Teen Summer 2017

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What's new in Teen?

          Did you know that the teen collection has undergone a massive upgrade?  I'm talking new books, new music, new graphic novels and new games.

          We've updated our K-pop collection.  Sad that there was no NCT 127 or NCT U?  Missing that new Seventeen album?  Wondering when we'll ever get around to buying the newest BTS album for the BTS Army members out there?  Well, it's here (or on it's way).  Some of the albums are here now and ready to go, others should be here soon.  Either way, come and get them, or place holds on them.  They don't have to be in the building for you to place a hold, you can be first in line!

          We also bought a ton of new graphic novels.  We've updated our current series but we've got some completely new titles as well. Come check out Maid-sama, Horimiya, Black Panther, Black Canary, Spider-Man 2099, School-live, Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun and more.

Last but not least (drum roll please)......


          We're only starting with a few but you'll see games like Persona 5, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Dishonored 2, Dead Rising 4 and more.  This is just the first batch, so expect more!

           Also, remember, if you ever want to see something at the library that's not here, let someone know.  The librarians are always open to suggestions and they want to make sure to buy things teens want.  They want your help!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Night Witches

When we think of World War II fighter pilots, we think of the brave men that sacrificed their lives for our nation. But while American women were contributing to the war effort by holding down the home front, young Soviet women in their teens and twenties were on the front lines, dropping over 23,000 tons of bombs on the enemy.
Under the command of Joseph Stalin in 1941, one regiment of female pilots and bombers began to operate under the moonlight. The 588th Night Bomber Regiment was nicknamed the "Night Witches," or Nachthexen in German, because they snuck up on the enemies in the darkness of the night and their only trace was the "whoosh" sound of a sweeping broomstick.

These women were not only young, but they also were incredibly resourceful with the old plywood and canvas airplanes they were given. Their 1928 bi-planes were slower than the stalling speed of the enemies' aircraft and came equipped with no parachutes, but that didn't keep these women from flying over 24,000 missions in their 3 years of operation. 

In the new novel Night Witches by Kathryn Lasky, one young 16-year old girl is called to duty to help take down the Nazis. Living under German threat in Stalingrad, this thrilling book follows the reality that many young pilots faced as the first women to ever fly in combat in history.

My personal favorite part of the story is the fierce feminism that these women displayed. They may have decorated their aircraft with flowers and had to borrow old men's uniforms, yet, the German airforce feared these women so much that they automatically were awarded an Iron Cross for shooting down a Night Witch. 

If you want to learn more about this enticing story of leading females in history, make sure to check out Night Witches to read it for yourself. Comment what you think of it once you're done, and enjoy!

Post by Katia G., Homework Assistant

Monday, May 1, 2017

Image result for summer scene
It's almost summer and that means it's time to sign up for Teen summer programs at the library!

We've got some favorites - henna, beaded jewelry, hula - and some brand new programs - folded book art, learn to solder - there's something for everyone!

Registration for programs is open now! Click here to go to the summer program flyer. Click on the name of any program you want to register for and the registration page for that program will open in your browser.

Sign up for as many programs as you want, but only for programs you are going to actually attend!

Questions? Email marie.richardson@mountainview.gov

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A New Exoplanet

Almost forty light years - or 240 trillion miles -  from Earth, scientists have discovered a new planet: LHS 1140b.

An international team of astronomers in Chile recently discovered this rocky exoplanet. Approximately 6.6 times the mass of Earth, LHS 1140b has a very dense iron core, scientists hypothesize. It is close enough to Earth for scientists to view with the next generation of telescopes. The dwarf star that the planet circles is close enough to not only have water, but also to sustain life. These two criteria - distance from Earth for telescopes and the amount of starlight received for water - are obstacles that are not found in a lot of planets. Astronomers have found 20 planets around Earth's size that might support liquid water, but LHS 1140b stands out because of its proximity to Earth.

Already, astronomers are able to conclude that the conditions are very stable on this planet, without high energy flares and a milder climate.

MEarth-South Telescope in Chile
With new telescopes, both already in use and of the near future, scientists will be able to learn more about planet's conditions. With telescopes in Chile, the presence of oxygen in the atmosphere can be detected. In 2018, NASA will launch James Webb Space Telescope, which will be able to detect the presence of ozone. In 2025, the The Giant Magellan Telescope will be able to discover even more. Understanding the atmosphere of new planets can reveal a lot about the planet, because with a thick enough atmosphere, winds can distribute the heat and make the exoplanet livable.

What do you think about this new planet?

Post by Swathi P., Homework Assistant

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


From Tumblr, Instagram, Reddit, and various online outlets, you can find Internet memes. For anyone unfamiliar with the term, a meme is simply a picture, phrase, or video that becomes viral. A meme, in its essence, should never be questioned for it is random and no one knows where it originates. Generally popular among teens, parents look at Pepe the Frog and ask, what’s the hype? Thus, I want to go through and list the best memes in the last year.

Salt Bae
You know the guy. He is actually a Turkish chef that literally sprinkles salt on his food just as his viral Instagram video shows, making a dramatic finishing touch to his steaks. Honestly, I think anyone who looks at this photo finds it funny. I love memes.

Cash Me Outside (How Bout Dah) aka Danielle Bregoli on Dr. Phil
So this is a 13 year old girl that has serious behavior management issues, and her iconic line “Cash me outside” is all part of the language she learned “from the streets,” as her mom puts it. This girl was out of control on Dr. Phil, offending both the doctor and the audience.  She has literally blown up since then, and she now has over 5 million followers on Instagram. 

                                               Kazoo Kid (Trap Remix)
THIS is one of the best things on the internet. Kazoo Kid cannot be explained with mere words. You must follow this link to see him in his full glory. It is just a very odd episode from a '90s children’s show called Special Friends that has been resurfaced. The things the kid says, “I like to sing, dance, pretend, and have fun!” make this strangely hilarious. http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/you-on-kazoo

Brain memes
This meme is a series of glowing, scientific images of the brain that are meant to show a level of being mind-blown. The brighter and bigger the brain photo, the more incredible the subject of the meme. Sounds odd but I promise it is ironically funny once you find the right one.

"I have a pen, I have pineapple… Pen Pineapple Apple Pen." Do you love the Japanese man in shades and a yellow suit, or do you loathe him for inventing this catchy, obnoxious tune? No one can quite explain why an artist would go to such lengths to produce a song with odd lyrics, and that is why this meme is pretty darn funny.

Jelly Belly Pet Rat Gummy Candy
 Most underrate meme out there. It's a viral video by the Youtube channel runforthecube, in which a narrator intentionally mispronounces words as he opens a package with a gummy rat inside. You must see it to believe it, please do click out of this tab to watch it if you haven’t already.

RIP 2016, he was more than just a gorilla. Enough said.

So that’s your 2017 meme count so far, but expect many more to come. My favorite meme of all time is “Bad Luck Brian,” I’d love to read your favorite in the comments!

Post by Katia G., Homework Assistant

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Most Powerful Computer

The computer has become a key element of our future, and especially in our Silicon Valley, they are central to innovation and technology. For example, a computer AI used machine learning to develop its abilities to eventually defeat the world’s best players in both chess and Go. With all the computers that are being made around the world, they have become commonplace in our lives. The processing power of computers is truly mind-blowing, able to do millions of calculations per second. If you can, imagine a computer thousands of times as powerful as the computer you are reading this with. Process that thought for a second, and think about how many thoughts you were able to have compared to the sheer number of calculations a computer like that could do in the same amount of time. The computer that you are imagining is the Sunway TaihuLight: the most powerful computer in the world.

The Sunway TaihuLight, a Chinese supercomputer, was completed in June 2016, completely toppling over the old reigning supercomputer, the Tianhe-2, with its max processing power of 125 petaflops per second, which happens to be several times more powerful than the Tianhe-2. To put that into perspective, a petaflop is 1000 teraflops, or 1 with 15 zeros behind it. That’s how many floating point operations it can do in just one second! As humans, we could probably only do one, maybe two calculations in a second. With the Sunway TaihuLight, China now has the world’s fastest two supercomputers, both of which are more than TWICE as fast as the 3rd fastest computer in the world, the Titan, an American computer.

The TaihuLight has custom-designed SW26010 processor, and compared to older supercomputers computers, which averaged around 2 gigaflops per watt in terms of efficiency, the TaihuLight is able to run at about 6 gigaflops per watt. In other words, the TaihuLight can do three times the work with the same amount of power!

Overall, the TaihuLight took $270 million to make including the research and creation of the supercomputer. Do you think that America will be able to top China’s supercomputer in the coming years? Or will China remain the world’s leader in supercomputers? Write your thoughts in the comments below.

