Showing posts from 2007

So Easy A Caveman Can Do It

Click To Play Thagg knows reserving, by placing a hold , is the fastest way to get the library material he wants. Using his library card, he can place a hold on almost any book, DVD, music CD or audio book the library has. Even soon to be released titles can be reserved. You too can place a hold on library materials. Try it. Click here. No card? Check this out!

Resolve Your Technology Woes

Do you have a digital camera, but have no idea how to use it? Does sharing online videos sound interesting? Curious about Blogs, Wikis, IM, and other Web 2.0 stuff? Not sure how do you turn a computer on? Let us help. Plan now to kick start the New Year with a free technology class at your library. Our new slate of class offerings will answer these and many other common technology questions. Classes begin on Saturday January 5, 2008 Basic PC @ Springville Road and Central Library - RLCC Digital Cameras and Online Photo Sharing @ Five Points West Click here for a full listing of Computer Classes Space is limited. Please call the location hosting the class to register. Photo Credit: Dhammza

Christmas, Kwanzza and New Year's Day Resources

Have you ever wondered how to best capture the beauty of Christmas lights through your camera lens? Are you curious about the seven principles of Kwanzaa? Or, are you interested in finding out about the tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day? You can find all the answers to these questions and more through resources compiled by BPL librarians. Christmas Kwanzaa New Year's Day photograph by Ranjit Bhatnagar

Holiday Hours

All locations of the Birmingham Public Library will be closed December 24-25 and January 1. Happy Holidays!

Movie Review: Hot Fuzz

I can’t recommend this British comedy enough. I was comatose from the desperate muggings for laughs by Will Ferrell , Jim Carrey , et al. until Hot Fuzz ' s mixture of humor and shoot-em-up action jumpstarted my comedy-loving heart. Nicholas Angel ( Simon Pegg ) is a by-the-books decorated officer in a London police department who is promoted to sergeant against his will and reassigned to the village of Sandford. The reason for the transfer? His arrest record is 400% higher than any other. He does his job so well that he makes the others look bad. Sandford's force—which consists of a rotund simpleton, Danny Butterman ( Nick Frost ); his father, Inspector Frank Butterman ( Jim Broadbent ); two smarmy mustachios named the Andies; a tart; an elderly mumbler; a clueless man; and the head of the Neighborhood Watch Association ( Edward Woodward )—is even more inept than Angel thought it would be. Nothing is taken seriously. Like how they all benefit from Danny's blunders because

Celebrate the Chinese New Year at the Movies

The Birmingham Public Library will show two acclaimed Chinese films in conjunction with the community-wide Chinese New Year Festival celebrations. Get ready to ring in the Year of the Rat with this cinematic immersion in Chinese culture! Chungking Express Saturday, January 12 2:00 p.m. From popular Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai comes this 1994 film about two policemen and their romantic woes. "As playfully kinetic as it is utterly unclassifiable. Manic, cool and fantastically cosmopolitan..." The Village Voice In the Mood for Love Saturday, January 26 2:00 p.m. This film directed by Wong Kar-Wai is a visually lush, languid tale of unfulfilled longing set in the 1960s Hong Kong. A man and a woman move in to neighboring apartments and form a bond when they both suspect their spouses of having extra-marital affairs. "This may be one of the swooniest movies ever made about love and it luxuriates in its tailspin." The New York Times Details: Both movies will be shown

2007's Season's Readings Is Hot Off the Press!

The 2007 edition of Season's Readings is here. In this year's publication, Birmingham Public Library staff members have reviewed a variety of books covering many of the genres that BPL offers, from children's books to adult and teen books, including both fiction and nonfiction. Look for a copy at your local Birmingham Public Library In addition to this beautiful print collection, a few of the Season's Readings reviewers recorded their reviews as podcasts which we're offering below. Click on the title of the book to listen to the review. The Birmingham Public Library wishes you a safe and happy holiday season! Larry, The King of Rock and Roll by Iris Rainer Dart and Joyce Brotman (reviewed by Lynn Carpenter) Alabama in the Twentieth Century by Wayne Flynt (reviewed by Yvonne Crumpler) Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell (reviewed by Kelly Laney) The United States of Arugula : how we became a gourmet nation by David Kamp (reviewed by Kelsey Bates) The Return

Red Mountain Theatre Company to Perform at Springville Road Library

Bringing you the best of Red Mountain Theatre 's original holiday productions, Simple Gifts pays tribute to past classics, highlights new performances and combines their greatest musical moments into one delightful treat! Enjoy your favorite holiday hits in this cheerful celebration that is sure to spread the humor and heart of the season. Get wrapped up in the holidays! Details: Where: Springville Road Library When: Monday, December 17 Time: 6:30 p.m.

