Fabulous Fiction Firsts #181

chemistrychemistry

In Chemistry for Beginners*, for Dr. Steven Fisher, the female orgasm is his life’s work. At the brink of the breakthrough of a miracle drug that could cure female sexual dysfunction (think Viagra), one of his test subjects – Annie G is wracking havoc with his data, his scientific mind and his carefully guarded heart.

This engaging and smart, romantic comedy (no longer an oxymoron, thanks to Anthony Strong - a pseudonym for Anthony Capella) is presented in the form of a scientific paper, complete with footnotes (totally believable and absolutely hilarious) and illustrations. The uniquely contemporary male perspective, memorable quotes, satirical jabs at academia, clinical research, and the drug business will surely entertain. The tentative and problematic courtship is tantalizing (think D.H. Lawrence's Lady C.), at times heartbreaking, and oh so itchy sexy.

Easily the best romance of the year, from a newcomer to the genre. Best quote: "Sex is biology, love is chemistry". And some of the best sex scenes since Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally.

* = Starred review

It is Tree Time!

TreeTree

It is that time of year again, when students are studying trees and learning to identify leaves. On Saturday, September 26, 2:00-3:30pm, join the staff of the Leslie Science and Nature Center at the Traverwood Branch for hands-on activities and discover how to use a scientific key to identify trees. Weather permitting, we will take a leafy walk through the nearby Stapp Nature Area directly following the program. Program is designed for students grades k-3. Join us and learn more about the trees all around you?

Archaeology for Kids

Looking for a book on archaeology for children that is packed with detailed information, fabulous photographs, and a link to an educational website? Pick up a copy of The Usborne Introduction to Archaeology : Internet-Linked here at the AADL. Even without access to the internet, this book is a complete reference work on its own. Readers will learn about archaeological techniques (like dendrochronology and thermoluminescence dating), and a variety of archaeological sites around the globe. Explore Teotihuacan, ancient Persepolis, Harappa, Mesa Verde, and Egypt's Valley of the Kings, just to name a few. Access to the internet will link you to Usborne's educational website where you can take virtual tours of famous ancient sites, follow finds from discovery to restoration, participate in activities like unwrapping a virtual mummy, or follow links to other great archaeology sites for kids like the American Museum of Natural History's ArchaeOlogy: Clues from the Past.

"One giant leap for mankind..."

On July 20, 1969, 40 years ago today, man first set foot on the moon. Guided by Apollo 11's orbiting command astronaut Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin landed the lunar model, Eagle, at 4:17 p.m., EDT on the surface of the moon. They walked on the moon's surface for 2 1/2 hours, bringing home photos and moon rocks and gaining the adoration of the American public.

The Library has some wonderful books and dvds on the landing. If you're old enough to remember, they may evoke an "I was there" (just watching, of course) memory. Or young people may be inspired to take another giant leap to the great beyond.

Solar S'mores: Science at its most delicious!

S'moreS'more

Make a solar s'more oven using a cardboard pizza box, some aluminum foil, and a few other basic materials. If the weather permits, we will go outside, test the oven, then eat some delicious s'mores (no campfire required)! This is science at its most delicious.

Thursday July 2, 2009 | 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm | Pittsfield Branch | Grade 4 thru Adult

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #164

At the heart of Enrique Joven's gripping debut (translated from the Spanish) The Book of God and Physics* is the Voynich Manuscript - a puzzling document that has fascinated generations of cryptologists both amateur and professional with its odd drawings and strange text, as yet undeciphered.

This 500 year-old oddity found its way to the Yale University Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, where a Jesuit physics teacher and two resourceful collaborators try to pierce the mystery, including the possible murder of a well-known scientist. The Church, on the other hand, seems to be going to great lengths to keep the book's meaning hidden.

"Joven's sophisticated perspective indeed opens insights into the current controversy pitting Darwinism against intelligent design. A book to delight lovers of well-crafted fiction and well-anchored fact." ~ Booklist

Debut author Katherine Howe's The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane deals with yet another archival puzzler connected to the most fascinating and disturbing periods in American history - the Salem witch trials. Fan of Matthew Pearl would find themselves two new authors to watch.

* = Starred review

Molecules the Musical

MoleculesMolecules

Encouraging kids to consider careers in science has never been this fun! Check out Molecules the Musical at the Power Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of University of Michigan on June 5, 6, and 7. The show combines music, dance, and multimedia elements to create a one-act show that will inspire students and engage their curiosity about the scientific world.

Self-Portrait with Turtles: a Memoir by David M. Carroll

David Carroll likes to spend long stretches of time in ponds, wetlands, and forests. Turtles are his favorite but he is attentive to the other creatures and plants. He refers to his early nature learning as aboriginal, learning from submerging himself in the ponds he discovers and taking the time for patient observation. Though Carroll can, on occasion, be a little too taken with himself, his memoir is lyrical and lovely. His turtle explorations are mostly in the Northeast. School, home life, art instruction, wife, children, and teaching filter into the story but most is on the turtles and their surroundings.

Space Tourism!?!?!?

SoyuzSoyuz

Never thought you'd live to see the day when space travel become a tourist attraction, did you? Well, you're living it! Russo-Hungarian software developer Charles Simonyi is traveling with two other personnel who'll be relieving Space Station crew members who recently returned to Earth via Discovery shuttle. Simonyi, Gennady Padalka, a Russian air force colonel and Michael Barratt, a flight engineer and space physician, are expected to dock at the International Space Station at 9:14am EST Saturday morning. Simonyi isn't publicizing how much he paid for passage aboard the Soyuz rocket, bound for the ISS. However, the list price is $35 million. This is Simonyi's second trip to space, and he's indicated that the cost of booking a seat on space shuttles has increased for since his first trip.

Martian Water

Pheonix Lander StrutPheonix Lander Strut

This photo shows something that beads up like water on the supporting leg of the Phoenix Mars Lander. The University of Michigan Astronomy and Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences professor Dr. Nilton Renno is a co-investigator on the Phoenix Mission. Dr. Renno et al. submitted "Physical and Thermodynamical Evidence for Liquid Water on Mars" to the Journal of Geophysical Research.

Read more about the bat space program.

Other related materials:
Mars : a warmer, wetter planet
Roving Mars DVD
Aqua. (Teen Graphic Novel) Vol. 1

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