Posted by alice on 03.27.14

 
2048. Not 16. Not 128. Not even 1024. But 2048. That's the number you've got to hit. That's the number you've got to work up to. That's the number that escapes my grasp! That's the number I dream about at night!
 
So...rewind...I've been playing this game called 2048. It's available in the App Store and you can even play an online clone of it here. You swipe left, right, up, and down to add the number tiles currently on your board. Only like numbers can be combined, so you've got to really work up to get the big numbers. Especially since each swipe adds a 2 or a 4 tile on the board. Also, once all the tile slots are filled, the game's over...so you've got to be really careful about where you place your tiles. It's easier to understand if you see it, so I completely recommend giving it a shot. Just be warned that this game is highly addictive!
 
I hope that one day I'll be able to get that 2048 number. *crosses fingers*
 
If you do play, what's your high score? Leave it in the comments and we'll compare!




Posted by alice on 02.28.14

Last Friday we had our first-ever Mini Teen Film Fest!
 
We had a blast gathering in the Hub to watch all the submissions of movies that were 1 minute or less. TAB, our Teen Advisory Board, was also there to judge the films and decide who would be awarded iTunes gift cards and the bragging rights that go with each winner's title.
 
Here is the list of the prize-winning categories and the films that went with them! Congrats to all the filmmakers for making this such a fun, film-filled night!
 
Audience Favorite
Emmy P. for Modern Pan
 
Here's a picture of Emmy with her iTunes gift cards. She took a photo in our Photo Booth for <3 Your Library Month!
 
Best Overall Film
Emmy P. for Modern Pan
 
Best Mini-Themed Film
Peyton M. for Unknown Army
 
Best Animated or Stop-Motion Film
Melanie T. for A Lady
 
Best Use of Special Effects
Connor D. for Sea Battle
 
Most Replay-Button Worthy
David R. for Lego Gentlemen
 
Best Live Action Video
Will G. and Kevin J. for Epic
 
 
Watch all the films we watched that night in the playlist below.
 
 




Posted by alice on 01.24.14

 
Yesterday, a group of teens joined us for a whirlwind afternoon of filmmaking.  We learned about a few ways to create interesting special effects like magically disappearing and floating objects in our hands with the help of iMovie.  We even created some Instagram videos and watched some cool ones online.  The last part of the program was spent creating stop motion videos using Stop Motion Studio Pro with Wikki Stix (our DIY Kit for the month) and Legos serving as our props.
 
 
This program, as well as our Pop-Up Video program next week are filmmaking programs to help you prepare for our Mini Teen Film Fest next month!  Learn about how to submit an entry, film categories, prizes and more about the Mini Teen Film Fest here.
 
Want to see what we made?  Check out the video of the films teens made at Mini Movie Madness below.  They're all good candidates for the Mini Teen Film Fest!
 




Posted by alice on 12.10.13

Have you ever played Mad Libs?  It's a word game that you've probably played on car trips before.  There's even an app for it that you can download here.  
 
Here's the rundown of how it works...
 
One player prompts another player to give them particular words, specifically words that fall into a part of speech.  Then you fill in these words into a story that has these specific words missing.  You don't know what the story is beforehand, and you definitely have no clue what the story will end up being until you fill in the blanks with the words you provide.
 
Still confused?  Try it out here.
 
It's a fun game that usually has a hilarious outcome!
 
So... let's go ahead and play it!
 

Teen Mad Libs

Wait.. so what's happening?
Throughout the rest of December, we'll be asking you for different words to fill out a story on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  You can answer us/provide your words in the comments on Facebook and Instagram or reply if you're using Twitter.  
 
Why is it called "Teen Mad Libs"?
We'll be filling in blanks from popular Teen/YA novels!  Maybe the fate of your favorite character will take a drastic turn, all because of a crazy word you submitted!
 
When will I be able to see the story?
On Friday of each week, we'll fill in the blanks and post the stories with some of the most hilarious outcomes.
 
