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University of Michigan FRS Workshops: Everybody Cooks!

This year at CPL, the University of Michigan's Museum of Natural History presents a series of three, fun Family Reading and Science workshops titled Just Like me: exploring culture, biology and the human experience. To tie in with their temporary exhibition at the museum called RACE: Are we so different? (February 2013-June 2013), they are focusing on and exploring how biology, anthropology, physics, geography and chemistry all play a part in race and culture.

We invite you to register for the second of three monthly workshops in the series titled Everybody Cooks! Exploring how geology, geography and human migration influenced food. The workshop takes place in the Community Room on Saturday, February 9, 2013, from 1:00-2:00 PM. You will learn that every culture has a cuisine, but why do the same ingredients, cooking techniques or types of food pop up all over the world? Families will learn how geology and geography relate to food, what "cultural transmission" is, and will also get to make their very own bread starter. Workshops are designed for children ages 6-11, accompanied by an adult. Online registration begins January 25.

Michigan Science Center

Just in time for the holiday break, the Detroit Science Center reopens Wednesday, December 26th, as the Michigan Science Center .  Families with older children may find the grand opening special exhibit, Human Bodies: Anatomy in Motion, interesting. For the younger crowd, try Kids Town, the Chrysler IMAX dome, or take in a show at the Dassault Systèmes Planetarium. 

Year 2012 Top Non-Fiction Books Picks

Our favorite reads this year from the Adult and Children/Tweens/Teens Librarians:

Behind the beautiful forevers by Katherine Boo

We've got a job: the 1963 Birmingham Children's March by Cynthia Levinson

The righteous mind: why good people are divided by politics and religion by Jonathan Haidt

Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking by Susan Cain

Paris: a love story: a memoir by Kati Marton

Mortality by Christopher Hitchens ; foreword by Graydon Carter ; afterword by Carol Blue

Harry Potter's World: Renaissance Science, Magic and Medicine

CPL is pleased to host Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine. This fantastic travelling exhibit, curated by the History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine, explores the world of Harry Potter and its roots in Renaissance magic, science, and medicine. In 1997, British author J.K. Rowling introduced the world to Harry Potter and a literary phenomenon was born. Although a fantasy story, the magic in the Harry Potter books is partially based on Renaissance traditions that played an important role in the development of Western science and medicine. Come to CPL from October 22 to November 30 and read all about the potions, immortality, monsters and more written within the pages of the incredible, ground-breaking series.

Neil Armstrong 1930-2012

Astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon has died at the age of 82. Armstrong was the commander of the Apollo 11 spacecraft which landed on the moon July 20, 1969. During Armstrong's famous moonwalk he radioed back to earth the now famous phrase "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."

Great Fourth Grade Reads

Looking for some great Fourth Grade reads? Try some of these:

The strange case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

The one and only Ivan by Katherine Applegate; illustrations by Patricia Castelao

Tales of a fourth grade nothing by Judy Blume; illustrated by Roy Doty

Weather Behaving Badly

If you're wondering just what in the world is happening with our weather lately, the National Climatic Data Center at NOAA has the answer. According to their recently released report State of the Climate: National Overview for June 2012, the 12-month period from July 2011 to June 2012 was the warmest on record for the contiguous United States. (Their records go back to 1895.) The national average temperature was 3.2 degrees higher than the long-term average, with every single contiguous state except for Washington warmer than average temperatures. In addition, the period from Januray to June 2012 was the warmest first half of a year on record. For more reading on weather and what it has done — and can do — check out some of these titles:

The great warming: climate change and the rise and fall of civilizations by Brian Fagan

The winds of change: climate, weather, and the destruction of civilizations by Eugene Linden

Starfish Family Services: Backyard Science

On Thursday, August 23 from 9:30-11:30 AM join Starfish Family Services as they present Back Yard Science: the components of the preschool scientific method and strategies to support learning.  Children are welcome as Starfish provides licensed daycare in the Purple Room during the workshop. 

Build a Time Machine

Time machines provide a fun learning experience, a unique business opportunity, and a contrived way to manipulate your plot arc. Watch out, though — depending on the make and model you choose for your temporal vehicle, they can often be expensive to build and difficult to maintain. See below for several types of time machine, along with assembly instructions when available.

