EVPL Communities: googler@evpl's Blog Postshttp://evpl.org/community/blogs/All of googler@evpl's blog posts on the EVPL Communities site.en-USCommunityServer 2008 SP1 (Build: 30619.63) <![CDATA[Endangered species: where to find current information]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2010/10/06/endangered-species-where-to-find-current-information.aspx Wed, 06 Oct 2010 17:44:00 G10T 2216 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2010/10/06/endangered-species-where-to-find-current-information.aspx to post your comments!

image of endangered Gundlach's hawkWe've always found it difficult to collect print items that have current lists of endangered species. Thanks to the internet, we no longer have to.

For species that reside in the United States, the definitive source is the US Fish and Wildlife Service (the agency that enforces the Endangered Species Act). To access its list, which also includes threatened species, click on the "endangered species" list at the top of the front page. This list can be searched by location and species name.

For international coverage of threatened species, the most comprehensive list is from the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, who maintain a "red list" of threatened species, both plant and animal. The list currently includes information on about 45,000 species, which means some searching is necessary -- there's no A-Z of everything here. You'll probably do a keyword search (such as birds, or hawks), and then on the left, you can narrow by a number of options. Each option will open to list more, which you see by clicking on the plus signs.

The most important option in the left-hand menu is "assessment," because that's where designations of "vulnerable," "endangered," "critically endangered," etc. are listed. You can choose more than one category. The numbers after each category in the plus-sign menus are the number of species that option entails. (As an example, perhaps a depressing one, there are 562 species of birds that are either endangered or critically endangered.)

Another website, Earth's Endangered Creatures, is more user-friendly and makes an excellent effort to be current and accurate, but is not as official, and only lists animals.

For a smaller selection of endangered species, instead of a comprehensive list, you might be able to use the World Wildlife Fund's focus on "flagship species," which they define as the most iconic of the threatened animals.

The Library is adding new books and videos to the collection on endangered and threatened species on an ongoing basis, of course, but none that make a claim to being exhaustive. So websites like these perform an invaluable service.

science animals threatened species endangered plants
<![CDATA[Know before you go: travel planning online]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2010/06/03/know-before-you-go-travel-planning-online.aspx Thu, 03 Jun 2010 14:50:00 G6T 2161 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2010/06/03/know-before-you-go-travel-planning-online.aspx to post your comments!

Wow. There are a LOT of travel websites out there. This is the time of year when blogs and magazines start rounding up some good sites for booking, researching, and deciding on your travel plans, which is a really good thing, because I think most of us would be lost without recommendations in this area.

Lifehacker published a post in April about the basics of buying airline tickets, figuring out the right time to buy, setting up a few passive tools for making the best deals come to your doorstep, and in general highlighting how to go about finding great deals on airfare. It includes information on

Booklist just published "Know Before You Go" (April 2010), focusing on sites that reach a particular niche in the world of travel. They include

  • Eurotrip : an online travel planner for European destinations, covering rail and air travel, lodging, activities. Especially recommended for backpackers.
  • MomsMinivan : ideas to keep kids entertained on those long car rides.
  • RoadsideAmerica : a guide to weird and wonderful roadside attractions

Kiplinger's "28 Best Travel Sites" (published in Augest 2009) presented what they felt are the best sites for airfares, lodging, car rentals and other key areas. They recommend many of the sites you've already heard of, like Kayak, Priceline, and Trip Advisor, but some others they cover are

  • Laterooms : for snagging last-minute bargainss on lodging
  • US Parks : for stretching your dollars while taking advantage of our amazing national parks system
  • CruiseComplete : where more than 300 travel agents vie to give you the lowest prices for dates, ports and ships you specify. 

Happy travels! And if there are other sites you swear by, leave a comment!


internet useful web sites hotels airfare travel
<![CDATA[How to check traffic problems before leaving for work]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2010/04/28/how-to-check-traffic-problems-before-leaving-for-work.aspx Wed, 28 Apr 2010 16:55:00 G4T 2150 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2010/04/28/how-to-check-traffic-problems-before-leaving-for-work.aspx to post your comments!

We've been following a good number of Evansville Twitter users, and it's been quite interesting. It's a real community out there. (To find the tweeters we've found, just check out the list of who we're following on our Twitter page, although there are a number of non-Evansville accounts in that list too.)

One of my favorites is twitter.com/EvansvilleWatch, run by Bill Merkel. Bill monitors Evansville area dispatch agencies and other local sources and provides updates on breaking and developing events as they happen. One of their most useful functions is providing timely information about traffic problems. Check out their Twitter page during any rush hour and you'll see what I mean. Or go to Twitter's advanced search and simply put the word "traffic" in the first word box and "evansville" in the place box. That search will return Bill's traffic-related tweets and a few others too.

(Note that you don't have to be registered with Twitter to view twitter.com/EvansvilleWatch, or to use the Twitter search.)

Evansville Watch also has a blog. The additional space a blog provides over Twitter means, for instance, their weather updates can include maps and lots of detail.

Thanks, Bill, for providing this service!



evansville weather Twitter news traffic accidents
<![CDATA[Michael Buble, "Crazy Love"]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/archive/2010/03/03/michael-buble-quot-crazy-love-quot.aspx Wed, 03 Mar 2010 13:31:00 G3T 2111 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/" target="_blank">Music Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/archive/2010/03/03/michael-buble-quot-crazy-love-quot.aspx to post your comments!

You may have caught Michael Buble singing after the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games. Not a hugely impressive performance for him, I thought -- the man has a remarkable voice and a classic style, in the mode of Sinatra and Darin. He does Vegas-style arrangements of standards and "classic pop" as well as anyone these days.

His latest CD is called Crazy Love, and contains both standards and modern songs. The standards include the opening track, "Cry Me a River," and this thing is one of the most melodramatic arrangments of any song I've ever heard. Critics didn't exactly love this track when the album came out, calling it bombastic, heavy-handed, over-arranged, but I liked it immediately (of course, it may just have suited my mood at the time). I think the drama of the music matches the drama of the lyric, and it's a lot of fun to sing along with.

The modern songs on the CD are surprsing, interesting, and likeable, from the Eagles to a couple of new songs he co-wrote. Jazz and blues elements continue to creep into his style, and he pulls it off pretty well.

Check out Buble's video of "Cry Me a River" here.

popular music Jazz michael buble
<![CDATA[New credit card rules]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2010/02/16/new-credit-card-rules.aspx Tue, 16 Feb 2010 15:15:00 G2T 2093 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2010/02/16/new-credit-card-rules.aspx to post your comments!

Back in May, President Barack Obama signed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure, or Credit CARD, Act of 2009 into law. The legislation will help out consumers in a number of ways (but does not cap interest rates and fees). Most of this law's provisions go into effect very soon, on Feb. 22, 2010.

One of my favorite consumer credit and money websites, BankRate, has a good rundown of the law's most notable benefits to consumers. These benefits include no more retroactive rate increases; more advance notices of rate increases; the end of "double-cycle billing" (the practice of charging interest on debt already paid off); and at least 21 days instead of 14 between the issue of a statement and payment due date. (While you're there, check out their credit card section.)

MSNMoney has a good article too, in which they note that while credit cards will become easier to understand and more transparent, they can also become more costly over all and harder to get.

And last, the personal finance blog Get Rich Slowly has a post that explains the pros and cons. This author, too, feels that the law will make credit cards harder to get: "Today, and at least for the next year or so, I believe consumers will have difficulty obtaining new credit cards, especially consumers with average credit or worse. This is bad news for those stuck in a high-rate situation."

Other posts in Get Rich Slowly, by the way, might be able to help you become less dependent on credit cards.

money personal finance credit debt credit cards
<![CDATA[New CD round-up, part two]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/archive/2010/02/11/new-cd-round-up-part-two.aspx Thu, 11 Feb 2010 15:05:00 G2T 2081 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/" target="_blank">Music Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/archive/2010/02/11/new-cd-round-up-part-two.aspx to post your comments!

Time for another fairly random sampling of some of our new CDs! If there isn't something you like on this list, visit the sound recording section to find something more to your tastes!

Southern (Bill Emerson and the Sweet Dixie Band) may just be the perfect bluegrass album. Writes Juli Thanki, "it's an album that covers most of the standard bluegrass song topics—there’s a gospel tune, a song about dead kids, some reminiscing about the good old days, and a whole lot of heartbreak—and its all performed with consummate, understated skill. The ink is barely dry on the liner notes, so it’s a little too soon to peg Southern as 'timeless,' but it is timeless-sounding and a mighty fine traditional bluegrass album."

Live and Mo' (Keb' Mo') is the first indie CD from versatile blues artist Keb' Mo'. Says Holly Hughes, who appreciates his "craggy voice" and guitar and banjo picking, "his guitar licks may channel Robert Johnson, but the lyrics are more like Jackson Browne, only funnier, with Mo’s witty take on contemporary society.  ....For a new listener, this career-spanning selection of songs would be a great introduction." 

I Bring What I Love (Youssou N'Dour) is the soundtrack CD of the critically-acclaimed documentary about the singer, songwriter and Senegalese pop icon Youssou N'Dour. "Pooling tracks from his career, the [CD] is quintessentially N'Dour, full of the singer's bright, intoxicating easy swing and unpretentious grace. ...It takes only a brief listen to Mr. N'Dour to discover that his unadorned joy is real and heartfelt," says T.J. Nelson. (We classify this CD as folk.)

Orchestrion (Pat Metheny) is classified as jazz. Explains Dave Gelly, "The late-19th century orchestrion was a kind of super player-piano, with all kinds of instruments added. Metheny has spent years creating a modern version, a roomful of acoustic-mechanical gadgets that play along with his guitar. The result is extraordinary. What he plays on these five longish tracks is as gripping as usual, while the busy tinkling and plunking that surrounds him is by turns bewildering and hypnotic."

And just in time for Valentine's Day, we offer Barry Manilow's The Greatest Love Songs of All Time. Just as a previous reviewer confessed to liking Glen Campbell, I have to confess to liking Barry Manilow. "Mr. Manilow is a melody man who respects the mostly great tunes enough to sing them with only minor variations from the notes as written," writes Stephen Holden, who goes on to acknowledge the CD's "tasteful, unfussy arrangements" and a "friendly, nostalgic bonhomie." 

new releases
<![CDATA[Fiction with an Indiana twist]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2010/02/11/mysteries-with-an-indiana-twist.aspx Thu, 11 Feb 2010 13:49:00 G2T 2080 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2010/02/11/mysteries-with-an-indiana-twist.aspx to post your comments!

I tried searching the catalog under the heading of Indiana -- fiction and found a list of fascinating titles. Here are some of the most recent:

Sleeping with Anemone, by Kate Collins, is the latest installment in a series about a young female flower-shop owner/amateur sleath in small-town Indiana. Well-crafted plots, fun characters and some fast-paced, zany action make this series popular.

Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers, by Thomas Mullen, takes the reader back to the Depression Era, where two bank-robbing brothers find themselves in a police morgue in Indiana. The novel "tells a rip-roaring yarn that manages to be both phantasmagorical and historically accurate. In its labyrinthine, luminous narrative, reminiscent of Michael Chabon's best fiction, readers will find powerful parallels to the present-day." (LA Times)

A Cousin's Prayer by Wanda E. Brunstetter is the second installment of the Indiana Cousins series. Brunstetter is a Christian author who is fascinated by the Amish way of life and tries to portray it accurately in her gentle, heart-warming novels of love and life.

