Group Blog Home
Group Blog Home

Recent Posts
<<  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  >> 

Plastic dinosaurs on a yellow background

Post by Steven K.

If you’ve been following events at Aurora Public Library this summer, you definitely know that libraries rock. Maybe you attended the classical piano concert with Ammiel Bushakevitz at Central, or the John Williams and American Film Music program at Mission Viejo, or one of the many Libraries Rock programs with Bradley Weaver. Whatever your fancy, this year’s Summer Learning Program has been a wild, musical success. (If you’ve missed all this, don’t fret! There’s still time to check out more of our musically-themed programs through the end of July. Visit our Programs and Events page for more details.)

But maybe music isn’t really your thing. (Hard for a musicophile to imagine, I know, but it’s totally a thing.) Or maybe you’re just looking for a change of pace, or a reprieve from the constant audio-bombardment from advertisers and disc jockeys and people who blast music from their smartphones sans headphones.

If so, another way to engage with our Summer Learning Program is to come to Central and check out our rocks! For while it’s true that libraries rock, rocks also rock, and our library’s rocks especially rock.

First, let me apologize for that. Second, allow me to explain.

There’s no denying that rocks have an image problem. They’re literally the most common thing on the planet. They’re used as a metaphor for stupidity. Breaking rocks was once a common form of punishment. And I mean, really, they just let people walk all over them. (Again, apologies.)

Sure, rocks might seem dull at first, but once you get to know them a little they can be positively fascinating. Layers of sandstone and limestone might not grab your interest at first, but let a river cut its way through them over several million years and you get the vast beauty of the Grand Canyon. If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ve probably watched the news and seen rocks being born before your very eyes on the island of Hawaii. Climbed one of Colorado’s 58 fourteeners lately? Imagine what the view would look like when the Rockies were new to the continent and twice as tall are they are today.

Canyons, volcanoes, and mountain ranges are all breathtakingly sublime. Sadly, we can’t fit these in our library—but we can fit something just as wondrous, albeit on a much smaller scale. Many somethings, actually, things that used to be very much alive but are now very much dead and have had all their living tissues completely replaced with rock. Yes, you’ve guessed it: we have fossils!

More specifically, we’ve got trilobites—and they are some of the coolest animals to have ever graced planet Earth. So what, exactly, are they? To put it plainly, they’re very ancient sea bugs. But they’re also so much more than that.

For starters, here’s what one looks like:

Trilobite fossil

 

You might recognize them from high school earth science textbooks or from a trip to your local natural history museum. In fact, they’re one of the easiest fossils to identify, thanks largely to their anatomical namesake. The word “trilobite” is deceptively simple; it just means “three lobes” and these lobes are easy to spot on a fossil. There’s a raised lobe in the middle (the “axial” lobe) and two other lobes to the left and right (the “pleural” lobes). Coincidentally, trilobites also have three main body sections: head (“cephalon”), body (“thorax”), and tail (“pygidium,” which is just stupid fancy Latin for “rump”). Depending on the species—and also on how well- preserved the fossil is—trilobites will have various forms of eyes, legs, antennae, and spiky spines (that were probably used for defense but could have served other purposes as well).

trilobite with anatomy highlighted














But to me, one of the most amazing facts about trilobites is how ancient they are. The oldest 
specimens paleontologists have found (so far) date back to the early Cambrian period, over 540 million years ago (Fortey, 2000). That’s almost incomprehensibly old. Just stupid old. 

Imagine that you could walk back through geological time, with each step you take accounting for one year of history. To get back to the Middle Ages and chill in a castle, you’d need to walk about 3 city blocks. Watching the pyramids being built would cost you 2 miles; seeing the end of our latest ice age would be 5 miles; meeting your first fully-modern human ancestor would be a punishing 88-mile trek. But to get back to the Cambrian and swim with the trilobites, you would literally need to walk to the moon—all 240,000 miles of it. They’re that old.

Our trilobites aren’t quite that old, but they’re still ancient. Based on the identifying characteristics of the species we’ve got, they’re probably about 400 million years old—about three-quarters of the way to the moon in our thought experiment—which places them in the middle of the Devonian period (Gon III, 2009). (Take this with a grain of salt, though. I’m not a paleontologist—I’m just a nerd.) They’re also probably from Morocco, which today is a serious hub for trilobite fossil hunters. But 400 million years ago, what’s now Morocco would have been unrecognizable, because at that time it would’ve been in the Southern Hemisphere and covered by a shallow sea—which was good for our trilobites, since they were exclusively marine animals. It’s also good for us, because seafloor conditions are great for making fossils. Well, relatively speaking.

