Math Is Fun! Seriously!

I Love MathI Love Math

School has rolled around again, and with school a plague worse than colds or flu ... math anxiety! Well, fear no more -- the cure has arrived. The October issue of Scholastic's "Dyna Math" magazine is here, with puzzles and articles to boost math skills painlessly.

"Dyna Math" combines mathematical puzzles with interesting stories from the news, real life and the authors' zany imaginations to help math make sense. An article about texting helps to teach graph reading, for example, and a story about a bizarre birthday party helps teach rounding and estimation.

As a former student, I can say without a doubt that the puzzles in this magazine are at least five times more interesting than any math problems I had in school. This magazine is a great resource for anyone who wants to get better at math and have fun at the same time.

Orion Book Award Winner: Trespass by Amy Irvine

The 2009 Orion Book Awards have been announced. Orion is one of the best magazines you will find, whose byline – nature/culture/place – reveals its focus. The editorial board reads like a who’s who of contemporary luminaries in the environmental movement, such as: Wendell Berry, Bill McKibben, Edward O. Wilson, Barry Lopez, Jane Goodall. Orion manages to be artistic, literary, probing and provocative, with cutting-edge articles on the politics, ethics and practice of environmentalism, farming and forestry and featuring the work of artists, poets, and storytellers. It inspires personal commitment to change the world, one short shower, cloth bag, bike ride and community garden at a time.

Every year the editors acknowledge books that, “deepen our connection to the natural world, present new ideas about our relationship with nature and achieve excellence in writing”. The winner of the award this year is Trespass: Living at the Edge of the Promised Land by Amy Irvine. The finalists are: The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane, The Bridge at the Edge of the World by James Gustave Speth, Inventing Niagara by Ginger Strand and Finding Beauty in a Broken World by Terry Tempest Williams. The Reader’s Choice Award went to Man Killed by Pheasant by John Price.

Where is journalism headed?

With the Ann Arbor News closing in July, many people are talking about the future of journalism here and across the country. Already the new venture, Ann Arbor.com, has set up community meetings in April, asking readers to help shape their upcoming product, which will include daily reporting on the web and a bi-weekly print edition. In this environment, we all may want to check out books such as What Would Google Do? with cutting-edge ideas on information technology management, journalism, and creativity in business.

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Jet - March 16 issue

Page 14 Black History
March 11th 1959: Lorraine Hansberry was the first Black woman to premiere her play, A Raisin in the Sun, on Broadway.
March 15 1999: Maurice Ashley was the first Black man to attain the coveted chess rank of "Grand Master".

Page 26 Where Are Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.?
The lead singers of the group 5th Dimension have made an album to celebrate 40 years of marraige entitled The Many Faces of Love.

Check out a recent Black History publication:
The African American experience : black history and culture through speeches, letters, editorials, poems, songs, and stories

Green Pulp

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Entrepreneur March 2009 Issue

Page 62 8 gadgets to green your office
Some of the environmentally friendly products include: soy toner cartridges, LED lights, motion sensor light switches and a box that will link your communications, web, security, and data storage for up to 300 employees.

Page 42 Thinking inside the box
Read about Spencer Brown, the man who recycled plastic trash to create the "Rent a Green Box" business with over 5 million in sales this year. So what else is in the trash?

Related reading:
Screw it, let's do it : 14 lessons on making it to the top while having fun and growing greener

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Bicycling The Buyers Guide April 2009 Issue
If you're not a hard core biker like this guy, your bike is hanging in your garage. It's that time of year to get your bike ready to go...or you could just buy a new bike. Yeah, that's the ticket...you could buy a new bike and donate your old bike to the Recycle Reuse Center. Or sell your old bike and donate the cash to a program that gives bikes to children in financially struggling families like the Greater Grace Temple's Bicycle Christmas Giveaway Program in Detroit.
Page 112 - How to Buy a Bike
This bit gives you a conceptual understanding of the technology of a bike.
Page 114 - What You Get for Your Dollar
Road bikes can roll past 10,000 dollars. Read this feature to understand what your paying for.

And remember to participate in the Ann Arbor Commuter Challenge initiative in May.

Related reading:
Bicycle! : a repair and maintenance manifesto
Bike repair & maintenance for dummies

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Black Belt Bird Talk

Black Belt Magazine April 2009
Page 38 - The Greek mathematician Archimedes has been associated with black belt technique...using the law of the lever. Apparently the key is fulcrum placement when attacking or resisting an attack...Oh Archimedes! If you'd only read this article before that Roman soldier attacked you.

Bird Talk Magazine April 2009
Page 9 - Learn how the endangered Micronesian Megapode has been protected by former President Bush's marine national monuments. An interesting fact about the Megapode, it uses heat from volcanoes to incubate its eggs.

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Project Budburst: Tracking Climate Change In The Garden
Organic Gardening Magazine February/March 2009 Page 47
In the Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Reads book "Seeing in the Dark: How Amateur Astronomers are Discovering the Wonders of the Universe" we learned about how amateur astronomers help professional astronomers. Similarly, gardeners can help scientists track climate change. Project Budburst is "a citizen's research program developed to monitor the ways in which climate change is impacting the leafing and flowering of hundres of plant species nation-wide."
Climate change : what it means for us, our children, and our grandchildren
Cool it : the skeptical environmentalist's guide to global warming
The Michigan gardener's companion : an insider's guide to gardening in the Great Lakes State

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Business news available at the library:
Ann Arbor Area Business Monthly - December
page 9 "The Americans With Disabilities Act - New Amendments Take Effect January 1, 2009" explains the newly expanded definition of a disability
Ann Arbor Business Review - December 18 - 31
page 20 "Data Digest" details patents collected in our area
Crains Detroit Business - December 22 - 28
page 1 "Pfizer purchase cheered" describes how the University of Michigan Medical School may use the site for research

Great Magazine Databases at aadl.org

Great Magazine Databases at aadl.orgGreat Magazine Databases at aadl.org

Another wonderful AADL service is an online selection of databases, which allows library cardholders speedy access to a variety of magazine articles on almost any topic. People ask how long the library keeps its magazines on the shelves, and where it stores the older ones? Each branch location keeps magazines for the last six months, while the Downtown Library holds the current year plus the two previous year’s issues. For online access, go to the Research tab at aadl.org, click on magazine articles and have fun exploring!

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