Alabama Shakespeare Festival's Peter Pan Contest

From the creative team that brought the critically acclaimed blockbuster Disney’s Beauty and The Beast to ASF comes the musical spectacular Peter Pan ! Join Peter, Wendy, and Tinker Bell on an enchanted flight to Neverland where they join the Lost Boys and take on the dreaded Captain Hook. This amazing production features classic songs including “I’m Flying,” “Pirate Song,” “I Won’t Grow Up,” “I’ve Got to Crow,” and many more. Visit any Birmingham Public Library to enter ASF's Peter Pan contest. A drawing will be held for an overnight stay in Montgomery and tickets to a showing of Peter Pan . The contest will run through Friday, December 14. Peter Pan DVDs and videos Peter Pan soundtrack Peter Pan audiobooks Peter Pan books J. M. Barrie's books J. M. Barrie's life

The Harry Potter Series- An Alternative Approach

creative commons photo courtesy of Alberto Alvarez-Perea 1997 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 1999 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 1999 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 2000 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 2003 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 2005 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 2007 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Author - J. K. Rowling My wife and I planned a trip recently where we would spend between 25 and 30 hours driving in our car. We both enjoy listening to audio books but our tastes and interests are different. I enjoy books on politics, biographies, military history, true crime, and legal thrillers. She is more likely to enjoy suspense and mystery novels, books on metaphysics spirituality, and romance. What were we to do? We asked the advice of our son, Samuel, who works at the Springville Road Branch of the Birmingham Public Library and he suggested Harry Potter audio books. We were skeptical but he checked out the first three

TELL ME MORE® Replaces Rosetta Stone

With Rosetta Stone's business decision to no longer allow public libraries to subscribe to their online products, the Jefferson County Library Cooperative has found another product for online language learning. TELL ME MORE® Online is the name of the new product and we're thrilled about it. TELL ME MORE is also called Auralog. Currently, TELL ME MORE offers German, American English, Dutch, Spanish, French, Italian, Spanish (Latin America). Here are a few of the many features that TELL ME MORE Online has: • Up to 2,000 lesson hours per language • Up to 10,000 exercises • Grammar explanations classified by level and category • An audio-glossary including up to 10,000 words classified by level and category • Advanced speech recognition technology that recognizes and analyzes pronunciation. • Placement test to determine your language level • Progress Test • Language Achievement Test at the end of the language learning program to rank the patron in comparison to the major standardiz

Learn Bargainomics

This time of year we spend! According to a recent Gallup Poll , Americans expect to spend an average of $866 on gifts this holiday season. Why not learn some tricks to save a few bucks? Join us as local author Judy Bates, the " Bargainomics " lady, shows us how to make every dollar count. Five Points West Library Monday December 10, 2007 5:00-6:00 PM "$20,000" Image courtesy of Johnny Vulkan

Relive Radio's Golden Age Dec. 5 at Central

Wednesday, December 5, Dave Cisco, Dee Haynes and members of the Alabama Historic Radio Society share tales of how radio came to be as well as the historic equipment and programs Society members have collected and restored. The program is a part of Central's Brown Bag Lunch Series and will be held in the Arrington Auditorium at 12 p.m. It is offered in association with Turning On Alabama , an exhibition of photographs and artifacts from the collections of the Society and Alabama Power Company on display at Central's Library Gallery, November 4 to December 30.

North Birmingham Library Closes For Renovation

North Birmingham Library will be closed for approximately three weeks beginning at the close of business on Wed., Nov. 21, 2007, for a renovation project. We apologize for any inconvenience but we trust that you will be pleased with the improvement.

East Ensley Closes for Repairs

The East Ensley Branch of the Birmingham Public Library will close November 16 for repairs to the roof. Please visit one of our other locations for your information and entertainment needs.

