Webtastic Wednesday- The word of the year is….

Webtastic Wednesday- The word of the year is….

Annually, the Oxford Dictionary's editorial staff selects a word of the year.  Last year, the prevalence of picture based social media like Instagram pushed the word "selfie" to the front of Oxford's list.  This year, another socially charged topic took the top spot.  So drum roll please...the word of 2014 is vape!  Vape is in reference to the growing number of electronic cigarettes that are an ever-growing market and highly debated in the healthcare field. To vape refers to the inhaling of vapor given off by e-cigarettes.  While the term vape has been…continue reading →

The Popular Kids of Banned Books Week

Banned Book Week Continues….with the popular kids (a.k.a. the books with the highest number of challenges!) By 2014, controversial books tend to face “challenges,” rather than outright banishment. To challenge a book is to lodge a formal, written complaint to the school or library declaring a book to be inappropriate to that institution’s audience. Such challenges are usually based on themes considered controversial—be they based on religious, sexual and/or violent issues covered in the book. For example, in 2013 the following novels faced challenges based on the appropriateness of their content: The Perks…continue reading →

Happy Birthday Gloria Steinem!

                      In synchronicity with Women’s History Month, trailblazing civil rights activist and proud feminist Gloria Steinem celebrates her 80th birthday this Tuesday, March 25. Visit your library and imagine, dream and plan. Take another look at the displays commemorating this important month, and maybe check out one of Steinem’s books! Ask your friendly librarian at the front desk to point you in the direction of our wonderful selection of books covering the civil, feminist and pacifist movements in the United States.continue reading →

Oh My Bears!

Bear feeding at the Wildlife Center of Virginia on May 23, 2013. Spring 2013 has not been kind to the black bears in Virginia. The Wildlife Center of Virginia has admitted 19 black bears for treatment—a record number. The center, located in Waynesboro, cares not only for black bears but for all native wildlife—birds, reptiles, mammals and amphibians. During the cubs’ treatment you can join internet users from all over the world in watching the black bear cubs and other patients on the center’s live Critter Cam.  Two video cameras are trained on…continue reading →

College Students Set World Record!

Last week two college students set a world record to promote summer reading at the Seattle Public Library. Their record? Knocking over books! Actually, the students and volunteers set up 2,131 library books as dominoes. I wonder who gets to put them back on the shelves? Hmmm…. Enjoy this video of their achievement:continue reading →

Clench Your Fist to Get an A

It’s true! At least according to a study published in the online journal PLOSone (the Public Library of Science) and titled Getting a Grip on Memory: Unilateral Hand Clenching Alters Episodic Recall.  Researchers Ruth E. Propper, Sean E. McGraw, and Michael Weiss of the Department of Psychology, Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey; and Tad T. Brunyé of the Psychology Department, Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts conducted a study to determine if fist clenching could improve memory. Participants were divided into several groups. One group was given a rubber ball to squeeze…continue reading →

Science and Beauty

Q: What Hollywood movie star of the 1930s and 40s known for her pin-up posters during World War II developed the technology that makes wireless communication possible today? A: Hedy Lamarr, once considered the most beautiful woman in the world and star of Samson and Delilah and Ziegfeld Girls invented and patented a frequency-hopping device that allowed torpedoes to be remotely controlled and today allows for multi-channel digital communications. Her invention, part of the war effort to defeat the Nazis was so militarily sensitive that the patent remained classified until 1985. March honors…continue reading →

Spot the International Space Station

  “Hey, Timon, ever wonder what those sparkly dots are up there?” “Pumbaa, I don't wonder; I know.” “Oh. What are they?” “They're fireflies. Fireflies that, uh... got stuck up on that big bluish-black thing.” “Oh, gee. I always thought they were balls of gas burning billions of miles away.” “Pumbaa, with you, everything's gas.” Neither a firefly nor a ball of gas, the International Space Station is the third largest visible object in the night sky after the sun and the moon according to NASA. On a clear night it is easy…continue reading →

And the word is: GIF

Each November since 2005 lexicographers (“n., a writer or compiler of a dictionary”) at Oxford English Dictionary announce the word that qualifies as word of the year. After watching word trends to determine what word best illustrates the current zeitgeist, the 2012 winner is GIF. You probably recognize GIF—an acronym standing for graphic interchange format—after all it has been around for over 25 years, but like the word “Google” before it, GIF is morphing from strictly a noun into a verb. From popular tumblr sites such as That Disney GIF to gymnastic GIFs…continue reading →

Go Back to Bed!

According to an AP story appearing in major newspapers including the Washington Post and the Worcester, Massachusetts Telegram increasing the number of hours you sleep may also increase your grade point average. Colleges and universities are paying attention to such wisdom. At Brown University a campus-wide program publicizes the importance of a good night’s rest and the University of Louisville is offering Flash Nap Workshops to “lock in learning while you easily and efficiently restore vitality.” A search on the library database Academic Search Complete revealed several studies of college student sleeping patterns…continue reading →