The Many Faces of Autism

What do Charles Darwin, Emily Dickenson, Albert Einstein, Mozart, Nikola Tesla, and Michelangelo all have in common? They are a just few of the many famous people in history who are thought to have been on the autism spectrum. More contemporary figures who show signs of being on the spectrum are Tim Burton, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs, even television characters – who doesn’t know Sheldon? Autism has many faces; you probably know someone who falls somewhere on the spectrum. In fact, autism affects about 1 in 59 children in the U.S. today, with boys being four times more likely to be diagnosed as autistic than girls. Though statistics may seem to show autism is on the rise, it was not until well into the twentieth century that it was diagnosed as a mainstream condition. Nevertheless, prevalence of autism in children in the U.S. has increased by almost 120% in the last 20 years, making it the fastest growing disability. It often carries a stigma and is misunderstood. April is Autism Awareness Month and a good time to learn more about this common disorder.

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National Virtual Vacation Day!

In this uncertain time of lockdowns and social distancing, the best way to see the world is by taking a much-needed virtual vacation! National Virtual Vacation Day falls annually on March 30, and celebrates the rise of technology that can help you see the world from the comfort of your home. Internet, augmented and virtual reality headsets, and online exhibitions all can help you travel the world at the click of a button.

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Disaster Information Database

How many disasters were there in 2019?  According to FEMA, Federal Emergency Management Agency, there were 101 natural disaster declarations in the United States alone. That is about one in every three days.  You may not think that it significant unless it happens in your area.  The fact that a declaration is made, means that financial assistance is needed from the government.

There is good news to help prepare you for disasters if you know one is headed your way.  The Disaster Information Management Research Center database has a surplus of information to assist you.  The best part is that their home page has current information about disasters or health emergencies happening now such as the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

There are several categories to assist you with the information in your search.

Disaster Literature contains Pub Med, Pub Med Central, MeSH (Medical Subject Headings), Disaster Health Information Search Guide, Emergency Access Initiative (EAI), and NIH Disaster Research Response (DR2).

CBRNE/Hazmat covers WISER (Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders), CHEMM (Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management), REMM (Radiological Emergency Medical Management), Chemical Emergencies, Radiological Emergencies, Biological Agents, Training/Education on CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, high yield Explosives) Resources, and CBRNE/Hazmat Apps.

Disaster Information Specialist includes Training/Education, Webinars, Librarian Competencies, and Connecting with Others.

Natural and Man-Made Disasters involves Hurricanes, Floods, Tornadoes, Fires, Droughts, Extreme Heat, Earthquakes and Oil Spills.

Infectious Diseases comprises Ebola Outbreak 2018, Zika Virus, Pandemic Influenza, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Past Pandemics, and Virus Variation Resource.

Lastly, one of the most valuable sections that encompasses it all is Special Topics.  It consists of Disaster Apps, Coping with Disasters, Children and Pregnant Women in Disasters, Handling Animals, Mass Gatherings, Disaster Recovery, Ethics in Disaster Medicine, and Government Sources.

With spring right around the corner and the many possible natural disasters it can bring, the Disaster Information Management Research Center database is a great resource for everyone.  It can be accessed directly from the Databases page under Find on the library homepage.

Originally posted in the Freeman/Lozier Library’s quarterly newsletter, More Than BooksV. 23 No. 2, Spring 2020.

Irish-American Heritage Month

March, for as long as I’ve known it, has been linked with the Irish. We celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, we wear green to avoid getting pinched, and stores are stocked with all sorts of green-dyed foods and novelties. Aptly enough, in 1991, March was also declared Irish-American Heritage month by George Bush. Since then, every year the president declares the month and makes a brief statement about the day and the impact Irish immigrants had on our country. However, this statement can’t fully capture just how significant Irish immigrants were to America, and just how large of an immigration it was.

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The Lost City of the Monkey God

Many familiar with Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’sPendergast” fictional adventure novel series may be surprised to learn that Preston is also a career journalist.  He has written about archaeology, history, and paleontology for several prestigious publications including Smithsonian, National Geographic, and the New Yorker.  It was while covering an archaeological expedition for National Geographic that Preston became inspired to write The Lost City of the Monkey God.  Despite the provocative title, this non-fiction account of archaeology, anthropology, and epidemiology is not an “Indiana Jones” style adventure story.  It is a well-researched yet accessible account of modern archaeology in action.

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Caffeine Awareness Month

Caffeine is the most popular drug in the world and 90% of people in the US consume it in some form every day.  That is a lot of people!  So, what is the most popular caffeinated beverage in the world with more than 400 billion cups consumed each year and more than 450 million in the US every day?  If you guessed coffee, you are correct.

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Ultimate Underdogs – Defenders of the Alamo

There are many legendary Texans. For those of us who were not born in Texas and have never lived there, it may be hard to accept some of the yarns that circulate. One fact that has many legends surrounding it is that in the winter of 1836, less than 200 individuals gathered in the ruins of a former Franciscan mission to protest they had a right to decide how they were governed and were besieged by at least five times their number. They held their ground from 23 February until 6 March, when the Mexican Army breached the inner courtyard. The morning of March 6, the final assault was made after the Deguello, a Spanish bugle call that meant no quarter would be given was blown. How did this come about? What did the sacrifice that the 180+ men made mean?

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