The Internet Library – Source #7 (Fact Monster)

Fact Monster



FactMonster is kid’s version of InfoPlease.  Currently run by Pearson Education, it’s chock full of dependable information cut down to kid’s size.  Featuring lots of “homework help” features and munchkin-level explanations, this is a great place for kids to start learning to do research on their own.  Also features an atlas, dictionary and encyclopedia.

The Internet Library – Source #6 (InfoPlease)




InfoPlease is a great, free, internet-based almanac with a plethora of quality information about almost anything you can think of!  Run by Pearson Education (of textbook-publishing fame), it has an atlas, encyclopedia, dictionary, thesaurus, “Day in History” page, and even a few more nifty tools like the periodic table and conversion tools.  It’s truly a one-stop-shop for information!  The clean layout and well-designed separation of sections makes finding your topic a snap.  If you can’t find it here, you can’t find it anywhere!  A great place to start your research.

The Internet Library – Source #5 (The Old Farmer’s Almanac)

2015-old-farmers-almanac-Me jpgThe Old Farmer’s Almanac

Now that spring (or maybe early summer, considering the temperatures this past week!) has finally arrived and all of my plants are in the ground, it’s time for serious consideration of all things garden!  One of my favorite sources at this time of year is The Old Farmer’s Almanac.  While I always purchase a print copy at my local hardware store, the online version is also fantastic!

Continually published since Robert Bailey Thomas created the first issue in 1792, the Old Farmer’s Almanac is America’s longest continually published periodical.  The new print edition comes out every September, but the website is continually updated with interesting and up-to-date tidbits on all things astronomical, meteorological, culinary, and agricultural, with a “pleasant degree of humor,” as they say on the website.

The home page has a fun variety of information including various “…. of the Day” tidbits (ex: Question of the Day, Advice of the Day, etc.), weather and moon phase information, and a calendar.  The website is divided into more specific sections, there are pages dedicated to weather, moon/astronomy, gardening, best days, cooking and recipes, home/health, community, and their store.  Each contains a wealth of free information and folklore that gives you the same feeling as picking the brain of your crusty, if extremely knowledgeable, country grand-uncle.

The Internet Library – Source #3 (The David Rumsey Map Collection)

Hi all and welcome to the 3rd installment of The Internet Library!  Today I’m not bringing you another dictionary (I’m sure no-one’s upset about that!) but a fascinating geographical source!

The David Rumsey Map Collection (

DRM1The David Rumsey Map Collection is a website featuring one of the largest personal collections of maps in the US. Mr. David Rumsey  has committed to making his collection available online and available to the public. The website currently hosts over 54,000 items from his collection and is updated on a monthly basis. The majority of the maps are of North and South America, rare, and from the 18th and 19th centuries. However, there are some maps of the globe itself and other areas (like Europe, Asia, Africa) as well. They have a variety of kinds of maps too, like wall maps, atlases, sea charts, children’s, and pocket maps. The oldest maps are from the 1760’s and the newest the 1950’s. David Rumsey is also a software maverick. He uses his knowledge of software to display his collection in different ways. His proprietary “Luna Browser” pops up and allows users to view the entire collection or perform keyword searches across the collection.

A look at one of the featured maps on the collection’s site.

You can also sort maps by category, browse by specialized sections like “who” “where” or “when,” or save groups of maps for later perusal. After finding and clicking on the map you wish to view, a side-bar gives the publisher/author of the map, date, a short title, location of publication, size, and brief explanation. The map scans are extremely high-resolution, so you can zoom-in and get extreme detail on each map. You can even save and download the scans. This collection is amazing! For someone who wants to find a range of sources on a single location (range of dates, types of sources, even war maps) it is a great resource!

Granola Goodness

Granola Pic2With all the crazy weather outside (helloooooooooooooooooooooo winter storms with 12+ inches of snow), there’s only one way to stay sane:  COOK.  AND EAT.  AND COOK SOME MORE.  AND THEN EAT A LITTLE MORE.  Why not?  This week’s cabin-fever inspired recipe was granola.  Let me ask you this, friend readers:  why the h-e-double-hockeysticks haven’t I made home-made granola before?!?!  Usually I go to Fairway or Whole Foods and spend at least 11 million dollars on .75lbs of delicious, nut-filled, healthy granola (by the price you’d think it was chunk of precious stones rather than almonds in it).  When you make it at home it’s just as tasty and sees a significantly lower proportion of moolah fly from my wallet into the coffers of “the Man.”  And while sticking it to the Man is definitely one of my main goals in life ~_^, I’m most excited about the tasty, healthy granola that now graces my breakfast table.  Want to partake in the granola goodness?  Try out this recipe.


  • 1/4 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (aka pepita)
  • 1/2 cup raw sliced almonds
  • 2 Tablespoons raw chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened, flaked coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup (I prefer grade B or any of the darker grades because it has a stronger maple flavor)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit (I like tart Montmorency cherries, but you can use any other dried fruit like raisins, goji berries, blueberries, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, toasted pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, pumpkin seeds, almonds, chia seeds, coconut, and cinnamon.  Mix well to distribute the cinnamon.
  3. Add the maple syrup, olive oil, and vanilla.  Mix to combine.
  4. Put the granola on a non-stick baking sheet and spread to form a single layer.  Bake for 10 minutes, then stir.  Bake for another 5-10 minutes, until golden brown and nutty smelling.  The cook time will change a lot depending on the age of your ingredients and your oven.  Be careful not to overcook!
  5. Take the granola out of the oven.  Add the fruit and pecans to the granola on the warm baking tray and mix (if you use raw pecans, you’ll have to add them earlier to make sure they get toasted with the other ingredients).  Let it all cool on the tray and store in an air-tight container.  This recipe makes enough to fill a quart container.

I love to eat this in the morning with plain, full-fat yogurt and some mixed berries.  Bon appetite!

Welcome to World Eclectic!

A blog where the arts, books, food, history, library sciences, and culture all collide into a pleasant mish-mosh.  Browse around and enjoy yourself!

Today’s topic:  Online Learning.  As Ray Bradbury said:

“I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.”

As well as your local public library, the internet might be considered one of the best sources of education today.  And there’s no need to shell out $4-5,000 a class.  Check out all these free resources for education on the internet: