Grab a scope for tonight's asteroid fly-by!

Want to see a mountain-sized asteroid tonight from your own backyard? If so, your best bet is to fix a small telescope on something in its path and wait for it to fly past. In this case, look for the open cluster M44, known as the Beehive Cluster, in the constellation Cancer; it's about halfway between Jupiter and Pollux. The asteroid will be flying near it between about 12:45 and 1:00 a.m. tonight, January 27. Here are some observing tips.

So quick, run in and grab a scope (we have some handy right now at the Downtown branch) and set yourself up!

Let's Learn About Science!

If you have a little one who loves science and you haven’t checked out our New Book shelf lately, you’re missing out! We have a bundle of exciting new science books in designed just for kids.

For older kids, Hello from 2030: The Science of the Future and You, by Jan Paul Schutten, takes a look at the near feature based on current science. In the future, will we be able to easily and quickly 3D print body parts? What will climate change make the planet look like? This book also explains how predictions work and contains a section on becoming a futurologist.

In you want to learn about the amazing scientists that have brought us this far, check out the new Women in Science series, which features short but detailed biographies of physician Antonia Novello, astronaut Mae Jemison, physicist Chien-Shiung Wu, meteorologist Joanne Simpson, and biochemist Hayat Sindi.

After learning about the great scientists above, children can learn about mistakes in science from the Science Gets it Wrong Series. My personal favorite is Let’s Make Some Gold!, but you can also check out: Your Head Shape Reveals Your Personality!, That Bull is Seeing Red!, and We're the Center of the Universe!

For all of these, and lots of other books, including ones about robots, genes, ecosystems and more, check out our list New Science Books for Kids.

Animalium

If you have not yet seen this giant beauty resting on the new youth nonfiction shelf, please allow me to draw your attention to it. I know I will forever be indebted to the person who first showed Animalium to me. It is one of those rare books that is both captivating to look at and to read. Maybe I should make myself clear here, it is captivating if you enjoy learning about animals and reading facts about them. If you are expecting a great fictional story, then perhaps it would be best if you check this out for the sole purpose of enjoying the pictures. Furthermore, please don't dismiss this book because it is intended for youth, I choose to believe "youth" really just stands for "youthful" and there really is no age restriction when it comes to appreciating beautiful illustrations of wildlife.

The large colorful illustrations are wonderfully detailed and the shadowing and chosen colors give the pictures great depth. Being an amphibian girl myself, I was particularly drawn to the page including the the Darwin's Frog (Rhinoderma darwinii) which has "an oversize vocal sac in which it rears its young." Little tadpoles in a frog's throat never looked so pretty.

Be warned though, when I say "giant beauty" I mean bring a sturdy bag because this is no pocket book.

You may also want to check out Welcome to Mamoko or Maps, both published by Big Picture Press and with equally fascinating pictures and intriguing concepts. Or maybe this has piqued your interest about animals and now you want to learn more. Great! Here is a list of other Awesome Animal books that may help you with your research.

Nerd Nite Ann Arbor presented by AADL at LIVE 102 S First St.

Thursday February 19, 2015: 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm -- LIVE (102 S 1st Street)

This event is intended for Adults
This event will be recorded

For the last year and a half, crowds have gathered each month in the early evening - in bars and venues around Ann Arbor. Around 7pm, it begins: three boisterous speakers geek out up front. What is this? Some secret club?

Nope! It's Nerd Nite Ann Arbor! And it's open to anyone and everyone who loves to learn or share what they love.

For the uninitiated, Nerd Nite (NN) has been described as “...like the Discovery Channel™…with beer!” Sounds fun, right? It is! NN is held monthly in 70+ cities, giving several folks the opportunity to give 18-21minute fun-yet-informative presentations across all disciplines. Imagine learning about everything from the science of the Simpsons to the genealogy of Godzilla. Fun stuff!

Doors open at 6:30, and speakers start at 7pm.

So show up, have a drink, meet other nerds, and learn a bunch of awesome new junk!

Want to see past topics and a little more info? Check NNA2's site.

AADL is sponsoring this month's event, so there will be NO COVER!

Mark your calendars and spread the word! Any and all nerds (and non-nerds!) who love learning and having a great time are welcome to join us!

Nerd Nite Ann Arbor presented by AADL at LIVE 102 S First St.

