Saturday, December 29, 2007

We love it when you give us art to post.

One of our very talented Teen space regulars shared this work on a manga-inspired comic he created. Thanks to Adebo for allowing us to post his work here.

Monday, December 24, 2007

30 Below - Great Teen Artists!!!

Head Downtown on New Years Eve for First Night to check out 30 Below, a fantastic art exhibit featuring work by some great teen artists, including a mural by Ben Pyles.

Happy Holidays,


Friday, December 21, 2007

SAGDA Meeting Minutes - 12/15/07

I'm proud to announce that the David Levithan afterparty is ON! David Levithan is speaking on Thursday, February 21st @ 7:00 PM. Our party will kick off around 8:00 PM and continue to 10:00 PM. Please plan on coming to both, and inviting all of your friends! Here's what we have in store so far (message me with additional info):

* LOTS OF ICE CREAM, both dairy and soy
* karaoke, via Singstar POP edition
* "gender deconstruction" crafts
* music, maybe?

What are your thoughts? What can we do to make this a night to remember?

We had our last meeting last Saturday, December 15th. In addition to playing an intense game of Apples to Apples, we met with representatives from Closing the Gap, a new initiative from the Persad Center. Closing the Gap is a peer counseling program that is looking for paid counselors between the ages of 14-18. If you want more information, or to obtain an application, you can download all the files here

We hope to see you at the next meeting (first of 2008), on Saturday, January 5th. As always, it will be at 2:00 PM and on the second floor of Kiva Han (420 S. Craig St.). Have a great day, and a wonderful 2008!

Best wishes,

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Purple Carpet: CLP Teen Awards Results!

The results are in from the CLP Teen Awards! Here's who Pittsburgh teens chose as their favorites in a variety of categories:

Teen Fiction Book: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling
Teen Fiction Author: Terry Pratchett
Manga/Manga Series: Fruits Basket, by Natsuki Takaya
Teen Non-Fiction Book: Magical Thinking, by Augusten Burroughs
Graphic Novel: Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
Music CD: Icky Thump, by The White Stripes
Video Game: Guitar Hero II

Take a look below for all the glitz, glamour, and drama that unfolded at the CLP Teen Awards. And let us know what your suggestions are for next year!

Originally uploaded by clpteens

Friday, November 30, 2007

Tell us what to do.

Tell us what you think.

Click Here to take survey

Hi. It's the end of the year, and we're thinking about programs for 2008. How can we top this past year at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main-Teen? Please take this survey and share your thoughts with us.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Minutes from the Teen Sexual and Gender Diversity Alliance (11/3/2007)

Not too much to report. Only two people came. Please come! We need your support to help keep up the group alive. So if you think the idea is cool but haven't made it out, we beg, plead, and urge you to come!

Next meeting is November 17th, 2:00 PM, at Kiva Han (420 S. Craig St., Pittsburgh, PA 15213)

But onto the discussion:

  • Programs: we need something exciting to get people excited about the group... but what? We thought about a party featuring ice cream, movies, face painting, crazy gender-freaking dress-up fun, and more. How does that sound?

  • Posters: let's think of poster ideas we can put around the community. We propose Keith Haring-style drawing with a snappy, positive line that gets people thinking. We would then use one corner to suggest some books, and the other to promote the program. What LGBTQ-related books are you interested in featuring? What should our poster slogan be?

Please share your thoughts!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Thanks for making the Teen Halloween Party a huge success!

Number of people: 80
Minutes it took for 6 dozen cupcakes to be eaten: 20
Minutes it took for one gallon of cider and 10 liters of pop to be guzzled: 20
Minutes it took for about 25 pounds of candy to be decimated: 110
Seeing an awesome bunch of Pittsburgh teens rock out to video games, scary movies, and generally enjoy themselves: priceless

See the Flickr set by clicking on the picture below. Boo-yah!

Originally uploaded by clpteens

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Alana’s Horror Movie Survival Tips

In honor of our awesome Halloween party on the 27th, which will feature costume, candy, scary movies, video games, and more, I hereby present to you Alana's Horror Movie Survival Tips. If you ever find yourself pursued by an unstoppable killing machine, possessed by an evil demon, or facing hordes of brain-sucking zombies, please do make sure you consult these notes. So now, without further ado...

