Thursday, December 06, 2007


Santa is caught illegally parked in front of the library.

The tradition of decorating for the holidays at Chestnut Hill College began in 1924 and has been an "uninterrupted, living tradition" since. It started as a decorated tree and gifts for the sisters, and has evolved into an almost complete decorating of campus, inside and out.

Some years have been more elaborate than others. Griffins of Christmases past have used themes including a medieval cathedral in the Fournier Hall foyer, a Japanese "tree of light," "Babes in Toyland," Dickens-inspired themes (including Marley's ghost appearing from a dark corner), Camelot, and "White Christmas."

Read more about the Christmas traditions at Chestnut Hill College on pages 98-103 of the book Chestnut Hill College, 1924-1999: Tradition and Risk by Mary Helen Kashuba, SSJ. It's full of great ideas for next year!

Monday, November 19, 2007

New DVDs are Here.

Logue Library’s DVD collection has expanded greatly over the past year.

Notably there are a significant number of titles directed by Ken Burns, including The War that aired on PBS recently. A search of the library catalog using Burns’ name as a search term will reveal Jazz, The Civil War, The West, and a number of biographical films like Lewis and Clark, Thomas Jefferson, and Frank Lloyd Wright to name a few. These DVD’s and many others are available to borrow.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Winning Puns

There may not be a real "International Pun Contest," but these are real puns! And it is true that the ability to create and understand puns indicates a high level of language development. Reading and ESL/EFL teachers, and teachers-to-be, take note!

  • A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger."

  • Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says "Dam!".

  • Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

  • Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says "I've lost my electron," The other says, "Are you sure?" The first replies "Yes, I'm positive."

  • Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.

  • A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. "But why?" they asked, as they moved off. "Because", he said, "I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."

  • A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named "Ahmal." The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him "Juan." Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, "They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."

  • These friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to "persuade" them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he'd be back if they didn't close up shop. Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent florist friars.

  • Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him (Oh, man, this is so bad, it's good)..... A super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

  • There was the person who sent ten different puns to his friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.

  • Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: "Does this taste funny to you?"

See more puns.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Researching Hip-Hop

Our newest resource for journal articles is called Project Muse, and includes the complete text of articles published in journals covering the full spectrum of the Arts & Humanities.

One such journal is CALLALOO, “the premier African Diaspora literary journal.” Volume 29 Issue 3 is devoted to Hip-Hop Music and Culture. If you are researching this topic, check it out!

“The current discussion engages hip-hop at the line of transition, in a moment of crisis in public culture and cultural studies. The turn of the millennium witnesses hip-hop being mediated by big industry …It is impossible to have a comprehensive discussion about race or Americanness, about class or gender or sexuality, without incorporating a principled discussion of the state and ramifications of hip-hop culture today” Heath, R. Scott.. "Hip-Hop Now: An Introduction." Callaloo 29.3 (2006):715

Journal front cover illustration: Transatlantic Turntable-ism. by Krista Franklin. Mixed material collage, 11 x 14 in.

[Note: You will need your Chestnut Hill College email username and password or a valid (14 digit) library barcode number to access this information from off campus.]

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Shorter Weekend Means Less Drinking

Friday morning classes can prevent Thursday night binge drinking at colleges and universities, a study from the University of Missouri says. The results of this research has some college campuses offering more Friday morning classes.

Students with the opportunity to sleep in on Friday tend to drink (on average) just over one additional drink on Thursday night than students who have a class before 10a.m. Friday.

The study is published in the July issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, and will be on reserve at Logue Library in early October. Search the "Education Research" databases in EBSCOhost and Newsbank's major US newspapers using keywords college students AND drinking AND friday.

An earlier study of New Zealand Students showed similar results, but emphasized that students with heavier drinking habits simply avoid scheduling Friday classes.* Some schools are encouraged by the current research to offer more Friday morning required courses to make heavier drinking habits less convenient.

This article from the Columbia Tribune in Columbia, Missouri, home of the University of Missouri, is free on the web here:
Drinking study prompts change, but not at MU
By JONATHON BRADEN of the Tribune’s staff
Published Monday, September 24, 2007

*Friday Class and Heavy Alcohol Use in a Sample of New Zealand College Students. By: Paschall, Mallie J.; Kypri, Kypros; Saltz, Robert F.. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, Sep2006, Vol. 67 Issue 5, p764-769.

Monday, July 16, 2007

First Year Students Read Wicked!

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
by Gregory Maguire

Summary from the publisher:
When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum's classic tale, we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil?

Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to be the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.

  • What do you think of the differing points of view in the two reviews that follow?


Kirkus Reviews, 09/15/1995
Maguire, up to now a writer of kids' books, turns his considerable child-captivating skills to adults--and adult children--in this magical telling of the land of Oz before and up to the arrival of Dorothy and company. While perhaps not quite as wonderful a land as Alice's, Maguire's Oz is magical and intriguing, and he adeptly fills in the ""historical"" background of talking animals, tin woodsmen, flying monkeys, and rejoicing Munchkins without it ever seeming familiar or contrived.

In Munchkinland, a green-skinned baby is born to an often absent missionary preacher and the often drunk heiress to the county seat, neither of them Munchkins themselves. Baby Elphaba's parents' habits being what they are, though, her true father long remains a mystery--as it does for her sister, Nessarose, born two years later with pink skin but sans arms (magic red shoes will later enable her to walk without assistance). The girls grow up and attend the university, where Elphie, always the outsider in her verdant skin, is bright, sharp-tongued, and aloof. Nessie, unable to touch, has chosen an untouchable world and lives her life in religious sanctimoniousness. Elphie's roommate is--perfectly--Glinda, a dippy, well-intentioned debutante sort majoring in sorcery. Meanwhile, the school's frightening headmistress places a spell on the girls and assigns each of them a quadrant of the land, leaving one unattended. Elphie is conscientious and honest, hardly a witch and certainly not evil, but her life unfolds along a path that is well laid out, though not by her.

Her journey along this road is a captivating, funny, and perceptive look at destiny, personal responsibility, and the not-always-clashing beliefs of faith and magic. Save a place on the shelf between Alice and The Hobbit.

SPOILER WARNING: This next review might give away some detail you wish you hadn't seen if you haven't finished the book yet!

The New York Times
October 24, 1995
Let's Get This Straight: Glinda Was the Bad One?
by Michiko Kakutani

The Wicked Witch of the West revealed as an idealistic victim? The green-skinned harridan played by Margaret Hamilton unmasked as the dermatologically challenged product of a dysfunctional family? The scourge of Oz depicted as a dissident, a brave fighter against a totalitarian regime?

At first Gregory Maguire's "Wicked" sounds like a joke, like a satire from James Finn Garner's "Politically Correct Bedtime Stories," but we soon realize that Mr. Maguire is deadly serious, and that he has produced a book that's deadly dull. His theme seems to be that "people who claim that they're evil are usually no worse than the rest of us."

"It's people who claim that they're good, or anyway better than the rest of us," a character says, "that you have to be wary of."

Certainly as one of America's most beloved classics of children's literature, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" is a natural target for literary recyclers. But unlike Geoff Ryman, whose 1992 novel, "Was," used the story of Dorothy's adventures in Oz as a jumping-off point for a thoughtful meditation on the enduring power of fantasy and art, Mr. Maguire shows little respect for L. Frank Baum's original story. Rather than cleverly build upon it or ingeniously send it up (as Donald Barthelme did, say, with "Snow White"), Mr. Maguire simply uses Baum's most famous characters as fodder for his own philosophizing. His alterations, annotations and embroideries have so little to do with the original story that they're neither amusing nor provocative; to make matters worse, they're relentlessly politically correct.

In Mr. Maguire's retelling, the Wicked Witch of the West wasn't wicked, just misunderstood. Glinda, the Good Witch, was a sanctimonious socialite obsessed with money and status. And the Wizard of Oz was an out-and-out tyrant, a sort of combination Hitler-Stalin-Darth Vader, who instituted pogroms against minority groups and enforced his despotic rule with pillaging storm troops.

