The Cathedrals of Europe

The flames that engulfed Notre Dame Cathedral have died out but the ramifications of this disaster will be analyzed by historians for years to come. This cathedral and numerous other cathedrals are recognized for their historical and cultural significance by the  UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Want more information on this fascinating topic?  Check out the MVCC catalog.  One book that I would highly recommend is the historical novel, Pillars of the Earth.  We have numerous titles to choose from if you prefer non-fiction.   Also, our historical databases have informative articles that  explain the intricacies of medieval churches.

The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, promises that Notre Dame will rise from the ashes in the next five years.  Vive Notre Dame!

Utah Jazz’s Kyle Korver’s Statement on Privilege in the NBA

This week Kyle Korver of the Utah Jazz published a powerful article in the The Players’ Tribune simply entitled “Privileged.” He explores race and equity of the NBA (and by extension, of the US in general.) His statements reflect some of the discussions that are occurring in many places, so I thought that this was worth sharing.

He writes:

“When the police break your teammate’s leg, you’d think it would wake you up a little.

When they arrest him on a New York street, throw him in jail for the night, and leave him with a season-ending injury, you’d think it would sink in. You’d think you’d know there was more to the story.

You’d think.

But nope…

…There’s an elephant in the room that I’ve been thinking about a lot over these last few weeks. It’s the fact that, demographically, if we’re being honest: I have more in common with the fans in the crowd at your average NBA game than I have with the players on the court.

And after the events in Salt Lake City last month, and as we’ve been discussing them since, I’ve really started to recognize the role those demographics play in my privilege.”

Read the full article here: Privileged by Kyle Korver.

Happy #FactCheckingDay !

April 1st is April Fools Day but April 2nd is Fact Checking Day!

This article by Poynter discusses the importance of recognizing fact checking, “Don’t be fooled: Third annual International Fact-Checking Day empowers citizens around the world to sort fact from fiction.”

You may want to check out EduCheck Map that lists all kinds of resources related to fact checking.

If you want to brush up on your digital information, watch this series on Navigating Digital Information:

 

Electoral College

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.

World Down Syndrome Day

World Down Syndrome Day, March 21, is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. On this day, people with Down syndrome and those who live and work with them throughout the world organize and participate in activities and events to raise public awareness and create a single global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well-being of people with Down syndrome.The date for World Down Syndrome Day is the 21st day of the 3rd month, which was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.”

Check out Leave No One Behind on Facebook.

“Knowing Keeps us Free:” Washington Post Super Bowl spot

There have been many complaints about the boring commercials during last night’s Super Bowl, but for many of us, one commercial stood out among the rest. This was the spot from the Washington Post (narrated by Tom Hanks) that highlights the importance of journalism in a free democracy. It included images of reporters who have been killed over the last few years including Jamal Khashoggi, who is alleged to have been killed at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul last year.

Here’s an article about the images and people highlighted in the spot, “The Washington Post airs its first Super Bown spot.”

Washington Post Super Bowl message: Democracy Dies in Darkness
Because knowing empowers us. Knowing helps us decide. Knowing keeps us free. For more than 140 years The Washington Post has been a key part of democracy, holding government accountable and safeguarding the interests of readers.

The Books that Created Dracula

Some excellent detective work on the origins of Dracula!

“The London Library today unveiled a fascinating discovery that sheds new light on how Dracula was researched and written. We’ve found 26 books that are almost certainly the original copies that Bram Stoker used to help research his enduring classic.

Philip Spedding, the Library’s Development Director who made the discovery, commented: “Bram Stoker was a member of The London Library but until now we have had no indication whether or how he used our collection. Today’s discovery changes that and we can establish beyond reasonable doubt that numerous books still on our shelves are the very copies that he was using to help write and research his masterpiece.” (See London Library’s “The Books that Created Dracula“)

Philip Spedding looks at the books discovered in The London Library that were used by Bram Stoker to research Dracula

The Books that Created Dracula

The Books That Created Dracula from The London Library on Vimeo.

The Bottomless Pinocchio, Misinformation, and the Fight for Truth

Since yesterday’s post about the War on Truth, a few more items have come our way.

First, the Washington Post’s fact-checkers have introduced a new category called “the Bottomless Pinocchio” for constantly repeated false claims. Take a look a the video below or visit this article,
“Meet the Bottomless Pinocchio, a new rating for a false claim repeated over and over again”.

Second, the first episode of the (Mis)Informed Podcast has been released. This focuses on fact-checking political sources. You can listen at the player below or read more here, “(Mis)informed podcast: Who is fact-checking actually for?”

The Botomless Pinocchio:

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(Mis)Informed Podcast: