Universal Class – Bartending and Mixology 101

UniversalClassWS

 

Here at the Fountaindale Public Library we have a vast selection of databases in which one can choose from.  These include ones that fall under specific categories of research as pertaining to such topics as Articles & Research, Arts & Entertainment, Auto & Home,  Business & Employment, Consumer Information & Finance, Education & Homework Help, Genealogy, and Government & Law…just to name a few.

Today I will be looking at those that fall under the category of Education& Homework Help.  These include Universal Class, Mango Languages, Lynda.com, and Gale Courses.  Specifically, I will be discussing Universal Class and my experience with it and using it.

Universal Class is an excellent resource for anyone looking to further their knowledge and education.  Universal Class offers a staggering 500 online continuing education courses with real instructors.  Some of the courses include such diverse subjects as: Computer Training, Personal Finance, GED Training, Business, Pet and Animal Care, Professional Development, Health Services Training, Music and Painting, and many others.

 

 

bartending

 

 

The course I took and will be discussing in this blog is Bartending and Mixology 101.     To start you need to register as a new user.  After you have created an account, you then can decide on one of the 31 subjects listed.  Once you have decided on what subject you would like to pursue, below each one is an estimate of how many online courses each subject details.  You can also choose to search through the Course Catalog in the Find Course search box.  I typed in the word “Bartending” and with that it came back with 1 match found.  It could also be found under the main subject area of Arts, Crafts & Hobbies and under the subheading of Cooking and Baking.  It shows that there are 7 Lessons, 11 Exams & Assignments, 3 Hours average time, and how many CEUs.  The 7 Lessons were broken down as Alcohol Awareness, Bar Essentials – Alcohol, Bar Essentials – Additional Requirements, Cocktails, Beer, Wine, and Heated Drinks, Types of Establishments, and Employment.  I joined the course and began.  Each lesson included text, photos, videos, as well as links to certain recommended/essential sites as well as glossary of terms.  Each part is divided into sections that need to be completely in order to proceed further through the course.  After going through the specific lesson each portion would go turn from a red color to becoming highlighted with a checkmark and turning green.  Finally each lesson would end with an exam that would be either multiple choice, essay, or sometimes a combination of the two.  After which, would be sent to the instructor to be graded.  Sometimes it would take a few days other times it would only take a few hours to get your grade back via email to see if you passed to move forward through to the next portion of class.  Eventually, I reached the conclusion of the course and when I received the final email that I had passed and completed the course, I was presented with a Certificate of Course Completion.

 

bartending pic

 

The whole class and experience was very rewarding.  I found it to be entertaining, informative, and even fun.  The materials were presented in a way that was very easy to understand.  I also found navigating through the course very easy and user-friendly.  I also liked how the instructor would back all the grades in a very timely manner.  I cannot recommend Universal Class highly enough.  Cheers!

 

-Brian S.

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Book Recommendation: UnF**k Your Habitat

unf__k your habitat

 

The library recently got this really awesome book by Rachel Hoffman, UnF*ck your Habitat: You’re Better than Your Mess. It’s based on her website of the same name! The book and website intentionally has a little bit of strong language, but it’s not to the point where it’s in bad taste. If that’s way too much of an (understandable) turn-off for you, let me point you out to Marie Kondo instead!

As I’ve been making my way through the book, Hoffman has some really great advice for people who struggle to keep up on the messes our daily lives bring us. It assumes nothing pertaining to cleaning ability. This gives you a chance to start fresh to learn and build new cleaning habits!

My favorite is her philosophy of 20/10s. I know that sounds like a really weird name, but bear with me while I explain. All 20/10 means is for every 20 minutes of cleaning, you take a 10 minute break. 20/10s are adjustable based on your cleaning endurance. Not quite ready for that? Try 10/5s. Are you ready to be a cleaning MONSTER? Try 45/15s! It’s workable to fit any kind of level. You can do as many 20/10s as you want. Do one a day, do several in a row, it’s your choice!

Check it out today (after I return it…whoops!)!

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Ashe

Unicorn Frappuccino: a review

I tried Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino today so you don’t have to.

