2019 In Review

Amount Of Blog Views In 2019: 4,306

The following posts had the most views and interactions of 2019:

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2019:

  1. How To Print In The Library With Paw Print
  2. Book Review: “To Shake the Sleeping Self” by Jedidiah Jenkins
  3. Library FAQs
  4. 5 Tips For Surviving Severe Weather
  5. Matthew’s Monday Movie: “Cinderella Man”
  6. Matthew’s Monday Movie: “King Kong”
  7. Matthew’s Monday Movie: “The Last Samurai”
  8. How To Print In The Library (For UU Students and Faculty)
  9. Top 5 Underrated Library Perks
  10. Top 5 Social Work Journals

 

Top 10 Book Reviews of 2019:

  1. To Shake the Sleeping Self
  2. Fangirl
  3. The Testaments
  4. Shoji Hamada: A Potter’s Way and Work
  5. Brief Answers To the Big Questions
  6. Norwegian Wood
  7. Serious Moonlight
  8. Gone Girl
  9. Ender’s Game
  10. Looking For Alaska

 

Top 10 Monday Movies of 2019:

  1. Cinderella Man
  2. King Kong
  3. The Last Samurai
  4. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  5. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  6. I, Tonya
  7. Sully
  8. The Princess Bride
  9. Mean Girls
  10. The 13th Warrior

 

Blog Editor-In-Chief:

Olivia Chin

 

Blog Editor:

Amber Kelley

 

Featured Writers:

Matthew Beyer

Olivia Chin

Ruth Duncan

Callie Hauss

Brennan Kress

Donny Turner

Grant Wise

5 Steps To Study Abroad

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So you want to study abroad? You’ve fantasized about traveling to far off places, experiencing the culture, speaking a new language, and tasting foreign cuisine. However, despite the concept of living abroad making you starry-eyed, you may not know the best way to start planning such a trip. I recently returned from a six-month study abroad in Tokyo, and I am going to explain the steps I took to get there.

Step One: Deciding Where to Go

For some people, deciding where they want to travel is a no-brainer. For me, I had been interested in Japan for about as long as I could remember, so it had been my travel goal from the start. For some, the decision is not so easy. It can be daunting to pick one place out of the entire world to choose. To help you pick, making a list of your interests and expectations can weed out some options. Love soccer? Check out places in Europe or South America where the sport is popular. Noodles are your favorite food? Italy or a country in Asia might be your best bet. Even your dislikes can help you choose a place. Afraid of tsunamis? Avoid beachfront locations. Don’t want to learn a new language? Go somewhere that you already know the preferred tongue. After you’ve compiled your list, then you can work on the next step.

Step Two: Finding an Academic Program

If you’re lucky, your school will have a program available in the country you want to visit. If you’re not so lucky, you’ll have to be a bit more creative. If you don’t want academic credit, you don’t have to worry about finding American accredited programs, but you may also have difficulty finding scholarships. If you need academic credits, find programs that are either accredited or have connections to an American institution that can transfer those credits for you. You’ll want to contact that particular institution at this point and ask if they allow students at other institutions to concurrently enroll. This is what I did when I studied in Tokyo. I attended an international language school called KCP International but had my course credits transferred through Western Washington University. It may cost an extra fee to do this, but it shouldn’t cost a fortune, and it will open up the opportunity for a variety of academic scholarships.

Feel free to communicate with your study abroad advisor during this process. They are a wealth of information about a number of options you can choose regarding the international study. Once you’ve chosen an institution, bring it up to your advisor so that they can clear it.

Step Three: Bureaucracy, Bureaucracy, Bureaucracy

This is the part that will wear you out if you’re not careful. Between your school, the U.S. Government, and the government of the country you are visiting, you will have plenty of paperwork and requirements you will have to figure out. I cannot stress enough that you need to GET STARTED EARLY! It took me around two full years between initially talking with my study abroad advisor to actually departing for Japan.

