Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bibliothèque-Musée de l'Opéra National de Paris

Bibliothèque-Musée de l'Opéra National de Paris

Bibliothèque-Musée de l'Opéra National de Paris

Posted: 08 Apr 2014 09:55 AM PDT

Officially named Bibliothèque-Musée de l'Opéra National de Paris, it is no longer managed by the opera but falls under the auspices of the music department of the national library.

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Boston Half Marathon

Posted: 08 Apr 2014 07:55 AM PDT

I first pledged to do the Boston 10k, which I did, and along with it, fundraised over 4,000 dollars for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. After the 10k, I decided to run the Boston Half Marathon, which I did with the Dana-Farber Team, and fundraised over 1,000 dollars for that race. In a month, I will be doing the Boston 5k. I was hoping to run the marathon this year, but unfortunately did not get selected for the team I applied with. However, I still run at least three times a week, and enjoy it immensely! I hope in the near future to run a marathon, and eventually, run Boston!

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Seattle gets brief reprieve from record rainfall

Posted: 08 Apr 2014 01:34 AM PDT

Even hardened locals were left shaking their head in what meteorologists are calling the wettest March since since records were started in the 1890's. Total average rainfall for the Seattle area is typically around 4 inches but March showers filled the barrels with close to 10 - leaving jackets, shoes and hats damp all month long. It seems, thank goodness, that April is off to a better start at least for the time being. Monday brought abundant blue skies and a downright balmy 70 degree heat wave inspiring most of the city to shed their REI Gortex in favor of sunglasses and shot sleeve shirts. Skies were expected to return to (normal) cloudy with chance of showers through tomorrow but *partly* sunny by Wed and Thur.

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A collection of beautiful libraries

Posted: 07 Apr 2014 01:58 PM PDT

From Seattle to Chicago and a dozen places in between, here are a collection of beautiful libraries you need to spending some time reading inside.

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Pickens County storm

Posted: 07 Apr 2014 01:41 PM PDT

Pickens county Alabama

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Splashing Around

Posted: 07 Apr 2014 12:46 PM PDT

While filming with Imagine Congo, a project focused on making a documentary highlighting the strength of Congolese women, we found a group of village children playing in the river outside of Kiwanja, Democratic Republic of the Congo, while the local women washed laundry nearby.

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The Bodleian Library, Oxford, England.

