Humans have a thing called a learning bias. No matter how wise a saying is, we are much more apt to accept it as true if we trust the source. Not only that, but we're fascinated by ultimate truths that spur us into action.
A recipe for disaster - Kingsley Amis versus Joe Wicks
Much loved writer Kingsley Amis, author of Lucky Jim, The Green Man and The Alteration certainly was ‘yer man’ for the booze. A belief that the societal benefits and profound joy of alcohol greatly outweighed the personal disasters that the gargle may precipitate, informed his life and writing.
Reading aloud to your child is one of the most powerful ways to boost your child's vocabulary and set them up for reading success. Play around with these tips and see which ones work for you and your family. You may find that your kids love silly character voices but lose interest when you ask too many questions about the book. This is just fine! Use the tips that work for you, and come back to the others later. Enjoy your read aloud time with your little ones.Look for Rhyme and RepetitionBe on the lookout for books with rhyme and repetition. The rhyming is a valuable skill, and along with repetition, it creates a rhythm that makes listening to these books soothing and enthralling for kids. Think Dr. Seuss!Ham it UpIf you feel comfortable using character voices when you are reading, do it! And if it feels awkward, jump in and do it anyway. Practice is the only way for it to get easier, and your child will appreciate any voice you come up with. Don’t feel like you have to give each character their own voice – maybe just use a different voice for the main character, and let it go at that. Reading books with straight-forward plots is a great opportunity to ask sequencing questions about what happened first, next and last. You can also ask concrete literal questions about who, what, and where. If an obvious opportunity arises, start a quick conversation about how something happened in the story, or why a character did something in particular. Picking relatable stories about everyday life with main characters (human or animal) who are your child’s age or just a litte bit older will set your child up for success in comprehension right from the beginning.RehearseWhen you find a book that rhymes or uses a lot of repetition, read it to yourself a few times before you read it aloud to your child. Look for the parts that rhyme, and make sure that they sound natural when you read them aloud. It’s best to know when the rhyming bits are coming up, and being ready to emphasize those parts makes a huge positive difference in the quality of your read aloud.Invite ParticipationOnce your child has heard the book a few times, pause just before the end of a line to invite your child to say the rhyming word with you. Know when the repetition is coming up, too, and after a couple of times, pause and look expectantly at your child just before you read the section that repeats.Talk About Photographs and IllustrationsGood books for children have photographs and illustrations that are clear, colorful and engaging. Use these illustrations as an opportunity to talk about new vocabulary – label and explain any items or activities that might be unfamiliar to your child. Doing this regularly sends a message to your child that discussing the pictures in a book is a natural part of reading. It won’t be long before your child is asking their own questions about the illustrations, which naturally leads to even more engagement and interaction. It’s a simple, powerful way to help your child’s vocabulary explode during these preschool years.Short and SweetKeep reading sessions as short as necessary, and if your audience is getting impatient or wiggly, quickly summarize the ending of the book and try again later. Explore our catalogue, reserve a book today, type in "read aloud" in the search bar if you would like more ideas on helping your child discover the joy of reading. Support your local library today.
A traditional Irish cold weather treat, (all year round basically in Ireland), Dublin Coddle is considered food for the working class. Dubliners will tell you coddle is best enjoyed with a pint of Guinness and plenty of soda bread to soak up the juices. It was reputedly a favourite dish of the writers Seán O'Casey and Jonathan Swift, and it appears in several references to Dublin, including the works of James Joyce.A hearty coddle is made from leftovers and therefore is without a specific recipe (this leads to heated debate from purists and the new fusion brigade) and typically consists of roughly cut spuds, sliced onions, rashers and sausages. A traditional coddle did not use carrots. The word “Coddle” derives from the French term “Caudle” which means to boil gently, parboil or stew.Apparently, coddle dates back to the first Irish famine in the late 1700s where anything to hand got thrown into the pot. The famine of 1740–41 was due to extremely cold and then dry weather in successive years, resulting in food losses in three categories: a series of poor grain harvests, a shortage of milk, and frost damage to potatoes. At this time, grains, particularly oats, were more important than potatoes as staples in the diet of most workers.Families would use up any leftover meat on a Thursday, as Catholics couldn’t eat meat on Fridays. Country people who moved into Dublin to find better work opportunities brought hens and pigs with them to raise for food. After a pig was slaughtered and sold the remains were used to make sausages. The sausages and streaky rashers were boiled up with root vegetables to make a cheap and nutritious meal.Indeed, before takeaways existed, it was a typical Dublin thing to cook up a pot of coddle early in the day and let it cool down for later. The dish could be reheated for supper after work, or a night out at the pictures, or the pub. Derek O'Connor from the Sunday Tribune wrote, "the fact that Dubliners have rejected it in favour of kebabs and takeaway pizza is a searing indictment of their moral and spiritual decay."I am inclined to agree.Why not check out our eResource RBdigital for Food & Cooking magazines. Register for RB Digital magazines or via the Rbdigital app: Google Play - Android | iTunes - iOS | Kindle Fire. Watch our how to video for more information. Or reserve one of our many books of Irish Cookery via our catalogue.Or download the library app on your smartphone, check out the new Self-Service function in the app to borrow and return books in Borrow and Browse branches.
