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Jan 28 2015

Cutting Your Bills

by Glenda

bill-reductionsEvery year we make New Year’s Resolutions. They vary from losing weight to spending more time with family. Sadly, most of us give up on them by February. Last year I made the resolution to cut the cost of one of my bills–and I have kept that promise for one whole year.

I checked out a few books from the Library on saving money. After reading those books, I decided to cut my major cell phone carrier service. It was with one of the big three providers, but now I am with a smaller provider. My major-carrier cell phone bill was about $100.00 a month after they added all of the fees and taxes. Now my bill is $65.00 a month. That is a savings of about $35.00 a month. Over a twelve-month period, that is a savings of about $420.00. Imagine the things I can do with that money. And, now I have a smartphone–before I did not have a smartphone.

So if you are looking to save so money this year, check out some of these resources available at DCPL:

Clark Howard’s Living Large in Lean Times: 250+ Ways to Buy Smarter, Spend Smarter, and Save Money by Clark Howard, with Mark Meltzer and Theo Thimou

Living Cheaply with Style by Ernest Callenbach

Clark Howard’s Living Large for the Long Haul: Consumer-Tested Ways to Overhaul Your Finances, Increase Your Savings, and Get Your Life Back on Track by Clark Howard, with Mark Meltzer and Theo Thimou

The Money Class: Learn to Create Your New American Dream by Suze Orman

 

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Not everyone will agree with me, but I have often thought that Americans worry about the wrong things. Hmm…I suppose that statement sounds a wee bit judgmental, and maybe it is, but really–are you honestly in danger of being killed by a hurtling chunk of meteorite on any random day? What, truly, are your chances of being trampled by a runaway horse? (Although, come to think of it, I was taking a walk in my neighborhood a number of years ago and was startled to see a horse gallop across Candler Road.) Of course, the world landscape changes ever more quickly and it can be difficult, living as we do in an age of media saturation and a 24/7 news cycle, not to find ourselves wringing our hands and tempted by that always fascinating (and always unwinnable) game of what if….  This recent NPR article  from the news magazine’s ongoing coverage of the devastating Ebola epidemic provides a timely reminder to those of us in the West (and elsewhere) that the thing that is most likely to kill us is our lifestyle.

There. I said it. Our lifestyle. Cardiovascular disease, mainly heart attacks and strokes, is the No. 1 killer worldwide. Worldwide. Much of this has to do with our lifestyle in the Western world and has become a reality for the rest of the globe as they increasingly adopt fast food, tobacco, and lack of physical activity as outsourced computer jobs lock workers to desks for hours at a time.  Although I haven’t smoked in decades and have what I consider a very healthy diet, I received my own wake-up call recently when my doctor diagnosed high blood pressure. My family has a very strong (and stubborn!) genetic component–my mother has high blood pressure as did her father and many of her other relatives–but I am nonetheless determined to bring my pressure into normal range as quickly as I can.

heart_tune_upNone of us, I think, should fret and stew about potential time bombs–but if you’re ready to take some realistic steps toward reducing your risks of cardiovascular disease, DCPL has resources to help.

The following books can provide useful information for all of us interested in addressing and preventing potential risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up: A Breakthrough Medical Plan to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Steven Masley

Heart 411: The Only Guide to Heart Health You’ll Ever Need by Marc Gillinov and Steven Nissen

Mayo Clinic Heart Healthy for Life! The Mayo Clinic Plan for Preventing and Conquering Heart Disease bloodpressuredown

Best Practices for a Healthy Heart: How to Stop Heart Disease Before or After it Starts by Sarah Samaan

Blood Pressure Down: The 10 Step Program to Lower Your Blood Pressure in Four Weeks–Without Prescription Drugs by Janet Bond Brill

 

 