As Mr. Maguire tells us, the Wicked Witch of the West was once a little girl named Elphaba (or Elphie, for short), who was born to a priest's promiscuous wife in a ramshackle hamlet in Munchkinland. Her green skin made her an instant pariah. Her own mother thought of drowning her; her father said she was "born to curse my life." She was mocked by other children and called all manner of names: the "little demon," "the little monster" and "lizard girl." She grew up with a younger sister named Nessa, a beautiful armless girl who thought of herself as a saint.

In time, Elphie goes off to school, where the other girls make fun of her looks and ugly clothes. She has become a Holden Caulfield-sort of adolescent: sensitive, moody and suspicious of phonies. Of those phonies, her roommate, Glinda, is among the worst: snooty, vain and spoiled. Though the two girls become friends for a while, though Elphie will do her best to broaden her roomie's outlook, the beautiful Glinda will later revert to her selfish ways.

Elphie has always been a fierce, idealistic girl, and she soon becomes involved in the fight for Animal rights. It seems that the Wizard of Oz has restricted the freedom of Animals and is threatening to turn them into chattel, slaves who can actually be owned and bartered by others. Elphie begins working in secret with her favorite teacher, Doctor Dillamond, a Goat, who is conducting scientific research to prove that "there isn't any inherent difference between humans and Animals." He dies under mysterious circumstances, and Elphie becomes convinced that he has been murdered, perhaps by the headmistress of the school, Madame Morrible, who has tried to recruit Elphie, Glinda and Nessa as secret agents for the Government.

Having become thoroughly radicalized, Elphie drops out of school, becomes an anarchist and goes underground. After her lover, Fiyero, is killed, she joins a nunlike order of "maunts" and takes care of the ill and dying. A long journey that eventually results in a visit home, however, will leave Elphie increasingly disillusioned and paranoid, and she will embrace her destiny as the Wicked Witch of the West. Her antipathy toward Dorothy, Mr. Maguire suggests, stems from Dorothy's possession of Nessa's magical shoes and from Elphie's own sense of identification with the young girl from Kansas, from her realization that "Dorothy reminds me of myself, at that age."

Although Mr. Maguire demonstrates a knack for conjuring up bizarre adventures for Elphie and introducing her to an eccentric cast of creatures (though nowhere near as enchanting as the many creatures Baum invented in his multiple sequels to "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz"), his insistence on politicizing Oz and injecting it with a heavy dose of moral relativism turns a wonderfully spontaneous world of fantasy into a lugubrious allegorical realm, in which everything and everyone is labeled with a topical name tag.

His ponderous language underscores this ideological impulse, and further weighs his story down. Elphie says things like, "There's nothing ontologically interesting about magic." And she and the other characters spend pages and pages debating things like the nature of good and evil, and the difference between sorcery and science. Dorothy's ruby slippers are now referred to as "the totemic shoes" and the Emerald City is described by Glinda as "juvenile" and "devoid of irony."

"You have no sense of the pitch of unrest to which things have mounted," Madame Morrible says at one point. "Setting communities on edge, ethnic groups against one another, bankers against farmers and factories against shopkeepers. Oz is a seething volcano threatening to erupt and burn us in its own poisonous pus."

Such passages only make the reader long to return to the original Oz, the Oz invented by Baum nearly a century ago. As Dorothy said in the movie: "There's no place like home. There's no place like home."
In response to the question in the first comment and answered in the second comment, I am posting the links here, where a click will open the webpages:

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Research and Dot-Orgs

The dot-org (.org) Internet domain registration is “recommended for” the websites of non-profit, non-governmental organizations. However, there are currently no restrictions or requirements for registration. With this in mind, it is necessary to look at the information provided by .orgs just as carefully as you would a .com, especially since .orgs provide research data to uphold their claims.

