Maybe you’re on Twitter one day and search ‘#Statistics’ to look up some information for your Introductory Statistics course. Before you know it, you scroll through and see several tweets that are also marked with ‘#BigData’, and you’re left with more questions than you had when you started your search. Maybe you try to search for “big data” on Google, see the definition from Oxford, and are then left with even more questions:
How large is “extremely large?”
What kind of patterns, trends, and interactions are we talking about?
What isn’t big data?
Big data as a term has become synonymous with the growth of digital data and the glut of information available to researchers and the public. Furthermore, there is a growing interest by both the public and private sector in utilizing large datasets to provide insight into market trends and to improve decision making. However, the exact definition of big data is sometimes unclear and can vary widely depending on who you ask. Businesses, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and academic researchers each view big data in a different context and with different goals for its use. (University of Wisconsin Data Science, n.d.)
Above: a Google Trends graph that shows the number of searches for the term “Big Data” from 2007 to 2017
In this blog post, we aim to provide clarity and insight into the origins and definitions of big data. We will also discuss the potential benefits and challenges surrounding big data. In doing so, we will provide some examples linking big data to applications or data that you may interact with on a daily basis.
Looking for a way to celebrate Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month? FSU Libraries have you covered! We’ve compiled a list of novels written by Latinx authors for your enjoyment. With both physical and online options, you can dive into this selection any place, any time!
Scroll to peruse all Tattoo Tuesday book recommendations posted in the month of September, 2021.
Our second September pick is The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean my Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle and Generally Have More Fun. Phew, that’s a lot but luckily for you, you don’t have to do a lot to have fun! Gretchen Rubin takes you along for the ride of a lifetime as she chronicles her year long adventure for the quest to find happiness. Have Fun! We hope you enjoy our selection; you can find it in the Pop Lit Fiction section just outside the Starbucks area on the first floor of Strozier, or in our online catalog at https://fsu.catalog.fcla.edu/permalink.jsp?23FS025555312
You don’t have to wait until Halloween to get spooky. This week we have a tattoo inked at a Friday the 13th flash sale. In honor of that unlucky day, we’re bringing you a pop lit novel from our horror genre. Our recommendation for this week’s tattoo is Kill Creek by Scott Thomas, published in 2017. Who better to put the nail in your coffin tattoo than “master of the macabre,” main character and best-selling horror writer, Sam McGarver? Follow him and three other genre writers as they try to survive a harrowing Halloween at the Finch House, one of the most haunted houses in the country. It’s been abandoned – until now. When Sam and his genre-savvy compatriots awaken the entity that haunts it, they can either outsmart horror itself or become part of it. Kill Creek was chosen for the ALA’s Horror Book of 2017, and was shortlisted for the Bram Stoker Award. We hope you enjoy our selection; you can find it in the Pop Lit Fiction section just outside the Starbucks area on the first floor of Strozier, or in our online catalog at https://fsu.catalog.fcla.edu/permalink.jsp?23FS03597741.
FSU Libraries participated in the recently published Ithaka S+R report, “What’s the Big Deal? How Researchers Are Navigating Changes to Journal Access.” The article focuses on institutions who have cancelled big deal subscription packages and those who were ready to cancel. For this project, 11 academic libraries were selected to explore faculty research habits, how they obtain research materials, how they view academic publishing models, and how this informs the libraries’ ongoing strategic decision making about Big Deal journal subscriptions.
Valerie Boulos, Associate Dean for Resource Management & Discovery Services, Renaine Julian, director of STEM Libraries, and Scott Schmucker, Electronic Resources Librarian, participated in the project. Julian and Schmucker acted as research partners by interviewing FSU faculty, gathering data, and submitting their findings. Interview questions focused on measuring the impact of these decisions, the exploration of open access models, and how research occurs after cancellation.
The team was pleased to see that the experiences of FSU faculty were well represented in the overall results of the study, which gave insight into the discovery habits, publishing preferences, and appreciation of the library as aspects of faculty research.
