Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dudley Carter: A Life in Pictures

Dudley Carter, who lived and worked here for the second half of his life, is Redmond’s most-renowned artist. Dudley Carter died in 1992, just before he turned 101.

Dudley Carter's signature

As part of the Redmond Centennial, an exhibit of photos showing Carter and his work is on display in the lobby of the Redmond Library. These photos are on loan from the Carter family thanks to the efforts of the Redmond Historical Society. Opposite the photos in the lobby is Carter’s 10’ tall wood sculpture, Rivalry of the Winds.

Dudley Carter photo exhibit in the Redmond Library lobby

Dudley Carter
Carter was born to a pioneer family in 1891 in British Columbia. He was a timber cruiser and forest engineer most of his life, exploring and mapping the Pacific Northwest wilderness. A timber cruiser, using measurements and observations, determined to a fair degree of accuracy the amount of lumber a tract of standing timber would yield. The chief inspiration for Carter's art was his childhood, growing up among the Haida andFawn and Bird Kwakiutl Indians of British Columbia. He learned wood carving using primitive tools, such as the wood ax.

When he was 96 years old, Carter became the first artist-in-residence of the King County Parks and Recreation Department. His former home, located in Redmond's Slough Park, was named Haida House Studio. It is now owned by the city of Redmond.

The Redmond Library Sculpture Garden contains one of Carter's wood carvings, Fawn and Bird. This wood carving, like many of Carter's sculptures, uses a single section of a Red Cedar tree.

Redmond Library Board

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bellevue Library Parking Garage: Under Construction

For those of you that use other Eastside libraries, the downtown Bellevue Library is expanding its parking Bellevue Library constructioncapacity to 365 vehicles by building a new 3-story parking structure. During the construction, which is now underway, the only parking available will be 51 spots at the adjacent Ashwood Park. For more details about the project, including parking alternatives, click here.

The new parking garage structure is being built on the former surface parking lot area, which parallels NE 12th Street.

Bellevue Library parking garage structure (click for larger image)

Here’s an architectural rendering of the proposed landscaping for the parking structure:

Bellevue Library parking garage structure with landscaping (click for larger image)
The new parking garage is expected to be completed in late 2012.

Redmond Library Board

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Bird’s Eye View of Washington State

The world looks different from above. There are many mapping Web sites that show aerial views from satellite imagery, most of these views are looking straight down at a location. However, Bing Maps includes bird’s eye views for many locations worldwide.

A bird's eye view displays aerial imagery captured from low-flying aircraft. Unlike the top-down aerial view captured by satellite, bird's eye images are taken at an oblique, 45-degree angle, which give the viewer better depth perception for buildings and geography. As a result, bird's eye views are typically much more detailed than other aerial views.

Here’s a selection of bird’s eye views of Washington state (click the image to display the full-sized map):

Wild Waves Theme Park – Federal Way
Looking like brightly colored strands of spaghetti, the waterslides at Wild Waves sprawl in all directions. The 70-acre theme park has 14 water rides, and is the Northwest’s largest waterpark.

Wild Waves Theme Park - Federal Way

Puget Sound Naval Shipyard – Bremerton
This 100-year old Naval Shipyard covers 180 acres on Puget Sound at Bremerton. The mothballed aircraft carriers, Ranger, Constellation, and Independence are docked at the shipyard, in case they are needed by the Navy in the future.
Mothballed fleet at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard - Bremerton

Gas Works Park – Seattle
Gas Works Park, on the north shore of Lake Union, is the site of the former Seattle Gas Light Company gasification plant. The park incorporates numerous pieces of the old plant. Some stand as ruins, while others have been reconditioned, painted, and incorporated into a children's "play barn" structure, constructed from what was the plant's exhauster-compressor building.  

Gas Works Park - Seattle

Boeing Factory - Everett
The Boeing Everett Factory is an airplane assembly building located on Paine Field. It is the largest building in the world by volume at 472,370,319 cubic feet and covers 98.3 acres. Boeing 747s, 767s, 777s, and the new 787 Dreamliner are built here.

Planes outside the Boeing Factory - Everett

Spokane Falls – Spokane
Spokane Falls is the name of the series of waterfalls and dams on the Spokane River in downtown Spokane. The Indian name for the Spokane Falls was Stluputqu, meaning swift water. Riverfront Park, with its islands, pedestrian bridges and trails winds along the river.

Spokane Falls - Spokane

Museum of Glass – Tacoma
The Museum of Glass, opened in July 2002, is dedicated to the art of glass. It is located on the Thea Foss Waterway in downtown Tacoma. The museum is linked to the downtown area via the Bridge of Glass, which contains many pieces of Dale Chihuly’s glass artwork. The museum’s main building has a conical shape that reaches 90 feet tall.