Depending on your stay, your steps will be different. Is your country on good terms with the United States? What kind of travel insurance is the ideal one for you? Will you be flying or using some other mode of transportation? Will you have to apply for and receive an international visa? Where is the nearest consulate for your destination country? Can you bring prescription medications and, if so, how much? Will you live in dorm housing, a homestay, or will you have to arrange housing for yourself? Will you need to research and request for disability accessible amenities? Do you have to make down payments on anything for your trip? When is the best time to book travel tickets? All these and many more are questions you are going to have to figure out during the prep stage.

Use government web resources, your university staff, and your international contact to address unexpected questions. You may need to get a physical or vaccines depending on the country or program you attend, so be sure to get that done well before your trip. If this step is done well, it can save you a lot of headache down the road.

 

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Step Four: Raise Money

While you shouldn’t wait to start building your savings, you’ll probably need to apply to a program first in order to apply for some scholarships. As boring and annoying as applications can be, it can make or break your finances. I was able to receive several thousand dollars in funds from outside organizations and federal and university scholarships. Your advisor can probably recommend some scholarships for you, but a quick internet search can provide country, language, or field-specific scholarships to apply for.

Keep good track of what you’ve applied for and received, as well as application and disbursement deadlines. For many scholarships, you’ll probably need a transcript as well as letters of recommendation. I recommend getting these one time and then saving the copies to send off to however many scholarships you apply for. Many scholarships have other requirements such as writing papers after the study abroad, completing service projects, or even working for a specific entity for a specified amount of time, so please read the fine print of whatever you want to apply for. For extra liquid funds, some students get help from family members, start crowdfunding campaigns, or work to build up savings. Between my savings from two summers and winters of interning and delivery driving, as well as a generous gift from my grandparents, I had enough cash to pay for my program fees and live comfortably in one of the most expensive cities on earth while only taking out a small safety net loan. As long as you’re willing to set realistic expectations and work hard, you likely won’t have too much difficulty getting the funds you need.

Step Five: Getting Ready To Go

You’ve gotten your passport and visa, you bought your plane tickets months ago, you’ve made mental lists of everything you want to see and eat once you arrive, and you’ve even been studying your target language with renewed vigor. Now you just have to make sure your affairs are in order.

If you have a long layover before you reach your target country, I highly recommend getting a hotel room near the airport. I made the mistake of booking a sixteen-hour layover in Shanghai Pudong Airport after my fifteen-hour long-haul flight betting that the in-airport hotel would have a room available. Upon fumbling my way through Chinese customs and immigration, I hoisted my luggage on a cart and made the incredibly long trek to the hotel only to find that they were completely booked. None of the seats in the airport recline, so I was reduced to lying on the floor of the very cold international terminal, using my jacket as a blanket and maneuvering my travel pillow into a very uncomfortable headrest. All and all it was miserable, and the few hours of sleep I did get left me sore, stiff, and cranky just in time for my flight to Narita Airport.

Also, don’t forget to go to your preferred local bank and request currency for your target country as well as any countries you stop at in between. You don’t want a delayed flight to make you choose between the unfortunate airport exchange rate or starving to death in terminal C. Always remember to weigh your baggage in both pounds and kilograms before you leave and to pack only what you need. Don’t be like me and pay an extra hundred dollars on overweight charges because of a pair of ice skates I only used once.

Make sure to read up on your airline carry-on policy and to pack your carry-on bag in such a way that you can easily access its contents. You’ll also want to check the country safety rating provided by the state department for your target country and all countries you’ll stop in. The rating for China went down just a few days before I was going to leave the country. This allowed me to decide against my plans to visit the city during my layover. Look up the country’s emergency numbers before you leave and research sim card options online. I purchased a data-only sim card for my time in Japan and it was a more cost-effective tool than buying a sim card with data and a cell plan. Ultimately you’ll have to choose which option best fits your location and budget. Once all your incidentals are in order you are ready to go! However, no matter how prepared you think you are, life will still find a way to bring in odd, confusing complications to your trip. Just remember to remain flexible, and that this will probably become a funny story in a month or two.