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Comic books have had a huge positive impact on my life. As a child of 7 or 8, I would visit the gas station at the edge of my neighborhood on a weekly basis to buy a couple of comics with my meager allowance earned by completing household chores. Pouring over these weekly purchases expanded my vocabulary, sharpened my reading comprehension skills, and whet my appetite for more. By the third grade I was reading at a level well above my peers, and though I eventually progressed to lengthier novels, I continued to read comic books regularly, all the way into high school. As such, I have a permanent place in my heart for comic books and was incredibly pleased and excited when movie adaptations of my favorite titles began to be released. The transition of those superheroes onto the big screen and into mainstream pop culture resulted in a whole new generation of fans. Sadly though, many of these new fans have never been exposed to the comic books that the films they’ve grown to love were adapted from.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Winter Soldier coverDCPL not only carries many of the recent superhero film adaptations, but frequently we also carry the corresponding print comic book titles in our Young Adult and Adult Graphic Novel collections. In many cases, the story ideas and even titles for the film adaptations were directly inspired by their print predecessors. A good example is the recently released Captain America: The Winter Soldier, much of which is based on the comic by Ed Brubaker of the same name. Others films may draw from their ancestral comic series more generally, although they’ll often contain allusions and references that old school fans will pick up and delight in. While there are far too many DVDs and comic series for me to enumerate on this blog, I’ve posted a sampling of some of the most recent films and some of the corresponding comics below. If you are interested in more titles from a particular superhero or superhero team, ask a librarian for assistance, or just try searching the catalog for yourself; both movies and comic books can typically be pulled up with a title search.

Essential X-men
You’ve seen the movie: X-Men: Days of Future Past

Now read the comic book!: Essential X-Men

 

You’ve seen the movie: Iron Man 3Invincible Iron Man

Now read the comic book!: Invincible Iron Man

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mlk

I won’t be coming to work on the Monday holiday, the day we celebrate MLK, but his actual birthday is January 15.  It was no easy feat to have this national holiday. The following is a chronology, from The King Center website.  Note the date the first legislation was introduced and how long it took to be made a reality.

“Making of  The King Holiday – A Chronology”