To learn more about FSU’s Big Deal cancellation, click here.
FSU Libraries’ new eTextbook program identifies currently available eBook titles assigned as required course materials. Instructors and students are able to search by course code, instructor, or book title to see if required course materials are available online through the Libraries. Since its implementation, this project has identified 848 total titles in Spring 2021 and 343 titles in Summer 2021 available through the Libraries’ existing licenses. In these two semesters, the total potential student savings is $1,941,369.
This initiative was inspired by ongoing student feedback about the high cost of course materials. The Libraries’ eTextbook program builds upon our currentCourse Reserves service and bolsters advocacy for the program as part of the broader Libraries’ Open & Affordable Textbook Initiative.
Here is a message of support from a student whose textbook was identified as currently licensed by the Libraries:
It’s well known that textbooks can be an onerous additional cost for those pursuing any degree, so it was a welcome and extremely helpful surprise when my professor announced that the library had added an electronic version of the course textbook. This happened two semesters in a row, and the savings across those semesters was close to $200 just for two classes. The ease of access is also a huge benefit that I was very grateful for.
FSU Libraries eResources expand the amount of materials available for higher-level coursework and complements other open educational resources. Furthermore, this program provides a crucial opportunity to support student success by ensuring equitable access to teaching and learning materials. Our eResources work to benefit our FSU community by…
20 out of 28 instructors from studies between 2015 and 2018reported that learning outcomes improved with open textbooks. FSU Alternative Textbook Grant recipient Vanessa Dennen, Professor of Instructional Systems & Learning Technologies, recently published results from her customized OER project in which students offered positive feedback because the OER were customized to meet their needs and received accurate, relevant, and focused learning materials. This OER and eTextbook integration in the classroom meets these same learning outcomes by providing students and instructors access to paid information that is covered by FSU Libraries.
…Ensuring an affordable FSU education for all students regardless of socioeconomic status.
A ground-breaking study from the University of Georgia found that drop, fail and withdrawal rates (DFW) decreased significantly for low income (Federal Pell Grant Recipients) and part-time students when Open Educational Resources (OER) were used in courses. There was a 53.12% increase in average course grade and a 29.54% decrease in DFW rates for students who were not enrolled full-time. The average final grades of self-identified non-white students in the study were higher with OER and their DFW rates were lower.
…Allowing instructors to incorporate perspectives that prepare students to live and work in a diverse and global society.
Open Educational Resources support a diverse community of learners including those with accessibility needs and multicultural perspectives and active student participation with materials. Sixty-four percent of faculty members in studies between 2015 and 2018 reported that using OER facilitated meeting diverse learners’ needs and sixty-eight percent perceived greater student satisfaction with the learning experience when using OER.
We look forward to growing our eTextbook program as part of our larger affordability initiative to reduce barriers to information access and reduce the cost of higher education.
The Popular Literature Committee – responsible for the Popular Literature section in Strozier Library – is bringing book recommendations from our shelves to your screens every Tuesday. Although we’re marketing it as a “Tattoo Tuesday,” if you yourself are lacking in the tattoo area, you can always feel free to submit your favorite: movie, song, activity, Starbucks order, et cetera. The way it works is: You email your tattoo (or other submission) to Lib-PopLit@fsu.edu and we choose a book out of our curated Popular Literature collection we think you might enjoy based on our interpretation of your submission.
Below are our tattoo submissions and recommendations to date.
You’ve made it through another school year, congrats! Take time this summer to unwind and enjoy some mindless entertainment. This display features books that made it to the big screens. Take a look at some of the shows and movies that were created from the book and are now available on popular streaming services!
