In Other News: Bribery

man receiving rubber-banded Euros behind his back

A look at a current news item through the lens of different Gale electronic resources.

By Michelle Eickmeyer

Boy, oh boy. American’s have an interesting relationship with soccer. For decades, soccer has held an unyielding grip on, well, every other country in the world. Though there have been the exceptional fanatic interspersed, soccer has largely remained relegated to a kid’s sport. Yes, most children play soccer. No, most adults couldn’t name 4 teams. Until 2014. (See my previous post here.)

During the 2010 World Cup, held in South Africa, 34% of American’s watched at least some part of a match. And we didn’t watch too much. (Source) But in 2014? We were ready. A lot of us watched, and we watched a lot of the matches. Thirty-nine percent more of us watched 33 percent more. (Source)

Why is soccer’s time “now” in America? One theory is that all those kids who grew up playing soccer, are now adults and are putting their time and money where their hearts have always been. Another believes American’s have begun to embrace the opportunity for a “great and exciting” game to end with a very low score.

When the U.S. led the charge to investigate corruption within FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, it raised a few eyebrows. Why is America getting involved was asked by several people, but with varying tone. ‘You don’t even like soccer’ on one side, and ‘finally but how come someone who cared more didn’t step up a long time ago’ from the other. The most frustrating response, in my opinion — as an American who likes soccer — was from Russian president Putin who said we were once again meddling in world affairs which were not our concern and somehow tried to get Edward Snowden involved. (Source) That is the sole statement I have read expressing this (paranoid?) opinion; let’s leave it alone. Other voices from around the wold have been more supportive, including this BBC article.

Obviously, no one at the DOJ consulted me when they planned this action, but there are several reasons which make it easy to understand how/why we chose to act when others did not. We like a fair fight. We aren’t afraid to say no or ask tough questions, even if we have to ask them of our friends. We don’t like being taken advantage of. And, perhaps most importantly, we can sometimes see things differently because we don’t have years of “just accepting it” like many other countries.

 

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In Other News: Charity

close up of charity entry in the dictionary

A look at a current news item through the lens of different titles available on GVRL.

By Michelle Eickmeyer

Saving and improving lives is expensive work. And without donations, most of it would not be possible. This week, the Federal Trade Commission charged four “charities” and their administrators for out-right stealing nearly $200 million. Two charities have already been dissolved. Reprehensible behavior. But if you want to give, how do you know with whom to spend your money? One solution is Charity Watch, an independent organization that can help you understand where and how a donation might be spent. There are a number of other resources and websites; that is just one.

In 2013, Americans gave $335.17 billion to charity. Of that, $240.6 billion was given by individuals (Source).  I’ve been especially interested in final numbers of donations for 2014 for a number of reasons. First, my cousin’s 2-year-old was diagnosed with leukemia. (Did you know that the National Institute of Cancer dedicates only 4% of its funding to pediatric cancer research (Source ) Why did cancer have to touch my family to learn that?) Second, the ice bucket challenge (and Mike Rowe). Here’s my previous post on it! In 2014, the ice bucket challenge raised $220 Million for the ALS Association (Source). That’s about 700% more than the year before (Source). Did more people give in 2014, or did people give more, or did they just give differently? The new numbers, expected next month, will tell.

Who currently gives (or doesn’t), and how much, when, and why are sometimes surprising. Low- and middle-income people give a higher percentage of their income than their high-income counterparts. Residents of large cities are less likely to give. When you compare the level of giving across states and the District, of the 20 most generous, only two voted democrat in the last election (Source). All sorts of assumptions will not be made on why that is the way it is.

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In Other News: BB King

black Gibson guitar

A look at a current news item through the lens of different Gale electronic resources.

By Michelle Eickmeyer

This week, the world lost a prolific and highly-esteemed musician, B.B. King. For non-jazz fans, B.B. (born Riley B King) was probably the only jazz musician whose name was recognizable (perhaps second to Louis Armstrong). Infamous for his black Gibson guitar, Lucille, B.B. was synonymous prized instrument. Though he consistently carried “Lucille” throughout his career, there were, in fact, many of ‘her’ along the way. Unlike his peers, B.B. named each of the guitars he carried Lucille as a reminder to make good choices and avoid risks. In fact, B.B. nearly died trying to rescue the first Lucille from a bar fire in Kansas, which was ignited during a fight. Over a woman. Named Lucille.

In the end, it was diabetes that ended his reign as King of the Blues. Having worked and shared the stage with many extraordinary artists, including U2 and Mick Jagger, BB’s influence on music is undisputed.

I would also like to note that earlier this month, jazz percussionist Jerome Cooper died at 68. Sad times for jazz fans.

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In Other News: the New Princess

A look at a current news item through the lens of different titles available on GVRL.

By Michelle Eickmeyer

Here she is – HRH Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge. (I’ve yet to answer if this means William Wale’s daughters name is Charlotte Cambridge, so any insight on that is appreciated.) Three lovely names, all for important people in the lives of Prince William and Duchess Catherine.

What’s with all the names? It has been said the King Albert and Queen Victoria had aspirations to have their names continue down the throne. History (and The King’s Speech) tells us that not all kings have ruled under their given first name. Prince Albert did rule as King George, after all — though George was among his many given names. (The name someone uses for their reigning title is their regnal name.)

When Will and Kate were married in 2011 there was much speculation if Kate would accurately repeat Will’s many names back during the exchange of vows. After all, his mother Diana and his aunt Sarah (Ferguson) both botched it.

