HBO’s new series, Westworld, is a big sprawling story set in a future where humans have begun imbuing robots with sentience in order to make a large, corporately owned theme park, more immersive for its rich clientele. It is based on the 1970s Michael Crichton movie of the same name where Androids in a Western based theme park become murderous and start to terrorize its patrons. Unlike the movie, the show seems to be developing some bigger questions, such as how is consciousness developed and what is a creators ethical responsibility for its creation as well as examining what is entertainment and what will immersive game playing experiences look like in the future. Overall, it is a great viewing experience, that balances a fun story while still letting its audience delve into references such as Shakespeare, Da Vinci, Alice in Wonderland, Hieronymus Bosch, and Julian Jaynes’ theory of the Bicameral Mind.
If you have been enjoying the show or are just interested in some some of the themes or genres it presents, then try out some of these titles we have at the Prairie State College Library.
Blood meridian: or, The evening redness in the West
by Cormac McCarthy
Based on incidents that took place in the southwestern United States and Mexico around 1850, this novel chronicles the crimes of a band of desperados, with a particular focus on one, “the kid,” a boy of fourteen. An epic novel of the violence and depravity that attended America’s westward expansion, Blood Meridian brilliantly subverts the conventions of the Western novel and the mythology of the “wild west.” Based on historical events that took place on the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s, it traces the fortunes of the Kid, a fourteen-year-old Tennesseean who stumbles into the nightmarish world where Indians are being murdered and the market for their scalps is thriving.
Do androids dream of electric sheep?
by Philip K. Dick
It was January 2021, and Rick Deckard had a license to kill. Somewhere among the hordes of humans out there, lurked several rogue androids. Deckard’s assignment–find them and then…”retire” them. Trouble was, the androids all looked exactly like humans, and they didn’t want to be found!
Weighing in from the cutting-edge frontiers of science, today’s most forward-thinking minds explore the rise of “machines that think.”
Stephen Hawking recently made headlines by noting, “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” Others, conversely, have trumpeted a new age of “superintelligence” in which smart devices will exponentially extend human capacities. No longer just a matter of science-fiction fantasy (2001, Blade Runner, The Terminator, Her, etc.), it is time to seriously consider the reality of intelligent technology, many forms of which are already being integrated into our daily lives. In that spirit, John Brockman, publisher of Edge. org (“the world’s smartest website” – The Guardian), asked the world’s most influential scientists, philosophers, and artists one of today’s most consequential questions: What do you think about machines that think?
The Ox-bow Incident
by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
Set in 1885, The Ox-Bow Incident is a searing and realistic portrait of frontier life and mob violence in the American West. First published in 1940, it focuses on the lynching of three innocent men and the tragedy that ensues when law and order are abandoned. The result is an emotionally powerful, vivid, and unforgettable re-creation of the Western novel, which Clark transmuted into a universal story about good and evil, individual and community, justice and human nature.
The complete stories of J.G. Ballard
by J.G. Ballard
Short story, ‘The Largest Theme Park in the World’, describes a Europe of the near future, ‘the first totalitarian system based on leisure’. Former pilot Paul Sinclair drives his young doctor wife Jane to the French Riviera when she takes up a post at the exclusive high-tech community of Eden-Olympia. The multinational corporations behind the business park are conducting a psychological laboratory there, a huge experiment in how to ‘hot-house the future’. They become aware of the violence and paranoia under the project’s glossy surfaces and its increasingly sinister undercurrents: sado-masochistic sex, robberies and racist attacks, unexplained murders. Jane falls into promiscuity and drug addiction, while Paul investigates the death of the former medical director of this ‘Alcatraz-sur-Mer’ in a deranged shooting spree.
While it may be difficult to believe, we have just started the 2016 primary process; the Republican Party has held an election or caucus in 4 states and the Democrats in 3. On March 1st, the nomination process will kick into a higher gear with “Super Tuesday” when 11 states will host a primary election event. “Super Tuesday” is a Tuesday in February or March when the highest number of states host their primary events. Primaries continue until June 7th, when California and New Jersey elections round off the cycle. Click here for a complete calendar of election events.
Primary season can be a very confusing time. The United States Constitution only sets standards for general elections, therefore, the standards for primary elections are left to the states, the political party in each state, as well as local jurisdictions. This can leave a rather mixed bag of events. For example, the Republican Party in South Carolina held their primary election on February 20th, whereas the Democrats held it on February 27th. In
North Dakota, the Republicans will have a closed caucus but the Democrats will select their nominee through an open primary. Check out The Imperfect Primary by Barbara Norrander from the Prairie State College Library for a more thorough discussion on the U.S. political, nomination system.
