October 20th, 2014

“All sorts of quirky and mind blowing science” is what you will find on the YouTube channel ASAPScience. Hosted by Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown, ASAPScience delivers a weekly dose of answers to interesting scientific questions in a simple and fun way. Some interesting topics to explore include things like “Can Video Games Make You Smarter?”, “Should You Hover or Cover the Toilet Seat?”, “Could We Stop an Asteroid?” which features special guest Bill Nye, and “7 Myths About the Brain You Thought Were True.” The following video about social media and your brain also includes interesting information about “phantom vibration syndrome.”

Film Blog: Lincoln

October 17th, 2014

Today I’m featuring the 2012 film Lincoln, which is partially based off the book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. The newest Lincoln film stars Daniel Day-Lewis as the brave Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. Day-Lewis won an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his role. The film also won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Production Design.

The screenplay writer Tony Kushner was nominated for an Oscar, but sadly didn’t win. Kushner has also written many other very well-known screenplays like Angels in America. We have both the book and DVD in the library.

As always, I’m leaving you with some videos. The 20 minute Lincoln Featurette can also be found in the DVD. I highly recommend it! Steven Spielberg gives great insight into how he wanted the film to look. The second is a preview of the film.

Internet of Things

October 16th, 2014

This week Chicago is hosting the 2nd annual Internet of Things World Forum at the Hyatt Regency. More than 1,500 industry attendees are hearing about and discussing the IoT. The Internet of Things is technology that allows objects with sensors like smartphones, vehicles, traffic lights, wearable devices, machinery, computers and more to share information. It is something that is going to be talked about more and more and the applications of the technology could reach almost every aspect of our lives. More than 3 billion objects have already been digitally connected and 300,000 more are connected every hour. This article from the Chicago Tribune highlights this week’s forum and the role that Chicago hopes to play in this industry. To read more about the topic, have a look at this explanation from InfoWorld.

Gaming the System: Video Games in the Classroom

October 15th, 2014

With our graphic novel symposium still fresh in our minds, and our Gaming Day along with it, you may have been left with more questions about how to incorporate gaming in learning.  Or even cooler, “how can I meaningfully put video games into my classroom?”  The link provided shows some materials in our collection that might help you do just that.  Many of these works offer insight into links between video games and literacy and video games and learning.

With video games exponentially rising in popularity since the 1980’s, it is a medium that is accessible and familiar to many students.  The opportunity to create meaningful connections in the classroom through video games surely exists.  Check out our collection to see if there might be ways you can interact with your students in new and different ways in some of your lessons!

Moraine Valley Library’s collection of resources on video games and learning/literacy

Lapham’s Quarterly

October 14th, 2014

Lapham's Quarterly journal

New to the MVCC Library collection is a journal series by Lewis H. Lapham entitled Lapham’s Quarterly. Each issue focuses on a singular topic such as animals, death, youth, etc., and collects writings from the past and present exemplifying how much our present time is still influenced by our past history. Included in the journal issues are writings from prolific authors such as Shakespeare, Aristotle, Tolstoy, and Twain, in addition to reproductions of paintings by the world’s greatest artists illustrated throughout. While this journal series will appeal to Art, Communication/Composition, History, and Literature students, the appeal is widespread with topics to interest many.

Check out Lapham’s Quarterly in our collection today: LQ : Animals, LQ : Comedy, LQ : Communication, LQ : Death, LQ : Family, LQ : Intoxication, LQ : Magic Shows, LQ : Politics, LQ : Revolutions. Check back often for new issues being added to the collection by doing a keyword search for Lapham’s quarterly. To learn more about this interesting journal you can also peruse the Lapham’s Quarterly website.


The Ebola Virus

October 14th, 2014

Although we are told that this terrible disease is transmitted through body fluids, the nurse in Texas who wore protective clothing while attending to patient Thomas Eric Duncan now has contracted the disease. No one truly knows all the nuances of the progress of this disease, but the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) in Atlanta has the best known information regarding this dangerous virus. Click here and do not hesitate to check out the CDC for updates.

For a very quick visual, semi-animated overview, take a look at this from YouTube.

Malala Yousafzai wins Nobel Peace Prize

October 13th, 2014

One of the most important international prizes, the Nobel Peace Prize, has been awarded to 17-year old Malala Yousafzai for her courage and resiliency. She is the youngest recipient ever in the Nobel Award’s history. The Nobel Prizes have been awarded since 1901. Click here to read the committee’s public statement about the 2014 award.

Watch ABC’s 20/20 profile on Ms. Yousafzai anytime/anywhere through the library’s steaming video service, then read her inspiring memoir, “I am Malala…” in the library’s collection.

Malala Yousafzai advocates

Where’s Thor When You Need HER? Women In Comics (from NPR)

October 13th, 2014

Recently, the comic book industry has taken steps to include more diverse voices including adding more women lead characters and more women creators (writers, artists, etc). Here’s a piece from NPR about the newest re-imagining of Thor.

Where’s Thor When You Need Her? Women In Comics Fight An Uphill Battle


Graphic Novel Series: Footnotes in Gaza

October 10th, 2014

Today I’m featuring another book by comic journalist Joe Sacco entitled Footnotes in Gaza. This is not a sequel to his 1993 comic Palestine, but it does share its similarities. In both instances, Sacco visits troubled places to gather first hand experience of war. It’s his way of humanizing the conflict. In Footnotes in Gaza, Sacco is investigating one specific tragedy, which took place in Khan Younis and Rafah in 1956. Hundreds of Palestinians died, but there wasn’t much media attention. This is Sacco’s motivation behind Footnotes in Gaza.

For more information on the history of Gaza in the late 1940s and 1950s, I highly recommend the video below. It features the author himself giving a little history lesson. It’s about 10 minutes long. You can also watch the full version (roughly an hour long) on Vimeo.

If you’d like to read more about Palestine (the graphic novel) you can click here.

Other items in the collection on Joe Sacco and comic journalism:


Giraffes – the long and short of it

October 8th, 2014

Called the “forgotten megafauna” by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, this giraffe article in the New York Times  will enhance your knowledge about a wonderful, but overlooked, graceful animal.