Alana’s Horror Movie Survival Tips

1. If there is something suspicious sitting in a chair or dark corner, do not approach it
2. Ignore anything that says “come closer.”
3. Do not investigate any disembodied voices. If they sound sing-song, run
4. If a family member or friend is acting possessed, do not try to reason with them. It doesn’t work.
5. Always hire a backup exorcist
6. Avoid unstable surfaces, especially when you’re high up above the ground
7. I cannot stress this enough: always check behind the door!!
8. When going to investigate something, do not leave your weapon behind
9. If the old nursery rhyme or poem says not to do something, don’t do it!
10. Avoid reading anything out loud from strange books with weird symbols on the cover. Better yet, don’t read anything out loud at all
11. If there is a human-shaped shadow behind a curtain, chances are there’s a human there
12. If you manage to defeat your attacker, make absolutely sure he/she/it is completely, permanently dead before leaving
13. If you find a safe hiding place where nothing can get you, stay there
14. If a creepy noise repeats more than 3 times, it’s not just the wind
15. When going to another room to investigate, take the kids with you
16. Anyone holding a sharp weapon is probably past the “let’s talk this over” point
17. Be the comic relief character, they are far less likely to be killed
18. Don’t trust anyone who seems incapable of moving properly, as they are usually insane, dead, hypnotized, or drunk
19. The sweetest looking child is usually the evil one
20. Never ask a killer “why are you doing this,” as it just wastes precious time
21. Dummies, dolls, and clowns are evil. Period.
22. Make sure you are informed of any possible family curses

To be continued…

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Are we scared yet?

I know this is a little early and all, but I wanted to get the word out ASAP.

We are having a wicked-cool HALLOWEEN PARTY for teens on SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27th from 2:00PM until about 5:00PM. All activities will be in the Teen Department, Main Library.

Of course it is totally free.

This year I am giving a prize to ANYONE and EVERYONE who shows up in costume.

We will be watching a scary movie that I haven't decided on yet. Any suggestions? Please send them along! Remember, as long as it is rated PG-13 we can probably watch it.

We'll play some games, and I'll make sure that there are plenty of freshments.

I am also thinking we could do some Halloween button-making. Buttons are always a hit.

So, please come and join us that afternoon for the festivities.

Did I mention that there is going to a ton of candy?

There is going a ton of candy.



Tuesday, October 02, 2007

CLP Teen Radio at

Listen up - CLP Teen now has its very own internet radio station run by and for you! Listen to CLP Teen Radio at home or in the library by visiting

Password: teens

That's all you need to get started, but WE NEED YOU to be a part of this to make it work. Add your favorite music to CLP Teen Radio or create a brand new station full of your music! If you have any questions make sure to ask the Teen staff.

Pandora is a great resource and a fantastic way to find new music. Here's a little more about what they do to get you started.


The Music Genome Project©

On January 6, 2000 a group of musicians and music-loving technologists came together with the idea of creating the most comprehensive analysis of music ever.

Together we set out to capture the essence of music at the most fundamental level. We ended up assembling literally hundreds of musical attributes or "genes" into a very large Music Genome. Taken together these genes capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song - everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony. It's not about what a band looks like, or what genre they supposedly belong to, or about who buys their records - it's about what each individual song sounds like.

Since we started back in 2000, we've carefully listened to the songs of tens of thousands of different artists - ranging from popular to obscure - and analyzed the musical qualities of each song one attribute at a time. This work continues each and every day as we endeavor to include all the great new stuff coming out of studios, clubs and garages around the world.

It has been quite an adventure, you could say a little crazy - but now that we've created this extraordinary collection of music analysis, we think we can help be your guide as you explore your favorite parts of the music universe.

We hope you enjoy the journey.

Tim Westergren
The Music Genome Project

Monday, September 17, 2007 - Dig It!

I grabbed this clip of guerilla artist Shuetsu Sato's colorful duct tape designs from the Japanophile blog Pinktentacle. Manga and Anime fans should definitely love this blog, but it's got enough quirk for everyone. Check it out!

- corey

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Minutes from the Teen Sexual & Gender Diversity Alliance - Saturday, August 18 2007

Don't forget that we're tabling the Warhol event this Friday! It's from 5-10:00 PM. We'll have books, flyers for the group, podcasting, and more. Here's the flyer, so you can print it and give it to your friends:

We're also working on a poster series for LGBT History Month, which is October. The theme is "LGBT History Is a Living History." Here are who we chose so far (you should be able to remember who you chose out of these):

Jefferee Star
John Waters

Eleanor Roosevelt
Alexander the Great

Rufus Wainwright
Andy Warhol

Make sure you have your information for the upcoming meeting. You can find biographical information in our research databases (I recommend the Biography Resource Center and Biography Reference Bank).