BPL@Night Presents the Get Rhythm Experience

For the December edition of BPL@Night , the Birmingham Public Library presents the Get Rhythm Experience , presented by seasoned performer John Scalici. Mr. Scalici was born to drum. He helped found two nationally touring bands, Gravy and junkyardmen. Blues Revue and Blues Access Magazine called junkyardmen one of the best live blues bands in the country. For the Get Rhythm Experience at BPL@Night, John Scalici will be accompanied by Daniel Long, Christopher Johnson, Jay Burnham, Justin Wallace, and Sans Pointe Dance Company. The Get Rhythm Experience is a collaboration of drummers, percussionists and dancers. The group was created by Scalici, who is a drum circle facilitator, musician, clinician, and teaching artist. The group will perform original compositions which blend urban voices and sounds with world-beat influenced rhythms from West Africa, the Middle East, and Brazil. In 1999, Scalici started the Get Rhythm programs as a way to share his passion for drumming and rhythm in co

Two Great American Novelists Die

Norman Mailer died of acute renal failure on November 10 at the age of 84. Mailer was the author of more than 30 books and the co-founder of the alternative New York newspaper The Village Voice . Mailer was a regular column writer for the paper. His first novel, The Naked and the Dead (1948), was based on his experiences as a rifleman with a reconnaissance platoon during the invasion of Luzon in the Philippines. After the success of this novel, he ditched his previous plans of becoming an aeronautical engineer to attend the Sorbonne in Paris. At several points in his career, Mailer turned his style of writing to non-fiction narrative—a novel based on real events. An example of this style is his Executioner’s Song (1979) , which tells the story of real-life killer Gary Gilmore, the first person to be executed in the United States after the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976. In addition to fiction and non-fiction books, Mailer also wrote, directed, and acted in his own films.

Book Signing at Avondale Library

Catherine Greene Browne, author of The History of Forest Park , will be at the Avondale Library to sell and sign copies of her new book, A History of Avondale . Details: Where : Avondale Library When : Saturday, November 17 Time : 2:00-4:00 p.m. For more information call 226-4000.

Turning On Alabama Exhibit

The Birmingham Public Library is currently showcasing the “Turning On Alabama” exhibit on the main floor and in the fourth floor gallery of the Central Library . Sponsored by the Birmingham Historical Society and Birmingham Public Library, this unique exhibition features 1920-1945 photographs and artifacts from the collections of the Alabama Power Company and the Alabama Historical Radio Society. Historic artifacts and more than 60 notable photographs from Alabama Power’s archives highlight the company's growth and how electricity has radically transformed the lives of all Alabamians. More than a dozen vintage radios from the Radio Society will be on display. This exhibition will last until until December 30, 2007. Links: Webwire News Alabama Power Press Release

BPL@Night Welcomes Birmingham Bluegrass Group, Shades Mountain Air

The Birmingham Public Library’s popular BPL@Night presents Homewood-based bluegrass group, Shades Mountain Air, on Thursday, November 15. This dynamic bluegrass group has been playing that high, lonesome sound for nearly a decade collectively. Composed of five members, the group was formed in 1998 and played their first banquet a year later. According to their members, Shades Mountain Air is a self-proclaimed “family band” and they take their name from the Birmingham mountain that surrounds their homes. Gary Furr helped found the group and he contributes vocals, guitar, and lyrics. He and husband and wife team, Nancy and Greg Womble, started the group when they discovered they enjoyed playing bluegrass together. Nancy plays the stand-up bass and sings lead, while Greg plays the five-string banjo, guitar, and sings. Don Wendorf plays the mandolin, hammered dulcimer, and banjo, and his son Paul rounds out the band with some fiery fiddle playing, while both father and son help sing. Pau

Harper Lee Receives Medal of Freedom

On November 5, 2007, Alabama author Harper Lee was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award. She received this honor for her contribution to American literature. Celebrate her award by participating in The Big Read , Jefferson County, Alabama's One County - One Book program. You are invited to read her Pulitzer Prize winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird , join in a book group discussion, and attend The Big Read programs. The Big Read will take place April 2008.

