Fun at Foster's blog

Ethics, Culture, and Biotechnology @ Foster

On Sunday, November 9, E.P. Foster Library will be hosting the first of two talks on bioethics to take place this month.

This first talk is entitled "Mixing Species: Is it Kosher?" It will focus on biblical perspectives relating to biotechnology as it pertains to diet and more.

This event begins at 3 p.m. in the Topping Room. For more information on other talks in this series, call or drop by the library!

A Ghost Town Cemetery, Bodie, California

 

 

As we celebrate Halloween, All Souls’ Day, and Día de los Muertos, your resident photographer thought she would share some photographs relevant to the season. On a recent sojourn, I decided to explore the cemetery in the ghost town of Bodie, California.

While wandering among the ruins of the town and the headstones in the cemetery, yours truly ran into one of the rangers who works in the park. He told me that the cemetery used to be in the lower-lying area where the entrance kiosk is currently located. Unfortunately, that area is swampy in the spring, which had unfortunate consequences for the inhabitants of the old cemetery. The cemetery was moved to its current location on a hill, where the interred have a lovely view overlooking the town of Bodie. Right outside the graveyard there is a brick building which used to house the hearses used for the funerals. It was also where they stored bodies during the winter when the ground was too frozen to dig graves.

One of the most poignant stories involves the “Angel of Bodie,” three-year-old Evelyn Myers, who died when she was accidentally hit in the head with a miner’s pickaxe. Some people have reported that she haunts the cemetery, looking for other children to play with. Her grave is marked by a sculpture of a child angel. There have also been reported sightings of a woman seen looking out a window on the second floor of the Cain House, an old woman seen rocking in a chair in the Gregory House, and the smell of cooking coming from the Mendocini House, as well as other unexplained occurrences.

If you are interested in visiting the ghost town of Bodie, Foster Library has books available to assist you in planning your next ghost hunt, as well as information about the history of Bodie. There are also a number of items by our own local ghost hunter, Richard Senate, if you want to limit your spectral searches to Southern California.


 

Keep in mind, though, if you do decide to visit Bodie, do not remove any artifacts, even if they don’t look like they will be missed. The story goes that the ghostly residents of Bodie protect the site, and anyone who removes anything from the town is doomed to misfortune until they return what they have taken. The rangers routinely receive items in the mail that remorseful visitors have removed, so it is quite possible there is some substance to the “Bodie Curse.”

 

Resident Photographer Aleta A. Rodriguez

A Wrinkle in Time @ Foster

Thursday, November 6, will mark the opening of a special art exhibit at E.P. Foster Library!

Caregivers: Volunteers Assisting the Elderly is partnering with the library on this exhibition, and the opening will be marked with a reception.

The reception begins at 2 p.m., and refreshments will be provided by the Friends of the Library. We hope to see you there!

Ken McAlpine @ Foster

On Sunday, November 2, there will be a special reading by local author Ken McAlpine at E.P. Foster Library.

Ken has experience writing for magazines and will be talking about his latest release, Juncture, and about the craft of writing in general. He has traveled far and wide and has used much of this experience to fuel his writing.

This event is free and open to the public. It all starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Topping Room. We'd love for you to stop by!

Jade’s Sci-Fi & Fantasy Minute: “The Diamond Age,” by Neal Stephenson

Even in a world full of nanotechnology and incredible advances in science, there can still be strife and unrest. Such is the setting of Neal Stephenson’s novel The Diamond Age. We follow Nell, an orphan girl from the lowest phyle, or class. She receives a stolen Primer, an educational book written for young women of high society which prepares them for “an interesting life.”

