THIS SUPER POST WILL GIVE YOU PERFECT GRADES. PROFESSORS HATE IT!

Disclaimer: This post won’t give you perfect grades. You are better off with hard work and plenty of sleep.

We have seen claims like this before:

Or news stories that claim simple solutions to the most devastating of diseases:

fox
Fox News

These claims appeal to our most basic emotions and fears. We want to live healthy lives, free from illness and pain. Moreover, we want easy solutions to our health needs and concerns. However, our mental and physical well-being isn’t always so simple. Adverts and news articles, like those seen above, prey on our desires and fears. Too often, these claims are put forth by persons wanting to sell you are product. It is important to keep a critical mind when you see these claims.

Information literacy is important in more than just school. These are life-long learning behaviors that can help you make informed decisions. Brian Dunning of Skeptoid Media sets out a 15-point checklist to help spot pseudoscience. Any time you encounter a scientific claim, especially when it comes to issues of health and medicine, you should ask some basic questions:

  • Is the claim said to be based on ancient knowledge?
  • Was the claim first announced through mass media, or through scientific channels?
  • Do the claimants state that their claim is being suppressed by authorities?
  • Does the claim sound far fetched, or too good to be true?
  • Do the claimants have legitimate credentials?

For the average person, trying to identify good medical science can be tough. Health News Review is a watchdog organization operated by trained medical professionals and scientific journalists. This site evaluates health related stories in popular media. It assigns a simple to understand five-star rating system based on the accuracy of the story. Health News Review is an excellent resource for fact checking popular, mainstream health claims.

The most important thing is to be informed. Prairie State College Library has numerous books to help.

 Ordinarily well : The case for antidepressants

by Peter Kramer

Call #RM332 .K73 2016

“Do antidepressants actually work, or are they just glorified dummy pills? How can we tell one way or the other?In Ordinarily Well, the celebrated psychiatrist and author Peter D. Kramer addresses the growing mistrust of antidepressants among the medical establishment and the broader public by taking the long view. He charts the history of the drugs’ development and the research that tests their worth, from the Swiss psychiatrist Roland Kuhn’s pioneering midcentury discovery of imipramine’s antidepressant properties to recent controversial studies suggesting that medications like Prozac and Paxil may be no better than placebos in alleviating symptoms. He unpacks the complex “inside baseball” of psychiatry–statistics–and reveals the fascinating ways that clinical studies and their results can be combined, manipulated, and skewed toward a desired conclusion. All the while, Kramer never loses sight of the patients themselves. He writes with deep empathy about his own clinical encounters over the decades as he weighed treatments, analyzed trial results, and considered the idiosyncrasies each case presented. As Kramer sees it, we must respect human complexity and the value of psychotherapy without denying the truth–that depression is a serious and destructive illness that demands the most effective treatment available”


The pseudoscience wars : Immanuel Velikovsky and the birth of the modern fringe
by Micharl Gordin

Call #Q172.5.P77 G674 2012

“Science today is hardly universally secure, and scientists seem themselves beset by critics, denialists, and those they label “pseudoscientists”—as seen all too clearly in battles over evolution and climate change. The Pseudoscience Wars simultaneously reveals the surprising Cold War roots of our contemporary dilemma and points readers to a different approach to drawing the line between knowledge and nonsense.”


Sport and exercise psychology : A critical introduction

by Aidan P. Moran

Call #GV706.4 .M67 2012

“Although sport is played with the body, it is won in the mind. Inspired by this idea, the second edition of this popular textbook provides a comprehensive critical introduction to sport and exercise psychology – a discipline that is concerned with the theory and practice of helping athletes to do their best when it matters the most.”


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Shakespeare @PSC

Why should anyone be interested in an author who lived over 400 years ago? Believe it or not, the works of Shakespeare continue to shape literature (such as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead) and film (such as The Lion King), even today.

Stop by the library to borrow titles featured in the library’s Shakespeare display, and be sure to check out the Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s live production of Romeo and Juliet at 11:00AM on Thursday, April 27 in the PSC auditorium! Tickets are $5 for students and are available in the Business Office.

And if you’re just looking for some fresh insults inspired by Shakespeare, you can find those online.