In reality, fossilization is tricky business. As Bill Bryson puts it in his delightfully accessible "A Short History of Nearly Everything"(2005): “It isn’t easy to become a fossil. The fate of nearly all living organisms—over 99.9 percent of them—is to compost down to nothingness. [...] Even if you make it into the small pool of organisms, the less than 0.1 percent, that don’t get devoured, the chances of being fossilized are very small” (p. 403). Scavengers, microbes, oxygen, and exposure are generally unforgiving to the recently deceased. The key to successful fossilization, then, is quick burial, which prevents things from nibbling away at them long enough for minerals to slowly replace all the once-living tissue. And as it turns out, quick burial is more common on the seafloor, on account of falling sediment, changing tides, churning currents, storms, mudslides, and the like. Had trilobites been land-dwelling creatures we might not have known much about them at all.

But there’s something else about trilobites that makes them the “old reliables” of the fossil record. Unlike many of their contemporaries, trilobites’ shells were infused with calcite—the same hard mineral present in clam shells and limestone. Even their eyes were made of calcite, in a crystalline form that made them some of the first animals to see complex images. In life, these rocky shields protected them from predators; in death, they staved off decomposition and, through the eons, preserved an amazingly rich fossil record for us to study.

And how very rich it is! Paleontologists have identified and cataloged about 20,000 distinct species of trilobite belonging to 10 fantastic orders. The smallest species could be as small as a millimeter long, while the biggest could grow to over 2 feet long. (Most were 1-3 inches long, though, including those we have in our small-but-charming collection.) They were also tremendously successful animals, in terms of evolutionary success and global distribution.

Collectively, they scuttled about our oceans for 300 million years—that’s twice as long as the dinosaurs ruled the earth—and their remains can be found on literally every continent on earth, even Antarctica. They were at last defeated 250 million years ago by the Permian Extinction, the so-called “Great Dying” that wiped out 95% of marine life. Since then, no trilobite has crawled along the seafloor or looked through their remarkable crystal eyes.

They may be long gone, but thanks to trilobite fanatics around the world they’re certainly not forgotten. If I’ve piqued your interest and you want to see what all the fuss is about, come visit us at APL Central in July! You’ll find our trilobites on the lower level near the 750s in the nonfiction stacks. Also, if you’d like to learn more about our ancient friends or more about prehistory in general, come visit me at the Reference Desk and I’ll be happy to indulge you.

Don’t take this opportunity for granite! (That’s the last one, I promise.)

References:

Bryson, Bill. (2005). A short history of nearly everything: Special illustrated edition. New York,
NY: Broadway. Pp. 403-417.

Fenton, Carroll Lane and Fenton, Mildred Adams. (1989). The fossil book. New York, NY:
Doubleday. Pp. 192-212.

Fortey, Richard. (2000). Trilobite! New York, NY: Knopf.
Gon III, Samuel M. (2009). “A Pictorial Guide to the Orders of Trilobites.” Retrieved from
http://www.ps-19.org/Crea11Phyla/References/TrilobitePictorialGuide2009.pdf.


Posted by zsmith@auroragov.org  On Jul 20, 2018 at 10:04 AM
  
Residents of Aurora are invited to celebrate the 35th anniversary of National Night Out with the Aurora Police Department and the rest of the country on Tuesday, August the 7th. National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie. The goal of the campaign is to make Aurora a safer place.

The Police Area Representative Team for District 2, which serves northeast Aurora has announced the District's plans for the evening. There will be a series of parties at several locations throughout the District and a caravan of Officers and vehicles will visit each location.

National Night Out party locations:


Landon Park Apartments, 100 S. Sable Blvd.
APD will be visiting from 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Town Center of Aurora, 14200 E. Alameda Ave.
APD will be visiting from 5:05 p.m. to 5:35 p.m.

The Preserve at City Center, 1098 S. Evanston Way.
APD will be visiting from 5:40 p.m. to 6:10 p.m.

Highland Point Apartments, 16893 E Arkansas Ave.
APD will be visiting from 6:15 p.m. to 6:35 p.m.

Murphy Creek, 23945 E Florida Ave.
APD will be on scene from 6:45 p.m. to 7:10 p.m.


Download an event flyer.

Officer Kenneth Forrest
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit
720.432.5095
Posted by kforrest@auroragov.org  On Jul 20, 2018 at 7:40 AM
  
Residents of Aurora are invited to celebrate National Night Out with the Aurora Police Department and the rest of the country on Tuesday, August the 7th. National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie. The goal of the campaign is to make Aurora a safer place.

The Police Area Representative Teams for District 1, which serves West Aurora (areas west of I-225)  will be hosting two community gatherings to celebrate the 35th anniversary of National Night Out.

