2009, will be a huge day for Beatles fans and plastic-instrument musicians around the globe!

Abbey Road re-releaseOn that day, The Beatles' entire catalog will be re-released on CD, digitally re-mastered for the first time.  As taken from The Beatles' official website:

"Each of the CDs is packaged with replicated original UK album art, including expanded booklets containing original and newly written liner notes and rare photos. For a limited period, each CD will also be embedded with a brief documentary film about the album. On the same date, two new Beatles boxed CD collections will also be released.

The albums have been re-mastered by a dedicated team of engineers at EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London over a four year period utilising state of the art recording technology alongside vintage studio equipment, carefully maintaining the authenticity and integrity of the original analogue recordings. The result of this painstaking process is the highest fidelity the catalogue has seen since its original release."

"The Beatles: Rock Band" cover artThe date also marks the release of The Beatles: Rock Band on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, & Wii.  While similar to previous Rock Band games, allowing wanna-be rockers to sing & play guitar/bass/drums, it will feature music by The Beatles (including several unreleased tracks) and a story mode.  In this mode, up to 4 players play as the band, playing from their early years through their rise to fame.

The "Limited Edition Premium Bundle" (aka: EXPENSIVE) version will include the game, a bass guitar controller (a replica of McCartney's iconic Höfner bass), a Ludwig-branded drum set, and a mic with stand.  Rumors suggest that multiple mics will be supported, to allow harmonizing on the vocal tracks.

While waiting for Beatlemania to arrive this September, check out our catalog to get your fix.  Anyone else going to have a lighter wallet on 9/9?

More Information

  • EVPL Catalog: Find CDs, DVDs, & books by/about the Fab Four.
  • The Beatles' Official Website: Find out more about the digitally-remastered CD re-releases. Scroll down to the 4/7 post.
  • Joystiq.com: View all posts about The Beatles: Rock Band on Joystiq, a gaming blog.
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Beatles The Beatles upcoming releases videogames rock band videogame
<![CDATA[NEW security feature for EVPL patrons: PINs]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/02/27/new-security-feature-for-evpl-patrons.aspx Fri, 27 Feb 2009 15:59:00 G2T 1305 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/02/27/new-security-feature-for-evpl-patrons.aspx to post your comments!

PIN promptOn Tuesday, March 3, the EVPL will be implementing a new security feature to protect patron accounts: PINs.  Similar to using a PIN at the ATM, EVPL cardholders will be required to enter their name, library card number, & PIN when accessing their account online.  Since your library account displays your name, address, phone number, and any items checked out or on hold, your PIN protects your privacy in the event your card is lost or stolen.

When the feature is enabled on Tuesday afternoon, a third textbox prompting for you PIN will appear on the login page.  Refer to the image above to see what it'll look like.

What You Need to Do

Leave the PIN field blank!Once the PINs feature is enabled, you'll need to create a personalized PIN the first time you log in.  Here's how to do so:

  1. Access the My Account page.
  2. Type in your name & library card number, LEAVING THE PIN FIELD BLANK!  Click the "Submit" button.
  3. You'll be prompted to create a PIN.  PINs must be between 4-30 numeric digits and not be overly-repetitive.  Type your desired PIN in both boxes (to prevent against typos) and click the "Submit" button.

Once this is complete, your PIN has been set!  In the future, use it (along with your name & card number) to log in to your account.  For more information about PINs, including instructions on changing your PIN and what to do if you forget your PIN, visit our PINs Help page.

The EVPL cares about your privacy, and PINs are a way to safeguard it.  Beginning Tuesday, only the "My Account" section of our website will require you to log in with your PIN; in the future, your PIN will also be necessary to use in-library computers and self-checkout terminals.

If you have any questions or comments about PINs, please post them in the comments section below or contact us via Ask EVPL.

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<![CDATA[DTV 101 (part 2): The pros & cons of going Digital]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2009/02/10/dtv-101-part-2-the-pros-amp-cons-of-going-digital.aspx Tue, 10 Feb 2009 10:51:00 G2T 1211 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2009/02/10/dtv-101-part-2-the-pros-amp-cons-of-going-digital.aspx to post your comments!

Timmy, Sarah, & Sue anxiously awaiting the DTV transitionOn June 12 (pushed back from the original February 17 date), TV will change forever.  Whether or not you're looking forward to this technological transition, there are some important things to understand about digital TV as compared to old-school analog TV.

If you're a bit fuzzy about the DTV transition, or you're unsure if your TVs are prepared for the change, please read my previous post.

How does DTV work?

Analog TV, what we've been using for 60+ years, is broadcast similarly to how movies are recorded onto film: one frame at a time.  When watching analog TV, every single frame of the show you're watching is being sent over the air by the broadcaster, and your TV simply throws everything it receives up onto the screen.

Digital TV can be likened to watching a YouTube video: computer data is sent and reassembled by the device that's viewing it.  For DTV, the broadcaster disassembles and compresses a show into computer data, which is what they broadcast.  Digital TVs and converter boxes receive these bits & bytes and reassemble them back into a watchable picture.

Enough technobabble...why should you care about DTV?  Because it's soooo much better than analog TV!  ...well, kinda.  Unfortunately, there are some cons as well; hopefully, most of these problems will be resolved when the transition occurs.  Let's start with the pros!

Pros of DTV

  1. Digital TV broadcastingImproved picture & sound quality.  DTV should be comparable to DVD-quality.
  2. Programming guide.  With DTV, you can view the name of the program you're watching, along with a guide of future programming.  This this similar to functionality provided by cable/satellite boxes, but was not possible with analog TV.
  3. Stations can broadcast additional channels.  WFIE has 3 digital channels: 14.1 (their regular channel), 14.2 (their 24hr weather station), and 14.3 (recently changed from a music channel to additional programming).
  4. High-definition programming. More and more shows are being broadcast in high-definition.  Those with HDTVs will see these programs in glorious high-def; those not using HDTVs will see the standard definition version of the program.
  5. No more snow!  We all remember having to adjust the rabbit ears in an attempt to fix snowy reception.  A snowy picture was a sign of analog reception problems.  You won't get any snow with DTV!  (But before you start celebrating, check out #2 in the cons section...)
  6. Frees airwaves.  DTV uses a fraction of the bandwidth required for analog TV.  After the transition, the no-longer-used airwaves will be allotted to forthcoming technologies, such as faster mobile internet.

Cons of DTV

  1. Aspect ratio confusion.  DTV is broadcast in widescreen, which is great for HDTVs (which are widescreen); programs that are widescreen fill up the entire screen, and 4:3 programs (sometimes referred as "full screen") are displayed with black bars on the left & right.
    Users of standard (non-widescreen) TVs will need to change display modes on their TVs or converter boxes from "Full" (for widescreen programs) to "Zoom" (for full screen programs) depending on the current program.  Otherwise, the left & right sides of the image will be cut off (on widescreen programs) or the image won't fill the entire screen (on full screen programs).  Clear as mud, right?
  2. No more snow!  Digital TV is all or nothing.  Unlike analog TV, where you could still watch a poor signal, digital TV cannot tune in to poor signals.  With adequate signal, you'll be able to watch the station with perfect clarity.  With poor signal, you won't be able to watch the station AT ALL!
  3. Drop outs.  If a station's signal is just strong enough for you to receive, but likes to fluctuate, it will be prone to drop outs.  If you're watching a show and there's a brief reception blip, you'll get either a frozen picture, black screen, or a jumbled picture until the reception comes back.  Depending on the severity of the resulting choppiness, this can make a station completely unwatchable.
  4. Interference.  One of the supposed pros of DTV is that it is less prone to interference than analog TV.  That may be true as a whole, but I've discovered that DTV reception is affected by the WEATHER!  Pouring rain, lightning, and other weather can affect DTV reception.  If you're trying to watch TV during severe weather, you should be able to do so!!!!

My Experiences

I've been receiving digital TV on my HDTV for 3 years now.  While living on the east side, near Washington Square Mall, I was able to receive WFIE (14) & WEHT (25) perfectly using an indoor antenna.  WTVW (7), WNIN (9), and WEVV (44) were too choppy to be watchable.

I've since moved to the west side, and I've mounted a larger, outside antenna with an extra amplifier.  I now receive WTVW (7), WEHT (25), and WEVV (44) perfectly.  I get zero signal from WNIN (9).

I'm only 1 mile away from WFIE (14), and my reception from them is inexplicably erratic.  Some days they come in 100%.  Other days, reception fluctuates so much that I get severe dropouts of 1-2 seconds every 10-15 seconds.  I have found no rhyme or reason for this, but it is frustrating as the station becomes unwatchable.

Conclusion

DTV ConversionSo is DTV ready for primetime?  Good question.  To be fair, #2-#4 of my cons, along with my reception woes, could be resolved if broadcasters boost their digital signals; if they are not planning on doing so when the transition takes place, they'll probably be forced to by the number of viewers having reception problems.

In a nutshell, DTV is a much-needed improvement and is awesome...when it works.  For those that have already made the switch to DTV, what have your experiences been???

More Info

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dtv transition converter box dtv hdtv
<![CDATA[DTV Transition OFFICIALLY DELAYED til June 12...well, kinda]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2009/02/06/dtv-transition-officially-delayed-til-june-12-well-kinda.aspx Fri, 06 Feb 2009 10:51:00 G2T 1229 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2009/02/06/dtv-transition-officially-delayed-til-june-12-well-kinda.aspx to post your comments!

Wilmington, NC transitioned during Sept 08; doing so required a huge, symbolic light switch.While previous efforts to delay the DTV transition failed, on Wednesday the House of Representatives approved a delay until June 12.  That's right, folks: the mandatory cutoff date has officially moved from February 17 to June 12.

HOWEVER, while stations are encouraged to wait until June 12 to cease their analog broadcasts, they are not required to do so.  Following FCC guidelines, they are free to go digital-only anytime beginning February 17.  So some stations may continue with their planned transition on February 17, some may wait until June 12, and some may switch anytime between then.  BRILLIANT!

As broadcasters are wasting thousands of dollars broadcasting in both analog and digital, I'm thinking most will still opt for the February 17 date.  If that happens, what did the "delay" accomplish (besides being a waste of taxpayer money)???