Books

DVDs

May the 4th Be With You! — Star Wars Books

Hey! There’s a new Star Wars trailer out! Check it out, along with all the Star Wars books that you can find at the Prairie State College Library.

My favorite is Luke Skywalker can’t read : and other geeky truths.


Star Wars : Dark empire trilogy
by Veitch, Tom
GN VEI

Six years after the fall of the Empire in Return of the Jedi, the battle for the galaxy’s freedom rages on. The Empire has been mysteriously reborn under an unknown leader, wielding a new weapon of great power. Princess Leia and Han Solo struggle to hold together the New Republic while the galaxy’s savior, Luke Skywalker, fights an inner battle as he is drawn to the dark side, just as his father…


Star wars: aftermath
by Wendig, Chuck
FIC WEN

As the Empire reels from its critical defeats at the Battle of Endor, the Rebel Alliance–now a fledgling New Republic–presses its advantage by hunting down the enemy’s scattered forces before they can regroup and retaliate. But above the remote planet Akiva, an ominous show of the enemy’s strength is unfolding. Out on a lone reconnaissance mission, pilot Wedge Antilles watches Imperial Star Destroyers gather like birds of prey circling for a kill, but he’s taken captive before he can report back to the New Republic leaders.

Meanwhile, on the planet’s surface, former rebel fighter Norra Wexley has returned to her native world–war weary, ready to reunite with her estranged son, and eager to build a new life in some distant place. But when Norra intercepts Wedge Antilles’s urgent distress call, she realizes her time as a freedom fighter is not yet over. What she doesn’t know is just how close the enemy is–or how decisive and dangerous her new mission will be.

Determined to preserve the Empire’s power, the surviving Imperial elite are converging on Akiva for a top-secret emergency summit–to consolidate their forces and rally for a counterstrike. But they haven’t reckoned on Norra and her newfound allies–her technical-genius son, a Zabrak bounty hunter, and a reprobate Imperial defector–who are prepared to do whatever they must to end the Empire’s oppressive reign once and for all. Continue reading “May the 4th Be With You! — Star Wars Books”

Slavery & Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive

The PSC Library recently acquired access to a new online research database! The new database, Slavery & Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive, contains an enormous amount of documents about slavery, the slave trade, emancipation and abolition movements, not only in the United States, but throughout the world. According to the publisher, the archive contains over 12,000 books, 71 manuscript collections, Supreme Court records and briefs in 377 cases, along with chronologies, bibliographies, and more.

To get to the database, first go to the PSC Library website, then click on the “All Databases” link to go to the database list.
Click on "All Databases" on PSC website

Once you are on the databases list page, click on “S,” then on Slavery & Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive.
Click on S then on Slavery & Anti-Slavery

Once you are in the database, you have a number of options. You could simply type some keywords into the search box, or you could try an advanced search, which will give you options to limit results by publication date, source type, and other categories.

One of the more interesting ways to begin if you don’t have a particular topic already in mind is to start with the Research Tools section.
Research Tools section

Using the Research Tools link, you can learn about the the various collections that make up the databases, which tells you a bit more about their contents. For example, the image above shows the contents of one of the collections, namely documents concerning slavery and its abolition in the Danish West Indies (now known as the US Virgin Islands). If you have any questions about accessing this research database or using it, feel free to contact the PSC librarians!

Audiobooks!

headphones

Photo by erik forsberg; shared under the Creative Commons license

The PSC Library now offers several books in audio format. Using the Cloud Library app (the same app used to read ebooks), you can download audiobooks using your computer or mobile device so that you can listen to your book anytime/anywhere – such as on a long drive, while doing laundry, cooking dinner, etc. You’ll have 21 days to listen to the book and you don’t have to worry about returning it – the app will take care of that for you!

The only information you need to start checking out audiobooks is your 14-digit barcode number located on your ID card, which begins with “22783.” But, please note that you must have a library account set up in order for the app to work. So if you’ve never checked out a book before, please stop by the Circulation Desk to set up your library account.

By the way, signing up for a library account and checking out an audiobook are two challenges you can easily complete in order to enter our Library Challenge contest! Suggest an audiobook that you think the library should have and you’ll complete another challenge.

Below are just a few of the titles we offer in audio format. If you have any questions about using the Cloud Library app or accessing audiobooks, please ask us. Happy listening!

