The recently released movie Ford vs Ferrari tells the story of the Ford Motor Company and its pursuit of sports-car racing glory while striving to defeat Ferrari after a deal to buy the Italian car company went bad. Ford had already been involved in racing Indy cars, stock cars and drag racing. Beating Ferrari at Le Mans would put Ford on the map in sports-car racing and hopefully entice younger buyers to buy Fords. Ford Motor Company wanted to be known as more than a maker of cars for family road trips.
It was different story 50 years earlier when Henry Ford helped introduce the road trip into American culture. Beginning in 1914 and continuing each year until 1924, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, along with Harvey Firestone and John Burroughs, took summer road trips together all over the country. They camped along the way, with chefs and butlers in tow, and investigated travel conditions. They called themselves The Vagabonds. They also took along a film crew and their travels earned a lot of publicity. Enthusiasm for road trips increased and along with it roads and roadside services took shape.
For even more fun, watch some of the films The Vagabonds made on their travels. Several of them are available on YouTube. The video below from The Henry Ford offers some highlights or find them all here.
The MVCC Library is showcasing some amazing creations from all over campus. We have 31 pumpkins so far in our annual Library Pumpkin Contest. Be sure to stop in an see them all and don’t forget to vote for your favorites.
Which pumpkin will win the trophy? Find out on Wednesday, Oct. 30th at 1pm in the Library.
The days are getting shorter, which means chlorophyll production in trees is slowing. This lets the true colors of leaves come through. During the next few weeks, Fall colors will be everywhere. Whether you want to see the local showing or plan to take a leaf peeping trip, it helps to have an idea of when the best time to catch colors at their peak will be. This interactive Fall Foliage map from Smokymountains.com might help. You can view the predicted September through November progression of colors throughout the country.
September being National Honey Month makes it a great time to talk about bees. Bees are vital to life on Earth for many species. Sure bees produce honey, but bees are also pollinators. Of the 396,000 types of flowering plants on Earth, 90% require pollination. A typical colony of bees can pollinate 250 million flowers in a day. Bees contribute $577 billion to global crop production and are also an important part of food and habitat production for many, many species.
But bee populations are in trouble, which means we are all in trouble. Bee populations are declining due to things like habitat loss, pesticide use, and climate change. One in four wild bee species are at risk of extinction and beekeepers are seeing annual hive losses of 30%. Efforts to save bee populations are vital. Moraine Valley Community College is trying to be a part of the solution with the recent addition of beehives to the prairie on campus. The MVCC bees are helping plants to thrive and have already produced some honey, as seen in the photo above.
Today being Earth Day makes this a great time to test your climate knowledge. See if you know the most effective actions to take toward curbing climate change. The answers may surprise you. Take the quiz here.
If you want to learn more about our changing climate and what can be done, the MVCC Library has many resources available. Find some of them here.
Though it is not expected to gain traction in the current Congress, a Constitutional Amendment is being introduced in the U.S. Senate this week to abolish the Electoral College. Current presidential candidates are beginning to talk more and more about abolition or reform of the Electoral College system of presidential election in favor of a system of election by popular vote. There is also currently a movement at the state level called The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact whereby states would agree to award electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote.
Strong opinions are held on both sides of this issue. Defenders of the Electoral College seek to prevent urban areas of the nation eclipsing more rural ones in representation. Those seeking a change in our system wish to see the candidate with the most votes become President and to prevent further instances of elections like 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000, and most recently 2016, where that was not the case.
If you find yourself wanting to learn more about this topic, the MVCC Library has some resources that will help. Here are some items in the collection about the Electoral College system. We also have a couple of databases that are very useful for researching controversial topics such as this. Have a look at CQ Researcher and SIRS Researcher and do a search for “electoral college”. The graphic shown above is from SIRS Researcher.
On display in the library today are the published works of Moraine Valley faculty and staff from the past year. Stop by and see works of fiction and non-fiction including books, articles, photography, poetry, dissertations and even the cookbook Baking with Vegetables.
Yesterday, news outlets were reporting on the worldwide disruption of Facebook, Instagram and other Facebook properties. The fact that this was newsworthy speaks to how enmeshed in our lives social media has become. Are you interested in learning more about social media and its impact? The MVCC Library has a variety of materials on the topic here.
The Art Institute of Chicago has recently enhanced the online availability of its digital archives, making much more of its collection available for online viewing. More than 44,000 images of its collection are now available online with unrestricted access. The images are all downloadable under a Creative Commons license. Image viewing has also been enhanced, allowing the user to see the image in much greater detail, even down to the brushstroke level.
Explore the collection here. You can browse through varies genres or use the search function to look for more specific pieces.
To find out even more about the collection of the Art Institute check out these books from the MVCC library.