Monday, November 30, 2009

Drivers License Manuals Online.

Click on the blue title above to check out online information available for Oklahoma drivers. Site includes regular Driver's Manual, Commercial Driver's Manual, School Bus Driver's Manual, and Motorcycle Operator's Manual. If you are handicapped, there is an online form to fill out to request a handicap placard. If you have ever forgotten to renew your Oklahoma Driver's License, you will also be pleased to know that you can fill out a "Driver License/ID Card Renewal Notification" form and you will get a reminder 45 days ahead of time to renew your license before it expires. Oklahoma Department of Public Safety also provides information regarding: boat safety, bail bonds, and (strangely) carrying concealed weapons.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Abraham Lincoln's Little Blue Pills

Some historians suspect that Abraham Lincoln's use of blue mass to treat melancholy (probably clinical depression) may have altered his behavior, and may explain the erratic behavior and violent rages to which he was subject over a period of years prior to the Civil War. Lincoln stopped taking it soon after his inauguration as President because it made him “cross,” according to a letter he wrote to a friend. Some historians believe that this explains the contrast between his earlier behavior (while he was perhaps suffering from mercury poisoning from his use of Blue Mass) and his later behavior during the war (after he had stopped taking blue mass), given that most of the effects of mercury poisoning are reversible.
Unfortunately, since no hair samples from Lincoln during this period are available, it is impossible to determine whether or not he was truly suffering from mercury poisoning while he was taking the blue mass. Detractors point out that he remained violent and erratic up until his assassination.
Blue mass was recommended as a remedy for such widely varied complaints. The ingredients of blue mass varied, but they all included mercury (Lincoln took tablets.) One recipe of the period included (for blue mass syrup):
• 33 parts mercury
• 5 parts licorice
• 25 parts Althaea
• 3 parts glycerol
• 34 parts rose honey
Mercury is known today to be toxic, and ingestion of mercury by mercury poisoning (q.v.), a form of heavy-metal poisoning. While mercury is still used in compound form in some types of medicines and for other purposes, blue mass contained excessive amounts of the metal: a typical daily dose of two or three blue mass pills represented ingestion of more than one hundred times the daily limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. today. Click on the blue title above to read more.

Monday, November 23, 2009

National Book Award Winners

The 2009 National Book Award winners were announced on November 18 at the 60th National Book Award Ceremony and Dinner in New York City. Sponsored by the National Book Foundation, the NBA winners are selected in four categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People's Literature. For more information on the awards, go to Also, come and check out the National Book Award winners and finalists display at the Al Harris Library!

Come and check out the National Book Award winners and finalists display at the Al Harris Library!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Study: Lack of Health Insurance Has Led to 17,000 Child Deaths Since 1988

Lack of health insurance might have led or contributed to nearly 17,000 deaths among hospitalized children in the United States in the span of less than two decades, according to research led by the Johns Hopkins Children's Center. "If you are a child without insurance, if you're seriously ill and end up in the hospital, you are 60 percent more likely to die than the sick child in the next room who has insurance," says lead investigator Fizan Abdullah, M.D., Ph.D., a pediatric surgeon at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center. Read the summary and the full article (pdf).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pushing Tin.

Specialty license plates are money makers. California has raised $10 Million dollars with Yosemite National Park plates since 1993. Tennessee raises about $550,000 a year selling Friends of the Smokies plates.

Click on the blue title above to link to the Oklahoma Specialty License Plates website created by the Oklahoma Tax Commission. A rough count of their list revealed 159 different plates available for sale. The plate listing includes: universities, fraternities, military branches, firefighters, police, and even one for physically disabled motorcycle. (Plate pictures and 2009 prices included.)

Take a quick look; I promise you'll find one you've never seen before.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History & Culture

The 46th state, Oklahoma, presents our unusual history with the online version of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. The Encyclopedia was prepared by over 500 "university-based scholars and independent historians and scholars," and was a joint effort by The Oklahoma Historical Society and Oklahoma State University Library Electronic Publishing Center

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Children and Secondhand Smoke Exposure.

Click on the blue title above to read the U.S. Surgeon General's report on how smoking effects children.

Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome, lower respiratory infections, middle ear disease, more severe asthma, respiratory symptoms, and slowed lung growth. The California Environmental Protection Agency recently estimated that 430 infants die from sudden infant death syndrome in the United States every year as a result of secondhand smoke exposure.

To see how beautiful cigarette advertisements hooked people during the last 100 years, go to (hosted by the Stanford School of Medicine.) (Copy and paste into your Internet browser.)

Early ads featured babies, athletes, doctors, brides, and young people.
One early Camel slogan was: Give your throat a vacation..." An advertisement featuring Babe Ruth (above) had the slogan "Not a cough in a carload".

Friday, November 06, 2009

"Hidden" Website Unearthed.

OK, maybe you really have heard about this website, but many have not. Click on the blue title above for link.

Topics found in include: Benefits and Grants, Consumer Guides, Defense, Environment & Energy, Family Home & Community, Health, History Arts & Culture, Jobs & Education, Money & Taxes, Public Safety & Law, Reference & General Government, Science & Technology, Travel & Recreation, Voting & Elections. I promise there will be at least one area in which you have an interest.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Seven Free Multimedia Tools

Why spend money on expensive multimedia tools when you can use comparable alternatives for free? They may not be an exact replacement, but how can you argue with the price?

Free: Splashup

WEB DESIGN: Dreamweaver
Free: KompoZer

VIDEO: Final Cut, Adobe Premiere
Free: iMovie, JayCut

For More Tools Visit: Seven Multimedia Tools