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.


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.


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 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.




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

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.



The 15 Most Influential Websites of All Time

How did the world run so smoothly before the age of Ask Jeeves, Google, email, text and other electronic assistance?  The internet celebrates its 27th birthday on December 20th. 
Happy Birthday to one of the most profound inventions in the history of the world!
Time magazine compiled a list of the Most Influential Websites of All Time. Before you read the list, reflect on the websites that you think belong on the list. You may be surprised on how many you forgot to add to it.
Also, here is a timeline of the birth and growth of the www (world wide web).

The Dawn of the Space Age

On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first artificial Earth satellite. That year, the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union commenced.

In 2011, President Obama stated the following in his State of the Union address: “Half a century ago, when the Soviets beat us into space with the launch of a satellite called Sputnik, we had no idea how we would beat them to the moon. The science wasn’t even there yet. NASA didn’t exist. But after investing in better research and education, we didn’t just surpass the Soviets; we unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs.”

Explore the MVCC catalog and our databases for information on this incredible event in history. Make sure you check out our historical newspapers to get a real feel on how America reacted to Sputnik.


National Hispanic Heritage Month


National Hispanic Heritage Month will run from September 15 to October 15. This month will honor “the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.”

The White House

Check out our catalog for material on Hispanic Americans.

You might also enjoy this PBS documentary on Latino Americans.


The Fall Equinox

The solar eclipse was one of the most anticipated events of the summer. Millions of Americans were “hit” by solar fever.  Perhaps the interest in the eclipse will transfer over to other scientific phenomena.

One of these phenomena, the Autumnal Equinox, will take place on September 22, 2017. It may not have the “once in a lifetime” hype that the eclipse did because it takes places every fall, but it is worth promoting an interest in science.


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