Jessica Luetger

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Economy and Economics

Photo by Andre Taissin on Unsplash

Written by Eileen Davenport

Inflation.  Interest rates.  Monetary policy.  Rate hikes.  The Fed.  The FOMC.  Cryptocurrency.  What exactly do these words mean, and how will it affect you?  These are some of the terms that many people use, but not everyone understands.  The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has websites that outline and explain these concepts with brief papers on how these ideas affect the economy.  Open Vault explains economics in general terms, adding context to the market concepts that affect our lives every day.

Designed for teachers but useful for anyone with an interest in the subject, Econ Lowdown has resources on personal finance and economics.  The lesson plans are designed for K-college teachers, but clear definitions and real-world applications make the content here useful for anyone who wants to learn more.  You can learn at your own pace, and keep up-to-date with the latest updates on timely topics through the monthly Page One Economics newsletter.

Looking 13 Billion Years into the Past is Just the Beginning

On July 12th 2022, NASA released the first five images taken by the powerful James Webb Space Telescope.

A photo of the James Webb Space Telescope at NASA. A frontal view of the large, gold, hexagonal mirrors held aloft in a large room. Underneath the mirrors stand a crew of NASA workers in white protective suits. Some workers are viewing the telescope, others are holding cables and instruments.
The James Webb Space Telescope in 2017. Image credit: NASA/Desiree Stover (https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/goddard/2017/james-webb-space-telescope-mirror-seen-in-full-bloom)

After 17 years of construction and testing, Webb was launched into orbit in 2021 as a successor to the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes. Built to create high-resolution images by detecting infrared light, scientists expect that Webb will be able to look farther and deeper into space than we’ve ever seen before.

Looking Into the Deep Past

Telescopes allow us to look into the past, rather than see objects as they are now. The further an object is from the telescope, the longer it takes light emitted from the object to reach us. It takes about 8 minutes for light to travel to Earth from the Sun, so on sunny days, you’re seeing the sun 8 minutes in the past.

Now imagine you’re looking at an object one billion light years away. Light from that object has been traveling towards us for one billion years! So when we look at that object in the telescope we’re seeing what it looked like when that light first left the object a billion years ago.

One of first images Webb has taken is a deep field image. This image looks towards a very small, distant part of the cosmos and took 12.5 hours for the telescope to capture. Webb is able to look so far, we can view some of these galaxies as they were about a billion years after the big bang! The farthest galaxy appears to be 13.1 billion years old. Some of the galaxies in the image appear stretched or distorted. Those galaxies are much further away from us and the light they emit is distorted by the immense gravitational pull of galaxies in the foreground.

Thousands of small galaxies appear across this view. Their colors vary. Some are shades of orange, while others are white. Most appear as fuzzy ovals, but a few have distinct spiral arms. In front of the galaxies are several foreground stars. Most appear blue, and the bright stars have diffraction spikes, forming an eight-pointed star shape. There are also many thin, long, orange arcs that curve around the center of the image. For more details, download the Text Description.
Webb’s First Deep Field. Image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI. (https://webbtelescope.org/contents/media/images/2022/035/01G7DCWB7137MYJ05CSH1Q5Z1Z)

What’s Next for Webb?

Webb will continue to look deep into the history of our universe, looking for some of the earliest star formation, but will also look at places closer to home, like the outer planets and other structures in our solar system. We may even learn more about exoplanets, planets in other solar systems!

Learn About The Moraine Valley Observatory and Telescope

MVCC Observatory Homepage and Events

Explore More

Recommended Reading/Viewing from MVCC Library

Support Student Scholarships with our HUE-MONGOUS Coloring Event!

Help support student scholarships during National Library Week! Between April 4th and April 8th, stop by the library and color with us! Donate $1 to have your work displayed in the library! All donations go towards scholarships for library student employees.

The Moraine Valley Community College Library offers scholarships to student employees of the Library when funds are available.

Scholarships in the amount of $300.00 per student are awarded annually to student employees who have shown a spirit of service to the Moraine Valley community. 

Eligible student employees who work in the library are strongly encouraged to apply. 

The scholarship award may be used for tuition, fees, exams, textbooks, and other education related expenses.

Eligibility

  • Have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5
  • Be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours during the semester in which the award is disbursed (spring term).

On This Day in 2020…

A stay at home order was issued in Illinois. Life quickly got strange and scary due to Covid-19. Bread was made, toilet paper hoarded, and friendships continued in online spaces.

Inviting a friend over to visit in spring 2020 via the game “Animal Crossing”. I remember thinking “Welp, I guess this is how we have friendships now”.

The early part of the pandemic looked different to different people and it can be strange to look back at that time and remember some of the drastic life changes we endured.

The graphic novel Covid Chronicles: A Comics Anthology looks back at those early days and the impressions it left on all of us. Containing 64 short comics compiled between April and October 2020, it examines our responses to illness, isolation, social justice, economic insecurity, politics, and more. Each comic represents a unique style and perspective, many written about relatable and emotional stories. This anthology does an excellent job of capturing one of the most impactful times of recent history.

Gene Ha at MVCC

Last week, graphic novel artist and writer Gene Ha visited campus to share his work and creative process with MVCC. Students, staff, and community members can enjoy Ha’s work by visiting his exhibition in the FPAC until March 7th.

The library also has access to Ha’s graphic novel, Mae, available on Hoopla.

Aspiring artists can also view Gene Ha’s 2016 visit to MVCC Library as he speaks about his creative process.

