Tuesday, July 31, 2012


The Dark Knight Rises is currently doing blockbuster business across the country -- the film pulled in $160 million during its opening weekend, the biggest opening ever for a non-3D film (and the third-biggest opening weekend of all time across the board). But with the character's career spanning over seventy years, the Dark Knight film trilogy is hardly the first time that the Caped Crusader has been front and center in the pop culture limelight. What's more, the darker, gritty overtones of Christian Bale's portrayal of Batman may be faithful to how the character was originally conceived -- but it's hardly the only interpretation of the character to prove popular.

Pulp Fiction: 1939 - 1940s

The "Bat-Man" was the creation of artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger (and we've already mentioned the confusion surrounding exactly who came up with which parts of the character's origin and backstory). Seeped in the pulp detective lore of the day, the Batman was heavily inspired by characters like the Shadow (another black-cloaked crimefighter popular in the 1930s). When Batman burst onto the scene in 1939, he was intended to be a darker fictional counterpart to the first "modern-day" superhero, Superman. 

Camp Batman: 1950s - 1960s

In 1954, Fredric Wertham published his now-infamous book Seduction of the Innocent. It argued, among other things, that comic books were to blame for the corruption of American children. Comic books sales, which had been so popular only a decade before, began to plummet -- and the industry, in an attempt to boost sales, began turning to lighter, quirkier stories than their previous fare.

The 50s and 60s saw Batman abandon his pulp-fiction detective roots for adventures rooted in sci-fi and fantasy. Instead of the streets of Gotham City, Batman patrolled through space and time, battling aliens and dinosaurs more often than the traditional criminal element. 

The zaniness reached its peak in 1966, when Batman came to television with Adam West in the title role (and Burt Ward starring as Robin). This was camp at its campiest, with an array of famous guest stars -- including Burgess Meredith, Julie Newmar, Cesar Romero, and Eartha Kitt -- causing mayhem on the streets of Gotham City. There were high hopes for the show's success, but no one could have predicted the sheer phenomenon the show became. Kids loved it legitimately, college students loved it ironically -- and Batman was popular precisely because of the show's campy ridiculousness. 

But the show only lasted three seasons, and when it was over, sales of the Batman comic book -- which had been boosted by interest in the show -- began to fall again. For Batman to recover, the character would need to be reinvented once more.

Return of the Dark Knight: 1970s - 1980s

Creators like Neal Adams and Denny O'Neil had already begun to write Batman stories that were more gritty urban stories and less campy science fiction, strengthening sales and returning the character to his darker noir roots. And then, in 1986, came the publication of Frank Miller's four-issue miniseries, The Dark Knight Returns. This was a story that was grim even by Batman's standards, telling a what-if tale about a futuristic Bruce Wayne who must come out of retirement to fight not just his old foes, but a completely corrupted society.

The story is regarded as a seminal Batman tale, one that many fans list as one of the all-tine great graphic novels. Others argue that the story -- which paints Batman in an almost fascist light -- misses the point of the character. (I fall into the latter category myself!) But regardless of opinion, the book did have one inarguable effect: the campy days of Batman were over -- for now.

On Screen: 1989 - 1990s

The first Batman movie to have a major director and established stars (Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader, and Jack Nicholson as the Joker), Tim Burton's Batman was released in 1989 and grossed $251 million in the US alone. And after the sequel, Batman Returns, was released in 1992, Batman returned once more to the television screen -- in the Emmy-winning cartoon series Batman: The Animated Series. The films and the animated series were both wildly popular, offering audiences a darker Dark Knight -- if not as grim as Miller's Batman in The Dark Knight Returns, then at least a far cry from Adam West's campy portrayal in the 60s show.

When Burton left the big screen Batman franchise, Warner Brothers brought in director Joel Schumacher to replace him. Schumacher's Batman Forever and Batman and Robin aren't so much terrible films (though fans will tell you otherwise) as they are a return to Batman's campy days. But Batman fans and casual moviegoers alike weren't so interested in a campy Batman anymore, and when the fourth movie brought in disappointing box office returns, the franchise was put on hiatus.

