Electoral College

Though it is not expected to gain traction in the current Congress, a Constitutional Amendment is being introduced in the U.S. Senate this week to abolish the Electoral College. Current presidential candidates are beginning to talk more and more about abolition or reform of the Electoral College system of presidential election in favor of a system of election by popular vote. There is also currently a movement at the state level called The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact whereby states would agree to award electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote.

Strong opinions are held on both sides of this issue. Defenders of the Electoral College seek to prevent urban areas of the nation eclipsing more rural ones in representation. Those seeking a change in our system wish to see the candidate with the most votes become President and to prevent further instances of elections like 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000, and most recently 2016, where that was not the case.

If you find yourself wanting to learn more about this topic, the MVCC Library has some resources that will help. Here are some items in the collection about the Electoral College system. We also have a couple of databases that are very useful for researching controversial topics such as this. Have a look at CQ Researcher and SIRS Researcher and do a search for “electoral college”. The graphic shown above is from SIRS Researcher.

Art Institute Online

The Art Institute of Chicago has recently enhanced the online availability of its digital archives, making much more of its collection available for online viewing. More than 44,000 images of its collection are now available online with unrestricted access. The images are all downloadable under a Creative Commons license. Image viewing has also been enhanced, allowing the user to see the image in much greater detail, even down to the brushstroke level.

Explore the collection here. You can browse through varies genres or use the search function to look for more specific pieces.

To find out even more about the collection of the Art Institute check out these books from the MVCC library.

Pumpkin Contest Results

Are you curious about the results of the Library Pumpkin Contest? It was a great success! We had 19 fabulous pumpkins in the contest this year and raised over $400 dollars for scholarships. Thank you to everyone who created pumpkins and who came by to vote for your favorites. The top three vote getters were:

1st place – Arab Student Union – Preserving Arab Heritage

 

2nd place – Library Technical Services Dept. – Cat-O-Lantern

3rd place – International Student Ambassadors – Haunted House

Pumpkin Contest Time

It’s almost time for the Moraine Valley Library’s annual pumpkin contest. You can enter individually or as a group, club, department, etc. The more the merrier. We look forward to seeing all of your creative ideas! And, don’t forget to stop by the library to see all the great pumpkins and vote for your favorites.

Here’s everything you need to know:

Students, faculty and staff groups are invited to DECORATE A PUMPKIN. No Carving!

Artificial pumpkins are allowed and encouraged.

Pumpkin drop off begins Oct 22nd at 8am.

Voting for the best pumpkin begins Oct 22nd at 8am and runs until Oct 25th at 9pm.

Votes sell for 25 cents or 5 for $1.  Purchase a pumpkin for $20.

Pumpkins will remain in the Library until Oct 26th, 1 pm.

Winners announced Oct 26th at 1pm.

Trophy will be awarded to the pumpkin that receives the most votes.

All proceeds go to the Moraine Valley Library Student Scholarship fund. For more information, contact Sue Yach at 708-974-5297 or yach@morainevalley.edu.

Twenty Years of Magic

It was twenty years ago this month that Americans first met Harry, Ron, Hermione, Hagrid, Dumbledore and He Who Must Not Be Named. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and the six books that followed changed the worlds of children’s literature, fandom, pop culture and publishing in general. Harry Potter became a phenomenon with children suddenly eager to read 700 page books. It became acceptable for adults to enjoy children’s literature and a whole new culture of publishing emerged leading to more and more crossovers. Movies and theme parks appealing to this huge audience were sure to follow.

Harry Potter’s success happened at a time when internet use was exploding and fandom took off as a result. Suddenly, people had the means to interact with others all over the world who loved the books as much as they did. By talking and writing about Harry Potter, by making music and art related to Harry Potter, people were able to interact with the stories in ways they never had before. The careers of people like John and Hank Green, Cassandra Clare, and Darren Criss started in Harry Potter fandom online.

Twenty years later, we are still reading the books. New movies from the Harry Potter universe are still being released. People travel from around the globe to visit Harry Potter worlds. Quidditch is even played competitively on college campuses. The influence of the Boy Who Lived is unquestionable.

If you find yourself wanting to visit or revisit J.K Rowling’s stories, or delve into what has been written about them, you can find our collection of Harry Potter books, DVDs, ebooks, and audiobooks here.

New Name in Sports

Our local professional sports stadium is getting a new name. After the end of this current MLS season, Bridgeview’s Toyota Park will become SeatGeek Stadium. The 20,000 seat facility opened in 2006 and is the home to Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire and to National Women’s Soccer League’s Chicago Red Stars. Besides the new naming rights, SeatGeek, the online ticket broker, will also work with the stadium’s management to bring more events to Bridgeview including concerts, music festivals, and international sporting events.

Naming stadiums after companies is nothing new. Chicago Cubs owner and chewing gum manufacturer William Wrigley named Wrigley Field back in 1926. But selling off just the right to name a stadium, without any other ownership involved, has become more and more common in recent years. While often very expensive for corporations, naming rights also garner lots of exposure for the brand through on-camera views and audio mentions.

If you are interested in reading more about this topic, here are few resources you might find helpful. To read more about naming rights in sports in general, have a look at these articles from our Academic Search Complete database. For a more Chicago area stadium focus, try these Chicago Tribune articles. Finally, to learn even more about sports stadiums, including some local Chicago ones, this search from our library catalog will be helpful.

 

 

 

Right-hoofed Horses Don’t Win Races

 

Are you right-handed or left-handed? I’m a rightie, which is a pretty good thing to be for us humans. About 90 percent of humans are right-handed and we’ve built our world to favor that majority. Many things end up being more cumbersome if you are left-handed, since humans use hands quite a lot.

What about animals? Do they exhibit signs of handedness? Even ones that don’t use or even have hands? As it turns out, some animals do. Most horses have a preference for right-front, hind-left. This means that most horses prefer turning left and that is why horse races are run counter-clockwise. Marsupials are interesting. It seems that the ones that walk on all fours don’t show a preference for handedness. But, the ones that hop on their hind legs, like kangaroos, do show sidedness and most are lefties.

What is even more interesting is that some bees seem to exhibit a “handedness” preference when flying. About half of studied bees don’t seem to care either way and deal with obstacles going either to the left or to the right. But the other half seem to care quite a lot and will put up with greater hardship to stick to their preferred side.

You can read more about animals and handedness in the article “Bee Sides” in the February 2018 issue of Scientific American magazine. To find out more about handedness in humans these books from our library collection will come in handy.