Bronies and Pegasisters: the Subculture World of My Little Pony 
Bronies…Pegasisters…? Have you been living under a cultural rock?! It’s the massive subculture of the most diehard My Little Pony fans--specifically the newest version of the cartoon, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic . Anyone can be a “Brony” or “Bronie” (bro + pony), but some females identify with their own group: Pegasisters (Pegasus + sister).

(note: above images from our book catalog, while the fandom typically surrounds the updated television series)

In its newest version (starting in 2010 and currently in its third season), producer Lauren Faust wanted to create a cartoon that didn’t fall back on the blatant sexism that the older versions had. The girls, aka the “mane six” ponies, would no longer be limited to only “girlie activities.” These ponies go on dangerous adventures, deal with difficult “frenemies,” and battle evil. But what about the guys? The “man-ponies?”

Some call the new show out on sexism… but this time towards men. There are three male pony characters, but none with any personality to speak of. This makes this statistic all the more interesting; 86% of Bronies are found to be men. There was even a MMO (massive multiplayer online game) for about a year or two for My Little Pony, but it seems the people running it had some “internal issues,” and have since disbanded. But, you can still keep up to date with other games, community issues, toys, etc. on Equestria Daily .

Why are people so crazy about it? What is the appeal? Is it funny in an ironic way? Sometimes, but not always. I really want there to be more to it, but my research has concluded with this simple answer; it’s cute… and funny, and that is why Bronies exist. Men (and women) are getting very serious about this cutesy bubble gum world of enchantment and magic, and don’t seem to be afraid to embrace their younger, more feminine side--and let the whole world know it.

Shining example here: this is the punk rock band Neigh Slayers, who are all men who look to be around 18 . And, if you want more stats on Bronies, check out Brony Study (that’s where my statistics came from).

-Lynette, Teen Services, Shawnee Branch

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Teen Tech Tip #31: Zinc and Copper Make Battery Cells Elemental  
Welcome back to the blog. This week involves a really fun experiment that lets us see the basics of how batteries work. First, check out his video from Rig it Yourself 101.

What's Going on Here?!

It is pretty simple actually. We have three different common household fruits: banana, orange and apple. Copper (Cu) and Zinc (Zn) nails are inserted into the acidic fruits (apple and orange) and the nails are connected through the banana with small metal wires. Lastly, a simple 5 Volt USB cable is being used to charge an iPod.

So How Does It Work?

The energy that we get to charge our iPod is coming from an electron exchange in the metals between the fruits. Both nails are undergoing a chemical reaction caused by the acid in the citrus fruits. The Zn atoms are being dissolved into Zn ions that are positively charge (give two negatively charged electrons). The Cu nail has an oxidized tarnish (Copper Oxide) that dissolves in acid. The Copper ions attract the negatively charged electrons to neutralize the ions into Cu metal.

The banana is necessary, because it is relatively neutral (pH) and will continue to conduct the electron flow. This creates a circuit. The USB cable is able to enter the circuit and continue the electron flow and receive enough of an electrical charge to briefly charge an iPod.

How Does this Compare to a Battery?

Technically this would be considered a fuel cell, but the idea is very similar. In fact, the type of fuel cell that we see created is very similar to the very first chemical battery invented in 1800 by Italian physicist Count Alessandro Volta, namesake of the volt. His design is the foundation for the modern battery.

Check Out These Resources for More Information:

(Login using your library card number and password)
  • Fuel Cell
  • Volta, Alessandro

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    Join us for Animecon X! 

    Main Library, Friday, August 2, 9:30 am - 4:00 pm

    The Louisville Free Public Library is celebrating ten years of Animecon! The annual convention is a day-long celebration featuring anime-themed activities, games, contests, and more - FREE.

    Highlights of this year’s event will include a performance by the Cincinnati-Dayton Taiko Drumming Group, a workshop on stop-motion animation, the annual ramen noodle eating contest, costume contests and anime screenings.

    This event is free - Click Here to register or call 574-1620.

    Teens ages 12-19.

