Friday, November 10, 2017

On Their Shoulders: A Talk with Dr. Christine M. Darden

Now is your chance to meet one of the researchers featured in Margot Shetterly's New York Times best-selling book, Hidden Figures.

Dr. Christine M. Darden -- mathematician, data analyst, and aeronautical engineer -- began her NASA career as a "human computer" before becoming an engineer and, eventually, the first African-American woman to serve as a senior executive at the Langley Research Center.

Darden's talk with detail how she developed a love for mathematics in high school geometry, the highest level of math she took in high school, and how it was then that she formed a dream of becoming a mathematician. She will also share her story of how, being led by her dream and the requirements of her father, she catapulted her career as a high school math teacher into a 40-year career with NASA as an internationally known researcher and leader in sonic-boom minimization research, while also earning a D. Sc. Degree from George Washington University in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis in Fluid Mechanics.

Darden will be speaking here at PVCC on Wednesday, November 15 at 3-5PM in Room M229. Don't miss out!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Encore! Hidden Figures Comes to PVCC

In honor of the 2017 One Book program, Hidden Figures returns to the big screen at PVCC for an encore performance. If you've been waiting to see it or could watch it ten more times because it's just that good (and believe us, it is), then here is your chance to do just that. Mark your calendar for Friday, November 3 at 5:30 PM, where we will be showing Hidden Figures in Room M229.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Stars, Superheroes, and Bite-Sized Astrophysics: New Books Are In

New month, new books: October is here, and here at Jessup Library there are 250+ new books gracing our shelves. The weather is cooling off (knock on wood) and fall break is only a week away -- time to take a break from your studies and curl up with a good book for an hour or two! If you're looking for suggestions to get you started, look no further than the list below:

Hidden Figures, the 2017 choice for PVCC's One Book Program, celebrates the accomplishments of the African-American women who launched the first astronauts into orbit. If you're looking for more books about women and the stars, check out The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars by Dava Sobel, which reveals the hidden world of the women who worked as "human computers" at the Harvard College Observatory in the late 19th century; and Making Contact: Jill Tarter and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence by Sarah Scoles, an exploration of the life of the astronomer Jill Tarter, former director of the Center for SETI Research.

Need inspiration for that superhero Halloween costume you've been planning to cobble together since last year? The good news is that there is a universe of superheroes just waiting for you to find them. Check out The Evolution of the Costumed Avenger: The 4,000-Year History of the Superhero to learn about superheroes going back to Gilgamesh.

Weird in a World That's Not: A Career Guide for Misfits, F*ckups, and Failures by Jennifer Romolini is a practical guide to succeeding in the world of work, no matter where you start. Pair it, like fine wine, with Jen Sincero's guide to financial success, You Are A Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth.

Our ever-expanding collection of the Very Short Introduction series offers bite-sized investigations into pretty much everything: theology, the Mexican Revolution, Voltaire, intellectual property, plague, Shakespeare's comedies, folk music, gravity, family law, exploration, and more.

Speaking of exploration: much as we've learned as a species, there's still so much to discover. Get a sense of just how much with The Lost City of the Monkey God, in which author Douglas Preston goes looking for a lost civilization with a team of scientists; Weird Dinosaurs: The Strange New Fossils Challenging Everything We Thought We Knew by John Pickrell, which chronicles the discovery of new fossils -- including carnivores with bat wings and dwarf dinosaurs -- and how our understanding of the distant past is changing; and Know This: Today's Most Interesting and Important Scientific Ideas, Discoveries, and Developments, edited by John Brockman, in which 198 visionary thinkers identify the ideas of the present that will carry us into the future.

Curious about astrophysics, but pressed for time? Neil DeGrasse Tyson has you covered. Check out Astrophysics for People in a Hurry for another bite-sized introduction to a vast and incredible subject.

Check out all of these books and more in our catalog. Happy October, and happy reading!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Let's Fight Censorship with The Great Gatsby!

Question: What do The Great Gatsby, Moby Dick, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone all have in common? (Besides being iconic enough that you may have read, heard of, or been force fed at least one of them in your lifetime.)

Answer: They've all been banned.

September 24th - 30th is Banned Book Week. Book censorship has a long and storied history, and the tradition is alive and kicking in 2017. (What else is new?) Books have been banned for a variety of reasons -- for portraying sex and violence and using profanity to encouraging children to break dishes or for being 'a real downer' (those last two were A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstien and Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank, respectively). Banned Book Week brings attention to books that have been challenged and/or banned in schools, libraries, and elsewhere, both locally and nationally, and celebrates the efforts of book-lovers to fight censorship and preserve the freedom to read.

Jessup Library invites you to join in the celebration! Come get caught your picture taken with your favorite banned book, learn about book censorship as you play fortune teller, and check out our collection of forbidden literature and find out why fan favorites like the Harry Potter series or  classics like Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter were challenged or banned.

And always: celebrate the power of words!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

One Book Event: Team Rocket @pvcc

First, a confession: Yes, the title is clickbait. This post has nothing to do with Pokémon. But there are plenty of rockets, so read on!

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly is the 2017 choice for our annual One Book program. Read more about the book here. The college hosts a variety of events as a part of the program, and we're holding our first on Wednesday, September 13 at noon.

PVCC’s own rocketry club, Piedmont Student Launch Team, will share their experience of working with NASA engineers on a nine-month-long research-based, competitive exploration project of building and launching a high-power rocket with an experiential payload. Come see the rocket in person and hear about the team’s trip to Marshall Space Flight Center to participate in the final competition!

The event will be held in the North Mall Meeting Room. Come join us!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Time for Pie...or Ice Cream...or a New Book!

It’s mid-July and time for pie.  Or ice cream.  Art of the pie: a practical guide to homemade crusts, fillings, and life and Food52 ice cream & friends: 60 recipes & riffs for sorbets, sandwiches, no-churn ice creams and more can provide recipes and inspiration.  The resulting pounds are up to you.  If the thought of all that sugar makes you weak with longing, you may want to read Biology of desire: why addiction is not a disease.

Hide the livestock and wake the neighbors – the Vikings are coming!  Sorry, wrong century, but if you’re interested in Viking history, why not try Northmen: the Viking saga, AD 793-1241 or The Norse myths: a guide to the gods and heroes or Beyond the Northlands: Viking voyages and the Old Norse sagas?

Have you ever worried that you’re going to confess to a crime, even though you’re not guilty?  If so, you may want to brush up on How the police generate false confessions: an inside look at the interrogation room.  Things didn’t go so well for a certain “I’m not guilty” president, but maybe Richard Nixon: the life can shed some light on history.

If you’ve ever opened the office refrigerator only to find that someone has helped themselves to the leftovers you planned to eat for lunch, you could spike future lunches with habaneros, or you could take a more laid-back approach and read Why they do it: inside the mind of the white-collar criminal.

Speak quietly and carry a large golf club.  Tiger Woods has something to say and it’s not “I most certainly was not on tranquilizers, officer!” in The 1997 Masters: my story.

You probably ask yourself every month when the bills are due, “Are these numbers even real?”  Well, the book entitled Are numbers real?: the uncanny relationship of mathematics and the physical world might help shed some numerical light on the situation.

Do you drive on autopilot?  Do you remember what you had for dinner last Wednesday?  Do you wonder why a blog is asking you these nosy questions?  Your brain has many secrets and you might find some answers in Idiot brain: what your head is really up to.

Check out these new books and more at the Jessup Library!