Author: Stephen King Description: An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad. But Maitland has an alibi, and it turns out that his story has incontrovertible evidence of its own. How can two opposing stories be true? What happens to a family when an accusation of this magnitude is delivered? When must reason or rationality be abandoned in order to explain the inexplicable? Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? Where to Find: Physical copy is available at Strozier for Curbside Pickup. About the TV Show: A straightforward case of murder concerning a young boy in Georgia becomes everything but ordinary, and the seemingly open and close case takes a dark turn as mysterious supernatural forces arise. The horror crime drama had fans’ skin-crawling and questioning every episode. Where to Watch: Hulu, Youtube TV, Amazon Prime, HBO Max
Author: Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman Description: According to the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter -the world’s only _totally reliable_ guide to the future – the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just after tea. Which means that Armageddon will happen on a Saturday night. There will be seas of fire, rains of fish, the moon turning to blood and the massed armies of Heaven and Hell will sort it out once and for all. Which is a major problem for Crowley, Hell’s most approachable demon and former serpent, and his opposite number and old friend Aziraphale, genuine angel and Soho bookshop owner. They like it down here (or, in Crowley’s case, up here). So they’ve got no alternative but to stop the Four Motorcyclists of the Apocalypse, defeat the marching ranks of the Witchfinder’s army and – somehow – stop it all happening. Above all (or, in Aziraphale’s case, below all) they need to find and kill the Antichrist, currently the most powerful creature on Earth. This is a shame. Because he’s eleven years old, loves his dog even though it’s really a Satanic hellhound under all that hair, really cares about the environment and is the sort of boy anyone would be proud to have as a son. He’s also totally invulnerable, and a nice kid. And if that isn’t enough, they’ve still got Sunday to deal with. Where to Find: Physical copy is available at Strozier for Curbside Pickup. About the TV Show: The show follows the representatives of Hell and Heaven on earth, who must stop the coming end of the world. Having grown comfortable in the human world, they band together to stop the antichrist and Armageddon. It’s a classic tale told many times on-screen but this time it’s more comical and witty. Where to Watch: Amazon Prime
Author: Douglas Adams Description: Dirk Gently has an unshakeable belief in the interconnectedness of all things, but his Holistic Detective Agency mainly succeeds in tracking down missing cats for old ladies. Then Dirk stumbles upon an old friend behaving bizarrely – and he’s drawn into a four-billion-year-old mystery that must be solved if the human race is to avoid immediate extinction. Where to Find: Visit lib.fsu.edu and use the Catalog Search feature to look up keywords from the book title. Set your search filters to “ebooks” to narrow down your search results. Use the link provided in the catalog to access the digital content. About the TV Show: Holistic detective Dirk Gently investigates cases involving the supernatural. Where to Watch: Hulu
Author: Colson Whitehead Description: In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor—engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned—Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. Where to Find: Visit lib.fsu.edu and use the Catalog Search feature to look up keywords from the book title. Set your search filters to “ebooks” to narrow down your search results. Use the link provided in the catalog to access the digital content. About the TV Show: After escaping a Georgia plantation, Cora boards a train embarking on a harrowing trip as she seeks true freedom while being hunted by a notorious slave catcher. Where to Watch: Amazon Prime
Author: Bram Stoker Description: Dracula is an 1897 Gothic horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker. … The novel tells the story of Dracula’s attempt to move from Transylvania to England so that he may find new blood and spread the undead curse, and of the battle between Dracula and a small group of people led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing. Where to Find: Physical copy is available at Strozier for Curbside Pickup. About the TV Show: This series follows Dracula from his origins in Eastern Europe to his battles with Van Helsing’s descendants and beyond. The Count Dracula legend transforms with new tales that flesh out the vampire’s gory crimes—and bring his vulnerability into the light. Where to Watch: Netflix
