Science

Richard Feynman once quipped: "Time is what happens when nothing else does." But Julian Barbour disagrees: if nothing happened, if nothing changed, time would stop. For time is nothing but change. It is change that we perceive occurring all around us, not time. In fact, time doesn't exist. In this highly provocative volume, Barbour presents the basic evidence for the nonexistence of time, explaining what a timeless universe is like and showing how the world will nonetheless be experienced as intensely temporal.

What do snowflakes, mirrors, and the universe as a whole have in common? Physicist Dave Goldberg takes readers on a warp-speed road trip guided by the notion that while randomness may seem to rule our lives, it never seems to erase an essential orderliness. Space, time, and everything in between in our elegant universe - from the Higgs boson to antimatter to the most massive group of galaxies - are shaped by hidden symmetries

pioneering theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss explains the groundbreaking new scientific advances that turn the most basic philosophical questions on their heads. One of the few prominent scientists today to have actively crossed the chasm between science and popular culture, Krauss reveals that modern science is addressing the question of why there is something rather than nothing, with surprising and fascinating results. The staggeringly beautiful experimental observations and mind-bending new theories are all described accessibly in A Universe from Nothing, and they suggest that not only can something arise from nothing, something will always arise from nothing. 

"The Hidden Reality" reveals how major developments in different branches of fundamental theoretical physics -- relativistic, quantum, cosmological, unified, computational -- have all led us to consider one or another variety of parallel universe.

STEM Saturday: Buoyancy

Children aged 7-10 years old, interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) will learn something new each month. Join us this month as we discuss and explore buoyancy. What floats, what doesn't, and why? Registration required and begins August 26th.

Image of floating boat by Rocky A is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Animal Lover: Super Bookworm badge.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.

An entertaining and profound look at the lives of birds, illuminating their surprising world--and deep connection with humanity. Birds are highly intelligent animals, yet their intelligence is dramatically different from our own and has been little understood. As scientists come to understand more about the secrets of bird life, they are unlocking fascinating insights into memory, game theory, and the nature of intelligence itself. The Thing with Feathers explores the astonishing homing abilities of pigeons, the good deeds of fairy-wrens, the influential flocking abilities of starlings, the deft artistry of bowerbirds, the extraordinary memories of nutcrackers, the lifelong loves of albatross, and other mysteries--revealing why birds do what they do, and offering a glimpse into our own nature. 

A frustrated housewife sets out to see more bird species than anyone in history--and ends up risking her life again and again in the wildest places on earth. Phoebe Snetsinger had planned to be a scientist, but, like most women who got married in the 1950s, she ended up keeping house, with four kids and a home in the suburbs by her mid-thirties. Numb and isolated, she turned to bird-watching, but she soon tired of the birds near home and yearned to travel the world. Then her life took a crushing turn: At forty-nine, she was diagnosed with cancer and told that she had less than a year to live. Devastated, she began crisscrossing the globe, finding rare and spectacular birds that brought her to the heights of spiritual ecstasy. Life List is a powerful portrait of a woman who found refuge from society's expectations in a dangerous and soul-stirring obsession.

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The Big Year is Pulitzer Prize-winner Mark Obmascik's account of what was to become the greatest birding year of all time. It was freak weather conditions that ensured all previous records were broken, but what becomes clear within the pages of this classic portrait of obsession is that while our feathered friends may be the objective of the Big Year competition, it's the curious activities and behavioral patterns of the pursuing "homo sapiens" that are the real cause for concern. It is a contest that reveals much of the human character in extremes. Such are the author's powers of observation that he brilliantly brings to life and gets under the skin of these extraordinary, eccentric and obsessive birders while empathizing with and eventually succumbing to the all-consuming nature of their obsession. The result is a wonderfully funny, acutely observed classic to rank alongside the best of Bill Bryson. 

Most people would love to be able to fly like a bird, but few of us are aware of the other sensations that make being a bird a gloriously unique experience. What is going on inside the head of a nightingale as it sings, and how does its brain improvise? How do desert birds detect rain hundreds of kilometers away? How do birds navigate by using an innate magnetic compass? Tracing the history of how our knowledge about birds has grown, particularly through advances in technology over the past fifty years, Bird Sense tells captivating stories about how birds interact with one another and their environment. 

