Spotlight On “Sage Premier Collection”

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When looking for articles for research, Sage Premier Collection is a database that can be very helpful to students. This database provides articles in the fields of health sciences, material sciences and engineering, social sciences and humanities, and life and biomedical sciences.  So, while it doesn’t provide information from a broad range of disciplines, it still gives plenty of options in which to find articles.

One unique trait about Sage is that users can browse through the list of journals held within the Sage database and by discipline. Although searching for information this way may take longer, the list of journals is readily available from the home page.

Users can conduct a search just by typing in keywords in the single search bar.   They can also conduct an advanced search by clicking on “advanced search” under the search bar and using the appropriate limiters as needed. Searching this way allows users to search all Sage journals for information related to the users’ keywords.

Users can access this database by clicking on the “Databases, Ebooks, and Media”  link from the library’s home page.

Reading List: Children’s Books About STEM

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Children’s books are great resources for STEM education: they’re written at a level that a child can understand, and books about science, technology, engineering, and math for children are increasingly published. The library’s Family Room houses books on these subjects as well as fiction and middle-grade books. If you’re a student teacher or a parent, you can use this reading list to pick up educational children’s STEM books from the library.

*Book descriptions provided by the publishers, c/o the library catalog

 

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind by William Kamkwamba

When 14-year-old William Kamkwamba’s Malawi village was hit by a drought in 2001, everyone’s crops began to fail. His family didn’t have enough money for food, let alone school, so William spent his days in the library. He came across a book on windmills and figured out how to build a windmill that could bring electricity to his village. Everyone thought he was crazy but William persevered and managed to create a functioning windmill out of junkyard scraps. Several years later he figured out how to use the windmill for irrigation purposes.

 

Hey, Water! by Antoinette Pointis

Splash along with a spunky little girl who realizes that water is everywhere. But water doesn’t always look the same, it doesn’t always feel the same, and it shows up in lots of different shapes. And so the girl launches into a spirited game of hide-and-seek with water, discovering it in nature, in weather, and even in herself.

 

Little Leonardo’s Fascinating World of Science by Bob Cooper

Introduces kids to the vast and varied areas of science and the different types of scientists they can aspire to become. Whether it’s ancient dinosaur bones unearthed by paleontologists, anthropologists studying different cultures around the globe, or new planets discovered by astronomers, there’s bound to be something here any child will find fascinating and appealing.

 

The Girl With A Mind For Math by Julia Finley Mosca

This is a rhyming-text picture book about Raye Montague. After touring a German submarine in the early 1940s, young Raye set her sights on becoming an engineer. Little did she know sexism and racial inequality would challenge that dream every step of the way, even keeping her greatest career accomplishment a secret for decades. Through it all, the gifted mathematician persisted, finally gaining her well-deserved title in history: a pioneer who changed the course of ship design forever.

 

The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rainforest by Lynne Cherry

The many different animals that live in a great Kapok tree in the Brazilian rainforest try to convince a man with an ax of the importance of not cutting down their home.

 

The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield

Chris loves rockets and planets and pretending he’s a brave astronaut, exploring the universe. Only one problem: at night, Chris doesn’t feel so brave. He’s afraid of the dark. But when he watches the groundbreaking moon landing on TV, he realizes that space is the darkest dark there is, and the dark is beautiful and exciting, especially when you have big dreams to keep you company. (Inspired by the childhood of real-life astronaut Chris Hadfield.)

 

Even An Octopus Needs A Home by Irene Kelly

Shows how animals solve the problem of locating safe places in which to live and raise families.

 

The Brooklyn Bridge: A Wonders of the World Book by Elizabeth Mann

Describes the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, from its conception by John Roebling in 1852 through, after many setbacks, its final completion under the direction of his son, Washington, in 1883.

 

Are You A Beetle? by Judy Allen

This colorful first nature book introduces preschoolers to the world of the beetle. Ideal for reading aloud or as a first reader, the witty text and detailed illustrations bring this familiar creature to life. Young children will be fascinated by this tiny living thing found right in their own backyard.

 

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca

Here is the story of the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon: a story of leaving and returning during the summer of 1969, and a story of home, seen whole, from far away by steady astronauts in their great machines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

99942 Apophis

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In space, objects move at untold speeds through solar systems and galaxies. In our own solar system, thousands of objects soar through the void of space. Surprisingly, these objects never collide with Earth; that is, until 2029.

In 2004, scientists discovered an asteroid about the size of three football fields speeding toward Earth. Panic began to set in as the asteroid, named 99942 Apophis, had a probability of colliding with Earth. But before the conspiracy theorists began digging bunkers in their backyards, scientists found the probability of 99942 Apophis hitting Earth to be a whopping 2.7%.

Then, in 2006, new information revealed that the asteroid will have no chance of hitting Earth when it flies by in 2029. However, there may still be cause for concern. The path of the asteroid takes it closer to Earth than any other extraterrestrial object has been within the past 800 years. Apophis will come between the Moon and Earth at only 22,000 miles from Earth (whereas the moon is 238,900 miles from Earth). This will be the closest any asteroid the size of Apophis has come near Earth in recorded history.

If you happen to be on the side of the planet Apophis passes, there may be a chance that you can see the object with the naked eye. If you are unlucky enough to be on the other side of the planet, you will miss out on its arrival to Earth.

But here is where things get a little strange. Apophis will pass Earth twice in the next 18 years: first in 2029 and the next in 2036. It will not come by our corner of the solar system neighborhood until 2060, with the closest being its flyby in 2029. However, surprisingly, both trips in 2029 and 2036 will occur on April 13th. One of which, the 2029 occurrence, will be on Friday the 13th (spooky). Thankfully, the trip of Apophis by Earth in 2036 (this time a safe 35 million miles away) will be on a Sunday. There was, at one point, a chance that Apophis could hit a “keyhole” in its orbit in 2029 and come back around and hit Earth in 2036. However, most scientists believe that there is no realistic chance that this will happen, but there is still technically a chance.

So what would happen if Apophis did connect with Earth?

Apophis is 450 meters high, making it taller than the Empire State Building. The blast of an asteroid that size connecting with Earth in, say, New York City would destroy everything within a radius of around 14 miles. That would take out ⅘ of all New York. Then buildings within another 6.5-mile radius would be stripped to their foundations. That’s a big hit.

Even with scientists saying that the chances of this would be similar to the chances of winning the lottery, let us remember that people do win the lottery. Realistically, there is nothing to be afraid of, though the jury is still out on the passage of 99942 Apophis in 2060, which will hopefully be in our lifetimes. Will this asteroid ever collide with Earth? We will have to wait and see.

 

*written by Brennan Kress

Reading List: Science Fiction

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Space, experiments, artificial intelligence, aliens, genetics: science fiction is a fascinating genre where almost anything can happen. We have both science fiction classics (like Jurassic Park) and new science fiction (like The Martian) available at the library. Skim through this list to find your next sci-fi read!

*book descriptions are from the library website and/or the publishers

 

2001, A Space Odyssey by Arthur Clarke

This allegory about humanity’s exploration of the universe and the universe’s reaction to humanity was the basis for director Stanley Kubrick’s immortal film, and lives on as a landmark achievement in storytelling.

 

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Through journal entries, sixteen-year-old Miranda describes her family’s struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.

 

Foundation by Isaac Asimov

For twelve thousand years, the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Sheldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future–to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years.

 

Contact by Carl Sagan

Astrophysicist Rebecca Blake deciphers long-awaited signals from space, persuades world leaders to construct a machine that many consider a Trojan Horse, and journeys into space for an epochal encounter.

 

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Timeline by Michael Crichton

A Yale history professor travels back in time to 15th century France and gets stuck, unable to return to the present. His colleagues organize a rescue and upon landing in France become involved in the Hundred Years War.

 

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South.

 

Double Helix by Nancy Werlin

Eighteen-year-old Eli discovers a shocking secret about his life and his family while working for a Nobel Prize-winning scientist whose specialty is genetic engineering.

 

Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Charlie, realizing his intelligence is not what it should be, ponders over the possibility of an operation, similar to one making a mouse into a genius.

 

Birthmarked by Caragh O’Brien

In a future world baked dry by the sun and divided into those who live inside the wall and those who live outside it, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone is forced into a difficult choice when her parents are arrested and taken into the city.

 

To find more science fiction books and movies, explore the “science fiction” subject through our library catalog.

Reading List: Children’s Books About Women In History

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Did you know that March is Women’s History Month? The library has many excellent books on this subject; in particular, we’d like to highlight some of our children’s books about women in history. Adults and kids alike will enjoy these beautifully illustrated and thoughtfully written stories about women who changed the world.

 

Reading List:

Girls Think Of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions By Women by Catherine Thimmesh

Expanded and revised, this new edition of the best-selling book celebrates the ingenious inventions of women throughout time. As inspiring as they are fascinating, these stories empower readers to imagine, to question, to experiment, and then to go forth and invent!

 

Who Was Sacagawea? by Judith Bloom Fradin

Learn all about the life and times of Sacagawea, the Shoshoni woman who helped explorers Lewis and Clark find their way. This book begins with the story of how Sacagawea came to be depicted on the dollar coin and continues with Sacagawea’s life story.