  • April 8, 1968 Four days after Dr. King is assassinated, Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) introduces first legislation providing for a Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday.
  • June 26, 1968 – The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Center is founded in Atlanta. The mission is to establish a living memorial to Dr. King, to preserve his papers and promote his teachings. Shortly after, King Center Founder Coretta Scott King, directs the small staff to being planning for the first annual observance of Dr. King’s birthday.
  • January 15, 1969 – The King Center sponsors the first annual observance of Dr. King’s birthday with an ecumenical service and other events and calls for nation-wide commemorations of Dr. King’s birthday. This observance becomes the model for subsequent annual commemorations of Dr. King’s birthday nation-wide, setting the tone of celebration of Dr. King’s life, education in his teachings and nonviolent action to carry forward his unfinished work.
  • April, 1971 – Petitions gathered by SCLC bearing 3 million signatures in support of King Holiday are presented to Congress. But Congress takes no action to move holiday legislation forward.
  • 1973 – First state King Holiday bill (sponsored by then Assemblyman Harold Washington) signed into law in Illinois.
  • 1974 – Massachusetts, Connecticut enact statewide King Holidays.
  • 1975 – New Jersey State Supreme Court rules that state must provide a paid holiday in honor of Dr. King in accordance with the state government’s labor contract with the New Jersey State Employees Association.
  • November 4, 1978 – National Council of Churches calls on Congress to pass King Holiday.
  • February 19, 1979 – Coretta Scott King testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings in behalf of the King Holiday. She urges Rep. Conyers to bring the holiday bill up for a floor vote in the House of Representatives.
  • March 27, 1979 – Mrs. King testifies before Joint Hearings of Congress in support of King Holiday bill.
  • 1979 – Mrs. King directs King Center staff to begin intensive organizing of a nation-wide citizens lobby for a national Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. King Center launches new nationwide King Holiday petition campaign, which is signed by more than 300,000 before end of year. President Carter calls on Congress to pass national King Holiday. The King Holiday bill finally begins to move through Congressional committees.
  • November, 1979 – The Conyers King Holiday bill is defeated in floor vote in U.S. House of Representatives by just 5 votes.
  • 1980 –Stevie Wonder releases “Happy Birthday,” a song celebrating Dr. King and urging a holiday in his honor. It becomes a hit and a rallying cry for the holiday.
  • May 2, 1980 – Coretta Scott King testifies in U.S. House of Representative in support of establishing a National Historic Site in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • September 11, 1980 – Mrs. King testifies in U.S. Senate in support of establishing a National Historic Site in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • 1981 – King Center President Coretta Scott King writes to governors, mayors, chairpersons of city council across the U.S., requesting them to pass resolutions and proclamations commemorating the Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday and send them to The King Center’s Archives. She asks them to recognize celebrations and programs of observance.
  • February 23, 1982 – Mrs. King testifies in support of the Holiday before the Subcommittee on Census and Population of the House Committee on Post Office and Civil Service.
  • 1982 – The King Center calls for and mobilizes a conference to commemorate and serve as cosponsors of the 19th anniversary of the March on Washington. More than 100 organizations participated. King Center mobilizes coalition to lobby for the holiday. Stevie Wonder funds holiday lobbying office and staff based in Washington, D.C.
  • 1982 – Mrs. King and Stevie Wonder present King Center petitions bearing more than 6 million signatures in support of King Holiday to Tip O’Neil, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • June, 1983 – Mrs. King testifies before Congress in behalf of The King Holiday bill again.
  • August, 1983 – The House of Representatives passes King Holiday Bill, providing for the King Holiday to be observed on the third Monday in January. The bill, which is sponsored by Reps. Katie Hall (D.-IN) and Jack Kemp (R-NY), passes by a vote of 338 to 90.
  • August 27, 1983 – King Center convenes the “20th Anniversary March on Washington,” supported by more than 750 organizations. More than 500,000 people attend the March at the Lincoln Memorial, and all of the speakers call on the U.S. Senate and President Reagan to pass the King Holiday.
  • October 19, 1983 – Holiday Bill sponsored by Senator Ted Kennedy (D.-Mass.) passes U.S. Senate by a vote of 78-22.
  • November 3, 1983 – President Reagan signs bill establishing the 3rd Monday of every January as the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday, beginning in 1986.
  • April-May, 1984 – King Center develops legislative proposal to establish the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Commission. Mrs. King meets with leadership of the House and Senate and appeals to Congress to legislate the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Commission. The legislation passes Congress by a voice vote.
  • August 27, 1984 – President Reagan signs legislation providing for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Commission, to last for a term of five years, with an option to renew for another 5 years.
  • November, 1984 – First meeting of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Commission. Coretta Scott King is unanimously elected Chairperson
  • January 20, 1986 – First national King Holiday Observed. By this time 17 states had official King holidays. The King Holiday Commissioners are sworn in by federal district Judge Horace Ward.
  • January 16, 1989 – As a result of leadership of the King Holiday Commission, the number of states which enacted a MLK holiday grows to 44.
  • 1990 – The United Auto Workers negotiate contracts with the big three auto companies requiring a paid holiday for all their employees.
  • January 15, 1990 – The Wall St. Journal Reports that only 18 % of 317 corporate employers surveyed by the Bureau of National Affairs provide a paid King Holiday.
  • November 3, 1992 – After a coalition of citizens for an Arizona King Holiday launches successful protest and boycott campaigns, the people of Arizona pass referendum establishing Martin Luther King, Jr. state holiday.
  • January, 1993 – Arizona observes first statewide King Holiday, leaving only New Hampshire without a state holiday in honor of Dr. King.
  • 1994 – Citing Dr. King’s statement that “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve,” Coretta Scott King testifies before Congress in support of making the King Holiday an official national day of humanitarian service.
  • August 23, 1994 – President Clinton signs the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday and Service Act, expanding the mission of the holiday as a day of community service, interracial cooperation and youth anti-violence initiatives.
  • 1996 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Commission concludes mission, transfers responsibility for coordinating nationwide holiday programs and activities to The King Center.
  • 1998 – A Bureau of National Affairs survey of 458 employers found that 26 percent provide a paid holiday for their workers on the King Holiday. The survey found that 33 percent of firms with union contracts provided the paid King Holiday, compared to 22 percent of nonunion shops.
  • June 7, 1999 – Governor Jean Shaheen of New Hampshire signs the King Holiday legislation into law, completing enactment of holiday in all states.
  • October 29, 1999 – U.S. Senate unanimously passes legislation requiring federal institutions to fly the U.S. flag on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.
  • August 2000 – The King Center’s National Holiday Advisory Committee (replacing the Federal King Holiday Commission) is established to promote the Holiday throughout the 50 states. Each governor of the 50 states is asked to appoint two state representatives to coordinate celebration in their state.
  • Today – The King Holiday is celebrated in U.S. installations and is observed by local groups in more than 100 other nations. Trinidad and other nations have also established a holiday in honor of Dr. King.

