Brush up (or lear) how to behave at the dining table.

Tips for Online Meetings

Laptop computer isolated on white

I’ve been meeting online a lot lately, just like many people. I’ve got a few tips for people. Some of these you’d think you wouldn’t have to say.

  • Don’t scratch yourself or put your finger in your ear when your camera’s on.
  • Mute when you’re not talking because when your mic’s on it picks up background noise that makes it hard to hear what the speaker is saying.
  • Don’t have your camera on while you’re eating. Sipping a drink seems fine, but if you’re eating and crumbs are falling from your mouth, that’s not pleasant to witness.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Achievement


Coming from the Midwest of the US, I’m reluctant to go on and on about my achievements. I suppose managing to eat pigs’ intestines in a sweet sauce with minimal disgust that my hosts could see would be an achievement. Not everyone would try.

1. Each week, we’ll prov ide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced. 2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag. 3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Other great photos:

Almanac, Handbook, & Yearbook Homework

Hack-ademics suggests people should post their homework online to solicit comments and show what their made of. I’m enjoying my reference classes weekly assignments which get us to dig around our school’s sources and the internet to find better sources than the search engines we usually depend on.

1. What won the 2003 Indy 500?

Since I hadn’t known about the ESPN Sports Almanac or the Sports Illustrated Almanac, I tried to find them. When I couldn’t find an ebook of either title, I used Information Please’s website. As Information Please was mentioned in class, I consider it a thorough and reliable source for this ready reference question. There I found that in 2003 a G-Force Toyota driven by Gil de Ferran won. On the Indianapolis Motorway website, I found that the car was (sponsored by) Marborough Penski.

In the future for this sort of question I’d first check the organization’s website, which in this case had more details.
Race Results for 2003. (2003). Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Retrieved from on March 4, 2014.
Indianapolis 500 (2008)/ Information Please. Retrieved from on March 4, 2014.

2. On what day of the week was St. Patrick’s Day in 1947?
Curiosity led me to the Time Almanac on On the front page there was a link to a Perpetual Calendar which allows users to enter a month and year (or full year) to view a calendar from 1947. There I saw that St. Patrick’s Day was on a Monday in 1947.

Since I’m Irish-American, I know that St. Patrick’s Day is on March 17th, but some librarians might not realize that. In that case they could start with Information Please’s page listing all the holidays

March 1947. (2014). Perpetual Calendar. Information Please. Retrieved from on March 1, 2014.

3. How long does it take to become an Air Traffic Controller? What is the salary?

Such a job related questions led me to the Occupational Handbook from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. There I learned that an Associates degree is needed for this position, so two years full time study is needed. The median salary is $122,530 per year or
$58.91 per hour.

Air Traffic Controllers. (Jan. 8, 2014). Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved from on March 1, 2014.

4. Are there any warnings or precautions associated with the herbal medicine St. John’s Wart?

I consulted the National Institute of Health’s Medline website because our professor stated that it’s reliable and in previous training for a job a doctor recommended the cite. My search yielded a number of precautions to consider regarding St. John’s Wort. (I have heard of this supplement and realized it’s a near homonym to “wart.”) I would the full page of information with the patron and show him or her how to print out the information.

The warnings include a list of medications that may be produce side effects and the following:
• St. John’s wort may cause increased sensitivity to sunlight. Other side effects can include anxiety, dry mouth, dizziness, gastrointestinal symptoms, fatigue, headache, or sexual dysfunction.
• Taking St. John’s wort with certain antidepressants may lead to increased serotonin-related side effects, which may be potentially serious.
• St. John’s wort is not a proven therapy for depression. If depression is not adequately treated, it can become severe. Anyone who may have depression should see a health care provider. There are effective proven therapies available provider. There are effective proven therapies available.

If the patron desired more information, I would use the Physician’s Desk Reference.

St. John’s Wort. (April 2012). National Institute of Health. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Service. Medline. Web. Retrieved from

5. What is the proper way to eat frog legs?

After the February 22 class, I was more aware of listening for hints. Besides the mention of was crystal clear. According to the Emily Post website one should eat frog legs as follows: “with either the fingers as a passed hors d’oeuvre or a knife and fork at the table.”
As Emily Post was one of the foremost experts in etiquette and her descendents are committed to maintaining her rigorous standards, this website can be relied upon.
Guide to Food and Drink.(2013). Emily Post.”

6. Convert 234 US Dollars into Russian Rubles.

I wanted to use Wolfram Alpha after hearing about it in class. That query yielded the rate of 8444.60 Russian Rubles as well as a chart of the rate for the last year and the rate for other major currencies. (See appendix 1.) If the patron needed the rate for traveling, I would use, which has a traveler’s cheat sheet and shows the rate one would probably get at an ATM, with a credit card or at a bank since the rate posted in the news is not available to travelers (See appendix 2.)

Wolfram Alpa. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
Oanda.. Retrieved March 1, 2014.

7. When was the 2014 World Championship BBQ Goat Cook-Off and Arts and Crafts Fair in Texas?

I first tried the Farmer’s Almanac and the Old Farmer’s Almanac, but got no results. Information Please couldn’t deliver either. Just like the Indy 500, I figured the event would have a website and they did. That’s where I found that this event will be August 29-30, 2014. I am confident that this group has published the correct date, though I admit to feeling a twinge of defeat that I didn’t find the answer in an almanac.

Championship BBQ Goat Cook-Off. (2014). Brady/McCullough County, Texas. Retrieved from on March 4, 2014.