The Magic Of Food Brings Back Jack

Warning. Spoilers are found in the post below. They’re mostly for the 8th season of 24 which aired like four years ago, so there’s almost no reason to put a spoiler warning here, but as someone once probably told me, “You never know in life.”, so to all the people who are four years behind on their television-watching, I hereby alert thee to spoilers. By the way, TV-watching is probably the only thing you can get away with being four years behind on, so don’t push your luck. Are you four years behind on your laundry, too? Gross.

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Games for Educators Newsletter

Games for Educators targets primarily school teachers, home educators, and librarians.  It provides an informational framework for the types of gaming activities being instilled and learned at an early age.  These gaming techniques can help educators in higher education better prepare for the next generation of college students.  Of particular note:  click on Articles > For Librarians.

Mission:  The Games for Educators web site and newsletter are dedicated to supporting the use of games and toys in education. We want to help educators of all types fully engage the minds of children, and take advantage of all the benefits that play brings.

Anime in the Spotlight: The Wide World of Anime

At Media and Reserve Services, we have recently begun expanding our Browsing anime collection.  Previously, we had the major works from Studio Ghibli and Satoshi Kon, as well as popular anime series like Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995-6) and Cowboy Bebop (1998), but there has definitely been room for growth.  During this expansion, we have focused on collecting some fan-favorite shows, like Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009-10), but we have also paid attention to the major creators of anime.  We currently have a display across from the desk as an introduction to our expanded collection, and this blog series will focus on discussing the major creators whose works we’ve added to our collection.

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As any anime fan will tell you, anime’s much more than a genre.  Anime, or Japanese animation, is a complete visual medium, with all of the variety and experimentation and repetition than any medium has.  If you ask most Americans, they’ll probably have heard of a few big hitters, like Hayao Miyazaki, who won an Oscar for Spirited Away (2003), or Pokémon, which began running on American TV in 1998 and hasn’t stopped since, or maybe even Akira (1988), which was one of the first anime films to see a theatrical release in America.  Outside of a select few, though, American appreciation of anime in its many forms is largely confined to a small but fervent fanbase.  Despite this lack of mainstream attention, anime is still an important part of film and television, which is why we’ve focused on developing our collection.

There are several ways to approach anime as a whole.  Generally, anime fandom focuses on the different demographics within anime–is it for men or women, boys or girls, or general audiences?–or on major genres, like magical girls or giant robots.  Though these perspectives work well for most current TV anime, they leave many holes through which more complex films can fall, like Isao Takahata’s Grave of the Fireflies (1988), which addresses the struggle to survive during the firebombings of Kobe during World War II.  Grave of the Fireflies is a historical drama that’s difficult to pigeonhole regarding its target audience, since its main characters are children, but it addresses very mature themes that are difficult for even adults to come to terms with.  Some TV anime series are just as complex, like Revolutionary Girl Utena (1997), which appears to be a fantasy series for teenage girls but explores themes of identity, sexuality, and agency in increasingly abstract ways.

Because of the complexities inherent in great anime, this blog series will approach the medium from a chronological and thematic perspective, addressing one or two major players within anime per blog post.  Most of the posts will look at directors, like Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, while others will look at important studios, animators, manga authors, and character designers.  Due to the breadth of anime and the amount that has not been released for American audiences, this series will by no means be comprehensive, but it will cover most of the big names within the industry, beginning with Osamu Tezuka (best known for Astro Boy (1963)).  I look forward to seeing you next time!

The Case for Language Learning

The Guardian recently posted an article about what motivates a person to learn a new language. In Lauren Razavi’s  “Language learning:  what motivates us?,” John Schumann, a linguistics professor at UCLA’s Department of Applied Linguistics, and member of  the Neurobiology of Language Research Group, posits that  “for over 50 years, two terms have categorized motivation in language learning: integrative and instrumental.  Integrative motivation is the motivation to learn a language in order to get to know, to be with, to interact with and perhaps become like the speakers of the target language.  Instrumental motivation is language learning for more pragmatic or practical purposes…such as fulfilling a school requirement, getting a job, getting a promotion in that job, or being able to deal with customers.  For English speakers, the focus must be on the cultural and social benefits of learning languages – on the symptoms of integrative motivation, which go beyond employment prospects and good grades.”

http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/mar/19/language-learning-motivation-brain-teaching

Be sure to visit Media & Reserve Services and check out a foreign language series today.

New Titles – March 17th

Feature Films

abouttime

About Time

At the age of 21, Tim discovers he can travel in time and change what happens and has happened in his own life. His decision to make his world a better place by getting a girlfriend turns out not to be as easy as you might think.

beforemidnight

Before Midnight

We meet Jesse and Celine nine years on in Greece. Almost two decades have passed since their first meeting on that train bound for Vienna.

thecanyons

The Canyons

When Christian, an LA trust-fund kid with casual ties to Hollywood, learns of a secret affair between Tara and the lead of his film project, Ryan, he spirals out of control, and his cruel mind games escalate into an act of bloody violence.

