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1. CBCA Shortlist: The Flywheel by Erin Gough. Ampersand Prize Winner

I bought this in ebook while listening to the author at Reading Matters last year, as well as a copy for the library. I never got past the first few pages, for no special reason. 

And today I read the lot, finishing a few minutes ago. It's one of those "just one more chapter" books. It was a Saturday and the book was on the CBCA shortlist, so... 

It has a lot of charm and humour. It reminds me, oddly, of one of Will Kostakis's novels, without the Greek family or the gay boy. This one is about being a gay girl and trying to run the family restaurant to give her Dad a chance to have a break and an overseas holiday after years of no holidays and a wife who left him for another man and moved from Sydney to Melbourne. But Del(short for Delilah)has troubles when the manager is deported over visa issues and she can't find another one.

 Like the vengeful barista she had to sack when he was lazy and stole money. Like the franchise cafe competing with hers. And then there's her friend Charlie who has moved in to hide from the police after he punched out the father of a young woman he had a crush on. And the beautiful flamenco dancer Rosa whom she watches performing at the tapas bar across the road every night from her window. And the bullying at school for being gay and having had a romance with a girl who is now denying it and telling everyone who will listen that Del had the wrong idea about her. 

Somehow, despite all the disasters, and a case of insta-love, the book is funny, the voice delightful. 

I'll be interested to see how the book will go over with our students. They don't seem to mind the gay boy books - Will Kostakis and David Levithan's books go over quite well in our library, though usually after a teacher recommendation. One of our boys is currently reading and enjoying The Sidekicks, but then, he's a Kostakis fan in general. It was so nice to be able to introduce them last year at Reading Matters when Will came over to say hi. 

I'm sure there are some girls out there not admitting to their sexuality, but I don't know. Even if they aren't around at my school, there's plenty for everyone. 

Interestingly, if Cloudwish was a love letter to Melbourne, this novel is a tribute to Sydney. I've been in Glebe, where it's set, in the YHA, probably the hostel mentioned in it. It's a fairly posh suburb near the sea. I haven't been to the library which the characters campaign to save, but you can check it out in Google Images. It has tourists wanting a bus to Bondi beach, Rose Bay, where two of my nieces live, Central Station and Redfern. You don't have to live there to be able to picture it. 

This novel won the Ampersand Prize given annually by Hardie Grant Egmont for a debut novel.

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2. Win Autographed Copies of Rocket-Bye and Can a Princess Be a Firefighter?

Enter to win autographed copies of Rocket-Bye and Can a Princess Be a Firefighter?, written by award-winning author Carole P. Roman and illustrated by Mateya Arkova. Giveaway begins July 23, 2016, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends August 23, 2016, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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3. Millersville Poetry Institute

Our whole group-- with everyone holding a book of poetry!
Janet (Wong) and I just wrapped up a wonderful week at the Millersville University Poetry Institute (in Pennsylvania) led, planned, and coordinated by Dr. Lesley Colabucci. (Intro and info here.) 

What a fun week-- and what a great opportunity to work with 23 teachers (K-12) in helping them get comfortable and confident with sharing poetry in all kinds of creative ways. Lesley had several "celebrity" readers start each day by sharing a poem (including the University President), invited local experts who lead various poetry projects and initiatives, and had several other poet speakers too-- like Jacqueline Jules, Heidi Mordhorst, Marjorie Maddox, Sandy Asher, and Linda Oatman High. Teacger Maggie Bokelman spoke about teaching with poetry and Karla Schmit presented the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award. (Sorry I missed you, Karla!) And I'm probably missing other awesome speakers. 
Janet has the group in the palm of her hand!

It was so fun to watch my good friend Janet (Wong) do her thing, presenting an awesome day of activities and challenges. She even had us collaborate to create a poetry suitcase-- which turned out amazingly well! Plus, Janet and I were able to take time outside the Institute to work together on our next project-- more on that soon. Hope you enjoy a few photos and feel inspired to try some of the things we saw here too. 

My focus was on modeling the "Take 5" approach to sharing poetry and showing how we can bridge oral and written language, involve kids actively, integrate skill instruction, and make text-to-text connections, among other things. I had a ton of slides, examples, and handouts, so I'll just share one nugget here below.

