Science and Technology
CRRL's newest MakerLab opens at Salem Church Branch beginning in April. Join us on Friday, April 6, from 3:00-5:00 in the OurSpace programming room for the grand opening celebration.
Wouldn't it be cool if even a few of the old stories were true? Legends say that giants walked the Earth; Atlantis vanished under the sea; and Greece and Troy fought a devastating war over a beautiful woman. Amazing, but true: all these stories are based on facts.
Archaeologists digging in China discovered the fossils of Gigantopithecus, a giant ape standing 9 or 10 feet tall. These huge but probably gentle apes died off 500,000 years ago. Traditionally, villagers collected their bones and made them into medicines. They called their finds dragon bones. Some have wondered whether pockets of the animals may have survived into later centuries, giving rise to the legend of Big Foot.
Cells make up you, your friend, your hamster, and your mom's broccoli surprise. If it's alive or ever was alive, it is made of cells. Space scientists looking for life on Mars are trying to find microbes made of simple cells—not little green men—and biologists who search for cures to diseases work with cells. Small as they are, cells determine how life unfolds from its beginning to its end.
Circles, squares, pentagons, octagons, polygons, angles, rays, points, and lines, there are so many names to learn in geometry. They may sound strange and new, but geometry is all around you. Your computer monitor's surface is more or less a rectangle, your pencil is roughly a cylinder, and, viewed from the top, the cable from your mouse to the computer, is a line segment. Once you start thinking about geometric shapes, you'll find them everywhere.
This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse the book matches here.
Are you looking for books on animals and insects? Check out these fun non-fiction and easy readers below.
Animalogy: Animal Analogies by Marianne Collins Berkes
Uses analogies to teach the similarities and differences between animals, including their sounds, physical adaptations, behaviors, and classes. (catalog summary)
Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia by James Buckley
Animal Planet Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia profiles the seven major animal classes—mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, arthropods, and other invertebrates—and features more than 1,000 stunning color photographs of animals in action. (catalog summary)
Rosie the Riveter is an icon, well-known for representing the scores of women who worked in munitions factories during World War II. Andrea Beaty gives a subtle nod to the original Rosie—and the powerful women she represents—in Rosie Revere, Engineer, her follow-up to Iggy Peck, Architect. Rosie Revere is a born engineer who loves creating intricate and unusual machines using parts she has salvaged from the trash. Her inventing has been a secret, though, ever since the day her Uncle Fred laughed at her snake repellant hat.
For years, I preferred Android over iPhone, usually citing its customizability and availability from a large number of manufacturers. This stands in stark contrast to iPhone, which has notably fewer customization options than Android and is only made by Apple. IPhone has no homescreen widgets; non-App Store apps are very difficult to install; it has no centralized storage; and the list goes on. There is one area in which iPhone continues to outshine Android though: security.
Because Apple makes their own devices and designs their own bespoke operating system (iOS) to work more or less seamlessly with their hardware, they have total control over critical security and system updates. When they detect or are informed of a serious flaw in their software, they can push out an update to all Apple devices at once.
This stands in stark contrast to Android. When the iPhone was released and took the world by storm, Google knew the only way they could compete was to adopt the opposite strategy from Apple, namely, making Android's operating system free, open source, and completely customizable by the various manufacturers. That's why iPhones are always iPhones, but Android phones vary wildly in design, features, internals, and software. A phone manufactured by Samsung looks and acts very differently from a phone designed by Lenovo, even though they are both running Android.
Online privacy has been in the news a lot lately. In response to this renewed concern, I’m hearing two main solutions emerge in the chatter among the digerati, one good, one less so. Let’s start with the latter: Web traffic “noise generators.” Noise generators are plug-ins that rapidly open and close browser tabs to random sites. The idea is to hide your genuine Web activity in a haze of random, meaningless traffic. Don’t bother. Obfuscation methods like these will hinder data miners not one bit.
The other idea is to use a VPN or Virtual Private Network. When you connect to sites through a VPN, information about you and the site you’re visiting is funneled through an encrypted network that your ISP (Internet service provider) cannot detect. VPNs are especially handy for public wifi when you want to make sure that no one else on the network can spy on what you’re doing.
Summer is quickly approaching and a favorite nighttime activity of many approaches: stargazing. Whether you're gazing alone or with others, The National Geographic Pocket Guide to the Night Sky of North America is the book to have with you.