Thursday, March 14, 2013

Shakespeare on Film

Shakespeare left behind 38 plays which have become a great source of material for filmmakers. There have been hundreds of adaptations, some modern with only the plot-line referenced, others traditional, and some that have taken great liberty in terms of both theme and style. What all have in common is the rooted notion that Shakespeare’s works, across the centuries, are engaged with questions still asked about what it means to be human. Tragedy, comedy, humor and pathos, all can be found in the plays and films of William Shakespeare now on display at the Al Harris Library.  

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to the world as the beloved Dr. Seuss, was born on March 2, 1904, so

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss, what wondrous worlds your books introduce!

Dr. Seuss is the author of forty-six books, including the Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

In addition to the books, his works have provided the source for eleven children’s television specials, a Broadway musical, and feature-length motion pictures. His honors include two Academy Awards, two Emmy awards, a Peabody award, and the Pulitzer Prize.  As he wrote in his book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, great achievement is possible:

“You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!” 

Celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday by taking a look at the book display near the entrance to the library.  You will see the wondrous worlds his books introduce.

Friday, March 01, 2013

The Human Genome Project and Innovation

During the 1950s, scientists James Watson and Francis Crick discovered that the structure of DNA was the double helix.  Their discovery led, in the 1990s, to the creation of the Human Genome Project.  The mission of this massive international collaboration of laboratories was to map the human genome, the sequence of 3 billion chemical base-pairs.  In 2003 an outline of the human genome was completed.  Yet, there is till plenty of on-going research.

The work of the Human Genome Project has redefined the direction of pharmaceutical drug development.  Food is now engineered.  And, the entertainment world has produced movies exploring the social consequences of genetic tampering in Jurassic Park, Gattaca, and The 6th Day.

The Al Harris Library currently has a display of books about the Human Genome Project near the circulation desk.  These represent only a sample of available information about the Human Genome Project, DNA, and issues resulting from both.  All of the books are available for check out.  Articles about the project can be found in databases such as Today's Science and Issues and Controversies.