Time to relax!

We’ve noticed on several occasions this summer, that people are doing Tai Chi in the park just outside of the library.  There is a nice area in front of the Cenotaph where a group of seniors likes to gather for an hour of the slow and relaxing sport known as Tai Chi.

(Sorry about the tree!)

Here in Carleton Place, we have one official Tai Chi society, which falls under the Taoist Tai Chi Society of Canada.  You can see when they have sessions and workshops, find out about health benefits and register for one of their courses.

If you’d like more information about tai chi before trying it out, we have lots of books at the library on the subject, including:

If you’d like to try a bit of tai chi in your own home, there are plenty of videos on YouTube that show each movement, step-by-step.  Like this:

Hopefully, the nice weather will continue so that we’ll be able to watch our locals practice on a regular basis.  Although it is so beautiful to watch, we might not get much work done!

Are you ready for the Olympics?

We have lots of great books about the Winter Olympics at the library, so if you’d like to know a little more about the events that we’ll be seeing in the upcoming weeks, drop by and check out our sports section.  In the children’s area, we have a special table display with a variety of books on each winter sport, focusing on Canadian athletes, such as :

Miga, Quatchi and / et Sumi by Michael Murphy and Vicki Wong

and

Ski Jumping, Snowboarding and Speed Skating, all by Blaine Wiseman

Wiseman has covered each winter sport and there are plenty of other books along this subject in the library.

If you are interested in following the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, there is an official website that will lead you through.  You can drop by Vancouver2010.com at any point and learn something about an athlete, see the schedule of events, buy tickets or something from the store.  Once the games begin, you can also watch events live on their site and see what the medal standings are on any given day.

We’re also getting ready to follow our athletes and to show our support.We created a few Olympic displays, celebrating the official mascots and more.

Go Canada!!


Ride your bike

These days, the cost of gas makes the idea of riding a bike even more attractive to a lot of people.  But it’s hard to keep the “cool” factor pulling up to work on your ten speed with your hair all smucked to your head from the helmet.  What if your bike was a bit more elegant, something to marvel at?  Would it coax you into trying?

Bicycle design has pretty much stayed the same since the original bicycles in the 19th century, aside from the fact that they’ve come down in size.  But bicycles could look so much more interesting and it seems that designers have finally caught on to that fact. The creative people at Hammacher Schlemmer have created an eight speed transmission electric bicycle (which kind of defeats the purpose of getting some exercise, but that’s neither here nor there).

Hammacher

And what about a folding bike that will save some space once you get to work?  In fact, you could bring the entire bike into your cubicle with you, instead of just the wheel. The Strida Folding Bike looks a little odd, but if it works, then I guess that’s all that matters.

white-01-b

Australian student designer Julie Anne Davies has come up with a unique helmet design that cools the rider, is more ergonomic and provides better safety in crashes.  Along with that, her Pulse Bicycle Safety Helmet features a USB port and Bluetooth capabilities to allow you to take your music along with you.

pulse2


We have nice number of books on the subject of bicycles in the library, also, such as :

bicyclesBicycles by Robert Green

and

ZinnZinn & the art of Mountain Bike Maintenance by Leonard Zinn

Of course, there are many more books to choose from but if you are interested in getting out your bike and taking to the streets or the trails, come on in and browse the shelves for some ideas.  You can also see more fun bicycle designs right here at the interesting site Been-Seen.

I am a yo-yo

I’ve decided that maybe I’m just a yo-yo.  We’ve all heard about yo-yo dieting which is the act of losing and gaining weight over the course of your life, and now I’ve heard the term used for exercise as well.  And it applies….I am a yo-yo exerciser.  I begin and keep at it for a while, then just completely stop and lose all of the headway that I’ve gained.  And now studies are showing that this is even harder on your body than not exercising at all (which would be a preference for many of us, I know).  The time it takes for your body to start burning calories at a significant rate is greater once you’ve stopped exercising for a long stretch of time.  It is better to just keep at it, once a week for instance, than to quit cold-turkey.  Your body will still reap the rewards (higher metabolism, stronger bones and muscle) if you just continue to exercise on a regular basis, but it does have to be good exercise.

So why do we exercise?  Many of us do it for a specific event….a wedding, summer bathing suit weather, a high school reunion, and yet others do it to stay healthy or get healthier.  Weight loss is a big motivation for most people to exercise, but so is health.  I read an article recently about famous chef Gordon Ramsay who says he started exercising after a really stressful period in his life when his father had passed away due to a bad heart.  His brother-in-law signed him up to run a marathon and so, he HAD to go into training, no excuses.  He began running and found it to be a huge stress reliever, his only quiet time to think during his day.  I know that I don’t want any of my family to sign me up for a marathon, but I want to stop yo-yo exercising.

