Cats, Dogs, and Bird’s oh my!

Providing food, rides, hilarity and company, Pawsanimals happen to be everywhere. There are clothes for our pets and tricks to be taught with treats to give. The internet is posted with our favorite cat pictures and animals like Boo and Grumpy Cat are now toys. Animals are so ingrained in our lives that we even have holidays like Happy Cat Month (September) for them. We have pets because they can turn any shadowy day into one of happiness. They’re a companion to talk to and to cuddle with when life gets rough.

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National Inventors Month: Nikola Tesla

132_1250275-WTesla is a big name right now. The car company, that is. I suspect that most people are aware of the historical figure Nikola Tesla; if nothing else, decades of pop culture obsession with him (in comics, film, television, video games, but especially in steampunk and science-fiction literature) have made his name a household one, frequently mentioned alongside Thomas Edison‘s. Continue reading

Jake’s Tech Tools – Audio / Inventors Appreciation Month

VictorVPhonograph

 

Welcome back, readers! Two important themes are running this month: National Inventors Month and Audio Appreciation Month! So, I decided to mix those themes together and look at inventors of influential audio technology. I found this information using the databases here in our library. Without further ado, let’s get this done. Continue reading

Worlds 10 Best Inventions

 Welcome back to our infographic series on National Inventors Month!

As we have learned this month, some of the purposes of an invention is to make a task easier or completed quicker. Overall, the goal is to make some kind of improvement. There are so many inventions that have changed the world for the better. If you ask anyone born in the last 20 years what the worlds best inventions have been, I am sure that the world-wide web and smart phones would be on the top of their lists. Try living a day or a few hours without these and see how you do. If you had made a list of your favorite top 10 inventions, what would be on your list? Continue reading

There are No Mistakes

Welcome back to my third post about National Inventors Month!

Have you ever made a mistake that was so big that it might of got you kicked out of school, cost you your job, or break up a relationship?  Well, this infographic reminds us all that there are no mistakes, just set backs.  In fact, I think some good can come out of mistakes. After all, mistakes present opportunities to learn, not a time to give up.   Continue reading

World Expo Inventions That Will Blow Your Mind

Welcome back to our exploration on National Inventors Month!  Today’s theme is on World Expo inventions.  What is a World Expo, you say?  It is a large public exhibition where all the countries are invited to attend and put up a themed exhibit.  They usually last from three weeks to six months.  These exhibitions differ in character and are held in varying parts of the world.  The first one was held in 1851 at the Hyde Park in London, England.  It was called the “Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations”. Ten countries were invited to participate in the 160-day event, which attracted over 6.3 million visitors.  The next World’s fair will be Expo 2015 in Milan, Italy

I went to the World Expo in 1986 when it was in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  We were there for three days and experienced a lot of wonderful sites and cultures.  There were also several inventions that you could get a peek at.  One invention I do remember was a car of the future.  I kept waiting  for it to show up on the car lots so that I could say that I saw it first.

So, even though no great inventions came from the World Expo of 1986, I thought this infographic on inventions from other World Expos was interesting enough to share with you.   Continue reading

Whodunnit?

Welcome to National Inventors Month!  In this post I want to introduce or familiarize you with the people whose inventions that you probably use every day and the inventors who created them.  Some of them I am sure you have heard of, like Benjamin Franklin and John Deere.  Then there are others like, Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf, who created something that many have said that they couldn’t live without today, but no one knows their names.

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Free Audio Books

Audio cassette tape; Image QuestToday I wanted to highlight two free audio book resources that I’ve been making use of recently.

Open Culture

Free audio books make up only a fraction of the resources Open Culture offers, but for our purposes it’s the most important fraction. Their Audio Books page links users to various audio books that are freely available either for download or for streaming, drawn from a variety of resources and covering the classics of western fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Some more contemporary works can even be found. Quite a number of these audio books are drawn from the second resource I wanted to cover:

LibriVox

LibriVox is a non-profit, volunteer driven organization that generates public domain audio recordings of volunteers reading public domain books. Despite the fact that it’s loosely organized and volunteer-based, the level of quality is consistently high, and because these works exist in the public domain, they tend to be widely distributed–it’s not difficult to find LibriVox recordings on Youtube, for instance, or for streaming on the Internet Archive.

Of course, there are other resources out there, and there’s even the occasional stand-alone surprise, like Fry Reads Onegin, which just so happens to be my favorite translation of Eugene Onegin, read by one of my favorite ‘voices.’

Share any additional audio book resources that you use and enjoy in the comments!