New Stuff Tuesday – November 11, 2014

Playing with Pop-ups

Playing with Pop-ups:
The Art of Dimensional, Moving Paper Designs
by Helen Hiebert
TT870 .H51735 2014
New Arrivals, 2nd floor

Are you beginning to feel a bit less than inspired in your coursework? Are you approaching your class projects, wishing to be able to present your hard work with a bit of flair, but lacking the spark to make it happen? Perhaps in your sincere efforts to be an academic powerhouse, you have been neglecting to give your right brain a bit of needed activity. You can find more than a little creative inspiration on many levels with Hiebert’s Playing with Pop-ups. Hiebert begins by introducing the reader to the anatomy of a pop-up, enticing the reader to grab little more than a a few sheets of colored paper and blade and start experimenting with the basics. She then entices the reader to get lost in the intricacies of more complex folding and slicing, and later to explore the work of paper “engineers” and book artists such as Renee Jablow and Paul Johnson.

If you are less inclined to be crafty, but admire the work of the book artist, Andersen Library has many examples of pop-up books in both the Curriculum and Main Collections.

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Money Mondays: Monetary Policy

A few weeks ago we talked about the roles of the Federal Reserve, one of which is to develop monetary policy. This is managed by the Federal Open Market Committee, also known as the FOMC. The FOMC “[determines] the size and rate of growth of the money supply, which in turn affects interest rates. Monetary policy is maintained through actions such as increasing the interest rate, or changing the amount of money banks need to keep in the vault” (Investopedia). These actions affect inflation, which we discussed last week. Remember that the Federal Reserve wants to keep inflation at about 2-3% to grow the economy at a healthy rate.

Interest Rates

You may be wondering what interest rate is being affected by the FOMC. They control the federal funds rate which “is the interest rate at which depository institutions lend balances at the Federal Reserve to other depository institutions overnight” (About the FOMC). According to the FOMC’s About Us page, changing this rate can impact the following: “other short-term interest rates, foreign exchange rates, long-term interest rates, the amount of money and credit, and, ultimately, a range of economic variables, including employment, output, and prices of goods and services.”

To read the most recent FOMC Statement, which details the state of the economy and any intended actions of the FOMC, visit the Federal Reserve’s Monetary Policy Press Releases web page.

If you’re interested in learning more about monetary policymaking, check out this video on monetary policymaking tools as well as this video on understanding an FOMC statement. These were produced by the St. Louis Federal Reserve.

Andersen Library has many eBooks on the topic of monetary policy, as well, including:

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International Games Day – Nov. 15

The Andersen Library will be celebrating International Games Day with a week of events from November 9-15.  Activities included are a Super Smash Bros. video game contest, next generation console demo sessions, and an assortment of jumbo games and puzzles to be scattered throughout the library’s main floor.

Stop by the display at the front of the Library to sign up for the November 12 Super Smash Bros. contest, which starts at 7p.m. The contest will be run using a random, bracket-style tournament format. Several prizes are up for grabs for the top winners!

Want to try out the Xbox One, Wii U, and Playstation 4 video game systems?  The video game room will be opened up for demos from 3-5pm on Monday and Tuesday.

International Games Day is an excellent opportunity for UW-Whitewater students to forget about life stresses and have some fun.  There truly is something for everybody – from the video-game savvy to the casual board gamer.

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T3: Microsoft Office Apps for iOS and Android

MS Office App

Microsoft just released iPhone versions, updated versions for iPad, and preview versions for Android tablets of its popular Office apps (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). The best part of this announcement is that you no longer need a subscription to Office365 in order to get the apps–they are free for anyone.

You can download the iOS apps directly from Apple’s App Store. You will need to sign up with Microsoft to gain access to the preview versions of the Android apps.

Read this Microsoft blog post for more information.

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New Stuff Tuesday – November 4, 2014

Ginkgo

Ginkgo:
The Tree that Time Forgot
by Peter Crane
QK494.5 .G48 C73 2013
New Arrivals, 2nd floor

Have you ever noticed the graceful tree that stands all by its lonesome in the grassy glen behind Andersen Library? If you were to travel by time machine to China 200 million years ago, you’d likely see one of this tree’s not-so-different ancestors.

Peter Crane is a professor and Dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale and a former director of the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens in England, where an ancient ginkgo tree called the Old Lion graces the landscape. His botanical and social history of the ginkgo starts in prehistory and makes its way to modern times. The ginkgo, which had likely became extinct everywhere except China, has made a resurgence worldwide with the help of its human aficionados, who prize its nuts, oil, and leaves and revere it enough to plant it near their temples and shrines. The ginkgo has even become the most common tree in the world along city streets (p. 234). The ginkgo biloba herbal supplement you may have seen on pharmacy shelves is extracted from the ginkgo leaves and is popularly thought to boost memory and improve circulation. The ginkgo tree has millions of years of its story to share and much of it is captured in these pages.

