Saturday, November 29, 2008

Redmond Town Center: A View from Virtual Earth 3D

Virtual Earth 3D Microsoft Virtual Earth 3D enables you to view 3D buildings and landmarks in many popular cities and areas. With your mouse and keyboard, you can navigate 3D perspectives of land and cities. Here’s a view of Redmond Town Center — the Redmond Marriott is in the upper-left of the image:

Virtual Earth 3D: Redmond Town Center

What's amazing is that this image of Town Center is not based on an aerial photo. When you change the viewing angle, the image of Town Center is reconstructed from 3D modeling data. It's the same technique used to render 3D scenes in video games.

About Virtual Earth 3D
When you view a location in 3D, Virtual Earth 3D first downloads a low resolution image of the area. If higher resolution images are available, Virtual Earth 3D updates the map with them while you view the map. The map view may appear blurry until Virtual Earth 3D downloads the higher resolution images. Here’s a view of Miami Beach:

Virtual Earth 3D: Miami Beach

With the navigation control bar, you can view cities and streets from different heights and angles. The control bar contains the following features:

Virtual Earth 3D controls

For information on downloading Virtual Earth 3D (Beta), click here.

Virtual Earth 3D Cities
Three-dimensional data is available for the whole world. However, 3D buildings aren't available for every city. To find out where 3D buildings are available, view the Current 3D Cities collection. Here’s a view of San Francisco — the Transamerica Pyramid is in the upper-left of the image:

Virtual Earth 3D: San Francisco

Redmond Library Board

Thursday, November 27, 2008

ARKive: Images of Life on Earth

ARKive: Images of Life on Earth ARKive is a global initiative to locate and gather films, photographs, and audio recordings of the world's species into one centralised digital library for the benefit of present and future generations. ARKive is sometimes described as the Noah’s Ark of the online era. ARKive is a not-for-profit initiative of Wildscreen, a UK-based charity, whose mission is to promote conservation through wildlife imagery.

The collection of mammals includes rare species, such as the Red Panda.

ARKive: Red Panda

Each species contains a wealth of information, including Facts & Status, Range & Habitat, and Threats & Conservation.

Video Collection
ARKive contains numerous videos of the species in its collection. Here’s a sampling of some of the videos:

ARKive video: Black lion tamarin - overviewARKive video: Cuban ground iguana males displaying and fightingARKive video: Giant armadillo - overview

click the image to play the video

ARKive Education Resources
ARKive Education Resources ARKive Education provides teachers with a free multimedia resource kit. This kit contains downloadable, ready to use audio-visual modules that cover a wide range of science and environmental based topics.

Redmond Library Board

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

TechConnect: A KCLS Interactive Open House

TechConnect is an interactive open house that showcases the many ways KCLS technology connects you to reading, recreation, entertainment, and lifelong learning. Friendly and knowledgeable staff will be on hand throughout the event demonstrating products and services.

Location:Bellevue Regional Library
Date:December 6, 2008
Time:10am – 2pm

Here are some of the planned activities during TechConnect:

  • Learn how to download media to your laptop
  • Take a tour of the automated check-in system
  • Learn how to use KCLS online
  • Sample a selection of podcasts, audiobooks, and eBooks

For more information on TechConnect, click here.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What To Do When Your Street Light Doesn’t Work?

Redmond neighborhood street light For Redmond residents, what happens when your street light stops working in non-emergency situations? In some cases, the street light may need a replacement bulb. In other cases, utility or construction work nearby may have damaged electrical connections leading to the street light. Puget Sound Energy (PSE) provides the maintenance and service for many of the street lights in Redmond. You can report outage problems by using PSE’s Street Light Reporting online form.

PSE Street Light Reporting
Before you report a street light problem, take note of the pole number, which is about 8-10’ from ground level. In some cases, there are multiple numbers on the street light, as shown below:

Redmond street light pole numbers

Once you have the pole number information go the PSE Street Light Problems reporting page and enter the required details. A customer care representative should contact you within several days.

Redmond Library Board

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Redmond City Lights: 10th Annual Winter Festival

Update: For info on Redmond Lights 2009, click here.

Focus on Redmond Redmond Lights is a month-long celebration of traditions, cultures, and faiths. The biggest event during Redmond Lights is the 10th Annual Winter Festival. Gather at City Hall Plaza for fun activities and a festive tree lighting, followed by a winter walk along the Sammamish River. You'll stroll past performers and dazzling lighted displays. At Redmond Town Center, enjoy tastes of complimentary holiday treats, kids crafts, and entertainment from the community and around the world.

  Date: Sunday, December 7, 2008
  Time: 4:00 to 8:00 pm
  Location: Begins at Redmond City Hall plaza

Scheduled Performers 
BagpipeHere’s a look at two of the scheduled performers. The Keith Highlanders Pipe Band performs traditional Scottish piping and drumming. The band has performed previously at the Winter Festival and is one of the crowd favorites. The Keith Highlanders Pipe Band was formed in 1952 and has a long history of involvement with the Seattle community.

Keith Highlanders Pipe Band

Another popular entertainer is Kaze Daiko, which is a Japanese American performing taiko group for youth. The word taiko (太鼓) means “drum” in Japanese, and is often used to refer to the art-form of ensemble taiko drumming. Here’s a YouTube video of a recent performance by Kaze Daiko:

For a complete listing of all Winter Festival activities, click here.