Some important things to know about the Illinois primary:
- March 15th, the date of the state-wide primary elections.
- It as a “hybrid primary.” This means that when you go to your polling place you may select the primary ballot for any party. In a “closed primary,” you may only vote in a party’s primary if you are a registered member of that party.
- Illinois has an easy-to-use portal to help you determine your polling place.
- Voting is open 6am-7pm.
- Voter registration ended on February 16th; however, you can still register to vote! Called “Grace Period Registration,” any Illinois resident may register in-person at an election authority in their jurisdiction. This also includes updating your address or legal name. Make sure you have the right forms of identification when you register.
- You can vote now! Tuesday the 15th could be a very busy day for you, as well as other voters. You also may be too excited to wait and want to vote as soon as possible. Illinois allows for early voting for any qualified voter. If this is something that interest you, there is a map of all early voting locations in suburban Cook County.
- If you are not an Illinois resident, you should vote in your home state!
As mentioned above, the Republican and Democratic parties are holding their primary elections on March 15th. The field for presidential candidates could change, which often happens after Super Tuesday. However, this does not change your duty as a voter. You have the opportunity to cast your vote for your party’s nomination in several races. This includes national positions, such as United States Senator, as well as for very important local positions, like Circuit Judges.
Finding balanced and unbiased information about the candidates can be difficult. The Illinois State Board of Elections provides a complete list of all the candidates running for a position in this primary cycle. You can determine your voting districts by using either their desktop or mobile application. A recommended third-party site is BallotReady. Its expressed mission is to empower the voter by providing easy access to information about the election, the candidates, and any referendum. BallotReady allows voters to compare and contrast candidates in each position and examine each person based their stances to specific key issues.
Honoring excellence in journalism and the arts since 1917.
Celebrating the best of American literature and enhancing the cultural value of great writing in America.
Awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words of the will of Alfred Nobel, produced “in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction.”
The Man Booker Prize promotes the finest in fiction by rewarding the very best book of the year. The prize is the world’s most important literary award and has the power to transform the fortunes of authors and publishers.
The National Book Critics Circle honors outstanding writing and fosters a national conversation about reading, criticism and literature.
The Caldecott Medal annually recognizes the preceding year’s “most distinguished American picture book for children” and the Newbery Medal is awarded to “the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children”.
The Prairie State College Library welcomes back students and faculty to another exciting school year! With classes starting up, it is important to know about the new as well as continuing services that the library offers to help them succeed and enjoy their experience at PSC.
Don’t forget to check out the books at the bottom of this page and those on display near our Library Classroom, as they can help you succeed in the new school year and in your academic career.
What is New?
The Library Chalkboard — Come check out the Library’s Blackboard discussion board located near the entrance of the library. Each week, the library posts one thought provoking question that you can respond to.
The Library has a New Catalog: The Prairie State College Library, along with over 70 local libraries, use what is called the SWAN Catalog, which has recently gotten a new look and interface. Continue reading to find out more on using this new catalog to see what we have or to order books and movies from our partner libraries.
Things to Remember…
Scanning, Faxing, and Printing is Available — Scanning documents is 5 cents per page. Faxing is $1 per page. Printing is 10 cents. In addition, printing in Color is available with the new Color Printer at the cost of 50 cents per page.
Study Rooms are Available — The library offers three study rooms that can be used for studying and preparing presentations.
Services for Faculty Members are Available — Be sure to visit our Instruction Services webpage to learn how to schedule a library instruction session for your classes, learn tips about how you can help us help your students, as well as other services you can take advantage of.
We Are Always Here to Help — Check out our Ask A Librarian Page for more information on how the library can help you out!
Books that can help you succeed this school year and in your academic career…
March is Women’s History Month. Of course, your Prairie State College Library has a variety of books concerning women’s history. The library also carries many books about women of today–their stories, concerns, and the events that will be part of women’s history in the future.
Here are just a few examples of what the library has to offer on the subject. These titles and others can be found on the bookcase just outside the Prairie State College Library classroom.