Posted: 06 Apr 2014 03:58 PM PDT

The Bodleian Library is the main research library of the University of Oxford in the UK. It is one of the oldest libraries in Europe. In the UK it is second in size only to the British Library with over 11 million items. Oxford scholars know this library as "Bodley" or simply "the Bod". Under the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 it is one of six legal deposit libraries for works published in the United Kingdom and under Irish Law it is entitled to request a copy of each book published in the Republic of Ireland. The Bodleian operates principally as a reference library and, in general, documents may not be removed from the reading rooms.
Recently a number of libraries belonging to the University of Oxford were brought together for administrative purposes under the umbrella of what was formerly known as 'Oxford University Library Services' (OULS) and are now known as the Bodleian Libraries, of which the Bodleian is the largest component. All colleges of the University of Oxford have their own libraries, which in a number of cases were established before the foundation of the Bodleian. All of these remain entirely independent of the Bodleian.
The Bodleian Library currently occupies five buildings near Broad Street. These buildings range in date from the late medieval Duke Humfrey's Library to the New Bodleian of the 1930s. Since the 19th century a number of underground stores have been built below parts of these and the Bodleian also has several off-site storage areas.
Before being granted access to the library, new readers are required to agree to a formal declaration. This declaration was traditionally oral, but is now usually made by signing a letter to the same effect. Ceremonies in which readers recite the declaration are still performed for those who wish to take them; these occur primarily at the start of the University's Michaelmas term. External readers (those not attached to the University) are still required to recite the declaration orally prior to admission. The Bodleian Admissions Office has amassed a large collection of translations of the declaration allowing those who are not native English speakers to recite it in their first language. The English text of the declaration is as follows: "I hereby undertake not to remove from the Library, nor to mark, deface, or injure in any way, any volume, document or other object belonging to it or in its custody; not to bring into the Library, or kindle therein, any fire or flame, and not to smoke in the Library; and I promise to obey all rules of the Library".
This is a translation of the traditional Latin oath (the original version of which did not forbid tobacco smoking, though libraries were then unheated because fires were so hazardous): "Do fidem me nullum librum vel instrumentum aliamve quam rem ad bibliothecam pertinentem, vel ibi custodiae causa depositam, aut e bibliotheca sublaturum esse, aut foedaturum deformaturum aliove quo modo laesurum; item neque ignem nec flammam in bibliothecam inlaturum vel in ea accensurum, neque fumo nicotiano aliove quovis ibi usurum; item promitto me omnes leges ad bibliothecam Bodleianam attinentes semper observaturum esse".
Whilst the Bodleian Library, in its current incarnation, has a continuous history dating back to 1602, its roots date back even further. The first purpose-built library known to have existed in Oxford was founded in the fourteenth century by Thomas Cobham, Bishop of Worcester. This small collection of chained books was situated above the north side of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin on the High Street. This collection continued to grow steadily, but when, between 1435 and 1437 Humfrey, Duke of Gloucester (brother of Henry V of England), donated a great collection of manuscripts, the space was deemed insufficient and a larger building was required. A suitable room was finally built above the Divinity School, and completed in 1488. This room continues to be known as Duke Humfrey's Library.
The late sixteenth century saw the library go through a period of decline to the extent that the library's furniture was sold, and only three of the original books belonging to Duke Humfrey remained in the collection. It was not until 1598 that the library began to thrive again, when Thomas Bodley, a former fellow of Merton College, wrote to the Vice Chancellor of the University offering to support the development of the library: "where there hath bin hertofore a publike library in Oxford: which you know is apparent by the rome it self remayning, and by your statute records I will take the charge and cost upon me, to reduce it again to his former use." Duke Humfrey's Library was refitted, and Bodley donated a number of his own books to furnish it. The library was re-opened on 8 November 1602 under the name "Bodleian Library" (officially Bodley's Library).
Bodley's collecting interests were varied; according to the library's historian Ian Philip, as early as June 1603 he was attempting to source manuscripts from Turkey, and it was during "the same year that the first Chinese book was acquired". In 1610, Bodley made an agreement with the Stationers' Company in London to put a copy of every book registered with them in the library. The Bodleian collection grew so fast that the building was expanded between 1610–1612, (known as the Arts End) and again in 1634–1637. When John Selden died in 1654, he left the Bodleian his large collection of books and manuscripts. The later addition to Duke Humfrey's Library continues to be known as the "Selden End".
By the time of Bodley's death in 1612, further expansion to the library was being planned. The Schools Quadrangle (sometimes referred to as the "Old Schools Quadrangle", or the "Old Library") was built between 1613 and 1619 by adding three wings to the Proscholium and Arts End. Its tower forms the main entrance to the library and is known as the Tower of the Five Orders. The Tower is so named because it is ornamented, in ascending order, with the columns of each of the five orders of classical architecture: Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite.
The three wings of the quadrangle have three floors: rooms on the ground and upper floors of the quadrangle (excluding Duke Humfrey's library, above the Divinity School) were originally used as lecture space and an art gallery. The lecture rooms are still indicated by the inscriptions over the doors. As the library's collections expanded, these rooms were gradually taken over, the University lectures and examinations were moved into a newly created University Schools building. The art collection was transferred to the Ashmolean museum. One of the schools is now used to host exhibitions of the library's treasures, whilst the others are used as offices and meeting rooms for the library administrators.
The agreement with the Stationers' Company meant that the growth of stock was constant and there were also a number of large bequests and acquisitions for other reasons. Until the establishment of the British Museum in 1753 the Bodleian was effectively the national library of England. By then the Bodleian, Cambridge University Library and the Royal Library were the most extensive book collections in England and Wales.