Author: Shirley Jackson Description: Dr. Montague, a scientific investigator of ghostly phenomena, has chosen to live for several weeks at Hill House, by repute a place of horror that will brook no human habitation. To check and contribute to his observations, he selects three companions previously unknown to him; two girls, Theo and Eleanor, and Luke, a young man, who is heir to Hill House. What happens cannot, in fairness, be told. But Dr. Montague’s words were prophetic: ‘A ghost cannot hurt anyone; only the fear of ghosts can be dangerous.’ Whether the ghosts at Hill House caused the fear, or the fear created the ghosts, there were such manifestations as to produce, finally, an ultimate terror that was all too palpable and down-to-earth. Where to Find: Visit lib.fsu.edu and use the Catalog Search feature to look up keywords from the book title. Set your search filters to “ebooks” to narrow down your search results. Use the link provided in the catalog to access the digital content. About the TV Show: Flashing between past and present, a fractured family confronts haunting memories of their old home and the terrifying events that drove them from it. Where to Watch: Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Google Play, Vudu
Author: Natalie Baszile Description: A mother-daughter story of reinvention – about an African American woman who unexpectedly inherits a sugarcane farm in Louisiana. Why exactly Charley Bordelon’s late father left her 800 sprawling acres of sugarcane land in rural Louisiana is as mysterious as it was generous. Recognizing this as a chance to start over, Charley and her 11-year-old daughter, Micah, say good-bye to Los Angeles. They arrive just in time for growing season but no amount of planning can prepare Charley for a Louisiana that’s mired in the past: as her judgmental but big-hearted grandmother tells her, cane farming is always going to be a white man’s business. As the sweltering summer unfolds, Charley must balance the overwhelming challenges of her farm with the demands of a homesick daughter, a bitter and troubled brother, and the startling desires of her own heart. Where to Find: Physical copy is available at Strozier for Curbside Pickup. About the TV Show: “Queen Sugar” tells the story of the estranged Bordelon siblings in Louisiana. At the center of the family are Nova, a journalist and activist; Charley, the wife and manager of an NBA player; and formerly incarcerated father Ralph Angel, who is searching for redemption. Following a tragedy in the family, the siblings must put their complicated lives aside so that they can come together to run the clan’s struggling sugar cane farm. Where to Watch: Hulu, Philo, YouTube TV
Author: Elena Ferrante Description: The story begins in the 1950s in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples. Growing up on these tough streets, the two girls learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone or anything else. As they grow – and as their paths repeatedly diverge and converge – Elena and Lila remain best friends whose respective destinies are reflected and refracted in the other. They are likewise the embodiments of a nation undergoing momentous change. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her protagonists. Where to Find: Physical copy is available at Strozier for Curbside Pickup and Digital copy is available through Catalog Search at lib.fsu.edu About the TV Show: When the most important friend in her life seems to have disappeared without a trace, Elena Greco, a now-elderly woman immersed in a house full of books, turns on her computer and starts writing the story of their friendship. Where to Watch: HBO Max
Author: Eleanor Cattan Description: It is 1866, and young Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: A wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky. Where to Find: Physical copy is available at Strozier for Curbside Pickup. About the TV Show: An intricately woven, suspenseful tale of love, murder, magic and revenge set in New Zealand at the height of the 1860s gold rush. Where to Watch: Amazon Prime, Hulu, YouTube TV, Starz
Author: George R.R. Martin Description: In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the North of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones. Where to Find: Physical copy is available at Strozier for Curbside Pickup. About the TV Show: This show offers mystery, murder, intrigue, drama, laughter and it’s a period piece. It tends to upset people a lot – all those deaths can take a toll on fans. But that hasn’t changed the fact that audiences can’t get enough of the characters and their stories. Where to Watch: https://fsu.catalog.fcla.edu/permalink.jsp?23FS030810024FSU has the first season Hulu, HBOMax, YouTube TV, Amazon Prime
Author: Henry James Description: A hauntingly atmospheric and star-studded adaptation of Henry James’ classic gothic horror story. A young, inexperienced governess is hired to look after two small children abandoned by their uncle, following the death of their parents, at his grand country house. Unsettled by glimpses of ghostly figures that only she can see, she quickly believes that something malevolent is stalking the children in her care. She learns that her predecessor and her sinister lover both died under curious circumstances and prior to their death, they spent most of their time with Flora and Miles. Could they be the figures appearing to the new governess? But are appearances everything they seem to be? Are these apparitions truly supernatural or simply products of her overactive imagination? James’ novel is brilliantly brought to life in this evocative drama – full of ambiguity, eeriness and menace. Where to Watch: Available to stream free with FSU Account