Wherever you decide to go, I wish you the best of luck and happy travels. Studying abroad can provide a rich experience that you can learn so many things you’ll never find in a book. I know I enjoyed my experience more than words can say. If you found this useful, don’t forget to share this post and check out what else we have on the Union University Library Blog.

Bon Voyage!

 

*written by Ruth Duncan

Book Review: “Shoji Hamada: A Potter’s Way And Work” by Susan Peterson

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In my opinion, I find that sometimes the most interesting biographies are the ones whose people aren’t too well known. Oftentimes household names have so much in the way of lore and common knowledge that, in many ways, we already know some of the best parts. This trend continued in the book Shoji Hamada: A Potter’s Way and Work. For those who don’t know, Shoji Hamada is a former living national treasure in Japan due to his work as a folk potter. He has become internationally renowned in the ceramics community, his works becoming synonymous with Japanese mingei (民芸 meaning “folk arts” or “art of the people”) ceramics. Having spent four months with Hamada, author Susan Peterson has written a charming glimpse into his life, home, and work.

The book is based in the small town of Mashiko located in Tochigi prefecture and about a two-hour drive north of Tokyo. As the book was written in 1970, the context is of what Mashiko was like during Hamada’s time. However, I had the privilege of visiting Mashiko during this past spring break, and it was wonderful to compare with what was written during Hamada’s life with how the town has changed throughout the years since Hamada’s fame. Shoji Hamda’s house has been turned into a museum of his life and work, and it was fascinating to compare the images from the book’s photo galleries to the real thing. After reading the book, I can’t imagine not wanting to visit.

This book covers anything and everything one might want to know about the potter and his work, but even so, it is still an incredibly easy read. The language is accessible to people who have not studied pottery, but also enriching for those that have. The book covers everything from his workflow, techniques, glazes, kilns, family life, and even the way Hamada himself thinks. The book is not a detached biography written by historians years after the death of the person, but rather a living telling complete with the thoughts and actions recorded in these first-person accounts. The photo albums scattered throughout the book are both an enjoyable and invaluable addition to the biography, as seeing the work for oneself is both contextually important as well as very interesting to see the stages of his work and life. If you are at all a fan of the arts, even just a little, I would definitely recommend this book.

 

*written by Ruth Duncan

2018 In Review

2018

The library blog gained several new, dedicated writers in 2018. We wrote about everything from new books to wrestling and all that falls between. Let’s take a look back at the best of the blog from this year!

 

Amount of Blog Views: 2,055

Top 10 Posts Of 2018:

  1. Top 5 Underrated Library Perks
  2. Donny’s Deductions: The History of Professional Bowling
  3. How To Reserve A Study Room
  4. How To Use The Library As A Guest
  5. How To Print In The Library (For UU Students & Faculty/Staff)
  6. New In Our Archives: “The Private Papers of John Jeter Hurt”
  7. Myth-Shattering Fun Facts
  8. Top 5 Education Databases
  9. How To Download eBooks To Read Offline
  10. A Brief History of Union University

 

*these had the most views and interaction for this year

 

Top 10 Blog Post Quotes From 2018 (In No Particular Order):

1. Bowling two-handed makes it easier to hook the ball, thus scoring higher games with less experience. This makes the sport more accessible and many more middle and high school bowlers are using this technique. Jason Belmonte has helped grow the sport more than just about any other professional bowler. – Donny Turner, “Donny’s Deductions: The History of Professional Bowling”

 

2. A wrestling match can tell a story unlike any sporting event can, and sometimes it can do this better than television shows. A good wrestling match, if done well, can be up to half an hour long. This is longer than many TV shows and in that time, with few words and technically one scene, two wrestlers can tell a story unlike any other. – Brennan Kress, “Book Reviews: ‘Headlocks and Dropkicks’ by Ted Kluck”

 

3. 1975: it can be argued that this is the year that the first true “summer movie” was born, Jaws. – Matthew Beyer, “Matthew’s Monday Movie: ‘Jaws'”

 

4. Human beings pride themselves on their extensive and diverse knowledge of the world, but sometimes information gets confused along the way. Misunderstandings, urban legends, and flat out lies can infiltrate what we believe is common knowledge. – Ruth Duncan, “Myth-Shattering Fun Facts”

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.