Thanks for coming, everyone! We're gearing up for the next meeting, which is Saturday, September 15th, 2:00 PM @ the second floor of Crazy Mocha (420 S. Craig St. Pittsburg, PA 15213)

Friday, September 07, 2007

Harry and the Potters videos are NOW UP!

Voldemort couldn't stop the rock, and neither could the rain. Close to 400 children, teens, and imaginative adults braved the weather to see Harry and the Potters (and their evil guests, Draco and the Malfoys) give Pittsburgh a night to remember. Check out the clips!

I'm Corey and I'm new here.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Hi everyone, my name's Corey and this is my first week in Teen. I'm super-excited to be here and I look forward to meeting you all. Please feel free to track me down and introduce yourself. My interests include: soul music, dancing, comics (Marvel, Paul Pope, Grant Morrison, etc.), stationery and trees. I'm always good for a recommendation when it comes to music or graphic novels, but I'd be just as happy to shoot the breeze. See you soon!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg

Looking for a great graphic novel about friendship and radical art? Try the Plain Janes! Listen to a booktalk here:

Subscribe Free
Add to my Page

Friday, August 31, 2007

Date announced for CLP Teen Awards

December 14th, 2007.
5:30-7:30 pm.

Drop by for the coolest library awards ceremony in town.

Click Here to take survey

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Minutes from Teen Sexual & Gender Diversity Alliance - Saturday, August 18,2007

Teen Sexual & Gender Diversity Alliance Saturday, August 18,2007

Andy Warhol Museum

Event: GLBTQ Night
When: Friday, September 14, 2007 (6:00 p.m.)
Where: 117 Sandusky St Pittsburgh, PA 15212 (412) 237-8310

What we’ll be doing:
· Rainbow bracelets
· GLBTQ buttons
· Showing short video on GLBTQ teen books & movies

Podcasting Ideas

GLBTQ Hotspots (hang outs)
Teen Sexual & Gender Diversity Alliance Meeting

GLBTQ History Month

When: October (February in the UK)

What we’ll be doing:
Buttons of well-known GLBTQ people (both past & present), and Gay pride!
Posters & Flyers – of GLBTQ people (both past & present). Including small bullet points of their general contributions, and orientation.

Here is a tiny sample list of GLBTQ People: (more coming!)
Deborah Wilson (MAD Tv)
Lance Bass (Musician)
Glen Burk (Professional baseball player)
Ms. Jay (America’s Next Top Model)
Tyra Banks (Model, Tv host)
Jeffery Star (Transgender singer and performer)
John Waters (Movie director)
Elton John (Musician)
Eleanor Roosevelt (First Lady)
Frieda Kahlo (Artist)
Alexander the Great (Macedonian ruler)

Monthly compilation of interviews with local GLBTQ people


Books recommended (so far) for Andy Warhol film:
Hello, Groin
The Geography Club Series
Rainbow Boys Series
The Center of the World (Die Mitte Der Welt)
Hard Love
The Full Spectrum
GLBTQ* Survival Guide for Queer & Questioning Teens

Movies recommended (so far) for Andy Warhol film:
But, I’m a Cheerleader
Adam & Steve
Kinky Boots
Brokeback Mountain
To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything

World Map
Color in every country/state that has legalized Same Sex Marriage.

Next Meeting: Saturday, September 1st, 2007 (2:00 p.m.) @ Kiva Han Cafe

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

First Annual CLP Teen Awards

We're having our first ever CLP Teen Awards in 2007. You can now enter your nominations in the following categories:

1. Teen Fiction Book
2. Teen Non-Fiction Book
3. Manga or Manga Series
4. Graphic Novel or Graphic Novel Series
5. Music CD

6. Video Game*

Enter your nominations now. Happy Voting!

Click Here to take survey

You have until the end of September to nominate titles. Our next round of voting will feature the top results in every category. Then, we'll reveal the winners at an Awards party in December. We'll be releasing the date soon!

