Africa…in a shopping mall?

The New Yorker’s Jia Tolentino wrote an article recently about following a link on Twitter one day which led her to a YouTube remix of Toto’s “Africa” as though played in an empty shopping mall. The video itself is nothing more than a single frame of an empty shopping mall, in muted pink tones. Sounds a little odd, right? Wrong.

It turns out, the song is the perfect zen piece when remixed as though it is playing in a deserted shopping mall. The YouTube video has had more than 1 millions views, and it’s the comments that really show how much people are into this. Whether you feel like it’s the perfect “last man on earth” setting, or just get lost in the hollow and haunting harmonies, I guarantee you’ll watch this from beginning to end. You might even search out the original, just to listen to how different it sounds. Which version is better? You have to decide.

But YouTuber Cecil Robert hit on something, and started a whole series of videos with song remixed to sound like they’re playing in empty shopping malls.  Is it that the original producers got it wrong? Not likely…the choices are carefully picked to evoke a particular mood, and while you can pay to have him remix a song you’d like to hear, it’s oddly satisfying to just put the ones he’s already done on loop and listen while you get your zen on.

Tolentino’s article is spot on. You should read all the way through it, as she explores the vibe behind empty shopping mall remixes. And make sure to take a listen. Put on some earphones if you want the full effect, and then sit back and relax.

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Ask Alexa

If you were one of the many gazillions of people to receive an Amazon Echo or Google Mini for Christmas, you’re probably now into the swing of things. Or maybe you’re bored. (How many times can you ask Alexa the weather?) But there are plenty of great things you should be using your home assistant for, beyond playing music and helping you to turn on your lights hands-free.

How about asking Alexa one of these fun book-related questions?

Alexa, what’s in a name?

Alexa, who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?

Alexa, do you like green eggs and ham?

Alexa, what’s the answer to life, the universe and everything?

Alexa, Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?

How about asking a few personal questions to your Google Home assistant? Maybe you’ll get to know each other a bit better. Things like:

OK Google, ask me a question

OK Google, what’s your favourite ice cream?

OK Google, are you friends with Siri/Alexa/Cortana?

OK Google, what’s your favourite Pokemon?

OK Google, Star Trek or Star Wars?

OK Google, how do you like your coffee?

OK Google, what’s your favorite ice cream?

OK Google, who’s your favorite superhero?

Do you own a Kindle? Alexa can read your ebooks to you! Just pick an eligible Kindle book and ask her to play it. (She can’t read graphic novels, immersion books, or participate in narration speed control.)

Google Home will now play your audiobooks purchased from Google Play for you, too. They only recently started selling audiobooks outright, but you can share between family members, and play without using Bluetooth, or a casting device.

What are YOUR favourite questions to ask your home assistant? (Stuck in the thick of winter, we’re asking Alexa to play bird sounds quite a bit–one of her skills. It’s nice to hear pretty birds as you do the dishes or read.)

Fun for the Whole Family!

We’re selling tickets now for our fun March Break event at the Carleton Place Town Hall Auditorium! Join us on Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 10am for “Eccentric Adam”! He’s what’s known as a contemporary clown–no scary face makeup–and he’ll be entertaining us with tricks, jokes, juggling, and much more!  It’s going to be fun for the whole family!

Tickets are on sale now for $3 each at the library—that’s for children & adults. Babes in arms get in for free.  This show is probably best aimed at ages 4 and up, but you’re welcome to bring along anyone who might be able to sit through a 30 minute show. We’ll also be selling tickets at the door for $4 each, but get them early and save yourself a bit of money this March Break. We know you’ll need it!

If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call at 257-2702 for more information. We can’t wait until March Break!

Ideas for 2018?

We’re three days into the New Year…and if you’re like most of us, you’re already getting tired of those New Year’s resolutions that you made. How about a do-over? I ran across this older list by the people at Rethink Toronto, and while you can’t click the links anymore, the list is FULL of great and original things we should all resolve to do this year.

I love some of these:

Start solving problems

Finish things you start

No more cat videos

Less texting, more talking

There are so many good ones to choose from here. Even if you did only one.

Do you have a favourite? Do you have a resolution this year?

Awful Sci-Fi Books Covers

As tastes change, so do book covers. Put an old Nancy Drew book in front of a kid who loves to read mysteries, and we can almost guarantee the young reader will choose something else, simply because the cover design is so dated. Kids really DO judge books by their covers, and if they’re not appealing, they’ll pass, regardless of the quality of the story.

Recently, I came across a fantastic blog that posts the worst fantasy/sci-fi book covers you could imagine. And while they may not entice you to pick the book up to read, you’ll most certainly get a chuckle from the covers. Take a few minutes to drop by Good Show Sir. You won’t regret it.

Frivolous Friday!

For some truly frivolous information today, we’re talking about cheeseburgers–specifically the cheeseburger emoji!

Recently, Google came under fire for their cheeseburger emoji, and the controversy went viral. Apparently, the world’s emoji users thought the Google version—with the cheese BELOW the meat—just wasn’t right. They demanded that Google update the character to show the cheese above the meat. And they were taken seriously.

The original tweet by Thomas Baekdal: (cheeseburger images from Emojipedia)

Google CEO Sundar Pichai responded in a tweet:

 While it seems like a ridiculous argument, the idea of putting the cheese below the meat would mean a soggy, cheesy overflow on the bottom bun, which in the culinary world, just won’t fly. Apparently, Google had a previous issue with a search result for caramelized onions that nearly broke the internet, so the people at Google are taking this (somewhat) seriously.
What will the new cheeseburger emoji look like? We’ll have to wait and see. It should be available in an update and on new devices soon.

Your Pet in a Book

As we come into present-buying season, books are always a favourite for Librarians to recommend. While we haven’t read this book, it sure does seem like a fun idea for those who might have a special pet at home.

I See Me’s fun site allows you to choose your dog’s style, include your dog’s name, and the names of up to four people who love him/her, and they’ll create the book. Sounds fun, right?  Genius. What child–or dog lover in general–wouldn’t want to get a book like this?

Let us know if you’ve purchased one of these books in the comments. We’d love to hear how it turned out!