Bog bodies suffered violent and grisly deaths. Of these bodies, the most famous, Cashel Man was discovered near Portlaoise in 2011, and at over 4000 years old, is said to be the oldest European bog body ever found with skin intact; then there is Old Croghan Man from Co. Offaly, and Clonycavan Man from Co. Meath. At 6’6", Old Croghan Man, who was killed between 362 BC and 175 BC, was a giant of a man. He bore the appearance of a nobleman from his well-manicured soft hands to his diet, rich in meat. Clonycavan Man was little more than 5 ft and used pine resin to keep his hair in place, probably sourced from Spain (a precursor to hair gel!) and demonstrates that he was a person of some wealth and standing in the community.Photo on the left shows the bog body found in Cashel Bog. Old Croghan man had holes cut through his upper arms through which ropes were inserted to restrain him, after which he was repeatedly stabbed, had his nipples sliced off, and was then cut in half. Clonycavan man was disemboweled and suffered three blows to the head with an axe, once across his body, and then had his nipples removed too. Ned Kelly, former keeper of antiquities at the National Museum of Ireland told the Irish Examiner that a clear pattern has emerged in each case. "We do not think of these bog bodies in the same way as we do axes or implements that are found," he said."You have to remember that these are individuals and it is absolutely essential to deal with their remains in a dignified manner. There would be no justification for taking these bodies unless we do so with respect and with the serious intent to tell their stories on their behalf.""Human sacrifice was apparently a normal part of the Celtic rituals, especially of kings in hard times. The killings tend to be excessive in that more is done to the bodies than would be required to bring about their deaths. Bog bodies may have their throats cut, been stabbed in the heart and have other cut marks. However, it is absolutely not torture, but a form of ritual sacrifice.""The king had great power but also great responsibility to ensure the prosperity of his people. Through his marriage on his inauguration to the goddess of the land, he was meant to guarantee her benevolence. He had to ensure the land was productive, so if the weather turned bad, or there was plague, cattle disease or losses in war, he was held personally responsible."Cutting the nipples was more than torture. The aim was to dethrone the king. "Sucking a king’s nipples was a gesture of submission in ancient Ireland," says Kelly. "Cutting them would have made him incapable of kingship in this world or the next.""By using a range of methods to kill the victim, the ancient Irish sacrificed to the goddess in all her forms. This manner of death is peculiar to the ritual killing of kings. It means that a king was being decommissioned."
