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2010 Global Reading Challenge

Looking to expand your literary choices and discover new authors? Sign up for the 2010 Global Reading Challenge. Created by blogger Dorte Jakobsen with technical assistance from fellow blogger, Kerrie Smith, there are three levels of the challenge: Easy, Medium, and Expert.

For each level you will read writers from Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America (includes Central America) and South America within 2010. Each level becomes progressively more difficult (i.e. more books to read to satisfy the requirements). Jakobsen provides a wonderful list of reading suggestions for each continent.

How You Can Help Wildlife Impacted by the BP Oil Spill

The catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the April explosion of a BP offshore oil rig has put local economies, wildlife and the Gulf's ecosystem at risk. It has been described as the "worst environmental disaster in our nation's history." The affected area is home to more than 400 species of wildlife including whales, egrets, herons, otters, dolphins and millions of migratory birds. Check the NWF's website to see how you can help the wildlife recover. For more information on how our dependence on fossil fuels affect the environment check out Crude: The Real Price of Oil or Crude Impact.

Door to Door Organics

Do you like fresh produce? Do you want to support local farmers? Are you, like me, not a fan of going shopping? I recently discovered Door to Door Organics, and now I have fresh produce delivered to my house once a week. It's great! They have several different basic orders to choose from, and you can customize your order and add items however you'd like. The food comes from local farms including Beautiful Earth Family Farm and Two Creeks Organics, both located in nearby Chelsea. I heartily recommend their goods and their service.

World Turtle Day!

Did you know that May 23 is World Turtle Day? The American Tortoise Rescue is a turtle and tortoise rescue organization that initiated World Turtle Day in 2000. The group brings attention to turtle conservation issues and highlights ways each of us can help protect these gentle but jeopardized animals. You can find more information on the Humane Society of the United States website, as well as checking out our wide selection of turtle-related materials.

Older Americans Month 2010

Age Strong! Live Long! is the focus of the Administration on Aging's Older Americans Month 2010. National Aging Services Network of state, tribal, Area Agencies on Aging such as The Senior Alliance, and community services providers such as Canton Seniors Center offer a wide variety of activities in May and throughout the year. Via AOA:

This year’s Older Americans Month theme — Age Strong! Live Long! — recognizes the diversity and vitality of today’s older Americans who span three generations. They have lived through wars and hard times, as well as periods of unprecedented prosperity.

Murder Will Out

Looking for something new to read? Check out this year’s shortlists for the Edgar Awards, the Hammett Prize, the Agatha Awards, Strand Magazine Critics Awards,  and the

Take the Commuter Challenge in May!

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) is challenging you to take the Commuter Challenge in May. The Commuter Challenge is simply "a fun and exciting way to encourage you to carpool, vanpool, ride public transportation, bike, walk or use telework or flextime benefits". You can actually win prizes while you help the environment! If you are considering the biking option you may also want to check out Google Maps which has added a bicycle directions option to its service.

Get Connected Class

Have you wondered about all the hoopla surrounding Facebook and Twitter? If you are curious and want to learn the basics of these social networking tools, sign up and join me on Friday, April 30th at 10:00AM for CPL's Get Connected Class.

7 Ways the Mind and Body Change with Age

A recent article on MSNBC's Lifeline: Health Reports from NBC cited seven (7) ways the mind and body change as we age. Contrary to popular belief, as we age we become more liberal. However, seniors do become more easily distracted, but need less sleep! Skin sags and stem cells reproduction slows down. Seniors laugh more and develop a more positive attitude.

Murder Will Out

During a series of events held across North America’s northernmost nation, the shortlists of books nominated for the 2010 Arthur Ellis Awards were announced on April 22 by the Crime Writers of Canada. The prestigious Arthur Ellis Awards are presented in 6 categories for excellence in works in the crime genre published for the first time in the previous year by authors living in Canada, regardless of their nationality, or by Canadian writers living outside of Canada. The CBC News Web site has a partial rundown, but the following list comes from The Rap Sheet. The winners will be announced during a ceremony on May 27 in Toronto.

I-275 Bike Path Open House

On Tuesday April 20, 2010, MDOT will host an open house featuring the upcoming construction for the I-275 Metro Trail in Wayne County. This project, which is scheduled to start this spring, will reconstruct 7 miles of the bike path between Michigan Avenue and Edward Hines Drive. Attendees will be given the opportunity to review final designs changes before construction. For more information, including meeting time and location visit the MDOT website.

Get Your 2010 Scrap On!

Saturday May 1st is National Scrapbook Day! This special day was first created by the National Scrapbooking Association as a way to celebrate and promote the art and craft of Scrapbooking. Join me and the thousands of people who will be celebrating and participating in National Scrapbooking Day Events all around the world.

Michigan Appliance Rebate Program

Have one of those old olive green refrigerators? Thinking of replacing your washing machine for a shiny new model? Well, you may be in luck! The State of Michigan recently began a mail-in rebate program to help residents replace older, inefficient appliances with ENERGY STAR® qualified and ultra-efficient appliances. This program, which is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, offers rebates on refrigerators, clothes washers, dishwashers, water heaters & furnaces. For eligibility guidelines, covered products and rebate amounts visit the U.S Departments of Energy's rebate website.

Hack Your Living Space

Image courtesy of Flickr user CosmoComet
With a little ingenuity, some quality tools, and the right raw materials, you can create a noteworthy living/work space from scratch. Yes, you!

It seems like every blog out there has featured posts lately about making and/or hacking furniture and decorations. Here are some of the best:

Award Winning Military History

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day because it was a time set aside to honor the nation's Civil War dead by decorating their graves. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers. Here is a list of award winning military history by year with links to other related book awards.

For a shorter list, see the bookmark entitled "Books About WWII" listed under our nonfiction bookmarks or to view films with war settings, see "Feature Films about WWII" listed under our "Movies" bookmarks.

DC Comics... Calm, Cool, and Collected

Hey there comic fans! Check out the DC Comics website for all the latest and greatest information out there on all your favorite superheroes! Check out the latest issues, read the blogs, or catch up on what's new in DC-Land. While you're at it, be sure to check out our wide selection of graphic novels involving DC characters! We have all your favorite folks and maybe even some you love to loathe! Happy reading!

Benefits of Exercise for Older Adults

Looking for a safe, inexpensive, and invigorating way to help maintain your health and independence as you get older? Try adding exercise to your daily routine. When done on a regular basis, exercise and physical activity offer many health benefits and can be a pleasure, especially if you choose activities you enjoy. To find out how to become more physically active, restart a lapsed exercise regimen, or get more benefit from your current exercise program, check out the updated Exercise and Physical Activity for Older Adults topic on NIHSeniorHealth.gov, the health and wellness website for older adults.

Get Math Help!

Need help with your math homework? Check out Dr. Math and find answers to all your math questions! More reliable than librarians (who are generally English majors for a reason), the website is maintained by Drexel University. Hooray for fast and free math help!

Education Tax Credits

As the April 15th Tax Deadline fast approaches don’t forget about the American Opportunity Credit. This credit which was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act modifies existing education credits and makes them available to a broader range of taxpayers. It also adds required course materials to the list of qualifying expenses and allows the credit to be claimed for four post-secondary education years instead of two. Many of those eligible will qualify for the maximum annual credit of $2,500 per student. For more information visit IRS.gov.

Core Standards for K-12 Students

The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers has, as part of the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI), presented the K-12 standards's draft which is now available for public comment. The draft standards, developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and experts, seeks to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare our children for college and the workforce. Public comment is encouraged and can be made until Friday, April 2, 2010.