Showing posts from June, 2015

Windows 10 Is Coming

The newest version of Windows is set to arrive July 29 and there has been a bit of buzz around the release for a few reasons, primarily because it is free and for those who never really got used to Windows 8, it looks a lot more like the Windows 7 that they were used to and wanted to see return. Here is some information you need to know about the new Windows.

First, be sure to check out any “rumors” you see online, as there have been some rather false reports about the upgrade that have shown up the last few weeks. Stories claiming everything from you will be forced to upgrade to you will be charged a subscription fee – both are false. The best places to turn to are of course Microsoft or at least a reputable technology website, like Thurrott, C|net, or PC Magazine.

The basics of the upgrade are this: If you are using a legal copy of Windows 7 (with service pack 1 installed) or Windows 8.1 (with Update), you can get the upgrade for free, as long as you install it by July 28, 2016.…

Your Summer Playlist @MCLS

Disclaimer: Even though this is a blog post focused on music that is being written in New Jersey, there will be no Bruce Springsteen references.

Many things say "summer," albeit some more welcome than others. One thing is for sure though, whether it is a barbeque, beach, back yard, or road trip day music is always, or should always be, in the background. Some of the best music of the year comes out around summertime as artists vie to be the soundtrack for that summer. It is important stuff. You do not believe me? Check out this Billboard list of the Top-10 songs from every summer, 1985-2014. That is 30 years of summer memories there. Remember what you were doing in the Summer of ’96? You do not need to look. I can tell you. You were listening to "Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)" by Los Del Rio.

Rolling Stone and Billboard each have lists of the top summer songs ever recorded. You can even vote on what song you think will rule the Hot 100 this summer. Using …

Books To Get You Thinking

Finding a cure for cancer remains one of the most daunting challenges in the history of medicine. An inextricably complex disease rooted in the genetic makeup of a human cell, cancer has so far defied the massive and concerted efforts by scientists and physicians to find a cure. The disease has existed through the centuries, necessitating constant evolution of the treatments and drugs developed to fight it. Today, with longer life expectancies, the incidence of cancer has increased worldwide, touching almost one in three women and one in two men in the United States alone. There are recent books and multimedia available at the Mercer County Library that provide a deeper understanding of the science behind cancer as well as a history of this devastating disorder. Different authors bring their own perspective to the discussions and debates on how we need to counter this invasive disease.

Cancer: The Emperor of all Maladies
A riveting six-hour scientific and investigative documentary rec…

The Shore

Summer is almost here. In the winter and early spring, it seemed as though it would never come. But now we have a bunch of not only warm, but hot days under our belts and it is time to start visiting the New Jersey shore!

My favorite place to go is Island Beach State Park. It is the perfect combination of recreation and wildness. You ride in on a long road that bisects the island. On your right is the bay side and on your left, the ocean. You cannot see the water, though. It is hidden during your drive.

You have a few choices of destination. If you are visiting the Island for a regular day at the beach, there are two bathing areas complete with life guards, snack bars and changing rooms. There is ample parking and a short walk from the lot to the sand. Using the beach in the park is also very affordable – for New Jersey residents, it costs just $6 ($10 on weekends/holidays) per car for access. Compare that to between $5 and $10 per adult at many of New Jersey’s beaches. …

What to Watch While Waiting for the Last (sob) Season of "Downton Abbey"

I will admit, if we were living in the time of Downton Abbey, I would don mourning. When the news came that next season, the sixth, would be the last, I felt as if I were losing a large, sometimes dysfunctional, always fascinating family. And I am not alone. Many others have come to enjoy this television series of a house named Downton Abbey and the family and servants occupying its grand rooms in many different ways.

If it is the stunning visuals of the characters’ clothing that captures your imagination, you might want to try the original costume drama, The Pallisers, both in black and white and a newer color version. This was the BBC’s first venture into a historical series, based on Trollope’s Palliser novels. It follows the adventures of a political family including their loves, losses, and changes in fortune. Although the charge has often been laid at the door of the first Upstairs, Downstairs, at the time the Pallisers was released, it was blamed for the death of Evensong in t…

Reading "Rookie"!

Rookie started off as a web-based blog in 2011 and has since been published in print anthologies by the graphic novel publisher Drawn & Quarterly. The blog and print anthologies are edited by Tavi Gevinson and include a collection of articles, playlists, true stories, rants, artwork and interviews compiled by teenagers, activists and artists. The content of Rookie is aimed at teenage girls (Gevinson herself was a teenager when the blog initiated) and its message at large is that being a teenager is tough, but also fun. It provides real-life coping strategies and support throughout its content.

One of my favorite articles in Rookie Yearbook Two, for example, titled “A Tried and True Map to Paradise” by Sarah Sophie Flicker, implores its readers to go easy on themselves and that “paradise” in life is a fleeting concept once reached. It also recounts Ray Bradbury’s story of creating happiness for oneself despite peer rejection. According to the story, Bradbury was made fun of as a ch…

One Man Sculpture Park

Cihu, a quiet, scenic place in northern Taiwan, is where Chiang Kai-Shek’s body is entombed. It is officially known as the Mausoleum of Late President Lord Chiang. Adjacent to this Mausoleum is a sculpture garden called the Cihu Memorial Sculpture Park. This is a very unique park, as it is the only memorial park in the world dedicated to statues of a single person. These sculptures are installed throughout the grounds, somewhat like the Rodin sculpture garden in Paris, if all of the sculptures were of one person. Statues of Chiang Kai-shek have been neatly spread into the verdant hillside along the walking path and trails in the park. Chiang Kai-shek is posed in various ways; whole body or bust, sitting or standing, holding out a cap, in military uniform, carrying a sword, on horseback. Some of the statues look up solemnly, others have smiles and affable expressions. These sculptures vary in height from small 20-inch busts to a seated sculpture 25 feet tall. Each sculpture has its ow…

Just Listen!

Well, you can just listen, or while you listen you can also go for a leisurely stroll, run on your treadmill or do some gardening. You can make almost any mindless chore (think, ironing) seem less tedious by also listening. It can be as easy as pie to cook and listen! Yes, I am talking about listening to audiobooks.

There was a time I used to be very dismissive of audiobooks. Listening to them did not really seem like "reading". To me reading a book meant being able to thumb through the pages of printed copy. But then I started graduate school while working full time. The commute was long and taxing and I became an impatient driver trying to make it on time for the evening class. Stuck in traffic, thinking about finding a parking spot and being on time for class, I would speed up even as the traffic light would change to yellow. Or, I would accelerate like a race car driver as soon as the light changed to green. I would use unprintable language, if the car ahead of me appe…

Introducing Flipster and Freegal

Mercer County Library System is pleased to announce the addition of three new online services available 24 hours a day in our virtual library branch, Flipster magazines: Freegal Music and Freegal Movies. All three can be accessed via our website or by downloading their apps from the iTunes App Store or the Google Play Store.

Flipster features a collection of popular magazines that are available as full issues, in full color on your computer or portable device. If you wish to view Flipster content on a computer, just visit our website and enter your library card barcode. You can then browse or search the library’s online collection and start reading your favorite magazines today. If you prefer to access the Flipster collection on a tablet or phone, you can also access the collection via our website the same way as you would on a computer, plus you can install the Flipster app (from iTunes or Google Play) if you wish to download magazines to read offline. To use the Flipster app t…