Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Seven Seconds of Terror for NASA

Early Monday morning, August 6th NASA will experience what it has been calling seven seconds of terror. That is when the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity lands on Mars. Curiosity is the latest in the Mars Rover series of vehicles and is the largest rover to be landed to date. Curiosity was launched on November 26, 2011 and will land at 12:31 am Central Daylight Time on August 6, 2012. Now you may be thinking big deal they are landing an unmanned vehicle on Mars.

Well the big deal is that it will approach Mars at about 13,000 mph; then comes the guided entry and deceleration with small rockets to about 1,000 mph; at 900mph a 100 pound parachute, that must withstand 65,000 pounds of force deploys; at 370 mph the heat shield separates, if this does not happen then the radar altimeters and cameras do not work; then comes a powered decent to about 70 mph, at 2 mph a sky crane will lower Curiosity to the Martin surface, at 0 mph from a height of 25 feet, then explosives cut the cables and the descent stage which flies away to crash landing away from Curiosity. At about 2 minutes before touchdown Curiosity's cameras will begin taking photographs at the rate of 5 frames per second.

Now for the seven minutes of terror. From the time Curiosity enters the Martin atmosphere it will take seven minutes for it to touchdown. Because of the distance that Mars is from Earth it takes 14 minutes for a radio signal from Mars to reach Earth. So when the signal is received on Earth that Curiosity has entered the Martin atmosphere it will have been on the surface for seven minutes and Curiosity will either be exploring or a pile of scrap on the Martin surface. As you can tell there are many things that can go wrong with this mission. I know I plan to be watching to hopefully see the first pictures of a spacecraft actually landing on another planet. NASA TV will have coverage as will www.nasa.gov .

For a NASA video of the Seven Minutes of Terror see:

For more information on Curiosity see: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/msl_landing.cfm

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Dr. Grant Heads Tour to Europe
50 years ago – the summer of 1962 – Dr. O.A. Grant, along with other Tarleton faculty members Miss Lee Edwin Terry, and Mrs. Virginia Yearwood took a group of students from colleges all over Texas and other states, on a 66 day tour of Europe!  Dr. Grant arranged for the trip in association with the Universal Travel Service.
According to the September 25, 1962 JTAC, the purpose of the tour was to provide an academic, relatively inexpensive trip to Europe.  Travelers included Tarleton student Dan Roberts, Stephenville students John Yearwood and Harry Bradley, and students from UT, SMU, LSU, OSU, and Kansas – bringing the total to 45 students!
The group sailed from Montreal on the Cariatlin and first stopped in Greenich, Scotland.  They visited England, Scotland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, and France!
In England the group attended The Taming of the Shrew at Stratford-on-Avon.  In London they went to an ascot race and Queen Elizabeth was in attendance! From England they went to Bergen, Germany.  They spent the July 4th in Heidelburg.  From there they flew into Berlin and viewed 17 miles of the Berlin Wall.  Dr. Grant stated that “this was one of the most sobering experiences of the trip – a dead silence filled the bus – the wall gave students plenty to think about”!
Next stop was the Melk monastery on the Danube River and Austrian border.  They then visited Villach, a swimming resort, Venice, Florence, and Rome.  They spent four days in Rome where they saw the grand opera Aida.  Next came Naples, Pompeii, and Capri.
The grand finale was Paris where the group spent four days and nights.  They saw the Follies, the Louvre, and other interesting historic places.  They flew home from Paris to Dallas via jet in ten hours!
What a trip!  Dr. Grant stated that “anyone interested in such a tour next summer is urged to contact him in the social sciences department”!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Job Interview Tips

Now that the summer semester is coming to a close, many of you may be graduating and seeking a job. Or you're a student and you want a part-time job while you're taking classes in the Fall.

Monster.com is a great way to find job openings plus the website provides articles on a wide variety of job related topics, such as interview help.

The following are some interview tips that can help make your interview a success:

 • Be Concise
 • Provide Examples
• Be Honest
• Keep Your Guard Up
 • Ask Great Questions

 To learn more about these tips, check out the article here.

Need a place to practice your interview or presentation?

The library has study rooms and a practice presentation room where you can prepare for your interview.