*Just added!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Eli Reviews Stan Lee’s Just Imagine Stan Lee Creating the DC Universe Book 2

Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Wonderwoman, The Flash, Robin, and Shazam are all your favorite DC heroes. Now put them in the hands of the greatest comic book dude in the world and you’ve got yourself one SSSSSSUUUUUUUHHHH-WWWWWWWEEEEEEETTTT comic. Now in the last book Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, and Wonderwoman all were warped by Lee and the marvel team, so just add the flash (also featured in this book) and bam you got yourself the first Marvel JLA issue. Loaded with explanation and villains, JLA is a fun read.

But don’t stop there. What about the ever loved, ever cool side kick of Batman, Robin. I won’t give it all away but here’s the gist of the comic, Robin is controlled by the big baddie of all the Stan Lee DC comics. Fallowing Robins fateful (or not as much of one as they have in DC) turn to the to good, Shazam steals the spotlight for the final comic of this book. In well I think its in the middle east (because of all the sand), A young man, Rob, finds Merlan and the story launches. The drawing of Shazam is pretty sweet so check it out.

After all the comics are said and done, Stan Lee adds in goodies and bios that explain a lot. If you’re a DC/Marvel fan you enjoy checking this book out. Don’t forget this is book 2, so read book one first.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Zoe, an art club regular, created this lovely drawing for your viewing pleasure, and for her own fine forgiveness pleasure! Ask us how we can help you reduce your fines.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is still reeling from the wizard rock

Now that the 7th book's over, the party's just begun. I hereby give you The Remus Lupins, who strummed, drummed, sang, and saxed on July 31st:

Don't forget to check out Harry and the Potters, on Sunday, August 19th @ 5:00 PM

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Zoë reviews Leepike Ridge, by N.D. Wilson

Tom Hammond, 11 years old, but he feels older, due to the fact that his father has been gone for three years. Elizabeth Hammond, Tom’s mom, who is finding the strain of being a single mother difficult. Tom runs away from home when his hated Elementary School teacher proposes marriage to Elizabeth. He gets swept up by a creek and winds up deep under Leepike Ridge. I thought the book was well written, and that it was captivating. I was intrigued. I can’t wait to read more!

Guitar Hero Rocks! Guitar Hero II Tournament Ruled!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Scientists unleash a new & exciting task for robots... playing Guitar Hero 2

If the Terminator could headbang, it would probably be a direct descendent of the Guitar Heronoid, a robot created for the purpose of, well, SHREDDING ON GUITAR HERO. It uses image processing code to "follow" the path of the little nodes on-screen and responds accordingly. Check it out in action.

Thinking of your own robotics projects? Check out our over a hundred books on the subject.

Oh, by the way, we are still having the Guitar Hero 2 tournament on Monday. It starts at 12:00 PM. Even if you aren't registered, we have door prizes for just showing up. Yes, that ties in with my new library theme: "Our giveaways. Let me show you them."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Today at Art Club we made duct tape wallets. As you can see below, we had lots of fun.

We will be doing this event again some time soon. You can keep a look out for it and other fun stuff going on at the Teen Department by checking the events manager.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Teen Sexual & Gender Diversity Alliance IS ON!

After a few issues trying to get a space, we are ON for the Teen Sexual & Gender Diversity Alliance! Here's the scoop:

  • Dates 'n times: 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, starting August 4th. It officially runs from 2:00 - 3:00 PM but can keep going if people are into it!

  • The place to be: We're meeting on the second floor of Kiva Han (420 S. Craig St., Pittsburgh, PA 15213)

  • What we're up to:podcasting (making our own downloadable radio show), publishing a newsletter, political action, watching movies, making videos for Youtube, mutual support, develop special library programs (in celebration of LGBT history month, Day of Remembrance, or just generally fun stuff), book clubs, just generally fun & awesome things to do in the summer, and more!

Please come out, hang out, and help us get it started!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Volunteering: It's Hot Stuff

Our volunteers are hard at work scanning the shelves for out-of-place books (aka shelf-reading). From front to back, here's what they have to say

“It’s mind-numbing. ‘It makes my heart sore’ to see all the books. And I didn’t get a paper-cut, so I’m proud of myself.”

~Megan H.

“Sweetest thing ever!”

~Kevin L.

“It’s freakin’ awesome!”

~Chen Z.

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Teen department thanks them for blood, sweat, and tears. If this looks good to you, fill out a volunteer application


Monday, July 02, 2007

Eclipse is coming out soon!