There is a clear call to history in noble naming, which feels appropriate given the ‘”without them I’d have no claim to this” quality of the role. Prince William, who the world fondly knows as Wills, full name is His Royal Highness Prince William Arthur Phillip Louis, Duke of Cambridge. Prince Charles, having two titles needs a lot of space on his signature line: His Royal Highness Charles Phillip Arthur George, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall. Phew!

The women of the family, even the queen, have less naming baggage. Duchess Catherine has only one middle name, Elizabeth, as did Diana (Frances). The Queen has a mere two, HRH Queen Elizabeth Alexandra Mary.

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In Other News: Nepal

A look at a current news item through the lens of different Gale electronic resources.

By Michelle Eickmeyer

Oh Nepal… This week’s earthquake, the following tidal wave of repeated avalanches and mudslides, and the heartbreak of loss has shown a new light on this little-known part of the world. Such a tiny country, the majority of the world know Nepal as merely the home of Mt. Everest. As with most of the world, the history of Nepal is marked with conflict, evolving borders, and the quest for singular identity. It is the birthplace of Buddha and the home of about 28 million people. Its beautiful and full of prayer flags and industrious sherpas. Beyond that, what do you know?

Fundamental life in Nepal is drastically different from the U.S., and many of these differences are key in making the recovery from the recent earthquake and subsequent mudslides, avalanches and other suffering dramatically more difficult. It is slightly larger than the state of Arkansas (with a scant 3 million residents), and divided into 3 regions. A Nepalese resident will use 99.28% LESS electricity, 98.9% LESS oil, and make 97.16% LESS money than the average American. They will be more likely to be unemployed, die sooner (if they make it through infancy) and have more children. Life in Nepal is difficult (source). Nepal ranks 121st (of 158) in this year’s world happiness report. Some comparisons: Canada, 5; Australia, 10; United States, 15; United Kingdom, 21. (source)

In many ways, Nepal is the cultural center of finding yourself. Whether its through the physical dedication to a life-threatening climb, or through the mental dedication of peace and wisdom of Buddhism. Serendipitous these two activities occur in the same location? Probably not.

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In Other News: McDreamy

A look at a current news item through the lens of different titles available on GVRL.

By Michelle Eickmeyer

Some things are sacred. Maybe not any of the characters on Game of Thrones… but for 11 years, Grey’s Anatomy heartthrob, Dr. Derek Shepherd. The social media response Thursday night was, well, huge. Not to be glib, but you would have thought an actual person died. But when you spend time with someone every week for more than a decade, they can start to feel kind of real. Especially when their nickname is McDreamy, and he’s supposed to be the man of your dreams. I get it. And in case you didn’t get enough of the craziness on Friday, ABC has put together a 2:34 montage of clips sure to get you sad and angry again. I’m sorry.

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In Other News: Cheryl’s birthday

A look at a current news item through the lens of different Gale electronic resources.

By Michelle Eickmeyer

Oh, word problems… this is not your week! This week the world bemoaned a question, first posted to Facebook (then making it away through Buzzfeed to the BBC, and beyond.) The certainty of posters with their “easy” (and, of course, incorrect) responses only helped to fuel the fire. For those who missed it, here is the original question (with some spelling and grammatical editing… that’s an entirely different post!).

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In Other News: Sarah Thomas

A look at a current news item through the lens of different titles available on GVRL.

By Michelle Eickmeyer

First, apologies for the break. I was taken down by spring allergies/my annual sinus infection, then having a great time with many of you at ACRL, then recovering from both of those things. But back at it! Last year at this time, I wrote about the Masters. If that had not happened, today’s post would feature a clip of Jack, easily sinking his predicted hole in one. Man, he’s good. Or I could have written about the horrible tornadoes which struck Illinois last night. But I had already done that too. Finding a research topic can be tough, especially when all the obvious choices are taken. (Sound familiar?)

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In Other News: Alex Pring & Limbitless Solutions

A look at a current news item through the lens of different Gale electronic resources.

By Michelle Eickmeyer

This. Yesterday the world met Alex Pring. This clearly precocious 7 year old is featured in a video by The Collective Project, receiving a new prosthetic arm from an offshoot of the Project, Limbitless Solutions. That this organization exists is mind-boggling, thrilling, chilling, and awe-inspiring. (I’ve talked in other posts about how writing this series is often a review of the worst of humanity. Not today!)

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In Other News: The Skeleton Video

A look at a current news item through the lens of different titles available on GVRL.

By Michelle Eickmeyer

Most of my colleagues know I write this post, and often ask me throughout the week what topics are in the running for the post. There is often one or two stories or events which immediately seem like good options. Once I even did two posts. But the idea that it’s easy to find something which you could explore, on a scholarly level, and find accredited, proper sources for a research paper or project is exactly the point of this blog. I do not write this to remind graduate professors how easy some students have it and how random those first years of honing a research skill can be. I write this post to encourage those who support the often rudderless-ships of undergraduate, introductory level, new to a topic or new to research students. Research doesn’t have to be scary, or daunting, or incredibly complicated to be appropriate, credible, and respected. Studies prove that the most difficult parts for inexperienced or beginning researchers are selecting an appropriate topic and finding good sources. Getting started is the hardest part. Hopefully, there have been take-aways in this series which have helped you show students that “research” can be found anywhere.

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