Museum of Glass - Tacoma

BNSF Railway Yard – Seattle
The BNSF Railway Yard in Interbay is over 80 acres in size and has 41 parallel tracks for switching cars. The yard contains a roundhouse used by railroads for servicing locomotives. In front of the roundhouse train bays is a large turntable, which allows locomotives to enter and exit the bays.

BNSF Railway Yard - Seattle

Fort Casey – Whidbey Island
Fort Casey was built in 1897 as part of Northwest seacoast fortification system. The fort was outfitted with guns on disappearing carriages, which were raised only long enough to fire. Two of these heavy guns are still in place one raised, the other lowered. Fort Casey is now a state park.

Fort Casey - Whidbey Island

Washington State Legislative Building – Olympia
The Washington State Legislative Building was completed in 1928 after six years of construction. The building is comprised of more than 173 million pounds of stone, brick, concrete and steel. It is the fourth tallest masonry dome in the world, rising 287 feet high.

Washington State Legislative Building – Olympia

Redmond Library Board

Monday, March 12, 2012

There’s Gold on Your Bookshelves!

The Immigrant In 1887 by John W. NordstromWhile doing my spring cleaning, I came across a thin book that I’d forgotten about. I quickly read the book and was fascinated by the first-hand account of the Klondike Gold Rush. The book, The Immigrant in 1887, is the autobiography of Swedish immigrant John W. Nordstrom, the founder of the Nordstrom retail empire.

In 1887, Nordstrom, only 16 years of age, left his family’s farm in Sweden and headed to America to find his fortune. Arriving in America with $5 to his name, he worked his way across the country taking jobs on railways and in mines, lumber camps and shipyards, eventually arriving in Seattle, Washington in 1896.

Gold! Gold! Gold! Gold! - The Seattle Post-IntelligencerWhile working at a sawmill he read an 1897 newspaper account of the discovery of gold in the Klondike and headed to Alaska to make his fortune. He invested in a gold claim and was one of the lucky ones he returned to Seattle with a modest fortune of $13,000. From then on, he focused on the less demanding business of retailing.

Klondike Gold Rush
The news of gold in the Klondike triggered a stampede of would-be prospectors to the gold creeks. Some 100,000 people attempted to find their fortunes few did. The steamship Portland arriving in SeattleSeattle and San Francisco were the most common departure points for reaching the gold fields by sea. Nordstrom recounts his Alaska cruise:

The steamship company was selling first- and second-class tickets on this boat. A reporter from the Post-Intelligencer boarded the ship not long before it was to sail and inquired what the difference was between first- and second-class passage. He was told that as far as anyone could see, the only difference was that the first-class passengers slept with the horses and the second-class passengers slept with the mules. Since we had second-class passage, we slept with the mules.

Once in the Alaskan town of Skagway, prospectors faced the arduous challenge of bringing all their supplies up White Pass and down the Yukon River to the gold fields, a trip of about 500 miles over forbidding terrain.

On the way up to White Pass

To learn more, visit the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Site in downtown Seattle. Several exhibits highlight the gold rush era, and admission is free.

Modern Day Prospecting
Panning for goldIf you’re interested in prospecting for gold in Washington state waters, visit the Department of Fish & Wildlife. There, you’ll find a link to a comprehensive publication that covers terminology, techniques, and allowable prospecting sites within the state: Gold and Fish: Rules for Mineral Prospecting and Placer Mining.

Redmond Library Board

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Top Ten Best Selling Books of All Time

Wikipedia’s List of best-selling books contains estimates of  popular books sold over the last several centuries. The list is incomplete since accurate sales figures are difficult to find. Books such as Don Quixote, The Three Musketeers, The Adventures of Pinocchio, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and the individual Harry Potter books are the biggest omissions from the list.

Also missing from the list are religious books, such as the Bhagavad Gita, the Bible and the Qur'an. Most likely, religious books are the most-printed books, but it’s nearly impossible to find reliable sales figures for them. In addition, many of these books are given away free, instead of being sold.

Despite these omissions from Wikipedia’s lists, this list of the top ten best selling books of all time gives us insights into our cultural diversity and tastes.


Think and Grow Rich
#10:  Think and Grow RichThink and Grow Rich is a motivational personal development and self-help book inspired by a suggestion from Scottish-American businessman Andrew Carnegie. While the title implies that this book deals only with how to get rich, the author explains that the philosophy taught in the book can be used to help people succeed in all lines of work and to do or be almost anything they want. 

