From Fall Foliage to “Punkin Chunkin”!

This article expired 09-Oct-2013 -- it may contain outdated or superceded information
09-Oct-2013 Newsletter article

Fall Foliage Celebration!

Fall can be a beautiful time of year and a great example of the science of plant biochemistry! Librarians from the SUNY University at Buffalo have put together a guide with numerous links for the curious. While the focus of the guide is clearly New York and New England areas, it also includes the following:  links to where the leaves are changing elsewhere in the country; Why Do the Leaves Change Color; Fall Leaf and Tree Identification; tips for photographers hoping to capture great scenic views; and web cams to view some of the best Fall foliage.  Enjoy the Fall at:

Science of Halloween

Tired of all the weird and wacky websites when looking for scientific information about Halloween? Try some of the following links that are more trustworthy:  Halloween Chemistry (from the American Chemical Society); and, Halloween is a Fun Opportunity for Science Educators! (from Michigan State University Extension). Then, head to the Library and look for much, much, more!  Books on cooking pumpkins are at TX803 (on Tier 7).  Books on growing pumpkins and the history of pumpkins are at SB347 (on Tier 1).  Two popular titles are: How-To Grow World Class Giant Pumpkins – SB347 .L36 1993 and The Compleat Squash: a Passionate Grower's Guide to Pumpkins, Squash, and Gourds – SB347 G65 2004 (also on Tier 1).

Pumpkins are useful to engineers this time of year. Punkin Chunkin' is an annual contest to hurl a pumpkin the furthest distance without splattering it before it impacts the ground. The process utilizes many engineering principles including designing various types of equipment such as trebuchets, catapults, centrifuges, and air cannons. For a history of this contest, see:  Pie in the Sky: the authorized history of punkin chunkin' – F172 S8 K68 2008 (on Floor 2). The library also has many books on designing this type of specialized equipment.

 Recommended resources about Halloween (in general) are: Halloween Fast Facts (from; Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween – GT4965 M674x 2012 (on Floor 2); and, The Halloween Encyclopedia – (GT4965 M673 2003 – Reference, Tier 2). The ISU Library Media Collection has a number of movies related to Halloween such as: John Carpenter's Halloween (DVD 000 595), It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (DVD 001 766), and Sleepy Hollow (DVD 003 562).

Use Quick Search on the Library homepage to locate materials related to other things frequently associated with Halloween such as costumes, witches, ghosts, horror, etc. Simply type in your topic and then limit your search to "Books & More" and "in the subject" to narrow your results down.  Take your pick & Happy Halloween!

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