lord-of-the-rings-trilogy

When the weather is frightful, such as the New Year’s holiday snowstorm and last week’s frigid arctic cold, there are certain movies that will do the trick when you’re stuck at home.

And that’s where franchise series movies sweeps in to save the day.

For those who prefer to cozy up on the couch, sipping a hot beverage (hot coffee for me) in front of the TV, these types of films have the power to save the day and definitely suits your entertaining needs. You’re not just watching a single movie with a singular narrative, but rather a string of movies that share a common world, some with an overarching storyline such as the blockbuster Lord of the Rings and Back to the Future trilogies.

These types of movies will certainly keep you occupied when you’ve got nothing else you’d rather do but relax. Rather than fingering through a vast array of movies to watch, these shared movies have the power to pull you in like a good cliffhanger; they rope you into coming back for more.

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penguin-colony

Are you planning a road trip this year?

If so, there is a good chance you will find yourself stuck in a not-so festive traffic jam. Here’s a mind-hack to help you keep the gas-break-honk blues at bay: imagine the sea of cars is a huddle of penguins.

According to a study published in the New Journal of Physics, emperor penguins use stop-and-go movements similar to dense highway traffic to protect themselves from the harsh Antarctic winter.

Researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute filmed penguin huddles from above, and studied the time-lapse footage looking for patterns. Every minute or so a single penguin waddled about 2 cm causing all the surrounding penguins to waddle 2 cm in response. These small movements sent waves of corresponding waddles through the entire huddle. This pattern is similar to that of cars making their way through dense traffic.

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3m cloud

Did you know you can check out free ebooks with your Niles library card?

According to a study released by the Pew Research Center in June of 2012, 58% of library card holders do not know if their library lends eBooks.

The Niles Public Library has two ebook services: The 3M Cloud Library and Overdrive’s MyMediaMall.

Checking out an ebook is just as easy as checking out a print book from the library and you can check them out from anywhere with your mobile device.

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Christmas is finally here, which means that another month of listening to Christmas music is finally over.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate Christmas music — I  loved listening to my dad’s Alfred Burt vinyl every December while growing up. I’m also pretty sure I could whistle the entire Nutcracker Suite from beginning to end. But now I can go back to listening to my favorites, the music that has stuck with me all through the year whether waking up in the morning, driving, working, working out, relaxing on the couch or getting ready for bed at night.

One of the things I look forward to most at the end of each year is sifting through all the “best of” music lists; it’s a chance to discover all the great music that I’ve missed, and also to wonder about other people’s musical tastes. I also like to compile my own list each year. It’s based entirely on the number of plays that each song gets on my iPod, so I make no claims about it being “the best.” This is the music that I love, the music that has gotten me through an entire year of living; the music that I’ve shared with my friends to help them pull through, too. So here are some of my favorite albums and songs of 2013. Maybe there’s something here that’s new for you, something you’ll love or something that you’ll really hate. Either way, we’d love to hear about it, and about your favorites of 2013, too.

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Holidays 2013 Survival Kit Image4

Ah, the holidays.

There are any versions of cherishing the holidays as there are families. They may watch (for the 27th time!) Ralphie’s quest for an air rifle in A Christmas Story or George’s redemption in It’s a Wonderful Life.  Never any shortage of baked goods around this time, either. If a tree is involved, out come dusty boxes of ornaments and in comes a five foot evergreen. Others will light the Menorah to celebrate Hanukkah. It’s all good.

But the holidays also bring something which strikes fear into the hearts of parents: Children with no school to go to!  A few hours of TV-movie nostalgia and cookie-munching and tree decorating may not be enough. Where to find things for them to do, watch, listen to, and — yes, even over the holidays — read?

Here. Video games help the holidays speed by. If the holidays are a “blast your enemies”-free zone, maybe they’d go for electronic hockey or Sims or Diego. If blasting is allowed, they could get in touch with their inner Harry Potter. A little laid-back wizarding — in Kinect, Wii, Playstation 3, Nintendo DS, or Xbox — might be just the thing.

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home_alone

The image above is probably embedded in every kids and adults mind alike that it hardly warrants guessing where it came from if you’ve watched the movie from your childhood or for the first time.

This hit family holiday comedy is a feel good movie for all ages!

Aside from being one of my all time favorite holiday movies, it deserves to be on the list of top classic holiday movies. Its multiple themes of togetherness, forgiveness, and most importantly family, transcends time itself and still plays on till this day. Though it premiered in November of 1990, the movie itself does not get tiring. Though the laughs may wane a little after watching the “Wet Bandits”, played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, encounter the various booby traps–which I alone admit to actually recreating my own battle plans when I was small–the end result is still pretty darn hilarious.

The plot of the movie is simple: Eight-year-old Kevin McCallister gets left home alone after his family accidentally leaves him behind due to a mishap at the beginning of the movie, which I will not spoil, but is pretty ridiculous that you forget about it after watching the whole movie. He is forced to defend himself and his home after the two bumbling burglars sets their sights on their property. Amidst all the gags and the action that most of the comedy derives from, the emotional core of the movie and the music itself elevates it to a whole different experience.

At its core, it’s a heartwarming tale that tugs at the strings mainly because of the mother’s attempt to get home to her little boy. You’ll find yourself cheerful, festive, smiling, and maybe develop a slight “lump” in your throat after the movie.

So if you find yourself stuck with nothing to watch during the holiday season, pick yourself up a copy of the movie or put it on hold here. We also have the movie on Blu-ray here. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

 

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