Reading Poetry Aloud

    Rachel created a poem poster
For each poem, we provide suggestions for how to invite students to participate in reading the poem aloud. Often the poem itself will “show” you how to perform it if you study the lines and their arrangement on the page. And when you invite students to participate in poem performance, you will find that they will have ideas about how to try a poem this way or that way. Follow their lead! Here are some general guidelines for involving students in reading poetry out loud.
  • Take the lead, be the first to read the poem, and don’t be afraid to “ham it up.” Take the pressure off students by showing how the poem sounds, how words should be pronounced, how the meaning and emotion might be conveyed. Don’t ask them to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself.
Poetry suitcase with props
  • Use props whenever possible to make a concrete connection to the poem, focus attention, and add a bit of fun. Choose something suggested by the poem. It’s even worth planning ahead to have a good prop ready beforehand. Students can then use the props too as they volunteer to join in on reading the poem, taking the focus off of them and giving the audience something specific to look at while listening—the poetry prop.
  • Try using media to add another dimension to the poetry experience. Look for digital images or videos relevant to the poem to display without sound as a backdrop while reading the poem aloud, or find music or sound effects suggested by the poem to underscore the meaning or mood as you read the poem aloud. 
    Poems on the sidewalk
  • Offer choices as you invite students to join in on reading the poem aloud with you. They can choose a favorite line to chime in on or volunteer to read a line or stanza of their choice or ask a friend to join them in reading a portion aloud. The more say they have about how they participate in the poem reading, the more eager and comfortable they will be about volunteering.
  • Make connections between the poems and their lives and experiences, between one poem and another, and between poems and other genres like nonfiction, short stories, newspaper articles, and songs). We provide example questions and poem connections for each poem, but once you have established that pattern, be open to the connections the students themselves make first. 
    Creating a "found" poem
  • Be creative and use art, drama, and technology to present the poem and to engage students in participating in that presentation. Find relevant photos, draw quick Pictionary-style sketches, make word clouds, create graphic “novel” comic panels for poem lines, use American Sign Language for key words, pose in a dramatic “frozen” tableau, collaborate on a PowerPoint slide show, and so on. Look to share the poem in a way that is particularly meaningful for students. Or better yet, let them show you!

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4. Transforming libraries in Myanmar: The e-Library Myanmar Project

I have been a lifelong librarian in Myanmar since 1985. It is a great pleasure and honor to share the challenges and success of the e-Library Myanmar Project implemented by EIFL.

The post Transforming libraries in Myanmar: The e-Library Myanmar Project appeared first on OUPblog.

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5. चुनावी वादे और आप

चुनावी वादे और आप फिर बज उठा चुनावी बिगुल…चुनाव में चाहे आम आदमी शब्द का इस्तेमाल करना हो या “आप ” शब्द का …बहुत दिक्कत आती है क्योकि आम आदमी पार्टी जहन में आती है.. आज कांग्रेस ने भी बस यात्रा आरम्भ की और पढने में आया कि कांग्रेस की यात्रा “बस” अपने बडबोले बयानो […]

The post चुनावी वादे और आप appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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6. Is it possible to experience time passing?

Suppose you had to explain to someone, who did not already know, what it means to say that time passes. What might you say? Perhaps you would explain that different times are arranged in an ordered series with a direction: Monday precedes Tuesday, Tuesday precedes Wednesday, and so on.

The post Is it possible to experience time passing? appeared first on OUPblog.

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7. More horses at Hollins

One of the highlights of having my friends Vicky and Aliya visit me at Hollins, was sharing the horses with them. The barn sits at the high point of the University - with the most amazing view.

We first went by on Friday to pet fuzzy noses out in the field...
and in the stable. Aliya and Vicky were able to get up close and personal with Tucker.

Then we went back on Saturday. This time, I pulled Holiday out of his stall and they actually got to brush him. I've shared with you how much I love grooming horses. (I could care less about riding them.) It was so nice to be able to share my personal form of meditation with my friends!

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8. Preparing for ISME Glasgow

This weekend, the 32nd International Society for Music Education World Conference will be hosted in Glasgow, Scotland. Researchers, practitioners, and performers will gather to present concerts, talks and discussions. We asked a few attendees for their pre-ISME thoughts and plans. What are you looking forward to at the conference?

The post Preparing for ISME Glasgow appeared first on OUPblog.

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9. ‘The Unlikely Hero’ by Guilherme Marcondes

Brazilian studio Lobo knocks it out of the park with this advertising short for textile maker Interface.

