President Obama reads to students during a visit to Long Branch Elementary in Arlington, Va. on Dec. 17, 2010
Washingtonians are the nation’s most well-read citizens, but they’re reading less these days. And so, it appears, are city dwellers everywhere.That’s according to the latest findings of an annual study of the United States’ most literate cities, which ranks the “culture and resources for reading” in the nation’s 75 largest metro areas. The study examines not whether people can read, but whether they actually do.
CHART: Most literate cities in 2010
“What difference does it make how good your reading test score is if you never read anything?” asks researcher Jack Miller, president of Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Conn. “One of the elements of the climate, the culture, the value of a city is whether or not there are people there that practice those kinds of behaviors.”
The study, based on 2010, looks at measures for six items — newspapers, bookstores, magazines, education, libraries and the Internet — to determine what resources are available in each city and the extent to which its inhabitants take advantage of them.
Now in its eighth year, the study finds little to celebrate. Were Washington’s top score in 2010 applied to the 2004 rankings, for example, the city would land at No. 7.
The study identifies “worrisome trends” consistent with other national research, including declines in newspaper circulation and book-buying, along with sluggish growth in educational attainment. Increases in Internet usage and stable library patronage aren’t offsetting those declines, it says.
Among details in the study, which can be seen at www.ccsu.edu/amlc2010:
• Washington’s climb to No. 1 this year was likely helped by troubles in Seattle, which has claimed or shared (with Minneapolis) the top spot four of the past five years. In recent years, Seattle has lost a newspaper and some legendary local bookstores have struggled.
• New Orleans, which ranked 42nd in 2005, then dropped off the list because its population dipped after Hurricane Katrina, has more than bounced back. It returned last year at 17 and this year climbed to 15. Changing demographics likely explain the spike. “A lot of the people that left and haven’t come back were poorer,” Miller says.
• Ten of California’s 12 largest cities landed in the bottom half, including Sacramento, the state capital, at 45, and lowest-ranked Stockton, which has been at or near the bottom since the list debuted in 2004. San Francisco was ranked 6; Oakland squeaked into the top half at 37.
One bright spot: The use of public libraries has remained consistently strong over the years, particularly in manufacturing towns. Toledo, Ohio, and Fort Wayne, Ind., for example, were in the bottom half overall but were two of six Rust Belt cities in the top 10 for library resources.
Robert Lang, an urban planning and policy expert at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, acknowledges cause for concern but questions whether results necessarily mean people are reading less.
Most literate cities in 2010
Click on arrows to sort chart
// Source: America’s Most Literate Cities 2010
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The Vampire Diaries is an American supernatural–fantasy horror television series developed by Kevin Williamson, based on the book series of the same name by L. J. Smith. The series follows the life of Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), who falls in love with vampire Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley), and soon finds herself caught in a love triangle between Stefan and his older brother, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) while the brothers are also being haunted by the past they’ve had with Katherine Pierce (played by Nina Dobrev as well). The series also focuses on the lives of Elena’s friends and other inhabitants of the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia.
When The Vampire Diaries premiered on The CW Television Network on September 10, 2009, it attracted the largest audience of any series since the network began in 2006.On February 16, 2010, The CW announced that it had renewed the show for a second season, which is expected to premiere on September 9, 2010.
The show initially received average reviews, but the critics agreed that the show improved with each episode. The show has received numerous award nominations, winning a People’s Choice Award and seven Teen Choice Awards.
The series follows the life of Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), who falls for a century-old vampire named Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley). Their lives grow more and more complicated as Stefan’s vicious brother Damon (Ian Somerhalder) returns to town with a vendetta against his brother. Both brothers begin to show affection towards Elena, mainly because of her resemblance to their past love Katherine. It is revealed that Katherine is Elena’s doppleganger, who eventually returns with vain plans against the trio.
The series is set in the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia, a town charged with supernatural history. Other storylines revolve around the other inhabitants of the town, most notably Elena’s younger brother Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen). The town’s politics are orchestrated by descendants of the original founding families, all comprising a “Founder’s Council”. They guard the town mainly from vampires, but also creatures like werewolves and witches, some of whom are themselves members of the Founder’s Council.
The show’s main focus is the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia. All the characters are involved in some way with the town and/or the supernatural phenomena surrounding it. Although the show is based on the books of the same name, many of the characters are changed, though the main storylines are kept. Beginning from season one, ten characters received star billing, with one being written out, and another being promoted.
Nina Dobrev portrays Elena Gilbert, the main protagonist, but also Katherine Pierce, the main antagonist. Elena is quickly involved in a love triangle between two vampires, which serves as one of the main focal points of the show. Paul Wesley portrays Stefan Salvatore, one of the vampire brothers who is good-hearted and affectionate, opposite his brother Damon Salvatore portrayed by Ian Somerhalder, the malevolent vampire brother who serves as the show’s anti-hero.