First, let me tell you something about myself: I love unicorns. I have unicorn jewelry. I watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (Twilight Sparkle is my favorite, in case you were wondering). I still have the horn saved from the unicorn piñata I had at my birthday party when I was like 7. I have a unicorn/narwhal art print framed on my bedroom wall. Yeah.

So imagine my excitement when I heard Starbucks was releasing a limited edition Unicorn Frapp! (PS – I also love me some Starbucks. Give me a sugary sweet grande goodie any day of the week.) Very excitement. Much excited.

The Unicorn Frapp is a beautiful creation. Just behold its pink and blue swirly beauty, topped with whipped cream and magic sparkle sprinkles:

Unicorn Frappuccino

You expect it to taste like cotton candy, right? Or birthday cake. Or strawberries.

But no.

Oh no.

This thing is different.

I had already heard some things on the internet about the recipe for this disaster, so I didn’t go in without skepticism. It’s basically mango flavor with blue raspberry sour swirl. As you mix it, it’s supposed to magically change colors and flavors. Cool concept, but mango and sour blue raspberry in a creamy Frappuccino? Hmmm….

Here we go… @mrcheezypop #unicornfrappuccino #MaxsMunchies

A post shared by Emily Rose (@enchntdrose) on

Rather than describing the experience of drinking this, allow me to show you instead:

#unicornfrappuccino is a disgrace to the name unicorn 🦄 sorry @mrcheezypop #MaxsMunchies

A post shared by Emily Rose (@enchntdrose) on

Needles to say, I did not like it, Sam I Am. I did not like it one bit.

It is quite sour, and as you mix, the sour just permeates through the mango flavor, which would have been decent on its own. The creamy-ness of the Frapp also adds a really strange dimension; you don’t normally have sour and creamy in one drink, and for a good reason: it’s awful. Altogether an abomination. An insult to unicorns everywhere. Would not recommend.

Thankfully, the Unicorn Frappuccino will only be sold for a few days, while supplies last. Then it will magically disappear into the social media abyss, right along with the striped dress and the Harlem Shake. May it rest in peace.

-ES

National Poetry Month

poetry

 

April is National Poetry Month.  Introduced in 1996 and organized by the Academy of American Poets, National Poetry Month is a celebration of poetry as a way to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States. The Academy of American Poets’ website Poets.org serves as a hub for information about local poetry events during the month. The organization also provides free educational resources for teachers in classroom celebrations and activities, and also commissions an annual festival poster.  The Fountaindale Public Library is proud to present this month’s lobby tree display in celebration of National Poetry Month with a plethora of books to choose from as well as a smattering of DVDs and CDs that take a look at all aspects of this unique and wonderful art form.

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Here is a sampling of some of the titles that await you:

  1. The American Night by Jim Morrison
  2. Complete Poems 1904-1962 by e. e. cummings
  3. Ghost Tantras by Michael McClure
  4. The Roominghouse Madrigals by Charles Bukowski
  5. The Scripture of the Golden Eternity by Jack Kerouac

 

…And, it’s all conveniently located for you on the 1st Floor, right when you first walk in!

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So, come on in and celebrate the art as well as the poets who have contributed immensely to the creative foundation of Poetry.

-Brian

 

New Book Club! Forever Young Adult

I know this is technically the X Meets Y Book Club blog, but I am taking it over for this post! MWAHAHAHAHA! I want to announce an exciting new book club at Fountaindale – Forever Young Adult!

Young Adult literature is NOT just for young adults! Some of the most innovative stories, emotionally resonant characters, and hilarious narrators can be found in the YA genre, and that’s only the start. If you’re a John Green buff, Rainbow Rowell fangirl, or just starting to get into the genre, this will be the place to discuss the latest YA lit with your fellow “adults.” The new book club is for those of us 18 and older who are young at heart.

Forever Young Adult starts meeting in March so you have some time to read our first book for discussion, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.

eleanor and park

Rainbow Rowell has become one of the biggest names in YA over the last few years, and Eleanor & Park is arguably her best YA novel. Here is a brief synopsis:

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Even if you absolutely would never be caught dead with a love story, this book will surprise you. Far from ooey-gooey romance, the book is filled with witty quips and awesome 80s references. It’s funny, poignant, and adorable all at the same time.