 

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People To Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford

Follow both the physical and spiritual journey of Harriet Tubman as she escapes slavery and then helps others to find freedom, too. Moses is a great book for learning about antebellum life in the U.S and African American history.

 

I Could Do That! Esther Morris Gets Women The Vote by Linda White

In 1869, a woman whose “can-do” attitude had shaped her life was instrumental in making Wyoming the first state to allow women to vote, then became the first woman to hold public office in the United States. The story of Esther Morris is inspiring and told in a fun way by I Could Do That!

 

Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story by Caren Stelson

Sachiko is the story of a young girl who lived through the bombing of Nagasaki in World War II. While this book is geared more toward middle grade and early high school kids, it’s an emotional, moving look at a tragic event in history.

 

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

This version of the bestselling Hidden Figures is perfect for children to understand. You’ll learn all about NASA, space, science, and the African American women mathematicians who greatly contributed to NASA’s programs in spite of Jim Crow laws.

 

Rosa by Nikki Giovanni

This striking picture book depicts Rosa Parks’ famous stand for Civil Rights, as well as the events that followed. Illustrator Bryan Collier’s cut-paper images make the story leap off the page for young readers.

 

Amelia And Eleanor Go For A Ride by Pam Munoz Ryan

Two famous women in history in one book? Sign us up! This fictionalized account of the night that Amelia Earhart flew Eleanor Roosevelt over Washington, D.C. is charming and fun.

 

The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Meran’s Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman

Beautifully illustrated, The Girl Who Drew Butterflies tells the story of Maria Meran and how she figured out the process of metamorphosis. Some of Meran’s own artwork is featured in this book!

 

These books are available for check out in the library’s Family Room!

Moments In History: January 12th, 1967

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Matthew Beyer has begun a “Moments In History” series to raise awareness of important historical events. Each post will also have book recommendations about the moment in history, using our extensive history collection in the library.

 

January 12th, 1967

The Cryogenic Freezing of James Bedford

The cryopreservation of living tissue and cells is a relatively common practice today usually reserved for stem cells, fertilized eggs, embryos, and semen. However, in rare and bizarre cases throughout history, a select few people have opted to have their entire bodies cryogenically frozen and preserved upon death. Their hope is that, if the body and brain are preserved well, perhaps far in the distant future medical science may unlock the key to immortality and possible reanimation of their frozen corpses. This practice has often been labeled as unethical pseudo-science.

However, for the right price and cost of upkeep, there are several Cryo facilities that still cater to this macabre practice. The first man to undergo this procedure was Professor James Bedford, a psychologist at the University of California. Professor Bedford died on January 12th, 1967, from kidney and lung cancer. Although the processes for human cryopreservation have adapted and evolved over time, the usual processes involve the use of liquid nitrogen. James Bedford is currently the oldest person to still be maintained cryogenically frozen in the United States.

The practice has become mostly discredited due to a better understanding of neurology and the distinction that the concept of the “mind” vs. the organic nature of the brain are vastly different from each other.  Still, some people insist that, in the future, medical breakthroughs within nanotechnology and digital quantum computing could allow us to upload and store our consciousness in some form.

If you found this article interesting, the Union University Library has a book that goes into greater detail on the subject of possible future breakthroughs in these respective technologies linked below:

 

Book Review: “Neuromancer” by William Gibson

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Neuromancer is a classic science fiction novel written by William Gibson. The story follows Case, a cyberspace hacker, and his new assignment from a mysterious figure called Armitage. Eventually, a powerful AI comes into the mix, and Case is in for way more than he bargained for.

Mild spoilers ahead.

What Neuromancer gets right: It’s a lot like The Matrix, and who doesn’t like The Matrix? (Technically I should say that The Matrix is like Neuromancer, since the book came first.) Case’s world is flashy, fake, and fun. Neuromancer was one of the forerunners of the cyberpunk genre when it was released in 1984, so it’s certainly interesting for historical value.

I also enjoyed the various villains and ambiguous characters in the book (particularly the AI ones). They kept the story fresh and were always adding to the suspense.

What Neuromancer does wrong: It’s hard to follow. I found myself rereading sentences, wondering what I’d missed and confused by the vocabulary that Gibson never explained. I wouldn’t mind if a few terms flew over my head (I’d rather read on than get mired in semantics) but I was lost for the first half of the book. Neuromancer demands your full attention, and even then you still might miss something.

