- Credit Karma: Access free credit reports any time as well as monthly tracking and tools and articles to help your credit rating.
- Cake Financial: Investing website allows registered users to track the performance of stock investments across multiple brokerages. Follow other users’ progress and have online discussions.
- Mint: Updates all bank and investment account information daily. Offers suggestions for savings, provides alerts, and analyzes your investments.
- Quicken Online: Free online version of the Quicken software. Download financial information, use budgeting and money management tools, and participate in the online community.
- SmartyPig: Registered users create savings goals. Goals are met through required monthly contributions from a checking or savings account. Interest accrues and users have the option to make their accounts public so friends and family can contribute to the goal.
- Wesabe: Consolidate all bank accounts, investments, and credit cards. Tag transactions to create categories, view summary information, and receive personalized tips for saving. Registration is required to participate in the Wesabe Groups discussions, but uploading bank information is optional.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Mardi Gras Treasures: Costume Designs of the Golden Age
Mardi Gras: New Orleans
Lords of Misrule: Mardi Gras and the Politics of Race in New Orleans
Carnival in Venice
Music in Trinidad: Carnival
All on a Mardi Gras Day: Episodes in the History of New Orleans Carnival
Monday, February 23, 2009
I am well aware that
This is exactly the re-realization that fell on me like a house after watching a recent episode of a Rick Steves travel program. I was immediately struck by the beauty and very long history of Iran. The cities seemed every bit as cosmopolitan as any European, Asian, or American city and the people were every bit as welcoming as I’ve found Austinites to be. So in the spirit of trying to breakdown barriers to understanding, I’ve listed several resources the Austin Public Library has in its collection to help interested parties learn more about yet another fascinating people and culture in existence on this planet of ours.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
A new study at Cambridge University, reported that followers are just as important as are the leaders themselves, at least among stickleback fish. The study showed that followers bring out the best in their leaders, and leaders elicit better following skills in their followers. When timid fish were paired with a very bold fish, the bolder fish "inspired" the timid fish into becoming a very faithful follower. “Our study shows that the process by which leaders and followers emerge is a dynamic one,” said Andrea Manica of the University of Cambridge. “Individuals aren't simply born leaders or followers, but their role in a pair - and we could speculate, in a larger group - is the result of social feedback where everyone plays a role.”
As you read the the Library's recommended books on how to develop your leadership skills, remember that followers can bring out the best in a leader.
Followership: How Followers Are Creating Change and Changing Leaders
Barbara Kellerman 2008
Living into Leadership: A Journey in Ethics
Bowen H. McCoy 2007
The Leaders We Need: And What Makes Us Follow
Michael Maccoby 2007
The Leadership Challenge
James M. Kouzes 2007
The Nature of Leadership: Reptiles, Mammals, and the Challenge of Becoming a Great Leader
Joseph White 2007
The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking
Roger L. Martin 2007
On Becoming a Leader
Warren Bennis 1989
Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence
Daniel Goleman 2002
The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization
John C. Maxwell 2005
Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life
Stewart D. Friedman 2008
Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization
David Logan 2008
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Websites and Articles
"Down to Earth Homes" from Mother Earth News
"Earth-sheltered homes cut heating and cooling bills, create weather- and noise-proof shelter and blend in with the landscaping, including comparing options, designing with dirt."
"Earthbag Construction" from Mother Earth News
"Make durable buildings from the dirt in your yard"
Green Home Building
Amazing source of information including information on natural building materials, sustainable architecture, building codes and more
Organization that teaches natural building and natural design workshops
Rammed Earth Works
"Provides consulting services to architects, contractors and homeowners wanting to incorporate rammed earth into a green building program"
Monday, February 16, 2009
With a quick search in Encyclopedia Britannica, I find that the origin of Presidents Day dates back to the 1880s. Originally created to celebrate both George Washington's and Abraham Lincoln's birthday, we now generally celebrate all president's birthdays on this day.
Here are some interesting facts about both men (also found in Encyclopedia Britannica):
- Lincoln's birthday is February 12, as is Charles Darwin, Judy Blume and Darren Aronofsky
- as a child, Lincoln was a fervent reader, some of his favored books were Defoe's Robinson Crusoe and Aesop's Fables, later in life, he enjoyed Shakespeare
- Lincoln is often compared to George Washington in character and politics
- Washington's birthday is February 22, as is Ted Kennedy, Steve Irwin, and Drew Barrymore
- Washington enjoyed a good card game, even betting on those games as well
- before politics, Washington was a skilled surveyor
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Mr. or Ms. Lonelyhearts:
Saturday Evening with No Babysitter:
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Oral histories are a vital element in understanding history. These first-person tales provide a participant’s take on history. A basic search for “oral history” in the Austin Public Library’s catalog retrieves a plethora of interesting oral history collections. A brief sampling includes:
We Would Have Played for Nothing: Baseball Stars of the 1950s and 1960s Talk about the Game They Loved
Israel at Sixty: a Pictorial and Oral History of a Nation Reborn
Asian Americans in the Twenty-First Century: Oral Histories of First- to Fourth-Generation Americans from China, Japan, India, Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Laos
Listening Is an Act of Love: a Celebration of American lives from the StoryCorps Project
Tower Stories: an Oral History of 9/11
Voices of Freedom: an Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s through the 1980s
The Library of Congress has built an impressive Veterans History Project. They also provide a nice compilation of veterans’ oral history projects spanning the spectrum of American conflict involvement.