Book Review: Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's

“Look me in the eyes, young man!” “Nobody trusts a man who won’t look them in the eye.” “You look like a criminal.” “I’ve read about people like you. They have no expression because they have no feeling. Some of the worst murderers in history were sociopaths.” These are just some of the things John Elder Robison heard as a young boy, decades before a friend handed him a book about Asperger’s Syndrome and told him, "This book describes you exactly." Hearing these predictions made Robison withdraw even further as a child as he waited for these awful things to come true. It wasn’t until he was a teenager that he realized he wasn’t going to become a serial killer. By that time he had met enough shifty people who had no trouble looking him in the eye to realize that these people had no idea what they were talking about. Learning that he was not defective and that he was not alone brought great peace to the adult John Elder Robison. Although Robison was raised by a violent, alcoh

Annual Friends of the Library Meeting

The annual Friends of the Library meeting will be held on Thursday, November 8 at 6:00 p.m. in the Arrington Auditorium. There will be a reception beginning at 5:30. On the agenda is a 2006 year in review and the announcement of the Beyond the Budget winner. If you are not a member, please consider joining and helping promote our libraries. Visit our Friends page for information on dues and the services our Friends provide. Jim Baggett, BPL’s archivist, will be the guest speaker. The topic will be “When the Blast Occurred: Remembering the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing.”

Financial Planning Podcast Now Available

The library hosted its third and final session of the popular program "Building Blocks For Your Small Business @ Your Library," entitled "Financing Your Business." Bill Ringler of S.C.O.R.E. and Joe Primm of the Small Business Development Center discussed the various aspects of small business accounting, financial reporting, and applying for and obtaining loans. Here is the program's podcast, split into two parts: Click to listen to part one- Bill Ringler of S.C.O.R.E. Click to listen to part two- Joe Primm of the SBDC

The Flu Season Has Arrived

It’s that time of the year. You woke up with a scratchy throat, and over the course of the morning you find yourself coughing more and more. By the afternoon your head is thumping and you feel feverish. Do you have a common cold, or are you experiencing this year’s flu? According to the National Library of Medicine “colds rarely cause a fever or headaches.” Well there’s the bad news, is there any good news? For most people the flu is simply a serious inconvenience lasting one to two weeks. However, the CDC reports that “every year in the United States, on average: 36,000 people die from the flu and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications.” So, the flu is not something to be taken lightly. Moreover, it’s not uncommon for a bout of the flu to lead to sinus infection or even pneumonia. What’s the best way to avoid becoming another statistic? According to the CDC, “The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get a flu vaccination each year.” The Alabama Dep

Movie Review: Miss Potter

The movie, Miss Potter , reveals the story of Beatrix Potter , author of the beloved children’s classic, The Tales of Peter Rabbit . The enchanting story of Beatrix Potter was filmed in the beautiful Lake District in the North of England. The lush, dramatic scenery inspired the illustrations and writings of the most successful classic children’s author of all times. Spectacular views of lake scenery, countryside and woodland trails inspired the characters and settings for many of Potter’s books. Watch this movie and be swept away into the world of Beatrix Potter, one of beautiful English countryside, gardens and of course, tiny clever creatures envisioned by this imaginative author. Renee Zellweger portrays the shy yet spirited children’s author. We follow Potter’s struggles to get her first book published and then see her fall in love with her publisher, Norman Warne. As a young female author, Beatrix suffered many of the prejudices that female writers struggled with during this time

Now Playing: Dennis Lehane's Gone, Baby, Gone

I love to discover an older series of books. This means that I can check them all out, set them on my nightstand, and enjoy them all in one reading frenzy. No waiting years for the next one to be published. Six years ago I picked up Dennis Lehane’s incredible Mystic River , and was pleasantly surprised to learn that he had an entire crime fiction series for me to devour. And that’s just what I did. For those who have yet to read his Patrick Kenzie/Angela Gennaro detective series set in Boston, please add these books to your reading list. Kenzie and Gennaro are on-again, off-again lovers who work together as private eyes. They have friends on both sides of the law, and they don’t discriminate when it comes to needing help solving a case. And morally, they’re not above using childhood pal Bubba Rogowski’s persuasive service of breaking kneecaps, if that’s what it takes. Gone, Baby, Gone is the most powerful book in the series. Dealing with missing children, guardianship, and pedophilia,

