K9 Academy: dogs @ school

Every day is Bring Your Dog to Work Day for UR chemistry professors Carol Parish and Marty Zeldin. Their Labrador puppy Dell is learning how to be a service dog for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Part of his education is being exposed to many situations (and learning how to act appropriately in them.) So Dell goes to school with his “parents.” Students report that Dell has become a mascot for the department, and his friendliness is apparent to everyone (including the newspaper photographer, who had one of his lenses washed by Dell’s…continue reading →

Vintage books from PsychNet: How the Other Half Lives by Jacob Riis

Jacob Riis was a reformer, journalist and photographer who lived and worked at the turn of the 20th century. His stories and photographs chronicled the desperate poverty of tenement dwellers. Riis's work brought the hidden world of urban slums to middle class eyes--and to those of political leaders like Theodore Roosevelt. His work led to reforms in building codes, child labor laws, and schools. Read the book--and see the fascinating photographs--for yourself. How the Other Half Lives is full of real-life details told in a straighforward style. It also contains the tenement photographs for which…continue reading →

These boots were made for HIKING

High gas prices put a dent in your caribbean vacation budget? Need a weekend away from home, but not TOO far from home? Get outside NEARBY. Shenandoah National Park is in Richmond's backyard; part of the 2100+ mile Appalachian Trail winds through Virginia's mountains. Hiking is healthy, simple, and cheap. What can hiking do for you? Improve fitness Combat stress and "nature-deficit disorder" (from Last Child in the Woods) See wildlife (Look, a BEAR!) Combine with related activities like Geocaching and Trail Running Breathe the fresh air and feel GREAT Hiking resources: books 60…continue reading →

The Icing on the Cake: true stories from StoryCorps

Ever wondered what stories your family might have to tell? StoryCorps helps America listen and remember. In less than a decade, StoryCorps has recorded and preserved over 30,000 interviews; children interviewing parents, husbands telling romantic stories about their wives. All of the interviews are stored at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. In "The Icing on the Cake" Connie Alvarez interviews her mother Blanca Alvarez about coming to America. Blanca tells of how she and her husband struggled to support themselves and their family. Daughter Connie looks back and finds…continue reading →

OMG in the OED! LOL

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) calls itself "the definitive record of the English Language." Unlike standard dictonaries, which have current meanings and spellings of words, the OED is a historical dictionary. The OED defines current words, but also traces the history of words through real examples. Think quotes and examples (3 million in all) from literature to film to cookbooks. The print version of OED is a huge text (20 volumes) and has its own shelf and stand in the library. The OED recently launched an online version. Every three months the OED reveals…continue reading →