Showing posts from April, 2010

War Zones

The world took notice when two female suicide bombers set off blasts that killed over 50 people on March 29th 2010 at the Lubyanka and Park Kultury stations of the Moscow Metro system – the second most heavily used metro system in the world. These terrorist bombings have been connected to the Chechen separatist movement. Chechnya is a small area in Russia’s Caucasus region, now incorporated into Russia as a ‘federal subject’ (according to Wikipedia article on Chechnya). With just over 1 million people, the Chechens have a long and tragic history of resistance to Russian hegemony.

During World War II, Stalin forcibly exiled its entire population to Siberia and Kazakhstan. Thousands of Chechens died. After Stalin’s death, the Chechens were allowed to return to their native land. In the 1990’s with the collapse of the USSR, Chechnya struggled for more independence from central Russian control. This led to the Russian-Chechen Wars (1994-96 and 1999-2000). Tens of thousands of Russians and…

Mango Languages, An Online Language Learning Experience

If you selected any of the six language lessons from the above poll, you can take advantage of the online language-learning system, Mango Languages, which is now accessible via the Electronic Resources page on the library’s website. Through Mango’s foreign language lessons and courses, learners can experience “a fun, easy to use online language-learning system that teaches actual conversation skills.”

There are two levels: Basic and Complete. The Basic Courses in each language give learners the opportunity to learn basic words and phrases. The Complete Courses are developed for learners who wish to go beyond the basic language skills.

To brush up on the language I studied back in my college days, I tested out the Basic Course for French. The site is very easy to navigate. Not only can I replay slides and phrases as much as I need to, the interactive interface also allows me to use my computer’s microphone to record my voice, and I can do a voice comparison with the narrator’s pronuncia…

Snip, snip…and you’re done!

How to capture Screen Shots Using Windows 7 and Vista’s Snipping Tool

Use the Snipping Tool to capture a screen shot or snip a portion of any document or image on your screen. The Snipping tool in Vista offers a highlighter if you want to highlight part of the item you have snipped. Feeling very professorial? Use the red pen to circle certain portions of the document you have just snipped! Then save the image and use it or email it to colleagues who will be secretly impressed by your technical savvy!

1. Click the Start button. Then go to: All Programs→Accessories→Snipping Tool.

2. Click the on the drop down arrow next to the New button.

You can choose any of the four different snip modes from the drop-down list:
Free-Form Snip: lets you draw any kind of line you like to outline the object you want to snip, but you have to have a very steady hand or your snip will not look very neat.
Rectangular Snip: click and drag over any area to form a rectangular snip.
Window Snip allows you to select an…

Web 2.0 for Music Lovers

Last month we took a look at web 2.0 sites for readers and this month we focus on sites of interest for music lovers who want to connect to fellow fans online. Check back next month for sites for movie and TV lovers.
For a site that contains a lot of information, is surprisingly well organized and easy to navigate. No matter what your tastes are in music, you will surely find something to listen to on this site. Listeners can pick any song or artist from a wide range of genres, from classical to punk, and listen on demand. In addition to the large selection of audio files to explore, there are also areas for video, music news, event updates and biographies of the artists. The interactive features are where this site really shines. Listeners can sign up for a free account and save lists of favorite artists, join discussions in the forums, and cross-post information to facebook and other social media sites. In addition to the social aspects, users can search for new music …

April is Autism Month!

Autism New Jersey is a nonprofit agency providing information and advocacy, services, family and professional education and consultation. Autism New Jersey is located at 1450 Parkside Avenue, Suite 22, Ewing, NJ 08638; Phone: 609-883-8100 or 1-800-4-AUTISM; Website:

The Mercer County Library System has in its collection the following resources:

The Autism & ADHD Diet: A Step-By-Step Guide to Hope and Healing by Living Gluten Free and Casein Free (GFCF) and Other Interventions/ Silberberg, Barrie.
This book will answer many of your questions about the GFCF diet and show you ways to make it work well for you and your family.

Could It Be Autism? : A Parent's Guide to the First Signs and Next Steps / Wiseman, Nancy D. with Kim Painter Koffsky.
Writing conversationally, Wiseman covers all the autism bases-symptom detection, diagnosis, treatment options, redefining parental obligation-in 10 topical chapters, splicing comments from parents of autistic children with advoca…

April is Jazz Appreciation Month

Check out these books about the extraordinary heritage and history of a uniquely American musical form, and its importance to our culture.

The Jazz Book: From Ragtime to the 21st Century by Joachim-Ernst Berendt
The most encyclopedic interpretive history of jazz available in one volume.

Jazz by Gary Giddins and Scott DeVeaux
Thoroughly researched and carefully documented, yet written in an entertaining and enjoyable narrative style, this book tells the story of jazz in its full cultural, musical, political, social, economic, and historical context.

The Jazz Loft Project by Sam Stephenson
While Eugene Smith was living in New York City’s wholesale flower district from 1957-1965, he captured the nocturnal jazz scene at his loft through thousands of photographs and 4,000 hours of audiotape featuring the music and words of more than 300 musicians. This landmark book offers a unique glimpse into both the jazz scene as well as life on the streets of the flower district.

Clawing at the Limits of C…

Earth Day

Earth Day is April 22 this year. Here are some simple positive steps kids can take to make a difference:


Earth Friendly Crafts: Clever ways to reuse everyday items by Kathy Ross—The idea behind this book is to take leftover items and make them useful like a pencil holder from marker caps or a magnet from old balloons.

EcoArt!: Earth-friendly art & craft experiences for 3-to 9-year-olds by Laurie Carlson—Create your own art supplies, transform trash, and incorporate outdoor objects in over a hundred projects.

For Younger Readers!

We are extremely very good recyclers by Lauren Child—Join Charlie and Lola learn why recycling is important and how to involve kids in the process.

Earth Smart: How to take care of the environment by Leslie Garrett—Photographs and simple text describe what kids can do to help the earth.

For Older Readers!

50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth by the Earthworks Group—This book is full of straightforward experiments and activities like testing your ya…

Books to Get You Thinking

April 2010 marks the fortieth anniversary of Earth Day. It’s a good time to focus on the environment and climate changes resulting from the greenhouse gases and global warming that threaten the future of our planet, and the steps that must be taken, both individually and collectively to slow down this alarming trend. Earlier this year the Copenhagen Climate Talks between nations ended with an agreement that was fairly limited in its scope on curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Amidst all the prevailing debate over climate change and the environment, here are some books that discuss different facets of global warming and its consequences for the future of the world, as we know it.

Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis by Al Gore.
In his sequel to An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore presents a comprehensive, insightful analysis of the complex forces, both scientific and political, that lie at the heart of the climate crisis. Unique to this book are the accompanying stunningly beautiful …