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Showing posts from February, 2012

Classic Science Fiction: The Golden Age

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The golden age of science fiction, a period from the late 1930s through the 1940s, created modern science fiction as writers like Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, A.E. Van Vogt, and Theodore Sturgeon published many of their classic novels and short stories.  Golden age writers valorized science, optimism, heroic problem solving, and a sense of wonder.  Some of the stories now seem dated, but golden age writers helped envision the future, and most of their work is still enjoyable and well worth reading.  Listed below are some golden age works that every science fiction fan should read.

Decade, the 1940s edited by Brian W. Aldiss & Harry Harrison
Classic Science Fiction: The First Golden Age edited by Terry Carr
These two collections contain dozens of short stories that demonstrate the imaginative diversity of classic science fiction.

The Foundation Trilogyby Isaac Asimov
A series of thoughtful adventure tales set in the far future when a galactic empire breaks apart, and a group of sci…

About your Outlook!

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While on the subject of Outlook … why not create a fancy email signature for all your messages?  Then set it up so that it can be included on all your email messages without your having to retype it every time you send an email. Of course, most professionals like to include their contact information along with their name and professional title. But your signature can include not just your name and contact information but also pictures and hyperlinks or even your favorite quote. Here’s how you can design a fancy signature including all of the elements mentioned above:

From the Tools menu, click Options. Then from the Mail Format tab, click the Signatures button. The same dialog box that you had used to customize your stationary and fonts will appear, but this time click on the Signatures button to access the Signatures and Stationary dialog box.

From the Signatures and Stationary dialog box, click on the E-mail Signatures tab. Click on New and a New Signature box will pop up. Type your…

Women’s History Month is Right Around the Corner

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Observed annually through the month of March since 1987, Women's History Month is a celebration of women's contributions to history, culture and society. The Mercer County Library System has books that pay tribute to the generations of women whose steadfast commitment to a variety of issues and causes has proved invaluable. Here are just a few not to be missed!

The Madame Curie Complex: The Hidden History of  Women in Science
By Julie Des Jardins
Why are the fields of science and technology still considered to be predominantly male professions? The Madame Curie Complex moves beyond the most common explanations—limited access to professional training, lack of resources, exclusion from social networks of men—to give historical context and unexpected revelations about women's contributions to the sciences. Exploring the lives of Jane Goodall, Rosalind Franklin, Rosalyn Yalow, Barbara McClintock, Rachel Carson, and the women of the Manhattan Project, the author considers their …

The Web is Speaking a New Language

In the technology world, consumers often lament how outdated a product becomes almost as soon as it is hits the store shelves.  Take home a new camera, phone or computer and the next day something much better is available.  That is what makes HTML 5 such an interesting topic.  HTML is the language of the internet and webmasters have been using the same version, HTML 4, since 1997.  In 2012, however, we should see a shift in websites as developers learn the first new language in 15 years.  This will bring changes to many popular websites, particularly if you view them on a handheld device or tablet.  The new language may even diminish the need for apps on such devices and make them much easier for the average person to use.

First, why a change after 15 years?  HTML 4 was created when the internet was still a fairly new concept to most people and websites provided the basics, mostly static information or up-to-date news in text format.  Laptops were barely in use, so there was little ne…

Prizes! Prizes!

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It’s award season again! The world of children’s literature has its own set of prizes to pass out—announced at the annual American Library Association Midwinter Conference.   So let’s line up along the red carpet to view the new winners!   Please save your applause until the end…

Best Writing! (John Newberry Medal):
Dead End in Norvelt From the author of the Joey Pigza series, a twelve-year-old Jack Gantos is grounded for the summer. Then he helps an elderly neighbor with a strange chore involving the dead, molten wax, twisted promises, Girl Scout cookies, underage driving, typewriting, and countless bloody noses.

Best Pictures! (Randolph Caldecott Medal):
A Ball for Daisy Dasiy the dog’s adventures with her ball have no words, meaning even the youngest storyteller can practice their narrative skills.

Best for New Readers! (Theodor Geisel Award):
Tales for Very Picky Eaters James is a picky eater, so each night Dad makes up a funny story about his dinner that makes James consider his choices i…

Books to Get You Thinking

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“…..I say, the night has been long,
The wound has been deep,
The pit has been dark
And the walls have been steep.
But today, voices of old spirit sound
Speak to us in words profound,
Across the years, across the centuries,
Across the oceans, and across the seas.
They say, draw near to one another….
The ancestors remind us, despite the history of pain
We are a going-on people who will rise again.

And still we rise."

Maya Angelou, “From A Black Woman to A Black Man”, in Madhubuti, H. and Karenga, M. eds., Million Man March / Day of Absence: A Commemorative Anthology, 30-31 (Chicago: Third World Press, 1996).

This African American History Month we highlight books from the Mercer County Library’s African American collection that take us back in time to revisit those many important moments that have  shaped and changed the course of history  and set the stage for a new America, moments of heart wrenching suffering and struggles as well as of extraordinary heroism, courage and fortitud…

The Day the Music Died

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Fifty-three years ago, on Feb. 3, 1959, Buddy Holly, Jiles P. Richardson, known as "the Big Bopper," and Ritchie Valens died in a plane crash shortly after taking off from Clear Lake, Iowa for their next stop of the Winter Dance Party tour. The day is forever remembered as “the day the music died” as Don McLean coined in his song, "American Pie." Our collection, however, contains books, movies, and CDs for you to keep the music alive. Here's a sampling to pique your interest:

Books:

John Goldrosen and John Beecher's book, Remembering Buddy: The Definitive Biography, contains not only a well-researched and well-written account of Holly's life, but also rare photos, a discography chart, and list of tour dates.Shake, Rattle, & Roll: The Founders of Rock & Roll by Holly George-Warren is geared towards the younger reader. Holly and Valens are included among the fourteen artists highlighted for their respective influences on the evolution of rock '…