Grab Your Popcorn: Movies Based on Books


…Is it Friday yet, Bits and Bramblers? I don’t know about you, but it seems like this week has been veeeerrrrryyyyy looooooonnnngggg, not to mention rainy (and what’s with the fog? Are we living on a moore now?) *sigh*


What do you say we distract ourselves by watching some movie trailers? After all, they’re coming soon to a theater near you. And here’s the cool thing—all of these movies are based on made-of-awesome books.

First up is Whip It, which opens October 2nd. Not only is it Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut, it’s based on one of my favorite novels—Derby Girl, by Shauna Cross. I really want to see this one, you guys. I mean, the soundtrack is awesome, and if I weren’t so clutzy, it would make me want to strap on a pair of skates…
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Next up, a movie about vampires. No, not that one. It’s Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, based on the book series by Darren Shan. To be honest—and this might get me in to trouble—thisvampiremovielookslikemorefun. I mean…come on! Snake guy played by Patrick Fugit?! Regrowing-arm girl from 30 Rock? Awesome. But you can see for yourself on October 23rd:
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And last but not least, it’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, based on the classic book by Roald Dahl. I have to admit…I’m a HUGE fan of the movie’s director, Wes Anderson, and I laughed out loud during this trailer (there may have been blueberry-raspberry juice on my computer monitor. Maybe. If all of your faaaaavorite librarians didn’t already expect that kind of thing from me, I’m sure they’d be a little freaked out.) You’ve got time to make your own “modified tube sock bandit hat” before the movie opens on November 13th:
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XtraNormal is Xtra Cool!


The next time your teacher assigns a book report or other class presentation and says that creativity counts, go straight to Xtranormal. This is a free website that allows you to choose characters and make your own movies about anything you want. Their slogan is: If you can type, you can make movies and I’m here to tell you that it’s true.


It just takes a few minutes to set up an account and then get ready to say “Action”. Actually, you don’t really say anything, you just type words in little boxes, choose camera angles (is this your best side?) add expressions, sound effects and movement and you’re Quentin Tarantino (minus the high forehead). Once you’ve previewed your movie and like the way it looks, you can publish it and save it to your Xtranormal account. The best part is, if you have a Youtube account, you can publish it to Youtube with one click.


This is really something worth looking into. Even if you don’t want to do something as lame as a school project, you can make little animated films to put on your Facebook or Myspace page. The possibilities are endless. I just discovered this yesterday and I’ve already written, directed and produced a short film. Sundance here I come!



WAY Better Than The Jumble…


…You know the Jumble, Bits and Bramblers? You can find it in the newspaper?

Yeah…I don’t like that game. I mean, I like to think I’m pretty good with words, but when they’re all messed up? Not so much. My head spins when I try to sort them out.

In fact, I’d rather pretend the word isn’t jumbled, and just make up a definition for it (“Nippeg? That’s…er…a new kind of thumbtacks to hang up posters with. They’re…you know…much better than that other kind of thumbtack.” And that’s why I’m awesome at this game.)

But here’s another awesome game–Eight Letters in Search of a Word.

So…it’s a tiny bit like the Jumble, because you get eight letters, totally scrambled, that make a word. And here’s how it’s a little different than the Jumble: there’s a time limit. But here’s how it’s infinitely better than the Jumble—even if you don’t know the eight-letter word? You get points for making smaller words out of the eight letters. This way, you can still hit your target score, even without figuring out the big word. How great is that?! You can’t do that with your Word Jumble!

So play some Eight Letters in Search of a Word, and start unscrambling…but before you get started check out this video (can you read it?!)
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Biblioteket Är Mycket Bra För Dig


…Uh-huh, you read that right. And it’s in Swedish, so you probably don’t have any idea what it means. It says, “The Library is Good for You.” See, I’m about to explain one of the reasons why libraries are so awesome—and it totally involves Swedish.

Remember the whole…mess this summer? Well, I’m not afraid to say that all of your faaaaavorite librarians were more than a little bit freaked out by the whole thing. So one day, we started talking about hobbies, and trying new things. So I made a joke. “I would learn a new language. I can speak a little Spanish, so I’d learn something completely different, like…Swedish.”

And I meant it—I think Swedish sounds pretty cool, so…why not learn it? After all, I love to shop at Ikea. I really like Alexander Skarsgård. And who doesn’t love Swedish meatballs? Or ABBA?!?!?! (And while the Swedish Chef is awesome, even then I was pretty sure that he’s not really speaking Swedish…)

Still, I was sort of joking. I mean, who just decides to speak Swedish out of the blue? Besides…I figured someone would tease me. Here’s the thing, though—Nobody laughed. Instead, one of the awesome people I work with said, “Do you really want to learn Swedish?” And then I said, “Well…yeah, I kind of do.”

So two minutes later–literally–they handed they me a book . Then when I couldn’t find CDs on Swedish at any of our libraries, the Made-of-Awesome-InterLibrary Loan Department said, “It’s no problem, we’ll borrow some from another library.” And within a few weeks, I was driving to work listening to Beginner’s Swedish CDs—learning colors, numbers, and how to ask what time it was. In Swedish.

And here I am, three months later, and jag talar lite svenska (I speak a little Swedish.) And all because when I said I wanted to learn, the people I work with didn’t say, “Wow…you are really geeky,” or, “That’s so stupid.” They just helped me find exactly what I needed. And they made other suggestions, too—”There’s this website from the Stockholm School of Economics…” and “Did you know there are tons of Disney songs dubbed in Swedish on YouTube?” (There totally are. And I won’t lie…the Genie from Aladdin is…scary in Swedish.)

…But the thing is, it’s not because I work here. It’s because that’s what the library does. When you walk in the doors, no matter who you are, or what you want, we help you. If you decide out of the blue that want to learn how to knit, we’ll help you. If you want to learn how to throw a knuckleball, we’ll help you. Even if you walk in the door and say, “I’m failing algebra, and I need some books on it,” we won’t point and laugh. We’ll just help you the find some books (and some of us will even tell you that we failed algebra, too. Not me, though. Yeah…that was someone else.)

So that’s why biblioteket är bra för dig (the library is good for you.) Because no matter what you need—if you need help with work or school, or if you just want to learn how to speak Swedish, we can—and we will—help. I just wanted to remind you, in case you forgot.

And now that you know, I’ll expose you to a little more Swedish. Sort of. Here’s a very Swedish band, singing in English (because who doesn’t love ABBA?!?! The hair and the clothes alone…come on! How can you not love them?!?!)
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