The Grand Canyon: Home to Ancient Vampire Bats and Ground Sloth Poop

A long time ago in a canyon far far away… prehistoric animals left traces of their existence for scientists to discover. We celebrate those discoveries and their contributions to science with National Fossil Day. This year’s focus is the rich knowledge gained from the fossils found at the Grand Canyon National Park

This year’s promotional artwork depicts a 9 foot long Shasta Ground Sloth entering Rampart Cave on the west end of the park, surrounded by the large droppings that remained fossilized in the cave for around 11,000- 40,000 years. The fossilized dung has provided a wealth of information about the local plants and environmental conditions from the sloth’s time.

Also included in the artwork is an extinct vampire bat, a distant but larger cousin to living vampire bats in Central and South America. Remains found in the cave suggests these bats may have fed on the blood of the Shasta Ground Sloth. Prehistoric life could be pretty rough!

The Grand Canyon might seem far from Moraine Valley, but you’re closer to fossils than you might think. Mazon Creek is a well-known fossil collecting site in Illinois, famous for its excellent preservation and fossil variety.

One of the more interesting findings to come out of Mazon Creek is now the Illinois state fossil. Known as the Tully Monster (Tullimonstrum gregarium), scientists currently believe it was a soft-bodied invertebrate that lived on the sea floor back when Illinois used to sit near the equator. Its strange body shape has left scientists stumped as to what kind of animal it actually was.

The library has plenty of books and media to satisfy your need for fossil knowledge. Find them here!

National Coming Out Day

Come check out some LGBTQ+ materials from our traveling book cart!

Today is National Coming Out Day, a celebration of coming out as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. There are plenty of ways to get involved!

Come to the library this month and check out some of the many books and videos featuring LGBTQIA+ themes.

Stop by these upcoming events sponsored by the GASP Club and Celebrating Diversity Committee:

Lunch Fundraiser: Wednesday 10/16 11:30 – 1:30 in U Cafeteria. All proceeds support the college’s first LGBTQ+ scholarship.

STI Testing: Tuesday, 10/22 11:00- 2:00 U209. Free and confidential testing provided by the Cook County Health Department.

You can find more information about campus LGBTQ+ resources here.

It’s finally October!

If you’re like me, you’ve been eagerly waiting the yearly onslaught of pumpkin-themed products and Halloween decorations. While I feel it’s never really too early to spookify your life, we have now entered the socially acceptable time to do so. Here are some great ways to get into the season:

You can get pumped up for fall by training for the Moraine Valley Halloween 5K. Proceeds from the race go to the Moraine Valley Foundation, which provides scholarships to students. You’ve got 26 days to get in shape! 

The Moraine Valley Flute Choir will be presenting Sounds that Go Bump in the Night on October 11th. Spooky flute music is a great way to get into the season! 

The library also has some great books and movies to curl up with this month:

The Nightmare Before Christmas: Is it a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie? Does it matter?

Find out what happens when four vampires share an apartment in What We Do in the Shadows.

Death by Pumpkin Spice: Can you really ever have too much pumpkin spice? This murder mystery might shed some light on the answer.

In the Addams Family Halloween Special, the original spooky family is back together AND in color!

And finally, if you need something supernatural to binge watch this month try Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season One. We have seasons one through seven!

The Intelligence on A.I.

“NAO” by Erik Arlen is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Have you seen the upcoming events for our One Book program? Over the next couple months the program will explore the expanding world of artificial intelligence. Get ahead of the robot invasion with the following books and videos from our collection.

Looking for fiction?

Machines Like Me: And People Like You

Set in an alternate 1980’s London, two people work together to create a personality for a synthetic human. A love triangle ensues and leads to questions about what makes us human. 

Looking for non-fiction? 

A Human’s Guide to Machine Intelligence : How Algorithms are Shaping our Lives and How We Can Stay in Control

“Kartik Hosanagar surveys the brave new world of algorithmic decision making and reveals the potentially dangerous biases to which they can give rise to as they increasingly run our lives.” (From the book jacket)

Interested in medicine?

Deep Medicine : How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again

“’Deep Medicine’ shows us how the awesome power of AI can make medicine better, and reveals the paradox that machines can make humans healthier–and more human.” (From the book jacket)

Looking for a thriller?

Ex Machina (Streaming Video)

“A young programmer is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breath-taking humanoid A.I.” (IMDb.com)

Looking for a romance? 

Her (Streaming Video or DVD)

“In a near future, a lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with an operating system designed to meet his every need.” (IMDb.com)

Want to binge watch? 

Westworld: Season One (DVD)

“’Westworld’ is a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the evolution of sin–exploring a world in which every human appetite, no matter how noble or depraved, can be indulged.” (From the publisher)