Interactive Library Display

Celebrate National Poetry Month by creating your own verses on the Interactive Library Display by the Library’s South entrance. Library staff created a pool of random “magnet words” urging passersby to create their own poetical masterpieces. It started with one sentence and inspired others to continue. Watch a video to see what it shaped into…

Where did we come from? : science fiction and space exploration.

By Library Clerk David Winn

In the past month, there have been two events which, although completely unrelated, seem to occupy the same realm of public consciousness. On February 27th, we lost Leonard Nimoy at age 83, the actor most famously known as Mr. Spock, the eminently logical lieutenant commander of the USS Enterprise in the sci-fi series Star Trek.  Nimoy’s

Leonard Nimoy in Star Trek

performance became a crucial part of defining the iconic crew who instilled a set of values in a generation of fans as William Shatner spoke the credo ”to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.” These words seem wholly appropriate as NASA’s probe Dawn approaches the dwarf planet Ceres, a large body in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter that has been photographed from afar but never properly explored or analyzed beyond what space telescopes and mathematics allow.Even as fans mourn Nimoy’s passing and celebrate his life, missions like this prove that mankind is more eager than ever to exercise their own inclinations to explore new worlds, in ways that may have been seen as relegated to the realm of science fiction only decades ago.

Decades is sometimes a necessary term when talking about space exploration. Due to the amount of planning, the exorbitant amount of funding, and the logistics of allowing craft to travel millions of miles, the time between conceptualization of a mission and realization of its objective can be a long stretch. This particular mission that would eventually allow Dawn to reach Ceres saw its start in 1996, did not achieve funding until 2004, and is just now reaching Ceres in 2015, although its initial objective the asteroid Vesta was reached in mid-2011. Now that Dawn has reached Ceres, it will still take roughly a month for it to achieve a place in the dwarf planet’s orbit suitable for transmitting back data to the scientists stationed on Earth. Space science is not a realm of instant gratification. Those on the outside may need to temper their expectations as to what this type of mission may discover, even though to NASA scientists it has the possibility to be immensely exciting.

The hope is not to find the gleaming spires of crystalline palaces amidst the dwarf planet’s crags, or the broken apart remnants of an alien civilization’s spaceships jutting from the ice cap. What is of immense interest is the possibility of liquid water, one of the crucial elements to life on our planet and a hint that abiogenesis could occur elsewhere in our solar system, even if it was relegated to the simplest of life forms.In the case of Dawn’s mission, one of the primary objectives is not to search for remnants of possible unicellular organisms such as with the Curiosity rover on Mars, but rather to help determine more information about how bodies like Ceres and Vesta form. Carol Raymond, Dawn’s deputy principal investigator recently told CBS news, “We know that Ceres retained a lot of volatiles and its shape is consistent with a differentiation into a rocky core and an ice mantle,” and then added, “It’s inevitable that that ice would have existed as an ocean at some time in the past.”She also refers to Ceres and Vesta as “fossils,” and this is accurate in the way that NASA’s scientists will be trying to forensically understand what happened in the past on a geological time scale that dwarfs that of paleontologists studying the fossils of biological organisms.

If that’s not immediately gripping, there is a bit of genuine mystery to pique your curiosity. Photos of Ceres from far away show two bright spots that appear almost reflective in nature and can be downright eerie given Ceres’ total isolation in the blackness of space. This yet unidentified geographical feature could be an example of cryovolcanism, a process that results in ice volcanoes that spew compounds of water and methane instead of molten rock. A slightly more mundane explanation is simply that a small portion of the icy core has broken through to the surface, hence the bright, reflective spot on an otherwise rocky façade. Whatever the reason, these are types of questions that can’t be answered with telescopes from Earth or mathematics calculations of what could hypothetically be expected to happen on a body such as Ceres. With our limited ability to transport human beings to other worlds, missions like this are currently our best option for getting a first-hand look at alien worlds and evidence of how they actually came to be.