If you'd like to look for this type of book in the future, log into your account and save the search.


fiction Indiana
<![CDATA[Expanded coverage in Literary Reference Center]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2010/01/29/expanded-coverage-in-literary-reference-center.aspx Fri, 29 Jan 2010 14:37:00 G1T 2048 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2010/01/29/expanded-coverage-in-literary-reference-center.aspx to post your comments!

We recently expanded our online literary resources when EBSCO upgraded Literary Reference Center to Literary Reference Center Plus. This new database offers additional reference works, literary journals, new contemporary literature titles, full-text literary study guides, audio content, and videos. This additional content, blended with the specialized and easy-to-use, browsable interface, creates an authoritative literary tool for users.

screenshotLiterary Reference Center Plus includes all of the content currently in Literary Reference Center as well as more than 1,100 full-text literary reference books and works focusing on plays, drama, poetry, and religious, children’s and Hispanic literature. LRC Plus also presents a focus on multicultural studies, folklore, mythology, Latin American literature and historical literature by offering more than 125 literary magazines and journals in these areas. Thirty-five extensive
volumes of new reference content on contemporary literature from Salem Press also contribute to this new resource relating to fantasy/science fiction, contemporary literature, world philosophy, and biographies of Nobel Literature Prize winners.

Users of Literary Reference Center Plus will also have access to 40 full-text literary study guides to help explore novels and plays in American and English literature and to better understand the characteristics of different forms of literature. The database also contains 74 literary videos pertaining to classic literary works and authors.

Like other browsable/GUI databases in the EBSCO family, this interface uses tabs. Your result list defaults to "all results," but note the tab for "literary criticism," which is what many students will be after. (I'm a little disappointed that although media has been added to the database, there isn't a tab for audio/video. Use advanced search to limit to "multimedia/study guides.") Also, keep an eye on the "full text" notation of your results. As with other EBSCO databaes, some results are available in full-text in the database, but some are citation/abstract only -- these may or may not be in EVPL's collection (but if not, they can be requested via interlibrary loan).

The databases can be accessed by cardholders via our database page, in the "Literature" category. As always, please call your branch library or Central Library Reference (428-8218) if you have any questions about using this or any database.


databases Online resources literature literary reference reference sources
<![CDATA[Clutter-clearing, simplicity, and getting organized]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2010/01/25/clutter-clearing-simplicity-and-getting-organized.aspx Mon, 25 Jan 2010 12:31:00 G1T 2035 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2010/01/25/clutter-clearing-simplicity-and-getting-organized.aspx to post your comments!

home storageA number of my online friends and I have started watching "Hoarders" on A&E, and we all seem to have noticed a change in the way we view our posessions and our homes: our homes are beginning to look crowded, with too much "stuff." (And other people's, too -- I'm amazed at all the people who park in their driveways in my subdivision, because their garages are full.)

I read somewhere that decluttering is a pretty common New Year's resolution, and with the first month of the year drawing to a close, this might be a good time to assess progress if it was one of yours. The Library has some resources to get you back on track if you haven't accomplished as much as you'd like, including bunches of books. Some are on how to tackle the job, others are on storage solutions, and others are on the philosphy behind the urge to declutter:

The Complete Guide to a Clutter-Free Home: Organized Storage Solutions and Projects

The Wisdom of Tuscany : Simplicity, Security & the Good Life -- Making the Tuscan Lifestyle Your Own

Go Organize: Conquer Clutter in Three Easy Steps

Enough: Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity

Unclutter Your Life in One Week

The Secrets of Simplicity: Learn to Live Better with Less

Organize Your Whole House: Do-It-Yourself Projects for Every Room

Shed Your Stuff, Change Your Life: A Four-Step Guide to Getting Unstuck

Clutter Busting: Letting Go of What's Holding You Back

Throw Out Fifty Things: Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life

The Everything Organize Your Home Book : Eliminate Clutter, Maximize Storage Space, and Make Every Square Foot Count!

Simplify Your Space: Create Order and Reduce Stress

Rightsizing Your Life: Simplifying Your Surroundings While Keeping What Matters Most

organization clutter simplicity cleaning decluttering
<![CDATA[Links for the holidays]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/12/04/links-for-the-holidays.aspx Fri, 04 Dec 2009 15:47:00 G12T 1970 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/12/04/links-for-the-holidays.aspx to post your comments!

I've come across a whole bunch of links appropriate to the season.

The Federal Trade Commission has all the info you need about gift cards, with tips on what to ask when you buy them, and contacts for problems.

The Responsible Shopper wants to promote a responsible economy, and believes consumer education is a good way to do that. Their database allows you to "search hundreds of company profiles by name or by industry and quickly compare the corporate responsibility records of companies."

Don't let Santa come down a dirty or dangerous chimney. This site tells you how to make your fireplace and chimney safer by proper cleaning and maintenance.

Your Christmas cactus and poinsettias, and other common seasonal houseplants, all have differing needs for water, light, etc. Read this site to keep them happy so they'll keep your home festive.

Need some holiday trivia, fast facts, statistics? The US Census Bureau features the holiday season this month with facts and figures from its data collection.

DailyLit is a website that supplies free digital books via email or RSS, which might be a fun way to re-read A Christmas Carol. Subscribe using the box at the right of the screen.

Looking for fun family activities? This site has tons of Christmas craft ideas with great instructions, difficulty ratings, and age recommendations. (My favorite is a Santa made out of a potato chip tube that they probably would have called "Chris Pringle" if it weren't for the trademark.)

Last, prepare for New Year's Eve by reading the champagne primer. Epicurious.com explains the varieties of sparkling wines, how to read labels, how to store, how to serve, and much more.

shopping christmas crafts chimney holidays champagne houseplants gifts winter
<![CDATA[Getting the most from online shopping]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/11/30/getting-the-most-from-online-shopping.aspx Mon, 30 Nov 2009 15:56:00 G11T 1956 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/11/30/getting-the-most-from-online-shopping.aspx to post your comments!

I kept hearing from my online friends about "Bing cashbacks," and had no idea what they were talking about, until I ran across this great article in the New York Times about online shopping rebates, including those offered by the Bing, the new Google-like search engine.

The article is an excellent rundown on using the rebate sites (Bing, FatWallet, Ebates) and (in some cases) your credit card's shopping site to take advantage of points programs and cash-back programs.  Some sites offer discussion forums, where members post the best deals they've found. And one site allows shoppers to direct a portion of their shopping dollars toward higher education costs.

"How much you actually save depends on how much you spend, what programs you use and how vigilantly you watch the sites for the best deals, some of which change daily. If you spend $682, the average expected holiday budget, and earn an average of 7 percent cash back, that's nearly $50. And if you book your airline tickets through one of these programs, or buy big-ticket items in the electronics department, the savings can add up to much more. Using these programs year-round - for shopping you were going to do anyway - is the best way to accumulate real savings."

useful web sites shopping
<![CDATA[A smattering of new nonfiction selections]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/11/23/a-smattering-of-new-nonfiction-selections.aspx Mon, 23 Nov 2009 15:03:00 G11T 1945 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/11/23/a-smattering-of-new-nonfiction-selections.aspx to post your comments!

Looking for something entertaining and informative to read? These nonfiction titles might be just the thing.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope tells how an enterprising teenager in Malawi builds a windmill from scraps he finds around his village and brings electricity, and a future, to his family. It was called "an autobiography so moving that it is almost impossible to read without tears" by Kate Vander Wiede in the Christian Science Monitor.

In Dawn Light: Dancing with Cranes and Other Ways to Start the Day, Diane Ackerman "chose dawn as the subject of her new book because it's the beginning of each new day, a fresh start. Her book abounds in sensuous observations. A glimpse of starlings flocking at dawn segues into a visit with a friend’s hilarious talking bird; the morning light catches a sycamore tree shedding its parchment-like bark. She wants to help us capture the drama of seeing something for the first time. Her gift to us is the sheer pleasure teaching us to see the world through keen, sensitive eyes." (From Goerings Book Store reviews)

The Bedside Book of Beasts: A Wildlife Miscellany, which includes art, poetry, essays, stories, and science writing, is "a delightful mix of art and literature, of geographical range and of attitudes toward wild animals" (The Globe and Mail). It's a companion piece to the author's previous Bedside Book of Birds: An Avian Miscellany.

In Steal This Style: Moms and Daughters Swap Wardrobe Secrets, Sherrie Mathieson shows moms how to update their wardrobe by stealing a few key pieces from their daughters, and shows daughers how to look a little more classic with a few things from mom's closet. "Sherrie does not get bogged down with designer names and details but shows us how to go for a look that's affordable and attainable for most women. The accompanying copy is loaded with well-written, solid advice," says this blogger

Keep up with new books at the library by looking at our new titles list and reading the enewsletters!

nonfiction books new books
<![CDATA["Land art" (and land art for kids)]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/11/21/quot-land-art-quot-and-land-art-for-kids.aspx Sat, 21 Nov 2009 11:03:00 G11T 1948 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/11/21/quot-land-art-quot-and-land-art-for-kids.aspx to post your comments!

There are several artists working in an almost unclassifiable genre sometimes called "land art," "earthworks," or "earth art." Land art involves working with natural materials, outside. Some "pieces" are very large, for instance using thousands of rocks to create a man-made jetty. But many current practitioners work on a much smaller scale, crafting boxes out of leaves or stacking rocks into precise shapes. The pieces are often sculptural in nature, but the most defining feature is that they are placed out in the open, left to change and erode under natural conditions. 

One of the foremost practioners is Andy Goldsworthy, and the Library has several books and videos that highlight his fascinating work.

Another practitioner is a lesser known artist named Richard Shilling. The Library doesn't have any of his publications, but I've been following his Flickr stream and his blog. He's just announced a new project, a website titled "Land Art for Kids," which I think is brilliant. As he says, "land art is the perfect activity for kids and adults alike. What could be better than something that gets you active and creative, outdoors in the fresh air experiencing and learning about nature and discovering all you can about this wonderful world we share." He provides examples, instructions, and inspiration on the site, with more content on the way. (You can help create content, possibly, by sharing accounts and photos of the art your kids come up with.)

Sounds like the perfect way to spend time with kids on sunny, crisp November days!

art children nature sculpture parents kids
<![CDATA["The original guide to living wisely"]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/11/19/quot-the-original-guide-to-living-wisely-quot.aspx Thu, 19 Nov 2009 14:38:00 G11T 1944 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/11/19/quot-the-original-guide-to-living-wisely-quot.aspx to post your comments!

At least, that's how Mother Earth News describes itself, and they might not be too far off the mark. The magazine got its start in 1970, and you may think of it as something the hippies used to read. But these days, their focus on green living, sustainability, and saving money seems pretty much relevent to everyone. At least, I think there's something for everyone here, with a website packed full of free content.

Recent articles include "Cough into Your Sleeve! .. and Other Strategies to Fight the Flu"; "How to Make Your Fireplace More Efficient" ("an open masonry fireplace seems cozy, but it's not efficient for home heating," they say, and give cost estimates for various ways to keep more of the heat in your house instead of up the chimney); "Making Jerky," with recipes and procedures that they say are efficient and almost effortless; and a link to the Department of Energy's 2010 fuel economy guide for new cars.

They have a section for shopping, where you can order books, garden products, housewares, and much more (Christmas gift ideas, maybe?). They have a weekly radio show you can listen to. There are blogs and free newsletters. And currently they're still publishing the magazine in paper, if you it that way.