National Friends of Libraries Week

The week of October 21-27 is National Friends of Libraries Week . Just who are these Friends of the Library and why are they being celebrated? This is an association of volunteers and benefactors who recognize how important libraries are to communities and who donate their time and money to help promote the library. Volunteering at our book store, helping out at functions, contacting officials about library funding, and awarding “beyond the budget” prizes to our libraries to fund special projects are just a few of the things the Friends of the Birmingham Public Library do for us. The BPL would like to send a shout-out to all our Friends for their dedication over the years. And just like individuals, libraries always need more friends. If you would like to become a Friends of the Birmingham Public Library, please visit our Friends page for more information.

BPL and the Literacy Council to Participate in Fiesta 2007

The 5th annual Fiesta that celebrates Hispanic culture is happening on Saturday, October 20 from noon to 8:00 p.m. in Linn Park. Festivities will include live music, children’s art activities, dance performances, food, and more. It is free and open to the public. Representatives from the Birmingham Public Library and the Literacy Council of Alabama will be on hand to participate: Nationally known storyteller Antonio Sacre will perform twice More than 500 bilingual books donated by the Literacy Council will be available to win via book walks UAB students will have blankets set out where the winners may sit with a student and listen to and/or read with them The library will have bilingual staff on hand to answer questions about library services Other happenings during Fiesta 2007 is a visit from C-SPAN2’s Book TV Bus . The bus will be parked outside of the Birmingham Public Library from noon to 3:00 p.m. The nationwide tour is promoting C-SPAN’s unique non-fiction book programming. I

John Green's Nerdtastic Home Library

“It occurs to me that on the long list of nerdy things I’ve said in my life, ‘I like almanacs’ is near the top.” Author John Green celebrates Teen Read Week by taking his brother Hank on a video tour of his meticulously shelved home library. Not only is Green a passionate advocate of reading, but he is also a conscientious young man who makes sure to always separate his books on Islam and Christianity with a wicker basket to keep them from fighting. Nerds…gotta love ‘em. Links: The Official Website of John Green

Read It Forward Author James M. Deem Here Nov. 5-6

James M. Deem, author of the Read It Forward book, Bodies From the Ash , will be discussing his book about Pompeii at several branch locations and Woodlawn High School November 5-6, 2007. November 5 Smithfield 10:00 a.m. North Birmingham 1:30 p.m. West End 3:30 p.m. Avondale 6:30 p.m. November 6 Central 10:30 a.m. Woodlawn High School 1:30 p.m. Springville Road 4:00 p.m. Five Points West 6:30 p.m.

Birmingham Noir Nighttime Walking Tour

Birmingham Noir Murders. Mysteries. Fallen Women Just as the afternoon sun slips out of the downtown sky, like a platinum blonde sliding into a black party dress, the night owls will gather at the library. Join Jim Baggett, BPL Archivist, for a nighttime walking tour of notorious downtown historic sites. Tour dates are October 26 and November 2 and begin at 5:45 p.m. in the atrium of the Central Library . The tour lasts approximately one hour and there will be a break for refreshments at Safari Cup . Admission is FREE but reservations are required. Contact Jim Baggett at (205) 226-3631 or . Photo of the old county jail courtesy of Birmingham Public Library Archives Department

Children's Book Reviews: Llama Llama Mad at Mama and Library Mouse

Anna Dewdney’s new book Llama Llama Mad at Mama is about compromise between a mother and child (or cria in this case). It’s playtime for Llama Llama, who is having fun with his blocks and puzzles. But Mama Llama needs to run some errands and plops Llama Llama into his car seat to head for the Shop-O-Rama. But Llama Llama’s just not in the mood for standing in lines and trying on clothes, so he starts to whine and knock items off the shelves. Flying pasta, spraying juice. Paper towels rolling loose. Coffee, bread, and chips galore. Shoes and sweaters hit the floor. Mama Llama yells “enough!” and reasons with Llama Llama. Please stop fussing, little llama. No more of this llama drama. I think shopping’s boring, too— But at least I’m here with you . It’s a sweet book that teaches empathy, patience, and working as a team. The rhymes are fun to read aloud and the bright illustrations fill up the pages. Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk is a wonderful early introduction to the library. Sam li

