Posted by Trixie on 11.15.13

We’re celebrating WHOvember all month long in the Hub!
 

If you missed last week’s Sonic Screwdriver program, here are the instructions so you can DIY!
 
What you need:
From the dollar store, a package of 3 highlighters, an LED clip-on reading light, and black electrical tape. You’ll also need paint, markers, or colored tape to color your finished Sonic Screwdriver.
Tools: utility knife or something to cut plastic with and pliers.
 
 
 
 
1. Choose which highlighter you would like as the main portion of your Sonic Screwdriver. Remove inky bits from this highlighter.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2. Next, you’ll prepare the three highlighter caps for the project. Choose which cap you would like for the light-up end of your Sonic Screwdriver and set it aside. Cut off the tips of the other two caps.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3. Use tape to connect the cap you set aside and one of the other caps.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4. Inventory your parts: you should have the pieces pictured on the left. Now, you’re ready to add the LED to your Sonic Screwdriver.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5. Carefully, insert LED through the marker top. You will need to use pliers to widen the opening. Connect the piece with the taped together marker caps and continue to feed the LED through.
 
6. Add the remaining cap to the end of the marker.
 
 
 
7. Finally, use paint, Sharpies, and/or duct and electrical tape to put the finishing touches on your Sonic Screwdriver.
 
8. Now, get out there and foil some sinister plots!
 
Project adapted from sparknotes.
 
 
DIY, fandom, program




Posted by Trixie on 10.30.13

Last Friday we gathered in the Hub to construct freaky, mutant toys. Using old toys, needle & thread, LEDs, duct tape, and anything else we could find, we took apart and fashioned toys Dr. Frankenstein would be proud of! A few of the teens brought their critters to life as marionettes.
 
Browse the pictures to see some of the creepy creations the teens came up with!
 
DIY, program, sciencey




Posted by Trixie on 10.17.13

This week I did a database presentation for District 25's Young Entrepreneurs Academy. I showed them how to access library databases, gave them some  tips on searching databases and the web, and went over evaluating online sources.
 
Well, I'm sure that EVERYONE can use some research help. Here are some of the tips I gave in the presentation and the handout.
 
Of course, you can always come into the Hub for help, email, Tweet, or Facebook message us too!
 
 
Search Strategies:
• Boolean Searching: Use operators to narrow or broaden your search. AND and NOT will narrow your search. OR will broaden your search. Quotation marks will search for a specific string of words (e.g. “moving truck”)
• Use the database's built-in filters to drill down to the most relevant search results.
• Read summary or abstract to determine whether an article will be useful. It will save you time!
• Want to cite an article? Check to see if there is a built-in citation generator on the webpage. If not, Purdue's Online Writing Lab has APA, MLA, and Turabian style guides.
• Searching the web? Evaluate your sources! Use the CRAAP or SMELL test.
 
 
Reference & Information sign
Photo Credit: olinlibref
study skills




Posted by Trixie on 09.26.13

The shelves were packed close together, and it felt like I was standing at the border of a forest – not a friendly California forest, either, but an old Transylvanian forest, a forest full of wolves and witches and dagger-wielding bandits all waiting just beyond moonlight’s reach. There were ladders that clung to the shelves and rolled side to side. Usually those seem charming, but here, stretching up in to the gloom, they were ominous. They whispered rumors of accidents in the dark.

Clay Jannon is an unemployed marketer and web designer. His days are spent surfing the web unsuccessfully obtaining employment. That is until he comes across Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore a narrow, vertigo-inspiring bookstore packed with books on its skyscraper shelves. Mr. Penumbra hires the new night clerk on the spot. Clay didn’t know that the course of his life would change that afternoon. It only takes him a couple of days to notice peculiarities with the business and its clientele. Clay and his new love interest Kat delve into the world of a 500 year old secret society called the Unbroken Spine.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore explores the tension between new technology and old, digital versus print, working out a problem longhand instead of relying on computer assistance. Clay, his friends, and Google through employee Kat try to help Mr. Penumbra solve an age-old mystery using modern technology. Robin Sloan cleverly weaves fantasy and reality to construct an adventure tale that engages readers and makes them cheer for the ragtag bunch of codebreakers. Throughout the novel, Clay calls upon his friends, actual and virtual, to help him uncover the treasure coveted by the Unbroken Spine for centuries. This is a quick read, definitely worth checking out…AND the cover glows in the dark!




