Frivolous Friday!

Once again, it’s Frivolous Friday, and today is all about smells. One of the funny things you hear people say lately is that eBooks just don’t have that same smell as an actual book. Of course, now there are candles, and perfumes you can buy to duplicate that smell (although I can’t picture myself getting out an air freshener just before reading a book on my phone and spraying it around so I’ll feel more libraryish). But it seems that books are not the only smells that are disappearing.

Recently, Mental Floss did a great post on “11 Smells That are Slowly Disappearing” due to changes in how we live, and it is fascinating! How many odors–like the smell of phone books–are almost gone, that you can bring to the forefront of your memory right now?

20151124_121934Almost all of these were easily conjurable for me, except maybe the cap gun. What about you? And are there other smells you can think of that are almost gone, simply because we have new ways of doing things? Let us know! Now we’re thinking……

Did They Really Say That?

If you’re a fan of author John Green like many of us at the library, you probably know he makes fabulous YouTube videos. You’ll learn something in each one of them, guaranteed.  His delivery is that of a man who has had four too many cups of coffee, but if you can listen on superspeed, you’ll love them.

For that sparkling dinner party conversation, take a listen to this one where he explains the 50 Most Common Misquotations. You’ll be able to dazzle people with your knowledge!


What’s That Symbol?



Yes, the little symbol above has a few meanings. Whether you know it as a number sign or a hashtag, it was once just a symbol that became a word in our society. Even a famous musician once decided he’d rename himself and use a symbol instead of letters.  It worked for a while, but we’ve gone back to calling him by his royal name, for the most part.

While symbols often change their purpose in our communication, there will always be a use for them, especially in this world on texting and 140 character tweets. You can find a bigger list of symbols that we turned into words right here.


I came across a funny question posted on Mental Floss the other day, and it got me thinking about the students who work in our library who are going off to University soon. The question posed was:  What High School class have you found most useful? I’m assuming this is in reference to life after high school (and probably university). While young people sit through years of classes they don’t think they’ll ever use again (advanced math seems to be a common complaint), I think our younger selves would be surprised at the classes we DO end up using later in life.

Some of the answers posted on the Mental Floss pages ranged from typing to economics to English classes.  (The most popular one seemed to be typing!) When I think back to the classes I took and the degree I followed with, the answer would have been music class.  Now, after a change in career direction, I’d have to say English class (or, okay….typing).  There were probably many courses that I thought (at the time) would never be useful to me….such as geography or science…but there have been plenty of times when I’ve needed maps, and many instances where I’ve used “scientific principles” to solve problems.


These days, we notice more and more young people having trouble with “simple” things….like filling out a form to get a library card. We don’t expect really young kids to know what “mailing address” means, but when you get into High School, knowing your postal code or what township you live in should be second nature. It’s shocking to us how many “kids” don’t know these, however.

What if there was a High School class devoted to the basics of life?  A class which taught teens to fill out forms, or balance a chequebook or work out a budget for bills and groceries would be something many people would look back on later in life and say….that really helped me. Our lives are so digital now that kids are even losing cursive writing. Maybe there will be a time when signing your name will be as simple as scanning a fingerprint into a computer, but for now, it’s still important. Life 101.  That’s what I’d call the course.

So, what class did YOU take in High School that you find most useful today?


Just the facts

Over at Mental Floss, a recent post celebrated the world of children’s books with 19 Fun Facts! We often don’t think about (or know) the stories behind the stories, so this was an eye opener on many fronts.

For example, did you know that Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar was almost called A Week with Willi Worm ? Would it have been as popular?  Maybe, but I guess we’ll never know. Stop by the link above to see more of the wacky and interesting facts you never knew about children’s books. And thanks to the people at Mental Floss for the entertaining article!

It’s a sign!

Just a little fun for Thursday right before a long weekend. (Of course, the library will be closed tomorrow, so we’ll have a bit of a blogging break until next Tuesday.) In the meantime, let’s see how much you know about punctuation!

This great quiz by Stacy Conradt, will leave you scratching your head (or maybe not). Can you match up all the symbols with their proper names?

Can you spell it?

For our Frivolous Friday post, we’ll visit a little topic that holds a special place in my heart…music!  And in the spirit of spelling bees, we’re going to play a little game  where you must identify the musical instrument that is spelled incorrectly. (No cheating….just take your time and see if you can figure out which one is spelled wrong.)






Can you see it?  If you think you know the answer, click here.

Thanks to Mental Floss for always providing stimulating content!