So what about our local stations?  I can't find anything official yet, but most of their websites are still claiming February 17.  If/when anything formal is announced, I'll post it here.

Converter box couponThe only good news out of this mess is that funding for the Converter Box Coupon Program will (supposedly) be replenished.  If you need a converter box, but haven't purchased one yet, head over to DTV2009.GOV to apply for a coupon.  You'll be added to the waiting list, and coupons will be sent out to all these folks once the funding comes through.  Cross your fingers.

While I understand the motives behind the delay, I would consider the implemented plan to be flawed, at best.  What do you think?

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<![CDATA[The day that never comes: The DTV Transition (UPDATE: House says "No!")]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2009/01/27/the-day-that-never-comes-the-dtv-transition.aspx Tue, 27 Jan 2009 14:51:00 G1T 1196 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2009/01/27/the-day-that-never-comes-the-dtv-transition.aspx to post your comments!

UPDATED 1/28 2:00PM: Earlier today, House Republicans defeated the proposed delay of the DTV transition.  It's still set for February 17.

Below is my original blog post, published on January 27.


Evil DTV MonsterANOTHER delay.  Yesterday, the US Senate voted unanimously to postpone the DTV transition from February 17 to June 12.  The proposal, supported by President Barack Obama, could receive Congressional approval very soon.

On January 1, the Commerce Department announced that they'd run out of funding for government-subsidized vouchers toward the purchase of digital converter boxes.  There are currently 2.6 million Americans on a waiting list, in case additional funding comes to fruition.  The goal of the four month delay is to find the funds to make this happen.

According to a Nielsen report published last week, more than 6.5 million households are not prepared for the DTV transition.  Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, author of the bill to push back the deadline, stated "I firmly believe that our nation is not yet ready to make this transition at this time."

This guy's not a procrastinator!That "6.5 million households" sounds awfully large, but it makes up only 5.7% of American households.  Even if the deadline is pushed back, and the voucher program is reinstated, will these households stop procrastinating and actually purchase converter boxes?  Or will they simply have another four months to put it off?

Of course, broadcasters don't like the idea as they'll have to continue broadcasts in both analog & digital, which is more costly; in fact, some have already scheduled the dismantling of their analog broadcasting equipment.  But Rockefeller managed to ease some of these concerns by allowing broadcast stations to make the switch from analog to digital signals sooner than the June deadline if they choose.  Um, what?!?  Won't most stations switch to digital-only immediately?  If so, what's the point of moving the "transition" to June?

Nothing is final yet, but we should know the fine details if/when Congress approves it.

Good idea?  Bad idea?  Let us know what you think by posting your (non-political) comments below!

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<![CDATA[Library Elf now a paid-subscription service; here's our free alternative!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/01/26/library-elf-now-a-paid-subscription-service-here-s-our-free-alternative.aspx Mon, 26 Jan 2009 17:07:00 G1T 1193 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/01/26/library-elf-now-a-paid-subscription-service-here-s-our-free-alternative.aspx to post your comments!

Library Elf, a free service that library patrons all around the world could use to keep tabs on their & their family's due dates, is no longer free.  Check out their announcement here, which details the reasons for the change.

Since Library Elf began, we've been adding features to our own "My Account" section, many of which duplicate Elf's features.  This means two things:

  1. The EVPL is not currently planning on subscribing to Library Elf.
  2. You don't need to either!

As long as we have your email address on your library account, you'll receive these email notifications free of charge!  Follow these steps to make sure we have your correct email address on file:

  1. Hit up the My Account page and log into your account using your name & library card number.
  2. Click on the "Modify Personal Info" button.
  3. Make sure the "I would like to receive my notices from the library by" option is set to "Email", and ensure we have your correct email address.
  4. Click the "Submit" link.

Once this is completed, you'll begin receiving the following notifications via email:

  • Hold Pickup Notice: When an item you've had on hold is available at the requested library, you'll receive this notice within 24 hours.
  • Due Date Reminder: These emails get sent out 2 days before an item is due.  A nice reminder to avoid those late fines!
  • First Overdue Notice: Sent out when an item is 4 days (for feature DVDs & Bestseller Express titles) or 7 days (all other materials) overdue.

Patrons are still free to subscribe to Library Elf's Premium service; however, the need to do so has greatly diminished.  Those with Library Elf accounts who will be relying on our own email notifications from now on have been asked to close their Elf accounts; instructions on doing so can be found at http://www.libraryelf.com/FAQ.aspx#closeAcct.

If you have any questions or comments about our email notifications, please post them in the comments section below.  Questions, comments, or feedback about Library Elf should be submitted to them.  Library Elf is and has always been a third-party company with no affiliation to the EVPL, offering their notification services to patrons at libraries all over the world.

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internet technology Online resources Web 2.0 fyi email libraries evpl.org tutorials library elf
<![CDATA[Coldplay accused of plagiarism...again.]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/archive/2009/01/14/coldplay-accused-of-plagiarism-again.aspx Wed, 14 Jan 2009 14:42:00 G1T 1127 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/" target="_blank">Music Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/archive/2009/01/14/coldplay-accused-of-plagiarism-again.aspx to post your comments!

ColdplayIn a June 2008 interview with MTV UK while promoting his band's upcoming album, Coldplay's singer-songwriter Chris Martin stated: "We look at what other people are doing and try and steal all the good bits. We steal from so many different places that hopefully it becomes untraceable."

Upon the album's release a couple weeks later, indie band Creaky Boards made headlines by accusing that the album's title track borrowed liberally from a song of theirs.  They claimed that Coldplay's song Viva La Vida was a rip-off of their track The Songs I Didn't Write (IRONY!).  Creaky Boards frontman Andrew Hoepfner claimed that Martin saw them play in an October 2007 concert where they performed the song, writing:

Andrew Hoepfner of Creaky Boards"We were flattered when we thought we saw Chris Martin in the crowd that night. He seemed pretty into it. Maybe too into it."

Coldplay immediately denounced the claims, as they'd recorded a demo of Viva La Vida in March 2007, prior to the alleged concert.  In fact, Martin couldn't have been at the October '07 concert, as he was in London recording.  Hoepfner retracted his claims, intelligently stating...

"I must have been mistaken about seeing Chris (Martin) at the show because all British people look the same. I lived in London for six weeks and I seriously thought every third person on the corner was Coldplay."

Wow, just wow.

So Coldplay's off the hook, right?  Nope.

Joe SatrianiIn court papers filed on December 4, 2008, instrumental guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani claims that Viva La Vida (the same song!) copies "substantial original portions" of his 2004 song If I Could Fly.  As the court papers have been filed, his team of lawyers thinks he has a case.

What peeves Satriani is that If I Could Fly isn't just any song. It's a composition, a love song dedicated to his wife, he'd been laboring over for more than 10 years before recording it.  According to him:

"Everybody assumes I'm trying to go after these guys in Coldplay, as if I'm doing this with malice.  That's the furthest thing from my mind. I'm just doing what I need to do as an artist, to protect what's mine, to protect those feelings I put down in song.

"I did everything I could to avoid a court case with this situation. But Coldplay didn't want to talk about it. They just wanted this whole thing to go away. Maybe they figured this little guitar player guy will leave them alone after a while, I don't know.

"But we're talking about a piece of art that I created, and that's something I feel is important. I think everybody should feel that way."

Listen to the songs in question via the YouTube links below or by checking out the CDs.  What do you think?  Is Coldplay a fraud?  Mere coincidence?  Or did all these songs rip-off Cat Stevens' Heaven?  Sound off in the comments section!

 YouTubeEVPL Collection
Viva La Vida by Coldplay Music Video Check availability of album Viva La Vida
If I Could Fly by Joe Satriani Listen (Skip to the 50sec mark) Check availability of album Is There Love in Space?
The Songs I Didn't Write by Creaky Boards Listen Not available

More Info

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<![CDATA[DTV 101 (part 1): The "Digital TV Transition"; Converter boxes (coupon requests due by 12/31/08!)]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2008/12/26/dtv-101-part-1-the-digital-tv-transition-amp-converter-boxes-coupon-requests-due-by-12-31-08.aspx Fri, 26 Dec 2008 15:15:00 G12T 1067 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2008/12/26/dtv-101-part-1-the-digital-tv-transition-amp-converter-boxes-coupon-requests-due-by-12-31-08.aspx to post your comments!

As stated at DTV2009.GOV, "At midnight on February 17, 2009, all full-power television stations in the United States will stop broadcasting in analog and switch to 100% digital broadcasting."  Is this gibberish to you?  Do you realize that some of your televisions may require a converter box beginning February 17?  In this, the first in a series of blog posts about the digital TV (DTV) transition, we'll discuss what this transition "thing" is all about; why it's happening; what a converter box is and if you'll need to purchase one; and if so, how to apply for a government-subsidized coupon towards the purchase of a converter box.  The last day to apply for these $40-off coupons is December 31.

What is the "Digital TV Transition"?

Many items we use everyday have already transitioned from analog to digital: cassettes to CDs, VHS to DVD, etc.  Switching to the digital formats brought some great new features (CDs: track skipping, better sound quality; DVDs: chapter markers, greatly improved video & audio quality), but these transitions weren't without their share of headaches.  This is very similar to what the transition to DTV is.

Besides some minor changes in 1953 with the advent of color television, our current analog television standard has remained relatively unchanged since 1941.  Technology has evolved, and the old standard has become obsolete.

Currently, television stations are broadcasting both analog and low power digital.  On February 17, 2009, stations will stop broadcasting analog and will broadcast digital at full power.

Remember when you bought your first CD?  There was no way to play it in your old cassette player.  The same held true with DVDs; you couldn't play them in your VCR.  The same is true with digital TV; older televisions, which can only receive analog broadcasts, won't be able to "play" digital broadcasts without some add-on equipment.

Why the switch to digital???