As with many of Stephenson’s novels, the plot almost becomes overshadowed by the engaging universe he creates. In The Diamond Age he has created a Neo-Victorian society filled with technology. The novel has many interesting themes, including post-scarcity economics, hive consciousness, artificial intelligence, and cultural and racial relativism. Written in 1995, it poses an interesting question: what role does technology play in the education of children? It may be almost twenty years since its original publication, but I find The Diamond Age as relevant now as it was then. With the growing popularity of eBooks, studies are being done around the world to try to answer this same question. I love sci-fi novels that engage on an intellectual level, and Neal Stephenson does that wonderfully.

You can request a copy of The Diamond Age online, over the phone, or by dropping in at the library. For more sci-fi and fantasy titles, check out E.P. Foster Library's Adult Science Fiction section on the first floor.

 

Yours Truly

"Zom-B," by Darren Shan

For Halloween, try out this creepy YA series!

Readers Beware

A lot of characters die in this series, and even the main character is not immune as Darren Shan spins a tale of horror that leaves no one unscathed.

The book starts by letting the reader get to know the main character, “B.” B comes from a troubled home in a working-class community of London and spends time hanging out with friends, getting in trouble, going to school, and trying to avoid problems at home. Generally, B performs poorly in school, but suddenly things change a bit. Inspired by a teacher, B begins to challenge the ideas of a cruel and racist father, and one day during a museum visit saves a small child that was kidnapped by two men with horribly disfigured faces. B is hailed as a hero for a while, but nothing is easy in B’s life, and even as things seem to drift back to the way they were…

The world ends.

Suddenly, everything is different. EVERYTHING. And B must adjust to a world full of the shambling, brain-eating dead and worse. B is changing too, and nothing makes sense anymore.

What caused this? Who caused it?

What is happening to B?

Is B even alive anymore?

Zom-B is available to borrow as part of E.P. Foster Library's Young Adult Fiction collection on the second floor, along with several other books in this series.


Dia de los Muertos @ Foster

Stop by E.P. Foster Library on Wednesday, October 29, for a Spanish-language talk on Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead.

This talk will be presented by the Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project, and will discuss the history of this popular celebration.

Twenty headsets will be available for those interested in hearing an English translation of the talk. This free event starts at 7 p.m. in the Topping Room; we'd love to see you there!

Should I Start My Own Business? @ Foster

On Sunday, October 26, Business Coach Deborah Gallant will host a workshop for aspiring entrepreneurs at E.P. Foster Library.

This free event is designed for anyone who has thought about starting their own business. Deborah Gallant has helped hundreds of people decide whether they have what it takes to attract customers!

Stop by the Topping Room at 4 p.m. if you'd like to take part in this workshop, and come ready to ask questions!

Jade’s Sci-Fi & Fantasy Minute: The “Black Jewels” Trilogy, by Anne Bishop

Author Anne Bishop has created a breathtaking, beautiful universe in her Black Jewels trilogy. Saetan SaDiablo has waited centuries for the daughter of his soul, Witch, to be born. There is a taint of evil spreading through the Blood, between the ones who would honor the ancient codes of protocol ensuring that the powerful serve and the members of the Blood, who want the powerful to dominate. War is coming, and only Witch can hope to stop it.

These novels are the best kind of novel; while reading, you feel time slip away as you become invested in the lives of the characters. I revisit these novels from time to time and find that the story pulls me in every time, despite knowing what is to come. Bishop captures the raw emotions of family, loyalty, and love so clearly that I recommend having tissues nearby. The characters leap off the page and the lands seep into your bones.

If you crave magic, romance, and unforgettable characters, Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels trilogy will transport you to a realm where your dreams can come true. There are mature themes throughout the books, so be warned: these are books for adults.

An omnibus of all three novels, Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows, and Queen of the Darkness can be found at E.P. Foster Library.


Stronghold Schools @ Foster

On Wednesday, October 22, Paul D. White, director of Ventura's Stronghold School Systems, will be speaking at E.P. Foster Library.

This talk will focus on White's fundamental principles which he has used to work with the most challenging cases he has come across in his career.

This free event is open to the public and will take place in the Topping Room at 6:30 p.m. Call or drop by the library for more information!

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