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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Novel Ways of Telling a Story

This week marks the publication of Wonderstruck, the highly-anticipated second picture-novel by Brian Selznick,  author/illustrator of the unique and extraordinary Caldecott-winning book The Invention of Hugo Cabret.  The book is fascinating -- a pair of intertwining stories (one in words, the other in cinematic-like pictures)  – and so is the backstory of how it came to be written.  Check out the author’s comments  in this National Public Radio Interview.    The Invention of Hugo Cabret will be coming out as a film in November.

Speaking of story-telling,  TELL A STORY, HEAR A STORY @ THE GROUNDS FOR SCULPTURE  The Grounds for Sculpture is a lovely place to hold a story-telling festival!  Perfect for the entire family.

19th Annual New Jersey  Storytelling Festival
WHEN: Sunday, September 18, 12 Noon – 6 PM
The Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ
TICKETS: Festival Free with Park Admission; $12 Adult • $10 Senior • $8 Child (under 5 Free)   Enjoy a fun-filled day of storytelling at a fantastic sculpture park!  Rain or Shine • Indoor and Outdoor Sites • Performances for Adults and Families  4 DIFFERENT PERFORMANCES EVERY HOUR  For more info: NJstorynet.org or njsf@storyNsong.com   973.625.8548   Get Directions to this Event

@ the Library:

Afterschool Special: 'Fly Away!' Monday September 19, 2011 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM grades 1-6.
Did you know that a teenage girl once FLEW UNDER the bridges in NYC?  Come with us as we hear the true-life stories of some amazing early pilots then make and fly our own paper airplanes.
Registration required.

Chapter Book Club Ivy + Bean Book 1 by Annie Barrows. Limited to Grades 3 & 4.
Sept. 21, 2011 4:30-5:30 Registration begins September 7th. Ivy and Bean are the most unlikely pair of friends on Pancake Court. Ivy wears dresses every day. Bean only wears dresses on special occasions. Ivy always has her nose in a book; Bean can never sit still. When Bean plays a mean trick on her sister, she finds unexpected support from Ivy, the new neighbor, who is less boring than Bean first suspected.

decorative image Autumn 'Craftacular' (Ages 3-8) Saturday September 24, 2011 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM Welcome Autumn 'Craftacular!' Join us for a fall story and craft to welcome the season. Registration begins September 9th.

Rocket Readers Tuesday September 27, 2011 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM For Grades 1-3

An exciting program for brand new readers! At each program we will discuss a book, play some games, or create a “book-tiful” craft related to the story. Students should read the book prior to the program. Copies of the book will be available at the Youth Services Reference Desk.
This month's book:Today I Will Fly! by Mo Willems. While Piggie is determined to fly, Elephant is skeptical, but when Piggie gets a little help from others, amazing things happen. Join us to read and discuss the book, and a craft. Registration is required and begins on September 13th.

And every week through October 14th:

Tuesdays at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Family Story Time (ages 2-6) no registration required. Join us each week for stories, songs, fingerplays, and a short film.

Wednesdays at 10 & 11 a.m. and Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. Toddler Time (18 mo.-3) no registration required. Clapping and singing, rhymes and books….introduce your toddler to the beginnings of story time!

Thursdays at 10:30 Baby Book Time (birth to 18 months) no registration required. Clap your hands and stamp your feet and let you baby feel the beat of stories, songs and rhymes.

Want to see more of our Fall Schedule? Check out our September Bridgewater Library Online Calendar. Also, a reminder that Somerset County Library Cardholders can attend programs at any of our branches…check out their online calendars under the “events/programs” tab on our home page for more information.

@ the Library – for Teens:

PSAT Practice Test (for students in Grades 9 -11) Saturday September 17, 2011 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM Registration required
A free practice test is one of the best ways to get ready for the real thing. By taking this practice test, you will learn exactly what to expect on test day and receive a complete individual analysis of your results. Don't forget a #2 pencil and calculator! A follow-up session to get your scores and have your questions answered by a Kaplan representative will be held on Monday, October 3 at 6:30 pm.

