Ice Worlds: Why are the Poles so Cold?

IcebergIceberg

Where are the North and South Poles, and why are they so cold? What’s the difference between seawater and fresh water? Sea ice and land ice? How do layers of ice stack up? From ice cores to ocean currents, we’ll learn about the coldest places on Earth in this exciting science workshop held in collaboration with the UM Exhibit Museum of Natural History. The workshop is for children ages 6-11 and their adult guardian. Activities are created for both adults and children to complete together.

Call the Youth Desk at 327-8301 or ask at any service desk to register for the program. Choose from the following dates:
Wednesday, Jan. 16, 4:30-5:30 PM at the Pittsfield Branch
Saturday, Jan. 19, 10-11 AM at the Malletts Creek Branch
Saturday, Jan. 19, 2-3 PM at the Northeast Branch

Read up on the topic in these great books: Life in the polar lands by Monica Byles, Icebergs, Ice Caps and Glaciers by Allan Fowlar, Shackleton’s Stowaway by Victoria McKernan, and Polar Bears Past Bedtime by Mary Pope Osborne.

Darwin's famous journey

It was on December 27, 1831 that Charles Darwin sailed from England on the HMS Beagle. During this trip to South America and the Galapagos Islands, Darwin explored the rainforests and made some amazing discoveries about the plants and animals he found there. It was on the Islands that Darwin began to formulate his theories that later became the groundbreaking book, The Origin of the Species, a book that would create one of the greatest scientific controversies of modern times.

Fun for the kids over winter break!

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The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is featuring a family day themed "The Big Freeze" running December 26-31 from 10am-5pm. You'll be able to check out liquid nitrogen demonstrations, hands-on ice cream making, arctic facts and live reindeer. Check the museum's full schedule for those days to see what activities are happening when!
Hands-on Museum, $8 (members and infants free), 220 E. Ann St. 995-5439.

Physics + Wild Fun = Good Book

Bestselling author and scientist Stephen Hawking and his daughter Lucy Hawking have a children’s book out that has strong gravitational pull on our 11-year-old son. In fact, reading George’s Secret Key to the Universe is keeping him up way past bedtime. The major attraction is a super-computer named Cosmos who allows George and his friends to travel through the universe, as they learn about time and space. But what if the wrong people got Cosmos? That would be bad. The book's website says sequels are planned in 2008 and 2009.

50 Years and 5 Million Miles In the Making

Apollo InsigniaApollo Insignia

Plus never before seen footage from extraterrestrial film that had to be taken out of NASA's liquid nitrogen storage! How many movies can boast that? Today, In the Shadow of the Moon opens at the Michigan Theater. In the 1960s, 400,000 people joined forces to show what the human race can achieve when we work together. They did the impossible--they sent Man to the Moon and safely returned our brave tour guides to Earth. And they achieved this goal in under a decade! Want more info on the Apollo Missions? AADL has it.
Not going to go see the movie because you think the moon landings were hoaxes? Buzz Aldrin's fist will certainly tell you otherwise!

The Perfect Yawn?

Ever ‘caught’ a yawn from someone else? According to University of Maryland professor Robert Provine, about 55% of viewers seeing a yawn will yawn themselves. Provine embarked on a quest to design “the 100 percent contagious yawn” (inspired by a Monty Python sketch).

Intrigued? NPR’s All Things Considered talked to Provine about his experiments on September 24th. See if you can make it though the story without yawning yourself – I couldn’t!

Want to learn more? Read Provine’s article about his early research in the December 2005 issue of American Scientist. The full text of the article is available through the General Reference Center Gold database on the library’s Research page.

Baby Names, Swearing, & Human Nature

What do baby names and swearing reveal about thought and human nature?

Find out in Steven Pinker’s new book, The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature.

If you haven’t read any of Pinker’s entertaining and thought-provoking books on language and psychology - or if you’re already a fan - listen to him discuss his new book on the second hour of NPR’s Science Friday on September 14th.

Comics AND Science!

What better format through which to explore science than comics? Jim Ottaviani does a splendid job of introducing us to the scientists who shaped the 20th century (including one of my all time favorites Richard P. Feynman). His informative writing is enhanced by the illustrative stylings of many talented artists.

Jim Ottaviani will be at the Kerrytown Book Festival this Sunday (September 9) appearing on the Future of Comic Art panel with Jerzy Drozd, Kay Fedewa, and Chad Sell.

EXPLODapalooza!!

Mentos FountainMentos Fountain

Get in on the action and try out some fun chemistry at EXPLODapalooza on Wednesday, August 15 at 2PM at the Malletts Creek Branch. Make your own Alka-Seltzer rocket and bask in the joy of a mentos fountain. It will be a glorious, exploding hour. Hope to see you there!

Program is for children in 4th grade and up. Please note that the program was incorrectly published as starting at 7 PM in a local publication.

Stargazers, get ready!

The annual Perseid meteor shower peaks in mid-August with many shooting stars visible each hour. The night of August 12 through dawn of August 13, with a new moon- meaning no moonlight, will be one of the best nights for viewing. Since the shooting stars will seem to be emanating from the constellation Perseus, why not beef up your stargazing skills with a few star maps to make sure you're looking in the right spot. Check these out: Simple stargazing : a first-time skywatcher's guide, Atlas of the night sky, A walk through the heavens : a guide to stars and constellations and their legends, Star maps for beginners, Peterson first guide to astronomy. So grab your blanket and find a good spot to watch the sky!

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