The Periodical Tableaux v1 i2

Let’s make some money…or at least read something about money. The latter, of course, always free at Everett Public Library.

All e-magazines are readily available through OverDrive/Libby via your Library account. For assistance, call the Reference Desk @ 425-257-8000.

EPL, a long-time Coin World print subscriber, now boasts even more numismatic titles in e-magazine format – a doubling down if you will:

  • Banknote Reporter
  • Coin Collector
  • Coins
  • Numismatic News
  • World Coin News

We also have numerous titles on finance, business, and economics with many in both print and digital formats, for example:

  • Inc (print & dig)
  • Fast Company (print & dig)
  • Kiplinger (print & dig)
  • Entrepreneur (print & dig)
  • The Economist (print & dig)

With all this print & digital money talk, one might be forgiven for making the leap, however ponderous, to the difference between traditional metal coins , e.g. gold specie standard , vs digital currency , e.g. Bitcoin .

From a recent Numismatic News, there is a fascinating article about the minting of the 1857 one cent piece. Due to increasing copper prices (attributable to the discovery of gold in California and the subsequent impact on other precious metals, namely silver) pennies were, suddenly, too expensive…

“…The weight of the copper cent had remained unchanged since 1795, when it had been fixed at 168 grains (10.89 grams), but on several occasions in the early 1850s the cost of making a cent piece had come close to face value…In the spring of 1852, the cost of prepared planchets [the respective metal discs struck into coins]…actually hit the 42-cent level…an absolute loss even if other expenses were not added…”  “From Copper to Copper-Nickel”, Numismatic News, 06/22/2021, R.W. Julian

The new one cent would be very different…

“…The proposed coin also marked a radical departure from the past. From 1793 it had been government policy to make the cent in such a way as to contain nearly full value in copper but still light enough to show a profit. In 1856, however, the Mint was suggesting that the intrinsic value be lowered drastically…” “From Copper to Copper-Nickel”, Numismatic News, 06/22/2021, R.W. Julian

This phenomenon has terms, brassage and seigniorage

“…By the late 13th century, all mints within a given political entity were under direct control of the sovereign. The mints were run as businesses by private entrepreneurs, who leased the physical plant and capital equipment for fixed terms. Individuals…could…deliver their metal…and they would be paid back, within a few weeks, in newly minted coins of the same metal they brought in. They always received back less fine metal than they brought in. Part of what was withheld by the mint paid for production costs and was called brassage. The rest was sent to the sovereign as profit, or tax, and was called seigniorage. For convenience, we will use gross seigniorage for the sum of brassage and seigniorage…”  “The Debasement Puzzle: An Essay on Medieval Monetary History”, Quarterly Review of the Federal Reserve Back of Minneapolis, Vol 21, No 4, Fall 1997, Arthur Rolnick, et al

In the case of the U.S. Mint, gross seigniorage for the copper penny was trending toward loss, as opposed to profit, unless the amount of copper per coin was substantially reduced.

Now to Bitcoin and its minting or, more accurately, Bitcoin Mining

“For years, Chinese [Bitcoin] miners…were enabled by the glut of cheap…electricity in China….At their height in 2018, China’s bitcoin prospectors accounted for 74% of the world’s bitcoin production.” “Bitcoin Miners Exit China, Beat A Path to The U.S. As Crypto Climate Shifts”, The Washington Post / Seattle Times, 06/21/2021, Gerry Shih

The price of that electricity was considerably cheaper just one year ago…

“…[at] $0.04/kwh, miners based in China said that the breakeven cost to mine Bitcoin hovers in the $5,000 to $6,000 range…” “Why the Actual Cost of Mining Bitcoin Can Leave It Vulnerable to a Deep Correction”, Forbes, 07/07/2020, Joseph Young

From the below graphics, one can see the dramatic difference (especially “Profit per year”) with only disparate electricity costs factored in – something akin to the rise in copper prices in the late 1850s.

In this example, Sichuan, China’s 4-cents / KWh vs Boston, MA’s 22-cents / KWh with a price of $33,488 for a single Bitcoin.

CryptoCompare data from 7/01/2021 w/2019 Seattle City Light KWh price listings

As can be readily seen, migrating mining operations from a cheap electricity location to a more expensive electricity location easily threatens the “Profit per year” – ultimately, the gross seigniorage – of any Bitcoin mining operation.

