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Look at What is Happening in the Engineering Library!

Imagine! Tinker! Design! Create!

We’re Having an Open House! 

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The Oculus Rift and one of the two new 43” (4K) quad monitors!

We are having an Open House on September 8 from 2:30 to 4:30! Come celebrate and explore our new Creative Space!  You’ll have a chance to enjoy a hands-on experience with some of the new equipment. We are excited to be collaborating with the Engineering Technological Centers to provide this exciting new Creative Space!

New equipment includes:
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Matter and Form 3D Scanner!

  • 3D Scanners: Matter & Form; Sense 3D; Structor for iPad; Xbox Kinect
  • Virtual Reality Station: Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset; Leap Motion Controller
  • 3D Cameras: 360fly 4K & RICOH Theta
  • 2 Collaboration Tables: each with 43” (4K) quad monitor; stationary computer; laptop jacks
  • Modeling Station: 4 Computers; Leap Motion Controllers; Wacom Drawing Tablets; 3D Modeling Software
  • Tool Library: Canon PowerShot Camera; Tape Measure; Screwdrivers; Light Meters; Webcam; Creative Boxes; other Technology Tools; Hand Tools; Measuring Tools; and LabQuest Equipment.

Updated Study Spaces! We have updated our 43 individual study carrels – they are now equipped with electrical outlets, so you can be sure all your electronics stay powered up. There will also be individual lights installed on each carrel! And don’t forget we have 2 scanners, ITS computers, gamer chairs, bean bag chairs, and group study tables. We have 2 group study pods – Pod 1 is equipped with MediaScape. And the group study pods will now have electronic reservation systems! Our lower level is a dedicated quiet space – we have a space for all your study needs!

Tool Library Additions! We now have cables and chargers in our Tool Library along with the Creative Space specialty tools!  We have 30 pin to VGA, 30 pin wall charger, lightning wall charger, micro USB wall charger and more! Check here for a complete look at what is available to check out!

Wondering how long you can check out any of our many resources – including the Tool Library – check our circulation policy webpage!

Front_SpineE-Books on the Bookshelves!
A pilot project is making our e-book resources accessible on our bookshelves!
  • Each e-book has a book-sized plastic case shelved by call number.
  • Each case has spine label, and both front and back covers
  • There is a QR code on the spine
  • NFC tag on the back cover
  • Inside the case are info sheets which may be taken by the user. The information includes title, call number, and web address.

New and Updated Resources!!

Over 100 years of history, IHS Jane’s is the most trusted & respected public source of defense and security information in the world. Jane’s is available only to On-Campus Users. Our subscription includes:
  • Jane’s Aero-Engines
  • Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft Development & Production
  • Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft in Service
  • Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft Unmanned
  • Jane’s Fighting Ships
We now have 800 synthesis lectures which are 50-100 page electronic books with in-depth analysis of a current topic in 22 different areas including:
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical & Biochemical Engineering
  • Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science

RSMeans

  • 2016 Editions now available In our reference section (non-circulating)
  • Provides construction cost estimates, including: City Cost Indexes; Crew Composition; Labor; Profit Rates; Materials; Facilities Repair; Productivity Rates; and Green Building
Current Protocols
Protocols are presented in a “recipe” style providing step-by-step descriptions of procedures which you can take to the lab and immediately apply in your own research.

MIT Books

  • More than 650 ebooks from MIT Press dating back as far as 1943
  • approximately 65% of titles in computing-related fields, such as computer science, artificial intelligence, information theory, and computer programming

Springers Material

  • Providing access to numerical and graphical data on the properties of materials
  • Search by elements, structure, or corrosion
Provides access to over 175,000 continuously updated technical reports. Subjects include aerospace, automotive, and commercial vehicles. The reports date bask as far as 1906.

Like us on Facebook (UI Lichtenberger Engineering Library), follow us on Twitter (@UIEngLib), Pinterest  and follow the UI Libraries on Instagram!

And, as always, Kari Kozak, Head of the Lichtenberger Engineering Library and Qianjin (Marina) Zhang, Engineering & Informatics Librarian are here to answer your questions!

Want to see the number of how the Engineering Library did last year? Check out this infographic!

So many exciting things are happening here! And so many more exciting things to come!

Hours:
M-Th: 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Sunday: 2:00 to 8:00 p.m.

