Thankful for Podcasts

Talk of turkey, family, gratitude, all signs the Thanksgiving holiday is just about here. The long hours spent on the road or in the airport – facing down boredom, perhaps – don’t get as much attention. How to enliven those hours after you’ve tired of your musical playlist and making conversation, but are not ready for silence? Try downloading or streaming a new (free!) podcast.

When I asked  Moraine Valley librarians what they were planning to listen to over the break or have enjoyed listening to, this is what they shared.

Sharon Byerly: “I started listening to episode one, “Time,” of the Ways of Hearing podcast series written by Damon Durkowski, musician and writer, first because sounds often bother me. Too many sounds at once or certain sounds stress me out. Second, because I am philosophically interested in the concept of time, especially in regard to my life spent online vs. offline. Third, because one of the guests is Shaheed Muhammed of A Tribe Called Quest, a group I admire.”

Dan Matthews: “I’ve been listening to Adam Ruins Everything, Invisibilia, Nancy, and Call Your Girlfriend. They all center around social issues in some way, and have engaging interviews, and fun personalities to listen to.”

Marie Martino:  “Bad at Sports is … irreverent and smart and funny at times and includes interviews with some great contemporary artists. The Nerdette podcast is a celebration of nerdom!  Hosts and guests geek out over cool and oftentimes fascinating pop culture goodies, artifacts, events, and issues. This American Life is definitely a staple and I have had a number of “driveway moments” when I happen to catch it live on public radio.  A few of my all-time favorite pieces/episodes are: Animal Sacrifice; Plan B, Act 4, A Fate Most of Us Fear by Jonathon Goldstein; and God Said Huh by Julia Sweeney.”

Troy Swanson has lots of recommendations, including: A Storm of Spoilers, which focuses on the hit HBO show Game of Thrones, and other stuff in the off season;  I Was There Too  tells stories of the crew and background actors of major films and TV shows; You Are Not So Smart: A Celebration of Self Delusion looks at the psychology of belief; and Ivy Envy: Chicago Cubs Fan Podcast includes discussion about the Cubs from well-informed and heartfelt fans.

This librarian had planned on taking a break from her usual political, newsy, bookish podcasts in the coming days and spending at least an hour of her interstate drive listening to the Le Petty Prince Edition of Slate’s Hit Parade, in which the hosts “track the surprising parallels between two artists gone too soon.” Now she may listen to one – or more – of these, too.

You can check out a more extensive list of Moraine Valley librarians’ favorite podcasts, originally shared on the Library blog last spring, here.


Cooking with Vegetables

Gnocchi image from Wikimedia Commons

Whether you are vegetarian or just looking for a vegetable side dish, be sure to check out our collection of cookbooks this holiday season. We have a great variety of print books, along with electronic books from EBSCO and eRead Illinois. Click on the following link to browse our collection of books on cooking vegetables or narrow your search to vegetarian cooking. Also, if I may recommend How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food by Mark Bittman for recipes ranging from gnocchi to preserved lemons. The tenth anniversary edition of Bittman’s book released earlier this month and will soon be available on our shelves.

The Turkey: An American Story

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, you might be thinking a lot about turkeys. If not, maybe you need a little inspiration. Turkeys are interesting birds and have a truly American story. The Turkey: An American Story is a book in the MVCC Library’s collection that covers both myth and fact about the species and the history of how the turkey came to be such an iconic bird in the United States.

Myth: Turkeys are not very intelligent because they have been known to drown in a rainstorm. While it is true that turkeys can drown in a storm, it is due to their anatomy rather than intelligence and they have in fact been shown to be very intelligent.

Fact: Turkeys can be a great help to farmers. Turkeys eat almost anything but they especially love bugs and worms. They are incredibly efficient at ridding crops of pests. Fifty turkeys can clear pests from 100,000 plants.

Here are some other interesting facts to know about turkeys:

  • Wild turkeys can run up to 25 mph and can fly at 55 mph.
  • Turkeys can produce 20 distinct sounds. One of these is the gobble that males produce to attract females.
  • The red, dangly part under the turkey’s chin is called a waddle and the fleshy part over the beak is called a snood.
  • The color on a turkey’s head and throat can change between red and blue depending on its level of excitement or stress.
  • Droppings can tell us the gender of the bird. Males leave spiral-shaped droppings, while females produce a J shape.

Event Video: Make Your Statement! SGA Student Feedback Panel

SGA hosted an open panel for students to talk about what they want to see on campus. At the panel students had the opportunity to voice their ideas as well as their concerns. Learn more about the Student Government and what it has to offer.

Make Your Statement! SGA Student Feedback Panel

The audio of this discussion is available below:

Bill Finn, Athletics Director

Moraine Valley Community College celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year. To learn more about and to re-live some of what those five decades have been like, the college has been collecting oral histories. Throughout the semester we will be highlighting these videos.

“Everything we do here and everything I do here is based on the fact that I want people to love Moraine like I love Moraine.”

Bill Finn came to Moraine Valley Community College when he was 22 years old as the head basketball coach. More sports were added the next year and he was asked to be the Athletics Director. His goal was to build a program where every kid in the area would want to go.

To enjoy more of these oral histories, along with historic photos and documents, visit the MVCC College Archives.

Bill Finn, Athletics Director

Event Video: What is left of QUEER?

This discussion will trace a brief history of a radical queer politics and discuss the relevance of such to the contemporary political landscape. Dr. Yasmin Nair is a writer, activist and academic in Hyde Park. She is the co-founder of the queer radical editorial collective Against Equality and a member of Gender JUST Chicago. This event is organized by Celebrating Diversity LGBTQ Subcommittee.

What is left of QUEER?

The audio of this discussion is available below:

Event Video: Climate, Energy, Our World, Our Future

The science of global warming has been known for nearly 150 years, and we are now starting to experience tangible impacts on the world’s climate. We humans perceive these changes as gradual, but compared to natural cycles, they are unprecedentedly rapid. Fossil fuel combustion is closely linked with the development of a modern industrial society, coinciding with rapid growth of global population. But the buildup of greenhouse gases is creating serious side effects that have now become crystal clear. These facts present humanity with a monumental challenge. We need to bring all of our technological and philosophical wisdom to bear if future generations are to inherit a manageable global system. This lecture will explain the basic science of climate change, our energy systems and technologies, the role of agriculture, and what kinds of things we must do to secure a brighter future. Special event part of our STEM series.

Climate, Energy, Our World, Our Future featuring Rick Knight

The audio of this discussion is available below:

The ideas of the Protestant Reformation went viral

This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther, a German monk, felt that numerous practices within the Catholic church needed to be changed. His challenge to Catholicism set off a firestorm of protest, death and eventually reform within the Catholic church.

It is interesting to ponder the role that technology played in this movement. “As with the Internet centuries later,the printing press showed how a new information technology could change the world.” Martin Luther’s ideas spread like wildfire.

Going viral may sound like a modern phenomenon but the printing press and the internet have more in common than most of us think.

For more information on The Protestant Reformation check out the MVCC catalog.  Or you might be interested in how technology has influenced history.