The King Holiday should highlight remembrance and celebration and should encourage people everywhere to reflect on the principles of nonviolent social change and racial equality as espoused by Martin Luther King, Jr. It should be a day of community and humanitarian service, and interracial cooperation.

The King Holiday should be a day of which the majority of local and state governments close, and one on which private organizations and the majority of businesses honor Dr. King by encouraging their employees to undertake community service work to address social needs.

The King Holiday should officially and appropriately be observed by the United Nations and its members. Mrs. Coretta Scott King, who severed as Chair, Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Holiday Commission and Founding President of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Nonviolent Social Change, is quoted as saying:

“As a nation chooses its heroes and heroines, a nation interprets its history and shapes its destiny. The commemoration of the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. can help America realize its true destiny as the global model for democracy, economic and social justice, and as the first nonviolent society in human history.”

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Jan 9 2015

What Does It Look Like?

by Dea Anne M

Many of us resolve at the start of the year to do something about our diets–either by losing weight or by just learning to make better food choices. Part of drawing nearer to either of these goals typically involves paying attention to getting high-quality calories into one’s diet while at the same time not consuming too many total. For a typical, reasonably active adult, 2,000 calories a day will maintain weight–although some people need less and others will need more.

On December 22nd, as 2014 was drawing to a close, the New York Times ran what was to me an interesting photographic essay about what 2,000 calories look like when eaten at fast-food restaurants, casual dining spots (such as Olive Garden), and at home.  This visual proof is illuminating, and a little startling. Who would imagine that you could get your entire daily allotment of calories from one meal (breakfast at IHOP) or just dessert (cake and cappuccino at Maggiano’s Little Italy)? How about from a single beverage? It’s true! Several of the shakes and malts at Sonic weigh in (pun intended) at over 2,000 calories. Now that’s a thick shake!

You can do a little better at a place like Subway. In fact, careful choices can buy you three meals from the popular chain at only 2,010 calories. Of course, care in ordering is essential at any restaurant if calories are a concern, and it helps that more and more establishments either post nutritional information or will make it available to any customer who asks. Still, restaurant dining will rarely be a calorie bargain–at least compared to the option most popular with nutritionists, doctors and our nation’s First Lady. No surprise–it is cooking and eating at home. The NYT article shows photographs of two different days of meals prepared at home. Both boast a surprising amount and variety of food and include dessert and beer or wine with dinner. I don’t know about you, but it looks like a tasty way to keep calories in check.

Of course, restaurant dining is a daily reality for many people and an occasional, highly desired pleasure for many more. It is entirely possible to dine out and still keep a handle on calories consumed, and DCPL has resources to help.

kidsFirst consider the virtues of David Zinczenko’s ground-breaking title Eat This, Not That: Thousands of Simple Food Swaps that Can Save You 10, 20, 30 Pounds or More!  Zinczenko has tirelessly researched many types of restaurants and prepared foods available in grocery stores to bring readers the best nutritional choices. Calorie counts are given as well as sodium content, total fat and other vital information. Eye-popping color photographs put the food front and center. Armed with the information you need when a fast-food lunch is on the agenda, you will know that a Big Mac is a better choice than a Whopper with cheese. You still might choose to go to Burger King but at least you will know that the McDonald’s sandwich will save you 220 calories. Zinczenko has gone on to compile Eat This, Not That For Kids! meant to help kids and, their parents make the best choices, and Cook This, Not That! Easy & Awesome 350-Calorie Meals: The No-Diet Weight Loss Solution which features healthier home-prepared versions of restaurant favorites.

confidentialIn a similar vein, check out Howard Shapiro’s Dr. Shapiro’s Picture Perfect Weight Loss: The Visual Program for Permanent Weight Loss. Lavish color photographs illustrate calorie counts for various foods and show that it can often be a better choice to have a reasonable portion of the food you really want instead of more of the “virtuous” choice. Though a bit dated and a little too heavily slanted (in my opinion) toward soy protein, it is still a useful volume for anyone who likes visuals (and I count myself as one). Finally, give a thought to Restaurant Confidential: The Shocking Truth About What You’re Really Eating When You’re Eating Out by Michael Jacobson. Also a bit dated (it came out in 2002), it contains useful information nonetheless. Jacobson provides nutrition profiles of many brand name restaurants as well as those of the types of restaurants many Americans eat at, such as Chinese and Tex-Mex. Also included are helpful tips on getting more nutrition and less junk into one’s diet and, yes, one of those tips is eating more at home and brown-bagging more often.