 

Welcome back to campus – we look forward to seeing you!!

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Engineering Library Fall 2016 Newsletter!!

Lichtenberger Engineering Library Fall 2016 Newsletter

Contents

  1. Engineering Library 2015-2016 Year in Review
  2. NEW Creative Space – Imagine! Tinker! Design! Create!
  3. Open House – September 8th
  4. New and Updated Resources
  5. Lib Guides
  6. InfoHawk+
  7. E-books on the Bookshelves!
  8. Instruction and Support
  9. Course Reserves

*************************************************************************************

Engineering Library 2015-2016 Fiscal Year in Review

Want to see the numbers about how the Engineering Library did last year? Check out our infographic!


Creative Space – Imagine! Tinker! Design! Create!

A new creative space opening this fall! The Engineering Library and Engineering Technological Centers are collaborating on a Maker/Creative Space!

  • 3D Scanners: Matter & Form; Sense 3D; Structor for iPad; Xbox Kinect
  • Virtual Reality Station: Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset; Leap Motion Controller
  • 3D Cameras: 360fly 4K & RICOH Theta
  • 2 Collaboration Tables: each with 43” (4K) quad monitor; stationary computer; laptop jacks
  • Modeling Station: 4 Computers; Leap Motion Controllers; Wacom Drawing Tablets; 3D Modeling Software
  • Tool Library: Canon PowerShot Camera; Tape Measure; Screwdrivers; Light Meters; Webcam; Creative Boxes; other Technology Tools; Hand Tools; Measuring Tools; and LabQuest Equipment.

Open House! Mark Your Calendars!!

  • September 8, 2016. 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
  • See the new Creative Space first hand!
  • Enjoy a hands-on experience with the new equipment

New and Updated Resources

Jane’s Online

Over 100 years of history, HIS Jane’s is the most trusted & respected public source of defense and security information in the world. Jane’s is available only to On-Campus Users. Our subscription includes:

  • Jane’s Aero-Engines
  • Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft Development & Production
  • Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft in Service
  • Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft Unmanned
  • Jane’s Fighting Ships

Synthesis Series – Digital Library of Engineering & Computer Science

We now have 800 synthesis lectures which are 50-100 page electronic books with in-depth anaylsis of a current topic in 22 different areas, including:

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical & Biochemical Engineering
  • Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science

RSMeans

  • 2016 Editions now available In our reference section (non-circulating)
  • Provides construction cost estimates, including: City Cost Indexes; Crew Composition; Labor; Profit Rates; Materials; Facilities Repair; Productivity Rates; and Green Building

Current Protocols

MIT Books

  • More than 650 ebooks from MIT Press dating back as far as 1943
  • approximately 65% of titles in computing-related fields, such as computer science, artificial intelligence, information theory, and computer programming

Springer Material:

  • Providing access to numerical and graphical data on the properties of materials
  • Search by elements, structure, or corrosion

SAE Technical Papers (Society of Automotive Engineers)

Provides access to over 175,000 continuously updated technical reports. Subjects include aerospace, automotive, and commercial vehicles. The reports date back as far as 1906.


Library Subject Guides

Check out our subject guides – available for each discipline. The guides are continually updated with new information and resources. You’ll find information on popular resources, subject guides, handbooks, and digital publications. The guides also include helpful links, including Citation Guides, Engineering Ethics, Copyright and Open Access Information among other things. Check our homepage to find the links!


InfoHawk+

The University of Iowa has implemented a new way to access library resources and materials! InfoHawk+ is replacing the InfoHawk basic catalog and Smart Search.  InfoHawk+ merges the two search engines into an easy-to-use, streamlined search engine which allows for clear access to the UI Libraries holdings and resources! Check it out!


E-books on the Bookshelves!

A pilot project is making our e-book resources accessible on our bookshelves!

  • Each e-book has a book-sized plastic case shelved by call number.
  • Each case has spine label, and both front and back covers
  • There is a QR code on the spine
  • NFC tag on the back cover
  • Inside the case are info sheets which may be taken by the user. The information includes title, call number, and web address

Instruction & Research Support

Both Engineering Librarians are available for short or class length demonstrations on a wide variety of library resources.