The post ‘The Unlikely Hero’ by Guilherme Marcondes appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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10. महिला, समाज और सकारात्मक या नकारात्मक मानसिकता

महिला, समाज और सकारात्मक या नकारात्मक मानसिकता ऐसा भी होता है .. कल भरी दोपहर दरवाजे पर घंटी बजी. बाहर गई तो देखा दो महिलाएं हाथ में रजिस्टर और रसीद लिए खडी किसी संस्था के लिए और चंदा मांगने आई थीं. मैनें साफ इंकार कर दिया कि हम ऐसे नही देते . फिर वो बोली […]

The post महिला, समाज और सकारात्मक या नकारात्मक मानसिकता appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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11. Toads and Summer

Recently, I came across a delightful new book  -- The Toad by Elise Gravel.  I exclaimed to my coworker – “I love toads!  Toads are my childhood!”  This was met with much merriment.  But, it is true.  Tadpoles and toads were a big part of my life when I was growing up in Massapequa Park.  We lived near a storm basin, filled with water, and we would look for and easily find tadpoles and baby toads and grown-up toads.  At night, we would hear them sing.  It is one of my favorite sounds.  These days, I rarely see toads anymore.  Sadly, they are disappearing due to pollution and loss of habitat.  But when I am lucky enough to come across one or if I hear them sing, it always makes me happy.  It evokes wonderful memories of summers past.

Toad booklist (this is a very short list --- these are not all the books the library has on toads; for more titles, please ask one of the librarians.  Preferably one that has an appreciation for toads.  Probably not Miss Amy):
The book that inspired me -- The Toad by Elise Gravel (it is part of a series called Disgusting Critters but toads are NOT disgusting. At all).  It is filled with interesting information about these creatures and is very entertaining:

This beautiful book, Gem by Hollie Hobbie, is aptly titled:

Posted by Miss Sue Ann, certified toad lover.

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12. Emotional Wounds Thesaurus: Being Kidnapped (the Aftermath)

When you’re writing a character, it’s important to know why she is the way she is. Knowing her backstory is important to achieving this end, and one of the most impactful pieces of a character’s backstory is her emotional wound. This negative experience from the past is so intense that a character will go to great lengths to avoid experiencing that kind of pain and negative emotion again. As a result, certain behaviors, beliefs, and character traits will emerge.

Characters, like real people, are unique, and will respond to wounding events differently. The vast array of possible emotional wounds combined with each character’s personality gives you many options in terms of how your character will turn out. With the right amount of exploration, you should be able to come up with a character whose past appropriately affects her present, resulting in a realistic character that will ring true with readers. Understanding what wounds a protagonist bears will also help you plot out her arc, creating a compelling journey of change that will satisfy readers.


Courtesy: Pixabay

NOTE: We realize that sometimes a wound we profile may have personal meaning, stirring up the past for some of our readers. It is not our intent to create emotional turmoil. Please know that we research each wounding topic carefully to treat it with the utmost respect. 

Examples: Escaping or being rescued from being held captive. This entry deals with the long-term effects after having escaped a kidnapping. For more information on the wounds one would experience while being held captive, see this entry.

Basic Needs Often Compromised By This Wound: safety and security, love and belonging, esteem and recognition, self-actualization

False Beliefs That May Be Embraced As a Result of This Wound:

  • If I don’t watch out, it could happen to me again.
  • I’m an easy mark, a target.
  • He’s out there watching me, waiting for another opportunity (if one’s kidnapper remains at large)
  • My life as I knew it is over.
  • I will never be whole again.
  • The others didn’t make it out; I shouldn’t have, either. (survivor’s guilt)
  • My captor wasn’t all bad. (Stockholm syndrome)

Positive Attributes That May Result: alert, appreciative, bold, cautious, disciplined, empathetic, independent, industrious, inspirational, meticulous, observant, patient, persistent, private, proactive, protective, resourceful, socially aware,

Negative Traits That May Result: addictive, callous, compulsive, controlling, devious, evasive, flaky, frivolous, hostile, humorless, ignorant, impulsive, inflexible, inhibited, insecure, irrational, manipulative, morbid, needy, nervous, obsessive, paranoid, possessive, prejudiced, promiscuous, rebellious, reckless, resentful, self-destructive, subservient, suspicious, temperamental, timid, uncommunicative, uncooperative, volatile, weak-willed, withdrawn

Resulting Fears:

  • I can’t take care of myself, much less anyone else.
  • I can’t survive on my own.
  • I’ll never readjust to live in normal society.
  • No one could ever love me now.
  • I’m crippled; I’ll never be able to achieve my dreams.
  • I’m not worthy of anyone’s love or affection.
  • No one is trustworthy.
  • The only person I can count on is me.
  • I need someone else to take care of me.