There's a number of reasons:

  • New features & benefits: DTV provides better picture & sound, including high-definition video (when watching on a HDTV).  It can also allow for interactivity, electronic programming guides, and toggle-able languages & subtitles (like on DVDs); no stations have yet implemented these kinds of features, but they are possibilities for the future.
  • Saves "space": While the sky seems limitless, there's only so much "space" available for television to be broadcast in.  Analog broadcasts take up more "space" than digital ones.  By switching to digital, more stations can be broadcast using less "space". (An oversimplification, but you should get the idea.)
  • Freeing up analog airwaves: Once the DTV transition is complete, the old analog airwaves will be free.  Some will be turned over to local fire & police departments for emergency communication.  Others will be auctioned off to companies providing "new wireless services".  Uncle Sam has to pay for those $40 coupons somehow!
  • Stimulate the economy: More than ever, consumers are running out to purchase new TVs.  Those who aren't may decide to upgrade to cable or satellite.

What do I need to do?

If all of your TVs are connected to cable or satellite, you do not need to do anything.  You will continue receiving broadcasts over cable/satellite as you always have.

For TVs that are NOT connected to cable or satellite and use an antenna:

  • HDTVs are "Digital Ready"If the television is a HDTV, you do not need to do anything.  All HDTVs are ready to receive DTV.
  • If the television is a SDTV (not a HDTV), how old is it?
    • Most SDTVs made within the last couple of years should be ready to receive DTV, but it will depend on the model.  Check the instruction manual or the manufacturer's website to determine whether your TV is ready to receive DTV.  Some commonly-used terms to look for are "Digital Ready/Capable", "DTV Ready/Capable", "HD Ready/Capable", & "ATSC".  If you find that your TV IS ready to receive DTV, you don't need to do anything.
    • NOT "Digital Ready"!Older SDTVs are not DTV capable.

If your TV is not DTV compatible, you can always replace it with a new TV or begin cable/satellite service.  However, the most frugal option would be to purchase a converter box.

What is a converter box?

Digital converter boxTVs that aren't able to receive DTV can be retrofitted with a converter box.  Your antenna plugs into the converter box, and the box into your TV.  This gadget converts the digital signal it receives from the antenna into an analog one, which it sends to your TV.

A couple of important points:

  • Once installed, you'll change channels through the converter box (NOT through the TV).  So you'll need your TV's remote to power it on & adjust volume, but you'll use a 2nd remote (that comes with the converter box) to change channels.  Those with remote-aphobia should look into universal/programmable remotes.
  • One converter box will convert ONE TV.  If you have multiple TVs that are not DTV compatible, you'll need a converter box for each of them.

Applying for a converter box coupon

Converter boxes typically run $40-$70, not too cheap.  Congress created the TV Converter Box Coupon Program, which allows US households to obtain up to two coupons, each worth $40, that can be used towards the purchase of a converter box.  You must apply to receive these coupons, and the deadline to do so is Wednesday, December 31.  You can apply online or by calling 1-888-DTV-2009.

After applying, you should receive the coupon within 2-3 weeks; they expire 90 days after being mailed.  Any stores that sell electronics should have the converter boxes for sale and will accept these coupons.

Conclusion

Ain't technology fun?!?  If you have any questions or comments, please post them in the comments section below!  There's also a lot of good information at DTV2009.GOV

I've had a HDTV for nearly 3 years now, receiving DTV.  While I think DTV is great, and I'm glad that it will finally become mainstream, I cannot claim that it's problem-free.  In a future post, I'll talk about my experiences, including reception woes & other issues.  And since HDTVs are more popular than ever before, I'll be going over some HD basics in another post.  It will be an interesting ride, and hopefully the world will not cease to exist this coming February!

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<![CDATA[Introducing Encore: A better way to search the catalog!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/12/23/introducing-encore-a-better-way-to-search-the-catalog.aspx Tue, 23 Dec 2008 10:54:00 G12T 1060 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/12/23/introducing-encore-a-better-way-to-search-the-catalog.aspx to post your comments!

Last October, we discontinued AquaBrowser.  Today I am happy to unveil its successor: ENCORE!

Catalog widgetThe catalog widget at the top of our webpages now searches Encore.  In a nutshell, Encore works very similarly to Google.  In the search box, simply type in words about the items you're looking for; this can include a subject, title, author, or a combination of them.  Then click the search button.

On the search results page, items will appear in the middle column.  Click on a title to find out more about it.

Left-hand columnThe left-hand column will give you many options for refining your search, such as format, location, and publication date.  Clicking on any of the available options will update your search results accordingly.

Right-hand columnThe right-hand column contains a tag cloud with related keywords.  The graphic to the right shows the tag cloud when searching for "puppies".  But say I'm more interested in adopting a puppy.  "Dog adoption" appears in the tag cloud, and by clicking on it I'll be able to view "puppies" items about "dog adoption".

After trying Encore, please let us know what you think!  Feel free to post your comments below or complete our official survey.  We're excited to offer Encore and hope you find it to be a useful tool for searching our catalog!

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<![CDATA["Ain't no party like my nana's tea party!" Flight of the Conchords albums are musically, comedically brilliant]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/archive/2008/12/19/quot-ain-t-no-party-like-my-nana-s-tea-party-quot-flight-of-the-conchords-albums-are-musically-comedically-brilliant.aspx Fri, 19 Dec 2008 15:13:00 G12T 1037 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/" target="_blank">Music Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/archive/2008/12/19/quot-ain-t-no-party-like-my-nana-s-tea-party-quot-flight-of-the-conchords-albums-are-musically-comedically-brilliant.aspx to post your comments!

Flight of the ConchordsFlight of the Conchords is an award-winning New Zealand comedy band, self-described as "New Zealand's fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo".  While a couple previous blog posts (1 2) talked about their recent TV series on HBO, this post will focus primarily on their music.

Bret McKenzie & Jemaine Clement formed Flight of the Conchords in 1998.  They create original songs that parody real songs, both in style and lyrics.  With an odd mix of guitar, bass, & synthesizers, along with hilarious lyrics, they cover all the genres: romantic/R&B, rap, pop, new wave, techno, and more!

In 2007, they released their six song EP, The Distant Future, in the US; this album contains three studio tracks and three live tracks.  In 2008, they released their self-titled album Flight of the Conchords.  The EVPL has both albums, and both are definitely worth checking out!  Here are a few of my favorite songs:

"Inner City Pressure": (On Flight of the Conchords) A spot-on parody of the Pet Shop Boys 1985 hit "West End Girls".  It received a 2008 Emmy nomination for "Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics".  Check out the video below to see for yourself!  Here's a snippet of lyrics:

"Counting coins on the counter of the 7-11,
From a quarter past six 'til a quarter to seven.
The manager, Bevin, starts to abuse me
Hey man, I just want some Muesli.
Neon signs, hidden messages,
Questions, answers, fetishes.
You know you're not in high finance,
Considering getting second hand underpants."

"Hiphopopotamus Vs. Rhymenoceros (Featuring Rhymenoceros & The Hiphopopotamus)": (On Flight of the Conchords) A hilariously tame gangsta rap song, featuring too many rap clichés to count.  Here's a sampling of the hardcore lyrics:

"They call me the Hiphopopotamus
Flows that glow like phosphorous
Poppin' off the top of this esophagus
Rockin' this metropolis
I’m not a large water-dwelling mammal
Where did you get that preposterous hypothesis?
Did Steve tell you that, perchance?"

"Think About It": (On Flight of the Conchords) A parody in the vein of Marvin Gaye's/Black Eyed Peas' "Where Is the Love?"  The lyrics talk about society's ills: violence, AIDS, sweatshop labor, etc.

"They're turning kids into slaves just to make cheaper sneakers.
But what's the real cost?
'Cause the sneakers don't seem that much cheaper.
Why are we still paying so much for sneakers
when you got them made by little slave kids?
What are your overheads?"

"The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room)": (Studio recording on Flight of the Conchords; live recording on The Distant Future) A rousing, romantic love song to the most beautiful girl (in the room).

"Looking 'round the room
I can tell that you
Are the most beautiful girl.....in the room.
(In the whole wide room.)
And when you're on the street
Depending on the street
I bet that you are definitely in the top three
Good-looking girls on the street.
(Depending on the street.)"

"Not Crying": (On The Distant Future) An emotional break-up ballad, trying to save face.

"I'm not crying. No, I'm not crying.
And if I am crying, it's not because of you.
It's because I'm thinking of a friend of mine who you don't know who is dying.
That's right, dying.
These aren't tears of sadness because you're leaving me.
I've just been cutting onions.
I'm making a lasagna...for one."

New Zealand CameraphoneThis is just a small taste of the Conchords.  Check out their albums for the full deal, including some songs I can't mention here.  Big Smile

Finally, if you're a fan of their music, check out the Flight of the Conchords TV show on DVD!  Bret & Jemaine play a fictional band that moves from New Zealand to New York to make it big.  They're constantly breaking into song (the ones on their albums, along with some additional ones) to tell the story.  Quite possibly the funniest show I've seen in a long time! 

Here's a video of "Inner City Pressure" as it appeared in "Bret Gives Up the Dream", the 2nd episode of the TV show.

[View:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wqfcwgT0Ds]

More Information

  • EVPL Catalog: Search for the FotC music CDs and DVDs in our online catalog.
  • What the Folk!: Unofficial fan site about Flight of the Conchords.
  • Amazon.com: Purchase CDs, DVDs, & other FotC merchandise using this link, and the Public Library Friends will receive a portion of your purchase!
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reviews Rap singer songwriters rock and roll new wave retro soundtrack R&B parody live recordings flight of the conchords new zealand
<![CDATA["Chuck" is about a nerd that becomes a spy...essentially my life story]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2008/12/15/quot-chuck-quot-is-about-a-nerd-that-becomes-a-spy-essentially-my-life-story.aspx Mon, 15 Dec 2008 11:50:00 G12T 1005 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2008/12/15/quot-chuck-quot-is-about-a-nerd-that-becomes-a-spy-essentially-my-life-story.aspx to post your comments!

Chuck: The Complete First Season DVD box artIn the television show Chuck, Charles "Chuck" Bartowski plays your typical 20-something computer-geek, stuck in a dead-end job at Buy More's Nerd Herd (a less-than-subtle parody of Best Buy's Geek Squad).  He lives an uneventful life with his sister Ellie, until one day when he receives an email from his long-lost friend Bryce.  Turns out Bryce is a rogue CIA agent, and his email contains an entire government database of top secret info, which embeds itself into Chuck's brain upon viewing.