Many .orgs use funds to conduct research in support the point of a view they are promoting. Knowing the source of the study and who funded it, and being able to look at the actual study and not just the particular “spin” the .org is using will help you discern the validity of the research and the accuracy of the claims being made on the web site.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Who funded the study?
  • Who conducted the research?
  • Who interpreted the results?
  • What interest do the funders have in the results of the test?
  • Were the researchers in any way affiliated with an industry with a conflict of interest?

And finally…

  • Where does the .org itself (presumably a non-profit, non-governmental organization) get the lion’s share of their funding?
A recent question came in: “Some of [the American Dietetic Association]’s recommendations are sound. But the fact is... everything they publish must be carefully read for bias. Who has time for that?”
The answer: You have to make the time! Kudos for the observation that every individual claim should be checked out, even if a .org might have published excellent information in the past.

*Conflict of interest. A person has a conflict of interest when the person is in a position of trust which requires her to exercise judgment on behalf of others (people, institutions, etc.) and also has interests or obligations of the sort that might interfere with the exercise of her judgment, and which the person is morally required to either avoid or openly acknowledge. (University of Nebraska Medical Center ethics glossary.)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Getting Current Primary Sources

Researching a topic that is currently in the news means that there is an abundance of good information available. While using articles from scholarly journals found in databases like EBSCOhost is important for seeing historical trends, gathering statistics, and understanding the breadth of the topic, current events also need current resources.

Some topics address developing or on-going situations, such as the issues concerning the environment, the health-care crisis in Africa, or the upcoming U.S. Presidential campaign. Checking noted newspapers like the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Washington Post, as well as newspapers worldwide, will provide current context to compliment the historic profile.

Interviews with national leaders and noted experts in the field of research provide "primary source" information valuable to college research.

Currently, Logue Library's subscription database NewsBank, provides special reports on
  • The African Health Crisis
  • Women's History
  • Presidential Campaign 2008
  • World Health
  • Iraq
  • Natural Disasters Around the World
  • World Environment Science
  • Health in the News
To access NewsBank, registered Chestnut Hill College students will need valid email username & password information, or a valid Logue Library barcode number.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Wrapping up the Research Paper

Check list

  • The topic matches the assignment, and the research matches the topic
  • Double-check the outline to be sure every item in the finished paper is covered.
  • Be sure all quotes and paraphrases are properly attributed
  • Ask a trusted friend to read and critique the paper
  • Make final revisions
  • Proofread!
  • Cite your sources

Cite Your Sources

The last thing you’ll do is prepare your list of works cited. Logue Library has gathered together a list of resources to help in preparing this list. Here are the two most highly recommended.

The Landmark Citation Machine (now called “Son of Citation Machine”) is the most popular tool for citing sources at Chestnut Hill College.

  • Select the citation style in the left menu and then choose the type of source you are citing.
  • Fill in the form, click submit and voila! Copy & paste the resulting citation right into your paper.
  • A caution: The formatting may not be perfect. Don’t forget the hanging indent, and if there is too much formatting from the citation machine, click on the clipboard (paste options) icon next to the pasted citation and select “match destination formatting.”
The Works Cited page from Duke University’s libraries comes to the rescue when the Citation Machine is down for maintenance or is overloaded. Sometimes, this page from Duke is the better option right from the start. You decide!
  • Select the type of source you need to cite and then find the style you are using for your paper
  • There are more sources listed here than the Citation Machine lists, so this is a better place to find the format for unusual sources.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Life - A Labyrinth

The footfalls on the path are taken with care and deliberation
Slowly unfolding, only showing those few important steps ahead

Each turn is purposeful, taken in time and with the knowledge that this is the right way
Each switch-back is a return to things dear enough to hold close by always

And in the middle, seeing out with gratitude at the path taken so far
With a vision of the journey to now, and how and why this was the path

Stepping along again with confidence that the rest is ready to unfold
Returning to the beginning

Dedicated to Catharine Fee, SSJ. Sister Cass died today, March 2, 2007.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Studying Autism?