Kari Kozak, Head of the Lichtenberger Engineering Library, is available to talk about resources and services to students, faculty, and/or staff.  This could range from an overview of the library and services to in-depth researching strategies including evaluating information, standards, and patents.  Sessions can be to individuals, small groups, lab groups, or classes. Email Kari at kari-kozak@uiowa.edu for more information.

Qianjin (Marina) Zhang, Engineering & Informatics Librarian, is also available to talk about library overview and services as well as detailed sessions related to data management and Endnote.  Email Marina at qianjin-zhang@uiowa.edu for more information

Check out the following instructional menu to help see how we can help personalize a class visit:  http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/eng/files/2012/08/library-instruction-menu_v2.pdf

Have an item you would like to request for the Engineering Library to purchase? Just send us an email (lib-engineering@uiowa.edu).


Course Reserves

Course Reserves are being organized for the Fall Semester.  If you have not already done so and would like to have items put on reserve for the Fall Semester, please email the Engineering Library at lib-engineering@uiowa.edu with a list of the materials and course number.

 

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Engineering Library 2015 – 2016 Year in Review!

 

 

Our Year in Review!!

 

engineering-library-2015-2016 (5)

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Happy 160th Birthday Nikola Tesla!!

Happy 160th Birthday!!!
Nikola Tesla
July 10, 1856 – January 7, 1943
tesla

Photo Credit: http://www.teslabg.edu.rs/

Nikola Tesla  had a fascinating childhood. The son of a Serbian Orthodox Priest and a mother, who came from a long line of inventors, he was able to spend much of his childhood inventing and trying new things. During a long, cold and dry spell, he ‘discovered’ static electricity. He thought of this often and it profoundly influenced his adult life and his inventions. As a child he invented a cornstalk popgun, which contained the principles he adapted when he devised particle-beam weapons. And, after seeing a picture of Niagara Falls, young Nikola (he was somewhere between 10- and 14-years-of-age) told his Uncle Josip that one day he would place a gigantic wheel under the waterfall and harness it. In 1895, he and George Westinghouse built the first hydro-electric power plant in Niagara Falls.

His older brother died after a fall from a horse and thereafter Nikola began having “out-of body” experiences. In fact, those experiences were so real he sometimes needed his sisters to help him tell which were real and which were hallucinations. Those experiences continued throughout his life and actually were an asset to his creativity. He could visualize his finished inventions and modify them in his mind before committing them to paper.  To learn more about the life of this fascinating and influential man, check out Wizard : the Life and Times of Nikoa Tesla : Biography of a Genius

Nikola began his career as an electrical engineer in 1881 while working with a a telephone company located in Budapest. It was there that the solution to the rotating magnetic field flashed through his mind, which led to the creation of the induction motor. In 1884, Tesla moved to the United States to work with Thomas Edison. He and Edison disagreed on direct current versus alternating current. Edison promoted the direct current, while Tesla believed the alternating current was more efficient. Tesla won that disagreement…

He was a pioneer in many fields – in 1896 the Electrical Review published X-rays of a man which had been taken by Tesla. Others were also experimenting with X-rays at the same time but Tesla didn’t claim priority. It is reported that he said, “I don’t care that they stole my idea…I care that they don’t have any of their own.”

Interestingly, in 1901 Tesla imagined a means of instant communication – he imagined receiving telegrams, stock quotes, etc., assigning them each a different frequency, which would then be broadcast to a device held in your hand. He essentially envisioned the internet and smart phones…

220px-TeslacoilHe is perhaps most well-known for the Tesla Coil, which he developed in 1891. The Tesla Coil transforms energy into extremely high-voltage charges, which create powerful electrical fields capable of producing electrical arcs. A Tesla Coil is made of two parts – a primary coil and a secondary coil. Each has its own capacitor (which stores electrical energy like a battery does).  The whole system is powered by a transformer. The two circuits are connected by a spark gap. The Tesla Coil revolutionized the way electricity was understood. Variations of the Tesla Coil are still used in radios and televisions.

Interesting Facts About Nikola Tesla:

  • He was born during a lightning storm, which the midwife claimed was a bad omen. She said he would be a child of darkness. The family legend is that his mother replied, “No. He will be a child of light.”
  • By around the age of 12, he developed strange “habits.” He developed an aversion to women’s earrings, and the sight of a pearl would give him “fits.” He would never touch another person’s hair and could develop a fever looking at a peach.
  • Not all his ideas were practical. One such idea was a ring around the equator which would transport people from one end of the globe to the other…

(Wizard : the life and times of Nikola Tesla : Biography of a Genius).