Adam Baldwin as Major John CaseyBoth the NSA and CIA want the intelligence returned to them and dispatch agents of their own - Major John Casey and Sarah Walker - to "retrieve" that data.  When the original database is destroyed, Chuck has the only copy of that data, so he is forced to become a spy.  Chuck's decision to keep his new-found occupation a secret from his family and friends, and to live his life as normally as possible, forces Casey and Walker to establish an uneasy alliance and secret identities (Walker poses as Chuck's girlfriend and takes a cover job at the local restaurant next to the Buy More while Casey gets a job at the Buy More), with the shared goal of protecting Chuck at all costs.

Seeing specific people/things causes Chuck to "flash", subliminally retrieving data about the person/object from the government database in his mind.  Chuck uses this ability to help John & Sarah thwart evildoers and save the entire world from impending doom.

Having a boatload of government secrets in your brain apparently DOES have its perks!Sarah is an incredibly attractive female spy, and as they continue their "fake" relationship Chuck's feelings for her become real.  There is lots of romantic tension, often mocked by smart-aleck comments by John (portrayed by Adam Baldwin, of Full Metal Jacket & Firefly/Serentity fame).

This show is brilliant, tied with The Office as my favorite current TV show.  The cast is excellent, with real chemistry.  The plots, while far-fetched, are extremely well-thought out, always resulting in hilarity and the unexpected.  And the emotion evoked by the tension between Chuck & Sarah (not helped by Ellie's constant "I'm so happy you finally found a girlfriend" remarks), his belief that Sarah is way out of his nerd-league, the experiences with his ex-girlfriend (who re-appears in season 2), and his quest for more (a normal life and better job, for starters) creates endearing, genuine characters.

Season 1 was released on DVD & Blu-ray a couple months ago, and season 2 (which is even better than season 1) is currently airing on Monday nights at 7pm on NBC.  It's a show you really need to watch in order, so check out the season 1 DVDs, catch up on the previous season 2 episodes at NBC.com, and watch the latest episode every Monday night!

More Information

  • EVPL Catalog: Check on the availability of Chuck: The Complete First Season on DVD at EVPL libraries.
  • NBC.com: Official website of Chuck.  Find out more about the show, and watch full episodes from season 2!
  • Amazon: Buy Chuck: The Complete First Season on DVD or Blu-ray using these links, and the Public Library Friends will receive a portion of your purchase!
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dvd action blu-ray reviews humor tv shows fiction comedy romance thrillers drama parody firefly/serenity chuck nbc
<![CDATA[Kids, we'll get your letters to the North Pole!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/12/09/kids-we-ll-get-your-letters-to-the-north-pole.aspx Tue, 09 Dec 2008 14:54:00 G12T 986 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/12/09/kids-we-ll-get-your-letters-to-the-north-pole.aspx to post your comments!

Letters to SantaThe EVPL has once again partnered with Santa to present this year's Letters to Santa program.  Kids can write their letter to Santa & submit it online, and they'll receive a personalized response back from Santa by email! (Click here to view an actual response a child received!)

Kids, visit the Send Your Letter page to send your letter.  Type in your letter, your first name, and your email address (if you don't have one, ask your parents if you can use theirs), then click the "Send Letter" button.  Letters we received are gathered at Central Library, sent to the North Pole on one of Santa's reindeer (he was nice enough to let us borrow one!), then delivered directly to Santa's desk; it's much quicker than mailing a letter!

Once you've submitted your letter, you can view its progress on the View Your Response page.  Using our highly-sophisticated Reindeer Tracking System™, you can see where your letter currently is and if it's made it to Santa yet!

After a day or so (depending on how busy he is!), Santa will send his response.  At that time, you'll receive an email containing a link to view it!

Santa is looking forward to receiving your letter, and the EVPL is happy to assist him during this busy holiday season.

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central library kids evpl.org activities Christmas holidays Santa
<![CDATA[Doomsday, wrathful robots, other cheerfulness in "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles"]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2008/12/05/doomsday-wrathful-robots-abundant-cheerfulness-in-quot-terminator-the-sarah-connor-chronicles-quot.aspx Fri, 05 Dec 2008 09:38:00 G12T 955 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2008/12/05/doomsday-wrathful-robots-abundant-cheerfulness-in-quot-terminator-the-sarah-connor-chronicles-quot.aspx to post your comments!

Terminator: The Sarah Connor ChroniclesBeing a self-proclaimed sci-fi geek, I love the Terminator movies.  With three theatrical movies, and a fourth coming in 2009 (Terminator Salvation, starring Christian Bale!), Fox decided to capitalize on the series' success with a spin-off television series.  Season 1 of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles began airing in January of 2008, and was recently released on DVD & Blu-ray.

Explaining the TV show requires a bit of backstory from the movies, so here goes...

The TerminatorThe Terminator (1984) - In 1997, a computer system called Skynet becomes self-aware, unleashes a nuclear apocalypse on humanity, and builds an army of robots to destroy the few surviving humans that have formed a resistance.  The leader of this resistance is John Connor, and under his command they are able to keep humanity alive.

In 2029, Skynet decides to send an indestructible Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) back in time, to the year 1984, to kill John's mother, Sarah.  If they kill Sarah, John will never be born, thus never organizing the resistance.  Upon learning of Skynet's plan, the resistance sends one of their own to the year 1984, to protect Sarah from the Terminator.  Fortunately, Sarah stays alive and the Terminator is destroyed.

Terminator 2: Judgment DayTerminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) - It's now 1993.  Sarah Connor is in a mental institution for "delusions".  John Connor is a rebellious youth, living with foster parents.  Skynet decides to send a more advanced Terminator to kill John.  Future-John (in 2029) has reprogrammed a T-100 (Arnold) and sent him to 1993 to protect young-John.  They bust Sarah out of the institution and destroy Cyberdyne, a company creating robotic endoskeletons (used in the future for the robot armies).  This successfully delays the nuclear apocalypse.

Terminator 3: Rise of the MachinesTerminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) - Forget about this one.  Has no correlation with this TV show.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles takes place in 1997.  Sarah & John have been on the run for four years, pursued by the FBI for charges of terrorism.  While at school one day, John discovers that his substitute teacher is a Terminator sent back in time to kill him.  And guess what?

The resistance has sent a female Terminator named Cameron, played by Summer Glau (best-known for her role in Firefly & Serenity), to protect him.  Cameron transports Sarah & John to the year 2007, as that is now the year that Skynet takes over.  Agent Ellison of the FBI picks up the case, after it remained stagnant for the previous 10 years.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor ChroniclesSarah, John, & Cameron are on a mission to discover what Skynet is and to destroy it.  Turns out that an advanced chess computer, that has garnered military interest, is the prime suspect.  As Agent Ellison investigates Sarah's record, including visiting her former psychiatrist from the mental institution, he slowly begins to realize that she wasn't lying.  The final episode features an epic battle, to Johnny Cash's "When the Man Comes Around" (one of his last songs, containing many references to the Book of Revelations), which literally gave me goosebumps.

While a bit cheesy at times, as most TV shows are, I found the acting and plot to be top-notch.  It was also fascinating to see concepts, never fully explained in the movies, fleshed out.  Fans of the Terminator films, good sci-fi, and thought-provoking storylines should definitely check it out!

More Information

  • EVPL Catalog: Check availability of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles at EVPL libraries.
  • Amazon.com: Buy Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles on DVD or Blu-ray using this link, and the Public Library Friends will receive a portion of your purchase.
  • Internet Movie Database: Find out more about the show at IMDB.
  • Fox.com: View the official website of the TV show.
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dvd action blu-ray reviews tv shows fiction hit men movies firefly/serenity science fiction arnold schwarzenegger terminator johnny cash
<![CDATA["Air Guitar Nation" cranks the make-believe volume up to 11]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2008/11/28/quot-air-guitar-nation-quot-cranks-the-make-believe-volume-up-to-11.aspx Fri, 28 Nov 2008 11:58:00 G11T 934 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2008/11/28/quot-air-guitar-nation-quot-cranks-the-make-believe-volume-up-to-11.aspx to post your comments!

Air Guitar Nation movie posterHow many times has this happened to you...you're listening to music and an epic guitar solo comes on.  What do you do?!?  You bust out the air guitar, showing onlookers the musical virtuoso you are.

Apparently, air guitar is bigger than I realized.  Since 1996, Oulu, Finland has been the home of the Air Guitar World Championships.  Essentially the Olympics of air guitar, contestants from all around the world compete to bring this coveted trophy back to their home country.  Competitions consist of two rounds: in the first, contestants perform a song of their choosing.  The second round is a song picked by the judges, not revealed until the competition, that contestants have to improv.  Contestants are judged based on their "airness" and pure rock-ness.

Sadly, the US did not participate on this world stage until 2003.  It was then that Americans realized what a travesty this was and the US Air Guitar Championships were founded.  After a series of regional competitions, the best performers go to Finland to represent the US.

C. Diddy unleashes the "Asian Fury"Conan O'Brien & Björn TüroqueAir Guitar Nation is a documentary (more along the lines of This is Spinal Tap than a traditional documentary) about the founding of the US Air Guitar Championships, the first competitions in the US, and the journey to the 2003 World Championships (including an air guitar training camp!) in Finland.  You'll meet many of the zany US performers, including C. Diddy and Björn Türoque, whose fierce rivalry becomes a central focus of the film.

 Air Guitar Nation is extremely entertaining, hilarious, and very well made.  How does the US fare in their first outing in the World Championships?  Watch the movie and find out for yourself!

Movie Trailer

[View:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLRjN3PvmmA]

More Information

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reviews humor music trailers comedy documentary parody air guitar
<![CDATA["Run Fatboy, Run" limps to the finish line]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2008/11/26/quot-run-fatboy-run-quot-limps-to-the-finish-line.aspx Wed, 26 Nov 2008 11:31:00 G11T 925 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2008/11/26/quot-run-fatboy-run-quot-limps-to-the-finish-line.aspx to post your comments!

Run Fatboy, Run movie posterI've always been a fan of Simon Pegg's work.  In his previous efforts (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, & Spaced), Pegg & co-star Nick Frost teamed up with absolutely hilarious results!

Run Fatboy, Run is Pegg's latest film...and unfortunately it doesn't live up to its predecessors.

Pegg portrays Dennis, who gets cold feet on his wedding day and leaves his pregnant fiancée, Libby, at the altar.

Five years later...  Of course, Dennis has become an out-of-shape loser with a crummy job.  Dennis & Libby share custody of their child, and he now realizes the mistake in not going through with the wedding.  However, Libby is now dating Whit, who is everything Dennis is not: successful, wealthy, dedicated, etc.  After discovering Whit is an athlete and will be running in an upcoming marathon, Dennis decides to run in it as well, proving to Libby that he he has changed and can actually finish something he starts.

Lifting heaving weightsCue the cheesy training montages.  Dennis' friend Gordon and his landlord Mr. Goshdashtidar (a stereotypical foreigner) whip him into shape, transforming him from a fat boy into...well...less of a fat boy.

Does Dennis finish the marathon?  Is it enough to win back Libby?  How ridiculous is this plot?

I understand that most movies require suspension of disbelief (an out-of-shape guy can train for a marathon in less than a month?), but that's not the problem I have with this film.  In an attempt to be a family-friendly romantic comedy, the humor has been degraded to the level of a bad Adam Sandler flick; nothing but predictable, juvenile humor.  Gone is the gut-busting humor, witty dialog, and endearing characters the viewer actually cares about, all of which were present in Pegg's previous efforts.

If you've never seen Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, or Spaced, you'll probably enjoy Run Fatboy, Run more than I did.  Otherwise, you'll be extremely disappointed.

More Information

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reviews humor comedy romance london gross-out humor british simon pegg
<![CDATA[OverDrive @ EVPL now Mac compatible!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/11/21/overdrive-evpl-now-mac-compatible.aspx Fri, 21 Nov 2008 11:31:00 G11T 905 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/11/21/overdrive-evpl-now-mac-compatible.aspx to post your comments!

OverDrive @ EVPL OverDrive @ EVPL is a collection of downloadable materials (including audiobooks, eBooks, movies, & music) available free of charge to all EVPL cardholders.  Since launch, patrons with Windows PCs have been downloading countless items from this digital collection...unforunately, Mac users were out of luck.

That is no more, as a Mac version of the OverDrive Media Console (the software required to download items) has just been released!  Mac users can now download MP3 audiobooks and transfer them to iPods.

Unfortunately, there are a couple caveats for Mac users:

  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks are the ONLY compatible format available for Mac users.  OverDrive WMA Audiobooks, OverDrive Music, & OverDrive Video all use Microsoft-based DRM and therefore are not compatible with Macs.  Unless Apple were to license this DRM, which is very unlikely, these formats will never be playable on Macs.
  • OverDrive Media Console (aka OMC) for Macs can only transfer content to Apple iPods.  Transferring to a MP3 player/portable device other than an iPod requires the Windows version of OMC, which only runs on Windows-based PCs.
  • OMC is unable to transfer content to the iPod Shuffle.  Owners of these devices can transfer content to their device using iTunes.
  • Windows users with iPods will continue to use the Windows version of OMC to transfer content to their device.  The Windows version of OMC is also compatible with a wide variety of additional devices, including the Microsoft Zune, Creative Zen series, and more.

Visit OverDrive @ EVPL, browse our collection, install the required software, and download to your heart's content!  If you have any questions about the recently-added Mac compatibility, or if you have any questions/comments about OverDrive in general, please post them in the comments section below or contact us via Ask EVPL.

More Information

  • OverDrive @ EVPL: Visit our OverDrive site to start downloading our digital materials!
  • What is OverDrive?: Check out this guided tour of OverDrive to discover what it is and how to use it.
  • Compatible Portable Devices: A list of compatible portable media players that can be transferred to using the Windows version of OMC.
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technology Web 2.0 fyi collections overdrive downloads evpl.org ebooks computers zune mp3 players mac ipod
<![CDATA[Me First & the Gimme Gimmes punk-ify the classics]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/archive/2008/11/17/me-first-amp-the-gimme-gimmes-punk-ify-the-classics.aspx Mon, 17 Nov 2008 09:58:00 G11T 882 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/" target="_blank">Music Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/archive/2008/11/17/me-first-amp-the-gimme-gimmes-punk-ify-the-classics.aspx to post your comments!

Me First & the Gimme GimmesMusical parody...such a fine art.  Back in the day, I was a big "Weird Al" Yankovic fan ("It's all about the Pentiums, baby!").  There are also bands that take well-known music and reinterpret it: some of my favs include Hayseed Dixie (they play AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Van Halen, etc. as bluegrass!), Richard Cheese & Lounge Against the Machine (90s-00s rock as lounge music), and the String Quartet Tribute series (Dylan, Clapton, Evanescence, Eagles, Rolling Stones).

My favorite parody band is, hands down, Me First & the Gimme Gimmes.  On their albums, they take a wide variety of popular tunes and turn em into blazing punk rock songs.  That probably doesn't sound too appealing...but you'd be pleasantly surprised.  They are masters of their craft, creating a catchy, brilliant mix of new and old...nothing beats hearing "Ghost Riders in the Sky" with blaring power chords, a constant bassline, and driving toms with double-kick on the drums!

Below I'll list the albums the EVPL has, the particular theme, as well as highlights from each album.

"Are a Drag" album artAre A Drag
1999
Showtunes!

This album features covers of beloved showtunes, including "Over the Rainbow", "Don't Cry for Me Argentina", "Favorite Things", and "Rainbow Connection".  I'm not that big of a showtunes fan (surprising, right?), but I love their interpretations of the songs I do know!

"Blow in the Wind" album artBlow in the Wind
2001
60s songs

Covers of songs from the 60s, including "Blowin' in the Wind", "Sloop John B.", "Elenor", "Stand by Your Man", and "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow".

"Take a Break" album artTake a Break
2003
R&B songs

An amazing collection of classic R&B songs, punkified.  Highlights include "Where Do Broken Hearts Go", "Hello", "Ain't No Sunshine", "I Believe I Can Fly", and "Nothing Compares 2 U".  A couple songs mash-up other songs with brilliant results: their cover of "I'll Be There" incorporates parts of The Cars' "Just What I Needed".

"Ruin Jonny's Bar Mitzvah" album artRuin Jonny's Bar Mitzvah
2004

This album doesn't have a "theme", per se, as it's a compilation of awesome tracks they performed live at...you guessed it, Jonny's Bar Mitzvah.  This album features covers of "Stairway to Heaven", "Come Sail Away", "Strawberry Fields Forever", "The Longest Time", "On My Mind", and "Take It on the Run".  Between the tracks, there's also lots of hilarious banter.

"Love Their Country" album artLove Their Country
2006
Country

I am not a fan of country music (I was subjected to it by my dad & sis when I was young), so I find this particular album hilarious!  Check out "Ghost Riders in the Sky", "Desperado", "Jolene", "On the Road Again", and "East Bound & Down" to hear these songs rock like you've never heard them before!

The Gimmes are brilliantly hilarious, as well as being excellent musicians, so I highly recommend checking them out!

More Information

  • EVPL Catalog: Check availability of albums by Me First & the Gimme Gimmes at EVPL libraries.
  • DailyMotion: Watch the Gimmes perform "Take it on the Run" live on Last Call with Carson Daly.
  • Amazon.com: Use this link to purchase their albums at Amazon, and the Public Library Friends will receive a portion of your purchase!
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reviews modern rock 1960s pop country-rock rock and roll retro country R&B punk rock me first and the gimme gimmes showtunes parody live recordings
<![CDATA[New computers at EVPL libraries]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/11/10/new-computers-at-evpl-libraries.aspx Mon, 10 Nov 2008 15:29:00 G11T 849 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/11/10/new-computers-at-evpl-libraries.aspx to post your comments!

Dell Optiplex 755Public-use computers at all EVPL libraries are being replaced with new Dell Optiplex 755 computers.  With Windows XP, Core 2 Duo processors, and 2GB of RAM, these computers are much speedier than our old ones!  These computers also include DVD burners (that burn CDs as well) and memory card readers (for use with memory cards from digital cameras).

Due to the unreliable nature of floppy disks (mysteriously losing files or getting jammed in disk drives), these new computers do NOT have floppy disk drives.  We recommend patrons upgrade to one of the following storage methods to work on files at EVPL libraries:

  • Flash Drives (recommended): These plug into a USB port and are accessed just like a floppy disk.  However, they are much more reliable and spacious than floppy disks.  Flash drives with 1GB of storage can be purchased for $10 at all EVPL libraries.
  • Memory Cards: Memory cards, like those used in digital cameras, can be inserted into the memory card reader and used as a disk.
  • CD-R/DVD-R: Files can be burned to writeable CD-R or DVD-R.  However, working with files on a CD-R/DVD-R is much more cumbersome than with a flash drive/memory card; CD-R/DVD-R is not recommended for files you'll be updating regularly.  CD-Rs with 700MB of storage can be purchased for $1 at all EVPL libraries.

These new computers are already available at East, McCollough, Red Bank, Stringtown, & West.  They'll be installed at Central, North Park, & Oaklyn by the end of the month.

Finally, we're having a Computer Sale this Friday at 9:00am.  We'll be selling off some of our old computers.  Stop by if you're looking for a good deal!

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maintenance technology fyi evpl transition computers
<![CDATA["Redbelt" not your typical karate movie]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2008/11/10/quot-redbelt-quot-not-your-typical-karate-movie.aspx Mon, 10 Nov 2008 11:38:00 G11T 847 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2008/11/10/quot-redbelt-quot-not-your-typical-karate-movie.aspx to post your comments!

Redbelt movie posterRedbelt, written & directed by David Mamet, is not your typical martial arts movie...it has very few action scenes.  In fact, calling it a "martial arts movie" is a bit belittling, as it is first and foremost a drama.  While it started extremely slowly, I ended up getting drawn in and loving it.

Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Mike Terry, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor barely making ends meet.  A series of unfortunate events increase the financial burden on Mike and his wife, Sondra.  While Mike is a talented fighter, he refuses to participate in any kind of fighting competitions, as they have commercialized something he deems pure.

While seeking Sondra's brother (who just so happens to be a fight promoter) to ask for another loan, Mike is able to defend actor Chet Frank (well-played by Tim Allen) in a bar fight.  The two become friends and Mike is hired on as producer of Chet's latest movie.

The rest of the story involves extremely-surprising twists & turns, which force Mike to enter the ring in competition.  I am refraining from detail to avoid any possible spoilers...there are a number of different sub-plots, but the masterful storytelling really shines as things never become convoluted.

Ejiofor in 2005's SerenityThe acting is top-notch as well.  This film is Chiwetel Ejiofor's first lead performance, and he proves he is more than capable.  After seeing him in Dirty Pretty Things, Four Brothers, Serenity (where he plays the most mild-mannered, evil villain I have EVER seen), & Children of Men, I must say that I am a fan of his.  Tim Allen does a great job with his first serious role (no Tim "The Toolman" here!), and Emily Mortimer does a great job as a quirky lawyer who becomes entangled in the plot after some odd occurrences.

After seeing some of the forum posts on IMDB (i.e. "worst movie ever", "Garbagebelt", "This movie is PURE CRAP", etc.), I understand that this is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of movie.  If you're expecting a brain dead beat-em-up, you will be disappointed with Redbelt.  However, if you're able to enjoy slow-paced, thought-provoking movies, I think you will enjoy it.  With its story of fighter honor & dignity, similar to the old Kurosawa films, I cannot recommend it highly enough!

More Information

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action suspense reviews fiction trailers good and evil romance thrillers box-office flops drama firefly/serenity tim allen david mamet chiwetel ejiofor
<![CDATA[Battle of the (virtual) bands: The Beatles edition]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2008/10/30/battle-of-the-virtual-bands-the-beatles-edition.aspx Thu, 30 Oct 2008 17:19:00 G10T 803 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/" target="_blank">Teens Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2008/10/30/battle-of-the-virtual-bands-the-beatles-edition.aspx to post your comments!

Harmonix staff rocking out with Rock BandWhile being a musician in real life, playing to many sold-out crowds at Bar Mitzvahs, there's something about Rock Band & Guitar Hero that I love.  Playing fake instruments in front of thousands of virtual screaming fans gets the adrenaline pumping!

Rock Band 2 released last month on Xbox 360, a couple of weekends ago on PlayStation 3, and later this year for Wii & PS2.  The game features full four-player rawking, with guitar, bass, drums, and vocals.  You can play all the songs from Rock Band 1, and new songs can be purchased and downloaded each week, so I've got nearly 400 songs!  I brought my setup to this year's Staff Institute, and after TeenLibrarian@evpl's "Gaming in the Library" presentation, we rocked out!  Take a look at the photos.

Guitar Hero: World Tour released this past weekend for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, & PS2.  I haven't played it yet, but I've heard some pretty good things about it.  It too copies the four-player setup, with guitar, bass, drums, and vocals.

It was just announced this morning that Harmonix (the makers of Rock Band 1 & 2) will be making a game exclusively featuring music by The Beatles, releasing sometime next year.  Activision previously announced the upcoming Guitar Hero: Metallica.  So virtual bands won't have to worry about running out of gigs any time soon!!!

I know TeenLibrarian@evpl has been wanting to purchase either an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, along with either Rock Band 1, Rock Band 2, or Guitar Hero: World Tour for our open gaming at the library.  So, which console do you recommend?  (Let us know here.)  Also, which music game do you recommend???  Help us solve our music-game-mystery by posting your comments below!

More Information

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technology videogames rock band guitar hero
<![CDATA[One Book One Community "This I Believe" essays: DEADLINE Sunday!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/10/30/one-book-one-community-quot-this-i-believe-quot-essays-deadline-sunday.aspx Thu, 30 Oct 2008 12:00:00 G10T 801 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/10/30/one-book-one-community-quot-this-i-believe-quot-essays-deadline-sunday.aspx to post your comments!

One Book, One Community
Reading, Writing, and Growing Together in Southwestern Indiana

This year's One Book One Community title is This I Believe: the Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women.  This collection of essays from the 1950s and today is based on the National Public Radio series of the same name.  In addition to holding book discussions, the EVPL will host co-editor and radio series producer Dan Gediman on Monday, November 24, 7:30pm at UE's Shanklin Theatre.

What do you believe in?  We asked this back in June, when we started accepting essays of personal convictions.  Since then, we've received over 80 essays from patrons & staff members!  All of these essays can be viewed online.

We want to hear from you!  If you'd like to submit an essay and haven't yet done so, Sunday, November 2 is the last day to do so!  Visit the Contribute an Essay page ASAP to submit yours.  Selected essays submitted to the EVPL may be posted on our website, read on WNIN Radio, published in the Evansville Courier & Press, or read at the concluding event on Monday, November 24.  We've partnered with ThisIBelieve.org, so when submitting your essay you may also choose to send it to them; they may post the essay on their website and possibly broadcast it on NPR (including a $200 prize for your contribution)!

Read the essays others have submitted.  Submit your own.  Participate in a book discussion.  Then join us Monday, November 24 at 7:30pm as we welcome Dan Gediman!

More Information

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nonfiction events books book discussions one book one community author evpl.org author visit fyi
<![CDATA["Spaced" a short-lived, hilarious TV comedy]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2008/10/27/quot-spaced-quot-a-short-lived-hilarious-tv-comedy.aspx Mon, 27 Oct 2008 16:02:00 G10T 784 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2008/10/27/quot-spaced-quot-a-short-lived-hilarious-tv-comedy.aspx to post your comments!

Frost (left) & Pegg (right) in Shaun of the DeadI'm a fan of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.  In the States, this comedic duo is best known for Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz (both of which I highly recommend!).  They got their start in a British television comedy called Spaced; it ran for two seasons (14 episodes total) during 1999-2001.  It finally made its way to the US this past July in a DVD box set of the entire series.

It's a very difficult show to describe...so, ripped from Wikipedia:

Spaced cover art: a spoof of Star WarsTim Bisley (Pegg) and Daisy Steiner (Jessica Hynes) are two London twenty-somethings who meet by chance in a cafe while both are flat-hunting. Despite barely knowing each other, they conspire to pose as a young professional couple in order to meet the requisites of an advertisement for a relatively cheap flat, in the distinctive building at 23 Meteor Street, Tufnell Park, which is owned by and also houses the landlady, Marsha Klein. Also in the building is Brian Topp, an eccentric conceptual artist who lives and works on his various pieces in the ground floor flat. Frequent visitors are Tim's best friend, Mike Watt (Frost) and Daisy's best friend, Twist Morgan.

The series largely concerns the colorful and surreal adventures of Tim and Daisy as they navigate through life, decide on what they want to do with their lives, come to terms with affairs of the heart, and try to figure out new and largely unproductive ways of killing time. Tim and Daisy repeatedly stress that they aren't a couple to everyone but Marsha, but despite (or because of) this, romantic tension develops between them, particularly during the second series.

The central comedic conceit of the series is that it portrays the rather ordinary lives of Daisy and Tim using overblown Hollywood blockbuster clichés.

Like their forays into Hollywood, Spaced provides non-stop laughs, constant pop-culture parodies, crazy camerawork, a great cast, and a surprising amount of character development. 

With 5 stars on Amazon, a 9.8/10 rating on IMDB, and my rave review, Spaced comes highly recommended.

More Information

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dvd reviews humor tv shows comedy romance zombie drama british simon pegg parody
<![CDATA[AquaBrowser to be discontinued on Monday, October 27]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/10/20/aquabrowser-to-be-discontinued-on-monday-october-27.aspx Mon, 20 Oct 2008 14:15:00 G10T 749 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/10/20/aquabrowser-to-be-discontinued-on-monday-october-27.aspx to post your comments!

EVPL AquaBrowserAquaBrowser, an alternative interface for searching our online catalog, will be discontinued on Monday, October 27.  At that time, the Classic Catalog will be the only way to search our catalog.

We'll soon be implementing a new search interface in AquaBrowser's place.  Stay tuned for more info!

Have questions or comments?  Please share them in the comments section below or contact us via Ask EVPL.

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maintenance fyi evpl.org evpl.org maintenance fyi
<![CDATA[Totally tubular compilations of 80s music!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/archive/2008/10/16/totally-tubular-compilations-of-80s-music.aspx Thu, 16 Oct 2008 13:57:00 G10T 734 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/" target="_blank">Music Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/archive/2008/10/16/totally-tubular-compilations-of-80s-music.aspx to post your comments!

While searching for a particular 80s song over the weekend (cough...Mr. Mister...cough), I remembered two bodacious box sets in our collection.

Like, Omigod! box setLike, Omigod! The '80s Pop Culture Box (Totally)

This set features 7 CDs (an incredible selection of 142 songs) along with a 90-page book chock-full of 80s goodness!  Taken from Rhino's website...

"Reagan, junk bonds, shoulder pads -- there's a lot about the '80s that doesn't bear repeating. But thankfully the music does. From Devo's new wave weirdness to Twisted Sister's mental metal to Run D.M.C.'s rocked-out rap, Rhino's latest behemoth box brings you the songs that have outlived the hairstyles."

I award this collection bonus points for including "Centerfold" by J. Geils Band (played it in H.S. Pep Band!), "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler, and "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley (foundation of the infamous rickroll).  For the full tracklist, along with samples to listen to, check out Rhino's website.

 

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City soundtrackGrand Theft Auto: Vice City soundtrack

The Grand Theft Auto videogames are known for, besides their controversial content, having awesome soundtracks.  In each game, a handful of radio stations are available to listen to in vehicles you "acquire"; these radio stations feature genre-specific playlists, interspersed with banter from a DJ and commercials, just like in real-life.

2002's Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, set during the 80s, features gnarly music exclusive to that era.  The soundtrack is a 7 CD box set, with each disc dedicated to one of the game's 7 music radio stations.  We circulate each disc separately, so pick and choose which to check out.

