Chinese takeout box

Hong Kong Cafe will once again be providing free carry-out lunches on Labor Day. “Every year on Labor Day we do a free lunch customer appreciation special,” says Philip Leung, an owner at Hong Kong Cafe. This year is the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong Cafe’s “Lunch On the House” event. It will be served on Monday, September 5th, 2016 from noon until 2 p.m.

What’s for lunch? Basically the same menu as previous years. When we talked to Leung several years ago, he told us, “This is a pretty fast in and out type of FULL Chinese lunch service including egg roll. It’s delicious and we open an outdoor area to serve as many as possible during this promotion. It’s a great thing for us, we only hope to get our menu in the hands of as many Madisonians as will show up!” When we talked to him a few days ago, he reminded us that Hong Kong Cafe has been under the same ownership for 25 years.

[click to continue…]

There are many reasons why you may want to learn a second (or third) language — and the Madison and Middleton Public Libraries want to help you succeed in doing so.

These libraries now offer FREE access to the Mango Languages learning program, which teaches practical conversation and cultural awareness for the world’s most popular languages. There are 22 languages from which to choose, as well as 15 ESL courses.

[click to continue…]

“Twas the night before Christmas and you’ve discovered you can no longer recite Clement Clarke Moore’s famous poem in its entirety and you don’t own a copy of the book that was the basis for the both the Alistair Sim version of “A Christmas Carol”(featuring Patrick Macnee as young Jacob Marley) and Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Thanks to the Library of Congress, you can easy download copies of both “A Visit from St. Nicholas” and Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” as PDFs — and these aren’t just any old versions. They’re copies of beautifully illustrated, digitized editions from the library’s rare books collection. You may also view them online in a easy to use reader.

Click here to download or read “A Visit from St. Nicholas” and here to download “A Christmas Carol.”

You’ve seen the movies: Now read the books!

Adult Swim is offering a FREE download of “16 tracks of rare or unreleased metal from the heaviest bands in existence.” Featured bands include Black Tusk, Red Fang, and Withered.

The entire album download is an MP3 ZIP file. It’s about 146MB, so it will take a bit of time to download if you don’t have a really fast connection.

Adult Swim features lots of animated shorts for boys who never grew up; as its name suggests, however, it’s for adults, not kids.

The Wisconsin Department of Tourism has developed its first iPhone and Android application to provide Wisconsin visitors and residents with an “on-the-go” resource to “find fun in Wisconsin.”

The Travel Wisconsin™ app is available as a FREE download from the Apple iTunes Store and Google Play.

[click to continue…]

Here’s another fun paper craft project for Halloween — and according to its creator, Rob Ives, it’s “specially designed to be made without using a sharp knife so it can be made by people of all ages.”

If you’d like to make this Pop Up Pumpkin, visit Rob’s website and download the pattern. You’ll find the download near the bottom of the page — after the helpful, illustrated tutorial.

The download is free, but you may want to treat Ives by making a small donation.

Illustrator Brian Gubicza has some “free stuff” on his website, including four Halloween masks and a set of paper craft figures called “Fold & Spooky II (A Tribute to the films of John Carpenter). The three characters in this set are Blake, Myers, and Lo Pan.

Both the masks and paper craft figures are available for download as PDFs. Print them on heavy stock paper for best results.

Fifty-nine years ago, John Patrick Hunter, a reporter for The Capital Times, was looking for a Fourth of July story for the Madison newspaper. He took the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, six of the ten amendments that make up the Bill of Rights, plus the 15th amendment, typed them up in the form of a petition and went to Vilas Park to see who would sign this document. Of the 112 people he talked to that day, only one would sign.

They undoubtedly didn’t recognize the words from these historic documents.
[click to continue…]

Whether you’re planning a vacation or just want to explore the sights of Wisconsin from your armchair, the selection of FREE travel maps and guides available from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism will help you find museums, festivals, multicultural destinations, bike trails, birding hotspots, campgrounds, and golf courses.

The Wisconsin Official Travel Guide is a great place to begin your adventure. It has 80 pages of color photos, history, and introduces you to some wonderful (and occasionally weird) local attractions. You may download it and many specialized publications in PDF format at the website.

If the thought of downloading a 16.4MG file and then clicking your way through 80 pages is a bit daunting, you may request that a printed version of this guide — as well as any of the others on offer — be mailed to you. We requested several different guides and they arrived in less than a week.

Want to learn about the art of writing short stories from a successful Madison author? Then you may be interested in a free copy of “How to Write A Short Story” by Leslie W. Quirk.

That’s right! Not Lorrie Moore.Leslie W. Quirk.

Leslie Quirk graduated from Madison High School in 1900, attended the University of Wisconsin (but didn’t graduate), and went on to become a successful author of novels for young people, as well as a short story writer. In 1906, The Editor Publishing Company in New York published Quirk’s book of advice for aspiring short story writers — and most of it is still valuable, even if the market for short fiction may not be as welcoming as it was a century ago.

Quirk’s book is now available for FREE download at Internet Archive in a variety of formats, including PDF, which we think is the most convenient form. You may also read it online.

Alternately, for a couple of dollars you can purchase a rather pricey reprint of How to Write a Short Story; An Exposition of the Technique of Short Fiction.

There is also a FREE download of “How to Write a Short Story; An Exposition of the Technique of Short Fiction” available from Google Books.