North Event
Moorehead Recreation Center, 2390 Havana St.
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

South Event
Utah Park, 1800 S. Peoria St.
5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Download an event flyer.

Officer Kenneth Forrest
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit
720.432.5095
Posted by kforrest@auroragov.org  On Jul 19, 2018 at 12:05 PM
  

emojis surrounding blog title post

Post by Sara V.H.

It's World Emoji Day! party popper

When words just aren't enough, emojis are there to help you really say what you mean!
World Emoji Day is celebrated each year on July 17 because that is the date shown in the calendar emoji. 

calendar of July 17






To celebrate World Emoji Day, let's play a game of "Guess that Book: Emoji Style!" Guess the titles below portrayed by emojis (scroll to the bottom of the post for answers). Leave a comment with how many you were able to accurately guess!

Ready...go!

emojis depicting book covers

 




























































The answers are below...







Answers:
1. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
2. Dragons Love Tacos
3. Turtles All the Way Down
4. Holes
5. Grapes of Wrath
6. Water for Elephants
7. The Scarlet Letter
8. War and Peace
9. Frankenstein 
10. Twilight
11. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish 
12. The Secret Garden
13. The Time Travelers Wife
14. A Tale of Two Cities
15. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Thanks for playing! Please comment with how many you got correct and which one was the hardest.

Posted by zsmith@auroragov.org  On Jul 17, 2018 at 9:39 AM
  

Residents of Aurora are invited to celebrate the 35th anniversary of National Night Out with the Aurora Police Department and the rest of the country on Tuesday, August the 7th. National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie. The goal of the campaign is to make Aurora safer place.

The Police Area Representative Team for District 3, which serves the Southeast area of Aurora has announced the District's plans for the evening. A caravan of police officers and department vehicles will be traveling to and visiting National Night Out events throughout the District. Below is a list of their scheduled stops.

Stop #1
Mission Viejo Park
3999 S. Mission Parkway
4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Stop #2

Eastern Hills Community Church
25511 E. Smoky Hill Road
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

For more information call 303.627.3172

Download an event flyer.

Officer Kenneth Forrest
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit
720.432.5095

Posted by kforrest@auroragov.org  On Jul 13, 2018 at 5:50 PM
  
On June 18, 2017, an Aurora Police Department Lieutenant, Charles DeShazer, made a highly inappropriate and racially inflammatory comment while on the scene of a Denver Police Department officer involved shooting following a police pursuit. The offensive statement was caught on the body worn camera of another officer, and was reported internally by two APD supervisors who were also at the scene and heard the comment. An internal affairs investigation was immediately initiated. Following the investigation, I terminated Lt. DeShazer on September 1, 2017.

Pursuant to rights provided by the City Charter, Lt. DeShazer appealed his termination to the Civil Service Commission. The Commission held a hearing on June 19 - 20, 2018. It issued an order on June 29, 2018, agreeing with me on the policy violation and the need for “substantial discipline.” However, the Commission reduced the termination to a demotion from lieutenant to sergeant and denied any payment of back pay for the ten months Sgt. DeShazer was out of work.

The Department is in the process of returning Sgt. DeShazer back to work. He will first be assigned to the APD Academy to ensure he is in compliance with all POST certification requirements. His final assignment has yet to be determined. It is within my authority to set his assignment. I can assure the community that Sgt. DeShazer will not be in a supervisory or citizen-facing role.

The racially insensitive comment made by Sgt. DeShazer is in direct contradiction to the values of the Aurora Police Department. We hold ourselves to the highest standards, and when one of our officers fall short, we strive to take immediate and necessary action to ensure they are held accountable.

In making its decision, the Commission considered three other “comparable” cases. Although not noted in the Commission’s Order, two of these cases were decisions of prior chiefs and may have had a different outcome if I had issued the discipline. The one comparable case relied on by the Commission where I issued the discipline was notably different in that I found the statement in that case to not be racially motivated, and the officer involved promptly and genuinely apologized for his actions.

Every day, the women and men of the Aurora Police Department work diligently to maintain strong cooperative partnerships that are built on trust and respect within our diverse community. They interact with the public thousands of times a year, with the overwhelming majority of these contacts occurring without incident or problem. They put themselves in harm’s way for the betterment of the community. Inappropriate and racially offensive incidents happen infrequently, but are nonetheless of great concern to the Department and to me. I am committed to investigating these incidents when complaints are made, either internally or externally, and taking swift and decisive action when appropriate to hold officers accountable.

