Lisa's blog

LOOKING FOR BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS SALES LEADS? TRY REFERENCEUSA

A recent visitor to the Reference Department had just opened up a commercial janitorial service and asked if we had any resources to help him find customers.

I suggested we look at ReferenceUSA, one of the library's most popular licensed databases, which allows you to search for business listings by combining search parameters such as geographic location, industry, sales volume or number of PCs. He wanted to focus on small offices in an industrial area near 2nd and Tejon, so I showed him how to formulate a search that combined the zip code for that area with privately owned businesses whose square footage is no larger than 2,499.

RAGING AGAINST THE MACHINE: PATRICK MCGOOHAN AS THE PRISONER

Amid the growth of the peace movement, the birth of the Big Mac, and the first 60 Minutes, American television viewers had their minds blown in 1968 when the British spy thriller The Prisoner made its debut.

The 17-episode show was conceived, directed, and mostly written by its star, Patrick McGoohan, who had just completed the final season of the British espionage series Danger Man. The Prisoner's opening sequence (shown below) is like watching a 3-minute movie; an unnamed British secret agent speeds through London in his roadster to his boss's office, where he angrily hands in his resignation.

VAMPIRES: A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BLOODSUCKING UNDEAD

From Bela Lugosi's courtly, cornball, heavily accented count to the angst-ridden teen leeches of the Twilight series, vampires have been an essential part of film history. Our fascination with them, experts suggest, has something to do with our fear of death and yearning for immortality at any price -- or maybe it's just cool to imagine an eternity of partying all night and sleeping all day.

Some version of the vampire myth has existed in nearly every culture; the first recorded account came from Western Europe during the Middle Ages. Since there was no explanation for disease or natural disasters, vampires were blamed. They were depicted as foul, bloated, and barely semi-human. It wasn't until John Polidori's 1819 novella The Vampyre that they began their transformation into the charismatic and nicely dressed entities that we know and love today.

JEFFERSON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: 60 YEARS OF BEAUTIFUL MUSIC

The Jefferson Symphony Orchestra (JSO) is celebrating by offering an ambitious and engaging schedule this 2012-2013 season, including their October 21st opener Afternoon at the Opera, with gifted guest mezzo soprano Kara Guggenmos.

The pieces to be performed will include Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, Four Last Songs and Der Rosenkavelier from Strauss and Tristan und Isolde, Wagner's piece that inspired Herrmann Bernard's haunting theme for the movie Vertigo.

Book Group

Do you like to read, talk and eat? Would you like a way to make new friends, see things in a new way and find genres and authors that you've not considered before?

If so, you may find the perfect nexus in a book group. There are many types of book groups, ranging from a group of friends getting together monthly to discuss an essay to special-interest virtual groups, such as Thumper's Corner, which is specifically for African-American literature.

Local Drop-In Book Groups

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO READ?

Have you read all the books on your nightstand and depleted your Nook? Don't settle for reading the cereal box or that copy of Who Moved My Cheese someone left in the break room - you can find fresh and unexpected page-turners from a variety of sources.

Beat everyone to the waiting list by using Clues Unlimited to find upcoming mystery titles, as well as mysteries for children and British imports.

Can't remember the name of the third Harry Potter book? Check out What's Next, a comprehensive database from the Kent Library District, MI, that allows you to find a fiction series by genre, author, series name or book title.

KICKOFF FALL WITH SOME FOOTBALL MOVIES

Anyone who attended Bronco games during the late '70s remembers the Orange Crush defense and Craig Morton, who always threw the ball at the last moment possible and then collapsed on the field to avoid getting tackled. I sat wedged between my burly father and a truly huge, hairy, chain-smoking guy and his brother, who we privately called the Bear and the Bear's brother.

In later years, I had access to a "box" seat, courtesy of a generous in-law. This offered such great people-watching that I hardly paid attention to the game at all, which was just as well most of the time. I'm still not sure how the women in the box hiked all the way up there in their stiletto heels and cat-print jumpsuits, but it was a lot of fun, with snacks, drinks and shelter readily available.

"A DAY IN POMPEII" COMING TO THE MUSEUM OF NATURE AND SCIENCE

August 24, 79 AD, started out like any other day in the thriving Roman town of Pompeii, with citizens socializing at the public baths, watching gladiator contests, preparing meals and going to school. The popular resort town was located in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius, which hadn't erupted in hundreds of years.

A series of small earthquakes in the last few days may have caused some uneasiness, however. Only seventeen years earlier, a big earthquake had caused massive damage, which the citizens of Pompeii were still trying to repair. At the time, the correlation between earthquakes and volcanic activity was unknown; but the longer a volcano is silent, the bigger the explosion when it finally does erupt.

PATRICIA HIGHSMITH

“Honestly, I don't understand why people get so worked up about a little murder!”
― Patricia Highsmith, Ripley Under Ground

Among the writers of crime novels and offbeat thrillers, few writers have managed to be as enduring in appeal among readers and critics alike as Patricia Highsmith, whose startlingly original creations includes one of the most singularly charming killers in all of fiction.

"WAIT! YOU'VE GOT THE WRONG GUY!"

There are times when you wish you were somebody else - giving a speech, shopping for a swimsuit or receiving a dental deep cleaning are just a few of them. Reinventing yourself is rarely an option in real life, but it does happen in the movies.

Whether somebody got switched at birth, faked their own death or is wrongly accused of a crime, there is a mistaken identity film for everyone.

Here are some of my favorites:

The Big Lebowski (1998)

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