Watha T. Daniel/Shaw
Neighborhood Library

Published on Tuesday, August 21, 2012

cover of ImagineJonah Lehrer is the latest* in a long line of writers caught up in the scandal of fabricating facts in order to construct a good narrative for his book. Recently a writer at the Jewish magazine The Tablet was fact-checking the Bob Dylan quotations in Lehrer’s book Imagine, and discovered that a good number of the quotes are misstatements, cobbled-together phrases from disparate interviews, or, some of them, fabricated entirely in order to sell Lehrer’s thesis. In a bit of poetic irony, the focus of the book was on how creativity works.

Prior to the reveal that he fabricated these Dylan quotes, the celebrity slam site Gawker had been criticizing Lehrer for rehashing a lot of his older articles, mining them for material for his new job blogging at the New Yorker. (Is self-plagiarism even a thing?**) Lehrer has since resigned his role at the New Yorker.

While sad, this kind of story is nothing new. Every year a new scandal comes out where people have been caught in the act of embellishing upon the truth, constructing facts to suit their narrative, and flat-out stealing the words from other people’s mouths. Earlier this year it was Mike Daisey.

Or How to Avoid Aggravating your In-laws

Published on Thursday, August 2, 2012

Guerilla Art KitSitting in the car last weekend with my 10-year-old niece and brother-in-law, my niece says to me, “Remember that time when you were living with my mom and dad and you painted your furniture with glitter and it got ALL over the house, and my dad was furious!” 

“Er…no, I don’t remember that.”  Awkward silence. 

Gleefully, from the back seat, “Oh, yes. It happened. My mom told me all about it.”

Staff as a Resource -- Part 4

Published on Monday, July 16, 2012

Nick HirschNick Hirsch, a friendly presence at the library's checkout desk, just graduated with a B.A. honors degree in history from the University of Maryland, College Park. He went through much tension and turmoil studying for his finals, applying and appearing for interviews all over the country and working almost full time at the library. However he maintained a dignified and professional outlook at the library, with a cheerful word and smile for the customers who came through.

Published on Tuesday, July 10, 2012

hourglassA riddle for you:

This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.

-Gollum, from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

The answer, of course, is time. On a grand scale, one has to acknowledge that time ultimately catches up with us all. There is no cheat, no invisibility cloak that permanently shields us from the effects of time.

Published on Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Inspired by rapper Big Daddy Kane and the 1985 flick Krush Groove, recent high school graduate Larry, 18, has a personal style that epitomizes classic hip-hop cool. Larry sports his fly gear with confidence, and proudly represents his roots via a pendent necklace shaped as the continent of Africa. No Luddite, he completes his fresh to death look with 80s-era technological gadgets, like a Realistic SCR-12 boom box and a sweet wrist watch with a built-in mobile phone and internet access. When asked to describe his fashion MO, he immediately supplied two words: Funky fresh. Word!

Published on Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Caesear is the performance name of a young MC who lives in Rock Mafia neighborhood in Northeast. He is 16 years old and attends Shaw Middle School. I sat down with him to get to know him a little better and find out about his mix tape.

AE: Who are some of your musical influences?

Published on Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Seventeen-year-old Precious has a style that simply oozes rock star cool. A senior at the Washington Math and Science Technology Public Charter School, she cites black as the most foolproof way of looking good, and has a pair of black patent-leather Doc Martens that would make any self-respecting punk rocker swoon with envy. Precious is gearing up to begin college life at Johnson & Wales University this fall, but her ultimate dream is to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City to study fashion design. It is no doubt that her effortlessly tough-girl, grunge-cool attire would be a perfect match for The City That Never Sleeps. Read more after the jump.

Published on Friday, May 25, 2012

This is the first post in a three part series about rooms around the house.

bathrooms Photo by Ambro.A sweet silence descends over the din when you shut the door. A sigh of liberation is born. Water is ample, tumbling from shower-heads, from faucets, signifying the spiritual purification found in ablutions. If you are lucky, accoutrements—ranging from good-smelling hand soap to a large mirror with soft lighting on which one can confront all matters of contemplation, amour-propre and self-loathing—adorn and are, naturally, adored.

Staff As Resource - Part 3: Casey Danielson

Published on Friday, May 25, 2012

Casey DanielsonCasey has achieved recognition within the DC Library System as an artist, musician, teacher, photographer, movie director, writer and graphic designer, as well as for his skill in computer technology. These skills make him a valuable colleague as libraries strive to create more content via blogs, webpages, videos and podcasts, provide modern programming, and produce striking fliers and posters to promote library services.

Two special projects of Casey’s deserve special mention.

Published on Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sonny StittSonny Stitt, jazz sax legend, passed away in D.C. thirty years ago this summer. An avid disciple of Charlie Parker's, Stitt developed his own style, which influenced John Coltrane and a generation of others.

Stitt's name comes up time and again as a bebop/hard-bop mainstay, but one can't ignore his blues and ballads. We can conclude Ellington would say Stitt's playing is "beyond category."