This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Great Outdoors: On the Scene badge.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.

Celebrate the great outdoors with a visit to the Friends' Wings of Wonder butterfly garden behind the library. Grab a scavenger hunt sheet from the Connect Your Summer command center and look for the plants and landmarks pictured. If you want to try your hand at identifying the plants or animals you see, resources for identifying Michigan species are listed below.

Claim your Great Outdoors On-the-Scene badge online and don't forget to submit your completed scavenger hunt sheet in the drop box. All prize drawing winners will be notified by email.

Check www.cantonpl.org/connect-your-summer to find more ways to earn badges. The final day to earn badges is Wednesday, August 17.

A handbook which features a black-and-white sketch of 40-50 animal tracks on a right-hand page, with information about the animal on the facing page.

Rocket Robotics Workshop

Rocket Robotics is a four day beginning robotics class targeted to kids aged 9-12 unfamiliar with EV3 robotics. The goal is to introduce young kids to the field of STEM and introduce them to the FIRST Lego League (FLL) program. This workshop will teach kids from a completely different point of view. Run by high schoolers, the students will have more of a peer connection with their instructors and ultimately learn more and have more fun! All six instructors have formerly participated in the popular robotics program for four or more years as well as competed internationally with the program. With this experience level they will offer a very comprehensive introduction to robotics, not only teaching mechanical design and programming but also teamwork, presentation skills, and the brainstorming process. In order to participate, students will need to bring their own laptop AND a lunch each day of the program. The workshop is cumulative. Please register ONLY if you are planning on attending all four sessions. Registration for the 4 day workshop begins on July 26.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

Jeremy Irons sets out to discover the extent and effects of the global waste problem as he travels around the world to beautiful destinations tainted by pollution.

Long before the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf, BP was widely viewed as a company that valued deal-making and savvy marketing over safety, a ''serial environmental criminal'' that left behind a long trail of problems, deadly accidents, disastrous spills, countless safety violations, which many now believe should have triggered action by federal regulators.

Corporate giants, private investors, and corrupt governments vie for control of our dwindling fresh water supply, prompting protests, lawsuits, and revolutions from citizens fighting for the right to survive. Past civilizations have collapsed from poor water management. Will ours too?

In 2009, filmmaker Josh Fox learned his land was on top of the Marcellus Shale, a giant reservoir of natural gas, and that he would be paid to lease his land for natural gas extraction. Fox documented his cross-country trek to find out if the controversial process of hydraulic fracking is actually safe. What he unearthed was a shocking discovery about a practice that is understudied and inadequately regulated, and raced to find answers about fracking before it was too late.

Explores the most extraordinary places on the planet and how their environments shape the lives of those who live there. From Mount Everest's Khumbu Icefall to the Amazon to the Grand Canyon, visit six continents to learn how these natural wonders evolved and hear the rarely told stories about the challenges their inhabitants face.

Explores the wild and exotic places around the world that people call home; included are old forests, glaciers, snow capped mountains, tropical jungles, deserts, beaches and more.

A breathtaking journey through the exotic, surreal and dramatic natural environment of Australia.

Shuttle mission astronauts filmed this documentary on the forces affecting Earth's fragile ecological balance.

Celebrate Earth Day 2016 by planting a tree! Why? They combat climate change by absorbing excess CO2 from the atmosphere, and help us breathe clean air by absorbing odors and pollutant gases.  And they're beautiful to look at!

Planting with trees by Andrew McIndoe

Saturday STEM: Mining Rescue

Children in ages 7-10 interested in science, technology, engineering and math will learn something new each month in a STEM topic. Six years ago, a mining accident in Chile trapped 33 miners for over two months more than 2,000 feet underground. In 2002, nine miners were rescued from an Pennsylvania mine collapse. We'll be duplicating these real-world engineering scenarios and seeing who can rescue the trapped miners using their team's creation. Registration required and begins July 26th.

Image of Gold Mine by Andrew Kuznetsov is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

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