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!

April's Books to Film

Based on Nicholas Sparks' novel The Lucky One (PG-13), it follows U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault as he returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, with the one thing he credits with keeping him alive --- a photograph he found of a woman he doesn’t even know. Learning her name and where she lives, he shows up at her door.

In Think Like a Man (PG-13) - the film adaptation of Steve Harvey's bestseller Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man : what men really think about love, relationships, intimacy, and commitment, 4 interconnected and diverse men whose love lives are shaken up after the ladies they are pursuing buy Harvey's book and start taking his advice to heart. When the band of brothers realize they have been betrayed by one of their own, they conspire using the book's insider information to turn the tables and teach the women a lesson of their own.

In The Pirates! Band of Misfits (PG), Hugh Grant stars in his first animated role as the luxuriantly bearded Pirate Captain --- a boundlessly enthusiastic, if somewhat less-than-successful, terror of the High Seas. With a rag-tag crew at his side, and seemingly blind to the impossible odds stacked against him, the Captain has one dream: to beat his bitter rivals Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz to the much coveted Pirate Of The Year Award. We have Author Gideon Defoe to thank for his two adventurous tales in The Pirates! Band of Misfits : an adventure with scientists & an adventure with Ahab

In the film The Raven (R) when a serial killer who bases his methods of killing on Edgar Allan Poe’s stories (beginning with The Murders in the Rue Morgue and The Pit and the Pendulum and working his way through other stories), Poe joins forces with a young Baltimore detective to solve the crime. The script is based on biographies of Edgar Allan Poe

VISIONS 2012: What's New in Technology and Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Wednesday, May 9, 2012
10am-3pm

Washtenaw Community College
Morris Lawrence Building
4800 E. Huron River Dr.
Ann Arbor, MI 48105

This 2012 VISIONS Vendor Fair is presented by the Ann Arbor District Library (which also serves as the Washtenaw Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled) and is cosponsored by the Michigan Commission for the Blind and Washtenaw Community College.

A variety of Michigan exhibitors will demonstrate the latest products and services for the blind and visually impaired. Magnifiers, electronic readers, Braille devices, library services, CCTVs, leader dogs, support services for the blind and transportation services are just a few of the many outstanding services and products on display.

Five hundred people attended the 2010 Visions Vendor Fair and this year's fair, featuring presentations addressing national, international and regional issues, promises to be even more eventful.

Presentations will also be offered each hour:

11:00 AM - Neil Bernstein, National Library Service For The Blind And Physically Handicapped
12:00 PM - Dr. Tamru Belay, Adaptive Technology Center for the Blind In Ethiopia/Africa
1:00 PM - The A T Guys, What's New In Assistive Technology?
2:00 PM - Scott Menzel, Superintendent of Washtenaw Intermediate School District

  • Free admission
  • Free parking
  • Sighted assistants
  • Product demonstrations
  • Speaker presentations
  • Refreshments for sale by the Michigan Commission for the Blind Business Enterprise Program

2012 VENDORS: AbleZone, Inc. | Amy's Braille Printing | Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living (AACIL) | Ann Arbor Lions Clubs | Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (AATA) | AT Guys, Bob the Brailler | Clarity of Michigan | Enabling Technologies | Friends of the AADL | Greater Detroit Agency for the Blind and Visually Impaired | Guiding Eyes for the Blind | GW Micro | Home Instead Senior Care | HumanWare | Learning Support and Services, Washtenaw Community College (WCC) | Low Vision Solutions, Inc. | Magnification Center | Michigan Braille Transcribing Fund | Michigan Commission for the Blind | Michigan Commission for the Blind, Braille and Talking Book Library | Michigan Disability Rights Coalition | Michigan Eye-Bank | Michigan Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (MPVI) | Michigan Ski for Light | National Federation of the Blind (NFB) of Michigan | Newsline for the Blind | NoIR Medical Technologies | Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind (OUB) | Optelec | Pilot Dogs, Inc. | University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center | University of Michigan Taubman Health Sciences Library | Visually Impaired and Blind in Livingston, Inc. (VIABIL, Inc.) | WKAR Radio Reading Service | WLBPD@AADL

Click here for information on all upcoming Events at the AADL!

All Aboard the AirRide!

Catching a ride to or from DTW is now easier than ever with AirRide! AirRide, a service of The Ride, offers 12 affordable trips a day from downtown Ann Arbor to Metro Airport. All of their buses are equipped with ADA Compliant wheel chair lifts. For this service, 24-advance registration is required. For more information or to make a reservation, click here. Happy Trails!