Talk It Up: 'Crunch' by Leslie Connor (for students entering grades 5-8) Tuesday September 20, 2011 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM Registration Required
Talk-It Up Book Discussion Group If you love to read and talk about books, you are cordially invited to an hour of book talk and friendly company. Parents and parent substitutes are welcome to join in the discussion.

Teen Advisory Board Tuesday September 27, 2011 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM For students in Grade 6 – 12 **Registration required
Do you want to make a difference at your library? Do you have suggestions for programs, new books, movies, or video games? Then come to one of our upcoming T.A.B. meeting! Community service hours will be awarded for attendance and snacks will be served!

Around the Community:

This portion of our site highlights events that may be of interest to area families.   To be listed, events must either be free or be sponsored by a non-profit.    We get these events from listings in various calendars & online newsletters including njartsmaven.com and local Macaroni Kids.  All summer the Hillsborough, Branchburg, Somerville Macaroni Kid site has been dormant, but we’re delighted that it is back up and running  -- between that site and the Warren Macaroni Kid, family events in our area are covered quite nicely.  These sites, as well as many other area event listings are in the “useful websites” section on the right side of this blog (if you are getting this via email, just click on the headline to see them listed.).   Here’s a sampling of events – check these sites for more comprehensive lists. 

September is a great season to enjoy the outdoors…check out these programs…
Wonder Walks for Families at Duke Farms in Hillsborough
80 Us Highway 206, Hillsborough, NJ 08844 (Duke Farms)

Wonder Walk for Families: Food Webs of the Meadow

Saturday, September 17, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. (rain date: Sunday, September 18)Dress for the weather, including appropriate footwear. This program will be cancelled in the event of inclement weather. Contact 908-722-3700 for registration and further information. For more info: Website: http://www.dukefarms.org
Meadows are alive with plants and insects. Join us on this exploration within the central core of the Duke Farms property where we will explore a native grass meadow and examine the insects and the plants with which they are associated! This program is geared for families with children in grades K-6 who have a desire to explore the marvelous mysteries of nature.
Cost: $8 per person; $5 per person for members of N.J. Audubon, maximum charge of $20 per family. Space is limited and advance registration is required.

Wonder Walk for Families: Surprises in the Stream

Sunday, September 18, 9 to 11 a.m.
Join us as we look for plants and animals in a stream and the surrounding habitat.
Designed for families with children ages 3-8, accompanied by an adult.
Cost: $8 per person; $5 per person for members of N.J. Audubon, maximum charge of $20 per family. Space is limited and advance registration is required.

This program is part of the special Garden State Gardens "Liquid Assets" celebration of water. During the month of September, member organizations are presenting programs focused on water.

Nature Programs at the NJ Audubon Society’s Scherman-Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary 11 Hardscrabble Road Bernardsville, NJ

LITTLE NATURALISTS  Thursdays, September 15, through October 27  9:30 to 10:30 a.m.  Designed for toddlers and young children (age 2 to 4) with their parents, grandparents, or caregivers. We will meet weekly for nature-based programs featuring stories, mini-hikes, crafts, and outdoor activities. Each class will focus on an aspect of the natural world, and books and activities will highlight that theme. Adult participation required.Cost: $5 per child for members, $7 per child for nonmembers.

INVESTIGATING INSECTS  Saturday, September 17  2:00 to 3:30 p.m.  Insects are the largest group of animals on earth. Learn about their many groups, how they are valuable, and their remarkable life cycles. Get a chance to hold a walking-stick insect. We will also explore for insects and insect signs along the trails. Families with children, please preregister by calling 908.766.5787. Limit 15. Cost: $5 per child for members, $7 per child for nonmembers.

RIVER WALK  Saturday, September 24  1:00 to 2:30 p.m. We’ll go on a family adventure to the sanctuary’s Passaic River with nets and buckets to see what lives in the river. Learn how to identify some of the creatures and what they can tell us about the health of the water. Be sure to dress for the outdoors and wear water shoes or boots.Cost: $7 members, $10 nonmembers.