  1. V-Rock with DJ Lazlow: Rock/metal, featuring Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne, Twisted Sister.
  2. Wave 103 with DJ Adam First: New Wave/Synth, featuring Tears for Fears, A Flock of Seagulls, Corey Hart.
  3. Emotion 98.3 with DJ Fernando: Love songs/power ballads, featuring Toto, Cutting Crew, Foreigner, Mr. Mister.
  4. Flash FM with DJ Toni: Pop music, featuring Hall & Oates, Michael Jackson, Bryan Adams, INXS.
  5. Wildstyle Pirate Radio with DJ Mr. Magic: Hip-hop, featuring Herbie Hancock, Zapp and Roger, Run D.M.C.
  6. Fever 105 with DJ Oliver "Ladykiller" Biscuit: Disco/soul/R&B, featuring the Pointer Sisters, Teena Marie, Rick James, Kool & the Gang.
  7. Espantoso with DJ Pepe: Latin jazz/salsa, featuring Deodato, Tito Puente.

 

If you're a fan of 80s music (and if not, WHY NOT?!?), I'd recommend checking out both of these rad collections.  Like, totally!!!

More Info

  • Like, Omigod! The '80s Pop Culture Box (Totally)
    • EVPL Catalog: View availability at EVPL libraries.
    • Rhino.com: View the full tracklist and listen to samples.
    • Amazon.com: Buy it at Amazon and support our Public Library Friends.
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Soundtrack
    • EVPL Catalog: View availability at EVPL libraries.
    • ViceCityRadio.com: Official website.  Find out more about the fictional DJs.
    • Amazon.com: Buy it at Amazon and support our Public Library Friends.
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popular music Hip Hop rock and roll videogames disco box sets 1980s new wave
<![CDATA[Recent changes to our website]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/10/10/recent-changes-to-our-website.aspx Fri, 10 Oct 2008 10:32:00 G10T 720 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/10/10/recent-changes-to-our-website.aspx to post your comments!

Ever since launching our new website on May 1, we've been implementing minor tweaks based on feedback from patrons and staff.  One suggestion I've received regularly was to make our digital materials easier to locate.

As of this morning, our "Virtual Library" section has been replaced with a redesigned "Downloads" section.  Click the "Downloads" tab above to check out this new section, featuring the following content:

  • OverDrive @ EVPL: While we've offered downloadable WMA audiobooks & eBooks for some time, our new OverDrive section also features downloadable MP3 audiobooks, video (including movies & TV shows), and music!  All it takes is a library card and installation of some free software.  OverDrive @ EVPL replaces the EVPL Digital Catalog and MyLibraryDV services previously on our site.
  • EVPL Toolbar: Installing this toolbar on your home computer gives you one-click access to important areas of our website, as well as searching our online catalog!  An optional scrolling ticker also keeps you up-to-date on library happenings.
  • eNewsletters: We have 25 different newsletters, on a wide variety of topics, that you can subscribe to via email.  Receive lists of recommended titles, with links to our online catalog, in your inbox!

We're committed to making our website have the best browsing experience possible.  If you have questions or comments about our new "Downloads" section, or have suggestions for improving other areas of our site, we'd love to hear them!  Please submit them in the comments section below, or submit them via Ask EVPL.

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maintenance technology public opinion Web 2.0 fyi newsletters collections evpl toolbar overdrive downloads evpl.org enewsletters
<![CDATA[Digital Bookmobile visits Fall Festival this Friday!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/10/07/digital-bookmobile-visits-fall-festival-this-friday.aspx Tue, 07 Oct 2008 16:10:00 G10T 704 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/10/07/digital-bookmobile-visits-fall-festival-this-friday.aspx to post your comments!

Digital BookMobileAs part of a nationwide tour, the Digital Bookmobile, a 74-foot state-of-the-art tractor-trailer, will be visiting the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival on Friday, October 10, 10:30am to 6:00pm.  Visit the Bookmobile, at the northwest corner of the Lloyd & St. Joe, to find out more about the EVPL's recently-revamped OverDrive collection: featuring downloadable audiobooks, eBooks, video, and music!

OverDrive Media Specialists will be on-hand to lead visitors through the various rooms of the bus.  You'll learn how to browse our collection of digital titles; download & play audiobooks, eBooks, & videos; and get hands-on time with compatible MP3 players.  If you own an MP3 player, bring it; you'll receive personal instructions on transferring titles to it!

Full information can be viewed on the event page.  See you Friday on the bookmobile!

More Information

  • Event Page: View all the details, including info about the different areas of the Bookmobile.
  • OverDrive @ EVPL: Our revamped OverDrive collection launched last week.  In addition to the downloadable WMA audiobooks we previously offered, we now offer downloadable MP3 audiobooks, videos, & music!
  • DigitalBookmobile.com: OverDrive's official website of the Digital Bookmobile.  Find out more about their nationwide tour and upcoming tour stops.
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events audiobooks ebooks books MP3 players OverDrive movie bestsellers fall festival downloads digital bookmobile
<![CDATA[Proof that new GnR album will be released this decade?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/archive/2008/09/25/proof-that-new-gnr-album-will-be-released-this-decade.aspx Thu, 25 Sep 2008 16:58:00 G9T 604 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/" target="_blank">Music Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/archive/2008/09/25/proof-that-new-gnr-album-will-be-released-this-decade.aspx to post your comments!

Chinese Democracy cover artGuns N' Roses' sixth studio album, Chinese Democracy, has become a joke of the music industry.  Having been in production for the past 15 years (at an estimated cost of more than $13 million), and with many members of the band leaving (including iconic guitarist Slash), some think the album will never see the light of day.  This past March, Dr. Pepper bet against it by announcing that they'll give a free can of Dr. Pepper to everyone in the US if the album is released this year!

Up until about a week and a half ago, I honestly couldn't have cared less.  Don't get me wrong, I loved GnR back in the day!  But as most modern-day takes on the classics go (Indy 4, anyone?), I figured Chinese Democracy would be nothing more than an unremarkable cash-grab.

Rock Band 2, a 4-player Guitar Hero-esque videogame, released on September 14.  Being a fan of these kinds of games, I had it that day and invited my bandmates over for some rocking.  It just so happens that "Shackler's Revenge", the first official release from Chinese Democracy, is in the game.  As the song loaded, we weren't expecting much...

But the song is awesome, with a much different sound than the GnR of old!  Definitely has piqued my interest in Chinese Democracy.  Check out the video below of the song being played in Rock Band 2.  What do you think of it???

[View:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuvVXvh_lKU]

So we know one song has actually been fully recorded and mixed down!  That means the album will be released...my guess is not anytime soon.  For Dr. Pepper-loving Americans everywhere, hopefully this guess proves to be incorrect.

In the meantime, check out all the classic Guns N' Roses albums available at EVPL libraries.

More Information

  • EVPL Catalog: Check out the classic Guns N' Roses albums available at EVPL libraries.
  • Billboard.com: Nine purportedly "finished" tracks leaked last June, prompting legal action against the poster.
  • Spin.com: They somehow got a copy of the finished album over two years ago, posting this review on April 1, 2006.
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<![CDATA["The Bank Job" a thoroughly engaging heist flick]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2008/09/24/quot-the-bank-job-quot-a-thoroughly-engaging-heist-flick.aspx Wed, 24 Sep 2008 11:23:00 G9T 633 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2008/09/24/quot-the-bank-job-quot-a-thoroughly-engaging-heist-flick.aspx to post your comments!

"The Bank Job" European movie posterMost bank/casino/vault/car heist flicks follow a pretty generic formula (see Ocean's 11, The Italian Job, Gone in 60 Seconds, et al):

  1. Protagonist decides he wants to steal something.
  2. Protagonist assembles a team of wacky miscreants, each with their own special "talents".
  3. More planning. Montage of the team practicing, usually set to driving techno music or Elvis' "A Little Less Conversation".
  4. As the day draws near, something is discovered that throws a wrench in the plan. Oh noes! Back to the drawing board.
  5. Cut to the execution. They pull it off using some "OMIGOSH! I cannot believe they just did that!" tactic completely out of left field.
  6. Everyone lives happily ever after, with no repercussions for their lawbreaking.

So when watching The Bank Job, I was expecting the same cookie-cutter formula, along with Jason Statham beating up random people (ala The Transporter I/II & Crank). I was relieved when my expectations weren't true.

Based on the true story of the Lloyd's Bank robbery in 1971, The Bank Job tells the tale of Terry Leather (Statham), a former criminal now-turned-family man trying to make ends meet. With shady debt collectors breathing down his neck, he's ready for a change. In walks his former love Martine with an offer he cannot refuse...

Martine has intel that a London Bank will be alarm-less over a weekend, and that looting a vault of safe deposit boxes (full of millions of cash & jewelry) would be an untraceable crime. Terry, a desperate man looking for cash, agrees to the gig. Cue assembling the team of wacky miscreants!

The team successfully pulls off the heist without being caught. And then the movie's only halfway over. WHAT?!? The rest of the movie deals with the repurcussions of the heist.  Turns out Martine had been hired by the British Secret Service to raid the safe deposit box of a militant revolutionary, to retrieve "compromising" photos of British royalty. Also unbeknownst to the robbers are additional "lewd" photos of high-ranking government officials, as well as ledger books containing payouts to crooked cops, now in their possession. The 2nd half of the movie involves the deposit box owners trying to get their "goods" back from the robbers, and what a wild ride it is!

The movie starts out slow and a bit confusing...a bunch of characters and different subplots are all introduced right at the beginning. I liked this presentation, as it gives you just enough information to keep you interested until you find out what exactly is going on. Some viewers may not like this style, however. Also, accents are fully-British, and at several parts I felt like turning on the subtitles.

But overall, this is a great movie. It breaks the mold of other heist flicks, is thoroughly engaging, and proves that Jason Statham is more skilled than his typical beat-up-everything-that-moves roles would suggest.

More Information

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action suspense reviews romance bank heist london jason statham
<![CDATA[Website Unavailability on Friday, September 19]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/09/16/website-unavailability-on-friday-september-19.aspx Tue, 16 Sep 2008 15:02:00 G9T 567 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/09/16/website-unavailability-on-friday-september-19.aspx to post your comments!

Orange barrel!On Friday, September 19, shortly after closing at 6:00pm, the following sections of our website will be unavailable due to site maintenance:

We'll be updating library software to fix issues our users have encountered, as well as to prepare for adding new functionality in the future.

These sections will be accessible once again no later than Saturday morning.  We appreciate your patience during the downtime and apologize for any inconvenience it may cause.

