Monday, September 27, 2010

If You Dream of Life in the Country (or have any interest in it) then this Blog is for You!

Get on over to Chickens In The Road - life in ordinary splendor authored by Suzanne McMinn which is just chock full of stories of her life on a small farm in West Virginia. Suzanne is obviously a very interesting person who has lived many places, loves animals, country crafts, gardening and food. In her spare time she writes romance novels and a column for the Charleston Daily Mail.  She also takes great photos and videos of the daily goings on at her farm and the best part is that she likes to share.

Hop on over to her About Me page to get the full scoop and get a glimpse of the characters living on the farm. You'll find goats (including the fainting variety), cows, chickens, sheep, ducks, dogs, cats, and donkeys. I probably left something out but you get the idea.

There is a forum, a newsletter, recipes, crafts, gardening, contests, and seemingly never a dull moment. Miss Bun loves to read CITR while she's sipping coffee in the morning and is super glad that someone is living the life she is certain she was meant to live.


(And thanks to Laura R. for sharing this with me!)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Snail Mail Making A Comeback??? Will you be ready?

So, we know that most folks are not hot to put pen to paper these days to communicate with each other. We know this because it is impossible to find honest-to-goodness stationery anywhere.

In spite of that sad state of affairs, Miss Bun is going to go out on a limb and suggest that snail mail is not really's just taking a nap!

At some point everyone will discover how cool it is to actually get real mail. Oh, sure, call it a silly case of nostalgia, but there is something very personal about snail mail .....for the sender and sendee alike. It says someone really cares. Don't you think so?

So when you are ready to take the snail mail plunge here is a cool little app that let's you print out a mailing envelope using Google Maps locations:

Map Envelope

You can add a message to your creation as well. (Who could ask for more?)

Go forth and have fun!

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Daily Yonder's take on rural libraries and more.....

What is the Daily Yonder, you may ask? (And you know that Miss Bun, small town librarian, encourages any and all questions.) Well, it looks like the Daily Yonder is a website that filling a void . . . read on.

If you are one of the 55 million people living in the rural U.S you may have noticed that mainstream TV and newspapers are retreating from small towns.  The Daily Yonder aims to be "your daily multi-media source of news, commentary, research, and features."

Check out their article on rural libraries The Backroad Librarian: Five Forwards to find out how rural libraries are faring these days and some points on keeping them people focused.

If folks in towns of fewer than 10,000 people "get" how important libraries are why is it taking the rest of us so long to acknowledge that one, small fact?

(Miss Bun would like to borrow the phrase "Libraries are people-centers, not warehouses for books!" and make it her battle cry. It just gives her chills!)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Read This To Put A Chill on Your Summer Heatwave!

 What ever happened to the ships Erebus, Terror and the 129 souls that set sail for the top of the world confident that they could conquer the frozen landscape and find a sea route through the Arctic Ocean?

The Terror by Dan Simmons is a 600 + page turner of an historical novel that recreates the doomed Sir John Franklin expedition of 1845 that was charged with searching for the Northwest Passage.

If you are sweltering in the summer heat this is the perfect book to cool off with as temperatures are typically well below zero. And, as a result of Simmons' meticulous research, you will find yourself a part of the crew facing starvation, disease, and something not quite human that roams the ice. (Chills!)


Take a look at the book review by David Masiel in the Washington Post:
The Thing on the Ice

Check out the author's site:
Dan Simmons Official Web Site


Links about the Franklin Expedition:
NOVA'S Artic Passage

Franklin's Lost Expedition

Check out this video from the NOVA program:

The story continues! 

This just in from BBC News dated 7/21/10:
Canadian Archaeologists Hunt Long-Lost Arctic Explorers


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Judging Book Covers . . .

Here is an interesting post relating to books/reading called 45 Beautifully Designed Book Covers from the blog wellmedicated written by Andrew Lindstrom (who happens to be a freelance web designer based in Vancouver, BC, Canada).

