Author Archives: Megan McIntosh

Exploring Ethics

As anyone who has seen the recent hit show “The Good Place” knows, there are many schools of thought on the issues of ethics and morality. As Chidi explains to Eleanor, one famous question in ethics is the Trolley Problem. The Trolley Problem is a thought experiment that requires the sacrifice of some people in order to save others. This is a dilemma in which there is not necessarily a correct answer. In fact, MIT has created the “Moral Machine” to help users test out just that exact problem. Participants must choose the lesser of two evils when instructing which path a driverless car should take. Along the way, users can test their best judgment in such scenarios as “a baby with a grandma vs a doctor with a dog” and “criminal with a skinny woman and a homeless man vs 3 children with a cat”. At the end, participants can see how their choices stack up against others, and maybe even help identify some unconscious internal biases.

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Kanopy Streaming Service

Kanopy is one of the video streaming platforms offered by the Freeman/Lozier Library. There are a few changes to the Kanopy program that have been made over the past quarter, which are designed to bring the focus of the platform back to educational content. When a video appears in Kanopy, it will fall into one of two categories. First is the “Open DDA.” Videos in this category are freely available for our patrons to view, as they are pre-approved as an academic asset to our university. The second category is the “Mediated” group. These videos are still discoverable in Kanopy, but will require the patron to submit a purchase request. This request will be immediately sent to the librarians who will review it, and/or approve/deny the video with consideration to academic need and budgetary constraint.

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Stress Awareness Month

Take a deep breath. Relax your shoulders. Unclench your jaw. Stop slouching.

We all experience stress from time to time, and it can have a damaging effect on our lives. Reactions to a stressor can include difficulty with decision making, feelings of frustration or helplessness, anxiety, or loss of energy. Beyond the effect stress causes on our minds, stress can have a negative impact on our bodies as well. Stress can cause you to feel fatigued or give you sleep problems. Stress can also physically manifest in the form of chest or stomach pain, muscle tension, headaches, and changes to your sex drive. Memory problems, high blood pressure, and weakened immune systems can also be caused by an overwhelming amount of stress.

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Promoting Women in Science

The study of science has always developed our understanding of the world around us. From Ada Lovelace (the first computer programmer) to Rosalind Franklin (who discovered the shape of DNA) science is what pushes humanity to grow, change, and innovate. Unfortunately, women have often been underrepresented in the scientific field. Even today, women make up a mere 28% of the workforce in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)*. This gender disparity exists beginning with elementary school children, creating a confidence gap that perpetuates through to higher education.

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The Origin of Fairy Tales

February 26 is “Tell a Fairy Tale Day” here in the United States. While this is an unofficial holiday, the tradition of oral histories, legends, and myths, has been around for thousands of years. Many of the same stories that are told today (often in the form of children’s movies, books, or even TV shows) have evolved from centuries of use. Different cultures often have similar stories that they circulated, often incorporating morals or spiritual beliefs of the area.

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Social Media in the Library

It is no surprise that the quickest dissemination of information today can be attributed to the widespread use of social media. The Bellevue University Library is no stranger to the world of social media. However, it may surprise you that our postings are not strictly academic. We use social media at the library to inform our patrons about upcoming events, tips and tricks, national holidays, current library displays, and (of course) a wide range of educational topics.

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