Author: Piper Kerman Description: With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money ten years before. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187–424 — one of the millions of people who disappear “down the rabbit hole” of the American penal system. Where to Find: Physical copy is available at Strozier for Curbside Pickup. About the TV Show: When a past crime catches up with her, a privileged New Yorker ends up in a women’s prison, where she quickly makes friends and foes. Where to Watch: Netflix
Author: Hugh Lofting Description: John Dolittle, MD, is a respected physician and quiet bachelor living with his spinster sister Sarah in the small English village of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh. His love of animals grows over the years and his household menagerie eventually scares off his human clientele, leading to loss of wealth. But after learning the secret of speaking to all animals from his parrot Polynesia, he takes up veterinary practice. Where to Find: Visit lib.fsu.edu and use the Catalog Search feature to look up keywords from the book title. Set your search filters to “ebooks” to narrow down your search results. Use the link provided in the catalog to access the digital content. About the Movie: Dr. John Dolittle (Rex Harrison) lives in a small English village where he specializes in caring for and verbally communicating with animals. When Dr. Dolittle is unjustly sent to an insane asylum for freeing a lovesick seal from captivity, his animals and two closest human friends, Matthew Mugg (Anthony Newley) and Tommy Stubbins (William Dix), liberate him. Afterward, they join Emma Fairfax (Samantha Eggar) and set out by boat to find a famed and elusive creature: the Great Pink Sea Snail. Where to Watch: HBOMax, Amazon Prime, Hulu or DVD at FSU
Authors: story, Gerard Way ; art, Gabriel Ba ; colors, Dave Stewart ; letters, Nate Piekos. Description: In an inexplicable worldwide event, forty-seven extraordinary children were spontaneously born by women who had previously shown no signs of pregnancy. Millionaire inventor Reginald Hargreeves adopted seven of the children; when asked why, his only explanation was, ‘To save the world.’ These seven children form The Umbrella Academy, a dysfunctional family of superheroes with bizarre powers. Their first adventure at the age of ten pits them against an erratic and deadly Eiffel Tower, piloted by the fearsome zombie-robot Gustave Eiffel. Nearly a decade later, the team disbands, but when Hargreeves unexpectedly dies, these disgruntled siblings reunite just in time to save the world once again Where to Find: Physical copy is available at Strozier for Curbside Pickup. About the TV Show: Seven children born in 1989 to unconnected women who showed no signs of pregnancy the day before were adopted by mysterious billionaire Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) and developed superpowers. After growing apart, they come together again after their father’s death to deal with a potential global apocalypse. Where to Watch: Netflix
Author: Liane Moriarty Description: A murder…A tragic accident…Or just parents behaving badly? What’s indisputable is that someone is dead. Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny, biting, and passionate; she remembers everything and forgives no one. Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare but she is paying a price for the illusion of perfection. New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for a nanny. She comes with a mysterious past and a sadness beyond her years. These three women are at different crossroads, but they will all wind up in the same shocking place. Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the little lies that can turn lethal. Where to Find: Physical copy is available at Strozier for Curbside Pickup. About the TV Show: “Big Little Lies” weaves a darkly comedic tale of murder and mischief in the tranquil beachfront town of Monterey, Calif. Amidst doting moms, successful husbands, beautiful children, and stunning homes exists a community fueled by rumors and divided into haves and have-nots, exposing fractured relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children, and friends and neighbors. Where to Watch: Hulu, Youtube TV, Amazon Prime, HBO Max
Author: Caroline Kepnes Description: A terrifying exploration of how vulnerable we all are to stalking and manipulation, debut author Caroline Kepnes delivers a razor-sharp novel for our hyper-connected digital age. Where to Find: Physical copy is available at Strozier for Curbside Pickup. About the TV Show: What would you do for love? For a brilliant male bookstore manager who crosses paths with an aspiring female writer, this question is put to the test. A charming yet awkward crush becomes something even more sinister when the writer becomes the manager’s obsession. Using social media and the internet, he uses every tool at his disposal to become close to her, even going so far as to remove any obstacle –including people — that stands in his way of getting to her. Where to Watch: Netflix