     Author: Napoleon Hill
     Published: 1937 
     Approximate sales: 70 million


The Da Vinci Code 
#9:  The Da Vinci CodeThe Da Vinci Code is mystery-detective novel. It follows symbologist Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu as they investigate a murder in Paris's Louvre Museum and discover a battle between the Priory of Sion and Opus Dei over the possibility of Jesus having been married to Mary Magdalene.

     Author: Dan Brown
     Published: 2003
     Approximate sales: 80 million


#8:  SheShe is a first-person narrative that follows the journey of Horace Holly and his ward Leo Vincey to a lost kingdom in the African interior. There, they encounter a primitive race of natives and a mysterious white queen, Ayesha, who reigns as the all-powerful She, or She-who-must-be-obeyed

     Author: H. Rider Haggard
     Published: 1887
     Approximate sales: 83 million


The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe 
#7:  The Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeThe Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a fantasy novel for children. The story begins in 1940 during World War II, when four siblings — Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie — are evacuated from London to escape the Blitz. While the four children are exploring their new living quarters, Lucy looks into a wardrobe and discovers a doorway to a magical world named Narnia. Eventually all four of the children enter Narnia and their adventures begin.

     Author: C. S. Lewis 
     Published: 1950 
     Approximate sales: 85 million


And Then There Were None 
#6:  And Then There Were NoneAnd Then There Were None is a detective fiction novel. In the novel, ten people, who have previously been complicit in the deaths of others but have escaped notice or punishment, are tricked into coming onto an island. Although the guests are the only people on the island, each is murdered one by one, in a manner paralleling the old nursery rhyme, Ten Little Indians.

     Author: Agatha Christie 
     Published: 1939 
     Approximate sales: 100 million


Dream of the Red Chamber 
#5:  Dream of the Red Chamber紅樓夢/红楼梦 Hong lou meng (Dream of the Red Chamber) is believed to be semi-autobiographical, mirroring the rise and decay of author Cao Xueqin's own family and, by extension, of the Qing Dynasty. The novel is remarkable not only for its huge cast of characters and psychological scope, but also for its precise and detailed observation of the life and social structures typical of 18th-century Chinese aristocracy.

     Author: Cao Xueqin
     Published: 1759
     Approximate sales: 100 million


The Hobbit 
#4:  The HobbitThe Hobbit, or There and Back Again, is a fantasy novel and children's book. Set in a time "Between the Dawn of Færie and the Dominion of Men", this novel  follows the quest of home-loving hobbit Bilbo Baggins, whose quest is to win a share of the treasure guarded by the dragon, Smaug.

     Author: J. R. R. Tolkien 
     Published: 1937 
     Approximate sales: 100 million


The Lord of the Rings 
#3:  The Lord of the RingsThe Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy novel that is a sequel to Tolkien's earlier, less complex children's fantasy novel The Hobbit. The title refers to the story's main antagonist, the Dark Lord Sauron, who had in an earlier age created the One Ring to rule the other Rings of Power as the ultimate weapon in his campaign to conquer and rule all of Middle-earth.

     Author: J. R. R. Tolkien 
     Published: 1954 
     Approximate sales: 150 million


The Little Prince 
#2:  The Little PrinceAntoine de Saint-Exupéry first published Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) in 1943, only a year before his Lockheed P-38 vanished over the Mediterranean during a reconnaissance mission. More than a half century later, this fable of love and loneliness has lost none of its power. The narrator is a downed pilot in the Sahara Desert, frantically trying to repair his wrecked plane. His efforts are interrupted one day by the apparition of a little, well, prince, who asks him to draw a sheep. And so begins their dialogue, which stretches the narrator's imagination in all sorts of surprising, childlike directions.

     Author: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
     Published: 1943 
     Approximate sales: 200 million


A Tale of Two Cities 
#1:  A Tale of Two CitiesA Tale of Two Cities is set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. The novel depicts the plight of the French peasantry demoralized by the French aristocracy in the years leading up to the revolution. The novel also portrays many unflattering social parallels with life in London during the same time period.

     Author: Charles Dickens 
     Published: 1859 
     Approximate sales: 200 million

Redmond Library Board

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Blue vs. Gray in the Evergreen State: The Civil War in Washington Territory

Dr. Lorraine McConaghy - public historianJoin historian, Dr. Lorraine McConaghy, for a talk on the history of the Civil War in Washington Territory. The talk is at the Redmond Library on Thursday, March 22nd at 7pm.

If “war” just means “battles,” then there really wasn’t a Civil War here. But if the war was about issues as well, then Washington Territory participated fully in the Civil War. From Walla Walla to Bellingham, territorial settlers brought their political convictions with them, just as they brought their worldly goods, garden seeds, and rifles. This presentation explores Washington settlers' views about issues surrounding the Civil War, including the importance of race and slavery.