Possible Habits That May Emerge: 

  • Becoming overly cautious
  • Hyperawareness of one’s surroundings
  • Sensitivity to trigger stimuli (the smell of the captor’s cologne, sounds from one’s captivity, etc.)
  • Withdrawing from friends and loved ones
  • Difficulty trusting others
  • Fatigue due to nightmares
  • Becoming obsessed with security (taking self-defense classes, getting a gun, buying a dog, etc.)
  • Taking steps to leave one’s past behind (changing one’s name, moving, etc.)
  • Depression
  • Losing interest in hobbies and interests one used to enjoy
  • Being overprotective of one’s children
  • Difficulty adjusting to changes that have occurred in the world since one’s abduction
  • Being evasive or dishonest out of a desire to protect one’s privacy
  • Reliving certain traumas over and over
  • Self-medicating
  • Thoughts or attempts of suicide
  • Flying under everyone’s radar so as not to draw attention to oneself
  • Feeling empathy for one’s kidnapper, followed by feelings of guilt over one’s empathy
  • Self-loathing over things that happened or one’s inability to escape or stop them from happening

TIP: If you need help understanding the impact of these factors, please read our introductory post on the Emotional Wound Thesaurus. For our current list of Emotional Wound Entries, go here.

For other Descriptive Thesaurus Collections, go here.

The post Emotional Wounds Thesaurus: Being Kidnapped (the Aftermath) appeared first on WRITERS HELPING WRITERS®.

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13. That Time Vice-Presidential Candidate Mike Pence Reviewed Disney’s ‘Mulan’

This is what happens when a politician reviews an animated feature.

The post That Time Vice-Presidential Candidate Mike Pence Reviewed Disney’s ‘Mulan’ appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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14. ट्वीटर, टवीट और फेक एकाऊंट

ट्वीटर, टवीट और फेक एकाऊंट Twitter, Tweet & Fake account ID कुछ समय पहले मैंने एक जानकर को टवीटर पर और फेसबुक पर कैसे एकाऊंट बनाए बताया था और वो अच्छा भी कर रही है अभी थोडी देर पहले उसका फोन आया और खुशी के मारे चिल्लाते हुए बोली कि टवीटर पर अरविंद केजरीवाल और […]

The post ट्वीटर, टवीट और फेक एकाऊंट appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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15. Paris in July Playlist

Maurice Jarre
I have definitely enjoyed participating in the Paris in July blog event. Today, I thought I would share my top three French composers.

3. Maurice Jarre (1924-2009) was a composer who did a LOT of movie scores. Most likely, you are familiar with his scores for Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, Witness, Dead Poets Society, and Ghost. Also he did Passage to India, Is Paris Burning?, The Man Who Would Be King, Jesus of Nazareth, and A Walk in the Clouds.

His biggest hit, of course, was "Lara's Theme."

2. Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) is a popular choice for figure skaters. I'll be honest. That's how I came to know his music.

I'm sharing with you today:
Danse Macabre
Carnival of Animals
From the Carnival, but for the impatient sort, The Swan
Samson and Delilah, and, for the impatient sort, Bacchanale
Introduction & Rondo Capriccioso
Piano Concerto No 2 in G minor

1.  Georges Bizet (1838-1875) is definitely my FAVORITE, FAVORITE French composer. He is perhaps best known for Carmen, the opera. And I do love that. Though I prefer instrumental versions for easy-listening. But I really ADORE L'Arlésienne.

I'm curious if anyone will see the connection between these pieces of music and a certain children's television program. Bizet must be a big favorite of the LITTLE EINSTEIN folks.

Carmen Suite #1 and #2 Playlist

L'Arlésienne Suite No. 1 & Suite No. 2

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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16. The Reunion of the Old, Old Friends