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Language Learning @IUB Libraries: Do You Speak American?

DVD_do_you_speak_americanWell, the answer varies depending on location, location, location. In the documentary, Do you Speak American, host Robert MacNeil travels the United States to “examine sociolinguistic questions and the dynamic state of American English, a language rich in regional variety, strong in global impact, and steeped in cultural controversy.”  You can check out the film from Media & Reserve Services (M&RS), located on the ground floor of the Herman B Wells Library, or watch it on Youtube. If you can imagine how many culturally diverse languages are spoken here in the United States, then can you imagine how many prime languages and dialects are spoken around the world?

Did you know that you can learn any of 60 foreign language courses offered on the IUB campus to include medieval languages such as old English, medieval Hebrew, Persian, old Tibetan, and Ugyhur?  Did you also know that the IUB Libraries collects print and non-print resources in over 200 languages?  Media & Reserve Services is dedicated to the teaching, learning, and cultural needs of its community.  We house a rich, and diverse language learning collection not only in audio formats, but in visual formats as well.

Select language titles in the collection include: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Turkish, Ukranian, Welsh, and Zulu from noted companies such as Euro Talk Interactive, Foreign Service Institute, Pimsleur, and Rosetta Stone.   We invite you to drop in, ask our knowledgeable staff about the foreign language learning and film collections, and explore new languages and cultures today.

Audio CDs in the language learning collection circulate for 14 days, and movies from our extensive and eclectic foreign language film collection circulate for 7 days.  IU faculty, staff, and students can log into My Account to renew an item.

À bientôt!

7 Things You Should Know About Games and Learning

The Games and Learning Group from the Educause Learning Initiative (ELI) just released an updated version of 7 Things You Should Know About Games and Learning. In addition to the ELI report, the NMC 2014 Horizon Report included “Games and Gamification” as an emerging technology that is “likely to have a large impact over the coming five years in education around the globe.”  Both are interesting reads.

Patrons can check out a variety of gaming formats from M&RS for 7 days.  Formats include: GameCube, PS, PSP, X-Box, X-Box 360, and Wii.

I will attempt to spotlight content related to gaming each month.  Content information can come from an article, blog, website, etc.

My spotlight for this month is Gamemoir, “a video game culture and lifestyle website dedicated to delivering entertaining, fresh, and through-provoking content to our readers…we write about the experiences, reflections, people we meet, and the games we love to play from the unique perspective of our diverse stable of contributors. We dig deeper into dissecting our favorite video games to give our readers a new perspective on topics they thought they knew.”  Enjoy!

House Of Cards Season 2: What Now?

Warning. This post contains extensive spoilers for House of Cards Season 2, so probably don’t read on if you are currently in the process of watching it, plan on watching it, might get into that show some day, or aren’t planning on watching it but tend to change your mind on things a lot. However, if you’ve seen the season or you just enjoy the time-honored practice of experiencing television backwards, by starting with spoilers of the latest season, and ending by watching the series premiere with the back of your head, read on.

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The rib-munching mad-man we love to hate, Frank Underwood does his signature class ring knock-on-wood right onto the desk in the Oval Office, and the screen cuts to black.

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My Bleeding Heart: Horror Announcements

Hello to everyone out there on the interwebs! As part of M/RS’s new blog, I’m going to be posting a series centering on the most bone-chilling (and sometimes hilarious) genres of all time: horror.

Over the tumblr_inline_mubd8hEtrZ1r409prpast six months, we have been working hard to build a horror collection to be proud of, and we’ve added approximately 150 new titles to our collection. These titles range from silly–Aaah! Zombies!! (2007)–to classic–The Blob (1958)–to disturbing–Last House on the Left (1972). We’ve added several television titles as well–True Blood: Season 1 (2008), Teen Wolf (2011), and American Horror Story (2011) to name a few. Best of all, these titles have been added to our browsing collection so our patrons can take them home for a longer amount of time and have easier access.

This new collection was created through the requests of our patrons, new curriculum here at the university, and the ever-growing presence of horror and horror elements in contemporary media. Not only are horror remakes as popular as ever, but now horror is becoming more prevalent in pieces that combine comedy, drama, suspense, etc. in ways that only promote horror’s progressional aspects all the more.

In this series, I’ll be addressing the evolution of the horror genre on film. The series will focus on identifying horror’s major subgenres and the influences behind these movements. I’ll also look at the original titles that started it all as well as more modern films that fit into these categories. If you’re interested in checking out some horror history a little bit sooner, here are two interesting documentaries to get you started–Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film (2006) and Nightmares in Red, White and Blue: The Evolution of the American Horror Film (2009). Otherwise, stay tuned!