Dec 13, 2011

Take a study break: learn to wrap cats!

As you are knee-deep in finals -- studying everything from physics to management to sociology -- take a break and learn something new:

Dec 5, 2011

Britney turns 30

Calling all Millennials (or "Gen Y")! You're officially getting old: one of the pop stars you grew up with is now 30 years old. That's right, Britney Spears turned 30 on Friday, December 2. Believe it or not, "Brit-Brit" was at her commercial peak around the time that a typical Saint Martin's freshman was in 6th grade.
These days, all of our attention is on Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, or Adele. If you've ever pondered the decline and fall of Ms. Spears, or just asked, "I loved her as a kid. What happened?" then indulge in some winter break reading by checking out The Exile of Britney Spears (available to borrow for free via Summit -- click here).

Nov 29, 2011

Have you ever heard of a "jukebox"?

Ever feel like iTunes and Pandora fall short when it comes to historical music? Well, you're in luck, because today we're turning the spotlight on the National Jukebox. What is this, you ask? Simply put, it's an online archive containing "more than 10,000 recordings made by the Victor Talking Machine Company between 1901 and 1925."

We're talking the earliest days of sound recordings, folks: H-I-S-T-O-R-Y. You can search for songs, or you can browse by genre (e.g. religious, ethnic).

Listen for free, and while you're at it, ponder this: of the artists that you currently enjoy, who do you think will merit inclusion in the National Jukebox 100 years from now?

Nov 15, 2011

International Education Photos

It's International Education week here at Saint Martin's! Be sure to stop by the O'Grady Library,
which is hosting a photo contest highlighting the international adventures of SMU students. You can vote for your favorite photo, and who knows, it might win!

Nov 8, 2011

What if President Obama resigned?

No, President Obama is not resigning. But what if he did? In light of the news that Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is resigning, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at other world leaders who are or who have already bid farewell to their posts.

There's Prime Minister George Papandreou of Greece, who is sort of beginning the resignation process.

There was Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, who resigned earlier this year.

And of course, there was Richard "I am not a crook!" Nixon, who resigned his position as the 37th president of the United States of America.

Oct 12, 2011

Occupy Wall Street/Seattle/Olympia?!

What is this "Occupy Wall Street" all about, anyway? Explore some diverse points of view on the continuing protests that began on Wall Street and have spread to cities and towns throughout America.

New York Times (NYT): ongoing coverage from one point of view

Wall Street Journal (WSJ): ongoing coverage from another point of view

We are the 53% tumblr and We are the 99% tumblr

Aug 15, 2011

Wildlife in Washington State

Attention, nature lovers! The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has a great site that tells you everything you want to know about Living with Wildlife. From fact sheets about tree squirrels to information on the best places to spot wildlife, the DFW has got you covered. And if you're a policy wonk (or just like reading about the rules and regs), there's a page for that, too. There's also plenty of volunteer opportunities for those who love helping our furry friends -- and whose who swim, fly, or crawl!

Jul 6, 2011

Learning and Writing Center begins move to library

The Learning And Writing Center begins moving to the lower level of the library this week.  Tutoring tables and numerous boxes were brought down Tuesday and offices for the staff will relocate Thursday.  For the next month, LWC staff will be temporarily using the lower level study rooms as offices, but current phone numbers will remain the same:

  • L1:  Deborah DeBow, Learning Center Director (438-4570)
  • L2:  Geoffrey Brown, Disability Support Services Director (438-4580)
  • L3:  Cholee Gladney, Writing Specialist (486-8859)
  • Edith Cornfield, Administrative Assistant (438-4569)
In August, the LWC staff will then move to newly created offices behind the glass French doors on the lower level. The first phase of the move should be completed before the start of the fall semester.

The library staff is excited to have the Learning Writing Center relocate to O'Grady Library, and we look forward to collaborating with them. This partnership will provide a tremendous opportunity to enhance both departments' support of Saint Martin's students.

Off-campus access to library databases restored

Access to library databases is once again available from off-campus. The problem we experienced Tuesday afternoon has been corrected.  As before, you will need a current Saint Martin's user name and password to use the databases.  See our subject guides for lists of research databases and other sources.

We apologize for any inconvenience the outage yesterday caused.

Jul 5, 2011

But what about the 5th of July?!

Americans celebrated the recent Fourth of July holiday with fireworks, hot dogs, and sunscreen. We may not know exactly what the agenda was on the original Fourth of July, but most of us get the gist: the Founding Fathers declared independence from Great Britain. But have you ever wondered what happened on July 5th?

Scroll down and wonder no more.

If you are curious about what the founding mothers were doing in 1776, check out the Wikipedia article on "Women in the American Revolution." Of course, it took a little while for that other declaration to roll around -- and a bit longer than that before the right to vote was guaranteed not to be denied on the basis of sex.

Jun 24, 2011

What's going on in Afghanistan?

President Obama recently announced a drawdown of troops in Afghanistan. While the politicos and talking heads argue about whether this is good or bad, we found ourselves wondering what the situation in Afghanistan actually looks like. For some answers, we recommend checking out the following sites.

Afghan Women's Network: educate yourself about the situation of women in Afghanistan from the women themselves.

International Security Assistance Force (ISAF): your information headquarters for the word on what's happening in Afghanistan from the coalition's point of view.

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR): this Congressionally-mandated office provides "independent and objective oversight" of the funds being used for humanitarian and reconstruction assistance.

thruafghaneyes: a photoblog showing the diversity of contemporary life in Afghanistan. Most photos are from life in and around Kabul.

