Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hi All,

So here we are! It's down to the wire because today is April 15th. Which means its tax time.  Your taxes are due by 11:59pm tonight.

Here are a few quick links that'll help you get through the next few hours:
IRS website
Automatic Extension of Time form from the IRS. 
Click on this link for an article that explains what you can do if you have to file an extension for your tax return for 2014. 

This next article is an interesting read. The title is 'Tax Day: Get Your Return in On Time'.  The article includes filing tips from the IRS that are common mistakes. 

Click this link if you can't pay your federal tax bill in full.  

Click here if you need an extension form for your New York State taxes.

For those of you who are still determined to file your taxes here are a few sites that will give you some tips and suggestions on how to make filing easier.

IRS Interactive Tax Assistant
2014 Federal Tax Rate Schedules
You and Your Taxes - from AARP
About.com/Money - Filling Out Your Own Tax Return
IRS - Filing Your Taxes

Good luck filing your taxes.

Regards,
Stu

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Credit Reports

Hi All,

You've probably heard about something called a 'credit score' in the news lately.  Click here for a fairly recent article about credit scores. (Specifically the big three credit reporting agencies are overhauling their credit reporting practices.)

But what exactly does a credit score do for you?  Interestingly enough, this next article is from Wikipedia - and gives you a good summary of what is, and what is not, a credit score. 

This next link is from myFICO.com and has a section about credit scores.  What makes a good credit score you ask?  Read on!  Credit.com has a good summary of the credit score ranges for various credit agencies.

Note that there are 3 different major companies that generate credit reports: Experian, TransUnion  and Equifax.

How can you get a free copy of your credit report you ask? Great question - click on this link to a get a copy of your credit report.

Readers might want to click on this next link which is from Bankrate.com - an unbiased source for information related to mortgages, bank rates, credit cards, insurance, investments, taxes, retirement, financial planning and much more - titled 'How to Read a Credit Report'.  

You might want to click on this link from the FTC.gov which discusses credit reports in more detail. 

Finally, the library has 9 books on the topic of consumer credit.  Click on this link to see those titles that we have in the library. 

Hope this helps you get a credit score that you need or want or deserve!

Regards,
Stu

Friday, April 3, 2015

HistoryOrb.com

Hi All,

Long-time readers of this blog might realize that I have a 'thing' for history websites.  That's okay - we all have an interest way or another....

History Orb is a neat - and well organized - website that has links to Historical Events, Famous Birthdays, Weddings, Famous Deaths, Famous People, Events by Date, Events by Day and Events By Country.  There is also a search box at the top right part of the screen where users can enter the name of a person, an event, a place/location or a year...There is also a link for Today in History By Topic.

The site is nicely organized, easy to navigate and well, just fun to peruse!

Enjoy the site.
Stu

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Fools' Day 2015

 Hi All,

Happy April Fool's Day. Click on this link for a Wikipedia style article about April Fools' Day

And now, with that little ditty of an introduction out of the way....on to the meat of today's entry: lots of links related to the various hoaxes and practical jokes of all time!  Enjoy the article and enjoy the smiles and giggles and laughs and guffaws.

Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of All Time

April Fools' Day on the Web - 2004-2015 - amazingly current and funny

Long Island.com April Fools' Day Pranks For Kids - safe and fun

Newsday - April Fools' Day Pranks For Kids

You Probably Fell For These Internet April Fools' Day Pranks 

10 Super Easy April Fools' Day Pranks to Play On Your Kids

Finally, click on this link - which takes you to the library card catalog.  Specifically this link goes to the card catalog for books on the subject of 'April Fools Day' in the Farmingdale Public Library.

Enjoy the site and the pranks and the laughs!

Stu



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Internet Archive: The Wayback Machine





Hi All,

Who says that everything on the internet is always there?!  Its not.  Material get posted and then gets removed every single second of every single day.  So how are you able to find material from a few days ago - let alone a few years ago?