Posted by Trixie on 09.19.13

 
Last Saturday, we welcomed Engineering Technology instructors from Triton College for an underwater robotics program. With the help of teen mentors that participate in the FIRST robotics programs, attendees worked in teams to design, build, program, and operate their waterbots.
 
First, we started with a brief discussion of automation and how robots assist people in industry and research. Next, we designed and built waterbots. Before getting started with programming the bots, we talked about the steps for making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The best instructions had over 30 steps! This taught attendees the importance of clear instructions and constructing if-then statements for programming their bots. Next, the teens programmed their bots. Finally, we watched each bot complete a figure 8 in a tub of water.
 
Check out photos from the program below! If you’d like to learn more about these types of programs, come to the Hub!
 
 
 




Posted by Trixie on 09.08.13

You know how Tony Stark uses a cool, holographic computer to manipulate 3D models in the Iron Man trilogy and The Avengers? Well, the real-life "Tony Stark" was inspired by the movie and actually invented modeling software and an interface that allows a user to do that and more!
 
Billionaire Elon Musk, the inspiration for Iron Man's alter ego Tony Stark and SpaceX CEO, unveiled video of this technology, what Musk calls immersive virtual reality, a couple of days ago. Watch the video below to see a rocket part 3D modeled using a holograph and hand gestures. Then see it 3D printed in titanium! Pretty cool, huh? Now, someone just needs to invent a Garbo Mansion à la Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series complete with talking and clothes producing walls...sans The Surge and Specials of course!
 
(Source: Venture Beat)
 




Posted by Trixie on 08.30.13

Last month I shared a short story written by Silvio, an avid teen writer and a Hub regular. well, it's time for another installment of Made in the Hub! This month I'm sharing the continuation of Silvio's short story "Brother and Sister." There's an excerpt below and the full text can be found online. Of course, you can always come to the Hub to read it too!
 
If you're interested in having your work featured in the Hub, stop in to chat!
 
Julia walked the city for miles and miles more, yet neither travel nor time unending quenched her tears or ceased her fears, yet she walked till she reached the sea, and then traversed the shore.

Young children played with sand as the sentinel sun shined upon them. Their parents leisurely basked in the light, reading and passively talking as time flowed in a constant stream that met the sea.

Most interesting to her were the young couples leisurely dancing in the waves. They appeared so free, careless of their nakedness, without any shame or pride. It seemed so natural, so familiar to her.
For a moment she thought of coming to the beach with Maria, yet the thought was quickly turned away. There would be too much scandal in that. She thought to herself.

Soon she passed the beach and came to upon the grand open gardens. While surrounded by evergreens her mind became calm yet her worries did not depart. Julia slowly lowered herself under the tree canopy, laying on the ground and not caring about her dress anymore.

Again she began to shed tears and softly cry. The wind rustled the leaves and the grass, like an invisible animal of massive bulk that rubbed its pelt upon all that it encountered. The warm salty blow of sea air hurt her already reddened eyes, like fire upon exposed flesh, forcing them to firmly shut. I taunted her, it made this all seem like a game, as if the wind had any better to do than play games and fight. Yet she ignored its rustling noise and its animal touch.
 




