On October 18th, we welcomed seven MVCC faculty members to the library to discuss the November 2012 elections. Yes, this election is now part of history, but it is interesting to look back at this discussion. The faculty members brought up a range of issues that were left unaddressed by President Obama, Governor Romney, and other candidates.
Even though that panel was held leading up to the election, many of the issues discussed are still important.
For the next few film posts, I’m going to be focusing on George A. Romero’s zombie films. Some people credit Romero for his “fresh” perspective on zombies. Up until Night of the Living Dead (1968), the zombie genre involved a voodoo element. Romero’s zombies fed on the living, which, as we all know, is a very common element to zombies today.
Many of you may know George A. Romero’s films, but did you know Romeo used to film short segments for Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood? Another fun fact is that Romeo wanted to cast Betty Aberlin (who played Lady Aberlin on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood) in the role of Judy, but Mr. Rogers’ was opposed to the idea. For more fun facts about George A. Romero, take a look at “10 Questions for George Romero” from Time.
As always, I’m including a trailer to the film below. And, of course, if you’d like to check out our next One Book, One College, you can click here for more information.
Stumbled across this article from arsTechnica , “Survey of 12,000 studies finds strong agreement on climate change.” The title sort of hits on the main idea. This article reviews several efforts to review scientific findings on climate change. It notes that there isn’t too much disagreement within the scientific community.
We often have students looking for research paper topics, and they often select climate change (global warming) as a topic. The debate they enter often exists within journalistic and political information sources. The debate doesn’t really exist within the scientific community. Scientists are really working on the mechanics behind climate change. They are working on the “how” question and not on the “what.”
Go to Google images and search “Atari Breakout.” Then, HAVE FUN:
Google Lets You ‘Breakout’ of Image Search with Retro Atari Easter Egg: http://techland.time.com/2013/05/14/google-lets-you-breakout-of-image-search-with-retro-atari-easter-egg
This Friday (May 17) is graduation when we honor Moraine Valley’s newest alumni!
When a student graduates, it is traditionally the faculty to bestow the degree on the students. The faculty as the keepers of their academic disciplines confirm that the students have completed their course work and have earned the degree. This is why the faculty process into the ceremony in their fancy robes.
Of course, this always leads us to to the question about the crazy, colorful, and sometimes eccentric looking robes worn by faculty members and graduates. The academic regalia (as it is known) is an 800 year old tradition dating back to middle-ages Europe. At that time, monks were the keepers of knowledge, and they lived in old, drafty monasteries. Their robes were practical at first (to keep warm), but over time, the robes evolved into academic fashion statements.
If you are interested in learning a bit more about the meaning and history behind academic dress, take a look at this video from the UCLA Newsroom: Decoding Graduation Caps and Gowns
UCLA explores the meaning and mystery behind graduation attire.
It’s finals week, and that means that we have wrapped up our One Book series on Tony Horwitz’s Confederates of the Attic. We have covered all kinds of themes this year. If you missed any of our events or you just want to continue your studies, here are links to the videos from our 2012 2013 One Book events:
This past fall (2012), we were also honored to welcome Tony Horwitz to campus to talk about new book Midnight Rising and to talk about Confederates in the Attic. Unfortunately, we were not able to put video from the event online, but we were able to record the audio and post it as a podcast. Here’s the link:
–Online Audio: Author Tony Horwitz on Midnight Rising and Confederates.
If you were around in 1980 and had any interest in science or space, chances are you were watching Carl Sagan’s Cosmos on public television like me. Made at the height of the Cold War, this show was a hopeful and inspiring look at our place in the universe. Even the soundtrack, featuring music from Vangelis, Goro Yamaguchi, Vivaldi, Stravinsky, and others, was inspiring. The library has had Cosmos available to watch on VHS for years, but now we have the digitally remastered and updated collector’s edition DVDs. While some of the effects may still feel a little bit dated, the digital restoration means it’s never looked better. And Carl Sagan’s enthusiasm for the subject matter is timeless. And in the few places where the science has advanced, there are optional “science update” subtitles as well as video updates following many of the episodes.
If you’ve never seen Cosmos, block out some time to really enjoy these thirteen hour-long episodes.
The library also has a copy of the companion book that Carl Sagan wrote to go with the series. It’s shelved with the VHS copies of the show. And the library has lots of other books and videos about Outer Space if you are really interested.
To give you a taste, here is a YouTube video of the first 5 minutes of the first episode.
And just for fun, here is one of the Symphony of Science music videos where Carl Sagan and other scientists have been auto-tuned into singing about science.
In preparation for our One Book, One College events on World War Z, Sarah has been doing a series of posts this month about zombie films in the library’s collection (click here to see her zombie film posts).
In the spirit of these posts, I thought I’d contribute with this video about zombie school from the Walking Dead. The nameless and faceless (literally sometimes) actors who play the actual zombies are obviously important to the success of the zombie film. They don’t get lines beyond the random moan, but they have to be believable and frightening.
This video shows the behind the scenes recruitment and preparation of the zombies in AMC’s Walking Dead. It seems that the actors get a great deal of freedom to express their inner-zombie.
Next on our zombie journey are two British films. 28 Days Later (2002) starts with animal activists freeing chimpanzees from inhumane testing. Unfortunately, one of the chimpanzees is infected with something called the Rage Virus, which causes (I’m sure you could have guessed) uncontrollable rage in animals, and (as it turns out) humans as well. The rest of the film follows Jim, played by Cillian Murphy, who wakes up from a coma 28 days after the initial outbreak to find everyone missing. You may recognize Cillian Murphy from The Dark Knight Rises as the ever creepy Dr. Jonathan Crane or Scarecrow.
For a preview of the film, take a look at the trailer for 28 Days Later below. Also, don’t forget to check out our One Book, One College website for more information on zombies!
After the success of the first film, the sequel 28 Weeks Later followed five years later. 28 Weeks Later centers around the resettling of Britain after the all those infected have died off from starvation. In this film, we follow a family’s tearful reunion after the initial infection.
There are a couple people you may recognize. Jeremy Renner (from The Bourne Legacy and The Avengers as Hawkeye) and Rose Byrne (from X-Men: First Class and Bridesmaids) also star in this film.
Trailer for 28 Weeks Later