Stop by the Circulation Desk or call 254 968 1895 to book your room today.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New Year's Resolutions...it's not too late!

Did you make New Year's resolutions back in January of this year? There's still time to get back on track.

Try these tips:

1.  Evaluate your resolutions.  Be honest with yourself--is this goal a "want" or a "should"? If it's the latter, consider eliminating it.
The Piedra Del Sol, or Aztec calendar stone.
Taken with permission from morguefile.com.

2.  Get inspiration. Read our tips for making and keeping your resolutions.

3.  Be easy on yourself.  Maybe you won't write a novel  between now and December, but you can do an outline and two chapters. You'll definitely be further ahead than if you had given up.

4.  Celebrate small milestones.  When you reach part of your goal, give yourself a pat on the back, and perhaps a small, tangible reward.

5.  Be flexible.  Sometimes unexpected emergencies occur, and your priorities change.  If you have a major change in your life, such as a move or a difficult family situation, the best thing to do may be to save your resolutions for another time.

 Remember, if you need help, the library has many resources on the following (and many other) topics:

Good luck!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Thoughts for a "Healthy Brain"

Your Brain at the Library!
While finishing up Summer Courses and preparing for the upcoming Fall and Spring Semesters, we need to keep in mind the importance of a "healthy brain." It's important to feed your brain and even exercise it a bit, this will keep your brain healthy and productive. Eating the proper fruits and vegetables, getting physcial activity, and plenty of rest at night can keep you from developing diseases such as Alzheimer's or Dementia.

You can find more information on brain fitness and tips for a healthy brain from books or online resources found in the library.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Some Fun for Your Wednesday - Judging Books By Their Covers

In this blog post, Strollerderby's Sunny Chanel asked her 6-year-old daughter to look at the covers of several well-known books and guess what they're about. The results are hilarious and very creative. Jane Eyre, for example, is a miner who mines for gold, and Fahrenheit 451 stars a robot. Go check it out!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Circulated Audiobooks

Here are the audiobooks that have been checked out most frequently at the Dick Smith Library:

  1. Harry Potter series, by J. K. Rowling - five of the the seven audiobooks in this series would be in the top ten list, so in the interest of variety, I'm lumping them all together as number one.  Narrated by the incomparable Jim Dale, these are a real treat.
  2. The hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien - PZ8 .T52 HO 1997
  3. The lion, the witch and the wardrobe, by C. S. Lewis - PZ7 .L58474 LI 2000
  4. The bear and the dragon, by Tom Clancy - PS3553 .L245 .B42 2000
  5. On the street where you live, by Mary Higgins Clark - PS3553 .L287 O5 2001
  6. - a tie: I don't know how she does it: the life of Kate Reddy, working mother, by Allison Pearson - PR6116 .E17 I2 2002,
    Guns, germs, and steel: the fates of human societies, by Jared Diamond - HM206 .D48 1999,
    and Standing in the rainbow, by Fannie Flagg - PS3556 .L26 S73 2002
  7. - another tie: Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis - BT77 .L348 2000,
  8. and The secret life of bees, by Sue Monk Kidd - PS3561 .I44 S38 2001
  9. Shopgirl, by Steve Martin - PS3563 .A7293 S56,
  10. - yet another tie: Murder can spoil your appetite, by Selma Eichler - PS3555 .I226 M83 2001,
    The Da Vinci code, by Dan Brown - PS3552 .R685434 D3 2003B,
    and Who moved my cheese? by Spencer Johnson - BF637 .C4 J64 1998
  11. - still another tie: Night, by Elie Wiesel - D810.J4 W5211 2000,
    Ireland, by Frank Delaney - PR6054 .E396 2005,
    From the mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E. L. Konigsburg - PZ7.K8352 FR 1995,
    The fourth hand, by John Irving - PS3559 .R8 F68 2001,
    and Junie B. Jones CD edition, Books 1-8, by Barbara Park - PZ7 .P2197 J86 2003
You can find these on the lower level of the library, in the AV section to the right as you exit the stairs or elevator.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Films on Demand

Like to watch videos?  The library has a new resource for you - Films on Demand.

It covers all kinds of subjects from anthropology to world languages. 

You can embed the videos in presentations, web pages, and much more!  Take a look.

