The Apollo 11 Anniversary 1969-2019

What began as one small step for [a] man, is now one giant leap through half a century of the calendar of human history, as we commemorate the first landing on the moon, July 20, 1969.

With the anniversary comes books and other resources highlighting the landing, the astronauts, and the space race—which was an echo of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. After some early experiments in space, President Kennedy in 1961 set the mission for the nation, to land a person on the moon by the end of the sixties. This story had it all, great characters, drama, heroes and villains, pathos and tragedy, and finally triumph. Also, microwaves, Teflon, and the never ending development of technology that came about as offshoots of the space missions during that half century.

Some of the newer titles out for the anniversary year include the books American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race by Douglas Brinkley, Apollo’s Legacy: Perspectives on the Moon Landings by Roger Launius, and One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission That Flew Us to the Moon by Charles Fishman.

DVDs include First Man (based on the book by James Hansen), and from director Todd Douglas Miller, Apollo 11. Continue reading “The Apollo 11 Anniversary 1969-2019”

Bus Reads for May

Commuting to Seattle by bus five days a week gives me a lot of reading time.

Here’s what I read on the bus in May:

Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin
A nice little thriller, reminded me a bit of Josh Bazell’s book Beat the Reaper, which I also enjoyed. Rice Moore is seeking a hideout from the Mexican cartel he betrayed, he finds that in the Appalachian Mountains working on a nature preserve, but its not all peace and quiet. The bears protected on the preserve are found dead, while he searches for the poachers it brings him a little too close to the past he was running from.

Continue reading “Bus Reads for May”

If You Liked Yuval Harari’s Sapiens

Book cover image for SapiensWho are we? What are we? Why are we here? Where will we wind up? These are just a few of the questions asked – and answered – in Yuval Harari’s Sapiens, a thought-provoking and opinionated international bestseller about nothing less than the humanity, start to finish.

I’ve long been intrigued with human origins, fascinated by the staggeringly brief history of our remarkable and problematic species. Our diminutive presence across both the vast reaches of outer space, and aeons of earth’s history, provides a salutary humbling perspective to our often ego- and anthropocentric lives. Then there are all of our curious hominid siblings, outlasted by only us – unless you believe in Bigfoot. With this keen interest in the rapidly evolving field of paleoanthropology, I was thrilled to suddenly find so many of our patrons enjoying Harari’s book, and wanting to learn more. Continue reading “If You Liked Yuval Harari’s Sapiens”

Seattle Rep’s NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN: Beyond the Theatre

Seattle Repertory Theatre presents NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN by Christina Ham from April 26 to June 2, 2019. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this list of books, music and films to enhance your experience of the show.

Nina Simone’s “Four Women” is a haunting, critical exploration of racial stereotypes and the legacy of slavery through the lives of four black women: Aunt Sarah, Saffronia, Sweet Thing and Peaches. In NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN, playwright Christina Ham brings these characters and Simone herself to life as they gather in the ruins of the 16th Street Baptist Church the day after 4 young black girls died in a terrorist bombing. This tragedy profoundly impacted Simone, prompting her evolution from artist to artist-activist and inspiring her to write and perform powerful songs such as “Mississippi Goddamn,” “Young, Gifted and Black” and of course, “Four Women.” Continue reading “Seattle Rep’s NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN: Beyond the Theatre”

‘Tis the Season for Hanami

Spring has sprung in the Pacific Northwest and the cherry trees are putting on quite a show! One of the more popular attractions in Seattle for cherry blossom viewing, also known as Hanami, is our cherry trees located at the University of Washington Quad.

Although the origin of the trees is debated, according to The Daily:

“In 1912, Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki donated cherry trees to the United States, which marked the growth in friendship between the United States and Japan. The trees were distributed around the country, with 34 of them planted in the Washington Park Arboretum. Because of construction [of State Route 520], the trees had to be relocated, and 31 of them were relocated to the UW, where they are now planted in the Quad.” –The Daily of the University of Washington

Photograph of blossoming cherry trees on the University of Washington Quad.
The Daily – Takae Goto

They just reached peak viewing on March 29th. However, there is still time to celebrate! ParentMap has a list of other locations in Seattle and nearby to enjoy cherry blossom viewing.

Continue reading “‘Tis the Season for Hanami”