New Year Resolutions: Exercise in the Time of Covid

Coming to you from the cyberpunk dystopia that will not end, a series of New Year’s Resolution-themed posts, because the only way out is through.

My fellow apocalypse-sters, you and I both know the importance of exercise. It keeps your meat sack in working condition, helps you sleep better, gives you energy, and can even boost your mood, which we all need these days, so desperately.

Remember when we used to go walking at the mall with friends? Or logging an hour on the elliptical at Planet Fitness? When we could learn Tai Chi in the park? Or maybe you’re like me and never did any of that?? Because exercise is hard to make yourself do under the best of circumstances and these are not even mildly okay circumstances. I don’t know about you, but my body is trying to become one with my couch these days, so I’m willing to try something.

If you, like myself, have hit rock bottom fitness-wise, you’ll be glad to know that SPL has a lot of online exercise videos through Kanopy, Hoopla, and the lesser known Access Video. Exercise videos are great – you just follow whatever the people on your screen are doing until you collapse into a sweaty heap, zero brain work involved. You can do Pilates Essentials, Bollywood Burn, or Dance and Be Fit. Find out what Jeanette is blasting next, may her body rest in pieces. You could even transform your entire actual life with yoga, according to Dashama Konah Gordon. This last one isn’t exactly an exercise video, but I couldn’t sleep at night unless I shared this Super Swordfighting Series for how to do cool movie sword fights. I think that would transform my life. Continue reading “New Year Resolutions: Exercise in the Time of Covid”

And Survey Says… Why the Census matters, a LOT

The US counts its population once every 10 years, sends out a mailer and all you have to do is mail it back. Easy right? Yes, but people just aren’t doing it. Living in an ongoing pandemic, unbreathable air, and “murder” hornets we’re basically in a millennial’s apocalyptic nightmare. I mean we barely escaped a potential mummy curse (someone better have 1999 Brendan Fraser on speed dial). With everything going on with the world right now, worrying about the census is the absolute last thing on people’s minds. But hear me out – and this may seem like a huge stretch – filling out the census could make it better. I mean it takes ten minutes to do (nice time for a break), you can do it online now (YAY for technology!), and your input can help determine where 1.5 trillion dollars (yes, that’s Trillion, with a ‘t’) of federal funding is spent over the next ten years.

So, you know, kind of a big deal, but what’s going on? The 2020 Census was originally supposed to end on October 31st, but the current administration moved up the date to September 30th, which then got extended back to its original date of October 31st, and is now October 15th (at the time of this posting). NPR’s Consider This podcast looks into why this census could be the least accurate ever and how multiple factors (the current administration’s priorities, pandemic, etc.) play into this. With many states now scrambling to promote the census – *cough*looking at you Texas*cough* – we see what’s at stake: money, and government representation. Continue reading “And Survey Says… Why the Census matters, a LOT”

Expand Your Thinking with Exploration Guides

Artist credit: Tanaya Sharma via

It’s incredible how quickly you can get pulled into the flurry of online research once an idea, topic or celebrity captures your interest. You start with one tab open on your browser, then suddenly you have fourteen open, and you can’t remember how that Wikipedia article on watering hydrangeas led you to an interpretative dance video about Ada Lovelace. Okay, okay, I made that trail up, but I bet you could find the overlap if you put your mind to it!

Happily, you need not venture into these rabbit holes of curiosity all alone anymore! Your friendly and inquisitive Seattle Public Library staff have thoughtfully curated resources from the library and around the web, weaving together art, poetry, science, activism, history and more in unique explorations of some pretty cool subjects!

Exploration Guides are for students of all ages (adults, too!), but were Continue reading “Expand Your Thinking with Exploration Guides”

Read Magazines for Free with Flipster

One of the downsides to grocery delivery, if you’re a magazine reader, is lack of access to impulse-buy reading material in the checkout line.  Those cover recipes on cooking magazines are a great way to get inspired in the kitchen. Celebrity gossip is an effective distraction on a rough day and can be a good conversation starter.

Don’t worry, you can fill this void through The Seattle Public Library with free, digital magazine access!

Introducing: FLIPSTER

This digital periodical collection offers access to 60 very popular magazines, always available, no need to place holds. Subjects include cooking, sports, politics, entertainment, history, science, health and more. Issues are always available and can be read on any web browser, or by downloading an app to your Android phone, iPhone, or Kindle Fire. Newsweek magazine is available in Spanish and English, and People en Español is also available!

To get started: Continue reading “Read Magazines for Free with Flipster”

Science Fiction 4 All Seasons

Four Science Fiction eAudiobooks featuring four different styles of Science Fiction stories. Happy listening!

Anne Manx in Lives of the Cat by Larry Weiner, read by Claudia Christian and Patricia Tallman

[Science Fiction Noir] For fans of Science Fiction Radio Serials
Anne Manx is an honest detective, maybe the last one remaining in the star system. And because of this, when a sudden insurrection within the police force puts the entire system on the edge of anarchy, she finds herself on the wrong end of a gun barrel. But this is not where Anne Manx’s story ends. For this end is merely a beginning, and like the mythical cat with nine lives, Anne Manx is one hard cat to kill. A fast-paced romp through space full of campy fun, this fully-staged radio production is an homage to radio serials of old, like Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon, mixed with the satirical adult humor of Barbarella.

Armada by Ernest Cline, read by Wil Wheaton

[Science Fiction] For fans of Ready Player One, Ender’s Game, and all things growing up in the 80’s
From the team that brought you the new sci-fi cult classic novel and audiobook, Ready Player One, author Ernest Cline and narrator Wil Wheaton, have reteamed to create another ode to the 80’s in Armada! This fast-paced science fiction adventure is the perfect blend of two 80’s Sci-Fi classics, Jonathan R. Betuel’s film, The Last Starfighter and Orson Scott Card’s novel, Ender’s Game. High school senior Zack Lightman is doing what he does most days in class, staring out the window and daydreaming, when suddenly he sees something that he certainly couldn’t have seen. If you asked him what he saw, he wouldn’t tell you. Absolutely not. Because if he did, you’d think he was going crazy. Just like his dearly departed dad. Because, what he saw in the sky that day wasn’t a bird, or a plane, or even a super-man, but a spaceship. A very specific spaceship, as a matter of fact. A spaceship from his favorite game, Armada. But that can’t be right. Because that would be crazy. Continue reading “Science Fiction 4 All Seasons”