When the Eastern forests of the North perform their dazzling dance of colour as Winter approaches and the Snowbird is up and away, human beings and animals acknowledge the occasion by observing traditional customs in accordance with Nature's Plan. An example of this occurred in the Ottawa area. It all began when The Honeyman approached the front door of the small downtown house of his old, old friend, The Real Article and his wife, The War Department. He shivered in the cold November wind and wished he'd never left his dirty little trailer by the river. His dog, Go'Way!, braced by the cool air but resentful about being dragged into the city and away from the beach and the yacht club where he scavenged a daily harvest of dog victuals, paused to deposit a grumpy intestinal objection in the middle of the walk which led to The Real Article's front door. The Honeyman was concerned that their welcome might be worn out before they arrived and kicked the offending object off the walk. He reassured himself with a quick pocket check for the presence of tobacco, honey-whiskey, and honey, knocked on the door. Thus continuing a tradition of reunions which he and his old, old friend had established when they met pursuing Dutch girls while the rest of the world was chasing Germans across Holland. Reunions which continued through battles with frostbite and venereal disease in Korea and were observed with less frequency once the pair became separated on The Rubby Route in Western Canada. In the latter days it had taken The Real Article several reunions in single men's hostels, seedy bars and fleabag hotels to adjust. When he encountered The Honeyman he had to deal with Go'Way! too. The dog was just a pup then and suffered repeated nauseating attacks of dizziness caused by his performance of a series of stutter step starts and stops because The Real Article invariably greeted him by yelling, "Go'Way!, C'Mere!" or, worse, "C'Mere, Go'Way!". The Real Article was dressed, as usual at four in the afternoon, in his lime green terry cloth dressing gown and rubber boots. The latter acquired from a late night garbage can and handy for keeping the feet dry in the soggy living room which suffered occasional floods in the wetter seasons. The old, old friends greeted each other with jocular salutations in the vein of, "Y'ole bugger, yuh never looked worse!" and "It's a wonder yer not dead or in the can!" while they punched arms, faked head butts and knees to the crotch. Go'Way! affected his usual show of emotion upon seeing The Real Article by tearing off a piece of terry cloth sleeve and further shredding the bottom of The Honeyman's coat. The separation had been long and this, combined with The Real Article's tendency to repeat things after his first sexual encounter with The War Department in the back seat of a Voyageur bus, let the occasion overwhelm him, causing him to yell, "Go'Way!, Go'Way!" at Go'Way! Naturally, the dog responded with increased affection by demonstrating his famous Large Cat Attack impression. He jumped up and down three times, wrapped himself around The Real Article's neck, like a mink stole. The Honeyman calmly removed Go'Way! by yanking on his tail and commanding in firm tones, "C'Mere, C'Mere, Geddown, Go'Way!" while thrusting his other hand deep into one of his raincoat pockets. To which Go'Way! responded by descending in a leap. On the way down, he snatched a small fish from The Honeyman's hand. The old, old friends repaired to the living room to recline on orange crates in front of a large t.v. screen as Go'Way! discovered the remains of a half eaten anchovie and pineapple pizza among a flotilla of boxes and packages on a puddle. He reminisced about his riverside home by rolling in the pizza, ignoring the old, old friends as they toasted each other and the world in general with a bottle of The Honeyman's Special Spatial Honey Brew. Hoisting his used MacDonald's milkshake container, The Real Article smacked his lips, licked his moustaches and offered up a traditional toast, "Up yers!” to which The Honeyman replied, "Up yer Geester fer Easter!" to which The Real Article rejoined, "Up yer nose with a rubber hose!" And all these tried and true toasts were followed by noisy guzzling and other memorable salutes like, "Bottoms up!" "Up alla them!" and "Up, up and away!" Which they were, by the time they detected a loud roaring emanating from another room followed by the appearance through a door of a cascade of chocolate bar wrappers, apple cores and a Laura Secord box. Go'Way! barely acknowledged this commotion, finding himself in the midst of a floating canine smorgasbord featuring a selection of boxes and containers drifting in all directions. He produced a tidal action by flopping his tail. This caused the remnants of Chinese, Italian, and Indian takeout meals to pass gently under his nose for sampling. But his moveable feast was disrupted when an empty sugar bowl propelled from the other room struck him on the snout just as he was about to test the flavour of a passing container of mouldy Moo Goo Guy Kew. The Real Article, realizing that the distant hubbub signified The War Department's uncanny ability to detect the supper hour and her suspicion of a lack of attentiveness on his part, signalled The Honeyman to follow him into his wife's presence. Which he did. Cautiously. In case of a continuation of the barrage. Straightening his tuft of red hair, extracting a bottle of Very Special Buckwheat Honey from his raincoat, smiling the irresistible, brown toothed smile which had earned him his name long before he entered the bee products business. The War Department had her gigantic bulk perched daintily upon a huge waterbed, parts of which were indistinguishable from her own corporate entity. Her purple hair grappled in agonizing clinches with lime green curlers. Her breath was bellicose, her bellow bull-like. The Real Article performed formal, if hurried, introductions, dodging hard buns and several plastic knives sent in his direction by the spouse he called Petal in intimate moments. The Honeyman bowed and proffered his bottle of Special Buckwheat Honey before ducking behind a cardboard dresser to avoid a semi-fresh chocolate drink whipped with a wicked sidearm motion by The War Department who was in full cry, "Where's supper?...Who's this?... Whatcha good for?...What kinda name is Go'Way?" Triggering an enthusiastic response by Go'Way! which landed him on the waterbed and spilled the Special Buckwheat Honey all over the pile of Saltine crackers spread out on The War Department's lap. Causing her renewed roaring and lashing about which sent waves throughout the bed and catapulted Go'Way!, who now resembled a tar and feather victim of the good ole days, back into the living room, but allowed The Honeyman to edge into the open to continue his litany of smooth talk and compliments while he fished around for another bottle of Special Spatial Brew. And this stratagem seemed to do the trick. For The War Department's bellowing subsided when they ploughed through the second bottle. The flow of foodstuffs aimed at them dwindled as she realized that her husband and his old, old friend were experiencing far too much ecstasy of the mind to do anything about getting her supper. A problem she solved immediately, after washing down the last of the honey soaked crackers with the dregs of the Special Spatial Brew, by announcing that they would all go out on the town. To The Lafayette Tavern. In the heart of the Byward Market. Through which she and the cracker covered Go'Way! marched ahead of the old, old friends, the dog biting tourists and shoppers protectively when they objected to his new found friend roaring at them and hitting them with hands full of the breadcrumbs which she carried in her large purse. While the old, old friends watched them affectionately, content to tag along behind, and, in the spirit of reunion, play one of their old Rubby Route jokes on the well heeled customers of a fancy tea room. Wherein The Real Article picked his nose and held up his finger to the light to examine the results as The Honeyman produced a syncopated rhythm of loud belches with flatulent accents and a seductive wink for the ladies over whose table they were standing. And the pair were already out the door, strolling with a chuckle, toward the next trendy spot to repeat their little prank, by the time waiters and management were summoned to comfort their distressed customers. At The Lafayette Tavern, The War Department and Go'Way! were strategically positioned in a corner table with another couple, The Stunned Rock and his wife, The Wayward Incident, when the old, old friends arrived to join them and order quarts of beer and microwaved onion and cheese sandwiches. The first were consumed and being replaced by their waiter, The Nose, when two more old cronies of The Real Article arrived, just finished their appointed rounds of delivering beer in a Brewer's Retail truck, Old Bargie and The S Turn. Who were veterans of The Rubby Route of Eastern Canada and joined the table, soon consuming enough of their own product to be persuaded to perform the trick they were famous for all the way to Newfoundland, the eating of the mugs and bottles which had contained their beer. This display had earned them a pretty penny in their younger, gambling days but was now reserved exclusively for entertainment at gatherings of old friends and family and religious holidays. Old Bargie learned the trick in a dream and The S Turn learned it from his father, The U Turn, who likewise learned it from his father, The Hairpin Turn, and so on, even unto the first generation. The War Department, in her cups and pleased to be conducting such an interesting tour of the attractions of the nation's capital, launched into a jolly harangue of the rest of the customers who remained polite until she began to punctuate her discourse by flinging fists full of breadcrumbs and uneaten quart bottles at them and prodding Go'Way until he attacked several of the more vociferous complainants. By the time The Nose arrived to protest what he termed "antisocial shenanigans" and demand payment for the missing bottles and glasses, The Honeyman had established a warm camaraderie with The Stunned Rock, The Wayward Incident, Old Bargie and The S Turn, treating them to a taste of Special Spatial Brew. The Real Article sat back contentedly, pondering the simple pleasures to be found in the gathering of small groups of friends and their pets. But exception was taken to The Nose's interference and lack of service and a hell of a brawl commenced during which the group acquitted itself admirably, the majority hiding behind The War Department and Go'Way! who were on the front line. Fortunately, all but the drunkest of enraged customers and most determined of the staff were sufficiently wary of Go'Way!'s painful nips and the whirring purse and ear splitting battle cry of The War Department to keep a prudent distance. Except for one unfortunate waiter who later likened The War Department to a Sumo wrestler on speed and venturing too close in trying to hit her with an oar, was caught up in The Bear Hug of Infinite Sorrow. From which he escaped only when The War Department noticed an innocent and terrified third party knocking over her quart in an attempt to vacate the premises with Go'Way! attached to his Achilles tendon. The Real Article spied the manager heading for the phone, presumably to summon the local constabulary. The group fought its way to the front door, piled into the Brewer's Retail truck, made good their escape. In the direction of the trailer down by the river. The Honeyman and his bottomless pockets acting as navigator for The S Turn in the cab, the rest sprawled in the back, happily pillaging the province's liquid property. The plan was to stop by The Honeyman's home long enough to pick up a supply of Special Spatial Brew and honey and go touring. But it was forgotten when they arrived and soon deteriorated into a celebration of the departure of Autumn, the arrival of Winter, Remembrance Day, and an epiphany experienced by The Stunned Rock who swore he had been granted a visitation by The Powers while peeing outside the trailer and looking up into the star filled sky. The War Department shook the little trailer to its foundations as she roaringly took on all comers at leg wrestling. Old Bargie and The S Turn gobbled up the few glasses in the kitchen while The Wayward Incident served up large portions of beans and cabbage. Go'Way! scavenged happily on the dark beach. The old, old friends kept a sharp eye on The Stunned Rock in case, as often happened to susceptible Special Spatial Brew drinkers, he had a revelation. And they were not surprised to be rewarded. After The War Department despatched him through the window at the end of the trailer with a triumphant hoot and a lightning leg hook. For by the time they found him, he had climbed onto the roof of the trailer and was declaring prophetically that they should depart to follow the Star of the East. Which they did after they adhered to the established routine of old, old friends' reunions and burned down the trailer, The Honeyman miffed at his shortsightedness in allowing the group to end up at his place, making him last host of the night and, according to ancient reunion rules, obligating him to provide his abode for the burnt sacrifice. So it was, that they loaded up the Brewer's Retail truck with supplies of honey whiskey, honey, fish for Go'Way!, a pile of beans and cabbage, made a side trip to store The Honeyman's beehives in the deserted yacht club, and set out for the East Coast. Following whatever star happened to appear above the road when they looked up. With the New Plan. To descend upon other old, old friends and continue the customary celebration all the way to The Atlantic. This was not an exception to the rule that the reunions of The Real Article and The Honeyman invariably concluded with rousing traditional choruses in accordance with Nature's Plan. For many an Autumn dog walker and suburban leaf raker has since turned a puzzled head, in the Eastern Canadian evening, at the sound of an invisible choir roaring and barking the harmonies of "Up, Up and Away" when the only apparent activity in his quiet street was a lone Brewer's Retail truck trundling along in the direction of The Dawn.

