Crafty Magazines for Kids

Fun, new, crafty ideas for kids are always waiting for you at the AADL. Check out the Library's diverse range of youth magazines for your next in-home project, be it a dynamic science experiment, a creative craft, or a racing vehicle.

Let's start with Muse: the magazine of life, the universe, and pie throwing. Yes, "pie throwing" really is in the magazine title, for this publication is all about maximizing the fun while learning about the natural world. Several of their science experiments are on their website, including the relevant Cell Phone Slip Up experiment that tests whether talking on a cell phone affects your concentration.

You may have seen Family Fun kids: fun stuff to make and do on the magazine shelf and wondered what kinds of projects were hiding inside. From Candle Making 101 to Cozy Bird Cottages to French Toast Casserole recipes (YUM!), this magazine -- as well as its website -- is a well so deep with ideas that if Tikki Tikki Tembo fell in, he might never come back out.

The AADL owns 68 youth magazine titles covering topics such as crafts, science, homeschooling, gaming, music, sports, nature, and everything in between. You can now request magazines for pickup at your local branch library.

Looking for a telescope? Try Peach Mountain!

If you're in line for a Library telescope but not all that familiar with the night sky, consider attending one of the public open houses scheduled twice a month at Peach Mountain. Hosted by the University Lowbrow Astronomers, these open houses are a great way to learn what there is to find in the night sky with experienced observers and powerful telescopes. In addition to looking through members' scopes, you can also look through the 24-inch McMath telescope located on site, or simply gaze in awe at the silhouette of the 26-meter radio dish.

Public open houses are scheduled twice a month at Peach Mountain, 16 miles northwest of Ann Arbor, off North Territorial Rd in Stinchfield Woods. Guidelines, parking information, and a map are here. Open houses will be cancelled if conditions are unusually cold or if it's cloudy. If in doubt, call (734) 975-3248 after 4 p.m. the day of the event to determine the status.

The remaining open house dates through this season are: May 19, June 16, June 23, July 14, July 21, August 11, August 18, and September 15.

Fun Friday Night at the U-M Museum of Natural History

The U-M Museum of Natural History is having their Fun Friday Night tomorrow, May 4, 2012. They'll be staying open until 9:00 p.m. to offer dinosaur tours and other activities, including several discounted ($3) planetarium shows - at 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, and 8:30 - that focus on what you can see in the night sky. If you're waiting to check out one of our new circulating telescopes and aren't familiar with the constellations and stargazing in general, this is a great first step toward getting the most out of your telescope when it comes in! The Museum also holds regularly scheduled weekend planetarium shows throughout the year.

The Backyard Astronomer's Guide

If you're waiting to check out one of our new circulating telescopes, consider Step #2 in the 10 Steps to Successful Stargazing, which is to "befriend a book." Few books are more helpful to new stargazers than The Backyard Astronomer's Guide, by Canadian astronomer and best-selling author Terence Dickinson, (which also has a helpful companion website). This is a good place to start learning how to find your way around the night sky. We've also put together a page of tips to get the most out of your stargazing experience in Ann Arbor.

Behold The Night Sky With Our Newest Circulating Collection: Telescopes!

Good news, everyone! A new circulating collection of Dobsonian telescopes is now available. The Orion Starblast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope is an incredibly powerful yet fully accessible scientific instrument, recently described by one library patron as "The best telescope I've ever looked through." That is going to be true for most of us, so reserve your place in line now. This scope's particular strong points are viewing the moon, planets, and star clusters. You can keep them for 2 weeks, which is the perfect amount of time for the moon to pass through some interesting phases.

The telescope collection is brought to you through a partnership with the University Lowbrow Astronomers, a secret society of tinkerers, explorers, and radical craftsmen. Check them out too!

Help us launch our new telescope collection!

