March 7th, 2016

Teen Film Fest

Teen Film FestivalThere’s something big on the horizon for you, Cecil County teens!

This year, our beloved Cecilwood film competition has morphed into something new. Don’t worry, the 2016 Teen Film Fest will carry on the tradition of allowing you to share your short film with the world. However, we’ve added a few twists to make the experience even better!

You can now shoot and submit your film with a tablet or smartphone. You can also attend a program designed to take your footage to the next level. And yes, your submissions will still be shown to the public, and awards will still be given. Sometimes, change is great.

This year, your goal is to create the best Book Trailer. Have you ever read a book and thought it would make an awesome movie? Did you have a picture in your head of the characters, the scenery, or the epic battle sequences? Would you like to turn your ideas into a short film, and freak out with your fellow book nerds? Now’s your chance. And if you’re not sure what it’ll take to achieve amazing results, never fear! We’ve got you covered with a new two-part program: Behind the Scenes.

Professor Brandon Boas will be visiting the Elkton Central Branch to lead the Behind the Scenes program and help you bring your vision to life. On March 15th @ 3:30 he will help you edit and polish your footage. With this kind of support anything is possible!

Can’t wait to get started? Check out Filmmaking for Teens: Pulling Off Your Shorts or Digital SLR Video and Filmmaking for Dummies, or take a free Gale course in Screenwriting. You should also head over to the Teen Film Fest page for submission guidelines, deadlines, and FAQ’s. Films must be submitted by Friday, April 29 and the screening event is at Elkton Central Library on May 5th.

What book will you create a trailer about?


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February 29th, 2016

Leap Year

Leaping girlLeap Year is the 29th day of February, an occurrence which happens every four years when the calendar year has 366 days, instead of just 365. Why do we end up with an extra day? Because it takes the Earth 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds to orbit the sun and the regular calendar just has 365 days. Every four years, another day added to synchronize the solar year with the calendar year. If we didn’t do that, eventually the months would become out of sync with the seasons.

This isn’t a new phenomenon; this has been happening for thousands of years! The Egyptians were some of the first to see the need for a calendar based on the sun, but it was under Julius Caesar that it was implemented. Prior to that, the Roman calendar had used a lunar model which sometimes had to add an extra month so they maintained consistency. In 46 BC, the Roman calendar was changed so that it had 12 months and 365 days.

By 1582, the calendar dates were out of sync with the seasons. Roman Pope Gregory XIII ordered that 1583 be shortened by 10 days to “re-sync” the calendar and he established the system of adding leap-year days every four years to the calendar to keep it from falling behind the seasons again. The “Gregorian Calendar” was named for the pope and is the world standard today.

Fun fact: In Ireland, there is a legend that St. Brigid, a fifth century nun, asked St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, for permission for women to propose marriage, instead of waiting for their shy suitors to pop the question! St. Patrick granted her request, but with the stipulation that it could only happen on one day, every four years, Leap Day! Today, there are some who take this legend as truth and think that the woman proposing on Leap Day leads to good luck!

If you’re intrigued by this legend, check out the charming DVD “Leap Year” staring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode.

While the odds of having a Leap Year Day birthday are approximately 1 in 1,500, there are about 4 million people worldwide who have February 29 birthdays. The town of Anthony, Texas has been hosting a “Leap Year Birthday Festival” since 1988!

Do you know anyone with a birthday on February 29?


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