Post Written by Howard W., Homework Assistant


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Haunted Places

Ever been spooked by a creaking in your house, an apparition in the corner of your eye, or something that seems just a little supernatural? As it turns out many spooky local places share their tales of haunted spirits and curses. Which one of these spots will you visit?

     Winchester Mystery House

A widow to a wealthy man, Sarah Winchester was left alone and found comfort in building a mansion, so she ordered for 24/7 construction until her death. The 160 rooms, "doors that lead to nowhere", and odd details were part of the $5.5 million she spent on this spooky place. Sarah’s spirit is said to loom in the halls of this haunted mansion. On Halloween night, you can even tour it in the dark!

      Redwood Road Castro Valley
There is supposedly a preschool at the end of this road where a man stabbed a bunch of people with a single knife in 1980s. Urban legend? Maybe, as I couldn’t find anything really substantial on this occurrence. But get this: the only evidence left of the old preschool is its swingset, that has swings move by themselves with no explanation. Creepy...
                                                                                     City of Colma
Known as the “City of Souls,” Colma is a small town between Daly City and Millbrae that houses more dead than living people. In a span of two square miles, there are 2 million people buried in 17 different cemeteries and only about 1600 residents. San Francisco passed a law against burying people on valuable city space, so the dead folks are now sent to Colma. 

     The Blue Lady of Moss Beach Distillery
70 years ago a woman in a prohibition-era Moss Beach had an affair with a man named Jack and they shared romantic walks alongside the coast by the Distillery. She died tragically by falling off the cliff, and ever since then, multiple people have reported spotting a lady in blue late at night in the vicinity. 

       China Town Ghost Tour
So basically, you can travel through the streets of San Francisco’s China Town at night and go to a lair where a magician supposedly conjures up a Chinese spirit before your eyes. You get a bonus by learning all about the folklore and history of China Town. Just make sure to reserve your tickets in advance!

Which of these places will you visit? Stay safe out there and let me know if you find any supernatural activity.

Post by Katia G., Homework Assistant

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Smallest Warrior on Earth: the Water Bear

Tardigrades, also known as water bears or moss piglets, are one of the most unbelievable animals on Earth. A weird mix of cute and alarming, water bears are 0.5 mm long, short and stubby with eight dainty legs. They are extremely diverse, found on all corners of the planet. Scientists estimate that for every one of us, there are at least a billion of them. But what is most incredible about water bears is their unimaginable resilience.

Water bears can withstand temperatures as scorching as 304° F or as freezing as -458° F. When exposed to the vacuum of space, they were not at all affected by microgravity and cosmic radiation. But perhaps most amazing is the water bear’s ability to survive for more than 30 years without water. Thirty years, or more than 10,950 days, is more than 3650 times longer than the average human can survive without water!

Their incredible resilience is made possible by a very special ability. When sensing an oncoming dry period, the water bear brings its head and limbs into the exoskeleton, making itself into a tiny ball, like a roly poly. It will remain in this stasis, unmoving until it’s reintroduced into water.

Tardigrades are found everywhere, from parking lots to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, very common and accessible. Up until this year, scientists were unable to crack the mystery of the water bear. Some hypothesized that the sugar trehalose was responsible. In other organisms like the brine shrimp, to prevent desiccation, trehalose would be produced to replace water and prevent the degradation of molecular structures. Others even believed that, because of their unique ability to survive in outer space, tardigrades might be extraterrestrial! Only recently was a researcher at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill able to uncover exactly how tardigrades can handle such extreme stresses.

Tardigrades have unique genes that allow them to create a glass matrix to protect their cells, a process known as vitrification. Proteins, TDPs, form a glass coating. The tardigrade remain in a suspended state until re-hydration, when the proteins melt, and the tardigrade can continue on with its little life. In the near future, this discovery might enable scientists to use TDP to freeze-dry vaccines and medication to areas lacking immediate access. In the distant future, this discovery might even enable placing humans in stasis for space travel or when they have a dangerous illness to await a cure.

Post by Swathi P., Homework Assistant

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Unless you’re an identical twin, chances are you’ve never met someone that looks exactly like you. But imagine just how weird it would be to come across your very own look-alike, your doppelganger.
The German word doppelganger translates to “double-goer,” which was originally the sinister idea of an evil twin, and superstitions claimed that encountering your look-alike would bring trouble. Today, though, I think we consider it pretty lucky to meet a spitting image of ourselves.

