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What We’re Reading: Aug. 17 – Aug. 23

Airport libraries, sprayable energy, and (one of) the world’s oldest professions

A real estate broker sounds like a modern profession, right?  Not really, according to a new exhibit at Chicago’s Oriental Institute. “This stone I was photographed with has these beautiful carvings that represent real estate transactions,” said real estate broker Margie Smigel. “To think that 5,000 years ago in Mesopotamia, they were keeping track of who got what — it’s such an interesting concept.”

In order to save the local independent bookseller, Quebec is considering regulating the price of new books. Who thinks that is a bad idea: independent booksellers, among others. Studies predict it will only hasten the decline in spending on books in the province.

Summer travel season is winding down, but did you happen to stop by any airport libraries recently? Books – either physical or electronic – are making a comeback at airports. It’s a natural location. You have time to kill, and most other options aren’t cheap. Local libraries are partnering up with airport authorities to offer some low-cost options.

Echoing a story from earlier this summer, some homeowners in Connecticut are raising their homes to avoid future flooding to save on flood insurance. The amount of damages to flooded houses required that the home be built higher. “The Ekvalls in Old Greenwich are a typical example. Sandy’s tidal surge sent water up to the kitchen countertops of their 1930s cottage, which was 6.5 feet above sea level. They decided to raise the first level to 15.5 feet, higher than the 14 feet required by the town under the federal maps. Now the roof is 43 feet high, so tall that the family needed a variance on a different Greenwich ordinance: one restricting roof heights to 35 feet.”

Don’t have time for that morning cup of Joe? Tired of the caffeine withdrawal headaches when you skip a day or two? Does Red Bull give you heartburn? Well, coming soon: sprayable energy. An odorless, colorless, topical caffeine spray that promises all the benefits and none of the pitfalls of other energy products.

Now breaking: Double Stuff Oreos only have 1.86 times the stuff. :-(

And in other sad food news, scientists are testing a beer that doesn’t cause a hangover. I thought that’s what O’Doul’s already was for…?

Dave

Senior Information Specialist

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