Have you ever chosen to read (or not read) a book based solely on its cover?

Miss Bun thinks that a cover wouldn't stop her from reading something she already wanted to read but it might entice her to try something she might not otherwise gravitate to. What about you?

Mr. Lindstrom has not posted to his blog in some time (who does that sound like?) but that shouldn't stop you from checking out his other graphic design related entries.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cats in the U.S. Navy?!? Shiver me timbers!

Who would have thought the U.S. Navy would be so classy as to have cats in their service?  (Most of us know that cats and libraries go together but who knew about cats and ships?)

Check out this article Cats and the Sea Services from the U.S.Naval Institute.

And then go check out this book at  your local library:

Henry the Sailor Cat by Mary Calhoun
to read about the time the Siamese star of High-Wire Henry goes to sea, climbs to the top of the mast, does a little whale-watching and helps rescue a man overboard.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bundle: Money Uncomplicated is their Motto!

Bundle is a pretty intriguing site that aims to help all of us "get smarter about money. Together."

So if you wonder how other people spend theirs and how it compares to how you spend yours or how other folks are dealing with a problem that you're having, get thee on over to the Bundle site.

 According to their FAQ's they update spending data every quarter, the people and stories you'll find there are real folks & situations, and Bundle promises
"to be an independent, unbiased source of money information and advice."

You might want to take a look at their 2010 Bundle Report: How America Spends to get started.

I wonder how many people actually own a piggy bank? Oh, and let's break that down by age, income, & gender.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Prom, Duck Tape & Scholarships! Oh, My!

Hey, Peeps! Here is a nifty, creative contest that can bring in some money for you & your school if you happen to be going to prom this year. (AND you follow all the rules and are 14 years of age or over, etc.)

The folks at ShurTech Brands, LLC are giving away 20 scholarships in celebration of their 10th anniversary to couples (and their schools!) who make their prom dresses & tuxes out of Duck Tape, make it to the top ten and survive 5 weeks (& 3 days) of online voting. Sweet!

Here are the prizes that go to each individual member of the prom couple and the school that hosts the prom:
First Place - $3,000
Second Place - $2,000
Third Place - $1,000
Seven Runners Up - $500

Check it out! Stuck at Prom

And while you're there take at look at the gallery of contests past as well as the current entrants for this year.

The sheer creativity plus fun factor is amazing!!! Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Going On A Treasure Hunt!

Like a challenge? Like the great outdoors? Love puzzles? Like to collect things?

Well.....Letterboxing (or possibly it's much younger cousin Geocaching) might be for you!

"Zo, vhat ees zis Leterrbooxing ov wheech yo spek????" (Sorry, I went all Inspector Clouseau there for a second.)

So glad you asked!  Letterboxing is a game of hide and seek with clues. To play you need a compass, a trail name, a personal rubber stamp, & a logbook.

The letterbox (usually a waterproof plastic container that holds at least a rubber stamp & logbook,) is hidden by its owner at some location. Your job is to find it armed with the clues provided. Once you have found it, you stamp your logbook with the letterbox stamp & stamp your stamp in the letterbox logbook thus providing proof all around that you really did find the box. Cool, huh?

Evidently handmade stamp images are highly prized in the world of Letterboxing. So you get to be creative & physically active as well!

Here is a site that will give you all the info you need to get started (along with clues to find letterboxes) & then some:

Letterboxing North America

Don't worry if you are not from North America. Letterboxing (& geocaching) is global! Check out the Net for info on boxes in your neck of the woods.

Wondering about  letterboxing versus geocaching? Here is well written article by Trailhead Tessie from the site comparing them: Letterboxing and Geocaching which also includes links.

What a great way for the whole family to enjoy the great outdoors this summer! 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Library Cats Map!

Gary Roma of Iron Frog Productions (an independent film and comedy production company)  has put together a most interesting map of library cats around the world.

As of the last update there are an estimated 808 bibliofelines to be found in residence on the planet.

Miss Bun is not sure why books and cats go so well together but they do!

Library Cats Map

If you click on the map and then click on a cat's name in the following table you can see a photo of that particular literary kitty.



Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How Libraries Stack Up 2010....A Report

Have you been wondering how Public Libraries stack up in this day and age?

Wonder no longer...OCLC ,(short for "Online Computer Library Center"), has just put out their colorful How Libraries Stack Up 2010   (pdf ) report.

Miss Bun is happy (and not at all surprised) to see that public libraries are thriving, integral parts of the communities they serve. (Go Team Pub Lib!!!)

As you can see from the report excerpt above, Public Libraries have it all over Starbucks, Borders, & Barnes & Noble when it comes to Wi-Fi hot spots. And that's just the beginning!

Check out the full report & prepare to be amazed!

P.S. For the curious, here is a link to an explanation of  what OCLC is in plain English from Wikipedia.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Robotics? Amazing!

Hi Peeps! Miss Bun was perusing the TED Talks this morning and just had to share this one with you. This is a fact meets fiction kind of thing. We had no idea about the advances in this field but we love it! Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

One of Harrisburg's Best Kept Secrets!

If you are a bibliophile living in Central Pennsylvania and have not heard of the Midtown Scholar Bookstore & their Famous Reading Cafe  you are going to want to sit down for this.

The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is part warehouse (stocking over one million academic & general interest books) which you can browse & order from online. (Note: if you are local you can request to pick up your purchases at the retail store thus avoiding shipping fees.)

The retail store (all six floors of it!) houses over 100,000 used & rare books, a great coffee shop & art gallery, plus is host to regular contemporary folk concerts & other interesting programs.Check out the website for info on book groups, readings & signings, writing groups & more!

Be sure to sign up for their mailing list or keep track of Midtown Scholar on Facebook & Twitter.

The store is located at 1302 N. Third Street across from the Broad Street Market in what was once a 1920's theater.

In fact, Miss Bun spent a lovely Saturday afternoon lunching at the market and then browsing at the book store where she found all kinds of delightful surprises on the very well organized shelves!

Midtown Scholar has been voted the region's "Best Independent Bookstore" for seven years. When  you visit you will know why!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

This Librarian Wannabe Really Does Rock.......Really!!!

Who knew that Keith Richards (yes, the one from the Rolling Stones!) has a thing for libraries and books.

Librarians the world over are rejoicing about this choice quote he has given us:

“When you are growing up there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully: the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you. The public library is a great equaliser.”

You can read all about it in this Sunday TimesOnline article: It's Only Books 'n' Shelves But I Like It by John Harlow.

Plus you can get the hype on Mr. Richard's autobiography due out in October. (Needless to say, Miss Bun has a bit of a crush simmering at the moment!)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Plant A Rain Garden!

So, what is a Rain Garden, you ask?

Why, it is a low maintenance way to keep rain water from sloshing (a very technical term!) off of concrete, macadam, shingles,etc. and going straight to storm drains (along with all kinds of pollutants) and then dumping in rivers.

Put simply: A rain garden is a planted shallow depression
designed to catch and filter rainfall runoff.

Check out this video for more info:

Do something nice for Mother Nature!

Here are some links to get you started:

Rain Garden Network
Pennsylvania Rain Garden Guide (pdf)
Rain Gardens and Rain Barrels
Rainscaping With Rain Gardens (pdf)


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Sushi???

Miss Bun had never heard of this somewhat peculiar springtime treat until she stumbled onto Serious Eats . It was love at first sight!

It's still not too late to make this an Easter tradition at your house too!
(The ingredients needed are pretty you can see!)

How to Make Peepshi = Peep Sushi

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's National Poetry Month!

A great way to celebrate is to go to (from the Academy of American Poets) and sign up for their Poem-A-Day emails. Be sure to check out the rest of their site where you can catch up on new books, listen to daily historic recordings (how cool is that?), get ready for Poem In Your Pocket Day and more!

If you register (it's free) you can create your own poetry notebook, participate in discussions, and subscribe to newsletters.

They also have a thing called Poetcasts which is the official podcast (like an online radio show) of the Academy of American Poets. Once you have subscribed they will download and you can listen at your leisure.

So Peeps, go forth and make some poetry on this 1st of April 2010!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tennis Anyone? TGIFF!

Here is a game for Fun Friday that will not only hone your mouse skills but will help with Spring Fever when the weather is not cooperating.     Wimbledon

Let the games begin!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Peeps for my Peeps!

Are these not just too cute?!? And you can EAT them!

They are called Cake Pops and can be found on a really creative food site, Bakerella , which is authored by a very inventive person who does this for fun and obviously likes to share.

She also does her own photography! (That's her work above.)

There are more cute critters (& Cup Cake Pops, Cake Balls, & more!)  to be found there as well as directions for making your own.

So if you like to play with your food and are into baking,  Miss Bun encourages you to go forth and check this site out!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Check out SnagFilms for all your Free Documentary needs!

Hello Peeps! Happy Spring to you all!

If you are interested in independent and free documentary films you will want to go to : SnagFilms where you can choose from 1,000 different films on many topics.

From their About page:

"SnagFilms is committed to finding the world‘s most compelling documentaries, whether from established heavyweights or first-time filmmakers, and making them available to the wide audience these titles deserve."

"We make it easy for you to find a film that shines a light on a cause you care about. You can then open a virtual movie theater on any web site, so any one can watch your favorite SnagFilms for free.
SnagFilms can be summed up in four words: Find. Watch. Snag. Support."

You can search by topic, what's hot, channels (of their supporters), and a to z

Topics cover everything from the humorous to the disturbing and all points in between. Films with adult content are clearly labeled as such.  Film lengths vary from minutes to hours but all appear to have commercial intros....FYI.

Here is just one of Miss Bun's favorites. Enjoy!:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Cyborg Composer? A Fascinating Article . . .

This article is from the March/April issue of the online magazine:

Triumph of the Cyborg Composer:
David Cope's software creates beautiful, original music.
Why are people so angry about that? by Ryan Blitstein

is a thought provoking look at artificial intelligence, creativity and what that might mean to us.

 (You can also hear some segments of Emily Howell's music.)

Here is some info about the magazine in case you were wondering who they are and what they are up to: 

"The online magazine harnesses current academic research with real-time reporting to address pressing social concerns. Each day, we offer you information and possible solutions to concerns in areas such as education, politics, the environment, economics, urban affairs and health so you can join our lively global conversation based on work by researchers, leaders and journalists."

Be sure to check out the other interesting topics to be found there! 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Kindle for PC???


Those savvy folks at are now offering a FREE Kindle version for PC:  Kindle for PC
So now all of us who can't afford a new Kindle can still buy their ebooks (all 400,000 of them!)  and read them on our computers.

And even if you have a Kindle with this application you can access your library, notes, marks and more from your computer.

One can't add notes or highlight, search, or zoom & rotate images on a KindlePC (like you can on a bona fide Kindle)  but these are evidently upgrades coming in the near future.

Pretty sly,!

P.S. Miss Bun has had an opportunity to play with a Kindle and found the whole experience rather fascinating. (She is waiting for the price to come down though, given current public librarian salaries and all, before taking the digital plunge.)                                              

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Goodreads anyone???





 Have you ever wanted a better way to:

  • Get great book recommendations from people you know.
  • Keep track of what you've read and what you'd like to read.
  • Form a book club, answer book trivia, collect your favorite quote
    .........Then Goodreads if for you!

Just what is Goodreads, you may ask? 

Here is the answer direct from their "About" page:

"Goodreads is the largest social network for readers in the world. We have more than 3,100,000 members who have added more than 81,000,000 books to their shelves. A place for casual readers and bona-fide bookworms alike, Goodreads members recommend books, compare what they are reading, keep track of what they've read and would like to read, form book clubs and much more. Goodreads was launched in December 2006."