Great question and for that we have the Internet Archive/Wayback Machine.  With an easy url to remember - http://archive.org/web/ - its not wonder the site is so well known and so well used!

The site moniker is '456 billion web pages saved over time'.  Wow - that is almost half-a-trillion (yes, with a 't') websites.  The number looks like this 456,000,000,000.  Awesome.  And all the sites can be searched. 

Just type in a website name (businessweek, espn, Farmingdale Public Library, etc.) and you'll be directed to another page that has the url that you searched and the number of times (between a particular date the) site was first found on the Wayback Machine and the current date.

For example, a search for the Farmingdale Public Library resulted in a page that says the Wayback Machine saved the Farmingdale PL site 74 times between August 17, 2007 and March 29, 2015. 

And there is a box which enables the user to click on a particular year - and then a particular month - to choose to view the site on certain day.  Click on the blue circle of the date you are interested in and you'll see a snapshot of how the site looked on that day. 

Some notes...sometimes pictures take a bit of time to load and sometimes page links don't go to an original link.

Click on this link to learn a bit more about the Internet Archive.  Click on this link to capture a web page as it appear now for use as a trusted citation in the future!  Click on this link for a very, very extensive FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) from the Internet Archive.

And for some fun Internet Archive links, click on this link which offers over 6,000,000 fully accessible public domain ebooks.  Awesome!  Not all torrents are bad!  Click on this link to go to a page of Archive Torrents.  There is a search box for you to use on the page.

And, as if this wasn't enough, the Internet Archive has a blog, and a store, and a full-fledged organization structure.  Click on the prior links to see the particular option you are interested in.

And to think that some folks still say that 'nothing is free anymore!'.  Go figure.  They just haven't seen the Internet Archive yet!. 

Regards,
Stu

Friday, March 27, 2015

Pun of the Day

Hi All,

A wag once said that 'the pun is the lowest form of humor'.  Well, that may be the case - or not - but there is a website dedicated to a 'Pun of the Day'. 

There are also links to new puns, funny puns, random puns, pun jokes, pun of the month and a whole bunch of categories of puns.  Some pun categories on the site include crime, business, education and technology

For even more background on puns, click on this link from Wikipedia - it goes to the section on puns.

Hope you enjoy the puns - I hope that you find them punny.

Punsters might like to visit this site as well - it is all about puns!

Regards,
Stu

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Spring Clean Up!!!!

Hi All,

With Spring officially arriving on Friday - tomorrow - at 6:45pm - now is a good time to blog about 'Spring cleanup'.Oh wait...its going to snow tomorrow...how can it be the beginning of Spring when we're going to get about 2"-4" of snow? 

Crazy weather...that's all.  In any event, folks can still get a jump on their spring cleaning by reading the rest of this blog entry.  And when you are done with the spring cleaning you can go to the next job on your list of things to do - like taxes...

Some articles and ideas that will make your Spring cleanup faster, easier and less unpleasant.   Click on this link from About.com titled 'Spring Cleaning For Lawns and Landscaping'.   And from the ever present Martha Stewart comes this entry in the form of a checklist - specifically a 'Spring Cleaning Checklist'. Wikipedia even got into the act with an article on Spring cleaning

A fairly well known name is house maintenance/repair/upkeep is HouseBeautiful.  This next link comes from their site and includes '13 Spring-Cleaning Tips'.

Believe it or not, Vogue has also gotten into the act as well with an article titled, 'Spring Cleaning: 8 Beautiful Items to Help You Tidy Up'.

And, finally, click on this link from Imperfect Homemaking for a 'Thorough Spring Cleaning Checklist'.  The author of the site - Kelly - has organized the cleaning by rooms of the house: foyer, bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, dining room, living room/family room/playroom, laundry room, stairwells, outside the house and reminders.  A printable version of this Spring Cleaning Checklist can be found by clicking on this link!

Here's to fast and easy cleaning!

Regards,
Stu