Meteors & Asteroids…It’s been a busy week.

This week a meteor hit the earth in Russia and an asteroid came within 17,000 miles of earth. Here is a video with physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson about these events and about the fact that there are no series efforts being funded to deflect these kind of cosmic threats.

Cosmic Coincidence: Asteroid Careens by as Meteor Delivers ‘Buzz Cut’ to Earth
SUMMARY:On the same day as a meteor hit Russia, an asteroid careened towards Earth. Jeffrey Brown talks to astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson about this cosmic coincidence, how the meteor and asteroid came so close to Earth, what risks it poses and why this is a ‘wake-up call.’

Watch Asteroid Careens by as Meteor Delivers ‘Buzz Cut’ to Earth on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

Bringing Lincoln to Life

Today (February 12th, 1809) is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. Being that we are in the Land of Lincoln and that we are looking at the Civil War for our One Book program on Confederates in the Attic, this is a birthday we should pause and note. Our library has many books and DVDs about Lincoln. You can view them here: Search our collection for Abraham Lincoln.

Additionally, I thought it appropriate to post this 60 Minutes piece about the making of the new “Lincoln” film by Steven Spielberg.

60 Minutes: Bringing “Lincoln” to life (February 10, 2013)
Description: The team behind the 12-time Oscar-nominated film “Lincoln” talks about how they brought the president and his world to life. Lesley Stahl reports.

American Experience: How Silicon Valley Changed the World

The PBS series American Experience explores topics that are vital to life today. It is a mix of history, story telling, and journalism. This is a great series that covers many topics which students and faculty will find relivant to our curriculum. Last night, I watched this piece about Silicon Valley.

American Experience: Silicon Valley
Description: In 1957, decades before Steve Jobs dreamed up Apple or Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, a group of eight brilliant young men defected from the Shockley Semiconductor Company in order to start their own transistor business. Their leader was 29-year-old Robert Noyce, a physicist with a brilliant mind and the affability of a born salesman who would co-invent the microchip — an essential component of nearly all modern electronics today, including computers, motor vehicles, cell phones and household appliances.

Watch Silicon Valley on PBS. See more from American Experience.

Liquid gold

The English poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, paints an ironic image of the world’s water shortage: “Water, water every where,/Nor any drop to drink.” (121-122).

Investors are always looking for the next big thing to make them rich. Fresh water has become the new gold, oil, etc. Here are a number of sites to check out. Find out about a precious commodity we all take for granted.

Is water the new gold?

Lack of fresh water

Are we running out of water?

MVCC Catalog

Poem: One Today by Richard Blanco

In January, we posted a video by poet Richard Blanco following the announcement that he would be the poet for Barack Obama’s 2nd Inauguration. I came across this video of Blanco reading his poem, “One Day,” which he wrote for the inauguration. If you want to read the full text of the poem visit, One Today: Full Text and video

One Today: Dreamies® American Poet Richard Blanco

Dreamies® American Poet Richard Blanco from Bill Holt on Vimeo.

Flu Outbreaks and the Flu Shot

Not only are we in the midst of flu season, but this year’s strain is particularly bad. There are outbreaks hitting across the US (see PBS Newshour, More Than 40 States See Widespread Flu Infection, from January 9th).

There are many myths floating around that the flu vaccine is not really necessary, but these myths are just not true. The flu can be very serious especially for children and older adults. Here’s a short video from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health talking about some of the myths.

Beyond the Research: Debunking Myths about the Flu Vaccine

The Gun-Control Debate

With the terrible aftermath of the December 14, 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the gun debate has resurfaced. Thousands of articles have been written, cable news has spent countless hours dissecting this issue and radio talk shows have been inundated with calls. Perhaps some MVCC students will research this controversial topic for a persuasive speech or a research paper. The Moraine Library has numerous books and database articles available to help you with your research.




You may also want to check out this site:

Elisabeth Fosslien’s Charts Will Make You Much Smarter In The Gun-Control Debate


Aaron Swartz, Open Access Leader Dead at 26

Over the weekend, the news of Aaron Swart’s suicide broke. This is tragic news, which should cause us all to pause.

Swartz was originally from Chicagoland. At the age of 14 he wrote some of the code upon which blogs and social media are currently built. In recent years, he has been a vocal leader in ensuring that information is open and free for all people. Many of us in the library community were great admiring of Swartz since we often shared a common cause. Aaron Swartz often took stands on issues that impact all of us even though most of us did not understand the issues.

Here are some links for more information and with remembrances:



Film Blog: Tapped (2009)

Is clean water a right or a privilege? Today in Filmblogland, we look at the documentary film Tapped. This film explores the question of bottled water as a commodity. Should access to clean water be a basic right or should it be sold just like any other commodity? The film looks at those that privatize water and those that need clean water.

Tapped not only covers the subject of water, but the debate on how harmful BPA is to your health. For those of you that haven’t heard about the issue, BPA is a substance found not just in water bottles, but in many other plastic containers. Scientists find that high doses of BPA are linked to obesity, prostate cancer, breast cancer, diabetes etc. (Tapped The Movie 2012). For a trailer of the documentary, view the video below.

For more information about the film, go to