Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Vote is the Most Powerful Instrument*

flickr user: teejayhanton

Please get out and vote November 6 or send in your absentee ballot. In the “boy do I feel old” department, this is the first presidential election that two of my nieces are old enough to vote in! My first presidential vote was *ahem* the election of 1980.  This is a little jarring to me, but I am so proud of them for being interested in voting. I hope you are too.

As you probably know, Election Day is Tuesday November 6. Get out there and vote and help Michigan have one of the best turnouts ever! The library can help you with information before you vote. Our Voter Information page has links that you may find useful. For example, you can see if you are registeredread about proposals, get information on candidates, view a sample of your ballot and more. 

  Election trivia:
  1. Which president was a model when young, actually appearing on the cover of Cosmopolitan?
    1. Ronald Reagan
    2. George H.W. Bush
    3. Gerald Ford
    4. Bill Clinton
  2. Which is NOT a real presidential pet:
    1. Andrew Jackson’s parrot “Poll.” (It cursed at his funeral.)
    2. Jimmy Carter’s dog “Peanuts.”
    3. James Garfield’s dog “Veto.”
    4. Teddy Roosevelt’s snake “Emily Spinach.”
  3. What is the most repeated first name for the First Ladies?
    1. Elizabeth, or a variation of that name.
    2. Martha
    3. Mary
    4. Abigail
  4. Which president had the most children?
    1. Rutherford B. Hayes
    2. George Washington
    3. William Henry Harrison
    4. John Tyler
  5. Which president was related by either blood or marriage to eleven other presidents?
    1. John Quincy Adams
    2. Franklin D. Roosevelt
    3. Theodore Roosevelt
    4. Benjamin Harrison





  1. C.   To supplement his income as a lawyer, Gerald Ford worked as a model, and appeared on the cover of Cosmopolitan  with his girlfriend in 1942.
  2. B.    Jimmy Carter did have a dog, but its name was “Grits.”
  3. A.   There were four First Ladies named Elizabeth or variants: Elizabeth Kortright Monroe, Eliza McCardle Johnson, Bess Truman (Elizabeth Virginia Wallace), Betty Ford (Elizabeth Ann Bloomer Warren.)
  4.  D.  John Tyler had 15 children.  Incidentally, George Washington had no biological children, but was stepfather to Martha’s children from her first marriage. 
  5. B.    Franklin D. Roosevelt was related by either blood or marriage to:  John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Ulysses S. Grant, William Henry Harrison, Benjamin Harrison, James Madison, Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft, Zachary Taylor, Martin Van Buren, and George Washington.

 * “The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.” –Lyndon B. Johnson

-Anne R., Reference Librarian at CADL Downtown Lansing

Health Issues in the News

With the meningitis outbreak and tainted food recalls all over the news recently, you might be concerned about where to get reliable, accurate health information.  Here are a few suggestions of resources you can trust.

– Eunice B., Reference Librarian at CADL downtown Lansing

We Like Fresh

Local career expert Lisa (a.k.a. Recruiter Uncensored) shares some of her knowledge with us every Monday. You can read this post in its original form along with comments here.

Most people find fresh appealing. Consider how much you appreciate fresh food, air or sheets. Aside from things like wine and cheese, I can’t think of anything people prefer musty.

Folks, I’m  here to tell you many people are struggling in their job search because they aren’t getting their fresh on. Their approach, responses, perspective, skills and attitude are stale. When one or all of the above come off to the employer as tired, overused or outdated, it makes the job seeker a boring and unappealing option.

For those of you wondering, this has nothing to do with age. Some may want to make it about calendar years on this planet, but I promise I’ve been underwhelmed by young and old. Think of all of the people you encounter in your life. A large percentage of humanity are no more than a blur in your vision field. They never stand out. They aren’t memorable. They are what you expect to see, they say what you expect to hear and they simply don’t wake your senses up enough for you to notice who they are.

Every now and then though someone crosses your path who is different and, ta-dah, you notice them. They are reFRESHing. They offer viewpoints you appreciate, but hadn’t considered before. They have ideas and strategies that give you the sense new and exciting things are possible. Their eye contact isn’t manufactured. Genuine interest is visible behind the retinas. Their ears are in the mix and they are registering your words and building responses around them.

My challenge to those looking for work is to take a step back and ask yourself where you might be stale. In all honesty, if you are tired of some of your answers and approaches, employers probably are too.

– Lisa W-P, CADL Guest Blogger

Stockbridge is Reading Up on Eating Healthy

Stockbridge concluded a full slate of events focused on healthy eating with a Wednesday, Oct. 24 discussion of the book, In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan.

The discussion was part of the 5H Community Read, an effort involving over 50 events presented by partner libraries in Stockbridge and four other small towns: Chelsea, Dexter, Grass Lake and Manchester.

Wednesday’s discussion in Stockbridge traversed a wide range of topics, including the issues involved in industrialized agriculture, the degraded nutritional content of common foods and the growing counter-trend of community-supported agriculture and locally sourced food.

