Thanksgiving

The library will be closed on Thursday November 24th, for Thanksgiving. I hope you all have a joyous time with friends and family. I am truly blessed to be working as the Director here at the Belmont Library and I am thankful for all that has come with this wonderful job. I wish you all blessings and wonder.

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The Strange and Wonderful Music of Abbey Glover

One of my favorite past times is exploring the music to be found on YouTube. There is a plethora of unheard of artists and new sound that are never played on the radio. Music from around the world can be found and experienced to see other cultures in sound and beautiful vocal imagery. To share creative passions around the globe.

Abbey Glover is a musician/singer that I found in my college years when I was looking for inspiration late at night to give me the will to keep going on some homework project or other. I could not tell you exactly how I found her, but today I had a ghost of a memory of her music and I chased it down until I found her. Now I’d like to share her music with you.

(Dream of Me- Original Song by Abbey Glover from her YouTube channel)
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Gunnerkrigg Court

(Image of Tom Siddell’s first volume of Gunnerkrigg Court, image form Wikipedia)

In an earlier post I had mentioned the online site “Webtoons” where there is a collection of graphic novel/comic stories. Like Webtoon, this comics site is free, however, it is dedicated to just one comic.

“Gunnerkrigg Court” is the marvelous creation of Tom Siddell. His creation pulls elements from mythology around the world to create a compelling story that leaves you searching for more. Following a young girl named Anatomy Carver (aka Annie), as she attends school at The Court. Beyond the bridge is The Forest, a place of mystery and wilderness that pulls Annie closer. However, no one at the Court is allowed across the bridge. So, to investigate, she builds a robot to cross the bridge for her and to go see what is there, and that’s when things get…interesting.

Stunning and creative visuals, a deep and growing story, the end has yet to happen, but the excitement is always on the rise. Give it a try and see for yourself the wonders of Gunnerkrigg Court. Below is a link to the archives on the site that will give you the chapter selection so you can start at the beginning (So far there are 87 chapters and growing). Enjoy following Tom Siddell as he continues to make his work of story and wonder.

https://www.gunnerkrigg.com/archives/

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Old TV Show Throwback

(Image of a TV from the Clipart Library)

When I was a kid, we only had two TV channels at my house and three at my grandparents house. Most of today’s youth lives in a technological sea of TV shows, games, and all the internet has to offer. Yet there are fantastic stories from the past that I like to remember and rewatch.

Some of these shows have been put on modern sites like YouTube or Netflix. One of my favorite shows from the early 2000’s was a Canadian TV show on the Qubo channel called “Jane and the Dragon.” The story of a young girl named Jane who dreams of being a knight, and her trustworthy friend Dragon. Together, they go on many grand adventures. A great kids show with a beautiful pastel pallet and soft stylized animation.

I have found all of the original 26 episodes on YouTube posted by KnifeInTheCrayonBox, and would like to share them with you. The videos are the complete episodes with no audio glitches or commercials. I hope you enjoy this lovely childhood story as much as I do. Happy viewing!

(Playlist of the “Jane and the Dragon” TV show on YouTube, posted by the channel creator KnifeInTheCrayonBox)
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Webtoons and the World of Online Comics

(Image of the Webtoons logo from Wikipedia)

The art of story telling comes in many formats. Movies, books, theater, video games, and ever expanding new media styles. One such style that has been growing is that of digital comics. The Webtoons website is a free to use site that has hundreds of creators and their digital comics. Most are more accurately described as digital graphic novels. The age ranges on the stories go from children’s to adult. Each story is unique and told with a combination of art and words.

Personal favorites of mine include: “Apocalyptical Horseplay,” “Castle Swimmer,” “Urban Animals,” “Lore Olympus,” “The Strange Tales of Oscar Zahn,” “Hooves of Death,” “Jungle Juice,” “Nothing Special,” and “Rooftops & Roommates.” To name a few. I read about 30 different stories.

They are constantly being updated and expanding. A few are finished series, but most of them you will get to read along as the artist/author is creating. Below is the link to the Webtoons website. I hope you find stories here that enchant you with their art and words as much as they have enchanted me. Enjoy.

Sincerely, Curtis Decker, Director of the Belmont Library

https://www.webtoons.com/en/

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The Lunar Eclipse

This November, on the 8th of Tuesday, we will experience a blood moon eclipse. This natural phenomenon happens when the full moon passes within the Earth’s shadow as it orbits our planet, and is thus hidden from the Sun which usually illuminates it. There is no danger in viewing a lunar eclipse with just your eyes. Enjoy this stunning natural phenomenon!