Are there any rules?
There's only one rule... Watch your language: That means no swear words or words that may be offensive.  Keep it library appropriate!
 
Ummmm "Parts of Speech"?  Doesn't that mean grammar and stuff?
Why yes, yes it does mean grammar and stuff.  If you need a refresher course on your parts of speech, look below for a really crude description of the parts of speech and tenses.  If you want a more descriptive explanation, click here.
 
Noun: Person, place, or thing
Verb: An action word
Adjective: A word to describe something; modifies a noun
Adverb: Usually ends in -ly; modifies a verb and sometimes adjectives
 
Past Tense: "Walked"
Present Tense: "Walk"
Present Progressive: "Walking"
 
OK, now what?  How do I get started?
Check out our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the different words we're looking for.  Then leave your submissions in the comments or reply with them.
 
May the madness begin!
 
 
 




Posted by alice on 11.26.13

The 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who was this past Saturday.  Ladies and gents, we at The Hub had been anticipating this day for so long.  We even celebrated Doctor Who in The Hub for the entire month of November.  
 
Throughout the month, we offered different programs and DIY Kits that were Doctor Who-themed -- thus, leading us to affectionately call this entire month WHOvember.  We screen printed Tardises on shirts, totes, and swatches at the Print Your Own Tardis T-Shirt program.  We created a light-up, awesome Sonic Screwdriver at the LED Sonic Screwdriver program.  And we went into the library's Studio, recorded our voices, and used some Garageband magic to make our voices sound like Daleks at the Dalek Takeover program.
 

Two teens recording their voices in the Production Studio during the Dalek Takeover program.
 
In case you're curious about what our Dalek recordings sounded like, may your curiosity be quenched with this audio clip!
 

 
What's fun about recording your own Dalek sayings is that you can make them into ringtones, phone alerts, and you can even make your Dalek say something they would likely never say.  For example, "I love the Doctor!"  If you can't tell from the audio clip, it was a lot of fun.  Our library is full of funny teens.
 
Of course, November 23rd was the day we'd all been waiting for.  It was the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who and the BBC aired The Day of the Doctor special across the globe at the very same time.  Now you may ask, why would they do such a thing?
 
The answer:
 
No spoilers for us!  We made a day of it in The Hub and had a costume contest, ate some Doctor Who-themed treats, and played a couple of rounds of Doctor Who trivia!  Then we gathered round, screamed a little (especially when we saw 10 and 11 in the same shot), and went on a 75 minute adventure with the Doctor(s).
 
 
Alas, The Day of the Doctor has come and gone, and boy, was it EPIC!
 




Posted by alice on 11.12.13

 
I love music.  Like, I can't function correctly throughout the day if I don't listen to music.  I need it to study, I need it to write, I need it to [insert daily task here].  It's kind of important to my well-being.
 
Since the invention of apps for smart phones, I've piled loads of different music-related apps onto my phone.  Here are my top 5 right now!
 
  1. Spotify
    Play basically any song you can think of on demand! It does cost a monthly fee to use on your phone, but I like the ability of playing music wherever I am.  The good news is if you download it on your computer, you can use it for free and that's kind of awesome!
     
  2. Shazam
    Ever hear a song and just can't quite remember who sings it?  That is absolutely the worst feeling ever!  Or maybe you really like a song and want to remember to get it later.  With this app, all you have to do is press a button and your phone will listen to the song through the microphone and tell you what it is!
     
  3. Soundhound
    This app does the same thing as Shazam for the most part, except you can hum a tune into your phone's microphone and it'll try and tell you what it is.  This fixes all those instances when you have a song stuck in your head but you don't remember where you heard it from.  Hopefully you're a decent enough singer to get it to work.  Fingers crossed.
     
  4. Band of the Day
    Craving something new?  This app highlights a band a day.  It plays songs by that artist with no commercials all day long.  Yum, mmmmmusic.
     
  5. Songza
    Music can sometimes intensify the way you feel.  And sometimes you want to just feel a certain way.  Songza helps with that.  You can choose a radio station to relax, for super mega dance parties, and even for singing in the shower!
 
