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)
 




Posted by Trixie on 07.23.13

On Friday, we 3D scanned, modeled, and printed portraits for 16 teens in the library's Marketplace. Don't know much about 3D printing? Basically, a digital model can be "printed" into a three-dimensional, solid object using this technology. Here's an infographic and a video that explains the process.
 
Jesse DePinto from Voxel Metric, Inc. was here to scan and 3D model the participants' heads. Check out the gallery of 3D models - you can get a 360° view of the busts that were printed!
 
 
Andrew Morrison from Workshop 88 joined us to demo his Makerbot Replicator 2 and 3D print the portraits.
 
AHML's own resident maker Chris Krueger (aka The New Hobbyist) showed off some of his prints and answered audience questions too!
 
Below is a video recap of the program. You can check out more video and photos from the program on the Digifii website.
 
DIY




Posted by Trixie on 07.18.13

If you haven't noticed, we make a lot of things in the Hub. From Shrinky Dinks to LED flashlights, you can always find a fun project to work on while you're visiting. There is even some making that you may overlook while you're here. Silvio, a regular Hub visitor, is an avid writer. Often, you can find him hanging out in the Hub typing away on a computer or writing poetry on a campfire drawing table. He uses the Hub as a place to express his creativity through writing short stories or poetry. For those that haven't read his short story "Brother and Sister" (excerpt below), come by and check it out. It is featured on the Hub cork board.
His blue eyes penetrated her with a glee of anger, frustration and remorse. As the wind uncombed his dark red hair, now turning pitch black, Roger sat loosely, positioned on the back of his chair, focusing his gaze upon her. She was a charming young woman, with a sheepish smile, long flowing black hair, smooth thin rose lips, and sea blue eyes.

Yet now she was different, her posture erect, her hands firm around the chair's back. She was returning to the formal posture of the soldier, yet even that could not appease her brother's mood.
He just kept staring at her with hawk eyes, first at her soul and then at her body. He was judge, prosecutor, and witness at the same time, but he still had wanted to meet her alone, only as her brother, not as her military and social superior.

Yet just because he had relieved the guards of their duty, the tensions were still high, and not in any sense calming down.

'You know that I know.' His eyes would say, yet he also told 'I still plan to keep this a secret.'
 
Eventually she could not stand the pressure any longer, so she sat down and awaited her brother's typhoon of anger to strike, but he was patient.

Roger would vent his anger slowly, like a poisonous snake. He would be cold, and precise and powerful. His face was already pale, his hands were fists, and he wore panoply except for his helmet.
Piqued your interest? Read more online or in the Hub.
 




Posted by Trixie on 06.16.13

 
That smile of hers had tipped me off. I'd seen it more times than you could count on an abacus, and it always meant the same thing: she had an idea, something sneaky or secret; she was up to something, and any second I'd be up to something right along with her. That's how she'd always been with me. She knew I got into trouble more often than most people got out of bed, and she usually took a minute or two to remind me all about it when we were alone. But that never stopped her from egging me on, coming up with pranks or stunts I could pull just for the hell of it, convincing me to do them.
 
 
 
 
 
Eugene “Huge” Smalls doesn’t have much going for him. He’s middle schooler whose reputation as a violent troublemaker precedes him. His teachers have written him off and even his family seems to be working against him. Except for his dear grandmother, who supported him through his tribulations and introduced him to important role models that helped shape who he is today: Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade, and of course, Sherlock Holmes. So, you may have guessed it…this is a coming-of-age, mystery novel. Set in 1980s, suburban New Jersey, Huge finds himself in the midst of investigating a mystery that seems to be getting him into more trouble than it’s worth. Just as he is getting to the bottom of it, he must decide between solving the mystery and losing his precious, teenage freedom.

Fuerst creates a credible and witty character in Huge. He taps into the volatile and impulsive psyche of a lonely, middle school outcast. Huge’s character has a distinct hard-boiled detective feel as does the tone of the novel. A black comedy and mystery with a twist, Huge explores friendship, love, family ties, and interdependence. Laugh out loud humor, a memorable protagonist, and the evocative imagery in this whodunit will engage most readers. Not one of the best books I’ve ever read, but would definitely suggest it and it’s a great summer read!

**Warning: This book contains mature themes and profanity. Suggested for readers in high school and up.**




Posted by Trixie on 06.13.13

 
We’re launching another activity in the Hub: the Take Apart Cart!

The Make It summer program is in full swing - we’ve signed up over 170 teens and some participants have already earned 2 of the 3 required stamps to be a finisher. Here’s another activity that can earn you a MAKER stamp.

An important step in making something is understanding how it works: the mechanics, the components used, design based on function, etc. A great way to learn about how something works is to thoughtfully take it apart or unmake it. Without further ado, we’d like to introduce the Hub’s Take Apart Cart: a library cart overflowing with old tech and other stuff for you to take apart and learn from! Join us in the DIY area, Monday-Friday between 2-4 p.m. The Cart, tools, and staff will be available for your unmaking needs. Learn about how a clock works or what components go into making a laptop.

What will we do with the pieces you've taken apart? You can either try to remake it or repurpose the parts to make something new. Hopefully, this has piqued your interest enough to come check out what we have for you to unmake beginning on Monday, June 17th.
DIY