“Insightful” Google Searches

Do you always accept the top Google results as factual? Are you sure? An old standby in the research world is now ready to give you some help. Encyclopaedia Britannica has a new Chrome extension, “Britannica Insights,” that adds information to the top right of the results page when you search for something. There are limits, of course. Britannica admits it works best for scientific or historical information.

Read more about it: Chicago Tribune, Wired, and The Verge

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.

Choose Privacy Week: Know Your Privacy Rights

Happy “Choose Privacy Week”!!! Libraries around the world celebrate May 1-7 as Choose Privacy Week which is a time for libraries to educate and advocate for the importance of privacy in our democracy.

The Choose Privacy Week website has a resources page outlining tips and tools you can use to ensure your online privacy such as:

Here’s the description from the Choose Privacy Week Website!:
The American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom established Choose Privacy Week in 2010 to help libraries work with their communities in navigating the complicated but vital issues of privacy rights. Privacy has long been a cornerstone of library services in America and a right that librarians defend every day. “

Here’s a video from a few years ago on the importance of privacy.

Vanishing Liberties: The Rise of State Surveillance in the Digital Age

Vanishing Liberties: The Rise of State Surveillance in the Digital Age from 20K Films on Vimeo.

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.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

We finally have a print copy of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss. The book was announced (and released) on March 18th during an episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver with some controversy. Independent booksellers were blindsided by the release and questioned business ethics as the book was first made available to Amazon.¹ The larger conversation was around the fact that the book was published as a parody of Marlon Bundo’s A Day in the Life of the Vice President, written by Charlotte Pence and illustrated by Karen Pence. Both books star the Pence family pet, Marlon Bundo, but one is a biography of the Vice President, while the other is about same-sex marriage.

The release of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo was political, serving as Oliver’s response to Mike Pence’s indirect support of anti-gay organizations.² The plot is about gay marriage and pictures contain cues for adults. At the same time, the book introduces broader themes that go beyond this specific political situation. Twiss writes about the essentials of democracy and diversity, ideas that are universal regardless of who is in power. You can checkout the book in print or electronically from our library.

  1. Green, Alex. “Booksellers Outraged by Chronicle’s Rollout of John Oliver Book.” Publishers Weekly, 26 March 2018, https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/76440-booksellers-outraged-by-chronicle-s-rollout-of-john-oliver-book.html. Accessed 26 April 2018.
  2. “Mike Pence: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO).” YouTube, uploaded by LastWeek Tonight, 18 March 2018, https://youtu.be/rs2RlZQVXBU.

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.

 

 

 

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.
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