Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What Mrs N's Been Reading - The Alchemyst

Finally got around to Michael Scott's The Alchemyst. The book is based, loosely of course, on some historical figures - John Dee, who was an alchemist, astronomer, geographer, and mathematician, among other things, for Queen Elizabeth I, and Nicholas Flamel, one of the most famous alchemists of his time. In Scott's book, both Dee and Flamel have uncovered the secret to immortality and are still alive in present day. Flamel has possession of a great book of secrets that Dee wants to get his hands on. Enter twins Josh and Sophie. Josh works for Flamel in his bookshop, and Sophie works at the coffee shop across the street. When Dee comes looking for Flamel and the book, with a team of golem goons, Josh and Sophie attempt to help and become caught up in the mystery of the book while being tracked by Dee, who wants the book to turn it over to a branch of an elder race that is basically the dark side. Are Josh and Sophie the key to the final secret that was prophesied in the book? A good one for middle-schoolers. If you like it, check out the sequels as well.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Call of Duty Tournament Update

Just wrapped up our Call of Duty Tournament. Yes, there were enough kids who's parents didn't have them out doing yard work on a day like today! Wasn't sure if we'd get anyone or not, but somehow, for game tournaments, they always find a way to get here! No pics today - got down there, found out my batteries were dead, and never made it back upstairs for charged ones. Anyway, our big winner of the day was Andrew M, with Indy L pulling out a second place finish. Congrats!
Next gaming tournament will be Guitar Hero on April 18. See you then!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Build 'Em Smash 'Em Video Clips

OK, I know it's way past Tuesday, but just got around to downloading, converting and doing a little bit of editing. And yes, I know I'm a pretty lousy video editor, but this is as good as it's going to get. Again, thank you to Nicole and Matthew's mom for being willing to pinch-hit as my videographer at the last minute. As I said in the previous post, we will definitely do this one again, but probably make some changes to the materials and specs each time to keep it interesting. Also need to have a variety of scales on hand. I'll work on that between now and next time. In the meantime, enjoy the video!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Buil 'Em Smash 'Em Results

Just finished cleaning up after our first Build 'Em Smash 'Em Contest. I'd been looking forward to this one since the idea was first floated at a TAG meeting. I spent a bit of time figuring out how to do this well, but on the cheap, and building what became known as "The X-Terminator." What a blast! We had 8 teams entered, for a total of 21 kids, running the full age range (6th-12th grade) and both boys and girls. It was quite interesting watching the different approaches to the problem they were given. Basically each team got 6 hot glue sticks, 60 pieces of spaghetti, and a foamboard disk. They needed to construct a structure at least 14" tall, that would fit inside "The X-Terminator" (see pics). Then we added weight to see which structure would hold the most before collapsing. Our big winners were the team of Nick I and Trent G. Second place went to Dan H, Brandon H, Dillon M and Carl W. Pulling out third was Matthew B and Nicole B. We will definitely be doing some variation of this one again. Watch for it this summer, and again next school year. If you missed it, pics below. A big thank you to Nicole and Matthew's mom for filling in as videographer. I haven't downloaded the video yet, but I'll post parts of on Tuesday when I'm in the library next. Thanks to the Friends of Fredricksen, Trindle Bowl, Brusters, and Five Guys for donating prizes.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

What Mrs N's Been Reading - Lips Touch Three Times

Just finished Laini Taylor's Lips Touch Three Times. It was recommended by Hannah, a co-worker here who also reads primarily teen books. I was getting ready to officially give it up and just say that she and I just have different taste, 'cause we haven't been agreeing. But I gotta say, I liked this one quite a bit. It's actually a collection of three short stories (side story about that later) about goblins, demons, curses, and the power of a kiss. The third one, Hatchling was exceptionally well written. There's some fabulous artwork as well. Some slightly mature content, but handled very well. Probably OK for most older middle school kids, as well as high school students. For once, I just picked up the book without reading the jacket notes or anything. I was into the third story and asking myself how in the world Taylor was going to tie these three parts of the book together, when I finally realized that it was three independent short stories, and she had no plans of trying to tie them together. Duh!!

Oh well, excellent book! Enjoy!