Science and Technology
Wouldn't it be cool if even a few of the old stories were true? Legends say that giants walked the Earth, Atlantis vanished under the sea, and Greece and Troy fought a devastating war over a beautiful woman. Amazing, but true: all these stories are based on facts.
Archaeologists digging in China discovered the fossils of Gigantopithecus, a giant ape standing 9 or 10 feet tall. These huge but probably gentle apes died off 500,000 years ago. Traditionally, villagers collected their bones and made them into medicines. They called their finds dragon bones. Some have wondered whether pockets of the animals may have survived into later centuries, giving rise to the legend of Big Foot.
Modern computers are many times more powerful than they need to be for most of the things we use them for. Simply writing papers, surfing the Web, watching videos, playing games, etc. . . such tasks don't take full advantage of these machines' potential and when they're not in use, well . . . they're not in use. They could be doing so much more.
If you love to try out new iPhone apps (and who doesn’t, when they’re free?), you’ll want to download two new apps that now include CRRL’s results. Called pic2shop and Book Bazaar, the apps are free and help you find library books when you’re out shopping. For example, if you’re at a bookstore and wondering if we have a title, scan the barcode with your phone and pic2shop will tell you if we have it. (Pic2shop is also great for comparison shopping for other items.) With Book Bazaar you can type in the title, author, keyword or ISBN. Either way, both apps are free and downloadable through Apple’s iTunes App Store.
This short video shows Pic2shop in action at a Border's book store.
If you've already purchased the RedLaser app ($0.99 in iTunes App Store) you can also get results from our library.
The results are in! Our first ever Teen Video Contest brought us six funny and informative videos, all made by our super-talented local teens. The theme was, “Why My Library is Important to Me.” From dogs who know best to fireside chats, each video was unique and enjoyable. We applaud all the great work! What was most heart-warming was seeing how many ways our teens use and appreciate the Central Rappahannock Regional Library. Some pointed out that it’s a safe place to hang out with friends or work on group projects. Many admired the free Internet access, computer use, databases and online searching. They see their library as a quiet study retreat, a place to get professional research help, and most of all, a treasure trove of free books, music, and movies.
So, without further ado, here are the winners.
In first place, receiving the prize of a Flip digital video camera is Erik Martinsen, creator of the video, “Libraries are Doggone Fun!”
On Tuesday, April 6, 2010, Paul Israel of Rugters University and author of Edison: A Life of Invention will give a talk on the inventor. This lecture, part of the university's Great Lives series, is free and open to the public. For more information on "The Wizard of Menlo Park," check out this list of materials recommended by the reference staff of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library.
I shouldn't have to tell you the music CD is dead, as is every audio format that came before it, with the possible exception of vinyl, the fax machine of the music world. Music is digital, end of story. Digital music differs from any of its progenitors in its lack of physicality; there is no disc that you can put on your shelves, no album liner notes that you can flip through unless of course you create all of that yourself, but doesn't that defeat the point? If you have a digital music collection of over 6000 tracks, you're not going to take the time, spend the money, or use the space to create physical CDs for each of those albums. Still, we need to be able to keep track of our music and that's sometimes easier said than done.
Teen Tech Week may be officially over, but our Teen Video Contest is only at its halfway point. While it's been widely advertised that winners’ videos will be featured on our library website, we just found out that Best Buy has also generously donated some incredible prizes. The first place winner will receive an Ultra Flip video camera, second place a $100 gift card to Best Buy, and third place an official library t-shirt.
On Tuesday, April 13, 2010, Martin Sherwin, co-author of American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer will give a talk on the scientist.
If you're not on the Internet with your mobile phone, chance are you soon will be. With the adoption rate for smartphones and other cellular Internet devices skyrocketing, these devices are stealing the spotlight from laptop computers and vying for the position as our dominant mobile computing solutions. With this transition has come a plethora of mobile applications to meet our every need and then some (and some more). We want to be able to do everything our regular computers can do on our smartphones. For many of us, that includes using the library. We're in luck.