Book Review: The Science of Star Wars by Mark Brake and Jon Chase

The Science of Star Wars: The Scientific Facts Behind the Force, Space Travel, and More! by [Mark Brake, Jon Chase]

I would heartily recommend this book to other closet scientists like myself.

It looks at 50 topics and tries to explain in real-life terms whether these things could happen. Is The Force real? How much would it cost to build a Death Star? Could a single blast from the Death Star destroy the earth? Can you build a light saber? And many more.

Mark Brake developed the world’s first science and science fiction degree in 1999. He also launched the world’s first astrobiology degree in 2005.

If you have advanced training in the sciences, this book may not be detailed enough for you. But the book is written in a way that I understood it while I was reading it. It was fun and thought provoking at the same time.

May The Force Be With You!!

How Are You?

While isolating ourselves for the remainder of the semester, wellness may be demanding priority in your daily routine. Among the many national observances that the library will be recognizing this month, Stress Awareness Month is particularly relevant. Home life can sometimes compound stress. Whether or not we now have time for ourselves, take time for yourself.

Here are three eBooks available to Ivy Tech students and faculty that may provide some ways of mitigating stress:

The Mindful Twenty-Something
The Age of Overwhelm
Inhale, Exhale, Repeat

More specific to the challenges we face from the ongoing pandemic, you may have noticed a number of emails from the college itself. Included were references to Ivy Tech programs like IvyCares and IvyAssist, which assist students in connecting with critical social services or other vital community resources.

HelpGuide has produced an incredibly comprehensive guide to help cope with pandemic related stress: Coronavirus Anxiety: Coping with Stress, Fear, and Uncertainty. It not only shares sound advice to help manage mental wellness but also includes crisis numbers.

Be well.

Book Review: The Outsider by Stephen King

This book is classic Stephen King. The premise is: “Can a person be 2 places at once?” WARNING: The book starts with a brutal, graphic murder of a young boy. If you can get through the first chapter you should be okay. A man who witnesses place at the murder, suddenly has credible witnesses that place him miles away. The race is on to find the killer. The tension builds, the bodies stack up, and the horror begins.

My only complaint is I think the book would be better if the editor had chopped out 50 pages. This is a long book and at times can drag. But given that, if you like Stephen King, I think you will like this book.

Book Review: Earth as it is by Jan Maher

“This was the burden Charlie Bader was unable to lay down: his need for softness.” In one quiet sentence, Jan Maher captures the heart of Earth As It Is, a richly layered novel about one person’s journey across time, place, and gender to find softness, community, and love.

In the hands of a lesser writer, a novel about a cross-dressing man living as a woman could become shallow and sensationalist, but not in Maher’s. Maher’s understanding and empathy for the honest complexity of individuals is a gift both to her characters and her readers.

Maher constructs her novel in such a way so that when Charlie Bader moves to Heaven, Indiana, as Charlene, readers know Charlie’s history but Heaven’s residents do not. To them, Charlene is just Charlene, the hairdresser who shampoos, cuts, and perms the hair of Heaven’s women even as she hears and holds in confidence their stories and secrets. Charlene is a woman to be trusted, and so they do, to the benefit of the whole community.

Earth As It Is reminds readers that Earth truly is as it is, woven through with heartache, longing, secrets, love, sacred trust, softness, and a desire to be in every moment one’s best and truest self.

Ink Cloud

While we all adjust to the uninvited consequences of the pandemic, please consider investing time in your creativity. Few explorations are more transformative and empowering than cultivating your art.

Submissions for the 2020 Ink Cloud publication will remain open until April 19th. Please share your original poetry with us. Original artwork for the magazine’s cover remains just as welcome.

Contingent on student and staff interest and time, the Ink Cloud Open Mic is still possible, but the venue would be moved online. Expect those specifics mid-April. In the meantime, stay safe and create.

Details: library.ivytech.edu/inkcloud
Questions or suggestions: rwierbiki@ivytech.edu

Scribd is providing free access to popular Ebooks and periodicals

Scribd is a subscription ebook and audiobook service. For one month staring March 17th to April 17th, they are providing free access to their collections for any new customer. Access will end; you will not be automatically enrolled. We have tried this free service and recommend it. We were required to download a free app on our mobile phone to use the service.

Reading a ripping yarn is a great way to relax during these stressful times. You will find many of the same titles in the Scribd ebook collection as we have in our current Baker & Taylor print collection. The Scribd collection also includes the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The Atlantic, and other titles useful for course work assignments. (We have access to these titles in our databases, with various embargo periods.)

Here is the link to sign up: https://www.scribd.com/readfree?utm_source=readfree