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Tech Support in the Family

Google's recently-released site, Teach Parents Tech, features over 50 YouTube videos with friendly explanations of how to perform useful tasks on your computer. For instance, here's how to create a strong password:

You can send your relatives a "care package" of videos you think they'd find useful, or watch the videos yourself to brush up on computer skills.

Super Science Site

Kids! Parents! Teachers! Check out TryScience. It is one awesome website that is entertaining and educational. Need an experiment idea for school? It has a deck of colorful cards with great experiments and all the info you need to complete the project. Want to visit a science museum or center while sitting at home? Just select one you would like to see from the deck of field trip cards. In the mood for some high-speed online gaming adventures? Just select from the adventure deck and go for it. You have your choice of nine languages to pick from. A search box is on every screen. Parents and teachers have their own sets of great options on pages created especially for them. Soon to come is a page for scientists and engineers. You have to see this site and poke around to really appreciate the just how much it offers. Do it now!

Spaghetti Book Club

spaghetti_and_cheese-sm.JPG Hey kids,
Did you know there are other students out there who have something to tell you about Altoona Baboona, or Aliens for Lunch? It may be that the best way for you to find out if you really want to read a book is to learn about it from another kid. The Spaghetti Book Club is a great site for you. It is the largest site of book reviews written and illustrated by kids, for kids. You can look up book reviews by title, author, or kid reviewers in their state/school. Teachers will be interested in checking out the site too, which explains this literacy program that can help develop students reading and writing skills.

Are you Ready?

Things happen. Emergencies of all types happen. Sometimes we are prepared, sometimes we are not. The Department of Homeland Security has developed Ready Kids, a website for kids and their families, aimed to help everyone be ready for many different types of unexpected situations! There are activities and information to help your family get prepared for a variety of emergencies, from fires to tornadoes to earthquakes. Let the Mountain Lion family guide you through the planning process so you can graduate from Readiness U!

Ginger

Did you know that ginger is not only fun to bake with, but a healthy spice as well? Ginger is good for digestion, used to treat nausea and motion sickness, and has anti-inflammatory properties. And of course, it's a great time of year to make some creative gingerbread houses, and yummy cookies. There's also ginger tea, ginger ale and lots of recipes you can use ginger in. Some may even remember this name on Gilligan's Island.

Zoobooks

Beautiful, colorful photographs of animals make Zoobooks magazine an instant winner with kids. Each issue focuses on a particular animal, bird, reptile or insect giving lots of information and colorful illustrations. Kids can work on puzzles, games and crafts, while many young readers submit their own drawings and stories. Zootles is geared for ages 2-6 and Zoobies for babies through age 2. Fun resources in the world of wildlife for you to check out!

Pure Michigan Travel Site

Earlier this week, the award-winning Pure Michigan campaign was on the brink of dying due to a lack of government funding. Travel Michigan vice president called for quick action, saying that if funding wasn’t resolved by today, Pure Michigan would not run its winter campaign. Luckily, the state legislature approved $10 million in funding to save the campaign. Enough to allow Pure Michigan to present its snowy wooden glens and frozen lakes to the rest of the country for the next few months.

Convention on Biological Diversity Report

The bad news is that about one-fifth of animal species are at risk of extinction, according to a report released by governments and conservation groups that met in October for the Convention of Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan. The good news, according to an article summary of the report, is that the number of threatened species would be even higher if not for the success of conservation efforts. Unfortunately, given the recent global economic crisis conservation efforts have lately taken a back seat.

Law Resources

One of the results of the downturned economy is that more people than ever are representing themselves in law matters. These "self-represented litigants" often feel lost in a sea of information and are not sure where to begin. The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) and the Self-Represented Litigation Network (SRLN) teamed to host "Public Libraries and Access to Justice" which provided lists of helpful resources which we have compiled into Law Resources. The resources include: where to find legal assistance, common legal citations and where to find them, information on different types of law including family, bankruptcy, landlord tenant, debtor and creditor, elder, immigration, foreclosure, social security, veterans, and wills and estate planning laws.

Diwali

Diwali is a Hindu holiday celebrated by Hindus wherever they live in the world. The name "Diwali" comes from the word "Deepavali" which means "row of Lights". This festival is the most widely celebrated festival in India, although the celebrations differ from place to place. There are some things about the festival that are common across the world. Some of these aspects are lighting of lamps, called "diyas", cleaning and sometimes painting homes, feasting with family and friends. The most important meaning of the festival is the celebration of the truimph of good over evil. It is also a time for renewing hopes for happiness and prosperity in life. The festival of Diwali can last up to five days. In 2010 the main celebration falls on Friday, November 5th. So Happy Diwali to everyone.

