March 31, 2007

Do you draw?

The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards
If you think you will never be able to draw more than a stick figure, this guide is for you. See the proof in the pictures as inexperienced artists transform their skills into masterworks in mere days. Draw upside down, with your left hand, one eye closed, and be amazed at the results. If this sounds like a commercial, check out the book yourself...for FREE. Who's to say you aren't the next Picasso?

Drawing: The Only Drawing Book You'll Ever Need To Be The Artist You've Always Wanted To Be by Kathryn Temple
Do you like to cartoon, but wish you could draw a realistic animal or person? Try this book for yourself and share it with the younger generation. It's never too late or too early to pick up a pencil and draw.

Whatcha Mean, What's a Zine?: The Art of Making Zines and Minicomics
By Mark Todd and Esther Pearl Watson with contributions by more than 20 creators of indie comics and magazines.
"Explores the diversity and creativity that can be captured in zines, handmade mini-comics or magazines, with helpful tips and practical suggestions for writing, producing, editing, and printing one." Have you ever heard of zines? Think homemade graphic novels that are mailed and dropped all over the country. Picture miniature, book-sized, folded pages of some kid's personal view of the world. Music reviews, philosophical rants, love poems, drawings, or whatever. Friends...strangers...anyone can trade or buy one for the extremely minimal cost of production (~ making copies on a Xerox machine). Zines are not an organized industry yet. They may never be. Read this book to get a hint of what a zine can be, then, decide if you want to make your own.
Visit the Zine Book, "Reading from the Fringe" for links and more info about zines.

Draw 50 Cars, Trucks, and Motorcycles: The Step by Step Way to Draw Dragsters, Vintage Cars, Dune Buggies, Mini-choppers, and Many More by Lee J. Ames
This book is one is a great series providing step-by-step instructions on how to draw vehicles, horses, sports players, ... check these others out at your local FCPL branch. Ask a librarian to help you find them and then browse. This particular book features the Ford Thunderbird, a corvette, mustang, dump truck, unicycle, and all sorts of other transportation contraptions.

Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga, and Graphic Novels by Scott McCloud
Read this exhaustive course in how to create visual stories for the practical comic artist. The book is entirely drawn, with the author's wisdom contained in speech and thought bubbles. Some of the general ideas divided by chapter are: writing with pictures, stories for humans, the power of words, world building, tools, techniques and technology, your place in comics, and making comics. This book "presents instructions for aspiring cartoonists on the art form's key techniques, sharing concise and accessible guidelines on such principles as capturing the human condition through words and images in a minimalist style." Visit Drawer Geeks where cartoonists and animators offer their unique takes on characters like Santa Claus, the Grinch, Alice in Wonderland, Darth Vader, etc.

How to Draw Hip-Hop by Damion Scott and Kris Ex
Start with a few simple shapes and within pages you will be designing never seen before mics, ghetto-blasters, back-packs, female and male heads, dancers, cops, graffiti walls, and more colorful locations where good music would be found.

March 30, 2007

World Freehand Circle Drawing Champion

March 28, 2007

Buzz off

Picture from PHIL/CDC

The Flea and the Fly

A flea and a fly got caught in a flue.
Said the fly, "Let us flee."
Said the flea, "Let us fly."
So together they flew
through a flaw in the flue.

Eat your greens

Ogden Nash

Is gharsley

March 26, 2007

Baseball books

James Kelley

Like all of the DK Eyewitness Books, this photo-filled resource takes you through the history and nitty-gritty details of this particular topic, the grand old game of baseball. Did you know that the first baseballs were improved from "soft and mushy" to a "harder ball that traveled farther and lasted longer." It's all in the insides! Yarn is wound tightly around a rubber center, then covered by leather and stitched.
What do you know about the Major Leagues, uniforms, international games, or the World Series? Test your knowledge by taking the quiz in back. Check this book out to discover the answer to these unusual questions:

What is a can of corn?"

"Who were Big Poison and Little Poison, Dizzy and Daffy, and Tony C and Billy C?"

Mike Lupica

This author is strongly recommend by a local teen baseball player. Mike Lupica has written about baseball, basketball, football, and sports dreams. Here is one description: "Pitching prodigy Michael Arroyo is on the run from social services after being banned from playing Little League baseball because rival coaches doubt he is only twelve years old and he has no parents to offer them proof." Read the first chapter to see what you think.

Strike Two
Amy Goldman Koss

Girls play ball, too. "Haley's hope of spending the summer playing softball and hanging out with her cousin Gwen is ruined when her father and her uncle land on opposite sides of the local newspaper strike."

The Kid Who Only Hit Homers
Matt Christopher

Chapter 1 (teaser)

"The Hooper Redbirds were having their third practice session of the spring season and Sylvester Coddmeyer III, a right-hander, was batting.
Rick Wilson hurled in the first pitch. It looked good and Sylvester swung.
Swish! He missed it by six inches..."
Who is George Baruth?
Sylvester becomes a phenomenal baseball player one summer when a mysterious stranger resembling Babe Ruth befriends him."