Hot Tub

The mechanism for how a hot tub can become a time machine isn't well-explained. However, if you acquire a hot tub and the chronological mechanism never works, at least you have a hot tub, right? For further instructions view:

CSI: Canton

Guy Nutter, forensic scientist at the Northville Michigan State Police Lab, will lead us to the scenes and ask our opinions on solving the crimes. Is it like watching CSI on TV? Come be the judge, follow the clues and have fun with forensic science. Teens and adults are welcome on Wednesday, June 20 at at 7:00 PM.

Moon Books

Picture books about the moon are a perfect choice for bedtime reading. If you're a fan of the classic story Goodnight Moon, give these other great books a try.

And if the moon could talk by Kate Banks; pictures by Georg Hallensleben

Papa, please get the moon for me by Eric Carle

Kitten's first full moon by Kevin Henkes

Target Family Reading Night — Outer Space Adventure

Our last Target Family Reading Night for the school year will be Monday, June 11, 2012 from 7:00-8:00 PM. We'll have fun on an Outer Space Adventure. Registration will begin May 24 and this program is open to children four to nine years old and their caregiver. Get ready to blast off with us!

[Star-forming region NGC 3603 is by NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI) as licensed under this notice.]

Starlab Indoor Planetarium

Since the dawn of time, man has dreamed of traveling through the heavens. Today's students are tomorrow's astronauts! Explore the wonders of the night skies on Saturday, July 28 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM.  In the comfort of their large inflatable Starlab Dome, Dynamic West Assemblies bring the star-filled presentation to you. An awe-inspiring program that is fully interactive, this one is not to be missed!
We will repeat the same show several times within the two hour program time beginning at 10:00 AM.  Please be aware that space is limited. 

Movies to Watch this Earth Day

earthday2012.thumbnail.pngWe can all observe Earth Day this year by educating ourselves about the challenges that face our environment and what we can do about it. Try some of the titles suggested below to get started:

The age of stupid [videodisc] — Pete Postlethwaite stars as an archivist living alone in the devastated future world of 2055, who spends his days looking at old footage from the years leading up to 2015 - when a cataclysmic climate change took place.

Bats! Owls! Flying Foxes!

Meet and learn about some of Michigan's animals that wake up when you go to bed! The Organization for Bat Conservation will present their program: Animal Adaptations: Bats! Owls! Flying Foxes!. Discover the fascinating features and adaptations of a variety of Michigan's native nocturnal creatures. In this program, learn what adaptations are, how they are formed and why animals develop these amazing tools for survival. Live animals will be present! Join us on Sunday, April 22nd from 2:00-3:00 PM to kick off our Earth Week celebrations.

Earth Day 2012 logoThis post is part of our Earth Day 2012 celebration.

Science Wonders — Science Everywhere

There's more to a candle than just a simple flame, but what? When you pluck a guitar string, why does it create a sound?

Join Dominic Crea of Science Wonders on Thursday, March 8 from 7:00-8:00 PM as he answers these and many other questions of a scientific nature. You will learn how electricity and magnetism, sound, heat, mechanics and chemistry permeate our everyday lives. This program is designed for kids aged 8 and up. Parents welcome.

Blame it on the Moon?

Next month on April 14th, the world will mark the 100th anniversary of the tragic sinking of the Titanic. It was one of the 20th century's worst disasters that claimed over 1500 lives. On that night, Titanic was speeding towards New York Harbor to arrive a day early. The icy North Atlantic sea was calm making icebergs harder to spot and the collision was inevitable. So, why blame the moon? The moon was in rare alignment with the sun and those influences produced abnormally high tides which caused glaciers in Greenland to break and float into shipping waters. Intrigued? Stop by our Titanic display, or read more at the Discovery Channel site, or look at library's copy of the April issue of Sky & Telescope.

Doomsday Seed Vault

According to msnbc.com, the Doomsday Seed Vault located in Norway is scheduled to receive nearly 25,000 samples of seeds this week from around the world. The vault acts as a backup for living crop collections around the world to ensure crop diversity and future food supplies. The vault opened on February 2008 and is dug into the Platåberget mountain ("Plateau mountain") located near the village of Longyearbyen, Svalbard, a group of islands north of mainland Norway. Look to CPL for more resources on seeds or search our Science in Context database for information on the Doomsday Seed Vault or Svalbard Global Seed Vault. [Photo courtesy of AP Images]