 

Resources:

Seifer, Marc. 1996. Wizard : the life and times of Nikola Tesla : biography of a genius. Seacaucus, N.J. : Carol Pub. Engineering Library TK140.T4 S65 1996

Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse built the first hydro-electric power plant…. Tesla Memorial Society of New York. Date accessed July 7, 2016.

The 10 Inventions of Nikola Tesla That Changed the World. January 10,2012. Activist Post.

Martin, Thomas Commerford. 1995. The inventions, researches, and writings of Nikola Tesla. 2nd Edition. New York : Barnes & Noble. Engineering Library TK140.T4 M37 199

Wireless Electricity? How the Tesla Coil Works, by Kelly Dickerson. July 10, 2014. livescience.com

Tesla Coil.  Wikipedia. Page last modified July 5, 2016, accessed July 7, 2016.

**Other Resources:

Nikola Tesla : the Genius Who Lit the World. July 10, 1998. Tesla Memorial Society of New York.

 

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InfoHawk+ Is Coming!

InfoHawk+ Is Coming Soon!!

The University of Iowa Libraries is introducing a new way to access library resources and materials. This month, July 2016, we will switch to a new library management system. Changes have already begun and will continue throughout the month.

InfoHawk, which has been our online catalog system for the past 16 years, has been taken out of service. Links to InfoHawk will temporarily take you to Smart Search. Smart Search has already been available as an alternative to the InfoHawk search tool.

InfoHawk+ will replace Smart Search and the InfoHawk basic catalog and should be available on July 18th. InfoHawk+, will merge the two search engines into an easy-to-use, streamlined search which will allow clear access to the UI Libraries holdings and resources. Users will be able to search for print journals and books, available electronic resources, and other resources which are unique to the UI Libraries collections.

Since the staff side – “behind the scenes” – will also be changing, some services will be either temporarily unavailable from July 14th through the 18th.  We apologize for any inconvenience this causes and are working to minimize the disruption in services.

If you’d like more information about the transition, please check the Library Guide.

infohawk-retired

 

 

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Holiday Hours for the 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!!

July_4

We will be CLOSED on Monday, July 4!

We will reopen at 8:30 on Tuesday, July 5

Have a fun and safe holiday!!

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Engineering the Bike – New Exhibit!

It’s summer! The perfect time to learn about the engineering of the bicycle and we have a new exhibit highlighting bicycles and their engineering!

Exhibit_Case

Do you remember your first bike? And telling your folks “don’t let go” the first time the training wheels came off? Most of us loved the exhilaration and freedom riding a bike brought and didn’t really think about the history and engineering of the bicycle…

Cycling - Herne Hill - Penny Farthing Race - London - 1932.

Cycling – Herne Hill – Penny Farthing Race – London – 1932.

The history of the bike begins with the velocipede which was designed after the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815). From there it developed into the ‘penny farthing,’ to the safety bikes, and then to the bikes we have today. And there are a myriad of types of bicycles today. Not just for pleasure or riding to work, there are many bikes designed for racing and extreme sports. There are road events (i.e. Road Criterium), off-road events (i.e. Cyclo-cross), and track racing (i.e. Olympics).

yellow_bike_squareA lot of engineering is involved in designing and creating a bike. Designers look at multiple factors – aerodynamics, the wheel & spokes, tires, balance, ergonomics, and the different material with which to make the body and the tires. Looking at aerodynamics means exploring the shape of the bike and how that affects the air flow and drag. The design of the wheel looks at the width and diameter of the wheel, and the type of spokes. The wheel design and the tires also vary depending on how the bicycle will be used – city streets? Off-road? Tour de France? There are also ergonomic factors – pedal to saddle distance, crank length, saddle to handlebar dimensions…. And the frames – what materials are used – steel, low carbon, chrome moly. Performance bikes often use low alloy steel and chrome moly which meet aviation industry specifications.

