Adult News, Reviews & Information

  • Thu, 04/17/2014 - 8:44pm

    The Circle, by Dave Eggers, opens with Mae's first day at her new job at the largest and most powerful company in the world.  Mae is twenty-four, and agog at the surroundings and possibilities at The Circle.  Her first eighteen months out of college were in a dreary cubicle in the utility company in her dreary hometown. Desperate to escape, she had asked her college friend, Annie, who is already a prominent employee in The Circle, to get her a job there.

    Mae is energized by her new work environment, but initially struggles to learn not only her duties in Client Experience, but the requirement to "participate" in The Circle community.  She is lightly reprimanded for not sending enough messages and comments online, before she catches on.  Soon she is frenetically messaging ("zinging") and commenting everywhere to achieve the participation ranking ("PartiRank," yes, "PartiRank") required.  

    By the end of the book, she has six screens on her desk, two bracelets (one which monitors her health and statistics, one to monitor messages), and a camera hanging on her neck. Her trust in the values and wisdom of her employer's "Wise Men," the three (yes, three Wise Men) top leaders at the Circle over any of her misgivings.

    As Mae becomes more and more connected, she becomes the public face of the company. The Circle is taking its original idea to combine all of a person's accounts with one user name and password, under the person's real name and tied to their credit cards and bank accounts, many steps further.

    Privacy is disappearing.  

    Will Mae help push everyone into constant monitoring and connection, or will she heed the few dissenting voices she hears?  Would you make the same decision Mae does?  

    This is a good read for those who follow current events and wonder where we are headed.

    ~ Shana H.

  • Mon, 03/31/2014 - 8:28pm

    If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.
    ‒Nelson Mandela

     

     

    Over the decades, the world has become more interactive as technology has erased existing borders. Learning a new language can expand us culturally, and can also help us on a developmental level as well. The Telegraph discusses this in an article which focuses on alternative benefits of learning other languages. 

    1. You become smarter

    2. You build multitasking skills

    3. You stave off Alzheimer’s and dementia

    4. Your memory improves

    5. You become more perceptive

    6. Your decision-making skills improve

    7. You improve your English

    Homewood Library is now offering FREE online language learning through MANGO.

    MANGO  is a fun and easy, self-paced, interactive teaching system that helps the learner practice personal conversational skills and learn cultural insights for a foreign language. Lessons include strategically placed memory-building exercises to help users remember what they are learning in addition to critical thinking exercises. The focus is on practical conversations while increasing vocabulary and grammar skills.

    MANGO courses are for just about anyone who is old enough to read, and  MANGO also offers ESL (English as a second language) for over a dozen different languages

    In order to use Mango, your computer must have the latest version of Adobe Flash installed (Adobe 10.3 or higher). You can easily upgrade for free by visiting Adobe’s website.

    If you are interested in trying MANGO, click here.

     

  • Thu, 03/27/2014 - 8:09pm

    More than 145 million adults now include walking as part of a physically active lifestyle. We know walking helps control weight, and improves health even without weight loss. People who are physically active live longer and have a lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers. 

    The biggest difference regular exercise can make is in increasing a person's chances of independence and self care as we get older. Health experts have now discovered that regular exercise can help prevent many of the conditions that frequently lead to a ride in an ambulance to the hospital.

    Warmer weather is finally on the way; give your legs a stretch and take a visit to a local park or take a stroll around your neighborhood.  Here are some books to give you motivation!

     

    60 hikes within 60 miles, Birmingham : including Tuscaloosa, Sipsey Wilderness, Talladega National Forest, and Shelby County/ Russell Helms

    Including hikes near Anniston, Gadsden, Cullman, and Tuscaloosa, "60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Birmingham" reaches out to provide the best day hikes within an hour's drive of the Magic City. From mine-riddled Ruffner Mountain in the Eastwood/Irondale area to the blast furnaces of Tannehill State Park, area hiking paths cross hidden ore shafts, pass over vast deposits of coal, and circle immense limestone quarries. 

     

    50 Places to Hike Before You Die / Chris Santella ; foreword by Bob Peixotto 

    Fifty Places to Hike Before You Die" is the latest offering in the bestselling "Fifty Places" series. Chris Santella, along with top expedition leaders, explores the world's greatest walking adventures. Some, such as the Lunana Snowman Trek in Bhutan and the Kangshung Valley Trek in Tibet, are grueling multiweek adventures at high altitudes. With commentaries from expert trekkers and insider tips that lead the reader off the beaten path.

     

    Walk a hound, lose a pound : how you and your dog can lose weight, stay fit, and have fun together / Phil Zeltzman and Rebecca A. Johnson

    A dog is an ideal workout partner: always supportive, happy to go for a walk, and never judgmental. When people and dogs exercise together, fitness and health happen on both ends of the leash. As the obesity epidemic spreads, 70 percent of Americans and 50 percent of dogs are overweight or obese, resulting in staggering health care costs and suffering. The causes, consequences, and treatment for the overweight and obese are strikingly similar in people and dogs. Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound, written by an expert veterinary surgeon and leading nurse researcher, helps you move from a food-centered relationship with dogs to an exercise-centered relationship. 

     

    Wild : from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail / Cheryl Strayed

    At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State--and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than "an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise." But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone. 

     

    A Walk in the Woods : Rediscovering America on the   Appalachain Trail/ Bill Bryson

    Back in America after twenty years in Britain, Bill Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. The AT offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakes, and also provides endless opportunities to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings.

    For a start there's the gloriously out-of-shape Stephen Katz, a buddy from Iowa along for the walk. Despite Katz's overwhelming desire to find cozy restaurants, he and Bryson eventually settle into their stride, and while on the trail they meet a bizarre assortment of hilarious characters. A Walk in the Woods is more than just a laugh-out-loud hike. Bryson's acute eye is a wise witness to this beautiful but fragile trail, and as he tells its fascinating history, he makes a moving plea for the conservation of America's last great wilderness. An adventure, a comedy, and a celebration, A Walk in the Woods has become a modern classic of travel literature.

    Happy trails!