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Posts Tagged ‘Summer’


The Sting of the Wild : the Story of the Man who got Stung for Science

by Maeve Clark on June 30th, 2016
The Sting of the Wild : the Story of the Man who got Stung for Science Cover Image

Ouch, ouch, ouch! That hurts, that really really hurts!  Do you want to know why stings and bites hurt and why some insect stings are worse than others?  Then look no further than “The Sting of the Wild”. Schmidt, the “the King of the Sting” and”the Connoisseur of Pain”,  is an entomologist at  Southwestern Biological Institute and is affiliated with the Department of Entomology at the University of Arizona and he has written a bitingly good book about insects that inflict pain.  I am attractive to flying insects; mosquitoes, gnats, and black flies – all those annoying little creatures of the air, so I was very interested in why me and not others.  Mosquitoes are attracted to certain blood types more than others, those with Type O being bitten the most frequently.  If you want to know what other factors make a mosquito pick you or ignore you, you’ll have to read the book.

His research area of expertise is insect venom and he is the creator of the Schmidt Sting Pain Index.   The Schmidt sting pain index is a 5yellowjacket1-point pain scale, numbered from 0 to 4. An insect that can’t penetrate human skin ranks 0. The most painful stings rank 4 on the index.  I guess five must be death, which is possible with a sting.  Schmidt includes his pain scale as an appendix and it’s fascinating and funny, truly funny.  He gives the name, the range, the description and the pain level of each stinging insect.  There is only one level 4 in North America – the tarantula hawk, but there are many lower pain level insects.  But don’t think it is a tiny tingle if the level is lower, it’s not.  His descriptions read like entries in the “Wine Enthusiast” – Western yellow jacket – Pain Level 2 – Hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine W.C. Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue.  Honey wasp – Pain Level 2 – Spice, blistering. A cotton swab dipped in habanero sauce has been pushed up your nose.

And get this, he based his pain index on experimentation with himself as the subject.    I have been stung by a paper wasp before and it is excrutiatingly painful.  I cannot imagine inflicting all of that agony on myself, but I am glad he was curious and strong enough to do it.  He was interviewed recently on Science Friday and he is in funny in person as he is in writing.

Summer Reading Suggestions AKA Books I’d Like to Read Again

by Kara Logsden on June 8th, 2016
Summer Reading Suggestions AKA Books I’d Like to Read Again Cover Image

Summer is here and for me that means time for reading and relaxation. At the Help Desk our patrons often ask, “What have you read recently that you really liked?” I love these questions because it helps me think about books and why I liked them. I thought I’d share my recent list in case you are looking for a good book for your relaxing summer reading.

I also discovered there’s a new name for one of my favorite genres: Biographical Fiction. I’ve always thought of these books as “Historical Fiction” but recently I’ve been seeing the term “Biographic Fiction” more and it makes sense. These are books with stories based on real people, but often the dialogue and other details are created by the author to move the story. Melanie Benjamin includes an interesting commentary about how she approaches writing Biographical Fiction in the Author’s Note at the end of The Swans of Fifth Avenue.

Read the rest of this entry »

Summer Library Bus

by Kara Logsden on May 2nd, 2016

Do you have a Library Card? Are you ready for summer? Why do I ask?

The Summer 2013 Summer Library BusLibrary Bus program at the Iowa City Public Library kicks off on Thursday May 26th.

An Iowa City Public Library card is a child’s ticket to ride an Iowa City Transit bus FREE this summer. The Library will provide free bus rides to children through 12th grade, and the adult caregivers who are with them, on any Iowa City Transit bus route, from the day after Iowa City Schools dismiss (Thursday May 26th) until the day before school starts (Tuesday August 23), on weekdays between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm.

Bus riders should show their Iowa City Public Library card to the bus driver to gain free access to the bus.

More information about riding the bus to the Library is available at this link: icpl.org/hours-location/ride/

Information about applying for a Library Card is available at: icpl.org/cards

Three cheers for SUMMER and the SUMMER LIBRARY BUS! We’ll see you at the Library!

