Libraries & Archives

Libraries & Archives

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

h o w j s a y . c o m

This is a fantastic website for prolific readers!

h o w j s a y . c o m
An English Pronouncing Dictionary with Instant Sound (Just
mouse over the pink words to hear them spoken)

It has a easy lookup feature, with selected (pink) word appearing in a list so you can check similar words. I looked up hegemony, and decided the British pronunciation was going to be the one I use from now on...
well from now on when I run across it, which appears to be about once every 5 years.

Oh, and happy 2nd day of Hanukkah... which gets me to the next feature:
their spell-guesser. It functions sort of like looking up a word on Google: it takes my misspelling and gives me a "Our nearest entry..." response. At least I could pronounce Hanukkah right, even if I didn't originally spell it correctly!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Reviews of Kansas Notable Books

Reviews by Carolyn Weeks, 2006 Kansas Notable Books Committee

Revolutionary Heart: The Life of Clarina Nichols and the Pioneering Crusade for Women's Rights
by Diane Eickhoff

Generations of women spent their lives fighting for suffrage and equal rights for American women. Some, like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, are icons of civil rights. Most, like Clarina Nichols, were part of that vast army of committed women whose labors took place on a more subdued and local level. A child of Vermont, Clarina Howard Carpenter Nichols, began her crusade for women’s rights in the East but soon pushed West to Kansas where she encountered the hardships of frontier life as well as the stacked-deck of a man’s world.

This well-written and well-researched biography of a remarkably gifted and resilient woman gives life to the struggle for gender equality. It has much to teach us about our past as Americans and as Kansans and as participants in that greatest experiment of all: democracy.

(This one is on order here in the library - I expect it by the start of January term)

Ogallala Blue: Water and Life on the High Plains
by William Ashworth

And you thought the oil crisis was the last word in shortages! You’ll never take water for granted again after reading about the vast underground aquifer that supports more than $20 billion dollars worth of agriculture, more than one fifth of the country’s harvest. The Ogallala Aquifer lies under the Great Plains and stretches from South Dakota through Nebraska and Kansas to Oklahoma and Texas. It is deep enough to fill Lake Erie nine times and it is being pumped dry at the rate of five trillion gallons of water per year.

The story is all here: the life of the plains and the legal, recreational, industrial and agricultural infrastructure that supports it. Ashworth details the origins of the Ogallala and its probable future unless reasonable action is taken soon. Kansans, take note, the economic, environmental and humanitarian implications of this problem cannot be underestimated.

Thank you for your reviews, Carolyn.