And, of course, the Library subscribes to the magazine, too. It's held at Central and three branches.

useful web sites magazines green living sustainability mother earth news
<![CDATA[Reasons why the world won't end in 2012]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/11/12/reasons-why-the-world-won-t-end-in-2012.aspx Thu, 12 Nov 2009 11:22:00 G11T 1936 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/11/12/reasons-why-the-world-won-t-end-in-2012.aspx to post your comments!

Mayan calendarThere's a lot of hype right now about the Mayan calendar, but it's interesting to note that none of it is coming from experts in Mesoamerican studies. In fact, it all seems to be coming from people trying to sell something, from books to movie tickets to emergency supplies. A couple of sites out there might help you rest assured there's nothing to be worried about.

An article in USA Today explains that "Part of the 2012 mystique stems from the stars. On the winter solstice in 2012, the sun will be aligned with the center of the Milky Way for the first time in about 26,000 years. This means that 'whatever energy typically streams to Earth from the center of the Milky Way will indeed be disrupted on 12/21/12 at 11:11 p.m. Universal Time,' journalist Lawrence Joseph writes. But scholars doubt the ancient Maya extrapolated great meaning from anticipating the alignment — if they were even aware of what the configuration would be. Astronomers generally agree that 'it would be impossible the Maya themselves would have known that,' says Susan Milbrath, a Maya archaeoastronomer and a curator at the Florida Museum of Natural History. What's more, she says, 'we have no record or knowledge that they would think the world would come to an end at that point.'" 

The news site of the Discovery Channel has an article titled "Top Ten Reasons Why the World Won't End in 2012" with a nice summary of arguments against the most frequently proposed doomsday scenarios.

NASA has a FAQ about 2012, in which they explain, "Just as the calendar you have on your kitchen wall does not cease to exist after December 31, the Mayan calendar does not cease to exist on December 21, 2012. This date is the end of the Mayan long-count period but then -- just as your calendar begins again on January 1 -- another long-count period begins for the Mayan calendar."

I'm fond of The Skeptic's Dictionary, and they've come through with a nice entry that explains the complexities of the Mayan calendar in some detail (and which many doomsayers seem to be ignorant of). They also fail to find any reason to think that the Mayans were making a prediction at all, and ask the question, "what is the likelihood that a civilization that couldn't use its vast knowledge to save itself from self-destruction was concerned with predicting what would happen in a future millennium? The Mayan leaders couldn't see far enough into the future to plan for and solve the human problems they faced: too many people on too little land, destruction of their own environment, farming techniques and deforestation that depleted soil nutrients, droughts (partly brought on by their deforestation programs), and so on." 

You have to give Hollywood credit -- they've timed the release of the big-budget disaster film 2012 just about perfectly. If nothing else, it certainly looks like an impressive bunch of special effects. I love how Roger Ebert calls it "the mother of all disaster movies (and the father, and the extended family)."

science astronomy 2012 maya
<![CDATA[New CD round-up]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/archive/2009/11/12/new-cd-round-up.aspx Thu, 12 Nov 2009 08:36:00 G11T 1934 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/" target="_blank">Music Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/archive/2009/11/12/new-cd-round-up.aspx to post your comments!

Looking for something new to listen to? This is a very small selection of new CDs, but it might give some idea of the diversity and currency of the Library's collection. Comment to let us know if you’ve listened to any of them and what you think, or make your own recommendations.

CD cover1. In the pop/rock category, try "Bomb in a Birdcage," from A Fine Frenzy. With varied  textures, big sounds, diverse instrumentation, it's "lush, bewitching and atmospheric," says A.L. Harper at Blogcritics.

2. In the classical category, try Beethoven’s "Complete works for piano and cello" performed by cellist Zuill Bailey and pianist Simone Dinnerstein. Bailey is a "deeply committed, serious player with a big tone, generous resonance, interpretive sensitivity, and a natural manner of playing that's as easy as breathing….. Dinnerstein is an excellent choice as accompanist given her fundamental understanding of classical tempi, keen touch, and her general abilities in Beethoven…. The two make for a great team, and there's no question that this is a great recording; beautifully engineered, played with a sense of artistic purpose and professionalism," says Dave Lewis.

3. If you'd like to try some jazz, check out "Emergence" by Roy Hargrove’s Big Band. "There are no jarring surprises herein, but Hargrove has sculpted a deliberately mainline repertoire that jumps from hearty swing to roseate sentimentality. It's a slick, well-balanced sound that may well find the trumpeter a fresh audience of more mainstream-inclined jazz fans," says Martin Longley.

CD cover4. For some alternative country, you might like "Happiness and all the other things" by Cross Canadian Ragweed. "For their seventh full-length album, Cross Canadian Ragweed tread familiar yet firm ground, crafting earthy, sepia-toned road songs that are as good, if not better, than anything they've released in the past. It's a well-traveled highway, and the ghosts of the acts that came before them -- like the Eagles, Marshall Tucker Band, Neil Young, and Gram Parsons -- are always in the rear-view mirror, but Happiness and All the Other Things ultimately keeps its eyes on the horizon" says Lee Power.

The staff at your local branch and in the Popular Materials Center at Central will help you find music to match all your tastes, or dip into a genre you're not familiar with! And use this page to explore our collection from home.

new releases
<![CDATA[What are the odds?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/11/04/what-are-the-odds.aspx Wed, 04 Nov 2009 10:15:00 G11T 1923 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/11/04/what-are-the-odds.aspx to post your comments!

shark imageEver wonder what the odds are that an adult planning a Halloween costume will be a cat? How about the odds of being killed by a shark? There's a new website, The Book of Odds, that does just that — it gives you odds.

You can do a simple keyword search, an odds search (finding anything that has a 1 in 100 chance of occurring by entering the number 100), or click on "advanced search" to look for additional content (articles and blog posts). Searching all content can be pretty interesting, particularly if you're looking to spice up a speech or a research paper, but there's not a huge amount of that kind of content.

The data comes from a lot of demographic studies, much of it market-based or governmental, and because of that, you tend to see age, gender, income, and location breakdowns that many people won't find that useful and tend to pad the result list.. (They're not consistent breakdowns though, so no comparison of shark attack odds between Indiana and Florida.) 

If you see something in the result list that you want to know more about or want to use in some way, click on the odds for an item and you’ll get a visual representing those odds and a list of unrelated odds that are close or exactly the same as the one you’re looking at. The detail page also has a button marked "Sources & Definitions." Click it and you’ll get information on the source, rounding information, and even an appropriate way to cite the data presented. If you don't find odds for something you think should be there, click on "suggest odds" at the bottom of the page, and they may be able to research it and add it.

If you register and create an account (it’s free) you can start your own book of odds, which allows you to track odds, send odds information to a friend, mark those that you like or those that apply to you, etc. Worth a visit! Oh, and before you leave the Book of Odds site be sure to visit the "About Us" page. I got a chuckle out of this : "Book of Odds is not a search-engine, decision-engine, knowledge-engine, or any other kind of engine…so please don’t compare us to Google(tm). We did consider the term 'probability engine' for about 25 seconds, before coming to our senses."

statistics research useful web sites websites odds data trivia
<![CDATA[United Way offers valuable information]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/07/31/united-way-offers-valuable-information.aspx Fri, 31 Jul 2009 10:24:00 G7T 1716 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/07/31/united-way-offers-valuable-information.aspx to post your comments!

united wayThe United Way of Southwestern Indiana maintains a very valuable "Community Resource Guide" on their website. This guide lists services and programs offered by hundreds of nonprofit agencies around southwestern Indiana, from tutoring (for both adults and students) to child care provider training to support groups -- the list is extensive.

Just chose your category, and then look through the descriptions of the agencies, programs, and services that are listed. The listings tell you what each program offers, and who's eligible. Complete contact information is given.

The United Way also maintains the 2-1-1 Call Center, an information and referral service. Simply dial 2-1-1 if you need help in finding social services of any kind.

You might also be interested in their Day of Caring, coming up in September. This is a community-wide event in which United Way connects businesses and volunteers with nonprofit agencies in need of help.



useful web sites tutoring social services united way community
<![CDATA[User manuals online]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/07/20/user-manuals-online.aspx Mon, 20 Jul 2009 13:22:00 G7T 1690 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/07/20/user-manuals-online.aspx to post your comments!

It's actually not that hard to find recent user manuals online, using Google. But the MakeUseOf blog has linked to a site that not only provides access to a bunch of manuals in one convenient place, but also allows you to register and then store all of your virtual manuals in a "filing cabinet."

And, like many websites these days, the The User Manual Site is social and interactive, maintaining a community message board where you can ask for help and tips from other consumers who are using the same product that you are.

These features make it worth checking out, and as you acquire new devices, adding those manuals to your online file. If they don't have a manual you need, you might be able to find it elsewhere. There are other user manuals sites, like http://www.usersmanualguide.com/ and http://www.user-manual-search.com/default2.aspx, but when you're looking for manuals, the best way to find them is often to simply Google the name of the manufacture, the model number, and the word "manual."

consumer useful web sites products user manuals appliances
<![CDATA[Most anticipated books of 2009]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/07/10/most-anticipated-books-of-2009.aspx Fri, 10 Jul 2009 15:28:00 G7T 1675 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/07/10/most-anticipated-books-of-2009.aspx to post your comments!

Back in January, I blogged about The Millions' list of most anticipated books for 2009. They've done another one, for the second half of 2009.

These lists are really well done, with just enough information about the author, the title, and why it's so anticipated. They don't waste too much time on obvious best-sellers, but instead choose things that you might not be aware of, even closer to their release.

Their links go to Amazon, but keep a window open to our catalog to see if we've ordered them yet. If you find it, and no copies have a status of "check shelf," you can use the "request" button to place your hold.

upcoming books
<![CDATA[Hardship license information]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/07/08/hardship-license-information.aspx Wed, 08 Jul 2009 10:17:00 G7T 1650 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/07/08/hardship-license-information.aspx to post your comments!

It often happens that customers are told to go to the library to get a legal form of some kind. Unfortunately, we often have to tell them that we don't have preprinted forms that can be filled out and filed. Today's question concerned the "hardship license form," which is not exactly a form, and not officially called a "hardship license." The Indiana Code says that an "individual may file a verified petition for a restricted driving permit for the sole purpose of driving to and from work and in the course of employment during the period of the driving license suspension." The Code also outlines the information that the petition needs to include, but doesn't show a form for the petition.

The places we check for things like this include legal forms books (these are useful for some types of forms, but not others), our database of legal forms (under "Law and legal sources" here) (which has a sort of guidebook on the hardship license, but no filing information), forms on the Indiana Courts website, and websites like FindLaw referenced here

We also highly recommend the Indiana Justice Center, which we have used before for the many informational (and printable) PDFs on popular law topics. In their hardship license guide, there is no mention of a form. In fact, they say "Contact a private attorney or your local legal services provider if you want help in getting a hardship license...."

