April 12, 2016

News & Updates
It's the 55th Anniversary of the first human flight into outer space, made by Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. Even more importantly, this year's Senior Prom is less than a month away and the theme is Outer Space! So, in order to inspire your galaxy-print prom dresses, here are some space-themed bits of geekery to geek out over.
YouTube Pick of the Week

Live streaming video from the International Space Station, 24/7. Whoooaah, brah. Ditch the fireplace video and put this on your TV.


Never Let Me Go (2005) by Kazuo Ishiguro

Location: FIC Ishiguro
Availability: click  here

Kathy, Tommy, and Ruth were once classmates at Hailsham, a private school in the English countryside with a most unusual student body: human clones created solely to serve as organ donors. You were brought into this world for a purpose, advised Miss Lucy, one of Hailsham's guardians, and your futures, all of them, have been decided. The tightly knit trio experienced love, loss, and betrayal as they pondered their destinies (to become carers for other donors and, eventually, donors themselves).

The novel is narrated by Kathy, now 31 and a carer, who recalls how Hailsham students were told and not told about their precarious circumstances. (Why were their writings and paintings so important? And who was the mysterious Madame who carted their creations away?) Ishiguro's provocative subject matter and taut, potent prose have earned him multiple literary decorations, including the French government's Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and an Order of the British Empire for service to literature. (His Booker Prize-winning novel, The Remains of the Day, was adapted into a critically acclaimed film). In this luminous offering, he nimbly navigates the landscape of emotion--the inevitable link between present and past and the fine line between compassion and cruelty, pleasure and pain. --Booklist

more details on Never Let Me Go...

A Wrinkle in Time (1962) by Madeleine L'Engle

Call Number: FIC L'Engle
Availability: click here

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

"Wild nights are my glory," the unearthly stranger told them. "I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I'll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract."
A tesseract (in case the reader doesn't know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L'Engle's unusual book. 

A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O'Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg's father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.

A Wrinkle in Time is the winner of the 1963 Newbery Medal.  -- Goodreads

more details on A Wrinkle in Time...

The Martian  (2011) by Andy Weir
Call Number: FIC Weir
Availability: click  here

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars' surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he's alive - and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark's not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills - and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength - he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth.

As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive - but Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.

Grounded in real, present-day science from the first page to the last, yet propelled by a brilliantly ingenious plot that surprises the reader again and again, The Martian  is a truly remarkable thriller: an impossible-to-put-down suspense novel that manages to read like a real-life survival tale. --Goodreads

Watch the trailer for the 2015 film:

more details on The Martian...
Tech Corner

Hubble Site

This is the official NASA web portal for the Hubble Space Telescope. On this site, you can view and download ultra high-resolution images taken from Hubble; take an image tour which will pinpoint and explain key features of each image, or order posters of any image.

For example, every speck of light in the image to the right is a galaxy. Each galaxy contains around 100 billion stars. And an estimated 75% of stars have planets. Whoooaaa, brah.

Visit the site by clicking here...
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