Of course, if going out for lunch or dinner is an occasional treat (very much so in my case) then it may be worth it to just have whatever strikes your fancy. My general rule is to order something new to me or that I’m not likely to cook myself. Your rules and life will, naturally, be different. How often do you eat out? How do you make your decisions about what to order?

 

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Vulnerability-BrenneBrownHello readers,

We each try to bring in a new year with the optimism of hopes, desires, resolutions, and plans. Brené Brown’s book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, is a wonderful guide to help each of us transform not only our own lives, but also those of our children, employees, co-workers, friends, spouses, and eventually the entire world.

The phrase “daring greatly” was drawn from a speech “Citizenship in a Republic” delivered in Paris, France on April 23, 1910 by Theodore Roosevelt. Here is the excerpt that Brown quotes as she defines what it means to dare greatly:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust, and sweat, and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…”

What are you protecting in your life? Daring Greatly teaches shame resilience and reality checking. It is a book full of encouragement and hard questions about fear and desire. One of the greatest fears of all humans is to be excluded from the group, to be isolated, to feel unworthy of love and acceptance. We all share the desire to live from our true and authentic self. The two often seem to be at odds, impossible to reconcile. Few have the courage to live fully and wholeheartedly, risking rejection by the group, being shamed, ridiculed, even killed. Humans often shut down their emotions, disengage from the social contract, and engage in cruel behavior, demonstrating cynicism, anger and hatred of self or others in order to protect their hidden most vulnerable self.  The price we all pay for the shaming and the culture of scarcity in which we live is painfully high. Without vulnerability, we lose the ability to be creative, to have authentic emotional connection, and live satisfying meaningful lives. We promote fear, low self-esteem, even self-hatred. Our shame-driven culture is so pervasive, most people don’t even notice that they are engaging in shaming behaviors at home, in the workplace, at school, in politics, and they don’t notice how these behaviors are creating a world of terror and despair. Daring Greatly provides numerous strategies for the ready to remain emotionally intact and empathic even in difficult situations.

Brené Brown is a researcher of shame and vulnerability, two difficult and primordially important behaviors and aspects of being that we all need to explore in order to lead authentic and productive lives. In her book, she explores the following questions:

  • What drives our fear of being vulnerable?
  • How are we protecting ourselves from vulnerability?
  • What price are we paying when we shut down and disengage?

vulHow do we own and engage with vulnerability so we can start transforming the way we live, love, parent, and lead?

Brown emphasizes throughout the book, which is well-organized and easy to read, how facing our vulnerabilities is uncomfortable. When opportunities for growth are present, we will most likely feel uneasy and anxious. This is normal. It takes great courage to face one’s own pain. The greatest gift that comes out of looking within and not shirking from the dread, is the ability to live authentically, to be able to love and to know that you are worthy of love from others. And yet, our societies are built on a foundation of shaming practices and scarcity. Brown explains what scarcity means: Scarcity is the “never enough problem” which thrives in shame-prone cultures that are deeply steeped in comparison and fractured by disengagement. She lists the following examples of scarcity that we encounter every day:

  • Never good enough
  • Never perfect enough
  • Never thin enough
  • Never powerful enough
  • Never successful enough
  • Never smart enough
  • Never certain enough
  • Never safe enough
  • Never extraordinary enough