And it is not just the mining of Bitcoin that is so costly, but the spending as well… 

“…In periods of high activity, as witnessed during much of 2021, bitcoin burns more energy than the whole of Argentina. The glaring inefficiencies of that process also explain why payments in bitcoin are slow and costly, and thus a rarity…” “Can Bitcoin Be Bettered?”, The Economist, 06/24/2021

Indeed, even the new 1857 one cent piece experienced something similar…

“As early as the spring 1858, so many of the new coins were in daily use that merchants bean to complain about the excess number of them to be found in their tills. These coins were not legal tender and those with large accumulations still had to use a broker to change them into gold or silver. Banks would not do this except for small amounts.” “From Copper to Copper-Nickel”, Numismatic News, 06/22/2021, R.W. Julian

So, in many ways, it appears the rules of money, at least in its minting, are slow to change, if at all. Indeed, running with Bitcoin no less a burden than gold itself.

To put it more poetically…

Everybody needs money. That’s why they call it money.”

Mickey Bergman (Danny DeVito’s character from David Mamet’s 2001 movie “Heist”)

With a that in mind, I might well recommend another of our medium-of-exchange, if not medium-heat, themed titles…

Not Your Typical Princess

In the world of storybooks, princesses have been known to be sweet, pretty, and maybe, not so strong. Here are a few books that show princesses in another light. From a princess fighting a fire-breathing dragon, to a princess who is secretly a ninja, to princesses that haven’t always made the most honest decisions, you will be cheering for these strong characters!

The description of these stories are from our catalog. Some of the titles are found in our Overdrive collection (also known as Libby), while others are within the Tumblebook database. TumbleBooklibrary is a collection of animated talking picture books, read-alongs, ebooks, quizzes, lesson plans, and educational games which are used by thousands of schools and public libraries in over 100 countries across the world. Tumblebooks has announced that it will make its family of online libraries available for free, to all public libraries, until at least August 31 due to the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. You can find links to our Tumblebook resources on our website.

Picture Books

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch (found within the Tumblebooklibrary)
After her castle and clothes are destroyed by the dragon, Princess Elizabeth, dressed only in a paper bag, sets out to rescue Prince Ronald, who was taken captive.
This bestselling modern classic features a princess who rescues a very snooty—and ungrateful—prince. Features narration by author, Robert Munsch!

Beginning Chapter Books

The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
Who says princesses can’t wear black? When trouble raises its blue monster head, Princess Magnolia ditches her flouncy dresses and becomes the Princess in Black.

Grilled Cheese and Dragons, Princess Pulverizer Series, Book 1 by Nancy Krulik
Meet the princess who’d rather wear a suit of armor than a crown!

Middle Grade

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
In this first book in New York Times bestselling, Newbery Honor-winning author Shannon Hale’s Princess Academy series, Miri finds herself a sudden participant in a contest to find the next princess of the realm.

Flunked, Fairy Tale Reform School Series, Book 1 by Jen Calonita
Would you send a villain to do a hero’s job?
Gilly wouldn’t call herself wicked, exactly…but when you have five little brothers and sisters and live in a run-down boot, you have to get creative to make ends meet. Gilly’s a pretty good thief (if she does say so herself).
Until she gets caught.
Gilly’s sentenced to three months at Fairy Tale Reform School where all of the teachers are former (super-scary) villains like the Big Bad Wolf, the Evil Queen, and Cinderella’s Wicked Stepmother. Harsh. But when she meets fellow students Jax and Kayla, she learns there’s more to this school than its heroic mission. There’s a battle brewing and Gilly has to wonder: can a villain really change?

A Silver Lining

While the closing of both of our locations here at the Everett Pubic Library, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, is definitely a disappointment to all of us, there is one silver lining: it is a great time to learn about, and take advantage of, our many digital services. If you haven’t accessed them before, you might be surprised to discover just how many materials and databases we have to offer electronically. And best of all, they can all be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home.

Today’s post will introduce you to one of our most popular digital services: eBooks & eAudiobooks

The library has a large number of both eBooks and eAudiobooks for you to enjoy. While there is a little bit of a learning curve at first, once you get your account set up the first time, it definitely gets easier. Our two providers are OverDrive and CloudLibrary. While they are slightly different, they both operate in much the same way: You download an app to your reading or listening device, register with your library card on the app, and then begin checking out.