Could a person type up the petition himself, following the guidelines in the Code, and file it? As far as I know, that may well be possible. And the Library is happy to provide access to that section of the Code. But the answer to the question, "Do you have the hardship license form?" is, unfortunately, no.

driver's license legal useful web sites forms hardship law
<![CDATA[Crackdowns on "government grants" and other scams]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/07/03/crackdowns-on-quot-government-grants-quot-and-other-scams.aspx Fri, 03 Jul 2009 10:11:00 G7T 1639 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/07/03/crackdowns-on-quot-government-grants-quot-and-other-scams.aspx to post your comments!

snake oil salesman imageI was very happy to see this release from the FTC, about crackdowns on a large number of scammers who have been taking advantage of the economic turndown. And not just the fake government grant schemes -- the list includes an amazing array of scams, including an admittedly imaginative ruse involving non-existant jobs as "certified rebate processors."

The scammers used websites, robocalls, telemarketing, infomercials, classified ads, and internet ads to push their schemes. They promised earnings, money-back guarantees, refunds; they claimed to be associated with government agencies, with Google, with shopper's clubs. To a con artist, tough times just present new opportunities to bilk people.

The FTC has produced a new consumer education video featuring a former scammer who hawked phony business opportunities and ultimately served prison time for deceiving investors. In the 10-minute video, the former scammer gives an insider account of how these operations use high-pressure tactics and celebrity endorsers to trick cash-strapped consumers, and how consumers can protect themselves by demanding written disclosures on earnings and other sales data. (More FTC videos can be found here.)

If you find yourself with unexpected charges or unable to secure promised refunds, you can file a complaint at the the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,500 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

money scams jobs FTC federal trade commission hoaxes
<![CDATA[Yard sale season in full swing]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/06/26/yard-sale-season-in-full-swing.aspx Fri, 26 Jun 2009 11:16:00 G6T 1634 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/06/26/yard-sale-season-in-full-swing.aspx to post your comments!

book coverThe best thing about holding a yard sale in hot weather is the kids can also set up a lemonade stand and rake in the cash. The worst thing is, well, it's hot. But this is Evansville, this is what we do -- we hold yard sales in the summer.

And even people who think they know everything there is to know about having a yard sale might be surprised at all the great ideas, hints, and tips that are available. For instance, this gem: "Ever notice how hard a woman has to work to convince a man to stop at a yard sale? To solve this, set out an old lawn mower or power tools out front in plain view of the road, and you'll get more business." Brilliant! That's from the site of the "yard sale queen" (and she might actually deserve the title).

Other good sites with tips include Tipnut and OrganizedHome.

And be sure check out the books that give instructions and tips, too. We even have books that might help you come up with prices on your collectibles.

The Garage Sale & Flea Market Annual might help you set your prices.

Once Upon a Garage Sale tells you everything you need to know to "make more money, get rid of more stuff, and otherwise succeed at your garage sale." Also check out "Garage Sale Mania! : How to Hold a Profitable Garage, Yard, or Tag Sale."

Are you a yard sale seller? What are your tips? And if you're a buyer, tell us about your bargains!


yard sales garage sales
<![CDATA[Happy Father's Day Solstice!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/06/20/happy-father-s-day-solstice.aspx Sat, 20 Jun 2009 12:09:00 G6T 1619 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/06/20/happy-father-s-day-solstice.aspx to post your comments!

father child imageSunday, June 21, is doing double duty this year, as both Father's Day and the summer solstice. If you're curious about the day, check out The History Channel's collection of material about Father's Day. Topics include a brief history of this holiday (which was not instituted as a national observance until 1972), famous TV dads, fun facts, video clips, and photos of famous dads such as Paul McCartney, Elvis Presley, Jackie Robinson, and Muhammad Ali.

The kids' site Kaboose has a good Father's Day section, too, including some ideas for celebrating the day.

Fathers Day Celebration is another information-filled sites, with suggested activities and readings for the day.

And to celebrate the solstice, check out EarthSky's page on the event. The solstice is commonly called the first day of summer, although it's an astronomical, not a climatological, event (climatologists have their own ways of determining seasons). Most importantly, it's the day with the most daylight: from Monday on, hours of daylight grow progressively shorter. Celebrate by getting up to see the earliest sunrise of the year, or by playing ouside until dark!

fathers solstice summer fathers day
<![CDATA[Mosquito control with bats]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/06/16/mosquito-control-with-bats.aspx Tue, 16 Jun 2009 19:55:00 G6T 1609 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/06/16/mosquito-control-with-bats.aspx to post your comments!

bat house plans bookAre there more mosquitoes around this year, or is it just me? One of the best natural ways to combat these pesky bugs is encouraging a local population of bats. Contrary to popular belief, bats do not swoop down into your hair. And you're way more likely to contract rabies from a dog or other ground-dwelling mammal. In short, they're good citizens and excellent neighbors. But their habitats are dwindling (and the mosquito population seems to be rising). You can help by building a bat house in a sunny spot, not too close to trees and other obstacles, about 12 to 18 feet off the ground.

The Bat House Builder's Handbook is in the Library's collection, and you can also visit a variety of websites on bats and their housing needs.

Bat Conservation International has a list of tips for attracting bats, criteria for successful bat houses, and lots of information on building and installing your bat house.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park has instructions on building a bat house.

This is an informative article and an entertaining read: Why I Built a Bat House.

The Fish and Wildlife Service has an excellent PDF file on building a bat house.

This would be a great weekend project for parents and kids -- maybe even Father's Day!

nature environment bats
<![CDATA[Let your cursor do the walking]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/06/10/let-your-cursor-do-the-walking.aspx Wed, 10 Jun 2009 08:55:00 G6T 1570 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/06/10/let-your-cursor-do-the-walking.aspx to post your comments!

phone book imageCentral Library discontinued its collection of most out-of-state phone books last year, because the Reference USA database contains more up-to-date information than the books did (mostly because we didn't always get the most recent phonebooks in a timely manner). And we still enthusiastically use and recommend the database for its highly versatile searching.

But people do miss the browsability of the actual books -- being able to see listings in an alphabetical sequence, being able to compare yellow page ads. So we were happy when a colleague in the Library's adminstrative offices pointed out an online version of all the AT&T phonebooks that allows users to do just that.

The "RealPages" at AT&T allow you to search by keyword and browse by category. They provide seperate tabs for the business, residence, yellow page, and government sections (and the community guide section). It's fast, easy to use, and actually kind of fun to navigate. They even show the cover of the phonebook so you can verify how recent the edition is.

The phone company is not known for giving stuff away for free -- take advantage of this resource!

addresses useful web sites directories telephone books phone numbers
<![CDATA[Hobby and craft info galore]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/06/03/hobby-and-craft-info-galore.aspx Wed, 03 Jun 2009 17:26:00 G6T 1557 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/06/03/hobby-and-craft-info-galore.aspx to post your comments!

model trainHobbyists and crafters will be in heaven browsing our new database, the Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center. It contains content from more than 740 magazines and books, as well as access to more than 720 videos and over 140 hobby reports, with detailed "how-to" instructions and creative ideas to meet the interests of virtually every hobby-enthusiast.

Accessed through the Library's databases page (the category is "How-To"), the user is presented with a user-friendly screen dividing the many topics into categories for fun browsing, such as collecting, model building, needlecraft and textiles, paper crafts, etc. For more immediate access to a specific topic, use the search box at the top of the screen.

The result list contains both specific projects, when available, and general information articles (and searchers can use a tab to go directly to the projects, if that's what they're after). The searcher can also use the list of more specific terms that are presented, to narrow the results.

Patterns and instructions are taken from popular magazines and presented in PDF or HTML format. And take note of the "video" tab found for a number of crafts. The short videos are quite informative, and any new knitter needing to learn to cast off, for example, will be happy to have them.


databases evpl crafts how-to hobbies
<![CDATA[Follow us on Twitter!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/06/02/follow-us-on-twitter.aspx Tue, 02 Jun 2009 13:57:00 G6T 1553 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/06/02/follow-us-on-twitter.aspx to post your comments!

Come Tweet with us!!  EVPL is venturing into the Twitterverse, and you're invited to follow along. We currently have two Twitter accounts: one at http://twitter.com/evplinfo for information about Library programs and other informational announcements; and one at http://twitter.com/EVPLReviews for reviews of books, movies, and music.

Twitter is a free service that allows you to keep in touch with others through the exchange of small, frequent updates. When you create an account at twitter.com, you'll be able to update your own status to let your followers know what movies you've seen, where you're going on vacation, and how your daughter did in the big soccer game. You'll also be able to follow other people and institutions to get information about what's going on with them.

There are number of ways to update and receive "tweets" -- you don't have to open the twitter.com website on a PC. You can use Twitter clients similar to IM widgits (some are listed here) or even your phone.

For more information on why and how to use Twitter, try "Why Twitter Anyways?" and this excellent True Beginner's Guide to Twitter. The Library will also offer a class on social networking that will include Twitter.

Once you've gotten started, you'll be able to ask questions and send direct messages to us (and anyone else you're following, if they're also following you). It's all about communication, after all, and this is just one more avenue for doing that. So check us out, and let us know what else you might like to see in our Twitter streams! 

reviews Twitter evpl social networking library
<![CDATA[Kids eat free!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/05/30/kids-eat-free.aspx Sat, 30 May 2009 14:32:00 G5T 1549 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/05/30/kids-eat-free.aspx to post your comments!

kid eatingI just came across a vast list of restaurants that routinely offer free or discounted meals for kids (variously defined). This might take a little effort, because you need to pay attention to the age limits, the days of the week, and of course always call ahead to see if our local restaurant offers the promotion (which they are not obligated to do).

But if you're looking to save some money when you take the kids out for dinner, this is a great place to check.

(Link found at the Frugal Living blog.)

blogs money restaurants
<![CDATA[An unusual perspective on world news]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/05/27/an-unusual-perspective-on-world-news.aspx Wed, 27 May 2009 14:10:00 G5T 1535 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/05/27/an-unusual-perspective-on-world-news.aspx to post your comments!

GlobalPost screenshotEven news junkies might not know about all the global news they're missing. GlobalPost is here to change that. Founded by two media veterans, this site aims to "redefine international news for the digital age ... relying on the enduring values of great journalism: integrity, accuracy, independence and powerful storytelling." They've assembled a staff of journalists living in the 53 countries they report on. And special attention is given to geographic areas that Americans so often hear almost nothing about. The site is rich with multimedia and offers an easily browsable context for today's important world stories.

You'll find important, fascinating stories here -- dip in to the site as you have time, and share what you find.

current events news journalism websites
<![CDATA[Trekkers get social]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/05/12/trekkers-get-social.aspx Tue, 12 May 2009 17:09:00 G5T 1497 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/05/12/trekkers-get-social.aspx to post your comments!

EW ST coverIf you're one of the many who saw the new Star Trek movie this past weekend, you might be wondering if you can connect with other fans online. Well, in these days of the social web, of course you can.

Looks like the Facebook group might be the primary destination for you Trekkers, Trekkies, and Trekfen -- the page has some 2500 members. Both the wall and the discussion board are very active.

The official page on MySpace was created well before the movie's release, and still has a very large and active community. And it may well be the first place to hear about the anticipated sequel.

Star Trek Online is the website devoted to the multiplayer online role-playing game that's currently being developed. Even if you don't intend to join the game, you may well enjoy the discussion forums.

Ning is an online platform where people can create their own social networks, and there are several there devoted to Star Trek. The largest is TrekSpace, which has a library of photos, videos, and a very active discussion forum.

TrekUnited was originally formed to save the television series "Star Trek: Enterprise" (unsuccessfully), and has grown into one of the largest ST websites, with a lively message board.

And for Twitter users, consider contributing to the Star Trek group at Tweetworks, because they need all the contributors they can get!