(Check out this book to read more.)

March 23, 2007

Fast Food Rap

Superfoods Rx: Fourteen Foods that will Change Your Life
Steven G. Pratt and Kathy Matthews
Try this one (of many healthy reading choices) to complement a fast food diet. Instead of greasy fries, meet blueberries, turkey, and beans. Protect yourself from obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer's in this practical guide to eating:

Now who's going to sing an order at the grocery store?

March 20, 2007

Variations on Little Miss Muffet

Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet
Eating her curds and whey,
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away

Mother Goose: Little Miss Muffet (1946)

Read more about Little Miss Muffet and other familiar nursery rhymes on Nursery Rhymes - Lyrics and Origins!

Little Miss Muffet

The Embarrassing Episode of Little Miss Muffet
by Guy Wetmore Carryl

Little Miss Muffet discovered a tuffet,
(Which never occurred to the rest of us)
And, as 'twas a June day, and just about noonday,
She wanted to eat--like the best of us:
Her diet was whey, and I hasten to say
It is wholesome and people grow fat on it.
The spot being lonely, the lady not only
Discovered the tuffet, but sat on it.
A rivulet gabbled beside her and babbled,
As rivulets always are thought to do,
And dragon flies sported around and cavorted,
As poets say dragon flies ought to do;
When, glancing aside for a moment, she spied
A horrible sight that brought fear to her,
A hideous spider was sitting beside her,
And most unavoidably near to her!
Albeit unsightly, this creature politely
Said: "Madam, I earnestly vow to you,
I'm penitent that I did not bring my hat. I
Should otherwise certainly bow to you.
"Though anxious to please, he was so ill at ease
That he lost all his sense of propriety,
And grew so inept that he clumsily stept
In her plate--which is barred in Society.
This curious error completed her terror;
She shuddered, and growing much paler, not
Only left tuffet, but dealt him a buffet
Which doubled him up in a sailor knot.
It should be explained that at this he was pained:
He cried: "I have vexed you, no doubt of it!
Your fists's like a truncheon." "You're still in my luncheon,
Was all that she answered. "Get out of it!"

And the Moral is this: Be it madam or miss
To whom you have something to say,
You are only absurd when you get in the curd
But you're rude when you get in the whey

Heavy Words Lightly Thrown: The Reason Behind the Rhyme
Chris Roberts
"The seamy and quirky stories behind favorite nursery rhymes." Read all about Rub-a-dub-dub, Three blind mice, Yankee doodle,
Baa, baa, black sheep, This old man, Pop goes the weasel, and more... The author is a London librarian who has collected pages of political subversion, religious hatred, past popular sports, and subtle naughtiness. Prepare to change your view of those childhood lullabies that rocked you to sleep. Mommy!!!!!!!!!!

March 19, 2007

Visual poetry - Hubble Telescope

Without the technical ingenuity of the Hubble telescope, we would miss these views.

March 16, 2007

Baseball poetry

Casey at the Bat
by Ernest Lawrence Thayer

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play,
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game...
(click on the title link to read the whole baseball story.)

Baseball and Writing
by Marianne Moore

Fanaticism? No. Writing is exciting
and baseball is like writing.
You can never tell with either
how it will go
or what you will do;
generating excitement--
a fever in the victim--
pitcher, catcher, fielder, batter.
Victim in what category?
Owlman watching from the press box?
To whom does it apply?
Who is excited? Might it be I?

It's a pitcher's battle all the way--a duel--
a catcher's, as, with cruel
puma paw, ...
(click on the title link to more of this baseball drama and find out who said, "I'm very satisfied. We won."

From The Complete Poems of Marianne Moore.
Copyright © 1961 Marianne Moore, ©
renewed 1989 by Lawrence E. Brinn and Louise Crane,
executors of the Estate of Marianne Moore.

Once upon a time, I dreamt I was a butterfly

This animated movie was made for a school assignment. See sketches and storyboards after this "classic animation" (drawing on paper, not Flash). The narration is in Danish, so a rough translation of the Chinese poem follows:

"Once upon a time, I, Chuang Chou, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Chou. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man."

A Thousand Peaks: Poems from China
by Siyu Liu and Orel Protopopescu
"A collection of thirty-five poems spanning nineteen centuries, representing both famous and lesser-known poets, including both the Chinese text and a literal translation."

A Floating: Life: The Adventures of Li Po: An Historical Novel
by Simon Elegant
"The studious young son of a vintner takes down the life and exploits of Li Po, China's legendary poet, as the poet recalls his outlandish adventures."

What's a vintner? Visit the reference dictionaries at your branch.