5. Some afternoons you sit on the first floor of the library, bent over your Chemistry textbook, and hold up your eyelids because they stubbornly decide to close on you. “I can’t spend five dollars on a coffee this week. I’m broke!” you tell yourself. If you notice an acquaintance who’s in this situation, escort them into Modero and tell them to pick out a warm and caffeinated beverage – it’s on you. – Danielle Chalker, “Random Acts of Kindness Day”

 

6. Akage no An (Red Haired Anne) was introduced to Japan during the educational reforms of 1952. The series and its authorized prequel have both been adapted into anime, and two schools in Japan (the Anne Academy in Fukuoma and the School of Green Gables in Okayama) teach their students how to speak and behave as the admired character would. – Jordan Sellers, “Fun Facts You Might Not Know About Anne of Green Gables”

 

7. The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve turned to nonfiction when I want to read something. Maybe I’m looking for advice, or maybe I just want to know how other people live, and think, and figure things out. To Shake the Sleeping Self is the perfect book to get inside someone else’s mind and feelings. Jenkins writes in a genuine, self-aware tone. He’s easy to relate to because he wonders about things we all do- who he is and who he will be in the future. – Olivia Chin, “Book Review: ‘To Shake the Sleeping Self'”

 

8. Are you an Anglophile? It’s okay, you can admit it. If you drink Earl Grey every morning, have the Union Jack hanging on your dorm room wall, or dream of going to grad school at Cambridge, you probably are. – Danielle Chalker, “Featured eBook: ‘The Cambridge Art Book'”

 

9. Reading can help increase empathy. By reading, especially fiction-reading, you increase your ability to empathize with others. If you can understand a character in a novel, you can better understand the people around you. – Brennan Kress, “On The Importance of Reading”

 

10. In the history of philosophy, it is important to learn about each philosopher’s predecessor, since many philosophers build off of what their mentor taught (or, interestingly, completely reject it). – Olivia Chin, “Featured Book: ‘A Short History of Modern Philosophy'”

 

Featured Writers:

Matthew Beyer

Danielle Chalker

Olivia Chin

Ruth Duncan

Brennan Kress

Jenny Manasco

Anna Poore

Jordan Sellers

Donny Turner

 

Comics For Beginners

 These days, everyone and their mom knows that comic books are a huge cultural phenomenon, but if you want to get into them it can be tough to know where to start. Between deaths, revivals, alternate universes, alternate timelines, reboots, and more, the newly minted comic nerd probably feels a little overwhelmed. In order to feel a little more whelmed (Young Justice anybody?) we’ve put together a list of comics for total beginners.

Flashpoint

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This 2011 comic run is an action packed classic that most DC fans could probably tell you about. Important note: this does involve an alternate reality, but worry not, the story line isn’t as confusing as you would think. Basically, the Flash has ended up in another universe where his mother is alive, but that’s not the only difference. Beloved DC characters are fighting over claim to this world, and no one is sure how they’ll make it out alive. It’s definitely an interesting read while the beloved speedster races to get back to his home.
Warnings: mild violence and physical injury

 

Loki: Agent of Asgard

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In this comic, a recently revived Loki tries to redeem himself from his villainous past by completing missions for the crown of Asgard in exchange for his misdeeds being expunged from recollection. Naturally, he’s going to go about this in his traditional trickster fashion. Full of magic weapons, a human lie detector, and various Asgardians of old, this comic is surely going to draw you in.
Warnings: violence, physical injury, and mild nudity

 

Planet Hulk

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Being shipped off from earth by your friends, crash landing on a planet with too many problems, and being sold into slavery is enough to make anyone mad, but naturally, the Hulk handles it much, much worse. This is one of the comic runs that Thor: Ragnarok garnered lots of inspiration from, but this is not the glittery trash planet of Jeff Goldblum that you know. Gladiatorial battles, inter-species relations, political drama, and a whole lot of smash are all major parts of what makes this comic book special. This one is a fair bit darker than some of the other comics on this list, so be warned.