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17. Season 2 Renewals: ‘Powerpuff Girls,’ ‘Voltron,’ ‘Supermansion,’ and ‘Legends of Chamberlain Heights’

Recent announcements for four animated series that will be returning for second seasons.

The post Season 2 Renewals: ‘Powerpuff Girls,’ ‘Voltron,’ ‘Supermansion,’ and ‘Legends of Chamberlain Heights’ appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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18. in the Philadelphia Inquirer: my morning with the incredible Elisabeth Agro

Several Fridays ago I had the extreme pleasure of spending a morning with Elisabeth Agro, the Nancy M. McNeil Associate Curator of American Modern and Contemporary Crafts and Decorative Arts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

She inspired, educated, danced. She was alive, passionate, smart. She was breeze on a summer day. I adored her.

And so I wrote about Elisabeth for the Philadelphia Inquirer in this weekend edition that extends an open welcome to politicians, delegates, media, and conventioneers. Why not take a break from the balloons and debates and slip in among the art? Why not go to a quiet, thoughtful place and ponder the future of us?

A link to the story will go live on Sunday.

Meanwhile, those of you arriving or departing from Terminal D at the Philadelphia International Airport will perhaps notice the LOVE display that was unveiled a few months ago, in anticipation of this week. Based on the essays and photos in my book Love: A Philadelphia Affair, that mural, too, celebrates the museum as part of a broader celebration of our region.

We hope for peace and intelligent conversation this week. We hope to be a city well received and well remembered.

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With second cousin living in England.

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20. Beyond Brexit panic: an American perspective

By now, the early Brexit panic based on assumptions of catastrophe, disaster, and apocalypse, is giving way to more positive attitudes in the science fields. Yes, there are changes coming, sometimes painful, but there are also opportunities for new partnerships, fresh collaborations, and bolder directions. I was on a month-long visit to the United Kingdom when the Brexit vote took place

The post Beyond Brexit panic: an American perspective appeared first on OUPblog.

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21. The Leaky Cauldron at San Diego Comic-Con’s ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Q&A!

Tomorrow, The Leaky Cauldron will join the Fantastic Beasts team at San Diego Comic-Con and Warner Bros’ special event at Leavesden Studios in London. Leaky will be involved with an exclusive Q&A with the cast and crew of the film, so listen out for us!

The Fantastic Beasts Facebook page also shared some new movie art celebrating their appearance at Comic-Con, and gave the username of the new Harry Potter Snapshat account (wizarding_world), which will be shared by Pottermore, Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts teams. A special message will be delivered via the app tomorrow, so be sure to add them and check it!

Be sure to add wizarding_world on snapchat and watch the Q&A at 10:10pm BST/ 2:10pm PT/5:10pm ET tomorrow via the Fantastic Beasts Facebook page (here) and Twitter (here), and listen out for Leaky’s question!

