Category: Culture

New funding needed to help White Horse project go from strength to strength

WHP MayorIt was fantastic to visit the White Horse project at the Boilerhouse in Waterfoot. The former industrial site is a safe haven for nearly 80 children and young people, aged 11 to 18 who can use the facility three nights a week.

While homework clubs and special workshops are arranged on Mondays and Wednesdays, Friday nights are social with a range of activities including computer games, pool and a weekly quiz. Despite the range of ages and interests, the atmosphere is one of both fun and respect. It was particularly heartening to meet some of the young volunteers who had been coming for years and were now taking on their first leadership positions.

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The Birth of OK, 175 Years Ago

It was 175 years ago this Sunday that two little letters were first linked together in a simple abbreviation—OK. Thanks in part to its adoption in the 1840 presidential campaign, what began as a lame joke in a Boston newspaper morphed into one of the most ubiquitous expressions in the English language

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Bleary-eyed readers scanning page two of the Boston Morning Post on March 23, 1839, may have barely noticed the linguistic oddity buried in the blizzard of ink in the second column. At the end of a short, throwaway item taking sarcastic jabs at a Providence newspaper stood the abbreviation “o.k.” next to the words “all correct.” Much like the modern-day world filled with text-friendly shortcuts such as LOL and OMG, an abbreviation craze swept nineteenth-century America, although with a twist. In an attempt at humor, young, educated elites deliberately misspelled words and abbreviated them for slang. For example, “KG” stood for “know go,” the incorrect spelling of “no go.” The joke is lost on us today, but it was LOL funny in the 1800s.

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Abbey Library – Photos

The Abbey Library in St.Gallen is one of the oldest and most beautiful libraries in the world.

Above the library door, two cherubs bear a banner with the Greek inscription “Psyches iatereion”, freely translated as   “soul apothecary”, inviting visitors to enter. The library is intended to offer “mental support” to visitors and users and provide a “sanatorium for the soul”.

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Online Catalogues for the Library of Birmingham -Photos

 Library Catalogue

Here’s a link to our online catalogue where you can search our stock, reserve it online, renew the items you already have and update your personal details when necessary.
To renew and reserve online, you will need to find out your PIN from any Birmingham Library.
Please make sure that we have your correct e-mail address on our database.
Important Notice

Spelman College Jazz Ensemble

Since its inception, the Spelman College Jazz Ensemble has established an eight-to-ten city tour, gathering new fans and teaching old ones that jazz isn’t a man’s world after all. Spelman College Jazz Ensemble’s unique combination of vocalists, wind instrumentalists and rhythm section has thrilled and excited audiences across the country with their innovative and soulful sound.

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Video – “The Power of Empathy”

The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts (the RSA) is an enlightenment organisation committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges. Through its ideas, research and 27,000-strong Fellowship it seeks to understand and enhance human capability so we can close the gap between today’s reality and people’s hopes for a better world.

As part of that mission, the RSA public events programme has launched RSA Shorts (thersa.org/events/rsashorts).  This new series provides a snapshot of a big idea, blending voices from the RSA public events programme and the creative talents of illustrators and animators from around the world. It responds to the ever-increasing need for new ideas and inspiration in our busy lives and acts as a shot of ‘mental espresso’ to awaken the curiosity in all of us.

The audio of this RSA short is of Dr Brené Brown who spoke at the RSA on The Power of Vulnerability (thersa.org/events/audio-and-past-events/2013/the-power-of-vulnerability). She talks about the difference between sympathy and empathy and argues that to be truly empathetic you have to be vulnerable by connecting with someone’s pain in yourself.  

Animated and directed by Katy Davis (AKA Gobblynne).
See more of Gobblynne’s illustration and animation work, or just pop by and say hello at:
Gobblynne website: gobblynne.com
Facebook: facebook.com/GobblynneAnimation
Twitter: twitter.com/Gobblynne
YouTube: youtube.com/GobblynneAnimation
Gobblynne Shop: society6.com/gobblynne/prints
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ANDRÉE BALLOON CRASH: A PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY THROUGH THE MOST SURREAL ARCTIC DISASTER

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The Andreée expedition balloon crash (via Tekniska museet) Few images are more strange and haunting than those discovered on some frozen film in 1930. They reveal the mysterious fate of the S. A. Andrée Arctic Balloon Expedition of 1897, where a hot air balloon meant to sail over the North Pole instead crashed into the ice. Swedish balloonist S. A. Andrée had set out with team members Nils Strindberg and Knut Fraenkel to make history, but planning and the harsh conditions of the Arctic cut their journey incredibly short. The balloon launched from Svalbard in the Arctic Ocean in July of 1897. However, inadequate testing of the balloon, Andrée’s insistence on using a “drag-rope” method of steering that trailed ropes on the ice, and just the quixotic nature of the expedition resulted in death for all three expedition members. After just two days of flight, the balloon lost hydrogen and plummeted to the ice. The men were completely unprepared for a land expedition, and set up camp on the uninhabited White Island in the Svalbard archipelago. There, the Arctic winter eventually consumed them and they perished in the unforgiving environment of ice and howling winds. Continue reading