Warnings: violence

Ms. Marvel

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Its hard to be a teenager sometimes. You’ve got to deal with school, drama, and who could forget your secret life as a superhero? Kamala Khan is a Muslim teen in Jersey City trying her best to be the the new superhero on the block. She’s got big shoes to fill as a young hero, so it’s a good thing she can grow and shrink at will. This comic is a great coming-of-age style story, and it’s funny enough to keep you laughing right along with it.
Warnings: none

 

The Ultimates

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All your favorite marvel superheroes assemble in The Ultimates. After the Hulk destroys a section of the bay, Shield steps up to create a superhero team to combat growing threats that the normal military can’t handle. There are many differences to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Avengers movies, but it still makes for an interesting story. As with Planet Hulk, this story eventually gets quite dark, so be warned.
Warnings: nudity, sexual references, abuse, violence

 

Super Sons

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This comic run tells the escapades of the son of Batman and the Son of Superman. Jon Kent (Superboy) is a mild mannered ten year old that lives with his parents on a farm. In contrast, the slightly older Damian Wayne (Robin) fights crime with his dad and the Teen Titans. The two annoy each other and get into loads of trouble like any good super kids do. This comic is full of action, adventure, and hilarity that will keep you coming back for more.
Warnings: mild violence

 

 

*written by Ruth Duncan

 

The Library Presents: Blind Date With A Book!

Blind Date With A Book!

Come to the Circulation Desk to check out your “blind date” book!

7 Of The World’s Coolest Libraries

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Libraries are magical places full of stories and knowledge. Many of us visit our local libraries on a regular basis. However, some libraries stand above the rest whether with content, architecture, or even lack thereof. Here are 7 of the coolest libraries you have probably never heard of!

Biblioburro
Started by Luis Soriano, Biblioburro is a mobile library carried on the backs of donkeys. Soriano is a school teacher in Colombia who takes packs loaded with books and uses his donkeys to tote them to rural Colombian villages to children who otherwise wouldn’t have access to books. However, Biblioburro isn’t the only small mobile library around. Libraries across the globe are taken from place to place by mules, camels, motorcycles, horses, and even elephants.
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Soneva Kiri Resort Library
On a rocky, seaside slope in Thailand rests the library of the Soneva Kiri six star hotel. Shaped to resemble a manta ray, this structure is made of Thai bamboo and local River Red Gum. The structure is not only a library but also includes a sleeping pod, cooking cave, and vegetable garden. Built in 2007, it was designed to shade and protect from the tropical climate as well as utilizing natural light to illuminate the interior.

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Gladstone’s Library
Paying tribute to William Gladstone, Gladstone’s Library is Britain’s finest residential library and its only Prime Ministerial Library. Founded in the Victorian Era by Gladstone himself, the library was a crowning achievement of his later life. In addition to the fantastic architecture and the over 150,000 printed items the library possesses, visitors can also pay £66 a night to stay at the library which has bed and breakfast amenities.

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Library of Muyinga
In Muyinga, an area in northern Burundi, a library was built for local deaf children. The library was designed by the Belgian practice BC Architects. The structure is made of local materials such as pressed earth bricks that were made on site, and it was specially made to naturally ventilate and guide the hot humid air of the Burundi climate. The space has maneuverable wooden screens, ample exposure to natural light, and a custom-made hammock hanging over reading areas.
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Kansas City Central Library
This Missouri library is decorated in a very peculiar way. 22 colossal facades made of mylar and concrete were fashioned in the style of popular books such as Catch-22, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Charlotte’s Web. In addition to the monolithic titles on the outer walls, the library contains several special collections including the local history of Kansas City and an extensive collections on African-American history and culture.
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Trinity College
In Dublin, a library that has been open for over 400 years and contains over 6 million printed volumes sits still in use. The library of Trinity College is the largest library in Ireland. In addition to its vast number of volumes, the library contains some incredibly rare books and manuscripts including the Book of Kells and the Book of Durrow. The space known as the Long Room is where many of their books are kept. It is a two-story room with an arched ceiling and it is the most recognizable part of the library. 
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Brooklyn Art Library
Started in 2006, the Brooklyn Art Library is a place that seems unassuming at first glance, but the shelves hold something very different. The library holds the world’s largest collection of sketchbooks, and they also maintain a digital library with images scanned from many of the books. The library holds almost 40,000 sketchbooks on site with around 20,000 of them scanned into the digital library. The library was crowd-sourced from locations all over the world with artists from countries all over submitting their books to the project. Since its opening, there have been over 260,000 sketchbook checkouts.