Flowers, Flowers Everywhere

by Shawna Riggins on September 1st, 2015

Of course I love to stock up on fresh produce at the Farmers Market, but there are many other parts of the Market that I get excited about. Lately I have been enjoying the beautiful fresh cut flowers available in several stalls. Half the fun is taking the time to build a personalized arrangement. Then you get to bring them home and admire their beauty and scent in your house all week. I love the variSunflowersety that is available at the market as well as knowing that they were grown locally and cut individually. If you don’t have a yard of blooming flowers, this is a great way to enjoy nature. Even if you do have your own yard and flowers, you may not necessarily want to cut them down. Stop by this weekend and build your own bouquet. Looking for guidance as you set out to make your extra special centerpiece? Check out some of our helpful books. Be sure to share a photo with us, we’d love to see your creations!

Why I love Wednesdays in the Summer

by Maeve Clark on June 23rd, 2015
Why I love Wednesdays in the Summer Cover Image

I love Wednesdays in the summer because I know that when I get off work I can walk a little more than one block to the Farmers Market and find the garden of earthly eating delights.  I will not have to make dinner, not that I make dinner much anyway, (though I must confess that I love to read cookbooks and I do very much enjoy when others use cookbooks and share their delicious dishes with me, I just cannot get enthused about cooking).  Early in the market season I rely on the vendors who make food ready for me to consume on the spot.  Nothing requires a plate and can I pair my handheld tasty meal with a beverage made fresh at the market too.  There is always music playing, with chairs set up or a table if one might have purchased several items for dinner.

As the season progresses more and more vegetable are available.  And with vegetables like tomatoes and cumbers and basil I can make a pretty mean sandwich.  In fact, I think I excel at sandwich making.  But not everyone does, and if you are looking for help in the sandwich making area, the library is here for you.  In fact we have 25 books on how to make sandwiches. In The big summer cookbook : 300 fresh, flavorful recipes for those lazy, hazy days by Jeff Cox devotes a chapter to farmers market picks.  I would be willing, however, to offer a free tutorial.  And once you have your sandwich, (chock full of veggies so you don’t need a salad) and a beverage and maybe a dessert or two – you are ready to do one of my other favorite summer activities – picnic.  And guess what?  Yep, the library has books on how to picnic too.  saul

 

Happy National Iced Tea Day!

by Maeve Clark on June 10th, 2015

copy-of-iced-teasIt’s hot, it’s humid, it’s time for an iced tea. According to an  NPR story on the history of iced tea, the Tea Association of the U.S.A states that 85 percent of all tea consumed in the United States today is sipped cold.  Iced tea’s history is a fascinating one.  It was often the base of a punch, a punch with a punch, so to speak.  Recipes for tea punch date back to Colonial times, although the icing of tea was a thing in the Northern United States it wasn’t possible in the South until the turn of the 19th century when New Englanders began shipping ice.

The Iowa City Cook Book, 1898 published by the Ladies of the Christian Church, has a recipe for tea punch, (without the alcoholic punch, they were church ladies, after all).  It’s looks delicious and one could, if one so wanted, add a little extra kick.  The Iowa City Public Library also has a number of books on tea; how to make it, how to grow it and how to have a party with tea.

tea punch

Way Cool Chemistry Dates Announced

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on June 3rd, 2015

Way Cool Chemistry, a program designed to make chemistry accessible and fun for fifth- through eighth-grade students, returns to the Iowa City Public Library this summer.

Students interested in chemistry will have the opportunity to participate in hands-on demonstrations and experiments from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 20, and Saturday, Aug. 1.

Both programs will be held in Meeting Room A. Pre-registration is not required.

For more information, contact the Library at (319) 356-5200.

Summer Food Rocks! Program

by Kara Logsden on June 3rd, 2015

It’s summer and for many this means relaxed days, vacations, and no school. For others this means long days, no school breakfast or lunch, and being hungry. Fortunately our community has a Summer Food Rocks! program. From June 15th through July 30th on Mondays through Thursdays, breakfast and lunch are served at Fairmeadows Park and the Pheasant Ridge Neighborhood Center.

Summer Food Rocks! is open to all children 18 and younger. There is no enrollment and no cost. Breakfast is served 9-9:30 AM and lunch is served Noon-12:45 PM.