Transform into a library expert–win prizes!

Libraries Transform.

Celebrate National Library Week with your Prairie State Librarians.

Libraries are more than just a place for books. At the Prairie State College Library, we are about the ability for the library to transform and empower our students. We do not seek to be a safeguard to knowledge but a guide on your academic and personal journey. Your PSC Librarians want you to become the experts, curators, and protectors of their own cultural, academic, and social knowledge. Whether you want to get involved in your community, find a job, start a business, or build your digital literacy skills, the PSC library is the key to your transformation.

From now until April 17, the library is running a contest in celebration of National Library Week. In this contest, we invite students to actively engage with the multitude of services our library provides.

When you complete an activity listed on the Library Expert Card (see below), you will get the box checked off by a library staff. Once you complete a row/column, you will receive an entry ticket that will put you into a drawing to win one of six prizes: 2 students will receive a $25 gift cards to the PSC Bookstore. 4 students will receive a study room for a day during finals week.

Some of the activities require using our online resources. Click some squares on the Library Expert Card to get direct access to these resources.

SWAN Recommendations Suggest Appointment Facebook Blog

March Book Display: Earth and Beyond

The book display for March explores the search for life outside of Earth, as well as the strangeness of life on our planet.

NASA recently discovered seven Earth-like planets, 40 light-years away. While a long distance for us, it is, cosmically, only a hop, skip, and jump away. As our technology improves and our science advances, we continue to discover more and more planets outside our solar system. And with each new discovery, we wonder whether they could be life on those distant worlds and how we can get to those worlds. Closer to home, Curiosity, the Mars rover, is on the search for evidence of alien life on the Red Planet. How would the discovery of life outside Earth change your perspective?

However, we can stay on our blue dot to explore high strangeness and alien worlds. In our oceans is the largest creature to ever exist: the blue whale, a mammal species known for its intelligence, unique language, and development of culture. Cephalopods (squids, octopuses, and cuttlefishes) have unique, identifying personalities.  We cannot forget the oddness of all the creatures: the poisonous, egg-laying mammal, the platypus.

Take some time to read about the odd and wonderful life on our planet. Consider the possibility of alien life and our continued, scientific search for worlds outside our own. And if you desire, read about alien abductions and UFOs.


The Last Unicorn

by William DeBuys

Call QL737.U53 D434 2015

“In 1992, in a remote mountain range, a team of scientists discovered the remains of an unusual animal with beautiful long horns. It turned out to be a living species new to western science — a saola, the first large land mammal discovered in 50 years. Rare then and rarer now, no westerner had glimpsed a live saola before Pulitzer Prize finalist and nature writer William deBuys and conservation biologist William Robichaud set off to search for it in the wilds of central Laos. The team endured a punishing trek, up and down whitewater rivers and through mountainous terrain ribboned with the snare lines of armed poachers. In the tradition of Bruce Chatwin, Colin Thubron, and Peter Matthiessen, THE LAST UNICORN is deBuys’s look deep into one of the world’s most remote places. As in the pursuit of the unicorn, the journey ultimately becomes a quest for the essence of wildness in nature, and an encounter with beauty”


Beyond the Stars: Our Origins and the Search for Life in The Universe

by Paolo Saraceno

Call GQ982 .S2713 2012

“What is the origin of the universe? Are we alone in the Universe? Using clear and plain language, the author explores these two interesting scientific-philosophical themes with a broad range of studies, including astronomy, cosmology, chemistry, biology, geology and planet science.The first part discusses the origins of everything, from the Big Bang to humankind. It follows the long course of evolution — from original matter to the formation of more complex structures, from the furthest galaxies to the nearest stars, from planets to organic molecules, from the first and most elementary forms of life through to the reptiles, the dinosaurs and the advent of man.The second part traces the history of the Earth and evaluates the risks of extinction in the future as predicted by scientists. Is the Earth the only habitable planet in the Universe? This question initiates the discussion on the importance of the Earth’s position in the solar system and the significance of our geologically alive planet.The final part is dedicated to the search for extraterrestrial beings with identifiable life forms. It also describes attempts for searching, from the past to the near future.This remarkable book provides the best answers we have to the epic questions about us and our place in the universe.” Continue reading “March Book Display: Earth and Beyond”