Saturday, January 24, 2009

Things you can Learn at the Library

My first-born is leaving tomorrow to go back to China - it has been so nice to have had her at home - this is the longest time she has been back in Vancouver for a few years, so it has been a special treat to have so much time to spend with her. One day we went to the main library so she could do some research on her newest project. I tagged along for two reasons - one, I could spend time with her (even if it was on the other side of a library desk) and two, I love hanging out in libraries and reading random books and magazines.

When I arrive at the library, my first stop is the magazines - I leaf through anything that catches my fancy. Then I check out the "New Arrival" shelves in fiction and non-fiction. Then, using my great Dewey Decimal knowledge (acquired from working in public libraries for over 10 years) I go to search out books on subjects that interest me that day. If I see a book displayed, it might also just attract my attention. So I enjoy a smorgasbord of information all day long - all for free.

One book that was on a display rack caught my eye:

I bet you couldn't have resisted browsing through this book either. Did you know that Jello, invented in 1897 was one of America's first processed foods? That it is essentially flavoured and coloured boiled animal skins? (I guess, I did know that) That there used to be chocolate Jello? That Jello is a paradigm for successful American businesses in that it started out with one man's idea, got sold to a more established business, and eventually got eaten up by a large multinational corporation? Did you know that Jello, unlike Coke or Spam (other great American creations) is rare outside North America? Who knew?

The author hasn't limited her research to just Jello - no, she has also written Spam: A Biography. That alone has to make you laugh.........

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