Staff Pick: The Mother (2004 DVD)

Hummmm…”’M’ is for the million things she gave me, ‘O’ means only that she’s growing old…,” oh, forget it. That song’s all wrong for this little jewel of a movie. The movie is The Mother , a title that evokes strong feelings of security and love, but there’s not much of either to go around here for this bunch who are a family in name only. Grandma May ( Anne Reid ) and grandpa Toots ( Peter Vaughan ) have come to London to visit their grandchildren and children, Bobby ( Steven Mackintosh ) and Paula ( Cathryn Bradshaw ), but it’s obvious that they’re strangers even though they’re only a tube ride away. Her adolescent grandson has to ask who they are when they walk through the door. When grandpa dies during the visit, the distance between the mother and her children is painfully evident when they pass her back and forth, too wrapped up in their own lives to help her through her grieving. Then we notice Darren ( Daniel Craig ), who is renovating Bobby’s home and having an affair with Pau

Disney on Ice Finding Nemo Read-To-Win Activity

The Birmingham Public Library invites kids under the age of twelve to participate in the Disney on Ice Finding Nemo Read-To-Win Activity . Visit any Birmingham Public Library location today and register to join in the fun. Every child who completes their individual reading goal will receive a $10 discount coupon for the Disney on Ice production Finding Nemo (playing at the BJCC Arena Oct. 31 – Nov. 4, 2007). A grand prize winner from each Birmingham Public Library location will be selected by random drawing on October 30. The winners will receive the opportunity to attend a special program which includes a Meet and Greet with the stars from the show on Thursday, November 1 at 4:00 p.m. in the Birmingham Public Library Central Story Castle.

I Never Knew...

“I never knew the library had that!” boomed the gruff voice from behind me. I turned to see a look of shock followed by delight spread across the man’s face. In an apologetic tone, he stammered that his words probably came out too loudly, but he was just surprised. Discovering that some Birmingham Public Library locations have free wireless Internet access was a revelation to him and there were more surprises to come during this visit. As we spoke, he reminisced about all those seemingly endless shelves of colorful books he remembered from childhood. He recalled the cool chair he sat in to read on hot summer days, the enchanting voice of a favorite storyteller, and how the kindly librarian’s perfume permeated the whole place. Most of all he remembered the joy of being able to take books home to read later. He loved the library of his youth and today the library had amazed him. For instance, he was under the impression that the public library only had music CD’s from classical orches

The Difference Between Baseball and Football

For a sports fan, October is a great month. On the one hand you’ve got the baseball playoffs . Even if your team is out of it, you can still take pleasure in watching a rival team lose, or watch a friend’s favorite team advance to the World Series. Heck, you can just watch the playoffs for the sheer joy of watching the best compete against the best. On the other hand, the action is heating up on both the college and pro gridirons. October is great time to meet with your college buddies and argue the relative merits or disadvantages of the BCS system . And the NFL always offers breath taking plays and some sort of controversy to discuss during halftimes. (Did the Cardinals really think they could go with two starting quarterbacks? Isn’t that an oxymoron?) Regardless of how fun a two sport month can be, it can also be confusing to separate the two disciplines. (Not really, but play with me here.) Working in a library I’m surrounded by works from the greatest minds the world has ever kno

Staff Pick: Touching the Void (2004 DVD)

We climbed 'cause it's fun. And mainly it was fun. That's all we ever did. And we were fairly anarchic and fairly irresponsible, and we didn't give a damn about anyone else or anything else, and we just wanted to climb the world. And it was fun. It was just brilliant fun. And every now and then it went wildly wrong. And then it wasn't. ~ Joe Simpson I must confess: I’m a couch potato. I’m not proud but I’m honest. Regardless, this doesn’t keep me from enjoying watching others push their bodies to the limit. Climbing Mt. Everest? I’m there. Football game in the 100-degree heat? I’m there. Clog dancing? I’m there…right there in front of the TV. For some reason this woman who can’t complete one chin up has always been fascinated with mountaineers and their hubristic attempts to scale impossible heights. My favorite story by far is Simon Yates' and Joe Simpson’s 1985 ascension to the 20,814 foot summit of Siula Grande in Peru. Their story became part of mount