SYRACUSE — Alexander Von Humboldt brought Europeans and the world new ideas about collecting and studying plants, animals, resources and the weather. More places and things are named Humboldt than any other in the world. Mary Shelley’s creature wants to go hide in South America, a reference to von Humboldt’s five years in the interior of Venezuela. He was not just an explorer and collector but a scientific analyst and observer. He is credited with discovering ocean currents, the magnetic equator and the origin of magnetic storms, plant geography and climate zones. He is considered the father of ecology as he was the first to make the connection between human activity and natural consequences.
The Syracuse Library is discussing the first two parts of the biography, The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s new world. George Arnold will give his thoughts on the book at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20. He is sharing his experiences as a bird researcher, a naturalist and caretaker of Thornhill Nature Preserve, instructor of Outdoor Discoveries summer program and teaching stories from his days as a science at Huntington University and Huntington County Schools. George and his wife Gail placed the very popular Geocaches at the WACF Nature Trail.
Harry Potter crafts are starting a new series of fandom activities for teens. Sign up is required, so those interested need to have their name on the list of interested persons and be invited to attend. The first project is a Hogwarts magical clock. Yes, it really tells time.
The decluttering support group accepts new people and is scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21and 28. The group will decide the continuing schedule for future meetings.
Chair yoga continues to welcome people for a half hour workout at 10:15 a.m. on Tuesdays, and 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. on Thursdays. The 10:30 a.m. Thursday class meets at the Community Center and is particularly good for individuals with disabilities or who want a very basic workout.
WorkOne, a free resource for job and training connections offers their services at the Syracuse Library from 1 to 3:30 p.m. every Wednesday.
Coming in September are two great chances to learn new cooking techniques. Magnolia Cooking Club is meeting in the library to share recipes at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12. Coming in September will be cooking classes in partnership with the Syracuse Community Center.