As part of the 5H Community Read, the Stockbridge Library distributed 200 free copies of In Defense of Food into the community, using distribution points including Family Medicine of Stockbridge, Positively Chiropractic, Paul Dobos Family Dentistry, Cravingz, and Stockbridge Community Education. The effort in Stockbridge was funded by the Chelsea Area Wellness Foundation, in cooperation with the Stockbridge Area Wellness Coalition and the Friends of the Stockbridge Branch Library.

“We were delighted to take part in this,” said Stockbridge Community Education Director Jo Mayer. “People were really appreciative of the books. I believe this is really important – subtle changes in individual behavior that come from reading this book could have a big impact on our community over time.”

“It was a good discussion,” said Frances Laird, one of the discussion participants. “I think it’s impressive that this effort has put so many copies of this book into the community.  And I think that will only help people become more aware of the importance of healthy food sources.”

– Paul C., Head Librarian at CADL Stockbridge

Electoral Satire

While there’s always an abundance of partisan fiction for readers across the political spectrum, such topics are a minefield these days and I’m not going to bother trying to walk across it. But, with the general election around the corner, I thought it might be fun to put the spotlight on a few novels about the electoral process itself, in all its nasty, combative glory. These books generally take a satirical tone, which might be just what you need after seeing endless hours of campaign ads everywhere you turn.

The big-name book about elections this year is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adult readers, The Casual Vacancy. As you may have heard, it’s a far cry from Hogwarts. An idyllic small town in England begins to destroy itself from the inside out in the election for a vacant council seat, pitting generations, races and classes against one another. Even without wizards, this sounds familiar.

Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World is the first novel of celebrated writer Donald Antrim. It’s a surrealistic, biting look at suburban politics, where a high school teacher with a penchant for torture has designs on becoming the mayor of his anarchic California town.

No list of books about elections is complete without mentioning Tom Perrotta’s black comedy Election. Yes, it’s about the election for a high-school student body presidency, but the high-stakes machinations and morally bankrupt characters in this nasty, funny novel are entirely applicable for November.  The brilliantly ugly film adaptation, starring a terrifying Reese Witherspoon, is just as good.

– Sara D. Public Services Librarian at CADL Downtown Lansing

Edgar Allan Poe: Retro Horror for Today’s Readers

The Reader Roundup blog on Friday, Oct. 12 offers some great suggestions for horror reads. I’ll readily admit that horror doesn’t top my list of go-to reads, but I am fond of one of the godfathers of American Horror — Edgar Allan Poe.  I remember listening to a recording of The Tell-Tale Heart as a kid and getting caught up in the suspense and thrill, and yet not getting scared enough to have nightmares about it. When Halloween rolls around I think about re-reading Poe, and while my attention to him is seasonal and fleeting, there are some serious Poe devotees. Take for example The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore which holds an annual visit to Poe’s grave in the Westminster Burying Grounds on Halloween night. Duff Goldman and his crew at Charm City Bakery created an Edgar Allan Poe cake for the Annabel Lee Tavern on Food Network’s Ace of CakesA tavern and a fabulous cake dedicated to a writer — this guy has a serious following. 

Not only did Poe exhibit incredible talent and imagination, but he portrayed it in two of the most accessible formats, poetry and short stories. So even if you’re a horror lightweight like myself or short on free time, there’s no excuse not to fit some Poe into your Halloween season.

For the complete works of Poe try:

The Collected Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

For alternative access to Poe:

Graphic Classics.  Edgar Allan Poe (a graphic novel)

Dark Graphic Tales By Edgar Allan Poe (a graphic novel)

Steampunk Poe illustrated by Zdenko Basic & Manuel Sumberac

The works of Edgar Allan Poe in eBook format is available by clicking here.

The works of Edgar Allan Poe for listening on Book on CD or downloadable audio, available by clicking here.

And if you just can’t get enough of Poe, check out these websites dedicated to him:

The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore

The Museum of Edgar Allan Poe

The Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site

– Lynn H., CADL Youth Services Specialist

Hide Under the Bed! Classic Horror Movies

There is something about a crisp fall night that makes me want to curl up with a spine-tingling, bone-chilling, hair-raising, blood-curdling movie (I make sure a person or huggable family pet is near by in case I get too scared)!

I am not sure how my love of horror began, but I highly suspect that my two older brothers had a lot to do with it. Being older (i.e. bigger), they often chose what we watched on tv: Sir Graves Ghastly, Planet of the Apes, Night Gallery , Godzilla, and of course classic movies like The Blob and Frankenstein.

One night the three of us were sitting on the couch, wrapped in blankets and sharing a huge bowl of popcorn. We stared wide-eyed, slowly munching as Bela Lugosi terrified London as Count Dracula. Just as the fiend transformed from bat to vampire, a live bat swooped into the living room. Our popcorn and blankets went flying and we screamed loud enough to wake the dead. Ahhh, those were good times.

I still love a good fright, and if you do too, check out a few of these classic horror movies …bats not included.

Is your favorite classic horror movie not listed here? Be sure to share it in the comments section! Happy Haunting!!! <insert Vincent Price evil laugh here>

– Cassie V.,  Librarian at CADL Downtown Lansing