Bale & Nolan: 2005 - Today

When director Christopher Nolan took over the Batman franchise in the new millennium, he was relatively new to the movie making scene. But Warner Brothers' gamble paid off, and Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy has become one of the most popular (and highest-grossing) film trilogies of all time.

The films are touted as creatively inspired and ultra-realistic -- well, as realistic as one can get when telling a story about a guy who dresses up like a bat to fight crime. But if ever a superhero movie strove for gritty realism, it's these films. All traces of camp are gone, and the science fiction element is restricted to technological gadgets and not much else. Yet beyond the dark overtones, director Nolan, writing partners David S. Goyer and Jonathan Nolan, and star Christian Bale used characters, archetypes, and a mythos seventy years in the making to tell one overarching story of hope and redemption.

Warner Brothers is already making plans to reboot the franchise within several years, and Batman continues to get new adventures every month in the pages of his various comic books. And, as a major Batman fan myself -- who was thrilled with The Dark Knight Rises -- I've still no qualms with seeing where a new filmmaker might take the character next. Because the truth is, with a character this long-lasting, there's plenty of room for everyone's version of Batman.

Yes. Even Joel Schumacher's.

-- Post by Ms. B

Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer Olympics

Who doesn't love the Olympics? Even if I'm not excited about them before they start, by the time I watch the Opening Ceremonies, I am hooked! Watching nations from all over the world march into the stadium, after the spectacle of the performers, is magical. By the end of the evening I'm ready to watch every single sporting event, no matter how obscure. Whether it's Handball, Water Polo, or Badminton, if I have the time, I will be watching it.

So, to get you ready for the next 16 days, here are some facts about the Olympics, followed by further resources on the web and here in the library.

  • London is the first city to host the Summer Olympics three times -- 1908, 1948, and 2012.
  • Over 200 countries and over 10,000 athletes were invited to this year's Olympic Games.
  • The first Games of the Modern Olympiad were held in Athens, Greece in 1896. 
  • American James Connolly was the first Olympic champion of the modern era when he won the triple jump on April 6, 1896.
  • The first Winter Olympics were held in Chamonix, France in 1924.
  • 1992 was the last year that the Winter and Summer games were held in the same year. Since then, there is either a Winter or Summer Olympiad every two years.
  • The most medals ever won by one athlete is 18, between 1956 and 1964, by Larisa Latynina.
  • From 1904 until 1928, the Olympic games were held over several months. In 1932 at Los Angeles, it was shortened to take place over 16 days. 
  • The 1936 Games in Berlin were the first to be televised.

For more Olympic information, click here.

For information on the television schedule in the U.S. check out the Official NBC Olympics page.

Go here to learn more about Team USA.

And make sure you check out some of these books and DVDs from the library to enhance your enjoyment of the Olympics!

The Complete Book of The Olympics (2012) by David Wallechinsky and Jaime Loucky 

The World of Olympics (2012) by Nick Hunter

And if you want to relive the Opening Ceremonies from the Beijing Olympics check out this DVD:

Enjoy the Games!!

-- Post by Tracy

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Birthday Biography: Raymond Chandler

His face may not be familiar, but if you are a fan of mysteries and detective novels you might already be a fan of his. Raymond Chandler was the creator of Private Detective Phillip Marlowe, famously brought to life by Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep. That is how I first became aware of Chandler, although it would be many years before I would read any of his books.

Raymond Thornton Chandler was born July 23, 1888 in Chicago but spent his early life living in Nebraska before his mother took him to London after his parents' divorce. Chandler returned to the land of his birth in 1912. For the next 20 years he worked as a bookkeeper and actually worked his way up to the position of Vice President of a California oil company. This company survived the stock market crash of 1929, but his drinking and bad behavior got him fired in 1932.

Chandler took this opportunity to try his hand at writing, which had always interested him. He decided on crime fiction, but he wanted to create stories that were grittier and more true to life than the typical mystery of the time. He felt that most mystery writers put in too much information to keep the reader from figuring it out on their own. Chandler decided that a realistic approach was the one for him.