As it turns out, doppelgangers are more common that you think, because there is only so much variety in faces. In fact, the claim is that you have 7 doppelgangers out there, meaning your “unique” face is actually one in a billion! There’s no doubt that you have a twin somewhere out there—the question is whether you will ever happen to be at the same place at the same time.

Thanks to the viral nature of the Internet, doppelgangers are becoming more and more common. A few weeks ago, a girl found her doppelganger at the mall, posted a photo to Twitter, and got dozens of other girls tweeting at her to say they were also long lost twins! People are even finding historical look-alikes for celebrities, for instance actor Alec Baldwin and former president Millard Fillmore.

I am still waiting to turn the corner one day and run into my own doppelganger, but the odds don’t look very high. Instead, you can take to the web to try to find yours! The Twin Strangers Project now connects identical faces from around the world with an algorithm that matches your facial features to someone else’s. You can try it out for 6 months and connect to a million twin strangers for $3.95. Or you could try a reverse Google search for free and find visually similar images to your own face… it’s worth a shot!

Have you met your doppelganger? Or are you, like me, still waiting to find your identical twin?

Post by Katia G., Homework Assistant

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

How many tears will you shed in your life?

Have you ever thought of quantifying the little things that happen in your life? Like how much you eat in a lifetime, how long you sleep, or other interesting factoids. Read the infographic and comment what surprises you most!

Post by Katia G., Homework Assistant

Monday, March 27, 2017

What is the Eagle Project?

An Eagle Project is a service project done by boy scouts in which the Scout helps out a school, religious institution, or community and is part of the Eagle Scout requirement. The Scout would direct the project and lead it to its completion while enlisting the help of others. Because of this, the Eagle Project is a symbol of leadership while also being a special contribution to your community. And remember, you should get the help of friends to complete your project - teamwork is key! Here are some ideas for where to start:

Here are some ideas for where to start:

Make a shed for your local elementary school or church! Sheds can be useful for helping the school or church keep gardening supplies or other items. Or, the school can use your shed as a ball shack. Plus, you’ll learn how to build and design your own miniature building!

If you are the computer kind of person, maybe you’ll want to make a database for your local museum. For example, you could program a database with pictures and descriptions of different cars or planes! Your database could even be on display for the public to use at a museum if you did the project for the museum.

Blaze a ¼ Mile Trail:
Perhaps you are the adventurous kind of person and your greatest desire is to hit the woods. But this time, blaze your own trail instead of using an existing one! You can blaze a trail through the woods with friends for your local park or reserve.

Butterfly Garden:
If you enjoy the beauty of nature, you could plant a butterfly garden to attract butterflies to your local school or church! Make your school more beautiful by adding butterflies and flowers to the scene. You could also take this as a chance to learn about different flowers and how to grow them.

Beach Volleyball Court:
                Maybe your passion is for sports. If so, you could make a beach volleyball court! The same applies to a tennis court, baseball field, or whatever sport you’re interested in. You could be the first to play on your very own court!

                You could make a carnival for your local community, and fundraise for your church or school! This is a way to not only have fun organizing the carnival, but also creating a big impact in your school or community. You can invite all your friends for food and entertainment.

Remember, these aren’t the only ideas for an Eagle Scout Project. Be creative! Helping the community is a broad category, so you can use your wildest imaginations. Good luck with your project!

Other  Fun Eagle Project Ideas:
1.      Arch Bridge
2.       Benches
3.       Wheelchair Accessible Picnic Table
4.       Helicopter Landing Pad
5.       Painting Map of the USA in an Elementary School
6.       Movie Night
7.       Web Page

Post Written by Howard W, Homework Assistant


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Hip Hop and Shakespeare

Hip Hop and Shakespeare

Recently, I watched an interesting TED talk by award-winning hip hop artist Akala, a social entrepreneur who works at the convergence of two art forms that many would consider completely different: hip hop and Shakespeare. His music and production company explores the social, cultural and linguistic parallels between the works of English playwright and poet, William Shakespeare, and that of influential modern hip-hop artists.

Hip hop and Shakespeare share a broader appeal, with surprisingly similar themes and influence. Hip hop is frequently the expression of people who don’t feel as though they have a voice, such as youth from disadvantaged neighborhoods. While Shakespeare may appear elitist, most of his audiences were the people, those who could not read and faced the constant turmoil and poverty common to the sixteenth and seventeenth century. Both art forms communicate social messages while providing entertainment, with themes of self-boasting of one’s ability and potential and political commentary being especially common.

