Vinx performance at The Ark

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The powerful one-man band known as Vinx lands at The Ark on Thursday, March 13 for another masterful drum performance. Vinx is one interesting man. He was an Olympic track hopeful sidelined by a boycott and then a personal injury. He then became a personal trainer to a few celebrities before focusing on his music career, which began in the late 70s. He’s toured and played with world-class musicians around the world for the past thirty years. "Imagine a classic R&B voice like those of Sam Cooke or Al Jarreau singing a capella over a boisterous percussion troupe and you might get a hold on Vinx's magic...It's his yearning voice, alternately full of both anguish and joy, that makes you listen," says Modern Drummer magazine.
March 13, The Ark, 316 S. Main St. 8pm. Check the website for ticket information.

Report from the Blogosphere

Treat yourself to the article Blogs in the Feb. 14 New York Review of Books, in which Sarah Boxer explains the history and practice of blogging. Among my favorite lines: "The largest number of blog posts, some 37 percent, are now in Japanese . . . and most of these are polite and self-effacing — "karaoke for shy people." Thirty-six percent of posts are in English, and most of them are the opposite of polite and self-effacing." The print edition of this magazine is available at the library. Among books named in the article is Blog! How the Newest Media Revolution Is Changing Politics, Business, and Culture by David Kline.

An Economist holiday

Economist 12/22/2007 coverEconomist 12/22/2007 cover

If you've never read the annual holiday edition of The Economist, you're missing a rare treat. In addition to the magazine's typical insightful reporting and commentary, this edition includes several special reports on as sundry topics as professional poker to Mao Zedong's management style. Here are just a few articles that I enjoyed from this year's issue:

* Why humans' hunter-gatherer era wasn't quite as idyllic as we think
* The political sensitivity and power that comes from the Census
* China's attempts to encourage panda sex, and why we should care
* The political implications of electing a Mormon president.

Has your interest been piqued? Want to check out this issue of The Economist in its full-text glory? You're in luck! You can access it online in General OneFile, one of our great research databases. After you get into the database, just click the "Publication Search" link and search for The Economist. You will need to login to your aadl.org account to follow the database link.

Good reading on history of knowledge

If you’re up nights worrying about the future of books and/or libraries, you might want to keep a copy of the November 5 issue of The New Yorker magazine nearby, tabbed to the lively article Future Reading: Digitization and its Discontents by Anthony Grafton. From the concluding paragraph: “. . .Sit in your local coffee shop, and your laptop can tell you a lot. If you want deeper, more local knowledge, you will have to take the narrower path that leads between the lions and up the stairs . . .” to the library, of course, where you also can find this magazine.

Hours of Crafting

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The November issue of Hour Detroit, Detroit’s monthly magazine, features a great article about the local craft movement. The movement in general extends beyond crocheted potholders and Martha Stewart and has been on a slow rampage for the past several years. Artists, creators and makers do just that; make. Some do it to create and meet people and some are able to also do it as a full time job. Some have studios and some sell their wares online and in small boutiques on consignment. The Hour article gives face to local craft collectives like Handmade Detroit, the Michigan Design Militia and Loop- who get together to chat, craft and produce events for others to take part in. The article also features a handy guide to upcoming holiday craft fairs in Southeastern Michigan. For more reads, Bust, Venus (and soon Craft) are other magazines at the AADL with some edgy DIY appeal.

Shojo Beat and Shonen Jump Magazines

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Do you hate waiting for the next volume of your favorite manga? You can get an early look at new chapters of some of Viz’s manga series in the magazines Shojo Beat and Shonen Jump. Available at all library locations, these magazines serialize select manga series and also feature articles on anime, Japanese pop culture, and videogaming. Both have shuffled their lineups lately; click the “read more” link to get a look at what’s currently available in them.

The Wall Street Journal, brought to you by Rupert Murdoch

Big news in the business world this week: Dow Jones, and along with it the vaunted Wall Street Journal, now belong to media mogul Rupert Murdoch. The WSJ reports that, despite some heavy opposition from the controlling Bancroft family, Dow Jones accepted the $5 billion offer from Murdoch's News Corporation.

The WSJ is quite a laurel in Murdoch's already well-laureled hat. News Corporation is one of the largest media companies in the world, with holdings including HarperCollins, The Times, MySpace, 20th Century Fox, Fox Broadcasting Company, and many more names you've probably heard of. Murdoch hopes that Dow Jones will complement these already formidable media holdings by providing trusted business and stock information.

Opponents of the sale, notably Leslie Hill of the Bancrofts, fear that Murdoch will compromise the journalistic integrity of the newspaper, as has been alleged with other of his holdings including Fox News, ReganBooks, and The Times. Whatever the ultimate result, there is one group that will undoubtedly be overjoyed by the sale: Dow Jones shareholders. Murdoch's $60/share bid is worth two-thirds more than current DJ stock prices.

Joseph Mitchell- the quintessential reporter

Today, July 27, is the birthday of New Yorker writer, Joseph Mitchell who was born in Fairmont, North Carolina in 1908. His Southern roots informed his writing although most of his stories were of eccentric characters living on the edge in New York City. He talked with fishmongers, gypsies and Mohawk Indians who worked as riveters on bridges and skyscrapers. He interviewed criminals, politicians and celebrities. He wrote about gin mill owners, con artists and a flea circus operator. Most of his writing is collected in the book, Up in the Old Hotel. Mitchell thought of himself as a good interviewer because "he had lost the ability to detect insanity."

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

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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.

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.

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