Monday, February 09, 2009
This quote appeared on the front page of the January 2009 issue of the DRIP Investor. As you can see, it is quite a colorful remark. I found this to be true of all the newly acquired business newsletters the Austin Public Library has added to its business resources collection at the Faulk Central location. Each newsletter is not only peppered with market insights and stock picks but each is written in an entertaining way and is not simply a dry listing of statistical information with charts. I have listed the titles below along with some key distinctive features.
Cabot Market Letter – Each issue of this biweekly publication includes a Watch List of stocks as well as forecasts for Long-Term and Intermediate-Term market trends. A Current Condition market forecast is also included along with a section entitled Market Timing Wrap-Up.
Dick Davis Digest- The focus of this biweekly publication is on providing market insights and stock recommendations. Individual stocks are listed under broad categories such as Healthcare and Consumer. Categories for Mutual and Exchange Traded Funds are also listed. Each newsletter features a Spotlight Stock and a Follow-Up section.
Dines Letter – The focus of this monthly publication is on a broad market analysis. Areas of concentration include common stocks, currencies, precious metals, international markets, the Internet, and bonds and interest rates.
Dow Theory Forecasts-The focus of this weekly publication is on stock market trends and securities reports. A fixture of each issue is a section regarding Market Commentary and another entitled Analysts’ Choice in which a specific stock is featured as well as its recent performance.
DRIP Investor (Dividend Reinvestment Plan) – The focus of this monthly publication is on the performance of companies that allow individuals to buy stock directly from them instead of going through a stock broker and having to pay a broker’s commission. It features a Question & Answer section covering a broad range of market related topics such as, “Is diversification a dead idea?”
Prudent Speculator – The focus of this monthly publication is on the buying of undervalued stocks that have the greatest promise for realizing substantial capital gains over time. It features a Stock of the Month section as well as lists of recommended stocks to buy and lists of recommended stocks to sell.
Martin Weiss’ Safe Money Report – The focus of this monthly publication is on market analysis from a big-picture perspective. It provides the reasoning for it’s analysis in the form of Proofs and lists Forecasts as well as corresponding Actions to be taken. It also features a Question & Answer section covering a broad range of market related topics such as, “Is now a good time to buy a house?”
Morningstar ETFInvestor – The focus of this monthly publication is on the performance of Exchange Traded Funds. A list of ETF Analyst Favorites is included as well as the ETFInvestor 350 Watchlist.
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Family and Relationships
Eric Jerome Dickey
Bebe Moore Campbell
La Jill Hunt
Mary B. Morrison
Stephen L. Carter
David Anthony Durham
Edward P. Jones
Eleanor Taylor Bland
Stephen L. Carter
Gar Anthony Haywood
Valerie Wilson Wesley
J. California Cooper
E. Lynn Harris
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Dr. Eskander’s dedication to the INLA has not been without significant struggle. He and his staff have suffered through death threats, sniper attacks, further looting and the like. You can read many of the articles and profiles out there on Saad Eskander in the library’s databases and on the internet. Here is just a sampling:
“The Baghdad Librarian’s Story”
BBC profile of Dr. Eskander
“Millions of Saddam Hussein's records could soon be accessible at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University, but the plan has been criticized by the director of the Iraq National Library and Archives (INLA).”*
*To read this article search from Factiva, log in with your library card number, and search for the title of the article.
“Iraq’s Cultural Curators Defy Sectarian Unrest”
Books of Interest
Monday, February 02, 2009
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, based on a story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, was nominated for best picture, best director (David Fincher), best actor (Brad Pitt), best supporting actress (Taraji P. Henson) and best adapted screenplay.
The Reader, based upon Bernhard Schlink's novel, was nominated for best picture, best director (Stephen Daldry), best actress (Kate Winslet) and best adapted screenplay.
Revolutionary Road, based upon the novel by Richard Yates, was nominated for best supporting actor (Michael Shannon), best art direction and best costume design.
Other new or coming soon movies based on books are:
Angels and Demons
The Lovely Bones