March 13, 2007

If you missed this O.E.D. word...

Sling, n.

"A device for securing or grasping bulky or heavy articles while being hoisted or lowered, usually a belt, rope, or chain formed into a loop and fitted with hooks and tackle (cf. quots. 1627, 1769); a loop of this kind by which heavy objects are lifted, carried, or suspended." More complex than the slingshot that took down Goliath.

If you want to learn word origins (who said it first, when, and where), follow this link to free access to the complete Oxford English Dictionary (O.E.D.). All you need to know is the 10-digit number on the back of your library card. Click here for details about getting your free library card.

March 11, 2007

Machinery from the past

What is it?

March 10, 2007

Teen Tech Week - computer animation silliness

"Animation Test 01"

March 9, 2007

Teen Tech Week - flight engine

Future of Flight: Engine Technology

Will you be a pilot? An engineer? A computer artist? Observe minutes of functional , yet elegant design about this new engine.

Teen Tech Week - Interviews

Natural Museum of American History (Smithsonian) transcribed an interview with Microsoft guru Bill Gates. Everything you ever wanted to know about what has gone on inside his brain and probably more.
The art of computer game design by Chris Crawford is an introductory article to the development of computer games (written over a decade ago). What is a game, who plays, details and thorough serious information about the future of computer games. If your dream job is to design or play video games for a living, this is the article to read. For computer-users who may not have been born yet, read this follow up (recent) interview with Chris Crawford called Fifteen Years After Excaliber and The Art of Computer Game Design to see what has since developed.

Read a Game Invasion interview from November 2, 2004 with the computer game designers of Herculean Effort. Learn about writing scripts, inspirations from mythology, sketching, using 3-D art programs, and more. Their game downloads are a free service to the public (a bit like a library). Enjoy!

Teen Tech Week - wash tub technology?

Cleaning a Motherboard

If it's a program or application you need help cleaning, try free advice from Tech Recipes.

These two sites are great for beginners:

Free Beginners Tutorials and Lessons

GCF Global Learning® has been reviewed and approved as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).

March 8, 2007

Teen Tech Week - Homage to Bubblewrap

What's it good for? Examine bubblewrap technology. Is this invention an ingenious plastic reality? Can it be just as useful when encountered on an interactive computer screen? Test these stress-relieving bubblewrap games for your own edification.

Perpetual Bubblewrap Pop and pop, but they still come back!

Pop Game Each air-filled cell must be clicked into permanent oblivion.

March 7, 2007

Teen Tech Week - Interactive webcomic

Argon Zark! "The first long form webcomic. Serving the finest in pixel based comics since 1995!" The perfect interactive webcomic for computer geeks. Beware to Internet elitists... the computer illiterate may learn some secrets about computer programming.

Unofficially rated G/PG. Puns, bad jokes, voice unrecognition, and computer viruses that look like monsters are as bad as it gets.

Start at the beginning: Chapter 1 "Into the bowels of the information organism or how can you be in 27,000 places at once when you're not anywhere at all?" As the comic progresses, be sure to watch for mouse-overs and flash events. Click to look behind the art and witness HTML construction scenes. There is always more than immediately appears. Some scenes take minutes to watch characters move from place to place on optical illusion backgrounds, so be sure the flash is finished flashing before clicking to the next page.

If you are visiting the library and want to read good old-fashioned paper book, check out author of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams. If you want to travel even further out of this world, browse the science fiction section nearby.

March 6, 2007

Teen Tech Week - :~/ ?

Emoticons and acronyms:

<:-) Innocently asking a dumb question
:~/ Confused
d :-o Hats off to you!
; ) Wink
:-@ Screaming
8 Infinity
/\/\/\ Laughter
* Kiss
~:o Baby
+<:-) Religious leader
+<-) Knight
8-O Astonished
8-P Yuck!
: ( Sad
: ) Smile
: [ Bored, sad
~:\ Elvis


Do you have a SASS (Short Attention Span Society/Syndrome)?

SFAIAA (So Far As I Am Aware), yes.

BTW (By The Way)... IJWTS (I Just Want To Say) POS (Parents Over the Shoulder).

IKWUM (I Know What You Mean), it's a SMOP (Small Matter Of Programming).

TNSTAAFL (There's No Such Thing As A Free Lunch)! HHO 1/2 K (Ha, Ha, Only Half Kidding).

DUCWIC (Do YoU See What I See) or is this just an EIF (Exercise In Futility)?

BTDTGTTS (Been There Done That Got The T-Shirt)

WCAGA (What Comes Around Goes Around) B/C (Because) ROTBA (Reality On The Blink Again).

E2EG (Ear to Ear Grin)

LOL (Laugh Out Loud)

LTHTT (Laughing Too Hard To Type)


Do you know what an Infobot is and when the word was invented? Read the first usages of the word Infobot in this thorough definition taken from the Oxford English Dictionary below.

Infobot, n.

An automatic system which enables users to find out information, spec.
(a) (with capital initial) (a proprietary name for) a telephone query handling system in which users select options using a touch-tone telephone and receive instructions and information from a synthesized or recorded voice; (b) a device or computer program used to execute transactions, esp. the retrieval of information from the Internet, whose operation does not require the direct control of the user; cf. KNOWBOT n.

1986 ABA Banking Jrnl. (Nexis) May 126 An automated service that uses artificial intelligence and voice technology and that substitutes for customer service representatives has been developed by Syntellect. Called Infobot, the system can be used without making any changes in the bank's existing mainframe software.

1991 Communication Week (Nexis) 9 Sept. 40 Undergraduates at the University of California-Los Angeles have been able to sign up for their classes since 1989 using an InfoBot system.

1993 Special Libraries (Nexis) 22 Sept. 230 Forcing information to permeate the organization, creating infobots that find people who need information..exemplify excellence in virtual libraries.

1999 Assoc. Computing Machinery Nov. 69 Why is it that users do not have an InfoBot on their desktop that will analyze their information needs, scour the Web and get them exactly what they need?


Search other words related to technology in the O.E.D. (Oxford English Dictionary) through the library website.

Reference books are always available at the library (check which branch):

Abbreviations Dictionary by Ralph DeSola

Acronyms, Initialisms, & Abbreviations Dictionary

Larousse Dictionary of Science and Technology edited by Peter M.B. Walker

McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms edited by Sybil P. Parker

A Concise Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English: From a Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English by Eric Partridge

Check out these books:

NTC's Dictionary of Acronyms and Abbreviations compiled by Steven Racek Kleinedler

Slang!: The Topic-by-topic Dictionary of Contemporary American Lingoes by Paul Dickson

March 5, 2007

Teen Tech Week - Napoleon Dynamite poem and spoofs

Napoleon Dynamite wedding song
by Kip to Lafawnduh

Why do you love me?
Why do you need me?
Always and forever...

We met in a chatroom,
now our love can fully bloom...
Sure the world wide web is great,
but you, you make me salivate...

I love technology,
but not as much as you, you see...
But I STILL love technology...
always and forever.

Our love is like a flock of doves,
flying up to heaven above...
always and forever,
always and forever...

Why do you need me?
Why do you love me?
Always and forever...

Just a Lil Kip

Napoleon Dynamite

Teen Tech Week - technology poetry

Remember When: A Poem About Technology
from James S. Huggins' Refrigerator Door

A computer was something on TV
From a sci fi show of note.
A window was something you hated to clean
And ram was the cousin of goat.
Meg was the name of my girlfriend
And gig was a job for the nights.
Now they all mean different things
And that really mega bytes.
An application was for employment.
A program was a TV show.
A curser used profanity.
A keyboard was a piano.
Memory was something that you lost with age.
A CD was a bank account.
And if you had a 3 1/2" floppy
You hoped nobody found out.
Compress was something you did to the garbage
Not something you did to a file.
And if you unzipped anything in public
You'd be in jail for a while.
Log on was adding wood to the fire.
Hard drive was a long trip on the road.
A mouse pad was where a mouse lived.
And a backup happened to your commode.
Cut you did with a pocket knife.
Paste you did with glue.
A web was a spider's home.
And a virus was the flu
I guess I'll stick to my pad and paper
And the memory in my head.
I hear nobody's been killed in a computer crash,
But when it happens they wish they were dead.
by Alistair Davidson

There will come a day
When my extra-memory
Stored aboard the box in front of me
Will go down for eternity
And you will lose a part of me.
There will come a day
When change occurs
Memories will disappear
And backups fail
Then I will come to you for aid
Seeking your long term memory
There will come another day
I'll look for you
And all you mean to me
But you will have gone away
Along with your recall of everything
We've shared
And marked in memory
There will come a time
When all that is left of me
Is this immobile box
These aging disks
But there will be
Copied files in other localities
And they will not be
You or me
Just a curious immortality
Buried in the immensity
Of other disks and memory
In mere machinery

March 4, 2007

Teen Tech Week - electronic sounds

Nintendo Noise Makers

March 2, 2007

Teen Tech Week

March 4 to 10, 2007

All week you can get technology tips, read book reviews, see tech poems, cool links, computer art, read an interview with a computer geek and more when you visit this blog, Library Lounging.

This high speed video of a water balloon being popped was recorded with the Photron ultima APX high speed video camera at 4,000 frames per second. "The balloon's skin can be seen peeling back to leave the water still perfectly formed in the original shape." Thank you technology and NASA for elucidating this sight.

March 1, 2007

Poetess, Sylvia Plath, in words and music

Sylvia Plath Reads 'Fever 103'

Ryan Adams - Sylvia Plath