Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sniffing Out Enemies

**Sniffing Out Enemies October 22, 2007
Posted by Miss Weird Scientist in Animals, Elephants, Evolution, Think About It.
Tags: colors, sense of smell
This is the most sophisticated level of group identification within species for any animal other than people.
Credit: Lucy Bates of St Andrews University for New Scientist.

Imagine if your sense of smell could differentiate between your enemies and your friends? Sound impossible? Not for African bush elephants in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, according to a new study led by Lucy Bates at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. More on the study can be read in the Current Biology journal. The study results show that elephants have developed a sophisticated means to identify the humans who pose a threat versus those who mean no harm - through scent recognition!

Let The Sniffing Begin

Bates and her team started out by putting three bits of red clothing near the elephants. One piece was totally clean, one was worn by a Masai warrior (elephant hunter!) and the last piece was worn by a local Kamba farmer. What’s the scoop? Well, the elephants ran faster and further from the clothing worn by the Masai warrior as opposed to the clean clothing and the clothing worn by the harmless farmer. Not only that, but the researchers wanted to see if red clothing in general would cause a greater reaction than white clothing. Why check this? It’s because the Masai warriors usually wear red clothing. So, the researchers took clean red clothing bits and clean white ones. Uh oh! The elephants reacted very aggressively to the red clothing, showing that they not only sniff out their enemies but that they visually identify traits to watch out for! Bates had some cool stuff to say about these smart elephants:

Elephants Are Advanced

Although studies have been done on other animals showing that they can recognize different groups, most of these were related to sound recognition. It’s thought that scent recognition - especially given that human smells are so complex - is an advanced ability. Identifying friends and foe through visual means also helps to improve an elephant’s ability to avoid harm. So, on the off chance you’re ever wandering through Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, it might just be a good idea to avoid wearing red clothing lest you anger the intelligent elephants! Fortunately - since the elephants would be unfamiliar with your smell - your scent shouldn’t pose any threat. Whew!
**Elephant print by Linda Edwards

Young Teen / Young Adult Bonnie Bryant - Cross-Ties (Pine Hollow Series #11)
Terry Coleman - Thanksgiving: A Novel (Teen)
Brent Hartinger - The Last Chance Texaco (Teen) Thansgiving/Christmas
Dandi Daley Mackall - Unhappy Appy (Winnie the Horse Gentler #5)
Joan Lowery Nixon ~ The Thanksgiving Mystery (Teen)
Eugenia Van Vliet - Thanksgiving (Young Adult)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Teen Ink

Like to draw, paint, write, be creative. Check out TeenInk.com/Submissions on the web or Editor@TeenInk.com to get your work published. Look at a Free Sample at your local library!!!"Teen Ink is a website and print magazine "devoted entirely to teenage writing and art." Their book reviews section contains more than 600 reviews written by teens. Unfortunately they are only browse-able in reverse chronological order, or alphabetically, so it is impossible to peruse a specific genre. Best click is the form to submit your own reviews. In addition to books, Teen Ink accepts movie, music and college reviews."

Monday, October 22, 2007

Reason to Allow Social Networking Sites

If your library or school district bans social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, consider this new survey http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6468596.html More than half of the students who use them discuss their schoolwork along with their social lives!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Happy Teen Read Week

There are a few activities for teens online for this. The Bookburger blog is looking for America's Next Top Librarian. Teens can nominate their favourite librarian for the title and possibly win a $50 Amazon.com gift card (US Residents only). Teens can also vote for their favourite teen read.

Here are some of my favorites:
Endymion Spring by Matthew Skeleton - Ok, so this is really a bit younger than a teen read but I loved it anyway. Blake has been dragged off to Oxford with his professor mother and little sister Duck. While sitting in the library one day he discovers a magical book that sets him, and Duck, off on a serious of adventures. The book flashes back and forth between the present and the year 1452 in Gutenberg's printing shop. I'm a sucker for a book within a book and even the slightly cliched and predictable ending didn't spoil this one for me. One of my favorites a bit of historical fiction.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Teen Read Week October 14-20

Readeergirlz & YALSA present 31 Flavorite Authors

The readergirlz divas and YALSA will be hosting 31 of your flavorite authors for 31 days in October -- all in honor of Teen Read Week.
From vamps to vampires, the creators of your favorite characters in YA lit will chat nightly at our group forum at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST (with the exception of the Halloween chat, which will be held at 9 PM PST/MIDNIGHT EST). So, readergirlz across the world, get ready to hang with:
The #1 international best-selling author Stephenie Meyer (Eclipse) and #1 New York Times best-selling authors Meg Cabot (The Princess Diaries) and Ann Brashares (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants), along with the Andre Norton Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature winner Holly Black (Ironside), National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti (Honey, Baby, Sweetheart), Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature winner Dia Calhoun (Avielle of Rhia), Mark Twain Award winner Janet Lee Carey (Dragon's Keep), YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens nominee Cecil Castellucci (Boy Proof), Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year winner Rachel Cohn (Gingerbread), Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award winner Chris Crutcher (Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes), Printz Honor recipient K.L. Going (Fat Kid Rules the World), Printz Award and Honor recipient John Green (An Abundance of Katherines), Coretta Scott King Award winner Nikki Grimes (Bronx Masquerade), NYPL Book for the Teen Age pick Lorie Ann Grover (On Pointe), four-time Book Sense pick Brent Hartinger (Geography Club), Asian Pacific American Award for Literature winner Justina Chen Headley (Girl Overboard), New York Times best-selling author Ellen Hopkins (Crank), Newbery Honor recipient Kirby Larson (Hattie Big Sky), ALA Best Books for Young Adults recipient E. Lockhart (The Boyfriend List), Printz Honor recipient Carolyn Mackler (The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things), Vanity Fair Hot Type pick Kirsten Miller (Kiki Strike), Book Sense pick Sarah Mlynowski (Bras & Broomsticks), New York Times best-selling author Lauren Myracle (ttfn), NYPL Book for the Teen Age pick Mitali Perkins (Monsoon Summer), Borders Original Voices nominee Cynthia Leitich Smith (Tantalize), Christopher Award winner for Best Children's Book Sonya Sones (What My Mother Doesn't Know), ALA Quick Pick Tanya Lee Stone (A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl), IRA/CBC Young Adults' Choice Gaby Triana (Cubanita), Book Sense pick Tiffany Trent (In the Serpent's Coils), Sid Fleischman Humor Award winner Lisa Yee (Millicent Min, Girl Genius), and NYPL Book for the Teen Age pick Sara Zarr (Story of a Girl).
Download the 31 Flavorites poster! The poster is available as a large PDF, a small PDF and a JPG.
Download and print the 31 Flavorites bookmark! Put one in the book you're currently reading and give others to your book-loving pals.