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Posts Tagged ‘fun stuff’

December is one of my favorite months. I enjoy the change in the weather and all of the winter festivities and holiday happenings. I especially enjoy the beautiful holiday lights displayed in my neighborhood and around town, but those aren’t the only lights I’ll look for this month. Did you know that one of the most wondrous light displays in the world is happening this week? It’s not a holiday display, it’s a meteor shower! The Geminid meteor shower is occurring December 10th through the 16th, and is expected to peak overnight from the 13th to the early morning hours of the 14th. The Geminid meteors get their name from the constellation of Gemini, which the meteors seem to radiate from as they traverse the night sky. There is a new moon on the 13th which should provide dark skies to easily see the meteors in locations with clear weather.

Unfortunately for the Bay Area there is a storm moving in and visibility might be hindered or non-existent in some areas. If the skies do clear you should be able to see the Geminid meteors from many locations. If the lights are too bright where you are try taking a drive away from the city glare. The meteors should be visible Thursday night starting around 9 or 10 pm, but the best time to view the meteors is very late, between midnight and 2 am. If the skies are clear you can expect to see approximately 80 to 120 meteors per hour during peak time. Take a look at this time-lapse video of the Geminid meteors from a previous year to get an idea of what you might see.

If it’s too cloudy outside or if you would prefer to be warm while watching the Geminid meteors, you can watch them from the comfort of your own home! NASA will be live streaming the meteor shower and featuring a live chat module starting at 8 pm PST on Thursday, December 13th. You can find more information here.  If the skies are clear and you decide to brave the winter weather to view the meteor shower outside, be sure to keep warm!

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Alameda County Library Branches recently held game days in celebration of the American Library Association’s International Games Day. I hope you were able to come to one of our Fremont Branches and play with us. One of the highlights at the Centerville branch’s game day was the Angry Birds.

You’d be surprised at how easy it was to make these birds and how much fun this homemade game can be. It’s a fairly inexpensive craft for families to do together and is perfect for the next rainy day, family game night, or a weekend afternoon.

You will need the following supplies:

  • Yarn (yellow, red, green, and black)
  • Craft paper (plain white paper works too. Kids can color in the eyes, noses and beaks.)
  • Hot glue gun or craft glue (I used a glue gun, but be careful because it is very easy to burn yourself!)
  • Small paper cups
  • Black pen and/or crayons (I used a sharpie to color in nostrils and eyes)
  • Scissors
  • Fork (used to make the yarn pom-poms)

You can also use popsicle sticks to help build your tower of cups. Googly eyes add an extra bit of fun to the Angry Bird faces, although I just used plain white paper. For more information and crafting instructions check out makeandtakes.com.

Learn how to create yarn pom-poms with a fork!

I didn’t use a needle to thread the yarn through the fork prongs. I found that it was easy to do that with just my index finger and thumb. I also didn’t bother to trim my pom-poms because I didn’t want to make them too small. It did take a couple practice pom-poms before I was ready to glue on the faces.

In order to make the birds and pigs different sizes I wrapped the yarn around the fork more times to make the pom-poms large and fewer times to make them small. Here is what I did for each:

  • Green pig and Yellow bird – wrap the yarn 60 times
  • Red bird – wrap the yarn 40 times
  • Black bird – wrap the yarn 25 to 30 times.

If you don’t have yarn at home you can use storebought crafting pom-poms instead. They work just as well and would be cheaper than buying the different colored yarn. If you have a slingshot you can try to launch your Angry Birds that way. We chose not to use sling shots at the library to launch our birds so we just tossed them at our tower of cups. I hope you are able to enjoy this Angry Bird craft game as much as we did at the Centerville Library!

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If you haven’t heard yet, we have a really fun Manga program for kids ages 10-12!  Manga are Japanese comic books that are characterized by very distinctive and highly stylized illustrations.  If you enjoy comic books and graphic novels and are interested in improving your drawing skills, come join us!  Karen Luk, a professional illustrator and comic artist, will be teaching you the secrets of drawing Manga faces, expressions and characters.  Karen’s work was on display just a few short months ago at the Cartoon Art Museum.  I was lucky enough to get a glimpse of her art and I’m definitely looking forward to this program at my library branch.  Here are the upcoming dates and locations.

Niles Library – Tuesday, May 15th @ 3:15 p.m.

San Lorenzo Library – Wednesday, May 16th @ 3:30 p.m.

Centerville Library – Thursday, May 17th @ 3:30 p.m.

Fremont Main Library – Tuesday, May 22nd @ 4 p.m.

Irvington Library – Wednesday, May 23rd @ 3:15 p.m.

Call your library branch for registration information.

Check out Karen Luk in action below:

 

If you are unable to come to one of our manga programs you might want to take a look at the manga drawing books the library has here.

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It’s… summertime!

I like funny brain teasers and riddles, especially when I am bored but don’t feel like reading or doing anything.  They wake up my brain and make me laugh.  Want to try some? 

(Click at the first *, hold and slide to the right to the second * to see the answer.)

Q: Where do cars go when it gets hot?
A: * To a carpool. *

Q: What horses swim the best?
A: * Seahorses. *

Q: When astronauts get married, where do they go?
A: * On honeymoons. *

Q: What does the dog catcher give dogs on their birthdays?
A: * Poundcake. *

Q: Where did the giant want to cook Jack?
A: * In a jackpot. *

Q: What starts with “T”, ends with “T”, and is full with “T”?
A: * Teapot. *

Q: What is that which goes with a car, comes with a car, is of no use to a car, and yet the car cannot go without it?
A: * Noise. *

Q: Why are 1980 pennies worth almost $20?
A: * 1,980 pennies equals $19.80, which is almost $20. *

Q: Forward I am heavy, but backward I am not.  What am I?
A: * Forward I am ton, backwards I am not. *

Now do this one–

Make sure you get every single word right!

Read the following passage and then scroll down for further instructions at the end. Read loudly to yourself. Now read:

This is this cat
This is is cat
This is how cat
This is to cat
This is keep cat
This is a cat
This is fool cat
This is busy cat
This is for cat
This is thirty cat
This is seconds cat

Now read the THIRD word in each line then you will understand what is funny in this.

I am sorry if I tricked you!  Please don’t mind it and just take it as fun. Have a nice summer! 😆
 

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