Mango Languages – Spanish Unit I

MAngo

Your library card gives you access to not only our collection, but also our many online resources. One that I have found particularly useful is Mango Languages, at tool that offers lessons for 72 languages including popular ones like Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Japanese.  You can also learn some fun ones like English (Shakespearian) and Pirate. Arr me hearty! That means “Great, my friend!” The program also offers other ways to learn like movies through Mango Premiere, offering culture-packed flicks to curious learners and foreign-film buffs alike, and Little Pim for lessons geared towards kids.

I will share with you my experience using the Spanish lessons. To begin, create an account using your library card. Next, choose a language you would like to study. You may then choose a course you would like to study. Spanish offers two basic units, Unit 1: Building the basics with 10 Chapters and 60 lessons and Unit 2: Expanding the Essentials with 10 Chapters and 123 lessons. Lessons usually only take 5-10 minutes so it is easy to knock out as many or as few as you want a day. The course also offers several specialty lessons you can complete alongside the main units for Legal, Text Talk, Medical, Business, Romance, and Spanish for Librarians. They vary in length with Business and Spanish for Librarians offering the most content.

Unit 1 Mango

Lessons are comprised of around 50 slides each containing a word or phrase in English the user must translate from English into Spanish before the time limit runs out, revealing the answer. Don’t worry if you don’t get it the first time, each section is played multiple times in several variations giving you multiple chances to get it right. Much of the material will be drawn from a conversation played at the beginning of the chapter, but it can also include related words and phrases.  Narration accompanies all lessons to repeat the translation and the answer. If you have a microphone, you can use the voice comparison feature to check your pronunciation, though it may take a few tries for it to read your voice. Interspersed with lessons are grammar and cultural cues that give more information on things like grammatical gender, tense, and to not take unmarked taxies when traveling through Latin America. Once a chapter is complete, the initial conversation will play again and you will hopefully be able to follow along.

I have enjoyed my time with the course and will continue to use it in the future. I completed Unit 1 and Spanish for Librarians and currently chipping away at Unit 2. While it is not as strict or in-depth as other language programs like Duolingo, it is useful for quick lessons. Keep yourself from clicking the “Show Answer” button as much as you can to gain the most from your lessons. While this program is helpful, it should be used in conjunction with others traditional language acquisition activities and most importantly SPEAKING with native speakers. The library also offers a wide variety of books and movies in Spanish that make a great way to expand your Spanish fluency. As they say, the best way to learn is to do!

 

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MARCH MADNESS

Bracket

 

March Madness is a single-elimination tournament played each spring in the United States that features 68 college basketball teams from the Division I level of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), to determine the national championship. The tournament was created in 1939 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, and was the idea of Ohio State University coach Harold Olsen.  Played mostly during March, it has become one of the most famous annual sporting events in the United States.

The tournament teams include champions from 32 Division I conferences (which receive automatic bids), and 36 teams which are awarded at-large berths. These “at-large” teams are chosen by an NCAA selection committee, then announced in a nationally televised event on the Sunday preceding the “First Four” play-in games, currently held in Dayton, Ohio, and dubbed Selection Sunday. The 68 teams are divided into four regions and organized into a single-elimination “bracket”, which pre-determines, when a team wins a game, which team it will face next. Each team is “seeded”, or ranked, within its region from 1 to 16. After the First Four, the tournament occurs during the course of three weekends, at pre-selected neutral sites across the United States. Teams, seeded by rank, proceed through a single-game elimination bracket beginning with a “first four” consisting of 8 low-seeded teams playing in 4 games for a position in the first round the Tuesday and Wednesday before the first round begins, a first round consisting of 64 teams playing in 32 games over the course of a week, the “Sweet Sixteen” and “Elite Eight” rounds the next week and weekend, respectively, and – for the last weekend of the tournament – the “Final Four” round. The Final Four is usually played during the first weekend of April. These four teams, one from each region (East, South, Midwest, and West), compete in a pre-selected location for the national championship.

The Fountaindale Public Library is proud to present this month’s lobby tree display in celebration of March Madness 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 popular sporting event.

 

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

  1. Great Teams in College Basketball History by Luke DeCock
  2. Last Dance: Behind The Scenes at The Final Four by John Feinstein
  3. The Legends Club: Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Valvano, and an Epic College Basketball Rivalry by John Feinstein
  4. NCAA Basketball Championship by Annalise Bekkering
  5. When March Went Mad: The Game That Transformed Basketball by Seth Davis

 

…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 this famous and popular annual sporting event.
-Brian

We’ll Always Have #SadTomBrady and Other Super Bowl Thoughts

Good news Bears fans! If the season that the Philadelphia Eagles just had (going 13-3 in the regular season and then soundly beating THE PATRIOTS to win the Super Bowl) is any arbiter of fortune, then about two years from now the Bears will also win the Super Bowl! Although, two years from now the Bears most likely won’t have Safety Malcom Jenkins, TE Zach Ertz, and definitely NOT WR Alshon Jeffrey. However, if the Bears are lucky, Eddie Jackson could be like Malcolm Jenkins Jr., Adam Shaheen could at least be a serviceable football player (fingers crossed), and a wide receiver draft pick could actually play more than 5 games…

Sigh. In the meantime, Bears fans can still revel in what was certainly one of the best played Super Bowl games in the past few years; oh yeah, and Tom Brady and the Patriots lost, which is always a good thing. (Quick aside: the halftime show was bad. Moving on.) The Eagles and Patriots played an exciting offensive game. While I would say that though both teams’ defenses were lacking, a high scoring game going down to a Tom Brady Hail Mary pass, and the Patriots still lost, was just what the NFL needed after a rocky and tumultuous season. My personal favorite highlight was seeing Tom Brady attempt to catch a pass, look down in dismay as he misses, and me turning to my older brother quoting the “E*Trade” commercial that aired not two minutes before saying: “I’m 85, and I wanna go home!”.

Normally with important television events, such as championship games and awards shows, I’m glued to Twitter to see what other people, experts or not, are saying about the event. For the first time in a long time, though, my phone was unchecked for most of the game. It really was that good. However, once the game ended, Twitter became open season for #SadTomBrady, and I was here for it!

Here are some of my favorite takes that popped up on my feed from Sunday’s game:

-This tweet is in reference to Tom Brady’s unconventional diet where he doesn’t eat certain foods because of their color. Seriously.

-This tweet was for the fumble that Brandon Graham forced on Tom Brady towards the end of the game. *Side note: someone responded to this tweet with “Phantom Throw”, which is a reference to the Daniel Day-Lewis movie “Phantom Thread”.

-The area may be pounded with snow soon, but we DO still have #SadTomBrady and as of today, Thursday, February 8, Black Panther comes out in 8 days! (Can’t wait for that one.)

-This is my personal favorite as this is in reference to Tom Brady’s personal health guru and trainer, Alex Guerrero, who in a report that surface back in January, other Patriots players aside from Tom Brady were seeking health and medical advice from Guerrero despite the fact that Guerrero is not a doctor, nor has an M.D. license.

Though the Super Bowl was almost a week ago, I hope you all had a fun weekend watching a great game, and also seeing a deserving Philadelphia Eagles team take down the “Evil Empire” of Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and those pesky Patriots. Stay safe out there this weekend with the snow, and when you’re feeling down, just remember, your failures were not televised around the world for all to see.

-JW

New Year, New You?

Last year I swore it would be a New Year, New Me type of attitude. Well at least when it came to my eating habits. I had informed everyone in my family and my fiancé that 2017 would be the year I would start watching what I ate and start to eat healthier and exercise. Well as we already know, changing a lifestyle of eating habits overnight is no walk on the park.

It’s been a whole year now and I have changed a couple of things in my eating habits. I eat less candy, no chocolate, and a little bit of chips but not too often. But, the most important thing is I’ve been getting ingredients that are low sodium or reduced fat. However, that still isn’t enough. I need to do more so I can feel more energetic and just overall start on a cleaner diet. Luckily, Fountaindale has many useful databases that can help.

I decided to try Gale Courses. I searched cooking and looked through the many results it gave me. I then looked at the start dates and selected one that I found worked with my work schedule and clicked, “enroll now.” I then, selected my course start date, clicked “continue”, and created a free Gale Courses account with my library card. After I registered to the course, I received an email with a confirmation number. The class I signed up for was, Luscious, Low-Fat, Lightning-Quick Meals to teach me how to eat better.

Start Course dates are:

  • January 17, 2018
  • February 14, 2018
  • March 14, 2018
  • April 11, 2018

Before starting a course, it gives you all the information you need. It provides the syllabus that contains all the information you need to know and what the next 6 weeks will be like. It also provides the requirements that will be needed in order to complete this course, which in this case is only an email and internet. I believe this is a fun class to take and to learn more about cooking. Therefore, if you are looking for ways to bring up the flavor and start eating healthier this New Year join me. Or sign up for another class. Better late than never, I say. Let the lessons begin!

food blog -DR

 

Free PlayStation Plus Games in January 2018

Are you ready PlayStation Plus Subscribers? This January Sony is offering up a couple games for free. All PlayStation + subscribers who have either PS4, PS3, or PS Vista need to get ready to play because its game time.

= Owned by Fountaindale Public Library

(Along are also included OpenCritic scores)

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

PS4: 

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (82% on OpenCritic)  √
  • Batman: the Telltale Series (71% on OpenCritic)

PS3: 

  • Sacred 3 (55% on OpenCritic)  √
  • The Book of Unwritten Tales (73% on OpenCritic)

PS Vita / Crossbuy PS4 :

  • Psycho-Pass: Mandatory (77% on OpenCritic)
  • Uncanny Valley (62% on OpenCritic)

PS VR (Jan. – March 6)

  • Starblood Arena (68% on OpenCritic)

Pretty exciting games coming up this new year, but don’t forget about the free games still available this December.

PS4: 

  • Darksiders II: Deathfinitive Edition
  • Kung Fu Panda: Showdown of Legendary Legends  

PS3: 

  • Syberia Collection
  • Xblaze Lost: Memories

PS Vita :

  • Forma.8 (crossbuy)
  • Wanted Corp

Don’t forget to check our library’s catalog at http://fountaindale.org or call at 630-759-2102 to see if the video game is available or place a hold. If you don’t have a library card just give us a call or check out the library’s website to see what forms are accepted.  http://fountaindale.org/about/faq

-DR

Top New Artist of 2017

Here are Billboards year end charts:

Image result for Lil Uzi Vert billboard

  1. Lil Uzi Vert

 

Image result for khalid billboard

2. Khalid

 

Image result for Niall Horan billboard

3. Niall Horan

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4. Kodak Black

 

Image result for 21 Savage billboard pic

5. 21 Savage

 

Image result for James Arthur billboard

6. James Arthur

 

Image result for Cardi B billboard

7. Cardi B

 

Image result for XXXTentacion billboard image

8. XXXTentacion

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9. Harry Styles

 

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10. Brett Young

Check out our catalog at http://fountaindale.org or give us a call at 630-759-2102 and see what albums of these artist albums are available or place a hold.

-DR

Universal Class – Bartending and Mixology 101

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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.

 

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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.