Thursday January 29, 2015: 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm -- LIVE (102 S 1st Street)

This event is intended for Adults
This event will be recorded

For the last year and a half, crowds have gathered each month in the early evening - in bars and venues around Ann Arbor. Around 7pm, it begins: three boisterous speakers geek out up front. What is this? Some secret club?

Nope! It's Nerd Nite Ann Arbor! And it's open to anyone and everyone who loves to learn or share what they love.

For the uninitiated, Nerd Nite (NN) has been described as “...like the Discovery Channel™…with beer!” Sounds fun, right? It is! NN is held monthly in 70+ cities, giving several folks the opportunity to give 18-21minute fun-yet-informative presentations across all disciplines. Imagine learning about everything from the science of the Simpsons to the genealogy of Godzilla. Fun stuff!

Doors open at 6:30, and speakers start at 7pm.

Nerd Nite welcomes 2015 with a roster spanning history, sound and action!

We all like a good story now and then, right? All the better if that story is something from our city’s collective past. Local history geek & author Patti Smith will take us on a tour of the Good the Bad and the Ornery in Tree Town’s past. Like the sound of that? Carl Engelke will expose us to different sounds — heroic trumpet fanfares — as he considers music and physics in the natural history of the trumpet.
Finally, who couldn’t use an extra boost of self-confidence? Martial arts trainer Sal Sanfratello will illustrate how direct action and experimentation may help us become a little more balanced and courageous in our everyday lives.

Ponder some of our past, consider your favorite fanfare, and take action — grab a beer and say hi to your fellow nerds!

Want to see past topics and a little more info? Check NNA2's site.

AADL is sponsoring this month's event, so there will be NO COVER!

Mark your calendars and spread the word! Any and all nerds (and non-nerds!) who love learning and having a great time are welcome to join us!

CANCELLED - Nerd Nite Ann Arbor presented by AADL at LIVE 102 S First St.

Thursday December 11, 2014: 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm -- LIVE (102 S 1st Street)

Due to circumstances beyond our control - the December edition of Nerd Nite has been cancelled.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Salk!

Dr. Jonas SalkDr. Jonas Salk

In honor of Dr. Jonas Salk's 100th birthday, we've just posted a few photographs and articles from our archives celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Jonas Salk, the American medical researcher and virologist who spent time at the University of Michigan doing critical research on the influenza virus before inventing the first successful polio vaccine.

On April 12, 1955, the vaccine was declared to be safe and effective and within weeks was being shipped around the world.

Science Fun with FEMMES

Saturday January 24, 2015: 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for grades 4 - 8

The University of Michigan student group F.E.M.M.E.S (Females Excelling More in Math, Engineering and Science) will bring a variety of hands-on, engaging events for young students interested in learning more about S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering and math) topics. During this event, common household items will be used to demonstrate experiments. One or more of the following hands-on activities will be available:

• Squishy Circuits (using Play-Doh and LED lights to demonstrate electrical circuits)
• States of Matter demo (make Oobleck out of corn starch and water and make Silly Putty out of borax and glue)
• DNA (made of marshmallows and toothpicks) as well as a ribosome-RNA-protein relay
• Magnetism demonstration
• Acid/Base demonstration

The U-M F.E.M.M.E.S. group is dedicated to closing gender and racial divides in computer science and science, technology, engineering and math (CS/STEM) fields. Working specifically in diverse, underserved communities, FEMMES creates collaborative teaching and learning environments to promote leadership development, technical skills and self-confidence in women of all ages.

Audiobook for Kids: The Fourteenth Goldfish

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm offers a fresh, funny, and surprisingly thoughtful take on a classic science fiction premise: a potion to make you young again.

Sixth-grader Ellie’s life with her colorful drama-teacher mom is turned upside-down when her old-fashioned, opinionated grandfather moves in with them. The twist? Her grandfather is a scientist who has uncovered the secret to anti-aging and is now a thirteen-year-old boy! While trying to help her grandfather recover the anti-aging potion from his lab, Ellie finds new friends, develops a growing love for science and a greater understanding of her unconventional family.

I found the audiobook to be a particular treat, with a narrator who not only sounds like a middle-school girl but also delivers lines with such perfect comic timing that I found myself laughing out loud again and again.

Fans of The Water Castle or other science-centered books for girls will definitely want to check it out.

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