Posted by Trixie on 08.24.13

Now here is an oddity. A question for the zombie philosophers. What does it mean that my past is a fog but my present is brilliant, bursting with sound and color? Since I became Dead I’ve recorded new memories with the fidelity of an old cassette desk, faint and muffled and ultimately forgettable. But I can recall every hour of the last few days in vivid detail, and the thought of losing a single one horrifies me. Where am I getting this focus? This clarity? I can trace a solid line from the moment I met Julie all the way to now, lying next to her in this sepulchral bedroom, and despite the millions of past moments I’ve lost or tossed away like highway trash, I know with a lockjawed certainty I’ll remember this one for the rest of my life.

 
 
In Issac Marion’s Warm Bodies, readers follow R, zombie protagonist, through a post-apocalyptic, American city. R suffers from the usual characteristics associated with zombies: his body is rotting away; he likes to dine on humans, particularly their brains; he has no memory, no identity. However, unlike the zombie archetype, R longs for something more than brains. He is pensive and looking for a deeper existence for his recently converted zombie persona. Enter Julie a tough, fun-loving human trying to survive and make the best of the dystopia that has become her reality. Together, they explore and exercise their existential beliefs. Overcoming trials and tribulations, they work together to precipitate change and hopefully, save the world.

Warm Bodies is a hilarious retelling of the classic Romeo and Juliet love story. R(omeo) is an endearing, likeable character. His narration, which is mostly through thoughts since his zombie speaking skills are lacking, is genuine and poignant. Readers get an honest view of what's on his mind, his feelings of loss and longing. Julie(t), daughter of the general  tasked with keeping the living safe from zombies, serves as a perfect foil. She is fearless, not afraid to speak her mind and even challenges her father when they disagree. Marion tells an unlikely zombie tale, one where the “happy ending” doesn’t involve extermination of the undead. If you’re looking for a heartwarming book, creative/unique zombie tale, or enjoy classic retellings, this book is for you!




Posted by Trixie on 08.08.13

Yesterday, the Hub welcomed local author Leslie Stella for a discussion on writing and her new young adult (YA) book Permanent Record. Leslie, an Ohio native that currently lives in the Chicago-area, has written three adult novels and recently published her first YA novel. Permanent Record, set in Chicago, follows teenage, Iranian-American Badi/Bud through his transition to a new high school. Want to learn more about the book? We have copies that you can check out or read a couple of staff reviews: Trixie’s & Joe's.
 
Leslie read from the novel (“A live eBook!” one of the teens exclaimed) and answered attendees’ specific questions about it. We had a lively discussion related to the some of the major themes of the novel: racism, coping with anxiety, and friendship. We also got to pick Leslie’s brain about inspiration for her novels and writing process. Keep an eye on her Twitter feed for her Permanent Record “soundtrack.”
 
Her best piece of advice for an aspiring writer (paraphrased): Write the story that you want to read, not what you think others want to read. Chances are that if you love it, there are other people out there that will love it too.
 
Tessa & Leslie and Tessa's autograph from Leslie
 
Leslie was also a founding editor of Lumpen a counterculture magazine that is based in Chicago. After the discussion, Leslie talked to us about zines as well as zine-making and distributing. We spent the rest of the program making our own zines!
 
My zine, Sights & Sounds for a Golden Glow, a work in progress!
 
Want to learn more about zines or make your own? Come to the Hub! We have all of the supplies and even have some of the goodies left over from the program so you can take home a zine from Quimby’s!
 
Goodies Leslie brought for the program!
 
If you can’t get enough of Leslie’s writing, check out The Easy Hour. She suggested this title for teens interested in reading more of her work.




Posted by Trixie on 08.01.13

 
During the month of July, we held a photo scavenger hunt so we could see how you've been spending the summer. In a nutshell, we provided ten prompts for you to creatively interpret and share with us! Without further ado, here are the winners. All of them posted to Instagram so you can check out their photography and follow them if you like what you see!
 
Congratulations to all of our winners and thank you for sharing your photos! Come into the Hub to claim your prize.
 
diana7198 - Something that reflects
 
 
jessica61098 - Hanging upside down
 
 
graceful_photography - A race or racetrack
 
 
carols_photos - A race or racetrack (video interpretation)