 

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Amazing Women In History

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Throughout history women have done amazing things. Unfortunately, many of those things are ignored or even deliberately erased. However, there are still many examples of the astounding things that women have done and the contributions that they have made to society. Whether it comes to writing novels, commanding politics, or curing diseases, we know the ladies can do it. We at the Union University Library have put together a list of seven of the coolest ladies to hit the history books!

 

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Janet Guthrie was the first woman to drive in the Indy 500.
Janet Guthrie was an aerospace engineer cut from the space program due to her not having a PhD. So instead of becoming an astronaut, she decided to burn rubber instead. She became the first woman to qualify for the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. Difficulties with machinery kept her out of the 1977 Indy, but the next year she finished in 9th place even though her wrist was broken. I mean, I don’t know about you but I can barely even wash my hands when I have a paper cut, let alone finish a race with a broken appendage.
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Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman on the supreme court.
Nominated by Ronald Reagan, O’Connor was confirmed the September of 1981. She had only been a judge for a few short years, but that didn’t stop her. Even though she had never before served on a federal court, she became known as a thoughtful centrist. After a successful career she retired in 2006.
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Madeleine Albright was the first female Secretary of State.
During the good old days of the 90s, Madeleine K. Albright became the first woman to hold the office of secretary of state. At that time, she was the highest ranking female official in United States History. Even before she was asked to be apart of President Bill Clinton’s Cabinet, she had served as America’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
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Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to earn a medical degree in the United States.
Elizabeth Blackwell was a determined, intelligent, abolitionist woman. She was born in Bristol, England, and later moved to the United States with her family. Wanting to become a licensed medical practitioner, she applied to many schools, but due to the prejudices at the time, she was almost unanimously turned down. She was accepted into Geneva Medical College almost on accident. She persevered through and earned her degree. Her sister, Emily, was the third woman in the United States to earn a medical degree.
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Chien-Shiung Wu worked on the Manhattan Project.
Instrumental in the development of nuclear weapons, Chien-Shiung Wu is often referred to as the first lady of physics. She was noticed by the U.S. government for her work in nuclear fission. She was invited to work on the project at Columbia University, and she helped create a process that allows us to extract large enough quantities of uranium to fuel the bombs.
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Gertrude B. Elion found treatments for diseases using chemistry.
After losing her grandfather to cancer, Gertrude Elion decided that she would be the one to find a cure. However, after earning her Bachelor’s degree in chemistry, she found she was running up against a brick wall. Because she was a woman, no one was taking her seriously within the field of chemistry. Nevertheless, she persisted through it and earned her Master’s degree at a good time. Because many of the men of the United States were off fighting in World War Two, employers were forced to take women more seriously. Eventually hired by Burroughs Wellcome Laboratory, Elion found chemicals that aided in the treatment of AIDS, childhood and adult leukemia, kidney transplant rejection, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, malaria, urinary tract infections, gout, kidney stones, herpes, shingles, etc.. She received the Nobel prize for Physiology or Medicine during 1988, was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1991, became the first woman inducted into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame, was chosen as a foreign member of the Royal Society in the UK, became a professor, and earned several honorary doctorates all without a formal PhD.
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Murasaki Shikibu wrote the world’s first novel.
During Japan’s Heian Period, the work commonly considered the world’s first novel was written by Lady Murasaki. Lady Murasaki’s work, The Tale of Genji, was written during a time where it was common for court women to write poetry, fiction, and diaries. These women are attributed to developing a Japanese script suitable for the language while their male contemporaries continued to write in an awkward, scholarly for of Chinese. Scholars believe that Lady Murasaki began to write The Tale of Genji either shortly before or after the death of her husband. She was described as being fond of her stories. In addition to her diary and The Tale of Genji, she is also the author of an anthology of 128 poems. Many scholars believe that she died at the age of 41 during 1014.