Start Spring Break With a Magic Show

Start Spring Break with a Magic Show!Start Spring Break with a Magic Show!

Let's hope the nice weather holds out through this week when the Ann Arbor Public Schools have Spring Break.
Regardless of the weather, we'll have lots of fun things for kids to do.
We'll start out with a magic show. Ann Arbor's own Jeff Wawrzaszek will bring his new magic show to the Malletts Creek Branch on Monday April 2, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. This is for all ages. Who doesn't love a good magic show?
And Jeff is the best!

Here are some materials to help you try some tricks of your own.

The Forgotten Spaghetti Farmers

On this date in 1957, the BBC aired a groundbreaking report on the harvesting of spaghetti trees in southern Switzerland. Up until this time, many people in the UK did not consume spaghetti, and therefore were unaware of the painstaking process involved in spaghetti farming.

Though the images from the story are quite pastoral, spaghetti tree cultivation is not for the faint of heart. Improper care of the spaghetti tree can result in a crop of difficult-to-eat dancing spaghetti or the accidental transmogrification of the spaghetti tree into a pizza plant. At first thought, this may sound even better, but pizza plants are an invasive species, and almost always attract most of a neighborhood’s pests to one’s garden. Even worse, spaghetti storms (sometimes including meatball hail) have been known to happen in areas where genetically modified spaghetti plants are grown in large quantities. Scientists are unsure of why this may happen, but some hypothesize about a process similar to that where it rains frogs: waterspouts (spaghetti trees are largely farmed in low-lying wetlands or artificially-created ponds) rip the spaghetti from the tree limbs (which are weakened by unnaturally large spaghetti pods), transporting it to relatively high altitudes, and carrying it over large distances. The winds are capable of allowing the spaghetti to fall in a concentrated fashion in a localized area. Some tornadoes can suck up a spaghetti pond entirely, resulting in what we loosely translate as the fabled “rain of pasta.”

Festifools!

We are sure that the warm weather will return in time for Festifools when we team up with our awesome partners at 826michigan for a robot invasion! Join us at the Downtown Library this Sunday, April 1 at 2:00-3:45 to make a ridiculous costume and then we will parade down Liberty and meet up with the giant puppets in the alley. The foolery begins at 4:00 pm and we will be right in the middle of it all! Happy spring!

Sustainable Farmer and Entrepreneur Joel Salatin to Visit Ann Arbor

Joel Salatin, the well-known organic farmer, will be coming to Ann Arbor's Michigan Theater on Tuesday, April 24th by way of the People's Food Co-op of Ann Arbor (PFC), to "share how his farm serves as a prototype to the way local food can lead to our agricultural, environmental, and nutritional salvation. Noting that our food system now faces challenges in biosecurity, food safety, energy, integrity, and humane animal husbandry, he will explain how local production, processing, distribution, and patrons in the Ann Arbor area can reshape our food future."

Salatin's ideas and progress in the world of sustainable farming have been featured in Michael Pollan’s bestselling book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, in the documentary films Food, Inc. and Fresh, and also in his very own books, Folks, this Ain't Normal and Holy Cows and Hog Heaven. "Since his cutting-edge sustainable farm, Polyface Inc., began inspiring people throughout the world, his charismatic nature and ability to produce provocative and poignant proclamations about the unfortunate state of our food system have made him one of the most influential voices in the sustainable food movement today."

The event will take place at the Michigan Theater in Downtown Ann Arbor on Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 from 8pm to 10pm. Tickets are $15 for the General Public, and $13 for Students & PFC Members. Available at ticketmaster.com or surcharge-free at the People's Food Co-op of Ann Arbor.

Brick Bash 2012

Craving LEGOS? Join the community of Ann Arbor for some FREE Lego fun at the 2012 Brick Bash!

The event will feature displays of Lego creations crafted by talented Lego hobbyists from near and far! Even you can get in on the fun - there will be tables piled high with thousands of LEGO, Duplo, and Bionicle pieces for you to craft your very own creations. In addition, Bricks for Brains will have fun and educational building projects for everyone to take part in. For more information, see the list of featured exhibits and activities.

The event will take place at Morris Lawrence Building on the campus of the Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan and last all day Saturday, March 24th from 11am to 6pm. Both admission and parking are free!

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