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Adult Book Blog Staff book reviews, fiction and non-fiction.

The Couponing Librarian will teach you how to make a change for very little change by using coupons to get items at deep discounts or for free that you can donate to organizations that help others.

The Edge: A blog about Occult philosophy, depth psychology, ancient times, future times and the frontiers of science.

Farnsworth's blog features news and reviews in the world of sci-fi.

Internet Search and Web Tools and ebook technologies, brought to you by mrweaver.

It's a Mystery is a blog about the Mystery genre and its many subgenres.

Just the Facts. In Reference, we learn something new every day. What we find, we share with you.

Local History narrated by librarian Zac Springer

Music Musings on Monday features music news, releases, and everyday musings..

The Playful Parent - Make the most of your family time with ideas for activities and crafts that entertain and educate!

The Sports Section covers the world of sports, from alpine skiing to yachting.

Cleaner, Leaner, and Greener in 2008

If you resolve to live a cleaner, leaner, and greener life in 2008, check out these books:

Help! Around the House: a mother's guide to getting the family to pitch in and clean up Don Aslett

As a mother, you may often feel as though you do all the housework. The author believes that it doesn't have to - and shouldn't - be that way. He explains why and how to enlist the help of children, how to assign cleaning tasks to children based on their age, how to help children succeed at household chores, and what to do when children ignore or partially complete their cleaning responsibilities. This book will show you that you don't have to go it alone when it comes to keeping your home clean.

Mars... attacked?

You may have seen news headlines referring to an asteroid possibly to hit or "threatening" Mars. It is true that a space rock, about 164 feet across, could hit the Red Planet on January 30. The event isn't a certainty, however, and if it does happen Mars will survive relatively unscathed. At first the odds of an impact were said to be 1 in 75. Recent analysis of other observations has refined the asteroid's orbit and the odds are now at 1 in 25. Astronomers will continue to narrow the odds between now and the end of January and will know in advance and for certain whether Mars will take a hit.

If the asteroid were to hit Mars the result would be a large crater (perhaps half a mile in diameter) but the planet as a whole would be largely unaffected -- Mars is half the size of Earth but it's still much bigger than the house-sized asteroid (if you have a really big house). In fact many space scientists hope the collision takes place because it would provide insight into the makeup of Mars and the dynamics of such a large event. Several spacecraft are currently in orbit around Mars and could make unprecedented observations of the impact and/or its aftermath. The two still-functioning Mars rovers would also make observations. Only space-based and, perhaps, the largest of ground-based telescopes have any chance of seeing the collision, if it happens at all.

Better Mars than us: The energy released by a 164-foot asteroid hitting Earth would cause untold destruction if it impacted anywhere near a population center. In June of 1908 an object believed to be of about the same size as the one we are discussing exploded over Siberia with a yield equivalent to a 10- to 15-megaton nuclear device. The "Tunguska Event" felled an estimated 80 million trees over 830 square miles. Today's tracking of the Mars-bound rock reminds us that there are still dangers "out there" of which we need to be aware and with which we may one day need to cope.

Mesmerizing Western Fiction!

Souls of Angels cover

Souls of Angels by Thomas Eidson Here's the latest novel by the author of The Missing and St.Agnes Stand. Isadora Lugo, now Sister Ria, returns to her family estate in California from the streets of India. She's come home to help her troubled father who has been recently convicted of killing a young, pregnant prostitute. Sister Ria bravely seeks the truth behind both the gruesome murder and her painful childhood. A great western and mystery mix!

Axis by Robert Charles Wilson

Axis cover In the sequel to the Hugo Award-winning Spin, Robert Charles Wilson further explores the mystery of the "hypotheticals," small machines that have engineered a new planet called Equatoria for humanity. On that world, a journalist searches for her hypothetical-obessed father, a charter pilot with a checkered past, and a boy genetically engineered to communicate with the hypotheticals come together to pursue this enigmatic artificial intelligence that opened up a portal between the two planets.

 

This is character-driven science fiction, and not technologically dense as the genre can be. Reading the first novel, while not essential, would be both helpful and enjoyable.

A Website for shoppers: Customer Feedback Central

Customer Feedback Central is a great site that provides lists of product-review Websites in the following categories:

  • automotive
  • books and movies
  • food/dining
  • electronics
  • apartments and real estate
  • entertainment and lifestyle
  • clothing and beauty
  • toys and video games
  • pharmaceuticals
  • colleges and universities
  • travel
  • computers and accessories

These sites provide feedback from actual customers.

Mars opposition Dec. 24

Mars opposes Earth?

It's not really a rivalry. About every 26 months planet Earth passes between the Sun and sister planet Mars. It's also a time when the two worlds are closer together than normal. Because the orbits of the planets are not perfectly circular, the date of opposition and the date of closest approach aren't usually the same and the distance at its closest also varies.

This year the closest approach of Earth and Mars will take place on December 18 when they will be just shy of 55 million miles apart. Opposition takes place December 24 and Mars will be at its brightest for Earth-bound viewers. The close approach and brightness makes viewing the Red Planet its best during opposition and near-opposition periods.

The Crocker Family

Jedediah Crocker was born in 1762. He served in the Revolutionary War on General Washington's staff. Jedediah married Sarah Gifford in Berkshire, Massachusetts in 1782. They had seven children: Noah, Jedediah, David, Sarah, Samuel, Elizabeth, Polly, Philena, and Aurelia. In June of 1811, Jedediah moved his family to Euclid, Ohio.
The Crocker family came to Ohio on a mission to found a new Congregational Church. On May 25, 1812, Jedediah purchased 1950 acres for the sum of $3900 from Nehemiah Hubbard, Jr. and Joshua Stow, members of the Connecticut Land Company. The land was located in Dover Township, Ohio.

Just the Facts

Medicare Part D
There is open enrollment for the Medicare Drug Plans through December 31, 2007. Useful information on how to select a plan is available at the website of the Ohio Department of Insurance. Under Freatured Links click on "Medicare Drug Plans." Use the links to the www.medicare.gov plan finder to see the plans available in Cuyahoga County and to sort them by premium or dectuctible and to compare the plans' ratings.

Just the Facts

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.

Free ebooks and audiobooks

Go To Project Gutenberg

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.