Twitter films facebook star trek online communities movies social
<![CDATA[Free e-book on personal finance]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/05/08/free-e-book-on-personal-finance.aspx Fri, 08 May 2009 09:24:00 G5T 1475 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/05/08/free-e-book-on-personal-finance.aspx to post your comments!

change jarThe Simple Dollar, a personal finance blog that I've seen cited many times, is giving away a 50-page PDF, "Everything You Need to Know About Personal Finance on Just One Page." Definitely worth the 4.4 MB download, it starts off (just as it says) by giving you one single page of core advice on earning, spending, and investing, then fleshes it out over a mere 49 pages.

Of course, the Library offers a huge number of personal finance books, including many titles recent enough to take the current financial situation into account. Some of the titles published in 2009 include:

money personal finance economy investing budgeting
<![CDATA[Greening your life]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/05/06/greening-your-life.aspx Wed, 06 May 2009 14:20:00 G5T 1472 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/05/06/greening-your-life.aspx to post your comments!

You can tell I'm behind again in reading my RSS feeds -- I've caught up to Earth Day. But these are such interesting sites I have to share them.

Free Green offers free energy-efficient house plans, with full construction documentation and other related material. You can also join the community and ask questions about specific designs or green building in general.

Sierra Club Green Home is dedicated to helping you create a more sustainable home environment. The site is full of information about reducing emissions, saving on energy, recycling, and more. They have a discussion board for members, too.

Sustainable Table celebrates local sustainable food, educates consumers on food-related issues, and works to build community through food. They encourage the purchase of organic and local food, and their locator will show you markets, coops, and even restaurants within 20 miles your zip code that meet their criteria. They also have a section called "The Issues," which gives a huge amount of information about what they see as the problems with our food choices, from factory farms to additives to pollution caused by the agriculture industry.

The US Department of Energy has a website devoted to energy efficiency and renewable energy. There's information about designing and remodeling, appliances, landscaping, lighting, alternative energy sources like wind and solar, and much more.

Homepower magazine is a good source of information and inspiration about solar, wind, and other alternative energy systems.

The web makes it pretty easy to make every day Earth Day!

energy environment food green
<![CDATA[Swine flu information]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/04/27/swine-flu-information.aspx Mon, 27 Apr 2009 12:21:00 G4T 1450 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/04/27/swine-flu-information.aspx to post your comments!

image of hand washingMost of what you need to know about the current swine flu situation can be found on two websites. The Centers for Disease Control manages this site, which has all the latest news, information about the disease's symptoms and prevention, and links to other sources. The Department of Health and Human Services manages this site, also packed full of useful information (including historical information on flu epidemics).

Both sites have RSS feeds linked on their sites, and you can find their Twitter feeds under BirdFluGov (despite the account name, it does include swine flu information) and CDCemergency.

For the latest news stories, another Twitter feed is the San Jose Mercury News, which maintains a feed specifically for swine flu stories. (For a general news feed with plenty of flu updates, I use Breaking News.)

You may be interested in the swine flu outbreak map, a Google Maps mashup. This purports to show every known instance of swine flu around the world (of the current outbreak). The map also provides information on the current state of the ill person.

Even for those who don't live in New York, the New York State Department of Health has a very informative site on swine flu. And finally, you might want to keep an eye on the Indiana Department of Health's website.

health medicine flu swine flu
<![CDATA[Hard-to-find customer service]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/04/15/hard-to-find-customer-service.aspx Wed, 15 Apr 2009 09:47:00 G4T 1429 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/04/15/hard-to-find-customer-service.aspx to post your comments!

customer service representativeIt seems that the more prominently web-based a business is, the harder it is to contact customer service, particularly a human via telephone. A website called ContactHelp maintains a database of tricks for bypassing the customer service circus and getting to a real person. Just type the company name into the search box, and you'll get detailed instructions, written by a person who's had a successful contact, that tell you what number to dial and what will happen after you dial it.

It also gives company hours of operation, email addresses, and links to customer service FAQs and knowledge bases when available. Plus it offers users the ability to rate companies and leave comments.

And if ContactHelp doesn't show the company you're looking for, try GetHuman. Between these two sites, you should be able to conquer the menu trees and get to a real human for just about any major brand.

consumer useful web sites businesss companies customer service
<![CDATA[New database for corporate info]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/04/10/new-database-for-corporate-info.aspx Fri, 10 Apr 2009 10:53:00 G4T 1418 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/04/10/new-database-for-corporate-info.aspx to post your comments!

MDD logoEVPL is now subscribing to the Million Dollar Database, which provides detailed information on over 250,000 public and private companies with at least $9 million in annual sales or at least 180 employees. Company data is updated frequently to ensure the most accurate information possible.

Company profiles include specialty information like executive biographies, number of employees, sales, year established, and Dun & Bradstreet's "prescreen score," assessing the risk of delinquent payment. The database offers you unlimited searching, viewing and printing of detailed company profiles with contact information.

The database is especially designed to help you find in-depth company and contact information, find new sales opportunities, conduct marketing research, and identify potential job opportunities. With that in mind, the database includes a Basic Search for simple company lookups, and a Search Designer that lets you search by a combination of over 30 criteria. And using the Million Dollar Database's File Builder, you can easily download a list of leads in minutes.

The initial search screen is a very simple, with search boxes for company name and location. (On this screen you can also search by phone number or SIC codes if you have that data but no company name.) For more complex searches, choose "advanced search" and choose from the list of criteria (zip code, minority owned, size by sales or employees, etc.). Be sure to click "add to criteria" and then make sure your "current search criteria" contains the ones you chose.

After you click "run search," you'll be able to sort the result list, click an entity name for detailed info, and select records to download.

A PDF file with more information on using the database can be found here.

As with all databases, call Reference Services at 428-8218 if you have any questions! 

business databases dun and bradstreet corporate businesses million dollar D&B directories corporations
<![CDATA[Recycling your old gadgets]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/04/07/recycling-your-old-gadgets.aspx Tue, 07 Apr 2009 17:57:00 G4T 1400 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/04/07/recycling-your-old-gadgets.aspx to post your comments!

cell phone clip artElectronic devices aren't the easiest things to get rid of, at least not responsibly. Luckily the "How-to wiki" at Wired Magazine has tracked down some recyling programs from manufacturers and other sources.

They begin with Best Buy, which is able to accept all sorts of electronics for recyling, most at no charge. And what they do charge for is offset with a Best Buy gift card.

They also highlight the website Gazelle, which pays for the item if it has resale value, and for the shipping if it doesn't. Check out their list of what they accept.

The article even outlines the recyling programs currently in place with such manufacturers as Apple, Canon, Dell, Sony, and much more.

And don't forget the EPA itself, which encourages the recycling of electronics by offering basic information, linking to state and regional programs, outlining regulations and standards, and more.


useful web sites recycling electronics
<![CDATA[Find the right used car for you]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/04/03/find-the-right-used-car-for-you.aspx Fri, 03 Apr 2009 14:16:00 G4T 1392 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/04/03/find-the-right-used-car-for-you.aspx to post your comments!

2004 Honda Civic SIHaving second thoughts about buying a new car this year, but need to replace your old one? In the October 2008 issue, Consumer Reports said "choosing a three-year-old car instead of a new one can save you thousands of dollars over the first five years."

But choosing and buying a used car can be a little daunting. That's why CNET's Webware recently rounded up twenty-four websites to help you out. They include:

Carfax:  Don't even consider buying that used car until you consult Carfax with its Vehicle Identification Number.

Cars.com: Research, reviews, general shopping advice, and more.

Edmunds: one of the most celebrated names in automobiles because of the depth and quality of its car reviews.

Kelley Blue Book: one of the most trustworthy resources for the real value of cars you're looking to buy.

Be sure to check out the whole article for more great sites. And happy shopping!


consumer automobiles useful websites cars
<![CDATA[Best job search sites]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/03/31/best-job-search-sites.aspx Tue, 31 Mar 2009 17:01:00 G3T 1390 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/03/31/best-job-search-sites.aspx to post your comments!

classifed ads illustrationThere is plenty of help available online for job seekers. You probably know of some of these sites, but probably not all.

Career Builder is probably the web's largest online job site, with over a million openings listed. Besides allowing you to search for jobs, they also offer a job recommendations service, based on keywords in your searches and your resume. There's a career aptitude test, a salary calculator, resume help, and more.

Monster is another large site, and also offers advice on resumes, interviewing, etc.

Many sites and articles recommend Craigslist, although I'm not sure if the Evansville page has really taken off. It's certainly worth checking, though, particularly for those looking to relocate to larger cities, like Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Louisville.

The federal government's official site is currently listing over 45,000 jobs. Besides the openings and all the information you need to apply, there are specialized services for veterans, students, and people with disabilities. 

Hound aggregates job listings found on employers' own websites. There is a good possibility that many things listed here are not listed elsewhere.

Indeed is another aggregator, pulling items from employer websites, job sites, and other online sources. You might like the very simple interface.

Need more? Head over to PC Magazine's list of twenty best job search sites.


Careers useful web sites jobs
<![CDATA[Natasha's lesson saves Ohio girl]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/03/26/natasha-s-lesson-saves-ohio-girl.aspx Thu, 26 Mar 2009 16:02:00 G3T 1383 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/03/26/natasha-s-lesson-saves-ohio-girl.aspx to post your comments!

Brain x-ray imageNatasha Richardson's recent death from a head injury may have you asking yourself, when does a head injury require medical attention? That's a very good question. This article, about a seven-year-old girl who experienced an epidural hematoma but had no symptoms for two days, gives a list of what to watch for after someone has suffered a head injury. Symptoms such as dizziness, vomiting, headache and confusion, and sudden changes in symptoms, are the red flags.

And you'll also be happy to know that the little's girls parents, alerted to the dangers of head injury by a news report about Natasha, were able to get her to a doctor in time, and she's fine now.

health injury medicine news
<![CDATA["Everyday Mysteries" answers interesting questions]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/03/12/quot-everyday-mysteries-quot-answers-interesting-questions.aspx Thu, 12 Mar 2009 18:20:00 G3T 1366 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/03/12/quot-everyday-mysteries-quot-answers-interesting-questions.aspx to post your comments!

banner"Everyday Mysteries," subtitled "Fun science facts from the Library of Congress," is a great website for reading interesting articles on a variety of topics, getting ideas for research papers, and submitting your own questions. Each article includes both links to related websites and a bibliography of written materials, so it's a great jumping-off point for further study.

Some of their articles include "What does it mean when they say the universe is expanding?" and "Who invented the automobile?"

library of congress science research useful web sites
<![CDATA[Free government grants? Not so fast!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/03/09/free-government-grants-not-so-fast.aspx Mon, 09 Mar 2009 09:53:00 G3T 1351 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/03/09/free-government-grants-not-so-fast.aspx to post your comments!

book cover imageA recent post at Snopes (which is the premiere hoax-debunking website) covers the increasing "free government grant" scam, currently being perpetrated through web ads, e-mails, and even direct phone calls. (Unfortunately, while Snopes is a great source of information, it may also spawn two "pop-under" ads on your computer. These can be harmlessly closed using the X in the upper right-hand corner.)

The federal government has an official website for all federal grant applications, and there they take pains to explain that they do not offer ANY grants for personal financial assistance or debt. (There are a few grants available to individuals in addition to organizations, but they're for specific types of research, projects, etc.) Their page describing who is eligible for grants offers links to various organizations that do provide financial assistance, and also to the alphabetical list of all government benefits and financial aid programs.