Karen and I saw this poster while at the American Library Association Conference in DC. As you can see, it was plastered over some R. Kelly ads. Interesting! This is the first time I have seen this type of advertising for a young adult book (but I don't get out much).

Books on Bikes!

Books on Bikes, our charity bike ride for teens, by teens went underway this past Saturday. As of now, we raised a total of $200.00 to buy books for youth shelters and community organizations in Pittsburgh. Hopefully, we'll have more info soon about how you can help put books in the hands of people who could really use them. For now, check out these pictures.

Riders Alana, Aaron, and Ben get pumped on pedaling.

Patrick and Ian bow to the machine.

Patrick wonders, "Hey, you just rode 8 miles! Why the heck aren't you eating all this food I bought?!"

Patrick rocks the party, cake style.

Patrick bows to Ben, winner of our impromptu "Civil War" scavenger hunt.

Thanks to everyone who came--and those who couldn't but still raised money for the cause! Thanks also to Bike Pittsburgh for supporting us.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Quick Flix - Teen Video Contest!

CLP Teen is holding a video contest, with quite an impressive list of prizes. Basically, we are looking for a 1-3 minute promotional video clip themed around Teen library resources and services. It can be funny, serious, tongue-in-cheek,'s up to you.

You could win:

  • Grand Prize: Sony PlayStation Portable
  • 2nd Place: MP3 Player + $50 iTunes gift card
  • 3rd Place: MP3 Player + $25 iTunes gift card
  • 1st Runner-Up: $10 Barnes & Noble gift card
  • 2nd Runner-Up: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh logo t-shirt

For more information check out our quick flix page or contact Karen Brooks-Reese, Teen Services Coordinator, at 412-578-2599.

All videos are due by July 15, 2007!!! So now is the time to get your camera phones, digital cameras, and video cameras warmed up. Let the filming begin!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Pictures from the Extravaganza

Pictures taken at the Teen Summer Reading tents during the Extravaganza last Sunday.

Top Secret: Teen Summer Reading Tent with Free Giveaways

Teen shreds vocal chords at Karaoke

T-Shirt Deconstruction

Becca going crazy with the fun of T-shirt deconstruction.

Eli caught in the act

Joseph rocking out with Guitar Hero II

Taylor brutally conquering with eyes of steel.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Sable rocks Guitar Hero II

Guitar Hero II is a really great game!! If you like songs like Woman and Surrender u will have fun actually playing them. This game is just so awesome. If you have already tried Guitar Hero II you should sign up for the Guitar Hero II Tournament on July 30th.-Sable

Teen Media Arts & Literacy (Part 1)

I just wanted to share some of the results from our Teen Media Arts & Literacy class. The students worked hard, had fun, and learned a lot about the process of making videos. Here's what the first group created:

This movie is what's called an "actuality." Actualities are footage of unscripted people, places, and events as they happen. It actually takes a lot of work to learn how to train the camera.

This is us experimenting with bluescreen techniques, using our footage from the actuality.

For this exercise, we created our sounds first and then video. We weren't supposed to make them go together--just get something interesting. Then we mashed them all together.

If you want to learn how to make stuff like this, e-mail me (Joseph) at!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

CLP Teen Sexual and Gender Diversity Club

On Saturday, the first pre-planning meeting of the CLP Teen Sexual and Gender Diversity Club went underway. Of course, CLP Teen Sexual and Gender Diversity Club isn't necessarily the name of the club (nor does it roll off the tongue), but I can't really use GSA since it's for more than gay and straight teens. Here's what we talked about:

  • What will we call the group? Nobody had any ideas, and it's open to discussion.
  • When will we meet? One teen suggested the first and third Saturday of each month, at 2:00 PM. How does that sound?
  • Where will we meet? At the library? Kiva Han? Anywhere else around Oakland sound good to anyone else?
  • What will we do? Here's what we brainstormed: podcasting (making our own downloadable radio show), publishing a newsletter, political action, watching movies, making videos for Youtube, mutual support, develop special library programs (in celebration of LGBT history month, Day of Remembrance, or just generally fun stuff), book clubs, just generally fun & awesome things to do in the summer, and more!

As you can see, we have a lot to talk about. Please feel free to post comments and suggestions here or e-mail

Take care,

Monday, May 14, 2007

Bookshelf Mural Blog - Kate G.

All past mural volunteers are welcome to share a little bit about their bookshelf murals. Kate G. wrote...

"I got my idea for my mural from my sister's doll. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do for it. I actually had to change what my mural was going to be."

Demented Doll, by Kate G.

Bookshelf Mural Blog - Devin B.

All past mural volunteers are welcome to share a little bit about their bookshelf murals. Devin B. wrote...

"The beauty of nature and Mother Nature inspired this mural."

The big trees and the multitone sky, by Devin B.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Fine Alternative Program: Review of Fullmetal Alchemist

Book: Fullmetal Alchemist vol.1
written by: Hiromu Arakawa

The book is about two brothers Edward Elric(the fullmetal alchemist) and his younger brother alphonse. The two brothers are trying to gain possession of the philosopher's stone to restore alphonse's body.

the book has a terrific plot with plenty of action and will deffinately have you begging for more.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Here at the Carnegie Library, we do things. You ought to check some of them out.

We know it has been super beautiful outside, and school is nearly over, and people are graduating and working on final projects and musicals and tests. Everyone is pretty busy and distracted and excited. We know that. However, the Teen staff here at the library has been pretty busy, too. We’re making plans and working on awesome programs for this summer and getting ready for Teen Summer Reading which kicks off on June 10th.

Awesome Awesomeness coming up at the library:

Saturday, June 30th Books on Bikes - A bicycle ride in which teens will raise money to provide books for local organizations serving teens in need. In addition, participating teens will visit libraries across Pittsburgh’s East End to raise awareness of the importance of books and information for teens in all of Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods. For more information contact Joseph or Patrick at (412) 622-3121

Friday, July 20th Harry Potter Anticipation Party – Get ready for the last Harry Potter book and the new movie with themed games, trivia, music, and fellow Harry Potter maniacs!

Sometime in July we would like to have a Guitar Hero Tournament. It will probably be a day-long rock-fest with snacks and prizes. We’re working on all of the details. Any interest? Contact Teens at (412) 622-3121.

And we also have all of our on-going weekly programs:
Monday YouTube Swap 3:00 – share funny, gross, crazy, wacky, awesome clips and we’ll project them on a big screen.
Wednesday Teen Art Club 3:00 – Make cool things. No talent required, only willingness to hang out and be creative.
Thursday and Friday 3:00 – Gaming! We have a Wii and a Playstation 2 and an Xbox and we’ll let you play games on them!

Friday, April 27, 2007

"It Came from the Stacks": Why Pandas Do Handstands (and Other Curious Truths about Animals), by Augustus Brown

Did you know that ants communicate by drumming? Owls use snakes to babysit their children? That certain parasites castrate their hosts? If you didn't--and you wish you did--then this is the book for you. Why Pandas Do Handstands (and Other Curious Truths about Animals), by Augustus Brown, has hundreds of the most bizarre, funny, and downright gross facts about the non-human animal world.

Fine Alternative Program: Review of Evanescence

Not just a whiny wannabe rock band.

The Carnegie Library has two (or more copies) of The Open Door and Fallen, two discs by Evanescence. When you first look at Fallen, you see a lot of clichéd lyrics and from reading the liner notes, you start to think that the lead singer, Amy Lee, doesn’t even like rock music and she’s just doing this to please Ben. Actually Ben left the band in the middle of their World Domination tour in 2003. No real explanation—he just left. And the fact that Amy’s still in the band? Or is the band? Shows that she is an amazingly real rock star. As for the clichéd lyrics? They make it all right with the chorus of people singing Latin doom phrases in the background and the melancholy piano. If you were to listen to their old, pre-Fallen material, like their first “album” Origin, and their EPs, ( then you’d understand that all of this… like, instant fame, came from years of hard work, but I guess also chance played a part in it. They have some really good old music too, and it’s free for download at the site mentioned above. Totally legal too—Amy and Ben (used to—[Ben]) encourage the free download of it all. I really like Evanescence and I think Amy’s vocals are amazing—more drawn out by the heavy, thrashing guitar, and the sweet, melodramatic piano. So go to the library, find an Evanescence CD, and check one out today!!

Do you want to earn $5 for every hour you spend reading, reviewing, watching movies, posting to our blog, or other activities? Call us at 412-622-3121 and ask about the Fine Alternative Program. Some restrictions apply.

Fine Alternative Program: Five Zine Reviews

Winter 2002
By… Warped Tour Staff??

