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Sherlock Holmes and Human Skulls

Sherlock

Are you a fan of BBC’s Sherlock? Interested in the science behind detection? Join the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh-Beechview on Thursday, February 20 from 5:00 to 7:30 PM for an exploration in real life forensic science with a hands on diagnoses of human skulls! Plus, stick around afterwards for a screening from the third season of Sherlock.  Presented by Barbara Paul, a Mobile Science Lab Education Facilitator from the University of Pittsburgh.

Contact the Beechview Library at 412-563-2900 for more details.

Super Bowl 48!!

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Since I am getting sick of winter and the polar vortex, I have decided to write about something that will make me happy-the upcoming Super Bowl.  This year’s matchup is a rarity in that it will be a meeting between the best offense in the league (the Denver Broncos) and the NFL’s best defense (Seattle Seahawks).  This is only the fifth time this has ever happened and so far the defenses have won 3 out of the first 4 times it has happened.

This will also be the first time the game will be played outdoors in a cold weather stadium and the weather could play a factor in the game.  If the conditions are bad it could hurt Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense as he has historically had some of his worst games in bad weather.  Another thing to watch is the Richard Sherman ‘controversy‘.  He caused an uproar after the NFC Championship game when he was mocking the 49ers Michael Crabtree.

If you don’t care about the game on the field, there is also the halftime show featuring Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers and there should be some awesome commercials.  Either way, it will help us forget about the cold!!

Fight for Your Fandom with FANTASY FACEOFF: ROUND II

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Does this sound familiar? You’re sitting around the house with some of your friends, watching Dragonball Z, when the question is posed:

Who would win: Goku or Superman?

Passionate arguments ensue; you believe that Goku’s spirit bomb and SS4 kamehameha would be able to destroy even the Man of Steel, while your friends proclaim that Superman under Earth’s yellow sun would be impervious to even the most vicious Saiyan attacks.
goku-vs-superman

Sound like a good way to spend time?

If so, you should definitely check out FANTASY FACEOFF: ROUND II, a chance for you to pit your favorite fantasy, sci-fi, comics and pop culture characters against each other in a game inspired by March Madness!

It’s all going down at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main – Teen (Oakland) this Saturday, November 23rd, from 2:00 – 5:00 PM. Bring the name of your favorite fandom character and see how they stack up. Here is the faceoff schedule:

ROUND 1: Vote! Narrow a list of favorite characters down to top competitors.

ROUND 2: Debate! We’ll pull two character’s names from a hat, you’ll advocate for their merits, and they’ll be entered into the bracket. You have just a few minutes to convince the crowd why your character would advance to the next round, conquering their unlikely opponent.

ROUND 3: Last Warriors Standing! Design a play-by-play of this final, epic battle with your teammates.

Light snacks will be provided. Registration is encouraged to make sure we have enough for everyone.

You can register at this link and get reminded by RSVPing on Facebook here!

~Joseph
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

Super Bowl XLVII

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So what did you think of that Super Bowl?  It was definitely one of the most eventful Super Bowl games we ever had.  I know a lot of Pittsburgh fans were conflicted about the game since the Ravens are their bitter AFC North rivals and the Niners would have equaled their record of 6 Super Bowl titles.  But from the Ray Lewis controversies to the HarBowl to the 34 minute power outage, this was a game that had it all!  It looked like it would be a Ravens’ blowout before the Forty-Niners were able to rally after the power outage.  San Francisco rookie Colin Kaepernick led a furious comeback, but his team fell just short in the last few minutes.  The game also featured a halftime show by Beyonce.  All of this led to the game being the most watched tv show in history!

Not only was the game eventful, but I thought the commercials were awesome this year.  Of course, my favorite was the Oreo commercial with people fighting in a library and whispering the whole time.

But I also liked some of the other ones, including the Taco Bell one with the senior citizen party animals.

What was your favorite part of the game?  Were you happy that the Ravens won?  Did you have any favorite ads?

Jim-CLP Sheraden

What If Kim Kardashian Was in a Dystopian Teen Novel?

In a world where 46.2 million Americans live in poverty, it’s strange to consider people like Kim Kardashian are real human beings, and not simply an industrial byproduct of the fame factory.