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Stuttgart’s Municipal Library

Posted: 06 Apr 2014 12:01 PM PDT

Designed by the South-Corean architect Eun Young Yi the library in Stuttgart, Germany is an amazing building. It has been inaugurated in 2011.

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Andrew Carnegie's Grandest Library of All

Posted: 06 Apr 2014 07:12 AM PDT

Unique from other libraries, the Carnegie Library of Homestead includes a Music Hall, Library, and Athletic Club.

Built in 1898, the Carnegie Library of Homestead was constructed at a cost of $250,000. The second of three libraries built here in the Steel Valley, the "Carnegie" was built for use by the common man, but adorned with grandeur and opulence fit for a royal family. The Carnegie Library of Homestead is the only library in the United States still holding it's original endowment of $1,000,000 from Andrew Carnegie himself.

While people think of a library as a collection of books and periodicals, the Carnegie was, and continues to serve as a community anchor. The building served as a place where families can socialize while learning, to grow strong as a community. Sports activities included boxing, wrestling, gymnastics, swimming and bowling while the library sponsored baseball, football and basketball teams. Academically, the library was home to chess clubs, scouting groups and classroom instruction for non-English speaking immigrants.

This mission expresses Andrew Carnegie's vision when he built the facility to serve his workers in the steel mills. Today, many of those same workers' families are raising their own families here in western Pennsylvania, where the Carnegie – in its second century of service – continues the vision for residents of Munhall, Homestead, West Homestead, Whitaker and surrounding communities. People from near and far flock to our historic, yet state-of-the-art Music Hall to hear the eclectic artists who travel from all over the world to perform here . . . or to patronize our Fitness Center and beautifully-renovated pool where so many of us first learned to swim . . . and, of course, the innovative adult and children's Library programming is a local gem. The facility itself has been beautifully restored and kept in tact, as it once looked over 100 years ago.

The Library houses a collection of 35,000 items and utilizes a vast array of resources to offer many programs for both adults and children. We partner with our public school district, charter, and private schools, 32 daycares and kindergartens to bring one-on-one instructional programming unique to the area that focuses on literacy, mathematics, robotics, and technology.

The Music Hall has a seating capacity of 1,047 and attracts audiences from Michigan to Florida. What once served as a community venue for Carnegie's own orchestra and choral shows, now serves a national attraction for commercial concerts. Many nationally recognized artists such as Drew Carey, Barenaked Ladies, Sara Barielles, Lisa Lampinelli, Natalie Merchant, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, YES, Boz Scaggs, Brian Setzer and more perform at the Music Hall; generally, over 40 concerts are booked annually. Even with this transition to modern culture, the stage is still home to a beautiful Steinway piano that was donated by Henry Clay Frick and his wife, several years after the library's dedication.

The Athletic Club includes several fitness-related amenities, including a newly renovated indoor pool, gymnasium, indoor batting cages, and full-service exercise facility. The Athletic Club caters to both groups, as well as individuals. Currently, there are approximately 700 dues-paying members. We offer not only a facility for physical fitness, but also swim lessons, scuba instruction, paddle boarding, underwater robotics, soccer camps, instructional baseball services, and one-on-one personal training. The Athletic Club is also home to several local public/private schools physical education programs.

While continuing to meet the demands of today's community needs as we move to a more technology driven society, once you step inside our doors, you'll feel like you stepped back in time – to 1898.

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TresMarias Cupcakes, From a Simple Desire to a Business On Fire

Posted: 04 Apr 2014 11:37 AM PDT

From a simple desire to a business on fire - this is how three sisters Leila (13), Julia (12) and Sophia (3) started out their cupcake business. Beginning February of this year, they have sold 420 cupcakes within a span of two months. Fondly called Tres Marias, these three have been demonstrating a unique kind of commitment, bond and creativity that this hobby turned into business has enabled them to showcase.