We live in an age where movie studios and TV networks love to adapt new shows and movies from previously established books. From big blockbuster ratings smashes, such as Game of Thrones to smaller Indie flicks like The Fault in Stars, books have found their way into the mainstream of the industry. The good news is that you can find a lot of these books and movies for free using the library!
|Snowpiercer vol 1 & 2
written by Jacques Lob and Ben LeGrand
illustrated by Jean-Marc RochetteCoursing through an eternal winter, on an icy track wrapped around the frozen planet Earth, there travels a train that never stops. This is Snowpiercer: one thousand and one carriages long. From fearsome engine to final car, all surviving human life is here: a complete hierarchy of the society we lost. The elite, as ever, travel in luxury at the front of the train – but for those in the rear coaches, life is squalid, miserable and short. Now the poor have had enough: it’s time to seize control of the engine – and their future!
Basis for the movie:
|All You Need is Kill
by Hiroshi SakurazakaWhen the alien Mimics invade, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many recruits shoved into a suit of battle armor called a Jacket and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, only to be reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On his 158th iteration, he gets a message from a mysterious ally–the female soldier known as the Full Metal Bitch. Is she the key to Keiji’s escape or his final death?
Basis for the movie:
Live, Die, repeat: The Edge of Tomorrow
by Veronica Roth In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.
Basis for the movie:
|The Maze Runner
by James Dashner Thomas wakes up in an elevator, remembering nothing but his own name. He emerges into a world of about 60 teen boys who have learned to survive in a completely enclosed environment, subsisting on their own agriculture and supplies from below. A new boy arrives every 30 days. The original group has been in “the glade” for two years, trying to find a way to escape through a maze that surrounds their living space. Then a comatose girl arrives with a strange note, and their world begins to change.
Basis for the movie:
the maze runner
|Hunger Games: MockingJay
by Suzanne CollinsAgainst all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol wants revenge … and President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe!
Basis for the movie:
Hunger Games: Mockingjay pt 1 & 2
iDisorder discusses the impact that technology has on us, our constant dependence on it, and how it is changing our brains. Dr. Rosen explores a list of common psychiatric disorders and how our enmeshed relationship with technology is driving us toward them including: narcissistic personality disorder, hypochondriasis, body dysmorphia, and addiction. Can we put down our phones and have a real conversation with real people? Can we reduce or eliminate the sleeplessness, anxiety, and other negative reactions we have when separated from our technology.
So what can we do to keep from contracting an iDisorder? At the ends of some chapters Dr. Rosen presents a quiz (maybe they should be on buzzfeed?) to help you determine if you are having problems in this area; however he always presents some strategies to both help you deal with someone you know who displays these tendencies as well as things you can do to remediate your own iDisorders. So, how long can you put down your phone?
Come check out this and many other new books from our new book display right next to the graphic novels!
March is a month beaming with historical pride and cultural celebrations . Not only have we come to accept it as the gateway to a new season, but as the birthing of “new” day. Born are not just the leaves and the flowers, but the American spirit that has been forged by the great works of those throughout history. This includes the works of phenomenal women who have become pioneers and leaders in fields that were once dominated by men. Their works have become a launching pad for future generations to soar into new heights. During the month of March, we celebrate their remarkable accomplishments:
1849 Elizabeth Blackwell receives her M.D. degree from the Medical Institution of Geneva, N.Y., becoming the first woman in the U.S. with a medical degree.
1869 Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony organize the National Woman Suffrage Association to fight for women’s rights, especially the right to vote. More than a century later, Anthony was honored when the U.S. Mint created a coin using her image.
1872 Victoria Claflin Woodhull becomes the first woman presidential candidate in the United States when she is nominated by the National Radical Reformers.
1885 Sarah E. Goode becomes the first African-American woman to receive a patent, for a bed that folded up into a cabinet. Goode, who owned a furniture store in Chicago, intended the bed to be used in apartments.
1916 Jeannette Rankin, of Montana, is the first woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
1970 Diane Crump becomes the first female jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby.
1981 Sandra Day O’Connor is appointed by President Reagan to the Supreme Court, making her its first woman justice.
1983 Dr. Sally K. Ride becomes the first American woman to be sent into space.
2005 Hillary Clinton becomes the first First Lady to be elected to public office. She joins Congress as a U.S. Senator from New York.
2009 Sonia Sotomayor is nominated as the 111th U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Sotomayor becomes the first Hispanic American and only the third woman to serve on the nation’s top court.
For more information on famous women in history, stop by PSC Library and check out some of the titles that we have on display: