Saturday, February 6, 2016

A dozen awesome Nova documentaries you can watch with Hoopla

Get the best of NOVA for free with Hoopla and your Mentor Public Library card.
We’ve talked about Hoopla before. It’s a cool digital service we offer that lets you stream music, TV shows and movies anywhere and at any time for free with your Mentor Public Library card.

It also has an awesome collection of NOVA documentaries; so if you're interested in physics, history, space, dinosaurs—pretty much anything—you could be learning about it right now.

Here are some of our favorites.

1. Bigger than T-Rex

Almost a century ago, paleontologists found the first tantalizing hints of a monster even bigger than Tyrannosaurus Rex, perhaps the largest predator ever to walk the Earth: spectacular fossil bones from a dinosaur dubbed Spinosaurus. But the fossils were completely destroyed during a World War II Allied bombing raid, leaving only drawings, lots of questions, and a mystery. Learn about Spinosaurus—the dinosaur that waited 70 million years (and then another century) to be discovered.

If you like that, then watch: Arctic Dinosaurs and Last Extinction: Megabeasts' Sudden Death.

2. Dogs Decoded

New research is revealing what dog lovers have suspected all along: Dogs have an uncanny ability to read and respond to human emotions. Humans, in turn, respond to dogs with the same hormone responsible for bonding mothers to their babies. How did this incredible relationship between humans and dogs come to be?

If you like that, then watch: How Smart Are Animals?

3. Ghosts of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is the most famous archeological ruin in the Western hemisphere and an iconic symbol of the power and engineering prowess of the Inca. NOVA joins a new generation of archeologists as they probe areas of Machu Picchu that haven't been touched since the time of the Incas and unearth burials of the people who built the sacred site.

If you like that, then watch: Cracking the Maya Code, Emperor's Ghost Army, and Riddles of the Sphinx.

4. Deadliest Volcanoes
From Japan's Mount Fuji to the “Sleeping Giant” submerged beneath Naples to the Yellowstone “Supervolcano” in the United States, NOVA travels with scientists from around the world who are at work on these sites, attempting to discover how likely these volcanoes are to erupt, when it might happen, and exactly how deadly they could prove to be.

If you like this, then watch: Killer Landslides and Hunt for the Supertwister.

5. Doctors' Diaries

In 1987, NOVA's cameras began rolling to chronicle the lives of seven young, bright medical students embarking on the longest and most rigorous endeavor in higher education: the years-long journey to become a doctor. From their first days at Harvard Medical School to the present day, none of them could have predicted what it would take, personally and professionally.

If you like this, then watch: Vaccines - Calling the Shots.

6. Is There Life on Mars?

This NOVA showcases the latest scientific results from the Mars Rovers and NASA's Phoenix probe, which are poised to reveal provocative new clues in the tantalizing search for water and life on the Red Planet.

If you like this, then watch: Can We Make It to Mars?

7. Bible's Buried Secrets

Go on a scientific journey to the beginnings of modern religion, and dig into both the Bible and the history of the Israelites through the artifacts they left behind. This powerful exploration of science, scripture, and scholarship examines the most pressing issues in biblical archaeology.

If you like this, then watch: The Bible Unearthed.

8. Fabric of our Cosmos

From the passenger seat of a New York cab driving near the speed of light to a pool hall where billiard tables do fantastical things, Brian Greene reveals space as a dynamic fabric that can stretch, twist, warp and ripple under the influence of gravity. Space, far from being empty, is filled with some of the deepest mysteries of our times.

If you like this, then watch: Physics and our Universe.

9. First Air War

By World War I's end, the essential blueprint of the modern fighter aircraft had emerged: it was now an efficient killing machine that limited the average life expectancy of a front line pilot to just a few weeks. To trace the story of this astonishingly rapid technological revolution, NOVA takes viewers inside The Vintage Aviator, a team of New Zealand-based aviation buffs dedicated to bringing back classic WWI fighters.

If you like this, then watch: Rise of the Drones and Bombing Hitler's Dams.

10. Ape Genius

The great apes—which include chimps, orangutans, gorillas and bonobos—seem to have rich emotional lives similar to our own. But just how smart are these animals? A new generation of investigators is revealing the secret mental lives of great apes, and our evolutionary next-of-kin are turning out to be far smarter than most experts ever imagined.

If you like this, then watch: Becoming Human.

11. Why Planes Vanish

NOVA tells the inside story of the search for Flight MH370 and meets the key players from all corners of the globe who have spent months searching for the lost plane. How easy is it to make a plane disappear? Or can new technology guarantee that in the future, nothing will ever be 'lost' again?

If you like this, then watch: Ben Franklin's Balloon.

12. Judgment Day: Intelligent Design

One of the latest battles in the war over evolution took place in a tiny town of Dover in eastern Pennsylvania. In 2004, the local school board ordered science teachers to read to their high school biology students a statement that suggested there is an alternative to Darwin's theory of evolution. The science teachers refused to comply with the order, and alarmed parents filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing the school board of violating the separation of church and state. Suddenly, the small town of Dover was torn apart by controversy, pitting neighbor against neighbor

If you like this, then watch: What Darwin Never Knew.

