There have been numerous scientific theories on how to transform the deserts of the world into lush farmlands or dense forests. Scientists have developed numerous permaculture projects specifically designed for dry land desert environments. These projects range from”conserving scarce water and nutrients, building up fertile soil, and creating cooling micro-climates to protect tender crops from the desert heat.” Other ideas are”Contour Trenching Technique“, which consists of digging trenches on contour elevation lines in the landscape and trapping precipitation in the trenches” or integrating solar power and desalination technology.
One idea that has been in the news recently is an attempt by the United Arab Emirates to drag an iceberg from the Antarctica (over 5,000 miles) to the coast of Fujairah. It will be used to provide billions of gallons of fresh water and perhaps, as The Emirates’ weather experts hope, the enormous iceberg will change the weather system of this arid country. Some scientists question the possibility of this plan harming the global climate.
Two weeks ago, the MVCC Arab Student Union hosted an event in the Library on the crisis in Syria. Last night the US attacked a Syrian airbase in response to a chemical attack on the Syrian people (see BBC’s page referencing the Syrian War for coverage of these issues). After these events, it seems appropriate to reshare the conversation held in the library.
“World Down Syndrome Day is observed annually on the 21st of March. This date is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. Why this date? Because it is the 21st day of the 3rd month. The numbers represent the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.”
There are many organizations that help “raise awareness of what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how people with Down syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities.”
A recent indie film, My Feral Heart, gives a positive portrayal of a young adult with Down syndrome.
Explore our library’s collection of materials on transgender people, gender, and identity. You can browse the call number HQ77.95.U6 for materials on transgender people in the United States and HQ1075 for works on sex role and gender identity, located on the first floor of the library. Also, here is a list of five documentaries and motion pictures recently added to our collection to open the dialogue on transgender experiences, one of the current topics making headlines:
American Transgenderoriginally aired on the National Geographic Channel in May 2012. This documentary follows the different lifestyles of three transgender individuals, addressing topics like identity and relationships.
Boy Meets Girlis a 2014 film regarding the changing relationship between Robby and his best friend, Ricky, a transgender girl.
The 2015 film by Tom Hooper, The Danish Girl, is based on the true life story of a transgender Danish painter, Lili Elbe.
I Am the Queenis a documentary examining the Vida/Sida Cacica Pageant in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, where transgender participants compete in a pageant with support from the larger Puerto Rican community.
Sex, Lies & Genderis another National Geographic Channel documentary, originally broadcast in September 2009. The program explores how doctors and parents face gender decisions and the options in traditional and controversial therapies for transgender individuals.
The 2016 election may have helped propel Orwell’s 1984 to Amazon’s bestseller list. The book, published in 1949, continues to be read especially at this time when everyone’s talking about fake news and ‘alternative facts’.
It has been 75 years since a surprise attack on the U.S. naval base in Hawaii. The air strike claimed the lives of more than 2,400 people and injured hundreds of people. The Pacific fleet was severely damaged by the Japanese air force. Franklin Roosevelt stated the “date which will live in infamy,”prompted Congress to declare war on Japan.
Are LPs making a comeback? For those of us with stacks of them in the basement, they never left. But statistics show that there seems to be renewed interest in the format. In 2015, revenues from vinyl sales were $416 million, the highest level since 1988. RIAA keeps these statistics and has other information about music sales on its website. And there’s a historical connection for this time of the year—Edison demonstrated the hand-cranked phonograph for the first time near the end of the year in 1877.
How can the US recover after the negative, partisan presidential election of 2016? Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt studies the morals that form the basis of our political choices. In conversation with TED Curator Chris Anderson, he describes the patterns of thinking and historical causes that have led to such sharp divisions in America — and provides a vision for how the country might move forward.