Make_Bikes

Make: Bicycle Projects. Engin Lib TL410 .B35 2015

 

Want to try your hand at hacking your bike? Make: Bicycle Projects will help you do just that! It includes everything from a list of what should be included on a bike hacker’s workbench to commercial add-ons, to SpokePOV (Spoke Persistence of Vision). Want a bike that glows in the dark? Or a ‘parade bike’ which has built in speakers? Make : Bicycle Projects will walk you through and help you create your own unique hacks.

 

Here at the University of Iowa, Steve McGuire, Professor of Metals Arts & 3D Design and Studio Division Coordinator in the School of Art & Art History, has created a handmade bicycle curriculum. The UI is the first academic institution to be selected to exhibit the work of students at the North American Hand Built Bicycle Show. It is the most prestigious venue of its kind internationally. The program was started in 2010, and since then over 70 students have built bicycles and some have gone on to become engineers and craftspeople in the bike industry.

What else is going on locally in the biking environment?

In an article from the May 18, 2016 The Gazette, B.A. Morelli explains how Iowa City and Cedar Rapids are working to make both cities more bike friendly. Iowa City is testing a low-volume and low-speed street that gives priority to cyclists – a bike boulevard. Cedar Rapids has painted green dedicated bike lanes. It has also expanded the use of “supersharrows,” (paint markings are the silhouette bordered by dashed lines that you see painted in the center of the travel lane). Road diets may also be in the future. A road diet squeezed four lanes of traffic into three with the center lane for turning and with bike lanes on each side.

It is hard to live in Iowa and not know about RAGBRAI (the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) which is now an international event and has 8500 registered riders. Many riders hop in for a leg or two of the ride, so there are more than 8500 riders biking through Iowa during the week-long trek. This year the ride begins in Glenwood and ends in Muscatine. The longest leg of the ride is 75.2 miles and has a total of 3,994 feet of climb!

Iowa City will host the Cyclo-Cross World Cup on September 24, 2016 at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. The event is expected to attract 15,000 spectators and be televised internationally. Iowa City is the second date on the 2016-2017 Cyclo-Cross World Cup circuit.

Elite Men’s Race Highlights | 2016 Cyclo-cross World Championships | Heusden-Zolder, Belgium

Iowa City also has a Bike Library. Bikes are donated and then repaired and offered to the public. Bikes are priced with a deposit and checked out for 6-month periods. If the bike is returned in good condition, the deposit is returned. The patron may also choose to keep the bike and forfeit the deposit. They also have “Rent-a-Bench” where you can work on your bike for $5/hour during specified hours. A big thank you to them for donating several of the items in our display!

Stop in and check out our bike exhibit – you

Resources:

Burrows, Mike. Bicycle design : the search for the perfect machine. 2008. London : Snowbooks, Ltd. Engineering Library TL410 .B8 2008

Baichtal, John. 2015. Make : bicycle projects. San Francisco, CA : Maker Media. Engineering Library TL410 .B35 2015 

Steve McGuire. University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts & Science, School of Art & Art History. University of Iowa. Date accessed: June 10, 2016.

Cycling – Herne Hill – Penny Farthing Race – London – 1932.  by Susanne Colwyn. October 20, 2014. SmartInsights.com

James Starley, British Inventor. Written by the Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. January 8, 2015. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.

RAGBRAI. 2016. ragbrai.com

Iowa City lands cyclo-cross World Cup.  Josh O’Leary. Iowa City Press Citizen. January 29, 2016.

Elite Men’s Race Highlights | 2016 Cyclo-cross World Championships | Heusden-Zolder, Belgium. UCI, youtube.com January 31, 2016

The Walking Bike or Sneaker Bike. Designed by Arkitipintel.

The Walking Bike or Sneaker Bike. Designed by Arkitipintel.

Other Resources:

Chaline, Eric. 2012. Fifty machines that changed the course of history. Buffalo, NY : Firefly Books. Engineering Library TJ15 .C44 2012

Rapley, David. 2012. Racing Bicycles : 100 years of steel. Mulgrave, Vic. : Images Publishing Group Pty. Photography by Susie Latham. Engineering Library TL410 .R37 2012

Rogner, Thomas, editor. 2012. The bike book : lifestyle passion, design. Kempen, Germany : teNeus. Engineering Library FOLIO TL410 .B54 2012

Graham, Brad; McGowan, Kathy. 2008.  Bike, scooter and chopper projects for the evil genius. New York : McGraw-Hill. Engineering Library TL400 .G689 2008

Oldenziel, Rugh, editor. 2015. New York : Berghahn Books. Engineering Library HE5736 .C926 2015

Embacher, Michael. 2011. Cyclepedia : a century of iconic bicycle design. San Francisco : Chronicle Books.  Engineering Library FOLIO TL410 .E43 2011

Sinn, Matthew. 2010. Build your own electric bicycle. New York : McGraw Hill. Engineering Library TL437.5 .E44 S595 2010

Moore, Richard; Benson, Daniel; Penn, Rob, contributors. The racing bicycle : design, function, speed. 2013. New York : Universe. Engineering Library TL437.5 .R63 2013

Hadland, Tony. 2014.  The F-frame Moutlons. Zurich : Lit Verlag. Engineering Library TL437.5 M68 H329 2014

20 Sculptures That Upcycle Your ‘Cycle. by Jeremy s. Cook. April 19, 2016. makezine.com

Simple Bike Upgrade: glowing Wheels That Recharge Themselves. by Bill Livolsi. April 29, 2016. makeszine.com

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20th Anniversary of Twister!!

May 10, 1996
Twister© was released.

Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton in Twister, released in 1996.

The movie Twister,© which was filmed in and around Ames, Iowa, was nominated for 2 Oscars, 13 other awards and won a total of 10 awards. “Bill and Jo Harding, advanced storm chasers on the brink of divorce, must join together to create an advanced weather alert system by putting themselves in the cross-hairs of extremely violent tornadoes.” (Plot summary, IMDB.com).

TOTO

TOTO before and after deployment. Storm Prediction Center NOAA. NSSL photos.

Their team of storm chasers, competing against a better-funded team, are trying to create a device meant to be released into a tornado. The plot is a dramatized view of research projects like Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes (VORTEX) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The device used in the movie, named “Dorothy,” is copied from “TOTO” (TOtable Tornado Observatory)- the real device used in the 1980s by the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL). Dorothy (i.e. TOTO) was an instrument designed to be placed in the path of a tornado, and then sucked up into the tornado. When TOTO was sucked into the tornado, sensors would be released and these sensors would measure, among other things, pressure and humidity. Unfortunately, TOTO was too light and fell over when it was sideswiped by the edge of tornado. It was later deployed as a portable weather station to measure thunderstorm gust fronts and non-tornadic mesocyclones.

VORTEX was designed to answer questions about the causes of tornado formation. It documented the entire life cycle of a tornado from beginning to end, for the 1st time in history. VORTEX2 has many more instruments than the original VORTEX and is now mobile. Currently, in 2016, NSSL researchers are embarking on VORTEX Southeast. With this research, scientists seek to understand the environmental forces in the southeastern United States – studying the intensity, structure, and path of tornadoes in the region.

Storm Chasers in South Dakota.

A twister snakes toward storm chasers in South Dakota. Photography by Carsten Peter, National Geographic Creative.

What does it take to be a storm chaser?  Anyone can become a storm chaser – there are no procedures, certifications or permits required unless you want to become a SKYWARN® spotter.

SKYWARN® is a National Weather Service (NWS) volunteer program with between 350,000 and 400,000 trained severe weather spotters. The main responsibility of a SKYWARN® spotter is to identify and describe severe local weather and storms. They are different than chasers, usually staying in one place to observe, until it is necessary for them to move. Their training includes learning about basic severe weather structure and development, how to report, and basic severe weather safety. If you are interested in becoming a SKYWARN® volunteer, training is free and typically lasts about 2 hours. Check here for information and find the closest SKYWARN® program in Iowa!

Tornado Alley is a nickname given to an area in the southern plains of the central United States that consistently experiences a high frequency of tornadoes each year.

Tornado Alley is a nickname given to an area in the southern plains of the central United State.

Storm chasing is an expensive as a hobby – mainly because it involves a lot of travel.  The term “chaser” refers to the careful forecasting and tracking of storms and then going to those storms to make observations. Many chasers have to drive or fly to “tornado alley,” stay in hotels, and can drive over 500 miles in a single chase day, all of those expenses add up to be pretty costly

If you do decide you want to venture out on your own to watch a storm, you must be very careful – not only because of the storm, but also because of the other chasers in the vicinity. Often amateur storm chasers will park in the middle of a road to watch and photograph the approaching storm. Parking in the middle of the road makes it nearly impossible for vehicles to leave the potential danger zone and they are often in the way of the trained and seasoned storm chasers. In some locations it has been reported that as many as 100 amateur storm chasers may all converge in an area where the chance for tornadoes is high.

Storm chasing is dangerous – even for the seasoned chasers. In May, 2013, 3 chasers and 1 civilian were killed by tornadoes near El Reno, OK. Local resident, Richard Henderson, was killed when he decided to follow that storm. Tim Samaras (a chaser and a meteorologist), his son Paul Samaras, and Carl Young were experienced, seasoned chasers and considered to be the safest storm chasers at the time. Tim founded and headed the Tactical Weather-Instrumental Sampling in/near Tornadoes EXperiment (TWISTEX).  The TWISTEX vehicle in which the three were chasing was struck by a violent wedge tornado with winds up to 295 mph.

If you are intrigued by the idea, but don’t feel up to chasing on your own, you can actually be a “tornado tourist.” A 10-day, professional storm chasing tour (sometimes called “tornado safaris”), typically costs between $2000 and $3000. That includes lodging and fuel costs…

For a fascinating look at the personal stories and experiences of a storm chaser, check out Out of the blue : a history of science, superstition, and amazing stories of survival by John s. Friedman.

For more information about tornadoes and severe weather, check our blog, “Stormy Weather,” from April 29, 2016.

Interesting Twister©  facts:

Twister© is the 1st Hollywood feature film to be released on DVD and one of the last to be released on HD DVD. It has since been released on Blu-ray.

Both Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt were temporarily blinded by bright electronic lamps used to get the exposure right for the dark, stormy sky. They also both had to have hepatitis shots after filming in an unsanitary ditch.

If you live in the tornado alley and are up for some excitement – you just might want to watch Twister©Even if you don’t live in tornado alley, you should get some popcorn and watch, and learn about storm chasing!

Resources:

Twister (1996 film). Produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment.

Horvitz, Leslie Alan. 2007. The essential book of weather lore : time-tested weather wisdom and why the weatherman isn’t always right. Pleasantville, NY : Reader’s Digest Association. Engineering Library QC995.4 .H665 2007

Mogil, H. Michael. 2007.  Extreme weather : understanding the science of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, heat waves, snow storms, global warming and other atmospheric disturbances. New York, NY : Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers : Distributed by Workman Pub. Co. Engineering Library QC981 .M65 2007

Svenvold, Mark. 2005. Big weather: Chasing tornadoes in the heart of America. New York : Henry Holt. Engineering Library QC955.5  U6 S75 2005

The TOTO Home Page. Storm Prediction Center. Date Accessed May 9, 2016.

Weather Library > Storm Chasing: Frequently Asked Questions. Dan Robinson, Storm  Chaser/Photographer. stormhighway.com

What is VORTEX2: Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment. VORTEX@NSSL. Date Accessed May 4, 2016

National Weather Service SKYWARN™ February 29, 2016. NOAA National Weather Service.

Storm Chaser Tim Samaras: One Year After His Death, His Gift is Unmatched. By Robert Draper, for National Geographic. May 27, 2014. National Geographic.

TWIRL – Tornadic Winds : In situ and Radar observation at Low levels. 2016. Center for Severe Weather Research.

Tornado Alley. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Date accessed, May 9, 2016

NSSL The National Severe Storms Laboratory.

Other Resources:

The Online Tornado FAQ. Storm Prediction Center. Date Accessed May 9, 2016

Storm Chasers Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras and Carl Young Killed in Oklahoma Tornadoes. June 2, 2013, by Leezel Tanglao. ABC News 

Tornado Chaser Tim Samaras Killed: Fans Pay Tribute. June 3, 2013, By Melody Kramer. National Geographic.

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Finals Week Hours and Free Coffee!!

Hard to believe that it is already time for finals! We have added hours and free coffee to help you make it through!

Extended hours:

Sunday, May 8th: 2:00 p.m. to Midnight
Monday through Thursday, May 9th through 12th: 8:30 a.m to midnight
Friday, May 13th: 8:30 to 5 p.m.
May 14th and 15th: Closed

 

coffee_SteamWe also will have free coffee, and lemonade (while supplies last)! We’ll keep the coffee hot and the lemonade cold for you!

