When his high school teacher requires a volunteer placement for his course, Ian picks a place called “The Club” thinking it sounds like fun. Ian is all about good times and short cuts. Imagine his surprise when he discovers he has signed on to work at the downtown soup kitchen. On his first trip downtown, he is surrounded by some guys interested in his expensive shoes. A stranger rescues Ian with impressive martial arts skills. Slowly he learns more about his rescuer, a homeless soldier, who experienced the horrors of genocide in Rwanda. Ian’s eyes are opened to trauma on many levels in the lives of those around him. The personal stories are deftly and heart wrenchingly portrayed as Walters weaves the threads so well, including Ian’s struggle to comprehend the complexities involved politically, socially, emotionally. What a truly moving account with factual details!
The forward is sensitively written by Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire, Canadian humanitarian, and author, most notably: Shake Hands with the Devil: the Failure of Humanity in Rwanda. Dallaire was the Force Commander for the United Nations Mission to Rwanda.
The year is 2038 and androids are the latest technological craze sweeping the nation. Detroit is a major manufacturing centre of these machines, and they can be made to order. Some do housework, some train athletes, and some care for those with accessible needs. Whatever you need an android for, Cyberlife has a model that can help. But not everybody loves these machines. Many blame them for their loss of employment. While androids look and act human there is a lot of human/android segregation and they are not often treated very well. So what happens when these androids evolve beyond their programming and realize that how they are treated is wrong? In this game you play as three androids: Connor, a detective created to investigate the rise in deviant android behaviour; Kara, a housemaid who would do anything to protect the child in her care; and Markus, who cares for an aging artist with accessible needs. Each of these characters pass through a crucible, and your choices in their stories effect not only their lives, but the future of the world. The game play starts slow, giving the player a sense of everyday life for our three protagonists. After a few chapters, the action ramps up and things get more and more intense. Every choice you make has consequences, some that can be quite far-reaching. At the end of each chapter you are shown a flowchart of all the possible decisions you could make. You can go back and replay chapters to unlock 100% of the possibilities (it is recommended that you play all the way through once before going back). The graphics are incredible, with the characters looking like the actors who voice them. The voice actors are wonderful, and they bring the fantastic script to life. The story is immersive and addictive, with great moments of character growth, action, suspense, and drama. There are so many different endings to the chapters as well as the game itself, giving it great replay value. Detroit: Become Human is an intelligent science fiction game that follows in the great footsteps of Philip K. Dick and Isaac Asimov.
I Kill Giants centres on Barbara, a troubled young teenager with a difficult home life. As a mechanism to avoid her real-life circumstances, she has created a fantasy world where she protects the town and its inhabitants by luring and killing giants who are seeking to destroy them all. She is an outcast at school, but when a new student, Sophia, befriends her, Barbara invites her in to her mystical world. However, as the real world situation becomes more serious, so does the fantasy, leading to a confrontation with the most powerful of the giants, a titan.
This movie starts off very strong. We get a sense of how hard Barbara’s home and school life are for her, and I was quite impressed with how detailed and intricate the elements of her fantasy world are—very gritty and earthy, not Harry Potter-esque at all. For a little while, the viewer can actually believe that maybe there really are giants, not just a girl’s imagination. That’s where the movie falters for me, in its ambiguity. The giants are dark and dangerous, so there’s no whimsy to push a fairy-tale-like element, but at the same time, there’s not enough peril in either Barbara’s real or fantasy worlds to push the agenda that she is a deeply troubled kid who needs help. I really liked the reveal of the cause of her pain, but really disliked the final moments of her “battle” with the titan. I also feel the film could have ended a couple of scenes earlier than it did.
In a nutshell: I Kill Giants lays a great groundwork at the beginning, but falters midway through and ultimately falls a little flat.
Timbuktu – know often in the western world as a place of legend, is a city that was once the centre of commerce and learning for much of Northern and Western Africa. Now, it is one of the most northern cities in the country of Mali, and has seen ongoing conflict since 2012. Timbuktu is home to a vast wealth of ancient texts and manuscripts, both in formal libraries, and in collections in private homes. At the height of the recent conflict, a threat to these manuscripts emerged in the form of radical terror groups such as Al Qaeda and Ansar Dine who threatened to burn anything they considered heretical. However, due to the hard work of preservationists in Timbuktu and at a number of different universities, many of the manuscripts had been digitized already, and thousands of other manuscripts were smuggled out of the city for safekeeping elsewhere. KPL has a few books on these events, including The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu and The Storied City: The Quest for Timbuktu and the Fantastic Mission to Save its Past.
Now, the researchers and caretakers of these libraries are still hard at work, continuing to digitize manuscripts, and also working to ensure that the fragile artifacts are maintained as best as possible. The main libraries in Timbuktu involved in this project are the Mamma Haidara Memorial Library and the Ahmed Baba Institute. You can read more about their digitization and preservation initiatives here.
Some of the digitized Timbuktu manuscripts can be viewed through the Library of Congress World Digital Library collection here.
Image: The Important Stars Among the Multitude of the Heavens, written in 1733, from the Mamma Haidara Memorial Library.
- Joseph, Information Services
The annual Christkindl Market at Kitchener City Hall has something for everyone. Shop outside and inside from 100 vendors, enjoy sweet and savoury foods as you shop, or take them home to give away as gifts. The train room, blacksmith demonstrations, live nativity and performers will keep the whole family entertained.
Come and see why the Christkindl Market won one of the “Top 100 Festivals and Events in Ontario”!