Myth-Shattering Fun Facts

 

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Human beings pride themselves on their extensive and diverse knowledge of the world, but sometimes information gets confused along the way. Misunderstandings, urban legends, and flat out lies can infiltrate what we believe is common knowledge. We at the Union University Library have put together some of the most myth shattering facts to bring to you. Prepare to find out that everything you thought you knew is wrong!

 

Myth: Sugar Makes Kids Hyper

Fact: Sugar doesn’t actually make children hyper. Studies have found no discernible difference in hyperactivity dependent on sugar consumption.

 

Myth: The Chinese Invented Fortune Cookies

Fact: Fortune cookies were invented in San Francisco by Japanese Immigrant Suyeichi Okamura. They became associated with China when America entered WWII and Japanese people were shipped to internment camps. Businesses began making fortune cookies like Okamura did and shipped them to Chinese restaurants.

 

Myth: Cracking Knuckles Causes Arthritis

Fact: Since the cracking sound in one’s joints is only caused by gas bubbles, it’s not going to hurt your knuckles or cause Arthritis.

 

Myth: Twinkies Never Expire

Fact: They do expire, actually. Their shelf life is a minuscule 45 days, only 10 of which they spend on the shelf. It’s probably best for you doomsday preppers out there to nix this particular pastry from your end of the world food supply.

 

Myth: We Don’t Know How Bumblebees Can Fly

Fact: Sorry folks, the Bee Movie lied to you. The mechanics of bee flight are well understood from both biological and physics standpoints. The fuzzy little pollinators know what they’re doing.

 

Myth: You Have Swallowed Spiders In Your Sleep

Fact: No need to scream, you don’t actually ingest spiders in your sleep. People make too much noise and cause too many vibrations for spiders to want to be anywhere near your mouth.

 

Myth: Iron Maidens Were Used as Medieval Torture Devices

Fact: Iron maidens were not an invention of the Middle Ages, but rather a scam. They were pieced together in the 1700’s to sell tickets to them as an attraction.

 

Myth: Meteorites Are Very Hot After Entering The Atmosphere

Fact: While friction from entering the atmosphere can raise the temperature of a meteorite, they aren’t red hot. Many meteorites are, in fact, found with frost on them.

 

Myth: George Washington Had Wooden Teeth

Fact: While he did have dentures, they were not made of wood. They were made of animal teeth, hippopotamus ivory, lead, and even gold.

 

Myth: Ancient People Believed in a Flat Earth

Fact: Pythagoras proposed the idea of a spherical earth some time around 500 B.C.. This idea was commonly held by intellectuals such as Aristotle and Plato.

 

Myth: Chameleons Change Color to Blend in to Their Surroundings

Fact: While Chameleons do change color, it is as a response to temperature, communication, light, and even their mood. However, certain species of octopi use color changing to blend into their surroundings.

 

Myth: Napoleon Was Short

Fact: Napoleon was 5’7″, which was above average height during his time. He was, however, called le Petit Caporal as an endearing nickname.

 

Myth: Touching A Baby Bird Will Make Its Mother Abandon it

Fact: Most species of birds don’t have a great sense of smell so in all likelihood, they probably wouldn’t notice.

 

Myth: Bats Are Blind

Fact: While they are nocturnal, echolocators, and have small eyes, none of the species of bat are blind.

 

Myth: The Capital of Australia is Sydney

Fact: Australia’s capital is Canberra. Go ahead and pick your brain up off the floor.

 

*Post written by Ruth Duncan

St. Patrick’s Day


 * written by Ruth Duncan