At the Library, we have bought some books that may contain such phrases as "free money" in their titles, but frankly, the titles are pretty misleading. By free money, they mean bargains, discounts, and the financial aid programs linked above.

government hoax money grants scams
<![CDATA[How to find how-tos on the web]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/02/17/how-to-find-how-tos-on-the-web.aspx Tue, 17 Feb 2009 09:20:00 G2T 1275 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/02/17/how-to-find-how-tos-on-the-web.aspx to post your comments!

The "Webware" blog at CNET has an excellent post about finding how-to-do-it information on the web. For a variety of sites such as eHow, Howcast, and Instructables, the author assesses the quality of the instruction, the level of expertise and authority, and is especially concerned whether there are accompanying videos. You can learn how to do just about anything on sites like these, from tying a tie to installing weather stripping to making sure you follow proper etiquette in China.

While you're at CNET, check out their vast collection of product reviews. This is one of the premier sites for recent consumer-oriented ratings and reviews of all sorts of electronics and high-tech products.

training Online resources instruction tutorials consumer useful web sites
<![CDATA[Small business resources, free and online]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/02/11/small-business-resources-free-and-online.aspx Wed, 11 Feb 2009 10:12:00 G2T 1257 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/02/11/small-business-resources-free-and-online.aspx to post your comments!

book coverIndiana BizCafe is a free service that matches entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, and others with business opportunities. Much like a social network, a user's matches are based on a self-created profile. The system continues to find matches as the database grows.

Stats Indiana is a comprehensive database of statistical demographics for the state of Indiana and is a useful resource for studying potential markets for your business.

Indiana Economic Development Corporation oversees Indiana’s statewide business attraction and development efforts, coordinates state programs and incentives for companies looking to grow in Indiana, and provides technical assistance, business expertise and funding to Indiana entrepreneurs and high-tech start-ups.

INDURE (the Indiana Database of Research of University Expertise) was created by the State of Indiana to help transform university-developed technology into money-making businesses. The site is an online searchable database of Indiana researchers, intellectual property and on-going sponsored research projects available for further development or for integration into new products or services.

SCORE (the Service Corps of Retired Executives) provides general business advice to existing small business on everything from how to write a business plan, to cash flow management, to developing a marketing plan. The phone number of the Evansville office is 426-6144.

Small Business Development Center - The small business development corporation offers useful tools and information for businesses operating in Indiana. The phone number for Evansville's office is 425-7232.

SmallBizU features 24 free online courses that teach entrepreneurs the three Ms: money, management, and marketing.

statistics Online resources businesss entrepreneurship
<![CDATA[Historical magazines at Central Library]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/01/14/historical-magazines-at-central-library.aspx Wed, 14 Jan 2009 08:58:00 G1T 1128 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/01/14/historical-magazines-at-central-library.aspx to post your comments!

Central Library has a large collection of magazines, most of which are held for five or ten years. But there's also a pretty impressive collection of older magazines, which have been bound into hardcover and are being retained for their historical value. They can't be checked out, but they can be used in the library.

American Magazine cover 1920sThe oldest is the American Magazine, which the Library has from 1908 to 1953. This was a general interest magazine that was known for publishing features in the muckraking vein, inspirational "Horatio Alger" type success stories, fiction and poetry, and eventually settled into a family magazine slot, much like Life. Other general interest magazines in the collection are Atlantic Monthly (1921-1974), Harper's (191-1973), Life (1936-1972), New Yorker (1956-1974), Reader's Digest (1931-1974), Saturday Evening Post (1956-1968), and Saturday Review (1924-1942).

There are also a few good examples of women's magazines, Good Housekeeping (1924-1954) and Ladies' Home Journal (1927-1949). I sometimes think today's young women would benefit from looking at the stereotypical way women used to be portrayed in publications like this (or in the display ads of any historical magazine).


Another great cultural resouce are old issues of Architectural Record, which the Library has from 1940 to 1970. Enthusiasts of mid-century design and decor will find a lot to enjoy there. Also, business is represented by Fortune from 1930 to 1974. It's a valuable primary source on the Great Depression.

There are also historical issues of news magazines, for contemporary takes on past events: The Nation (1926-1949), Newsweek (1937-1975), Time (1926-1974), and US News and World Report (1951-1974).

The Library has also retained a few important titles in the sciences (although please understand that the older scientific information is, the less accurate it's likely to be). Bound issues of National Geographic is held from 1920 to 1961, and Scientific American from 1930-1974.

And if you use these volumes in the library, please don't reshelve them! Because they don't check out, the only way we know they're being used is when we reshelve them. And we really like knowing they're being used!


history collections magazines culture
<![CDATA[Most anticipated books of 2009]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/01/08/most-antipcated-books-of-2009.aspx Thu, 08 Jan 2009 10:06:00 G1T 1110 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/01/08/most-antipcated-books-of-2009.aspx to post your comments!

books imageThe Millions, a blog on books, arts, and culture, has published a list of the year's most anticipated books that will make any reader's mouth water. It's in chronological order, so you can plan what you'll want to read month by month. Each title has a short description, plus a link to Amazon for even more information. When you look it up in the Library's catalog, just click "request it" on the left to place your hold. (This works when the book is on order but not yet received, and also when the book's been received and there are no copies in.)

Happy reading!

reviews recommended lists
<![CDATA[Magazines now included in Google Book Search]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/12/19/magazines-now-included-in-google-book-search.aspx Fri, 19 Dec 2008 14:46:00 G12T 1041 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/12/19/magazines-now-included-in-google-book-search.aspx to post your comments!

magazine coverGoogle hasn't published a list of titles, for some reason, but they've started adding lots of page images from a variety of magazines, some going back to the 1800s.

Start at books.google.com, and click on the small "Advanced Book Search" link that's to the right of the search box. If you want to find a particular magazine, use its title as a phrase search (as an example, type Mother Jones into the exact phrase box). If you want to look for topic in that magazine, type those keywords into the topmost search box (for example, type in pesticides). Be sure to use the radio buttons to restrict your search to magazines. You can also scroll down and specify years, to make sure you get only recent articles. (Or, for nostalgia's sake, you might enjoy a search in something like Popular Science for a time span like 1850-1900.)

This article has a little more information on this project, for the curious.

And don't forget the Library's vast access to full-text magazines, available through databases we subscribe to (notably Masterfile). These databases can be access by all in any library, or from outside of the library by current resident card-holders.

google databases magazines
<![CDATA[The Christmas tree dilemma: real or fake?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/12/08/the-christmas-tree-dilemma-real-or-fake.aspx Mon, 08 Dec 2008 15:47:00 G12T 982 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/12/08/the-christmas-tree-dilemma-real-or-fake.aspx to post your comments!

tree farm imageAn environmental blog, Sustainablog, recently weighed in on the real-or-fake Christmas tree question, and their answer might surprise you. They believe it's more environmentally friendly to use a live tree every year, as long as you recyle it after Christmas, and particularly if you buy a locally grown tree. Buying directly from a local tree farm is always the best way to go, they say. IndianaChristmasTree.com identifies two farms in our area. This site also has a guide to the various species used for Christmas trees and tips on caring for a live tree.

And just for fun, here are some facts and trivia about Christmas trees.

christmas environment
<![CDATA[If you're shopping for toys this month]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/12/06/if-you-re-shopping-for-toys-this-month.aspx Sat, 06 Dec 2008 15:10:00 G12T 979 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/12/06/if-you-re-shopping-for-toys-this-month.aspx to post your comments!

Do you feel a bit overwhelmed when trying to choose gifts for the kids on your list? HealthyToys.org includes test results for more than 1,500 toys and children’s products. This site is a first step in providing parents, grandparents, and others who care about children with the information they need to make better choices when purchasing toys and other children’s products.

toys imageBusiness Week magazine recently published an article on "Toy Shopping in Tough Times," with suggestions for thrifty shoppers.

And on the Consumer Reports blog you'll find toy shopping hints by age.

<![CDATA[Your free annual credit report]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/12/01/your-free-annual-credit-report.aspx Mon, 01 Dec 2008 11:37:00 G12T 946 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/12/01/your-free-annual-credit-report.aspx to post your comments!

We often talk to people at the library who are confused about how to get their free annual credit reports. The source of the confusion is almost certainly the ubiquitous commercials for a site called freecreditreport.com. That site is owned by one of the standard credit bureaus, Experian, which has been in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission for its deceptive advertising. Many consumers attempting to receive their free credit report from Experian found themselves enrolled in their credit monitoring service, which is not free.

To get your free credit report, and nothing else, from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, use annualcreditreport.com. This is the only online source authorized to provide it. You can also order your credit reports by calling 877-322-8228. Many consumer advocates advise getting one credit report at a time, every four months, to monitor your credit on a regular basis, instead of getting all three at once.

The FTC wants to hear from you if you paid for what you thought was your free annual credit report.

For more consumer information, visit consumer.gov

government credit consumer
<![CDATA[DOD website centralizes health info for wounded vets]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/11/13/dod-website-centralizes-health-info-for-wounded-vets.aspx Thu, 13 Nov 2008 16:03:00 G11T 870 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/11/13/dod-website-centralizes-health-info-for-wounded-vets.aspx to post your comments!

The Defense Department has launched a new website designed to help service members and their families find health information and the assistance to which they're entitled.

The portal has links to health-related programs and resources offered by the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Defense Department, and Veterans Affairs Department. The site also provides access to the Wounded Warrior Resource Center (800-342-9647), which offers information and other resources, and the Compensation and Benefits Handbook for injured or seriously ill service members.

The new portal is part of an effort to improve the medical treatment of service members and "make it easier for troops and their families to benefit from all the assistance available to them," said Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Gates has designated November as Warrior Care Month.

government veterans military
<![CDATA[Official Inauguration Day site]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/11/12/official-inauguration-day-site.aspx Wed, 12 Nov 2008 16:13:00 G11T 865 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/11/12/official-inauguration-day-site.aspx to post your comments!

invitation imageThe official site of the January 20, 2009, inaugural ceremonies gives information on events, history, how to get tickets, how to request to particpate in the inaugural parade, photos, and more. Sign up for the inaugural e-mail list to receive updates.

Items of special interest include:
What Happens on Inauguration Day
Chronology of inaugural ceremonies for all presidents
Facts and Firsts
“I Do Solemnly Swear”: A Half Century of Inaugural Images (from the U.S. Senate Curator)

President-elect inauguration
<![CDATA[NASA's Phoenix mission comes to a close]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/11/11/nasa-s-phoenix-mission-comes-to-a-close.aspx Tue, 11 Nov 2008 20:13:00 G11T 856 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/11/11/nasa-s-phoenix-mission-comes-to-a-close.aspx to post your comments!

Mars surfaceThe Mars lander "Phoenix" has stopped communicating with Earth, after operating for more than five months. Due to the seasons, its solar arrays no longer collect enough energy for it to function. The lander has been busy documenting the surface of the red planet, such as its soil contents, the history of water on Mars, and its weather. Phoenix even got to see some snow falling in the atmosphere.

The Phoenix project also saw another fairly remarkable feat -- NASA's Twitter feed about the robot, written in the first-person partly to save space, gained over 39,000 followers. It's been called "a rare feat of conviviality for an agency more known for its bureaucracy than its cunning P.R. moves." The author of the Phoenix Twitter stream was recently interviewed, and it's a great read. She certainly understands the role of new media in engaging the public.

