An American Author…Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe, a best selling author and journalist, died today at the age of 88.  Mr. Wolfe authored many famous works.  The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, written in 1968, is a classic read on the 1960s hippie movement. The Right Stuff, a non-fiction book written in 1979, describes the first 15 years of America’s space program.  The Bonfire of the Vanities, a novel written in 1987,  gives a vivid picture of New York City in the 1980s.  Wolfe is credited with numerous colorful phrases that include “The Me Decade” and “Radical Chic”. “His decades of creativity with the written word have undoubtedly left an enduring impact.”

Check out the MVCC catalog or databases for more information on Tom Wolfe.

Help Clean South Suburban Waterways

“Thousands of volunteers throughout the Chicago region will gather from 9 a.m. to noon this Saturday, May 12, to help clean up the banks of the Chicago River system. The annual clean-up is sponsored by the Friends of the Chicago River. Volunteers are needed for six south suburban locations, including Palos Park, Palos Heights, Oak Lawn and Blue Island.”

“Registration is closed but you’re still welcome to come out. Here’s a map of locations.”

“The event will be held rain or shine.”

Baroque in the Jungle

The New York Times recently reported on a little known musical tradition  that has been in existence since the early 17th century.  Baroque music, a European creation, has survived in the jungles and small towns of Brazil and parts of Paraguay and Bolivia.  The Spanish Jesuits, a Catholic order of priests, were responsible for bringing this music to areas of South America as part of their attempt to evangelize the indigenous people of this region.  Most of the Jesuits left but the music remained. It is fascinating for modern Baroque musicians and historians to see how the music evolved over the centuries.  Read the various links in this blog and be as amazed as I was.

Summer Bites

The warm weather has finally arrived in Chicago.  Baseball, barbecue, beaches, and bugs are part of the hot weather season.

Unfortunately, the downside of this season is the insects and the dangerous diseases they transmit.  The New York Times recently reported that “the number of people who get diseases transmitted by mosquito, tick and flea bites has more than tripled in the United States in recent years.”

The CDC site on this summertime hazard has additional information on how people in the Midwest can protect themselves from these treacherous bites.

World Down Syndrome Day

  • World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), March 21, is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. Down Syndrome is  defined as “the nucleus of each cell contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, half of which are inherited from each parent. Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21.”

    Check out this YouTube video of  “50 Mums/50 Kids/1 Extra Chromosome”.

     

     

 

 

 

 

 

Check out this YouTube video of a group of “50 Mums/50 Kids/1 Extra Chromsome”.

Kathrine Switzer and the Boston Marathon

 

  • This year’s Boston Marathon will be on April 16.  This race began in 1897.  It has undergone many historical changes in the course of its history, some tragic and some reflecting the social transformations that have taken place in America over the last 50 years.

    I recently had the opportunity to hear Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon, describe her experience in 1967. Her story mirrors the struggle that American women faced in the 1960s and in some cases still face in 2018.  It is important to be familiar with the historical female figures that helped change the lives of American women.

    To learn more about women and sports check out the MVCC catalog or the MVCC library databases.

WHO WILL PAY YOUR STUDENT LOAN?

Can the student loan problem be solved in the United States?  A recent blog post by Marshall Steinbaum, a Research Director and Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, proposed that the U.S government should erase everyone’s student debt.  Can it really be done?
Also, a short analysis of this problem from the  CNN Money webpage.

ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE

Many Americans are conditioned to believe that antibiotics will solve most minor illnesses. The general public is puzzled by the growing reluctance of medical providers to prescribe antibiotics to their patients.  This hesitation is grounded in scientific research.  There has been solid evidence to support the limitation of antibiotics.

Antibiotic resistance is the ability of bacteria to resist the effects of an antibiotic.  A resistance occurs when bacteria change in a way that reduces the effectiveness of drugs designed to cure or prevent infections.The bacteria survive and continue to multiply causing more harm.”

Want to find out more about this medical phenomena? The MVCC library has numerous books to check out.

Use the MVCC Databases if you want  more information. The Nursing and Biological Sciences link will provide numerous academic journals, magazines and newspapers.

 

THE FLU

The United States experienced a serious pandemic in 1918 and 1919. During the 1918 “Spanish flu”  that killed up to 50 million people, many were reported to have died within hours of showing their first symptoms. The virus caused between 20-40 million deaths worldwide. It infected over 28% of the U.S. population and almost 700,000 Americans died from the flu during this time period. Most of the victims were between the ages of 20 and 40.  The medical profession had no idea how to treat the disease. 

One hundred years later, the United States is faced with another alarming flu season. Flu deaths are on the rise, including children and young adults. Fortunately in 2018, the medical experts have more medical tools at their disposal.
For additional information on staying healthy as well as interesting facts about this seasonal disease, check out the following sites.

 

“Artemis”

 

Are you looking for something exciting to read over the semester break?  You may want to add the new sci-fi novel “Artemis” to your reading list.  The book will be added to the MVCC collection soon.  The author, Andy Weir, also wrote “The Martian” which was made into a movie starring Matt Damon.  Weir wants his novels to be believable, so the author admits that he “did tons and tons of Google searches” to build his moon city and develop the plot for his new novel.

Here are some sites that will help you understand some of the scientific concepts that he explores. Some of the other links discuss the author and his writing process.

Economics of space travel

Building a lunar civilization

Home on the moon

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