Get Reading! Now that school is over you can still spark your imagination, join in activities and take part in our exciting Summer Stars challenge. This year you can do a marathon read, a sprint read or a read from your couch! If you would like to register for the Summer Stars reading challenge, contact your local library. Check out our eBooks and eAudio books with the special Summer Stars collection.Check out our Dublin City Libraries Tumble Book recommendation every day. Get Critical!Do you have strong views about a book you read? Was there a brilliant character that you wanted to shout about? Or was there a big twist in the plot that startled you? Have your review published here. Get Active!Flex Your brain muscles with activities like word searches, spot the difference, code scramblers and much more. The solutions are there too-but do not be tempted until you finish!Watch out for our special Dublin City Libraries Summer Stars Quiz. Get Creative!This year we have a very special competition –write your own short story and win a fabulous prize. The story should be about An Unexpected Adventure. Maybe you had one, maybe you would like one or maybe you dreamed up one! Either way it’s time to fire that imagination and enter. Age groups apply but the competition will be fierce!Get helpful!Tell your parents that there are great tips for reading to younger children here.Get in Touch!Keep up to date with all our Dublin City Libraries activities at www.dublincitylibraries.ie or email [email protected] Contact your local library to register for the Summer Stars reading challenge. For more information, go to www.summerstars.ie
Wondering what to do on a rainy day? Then have a go at our Summer Stars quiz. This competition is for ages 6 – 12. The closing date is August 31st. A draw will be made from all the correct entries to win a prize. Email your completed entry form to [email protected] If it’s easier, you can email us your answers but please include the details required at the end of the quiz. To find the answers, log into TumbleBook Library, one of our free eResources, and search for the book mentioned in the question. Q.1 On Page 1 of ‘A Frog in My Throat’, written by Frieda Wishinsky and illustrated by Louise-Andrée Laliberté, what was the name of the movie that Kate wanted to see? Q.2 In ‘The Man Who Loved Libraries’ written by Andrew Larsen and illustrated by Katty Maurey, what is the name of the bridge that is pictured on the last page? Q.3 In ‘Dalen and Gole: Scandal in Port Angus’, written and illustrated by Mike Deas, what animals on Earth were being taken to the planet Budap? Q.4 In ‘Do Frogs Drink Hot Chocolate?’ by Etta Kaner, how do honeybees raise the air temperature in the hive? Q.5 In the first line of Chapter One of ‘Ben the Inventor’ by Robin Stevenson, what was right in front of Ben’s house? Q.6 In ‘Our Seasons’ by Grace Lin and Ranida McKneally, go to the first page and you will read “When the Earth is cold we long for the _________”. What is the missing word? Q.7 In ‘Fuzzy Baseball, Vol. 1: Fuzzies!’ by John Steven Gurney, what colour baseball caps do The Fernwood Valley Fuzzies wear? Q.8 In ‘The Day-Glo Brothers” written by Chris Barton, what were the first names of the two brothers? Q.9 On the first page of ‘Any Pet Will Do’ written by Nancy Shouse, what was Jeremy’s awful discovery? Q.10 “I have round suction cups at the ends of my fingers and toes to help me climb”. This is written about what animal at the end of the book ‘Animals in Camouflage’, written by Phyllis Limbacher Tildes? Entry form.Required details if you want to email without the form: Name ________________________________________Library card number _____________________________Age _____________________Email / phone number _____________________________________________Name of local library ______________________________________________
‘The book is better’ is a well rehearsed librarian’s film review. Well usually the book is better, but in this case, ‘Jaws’ is the original summer block busting film and a watershed (pardon the pun) in cinema history. You can’t turn on the television these days without ‘Jaws’ or the sequels being screened on one station or another. Everybody can quote the lines, wear the t-shirt, and play the theme tune on the piano. But what of the book from which it originated?To some extent the success of the film resulted in the book being eclipsed and latterly somewhat dismissed. But the novel sold 5.5 million copies in USA by the time the film was even released. Written by Peter Benchley, published in February 1974, ‘Jaws’ spent 44 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. The film rights to the book were bought before it was even published, with the film directed by Steven Spielberg shot and released shortly after in June 1975. So it’s got to be worth a read right?FilmThe characters are recognisable from the film, but differ in many regards. Similarly the story varies on major areas of plotline, not least who survives to tell the tale, and the fate of the fish. The story is pretty much akin to the film - a great white shark is dining on bathers off the coast of Amity a seaside resort town, Long Island, New York.The local police chief tries to temporarily close the beaches to keep bathers from harm, and figure a way to deal with the shark. He finds there are more slippery fish to deal with on land than the one in the water. Particularly in wrangling corrupt Mayor Vaughan and his selectmen who want to retain those tourist dollars and keep the beaches open for financial health of Amity.The chief must hire Quint and Hooper’s expertise, leave his wife and kids, and take to the seas to deal with his community’s pest control issues. So far so familiar, but there are key differences which make this an edgier take than the film, and may for some, be unpalatable.Chief Martin Brody born and bred in Amity is a blue collar cop, wary of the well healed out of towners who invade the island every summer. He is a man of duty and pragmatism in service to his community. Quite a lot of the films lighter moments are channelled through Spielberg’s chief Brody. But Benchley’s Brody is sullen; he wears his working class roots in earnest, his police stripes with great pride, and his authority with dedication. Benchley’s Brody is wracked with self doubt and insecurities about his worth and potency. He is driven by a will to prove his value and protect those around him.BookBook version Ellen Brody is a different fish to the film version Ellen Brody. Benchley’s Ellen Body is to an extent a trophy wife. She’s a step up for Brody from his own people. She’s missing her life before marriage and children. She fears she settled for Martin Brody. Her need to feel vital sees her turn sexual predator, her flirtations leading to subsequent infidelity that will either drive her away from or back into her husband’s arms. She’s not the Spielbergian archetypical Mom and certainly won’t be offering anyone coffee ice-cream.Mayor Larry Vaughan is willing to sacrifice consumers to keep beaches and business open. Exploiting the coastal environment in which he exists, he maintains devotion to the almighty dollar. Benchley doesn’t give Vaughan a moment of humanity – he’s not a crazy anchor motifed suit wearing caricature. There is no ‘My kids were on that beach too’ moment of redemption here. Vaughan is the villain. In fact it transpires in the book Vaughan is actually protecting a real estate deal with mafia investment. To Mayor Vaughan the shark is an economic problem, not a public health issue. Benchley’s Mayor Larry Vaughan is the manifestation of rogue materialism. Vaughan eventually cuts his losses and does a runner.Ichthyologist Matt Hooper is a charmless man. He is a rich graduate, slick, egotistical and unlikable. He is a man of science, but conversely not a man of reason. Potentially he may be able to control nature, but as we see he cannot even curb his own desires. His dalliance with another man’s wife, in satisfying his lust and realising his blinkered selfish will, is a harbinger of wherein lies his fate. His scientific equipment and college earned education are all there is between him and the shark. There is no bottle of red and white wine, this Hooper doesn’t care about anyone except himself.Quint is a professional shark hunter the skipper on a small vessel called the Orca. Quint is the indigenous sage. He knows things about his local environment. He has learned through experience not books. Quint though is driven by his will to conquer and master all he surveys. He uses instinct and brute force. Quint in the book is particularly cruel and nihilistic- a harpoon too far in the books case. (I have to say at this point that Robert Shaw’s ‘Indianapolis Speech’ is the best scene in ‘Jaws’ bar none, maybe even the best film monologue ever. ‘So eleven hundred men went in the water, 316 men came out, the sharks took the rest, June the 29th 1945. Anyway, we delivered the bomb’. But Benchley didn’t write it).The shark is dispassionate, a cold eyed monster, with no anthropomorphic traits, its motivation is pure survival. The shark can be read as anti-capitalist allegory, the shark as a basic threat to profit that must be eradicated. Or the shark may represent the unpredictable force/ mans primal fear of nature. Or some sort of castration symbolism and comment on modern manhood. Or whatever you’re having with your chips and mushy peas. The shark in the book ‘Jaws’ doesn’t have the same fate as the film.The shark hunting in the book is a matter of livelihood, and prestige. The relationship between the men on the Orca is tense and terse – ego reigns. They do not get along and seem to really hate each other. There is no bonhomie, no joining together. They are all motivated by separate drives. If they just put aside ego and operated as a collective, for the greater good, they might stand a better chance of survival. But with this individualism - who lives, who dies is unpredictable – can they redeem themselves?Book versus filmSo why bother with the book if the film is so good? Well the book is a solid page turner and a great summer read. It is a rawer take on all scores than the film. ‘Jaws’ can be read in COVID-19 days as a teaching on the pandemic, the economy, on political mistrust. A basic indiscriminate force of nature threatens death upon a society already beset by problems. Politicians protect the economy ahead of public health. Business as usual reigns in the hopes the contagion will kill only a few in its lifetime and burn itself out.Alright it may be regarded as a dime store read but it actually has a literary lineage. ‘Jaws’ greatly resembles Henrik Ibsen’s play ‘An Enemy of the People’ in which the mayor of a small spa town copes with a water contamination that might drive away the tourists and the town’s chance of survival. The comparisons to Herman Melville’s ‘Moby Dick’ too are inevitable, with the pursuit at all costs of a large fish. And it’s not so far-fetched as you’d imagine either - the book is reminiscent of the Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916, where fatalities numbered 4, and 1 seriously injured by a bull shark.‘What had once seemed shallow and tedious now loomed in memory like paradise’, Peter Benchley.Submitted by Sleeve Notes Drumcondra Library.