The following map and time stamps come from Fred Espenak’s article “Total lunar eclipse on November 8, 2022” on the EarthSky website (https://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/total-lunar-eclipse-nov8-2022/)

(The following is an excerpt from the article showing the times of the eclipse and map)

This image shows where the November 8, 2022, total lunar eclipse will be visible. Image via Dominic Ford from in-the-sky.org. (From Fred Espenak’s article)

“Total lunar eclipse

A total lunar eclipse will sweep across Asia, Australia, the Americas and the Pacific on November 8, 2022.

Penumbral eclipse begins at 08:02 UTC on November 8 (3:02 a.m. EST).
Partial eclipse begins at 09:09 UTC on November 8 (4:09 a.m. EST).
Totality begins (moon engulfed in Earth’s shadow) begins at 10:16 UTC on November 8 (5:16 a.m. EST).
Totality ends at 11:41 UTC on November 8 (6:41 a.m. EST).
Partial eclipse ends at 12:49 UTC on November 8 (7:49 a.m. EST).
Penumbral eclipse ends at 13:56 UTC on November 8 (8:56 a.m. EST).
Maximum eclipse is at 10:59 UTC on November 8 (5:59 a.m. EST).
Duration of totality is about 85 minutes.”

(Excerpt from the article showing the times of the eclipse)

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A World of Wonder

Animation and 3D rendering has been a rising art form since its creation. Ever expanding new digital worlds to explore and see. This video shows only seconds of each animation, but it is a tiny glimpse into much larger worlds. Like reading one page of a book and nothing else, these images of other worlds are thought provoking and enchanting. I hope you enjoy them as I did.

This video was a challenge, issued by the YouTuber “Pwnisher.” Below is their description of their video:

“Over the last month, I challenged 3D artists with the Alternate Realities CG challange. I provided an animation for everyone to work from, and the results were stunning. 2,400 artists delivered, the top 100 were chosen for this montage, and 5 of them walked away with insane prizes from Rokoko, Wacom, Quixel, PNY and Aftershokz (I personally reached out to my favorite companies in order to give away the tools I use every day.)” Pwnisher

Note: Video rating PG-13 for mildly scary fantasy elements (Not an official rating, just my own)

(Video from YouTube by Pwinsher of the top 100 Render Montage from the challenge issued by Pwinsher)
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Have a Happy and Safe Halloween

(Image of a pumpkin from the Clipart Library)
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Friday Book Review

By Curtis Decker, Director of the Belmont Library

(Image of book cover from Ebay)

In connection to this weeks earlier post on speculative biology and evolution, I wanted to present you with the spine chilling world of “Fragment,” by Warren Fahy. In this fast-pace, sci-fi novel, a group of scientists are sailing across the Pacific Ocean in search of new wonders to study. But what they come across is more than they bargained for. A world where life and death happens in seconds, and evolution has taking a different path from anything the rest of the world has ever seen. Can the scientists make their studies and escape? Or, will they become part of the food chain? Find out in this thrilling novel! Enjoy fellow readers.

Note: Book is classified as Adult Fiction and contains scary themes, danger, and mild gore/violence.

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Speculative Biology and the Curious Archive

Scientists spend a lot of time studying out how reality works. Gravity, photosynthesis, biology, space, and so on. One aspect of science that is perhaps more entertaining, but just as in depth, is that of speculative science.

This is used when scientists are trying to think of ways to solve future problems that have not happened yet, when scientists are trying to understand what alien life could be like, or when trying to discover what the future could hold. For example, lets say scientists are looking at an earth-like planet. They can look as how its orbit effects the star, how light reacts around it as the planet passes in front of its star, and other more detailed astronomical facts that can lead scientists to fairly confidently determine the earth-likeness of a planet. But what about life on that planet? Most planet’s we will never be able to visit with our current space travel technology; however, to be prepared for if we ever can go to other planets, scientists spend a lot of time on speculative biology and evolution. By looking at the laws of physics, our own planets biology, and paleontological records of extinct species, scientists can formulate ideas about alien life that is logically sound and possible.

This is not just used by scientists, but artists, movie makers, and video game designers that all want to make their world building more believable and grounded in reality. The Youtuber, Curious Archive, explores other creators speculative evolution projects and creates concise and organized videos to display their worlds. I find it a fascinating way to get excited for science! My favorite series of the Curious Archive channel is that of the Epic of Serina, a world where birds rule on another planet and are allowed to evolved un challenged for millions of years. I hope you enjoy exploring these wonderful speculative worlds, and that they lead you to seek to discover our own amazing planet and all its natural wonders.

(YouTube link to Curious Archive’s video on the Epic of Serina project)
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