AADL Talks to Mary Stewart Adams

Mary Stewart AdamsMary Stewart Adams

Mary Stewart Adams is a star lore historian, storyteller, and program director for the Headlands International Dark Sky Park, a 600-acre park in Michigan's Emmet County. She was also instrumental in securing the recent passage of Michigan Public Act 251, which establishes a 23,000-acre Dark Sky Preserve in Michigan. On her way to a signing ceremony with Governor Rick Snyder, Mary stopped in to talk with me about the process of securing a dark sky designation, the importance of dark skies, and her passion for telling stories about the stars.

Mary will be at the Downtown Library on the eve of the autumnal equinox - Friday, September 21, 2012 - for an evening of Storytelling with the Stars.

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Neil Armstrong, first person to set foot on the moon, has died

Neil Armstrong, the Ohio born NASA astronaut who thrilled the world on July 20, 1969, when he stepped out of the Apollo 11 space capsule and onto the surface of the moon, died today.

After three years as a Navy pilot, in 1955 he signed on with NASA's precursor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. In 1958, NACA became the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Armstrong continued his stellar career under the renamed organization.

In 1962, he became an official astronaut. Four years later he was the first man to dock two vehicles in space.

On July 20, 1969, a global gasp went up when, as Commander of Apollo 11, he set foot on the moon and said, "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind."

That very day, then Ohio Governor James Rhodes proposed that Armstrong's hometown of Wapakoneta build a museum in his honor. Three years later to the day, the Armstrong Air and Space Museum opened its doors to the public.

Over the years, Armstrong earned endless accolades, awards, degrees, and the adoration of a nation. The latter puzzled him the most as he was, indeed, a reluctant hero. He always maintained he was just doing his job.

His family summed up his life thus: "For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request: Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink."

Armstrong, who had had heart surgery a few weeks ago, was 82 years old.

Adaptations For Flight: Raptors. Wednesday August 15, 2012: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm and again from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room


See a raptor fly! Leslie Science & Nature Center staff members will teach you how to observe physical structure, feather type, and wing shape to determine various ways predators fly, soar, and drive to survive. This event will be offered twice in its entirety, once from 1-2pm and again from 3-4pm. The first show tends to fill up quickly, so you may want to plan on attending the 3-4pm performance to get a better seat. This event is intended for grades K-12.

Nature Notebooks!

SPECIAL EVENT: Dr. Bob's Soundschool and AADL's Music Tools Collection Launch Party

Learn about the science of sound with Dr. Bob's SoundSchool, presented by the Bob Moog Foundation!

Experience the magic of electronic music while exploring the physics of sound generation and travel; the intertwining of ideas and invention; and the history of Moog Music. This event includes hands-on experimentation with electronic instruments like theremins, synthesizers and oscilloscopes.

Participants will also be the very first to check out AADL's circulating Music Tools collection. The mtools collection features musical gear that you can check out from the Library, from such noted manufacturers as Moog, Korg, Maywa Denki, Bleep Labs, Chamber of Sounds, Folktek, Critter & Guitari and more!

GRADES K-5: Wednesday August 1, 2012: 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

TEENS & ADULTS: Wednesday August 1, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Cold-Blooded Creatures -- Thursday July 26, 2012: 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm -- Traverwood Branch -- Grades K-12


Experience live snakes, toads, salamanders, and turtles and learn more about their adaptations, behavior, and physical structure with Leslie Science & Nature Center staff. Also, learn more about the aquatic invertebrates that live in the summer exhibit at Traverwood! This event is intended for graded K-12.

Meet Animals From The Creature Conservancy For Teens And Adults

Tuesday July 24, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

The Creature Conservancy returns for another information-filled evening with their wonderful collection of wild animals! Animal lovers cannot miss this!

This event is for Grade 6 - Adults.

Parents of children grades K-5 please NOTE that the Creature Conservancy will be doing two presentations for kids on Aug. 9 at Pittsfield at 1:00pm and at 3:00 pm

Sally Ride, America's first woman astronaut, has died

Dr. Sally Ride, a physicist who made history when she answered a 1982 NASA newspaper ad for astronauts, died yesterday in San Diego.

Dr. Ride broke two records with her first of two spaceflights in 1983. Not only was she the first American woman to reach the stars, she was also the youngest astronaut in America's space program to do so.

A brilliant scholar with degrees in physics, astrophysics, and English, Dr. Ride spent her first year at NASA before her 1983 flight aboard the Challenger learning how to fly a jet plane and assisting in the development of a robotic arm. It was inevitable that her historic trip was immortalized by the endless playing of Wilson Pickett's song Mustang Sally, whose chorus consists of the lyrics, "All you want to do is ride around Sally, ride, Sally, ride."

Dr. Ride spent another eight days in space in 1984. After her retirement in 1987, she returned to academics and wrote several books for children about science and space, including To Space & Back (1986) and Exploring Our Solar System (2003). She also started a company in 2001, Sally Ride Science, which funneled her deep love and passion for science into programs and training for schools and teachers.

Dr. Ride, who lost her battle with pancreatic cancer, was 61.

Night Crew - Saturday July 21- Pittsfield Branch - 1-2pm and again from 3-4pm - Grades K-12

What's it like to be a nighttime predator? We'll learn about the habitats, adaptations, life cycles, conservation, food webs and classification of nocturnal birds when three owls visit from the Leslie Science & Nature Center. Don't miss this great opportunity to get a close view of a Barn Owl, Eastern Screech Owl and a Barred Owl. This event will be offered twice in its entirety, once from 1-2pm and again from 3-4pm. The first show tends to fill up quickly, so you may want to plan on attending the 3-4pm performance to get a better seat. This event is intended for grades K-12.

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