Posted by mkrueger on 06.03.13

For May we had a DIY project that was a bit of a throwback, string art. String art has been around since the early 19th century but didn't really become popularized until the 1960's. Using cork board, some map pins, and embroidery floss you can create really interesting mathematical and other geometric designs. You can see a gallery below of what our attendees created.
Would you like to create your own string art? Take a look at the video below to find out how!

Posted by mkrueger on 05.17.13

Ready to test your Geography skills? Geoguessr is an extremelly fun, and addictive, game that makes use of Google Maps. You are placed in a random location and have to guide yourself around to find clues of your location. You make a guess using the world map and gain points based on how close you were to the exact location. My top score was 9643, give it a try!

Posted by mkrueger on 04.26.13

Here at the library we're surrounded by tons of books, obviously. We all read for various reasons, fun, to answer a question, learn a new skill, or a number of other reasons. Whatever the reason for reading, we study the characters on the pages that convey thought, but have you ever wondered how we came to use the words or letters we print? The video below, courtesy of the always amazing TED-Ed, gives a detailed answer to the question "Who invented writing?"
View more TED-Ed videos HERE

Posted by mkrueger on 04.19.13

April saw an interesting DIY! We learned how to solder electronics together to create personalized flashlights from mint tins! You can view a gallery below of the event.
Couldn't make the program? Don't Fret! You can read the instructions to create your own mint tin flashlight, courtesy of the ever amazing

Posted by mkrueger on 04.05.13

One of the more interesting video series on Youtube right now is Minute Physics. This web series, created by Henry Reich, explains Physics related topics often in minute long videos. Reich creates time-lapsed drawings to give viewers a visual representation of the subject he discusses. This particular post contains Minute Physics' video on parallel universes. The videos can be very addictive, and are well worth checking out!
Want more Minute Physics? Click HERE

Posted by mkrueger on 03.25.13

Teen Tech Week is every March and it gives libraries the opportunity to show Teens all new types of technology. With this week in mind, we ran a program that would be considered a little different from our "traditional" DIYs.
Behold the MaKey MaKey! An awesome little circuit board created by two MIT students that allows you to use almost any object as a key on the keyboard.
To use the MaKey MaKey you plug it into your computer and simply attach an alligator clip to one of the designated spots on the board, then attach the opposite end of the alligator clip onto anything that carries an electrical charge. Objects include keys, coins, aluminum foil, even bananas! Watch the video below for a demonstration.
Still interested? If you click the link below you will be directed to the MaKey MaKey's homepage where you can order your own MaKey MaKey.

MaKey MaKey Homepage


Posted by mkrueger on 02.22.13

Here is an iPad app that you absolutely must try if you are a lover of fiction and technology! Linden Labs has released an app by the name of Versu, Versu, is an interactive story similar to a Choose Your Own Adventure book, however; there are a few key differences.
You will begin a story by selecting a character, then you are given an introduction to the story, and finally you will be prompted at certain points in the story to choose what action the character should take. Actions can range from talking to other characters, moving to different rooms, or going in search of objects. The number of actions changes as the story progresses. You can gain achievements, similar to a video game, based on objectives that the story suggests you accomplish.
The app is free and includes 3 stories, one of which is a tutorial to help you understand how the app works. You can purchase more stories for $5, there is only one story to purchase at the moment but more will be added in the future. Check out the video below to learn more!

Posted by mkrueger on 02.18.13

This February we ran the DIY: Pixel Art program. This project is so simple and you can make some really great pieces to hang, wear, or whatever you want! Posted below is a gallery of the program and what our attendees created.
Also posted below are all the instructions, and a few extra sites worth looking at, to create your own pixel art.
Pixel Art Tutorial - This site contains everything you need to know to get you started making pixel art, the tutorial covers what materials you will use and a couple links to useful sites to get you started.
That 8-Bit Guy - This link goes to a guy on Facebook that makes all different characters from video games, movies, and a number of other subjects. Totally worth checking out.
Make Your Own Cross Stitch - This site is for generating cross stitch patterns from photos you upload. What does this have to do with pixel art? Well, cross stitching patterns and bead patterns are nearly identical! You can upload a photo and play around with the sliders to generate a pattern that is modified for the number of colors you want to use, and size.
Kandi Patterns - If you're looking for ideas on what to create using the bead materials, then look no further. This website contains a database full of characters from video games, television shows, and a number of others.

Posted by mkrueger on 02.15.13

I posted on our Facebook page (, shamless plug) the video below of an art project. The project was a room filled with 8,000+ LED lights, that seems to simulate an endless field of lights. The video is very cool and I recommend giving it a watch.

Submergence01 from squidsoup on Vimeo.

Now as much as I like the video above, that's not what this post about. This post is about a new artist by the name of Leo Villareal who designed a light sculpture along the San Francisco Bay Bridge West Span using the same idea. The bridge holds a staggering 25,000 LEDs. The display will be up for 2 years and be switched on March 5th. So if you happen to find yourself in the area make sure you take the time to stop and see this!


Posted by mkrueger on 02.08.13

I've always loved these "how it's made" kind of videos. To celebrate their 80th anniversery, Nikon released a short video showing the production of the lenses that their cameras are fit with. This video should surprise and make you really appreciate the work that goes into producing a camera.