Saturday, December 31, 2005

The puzzle sensation that's sweeping the nation.

Sudoku. They're everywhere.

Maybe you've heard people talk about them, or seen them in the newspaper, or watched them pop up on the bestseller lists. The puzzles appear to have originated in the United States in the 1970s, but spent a couple of decades in Japan (where they got their name) before migrating back to the Western Hemisphere again. It's no wonder they've caught on: they require no math and are easy to learn how to play. Just be careful you don't get addicted — like I have.

The best web site I've found for playing Sudoku is With four levels of play, and options that keep track of your best time and allow you to "pencil in" guesses, it's very flexible and, even better, very free.

If you're interested in more history of Sudoku, or want to read up on strategy or the theory that makes sites like WebSudoku work, the Wikipedia article on the subject is pretty good, as is this column from the website of the Mathematics Association of America. (I know, I said they require no math, and I promise they don't. Mathematicians just seem to be fascinated by them as much as everyone else.)

And, of course, if you like your Sudoku-training in print, we've got Su Doku for Dummies.

Friday, December 30, 2005


A company with a rich Fort Wayne history has been in the news recently. The Berghoff Restaurant in Chicago will close this spring after 107 years of service. From their Web site:
"The restaurant's founder, Herman Joseph Berghoff, an immigrant to America in 1870 from Dortmund, Germany, began brewing Berghoff Beer in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1887 as a family enterprise with his three brothers, Henry, Hubert and Gustav."
See some historic pictures from the Allen County Community Album. We also have a couple of books on the Berghoff family available in the genealogy department at the main library (may not be checked out).

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Implicit Association Test

If you like online tests and quizzes, the Implicit Association Test can be an eye-opener. This test uncovers hidden biases and attitudes--would you be a salesclerk who refuses to open the door to Oprah? Do you unconsciously favor white over black, young over old, thin over fat. Take a few minutes and find out. The test can be taken at:

or at:

The Organic Scoop: Dig In

If you’ve been in a grocery store lately, you’ve probably noticed an increasing amount of space given over to organic foods. What’s the deal? Huge new consumer demand and the Federal Organic Standards and Labeling Program have caused the mainstream agricultural industry to scramble for a piece of the organic pie. Some long-term organic customers feel this is not a blessing: some of the values associated with the organic movement can be watered down in giant food corporations’ quest for profit. Still, the new visibility of natural foods is attracting fresh new buyers interested in their own health and the health of the planet—but they want the facts before plunking down premium prices.

Here are three recent books that can give you the low-down. Each of these books is long on practical shopping advice while still advocating the values of the organic movement. Each has a hefty list of reliable resources for further information. And each is a pretty good read in its own way.

For inspiration, start with The Real Food Revival: Aisle by Aisle, Morsel by Morsel, by Sherri Brooks Vinton.

Before you shop, check out A Field Guide to Buying Organic, by Luddene Perry and Dan Schultz.

If you want to get the skinny from a skinnier book, choose The Organic Food Guide: How to Shop Smarter and Eat Healthier, by Steve Meyerowitz. You can read it in an hour or so. (I’ve got our only copy checked out right now, but I promise to return it pronto, and we’ll be getting more copies soon.)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

boxing days

I've spent a number of hours these past few weeks before year's end boxing up books. It's kind of sad. These are good books that we won't be seeing on our shelves again for about a year. (Not that any books are "bad"; but these are books that are still in pristine condition. It's easier to say goodbye to the falling apart, clearly outdated books.) So as I boxed up the books, I couldn't help thinking about the BIG MOVE back to the new main library in early 2007. It's just a year away! And it's just that much work. Because the main reason I was boxing up books now is because we won't be able to do so over the next year. What space we have has to last until the move and any new books we get over the next year have to fit on our shelves here at Renaissance Square.

Soon, we will actually be starting to unpack the boxes we packed up before our move to Berry street. It's exciting. In just over a year, we'll have a new main library and access again to thousands of books we had to do without while in our temporary digs. So as the year 2006 comes into view, there's lots of work ahead and lots to look forward to as well.

Holiday hours

All locations of the Allen County Public Library will be closed on Sunday, January 1. Also, any location normally open until 6:00 pm on Saturday, December 31 will close at 5:00 pm. Happy New Year!