Our Future Great Lakes Ecosystem

Residents of the Great Lakes region share a devotion to our magnificent freshwater lakes for the many ways they enhance our lives. The lakes are part of a living ecosystem and their health, and that of the organisms that depend on them, is greatly influenced by human activity. James Diana, Director of the Michigan Sea Grant College Program, will review the massive environmental changes since European settlement. He'll look at current issues like Asian carp, round gobies, zebra and quagga mussels, botulism and harmful algal blooms to help us think about the future of this amazing natural resource. Join him at the Downtown Library, Monday, Feb. 15, 7-8:30 pm.

Shoofly? No, Stonefly

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The the Huron River Watershed Council needs volunteers on January 30 for their annual Stonefly Search. People congregate at different streams or points along the river to collect insects that live under the ice. Only one person actually goes in the water but everyone examines samples which can tell a lot about the health of the river. Although it's cold, people dress warmly and there are always loads of goodies and hot drinks available at their New Center headquarters on North Main. This is a great family event and a novel way to spend time outdoors. Deadline for sign-up is this coming Monday, January 11.

The Vegetarian Myth

Lierre Keith is passionate about eating in a manner which does not cause suffering to living creatures or the planet. Her answer to that mandate for 20 years was to be a vegan. But after 20 years of feeling tired, cold and hungry all the time, in constant pain from her disintegrating spine, and after learning how the destructive forces of agriculture and eating outside one’s local food base are degrading the planet, she has flip-flopped into a passionate crusader for the moral, political and nutritional imperative of eating grass-fed animals from local farms. This is not a journey she has made lightly or even willingly. The facts she bares in The Vegetarian Myth have led her to her new orientation - facts which are as unsettling as they are convincing. This book adds greatly to our understanding of eating and living well.

Winter Adventures -- Youth Magazine Update

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There's no denying it, winter has definitely arrived -- and with snow predicted for some time this week, it's time to plan how to keep yourself entertained when the weather turns icy.

If you're an outdoorsy type, Boy's Life Magazine has all the information you will ever need, with articles on ice fishing, making emergency shelters out of snow, and ice climbing -- on frozen grain silos. (Strange, but true.)

For those of us who prefer to stay indoors with a hot cup of cocoa, Nintendo Power Magazine provides the latest information on the best new games -- like Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks, the first Legend of Zelda game where Zelda gets to go adventuring herself! My personal favorite, for the name alone, is Zombie Panic in Wonderland in which your favorite fairy tale characters fight...you guessed it ...zombies.

Bridging the gap between outdoor adventure and vegging out is National Geographic Kids, with an article on the return of the lynx to Colorado, and a review of upcoming Disney original The Princess and the Frog.Owl Magazine and its sister publication ChickaDee get in on the act with articles on arctic animals, gifts you can make yourself, and, in ChickaDee, an up-close look at Quebec's Hotel de Glace, a hotel made entirely of ice.

A World Without Ice: Nobel Prize Winner Henry Pollack and the Implications of Climate Change

University of Michigan Professor Emeritus and Nobel Prize Winner Henry Pollack will discuss his new book, World Without Ice, on Wednesday, Nov. 18th, 7 p.m. at the Downtown Library. A starrred review in Kirkus leads the raves on this "clear, engaging review of a disturbing environmental pattern." Dr. Pollack will answer questions and sign books following the presentation.

Ancient Food and Extreme Science -- Youth Magazine Update

Eric GuilbertEric Guilbert

From history to travel, interviews to fiction -- this month's youth magazines sure have a lot of interesting stories to share!

Dig Magazine starts the party with an issue focusing entirely on the history of food. Learn about Ancient Egyptian bread baking and the history of the tortilla, as well as how to roast a whole pig. Even more fun than McDonald's!

Jack and Jill travels the world, with a look at winter holiday celebrations and life in Mongolia's Gobi Desert, as well as an interview with 16-year-old figure skater and Olympic hopeful Mirai Nagasu.

Ever heard of scientists who brave dense jungles and hang from trees to study rare insects? Ranger Rick Magazine has the whole story, along with cool pictures of animal sculptures made entirely from tin cans.

If this makes you feel like exploring the world, come on down! The library is always the best place to start.

Toys, Tweens, Pies and Trees -- Parent Magazine Update

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The magazines on our parent shelf are taking on the world, and they can take you along for the ride.

Parenting: School Years starts out strong with an article on how to enjoy your child's "difficult" tween years, and just keeps on swinging with a special Mom Congress report on the necessity of art education, a guide to family hapiness, and their picks for "toys of the year."

Coincidentally, Family Fun Magazine also features their Toy of the Year Awards -- number one is Klutz's "Invasion of the Bristlebots", a kit for making robots out of toothbrush heads. The magazine continues with an article on blogging as a family, a list of fun Thanksgiving activities, and five unique pie recipes for those bored with the same old pumpkin-from-a-can variety.

Gifted Child Today tackles some serious issues in their fall edition -- a guide to involving children in caring for the earth, an article by Dr. Gilman W. Whiting, director of the Scholar Identity Institute on reducing dropout rates among diverse students, and a guide to identifying signs of Asperger's syndrome-- an Autism-spectrum disorder.

If all this makes you want to roll up your sleeves and dive in, great! These great ideas and more are just a trip to the magazine rack away.

Nonfiction Finds -- Winter Stargazing

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Expert astronomers know that in the winter the stars are clearer and brighter than they are in the summer. Several spectacular meteor showers will also take place in the upcoming months, so grab your overcoat and take advantage of the clear skies with some great nonfiction resources!

New arrival "Phases of the Moon" by Gillia Olson is a great place to start, including a list of websites for further information.

More experienced stargazers can graduate to Anton Vamplew's "Simple Stargazing" or Fran Lee's "Wishing on a Star". These guides to the constellations require no telescopes!

And once you're done and curled up with a cup of tea, you can read the stories behind the constellations with Jacqueline Mitton's "Zodiac", "Zoo in the Sky", and "Once Upon a Starry Night", all beautifully illustrated by Christina Balit.

Argo Dam: The Report

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City staff prepared a 32-page Report briefing City Council on the options to consider in responding to the order by the Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality regarding Argo Dam. City Council reviewed the report at a Sept. 8 public work session. The session will be replayed tonight Friday, Sept. 11 at 7:30 p.m. on CTN Channel 16.

Greenbelt Update

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The Greenbelt Program has protected over 1,300 acres of farmland and open space surrounding the City of Ann Arbor. The Ann Arbor Area League of Women Voters invites the public to join Laura Rubin, Chair of the Greenbelt Advisory Commission, for an update on the project and future plans for land acquisitions on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 12 noon at the Zion Lutheran Church, 1501W. Liberty. Bring a bag lunch and your questions.

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