Lake Superior Day

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July 20 was Lake Superior Day and it extends into the week making it Lake Superior Week. A whole week dedicated to a superior lake in a superior state! For those of us not lucky enough to venture off into the wild and enjoy the great lake in all its splendor, we can enjoy tales of the lake. For a historical point of view there’s Around the shores of Lake Superior : a guide to historic sites, for the hiker there’s Gentle hikes of upper Michigan : upper Michigan's most scenic Lake Superior hikes under 3 miles, and for those who want to read about the spirit of the lake there’s Lake Superior : story and spirit. Let’s not forget about the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald and other shipwrecks and ghost stories of the Great Lakes. Yes, Michigan!

Pulp

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Check out Good, a magazine available downtown on the second floor. On page 68 of the July/August issue there is an article entitled Beautiful Messes: A Travel Guide to Man-Made Disasters. The destinations are educational and often times more affordable than the more conventional vacation... except in the case of the private yacht you'd need to tour the floating plastic triangle in the Pacific Ocean. Instead of paying to wait 2 hours for a single roller coaster ride at Disneyland in California you could head south to the beautiful man-made Salton Sea.

Summer Reading for the Food Obsessed

I'm not much of a "foodie" but I do love to travel and was intrigued by the title Around the world in 80 dinners : the ultimate culinary adventure 50,000 Miles, 10 Countries, 800 Dishes, and 1 Rogue Monkey. In 2005 culinary experts Cheryl and Bill Jamison, known for award winning titles like The big book of outdoor cooking and entertaining, used their giant stash of frequent flier miles to head off on a three month vacation around the globe in search of food and adventure. In March they published this book, offering readers the chance to live vicariously through their journeys in Bali, Australia, New Caledonia, Singapore, Thailand, India, China, South Africa, France and Brazil. This is not a cookbook, although they do provide authentic recipes from their destinations, as well as travel information about hotels, restaurants and points of interest (like the National Elephant Institute in Lampang, Thailand). If you're looking for a literary masterpiece, this is not the book for you - due mainly to the quirky flip-flopping between first and third person narrative. However, if you seek some light, insightful and humorous reading, filled with enthusiasm for food and travel, this will make a great choice for summer.

Poet Paddles in Explorers' Wake

Reading Waterwalk: A Passage of Ghosts and coming to our program Friday, June 6 at 7 PM might be enough summer adventure to keep you satisfied until fall. Steven Faulkner, an English professor at Longwood University in Virginia, wrote this book about the 1,000-mile canoe trip he and his son took through the heartland, retracing the routes of French explorers.

New Border Crossing Rules Begin Jan. 31st

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Beginning today, travelers crossing into the United States via land will be required to show identification documentation. Also effective January 31, 2008, U.S. and Canadian citizen children ages 18 and under will be expected to present a birth certificate issued by a federal, state, provincial, county or municipal authority. The Dept. of Homeland Security website includes an FAQ for travelers.

Calm Traffic = Cool City

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There are a lot of factors that make a city cool and pedestrian-friendly streets and neighborhoods is one of them. The public is invited to the City of Ann Arbor's annual Traffic Calming Informational Session on Wednesday, January 30, 2008, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at City Hall. Engineers, police and traffic consultants will be on hand to discuss the city's 10-step process to initiate traffic-calming procedures on streets in Tree Town. You can review the Traffic Calming Guidebook online or at the Downtown Branch Library.

Girl at Sea...romance, mystery and Italy!

Despite the semi-hoochie book cover this is a smart, thoughtful, adventurous tale about a 17 year old girl named Clio, on a whirlwind summer mystery trip with her eccentric father on a yacht in Italy. The cast of characters includes her dad's girlfriend, Julia an English researcher on a mysterious archealogical dive, her bubbly daughter, Elsa and Julia's very cute research assistant, Aidan. A centuries old mystery about a sunken ship, Pompeii, scuba diving, art supplies, jellyfish and tattoos all figure in this quirky good book. Maureen Johnson has done it again with Girl at Sea.

Explorers on the Moon

You thought Neil and Buzz were the first Explorers on the Moon? Actually, Tintin, his dog Snowy, Captain Haddock, and Professor Calculus made it there first. They're up to their same antics as they explore the moon and save the secrets of Syldavia's state of the art technology from espionage. Rumor has it that Steven Spielberg is teaming up with Peter Jackson for a Tintin movie to be released in 2009.

Want more moon exploration info? Apollo Mission documentary In the Shadow of the Moon, with never before seen footage, is now playing at the State Theater!

Canadian money - Not just for Monopoly anymore

Ever made fun of that weird-colored Canadian money? If you have, Canadians may be getting the last laugh. Yesterday, the loonie was worth as much as a U.S. dollar.

What does this mean for you? Well, if you're Canadian, it means that U.S. stuff is a lot cheaper. If you're from the United States and want some Canadian swag, though, you might not be so happy. It might even mean that Big Macs in Canada won't seem as cheap anymore.

Still wondering why you should care about Canadian money? Why not check out some of these books on exchange rates and other numbers economists worry about? Of course, maybe you'd just rather plan your next Canadian vacation, even if the prices are a bit higher.

Travel Europe with Rick Steves

Rick Steves could be considered a travel guru. He publishes travel guides, hosts a travel show, and writes an online column about travel. He even runs a tour company! Benefit from his advice and check out the library’s collection of books and DVDs. In particular, look for the DVDs that collect his series from 2000-2007 on such regions as France, Austria, England, Eastern Europe, and more. So, whether you want to research your next overseas trip or experience the world vicariously, Rick Steves is entertaining and informative.

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