We have a new book in our library for those who might want to start running now that the warmer weather is upon us.  Although we were lucky this year to have the option of walking indoors at the Carleton Place High School in the evenings (you can ask Judi or Janet about it if you are visiting the library), many people still prefer to run as a form of exercise.  The book is called No Need for Speed : A beginner’s Guide to the Joy of Running by John Bingham, a columnist for Runner’s World Magazine.  He is a self-proclaimed back of the pack runner and wants people to understand that it isn’t how fast you run, but the fact that you just do it at all.

noneedThis looks like a really great read for those of us who might not be sure about running a exercise.  There are pages and pages of motivational stories, lots of great tips for getting out there and just starting as well as diet advice and even tips on buying shoes.  Although running may seem like a simple  form of exercise, Bingham gives you tips on how to really get the most out of it, without stressing the need to achieve the longest distance or the fastest time.

And for those who are less likely to go out and run a marathon yourself, there is a fascinating book in the new bin this morning called A Race Like No Other : 26.2 Miles Through the Streets of New York by Liz Robbins which details the stories of the New York Marathon in 2007.

raceShe tells the tales of the amateur runners as well as seasoned professionals, bringing insight into both the men’s and women’s races and the people who are spotlighted as the ones to watch during the race.  There are pages of great photos before, during and after the race which really brings the book alive.  If you’ve ever imagined participating in the world’s largest marathon, this book will not only inspire you, but it might just be the motivation to change your life and achieve that goal.

But for me, it looks like I might be doomed to a lifetime of yo-yo exercise, although I’ll try to correct that lifestyle and at least do something to break a sweat once or twice a week. I can manage that, if only for the thought that it might make my life a bit easier 30 years from now.



As if ice hockey isn’t already dangerous enough!

A new and extremely dangerous sport is being played by Austrians and it is changing the great game we all know and love.  Under Ice Hockey is the extreme sport being played by free divers and extreme sport lovers in Austria.  And yes, it really takes place under the ice!

The game takes place after a hole is cut in the ice and teams submerge themselves in the freezing waters.  There are frequent “air breaks” and the audience watches from up above on monitors.  No oxygen tanks and the risk of hypothermia are just a few of the dangers, although divers with oxygen are always present while the game plays out.

Of course, if you are looking for a few good hockey books, the always-extreme Don Cherry has a new book called Don Cherry’s Hockey Stories and Stuff and it is available in our library, along with countless other books on the subject.

hockey


How many medals will we win?

The odds are not looking good for Canadian athletes at this summer’s Olympic games in Beijing, China. Well, according to the predictions, anyway, we aren’t expected to win many medals when the games begin on August 8th. But you never can tell what might happen. You can read a really interesting article that appeared in the National Post this week by Mark Spector on the subject here.

Carleton Place will be cheering on one of our own, Ryan Cuthbert, in the Men’s K2 1000m event. Ryan was born in Carleton Place and began paddling at the age of 9 years old at the Carleton Place Canoe Club.

Ryan Cuthbert

He now lives and trains in Montreal, along with the rest of the men’s team, but we often see him pop into the library to use our internet stations when he is home for a quick visit. This will be his second Olympic games and we all wish him the best of luck in Beijing.

If you’d like to see who else is competing for Canada over the next few weeks, this site has a great list, including schedules and event listings. There is also an interesting site which has great Canadian Olympic trivia right here.

We also have a great selection of books at the library on past Olympic games in both the adult and children’s sections, if you want to know a bit of trivia before the games start. Please pop in and we’ll find you something interesting to take home!

So what is your prediction for the games?

Is it raining on Mars today, too?

This weekend in Carleton Place was lovely! We spent last week under cloudy skies with rain appearing almost every day, but Saturday and Sunday gave us glorious sunshine and warmer weather. Weather seems to be a hot topic here in our area, with several of our own staff consistently concerned with the goings-on over at The Franktown Radar.

This weekend marked an impressive accomplishment on Mars though, as the Phoenix Mars Lander arrived safely on the surface of the red planet. And one of the more exciting tools that sits atop the lander is the LIDAR, or Light Detection and Ranging instrument that was built by the Canadian Space agency and will be used to detect the weather and cloud cover that is going on directly above the lander.

Mars

The LIDAR sends a laser into the sky to measure distance. This is the first laser ever on any other planet in the universe (as far as we know), and it will shoot directly up from the lander to see if it will “hit” anything above, such as cloud cover. It measures the time delay between the transmission of a laser pulse and the detection of the reflected signal. It can also detect ice particles in clouds or other moisture to understand what is going on in the Mars atmosphere. The Canadian Space Agency website says that “the instruments will measure pressure and temperature, assessing local climate patterns as well as dust, clouds and fog in the lower atmosphere.”

Illustration of the Phoenix Mars lander

This is not the first time that Canada has provided some interesting equipment used in space exploration. Although we do not launch landers or space vehicles of our own, the Canadian Space Agency is often involved with NASA to provide new technology. The Canadarm first went into space in 1981 and was attached to a space shuttle and used to carry out tasks that could not be done by an astronaut alone. The Canadarm 2 was launched in 2001 and is attached to the International Space Station. If you want to read more about these particular pieces of equipment, you can check out the Canadian Space Agency link above, or you can find more information here:

http://canadaonline.about.com/od/canadaspace/a/canadarm2.htm

We have lots of books about space located in our library, and more information about the Canadarm available as well. Remember….you can find general space books under the call number…..629.4