Other cast members include, Steven R. McQueen who portrays Jeremy Gilbert, Elena’s younger brother, later revealed to be her cousin, with Sara Canning acting as Jeremy and Elena’s aunt and legal guardian, Jenna Sommers. Katerina Graham portrays Bonnie Bennett, Elena’s best friend and a witch. Candice Accola portrays Caroline Forbes, Elena’s insecure friend and occasional rival. Zach Roerig portrays Matt Donovan, Elena’s childhood friend and ex-boyfriend, who later gets romantically involved with Caroline. Michael Trevino portrays Tyler Lockwood, a werewolf, Jeremy’s rival and Matt’s best friend; son of the mayor of Mystic Falls. Kayla Ewell portrayed Vicki Donovan, Matt’s troubled older sister and girlfriend of Tyler and then Jeremy. She was written out of the show in the seventh episode of the first season, after being turned into a vampire by Damon and killed by Stefan. Soon afterwards Matthew Davis joins the cast as Alaric Saltzman, a history teacher, a vampire hunter, and a love interest for Jenna. Malese Jow portrayed Anna, a “teenage” vampire contemporary to the Salvatore brothers and Jeremy’s love interest after Vicki’s death.
Initially Kevin Williamson had little interest in developing the series, finding the premise too similar to other vampire tales. However, at Julie Plec’s urging, he began to read the novels and started to become intrigued by the story: “I began to realize that it was a story about a small town, about that town’s underbelly and about what lurks under the surface.” Williamson has stated the town’s story will be the main focus of the series, rather than high school.
On February 6, 2009, Variety announced that The CW had greenlit the pilot for The Vampire Diaries with Williamson and Julie Plec set as the head writers and executive producers. On May 19, 2009, the series was officially ordered for the 2009–2010 season.
The pilot episode was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, but the rest of the episodes have been filmed in Covington, Georgia (which doubles as the fictional small town of Mystic Falls, Virginia) and various other communities around Greater Atlanta, to take advantage of local tax incentives.
The series was given a full, 22-episode order on October 21, 2009 after strong ratings for the first half of the season.
On February 16, 2010, The CW announced that it had renewed the show for a second season, which will premiere on September 9, 2010. It was reported by TV Guide that Ian Somerhalder is the highest paid cast member and earns $40,000 per episode in the second season.
Date Of Birth
Born on August 20, 1992 in Dallas, Texas, child actress Demi Lovato started her career at age six, when she was cast as Angela in the pre-school series Barney & Friends. She then took a break from acting, choosing instead to study at Cross Timbers Middle School in Grapevine, Texas, where she was part of the choir class. She came back to television screens in 2006, when she played Danielle Curtin in a 2006 episode of the hit series Prison Break. She also starred in the television pilot Split Ends.
She then appeared in the Disney Channel series As The Bell Rings, a set of five-minute shorts about what happens to a group of friends in between classes. She plays Charlotte Adams, the main female protagonist. She only appeared in its first season, however, as she later started work on Disney Channel television movie Camp Rock and series Welcome to Mollywood; she appeared as a guest on the second season, however.
Camp Rock is Lovato’s first lead role in a film. Here she plays Mitchie Torres, an aspiring young musician with dreams of becoming a professional singer, who enters Camp Rock to do just that. The television seires Welcome to Mollywood sees her play the lead Molly, a 15-year-old who is given the chance to join a teen sketch series. It is currently in production, and is slated for a September 2008 premiere.
Like her role in Camp Rock, Lovato is also pursuing a singing career. Playing guitar and piano since age 11, she has recorded some songs for the Camp Rock soundtrack, and has also covered “That’s How You Know”—a song from the film Enchanted—for a Disney compilation album. She is also performing as the opening act for the Jonas Brothers, and is set to release her debut album in 2008.
Place of Birth
Her BFFs are Selena Gomez and miley cyrus
Her sister is Dallas Lovato.
Her mom was a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader during the the 1982-83 season, and was a country recording artist.
She is a skilled pianist and guitar player.
Gets most of her clothes from Forever 21 and most of her shoes from Aldo.
Has a younger sister named Madison.
Her favorite band is Paramore and her favorite song by them is Born for this.
Her best friend is Selena Gomez.
Of Hispanic, Irish and Italian descent.
Has a YouTube show with her best friend Selena Gomez called the “Demi and Selena show”.
Her musical theater roles include leads in: The Wizard of Oz, Sleeping Beauty and There’s Always Tomorrow.
July 2008) Opening for The Jonas Brothers on their Burnin’ Up Tour.