Election 2010

November 2, 2010 is election day, and Michigan residents face many decisions this year — including selecting a new Governor. Get prepared for Tuesday by visiting the Michigan Voter Information Center. This site contains all your necessary information including polling locations and more. Don't forget to check out the League of Women Voters Guide which can be helpful in sorting through all the candidates and issues.

Fall Crafts

Pumpkins, turkeys and leaves abound, as there are so many fun crafts to offer kids and parents this time of year. Trim your Thanksgiving table with some special additions, or learn how to make a delicious turkey treat to gobble up. There are plenty of ideas out there to inspire your creativity and fun!

30 Big Links of 1980

Jimmy Carter, U.S President. A first ever 24-hour all news network CNN launched by Ted Turner. Gordie Howe, professional hockey player, retired after 32 seasons. New York Islanders won their first Stanley cup. University of Michigan lost to North Carolina at the Gator Bowl 15 to 17. Consumers first saw cordless phones on the market. 3M's post-it notes sold nationwide. The Olsen brothers manufactured the first Rollerblades in their parents’ basement in Minnesota. WordPerfect, a word processing application, being sold by Satellite Systems International (SSI). John Lennon, former Beatles rock star, shot and killed outside his apartment in Manhattan. George Nichopoulos indicted for over-prescribing drugs for Elvis Presley. Ronald Reagan elected 40th

Aphasia

Did you know over a million Americans live with Aphasia every day and it can occur in people of any age?  What's  Aphasia?  It is a language disorder usually caused by a stroke, head injury, tumor, or neurological disease.  Aphasia affects talking, understanding, reading and writing.   A good book to read is Stroke Recovery Book by Kip Burkman.  Also, speaking first hand from a loved one who had a stroke there is a speech-language program at the University of Michigan Aphasia Program (UMAP).  They are committed to providing intensive state-of-the-art therapy

Please Hold


Ever since we've had hold music on our telephone system, it seems we've been committed to letting people know what we're playing. The picture above is from our Fugitive Fact File (more on that in a coming post) and shows that we kept a record of which songs played over the phone system.

For our present phone system, we've loaded our MP3 player with select Creative Commons-licensed jazz and other recordings from the Internet Archive: Special thanks to the artists for releasing their wonderful music for the world to share! If you're interested in open access to information, check out Open Access Week (this week!).

When It Drops

When it drops is an attractive, concise website for seeing all the new movies, albums, DVDs, video games, and books that come out in a given week. It also features an RSS feed. [via kottke and The Daily Dish]

Looking for a quick way to see what's in our catalog on other websites, such as When it drops? Try our bookmarklet, available on our Tools page. Not familiar with bookmarklets? Read how to use them.

Bullying

Bullying can be a difficult topic to talk about, but one that is very important for parents, kids, and young adults to learn how to deal with. There are many websites out there that can help families deal with bullying, whether it's at school, or on the web. Tips for young adults and kids can be found on Stomp Out Bullying and Cyberbully. Kids can find games and animated short stories on Stop Bullying Now, to help them with these issues. Organizations like Netsmartz also offer information for adults, children and educators on internet safety.

Ranger Rick

Hey Kids, check out Ranger Rick magazine in the Children's Department. Ranger Rick is a clever raccoon who is the leader of a small group of animals. He and his friends come up with ways to solve some of our environmental problems. This magazine offers you great information and photographs of all kind of animals, as well as cool stuff in the ocean. It also offers "green tips" for kids, Ranger Rick's comic adventures, games, crafts and stories about real kids and their adventures. It's a fun read, with lots to look at!

Michigan Fall Travel

This is a wonderful time of year to be reminded of what a great state Michigan is. The Fall landscape will soon be painted with shades of red, gold and orange. Check out some of the tours that are offered to view the gorgeous landscape. Or read some of the books we have on travel in Michigan. There are plenty of cider mills around for families to visit also. Enjoy this great time of year and our beautiful state!

The Library Shop

Do you often find yourself searching for places to buy unique, perhaps library-related, gifts for yourself or others? The Library Shop at the New York Public Library has a fantastic online store that fills this need! Purchase author-inspired fragrance diffusers, Shakespeare action figures and much more. Check it out today!