Blogs:

Micrograph of flu virusOne type of microorganism, the virus, has a huge impact on our everyday lives, causing colds, flus, stomach aches. What is a virus, and how is it different, for example, from bacteria? Roll on over to Manchester Children’s University site to play around with beginning facts about viruses and bacteria. (You can also become an expert on mushrooms and other fungi.) And how do these tiny threats get in our body and get us sick? Watch the adventures of the inept "Staph Sargent" and his trusty sidekick as they try to infect the world with germs. And while the Staph Sargent can be defeated by hand-washing, purses are carrying even more bacteria and viruses, as seen in this newscast.

To get up close and personal with these mischief-making microorganisms, you can browse the fascinating and legally downloadable images at the World of Viruses. To see a picture of a specific microorganism, you can also investigate at, Microbe World Beta. For more light-hearted death and destruction, you can read a Virus Comic Book such as the Frozen Horror or infect the world at the almost too realistic Plague Inc game.

If you want to know more, librarians can help you find more resources.

 

If you think cells are simple boring organisms, well think again, cells are in fact fascinating basic structural, functional living organisms that also refered to as "Building Blocks of Life". Even though cells come in all shapes and sizes, they seem invisible to our eyes. We need the aid of microscopes to explore the world of cells. You can visit “A Tour of the Cell” by clicking on the video below provided by Bozeman Science. Further, you can find out more about cell division through this link “Scientists Solve a Mystery of Cell Division” provided by Today’s Science.

Chromosomes, DNA and Genes

The command center of a cell is it's nucleus. Within the nucleus is the genetic material or the blue print of each cell also known as DNA. The DNA molecules form into a structure that shapes like a letter X. For more information about chromosomes and DNA check out the videos below. 

 

We celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the third Monday in January. This year marks 45 years since his death; had he lived January 15th would be his 85th birthday. If you are looking for more information about Dr. King and his work, look no farther.

First,  check out these research tools from the library. Biography Reference Center and Biography in Context are resources that provide both full length and short biographies. In Biography in Context you can even find articles from daily newspapers and wire services, plus magazine articles. If you need even more print materials, check out the Biography and Genealogy Master Index. This resource contains citations only, so it is helpful for locating biographies in other reference books and journals. If you aren’t at a Multnomah County Library location, you’ll need to log in with your library card and PIN to access these biography resources. 

For primary sources, both The King Center and The King Research and Education Institute are good sites to visit. The King Center was created by the late Coretta Scott King in 1968 and is dedicated to “educating the world on the life, legacy and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” His papers are archived here, and you can search the digital archives from the website. The King Research and Education Institute located on the  Stanford University campus also has a great website that provides a timeline, biography, and writings by an about Martin Luther King, Jr. Audio from Dr. King’s speeches as well as videos about his work during the Civil Rights movement and other movements he inspired are available online as well.

One of the most famous speeches Dr. King is remembered for was the one he gave during The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The March took place in Washington, D.C., on August 28, 1963. Attended by around 250,000 people, it was the largest demonstration ever seen in the nation's capital. Visit InfoPlease for more information on the march. March on Washington crowd photo

For more amazing images, to enhance a project, or to get a better sense of the work of Dr. King visit The Seattle Times Special Report.The photo  below is from one of the galleries featured

Dr. King and Coretta Scott King

There are a number of great films and video clips about Dr. King. PBS featured a public television program called Citzen King.  This resource also includes primary resources including letters and speeches, a map of the Civil Rights hot spots, and a list of books, articles, and websites to find more information about Dr. King. Biography channel also has a short bio

Be sure to check The Oregonian for events around Portland in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and also The United Way to participate in the Martin Luther King weekend of service. 

If you want to explore this topic more, or if you have questions about any of this, you know what to do: Ask a Librarian! We’re happy to help. 

The Divergent movie, based on the insanely popular series by Veronica Roth, is coming March 21, 2014. Looking through the cast list, I noticed several interesting bits of trivia:

Shailene Woodley, starring as Tris, appeared in another movie adapted from a young adult novel: The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp -- as did Miles Teller, who plays Peter. Ms. Woodley is also starring in another hotly-anticipated movie adapted from a young adult novel: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

Zoe Kravitz, daughter of musician Lenny, playing Christina, was in yet another movie adapted from a young adult book: It's Kind of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini.

Theo James, playing Four, had an important role in the third episode of the first season of the BBC TV series Downton Abbey.

You might know Kate Winslet, playing the Erudite leader Jeanine Matthews, from Titanic or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Back in 1994, when she was a teen, she made her feature film debut in the creepy and compelling Heavenly Creatures.

Tony Goldwyn, playing Tris's dad Andrew Prior, also plays President Fitzgerald Grant on the ABC drama Scandal. And he's the grandson of producer Samuel Goldwyn, who's responsible for the G in the name of the movie studio MGM: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. 

And finally, Mekhi Phifer, playing Max, was in Eight Mile along with Eminem and is name-checked in Eminem's famous track "Lose Yourself."

Lose yourself in books, movies, music & TV while you wait for the Divergent movie!