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22. Poetry

It's been a long time since I wrote in my blog but thought I would tonight and include two poems. the first one, Battle of Britain, as published in WA Poets online journal Creatrix 33. The second one Responsibility was read at my Come Write In meeting yesterday and received a lot o comments. It's made me think about a third one - Spitfires. Well why, you might ask. Because I have been very much in awe of the Battle of Britain that was fought by so few British and their allies against a very powerful and well-prepared foe! Two hundred and fifty fighters against 2000 of the enemy! I ask you - was not God's hand in this battle that Britain won it? This was a decisive part of the war that saw Germany beginning to lose it.

                 Battle of Britain

Mad scramble when the phone rings,

Pilots soon zoom into the air.

With roaring engines, mighty wings,

Leaving lethal death trails up there,


The tiny spitfires under pilots hand,

Fight for freedom, filling sky with flare.

Fighting accomplished, a pilot sings

Coming home on a wing and a prayer.


Daring-do pilot victory-rolls a craft,

Others belly landing after fight in the skies,

Bomb-cratered airfields they eyed, aghast,

While Trusting in God were Hamilton’s cries,


He prayed for radar to come after,

As tired pilots arrived home for tea.

200,000 dead, a quarter million aircraft,

Far too many shattered lives moaned he.


At the base the CO there waited,

Pencil-twiddling in his anxiety.

How many returned? With breath baited,

Was silent question in troubled piety?


He had to write letters, always letters

To the families waiting back home.

The COs job in a world in tatters,

Was his at that time, his alone.


The Captain, the Bombardier, the Navigator

What major roles they had to play

Who was the most important at times

Was rather difficult to say


Now the Captain, his word was law

To be obeyed when given at length

It was his responsibility for sure

His character shows that strength


He kept the Lancaster in the air

With skill he guided his charge

Gripping tightly through flak and bullets

Ready for bombardier to drop bombs at large


Then Bombardier takes full control

When the target gets ever nearer

To him the responsibility of his soul

To drop them precisely when vision is clearer


But Navigator plots the minutely course

For Captain needs to know where to fly

For Bombardier to drop his charges

Exactly on the land below that both require.


I guess there’s one more thing to say

About these gallant men of such flair

For involved were other actors at play

When the Lancasters took to the air


The daring-do crew received little note

Like the radio man at his work

But those gunners that kept their aircraft afloat

Zealously their bullets whizzed, they did not shirk


There you go, from captain down to gunner

The huge Lancaster braved the fighting enemy

Not one of them thought to do a runner
                                   As they faced their own Gethsemane

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23. First Day of School Jitters? Try Splat the Cat

First Day of School Jitters? Try Splat the Cat | Storytime Standouts

Storytime Standouts reviews Splat the Cat by Rob ScottonSplat the Cat by Rob Scotton
Picture book about starting school published by Harper Collins Publishers

There’s no doubt about it, going to school for the very first time can be nerve-wracking. It is no wonder that Splat is wide awake bright and early.

When mom opens his bedroom door, his first instinct is to pull the covers over his head. When that doesn’t work, Splat tries all sorts of tactics to delay leaving for school. He can’t find socks and his hair is a mess. One thing he knows for sure, having a friend in his lunchbox is certain to help. Splat pops Seymour the Mouse into his lunchbox and sets out to meet his new teacher and classmates.Splat the Cat spread

Mrs. Wimpydimple and Splat’s new classmates are very welcoming and soon Splat is full of questions. He is especially curious to know why cats chase mice! (A definite opportunity to introduce the concept of foreshadowing) When it is finally lunchtime, Splat opens his lunchbox and his small rodent friend, Seymour is suddenly the centre of attention – and not in a good way. Splat’s new classmates do exactly what readers will predict – the chase is on!

Engaging, playful illustrations provide many details for young children to notice and enjoy. A mostly grey and black color palette is highlighted with vibrant yellow and red details that pop off the page. Those who are able to read will love the signs in the storefront windows and Mrs. Wimpydimple’s blackboard illustrations.

Harper Collins has some terrific Splat the Cat printables for children to enjoy.

Splat the Cat at Amazon.com

Splat the Cat at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts - Raising Children Who Love to Read

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24. How long was my century?

In 2002 I faced a dilemma relating to an editorial project that perhaps only another historian can appreciate. Scrambling to complete the Introduction to Twentieth-Century China: New Approaches, I had to figure out how long to say the eponymous period had lasted.

The post How long was my century? appeared first on OUPblog.

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25. Jim and Ted 15: The picnic


I figured that Jim and Ted needed a longer break from the insanity that has been their life. So here they are enjoying a nice happy, picnic.


The post Jim and Ted 15: The picnic appeared first on rob-peters.com.

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