    [ 209 comments ] ( 4388 views )
    A Fresh Start to Superhero Comics 
    If you haven’t grown up reading superhero comics the hardest part is figuring out where to start. Trying to choose your first title can be daunting: so many characters, years of storylines, learning what is or isn’t canon, etc... As an aspiring superhero comics reader I was at a loss, until I discovered The New 52 from DC Comics. The New 52 cancelled all of DC’s existing storylines and began a “soft reboot” of popular series, starting over from issue #1. This allows you to start a series from the beginning but also offers a reference point for learning about older comics related to the new titles. Many of The New 52 titles are worth checking out, especially if you have a favorite character, but I’m going to tell you about two of my favorites and additional titles to read when you’re done.

    Batgirl Vol. 1: The Darkest Reflection (The New 52).
    Barbara Gorden/Batgirl might be a protégé of Batman and the commissioner's daughter, but she can hold her own in Gotham City. She’s a master of karate and a genius to boot. The Darkest Reflection begins shortly after Gorden recovers from three years of paralysis. She is racked with survivor’s guilt and has flashbacks to the night she opened the door to find the Joker, who then shot her and left her to die. Gorden struggles to overcome posttraumatic stress disorder and regain her physical and psychological strength while reentering the crime fighting scene. You’ll learn about other members of the Bat Family and get a glimpse into Batman’s extended universe.

    Further Reading

    Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore.
    The Killing Joke details the events following Barbara Gorden’s shooting. The open-ending will give you the creeps and send you searching for the sequel (spoiler, there isn’t one).

    Birds of Prey: Of Like Minds by Gail Simone.
    After she is paralyzed by the Joker, Batgirl the crime-fighting librarian becomes Oracle the wheelchair bound computer genius and hacker extraordinaire. Oracle leads the Birds of Prey, a team of crime fighting women involved in global espionage.

    Swamp Thing Vol 1: Raise Them Bones (The New 52) by Scott Snyder.
    Swamp Thing plays homage to classic b-movie horror films and he is THE environmentalist super hero (move over Captain Planet). In some versions of Swamp Thing, the character is Alec Holland turned monster from the swamp but Snyder’s antihero sticks to the Alan Moore backstory of a plant creature with the memories of the deceased Alec Holland. In this story, he has regained his human form but cannot forget his time as Swamp Thing. This story is pure horror as Holland finds himself in an age old battle between the Green and the Rot.

    Further Reading

    Anything by Scott Snyder, he seems to be writing every new DC title and with his talent it’s clear why.

    Saga of the Swamp Thing by Alan Moore.
    This graphic novel should sway anyone who doesn’t believe comics can be high art, while remaining true to its roots in pulp horror. Read this Alan Moore masterpiece, then read everything else he’s written.

    What was the first superhero comic you read? Do you have a suggestion for new comic readers? Have you enjoyed any of The New 52? Let us know in the comments.

    -Ruth Houston, Teen Services, Teen Underground @ Main

    [ 192 comments ] ( 4232 views )
    Dust Off Your Dancing Shoes: National Dance Day is Coming! 
    Are you the first one on the dance floor? Have you been wanting to learn some new moves? Get ready to show off your best dancing skills because National Dance Day is July 27th. The Dizzy Feet Foundation is sponsoring this day-long dance marathon, and their website has some great videos of dances you can learn choreographed by the cast of So You Think You Can Dance?

    Your Dance Routine

    The Dizzy Feet Foundation would also like you to upload videos of your own dance routines to their website and show America how you like to celebrate National Dance Day.

    Where can you find music to create your awesome dance routines? At your local library of course! Did you know that all of our branches have popular albums by artists such as Ke$ha and Justin Timberlake? Whether you like to pop, shuffle, or pirouette, we have the music you need to choreograph the next dance craze.

    For your ballet and jazz routines, you can take advantage of the library’s free music streaming service Naxos, which offers more than 82,850 CDs that feature classical and jazz music if hip-hop and popping just aren’t your style. You can even make themed playlists of your favorite dance music.

    Take some time this summer to celebrate National Dance Day and get moving! Also remember that the library has a lot more to offer than books. We have a great selection of music including some artists that may surprise you!

    -Lynn Johnson, Children’s Services Supervisor, Westport Community Library

    [ 195 comments ] ( 3613 views )

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