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Free ebooks and audiobooks

Go To Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg is a great site for readers of ebooks and listeners of audiobooks. The site features titles in open formats, without problematic "DRM" (digital rights management) systems that prevent access. The works are public domain, but if you need a classic for school and our copies are checked out, or if you would like to explore the great books of the past, check out Project Gutenberg.

Knitting Socks

Sock knitting is portable and relatively quick with a wide variety of patterns for many skill levels. Two recently published books give knitters new approaches to sock knitting.

New Pathways for Sock Knitters, Book One Cat Bordhi
Ms. Bordhi has the unique ability to see objects in new and different ways. In this first book of a three part series, she offers eight new sock "architectures," master patterns for socks outside of traditional methods that can then be customized for any foot, yarn or needle. Experimentation is encouraged and soon you will be knitting socks in a completely different way.

Learn about PHISHING SCAMS, the fun way with ANTIPHISHING PHIL!

What's a "phishing" scam? It's a nasty practice where thieves try to find out all sorts of lucrative personal information from you: checking account numbers, credit card numbers, or that holy grail among scammers, your social security number. They use these numbers to steal, and stick you with the bill. Guess what happens to your credit rating! And it can take years to clear up the mess.



Phishers send you emails that resemble real companies. There was an earlier blog post about bogus greeting card emails in which emails that appeared to come from American Greetings or Hallmark could contain viruses. Same principle here: the scammers appear legit in order to do something nasty.


Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas

Young Rennie Stroud faces the trials of World War 2 when her older brother is sent to fight in Europe and the government sets up an internment camp for the Japanese outside her small Colorado town. Hostilities escalate between the camp, called Tallgrass, and townspeople after a local girl is murdered and prejudices mar justice. A dramatic, memorable novel narrated through the innocent voice of a thirteen year old girl.

American music information resource

bridge jpgA new collection from the Library of Congress. The Traditional Music and Spoken Word Catalog is a searchable database that includes information on musical recordings; most of those covered are from 1933-1950.

This database is just one collection in the Music Theater and Dance Performing Arts Digital Library which showcases important artistic documents and materials related to American culture.

A comet called Holmes in our skies

A formerly very dim comet called Holmes (17P) flared up October 24th growing many magnitudes brighter. It's outside the orbit of Mars and in the southern portion of the constellation Perseus. Last night (Oct. 27), following a day of clouds, mist, and rain, I stepped outside to a clearing sky. It took me only a second to find Holmes and view it through my 10X50 binoculars. It was a beautiful sight, though to the uninitiated, it's just a big fuzzball. That is, of course, how it actually looked... a large, brightly glowing puff with a bright dot in the center; that's how comets look "head-on" with any tail streaming behind and away from the viewer. The glow was slightly yellow or golden... quite an unusual object.

California fires mapped online by officials

There are so many fires that is is hard to get answer to questions about any particular fire in the counties affected; this California Fire Web site has up-to date information on all of them, plus a Google map showing all the locations.

The Prince of Nantucket by Jan Goldstein

Prince of NantucketA charming, ambitious political candidate returns to his family home in Nantucket as his mother falls victim to Alzheimers. The visit forces him to reevaluate his future when family relationships become unexpected priorities. An honest and heartfelt book by the author of All That Matters.

Storm Runners by T. Jefferson Parker

Storm RunnersAfter his wife and son are killed in an explosion, ex-cop Matt Stromsoe takes a job as a bodyguard for a television weather forecaster being harassed by a stalker. He must protect her from powerful people who will stop at nothing for greed and revenge. A finely crafted suspense novel!

"Shooting Stars" this weekend!

If you want your wishes to come true this just could be your weekend. If you believe in wishing on a falling star, that is! The annual Orionid meteor shower peaks after midnight Saturday night, October 20, and into the pre-dawn hours of Sunday. IF the sky is clear (and that's a rather big "if" lately) and you go to a place where the skies are dark, you may see more than 20 meteors streak across the sky in an hour! Some of the meteors will be bright and leave briefly glowing trails. Many will be fast and faint. Don't worry, however, you won't be bonked on the noggin by the falling debris -- it's only dust and small grains left behind in space during previous passages of Halley's Comet. Traveling at very high speed, the tiny particles glow brightly as they enter Earth's atmosphere heating and finally "burning up" completely.