The Department will continue to work on its mission To Make Aurora Safer Every Day and will continue to provide the highest level of service to all residents, enforce local laws and foster a strong relationship with the community.

Contact:
Sergeant Chris Neiman
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit
(720) 432-5095

Posted by cneiman@auroragov.org  On Jul 10, 2018 at 7:18 PM
  
On July 7th, 2018 at approximately 4:08 a.m., Aurora Police District 3 Officers and Aurora Fire Rescue responded to the 2900 block of South Ceylon Way regarding a report of a car that crashed into a tree.  An adult driver of the vehicle was pronounced deceased at the scene and an adult female passenger was transported to a local area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  Alcohol and speed are being investigated as possible factors in this collision.

At this time, the identities of the involved parties are not being released.  The Aurora Police Traffic Section is conducting this investigation.

Officer Kevin Deichsel
Aurora Police Traffic Section
303-739-6373

Posted by kdeichse@auroragov.org  On Jul 08, 2018 at 3:51 PM
  
Last Friday, June 29, 2018, the Aurora Police Department released details reference an officer involved shooting that occurred in the parking lot of a gas station located 14401 East 6th Avenue at approximately 3 P.M.

The investigation has revealed new details that the Aurora Police Department wishes to provide to the public for the sake of continued transparency. Detectives still have evidence to review, thus this investigation is still considered to be open.
To date, this investigation has revealed the suspect was being sought for attempt murder in the first degree in regards to a shooting that occurred on June 28, 2018, in which an adult male was shot two times. On June 29, 2018, the male suspect was observed inside a Nissan sedan by Aurora Police Officers. A traffic stop on that car was initiated at approximately South Peoria Street and East Alameda Avenue. The car appeared to pull over near the Highline Ballfields located at 50 South Peoria Street.

The suspect then began to flee the traffic stop at a high rate of speed and was recklessly driving through the ball fields where youth softball teams were present and actively playing softball. At this point, the suspect was observed by an independent witness driving while also holding a handgun.

A pursuit was initiated northbound through the ball fields with lights and sirens activated. The pursuit lasted for several minutes and eventually ended in the parking lot of the gas station located at 14401 East 6th Avenue. A Precision Immobilization Technique (PIT) was executed for the safety of the public to end the pursuit. Officers were able to block the suspects’ car in the parking lot. As the suspect was still seated inside the vehicle he produced a handgun and pointed it in the direction of officers. Three officers subsequently fired their weapons. Officers on scene immediately began rendering aid to the suspect to include CPR. Despite providing life saving measures to the suspect he later died at the scene. The suspect will be identified at a later time by the Arapahoe County Coroner’s Office.

All three officers who fired their weapons have been placed on paid administrative leave, as is standard protocol. Officers present on scene were equipped with and activated their body worn cameras. If further information becomes available for public release we will provide an update here.

Sergeant Chris Neiman
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit
(720) 432-5095

Information previously released on June 29, 2018 at 5:33 PM

Yesterday, June 28, 2018 at approximately 3 P.M., officers responded to a local hospital after learning that an adult male victim was suffering from two gunshot wounds at that hospital. Officers investigated that shooting and learned that it occurred in the area of E. 14th Ave. and N. Chambers Rd. As a result of that investigation, detectives were able to positively identify an adult male suspect and subsequently established probable cause to arrest that suspect for attempted murder in relation to that incident.

Then today on June 29, 2018 just after noon, investigators located that suspect who was wanted in connection with the aforementioned shooting. The male was traveling in a Nissan sedan when he was located. Officers attempted to stop this male, who was considered to be armed and dangerous, and the male eluded police in the vehicle. A pursuit was initiated near North Peoria Street and East 1st Avenue. The pursuit lasted for several minutes and eventually ended in the parking lot of a gas station located at 14401 East 6th Avenue. As the pursuit ended, shots were fired by officers. A weapon not belonging to officers was recovered at the scene.

After shots were fired, officers pulled the lone suspect from the vehicle and began administering live saving measures. Despite the life-saving efforts, the suspect was pronounced deceased at the scene. That subject will be identified at a later time by the Arapahoe County Coroner’s Office.

This incident is being investigated by the Aurora Police Department Major Crimes Unit in conjunction with the Denver Police Department Major Crimes Unit. The investigation into this incident is still in its early stages and much work needs to be done in order to determine what circumstances lead up to the officer-involved shooting. The number of officers who fired their weapons is not being released at this time. Detectives will also review available body camera footage at a part of the investigation.

If any member of the public was witness to the officer involved shooting or the shooting that occurred on June 28, 2018, you are asked to contact Detective Todd Fredericksen at (303) 739-6106.

More information will be made available to the public in the following days.

Officer Bill Hummel
Public Information Officer
Media Relation Unit
(720) 432-5095
Posted by whummel@auroragov.org  On Jul 02, 2018 at 5:09 PM
  

Earlier this morning, the Aurora Police Department released brief details in regards to an officer-involved shooting that occurred at 8900 East Colfax Avenue.

The investigation has revealed new details that the Aurora Police Department wishes to provide to the public in the sake of continued transparency. Detectives still have various witnesses to speak with and evidence to sift through, therefore the investigation is still considered to be in its preliminary stages.

Today in a press conference, Chief Metz discussed that he had viewed body-camera footage of the officer-involved shooting and provided the following information in a public statement:

This morning officers responded to the 8900 block of East Colfax Avenue around 12:30 A.M. to investigate a report of shots fired where a person was allegedly menaced with a gun. Officers received a very specific suspect description and began to search the area for the suspect. Just moments later during this search, Officers located a subject on the very same block matching the distinctive description of the suspect.

As Officers attempted to contact the suspect, he fled on foot through the parking lot of the Biltmore Motel located at 8900 East Colfax Avenue. A foot chase ensued and during this foot chase, Officers observed that the male was armed with a gun. They gave verbal orders for the suspect to drop the gun multiple times prior to the officer firing his weapon.

The Subject ran around a blind corner, stopped and was waiting as officers came around the corner. Officers gave more orders for the suspect to drop the gun before shots were fired. Subsequently, a handgun was found in possession of the suspect at the scene.

Officers immediately rendered aid to the subject to include the application of tourniquets and immediately contacted AFD/EMS. The subject was transported to a local hospital where he remained in serious condition for some time until he unfortunately succumbed to his injuries. The suspect is an African American adult male who will be identified by the Arapahoe County Coroner’s Office in days to come.

Officers present at the scene were equipped with and properly utilized department issued body-worn cameras.

Chief Metz acknowledged that the loss of any human life is a tragedy. He also remarked that he was proud of the professionalism that his officers displayed during such an incident.

If further information becomes available for public release we will provide an update here.

A press conference detailing more information about the incident can be viewed here:
https://youtu.be/Ie7RHF2wUME

Bill Hummel
Public Information Office
Media Relation Unit
(720) 432-5095


Information previously released on June 27, 2018 at 5:34 AM

On June 27, 2018 just after midnight, Aurora Police Officers responded to the 8900 block of E. Colfax Ave. to investigate the report of gunshots heard in the area. 

 As Officers were in this area, they obtained a description of a suspect who was reportedly involved in the shots fired call.  As Officers checked the area, they located a suspect matching the provided description.  Officers attempted to contact this adult male and a foot chase ensued.  During the foot chase, Officers chased the suspect into the parking lot of the Biltmore Motel located at 8900 E. Colfax Ave.  During the foot pursuit, one officer discharged his firearm, striking the suspect.  A weapon not belonging to officers was found at the scene.

The suspect was subsequently transported to a local hospital with serious injuries.  The identity of the suspect is not being released at this time.

No officers were injured during this incident.   The officer(s) involved will be placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.  The investigation is being handled by the Aurora Police Major Crimes/Homicide Unit in conjunction with the Denver Police Department.  Detectives will work to determine what lead up to the shooting.  Due to the on-going nature of the investigation, no further information is available at this time.

 

Anyone who might have witnessed this incident is asked to contact Detective Nick Huber with the Major Crimes/Homicide Unit at (303) 739-6090. 

 

Officer Bill Hummel

Public Information Officer

Media Relations Unit

(720) 432-5095

Posted by whummel@auroragov.org  On Jun 27, 2018 at 5:27 PM
  
PRESS CONFERENCE REFERENCE OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTING- 8900 EAST COLFAX AVENUE

WHAT:  Press Conference in regards to OIS
WHEN:  Wednesday June 27, 2018 at 4:00 P.M.
WHERE:  Aurora Police Headquarters, 15001 East Alameda Parkway
WHO:  Chief of Police, Nick Metz
CONTACT:  Officer Bill Hummel, Public Information Officer, Media relations Unit- (720) 432-5095 

The conference will be held in a secure location inside of police headquarters so the media is asked to arrive no later than 3:45 P.M. through the main lobby of Police headquarters. A representative of the Media Relations Unit will then provide access into the building.  THIS PRESS BRIEFING IS FOR MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA ONLY- MEDIA MEMBERS MUST PROVIDE CREDENTIALS.  For other members of the public, the event will be live-streamed on our Facebook page. 
Posted by whummel@auroragov.org  On Jun 27, 2018 at 1:16 PM
  
<<  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  >>