Author: Margaret Atwood Description: The Handmaid’s Tale is not only a radical and brilliant departure for Margaret Atwood, it is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States, now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its world, with bizarre consequences for the women and men of its population. The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment’s calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid’s Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best Where to Find: Physical copy is available at Strozier for Curbside Pickup. About the TV Show: Many people know that The Handmaid’s Tale is based on a book. Mostly because of author Margaret Atwood. She is a beloved Canadian treasure and we must protect her at all costs. The book, much like the show focuses on a dystopian world where only certain women can still bear children. Where to Watch: Hulu
Author: Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, John Higgins Description: This stunning graphic novel chronicles the fall from grace of a group of superheroes plagued by all too human failings. The concept of the super hero is dissected and inverted as strangely realistic characters are stalked by an unknown assassin. Originally published as a 12 issue series in 1986 and 1987, Watchmen remains one of DC Comics’ most popular graphic novels. Where to Find: Visit lib.fsu.edu and use the Catalog Search feature to look up keywords from the book title. Set your search filters to “ebooks” to narrow down your search results. Use the link provided in the catalog to access the digital content. About the TV Show: This isn’t the first time that the Watchmen graphic novel has been adapted for the screen. Fans know about the film by Zack Snyder and how underwhelming it did. This isn’t to say it was a bad film. It was almost shot for shot of the original graphic novel. However, the show has seemed to find it’s own little corner of the world. It doesn’t follow the storyline of the film or the graphic novel it makes its own path. Fans were initially wary of yet another adaptation of this graphic novel but it seems to have made a positive impact. Where to Watch: HBOMax, Youtube TV, Hulu, Amazon Prime
Author: John Greene Description: Sixteen-year-old Miles’ first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by the search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash. Where to Find: Physical copy is available at Strozier for Curbside Pickup. About the TV Show: Looking for Alaska had a short run but it was a success among audiences for a reason. The show is based on the highly popular teen coming of age novel of the same name. Looking for Alaska was John Green’s first novel, having been published in 2005. The book was originally meant to be a film before being scrapped and turned into a Hulu series. The book and show follow a young teenage boy who looks for a meaning to his life. He attends boarding school, makes a close group of friends, and even falls in love. A sudden tragedy has him and his friends trying to come to terms with what happened. The show encompasses the emotion, grief, friendship, and teenage love that the book is well known and loved for capturing. Where to Watch: Hulu
Author: Deborah Harkness Description: A follow-up to the best-selling A Discovery of Witches finds Oxford scholar and reluctant witch Diana and vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont in Elizabethan London, where Diana seeks a magical tutor and Matthew confronts elements from his past at the same time the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens. Where to Find: Physical copy is available at Strozier for Curbside Pickup. About the TV Show: The tale of romance translated so well to a TV series that IMDb gave it an 8.1 rating. So far there is only one season to binge but the second season has been confirmed and will follow shortly. So, why do people love this show? It’s a love story and not just any love story – a forbidden love story. What more encouragement do you need? Where to Watch: Amazon Prime, Youtube TV, Sling TV
Memorial Day has a long history in the United States, longer even than many people know. In 2001, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, a book written by Pulitzer Prize winner David Blight, brought to light the long ignored influence the Black community had on the origins of this holiday and a 2020 article by Time continued to highlight this section of history. This article and Blight’s book place the beginnings of Memorial Day in Charleston, South Carolina in May of 1865. During the Civil War, over 250 Union prisoners died in captivity during the last year of the war, and all of them were buried in unmarked graves. After the conflict, Black residents of Charleston decided to give these war heroes a proper burial.