 

THOMAS JEFFERSON

The Lewis and Clark "Corps of Discovery", as it eventually came to be called, was conceived by Thomas Jefferson. He was dedicated to exploration of the vast territory west of the Mississippi River and learning about the Native Americans who resided there. He wanted to find a water route to the Pacific Ocean and map the topography. Also, he expected the Corps to catalog the flora and fauna they encountered. On the Monticello web site read about Thomas Jefferson's part in funding and planning the Corp's work.

MERIWETHER LEWIS AND WILLIAM CLARK

President Jefferson chose his secretary Meriwether Lewis as the ideal candidate to captain the Corps. Lewis then chose his Co-Captain, William Clark. They had served in the military together and were an ideal team.  Between them, they possessed the skills needed to face the challenges of their incredible journey.

TOUSSAINT CHARBONNEAU

Monsieur Charbonneau is not noted for his popularity with the rest of the Corps or his abilities as a member of the team...it appears that the only contribution of real value he provided was the interpreting services of his wife, Sacajawea. This description of Charbonneau makes it clear he was considered a sort of "necessary evil".

SACAJAWEA

There are many questions surrounding Sacajawea's story that have been controversial. One is the correct spelling/pronunciation of her name and another question is at what age and where did she die? My search for accurate information about these questions and others about Sacajawea led me to the descendants of her tribe of origin, the Lemhi Shoshoni. I found an article researched and published by the Idaho Statesman during the year of the Lewis and Clark Centennial. Tim Woodward interviewed members of Sacajawea's birth tribe. The story of the kidnapping and slavery of Sacajawea and her marriage to Charbonneau make difficult reading. Her life as a member of the Corps of Discovery is but a small piece of her complex history. From the time she was kidnapped, Sacajawea's life was determined by people who were not interested in her happiness but in taking advantage of her talents. Sacajawea probably died due to an illness that may have resulted from the birth of her second child, a daughter named Lissette.

JEAN-BAPTISTE CHARBONNEAU (POMPEY) 

Sacajawea gave birth to Jean-Baptiste during the first winter of the expedition when they were camped at Fort Mandan in North Dakota. William Clark was very fond of the toddler nicknamed "Pomp" or "Pompey". National Geographic Magazine describes the landmarks the Corps mapped and named after Pompey. After the expedition he was provided for by Clark, but never adopted by him. Jean-Baptiste spent time as an adult in Europe but eventually returned to the United States to take up a mountain man lifestyle similar to his father's. The man, who had traveled as a child on one of the greatest explorations of all time, died and is buried in Oregon.

Jean Baptiste-Charbonneau grave site in Oregon.

YORK

York was William Clark's slave and belonged to him from the time both were children. His contributions to the success of the Corps were as valuable as any of the other members. In recent years, letters William Clark wrote to his brother reveal that he did not feel York's "services" with the Corps had any value. He didn't care that York wished to live close to his wife and refused to grant him his freedom. Clark told his brother that if York didn't improve his attitude he was going to loan him to a harsh master. The final years of York's life are detailed by the National Park Service. You can learn how York's position in the 1800's is typical of the complexities of the slave/owner relationship.

SERGEANT CHARLES FLOYD

Sgt. Floyd holds the dubious honor of being the only member of the Corps of Discovery to perish on the journey. This unhappy event took place soon after the Corps embarked on their Missouri River voyage. Flying at Sgt. Floyd's monument is a replica of the 15 star and 15 stripe flag he would have defended for the military. Visit his Sioux City memorial to learn what ended Sgt. Floyd's trek.

SEAMAN

Seaman was a Newfoundland dog and a valued member of the Corps of Discovery. He was purchased by Meriwether Lewis for $20 (about $400 in 1806), perhaps because he had webbed feet and much of the trip was intended to take place by pirogue. Seaman caught small game, entertained the expedition members and provided excellent service at guard duty. There are many theories about what became of Seaman. This version of Seaman's fate is my favorite...and it appears to be based on some historical evidence.  Here is a great photo of a sculpture including Seaman which is located in Fort Clatsop National Park--he is paying very close attention to the flounder rather than his guard duty.

Stanley Wanlass Sculpture with Seaman

WHO WERE THE OTHER GUYS

The rest of the Corps included volunteer members of the U.S. Army and a handful of civilians. They were chosen for the skills they could contribute in carrying out the goals of the expedition and for keeping all members alive and safe. The U.S. Army created a terrific summary of the privates, the civilians, and the boatmen.

 

All of these online resources will help you understand how the human body works, and they also provide great images, diagrams, videos, and explanations.

Images of human bodies depicting the major body systems like: respiratory, skeletal,musculatory, digestive, and sensory systems

 

If you are in 1st-4th grade and want to know and see how the body works, click on How the Body Works on the Kids Health website to find out about the nervous system, muscles, organs, and the five senses. You can even play games to see how much you know!

You can also use factmonster to find our more information by clicking on Your Body's Systems. (hint: you might have to type it also in the search box next to the fact monster!)