The Forever Young Adult Book Club will meet every 2nd Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. in the Board Room, starting with our first meeting on March 8th. No registration is necessary! To reserve your copy of Eleanor & Park, you can call Adult and Teen Services at 630-685-4176 or visit the 3rd Floor Reference Desk!

Hope to see you there!

-ES

Black History Month Display

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February 1st is the start of Black History Month.  Black History Month celebrates the people, history, culture and influence of African-American citizens in the U.S.  African-Americans contribute to our nation and economy in many ways, from our government and military, to small business, industry, arts, music, food and education. The Fountaindale Public Library is proud to present this month’s lobby tree display in dedication to Black History Month with a plethora of books to choose from as well as a smattering of DVDs and CDs that take a look at all aspects of this unique and wonderful culture.

Here is a sampling of some of the titles that await you:

  1. Black America: A Photographic Journey by Marcia A. Smith
  2. Creating Black Americans by Nell Irvin Painter
  3. Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson
  4. Legacy: Treasures of Black History by John Hope Franklin
  5. Living Black History by Manning Marable

 

…And, it’s all conveniently located for you on the 1st Floor, right when you first walk in!

black-history-month-2

So, come on in and celebrate the history, people, culture, and contributions of African-Americans and Black History.

 

-Brian

Maintaining your new habits

picture1We are now 4 weeks into the New Year, how are your resolutions holding up?
Fitness and changing diets tend to be most common choice for New Year goals, and it’s easy to become discouraged or distracted, especially with the recent wet weather… but don’t despair!
If you are looking for some help to stay on track, you may find these apps helpful:

Exercise Apps:

These apps will help you track your activities. From walking, running, to wrestling, and many other workouts. You can set goals, create routines, and track your progress.

Google Fit
fitandroid
Monitor your progress through the app and online, connects to MyFitnessPal, LoseIT, Runkeeper, Runatastic, MapMyRun, MapMyRide. Aggregates info from other apps to track fitness, nutrition, sleep, and weight.

Runkeeper
runkeeperandroid, iOS
Works with Fitbit, MyFitnessPal, Spotify. Tracks workouts through GPS and provides maps, pace, and previous records to motivate you to push harder!


Jefit

jefitandroid, iOS
Large exercise database, lets you create custom fitness routines, and manages stats. It does lack connection to other apps for tracking, but it comes highly recommended for weight training.


Diet Tracking Apps:

Track your calories and nutrients. These come with databases of food, food importers, and custom food entry. Import exercise data from many other apps to get a complete view of your progress. All of these apps have great base features available, without subscription.

MyFitnessPal
mfpandroid, iOS
Works with Fitbit, Runkeeper. I found their food database is the largest, and it was easy to connect to Runkeeper. You can manage your entries through their website in addition to the app.

 

MyNetDiary
mndandroid, iOS
Works with GoogleFit and Fitbit. I like the interface much better than MyFitnessPal. It is app only though and I’ll occasionally need to add new items to the database for future use.


LoseIt

loseitandroid, iOS
Works with Fitbit, Runkeeper, MapMyFitness. App is available on more phones and tablets, as well as through the website.  I haven’t personally used it, but it comes highly recommended.


And lastly, Habits!

The key to long-term success is turning your goals (whether to get into shape, lose weight, remembering to floss etc.) into small manageable tasks that you repeat until it becomes habit.
I am no good at that.
I am however, an avid collector of shiny video game rewards.

Habitica is a free habit-building app that plays like a game. It lets you break down those big goals into small tasks that you can easily track. You are rewarded for completing good habits immediately, with gold and experience points. Indulging bad habits or not completing a task yields immediate consequences by losing health points. With your earned coins you can “purchase” gear, pets, mounts and other game items.tasks-page

And best of all, if you rope your friends into the game, you can compete with them or join together to fight bosses!

basi-list

The terrifying Basi-list!

habiticaHabitica is available on android, iOS and PC. I’ve managed to floss every night for three and a half weeks now, Habitica has been far more successful than my dentist. Try it out!

 

-AB