So there you have it.  My list.  If you know any apps that aren't on this list, please feel free to let us know!  We're @HUB500 on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  You can, of course, always come into the Hub and tell us about them in person too!
 
ALSO... all you music fans may be interested in winning 2 tickets to LOLLAPALOOZA 2014!  Check out the details here http://www.ahml.info/teens/billboard/win-tickets-lollapalooza
 
Hooray for music!
 




Posted by alice on 10.29.13

Cookie Cupcake Cannibals was held this past Sunday in The HUB!  Initially we were going to decorate cookies, but it turns out, you can make grosser, grimmer looking desserts using cupcakes.  Boy, was that a deliciously gruesome choice.  With the help of Justine Chavez, a Chicago-area baker and professional cake decorator, teens were able to create some zombielicious treats.  (Yes, I'm definitely taking liberties with the English language in this blog post.)
 
There were brains, eyeballs, gravestones, and blood... oh so much blood!  Don't worry the blood was actually caramel.  Mmmm blood.
 
It wasn't all just cupcakes and frosting though (although that is delicious enough).  We used Oreo crumbs for graveyard dirt, Twizzlers Pull n' Peel for eye veins, and fondant for a blade to the heart!
 
Check out the photos from the program below.  Nice and creepy treats any zombie would enjoy.  Bon apetit!
 
 




Posted by alice on 10.09.13

 
Want to win a much coveted rubber duckie?  How about an even more coveted ARC (Advanced Reader Copy)?  Well, you can if you're a winner of our contest this month!
 
For the month of October, we're looking at things up-close.  Real close.  Nose-pressed-up-to-the-glass close.
 
Every week we'll post a close-up photo of an object in our library on all of our social media sites. That means @HUB500 on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!  
 
In the middle of the week, we'll post a picture of the same object but with the camera pulled back just a little bit more.
 
Finally, on Friday, we'll post the picture revealing the object.  Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to guess what that object is as quickly as possible in the comments of the photo on our Instagram page!
 
The first person to correctly guess each week's photo is a winner of the contest!  We'll let you know if you're the winner for the week!
 
A duckie and ARC are at stake here, folks!  Let's do this!  Happy guessing!  wink
 
THE CONTEST STARTS NOW WITH THIS PHOTO...
 
 
Hmmmm...




Posted by alice on 09.25.13

The HUB was hopping last Friday night for the Mario Kart Wii Tournament!  We had several Wiis, TVs, and a lot of excited teens revved up and ready to show off their Mario Kart skills.  They bounced their karts on the mushrooms of Mushroom Gorge, dodged as many blue shells as possible (a difficult task), and attempted to not fall off of the Rainbow Road.
 
 
Alas, there can only be one winner in a tournament and he was lucky enough to walk away with a sweet NES controller messenger bag AND bragging rights!
 
 
Our second place winner won a Mario costume - giant mustache and all!
 
 
Mario Karting isn't all we did at the program either.  While many were competing to stay in the tournament, others were creating Mario-inspired sweets out of Airheads.  They were colorful, very sticky, and delicious!
 
 
All in all, it was a great Friday night!  I mean there was pizza, candy, games, and friends!  What more can you ask for?
 




Posted by alice on 09.12.13

There's something many of you may not know about me.  I'm kind of a huge Harry Potter nerd.  After reading the books, watching all the movies, going to midnight release parties, re-reading the books, dressing up as a Hogwarts student for Halloween, re-reading the books, visiting the theme park, and re-reading the books...you can probably call me an obsessed crazy fanatic über-nerd.  So imagine my surprise and joy when it was announced today that the author of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling, will be writing the screenplay for her Harry Potter supplement Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
 
This was me this morning.
 
 
Find out more about this awesome news here!
 
So rejoice my fellow Harry Potter nerds!  The magic never ends!
 
And if you haven't yet, check out Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!  It's a fun read and it's especially cool to see Harry, Ron, and Hermione's notes and comments in the margins!
 
Nerd away, everyone!