The Big Mac, a (nearly) perfect form of global currency

EconomistEconomist

Have you ever exchanged your dollars for a different currency? I don't know about you, but I'm always confused as to how much I'm actually getting. If I can trade one dollar for 0.75 euros, can I still get as much stuff as I would with a dollar (which, admittedly, is not that much)?

For over 20 years, The Economist has been giving a clever answer to this complex question: Big Macs. The Economist's Big Mac Index compares the prices of that beloved artery-clogger around the globe, and in the process helps show just how much you can get for your dollar. Or franc. Or rouble. In their latest index, you can get a burger in the U.S. for about $3.41. But in China, it will only cost you $1.45. If you're traveling to Norway, though, it will cost you a whopping (pun intended) $6.88!

The Big Mac isn't a perfect way to measure exchange rates and purchasing power. After all, you can't trade them across international borders (eww!). But they have the advantage of being made the same way no matter where you go, an elusive quality in international markets.

Want to find out more about the Big Mac index, or any number of other current events or international trade topics? As an AADL cardholder, you can actually access The Economist in its full-text glory in General OneFile, one of our great research databases. You will need to login to your aadl.org account to follow the database link.

Find a New Favorite!

Read everything by your favorite author? Let the NoveList database help you find a new favorite!

Take a look at the Author Read-Alike section in NoveList -- enter an author’s name and find books from other writers with similar themes, styles, or characters.

Access the database from the Arts, Literature, & Humanities section of the Research page. Once you’re in NoveList, choose the tab labeled For Readers, then click Author Read-Alikes. You can even search the database from home with your library card.

Help for Job Hunters

Whether you’re a new graduate looking for your first job or a seasoned professional making a change, the AADL has tools to help with your job search.

The ReferenceUSA database provides company descriptions, links to news articles, and corporate family trees to help you learn about potential employers. Plus, you can find mailing addresses and a management directory to help get those cover letters and resumes to the right people!

Access the database from the Business and Investment section of our Research page. From the ReferenceUSA home page, choose “US Businesses” to start searching.

And, Library cardholders can access ReferenceUSA from home!

Help for Foreign Language Learners

The Library can help you brush up on your language skills while school’s out this summer - or get you started learning a brand new language - all from the comfort of home!

Library card holders can access the Online Language Learning Center (sometimes known as Rosetta Stone), which provides learners with writing, reading, listening, and speaking lessons in a number of languages from Arabic to Japanese to Welsh.

Connect online through the College, Careers, & Education section of our Research Page. Complete a one-time registration at the Online Language Learning Center site so you can save your work, and you’re ready to go!

Good luck, bonne chance, buena suerte....

Know before you buy

Got your eye on a new grill? Replacing that old air conditioner? If you'd like to review the product information in Consumer Reports, the AADL can help - and you don't even need to leave home!

Library card holders can access full text articles from the magazine using the General OneFile database, accessible from the Research page. Once you're at the InfoTrac site, choose the Advanced Search screen to limit your search by publication and enter "Consumer Reports" into the publication title box.

Of course, if you’re coming to the library, you can still find the print copy of Consumer Reports at all of our branches.

Rarely Seen are Now Readily Accessible

frogfrog

This is not a zigzag bladderwort, it's a Blanchard's cricket frog, one of the more than 600 rare plants and animals featured in the new Michigan Rare Species Explorer. The curious of all ages can search by habitat, location, name, best time to view or browse the beautifully illustrated entries for all the species. Kudos to the team at the Michigan Natural Features Inventory for this wonderful new resource.

What Do I Read Next?

Looking for a good book set in Michigan? Or maybe a story about a zookeeper? The What Do I Read Next? database is here to help you!

Try their Who? What? Where? When? feature – select a character, setting, or time period to search the database and get a list of titles that match your selections. You can limit by age range and choose fiction and/or non-fiction titles. You can access What Do I Read Next? from the library’s Research page. (And, for a Michigan setting, check out The Lake, the River & the Other Lake. For a story about a zookeeper, try Good Night, Gorilla.)

Real People

Have you watched The Queen, or read Abundance: a Novel of Marie Antoinette, or checked out other books and movies with characters based on real people?

If you want to find out more about the real lives of those portrayed on screen and in print, try the Biography Resource Center with Marquis Who's Who. The database includes narrative biographies, as well as articles and selected websites. Access it through our Research page in the Biography section.

Don’t forget you can use the database from home with a Library card!

It's Not Official

pastypasty

After much research we are sad to report there is not an official Michigan Pasty Day. Although Governor Romney proclaimed May 24, 1968 as Pasty Day and Governor Milliken declared May 25, 1972 as Pasty Day, these single-year proclamations do not do justice to the importance of the pasty in Michigan’s history and cuisine. Perhaps Governor Granholm can rectify this situation. Best place to get pasties? Jean-Kays Pasties in Marquette, across from the NMU Superior Dome

Resources for Book Club Members

If your book club is setting its summer agenda, the Library can help you -- with more than just the books!

If you’re looking for discussion questions, the Novelist database offers reading group guides for a range of titles. Need more information about an author? You can find author biographies, bibliographies, and selected websites in the Literature Resource Center.

Both databases can be accessed through the Arts and Literature section of our Research page.

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