This is video about college graduates and jobs:

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

The Pizza Place
Did you know that the nationally famous Mr Gatti’s Pizza originated in Stephenville?  My first year as a freshman at Tarleton was in 1966/67.  As a commuter, my friends and I often ate at the Yucca Hut!  It was a very small building located at the corner of Washington and Lillian where the large parking lot is now.  It wasn’t on the very corner, but down a tad toward the Dairy Queen.
Jim and Pat Eure opened the Yucca Hut in 1967, as shown by the ad in the 1967 Grassburr.  It was so successful that they had to close almost immediately and build next door to the west.  They named the new restaurant The Pizza Place – which was located just east of the present Dairy Queen.  The photo above is from the 1968 Grassburr and shows the inside of the “new” Pizza Place!  It was complete with an old upright piano, and they even showed movies sometimes!
The Eure’s sold the original business and leased the property to R.H. Blanks – for several years the little building was a donut shop!  It was torn down, possibly close to the time that Safeway built on that corner!
After building the Pizza Place, Jim and Pat Eure went to Austin and built Pizza Places all over Central Texas!  Pat Eure’s maiden name was Gatti and they soon changed the name to Mr. Gatti’s  -  which became a national chain with over 300 restaurants!
Back to our own Pizza Place………Dave Dickerson, who owns our Pizza Place, worked in the original Pizza Place when he was a Tarleton student.  He was one of the original crew trained by the Eures.  The food is still the same as it was when I was a Tarleton student……….lunch specials….subs….pizza….spaghetti!!
Colonel & Mrs. Eure put a large congratulatory note in the February 19, 1984 Stephenville Empire Tribune to Dave and Sherry Dickerson for reopening the Pizza Place!  This was after closing and extensively remodeling the building by the Dairy Queen, and where our parking lot is now located.  Jim and Pat Eure also congratulated the people of Stephenville for helping make The Pizza Place and  Mr Gatti’s a success!  “The people of Stephenville can take some pride in the fact that they put the stamp of approval on a product that is enjoying national flavor”!  By 2002 our Pizza Place had rebuilt in its current location on Harbin Drive and our Tarleton parking lot expanded the rest of the way to the Dairy Queen!
So next time you eat at a Mr Gatti’s you will know that it all began in Stephenville – with lots of Tarleton students as customers – AND – it is still here – The Pizza Place!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tips & Tools for Language Learning

With international travel, study abroad opportunities, and global interactions becoming so much a part of our everyday lives, wanting to learn another language seems to be high on many people's "wish I had the time to" lists.

Unfortunately, finding the time always seems problematic.

Whether it's the scheduling constraints created by summer school, work duties that seem to increase at alarming rates, or family responsibilities, there is rarely enough time to accomplish all we have to do -- much less things we'd like to do.
Well, the recent "How I Learned a Language in 90 Days" post by Maneesh Sethi, founder of Hack the System, may be just what we've needed to help us mark off at least one wish list item: learn another language.

Sethi's post discusses the benefits of bilingualism and why many language learning attempts don't succeed.  Then, the post explains
  • a strategy for rapid language learning,
  • resources needed to learn a language, and
  • a 90-day plan for learning a language.
Now may be the perfect time to start. Read Sethi's post at Lifehacker.

If you don't have a language in mind and/or would like additional language learning assistance, check out the library's Mango Languages database.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tonya's Top Ten Bike Rides in Texas

I decided to go along with one of the themes in our library display cases. There are four different themes for July but the one that I am most excited about is the bike riding display. For years my son completed ride after ride and then I decided I wanted to join him on his adventures. I am not sure he was as excited as I was but that didn't stop me from joining in.

Over the last several years, I have completed several rides and have put many more on my wish list. One thing I have noticed at all the rides are there are riders at all levels. You have those that are wanting to compete and win, those that want to beat their best time, all the way down to those that just want to finish the ride. That is what is great about riding, all fitness levels can join in and have a great time. One bit of advice, don't get in front of those that are serious riders....they don't come with great sense of humors.