He started out writing stories for pulp magazines. Many of these short stories would be turned into full length novels. The Big Sleep (1939) was his first novel and introduced Phillip Marlowe, a wise-cracking private detective. In all there would be nine Phillip Marlowe novels. The last one, Poodle Springs, was completed by Robert B. Parker and published in 1989.

Chandler also wrote for film and radio, including the screenplay for Double Indemnity (1944) which earned him an Academy Award nomination. Despite this success in Hollywood, he had an uneasy relationship with the studios. He was probably one of the first writers who tried to have as much creative control as he could over his work. This was not popular with studio executives.

But he will be most remembered as the creator of Phillip Marlowe, the tough guy detective with a heart of gold.

Raymond Chandler Books

Raymond Chandler Films

Raymond Chandler Biographies

-- Post by Tracy

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Staff Recommendation #8: The Artist

When I first started hearing about The Artist, I couldn't really imagine what it would be like. A Frenchman making a silent film (in black and white) about Hollywood in the late 20s? But the more I heard about it, the more I wanted to see it. Unfortunately, I never got to see it on the big screen. Life conspired against me and I just never made it to my local multiplex to see it. So I made sure I had my name on the list to get the DVD as soon as it was available through the library. The film did not disappoint.

The Artist (available on DVD or Blu-Ray) is an homage to Hollywood of the Silent Era. The story opens, in 1927, with George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) at the height of his stardom and the height of the silent film industry. While posing for photographers on the red carpet, he meets a fan, Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo). Peppy takes full advantage of the encounter and ends up on the front page of Variety with George. The next thing we know, Peppy is cast as an extra in George's next film. There is some flirting between the two, but since George is married, albeit unhappily, they go their separate ways. Years pass and we see Peppy becoming a bigger and bigger movie star, while George's star is fading due to the introduction of talking pictures. 

There are so many things going for this film, it's hard to know where to start. What got me right away was the look of the film. If I wouldn't have known better, I would have thought I was watching a film made in the 20s. The attention to detail is amazing. The five Academy Awards (Best Picture, Best Director, Actor in a Leading Role, Costume Design, and Original Score) that the film won were well deserved.

Director Michel Hazanavicius has created a beautiful and touching story about love and friendship showcased in this tribute to Silent Films. Although there are many familiar American actors in this film (John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller), it's the French trio of Hazanavicius, Dujardin, and Bejo that make this film come alive. Unless you are a fan of French films, you most likely have never heard of them. I know I hadn't. But I don't know if there could have been two more charming leading actors to play these parts than Dujardin and Bejo. 

While you are waiting your turn to see The Artist, you might want to check out some of the all-time great Silent Films:

The General (1926)
When Union spies steal an engineer's beloved locomotive, he pursues it single handedly and straight through enemy lines. (107 mins.)

Metropolis (1927)
In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences. (153 mins.)

City Lights (1931)
The Tramp struggles to help a blind flower girl he has fallen in love with. (87 mins.)

Nosferatu (1922)
Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence - and real estate agent Hutter's wife. Silent classic based on the story "Dracula." (94 mins.)

The Civil War divides friends and destroys families, but that's nothing compared to the anarchy in the black-ruled South after the war. (165 mins.)

-- Post by Tracy

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Birthday Biography: Ernest Hemingway

"The writer's job is to tell the truth."

He's remembered as a veteran, an adventurer, a hard drinker (he invented several mixed drinks, including "Death in the Afternoon") -- and for having once accidentally shot himself in both legs on a fishing trip. (He was aiming at a freshly-captured shark.) But in his time, Ernest Hemingway was considered one of the most influential authors of the early twentieth century -- admired by his peers, and idolized by up-and-coming writers. Though his sparse prose and nearly description-less writing style does not appeal to all readers today, there is no denying the mark Hemingway left on the world of American fiction.

Hemingway graduated from high school in 1917, and became a reporter for the Kansas City Star before joining the war effort. He served as a Red Cross ambulance driver during World War I, and would go on to be decorated for heroism after being injured in the line of duty.

After the war, Hemingway became a reporter for the Toronto Star. His job as a foreign correspondent landed him in Paris, where he would become fast friends with such authors as Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. He published his first book in 1925 (In Our Time, a collection of short stories), followed a year later by his first novel.