Definitely take a look at our basic explanation of how the process works on our webpage as a starting point. We also have more specific instructions on getting both OverDrive and CloudLibrary on your device. If you run into trouble, both OverDrive and CloudLibrary have detailed help pages to address specific issues and provide solutions. While we normally encourage people to bring in their devices or to set up a Book a Librarian session so we can walk you through the process, those services are not available at this time. Once we are back up and running though, please do come in!

In the meantime, stay tuned for more posts highlighting our large array of digital services. The perfect way to connect with the library during the unique times we are living through.

Slow Cooking With Your Kindle

I’ve been exploring Everett Public’s Kindle holdings on Overdrive, which one can link to from our homepage. E-Readers have their detractors, but I enjoy the convenience of selecting a book at any hour of the day and being able to read it instantly. Also, it’s ideal for travel as it takes up almost no space in your carry on and you don’t run the risk of leaving your library book on the plane.

I recently purchased a slow cooker. It’s great because it doesn’t heat up the house or me on those hot summer days.

I wanted to expand my horizons beyond the cookbook that came with it, so I searched ‘slow cooker’ on Overdrive.  I found two titles: The Art of the Slow Cooker and The Everything Healthy Slow Cooker Cookbook.

The Art of the Slow Cooker by Andrew Schloss has, as the title page says, ’80 Exciting New recipes’. Some of Schloss’ recipes will probably be a bit overwhelming for novice slow cooks. However, his creations are quite impressive. He takes slow cooking to a gourmet level, beyond tossing a bunch of ingredients into a pot and letting them cook all day. Most of the recipes are packed with ingredients and seem to be geared toward people who actually know how to cook, unlike myself. The recipes have prep times of between 5 and 45 minutes.

There are times when Schloss gets a bit pretentious. For example, his description of the ‘glory of curry’ in the recipe for Curried Vegetables and Dal: “The blend of aromas aerating your head and the cacophony of sensations titillating your throat are as complex as any food in existence.” I feel a bit light-headed after that description.

One dish I hope to try soon is a Corn Chowder with Jalapeno.  It is one of the easier dishes to prepare, with easily found ingredients. Apparently, the jalapeno is included to titillate rather than burn.  “Every bite should provide a tingle; every bowl should leave your lips with a characteristic jalapeno glow”, Schloss says.

The Art of the Slow Cooker is illustrated with photos of many of the dishes.  However, unless you have the Kindle Fire, which has a color display, you will see, for example, a rather unappetizing black and white photo of a bowl of corn chowder.

The Everything Healthy Slow Cooker Cookbook by Rachel Rappaport is geared to a more general audience. It has 300 recipes for various occasions. The emphasis here seems to be on healthy meals with just a few minutes of prep time. Each recipe has nutritional information for a serving of that dish, something that The Art of the Slow Cooker lacked.

The book has 17 chapters including chapters with pork, beef, vegetarian, and vegan dishes. Chapter 6 covers one of my favorites, Chili.  There are 16 Chili recipes!

‘Secret Ingredient Beef Chili’ looks to be particularly delicious.  The ‘secret’ ingredient in the recipe is mango.  Rappaport says, “The mango melts into the chili and adds a fruity depth of flavor.”  The recipe serves 8 and it looks like a fairly nutritious dish with 200 calories per serving, just 3.5 grams of fat, sodium is 450 mg, carbs at 25 grams, 9 grams of fiber, and 19 grams of protein.

This book also has a chapter of breakfast recipes. With the slow cooker, one need never miss breakfast again. A number of the breakfast recipes in the book are started just before bed and are ready when you get up in the morning.

One of the best, in my opinion, is the ‘Ham and Egg Casserole’. It only has seven ingredients and can be ready for the slow cooker in about 5 minutes. One just pours a mixture of eggs, spices, cheddar cheese, chiles and ham into the cooker over two slices of sandwich bread. Set the cooker to low and cook for seven hours. When you wake up, breakfast is ready!  Just lift the casserole out of the cooker and slice it up on your cutting board. It serves six, and each serving has 140 calories and 11 grams of protein.

The Kindle won’t replace paper, but for convenience it can’t be beat. A search for cooking and food on Overdrive will bring up over twenty cookbooks. That’s a lot of books to carry out of the library, but with a Kindle or whatever eReader you might have, you can leave your book bag at home and carry those books with ease.

David