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Etc...

Time to rise and shine!

Are you one of those people who has trouble climbing out of bed in the morning? Then you may be interested in a new invention by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology student. It's - ta da! - an alarm clock. But not just any alarm clock. This one falls off a nightstand (or other horizontal bedside surface) once the snooze button is pushed. Wait, you say: How does that help? The device is equipped with shag carpeting to cushion the impact, rubber wheels , and a computer chip. Once on the floor, it's programmed to roll and stop in a different spot each day, so the next time it sounds off, the sleepyhead must get up to find it. Guari Nanda's invention isn't patented yet, let alone commercially available . But she already has heard from habitual oversleepers who think it may succeed where all other wake-up measures have failed them.

Taking library on the road: a century of bookmobiles

For folks who live far removed from the nearest public library, bookmobiles remain one of the great disseminators of knowledge and literature. Credit for introducing the idea goes to Mary Titcomb, the library director for Washington County, Md., in the early 1900s, who suggested equipping a horse-drawn buggy with bookshelves. A 100th anniversary celebration of the event was held recently in Hagerstown, the county seat. Today, 800 bookmobiles are in operation, an appealing throwback in a modern age. "People love the bookmobile because it is such a unique approach to library services," says Carol Brey-Casiano, president of the American Library Association. "It goes back to the ease-of-access part of it." The states with the most bookmobiles, and the total for each:

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1. Kentucky 95
2. Ohio 66
3. California 61
4. North Carolina 44
5. Pennsylvania 38
6. Indiana 37
7. Florida 36 (tie) South Carolina
9. Virginia 33
10. Louisiana 31
- Associated Press/ American Library Association