Award Winners

You’ve Heard of the Nobel Prize… But Have You Heard of the Ig Nobel Prize?

“The Stinker”, the official mascot of the Ig Nobel Prizes

Sometimes research is funny. No, really! Using actual money and resources to study if roller coasters can help move kidney stones? Comedy GOLD.

When research, either good or bad, is funny and thought provoking it can earn an Ig Nobel Prize. Organized by the Annals of Improbable Research, ten prizes in different fields have been awarded in September every year since 1991.

Here are some highlights from the 2020 award winners:

  • Psychology Prize: for devising a method to identify narcissists by examining their eyebrows
  • Peace Prize: For the governments of India and Pakistan, for having their diplomats surreptitiously ring each other’s doorbells in the middle of the night, and then run away before anyone had a chance to answer the door
  • Economics Prize: for trying to quantify the relationship between different countries’ national income inequality and the average amount of mouth-to-mouth kissing
  • Medicine Prize: for diagnosing a long-unrecognized medical condition: Misophonia, the distress at hearing other people make chewing sounds
  • Materials Science Prize: for showing that knives manufactured from frozen human feces do not work well

That last one is my personal favorite. Where would we be without this VITAL research?!?!

Here are a few of my all time favorite winners:

  • Medical Prize (2018): for the medical report “Colonoscopy in the Sitting Position: Lessons Learned From Self-Colonoscopy.”
  • Economics Prize (2017): for experiments to see how contact with a live crocodile affects a person’s willingness to gamble
  • Psychology Prize (2016): for asking a thousand liars how often they lie, and for deciding whether to believe those answers
  • Literature Prize (2012): The US Government General Accountability Office, for issuing a report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports.
  • Archeology Prize (2008): for measuring how the course of history, or at least the contents of an archaeological dig site, can be scrambled by the actions of a live armadillo.
  • Literature Prize (2006): for the report “Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly.”
  • Peace Prize (2005): for electrically monitoring the activity of a brain cell in a locust while that locust was watching selected highlights from the movie “Star Wars.”
  • Psychology Prize (2004): for demonstrating that when people pay close attention to something, it’s all too easy to overlook anything else — even a woman in a gorilla suit.

Think these are fake? They sound like clickbait, but you can check out the full list and read the original research articles yourself!

Want to find entertaining research at MVCC? Check out our databases and ask a Librarian for help!

Explore Nobel Prize Winner Louise Glück’s Poetry

Louise Glück – Photo gallery. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Media AB 2020. Thu. 8 Oct 2020.

The 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to the celebrated American poet Louise Glück on Thursday. The Nobel Committee cited “her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal” in the award announcement.

To learn more about Glück and her career as a poet, check out her Poetry Foundation biography or read the New York Times article about the Nobel Prize announcement in the Library databases.

Poetry

Find Glück’s collected poetry in POEMS 1962-2012, which includes poems from her Pulitzer Prize winning book The Wild Iris, and other works in our print collection.

Glück has also published extensively in literary magazines. Find her works online through the Library in The New Yorker and American Poetry Review.

Find an audio recording of “The Golden Lily,” one of Glück’s most studied poems and audio recordings and text of many other poems available from the Academy of American Poets.

The Relevance of Octavia E. Butler’s Science Fiction

Today would have been Octavia Butler’s 73rd birthday, had the multi-award winning author not passed in 2006. She left us with a body of work that inspires, captivates, and often provokes thought and emotion in readers. Her science fiction, typically centering black, female protagonists, was never afraid to discuss race, gender, or sexuality.

Often writing about where she thought humanity was headed, her work is still so relevant today. Some even claim she predicted our current political situation with charismatic political leaders and famous slogans about bringing the country back to some idlilic past that never really existed.

Butler’s novels have never been adapted for the small or large screen, however a TV adaptation of her novel Dawn is in the works with some impressive talent behind the wheel.

MVCC Library has almost all of her books available digitally. Click the image below to see the collection and Ask a librarian if you need help accessing e-books.

The Science Fiction of Octavia E. Butler

2020 Pulitzer Prize Winners and Finalists

The winners of the 2020 Pulitzer Prizes were announced this week! Check out the Pulitzer Prizes website for a full listing of winners and finalists for 2020.

If you want to explore these titles in more depth, several of the winners and finalists are available in our digital collections:

Jericho Brown’s book The Tradition, which won the Poetry prize, is available as an e-book and an e-audiobook

The history category winner, Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America, by W. Caleb McDaniel, is available as an e-audiobook.

One of the history finalists, Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, is available as an e-book.

Greg Grandin’s The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America, which won the General Nonfiction category and was finalist for History, is available as an e-audiobook

The General Nonfiction finalist Solitary by Albert Woodfox (which was recommended last year by librarian Sharon) is available as an ebook.

Oscar Winning Live Action Short

A couple weeks ago, my colleague posted the Oscar Winning Animated Short, Hair Love. I recently came across the winner for Live Action Short. My Neighbors’ Window was written and directed by Marshall Curry. The director states that “There are quiet scenes that work much better with headphones if you watch on a computer”.

What’s New Wednesdays: Oscar Films

This Sunday, Feb. 9th, the Oscars are on the ABC network, and we have some of the nominated films! A list of the categories with nominees can be viewed, or printed, if you’re participating in any contests during the show.

