This interview airs beginning November 30.
Clayton Ray has the impressive title of Curator Emeritus in the Department of Paleobiology at the Smithsonian Institution. He also studies, collects, and writes about wagons. Debby Klein meets with this fascinating man to explore his many interests. Find out more about CRRL Presents.
From our place beneath the heavens, the stars seem to be tiny pinpoints of light. People have seen patterns in the stars for thousands of years. In the storytellers' imaginations, warriors and princesses, flying horses and laughing coyotes all found their way to the stars. Some soothsayers still tell fortunes based on the mysteries of astrology, or the alignment of the planets.
Astronomers know that the real mysteries of space are much greater than the accidental alignments of the stars. Stars, in all their blazing glory of red, blue, green, yellow, and more, are pulsing and moving, swirling around in their galaxies which, in turn, move around the Universe. The stars themselves may be ages old, but we continue to learn more about them all the time. Recently, scientists discovered ten new planets--one of which is orbiting a very young star.
There's your basic paper airplane, the one that's folded fast out of sheet of notebook paper cribbed from your buddy. It will go well enough to fly the few feet to the front of the class --not that we at the library are promoting any such thing, mind you! But the design of your basic paper airplane lacks features that could carry it higher and farther than you might imagine.
Kids who like car books soon outgrow the ones with nice pictures and simple diagrams—and then what? What do you give a car-crazy kid who – might – be drawn into the fascinating world of science and engineering if he had the right teacher? Most car books for older kids are chock full of dull details and have no excitement whatsoever. They drone. They drag. They discourage with their very verbiage. We’ve got a cure for that. Richard Hammond, star of the BBC’s Top Gear and past host of Brainiac: Science Abuse, has teamed with picture-mad DK publishing to bring off Car Science: An Under-the-Hood, Behind-the-Dash Look at How Cars Work.
The book is divided into four very fun, very illustrated sections: Power, Speed, Handling, and Technology. There’s never a dull moment as Mr. Hammond divulges details of “…everything you need to know to be a real driving expert. How a turbocharger works, how gasoline is made; we’ll look inside gearboxes and learn why a Formula 1 car’s brakes glow pink when it’s stopping. And, at the end, we’ll look at the kind of cars that we might be driving in the future.”
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.
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 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.
The results are in! Our first ever Teen Video Contest brought us six funny and informative videos, all made by our super-talented local teens. The theme was, “Why My Library is Important to Me.” From dogs who know best to fireside chats, each video was unique and enjoyable. We applaud all the great work! What was most heart-warming was seeing how many ways our teens use and appreciate the Central Rappahannock Regional Library. Some pointed out that it’s a safe place to hang out with friends or work on group projects. Many admired the free Internet access, computer use, databases and online searching. They see their library as a quiet study retreat, a place to get professional research help, and most of all, a treasure trove of free books, music, and movies.
So, without further ado, here are the winners.
In first place, receiving the prize of a Flip digital video camera is Erik Martinsen, creator of the video, “Libraries are Doggone Fun!”
I shouldn't have to tell you the music CD is dead, as is every audio format that came before it, with the possible exception of vinyl, the fax machine of the music world. Music is digital, end of story. Digital music differs from any of its progenitors in its lack of physicality; there is no disc that you can put on your shelves, no album liner notes that you can flip through unless of course you create all of that yourself, but doesn't that defeat the point? If you have a digital music collection of over 6000 tracks, you're not going to take the time, spend the money, or use the space to create physical CDs for each of those albums. Still, we need to be able to keep track of our music and that's sometimes easier said than done.
Teen Tech Week may be officially over, but our Teen Video Contest is only at its halfway point. While it's been widely advertised that winners’ videos will be featured on our library website, we just found out that Best Buy has also generously donated some incredible prizes. The first place winner will receive an Ultra Flip video camera, second place a $100 gift card to Best Buy, and third place an official library t-shirt.