Showing posts from March, 2015

Books to Get You Thinking

Through the ages, new scientific discoveries and technological innovations have been key to driving economic growth and progress, and over time have had a defining impact on the way we live, work and communicate. Discoveries in medicine have led to new treatments for combating disease; research initiatives in agriculture have led to multifold increases in crop yields; new technology in communications has resulted in accelerated speeds; while advances in space technology now provide a window to far away galaxies, stars and planets. Several proficient science writers have authored books that explore different facets of scientific inquiry and evolving technology in a language that makes them equally engaging to all readers. Here is a selection of titles from the Mercer County Library System highlighting scientific and technological marvels that are sure to provide many hours of compelling reading.

Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made Worldby Mark Miodow…

The Lawrence Hopewell Trail

As the weather warms, we are all anxious to get outside and the Lawrence Hopewell Trail is one place to do it. Designed primarily as a bicycle trail, it is also open to foot traffic. The section from Meadow Road in Lawrence Township to Weldon Way in Hopewell Township is complete and does not involve riding on any heavily traveled roads so it is perfect for families and recreational riders. Check for maps. (Please note that the Lawrence Hopewell Trail also runs north from Meadow Road to the ETS campus near Princeton Township. This section is not considered below.) The parking area near Meadow Road is associated with Lawrence Historical Society’s Brearley House. Look for the date 1761 in the brick on the east gable. This building reflects the style of an 18th century English Manor house scaled down for an American farming family. The bricks were made from local clay and probably fired in a kiln on the property. If you have time, take the short spur which connect…

Blast from the Past - BOLLYWOOD STYLE!

Forget Throwback Thursdays! Let us go back in time to a totally different place - India. Just picture this: music that is so beautiful it makes you want to fall in love, colors of every shade of the rainbow, poetry that makes your heart not only do somersaults but jump out of your body and run laps. Then add a few cheesy dialogues and a bit of over-acting and you have—Hindi Cinema, which we lovingly call Bollywood!

At the Mercer County Libraries, we have been expanding our movie collection by leaps and bounds, especially when it comes to our much loved Hindi movies. In addition to getting some of the newest releases, we have popular movies from the seventies, eighties and nineties.

Bollywood movies are known for their musical numbers. These songs are actually the highlight of the movie. The better the soundtrack, the better the movie does at the theaters. Unlike songs from more recent times, song lyrics from the seventies and eighties are known even today for their beautif…

Spring Flower Bouquet

Even though our friend the groundhog saw his shadow and we are in for six more weeks of winter, we can get ready for the spring with this cute and easy craft. Enjoy this indoor craft with your child and make some coffee filter blooms to decorate your home.
What You Need:

Coffee filters
Pipe cleaners (I used green for the stems, but feel free to choose any colors you and your child want!)
Washable markers
Paint brush
Small cup of water.
What You Do:
Flatten the coffee filters and color on them with the washable markers.

 Dip paint brush in water and paint over the coffee filters, watching the colors “run.”

Let coffee filters dry.

Once dry, pinch the middle of the coffee filter and turn it clockwise to “wind up” the coffee filter.

While still holding the coffee filter, wrap the top of the pipe cleaner around the pinched filter to attach the stem.

Display and enjoy!

Enjoy some spring-related tales while you’re waiting out the rest of the winter:

ISBN: 9780670879618

Filmmaking Resources in the Mercer County Library System

With the advent of digital video and editing technology, filmmaking has become a lot more accessible to amateurs in recent years. With this in mind, I would like to draw your attention to some of the resources in the Mercer County Library System which may make your quest to create your own film a little easier.

There are three basic stages in making any film:
Pre-production: This involves writing the script, a storyboard, a shot list, getting your cast and crew together, and scouting locations.Production: This includes anything that involves actually shooting the film, including cinematography, lighting, sound, and film acting.Post-production: This important stage involves anything that happens after the film is shot, including adding sound and special effects, editing, and publicity. Our library system has resources to introduce you to all three stages plus film career guides, interviews with filmmakers, and published film scripts from which to draw inspiration.
Overviews and career g…

Sticks and Rokus Won’t Break Your Bones

If you like to watch TV, you may have seen the commercials with Nick Nolte talking about the Fire Stick. This is the latest gadget designed to bring internet-based TV from your laptop to, well, your TV, to hit the market. However, it is not a “new” item in terms of gadgets designed to work with your TV to show content that comes from the internet, whether it be YouTube videos or paid programming through services such as Hulu or Netflix. Gadgets that do that kind of work have been around almost since the streaming video services started, but now that more people choose to stream online and do not want to be tied to their small laptop or tablet screens, the gadgets have become more plentiful and easier to use.

Almost any video you can get online can be streamed in some way to your TV. This includes the library’s hoopla service. But, the device you use will depend on what it is you would like to stream, so it is important to choose which device(s) you select based on what…

March is National Women’s History Month

Celebrate the generations of women whose commitment to nature and the planet have proved invaluable to society with one of these newly-published books owned by the Mercer County Library System:

Rachel Carson and Her Sisters: Extraordinary Women Who Have Shaped America's Environment
By Robert K. Musil
The author redefines the achievements and legacy of environmental pioneer and scientist Rachel Carson, linking her work to a wide network of American women activists and writers and introducing her to a new, contemporary audience. Rachel Carson was the first American to combine two longstanding, but separate strands of American environmentalism—the love of nature and a concern for human health. Widely known for her 1962 best-seller Silent Spring, Carson is today often perceived as a solitary "great woman," whose work single-handedly launched a modern environmental movement. But, as Musil demonstrates, Carson's life's work drew upon and was supported by already existin…

Your Eyes, They're Like Lipid Pools ...

I like to tell people that I started running because I have fat eyes. That’s not entirely true, but it’s not a lie either. Years ago, during the course of a regular eye exam, my eye doctor asked me, seemingly out of the blue, whether I had high cholesterol. I said, “Not that I know of. Why?” He explained that he could see “lipids” in my eyes and that these lipids were a good indication that I either have or had high cholesterol (apparently, even if you get your cholesterol under control, the lipids never fully vacate the premises of your eyes).

Upon learning this, I did two things: I looked up the term “lipid”; and I made an appointment with my family physician to have my cholesterol checked.

Turns out a lipid is “a substance such as a fat, oil, or wax that dissolves in alcohol but not in water and is an important part of living cells.” Part of me never really got past the word “fat” in that definition, but, ever the optimist, I held out hope that my eyes might be merely big-boned. My…

Books to Get You Thinking

Economic history and analysis can provide us with fascinating insights into the process of economic development and progress in people’s overall well-being. Over the last few centuries, while the world witnessed dramatic increases in levels of income and production, improvements in health, and declining rates of mortality, a closer look reveals growth in the concentration of wealth and income inequality. The root cause of these disparities and the ramifications for future growth and development has been the subject of intense debate and many studies. This month’s column highlights some outstanding books in the Mercer County Library System that explore facets of economic growth in different countries. They enhance our understanding of the historical factors contributing to the global trend towards inequality, and how these have been pivotal in determining the patterns and rates of growth both within countries and between different nations.

The Great Escape: Health, Wealth and the Orig…