Shopping for Toys
It's THE season for toy-shopping. Be sure that the toys you buy are not under recall. www.ToyInfo.org is the product of the Toy Industry Association. It lists and illustrates a number of toys and children's products that were recalled this year. It also conveniently links users to the website of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and to www.recalls.gov, a website that lets you search for recalls by all the relevant U.S. agencies.
www.parents.com has a slide presentation of the 20+ Biggest Toy Recalls of 2007 on its website.
Shopping for Toys
Project Gutenberg is a great site for readers of ebooks and listeners of audiobooks. The site features titles in open formats, without problematic "DRM" (digital rights management) systems that prevent access. The works are public domain, but if you need a classic for school and our copies are checked out, or if you would like to explore the great books of the past, check out Project Gutenberg.
Sock knitting is portable and relatively quick with a wide variety of patterns for many skill levels. Two recently published books give knitters new approaches to sock knitting.
New Pathways for Sock Knitters, Book One Cat Bordhi
Ms. Bordhi has the unique ability to see objects in new and different ways. In this first book of a three part series, she offers eight new sock "architectures," master patterns for socks outside of traditional methods that can then be customized for any foot, yarn or needle. Experimentation is encouraged and soon you will be knitting socks in a completely different way.
What's a "phishing" scam? It's a nasty practice where thieves try to find out all sorts of lucrative personal information from you: checking account numbers, credit card numbers, or that holy grail among scammers, your social security number. They use these numbers to steal, and stick you with the bill. Guess what happens to your credit rating! And it can take years to clear up the mess.
Phishers send you emails that resemble real companies. There was an earlier blog post about bogus greeting card emails in which emails that appeared to come from American Greetings or Hallmark could contain viruses. Same principle here: the scammers appear legit in order to do something nasty.
Young Rennie Stroud faces the trials of World War 2 when her older brother is sent to fight in Europe and the government sets up an internment camp for the Japanese outside her small Colorado town. Hostilities escalate between the camp, called Tallgrass, and townspeople after a local girl is murdered and prejudices mar justice. A dramatic, memorable novel narrated through the innocent voice of a thirteen year old girl.
A new collection from the Library of Congress. The Traditional Music and Spoken Word Catalog is a searchable database that includes information on musical recordings; most of those covered are from 1933-1950.
This database is just one collection in the Music Theater and Dance Performing Arts Digital Library which showcases important artistic documents and materials related to American culture.
A formerly very dim comet called Holmes (17P) flared up October 24th growing many magnitudes brighter. It's outside the orbit of Mars and in the southern portion of the constellation Perseus. Last night (Oct. 27), following a day of clouds, mist, and rain, I stepped outside to a clearing sky. It took me only a second to find Holmes and view it through my 10X50 binoculars. It was a beautiful sight, though to the uninitiated, it's just a big fuzzball. That is, of course, how it actually looked... a large, brightly glowing puff with a bright dot in the center; that's how comets look "head-on" with any tail streaming behind and away from the viewer. The glow was slightly yellow or golden... quite an unusual object.
A charming, ambitious political candidate returns to his family home in Nantucket as his mother falls victim to Alzheimers. The visit forces him to reevaluate his future when family relationships become unexpected priorities. An honest and heartfelt book by the author of All That Matters.
After his wife and son are killed in an explosion, ex-cop Matt Stromsoe takes a job as a bodyguard for a television weather forecaster being harassed by a stalker. He must protect her from powerful people who will stop at nothing for greed and revenge. A finely crafted suspense novel!