If you want to watch any of these videos but don’t know how to use Hoopla, you can check out this video tutorial that one of our librarians made.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Join the Rock the Mic Club at Mentor Public Library

The kids from our Rock the Mic Club have to create scenes based upon the random photos that appear behind them.
Any script is a just a place to start for our Rock the Mic Club. Everything is open to interpretation and improvisation.

The Big Bad Wolf becomes Macho Man Randy Savage. One of the pigs is a PewDiePie-style YouTuber.

You never know what you’re going to get with our Rock the Mic Club. Sometimes, it's singing or stand-up. But it's always a surprise.
Believe it or not, this began as a retelling of a fairy tale.
On the second Monday of the month, we open the mic up to the kids at our Main Branch.

They can tell jokes, play an instrument, sing, practice for a school report, or perform a monologue.

Meanwhile, they build self-esteem and confidence while having fun.

Whether your child loves to perform or is uncomfortable in front of crowds, he or she is welcome at our Rock the Mic Club.

The club’s next meeting is at 4 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 8, at Mentor Library’s Main Branch. If you wish to register your child for it, you can sign them up on our website or by calling 440-255-8811 ext. 221.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Force will be with us this Monday (and you should be there too)

We have an author visiting us next week that will please Jedi masters and lil' Padawans alike.

Mark Clark—the author of Star Wars FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Trilogy That Changed the Movies—will talk about a galaxy far, far away at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 8., at our Main Branch.

He'll discuss the origins of Star Wars and explore how behind-the-scenes drama during the writing of Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi influenced the current blockbuster Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

Clark is a polymath of geek culture. In addition to Star Wars FAQ, he's also written two books about Star Trek and a critical filmography of 1960s horror cinema.

The talk is free and open to everyone. You can register for it on Mentor Public Library's website or by calling 440-255-8811 ext. 216.

By the way, if you or your kids love Star Wars, then we have all kind of books, videos, albums and even video games that you can borrow for free with your library card.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

It's a Kung Fu Panda Party

Karate for Kids gave a free demonstration during our Kung Fu Panda kickoff party.
Kids kicked it during our Kung Fu Panda party last week. (Get it? Kicked it?)

It started with a free martial arts demonstration from Karate for Kids. Then the children learned more about Chinese culture and cuisine with a tea tasting.

Finally, the kids tested their own Kung Fu acumen with an obstacle course and chopstick challenge.
Wyatt balances a cup of tea while running our obstacle course.
For more programs at Mentor Public Library, visit our event calendar.

Also if you want to have a Kung Fu Panda marathon with your family, you can borrow the first and second film, the holiday special, and episodes of Legends of Awesomeness from us.

Finally, you can see more photos from our Kung Fu Panda party on our Facebook page.
Violet tests her dexterity by moving a dumpling, noodle, and bamboo shoot using only chopsticks.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Get healthy with Mentor Public Library

A library patron gets his hands wrapped before a free class at TITLE Boxing Club in Mentor.
There are all kinds of way to be healthy—physical, emotional, even spiritual—and Mentor Public Library wants to help with all of them.

That's why we've started our Get Healthy series: to help you become your healthiest self. Each month, the library will offer a free program on how to improve an aspect of one’s health.

We began with a free class last week at TITLE Boxing Club in Mentor. In addition to learning some basic boxing techniques, we also learned the different parts of the body that boxing exercises. (It’s definitely more than the arms.)

But we won't be punching bags every month.
The boxing class included cardio, to improve heart health and stamina.
The Get Healthy series continues with a talk on happiness on Tuesday, Feb. 23, at Mentor Public Library’s Main Branch. James Kargakos, a psychology professor and certified life coach, will discuss the science behind happiness and what can detract from it.

Then, in March, we'll learn about homeopathic medicine with Remedy Jane.

All of our Get Healthy programs are free and open to the public. Attend one of them; come to all of them; and get healthier!
Our Get Healthy series is open to everyone.
Visit Mentor Public Library's Facebook page for more photos from our Get Healthy program at TITLE Boxing Club.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Write your own story (because no one can do it better)

Professional writer Deanna Adams will show you how to turn your memories into written stories.
Have you ever thought about writing your life story but don't know where to start?

Professional writer Deanna Adams will show you how to transform your memories into written stories during a special program at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb, 4, at Mentor Public Library's Main Branch.

Adams has written several books, including Rock ’n’ Roll and the Cleveland Connection, Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Roots and Peggy Sue Got Pregnant.

Her latest book is The Writer's GPS: A Guide to Writing & Selling Your Book.

Bring a pad of paper and cherished photos to spark memories at our workshop.

This program is free and open to all seniors—no writing experience is necessary.

You can register for the workshop on Mentor Public Library's website or by calling 440-255-8811 ext. 241.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Mini Golf around the world (at Mentor Public Library)

Taryn plays mini golf in our children's department.
Kids could play a round of gold earlier this week at our Main Branch.

The played through nine holes, each of which were themed after a different country. For extra fun, kids that named all nine countries won a special surprise prize.
Rhea putts in the Brazil-themed hole.
Afterward, golfers grabbed a cup of hot chocolate, and the winner of each round had their photo taken for our Wall of Fame.

By the way, thanks to Dairy Queen for letting us borrow their clubs and balls.
Landon gets a little help from his dad.
Visit Mentor Public Library's Facebook page for more photos from our international mini golf game.