 Their mission?

To get folks excited about reading (on a global scale, no less)  & they do it by making reading fun again!

(What an amazing concept! Who would have ever thought that reading could be a pleasure?
[p.s. the sarcasm is all mine...A pox on all those reading-fun-suckers in the world!]

How it works:

Signing up for Goodreads is simple &  free.

"Imagine it as a large library that you can wander through and see everyone's bookshelves, their reviews, and their ratings. You can also post your own reviews and catalog what you have read, are currently reading, and plan to read in the future. Don’t stop there – join a discussion group, start a book club, contact an author, and even post your own writing."

Everyone starts out with three default shelves:  read, currently reading, and to-read but you can add other shelves as the spirit moves you.

If  you are at all intrigued you might want to check out their How It Works page for more in-depth info.

Take some time to explore what Goodreads has to offer. If you love books you'll be glad you did! Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Another Cool Site: Vintage Printable!!! (And a Manifesto to Boot!)

 Need free vintage images? Then you will want to go here:

Vintage Printable

About Vintage Printable
"Vintage Printable provides public domain antique scientific, naturalist, and other images for you to print or download. The illustrations here are curated or, tossed as has been pointed out, by me, Swivelchair, an anonymous biopharma worker"

 Besides spending huge amounts of time feasting on the marvelous images to be found here, might I also suggest that you take a look at the site's About and Public Domain Manifesto page?

Swivelchair's take on the issues of copyright, public domain and who controls (or would like to control) access to information is important for everyone to know about. You may be surprised to find out who some of the players are in this game.

(Miss Bun is of the persuasion that Swivelchair ROCKS!)

Friday, February 19, 2010

It's TGIFF! Take a Poladroid!

Here is a fun app that mimics the Polaroid instant cameras of ye olden days.......remember them? Now you can create your own instant Polaroid (sort of) pics and get a real slice of retro to boot! (It's free, too!)

First go here: Poladroid Project and download the application.

 Then go a little crazy! (You know you want to!)

The fun part is watching your photo develop. Love the sound effects, too! Just like the real thing!

Here is a Miss Bun favorite photo of kids painting a mural in the library's Young Adult room. How cool is that all vintaged out with Poladroid???

And in case you want a little history check out what Wikipedia has to tell us about Instant Cameras.


P.S. Thanks to the Snowbound in NH!!! You always find the coolest stuff!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Celebrate Lasers!

Ok, Peeps, who knew that 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the first laser?

"No!", you say? 

"Why, yes it is!" Miss Bun says.  

Check out these sites for a fascinating look at all things laser related:

LaserFest is ground zero for this celebration. It's mind-boggling!

Bright Idea: The First Lasers is an online exhibit produced for LaserFest by the Center For History of Physics of the American Institute of Physics.

(I've gotta say that the AIP does a fantastic job of bringing this branch of science to life especially for those of us with degrees in the humanities! Kudos!) Check it out!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Internet 2009 in Numbers!

Here is a fascinating overview of the 2009 Internet by an outfit called Royal Pingdom whose "focus lies on covering the uptime monitoring needs of 90% of the companies in the world" for a living.

These are amazing statistics!

The Internet 2009 in Numbers

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Kid & the Winter Olympics

The 2010 Winter Olympics are upon us so here are two sites that are full of fun, games, crafts, puzzles, printables & more to help keep kids engaged in this historic event.

From : Winter Olympic Printables

& from ActivityVillage: Winter Olympics for Kids

While you are at these sites be sure to take a look at all they have to offer!

Friday, February 5, 2010

TGIFF.....Drama Queen Style!

Well, Peeps, it's another "Fun Friday" and what could be more useful (or amusing) in these stressful times with the amount of drama going on just about everywhere you turn?

Why, your very own Drama Button, of course!

P.S. I think this would make a great ringtone, don't you?