A new study shows that Autism is more widespread than previously thought – nearly 1 in 150 youth. Released by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the report titled “Prevelance of the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) in Multiple Areas of the United States, 2000 and 2002” is the most comprehensive yet, and provides a baseline to which future studies can be compared. The “multiple areas” are 14 states, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland.

"This study gives us the first real high quality data that confirm that autism is more common than we wish it was and an important public health problem,” says Craig Newschaffer, an autism expert at the Drexel University School of Public Health (quoted in The Philadelphia Inquirer). Newschaffer contributed to the Marland portion of the CDC investigation.

This is a must-see for anyone studying Autism and its related disorders.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Do You Write Like a Man or a Woman?

Enter text into a box, choose fiction, non-fiction, or blog entry, and click "submit." The Gender Genie at claims to know if you are a man or a woman.

The New York Times Magazine
published an article and a test that inspired "the Gender Genie." According to the Bookblog website, "It's a simplified version of an algorithm developed by Moshe Koppel, Bar-Ilan University in Israel, and Shlomo Argamon, Illinois Institute of Technology, to predict the gender of an author."

Try it! I copied & pasted the text from the library's previous blog entry about, which seemed neutral to me. Alas, it pegged the author as "female."

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Why Not E-Textbooks?

Would you like to save 50 percent on textbooks?

Many students come through Logue Library's doors seeking a copy of their text book to check out. In most cases, we will only have it if a professor has placed a personal copy on reserve for you. But there may be a way to cut your textbook expenses in half.

Chestnut Hill College's bookstore already offers downloadable versions of some textbooks, ranging between 40 percent and 50 percent less than the cost of the tangible version.

But the process is not yet as easy as purchasing the book you hold in your hands.

  • You have to buy them on-line (they are not offered in the bookstore just yet).
  • Be sure that your PC or laptop can support the download first. Once you buy it, it's yours, whether you can use it or not.
  • Campus computers and tech support are not available for downloading.

A survey of students on Florida college campuses showed that these cheaper e-books are not flying off the cyber shelves. Reasons like those mentioned above, plus a general lack of awareness due to poor marketing may be the reasons. See the article in the Miami Herald titled School of thought: Why aren't e-textbooks selling? for the full story. To see what Chestnut Hill College's bookstore offers in the way of e-textbooks, check out the website.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007 !

If you look to the left you'll see listed under the Research Links section "" If you've never used this universal bookmarking system, give it a try. When you bookmark your favorite web pages at all of your bookmarks are at your fingertips wherever you go.

Logue Library is experimenting with

It's a convenient place to give you access to all of the sites we recommend for your research! These sites are also linked from the library's Chestnut Hill College home page. On the right hand side of the page, you'll see floating in a "tag cloud" a group of clickable subject words. The bigger the word in the tag cloud, the more resources we have listed for that subject (so far). We are constantly adding new resources for your scholarly research. Click a word and the list of bookmarks on the left will include everything we've added for that subject to date.

If you find a site and think we should add it to our bookmarks, send an email or comment here and we'll review it!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Of Service

Welcome back! We hope you had a nice break and are looking forward to the classes you've chosen for this semester. After you've been to your first day of classes, you have an opportunity to participate in a Day of Service in honor of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rather than just another holiday off work or school, the King Holiday and Service Act, passed 13 years ago, chose to set this day aside as a national day of volunteer service.

"The King Day of Service brings together people who might not ordinarily meet, breaks down barriers that have divided us in the past, leads to better understanding and ongoing relationships, and is an opportunity to recruit new volunteers for your ongoing work."[From MLK]

Opportunities for service in our area on January 15, 2007 range from attending MLK programs that include poetry, skits, singing and arts & crafts, to making cards for senior citizens in nursing homes; park & building clean-up projects; or painting murals and stencils. There are almost 300 opportunities in our zip code to choose from! (Fill in the zip code -- 19118 -- choose today's date as the start and end dates, and click the search button.)