If you have questions or comments, please submit them below!

UPDATE!!!: As of 10:30pm on Friday, September 19, all sections of the EVPL website are once again accessible.  Thanks to Computer Services for all their hard work!

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<![CDATA[KA-POW!!! "Batman: The Movie" a campy good bat-time!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2008/09/11/ka-pow-quot-batman-the-movie-quot-a-campy-good-bat-time.aspx Thu, 11 Sep 2008 16:26:00 G9T 519 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2008/09/11/ka-pow-quot-batman-the-movie-quot-a-campy-good-bat-time.aspx to post your comments!

Batman movie posterI must preface this review with the fact that I'm only 25 years old.  I did not get to experience Adam West's Batman during its bat-heydey in the 60s.  However, I do have fond memories of going to grandma & grandpa's (they had cable!) as a kid, watching reruns on their HUGE 27-inch console TV.

To commemorate its 42nd bat-anniversary, along with cashing in on the bat-success of The Dark Knight, Fox re-released Batman: The Movie on DVD, and for the first time released it in HD on Blu-ray.  I recently viewed the Blu-ray version and, having never seen the film, didn't know what to bat-expect.

The story is about as crazy as they come:
The Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, and Catwoman team up to highjack Commodore Schmidlapp's yacht containing a superdehydrator.  This superdehydrator can extract all moisture from a human, reducing them to a pile of dust.  The villians' plan to take over the world by dehydrating the 9 members of the United World Security Council and holding their dusty remains for ransom.  It's up to Batman & Robin, with their Batmobile, Batcopter, Batboat, and all their miscellaneous bat-tools (all prefixed with the word "bat-"), to put a stop to this evil bat-menace!!!

Batman vs. SharkWithin the first five bat-minutes of the film, you know what you're in for.  When an at-sea rescue attempt gets foiled, Batman finds himself dangling on a rope ladder from the Batcopter, being attacked by one of the Penguin's exploding sharks!  Thanks to 1960s special effects, the exploding shark is a giant rubber shark attached to West's bat-leg that he beats mercilessly with his bat-fists.  Holy sardine, Batman!  Robin retrieves the shark repellent bat-spray from the cockpit, gets it to Batman, and with a single spray the shark falls back to the sea, exploding on bat-impact (I'm guessing PETA didn't exist in the 60s).

The movie features lots of campy, laugh-inducing bat-dialog:

  • Batman: [reading a riddle] What has yellow skin and writes?
  • Robin: A ball-point banana!
  • Batman: [reads the second riddle] What people are always in a hurry?
  • Robin: Rushing people... Russians!
  • Batman: So this means...
  • Robin: Someone Russian is going to slip on a banana and break their neck!
  • Batman: Precisely, Robin!
  • Robin: [pointing toward the sky] That crazy missile! It wrote two more riddles before it blew up!
  • Batman: [reading a skywritten message] "What goes up white and comes down yellow and white?"
  • Robin: An egg!
  • Batman: [reading another skywritten message] "How do you divide seventeen apples among sixteen people?"
  • Robin: Make apple sauce!
  • Batman: [thinking out loud] Apples into applesauce - A unification into one smooth mixture. An egg - nature's perfect container. The container of all our hopes for the future.
  • Robin: A unification and a container of hope? United World Organization!
  • Batman: Precisely, Robin! And there's a special meeting of the Security Council today. If what I fear is true...
  • Robin: Wow! Let's commandeer a taxi!
  • Batman: No, Robin. Not at this time of day. Luckily, we're in tip-top condition. It'll be faster if we run. Let's go!
  • Robin: [while running] Holy marathon! I'm getting a stitch, Batman!
  • Batman: Let's hope that it's a stitch in time, Robin, that saves nine - The nine members of the United World Security Council. Come on.

 A tale of two FreezesMy only bat-complaints...

  • It's an hour and forty minutes long, which isn't too terribly long, but the campiness does wear a bit thin towards the bat-end.  Also, the bat-ending is pretty uneventful.
  • WHERE IS MR. FREEZE?!?!?!?  He was my favorite bat-villain in the TV series, and he could've easily been worked in, making the fearsome-foursome a fearsome-fivesome.

I still recommend this movie, just for the sheer bat-goofiness of it all.  It's a fun look at Batman prior to his 80s gone-goth makeover.  So check out this bat-DVD, pop some bat-popcorn, relax in your bat-recliner, and enjoy the crazy antics of Batman: The Movie!

More Information

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dvd action blu-ray reviews humor tv shows classic dark knight good and evil comedy batman
<![CDATA[New Metallica album, "Death Magnetic", releases Friday]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/archive/2008/09/10/new-metallica-album-quot-death-magnetic-quot-releases-friday.aspx Wed, 10 Sep 2008 09:00:00 G9T 483 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/" target="_blank">Music Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/archive/2008/09/10/new-metallica-album-quot-death-magnetic-quot-releases-friday.aspx to post your comments!

MetallicaFor Metallica fans, a new studio album is a big deal.

Their last album, 2003's St. Anger, drew less-than-stellar reviews from critics & fans alike.  While I enjoyed a few tracks (namely the title track, Frantic, and Some Kind of Monster), the lack of guitar solos and the most-annoying-sounding snare drum ever (the term "st. anger" has become internet lingo synonymous for a "snare drum that sounds like a pile of trash cans") really hurt the album.

With Death Magnetic, Metallica promises a return to their roots.  According to those able to "procure" leaked copies, as well as critics' reviews, they've succeeded.

Death Magnetic releases worldwide this Friday, September 12.  Anyone else looking forward to this release?  Still upset about the whole Napster fiasco???

More Information

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new releases modern rock metallica upcoming releases
<![CDATA[Theory of a Deadman returns with "Scars & Souvenirs"]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/archive/2008/09/04/theory-of-a-deadman-returns-with-quot-scars-amp-souvenirs-quot.aspx Thu, 04 Sep 2008 10:36:00 G9T 379 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/" target="_blank">Music Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/archive/2008/09/04/theory-of-a-deadman-returns-with-quot-scars-amp-souvenirs-quot.aspx to post your comments!

Theory of a DeadmanI've been following Theory of a Deadman since their self-titled 2002 debut.  Their latest album, Scars & Souvenirs, shows the band continues to improve with age.

There are essentially two types of songs on the new album:

  1. Slower, melodic power ballads
  2. Driving, aggressive testosterone-fueled rock!!!

Seems like it could get a bit monotonous, doesn't it?  Not at all!  The album is a blast from start to finish, with plenty of catchy riffs and "interesting" lyrics.

If you're a fan of the genre, I highly recommend this album!

Also, Theory of a Deadman will be performing an all-ages concert at Woody's on Thursday, September 11; all Evansville Police, Firefighters, and EMTs get free admission.  For more info, check out 103GBF's website.

Additional Resources:

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reviews popular music concert modern rock canadian bands
<![CDATA[I Am Legend...not so legendary]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2008/06/09/i-am-legend-not-so-legendary.aspx Mon, 09 Jun 2008 16:02:00 G6T 7 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2008/06/09/i-am-legend-not-so-legendary.aspx to post your comments!

I Am Legend on DVDI Am Legend was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on March 12th. I recently watched the Blu-Ray version, and while the picture quality, audio, and special effects were incredible, overall I was left unimpressed.

As the third cinematic adaptation of Richard Matheson's 1954 science fiction classic, I Am Legend opens with a news report in 2007. By re-engineering a strain of the measles virus, a group of scientists finds a cure for cancer.

The movie then jumps to 2010, portraying a barren New York City. Dr. Robert Neville (played by Will Smith) is the only human left alive within the city. Through flashbacks, we learn that the cancer cure mutated into an airborne infection, wiping out 99% of mankind. A handful of humans, including Neville, were immune to the virus. Everyone else turned into flesh-eating mutants; naturally, they're allergic to light. Neville has a science lab in his basement, where he struggles to find a way to cure these "Dark Seekers."

The movie start out great. Through Memento-esque flashbacks, only bits of information are given at a time, keeping the viewer captivated. The empty streets of New York, littered with abandoned vehicles and surrounded by neglected buildings, are incredibly eerie. (How did the filmmakers pull that off???) And Smith's convincing tirades show him slowly slipping into madness.


However, the last half of the movie falls flat. Out of the blue, two additional characters are introduced, which completely destroys the flow of the movie. It then quickly degrades into a typical zombie horror flick.

While worth a viewing, don't go in with your hopes too high. If you're a fan of comedy, be sure to check out the laughably-bad "controversial" alternate ending!

More information about I Am Legend:

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<![CDATA[A great book...or THE GREATEST book of all time???]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/06/03/a-great-book-or-the-greatest-book-of-all-time.aspx Tue, 03 Jun 2008 17:01:00 G6T 6 professor.knowsitall@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/06/03/a-great-book-or-the-greatest-book-of-all-time.aspx to post your comments!

I Am America (And So Can You)Last weekend I finished reading Stephen Colbert's epic tome I Am America (and So Can You!). If you have not done yourself the favor of reading this New York Times Bestseller (previously #1 on the hardcover nonfiction list), DO IT NOW! The fate of the free world rests in your hands.

Being a fan of Comedy Central's The Daily Show and Stephen's spin-off, The Colbert Report, I can attest that I Am America lives up to the wit and humor of the television shows. As always, Colbert pulls no punches as he speaks his mind, the one-and-only absolute truth. The only other way to absorb this much of his truthiness is to beam the contents of his brain directly into yours; look for the "Stephen Colbert's Brain Downloading Kit" coming soon to stores, but unlike his book it won't be available for free at the library.

Without this book, I would not have known the truth about the evil, liberal media; the evil, liberal Hollywood; Catholicism being the one true religion; the unfair advantages seniors get in our country (lookin' at you, Social Security!!!); and, of course, the cold-blooded killers that bears are. I will not ruin the surprise by going on further about the book's content, but it should be considered sacred doctrine. In fact, each copy comes with a sticker alerting firemen how many copies of the book are in your house to rescue, in case it's ever on fire.

In short, read this book now. As I went through withdrawals during the writers' strike, it helped me get my Colbert fix. If you're still not convinced, know that it was recently awarded with "The Stephen T. Colbert Award For The Literary Excellence".

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