According to the Time article’s description, “approximately 10 days leading up to the event, roughly two dozen African American Charlestonians reorganized the graves into rows and built a 10-foot-tall white fence around them. An archway overhead spelled out “Martyrs of the Race Course” in black letters.” This grave and the massive ceremony and celebration that followed its completion were the first organized remembrance of those who fought and died for America. In his book, Blight said, “The war was over, and Memorial Day had been founded by African Americans in a ritual of remembrance and consecration.”
This was originally known as Decoration Day and originated following the American Civil War as a way to memorialize the soldiers who fell in battle. According to history.com “in 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees; the change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday” So, while the name of the holiday changed and so did its status as a nationally recognized holiday, the tradition of honoring fallen soldiers has remained the same. 1
Today, even if you can’t participate in a Memorial Day celebration in your community, FSU Libraries have put together a digital tour of several national monuments.
The creation of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier came as a way to memorialize soldiers whose remains weren’t able to be properly identified after World War I.
“In December 1920, New York Congressman and World War I veteran Hamilton Fish Jr. proposed legislation that provided for the interment of one unknown American soldier at a special tomb to be built in Arlington National Cemetery.”
This tradition of memorializing one unknown soldier that fell in war as a memorial for all the other unknown soldiers was upheld for World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
But the tomb dedicated to the Unknown Soldier for the Vietnam War is currently vacant. There were remains there for almost 14 years but eventually it was discovered that the remains belonged to “Air Force 1st Lt. Michael Joseph Blassie, a pilot who had been shot down in 1972.” His remains were the only ones that were recovered and unidentified at the time which is the reason for the tomb’s vacancy. But, “On September 17, 1999 — National POW/MIA Recognition Day — it was rededicated to honor all missing U.S. service members from the Vietnam War.” 2
National World War II Memorial
“The National World War II Memorial honors the 16 million people who served as part of the American armed forces during World War II, including more than 400,000 who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.” 3
“President Clinton signed Public Law 103-32 on May 25, 1993, authorizing the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) to establish a World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., or its environs. It is the first national memorial dedicated to all who served during World War II and acknowledging the commitment and achievement of the entire nation.” 4
The design of the memorial was created by Friedrich St.Florian and it was selected from a national contest that included over 400 entries and his design won him the spot as the Design Architect. 5
JFK Gravesite at Arlington
Former President John F. Kennedy’s first visit to the Arlington National Cemetery was on Veterans Day on November 11, 1961 where he placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and gave a speech to 5,000 people at the Memorial Amphitheatre.
Surprisingly enough, JFK is actually one of only two presidents buried at Arlington and it was a common belief that he would be buried in Massachusetts as that was his native state and it was extremely rare for the president to be buried outside their native state. But, “First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy wanted her husband’s gravesite to be accessible to the American public” and consulted with both JFK’s brother and Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara about the best location. It was settled that Arlington would be the best fit. 6
Vietnam Women’s Memorial
“For the first time in America’s history, a memorial that honors women’s patriotic service was dedicated in the nation’s capital, placed beside their brother soldiers on the hallowed grounds of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. It was the first tangible symbol of honor for American women. The multi-figure bronze monument is designed by New Mexico sculptor, Glenna Goodacre. It is a sculpture in the round portraying three Vietnam-era women, one of whom is caring for a wounded male soldier, stands 6’8″ tall and weighs one ton.”
According to vietnamwomensmemorial.org, A three-day Celebration of Patriotism and Courage, November 10-12, 1993, in Washington, D.C. highlighted the dedication of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial on November 11, 1993 near the Wall of names and the statue of the three serviceman at the site of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Thousands of Vietnam veterans, their families and friends joined the nation in honoring these brave and compassionate women.” 7
Want to visit a memorial in person? Here are some you can find in Florida:
Although the experiences of the past year has been new for most of the population, this is not the first time that America or the world has faced the trauma and terror of a quickly spreading virus. What can we learn from examining the progress of previous examples like the 1918 Pandemic commonly known as the “Spanish Flu”? Explore the timelines below to look at the side by side comparisons of major moments in events spread almost exactly a century apart.
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