We get asked a lot of interesting reference questions during the course of our work day. I had to settle a heated debate between two people concerning the direction that rivers flow. The first individual steadfastly maintained that all rivers flowed south. Period and end of debate. The other person knew that rivers flowed in both directions, but needed some evidence to prove it. Off we went to research it.
First, you should know that a great majority of people believe that all rivers flow south, and it seems to derive from the fact that when we are looking at a map or globe, we consider things to be either “down” or “up” from our position. Using that vantage point, we think that rivers flow “down” to the equator. Actually, water flows downhill in any direction, because it always wants to get to the lowest level as quickly as possible due to the gravitational pull. Compass direction doesn’t matter. And as far as rivers flowing only north to south? Not true. The Nile River, the world’s longest, flows south to north. Other rivers that flow south to north include: St. John’s River in Florida, the San Joaquin River in California, the Red River running through several southern states, the Shennandoah in Virginia and West Virginia, the Ob, Yenisey and Lena Rivers in Russia, and the Mackenzie River in Canada,
to name just a few. Rivers flow in all directions, with the only guiding force being for the water to get from the highest to lowest point.
As far as the debate between the two individuals? Let’s just say, the second individual was one happy camper who left with a thank you, pile of papers, smug smile and an “I KNEW it” resolve.
As you garden’s produce starts to come in, you may want to consider preserving some of it for the coming winter. The Culinary Institute’s “Preserving” shows you how to can, preserve and pickle a wide variety of foods. Have a great crop of jalapenos? Dry them for making some great stew and chili recipes during cold weather. Too many tomatoes? Try making jam. These and dozens of other recipes help you take care of your garden’s bounty.
James Bowen was living hand to mouth as a street musician in London when he found an injured cat. The last thing he needed was a cat, but something about the cat captivated him. He named the cat Bob, nursed him back to health and sent him on his way. The cat, however, had other ideas. You’ll love “A Street Cat Named Bob,” a true story originally published in London.
Lottie Moggach’s first novel is “Kiss Me First.” Leila is drawn into a Web-based deceitful scam without truly realizing she’s doing something harmful. It all begins innocently enough when she discovers an online chat forum called Red Pill. As she participates, she impresses the site’s owner who arranges to meet her. When he asks her to become part of Project Tess, she must learn every minute detail of the woman so that she can become her. A scary thriller you won’t want to miss.
Ellen Branford’s grandmother has a dying wish and Ellen is going to do her utmost to fulfill it in “The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Café.” Ellen’s job is to find her grandmother’s hometown boyfriend from her younger days and deliver a letter. Easy enough she thinks, as she leaves Manhattan for Beacon, Maine. What she hadn’t counted on though, is falling into Beacon Bay and being saved by the town’s carpenter. Once rescued, she becomes a celebrity and as she starts uncovering her grandmother’s hidden past, she realizes this quick trip is going to have to be extended. Her decision may well change her future as well.
Enjoy “20 Big Trucks in the Middle of the Street” by Mark Lee with your children. An ice cream truck gets stuck in the street, the mail truck behind him. Add to it moving trucks, a crane, construction vehicles and more, until you have one jammed up mess. No one can move — what to do? You’ll find out in this rhyming story as one young boy relates it.
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Marie Bruni is director of Huntington Memorial Library in Oneonta. Her column appears in the community section of The Daily Star every Thursday. Her columns can be found online at www.thedailystar.com/librarycorner.