I am thinking of starting a coffee roasting business, and I am doing some market research. What brand of ground coffee had the largest market share in the




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Classical World, which is a classical studies journal, but before I send it in, I want to check the approximate circulation of the journal. Can you give me a ballpark figure?

  1. The circulation is approximately 3000, but the publisher did not specify the types of circulation.

  2. By looking at the resources on the class wiki, Ulrich’s International Directory of Periodicals seemed like the best choice. I accessed via Ulrichsweb.com via the King Library database, browsed by Index: Title, then did a search “Classical World”. Contained in this search is circulation statistics.

  3. Q: I am an advertiser looking for to place some ads for our film transfer business. I’m aware of many magazines, but are there any that are in development? I’m thinking I can get ad space for cheaper if they are just starting out.

A: The Journal of African Cinemas will be coming out in autumn of 2008. It’s printed in English. They are located in Britain, however.

    1. ~10 min.




  1. I recently started dating a guy who is from some small town called Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and when we are out, he often says he needs to find a bubbler because he is thirsty. I don’t know what he is talking about, and I’m worried he has a drinking problem. I’m thinking maybe I should break up with him before it gets any more serious. I already have an email written to him saying that I really like him but I’d just like to be friends, but I haven’t sent it yet. Before I send it, could you help me figure out what he is talking about?

    1. Not to worry, a “bubbler” is a regional expression for drinking fountain. You may find the Dictionary of American Regional English a useful reference for other expressions he may use.

    2. Fortunately, I was familiar with what the term “bubbler” meant from comparing regional words one day with someone I met many years ago. I just had to find my proof. Cassidy’s Dictionary of American Regional English (1985) was the first source consulted. (I lucked out that you chose “bubbler” because the library only had volume 1: A-C) This source made the most sense to me from the class wiki. I searched alphabetically for “bubbler”.

    3. Q: I took a trip down South once and everyone seemed to only have Coke to drink. How can this be?

A: “Coke” is used in states such as Kentucky, Arkansas, South Carolina and others in that region as a generic term for carbonated beverages. You may hear a waitress say, “What kind of coke do you want?”.

    1. ~ 15min.




  1. I just got an email from a friend saying that I am supposed to bring the “mezz” to the party tonight, but I don’t know what he is talking about. I looked it up in my dictionary that my grandparents gave me for my high school graduation, and it says it’s an abbreviation for “mezzanine.” That doesn’t make any sense to me. Is there some other meaning?

    1. Named from Milton “Mezz” Mezzrow-it appears your friend would like you to bring the marijuana to the party. On the other hand, perhaps he’s just a fan of jazz?

    2. I had written down two sources from the class wiki that would be likely to have the answer: Acronyms, Initialisms, and Abbreviations Dictionary and Lighter’s Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang. I took a “short cut” before visiting the library and Google’d “mezz” to get a clue on what it could be. I deduced that the slang dictionary was the source to consult. I first looked for Lighter’s slang dictionary in the library, but could not find it. I found The Cassell Dictionary of Slang by Jonathan Green (1998) and looked up “mezz” alphabetically to back up the meaning I found via Google.

    3. Q: I’d like to know how far back the term “doobie” goes. I heard my uncle say it and he’s old.

A: According to The Cassell Dictionary of Slang, the term came into popularity in the 1960’s. The book contains many other words and when they started being used incase you’d like to look up some on your own.

    1. ~ 1 hour.




  1. I can never figure out the difference between “affect” and “effect” and now I am in a sociology class and I need to use those two words all the time in my papers. My professor took a ton of points off on my last paper because I guessed each time I had to use those two words (and evidently got them wrong each time). I looked in my Webster’s dictionary, and I don’t understand the distinction between the two definitions. I’m looking for a source that explains the two words in relation to each other. Can you show me a clear explanation for how these two words are used?

    1. This is a very common problem and you can find a thorough explanation of the difference along with example of usage on page 26 of Garner’s Modern American Usage. The entries are alphabetical. Look for the entry, “affect;effect”.

    2. Via the class wiki, I thought Fowlers Modern English Usage the source to consult. This book is not available in the three local libraries that I frequent, so I consulted Garners Modern American Usage (2003). I searched alphabetically and on page 26 I found the helpful entry “affect;effect”. It looks like Fowler’s definition was noted in the entry of the Garner book.

    3. Q: Why do I see “canceled” and “canceling” sometimes spelled with one “l” or two “ll”. Which one am I supposed to use?!

A: I’ve always wondered that myself! According to Garners Modern American Usage, American English uses one “l” in “canceled” and British English uses two

“ll”’s. However, “cancellations” is doubled because the accent falls on the third syllable.

  1. ~ 30 min.




  1. I know that Marcel Breuer is the architect that designed the library and a few other buildings at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. I heard that he also designed a church somewhere in Michigan. I was thinking of taking a road trip through the Midwest to see some of his works. Can you figure out what church it is and in which city in Michigan?

    1. It looks like the building is St Francis de Sales church in Muskegon, MI. You are in for a treat during the road trip because this is a very beautiful part of Michigan!

    2. First checked Encyclopedia Britannica. (2007.) Retrieved October 1, 2008, from Encyclopedia Britannica Online. http://search.eb.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/ I got the answer from Dictionary of Art, which is Oxford Art Online retrieved at http://www.oxfordartonline.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/subscriber/ . I entered “Marcel Breuer” into the general search box. I then chose the link to his biography and did a CTRL+F to find “church”.

    3. Q: I was at the Met in NY and saw a work by Edward Hopper. Where can I see some other examples of his work?

A: You can do an “image” search on Oxford Art Online. Type in “Edward Hopper” into the “Search for Images Only” box. You will see links you can click to view more of his works.

    1. ~ 20 min.




  1. I need to do a report on the history and structure of a musical instrument called a cittern for my music history class. I’ve never even heard of such a thing. Can you help me to find a source where I could read about this instrument and get some leads on some music written for this instrument?

    1. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians volume 4 contains a lengthy entry on the cittern. At the end of the entry, which you can find alphabetically, there is a subheading, “Sources of Cittern Music” you can find some scores written for this instrument there.

    2. I did the secondary annotation for New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1980) edited by Stanley Sadie for the class wiki so I immediately knew where to go. I search alphabetically and found “cittern” in volume 4.

    3. Q: I am studying Spanish composer Federico Chueca and looking for works of his. Where can I find some names?

A: The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians is a good place to start. Look for him alphabetically and you will see a subheading under his entry of a listing of works.

    1. ~ 20 min.




  1. My professor knows the most obscure terms about poetry and wants us to know them too. For an assignment that’s due tomorrow, I need to define what “dyfalu” is. Can you help me find out what it is? And this probably isn’t the last time she is going to want us to find a definition about some literary term. Can you suggest a source that I can come back to in the future?

    1. A “dyfalu” is a poetic technique of Welsh poetry. It seems to mean, “to guess” and is used in riddle poems. The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics contains information on “dyfalu” as well as many other terms that will probably come up in your class.

    2. Initially I thought the New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics would be the best source from the class wiki. The “New” Princeton was not available at any of my local libraries, so I found Preminger’s Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (1974). (I am finding I have some highly outdated libraries in my area!) I looked up “dyfalu” alphabetically. I found that the definitions of words are as hard to understand as the poetry itself! I had to read the entry several times to get the gist.

    3. Q: I’d like to find some works on Yiddish Poetry. Where can I start?

A: The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics contains a list of anthologies under the entry for “Yiddish Poetry”. You can use that as a starting point to find the actual works.

  1. ~ 30 min.




  1. I am curious about what the biological process of death including the various changes that happen to the human body after death occurs. I am not a scientist, and so I don’t want anything too technical. Can you help me to find an explanation that I will be able to understand?

    1. The Gale Encyclopedia of Science is an easy to understand resource for this type of information. According the “Aging & Death” entry in volume 1, death is “marked by the end of blood circulation, the end of oxygen transport to organs and tissues, the end of brain function and overall organ failure”.

    2. After consulting the class wiki I first checked Encyclopedia Britannica Online. http://search.eb.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/ and did not find a proper entry. I then searched the Orange County Public Library catalog for McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology to be found nowhere. While doing reference work for another question I spotted the Gale Encyclopedia of Science, edited by Travers (1996). It didn’t look too technical so it was good for this question. I first searched alphabetically for “death” and found no entries. I then consulted the “Index” volume and was led to page number in volume 1. I found the entry “Aging & Death” and found the information.

    3. Q: Where can I find information on different types of viruses…like the one that causes Ebola?

A: Volume 6 of the Gale Encyclopedia of Science contains the entry “Virus”. Look for the subheading “Types of virus”. Filovirus is the type that causes Ebola, but you will find others and what disease they cause.

    1. ~ 1 hour.




  1. I am writing a paper in which I need to compare the immigration patterns between the Irish-Americans and the Polish-Americans. I need to include things like religion, customs, food, holidays, as well as the way that each group assimilated. I’ve spent a huge amount of time dinking around with searches in Google, and all I am finding is stuff about St. Patrick’s Day parades and polka festivals. I’m getting really frustrated. Can you direct me to a source that will help me?

    1. The Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America has a comprehensive section on Irish-Americans and Polish-Americans. Both entries are found in volume 2. Under the alphabetical entries, you will find subheadings the cover “Acculturation and Assimilation”, “Family and community dynamics”, “Religion” and other resources on food and holiday celebration.

    2. This question was fairly easy to determine the correct reference by consulting the class wiki. However, like many of the other reference books it is hard to track down at the library. I found the Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America (1995) by Vecoli at only one public library in my area which was unfortunate because I particular liked this reference. Once I found the two volumes, finding the answers to this question was simple. I was able to do research on my own Italian-American roots and found the explanation on when and why Italians started immigrating to America exactly how my family arrived and began their life here.

    3. Q: I’m learning Italian getting back to my roots. I wanted something that would allow me to keep up with other Italian-Americans and the culture in America. Can you help?

A: There is one Italian newspaper that is published in America. It’s called, “America Oggi”, which means “America Today”. You can subscribe by contacting Andrea Mantineo at 201-695-5608.

    1. ~30 min.




  1. A friend of mine is really into Buddhism, and now I’m getting really curious about it. She said that she is on a “bodhisattva path.” What does this mean? I’d like to read about this concept, and once I have an overview, I might like to find some books written on the topic. Can you help?

    1. Mircea Eliade’s Encyclopedia of Religion contains information on this path of Buddhism. According to the entry for “bodhisattva path” it refers to either a person who is seeking bodhi, or a “bodhi being”, that is a being destined to attain Buddahood. You will find other books on this topic under the “Bibliography” section of the entry.

    2. Consulting the class wiki, I determined that the
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