Redmond Library Board

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Discovering A-Y-P: A Community Research Project

Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition In 2009, the Seattle community will be celebrating the centennial anniversary of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. Discovering A-Y-P will be offering two-hour workshops in cooperation with The Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) to teach citizens how to research historical evidence connected with Seattle’s first world’s fair. One of these workshops will be held at the Redmond Library.

Date: Jan 17, 2009
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 pm
More information: Click here to register for the workshop.

Discovering AYP: A Community Research Project

About the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition
The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition was a regional world's fair held in Seattle in 1909, publicizing the development of the Pacific Northwest.It was originally planned for 1907, to mark the 10th anniversary of the Klondike Gold Rush, but the organizers found out about the Jamestown Exposition being held that year, and rescheduled.

Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition- Southern California fruits

The Olmsted Brothers of Brookline, Massachusetts, were selected to plan the Exposition; the firm was already involved in planning parks and parkways for the City of Seattle. John C. Olmsted visited Seattle in October 1906 and saw the dominant form of Mount Rainier toward the southeast. He selected the mountain as the focus of the primary axis of the A-Y-P Exposition. This axis later became the Rainier Vista of the University of Washington campus.

Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition- Rainier Vista

Opening Day, June 1, 1909 was declared a city holiday, and 80,000 people attended. Attendance was even higher—117,013—on "Seattle Day". Other big draws were days dedicated to various ethnic groups, fraternal organizations, and U.S. states. By the time the fair closed on October 16, over 3,700,000 had visited.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Exploring the Skies with the WorldWide Telescope

WorldWide Telescope The WorldWide Telescope is a virtual telescope that allows you to explore the universe. Already, teachers are incorporating WorldWide Telescope content into their classroom science lessons. The telescope, created with Microsoft’s high-performance Visual Experience Engine, lets you pan and zoom across the night sky. The images of the skies and universe are composites of thousands of images taken from all over the world. Two of the interesting features for first time users are the Guided Tours and the interactive Planet images. Click here to access the home page of WorldWide Telescope.

Guided Tours
The Guided Tours are based on a variety of themes, such as planets, moons, galaxies, and other related topics. Most of the tours are narrated by astronomers, educators, and others in the field. The following screen shot is from the Earth@Night guided tour:

WorldWide Telescope: Earth@Night tour

The next screen shot is a close-up from the Chandra Crab Nebula guided tour, which flies you into the center of this astonishing formation:

WorldWide Telescope: Chandra Crab Nebula tour

The WorldWide Telescope also allows you to explore planets interactively. By using your keyboard and mouse, you can zoom in, rotate, and pan the images of all the planets in our solar system. Here a screen shoot of Venus, which you can explore interactively:

WorldWideTelescope: Venus

For More Information
The system requirements for WorldWide Telescope require a PC running either Microsoft® XP SP2 (minimum) or Windows® Vista® (recommended). For more information, see the Frequently Asked Questions.

Redmond Library Board

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Holiday Songs Around the World

Miho & Diego Duo Discover holiday songs from Latin America, Japan and other countries accompanied by a wonderful array of instruments including Andean bamboo flutes, the marimba, percussion and guitar. This musical performance is presented by the Miho & Diego Duo.

The Miho & Diego Duo has been boldly blending Latino, Japanese, African and American musical traditions since 2006. Both accomplished musicians in their own right, Miho Takekawa and Diego Coy came together after years of admiring each other’s work and discovering that their sounds could be combined to make something genuinely new and unique. To learn more about them and their music, visit their Web site at Miho & Diego Duo.

Music Sampler
Miho & Diego Duo performance You can hear an MP3 version of Yellow Bird performed by the Miho & Diego Duo.

The Miho & Diego Duo will perform at the following KCLS locations:

  Library Connection @ Crossroads
Friday, November 7, 5:30pm
Crossroads Bellevue Market Stage
  Newport Way Library
Saturday, November 8, 11am
Sponsored by the Newport Way Library Association.
  Kingsgate Library
Saturday, November 22, 1pm
  Bothell Regional Library
Tuesday, December 9, 7pm
  Issaquah Library
Wednesday, December 17, 10:30am and 11:30am
Co-sponsored by the Issaquah Friends of the Library.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Walk Through Westside Park

The Westside Neighborhood Park at 5810 156th Ave NE in Redmond is a 6.4 acre community park that includes the following:

  • Children’s play area
  • Pickleball court
  • Half basketball court
  • Baseball/softball field
  • Picnic tables
  • Open space
Westside Park

For more info on Westside Park and other parks, see the City of Redmond’s Parks, Trails and Open Spaces page.

Bridle Crest Trail
The Bridle Crest Trail runs through Westside Park to Marymoor Park. This half-mile section starting at Westside Park descends downwards along the top of a sloping ridge.

Bridle Crest Trail through Westside Park

As you walk down the Bridle Crest Trail, you pass large thickets of blackberry bushes. Once in the forest, you will see many ferns and bushes, as well as large stands of Western Red Cedar, hemlock, and other tall conifers.

Bridle Crest Trail

As you walk along the trail, notice the stumps of logged trees. If you look carefully at some of these stumps, you will see notches cut into the sides. These notches once held boards that loggers stood on in order to saw down the trees.

Stumps of logged trees in Westside Park