Please help save the environment and bring your own cup!

shhh

 

Don’t forget the lower level of the library is a dedicated quiet study space, with study carrels, easy chairs, bean bag and gamer chairs!

We also have plenty of space on the main level for individual or group study. We have two group study pods with white boards and pod 1 has MediaScape®. (Please reserve study time in the pods by using the sign-up sheets by each pod).  We have several group study tables. We also have 2 print stations, 2 scanners, study carrels, and computers. And, don’t forget the computers in the multipurpose room!

crayonsIf you are in need a bit of a break – we’ve got you covered there, too! We have more Color by Number – Engineering Style grids! There will also be Legos® on hand! Take a break and let your mind relax for a bit!

Good luck with finals! 

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May The 4th Be With You!!

Happy Star Wars© Day!
May the 4th Be With You!

lightsabers

While you are having your Star Wars© movie marathon you might want to create your own Star Wars© Universe. After all, who doesn’t need their own Han Solo in soaponite? An Ewok flower vase, or a Space Slug draft blocker?

The Star Wars Craft Book will help you create these, and oh, so many more!

There is a complete list of supplies needed to create any of the crafts in the book. Most of them are easily accessible or found around the house. Supplies include (but are not limited to) a needle-nose plier, sandpaper, tape measure, ruler, tape and binder clips. Each of the crafts has step-by-step instructions and are illustrated in full-color.

The book is divided into 5 sections:

Playtime includes finger puppets, a washcloth Wampa, and, for you cat lovers, a mouse Droid cat toy. Home Decor: Every Star Wars© home (universe) should have a Chewbacca tissue cover, Jabba the Hutt body pillow. And, of course there is Han Solo soaponite!

Han Solo Soaponite

Han Solo Soaponite

For the holidays you can have a Wookiee pumpkin for Halloween, a Mistle-TIE Fighter, or a Hanukkah Droidel. Nature & Science includes a Dagobah carnivorous plant habitat, a Wookiee bird house and an AT-AT herb garden.

AT-AT Herb Garden

AT-AT Herb Garden

And for those of you who want that Star Wars© style, there is a chapter that includes character rings, 5 things to do with your Star Wars© t-shirts, and my favorite – a crocheted R2-D2 beanie!

Perhaps, you’d like to create your own Daisy Ridley (Rey) blaster that she used in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.©  This youtube video will help you do just that!

If you are more into the gaming side of Star Wars©, check out Game On, Hollywood! Essays on the Intersection of Video Games and Cinema. The essays in this book look at how games and films intersect. The book looks at adaption, both video game to film and film to video game, but is mostly about narrative, bringing attention to the ways and possibilities of telling a story in the present moment. Felan Parker, author of the essay titled Millions of Voices: Star Wars©, Digital Games, Fictional Worlds and Franchise Canon, discusses how “the Star Wars© franchise has come to be defined by its emphasis on a singular, cohesive canon and larger fictional universe.” (pg. 156). This is the perfect resource for you to explore consequences of time, place and ideology, and examine approaches to the narrative in the age of multimedia storytelling.

Whether you choose to celebrate by making your own Daisy Ridley’s blaster (or a lightsaber!), or looking at the intersection of games and film, enjoy and May the 4th be with you!!

Resources:

Papazian, Gretchen, Sommers, Joseph Michael, editors of compilation. 2013. Game on, Hollywood : essays on the intersection of video games and cinema. Jefferson, North Carolina. Engineering Library, PN1995.9 .V46 G37 2013

Burton, Bonnie. 2011. The Star Wars craft book. 2011. New York, Del Rey/Ballantine Books. Engineering Library TT157 .B87 2011

Wookieepedia : the Star Wars Wiki. Date accessed April 29, 2016

Butler, Nathan P., creator and compiler. Star Wars: Timeline GoldDate accessed April 29, 2016

Bongiomo, Joe, chronicled by. The Star Wars Expanded Universe Timeline. Date accessed April 29, 2016

Star Wars Jedi Academy. July 31, 2007

Jakespeare, William. How to Make a Lightsaber (DIY). Jan. 3, 2012. youtube.com