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Book Sale: New Books

I hope you had a wonderful Halloween and Dia de los Muertos!

The November selection of book sale books is out on the carts. This month we are featuring history, psychology, literature, biography, and a smattering of other fun topics.

Next month we will be featuring $2 books especially suitable as gifts and $.25 media (mostly VHS tapes).

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Money Mondays: Inflation

Inflation

Last week we discussed the Federal Reserve System, which is responsible for managing the economic health of our country. There are a number of factors the Fed must consider when creating effective monetary policy. One such factor is inflation, which is the rising of prices over time. For example, in 1911 tuition at Harvard University was $150 per year (The Value of a Dollar, p. 111). For the 2014-2015 school year, Harvard’s tuition is $43,938. The goal is for inflation to rise at a rate of 2-3% per year. Inflation means the economy is growing, so it’s not necessarily a bad thing. One task of the Federal Reserve is to ensure that the economy doesn’t grow too fast (causing hyperinflation) or too slow (causing stagnation). The Federal Reserve measures inflation by regularly looking at the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Producer Price Index (PPI). Inflation growth is managed by modifying interest rates.

Even though you might not like the sound of rising prices, you have to remember that your “purchasing power” is probably increasing as well. Purchasing power is “the value of a currency expressed in terms of the amount of goods or services that one unit of money can buy” (http://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/purchasingpower.asp). Over time, salaries and wages have increased. Let’s reconsider our Harvard tuition example. In 1911, the average income for all industries was $575 per year; in 2012, the average income for all industries was $49,289 (The Value of a Dollar, p. 104 & p. 591). Prices have gone up, but so have income levels.

If you would like more information on inflation, check out this podcast or watch this video, both available via the Federal Reserve.

The following books are available for checkout at Andersen Library:

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Friday Fun: How Stuff Works web site (special Halloween stuff)

I haven’t spent much time with the How Stuff Works web site yet, but I’m interested in checking it out. It claims to be “an award-winning source of unbiased, easy-to-understand answers and explanations of how the world actually works.” But for Halloween the site is offering some very special content.

One segment of it is “Stuff You Missed in History Class,” and its special offerings for Halloween include a podcast on “The History of Halloween Candy” and two podcasts on Bela Lugosi.

Other segments of How Stuff Works also feature Halloween-flavored audio podcasts on Oct. 31, 2014:

There’s definitely a lot of…well, stuff at this site, including quizzes (“What Doomsday scenario Are You?“) and many categories including electronics, science (which for Halloween, featured explanations of how mummies, vampires and werewolves work), tech stuff, health, and more.

Enjoy.

link to Stuff You Missed in History Class web site

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Whiteness in U.S. political culture

Dr. Matthew Frye Jacobson, professor of African American Studies, History, and American Studies at Yale University and Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer, will talk about the history of “whiteness” in U.S. political culture at 7 pm on Wed., Oct. 29, in the UC’s Summers Auditorium. It’s part of the yearlong campus Conversation on Race.

You can learn more by searching Library databases. For example, Dr. Jacobson’s book, Whiteness of a different color: European immigrants and the alchemy of race, is available online via the American Council of Learned Societies. Other books and articles are discoverable by searching Research@UWW, e.g., Out of whiteness: Color, politics, and culture (3rd-Floor Main Collection, HT1523 .W37 2002) and the ebook After whiteness: Unmaking an American majority.

Please ask a librarian if you’d appreciate assistance with finding additional materials.

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Immigration: policy & attitudes, women & families

Cathi Tactaquin, Executive Director and co-founder of National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, will talk about “The effects of immigration policy and attitudes on women and families” on Wed., Oct. 29, 11am-12:15pm in UC275. It’s part of the Women & Gender Cultural Series.

cover of National InsecuritiesYou can learn more by searching Library databases to find resources such as “DREAMers and their families: A family impact analysis of the DREAM Act and implications for family well-being (Journal of Family Studies, 2014, vol.20:no.1, pp.79-87, doi:10.5172/jfs.2014.20.1.79), How comprehensive immigration reform should address the needs of women and families: Hearing before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate (online or 2nd-floor Federal Documents Y 4.J 89/2:S.HRG.113-45), Immigration and women: Understanding the American experience (ebook), “Do attitudes about immigration predict willingness to admit individual immigrants?” (Public Opinion Quarterly, 2013, vol.77:no.3, pp.641-665, doi:10.1093/poq/nft024), and National insecurities: Immigrants and U.S. deportation policy since 1882 (3rd-floor Main Collection, JV6483 .M645 2012).

Please ask a librarian if you’d appreciate assistance with finding additional materials.

Andersen Library is a federal and Wisconsin depository library with federal and state government documents on a variety of current and relevant issues available to you in various formats (print, DVD/CD-ROM, online). Check out your government at Andersen Library!

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