It all started with simply watching "Cupcake Wars," "DC Cupcakes," and other baking shows on TV in the past years, our three girls begged us to allow them to try their hands into baking. Without our own oven, their first attempt at baking was done through our toaster when their dad, Mond, showed them how to make his special cookies. Amidst many mistakes and lack of proper equipment in the beginning, the three just continued on to pursue baking in their grandmother's house which happened to have an oven suitable for baking cakes. Youtube became a constant companion during the summer of last year and the many Saturday nights for these three as they delighted in watching unique baking videos posted by various individuals.

When we saw their seriousness in baking by seeing their interest sustained in watching shows about it and reading about it whenever we hang out at bookstores, my husband and I decided to support them in as much as we can and help them be trained up in this interest that they have. We saved up and bought an oven and their very first electric hand mixer after a year of realising they were focused on this interest.

For about eight months until they finally sold their first box of cupcakes, they had filled our kitchen and our house with the sweet smell of cupcakes. It had become a source of bonding activity for them as sisters and us as a family since we would involve ourselves in the process of their learning. We had seem them bloom in creativity and their individual and unique strengths just shined effortlessly. We had seen how Leila, the eldest of the three, step up and become the leader of the pack, which is not her usual personality. Today, she has grown her strength in baking and her sisters respect her for that, constantly referring to her for directions and next steps to complete the orders they had received. Julia, a natural artist whose hand is gifted with drawing,designing, and painting since she was little, had contributed her skill for the arts in developing the concept and colours of the cupcakes. She is in charge of mixing the colours and coming up with combinations and assortments that make the cupcakes look fun and appetising to eat. Sophia, the toddler who always loves to help, has naturally submitted herself at the command of her sisters, a unique trait for a toddler who's just almost always ready to practice her authority in the family. She has been happily assigned to line up the ingredients on the baking table, lines up the cupcake trays with liners, and other duties that requires her organisational skill. At three, she has demonstrated this skill strongly and she's added mixing the batter to her set of acquired skills, with a few (or much) spillovers here and there. But it does not really matter when we see them all three enjoy, laugh together and even make comments and constructive criticism over their finished products. Teamwork is definitely at play.

Naturally, as their mom, I had always taken photos of their creations and post it proudly on Social Media via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. When our friends had seen their work, they were just amazed and curious if the baking they are doing is just for real. So, the orders, with payments started to come in.

I remember seeing Leila pushing her sister, Julia, to her limits while excusing Sophie when their very first order came. It was Friday and they have a school activity the next day, same day that delivery of their first cupcakes was to be made. She panicked in the beginning but was demonstrating a unique level of commitment to finish the orders that they received. Even if they had to sleep way later than usual, they survived and delivered their first set of orders. After that, it had been steady and orders have come regularly all done through social media.

Truly, this endeavour, what they have decided to name TresMarias Cupcakes, has been a blessing to our family as we see them do this as a desire that is real in their hearts. No one has ever forced them to do any of what they are doing but it is simply their passion on the inside that is propelling them. It has helped us as parents to see their potential and has allowed us to speak into their lives as we build and mould their characters into the person that they are called to be. It has also allowed them to put their faith and trust in God and develop a heart of gratitude as they see how He just continues to bless them even amidst imperfect cupcakes at times.

Today, we had already gotten back our investment for the equipment that we bought through the sales that they have made. Slowly, they are also adding up more equipments to enable them to try new flavours, designs and concepts. They are also in the process now of financial planning as I and my husband teach them how to handle the money they are earning. At a young age, we are very pleased as well with their generosity as they bless their friends with that they have from time to time - cupcakes. More than the income that can be received from this pint-sized business, we feel we had already reaped through the strengthened bond that our family has experienced and look forward to experiencing.

Cheers to our TresMarias!

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