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Science lessons from a bitter cold snap in the south

Along with snow days, sledding, and hot chocolate – and sobering news of accidents, power outages, frozen pipes, and the impact of the frigid weather on people suffering from housing instability – news from the recent bitter cold snap in the southeast included tales of iguanas falling from trees and alligators freezing with their snouts above the swamp-line. Nature is amazing.

This past weekend, I also learned something about the properties of water that I hadn’t realized before: hot water freezes faster than cold water. What!?!?  This curious trait is called the Mpemba effect. In the video below (in Spanish with English subtitles), Antonio Lasanta with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Chemical Engineering at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid discusses a study he and his colleagues published in October 2017 on this effect. Unfortunately, only an abstract of the study is freely available from Physical Review Letters.

What applications can you think of for this knowledge?

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2018 in news, web site

 

Got poems? Get them online…

In addition to poetry-centered sites like Writer’s Almanac, Poetry Daily, Poetry Foundation, and Poetry River, literary magazines and news magazines with a literary style like The Atlantic are fantastic portals for finding contemporary poems to read during National Poetry Month. Several top-notch publications are accessible through our databases.  Need passwords? They’re in the Library Resources folder of the Student Information course in itslearning.

Older issues of AntiochAPR , Chicago, NER (under different titles), Ploughshares, and Sewanee, as well as more lit mags, like Iowa ReviewKenyon Review, Poetry, and Prairie Schooner are available in JSTOR.

Want poetry on-the-go? Download POETRY’s mobile app @ http://www.poetryfoundation.org/mobile/

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2016 in database, news, poetry, reading, web site

 

How to use sources effectively

As research paper/project submission time nears for GS 10, chemistry, stats, lit, seminar, and mentorship students, here’s a resource about using sources effectively you might want to add to your list of Favorite sites.

Harvard Guide to Using Sources

http://usingsources.fas.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k70847&pageid=icb.page357682

I especially appreciate the Integrating Sources section which includes examples of paraphrasing, etc.

http://usingsources.fas.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k70847&tabgroupid=icb.tabgroup108986

If you already have a favorite online resource (or three) about using sources effectively, I’d love to see it/them too, so please share them with me at my gsgis email address (wdegroat) or dragonlibrary (at) gmail (dot) com.

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2016 in citing, news, research process, web site, writing and creating

 

Reserve shelf for Mrs. Burr’s Richmond history project

With MLWGS’s legacy of offering courses like Richmond History and Richmond architecture, the MW Library maintains a small but unique collection of books related to local and Virginia history. You’ll find some of these books on the reserve shelf near the library’s clock (pictured below). The rest are in the rare book cabinet. Search the online catalog for books. If they’re in the rare book cabinet, see Ms. DeGroat.

Explore many paths to potential sites. Like Coach Hall’s recent decodeRVA exhibit, the goal is to deepen your understanding of Richmond’s complex history and identity. Remember, the sites can be buildings, but they might also be streets, street corners, intersections, etc. Instead of well-known landmarks, you could select…

  • A site connected with a group of people’s history, such as one in Jackson Ward or the Jewish neighborhood that former MLWGS teacher Mr. Slipek wrote about for Style Weekly last year
  • A site related to a historic event, like a particular location impacted by a natural disaster, protest, celebration, or even the 1918 influenza epidemic
  • A site associated with an industry, business, or technology that intrigues you (e.g. coal, railroads, canal locks, factories, or a retro sign on a building that makes you wonder about what businesses were once housed there). What about one related to food? music?
  • A site that illustrates demographic shifts – or change created by road-building or new development – or maybe a formerly abandoned or rundown site that’s been creatively repurposed recently
  • A site connected with a particular story, like the MCV location and related story that inspired a documentary film that Mr. Raviotta edited

For relevant historical newspapers and digital archives, see the Historic Newspapers and Richmond History sections of the MW Library’s American History guide (scroll down to middle-right of page).  Also, JSTOR includes backfiles of The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography from 1893-2010 (login required).

Finally, here’s a challenge. Solve it and you get a free book.  What is the last name of the architect who designed a building less than four miles from MLWGS that has been hailed as a Modernist wonder AND criticized as one of the ten ugliest buildings in the world?

Image

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2014 in book, news, searching, web site