New Stuff Tuesday — Jan. 15, 2019

Vincent Van Gogh and the Colors of the Wind
by Chiara Lossani, illus. by Octavia Monaco
E Los
New Arrivals Island, 2nd Floor

Vincent Van Gogh and the colors of the wind bookcover

I learned a lot from reading this delightful, colorful tribute to the painter. Despite my initial doubt at the perhaps inadvertent nod to the theme song of the mid-90s Disney movie Pocahontas, the wind theme works well by the end. The wind reappears in many of the illustrations as a cheery snail shell-shaped cloud, speaks to encourage Vincent in his artistic growth, gives voice to Vincent’s hopes and dreams for his art, yet also gives voice to the darker sides of his mental illness and his difficulty relating to many of the artists and friends around him. The book deals gently and in an age-appropriate way with the many less appealing aspects of his life, such as his alcoholism, temper, lack of commercial success during his lifetime, and his eventual suicide, all of which have contributed to his posthumous reputation as a “tortured artist.”

Indeed, the book is as much a tribute to his brother Theo, who was perhaps his most stalwart supporter and friend. He tried (mostly unsuccessfully) to sell his brother’s paintings in Paris and many times sent him money, painting supplies, and even encouraged Vincent to come to Paris and move in with him. It makes me want to read the longer nonfiction YA biography of the two brothers, Vincent and Theo.

The book provides reproductions of at least a dozen of his paintings, and the glimpse made me want to look up more about his artistic development and his life. Highly recommended.

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New Stuff Tuesday – January 8, 2019

Adrift: a true story of love, loss, and survival at sea

Adrift: A True Story of Love, Loss, and Survival at Sea
by Tami Oldham Ashcraft with Susea McGearhart, narrated by Laurence Bourvard
G530.A84 A8 2018
New Arrivals Island, Audiobooks, 2nd Floor

In the audiobook version of Red Sky in Mourning, sailor and author Ashcraft recounts the story of her 41-day ordeal, adrift in the Pacific on a badly damaged sailboat.

The luxury craft that she and her fiancé were to deliver to its owners in San Diego is battered when overtaken by a category four hurricane, and during the storm her fiancé is lost at sea. With main mast broken and electronics rendered useless, she is forced to rely on her essential knowledge of navigation and use of a sextant. Her narrative successfully captures how her sense of loss competes with her sailing skills and survival instinct.

Book cover for Red Sky in Mourning

Red Sky in Mourning (2002)

While the 2018 film adaptation is less harrowing than the true story, she states, “I’m just very pleased that it’s being told at a time when there’s such an empowerment of women. […] I think it’s a time to show some of the strengths that women have, that they can overcome all kinds of obstacles in their lives.”

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“Snowy Woods,” The Ten Commandments, and Freud’s Ego & Id

What do Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” the Cecil B. DeMille classic early silent film The Ten Commandments, and Sigmund Freud’s The Ego and the Id all have in common?
10 Commandments movie poster

They were all published or released in 1923. And as of Jan. 1, 2019, they’re now “public domain” — free for you to record your own version, illustrate, re-make, chop up and use clips, or publish and comment on the full text on your own personal webpage, without asking permission from anyone! *

And for the next few decades, every New Year’s Day will unleash a similar flood of new materials that were created 95 years previously.

That might not seem earth-shaking, but consider that for the last 20 years, the American public was robbed of free access to all sorts of creative content created in 1923 and following. Many texts were out of print, but the publishers who held copyright wouldn’t release it to anyone else to print. Many classic works of music and early silent film were inaccessible because nobody could (legally, at least) put their own recording or a copy on YouTube. Now? Have at it!

Copyright didn’t use to be in place for so long, but in 1998, Congress passed a copyright extension act virtually without opposition, largely thanks to the lobbying of Hollywood and various other creative guilds. Smithsonian Magazine has a much better explanation than me. Thankfully, with the advent of the digital age, people are much more aware of the benefits of public domain, and it’s seen as fairly unlikely to be extended again.

*Caveat: the original works were released in 1923 and those are public domain now. There are lots of other versions, reprints, editions, etc. that were published later — e.g. you might be more familiar with the “talking” Ten Commandments movie that was a 1956 re-make of the 1923 one, and the 1956 one is of course still under copyright. I’m not a copyright lawyer, but that’s my understanding :-).

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New Stuff Tuesday – Christmas Day 2018

Jewelry for Gentlemen

Jewelry for Gentlemen
by James Sherwood; special photographs by Andy Barnham
NK7305 .S54 2018
New Arrivals Island, 2nd Floor

It’s Christmas Day. Perhaps Santa left something shiny for you under the tree. But most likely any gift will pale in comparison to the bling worn by the Maharaja of Patiala back in the 1920s. He commissioned Cartier to craft his famous necklace from bucketloads of his gemstones, including the spectacular 235 carat yellow diamond pendant. Cartier created a reproduction of the necklace after the original disappeared. The Introduction to this book features the story of this famous necklace along with stories of other famous pieces.

Who knew gents’ jewelry could be so bold, so dashing — and yet so tasteful? Hundreds of color photographs offer a sumptuous visual repast of traditional fare like rings, cufflinks and lapel pins. But the buffet offers savory dishes of brooches, stick pins, bracelets, pendants, chains and studs as well. The verso of the title page features my favorite piece: a Cartier platinum and white-gold panther brooch. The panther’s body is studded with diamonds and sapphires as he glares imperiously from yellow-diamond eyes atop his perch on an enormous Kashmir sapphire. This book is a visual feast — fit for a maharaja — and folks like us.

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Library’s Winter Break & Winterim Hours

Andersen Library’s hours Between Fall Semester and Winterim (December 22, 2018-January 1, 2019):

M*-F 8am-4:30pm
*CLOSED: M-TU Dec 24-25 & M-TU Dec 31-Jan 1

Andersen Library’s Winterim (January 2-18, 2019) hours:

M-TH 7:30am-6pm
F 7:30am-4:30pm
Sun 1-5pm (no Reference Desk; use Ask a Librarian)

Reference assistance is available Monday-Friday, but on call. Please ask at the Circulation Desk to have a reference librarian paged.

Andersen Library’s hours Between Winterim and Spring Semester:

Andersen Library is closed for the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday: Sat-M, Jan 19-21. Regular spring semester hours start on Tuesday, January 22nd.


Happy New Year, everyone!

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New Stuff Tuesday – December 18, 2018

W.E.B. Du Bois's Data Portraits Visualizing Black America book cover

W.E.B. Du Bois’s data portraits : visualizing Black America
the color line at the turn of the twentieth century
by Whitney Battle-Baptiste and Britt Rusert, editors
E185.86 .D846 2018
New Arrivals Island, 2nd floor

This book is a reprint featuring various charts and graphs of data that were featured at World’s Fair in Paris in 1900. The data was collected by a sociological research team headed by W.E.B. Du Bois. And the data was notable for being the most prominent of its time to show the large gap that existed between black and white people in American society, now 35 years from the abolishment of slavery. While the research is important and paints a picture Black American life at the turn of the 20th century, this book focuses on the presentation and visualization of the data which is both colorful and creative. Du Bois would use the foundations of this research to help propel his career 3 years later with his most famous work Souls of Black Folk (available at Andersen Library)

For a more in depth look of this work, listen to the editor of this edition discuss the book on the PolicyViz podcast.

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New Stuff Tuesday – December 11, 2018

Ada Lovelace: The Making of a Computer Scientist book cover

Ada Lovelace:
The Making of a Computer Scientist
by Christopher Hollings, Ursula Martin, and Adrian Rice
QA29.L72 H65 2018
New Arrivals Island, 2nd floor