5th-12th grade and beyond! Trying using innerbody for detailed and interactive diagrams and explanations about all the major body systems. Don't forget to scroll down on the web page to see all of the information!

 Try our Teen and Health and Wellness Database and click on the Body Basic page. Just scroll down and click on the topic that you need. (hint: you will need to sign in using  your library card and pin number)

If you need more information beyond what the major body systems do and how they work try the howstuffworks. You will need to type in your specific topic in the search box or you can try this Discovery Fit and Health page which features the major body systems. (hint: don't forget to scroll down on each webpage to view your information. It may look confusing, but just scroll down!) 

Need more information and/or guidance? Contact a Librarian!

You may already be a fan of Sara Zarr's smart, realistic and heartfelt books, like Story of A Girl, Sweethearts, and The Lucy Variations.

You may not know that she also hosts a great podcast called This Creative Life where she interviews authors, musicians, illustrators & filmmakers & other folks about their process and challenges. It's an intimate look into the realities of writing and publishing, and what it's really like to be someone who's -- well -- living a creative life.

Here are six This Creative Life episodes where Sara interviews other well-respected authors:

 

 

Wild Beauty Photographs of the Columbia River Gorge 1867-1957 bookcover imageCompiled and written by Terry Toedtemeier and John Laursen, Wild Beauty is a collection of historic and contemporary photographs of the Columbia Gorge, the first publication of the Northwest Photography Archive, that Toedtemeier and Laursen founded to publish books of Pacific Northwest photography. The authors selected images from the Oregon Historical Society and private collections, many previously unpublished, that were skillfully reproduced in digital formats to match the originals. "Working with Oregon State University Press, they chose to make the Columbia River Gorge the focus of their inaugural volume, in support of which they received the state's first award under the American Masterpieces Initiative from the National Endowment of the Arts and the Oregon Arts Commission." A copy of this book was given to each public library in Oregon and Washington, through support by Jim Scheppke, of the Oregon State Library, and corporate funding.

"In Wild Beauty Terry Toedtemeier and John Laursen provide an affectionate and enlightening study of photography in earlier times in the Columbia River Gorge. This book is a first-class pleasure, both for its wonderful pictures and for the authors’ clear and compelling writing about the photographs’ geographical and historical context. It is an achievement that gives hope to all who want art to engage the world." - Robert Adams, photographer. Review source: Northwest Photography Archive.

Link: Northwest Photography Archive

Can you imagine saying goodbye to almost everyone you know, leaving behind most of your possessions, and traveling 2,000 miles across the country to live in a place you'd never seen? Almost 500,000 people did just this, packing mostly supplies they would need for the journey into covered wagons, and traveling along the Oregon Trail.

The trail started in Missouri, and then went through what is now Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho and Oregon. History Globe shows an 1843 map of the trail, featuring "Unorganized Territory" (land with no government) and "Oregon Country" (what is now Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and part of Montana and Wyoming). The map will make more sense when you click on the  "modern map" link! The Trail Tour section of the website provides information and images about various stopping points along the trail.

History comes alive when we learn about events through people and their stories. The OrgeonTerritory and its Pioneers is a gold mine for learning about these stories and what life was like on the trail. The website itself is a pioneer on the Internet, started in 1989. It looks much different than websites that you are used to browsing, but don't let that that keep you from exploring. It is packed with great information. Take a look at the section called "The Journey'" to learn about daily life along the trail. Oregon Trail 101 features some amazing pictures of wagon trains and emigrants. Check out Emigrant Diaries and Journals to learn what people who traveled the trail thought about their experience.

The Oregon and California Trails Association is another great resource for learning about the people who crossed the Oregon Trail. The Peoples and Places section of the website shares emigrant profiles and trail stories.

Want to take a break from your research and play a game? Actually, you don't have to! The Oregon Trail lets you research while you are playing a game. See how you would have fared on the trail and learn about some of the hardships that those who crossed it faced. This game has been around since the 1980's, so check in with your teacher and family to see if they played the game when they were your age. You can either play the early version of the game online, or download an app. Besides the game, the website shares information about daily life along the trail.

Want to learn more about the Oregon Trail? Just ask a librarian !

Discover some of the ancestors of peoples now living in modern day Mexico to Peru from these websites and books about the Aztecs, Incas and Mayans.  Map of Mesoamerica, Aztecs, 14th-15th centuriesMap of Mesoamerica, Maya

 

The British Museum in London has artifacts from around the world, representing people, places and cultures from the past two million years. The museum has short introductions to Aztecs, Incas and Mayans. Click on photos to find out more about that object and its importance.

 

Scroll down the page of The Civilizations of Ancient Mesoamerica to read about the history and culture of ancient Mexicans. Visit The World of the Ancient Mayans for more information.

Map of Latin America, Inca Empire, 15th century

 

Have fun exploring The Sport of Life and Death: the Mesoamerican Ballgame. Not only can you learn about the world's first team sport, you can get quick info about each culture and the time periods. Test your knowledge as you play a game (no sacrifices involved). Check out the video below about the rubber balls used for the game and see an example of how a version of the game was played.

If you want or need more help, contact a librarian. We're just a click away!

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