The Dawn of the Space Age

On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first artificial Earth satellite. That year, the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union commenced.

In 2011, President Obama stated the following in his State of the Union address: “Half a century ago, when the Soviets beat us into space with the launch of a satellite called Sputnik, we had no idea how we would beat them to the moon. The science wasn’t even there yet. NASA didn’t exist. But after investing in better research and education, we didn’t just surpass the Soviets; we unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs.”

Explore the MVCC catalog and our databases for information on this incredible event in history. Make sure you check out our historical newspapers to get a real feel on how America reacted to Sputnik.

 

National Hispanic Heritage Month

 

National Hispanic Heritage Month will run from September 15 to October 15. This month will honor “the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.”

The White House

Check out our catalog for material on Hispanic Americans.

You might also enjoy this PBS documentary on Latino Americans.

 

The Fall Equinox

The solar eclipse was one of the most anticipated events of the summer. Millions of Americans were “hit” by solar fever.  Perhaps the interest in the eclipse will transfer over to other scientific phenomena.

One of these phenomena, the Autumnal Equinox, will take place on September 22, 2017. It may not have the “once in a lifetime” hype that the eclipse did because it takes places every fall, but it is worth promoting an interest in science.

 

Here Comes the Eclipse

 

On August 21, 2017, the United States will experience a solar eclipse. This solar event will range from a partial eclipse (Chicago) to a total eclipse (Carbondale, IL).  One of our Summer in the City museums to visit in anticipation of this eclipse is the Alder Planetarium.  The museum is planning numerous events to celebrate the fact that it has been 92 years since Chicago has experienced this scientific phenomenon.

Check out the NASA site and Dyer Observatory (Vanderbilt  University) for more information.

 

Summer in the City – Art Museums

This is part two  of a series of blogs that center around places to visit and things to do in Chicago this summer.

Add the Art Institute of Chicago to your list of must see Chicago sights. Current exhibitions include Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist and Along the Lines: Selected Drawings by Saul Steinberg.

You might want to include the Museum of Contemporary Art if you want to include a museum that emphasizes contemporary works of art.

There is a student discount at both museums.

Don’t forget to use the MVCC library for additional information on your favorite artist or art history.

 

“Turning life into a game”

The MVCC library is promoting board games this week.  There are various games in the display cases and they all have different game pieces, number of players, goals, etc.  But they all have one thing in common: human interaction.  I may not have noticed this particular exhibit had I not just read an article on “gamification.”  The board game with those colorful, old-fashioned game boxes are the polar opposite of the games that are described in the article.

Read this article on how “marketers are trying to make life easier by borrowing techniques from the gaming industry.” It is a fascinating theory and it will certainly make you ponder the pros and cons of the gamification saturation in our world. Check out the links in the article. The MVCC library owns one of the books mentioned: Irresistible. Why not check out the list of board games that are located in the MVCC catalog.

“Summer in the City”

This is part one of a series of blogs that center around places to visit and things to do in Chicago this summer.

The Tribune Tower, constructed in 1923-1925, is an iconic symbol of Chicago. It is less than 25 miles  from the  Moraine Valley Community College campus. The Tower is an architectural jewel filled with treasures from all over the world. The treasures include rocks from the Colosseum in Rome, the Giza pyramid, the Arc de Triumphe, Aztec Ruins and the Berlin Wall. These are just a few examples of historic rocks that are incorporated in the walls of this building.

Check out more information on the Tribune Tower and other great Chicago architecture from the MVCC catalog.

 

Orland Grassland

 

Less than ten miles from the Moraine campus is a Cook County forest preserve that gives visitors a chance to experience nature as it looked centuries before the existence of the Orland Mall, the Marcus Orland Park Cinema, Whole Foods, and various other business that form a commercial corridor on South LaGrange Road. Welcome to the Orland Grassland where a “visitor is transported back in time, to an age when only native plants and animals lived on the land.” This preserve consists of over 900 acres of grasslands, wetlands and oak woods. “Each ecosystem provides a habitat for many threatened and endangered birds of the Chicago Wilderness Region.”

Take some time this summer to visit this southwest preserve.
Check out the MVCC catalog for more information on prairies .

 

 

 

 

Take some time this summer to visit this southwest preserve.

Check out the MVCC catalog for more information on prairies .

 

Icebergs in the Desert

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.

Quick Facts on Icebergs

More information on the project

More information on icebergs and climate