The first thing I noticed about this zine was the name. Dollfazed. Sounds… very, I guess, scene-y. Cute. Anyways then I noticed the picture and decided that it was an interesting mix. (The picture was of some super hardcore punk holding up an issue of Dollfazed with this super odd smile.) It’s like the perfect example of a true *punk* zine… it has collaged pics, super typewriter font, reviews, and obviously essays on punk life? One of my favorite parts was the essay on how female punks aren’t really considered punks to some people, and then they mentioned a bunch of… punks, I guess?
Like, they mentioned Ella Fitzgerald as a punk. I mean come on. There’s always another way of looking at things, but Ella fricking Fitzgerald? Not saying she wasn’t cool though. They also mentioned Madonna. Wow. Apparently in one of her songs, she mentioned how music was her religion and how she’s trying to find a god in that. One of the other things I liked was the Degrassi Moment… It basically talked about Joey Jeremiah and how he’s bald now… it was nice of them to include pop culture. Even if this was back in 2002. They had lots of interviews with bands like the Bouncing Souls. But the fact that they consider them punk is beyond me… They also reviewed a ton of bands including Bad Religion, Less Than Jake, No Use For A Name, Outspan, Good Riddance… etc. Also had a funny comic.
This zine is very similar to the magazine Punk Planet—and it’s very good. I enjoyed paging through it. Their website is http://www.geocites/dollfazedzine.

About My Disappearance
By… Dave

This is pretty well put together zine about this guy named Dave who survived Crohn’s disease. Well, not survived, seeing as it’s a chronic illness. Dave writes about his first four months with Crohn’s disease, and from what he wrote about it, main symptom is… er, diarrhea. In the appendix he writes 20 different ways how to describe bowel movements. And he has one last note… not to give him advice about how to deal with Crohn’s disease… like how some people would go, oh yeah, my grandfather died of Crohn’s. It’s a little amusing. Good zine.

Beyond Squat or Rot
Anarchist Approaches to Housing
By… Chuck Munson

Chuck calls Anarchist neighborhoods “Anarcho-hoods”. He has an interesting approach to housing—includes valid points like when it’s time to renew the lease and the landlord wants to raise the rent again but the landlord didn’t do anything to improve the apartment at all. Chuck includes good ideas like co-op housing and great ways to execute that… An okay zine.

Girl-16 #2

The first few pages were written in really slanted cursive. I could barely read it. But then I got to the typed parts. It was all really moody and emo, like she was writing a letter to him; the author expected him to read it, but she was kind of hiding it from him at the same time. It had a lot of great lines lie, “Sometimes I wished you would just shut up and kiss me like in the movies.”, and “Summer is always with someone leaving me in the fall. If you leave me in the fall I know I will die.” Some parts of it were quite disturbing, like she mentioned an obsession with sharp things, like cutting and things of that sort. Kind of disturbing but a really sweet zine.

Encyclopedia Destructica
Vol. ??

This volume (I know it has volume because it had others with the same title) is in the form of a mini composition notebook. It’s got a little cartoon on each page… with a plot that makes more or less sense. Some guy gets sick… and gets better with Absinthe (strong alcohol) and a snake that coils around him. It doesn’t make much sense. And I don’t like those comics that if you’re “deep” you should understand them. If you don’t you’re not.
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Fine Alternative Program: Review of Beautiful City of the Dead, by Leander Watts

In the book Beautiful City of the Dead by Leander Watts, the two main characters stood out. Obviously, seeing as they’re… the main characters. Anyways, Relly is considered the element of fire, he’s kind of crazy, obsessed with making his band (Scorpion Bone) Sound like Ghost Metal, and, of course, fire. Zee, the main main character, is a little timid, unsure, the element water, and is obsessed with fire. But not in a sick way. The plot is pretty creepy. It’s about these two tetrads (four and no more. Groups of four, basically…) that are incomplete, (they are missing their fourth element—water.). Once Zee joins Relly’s band as bass player, she completes their tetrad. But the teachers have a tetrad of their own, and apparently once you complete one you become invincible. So the teachers are trying to steal Zee away from Scorpion Bone. That’s the plot… yeah kinda creepy. I enjoyed the complexity of it all, and the fact that it was about a ghost metal band. I didn’t like how dark it all was… it was kind of depressing not sure how to explain it… and I usually like dark stuff. This book and it’s poetry were well written, overall.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Review: Shonen Jump Volume 5, Issue 3

