Book Review: Otherbound

cover_otherbound_mediumAmara is never alone. Not when she’s protecting the cursed princess she unwillingly serves. Not when they’re fleeing across dunes and islands and seas to stay alive. Not when she’s punished, ordered around, or neglected. She can’t be alone, because a boy from another world experiences all that alongside her, looking through her eyes… (Source: Goodreads)

Some vague spoilers that will only make sense if you’ve read the book are in this review. I’ll try to keep things vague but fair warning, they are in here.

Irony, kind of: I go out of my way to read the UIUC YA bookclub pick for last month – OTHERBOUND by Corinne Duyvis – going so far as to say on Facebook I’m going, only to find myself stuck in my room during meeting time because I stupidly made a dental appointment the same day several hours before bookclub and have you ever spoke coherently and thoughtfully about anything after both a root canal and a tooth extraction? I didn’t think so. Thus, I was left to wallow in my OTHERBOUND thoughts, underheard, until now.

Continue reading

Where You Can Find Me

Still have some proper posts cooking in the pot, including some book reviews and thoughts on board games and library science, maybe even a PAIGI. Until then, I thought I’d let you know what places on the Internet I haunt these days.

On Twitter, you can find me @theseventhl.

On Steam (which I haven’t started yet but it’s still there!), you can find me at gunsandships1776.

On BoardGameGeek, you can find me at lafayetteouioui (see a theme between those two?).

On Pogo, you can find me at PinkStarsFalling (although I currently do not have a Club Pogo membership).

On Kitsu.io, you can find me at theseventhl (this is the anime/manga cataloging site I’ve switched to after abandoning MyAnimeList).

I am also on Goodreads and LibraryThing. I use Goodreads and LibraryThing to both catalog what I’ve read; Goodreads is also where I keep my actual reviews and do my yearly reading challenge, while LibraryThing is where I connect with librarian groups and mess around with beginner cataloging.

If there’s anything I’ve forgotten, it’s probably not worth mentioning (and yes, that includes Facebook). Look out for an actual blog post soon!

 

PAIGI: Resources For The Citizen Scientist

So in my last PAIGI (Physics As I See It) post, I mentioned a bad experience at my campus engineering library. I found that not every librarian in a STEM-specific library is trained to find field-specific resources. I took a question about Richard Feynman’s QED lectures to the reference desk and walked away unsatisfied but also curious about how that interaction could have gone differently. If she had, say, looked in a database or a STEM-specific resource instead of Googling, would we have found what I was looking for? Was training to blame, or a lack of intuitive knowledge about physics?

So instead of going in on this young lady who probably is not a library science student and probably never heard of Feynman in her life, I’ll share with everyone some of the resources I have used to find physics and STEM-related information. Most of them are online, since students often spend the majority of time in front of a computer. Some of it may seem obvious or just intuitive, but in the interest of transparency, I’ll be sharing them all.

Continue reading

Thursday Night Reading List

I’m sorry for the radio silence! Between classes, the job hunt, and wrangling health insurance from my school, it’s been a busy week and a half. I actually have some posts coming down the pipe in the next couple of days or so, but until then, I’d like to share with you some of the interesting articles I’ve been reading when I’ve had the time to.

Image: A Photoshop of Isaac Newton's head imposed upon a man's body while riding in a moving bumper car.

PAIGI: Things That Going Bumper Car In The Night

In Monday’s reference class, we looked at a variety of virtual reference interactions, and one of the example queries immediately grabbed my attention — because, of course, it was about physics! Unfortunately, it was part of an example of a horrid reference interview, but it did have me wondering: could I have answered the question if I had been the librarian at the desk for that patron? Let’s find out! It’s PAIGI (Physics As I Get It) time!

Here is the question: “When you drive forward in a bumper car at high speed and you slam into the car in front of you, you find yourself thrown forward in your car. Which way is your car accelerating?”

I admit, I am not as far into my independent physics studies as I would like, but that’s okay. I’ve already read a good bit about acceleration and the mechanics of objects in motion, so I’ll try to tackle this question with what I know already and supplement the inevitable gaps with research online.

Note: all definitions and equations, unless cited otherwise, are paraphrased from the fifth edition of W. Thomas Griffith’s “The Physics of Everyday Phenomena”.

Continue reading

A Map Of The Cat: Tell Me What You Really Want

Richard Feynman, before he revolutionized physics and became the leading figure in quantum electrodynamics, was just an average (well, maybe not average) college student the day he walked into his campus library and asked for one thing: a map of the cat.

The poor librarian working the biology section that day was aghast. “A map of the cat, sir?” One can imagine the horror in her voice, the absolutely shocked expression on her face.

She managed, however, to set young Feynman straight. She led him to the appropriate zoology materials and to the charts that he needed –  the “maps” of the cat he was asking for. This story can be read in full in his book, SURELY YOU’RE JOKING, MR. FEYNMAN! (which is an absolute gem of a read no matter what your field is), and Scientific America samples this charming anecdote in a great write-up as Feynman as biologist.

When I first read that story last year as an undergrad English student, I laughed at Feynman’s ineptitude and the naivety of a physics genius barging into the world of biology and attempting to conquer its vocabulary, only to stumble a bit at the starting line. Later, after spending a little time in the LIS program, studying reference work and the functions of the reference desk, I feel sorry for Little Richard. And I certainly do not feel sorry for the librarian!

Continue reading