For more information about these opportunities, click the image below:

Gene Ha at MVCC
Click the image above to view more information about Gene Ha at MVCC.

Comic Convention Companion

This season is full of great pop culture events. New York Comic Con was last month, San Diego Comic Con will be in-person next week, and Chicago’s own C2E2 will be in-person in December. So many awesome shows!

Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones attending this year, or maybe you feel the time isn’t right. Either way, the library has graphic novels, cosplay resources, artists, and more to connect you with the pop culture community!

Check out some of the resources below in our Comic Convention Companion, and visit the library in the near future to see some of our staff’s best graphic novel and manga recommendations for your holiday break! Click the image below to view the collection:

Comic Convention Companion

Bathing in the Forest to Relieve Stress… at the Library?

This year’s One Book One College selection is All We Can Save, a collections of essays by women leading the fight against climate change. Thinking about climate change and the environment can be really stressful, but getting out into and enjoying nature can have some really positive benefits.

You might have heard of “Forest Bathing“, the concept of immersing yourself in a natural environment as a form of stress relief. While participants do not actually bathe or even enter into water, sounds, smells, textures, and even tastes of nature are explored and enjoyed.

If you’d like to learn more about Forest Bathing, check out the book “Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness“. Find it in our After Class collection near the library entrance.

The After Class bookshelf, surrounded by student seating
To find the After Class book collection, turn right after you enter the library

If you’d like to get out in nature and learn about it at the same time, check out some of the Library’s upcoming public events. We have a couple opportunities for members of the MVCC community to learn more about the natural areas on campus! Register for events on our Events page. Events are always FREE!

MVCC Prairie Tour (Weds 9/29 and Thurs 9/30) Join earth science faculty member, Jana Svec, for a tour of MVCC’s own prairie. Learn about the geography, plants and animals that are in our own backyard, right on campus.

Native Plants: Foundation of Our Ecosystem (Online Event 10/6) We will discuss how native plants, insects and birds interconnect to maintain our food supply, water, air quality, climate etc.  The significant decline in birds and insects is largely due to habitat loss and lack of native plants.  We will show what the individual can do to reverse this trend. This discussion will be presented by Catheryn Bryla, Sag Moraine

Prairie Seed Collection Event (Tues 10/12 and Thurs 10/14) Help us protect MVCC’s prairie! Join us and Jana Svac, earth science faculty member, in collecting seeds from native plants to ensure that our prairie remains healthy for the future. This is a chance to get outside and make a difference.

Finally, if you want to dig deeper into the native plants and wildlife of Illinois, check out this librarian-curated list of websites, field guides, and books! Click on the image below to browse!

Explore Wild Illinois

Jane Austen July

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a student in possession of a summer break, must be in want of a reading challenge.

Okay, maybe not, but if you are looking for a month-long reading challenge and you enjoy a little early 19th century English literature, look no further than Jane Austen July!

Hosted by three Booktubers: Blatantly Bookish, Books and Things, and Spinster’s Library, the challenge has a Goodreads group, read-alongs, and a Bingo card that readers can complete.

The hosts have created 7 challenges, all of which can be completed with materials from MVCC Library!

  1. Read one of Jane Austen’s Six Novels
  2. Read something by Jane Austen that is not one of her main six novels
  3. Read a non fiction work about Jane Austen or her time period, The Late Georgian or Regency Era
  4. Read a modern retelling of a Jane Austen book
  5. Read a Book by a contemporary of Jane Austen (Some examples are Walter Scott, Mary Shelley, and more)
  6. Watch a direct screen adaptation of a Jane Austen Book.
  7. Watch a modern screen adaptation of a Jane Austen Book. (Some examples are Bride and Prejudice and Clueless)

I propose an 8th challenge: Read an article from a peer-reviewed Jane Austen academic journal!

Will you be partaking in this Regency read-a-thon?

#JaneAustenJuly2021 #JaneAustenJuly

Be Ready For Tornadoes

Late last night, Naperville residents had about 3 minutes between hearing their local emergency sirens and the formation of a huge tornado with winds possibly over 100 mph. Residents in Naperville, Woodridge, and Darien suffered damage to their homes and communities. A few individuals ended up in the hospital and many lost their homes. Trees damaged power lines and many lost power. Tornadoes don’t leave a lot of time for you to react, so the best way to deal with them is to prepare ahead of time.

While this event didn’t impact the MVCC campus directly, tornadoes can affect any community. Here are some resources that will help you be ready in case the next disaster is in your area:

Tornado Preparedness Resources:

5 Things to Know When the Tornado Siren Blares (Alternative link)

Tornado Preparedness and Safety

Illinois Severe Weather Preparedness Guide

Building and Emergency Kit

Get Emergency Alerts on Your Phone

Apps and Social Media for Monitoring Severe Weather:

Want to help?

Suburban Chicago Tornado: How to Help Storm Damage Victims

Information about Volunteering, Donations, and Food Pantries

BINGE BAGS: Binge-Watch Amazing Movies for Free!

Winter may have been cold and snowy this year, but that just means its a good time to curl up with a good movie… or 4! MVCC Library has new Binge Bags to help you out! Each bag has 3 or 4 movies centered around a theme that you can take home for 3 weeks. All you need is your MVCC ID to check out a bag! You can find them right inside the library entrance, so if you’re on campus, stop by and pick one up!

Check out our current bags in the slideshow below:

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