Interstellar space radio signals from unknown source

Could intelligent life be trying to connect to us through radio waves? A strange phenomenon recently observed by astronomers offers the possibility.

An article published in the latest issue of Science Daily reports that after receiving repeated bursts of powerful radio signals over the past several months, astronomers have succeeded in observing the first live burst from a source about 5.5 billion light years from Earth.

While some natural causes have been ruled out, the prospect that this is being transmitted by alien life has not – yet.

“We found out what it wasn’t,” astrophysicist Daniele Malesani told Science Daily. “The fact that we did not see light in other wavelengths eliminates a number of astronomical phenomena that are associated with…exploding stars and supernovae.”

The signal from the radio wave burst was more than 20 percent circularly polarized, indicating a magnetic field in the vicinity. Astronomers believe the burst might be linked to a very compact type of object – such as neutron stars or black holes – or the bursts could be connected to collisions or “star quakes.”

Freely accessible to ZB Library cardholders, the library’s collection of e-resources and online apps includes InfoTrac Newsstand, a collection of thousands of daily news media providing breaking news of all kinds across the globe, and Reference Center Gold, a collection of thousands of magazine, journal and periodical archives.

Using the term “radio burst” in a keyword search at results in four articles on this recent phenomenon at InfoTrac Newsstand and an article at Reference Center Gold.

The ZB Library’s catalog includes books about extraterrestrial beings and life on other planets.


Posted in ZB Library | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Explore Web abyss with library apps

Your ZB Library card is a ticket for a voyage into the deep.

A Google search only explores the Internet’s surface. To journey into the “Deep Web” – another dimension of databases and dynamically generated sites buried at depths where standard search engines cannot reach – you need your ZB Library card.

Also known as the Deep Net or Invisible Web, this realm is perhaps as much as 50 times larger than the surface Web, containing information, facts and content many times more credible. When exploring the Deep Net, no advertisers from the dot-com universe can reach you; no marketers or search engines can track you. Traditional search engines cannot “see” or retrieve content in the Deep Web—those pages do not exist until they are created dynamically as the result of a specific search by an authorized visitor.


Commercial search engines cover 4 percent of the Internet, just the tip of the iceberg. ZB Library apps take you into the Deep Net.

There are various portals and wormholes to access to the premium information and resources on the Deep Net – university sites and research centers, government information, databases of all kinds, e-journals and scholarly publications and myriad other information resources, many of which charge premium rates for access. The ZB Library offers its cardholders free access to Deep Net sites through its eResources collection , a collection of apps found at the library’s Web site. All of them are essentially apps on steroids, given their potential for information, research and benefit for users.

Using the library’s online apps as a point of departure, and guidance from reference librarians, your voyage can go deeper to extract premium information from the Deep Web by searching these sites, following leads and exploring more searchable pages.

Instead of googling in the shallow and superficial commercialism of the dot-com world, ZB Library cardholders can take the plunge into the ZB Library’s portal to the Deep Web, to enhance their lives and boldly explore where few surfers have gone before.

Posted in ZB Library | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Library offers freedom to travel the Internet

For more than three-quarters of a century, the Zion-Benton Public Library has been an institution of the people, by the people and for the people of the Zion and Benton township communites, offering equal access to resources and services and equal opportunities for achievement and enhancement of people’s lives.

Internet use is now so ubiquitous in the U.S. that not having access or online literacy can create major obstacles. For some people, the only place offering free use of digital technologies and access to the Internet is the public library.The ZB Library has evolved into an entity that does much more than just circulate books and media. It bridges “digital divide,” the gap between people who have and those who don’t have access to digital technology, with public desktop computers, hard-wire and wi-fi Internet access, laptops, a full suite of document software, e-books collections and assistance in navigating the digital world.

Yet even for residents who do not depend on Internet access, the ZB Library offers vital digital resources and services, including databases, archives, educational opportunities, digital media, virtual reference libraries and many other online technologies, as well as traditional print and AV collections. Online resources ranging from reference sources; digital books, music and videos; career training and certification; literacy and academic skill building; adult learning; genealogy; and health – to name a few – are accessible at no charge to cardholders through the Internet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Free use of digital technology makes the ZB Library a government of the people; this equal opportunity is made possible with support by the people, and all this free access to collections and e-resources makes the ZB Library a vital hub of information for the people of this community.

Because it is of, by and for the people, the ZB Library’s digital resources offer something for all the people.

Posted in ZB Library | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cold records might change In Cold Blood narrative

Is In Cold Blood more fiction than truth? That has been the controversy ever since the “true”-crime classic was first published in 1965.

The book describes the brutal murder of a Kansas family in 1959, and, according to its subtitle, A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences. While it’s artfully written, Capote took liberal literary license in describing many of the book’s dramatic and detailed passages. Nevertheless, In Cold Blood has stood as one of the great American crime stories.

A recent court decision allowing the findings of an investigator in the case to be published might shed different light on the “true account” of the story. The son of that investigator, Ronald Nye, says these case records contradict Capote’s account.

How do they contradict the story? We’ll have to wait until the book comes out, of course. Nye is reportedly writing the book with author Gary McAvoy, who says the information “supports a pretty compelling new theory” on the story, which in addition to the murders describes the massive manhunt for the killers, detailed backstories on both, their trial and executions.

This is merely speculation, but the narrative describing the motive and/or the manner of the murders might be the part of the “true”-crime story that could change.

Posted in literature | Tagged , , , ,

Call in professionals for your information expeditions

Traditionally reference librarians were scouts in guiding and locating information from a seemingly barren desert landscape. The rise of the digital medium turned the librarian’s mission on its head. In today’s world, reference librarians help wade through an information ocean to retrieve what’s credible, accurate and useful for library users.

So when you feel overwhelmed in trying to find useful information among the tsunami of noise, opinion, deception and propaganda of the Internet, call in the professionals. The ZB Library’s staff of reference professionals can guide you in that exploration. Whatever the scope of the request, reference librarians can assist in retrieving the information, data or item you seek.

The sherpas on the Adult and Youth reference desks are every cardholder’s best information resource. Skilled and experienced in the craft of finding sources of information, they cut right to the chase to guide you to information that’s credible and verified.

Asking a question to a reference librarian is not a bother. It’s what they do. They provide assistance and instruction in exploring the library’s collections and using its services, including assistance in identifying library materials and services needed to answer a reference question, the location of materials and use of the digital catalog, and instructions on how to use all components of the public computer system.

More than just producers of information, ZB Library reference librarians are your personal information literacy consultants who specialize in retrieving information from the digital ocean. The basic technique they use is a reference interview, in which they’ll ask probing questions to determine your specific need and the scope of your inquiry. Information from the interview will give them an idea of where to explore to retrieve good information that will meet your reference request.

Reference librarians will also teach you how to use the library’s extensive array of electronic resources, to help guide your information expedition and others you might have in the future.

Posted in ZB Library | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,