Jun 3, 2011

Sex, lies, & money

The indictment of former presidential candidate John Edwards is the sober end to a sordid tale that involved everything you could possibly ask for in a political scandal: adultery, a hidden child, hush money, a wife dying of cancer, and finally, felony charges. But how does it measure up to presidential scandals of the past?

Watergate: the grand-daddy of all contemporary political scandals. It's also why the media adopted the insufferable habit of attaching the word 'gate' to all manner of tempests in teacups.

Bill Clinton & Monica Lewinsky: if I did the math correctly, this fall's freshmen will have been six years old when this happened. Yikes -- how did that happen?!

Ronald Reagan & Iran-Contra: ok, I have to admit that I have no memory of this one. Iran-Contra was to me as Monica Lewinsky is to this fall's freshman. I was six years old.

History is littered with many other presidential and quasi-presidential scandals, but those are some the big ones from the post-War era ('post-War' in this instance meaning 'post-World War II'). Frankly I'm not sure where the John Edwards scandal should lie on the scale of bad to worst, but at the very least, I guess we can be happy that the sordid tale is coming to an end. Of course, based on history, it is only a matter of time until the next one rolls around!Link

May 9, 2011

Summer Movies!!

The school year is over, and that means one thing: summer movies -- accompanied by giant tubs of buttery popcorn! In between lying on the beach, taking classes, and working, I encourage everyone to take a break and hit the theaters this summer. The following list should whet your appetite for a geek-tastic and fond-childhood-memories-tastic summer.

Mr. Popper's Penguins (June 2011): I am not the only person who loved the book, 'Mr. Popper's Penguins,' as a kid, and I cannot wait to see this Jim Carrey film! I also can't wait to go back and re-read this beloved 1938 children's book; it's been too long!

Thor (in theaters now): for a quick refresher on the top 10 Thor comics ever, click here. For the non-comic geeks-yet-curious among you, check out Thor: Son of Asgard Vol. 1 at the Timberland Regional Library. And yes, they have a bunch of other Marvel comics, too -- as well as lots of other Thor titles!

Captain America (July 2011): you've heard of Captain America; now check out his adventures with Thor, Dr. Strange, and everyone else. Click here and get this through Timberland Regional Library.

Warning: once you're hooked, you may find yourself buying comics with reckless abandon.

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (July 2011): this sort of speaks for itself. There is nothing that I can say here that has not already been said in anticipation of the final leg of Harry, Hermione, and Ron's journey. If you need to freshen up, 'HP & the Deathly Hallows' is available for check out here at Saint Martin's & at Timberland.

Winnie the Pooh (July 2011): after the excitement of 'HP & the Deathly Hallows,' a visit to the Hundred Acre Wood will be just the ticket. Starring John Cleese -- of Monty Python & many other amusing things, not least of which is several other Harry Potter movies -- this film, like 'The Princess and the Frog,' finds Disney returning to its beloved tradition of hand-drawn animation. Check out some Winnie the Pooh titles from your local public library -- for yourself or for your kids!

What books and/or comics are you waiting to see on the big screen? Books you read as a kid, books you read last a comment (or several). We'd love to hear your ideas for page to screen!

Mar 1, 2011

All work & no play

We know that Saint Martin's students work hard. But keeping your nose to the grindstone without coming up for a break is no way to live. So when your work is done and Netflix and YouTube have ceased to entertain you -- because really, there are only so many episodes of "Jersey Shore," "True Blood," and skateboarding cat videos that a person can sanely watch in a day -- check out some good times from your friendly public library.

Especially convenient for students living on campus, the Lacey branch of the Timberland Regional Library (TRL) is right across the street from Saint Martin's. However, no matter where you live in the area, there is probably a branch near you.

--Want to download some free music (good stuff, not just "Polka Music with Uncle Bob")?
Click here & get started using FREEGAL today.

--Want to borrow some bestselling books to read on your laptop or iPad? Click here & discover the world of free e-books -- includes popular bestsellers and classics!

--Got a commute into Saint Martin's & looking for some great audiobooks to keep yourself awake? Click here & savor the wealth of free audiobook fiction & nonfiction -- includes popular bestsellers and classics!

--If, in the bizarre event that you wish to read an actual book, use the online catalog to see if they have what you want.

Special note to education majors: TRL has a gigantic children's & young adult section.

Additional special note everyone else: if you don't have a TRL card, it's very easy to get. As an added bonus, TRL allows reciprocal borrowing with many other library systems, including Pierce County, Seattle, and quite possibly your home library system if you are from Western Washington.

Feb 10, 2011

Story of the Week

Every Monday The Library of America features a new Story of the Week. It could be anything: a short work of fiction, a character sketch, an essay, a journalist's dispatch, a poem. Every story is from one of the hundreds of classic works of American literature published by The Library of America.

Sign up for your free Story of the Week here

Jan 28, 2011

The Protests in Egypt

For many of us, Egypt is the land of pharaohs, pyramids, and the Nile -- most of us tend to know little else about it. However, you're probably aware that in the past few days, it has been the site of major protests and demonstrations. People are literally taking to the streets.....

For a non-Western perspective on the situation, check out Al-Jazeera's "Anger in Egypt" website. Complete with streaming video and live coverage of events on the ground, this is a fascinating place to start.

The International Herald-Tribune's Ledge page is also a great source of coverage.

If you wish to refresh your memory on Egypt, check out the CIA World Factbook's entry on Egypt. This is a great refresher for all of us -- I know my own store of facts on the country could be a lot better!

And because it would be unheard of to discuss a Middle or Near Eastern country without also mentioning oil, check out this page detailing Egypt's energy situation (courtesy of the U. S. Department of Energy).