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July 2011

Happiness First, Success Second

July 26, 2011 | Jorge | Comments (0)

'Work hard then be happy' is one of the most pervasive and cross-cultural mantras of our times.  We’re conditioned at a young age to ‘push our buttons’ in order to receive happiness.  The idea is that if we accomplish our goals we’ll earn a state of happiness.  But the problem is once we’ve accomplished a goal and received a dose of happiness, we’re already thinking about the next goal and more happiness…here comes more stress.

We need to rethink our conceptions of happiness and success.  A book that helped me develop this new understanding is Shawn Achor’s The Happiness Advantage. This new idea explains that the success-happiness relationship is in fact inversed.   It’s not striving and attaining success that will make us happy but rather, the state of happiness makes us more successful.   It’s about conditioning our minds to notice positive cues and opportunities in the environment.  After all, neurological research shows that our brains operate much more efficiently when we are happy and not stressed.

For more in-depth information about “the happiness advantage,” checkout The Happiness Advantage: the seven principles of positive psychology that fuel success and performance at work, 1st ed, available in print and audio-format.


               Happiness-advantage                Audio happy

The Future of Technology: Simplified

July 18, 2011 | Jorge | Comments (0)

Vehicles that can operate themselves without human intervention sounds like a hoax of the 21 century, but according to the world’s leading scientists it can become a reality sooner than we think.

In a detailed work about what the physical and technological environment will look like by the end of this century, popular physicist, Michio Kaku touches on the notion of driverless cars.  According to his research, fully-automated vehicles are being developed and tested as we speak.  In fact, the Pentagon is working on converting a third of their ground forces to robotic vehicles by 2015.  Don’t you love how cutting-edge technology originates in the U.S. military?  If you didn’t know, the Internet is a living example!

Driverless cars are one of the many foreseeable technologies of the future, as explored by Michio Kaku and his interviews with the world’s top scientific and innovative brains.  In The Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100, Kaku devises a blueprint of our world leading up to the end of the 21st century.  The list of plausible technologies is far too extensive to name outright, but just imagine for a second access to the internet through your glasses, microchips on your clothes and in your body to monitor health problems, and a gigantic space elevator that leads us and our cargo to outer orbit.

Whether you’re a futurist or not, this book is a recommended resource for anybody interested in the technologies of our future but not the overly complex baggage that goes with it. 

Physics of the future PRINT        Physics of the future PRINT        Physics of the future PRINT    

        Regular Print                          Audiobook, CD                      Ebook, digital

By the way, Michio Kaku is one of the world's best at popularizing science.  For a complete listing of his publications available through the library, click here.

The Word is Out – Toronto Public Library’s Teen Summer Reading Program is the place to be

July 13, 2011 | Claire A | Comments (0)

Word Out is TPL’s teen summer reading program that is completely free and totally fun. Once you sign up, you will have the opportunity to talk about your favourite and most despised titles, make book recommendations to other teens, make video book reviews, chat with local authors, get library coupons to use towards your fines, and best of all, win cool prizes. 

For more information and to sign up, visit the Word Out 2011 page.

And don’t forget to check out the video that Barbara Frum’s Youth Advisory Group created for the program.    


FAQ #3: “I’m looking for a bestseller but I don’t want to wait in a long line.”

July 13, 2011 | Jorge | Comments (0)

Reading-on-bicycle What’s everybody reading?  If you ever asked yourself this question, what you are really looking for are bestsellers.  It just so happens that what sells the most is also what is on the highest demand.  Duh… something tells me you knew this already.  I’m not writing this article to state the obvious, but rather to tell you that there is a way to circumvent the sometimes daunting waiting list for bestselling fictitious works like Shilipi Gowda’s debut novel, The Secret Daughter or Ann Patchett latest, State of Wonder.

Barbara Frum Library has a special collection showcasing the most sought after literary works of fiction and non-fiction.  We call it the “Best Bets Collection” and unlike our other books, this collection is non-holdable, non-renewable and must be brought back in 7 days and returned to the Barbara Frum Library.  These borrowing policies ensure that bestselling reads are more available to you.

So where can you find this collection?  We store it on the ground floor on a low-lying shelf immediately right when entering the library.  You might also want to check our open table display by the stairway, we often display Best Bets and other popular reads there.  If you're eager to know what the buzz is all about, and you don't want to fall behind, checkout our Best Bet collection and beat the waiting time.

FAQ #2: "Connect Me to the WWW Already!"

July 5, 2011 | Jorge | Comments (0)

The library offers free full-access, unfettered wireless Internet service to all our members and non-members.  Providing access to the Internet allows residents of Toronto and its visitors to engage in online activities that are important to them.  

As more and more businesses and organizations in the city connect their customers to the world’s most powerful network, what makes our wireless Internet service sparkle from the rest?  Here are some reasons…

1. Unlimited Wifi Access – enjoy uninterrupted access for as long as we’re open
2. Periodic Service Refreshments & Upgrades – the library has provided wireless Internet access since 2007.  We’ve expanded, upgraded and refreshed our service periodically since then.
3. No purchases Required – hop on the wireless network without having to spend money on a snack or beverage… you can actually bring your own and save money.
4. Multiuse space – ideal whether you’re looking for a quiet environment or group study while using the Internet.
5. Access to Library Resources – A great pool of published resources that support your online endeavours.

Ok, so you understand the benefits, but now you want in!  Here is how the wireless login process typically works:  

1. Enable your device to receive the wireless signal (“ON” is usually the default)
2. Ensure that you’re connected to the Toronto Public Library Network (there may be nearby signals) by opening your connection settings to see available wireless networks.
3. Open your web browser
4. Agree to the terms and conditions by checking the box
5. Click connect and wait to be redirected to our website.

Here are some common troubleshooting problems:

1. Proxies - remove your proxy settings.  Click here to learn how.
2. Firewall - disable firewall.  For Windows XP users, click here to learn how.
3. Disconnecting - everytime your laptop closes, you lose the wireless connection.  Repeat the login process, steps 1-5.

If you require further troubleshooting assistance, be sure to call our wireless service provider.

Spyders - 1-888-855-3555

By the way, the wireless signal is the strongest in four areas:

1st floor – on the north side in the west wing (children's department) and on the north side in the east wing (Holds for pickup area).
2nd floor
– in the centre on the west wing (non-fiction) and in the centre on the east wing (fiction)

Happy wireless computing!

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