Category Archives: Non-fiction

World’s Longest Ice Skating Chain in Winnipeg?


Guinness still has to officially verify the record, however, 1,400-1,500 people showed up at the Forks today to participate in the Winnipeg record attempt for the longest ice skating chain in the world. More information here.

GuinessWorldRecords2008The most popular reference books in my school library are the Guinness World Records annual books showcasing photos and information about a variety of world records established or surpassed in the years leading up to the book’s publication. The 2008 book, with a shiny red foil cover and glow-in-the-dark features, examined sports records, epic endeavours, incredible stunts, environmental records, inspirational people, consumer technology and entertainment, animal records, and, perhaps the most fun and easily participated in types of records, those for mass participation.    

If you live within driving or skating distance of Winnipeg and have a free afternoon Moday February 18 (our province’s first official Louis Riel Day), you’ll have your own chance to be part of such a record – – The World’s Longest Ice Skating Chain. 

The record is currently held by a group of 200 school children in Mexico City, who seen here, achieved the feat in January of this year.With promotion from Winnipeg’s Hot 103 radio station, organizer of Winnipeg’s attempt, Dean Koshelanyk, hopes to secure the record for our city. It only seems fitting as Winnipeg’s skating trail at the Forks recently beat out Ottawa’s Rideau Canal for if not the biggest, at least the longest outdoor rink.

To participate and be counted as part of the record, you need to register between 12:30 and 2:10. Registration forms can be downloaded here but you still need to present them on-site. The line up on the ice starts at 2 p.m. with the event starting promptly at 2:30. You must have skates, be able to skate forward and stop and hold onto the person in front of you while skating for a full 3 minutes.  Find more information here.

Holiday reading or how to change the world one day at a time…

EverydayActivistThe best part about being a school librarian is having school holidays. You don’t get paid for them, of course, but, it gives you some nice time at home with your kid(s), who, if they get bored with you trying to pretend you’re a rock star while accompanying them on the new X-Box 360 Rockband game, might actually give you a half hour here or there to yourself to read. So far this holiday season I’ve finished off The Everyday Activist 365 Ways to Change the World. Compiled by Michael Norton as a one-page-suggestion-per-day way for ordinary people to make a difference in the world, The Everyday Activist wasn’t necessarily meant to be read in one sitting. However, as I purchased the book for my school library, I read the entire book right away to more quickly get it into circulation. Now I can rely on the companion website at, which I will also recommend to my student readers, to follow along. 

As Severn Cullis-Suzuki (daughter of the famous David) points out in book forward: 

“This book is not a blueprint for saving the world… Its point is to show the plethora of ways to create positive change in the world. Its mandate is to get you thinking. It’s not so much a calendar of things to do each day — some of the individual activities could take a whole year to execute – but rather a resource of ideas and examples… to get us out of following the patterns of consuming, working and living in a thoughtless way. The 365-day format is a way to get us to think about things that matter each day.”   

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World Aids Day

AidsinAfricaIf you noticed the little red ribbon on Google today, you will know it’s World Aids Day.  More information here.  I recently added the book 28 Stories of Aids in Africa to my library. If you are like me and you haven’t had a chance to read the book yet (it was requested and recommended by a co-worker), today would be a perfect day to check it out. You can find out more about 28 Stories of Aids in Africa here.

The Origin of Darwin…

charles-darwin.jpgFebruary 2009 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of natural scientist Charles Darwin, author of The Origin of Species, The Descent of Man and The Voyage of the HMS Beagle. To celebrate, there are a number of Darwin-related celebrations and projects planned over the next two years. Most notably, a sailing replica of The HMS Beagle is being built and the Darwin Correspondence Project will see all of the correspondence by and to Darwin published online. There is also an increasing number of new books being published about Darwin and his life with interesting commentary about his work. All told, there’s likely enough reading to keep someone busy researching Darwin’s theories for at least the next two years until the official celebration date.

For my part, I hope to at least re-read The Origin of Species, The Descent of Man, and The Voyage of the Beagle

77 Skills To Stop Climate Change or Live Through It…

climatechangeOkay, I know it happened three days ago now and it’s a little late to comment on it, but, despite myself I enjoyed the Live Earth spectacle this weekend.

I was set to dismiss Live Earth as just another “cause of the day”, and, it may turn out to be just that, but, there were definately some musicians involved who were singing their hearts out trying to make a difference by inspiring anyone watching to take a little more care with our environment.

At the top of my list for most earnest performances were The Foo Fighters and an indie band called Nunatuk who beamed in their musical contributions from a British reasearch station in Antarctica.

How is this related to reading books?

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