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (1815-1852), daughter of Lord Byron and his wife Anne Isabella, was tutored at home instead of receiving a formal education at institutions that were mostly closed to women. Demonstrating her intelligence at a young age, her mother made sure she was taught a wide variety of subjects to feed her brain. She grew to become a gifted mathematician and one of London’s social and scientific elite in the Victorian era. Lovelace has been called the first computer programmer. But how was that possible in an age when there weren’t any computers? There was the idea of computers, that’s how. Not counting devices such as the abacus and slide rule, the first modern computer was the “Analytical Engine.” Although never built, it was created by British mathematician Charles Babbage between 1833 and 1871. Lovelace worked with him. She published her first computer program, essentially a table with mathematical entries, in 1843. This book includes that table along with many other illustrations of formulas, diagrams, paintings, drawings, and correspondence. Each of the many illustrations appear carefully chosen to elucidate Lovelace’s development from childhood onward and help us understand the mystery that is Lovelace. This book is a quick read, filled with many illustrations to delight as well as unique information gleaned from previously unpublished archival materials used by the authors. It is a delight to read.

If you’re interested in a another blog post about Lovelace, but about a picture book, please look here: Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: The First Computer Programmer.

The Andersen Library has a few more adult Ada Lovelace titles if you’d like to read more:

You can also borrow books from other UW System libraries through Research@UWW by using UW Request.

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Singalong! Fa la la la laaaaaaa

Do you need a study break? Do you like to sing?

Go to “Carol-OKE” on Wed., Dec. 12, starting at 4 p.m. at the Irvin L Young Memorial Library (Whitewater’s public library at 431 W Center St). Sing favorite winter songs with friends, family, and neighbors, and enjoy a “fabulous Hot Chocolate Bar!” Free and open to all. No registration.

Andersen Library can help, with CDs such as Mariah Carey’s Merry Christmas (2nd-floor Browsing CDs, HOL Car Mer) and Merry Christmas II You (2nd-floor Browsing CDs, HOL Car Merr), Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (2nd-floor Browsing CDs, HOL Bac Wei), Let’s celebrate Kwanzaa sing-along (2nd-floor Curriculum Collection CDs, CHIH Let), and A Christmas festival with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops (2nd-floor Browsing CDs, Fie Chr). Or, find music to play or sing, including Béla Bartók’s Rumanian Christmas carols: Piano solo (3rd-floor Main Collection, M25 .B27 R8x), Twelve traditional carols from Herefordshire: For voice and piano (3rd-floor OVERSIZE Main Collection, M2114.5.V38 T7 1996), and The complete Jewish songbook for children!: 201 Jewish songs for holidays, everyday or just for fun! (3rd-floor Main Collection, M2194.3 .C667 2002).

Don’t forget to check out the streaming music databases: DRAM, Music Online: Jazz Music Library, and Naxos Music Library For an example of what you can find, click on the Verve Remixed Christmas album from Jazz Music Library!


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Holiday Book Sale

The holiday season is upon us. This month’s book sale features $1 and $2 giftworthy books! This month’s subjects include children’s books, history (especially Latin American history), philosophy, and computer science – and, of course, there are a smattering of other subjects on the shelves. We hope all these items find new forever homes. Stop by soon for the best selection!

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Andersen Library exam hours

Andersen Library is extending its hours for exam study:

Fri., Dec. 7: 7:30am – 10pm
Sat., Dec. 8: 9am – 10pm
Sun., Dec. 9: 9am – 2am
Mon.-Thurs., Dec. 10-13: 7:30am – 2am
Fri., Dec. 14: 7:30am – 10pm
Sat., Dec. 15: 9am – 10pm
Sun., Dec. 16: 9am – 2am
Mon.-Thurs., Dec. 17-20: 7:30am – 2am
Fri., Dec. 21: 7:30am – 6pm

The first and third floors of the Library close at 1am; only 2nd/main floor is open until 2am. All three floors are open until closing on nights when then Library closes earlier than 2am. Doors are locked 15 minutes before closing.

Free coffee on weekends and late nights, and popcorn on evenings the Library is open until 2am! Check out the stress-relieving Relaxathon events, and plan ahead plan ahead for the pet therapy dogs that will be visiting from noon-2pm on Mon.-Thurs., Dec. 10-13, and Mon.-Thurs., Dec. 17-20.

collage of images of students studyingStudy hard and good luck, everybody!

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