Darrington Library Blog

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Road trip Techie Style





The first extended road trip my husband and I took was with our kids, sleeping bags, budget motels and in a ‘79 blue Pinto wagon. This year we decided to do it in style, without kids (they are grown up now anyway), 3 star motels with Wi-Fi, and an all wheel drive Subaru. With our cell phones, GPS unit and laptop computer, guide books, and a stash of paperbacks we set out, heading in the general direction of the Grand Canyon for a 2 week safari without any set reservations or deadlines.

Every morning I checked out that day’s weather and possible route using the hotel’s Wi-Fi and my laptop. Rest stops, restaurants and scenic byways were all available at my fingertips on my GPS and our all wheel drive was invaluable in the unexpected snow storms and gravel and dirt roads that we encountered.

The best part of travelling with my laptop was being able to access geographic, geologic and historical information using Sno-Isle Library’s recommended websites and databases.

Sno-Isle carries lots of great travel books. I personally recommend travel guides such as Mobil Travel Guide, Southwest, Roadside Geology of Utah and educational DVD’s such as DVD-ED 917.9043 Touring the Southwest’s Grand Circle.

No, we didn’t make it as far as the Grand Canyon as we fell in love with the majestic scenery of southwestern Utah and decided to spend more time there.
We will save the Grand Canyon for another road trip.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Virgle

On April 1st this year visitors to Google’s search engine found a link to Virgle, a Virgin/Google joint enterprise to colonize Mars. The Virgle page has links to descriptions of the 100 year timeline, the opportunity to be a part of Mission Support, and even the chance to apply to be one of the pioneers who will head to Mars.

As far-fetched as the whole thing sounded the information offered and the proposed steps to accomplish this lofty goal were well thought out, plausible, and within the scope of the technology we posses today. Yes, it was an April Fools joke, but it was a thought provoking and enjoyable one.

If you would like to check out the Virgle Mars Mission site click here.

Whether you are someone who loves the idea of colonizing another planet, just want to know more about Mars, or revel in cutting edge science, Sno-Isle has magazines, books, and videos to satisfy your intellectual hunger. Here is a sample of the resources available to you from Sno-Isle.
In magazines may I suggest Scientific American and Science News?

In Space on Earth: Saving our world by seeking others by Charles Cockell. Professor Cockell discusses the value of colonizing other planets and how that idea is not in conflict with saving Earth.
Welcome to Mars, a DVD by NOVA documents the most significant events of the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity.
Voyage to the Planets and Beyond by Tim Haines is a companion book to the Discovery Channel series of the same name. The book uses “fictional first person accounts of space travel (which are based on the experiences of real astronauts) to tell the imagined story of a six-year space mission.”
Life on Mars by David Getz is an account of the adventures of a team on their three year mission to Mars. This book is a great one for younger readers.
Mars NASA Mission Reports is a sequel to the original Mars Mission Report and updates the reader on the most recent missions. It includes a DVD/DVD-ROM of movies and information about Mars.