Here is a list of my top ten bike rides in Texas:

1. Peach Pedal in Weatherford, TX - July 14th

2. Tour the Peanut Country on Gorman, TX - July 14th

3. Firecracker 100 in Stephenville, TX - July7th (already took place-but is an annual event)

4. Tour de Paris in Paris, TX - July 21st

5. The Goatneck in Cleburne, TX - July 28th

6. Hotter'n Hell Hundred in Wichita Falls, TX - August 25th (my dream is to complete this one)

7. Cowtown Classic in Fort Worth, TX - September 8th

8. Waco Wild West Century in Waco, TX - September 22nd

9. The Paluxy Pedal in Glen Rose, TX - October 6th (this is the one that got me hooked)

10. Tour Dallas in Dallas, TX - usually in March/April; 2013 date is not set yet

This is from the Melon Patch Tour several years ago. This has become something that our extended families have come to love to do together. It is a great tradition that I am happy to be a part of. The Melon Patch Tour is another one you should try....http://www.themelonpatchtour.com/

Monday, July 9, 2012

Keeping Your Cool This Summer

Most of know how to keep cool: wear light colors, stay hydrated, and take it easy when working outside in the heat. But how about those times when we over do it and get really hot and need to cool off quickly? Fortunately there are pulse points on the body. These are places in the body where blood vessels are close to the surface, which means you can cool your blood and your body by getting them in contact with cool water or ice. 

The best known cooling points are the back of the neck, the wrists, and your temple near the ear. Other cooling points include the inside of the elbows and knees. While this will not cool off the body entirely, it will make a big difference in how hot you feel. For more cooling points and more information on cooling see: http://tinyurl.com/7j7neut

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Are Your Eyes Playing Tricks on You or Is It Your Mind?

As you look at these words, say the color of the word aloud. Don’t say the word, but say the color of the word.

How’d you do? 

Did you say the colors of the first two rows faster than you said the rest of the rows of colors?

If so, you just demonstrated the Stroop Effect originally developed by John Ridley Stoop in 1929 in German and in 1935 in English.  The Stroop Test measures reaction time, but has also been used in a variety of ways to learn more about schizophrenia, working memory capacity, schizophrenic interference, and frontal lobe function.

If you would like to learn more about this interesting occurrence, use our New Discovery Service  and search for “Stroop effect”.  My search revealed close to 6,000 possible sources for additional information.

While the Stroop Effect is an interesting and useful tool in science and psychology, still I’m wondering what sadistic-minded person decided to create a coffee mug with the Stroop Test on it;  My brain is in too much of a sleepy haze to really handle it when I’m drinking my morning cup of coffee emblazoned with the Stroop Test!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July! 
To kick off your summer holiday, here are ten facts about the 4th of July that you may not know.

1. The Fourth of July wasn't officially declared a national holiday until 1941.

2. Not all members of the Continental Congress were in favor of making the Declaration of Independence official, but those that were were die-hard. Apparently one man rode 80 miles to Philadelphia on horseback to break a tie in support of our nation's freedom.

3. Blast! An estimated $211 million has been spent importing fireworks to the U.S. from China.

4. There is a 1 in 4 chance that one of the hot dogs or sausages you consume this weekend originated in Iowa.

5. There were approximately 2.5 million people living in the United States on July 4, 1776. Today,
there's roughly 309.6 million. Just a little bit of an increase, no?

6. The first real July 4th party was held at the White House in 1801.

7. Technically, Independence Day should be August 2, 1776. That's when a majority of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, 50 of the 56 to be exact, put pen to paper.

8. 68.3 million cases of beer are sold on Independence Day around the country.

9. Unfortunately, the Fourth of July ranks as the deadliest holiday of the year.

10. Eleven places in the United States have the word "independence" in their names. The most populous one, with more than 116,000 people) is Independence, Missouri.

You can read more about these facts here

Monday, July 2, 2012

Edible Books

 This image was taken by soundfromwayout on flickr and is licensed
through Creative Commons.
To some, the phrase "edible books" may seem like an oxymoron.  It refers to the creation of a cake which resembles, or depicts events from, a favorite book.

Interested in giving it a try? You can find plenty of inspiration online.  (Be sure to check the copyright status of images before using them).

Those with limited travel funds may want to consider the online International Edible Books Festival. This year's contest was held in March, but there is plenty of time to practice for next year.

In the meantime, what book do YOU think would make the perfect cake? Let us know in the comments below!