Washington Territory Volunteer Infantry
With the regular U.S. Army troops recalled from the District of Oregon to fight the Civil War in the east, soldiers were still needed to man the forts and outposts in Washington Territory. The headquarters for the newly formed Washington Territory Volunteer Infantry regiment was first at Fort Vancouver. In July 1862, it had moved to Fort Walla Walla.

Civil War era military outposts in the Pacific Northwest The Volunteer soldiers who served in Washington did not fight against the Confederacy, but instead garrisoned the few posts in Washington. They protected communications routes between the western and eastern United States in Oregon and Idaho from the Indians. They also protected against the threat of foreign intervention on the Pacific coast by Britain and France a threat which never materialized.

Reenactors firing a howitzer at Fort Vancouver National Park Reenactors firing a howitzer at Fort Vancouver National Park

About Lorraine McConaghy
Dr. Lorraine McConaghy is a public historian who has devoted her professional life to researching and teaching Pacific Northwest history. At Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry, she has curated a series of successful projects, including the museum’s core exhibits Metropolis 150 and Essential Seattle, as well as Blue vs. Gray: Civil War in the Pacific Northwest.

Warship Under Sail: The USS Decatur in the Pacific WestMcConaghy teaches in the Museum Studies program at the University of Washington. Her particular research interest is Washington Territory during the antebellum and Civil War periods. University of Washington Press published her Warship Under Sail: The USS Decatur in the Pacific West in 2009. She is currently working on two projects concerning Washington Territory during the Civil War.

Redmond Library Board

Friday, March 9, 2012

How Things Fly: An Interactive Experience from the National Air and Space Museum

How Thing Fly - National Air & Space MuseumWhat makes an airplane fly? How does a spacecraft stay in orbit? Why does a balloon float in the air?

These and many other questions are answered in the How Things Fly Web site, a companion to the physical exhibition at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The goal is to explain the basic principles of flight.

Principles of flightWhile this online exhibit is targeted towards children, the simple explanations of scientific principles, such as aerodynamics and propulsion make it accessible for persons of all ages. Many of the principles are explained by using interactive examples.

For example, the Gravity Keeps Us Down to Earth section lets you calculate how much you would weigh on another planet.

How much would you weight on another world?

Some of the images on this site are quite striking, such as the one from the Aerodynamics section it shows air pressure on a 747 during flight. In the image below, the colored lines indicate points of equal pressure. Red shows higher pressure, while green shows lower pressure.

Air pressure on a 747 during flight

There’s also an Activities section that lets you try out some of the principles of flight. Have fun!

Redmond Library Board

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Library Night: Books, Stories, and Pizza

About 5 times during the school year, Rose Hill Elementary has a Library Night at the Redmond Library. The latest Library night was Tuesday, March 6th. This event is an opportunity to expose schoolchildren and their parents to the library and its resources. Best of all, every child gets to take home a book!

Typically, there are hundreds of books for children to choose from. The books are purchased in bulk from Scholastic Warehouse, usually with generous discounts. Ooooh, Soccer Mom from Outer Space  sounds like a good read!

Books to choose from

Amy Silverman explains the book drawing to a studentAmy Silverman, a Rose Hill Elementary reading and math teacher, encourages a student to submit his name for the book drawing later in the evening. All students get to choose a book when their name is called.

Janice Yuly serves pizzaThe Library Night program always includes food. On this night pizza was on the menu. Janice Yuly, a volunteer, gives you a choice of pepperoni or cheese pizza. Dessert used to be cookies. Now it’s more nutritious, and fruit, such as grapes, is often served. Also, water is now served instead of soda.

MarilynBundyThe Library Night program also includes a read-aloud story. Here, Marilyn Bunday, a Rose Hill Elementary first-grade teacher, reads to a group of children and their parents. Tonight’s reading is from Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I watched in amazement as Marilyn read the words of the entire story upside down so that children could see the pictures right-side-up. She said it’s a skill she’s developed over the years.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Florinda Davis reads the name of a studentFinally, it’s time for the book drawing. Florinda Davis, a Rose Hill Elementary reading and math teacher, calls out a name. Anxious students wait for their chance to pick the book they’ve eyed earlier in the evening. For many students, a book is a prized possession.

Library Night - sponsored by the Friends of the Redmond LibraryThe costs of the Rose Hill Elementary Library Night is underwritten by the Friends of the Redmond Library this is the 8th year of sponsorship. One of the key goals of the Friends of the Redmond Library to promote and celebrate cultural literacy in Redmond. BTW, even though Rose Hill Elementary is in Kirkland, the school attendance boundary includes students who live in Redmond, making the Redmond Library their neighborhood library.

Thank you Friends of the Redmond Library!

Redmond Library Board