This month’s shonen jump ended some battles the started, and then continued a couple rambling ones. In Naruto a climactic battle if hokage sprouted as ‘The Professor” A.K.A the fourth hokage, launched a hard core battle of death against that snake guy, Orochimaru. In such battle, Orochimaru summoned to previous hokage to bathe The Professor. Naruto and his pal continued the chase against Sasuke. Gin Tama Discovered a spy in his chapter. It was kinda’ of anti climactic. Then as if my prayers were answered that one Yu-Gi-Oh battle against Bakura finally ended and I got along with my life.
The X-guys finally showed their true colors and Lyserg goes just a bit insane. Hikaru Shindo upped himself in ranks in the pro test and Akira is stalking Hikaru. Am I the only one who thinks that’s just a tad bit weird?? GX ends his battle and Chazz gets some soul food.


A Message from Sara

Have you walked into the Teen Department of the Carnegie Library in Oakland and seen a myriad of computer screens filled with game clients that look like tiny cartoons? Have you seen the itty-bitty classes running around, casting spells, fighting Treechnids (and other spooky monsters)? This game is known as Dofus (DOUGH-fuss), and it’s the hottest game to hit Pittsburgh since football.

Dofus is turn-based French subscription MMORPG with extensive and intricate battle, crafting, and job systems. What does this mean, you might be asking yourself. Turn-based? MMORPG? What!?

“MMORPG” stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplay Game. This means that a large amount of people come together using the Internet to slip into the roles of the characters they create for group and personal interaction. A turn-based game is that in which you must anticipate your opponent’s moves and act accordingly—if you like games like chess, you might be interested in a turn-based game; another example of a turn-based game is Puzzle Pirates. Realtime games are those in which you have no specific turn; all groups, friends and enemies, move in sync. Such games include Halo and World of Warcraft. Subscription means that, though you can play the game without paying money, if you pay $6.90 a month, you get full access to the game and more options for your character.

Though many people play Dofus for different reasons, the main point of the game is to level your character, equip it as best you can, and basically go around owning the world and fighting others. If you are not interested in the battle aspect of the game, you can still work on your Professions (such as farming, bow carving, mining) for money, or you can run around finding and completing various quests. However, even if those “career paths” interest you, you really ought to accept the fact that Dofus is a war game, and logging on puts you directly into the melee.

My character is an Osamoda named Myriad; I play on the second International server, Rosal (the other being Rushu). An Osamoda is a character that summons animals to fight for it—a chicken-like character named a “tofu,” a boar that pushes enemy characters around to manipulate battlefields, a stone giant named a “Crackler” that walks up and stomps you. Myriad is short and thick, as all Osamodas are, with a black dress and cap, yellow hair, and light pink skin. She is complete with a small set of horns and a lovely forked tail. There are many other classes, twelve total, and gamers at the library come in all classes, genders, and colors. The other day, I was playing Dofus and a boy next to me leaned over to me and said, “I have a level 111 Sram on Rushu… What server are you on?” (A male Sram is a skeleton in a cape with a hood who attacks while invisible, so they are very tricky, and hard to kill!)

I have been playing Dofus since its Beta period, which means since it first opened for English-speaking people to test. I played this at the library and left the client (window for playing) behind, never bothering to close it when I logged off… And people started to open the clients, curious as to what Dofus was. A week ago, I walked into the library, not really paying attention, and was shocked to see six or seven people all playing Dofus, not all in a group. Was this because I left the client behind? Or did people find it on their own? Either way, I find it amazing that people are now exploring and experiencing the game I’ve grown to love over the past year and a half. I’m so happy to realize that I am now surrounded by a supportive and creative Pittsburgh Dofus community, so that when I need help with something in the game or I’m looking to game with someone in real life, all I have to do is cast my gaze around the library, and sure enough, someone is playing Dofus.

If you are interested in playing the game, go to and click “Download.” If playing from the library, after you click “Download,” click the top left yellow button to run the program; make sure you run it to the Desktop, not Program Files, so that you can open the client until you log off.

Once you download it, experiment with classes, characters, and servers—have fun! If you wish to subscribe to the game, try the Rosal server; message Myriad if you need help with anything. If you can’t get in touch with Myriad, do what I do… Look around the library and ask for help! With so many people playing, I’m sure there are many potential friends just waiting for you to ask to play.