Reference Blog Entries

The Blood Moon

Laura's picture

In the U.S., Canada, and Central America we will be able to view a supermoon lunar eclipse (also called a blood moon because of its color) later this month.  In our area the event will begin at 8:11 pm on September 27 and end at 1:22 am on September 28 with the maximum viewing time being 10:47 pm.  It is the fourth in a tetrad of eclipses this year.  

To learn more about lunar eclipses you may want to read the following articles found in the library’s online resouces:     Image - NASA view of lunar eclipse

      Logo - Access Science databaseImage - Science Reference Center





Brush me barnacles, it's that time of year again!

Katie's picture

Pirate's headstone, Exploring New Lives, the 17th and 18th Centuries

If you’re like me, you're very excited about International Talk Like a Pirate Day! And since it fell on a Saturday, this year's celebration lasts all weekend! But if you miss it, don’t worry, the Reference Department has plenty of great resources to help you prepare for next September 19.

Our Reference databases have lots of information on piracy throughout history, such as Piracy in North America, Law, Crime, and Punishment at Sea: 17th and 18th Centuries, Barbary Pirates, and War and Weapons at Sea: 17th and 18th CenturiesYou might like this great article from National Geographic called Blackbeard Lives about archaeologists searching a wreck off of North Carolina for clues about Blackbeard. Or perhaps you’re more interested in learning about online piracyBut the resource I find really fun and most beneficial in helping you prepare for International Talk Like a Pirate Day is Mango Languages. Sure, Mango is great for helping you study Spanish, French, or Japanese, but it also has a unit to teach you to speak Pirate, so why not use it to learn the language and pick up great grammar tips like:

  • Make sure to add extra Rs onto lots of words when speaking like a pirate. This will happen a lot at the end of word ending in a vowel like when “to” turns into “ter.” Just remember a pirate’s favorite letter is ARRR!
  • Keep in mind that a pirate usually doesn’t change the form of, or conjugate, the verb “to be.” If you want to sound like a true bucaneer, avoid using “am,” “is,” or “are”!
  • If you have a word ending in “-ing,” get rid of the -g and just say -in’!

Mango will also throw in some great cultural notes such as the phrase “Shiver me timbers” (which means “Holy cow!”) is thought to come from the feeling of a shock from a ship running aground or being blasted by a cannon.

I hope you have as much fun learning to talk like a pirate as I did, but if there is another language you'd like to learn, be sure to check with our Reference Department - we'd be happy to point ye mateys in the right direction!