Before I leave you today, I’d like to return to the image of those two bright spots on Ceres, two bright eyes staring back like the glowing tapetum lucidum of a lion caught by the flash of a camera. This is more than just a new, memorable image from space. This is the man on the moon, the face we’ve seen for centuries before we brought a man up to meet him. This is the face on Mars, or the countless other strange shapes that humans have tried to ascribe meaning to as we sift through new photographs from these distant worlds. This phenomena is a type of pareidolia, the human inclination to find order and recognizable patterns where there is none, especially in the case of anthropomorphizing things. This can be attributed to an evolutionary need for self-preservation; if your mind is accustomed to finding the face of a predator amongst the jungle foliage, then you might have a leg up when there actually is a predator skulking there.  In some ways, I don’t think much has changed. As we gaze upon these alien worlds, we look for the little pieces of relatable humanity. It helps keep us grounded as we ponder the enormity of the unexplored universe that awaits us.Then again, maybe these worlds are not so foreign after all. Perhaps it is our inexorable connection with all of the cosmos that spurs us forward to each new discovery.

As we look forward to what can be learned from observing Ceres, ponder for just a moment the words of Carl Sagan from Cosmos: A Personal Voyage: “Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return. And we can. Because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”

The Edible Book Festival is March 30th, 2015!

Cosmic Perspective by Gaylord Moore (EBF 2008)

What is the Ivy Tech Edible Book Festival?
This Edible Book Festival is hosted by the Ivy Tech Community College Northeast Library
It will be held on Monday March 30th 2015. The festival is free and open to Ivy Tech students, employees, and the general public! Festival will start at 12pm and end at 2pm.
This is an event that unites bibliophiles, book artists, and food lovers across the world.The Edible Book Festival is a yearly event that takes place on or around April 1st throughout the world.  Participants create edible books that are exhibited, documented then consumed by festival attendants. They show off their culinary creativity by making a dish based on a book or a pun of a book title. 
The first Edible Book Festival was created by Judith A. Ho berg and Beatrice Coron in 2000, and has since been celebrated by libraries, bookstores, and other book lovers in over a dozen countries.
The Ivy Tech Library encourages you to register to create an entry or to just come and enjoy the awesome edible art. Many of our entries are made by Ivy Tech Hospitality’s Advance Cake decorating class. We also have entries from local businesses and food artists. 
We will have refreshments, live music, crafts for kids and kids-at-heart, prizes, and literary entertainment.

Schedule of Events
11am : Set up time for Participants who made an “edible book” for the festival. 
12pm – 1pm : Viewing of Edible Books. Live Music from the Ivy Tech House Band. Refreshments available.
12:15 – 12:50 : Crafting for Kids and Kids-at-Heart.

  • Food Stamping handmade books.
  • Creating a giant mural.

12:50 : Announcements and Acknowledgements.
1pm –  2pm : Eating of Edible Books.
1:30 –  2pm : Literary readings and Storytelling for all ages by Ivy Tech Administration.

Festival Attendees Choose their favorite entry and register for prizes!
Near the Refreshments table, festival participants will be able to vote for their favorite edible book entry. They can also sign up for prizes provided by the Ivy Tech Library.
Voting and prize sign up will need to be completed by 12:45pm.

  • Prize Drawing will happen at 12:50pm.
  • People’s Choice Award will be announced at 2pm.

Where is the Ivy Tech Edible Book Festival?
It will be held on Ivy Tech’s North Campus in the Student Life Center Gymnasium. 

Student Life Center
North Campus
3701 Dean Drive
Fort Wayne, IN 46835
Still have questions?
For General Inquiries and Registration Questions
Contact Ivy Tech Librarian
Sarah Ellsworth-Hoffman
260-482-9171 Ext: 4581
Main Library Number: 260-480-4172

Living with Star Trek American culture and the Star Trek universe / Lincoln Geraghty