His interests in skiing, bullfighting, fishing, and hunting -- activities for which he traveled far and wide -- would appear in his novels and short stories. He reported on the Spanish Civil War as a correspondent, and saw action in World War II, before moving to Cuba. He won the Nobel Prize in 1953, and spent the last years of his life in Idaho. This Saturday (July 21) marks Hemingway's 113th birthday.

My first exposure to Hemingway was reading his short story Hills Like White Elephants while I was in high school. I was captivated by the lean description and simplistic language -- because, despite such bare-bones writing, Hemingway told a story about relationships, feminism, and human interaction, all centered around a topic that was taboo at the time: abortion. (It's a topic the story addresses, in fact, without ever using the actual word.) I'd go on to read A Farewell to Arms in college, and I was once again captivated by Hemingway's ability to use such simple language to speak so profoundly. He's an author who, as he said, always strove to tell the truth as he saw it.

"I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, 'Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.' So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say." 

Five of Hemingway's best-loved books:

- The Sun Also Rises: Set in the aftermath of World War I, Hemingway's first novel features a group of British and American travelers who leave Paris to attend the Festival of San Fermín in Pamplona and witness the running of the bulls.

- For Whom the Bell Tolls: Taking place during the Spanish Civil War, Robert Jordan is a young American soldier serving in a guerrilla unit. His eventual assignment: to blow up a bridge during an attack on Segovia.

- To Have and Have Not: Harry Morgan is a fishing boat captain and smuggler who operates between Cuba and Florida. Morgan, desperate to continue supporting his family, eventually starts smuggling alcohol -- and illegal immigrants -- into the country. The story is a look at the era of Prohibition and the Great Depression.

- A Farewell to Arms: Set during World War I, this novel is a tragic love story between American Lieutenant Frederic Henry and British nurse Catherine Barkley.

The Old Man and the Sea: The last major work of fiction written and published in Hemingway's lifetime, this novel won the 1953 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. It tells the story of Santiago, an old fisherman locked in a struggle with a giant marlin -- Captain Ahab-style.

-- Books and Short Stories by Ernest Hemingway

-- Audiobooks by Ernest Hemingway

-- Films based on the works of Hemingway

-- Post by Ms. B

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Boldly Go to a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Okay, so you've noticed by now that we're big fans of Star Trek and Star Wars around here. So, naturally, we couldn't let July 13 -- the birthday of Harrison "Han Solo" Ford and Patrick "Captain Picard" Stewart -- pass by unnoticed.

So to celebrate, we've put together some readalike suggestions for all you Trekkies and Jedi Knights out there. Whichever franchise you love best (or maybe, like us, you love them both!) -- there's something on this list for you!

For Star Trek fans:

1.) I, Robot by Isaac Asimov

The writers of Star Trek: The Next Generation were partly inspired by Asimov's Robots series when they created the character of Data (the android who wants to be human). In I, Robot, a collection of short stories lays out Asimov's famous Three Laws of Robotics -- and serves as cautionary tales for how easily technology can go awry.

2.) In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker

Star Trek loves nothing more than a good time travel story, and Baker's The Company series fits that bill perfectly. In the Garden of Iden tells the story of cyborg botanist Mendoza, who was rescued from the Spanish Inquisition by a group of time travelers from the 24th century. After being transformed into an immortal machine, Mendoza's job is to preserve rare artifacts for The Company, a 24th-century organization who turns a profit through time travel. When Mendoza falls for a human, though, things get complicated.

3.) Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke

With some faint shades of Star Trek: First Contact, this sci-fi classic features a group of 22nd-century astronauts exploring an alien starship that's appeared in our solar system. What they find inside is not, of course, anything like what they expected. Not all of the crew's questions -- or the reader's questions -- will necessarily be answered, but Clarke's unique worldbuilding still makes for a fascinating read just the same.