true selfThe truth is, life is full of uncertainty. We can’t control the outcomes of so many events. We can’t perfectly protect our children or prepare them for everything they will face. We can’t be perfect enough to please our parents or anyone else some or all of the time. But we can choose to stop trying to be perfect and start accepting ourselves. We can stand up for what we feel is right. We can show courage and vulnerability by speaking up for the right to be ourselves and the desire to be celebrated as we are. We can take the risk to show up and put our writing, art work, business plan, music, or our feelings out into the open. People are critical and they judge and compare others when they feel they don’t live up to their own expectations. The confessional blogs and tweets we encounter online, however, Brown explains, are not illustrations of vulnerability. To earn trust in any relationship, we should open ourselves little by little, by stages. Dumping too much emotion and experience all at once, according to the author, is disrespectful of others’ boundaries. Sharing vulnerability is a give and take, and it is the foundation of all true relationships to self and others. Brown teaches the reader to combat shame through a technique she calls “shame resilience” to bullying in schools and at the workplace. She makes a great case for the power of vulnerability and the courage of those who proudly proclaim their own. She takes on shaming in relationships of all kinds, and gives hope that more of us will stand up and own our experiences, our pain, and live up to the promise of our authentic self.

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Dec 31 2014

Another One Bites the Dust!?

by Hope L

newyear3Well, another year has come and gone. And because of the New Year, but also because my birthday falls in a week or so, I usually take this time to reflect on my life and ask the tough questions: What am I doing?, Where am I going?, Has life passed me by?, and Should I clean out the basement?

I blogged some time back about how I was thinking of getting older since moving my parents to a retirement home. Actually, it was more of a WHEN DID I GET OLD??!!! meltdown, complete with commentary and suggestions by luminaries like Suzanne Somers and Dave Barry and specialists on memory and aging. I can’t remember what I said, but it could have involved a tantrum or a curse word or two.

Now though, I am sort of looking forward to the New Year. And I have some good news to report. Yes, straight from my current, regular-must-read, AARP: The Magazine (available at a number of DCPL branches–check with your local branch), I just discovered “The Good News About Bad Habits” in the Dec./Jan. Healthy You issue (p. 14).  Let me share some bad habits which can actually be good for you.

Habit #1: Having Coffee for Breakfast (just coffee) – Why it’s not so bad: Breakfast is vital–if you’re bailing hay. But if the most physically demanding thing you do is reboot your computer, you can get away with little or no breakfast. In fact, two new studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition find that missing this meal doesn’t affect weight, cholesterol or resting metabolism.

Habit #2: Obsessively Watching House of Cards (and I’m guilty of this) – Why it’s not so bad: Taking time to see what Frank and Claire Underwood are up to is not only OK, it can stimulate the brain as you keep up with the complex plot, notes pop culture expert Steven Johnson, author of Everything Bad is Good for You.

Habit #3:  Occasionally Blowing Your Stack – Why it’s not so bad:  If you get steamed but never release it, you’re eventually going to blow like a shaken can of soda. Suppressing anger isn’t healthy, says Sandra Thomas, a professor at the University of Tennessee. A study she co-authored showed that older women who expressed their anger–albeit in healthier ways than blowing their top–had lower levels of the inflammatory markers that are linked to cardiovascular disease. (WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME THIS YEARS AGO?!!)

Habit #4: Sharing Harmless Gossip – Why it’s not so bad: Sharing harmless gossip (You’ll never believe what Bob told Bill…) with friends or co-workers can build social bonds and boost some positive behaviors, according to a recent University of Michigan study.

“Habit #5:  Intending to Cut the Grass, but… zzzzz – Why it’s not so bad: Older adults who take a daily 30-minute nap get a much-needed midday pick-me-up without a trip to Starbucks, say experts at the National Sleep Foundation.

Well, by golly, I think I’ll follow this sage advice and hang onto some good, bad habits. And maybe next year I’ll clean out the basement…

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Rancho Mirage Holiday CardHere at DCPL we have an annual tradition of exchanging holiday cards between branches. Recently I learned that the tradition of libraries and librarians exchanging seasonal greeting cards is an old one. In this blog post from a couple of weeks ago, the Library History Buff shares a few holiday cards from his personal collection. He explains that some cards are sent by a library institution, others by the library director or other library administrator, and sometimes by a library’s staff collectively.

Happy Holidays from your friends at DCPL.

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Dec 17 2014

Foxy Brown, She-ro

by Hope L

pamI’m not really a Twitter person, but when I joined Twitter and tried to use the doggone thing, I was surprised when a famous person, none other than Pam Grier–yes, THE  Pam Grier of Foxy Brown, Jackie Brown and most recently, The L Word (cable TV series) fame–started following me.