When you think about it, she makes millions of dollars for letting people film her being rich. And nearly 16 million people (of which I am one) choose to watch her flush money down the toilet on Twitter.

But what if tomorrow, the cloud of money and fame disintegrated, along with the rest of society, and she came crashing down back to Earth?

Meet my creation, Kim Dystopiashian.

Kim Dystopiashian relaxes after Los Angeles is turned to rubble and society is reduced to scavenging.

With her prior life in tatters Kim Dystopiashian has wandered into some of your favorite YA dystopian novels and is tweeting from inside of them, trying to maintain her lifestyle as best she can.

Here she is from inside Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games, after hiding in a tree to avoid an attack by the tributes of District 4.

She then gets boxed up and thrown into the maze of James Dashner’s The Maze Runner, after encountering one of the Gladers who was killed by a griever attack.

She then escapes and starts wandering the war and plague-torn streets of America in Jeff Hirsch’s Eleventh Plague, only to narrowly escape a group of bandits and find shelter in a creepy gated community.

After the community collapses, she is forced to join a roving band of misfits in Jo Treggiari’s Ashes, Ashes. But once the Sweepers arrive, she needs to call someone quick. What can she do?

Finally, Kim Kardashian finds herself in a future Chicago, in the perfect world of Veronica Roth’s Divergent where everything–and everyone–has its place. She chose the faction Erudite and was given her own talk show. However, now safe, her friends might not be so lucky…

~Joseph
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

Werewolf or Teen Wolf?

So in the past two weeks or so, my sister and I have been descending, or nose-diving rather, into the hilariously wonderful, oft-angsty, world of the MTV supernatural/horror show, Teen Wolf.

For anyone who doesn’t watch, Teen Wolf stars your regular sad sack high school “loser,” Scott McCall, who is ill-advisedly wandering around a dark forest on the night of a full moon and is totally bitten by a werewolf.  Thus, he becomes the titular teen wolf.

Teen Wolf, Scott McCall by sambastian.tumblr.com

The show revolves around Scott’s hopeless misadventures trying to learn how to be a teen wolf and navigate the very dangerous, very mysterious supernatural world into which he’s stumbled.  Also, he’s crazy good at lacrosse now.  Yes, Lacrosse.

With the popularization of the supernatural in teen fiction and media, I’ve found it pretty refreshing to come across a show that is only about teenagers who are werewolves, not vampires, not fairies, not zombies or anything else that goes bump in the night.

Werewolf–in particular, teen wolf–stories can draw some interesting metaphors and parallels to the difficulties and changes that young people undergo during their teen years.  Think lots of extra hair and uncontrollable feeeelings.

If you’re a fan of werewolves, teen wolves, or are interested in learning more, here’s some stories to start you off:

  

  

  

But what makes a werewolf a werewolf and a teen wolf a teen wolf?  Is it the lacrosse?  The locker room confrontations?  Hopelessly confused flailing?  Are the characters in the books listed above just werewolves or are they teen wolves too?  You decide.

-Morgan, Main – Teen

If You’re Havin’ Lit Problems, I Can Relate to You, Son. I Got 90s Problems, and a Book Is One.

It’s funny to think that just a little more than a decade ago we were still in the 90s, which happens to be my favorite decade (and why wouldn’t it be? just look at how awesome it is). But while the 90s may have been recent, the swelling nature of technological and social change has made many of the challenges kids like me who grew up during that time obsolete.

If you were one of the few kids–like Zack from Saved by the Bell–who could afford the nearly $4,000 it cost to buy one, much less pay for the plan, this is the huge brick you had the pleasure of lugging around.

Enter 90s hunk James Van Der Beek, whose improvised (and very ugly) moment of angsty excess during season 3 of hit teen drama Dawson’s Creek got screencapped and began the 90s problem meme.

Take, for example, the way you learn about and acquire new music. A friend posts a video they just found out about on Facebook and within a minute you’ve downloaded an MP3, right? Not for a 90s kid!

Want more insight into the world of what it was to be an 80s baby and grow up during the 90s? Click here!

So in the spirit of 90s problems, I’ve created a bunch of my own, featuring teens from 90s young adult literature with similar predicaments. If only they were born just a decade later!

Anyway, each one links to the catalog record for the book. Take your best guess before clicking, then read ’em and weep (for their poor 90s souls)!

~Joseph
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

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