No Disney +? No problem!

Don’t feel bad if you can’t jump on the Disney+ bandwagon- many of your favorite Disney classics are right here at the library. We may not have The Mandalorian, but we can certainly satisfy your need for Star Wars films.

And best of all, they’re free when you show your Moraine Valley ID at the circulation desk.

Well Obi-Wan, if you want to take that DVD home we absolutely do. Jedi mind tricks don’t work on librarians.

Make it a Hobbit to Look for the Science

I said “peaceful” Bilbo!

November 11th marks the 65th anniversary of the publication of The Two Towers, the second book in J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous Lord of the Rings trilogy. Central to the story are the Hobbits, peaceful, large-footed people of short stature that love the comforts of home.

Most people accept that Middle Earth and its inhabitants are fantasy, but there’s some scientific evidence that hobbit-like people might have been real. In 2003 scientists discovered a hominin, or species related to humans, that was small in stature. Named Homo floreisiensis and nicknamed “the hobbit”, whether or not this fossil find is a distinct species has been hotly debated among scientists since its discovery.

There’s also some evidence that a volcano was partially responsible for the disappearance of the species and that Komodo dragons might have seen them as prey. Where have I heard a story like this before?

Mixing science and literature? It brings tears to my eyes!

Scientists have found evidence that H. floreisiensis created and used tools, but there’s no word of any gold rings found at any of the archaeological sites. If there were, the find would be precious...

Check out some of the other ways science honors Tolkien’s works. Feeling nostalgic for the films? We’ve got them! Want to research our human relatives? Try our Science databases!

Science is Snow Laughing Matter

I’m not going to lie, the snow certainly has some nerve to arrive this early in the season. But since it’s here, we should look at the chemistry behind snowflakes. Let’s learn some SCIENCE!

Hey, where are you going? This is cool, I promise!

According to the American Chemical Society, all snowflakes start as a humble dust particle encased in ice and are individually shaped by the temperature and environmental conditions as they fall to the ground. It’s the variety in conditions that lead to the incredible differences seen in each flake.

Not all snowflakes are flat!

Researchers have even developed a camera that takes multi-angle photographs of single snowflakes in free-fall to produce 3D images and measure fall speed. Understanding snowflake mass, diameter, and fall speed can improve cold weather forecasting models.

Individual snowflakes might seem harmless, but when they get together they can really pack a punch. Scientists studying earthquakes in California found that accumulated snow and water can deform the earth’s crust, leading to increased seismic activity. That’s some powerful snow.

A quick search in Science Magazine Online can help you find articles about snowflakes and more amazing science! Make sure you access it from the library website in order to use all its features.

Stream These Horror Flicks to Your Device and Watch Them from Behind the Couch

Cats watch horror films too!

Need some spine-tingling entertainment during this spooky week? You can stream these right to your device with Hoopla. Just don’t blame us if you have to sleep with the light on!

The Thing on the Doorstep is a psychological horror film based on the story by H.P. Lovecraft (of Cthulhu fame).

Did you say silent vampire film? You’ll love the 1922 silent movie Nosferatu.

Who am I kidding? This kitten is braver than me.

If you only have half an hour before that Halloween party starts you have just enough time for the madness of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart.

Find out what made high school students in the 90’s afraid of the dark with the slasher film Scream.

Finally, explore your (completely justified) fear of clowns with The Clown at Midnight.

It’s Ace Week!

October 20 -26 is Ace Week, originally called Asexuality Awareness Week, which highlights asexual-spectrum identities. Learn more about asexuality and how you can support ace members of your community with these library resources:

The Invisible Orientation (also available as an eBook) is meant for both those who identify on the asexual spectrum, as well as those who want to understand friends and family members that may be asexual.

If you are looking for a scientific view of what asexuality is and why it matters, Understanding Asexuality will give you a look at the research behind this sexual minority.

(A)sexual (Streaming Video) explores the challenges of finding identity in a culture that values sexual attraction. Check here for help with streaming video.

Don’t forget to check out LGBTQIA resources on campus or get involved with the student organization ¡GASP!

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)