Image result for to be or not to be iambic
Similarly, the mechanics and effects of hip hop and Shakespeare are alike. The iambic pentameter, described by Akala in his TED talk as the “heartbeat of life”, is used to communicate feeling. Shakespeare is often commended for his illumination of the human experience, how perfectly he was able to capture complex, yet common, human emotions in words. The feeling expressed by hip hop and Shakespeare utilizes imagery, metaphors, irony, tone and diction. Lyricism and authenticity, or keeping it real, is sought out and praised. Both reflect themes of social change relevant at the time, a platform for issues such as racism, poverty or social structures.Whether in dance and fashion or language and philosophy, hip-hop and Shakespeare have undeniably impacted and inspired people of many different times and backgrounds.

What are your favorite hip-hop artists and Shakespearean works? How have they influenced your life today?

Post by Swathi P., Homework Assistant

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The 2017 Australian Open

2017 Australian Open
The 2017 Australian Open was a special tournament due to the fact that four old legends, each toward the end of their tennis careers, were finally able to face off again. For the past few years, those four players have been consistently defeated and replaced by younger, newer players who were rising up into their peak performance. Yet, at the 2017 Australian Open, we finally saw Roger Federer compete against Rafael Nadal for the Men’s final! It was a huge surprise, as Nadal had been out of competitive play for months, and Federer has not been doing as well as he did before. Serena Williams battled Venus Williams for the Women’s championship, an amazing and equally surprising occurrence. Venus had been falling out of her prime time, and to see her play for the championship was revolutionary.

The 2017 Australian Open was a revival of the clash of rivalry between both Roger Federer against Rafael Nadal and Serena against her sister Venus. Both Federer and Nadal had been injured in the past year, and after taking a break from professional tennis were stomping out competition that had defeated them last year. After a close, long fought match that almost lasted 5 hours, Roger Federer prevailed against Rafael Nadal to take the championship!

Serena defeated her sister Venus in a close match, finally assuming the title of world champion yet again. As sisters and also the best of the best, they have always had a rivalry between them that had begun earlier than Federer had even known Nadal. The former champions had retaken their thrones against their long standing rivals, making the 2017 Australian Open a memorable visit of years before that we may never come across again.

If you want to watch tennis live, there are grand slams including: the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open, all coming up this spring. You can watch these tournaments live online for free! Hopefully we’ll be able to watch exciting matches just like in the Australian Open in the months to come.

Post Written by Howard W., Homework Assistant

Source: http://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/id/18577175/australian-open-2017-hard-remember-more-significant-slam

Tuesday, March 21, 2017



Living in the Silicon Valley, the significance of the STEM fields –science, technology, technology, engineering, and mathematics – is especially clear. STEM was introduced to shift the focus in the classroom to a more interdisciplinary approach, in hopes to foster the in-depth analysis, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills critical for solving real world issues. Education began to collectively use the academic subjects to further boost student innovation. As successes and jobs increase as a result of these measures, the importance of the incorporation of arts and design, creating STEAM, becomes even more relevant.

STEAM: science, technology, engineering science, technology, engineering, arts and design, mathematics. Activism for the inclusion of art has been spurred by scientific research on the benefits of developing the spatial thinking and creativity in driving innovation. The arts help students develop cognitive processes that assist in core subjects; in countries where an arts education is mandatory, such as the Netherlands, Japan, and Hungary, students consistently rank highest for maths and science test scores.

Especially recently, several universities and institutions have taken steps to incorporate STEAM in both learning and the real world. The University of Florida paired up with Sesame Street to include arts and design to their curriculum: to encourage the application of arts and design into future careers, the musical show highlights their interdependence, with examples such as geometric shapes in art. Environmental art activism has created many powerful messages, such as the one to the right. The California College of the Arts, designers created videos and art on the scientific basis of climate change, presented to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change in South Africa to increase funding for environmental issues.

Architects designing monuments with historical significance, the use of micro-controllers and shape memory metal to create paper-based electronics, chemical engineers producing safe and appealing makeup; where do you see the creativity and innovation of STEAM in the world, and how do you plan to incorporate it into your life?

Post by Swathi P., homework assistant.