Now, there are probably those of you who have celebrities following your Twitter feed. I, on the other hand, am a complete social media novice, and when Pam Grier’s name popped up–well, I mean, with Foxy and Roger Corman and Richard Pryor and Freddie Prinze and Kareem, oh yeah, and more recently, Jackie Brown and Quentin Tarantino…

Being the Hollywood gadfly that I am, I went and checked out Foxy: My Life in Three Acts, by Pam Grier with Andrea Cagan, from my DCPL branch. It just confirmed what I already knew about Pam Grier/aka Foxy–she is one cool chica.

Now, I had watched her for a few years around the turn of the millennium in Showtime’s The L Word.  And of course a chick like Pam would play a character who could only drive a green vintage late 60′s/early 70′s vehicle (Chevelle? Impala?).  She couldn’t exactly drive around in a Subaru, now, could she?

As Pam explains:

“I had become one of the most recognizable female stars of the blaxploitation genre…  This movement of which I was such a prominent member was shadowing the women’s movement, where women were demanding equal rights to men in art, business, family, and all aspects of life.  My movies featured women claiming the right to fight back, which previously had been out of the question.”

You, GO, Girrrrl!

pam2Yes, the queen of Blaxploitation movies is not only cool, she has had one heckuva life so far. Highlights of her life include enduring and witnessing racial discrimination from all directions, like being in a church choir bus that was shot at in the middle of Watts during the historic riots of 1965;  and, just as she garnered her first job as an actress, meeting and dating the soon-to-be famous college basketball player Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr. (“Call me Lew” before he changed his name to Kareem Abdul Jabbar); and, upon prodding from Gloria Steinem, appearing on the cover of Ms. Magazine; AND, dating and loving two major comedians who would struggle with drug addiction (Freddie Prinze and Richard Pryor), and on and on.

Pam Grier did many of her own stunts, like riding the stunt horses and popping wheelies on motorcycles. She starred in movies with Paul Newman, Eartha Kitt, and had a role on the blockbuster TV miniseries RootsShe survived both cancer and the entertainment industry.

As I watched Jackie Brown the other night, I rooted for Jackie (Pam). In the end, I knew she would get revenge, the money, and the guy–if she wanted him.

Pam Grier defines the word SHE-RO. Plus, unlike me, she knows how to tweet and use Twitter.

 

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Dec 15 2014

Bill of Rights Day

by Glenda

Bill of Rights imageDid you know that December 15, 2014 is Bill of Rights Day?  The Bill of Rights includes our key amendments to the U. S. Constitution, and they protect our individual rights. States and individuals were concerned that the original Constitution did not protect individual rights. The Constitution was signed by the thirteen original states with the understanding that the Bill of Rights would be created, amending the new U.S. Constitution. On September 25, 1789 the first Congress of the United States proposed twelve amendments to the Constitution; however, only ten of the twelve were added to the Constitution on December 15, 1791.

Bill of Rights (summary)

Amendment #1:  Freedom of speech, press and religion.

Amendment #2:  The right to bear arms.

Amendment #3:  Protection of homeowners from quartering troops, except during war.

Amendment #4:  Rights and protections against unreasonable search and seizure.

Amendment #5:  Right of due process of law, protections against double jeopardy, self incrimination.

Amendment #6:  Rights of a speedy trial by jury of peers and rights of accused.

Amendment #7:  Rights of trial by jury in civil cases.

Amendment #8:  Protection from cruel and unusual punishment, excessive bail.

Amendment #9:  Protection of rights not specified in the Bill of Rights.

Amendment #10: State rights, power of the states.

The two amendments that did not pass were about the number of representatives to Congress and compensation to representatives.

Read more about the Bill of Rights at billofrightsinstitute.org.

The Bill of Rights is very important to every person in the Unites States. If you would like more information about the Bill of Rights visit your local library and check out a few books. Here are some suggestions:

The Bill of Rights: The First Ten Amendments of the Constitution by David L. Hudson

The Bill of Rights by Don Nardo

In Defense of Liberty: The Story of America’s Bill of Rights by Russell Freedman

A Kid’s Guide to America’s Bill of Rights: Curfews, Censorship and the 100-Pound Giant by Kathleen Krull

 

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