Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Little Free Library takes another hit

A sad incident at a Little Free Library in Welland.  There have been incidents of arson and theft at Little Free Libraries in Canada and the United States.  If you are near one, please keep watch to protect these wonderful community resources.

By Franki Ikeman, The Tribune                                    

A Dora The Explorer children's book is seen underwater in the Welland Canal on Wednesday.
A Dora The Explorer children's book is seen underwater in the Welland Canal on Wednesday.

Niagara Regional Police are asking for the community to be vigilant and report suspicious activity after another reported act of vandalism to the Little Free Library at Welland’s “Guerrilla Park” between Monday night and Tuesday morning.
Posts on Facebook Tuesday morning suggested that somebody had dumped a portion of the books into the Canal. On Wednesday, children’s books were still visible under the water on the edge of the canal beside the park. NRP Const. Phil Gavin said that no reports had been filed regarding this most recent incident at the park — which is located on the west bank of the canal between the Main Street Bridge and Division Street Bridge in Welland’s downtown. Gavin said that it is unclear of what charges could or would be laid in a case like this, but that disturbance, mischief, littering and illegal dumping charges could be considered.Last week, an arson at the community library brought people together to re-establish the ‘take a book leave a book’ bins at the park. Within a day the library had grown to about three times its original size.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

New Zealand man wins francophone Scrabble title – without speaking French

Why did I spend four years at university learning French when all I needed to do was memorize the Scrabble dictionary?!

Nigel Richards memorized French-language Scrabble dictionary in nine weeks to win world championship despite not speaking French.Nigel Richards of New Zealand won the Francophone Scrabble World Championship on Monday despite not speaking French. Pierre Calendini/Fédération Française de Scrabble/Facebook    
Arguably the best Scrabble player on Earth, Nigel Richards can now add French-language champion to his list of accomplishments.
And the New Zealand native didn’t let one pesky detail stand in his way: il ne parle pas français.
That’s right, Richards doesn’t speak a lick of French.
“The Scrabble microcosm is shaken, turned upside down, amused, stunned, delighted, blown away,” the French Scrabble Federation wrote on its Facebook page Monday.
“Nigel Richards (New Zealand) just won the Francophone Scrabble World Championship while not speaking a single word of French!”
Richards, who lives in Malaysia, defeated Schelick Ilagou Rekawe, a French speaker from Gabon, on Monday at the tournament in Belgium.
A classic board game, Scrabble players choose tiled letters to form words on a grid. Each letter has a numbered value, and special spots on the board also boost a word’s point total.
Richards memorized the francophone Scrabble dictionary in nine weeks in preparation for the tournament, the federation said.

“He doesn't speak French at all, he just learnt the words. He won’t know what they mean, wouldn’t be able to carry out a conversation in French I wouldn’t think,” Richards’ close friend Liz Fagerlund told the New Zealand Herald.
Richards was given a standing ovation after his victory, which has stunned many observers of competitive Scrabble.
“In my opinion, his secret must be found in his brain, a photographic memory no doubt . . . And of course, lots of practice,” someone commented on Facebook.
“Bravo, the human spirit still saves us nice surprises!” another wrote.
Others were a little discouraged: “This is exactly what discourages many potential players in clubs, Scrabble has nothing to do with French (and) this is proof. To win you need to be a machine that can memorize the words that only exist in the (official Scrabble dictionary).”
“Just a winning machine,” another quipped.
But the French federation didn’t lose its sense of humour about it all. “Rumour has it that Nigel wants to stop French Scrabble to take up Spanish Scrabble. More to come,” the group joked.
Richards won the English-language World Scrabble Championship in 2007, the World Players Championship in 2008, and holds several National Scrabble Championship titles, the biggest competition in North America.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Best Movies to Watch in the Summer

Looking for some great movies for summer viewing?  Check out this eclectic list from the Internet Movie Database website. I love Midnight in Paris, Amelie and Lost in Translation.  I would add Happy Gilmore to this list.  It isn't summer unless the CBC shows Happy Gilmore! What else would you add?