BEGINNING BIRDING:  BACKYARD BIRDFEEDING  Saturday, October 1 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  (Drop in anytime.) It is estimated that over 85 million people nationwide feed birds in their backyards – that’s a lot of happy squirrels! Whether you’re new to this fun and informative activity or just looking to expand your existing feeding station, why not stop by this informal workshop before or after picking up your seed. Store manager Denis Cleary will display all the different types of feeders appropriate for backyard feeding (including the latest “squirrel-proof” feeders), and answer your questions concerning your individual feeding situations. Please leave your squirrels at home.  Cost: Free.

Environmental Education Center
Environmental Education Center   190 Lord Stirling Rd, Basking Ridge, NJ • 908 766-2489 
Here’s a sampling – click here for more classes.
Field Exploration

Small Wonders
(Ages infant-5 with parent)
Join a Naturalist for a walk in the fields and woods of Lord Stirling Park. We will be looking for all the colors of the rainbow and signs of animal activity. Strollers welcome. 

$10 per pair/$5 per additional child
Course Code: 51074

EEC-15 Friday, September 16 "Summer's End"
Little Things That Move the Earth - NEW
(Ages 7-9)
These amazing six-legged creatures with two pair of wings - some brightly colored, others bland with the ability to blend in - fly gracefully through the sky, skipping, gliding, and fluttering. Some lay their eggs and die; others travel thousands of miles to mate another day. Come observe these natural wonders up close and in person, as we search for some lovable lepidoptera.

$9 per person
Course Code: 51655

EEC-1 Saturday, September 17
Hawk watch Hike 
(All Ages)
The season for hawk watching has officially begun! Come hike the trails with a Naturalist but be sure to keep an eye to the sky for those awesome migrating birds of prey. We will discuss the different types of hawks as we trek around the swamp. Bring binoculars and be sure to wear comfortable shoes.

Course Code: 51596

EEC-2 Monday, September 19
Golden Adventure
(Ages infant-5 with parent)
Take a hike through a field of "gold" – Goldenrod that is! We will look at this native plant's variety of shapes and make a collection of flowers to take home. We will also look at the insects that
depend on this fall flower in order to survive winter.

$10 per pair/$5 per additional child
Course Code: 51571

EEC-2 Tuesday, September 20
Night Time Happenings
(Ages 4-6)
As the sun sets and the moon rises, the forest begins to come alive. Come discover what it means to be nocturnal and learn about who is awake while we are asleep.

$9 per person
Course Code: 51221

EEC-6 Wednesday, September 21
Fungus Among Us 
(Ages 7-9)
Mushrooms have an important role in our ecosystem. Come learn about the different types of fungus and why they grow where they do. We will take a hike to search for these decomposers. Taste some mushrooms from the grocery store and decide for yourself if you like them or not.

$9 per person
Course Code: 51291

EEC-3 Wednesday, September 21

clip_image002[5]clip_image002Actors Shakespeare Company at New Jersey City University, a professional theatre company in residence at the University, will open its 2011-2012 season with
A Shakespeare sampler of famous scenes and speeches
WHEN: Sunday, September 18, 3 PM
WHERE: The bandshell in the G. Thomas DiDomenico Park of Bayonne. (commonly known as the 16th Street Park)
ADMISSION: free and open to the community
For further information or call 201.200.2390 or visit www.ascnj.org.
all-worlds-stage-susanna.jpgASC’s Resident Artists will start the festivities at 1:30 PM with sword-fight and dancing demonstrations as part of pre-show activities in the park, commonly called the 16th Street Park by Bayonne residents. There are more family-oriented games and crafts being planned beginning at 12 o’clock noon as part of an afternoon with a Renaissance Fair-like atmosphere.
“This will be the first-ever ‘Shakespeare in the Park’ for the city of Bayonne and more festivals are being planned with the Actors Shakespeare Company at New Jersey City University,” said Claire Greco, who is coordinating the afternoon with Bayonne Supervisor of Recreation, Pete Amadeo.  Click here for more information.
Aspiring teen filmmakers: Here’s your chance to make a video!