4.) The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

Part time-travel tale, part war story, Haldeman's novel looks at the effects of combat on soldiers both past and future. Main character William Mandella returns home after several years spent traveling through space -- but though it's been a few years for him, the effects of relativity mean that it's been several centuries back on Earth. Mandella struggles to adapt, eventually re-enlisting in order to escape modernized civilian life -- only to find that he no longer fits into this world even as a soldier. This novel may be of particular interest for those Trekkies (like myself) who best love Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

5.) Millennium by John Varley

After nineteen nuclear wars, humanity's gene pool has been hopelessly contaminated. The plan: to travel back into the past and retrieve healthy humans to rebuild civilization. In order to prevent any sort of time paradox, only people from the past who were about to die (in shipwrecks or plane crashes) are taken into the future. Everything goes according to plan -- until Louise Baltimore finds herself stranded in the past, the only surviving member of the futuristic team she'd been traveling with. Which means she's the only one who can stop the time paradox she's created before it's too late.

For Star Wars fans:

1.) Crystal Singer by Anne McCaffrey

We've discussed admiration for McCaffrey's worldbuilding at this blog before, and Crystal Singer is maybe one of McCaffrey's best. After receiving a crushing blow to her career in music, Killashandra Ree decides to leave her old life behind and leave for Ballybran -- giving up her life as a performer to sing crystal instead. McCaffrey's worldbuilding is of Star-Warsian proportion, making this entry into her work an ideal choice for the Star Wars fan.

2.) The Warrior's Apprentice (Vorkosigan Saga) by Lois McMaster Bujold

If you enjoyed watching Luke Skywalker discover his destiny as a Jedi Knight -- or if you like "space pirate"-types like Han Solo -- then you might like Miles Vorkosigan. Born with severe injuries after his mother was attacked while pregnant with him, seventeen-year-old Miles is devastated when he blows his chance to enter the military. But an unexpected detour into the world of smuggling soon leads Miles onto a path of political intrigue he never imagined. Miles spends the series straddling the line between his background as an aristocrat and his unexpected calling as a mercenary, making him (and the large cast of eminently-relatable characters) a joy to read about.

3.) The Icarus Hunt by Timothy Zahn

This sci-fi thriller is another must for Han Solo fans (and maybe for fans of Firefly, too). Jordan McKell and his alien partner-in-crime Ixil are content to be smugglers for a crime lord when they're approached by a shadowy industrialist. Their new boss hires them to transport the ship Icarus (and its very important cargo) to Earth. Seems like a straightforward enough job -- until people start coming after them.

4.) Have Space Suit -- Will Travel by Robert A. Heinelin

This YA novel might appeal to Star Wars fans of all ages, with its plucky high school protagonist who is determined to win a song-writing contest and claim the prize: an all-expenses-paid trip to the Moon. Instead of a trip, he wins a very-used spacesuit -- a prize which might never have come in handy if he hadn't been promptly flagged down by a visiting spaceship. This fun, quirky little read is a fantasy adventure wrapped in a sci-fi tale -- making it a great choice for any Star Wars fan.

5.) R is for Rocket and S is for Space by Ray Bradbury

These collections of Bradbury stories are perfect for all-ages Star Wars fans. Bradbury's unique approach to the sci-fi genre (which you may remember us mentioning here before) makes for some truly original tales. From a high school field trip through time to a society addicted (really addicted) to television -- from colonies on Mars to ancient China -- these stories, like all of Bradbury's work, will be a little different from anything you've ever read before.

A few more funny reads for Trekkies and Jedi Knights alike:

Night of the Living Trekkies

Sci-fi conventions can be lots of fun -- but not so much if they're overrun by a zombie virus.

Darth Vader and Son

If this look at Luke Skywalker's childhood doesn't make you smile, you're probably not a sci-fi fan.

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

Includes instructions on how to make your own Star War origami art.

Star Wars: Tag and Bink Were Here

See the story of the original Star Wars saga from the point of view of two extras: Tag and Bink, who are disguising themselves as Stormtroopers to try and make it out of the Rebellion alive.

-- Post by Ms. B

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Staff Recommendation #7: "The Pregnancy Project: A Memoir" by Gaby Rodriguez (with Jenna Glatzer).