Here’s a link to more information: 2015 SummerMeals_flyer_2015

Feel free to print this PDF and post it where students might find it. If you know a student who could benefit from this program, please pass along the information.

For more information, contact Alison Demory, RD/LD, Director of Nutrition Services, Iowa City Community School District, 688-1021.

Three cheers for summer!

ICPL Announces Monday Matinee Lineup

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on June 2nd, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library will kick off its Monday Matinee series Monday, June 8, with Disney Pixar’s The Incredibles.

Join us every Monday at 2 p.m. in the Storytime Room for a screening of some of our favorite family movies.

June 8: The Incredibles

Undercover superhero family, the Parrs, are trying to live quietly until they are forced to don their masks again to try to save the world.

June 15: How to Train Your Dragon

Aspiring dragon hunter Hiccup discovers that there may be more to dragons than his clan thinks.

June 22: Shrek

When his swamp fills with magical creatures, Shrek the Ogre agrees to rescue a princess for the king. In return his swamp will be emptied of creatures.

June 29: Kung Fu Panda

Po the Panda dreams of being a master of Kung Fu while working in his parents’ noodle shop. When he is chosen to fulfill an ancient prophecy despite having no martial arts experience, Po is forced to try to make his dreams a reality.

July 6: Brave

Princess Merida, determined to make her own path, defies a custom, creating chaos in her kingdom.

July 13: Wreck-It Ralph

Videogameland villian Weck-It Ralph aspires to be the hero of his game.

July 20: WALL-E

In the distant future a small garbage compacting robot, WALL-E, inadvertently sets out on a space adventure that will change the fate of the human race.

July 27: Mulan

To save her father from being drafted into the Chinese army, Mulan takes his place and becomes one of China’s most celebrated heroines.

Monday Matinee is a free event for children of all ages. For more information, call the Library at (319) 356-5200.

ICPL Announces Totally Tweens Summer Lineup

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on May 26th, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library’s Totally Tweens program has an exciting lineup of activities and programs for students in third through sixth grades as part of the Every Hero Has a Story Summer Reading Program.

Totally Tweens will meet at 2 p.m. every Tuesday in June and July, beginning June 9, in the Storytime Room, unless otherwise noted.

June 9: Literary LEGOs

Start the summer by using LEGOs to recreate scenes from your favorite books, then show off your creations in the Children’s Room display case.

June 16: Ready, Set, Draw! With Leo Kelly

What is a story? What makes a good character? Join Leo Kelly and find out how drawing can bring your heroes to life.

June 23: Marvelous Marbling

Try your hand at something new: paper marbling. Swishes of color and patterns combine to create unique works of art.

June 30: Weather Academy with Justin Gehrts

Join special guest Justin Gehrts, a meteorologist with the KCRG-TV9 Storm Team, for some fun experiments to learn how weather works and how to stay safe in storms.

July 7: Spy School

Do you have what it takes to be a spy? Join us for an hour of avoiding detection and secret messages.

July 14: Movie and Popcorn

Join us for a screening of Despicable Me 2. Watch as Gru tries to be a hero instead of a villain. We’ll provide the popcorn.

July 21: Explore Electronics

Learn how circuits work and make simple robots using littleBits, magnetic modules with no risk for electrocution.

July 28: Game Time

Tired of playing the same old games? Come and create your own using pieces from old games or ones you make yourself.

We will end the summer with a Totally Tweens Movie and Lock-In from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 31, in Meeting Room A. We’ll have games, crafts, snacks and a movie for our tween Summer Reading Program participants.

In addition to our Tuesday Totally Tweens events, Tween Minecraft Time will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. and 3 to 4 p.m. Friday, June 12, and Friday, July 17. Registration is required for Tween Minecraft Time. You can register online at calendar.icpl.org by clicking on the date of the event you wish to attend. Each participant may only register for one time slot.

Tweens should have a Minecraft account to play in multiplayer mode. Players without an account may use a library account, but these are limited and first come first serve. Otherwise players without an account may still play in single player mode.

The Iowa City Public Library Summer Reading Program will be held June 1 through Aug. 9; registration begins May 18. Patrons can either register in-person at the Library or online at srp.icpl.org.

For more information about Totally Tweens, call the Library at (319) 356-5200.




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