Please check the “What’s New Wednesdays” (WNW) display case past the Reference Desk to see availability (or click on the title links throughout the blog). If something is already checked out, don’t hesitate to “Ask a Librarian” for help, or to place a hold.

Joker / Nominees: Best Picture, Best Actor, among others. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy. “Failed comedian Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) encounters violent thugs while wandering the streets of Gotham City dressed as a clown. Disregarded by society, Fleck begins a slow descent into madness as he transforms into the criminal mastermind known as Joker in director Todd Phillips’ thrilling origin story.”–Container

The Lighthouse / Nominees: Cinematography Starring Robert Pattinson, Willem Dafoe, Valeriia Karaman. “From Robert Eggers, the visionary filmmaker behind the modern horror masterpiece ‘The Witch,’ comes this hypnotic and hallucinatory tale of two lighthouse keepers (Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson) on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s. As an approaching storm threatens to sweep them from the rock and strange apparitions emerge from the fog, each man begins to suspect that the other has become dangerously unmoored.”–Container

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood / Nominees: Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (DiCaprio), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Pitt), Best Director (Tarantino) among others. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie. “Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood’ visits 1969 Los Angeles, where everything is changing, as TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore. The ninth film from the writer-director features a large ensemble cast and multiple storylines in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age.”–Container

Parasite / Nominees: Best Picture, among others. Starring Song Kang Ho, Lee Sun Kyun, Cho Yeo Jeong, Choi Woo Shik, Park So Dam. “Meet the Park family, the picture of aspirational wealth. And the Kim family, rich in street smarts but not much else. Be it chance or fate, these two houses are brought together and the Kims sense a golden opportunity. Masterminded by college-aged Ki-woo, the Kim children expediently install themselves as tutor and art therapist to the Parks. Soon, a symbiotic relationship forms between the two families. The Kims provide ‘indispensable’ luxury services while the Parks obliviously bankroll their entire household. When a parasitic interloper threatens the Kims’ newfound comfort, a savage, underhanded battle for dominance breaks out, threatening to destroy the fragile ecosystem between the Kims and the Parks. By turns darkly hilarious and heart-wrenching, ‘Parasite’ showcases a modern master at the top of his game.”–Container

Rocketman / Nominees: Music (Original Song)-(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again-Music by Elton John, Lyric by Bernie Taupin. Starring Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, Gemma Jones, Bryce Dallas Howard. “‘Rocketman’ is a one-of-a-kind musical celebration set to Elton John’s most beloved songs. Discover how a shy, small-town boy becomes one of the most iconic figures in rock & roll. Featuring an all-star cast, this truly spectacular and utterly electrifying ride is filled with show-stopping musical performances.”–Container

New to the Collection: To Kill a Mockingbird Graphic Novel

If you watched PBS’ “The Great American Read” last year, you will know that the #1 novel voted on by viewers as America’s best-loved novel was To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. If you didn’t watch the limited series, the premise was for viewer’s to vote for their favorite novels from a list of 100 “best-loved,” resulting in the #1 American pick.

Whether you’ve read Lee’s novel prior or not, new to our collection is a graphic novel adaptation by Fred Fordham. Fordham notes, “This adaptation…does not seek to reinvent Harper Lee’s story and characters. The text is, as far as has been possible, directly taken from the novel. Where I have made changes, they have been for the sole purpose of best representing the story and sentiment of Lee’s original work in this medium.” So if you’re looking for a refreshingly new take on the novel, check the graphic version out!

To Kill a Mockingbird in MVCC’s library collection:

And check out the full results of “The Great American Read” at PBS’ website:  https://www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/results/

2019’s Bookish Oscar Winners Are…

Check out the 2019 “Bookish” Oscar winners in our collection!

If Beale Street Could Talk based on the novel by James Baldwin – Supporting Actress (Regina King): “‘If Beale Street Could Talk,’ the only Baldwin novel narrated by a woman, is a love story in which a young couple must weather a false accusation of rape and the predatory misconduct of the police.”–Publisher description. This novel is contained in the collection Later Novels, edited by Darryl Pinckney, published by The Library of America, volume 272.

BlacKkKlansman, adapted from Ron Stallworth’s memoir – Adapted Screenplay (Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee). 

Black Klansman : Race, Hate, and the Undercover Investigation of a Lifetime by Ron Stallworth – “What happens when a black man tries to join the KKK? The true story of one of America’s most shocking undercover investigations–now the basis of a feature film by Spike Lee. When Ron Stallworth, the first black detective in the history of the Colorado Springs Police Department, comes across a classified ad in the local paper recruiting for the Ku Klux Klan, he responds with interest, using his real name while posing as a white man. That decision launches what is surely one of the most audacious and incredible undercover investigations in history. Detective Stallworth sabotages cross burnings, exposes white supremacists in the military, and even fools David Duke himself. The book is an amazing real-life account that reads like a crime thriller–one that offers a searing portrait of a divided America, and the heroic citizens who dared to fight back.”–Back cover.

Black Panther, based on the Marvel comic book character – Costume Design; Production Design; Music (original score). “Marvel Studios’ ‘Black Panther’ follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king–and Black Panther–is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.”–Publisher description.

Search “Black Panther” for more formats: books, eBooks, & eAudio.

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