Hillcroft LRC

Archive for July 2016

Britannica AcademicThis week we’ve been adjusting the links to Britannica Academic on our LRC Eresources Moodle Book as it’s had a makeover.

The new look Britannica Academic lets you:

 

  • cross search over ImageQuest
  • read the latest articles added from the homepage
  • find the most recent changes to articles via the new history tab
  • get country information via an interactive map
  • compare country data
  • access primary source material from history, literature, the law, politics and science through the Original Sources option (this includes books, images and documents).

The new version comes with a new accessibility feature – + / – buttons for you to increase and decrease the font. And you can even switch the language on the page. Register with them and you can create your own research area to save searches and add notes. Watch the video to find out more:

 

It’s easy to think that it’s other people who are the movers and shakers, those who change history and the world. Yet one way we are all agents of change and creativity is in our use of language. According to David Crystal in a blog post Speaking Shakespeare Today:

Conversation is “unpredictable in its subject-matter, and keeps us on our toes. It is unpredictable in its participation: in a group we never quite know who is going to talk next. It is interactive, and therefore unpredictable in the reactions we encounter. It requires us to read between the lines, as people bring their individual backgrounds, presuppositions, and assumptions to bear.”

We could all learn a thing or two about communicating using better presentation skills and interesting words. We could take David’s suggestion and look at what Shakespeare does with words – such as turning a noun into a verb like I did with this blog post title. Tips straight from the Southwark wordsmith.

If you are interested in linguistics and language we have a number of books in the reference collection including the fascinating: From bonbon to cha-cha: Oxford dictionary of foreign words and phrases.

 

 

DVD stand close upThis week we’ve added DVD recordings of the three episodes from Genius of the Modern World to our collection.

BBC 4 broadcast the series in June 2016. The series examined three famous figures from the nineteenth century whose ideas and theories influence the world today; Marx, Nietzsche and Freud. Our Access to Higher Education Humanities and Social Sciences students will find each of the episodes as equally relevant. They study Marx’s theory on the industrial revolution and its effects in their sociology unit.

Episode 1 examines Marx’s theory on revolution as well as the work he did with Engels which resulted in the Communist Manifesto. Episode 2 on Nietzsche discusses how his philosophy on science and religion and a godless world links in with their history unit on fascism as Nietzsche’s sister reinterpreted his work to match in with Nazi propaganda which he himself would have been against. Episode 3 on Freud outlines his work on desire and the unconscious mind which resulted in psychoanalysis and its theories. Our students study Freud as an integral part of their psychology unit.

Find more on Marx, Nietzsche and Freud on our library catalogue. And if you missed the series you can still catch up on it on BBC iPlayer.

 

"Well-behaved women seldom make history"I’ve been watching the BBC’s ‘Versailles’ series on iPlayer which has lead me to Google whether it or not some things actually happened or were dramatised versions of events. Changing history. Humanity likes to gloss over the past or adjust it to make it more palatable or suit the agenda of the present (in ‘Versailles’ case – to entertain). This happens most famously in George Orwell‘s 1984 on an industrial scale:

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” – George Orwell, ‘1984’.

Women have been left out of much of history (and quotations). Things are changing as there are more books and articles written by and focusing on women who have changed the world. That’s why first-hand accounts and primary sources are so vital for historians to re-examine the past.

Here’s an authoritative list of history websites compiled by Oxford Quick Reference to accompany the Oxford Dictionary of World History:

http://www.oxfordreference.com/page/worldhist

You’ll also find women feature prominently in our print biographies and main collection.

Don’t discount your skills in investigating inaccuracies and overlooked facts and figures – they are not confined to the classroom. It is more important to use your critical thinking skills in everyday life, in reading the news and participating in society. Seeing connections, questioning potential bias, probing the facts and respecting evidence. Women can change history in a good way starting with you and me.

MRI scannerHelium is an ultra-light gas (think of balloons) discovered in 1868 by a French scientist, Pierre Janssen. It is the second most abundant gas in the universe but supplies on Earth have been running low and hard to find. Why is this cause for concern? Helium has many uses – in medicine, in space and science generally.

The most common use in medicine is nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). This is often used to diagnose soft tissue conditions like stroke, ligament injuries and tumours.

Liquid helium is used to keep the superconducting magnets cool in an MRI machine. In the last 5 years, doctors and radiological staff have become increasingly concerned that helium stocks were running low and what that would mean for MRI as a diagnostic health investigation.

It has been reported this week in New Scientist that fortunately, vast helium reserves have been located in The Great Rift Valley in Tanzania, in the east of the African continent. This means the many uses for helium have a slight reprieve but geologists will have to keep looking to stop the world from running out.