Want to enter the contest?  Deadline for entries is October 14th. Click on this Entry form for full information and rules.  Contest is open to 6th-12th graders.

5th Annual   Constitution Day Poster Design Contest

Entries must be postmarked by October 1st, 2011. The first 100 entrants receive a free pocket constitution book from constitutionfacts.com, with the contest winner receiving additional prizes! To enter, download the Constitution Day Poster Design Contest entry form.

Let Your Fingers Do (More) Walking:

Wonder of the Day #346: Is a Computer Bug an Insect?

bug on computer chip_shutterstock_4027501
On September 9, 1947, Harvard researchers discovered the first computer bug. What did they find? Let’s find out!
Have you ever wondered…
  • Is a computer bug an insect?
  • What is a “buggy” computer program?
  • How costly are computer bugs?
Did you know?

Can you imagine a world without computers? Believe it or not, your parents might just be able to remember a time when computers weren’t everywhere you look.

You probably use computers all the time. After all, you’re reading today’s Wonder of the Day, right?
If you have much experience with computers, you probably already know that they’re not perfect. No person or machine is perfect. We all make mistakes. That goes for computers, too.

Of course, it can be very frustrating when computer problems prevent you from having fun or getting work done. We call these faults and errors with computers and their programs “computer bugs.” But are insects really to blame?

Nope! Computer bugs are usually just mistakes in the computer’s design or programming. Even well-written computer programs that work almost perfectly still have bugs. Programs or computers that have lots of problems are said to be “buggy.”

When people write new computer programs, they usually try to test them thoroughly before they finish them. The process of finding computer bugs and fixing them is called “debugging.” Some people have jobs that require them to test computers and their programs constantly.

If you’re wondering when the first computer bug was discovered, that happened in 1947 when Harvard researchers were having trouble with their Mark II supercomputer. After some investigating, they discovered that a moth was trapped in a relay and causing a short circuit.

The researchers removed the moth (literally “debugging” the machine) and taped it to their report. Their report reads: “First actual case of bug being found.” The report can be seen today at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

Although some believe that this is how the terms “bug” and “debugging” came into being, that’s not the case. Evidence shows that people used the word “bug” to describe problems with mechanical devices as early as the 1870s.

So are computer bugs a big deal? They can be. In 1962, a missing hyphen in a computer program led to the loss of the Mariner 1 Venus probe — a piece of unmanned space equipment that cost $80 million to build.
In 1996, the European Space Agency’s Ariane 5 rocket — worth more than $1 billion — was destroyed less than a minute after launching due to a bug in the onboard guidance computer.

The effect of computer bugs on businesses cost big bucks, too. A 2002 study estimated that computer bugs cost the U.S. economy as much as $59 billion every year!

When computer bugs strike, you have to pay experts to fix them. Sometimes you even have to replace your computer, and we all know how expensive that can be!

Try it out!
Think you can debug a computer? To test your skills in a fun game, head over to PBS Kids Go! to play Bugs in the System. Can you help the cybersquad clean up the mess caused by hackers in the cybrary?
If you prefer to unplug, head outside to get up close and personal with some REAL bugs with these fun activities and crafts:
Wonder words to know and use:
  • researcher
  • program
  • debugging
  • mechanical
  • hyphen
  • unmanned
  • guidance
  • launching
  • estimated
  • economy
  • billion
Still wondering?
Use Illuminations’ Ladybug Mazes activity to play a fun computer game in which children plan a series of moves that will navigate a ladybug through a maze to practice estimating length and angle measurements.

Fascinated?   You can check out a new wonder every day at Wonderopolis.org!   Teachers may enjoy using these in their classrooms as well. 

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