dean.smith's blog

Star Talk

On the first episode of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s new Star Talk TV show, George Takei asked what Dr. Tyson thinks will be the big discovery in his lifetime. Tyson said in the next decade or so, we’ll be certain of extra-terrestrial life. 

Senna

In Austin, April is not the month to blog about Formula 1, but Saturday evening we watched Senna, the movie by Asif Kapadia about Ayrton Senna, the Brazilian racer, and I can’t wait until October when the racers return to our circuit to talk about it. 

Going Clear

In January 2013, Austin author Lawrence Wright published Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief. This Friday, March 13, on what would have been L. Ron Hubbard's 104th birthday, director Alex Gibney's documentary based on Wright's book opens on the coasts. (And I mean the east and the west, not the third. Rats.) HBO will air the movie on March 29. 

Texas Maps

A beat up old TxDOT book came across my desk this morning, County Maps of Texas from 1998. Knowing there must have been updates since then, I went to TxDOT’s Forms & Publications page to see if I can buy a new set, but it looks like TxDOT maps have gone digital.

Death and Taxes

It’s time for the taxes part again. Need help filing? If you make less than $50,000, Foundation Communities is there for you. Last year they prepared thousands of tax returns, getting their clients millions of dollars in credits and deductions. 

 

The Resolution Enforcer

UPDATE: THE PRIZE IS CLAIMED! Watch for next month's fun pack which will likely have to do with Valentine's Day. 

The first fun pack of the New Year is on offer! Be the first to call 512.974.7400, option 1, and ask for The Resolution Enforcer, and you will win the pedometer (yellow!) and the drink/snack holder pictured at left. But that’s not all! Included in the prize package are books (to check out—you’ll need your library card) aimed at helping you to eat less sugar. 

Why sugar? Well, while the library cannot endorse, recommend, advise, direct, or nag our customers to take up any eating regime--we’re librarians, not nutritionists--we can tell you about publishing trends, and the latest diet books seem in large part to be fingering SUGAR as the layer-on of the fat.

Astronomy on Tap

If you’re in the neighborhood tonight, come out to Easy Tiger (709 E 6th St.) to Astronomy on Tap at 7:30 PM. Your Austin Public Library will be there with enticing astronomy-related library materials to check out, library-card applications to fill out, and you’ll hear astronomers speak who have interesting facts about the universe to give out. They’ll be talking about distant galaxies, and alien worlds, measuring the positions of stars with the Hubble, and beer. 

Isaac Asimov

I recently inherited the third-floor (downtown) science collection, the 500s, and I’m conflicted about Isaac Asimov’s books. I’ll give you an example: Here’s a picture of Realm of Numbers, copyright 1959, a skinny paperback edition published in 1981.

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