Online Book Collection

This book is a welcome and original contribution to the world of ‘Star Trek.’ The book not only sets ‘Star Trek’ in dialogue with ideas and stories of utopia, community, self-improvement, that are central to American culture and history, but goes further to examine the complex ways in which these are taken up and used by ‘ordinary’ fans, who engage with ‘Star Trek’ in complex and significant ways. Lincoln Geraghty explores, for example, ‘Star Trek’s multiple histories and how ‘Star Trek’ and the American Jeremiad, one of the nation’s foundational texts, refer back to the past to prophesy a better future. He reveals how fans define the series as a blueprint for the solution of such social problems in America as racism and war and shows how they have used the series to cope with personal trauma and such characters as Data and Seven of Nine in moments of personal transformation. This is all in all a revelatory and original book on ‘Star Trek’ as both TV and cinema. (From B&N)

Working on Mars voyages of scientific discovery with the Mars exploration rovers / William J. Clancey

Online Books Collection

Geologists in the field climb hills and hang onto craggy outcrops; they put their fingers in sand and scratch, smell, and even taste rocks. Beginning in 2004, however, a team of geologists and other planetary scientists did field science in a dark room in Pasadena, exploring Mars from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) by means of the remotely operated Mars Exploration Rovers (MER). Clustered around monitors, living on Mars time, painstakingly plotting each movement of the rovers and their tools, sensors, and cameras, these scientists reported that they felt as if they were on Mars themselves, doing field science. The MER created a virtual experience of being on Mars. In this book, William Clancey examines how the MER has changed the nature of planetary field science. Drawing on his extensive observations of scientists in the field and at the JPL, Clancey investigates how the design of the rover mission enables field science on Mars,explaining how the scientists and rover engineers manipulate the vehicle and why the programmable tools and analytic instruments work so well for them. He shows how the scientists felt not as if they were issuing commands to a machine but rather as if they were working on the red planet, riding together in the rover on a voyage of discovery. (From B&N)

Meteorites and asteroids classification, geology, and exploration / Akilina Dementieva and Danilo Ostrogorsky, editors.

Online Book Collection

In this book, the authors present current research in the study of the classification, geology and exploration of asteroids and meteorites. Topics discussed include meteorites and their asteroidal parent bodies; the diversion and exploitation of ice-rich NEOs using the solar collector; radar characteristics of asteroid 33342 (1998 WT24); asteroid dimensions and the truncated pareto distribution; Hilda asteroids in the Jupiter neighborhood; and asteroid Apophis and 1950 DA. (From B&N)

Martian: A Novel / Andy Weir

Call number: FIC WEI

During a deadly sandstorm on the red planet, the crew of a groundbreaking mission to Mars is forced to evacuate. In the chaos, botanist and mechanical engineer Mark Watney is struck by flying debris. Left for dead on a barren wasteland of a planet, Watney battles to survive despite impossible odds. Though bodily concerns, like his dwindling food supply, could easily end him, the soul-crushing loneliness of deep space is just as brutal a foe. But Weir gives his protagonist a sharp sense of humor, as crucial as anything else in his fight for survival, and key to keeping the reader fully locked in. This science-powered thriller is a page-turner of the highest order. See all of the Best Fiction Books of 2014. (From B&N)

The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy / Douglas Adams

Call number: FIC ADA

It’s safe to say that The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is one of the funniest science fiction novels ever written. Adams spoofs many core science fiction tropes: space travel, aliens, interstellar war–stripping away all sense of wonder and repainting them as commonplace, even silly.
This omnibus edition begins with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, in which Arthur Dent is introduced to the galaxy at large when he is rescued by an alien friend seconds before Earth’s destruction. Then in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Arthur and his new friends travel to the end of time and discover the true reason for Earth’s existence. In Life, the Universe, and Everything, the gang goes on a mission to save the entire universe. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish recounts how Arthur finds true love and “God’s Final Message to His Creation.” Finally, Mostly Harmless is the story of Arthur’s continuing search for home, in which he instead encounters his estranged daughter, who is on her own quest. There’s also a bonus short story, “Young Zaphod Plays It Safe,” more of a vignette than a full story, which wraps up this completist’s package of the Don’t Panic chronicles. As the series progresses, its wackier elements diminish, but the satire of human life and foibles is ever present. (From Amazon)