Twitter, for those who don't know, is a way to broadcast very short updates or news items, sent to people who've chosen to follow the feed, or read by anyone on the account's Twitter page. Updates can arrive to followers through a website or application, much as a blog post does, but it can also be sent to mobile devices and by e-mail.

Do you recommend any Twitter feeds? I'm also following the St. Louis Cardinals and the Positivity Blog.


Twitter Phoenix Mars
<![CDATA[The facts about mystery shopping]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/11/03/the-facts-about-mystery-shopping.aspx Mon, 03 Nov 2008 09:24:00 G11T 815 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/11/03/the-facts-about-mystery-shopping.aspx to post your comments!

screenshot of WiseBread forumsI ran across a blog post on mystery shopping, which we often get questions about at the library. We have a few books on it, although the major publishers haven't put one out recently. (Mystery Shopping Made Simple (2004), by Newhouse, is the most recent from a well-regarded publisher.)

But the post at WiseBread does a great job of laying out the facts and pointing the reader to reliable web resources. WiseBread is an excellent site, by the way, for personal finance resources. And don't miss the "forums" link at upper right, to get a taste of their online community. Online communities, particularly when they're a part of a well-run, focused website, are excellent resources for getting tips and information.

personal finance mystery shopping wisebread
<![CDATA[Studs Terkel dies, age 96]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/10/31/studs-terkel-dies-age-96.aspx Fri, 31 Oct 2008 17:32:00 G10T 813 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/10/31/studs-terkel-dies-age-96.aspx to post your comments!

Terkel book coverAuthor, radio host, actor, activist, and Chicago symbol Louis "Studs" Terkel died today at his Chicago home at age 96. At his bedside was a copy of his latest book, P.S. Further Thoughts From a Lifetime of Listening, scheduled for a November release.

Do you have a favorite Terkel book? Share your thoughts in comments.

studs terkel
<![CDATA[Find an address by clicking a map]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/10/25/find-an-address-by-clicking-a-map.aspx Sat, 25 Oct 2008 09:37:00 G10T 778 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/10/25/find-an-address-by-clicking-a-map.aspx to post your comments!

This resource allows you to enter a city name or zip code, then on the subsequent map, get the mailing address of any point on that map.

map illustrationThe number of ways that various websites use Google maps is really incredible. There are blogs devoted to sharing various applications and "mash-ups," such as Google Maps Mania. Also, if you want to see if anybody has created a particular way of using maps, you can always Google the words "Google maps" and then your topic, like real estate, celebrities, or dog parks. The search doesn't need quotation marks or any other special technique.

google maps
<![CDATA[The candidates on the issues]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/10/23/the-candidates-on-the-issues.aspx Thu, 23 Oct 2008 13:44:00 G10T 765 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/10/23/the-candidates-on-the-issues.aspx to post your comments!

There are a couple of good websites that outline the Sen. McCain's and Sen. Obama's stands on the issues. First, of course, are their own websites:



Recommended third-party sites include:






<![CDATA[Instructional videos in plain English]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/10/06/instructional-videos-in-plain-english.aspx Mon, 06 Oct 2008 13:32:00 G10T 689 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/10/06/instructional-videos-in-plain-english.aspx to post your comments!

video imageCommon Craft is a company that produces instructional videos, and makes some of them available free on the web. Many of the videos explain different aspects of the social, collaborative web (such as Twitter, wikis, and podcasting), but their most recent covers a few basics about web searching that will be of great use to many web users.

They also occasionally do something completely non-internet related, like the recent video on how we elect our presidents.

And just in time for Halloween, "Zombies in Plain English."

training instruction Web 2.0
<![CDATA[Dog organizations brace themselves for "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" ]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/10/02/dog-organizations-brace-themselves-for-quot-beverly-hills-chihuahua-quot.aspx Thu, 02 Oct 2008 11:54:00 G10T 677 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/10/02/dog-organizations-brace-themselves-for-quot-beverly-hills-chihuahua-quot.aspx to post your comments!

long-coated chihuahuaOne of the consequences of 101 Dalmatians was a dramatic rise in the number of people who wanted to buy or adopt Dalmatians. Animal organizations are expecting a similar effect from a movie opening this weekend, Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

The Best Friends Network ("a coalition of kindness to animals caught in the pet trade") wants to spread the message about the negative impact of "impulse buying" of dogs, particularly from pet shops, and promoting what they consider the most humane way to adopt a Chihuahua -- going through a shelter or rescue organization.

The PetFinder website is an excellent way to find adoptable dogs, and allows you to use your zip code to find animals available in your area by gender, age, and size.


animals pets
<![CDATA[Battening down your financial hatches]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/10/01/battening-down-your-financial-hatches.aspx Wed, 01 Oct 2008 09:37:00 G10T 670 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/10/01/battening-down-your-financial-hatches.aspx to post your comments!

Lifehacker has a good article on making sure you're in the best shape possible for any economic downturn. They recommend making sure your savings are FDIC insured, continuing to reduce your debt, not panicking about your investments, and recession-proofing your career, among other things. There are lots of links to all the financial experts they're drawing from. Well worth a read!

A blog I recommend for personal finance in general is Get Rich Slowly -- they always have sensible advice.


blogs current events personal finance
<![CDATA[Financial information at Kiplinger]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/09/24/financial-information-at-kiplinger.aspx Wed, 24 Sep 2008 16:04:00 G9T 635 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/09/24/financial-information-at-kiplinger.aspx to post your comments!

Kiplinger.com offers an amazing array of financial advice and news, all for free.

There's help for individuals and families on understanding credit, managing money, investing, and many of aspects of the basics of money.  The car center allows you to compare price and features. Starting out is perfect for financial advice for those in their 20s and 30s.

For businesses, there's a business resource center, offering forecasts and advice. It includes the small business center, featuring a variety of articles and resources especially for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and other small businesses.

This site also covers up-to-date financial news and analysis, like the current banking and credit crisis. Those articles will be found linked on their front page, or in the Business Resource Center.

In all, a very useful resource for a variety of needs.

business money
<![CDATA[Keeping your accounts secure]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/09/20/keeping-your-accounts-secure.aspx Sat, 20 Sep 2008 09:16:00 G9T 608 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/09/20/keeping-your-accounts-secure.aspx to post your comments!

The person who apparently gained access to Sarah Palin's e-mail account says it was easy -- the governor answered her "security questions" factually, and they were easily researched.

This might make you wonder about how secure your accounts are. If you're answering your security questions factually with easily researched answers, well, they're not.

But there's no law that says you have to answer them factually. You have a couple of options. One is to lie. If your favorite teacher was bald, give his name as Mr. Clean, not his real name. Another idea is to add a nonsense syllable to your answers. Your first pet's name, Tiger, becomes TigerYO or TigerHA.

There's always been some controversy about whether you should write down passwords and security answers, but I think Bruce Schneier has it right when he says you're safer using strong passwords, writing them down, and storing them in a secure place, than using simple passwords you can remember but which are much more vulnerable. If you're using a gimmick to make your security questions safer, the same goes for those answers.

Most of us are not as likely to become targets of this kind of "hacking" as a VP candidate, but safe computing is usually fairly easy and a good habit to cultivate.

email security
<![CDATA[Tips for college students at HackCollege]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/09/17/tips-for-college-students-at-hackcollege.aspx Wed, 17 Sep 2008 11:33:00 G9T 572 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/09/17/tips-for-college-students-at-hackcollege.aspx to post your comments!

First off, I should explain that "hacking" no longer necessarily carries a negative connotation. In fact, its original negative connotation was a kind of misunderstanding. "To hack" means to come up with a creative or clever solution. Thus, one of the more popular blogs today is Lifehacker ("features tips, shortcuts, and downloads that help you get things done smarter and more efficiently"). (Check out their entry on StudyRails, a webapp that works a bit like Outlook to track time for students and notify them of upcoming assignment deadlines.)

Another blog, especially for college students, is called HackCollege. Recent posts include settling debts between roommates, five great faux-homecooked-meals to make in the dorm microwave, and an essay pondering the future of textbooks on the Kindle.

Great stuff for the college student -- and high school seniors as they start preparing for the big transition.

blogs education students
<![CDATA["The Big Picture": photos in the news]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/09/15/quot-the-big-picture-quot-photos-in-the-news.aspx Mon, 15 Sep 2008 12:27:00 G9T 545 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/09/15/quot-the-big-picture-quot-photos-in-the-news.aspx to post your comments!

I've been looking for a good reason to link to The Big Picture, and Hurricane Ike is it. The Big Picture is a remarkable photo blog from the Boston Globe, intended to highlight quality imagery of current interest. This site is worth checking out daily -- every time I visit, there's something that makes me say "Wow."


current events photography hurricanes
<![CDATA[Weird and wonderful wildlife]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/09/10/weird-and-wonderful-wildlife.aspx Wed, 10 Sep 2008 10:47:00 G9T 485 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/09/10/weird-and-wonderful-wildlife.aspx to post your comments!

I'm an avid blog reader (you don't want to know how many unread posts I have in my feed reader, but let's just say I don't anticipate ever running out of reading material), and I love running across stuff about this amazing planet we live on.

Recently WebEcoist listed twenty of the world's weirdest endangered species, with great photos and wonderful prose like this:

"The huge, traumatizingly ugly spiny fish with the glowing 'fishing rod' lure you saw in Finding Nemo? That’s the female. The male is that tiny little blob attached to his horrific goddess that you never noticed. He burrows in with his teeth and she 'feeds' him ex-utero style until he eventually loses his eyeballs, then internal organs and finally his life. By then, she’s got his sperm so it doesn’t matter."

And National Geographic posted this a while back, a breathtaking photo gallery of toxic sea slugs, which are some of the most bizarrely beautiful creatures ever found.

Wonders never do cease, do they! (At least not at the rate my feed reader gets them.)




nature wildlife
<![CDATA["The Case of Abraham Lincoln"]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/09/04/the-case-of-abraham-lincoln.aspx Thu, 04 Sep 2008 09:26:00 G9T 377 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/09/04/the-case-of-abraham-lincoln.aspx to post your comments!

I'm currently reading Julie M. Fenster's nonfiction book The Case of Abraham Lincoln: A Story of Adultery, Murder, and the Making of a Great President, and really enjoying it. This may be partly because I've never read a biography of Lincoln, so it's interesting to get a feel for what kind of person he was. It's also because the period covered in the book, 1856, and the political activities described, are vital to early formation of the Republican Party (a development that Lincoln was hugely instrumental in, at least in Illinois).

book cover imageBut I know what you're thinking. What about the adultery and murder mentioned in the subtitle?? Well, that's the other fascinating part of the book. Lincoln was a practicing lawyer, of course, and took on a variety of cases -- slander, property disputes, etc. At the same time that Lincoln's interest in politics was blossoming in the 1856, a blacksmith in town was apparently the victim of an attempted poisoning, then blugeoned to death in his own backyard. The developments in the blacksmith's last weeks and the case eventually brought against his wife and nephew are recounted side by side with the political doings and Lincoln's other law cases. The reader wonders throughout the book what Lincoln's involvement with the case will be -- defense lawyer? Special prosecutor? The trial turns out to be a drama worthy of Law and Order.

