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Blog Posts by Subject: Science

Spencer Collection Book of the Month: The Rain of Crosses

The New York Public Library business card logoDid you know that The New York Public Library has an official color? I didn't either, and I've worked here since the Dark Ages (before the Internet). But we do, as I found out when I ordered new business cards recently. The color is red.

That's fine with me—I've always liked red (political considerations aside), and besides it gives me an excuse to select as the Spencer Collection Book of the Month for April a small volume containing two illustrations in vivid red. It is appropriate also because Easter falls in April this 

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Avian Inspiration

Do you plan to come to the next Handmade Crafternoon on March 5th to make your own tiny avian sculpture with artist Abby Glassenberg, author of The Artful Bird? Want to brush up on bird characteristics in advance?  Then the Library's Digital Gallery is a great place to spend some time.  Here 

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A Little Wanting Song: A Review

Charlie Duskin lives and breathes music. At least, she does when she’s alone or taking lessons. She’ll talk music with people, but playing guitar or singing in front of them is impossible except for her mom or Gran even though she is not entirely without talent. Charlie doesn’t mind so much because music can be enough most of the time–especially during a summer in the country surrounded by old ghosts and locals who want nothing to do with her.

But Charlie also wants more. She wants a friend. She wants someone, maybe Dave Robbie, to look at her the way 

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NYPL Is For the Birds! The New Canaan Nature Center Visits the Tottenville Branch

Some fine feathered friends named Putter, Topper, Hedwig and Evie dropped by the Tottenville Library this week and they didn't look like our typical library visitor. Their beautiful feathers and razor sharp talons wowed Staten Islanders of all ages as Environmental Educator Bill Flynn and his assistant Henry brought a little bit of their Connecticut nature center to NYC.    Read More ›

Nathaniel Fludd Beastologist: Flight of the Phoenix: A Review

On September 5, 1928 ten-year-old Nathaniel Fludd’s parents are declared lost at sea. Alone in the world with no other close relatives and a governess eager to abscond with her Tidy Sum from the Fludd estate, Nathaniel is sent to live with Phil A. Fludd–a mysterious cousin Nate has never met, let alone heard of in Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist: Flight of the Phoenix by R. L. LaFevers with illustrations by

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(1/2x + ... = ?, Calculators that Crush Challenging Math Problems

The World Wide Web is a great source for online calculators. Some of these calculators are much more powerful than your typical desktop calculator. They show you not only the answer to your problem but also the step-by-step process used to get to that answer.

If a student is not sure how to do a math problem these calculators can help…but…there is often more than one way to solve a problem. A teacher may show a different method of solving a problem.

These calculators cover different subjects and work in different ways. Choose the 

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LIVE from the NYPL, Richard Holmes: Post Event Wrap-Up

The LIVE from the NYPL program featuring Richard Holmes in conversation with Paul Holdengräber was off to a rocky start last night; the technology controlling the microphones kept malfunctioning. Mr. Holmes joked that it probably had "something to do with homeland security." This prompted a few chuckles from the crowd. When the microphone started acting up again twenty minutes later, Richard commented, "this gives new meaning to [part of] the subtitle of the book; ‘the Beauty and Terror of Science.'" At this point, he had the audience roaring with laughter. 

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Novelist as Contrarian: James Morrow Reads Voltaire

Note: for those of you just joining us, the following is a digest of the latest round of comments on Candide 2.0, an interactive edition of Voltaire's book mounted in conjunction with the Library's exhibition Candide at 250: Scandal and Success.

James Morrow names his 10th-grade World Literature teacher, James Giordano, as his literary hero. In the reader’s guide notes to his novel, The Last 

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Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth and Bee Space

Although I don’t keep bees, I’ve lately found myself being drawn into their curious world—looking into New York City’s beekeepers; investigating honeybees in history, literature, design, and in the kitchen; even incorporating the 

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Weird Science

Here’s a small sampling of nonfiction science books that are sufficiently strange that even readers who usually shy away from such titles may enjoy, and that readers who usually enjoy such titles may have missed. While none of them will bring back Pluto’s official status as a planet, they all have something interesting to say about medicine, science or technology.

Wendy Moore’s

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Looking at Biology

With new technologies that can make images of molecules, biology has been returning to its origins as a visual science, according to Moselio Schaechter, writing on his blog Small Things Considered. Biologists can now “see” how an enzyme works or how macromolecules interact with molecules large and small, and the revolution is leading to a specialist field called Structural Biology. The visual origins of biology are abundantly illustrated in the holdings of The New York Public Library, including 

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The Talented and Brave Ms. Merian.

The lovely image above, of insects in different life stages, came from the hand of Maria Sibylla Merian, an early German naturalist who exemplifies the diy approach to observation, documentation, and dissemination of new knowledge in 17th- and 18th-century Europe. Individuals at this time sought to document the worlds that were slipping away as quickly as they were being “discovered,” and the talented Maria Sibylla Merian was one of these self-taught scholars.

The daughter of one printer and eventual wife of another, Maria grew up surrounded by the stimulating world of 

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