Meet the New Astronauts

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration received over 6,000 applications to fill 8 astronaut positions. One dramatic change in the NASA program is the increase of women applicants.  Half of the 2013 astronaut class is female. The newest space travelers will train to explore an asteroid, spend time on the space station and perhaps, be involved in the exploration of Mars.


Some female pioneer astronauts were:

Christa McAuliffe

Sally Ride

College life includes books and gardens

Hopefully the sustainability movement will continue to expand on college campuses throughout the United States. Many universities, colleges and junior colleges promote the concept of sustainability by offering an environmental-centric major, sponsoring environmental clubs and promoting sustainability throughout the campus. Monmouth College (located three hours from Chicago) has take environmental awareness one step further. The college has encouraged its students to make sustainability a part of their everyday life. “A group of students live in the college-owned Garden House and work a half-acre of land and greenhouse in their backyard.” The students eat, preserve and donate the food they grow.

Monmouth College Garden

MVCC Center for Sustainability

Celebrate Earth Day on April 22

Another cheeseburger?

cheesed (1)

In the last decade, the American diet has come under a great deal of scrutiny.  Eating meat, drinking pop and consuming too many carbohydrates have been targeted as potential health risks. Some nutritionists and medical experts feel that a return to a “more natural” diet would help prevent heart disease, diabetes, joint pain and tooth decay. Recent scientific discoveries have prompted scientists to re-examine the modern, healthy diet theory. Surprisingly, atherosclerosis, tooth decay and other diseases are not a new phenomenon. Scientists have studied mummified remains and found similar illnesses in ancient people. Check out the articles below to see how recent studies on mummies indicate that hardened arteries have been around for thousands of years.

Mummies and heart disease 

Mummies and tooth decay

Does this mean ordering french fries with our cheeseburger is a good option? Read this site for nutritional tips.

Nutritional tips

Experience French Culture at the Field Museum

Chicago is a city filled with plethora of cultural centers. One of these sites is The Field Museum. The museum’s newest exhibit Scenes from the Stone Age: The Cave Paintings of Lascaux, is open for viewing. The wall art that was discovered in a French cave was painted over 30,000 years ago. The Field Museum invites you to “experience” the prehistoric paintings by a “walk through exact cave replicas by flickering light, marveling at full-size copies of the paintings-including some never seen by the public-and see them through the eyes of ancient artists. Deconstruct the paintings’ many layers of complexities, meet a lifelike Stone Age family, and discover why the true meaning and purpose of the caves remain a mystery even today.”

Check out the MVCC library for additional information on this subject.

Front Page News in Argentina

The newly elected pope joked with the crowd at St. Peter’s Square about how far he had come to be their pope. “As you know, the duty of the conclave is to give Rome a bishop.” “It seems that my brother cardinals went almost to the end of the earth to find him.”

How did the newspapers of the “end of the earth” country of Argentina react to the news of their native son, Jorge Bergoglio’s, elevation to the papacy?

Argentina’s Newspapers

The Irish Potato

What role does the potato play in the number of Irish who emigrated from Ireland to America during The Great Famine (1846-1849)? According to historians, thousands of Irish natives were lost in a wave of immigration to America. Also, the destruction of the potato crop resulted in over one million deaths from starvation and disease.  A mold (Phytophthora infestans) that infected the Irish potato was the cause of all this suffering. The russet, red, white, yellow, purple and fingerling are just a few of the potato varieties that can be found worldwide. Ireland had one variety and the lack of genetic variation in Irish potatoes contributed to the severity of the Irish potato famine.

Check out these articles for some background information on the potato blight.

Monoculture and the Irish Potato Famine: cases of missing genetic variation

Irish farmer revives Irish famine potato

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Mass Media in The Middle Ages

The leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI, recently announced his resignation from the papacy. The news spread quickly. This historical event was reported by the internet, twitter, blogs, TV, radio, etc. Mass media has changed greatly since the last pontiff, Pope Gregory XII, resigned in 1451. Read this fascinating article from The Atlantic to find out how news of the papal resignation spread during the Middle Ages.
Also, the MVCC library has numerous books about the papacy.