by sam_fringo created 06 Apr 2013 | last updated - 09 Jun 2013
Dazed and Confused (1993)
The adventures of incoming high school and junior high students on the last day of school, in May of 1976. (102 mins.)
Almost Famous (2000)
A high-school boy is given the chance to write a story for Rolling Stone Magazine about an up-and-coming rock band as he accompanies it on their concert tour. (122 mins.)
Director: Cameron Crowe
Adventureland (2009)
In the summer of 1987, a college graduate takes a 'nowhere' job at his local amusement park, only to find it's the perfect course to get him prepared for the real world. (107 mins.)
Director: Greg Mottola
Do the Right Thing (1989)
On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence. (120 mins.)
Director: Spike Lee
The Big Lebowski (1998)
"The Dude" Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire Lebowski, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it. (117 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

An oddball journalist and his psychopathic lawyer travel to Las Vegas for a series of psychedelic escapades. (118 mins.)
Director: Terry Gilliam
The Goonies (1985)
In order to save their home from foreclosure, a group of misfits set out to find a pirate's ancient treasure. (114 mins.)
Director: Richard Donner
Cocktail (1988)
A talented New York bartender takes a job at a bar in Jamaica and falls in love. (104 mins.)
Director: Roger Donaldson
Risky Business (1983)
A Chicago teenager is looking for fun at home while his parents are away, but the situation quickly gets out of hand. (99 mins.)
Director: Paul Brickman
Garden State (2004)
A quietly troubled young man returns home for his mother's funeral after being estranged from his family for a decade. (102 mins.)
Director: Zach Braff
The Lost Boys (1987)
After moving to a new town, two brothers are convinced that the area is frequented by vampires. (97 mins.)
Director: Joel Schumacher
Say Anything... (1989)

A noble underachiever and a beautiful valedictorian fall in love the summer before she goes off to college. (100 mins.)
Director: Cameron Crowe
Spring Breakers (2012)
Four college girls hold up a restaurant in order to fund their spring break vacation. While partying/drinking/taking drugs they are arrested only to be bailed out by a drug and arms dealer. (94 mins.)
Director: Harmony Korine
Into the Wild (2007)
After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life. (148 mins.)
Director: Sean Penn
Pineapple Express (2008)
A process server and his marijuana dealer wind up on the run from hitmen and a corrupt police officer after he witness his dealer's boss murder a competitor while trying to serve papers on him. (111 mins.)
Clerks (1994)
A day in the lives of two convenience clerks named Dante and Randal as they annoy customers, discuss movies, and play hockey on the store roof. (92 mins.)
Director: Kevin Smith
Jaws (1975)
When a gigantic great white shark begins to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist and grizzled fisherman set out to stop it. (124 mins.)
Director: Steven Spielberg

A Good Year (2006)
A British investment broker inherits his uncle's chateau and vineyard in Provence, where he spent much of his childhood. He discovers a new laid-back lifestyle as he tries to renovate the estate to be sold. (117 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
Friday (1995)
Two homies, Smokey &Craig, smoke up a dope dealer's weed and try to figure a way to get the $200 they owe the dope dealer by 10:00pm that night. In that time they smoke weed, get jacked, and they get shot at in a drive-by. (91 mins.)
Director: F. Gary Gray
50 First Dates (2004)
Henry Roth is a man afraid of commitment up until he meets the beautiful Lucy. They hit it off and Henry think he's finally found the girl of his dreams, until he discovers she has short-term memory loss and forgets him the very next day. (99 mins.)
Director: Peter Segal
Death Proof (2007)
Two separate sets of voluptuous women are stalked at different times by a scarred stuntman who uses his "death proof" cars to execute his murderous plans. (113 mins.)
In Bruges (2008)
Guilt-stricken after a job gone wrong, hitman Ray and his partner await orders from their ruthless boss in Bruges, Belgium, the last place in the world Ray wants to be. (107 mins.)
Director: Martin McDonagh
Friday the 13th (1980)
A group of camp counselors is stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which, years before, was the site of a child's drowning. (95 mins.)