Like Ender’s Game, Neuromancer was a book that, while intriguing, ended up falling flat for me. I felt like I was being kept in the dark about Case’s mission a little too much. Sure, Case himself barely knows what he’s getting in to, but when you’re reading about a completely unfamiliar setting with barely fleshed-out characters, you need something to understand and relate to.

One of the characters, Molly, does get more backstory and nuance toward the end, which I was grateful for. I also liked what I saw of the characters Wintermute and Hideo, and I wished we could have learned more about them.

Who should read Neuromancer: Fans of classic science fiction, Blade Runner, and The Matrix.

Who shouldn’t read Neuromancer: Readers who don’t enjoy technical descriptions, unfamiliar words, or lack of character development.

 

Neuromancer is available here at the library.

Content note: brief sexual scenes, language, violence, substance abuse.

Top 5 Botany Journals

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The world of botany is ever-growing and often beneficial to other forms of life on earth. Studying and testing plants can lead to new medicines, increased conservation, and better gardens. Check out the 5 journals below when you need articles about botany. All of these journals are available via the library website’s “Journals by Title or Subject” tab.

 

American Journal of Botany

From obscure flowers to soil techniques, the American Journal of Botany provides articles with abstracts, PDFs, and references. With issues dating back all the way to 1914, this database is also great for looking at the history of botany.

 

American Journal of Plant Sciences

The American Journal of Plant Sciences is an Open Access resource which is published monthly. Here you can find topics like dendrochronology, plant ecology, phytochemistry, etc.

 

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Blumea- Biodiversity, Evolution and Biogeography of Plants

The Naturalis Biodiversity Center publishes Blumea three times a year. Blumea has an international focus and a wide variety of plant topics. Use Blumea‘s “Access Key” to find and identify full-text articles.

 

BMC Plant Biology

According to its database description, BMC Plant Biology includes “research articles covering topics such as the cellular, organismal, tissue-level, developmental and functional aspects of plants.” Look for specific, in-depth studies and trials in this database.

 

Canadian Journal of Plant Science

With access to over 100,000 archives, the Canadian Journal of Plant Science provides a broad amount of plant research. You can also find some Spanish and French language articles via this journal if you need research in other languages.

 

 

Book Review: “Encyclopedia of Garden Plants for Every Location”

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I have around 15 different house plants in my apartment. Most of them are succulents of some kind, but 2 are specifically cacti, 1 is a hosta, 1 is a prayer plant, 1 is a snake plant, and 1 is a poinsettia that someone gave to the library last Christmas (I couldn’t bear to throw it away). All of my plants have names, and I love all of them as equally as possible.

When the Encyclopedia of Garden Plants for Every Location arrived at the library, I immediately checked it out (for obvious reasons). This book is big, brand new, and bursting with breathtaking photos of every kind of plant you can think of. While I don’t have a yard to garden in, I still love learning about plants and how to care for them. This may be the same for you- if you’re living in a dorm, then your growing space is limited. However, this book can teach you techniques for your future yard, or for that next big Campus & Community landscaping project.

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The sheer volume of this book could be intimidating at first look. Thankfully, the book begins with a helpful “About this book” section, where key terms and symbols are defined. The book is divided into two sections: Plant Locations and Plants for Special Effects. Within these sections, you can learn about the best plants for shady and sunny gardens, plants for garden problems, and even plants for color and scent. The specific plants are pictured in vibrant colors and their scientific names in bold.

This book is for anyone who enjoys flowers, succulents, trees, and plants of all kinds. You can pick it up from the library today!

 

Top 5 Engineering Databases

 

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Engineering is a fast-paced discipline with constant updates to technology, projects, and collaborations. Stay updated on the latest in the engineering world with these databases.

IEEE Xplore Digital Library: IEEE, pronounced “Eye-triple-E”, stands for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Access about 150 periodicals from IEEE, the world’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology. Union’s journal package is a subset of the full IEEE Xplore Digital Library.

ScienceDirect: ScienceDirect is a leading full-text scientific database offering journal articles and book chapters from more than 2,500 peer-reviewed journals and more than 11,000 books. There are currently more than 9.5 million articles/chapters, a content base that is growing at a rate of almost 0.5 million additions per year.

American Institute of Physics Online Journals: A collection for Mechanical Engineering and Physics.

Scitation: Scitation is a leading online publishing platform for science and technology content, serving a broad customer base with a wide array of features and services. We host over two million articles in fields that include physics, chemistry geosciences, engineering, acoustics and more.

General Science Collection (Gale): With the General Science Collection, researchers can stay current with the latest scientific developments in particle physics, advanced mathematics, nanotechnology, geology and hundreds of other areas. Updated daily, the General Science Collection includes more than 1.6 million articles.