Staff Review by Ms. B

You've probably already heard about this high schooler's unique senior project -- I seem to have been the only person who missed the news story when it first broke. Gaby Rodriguez was an eleventh grader living in an economically-struggling town in Oregon. The daughter of a teen mom, Gaby had grown up watching many of her seven older brothers and sisters (Gaby's mum had her when she was in her 30s) also become teen parents. As the youngest child -- born significantly later in the life of her mother than her siblings had been -- Gaby has a strong bond with her mother. It left her with a drive to make her mother proud ... and to make herself proud, too.

An exceptional student, Gaby had strong opinions about people's abilities to not necessarily follow the path of their parents and to make their own choices instead. (She writes more than once about her determination to "not live down to other people's expectations" of her.) When it comes time for her to pick a senior class project, Gaby knows she wants to do something that will help the teens of her high school -- and maybe of her entire community -- realize that they can make their own choices, live their own lives, and be who and what they want to be. That they don't have to live down to people's expectations of them.

So for her senior class project, Gaby decides to fake a pregnancy. Her own.

It's a daring, daunting task to take on, isn't it?  After getting approval from her school principal and superintendent, Gaby only told four other people the truth about her project: her mother, her boyfriend (who had a healthy dose of courage of his own), one sister, and one friend at school. No one else -- her other siblings, her teachers, her friends, or even her boyfriend's own parents -- knew the truth. It was the only way for Gaby to see what people's reactions would really be like if she lived "down" to their expectations of her. (The sister and the friend who were in on the secret were able to monitor other people's reactions and report back to Gaby on what people had to say about her when she wasn't around.)

She faked the pregnancy for six months. Then an assembly was held, giving Gaby the chance to present her findings about the experiences and social treatment of teen moms -- before pulling off her fake pregnancy belly in front of the entire school. I've never called a senior class project "epic" before, but this pretty strongly fits the bill.

I cannot tell you the amount of courage I saw in this teen. Some of the results of her experiment are exactly what you'd expect -- but others were astonishingly surprising, revealing surprising insights about Gaby's community, family, and Gaby herself. And through it all is an important message about family, friends, expectations, and choice ... a message which, now more than ever, needs to be heard.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Celebrating The Dalai Lama of Tibet

Every morning when I wake up, I dedicate myself to helping others to find peace of mind. Then, when I meet people, I think of them as long term friends; I don't regard others as strangers. -- The Dalai Lama

According to the World Almanac there are over 450 million Buddhists in 150 countries. Most of the people who practice Buddhism are in Asia. One of the most well known Buddhists is The Dalai Lama of Tibet. He was born on July 6, 1935 as Lhamo Dhondup in northeastern Tibet. He is believed, by Tibetans, to be the 14th reincarnation of Gedun Drub (1391-1474), the first Dalai Lama. The current Dalai Lama was identified at the age of 2 and eventually taken to the monastery in Llasa to study with the monks. Through the centuries the Dalai Lama has become not just the spiritual leader of Tibet but also the political leader. In 1950, Tenzin Gyatso (the name he took upon entering the monastery) assumed this role. In 1959 he was forced to flee after the Chinese invaded his homeland. He established the Tibetan Government in Exile in Dharamsala, India.

The 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet is one of the most well known and respected people in the world, religious or political. Through the years he has become a voice for non-violence and respect of others. In 1989 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "to emphasize the fact that the Dalai Lama in his struggle for the liberation of Tibet consistently has opposed the use of violence. He has instead advocated peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect in order to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of his people" (Nobel Peace Prize Press Release).

The Dalai Lama has three main commitments in his life:

1) The promotion of human values such as compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment and self-discipline.

2) The promotion of religious harmony and understanding among the world’s major religious traditions.

3) The Tibetan issue.

While I, admittedly, know very little about Buddhism,  I have great respect and admiration for The Dalai Lama because of his compassion and respect for others and for his firm stance of non-violence even when it comes to the survival of his beloved homeland. No matter our beliefs, I think that there is much we can learn from this man.

So in honor of his 77th birthday, why not take some time to take a look at his website or check out a few books:

About The Dalai Lama

And if you want to join in on The Dalai Lama's birthday celebrations, there will be a live broadcast from Dharamsala, India. Just go to this link by 11:30 EDT, July 5th.

-- Post by Tracy