More than anything else, though, it may be the day-to-day details that make this book so engaging. The reader gets an immediate feel for the times, its society and customs, and its politics.

nonfiction reviews lincoln
<![CDATA[Digital photography school]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/09/03/digital-photography-school.aspx Wed, 03 Sep 2008 11:25:00 G9T 361 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/09/03/digital-photography-school.aspx to post your comments!

"Digital Photography School" is a remarkable site for free digital photography tips and lessons. It's basically just a blog, but each entry is either a review of a particular resource (whether a book or a piece of equipment) or a lesson in a specific aspect of digital photography ("What the Mona Lisa can teach you about taking great portraits"). They also have a discussion forum, where you can not only participate in conversations but do assignments and have them critiqued.

blogs photography instruction
<![CDATA[Meta-search engines]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/08/30/meta-search-engines.aspx Sat, 30 Aug 2008 09:06:00 G8T 329 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/08/30/meta-search-engines.aspx to post your comments!

A meta-search engine is a web searcher that sends your inquiry to Google and to other search engines, rather than searching its own database. This review at a "search engine optimization" site (which basically means they're more concerned with results placement than doing effective research, but still they know their search engines) takes the view that meta-search engines aren't really all that much better than Google. I generally use them only when I have a very specific inquiry with a lot of search terms. (For some reason this review don't consider AllPlus, although it may not be any better.)

The review did tell me something I didn't know before, though -- there's a meta-search engine, FuzzFind, that includes Delicious in its search. Delicious is a social bookmarking site. Social bookmarking means that instead of (or in addition to) website bookmarks that are stored on one's own PC, people can store them online, in a central location. This creates a sort of recommendation system -- if more people have bookmarked site A than site B, you might want to look at site A first. It's a basically another way to get some kind of indication of quality in a results search, so it's great to see that included in a meta-search engine.

Give it a try and let us know what you think!

internet search engines
<![CDATA[The "It's Evansville" wiki]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/08/27/the-quot-it-s-evansville-quot-wiki.aspx Wed, 27 Aug 2008 14:53:00 G8T 300 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/08/27/the-quot-it-s-evansville-quot-wiki.aspx to post your comments!

The Evansville blog "It's Evansville" has announced the formation of an Evansville wiki. Their goal is to "build a smaller-scale Wikipedia that focuses on the Evansville area: history, local attractions, restaurants and more. Think of it as a mixture of a history book and a Frommer’s City Guide."

evansville local
<![CDATA[Nielson Media Research blog]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/08/26/nielson-media-research-blog.aspx Tue, 26 Aug 2008 17:33:00 G8T 290 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/08/26/nielson-media-research-blog.aspx to post your comments!

Nielson, the ratings company, has recently launched a pretty interesting blog. In addition to expected posts about television viewership (over 211 million viewers watched the Olympics, a new record), they also provide an interesting quantitative perspective on other current happenings ("Obama's text message reaches 2.9 million").

blogs current events statistics
<![CDATA[Library of Congress "tracer bullets"]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/08/09/library-of-congress-quot-tracer-bullets-quot.aspx Sat, 09 Aug 2008 16:27:00 G8T 193 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/08/09/library-of-congress-quot-tracer-bullets-quot.aspx to post your comments!

A "tracer bullet" is a resource guide to a certain subject, and the Library of Congress website maintains a large number of them. One of their recent offerings is on wind power. It's a lengthy list of recent, reliable, and definitive information sources, from introductory material to technical reports.

The number of topics they have tracer bullets on is impressive. This is the list of those just in the science category. (You do want to take note of the dates of each, however. For example, the 1989 tracer bullet on "Halocarbons and the Stratospheric Ozone Layer" is now outdated.)

library of congress wind power
<![CDATA[Neighborhood population statistics]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/07/31/neighborhood-population-statistics.aspx Thu, 31 Jul 2008 09:53:00 G7T 110 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/07/31/neighborhood-population-statistics.aspx to post your comments!

I had an interesting question a few weeks ago, about the population of Howell. The question is not as simple as it seems. First, Howell isn't incorporated (which is determined by checking both the census and the US Board on Geographic Names Information System). But not being an incorporated place doesn't in itself mean there are no population statistics for any particular geographic area. The census does population totals for areas like zip codes and precincts.

What it really comes down to is determining the boundaries of the Howell neighborhood, and then seeing if any of the geographic entities with population counts coincide with those boundaries.

So step one was consulting with the local history librarian, Sharon Olson, for hints in figuring out the neighborhood boundaries. She went straight to the website of an organization called United Neighborhoods of Evansville. The menu on the left of that page includes "member neighborhoods." There are a lot listed (check it out) and one of them is Howell. Voila, a map.

Next is figuring out if there are population figures for an area that coincides with the Howell neighborhood. Finding population data is always a bit of an adventure, although the Census Bureaus "American FactFinder" interface makes it easier than it might be.  I decided to see if I could Google up a cheat sheet that would reassure me I was doing it right.

Whenever I look for tutorials, helpful hints on researching, etc., I always restrict my Google search to site:.edu. (This means that my results will exclusively be colleges and university websites -- usually, of course, their libraries.) After a minute of experimentation, my search was [neighborhoods "american factfinder" site:edu]. (I was still trying to make sure that the Census Bureau didn't use locally-defined neighborhoods as a geographic entity.)

What you'll see in that result list are some excellent examples of the type of help you can get from other libraries, just by using guides they've published online. Using the first one, I determined via American Factfinder that census tracts are the closest geographic entities to what a resident would call a neighborhood. (Actually, the "traffic analysis zone" came even closer -- a geographic entity I'd never heard of before -- but it doesn't have population totals.) The boundaries of the tract, however, aren't the boundaries of the neighborhood.

There are smaller geographic entities -- blocks (and block groups). The fun part was figuring out that I had to go into American FactFinder a different way to get the population totals by block (with the help of yet another group of cheat sheets Google found for me, after using Google to figure out I needed "detailed tables," not "quick tables").

Actually, I'd forgotten how complicated this question was. I probably shouldn't write blog posts about boring stuff like this, should I.

Never mind.

(Did anybody even make it to the end of the post? Heh.)

evansville statistics census
<![CDATA[Facebook newsfeed edition of Hamlet]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/07/30/facebook-newsfeed-edition-of-hamlet.aspx Wed, 30 Jul 2008 14:24:00 G7T 107 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/07/30/facebook-newsfeed-edition-of-hamlet.aspx to post your comments!

I love stuff like this, although it may well not be appropriate for the books (or any other) blog: if Hamlet were a Facebook news feed. Example:

Horatio thinks he saw a ghost.

Hamlet thinks it's annoying when your uncle marries your mother right after your dad dies.

The king thinks Hamlet's annoying.

Laertes thinks Ophelia can do better.

Hamlet's father is now a zombie.

- - - -

The king poked the queen.

The queen poked the king back.

(And so on -- much more at the link.)

satire humor Shakespeare
<![CDATA[Fact-checking the election ads and coverage]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/07/27/fact-checking-the-election-ads-and-coverage.aspx Sun, 27 Jul 2008 13:41:00 G7T 94 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/07/27/fact-checking-the-election-ads-and-coverage.aspx to post your comments!

There are a number of nonpartisan websites that can assist in determining what's true, what's misleading, and what's just plain wrong in both the media's election coverage and the candidates' own ads.

FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. They do fairly in-depth analyses, explaining fully why something is misleading, and frequently provide audio and video links to the content being checked.

PolitiFact is a service of the St. Petersburg Times and Congressional Quarterly Inc. This site features a "truth-o-meter," a graphic that rates the truthfulness of the ad or claim. While usually not as in-depth as FactCheck, the content on this site is well-organized and accessible in a variety of ways (you can browse by candidate or subject, among other things).

The Center for Public Integrity is a "nonprofit, nonpartisan, non-advocacy, independent journalism organization" that uses examines political and campaign issues in depth. These folks also have a Buying of the President site which looks at how money influences presidential campaigns.

The Fact Checker is a blog from the Washington Post that analyzes campaign statements in a similar way to FactCheck.org and PolitiFact, prompted by reader suggestions. Submit a question there if you're wondering about a claim that isn't being addressed on the other sites.

politics current events elections
<![CDATA["Schuyler's Monster" by Rob Rummel-Hudson]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/07/25/quot-schuyler-s-monster-quot-by-rob-rummel-hudson.aspx Fri, 25 Jul 2008 15:04:00 G7T 93 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/07/25/quot-schuyler-s-monster-quot-by-rob-rummel-hudson.aspx to post your comments!

Before there were blogs, there were online journals and diaries, and one of the best was Rob's. (He's been at a bunch of different URLs, but the current one is here.) He's a very funny writer, usually tending toward the cynical and sarcastic. But that changed somewhat when he became a father. It changed even more when his young daughter was diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder that prevents her from speaking, and which may eventually cause serious seizures.

When he announced his book deal on his journal, I made sure EVPL got his book, and I'm enjoying it as much as I've enjoyed his online wriitng. It's a little weird reading something when I know what's going to happen -- even some of the passages are familiar, because they were blog entries first. But I love the way he writes, the way he can go so nimbly, and plausibly, from humorous to moving. And I think he's captured the incredible love between dads and daughters better than anyone I've read.

Put a hold on this book today! I'll be done with it by Monday!


nonfiction reviews books
<![CDATA[LOC business webliography (and finding it again)]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/07/24/loc-business-webliography-and-finding-it-again.aspx Thu, 24 Jul 2008 09:31:00 G7T 79 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/07/24/loc-business-webliography-and-finding-it-again.aspx to post your comments!

One of the content feeds I've subscribed to is the Resource Shelf, which describes itself as "a daily newsletter with resources of interest to information professionals, educators and journalists." A recent entry (I'm a little behind -- it's from July 14) looked at what editor Shirl Kennedy called "niche statistics" and contains a diverse array of really specialized statistical sources on the web.

The link that really caught my eye was to wedding industry research, from Library of Congress Business Reference Services. Not the first part, the second -- the LOC's Business Reference Services, which I hadn't been aware of. Clicking the link and looking around a bit got me to the main page for their Business Reference Services, and from there to their list of internet resources. Thinking it looked pretty cool (and noticing it has a section for marketing research, something I'm always on the lookout for), I started wondering how I would find it again. 

I not a big fan of bookmarking. I also don't like accumulating links via Del.icio.us particularly, either, although I make use of the hive mind there to find stuff sometimes. I prefer figuring out the search that's going to get me to the site again. (Yeah, this backfires sometimes.)  I generally assume that I'm going to forget the actual name of the page but remember something about its location -- in this case, I might remember it's at LOC. So in Google, the search to find it again will be ["marketing research" site:loc.gov]. Or just ["marketing research" site:.gov] because this search (and I always test the search) puts the site I want on the first page of results, and also adds some other interesting stuff.

Fun, huh? I just wish I could calculate the odds of ever needing to find the site again -- or of succeeding when I try.

google statistics business
<![CDATA["It's Evansville"]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/07/22/quot-it-s-evansville-quot.aspx Tue, 22 Jul 2008 17:36:00 G7T 57 googler@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/07/22/quot-it-s-evansville-quot.aspx to post your comments!

If you know of any Evansville blogs worth reading, I'd be interested in hearing about them. The only one I know of is It's Evansville, which is a pretty interesting mix of restaurant reviews, movie reviews, and general views on local issues. The authors and readers have get-togethers locally, too. There may be some way to network with these folks and publicize library blogs. If nothing else, library bloggers could comment on posts (those of you who like restaurants, movies, and local issues).

blogs evansville