Friday, April 27, 2012, 8:30 - 10:00 p.m. -- Leslie Science Center

Join us Friday evening at the Leslie Science Center (1831 Traver Rd. map) as we celebrate Astronomy Day with the launch of our new telescope collection! AADL and Leslie Science Center staff, as well as members of our local amateur astronomy club, the University Lowbrow Astronomers, will be on hand to demonstrate the Library's seven modified Orion StarBlast 4.5 reflector telescopes designed for entry level and intermediate astronomy enthusiasts.

We'll start in the Nature House with coffee, hot chocolate, and a short talk and demonstration by Lowbrow president, Charlie Nielsen; then, weather permitting, we'll move to the sidewalk near the Science Center's parking lot for some stargazing. You can also enter a raffle for several copies of Orion's Starry Night Special Edition software and a chance to be first in line to borrow one of the new scopes! (The telescopes will be available for circulation starting Saturday, April 28, just in time for National Astronomy Day!)

Read more about the telescope collection and check back for upcoming astronomy programs this spring and summer!

Shhh.....A Friendly Introduction To Modern Cryptology With Brett Hemenway, Ph.D.

Thursday March 22, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Cryptography was originally developed to facilitate secret communication. Modern cryptography now encompasses an amazing variety of tasks and cryptographic algorithms which are embedded in a surprising number of everyday devices. From car-keys to metro-cards, from providing anonymous access to preventing satellite collisions the applications of cryptography are growing rapidly.

This lecture by UM Assistant Professor Brett Hemenway will present a history of the development of modern cryptography, along with the ideas and tools needed to provide security in an increasingly complex world. Along the way we'll see some of the successes and failures of modern cryptographic schemes.

Birds of North America Online

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Clangula hyemalis! Ortalis vetula! No, these aren't Harry Potter spells, they are birds -- the Long-tailed Duck and the Plain Chachalaca, scientifically speaking. For a wealth of information on our local feathered friends, be sure to visit the Birds of North America Online database. Created by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the American Ornithologists' Union ("Ornithology" is the scientific study of birds), BNA provides information on EVERY species of bird from North America. Photos, videos, and audio recordings of bird calls accompany text descriptions about characteristics, life cycles, habits, and demographic information for each species. This site, which is updated every month, is fabulous for students, bird watchers, budding ornithologists, and lovers of nature.

Access to this and any of our other reference databases and resources is available at every branch of the AADL, as well as from outside the library with a valid AADL library card. For access from an outside location, please sign in to your library account, visit our reference database page, and navigate to the desired resource. To access the Birds of North America Online database, go to the research page, and select Birds of North America Online from the Science & Technology category.

Heads up Middle-High School Science Students!

The 54th Annual Southeast Michigan Science Fair happens on March 9 and 10, 2012 at Washtenaw Community College's Morris Lawrence Building.

If you are in Grades 6, 7 and 8 from any school in the region you are eligible to enter Individual or Team projects in the Middle School Division. If you are in grades 9 through 12 from any school in the region are eligible to enter Individual or Team projects in the High School Division.

To enter your science fair project you must pre-register by Friday, February 17.

The regional Southeastern Michigan Science Fair is affiliated with the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. This event is sponsored by the University of Michigan and Washtenaw Community College in cooperation with public and private schools in the five county regions.

Film Screening & Discussion: City Dark: A Search for Night on a Planet that Never Sleeps

In this award-winning film, filmmaker and amateur astronomer Ian Cheney starts with the deceptively simple question, Do we need to see the stars? City Dark explores the disappearance of darkness and the myriad implications of light pollution, from the deaths of thousands of animals disoriented by city lights to humanity's more abstract disconnect from the wonder of the cosmos hidden from view behind the orange haze of its cities.

In this thoughtful film, Cheney passes over both environmental rants and nostalgic pleas to engage us in a more meditative reflection on our relationship with the night sky with stunning astrophotography and a cast of eclectic scientists, philosophers, historians and lighting designers.

The University Lowbrow Astronomers are co-sponsoring this screening and members of the group will be on hand to answer questions following the film.

City Dark | Tuesday, October 11 | 6:30 p.m. | Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room

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