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Having begun this Monday (February 8), celebrations marking Year of the Monkey will continue for the next two weeks. Often referred to as “Chinese New Year”, the Lunar New Year is celebrated throughout Asia. In Vietnam, Lunar New Year is celebrate as Tết.

Animals from the Chinese zodiac are associated with each new year.. This year is the Year of the Monkey. The Chinese zodiac has a 12 year cycle, so the next  Year of the Monkey will be in 2028.

Fireworks, feasts, family reunions and parades are some of the well-known festivities associated with the Lunar New Year. However, there are a great many traditions associated with the Lunar New Year that are centuries old, such as the hanging of traditional ‘new years’ poems, cleaning the home, the receiving new clothes and getting one’s haircut.

If you are celebrating Lunar New Year, we wish safe travels and  much joy and prosperity this year! 恭贺新禧  Happy New Year!

Learn more about Lunar New Year:

Lunar New Year 2016: Facts, Dates, And Ancient Traditions (Huffington Post)

Stories about Chinese New Year (NPR.org)

Lunar New Year in pictures (BBC.com)

 

Photo credit: Poa Mosyuen, used with permission under Creative Commons license

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By now you have probably heard that Punxsutawney Phil, that most famous of Pennsylvanian marmots, did not see his shadow, foretelling an early spring this year. Lucky us!

Aside from wresting a fat, sleepy rodent from his burrow, there are other traditions associated with this day…including eating groundhog! They are not a threatened species, and are generally considered to be pest animals, especially to gardeners. So maybe it is not shocking that when chef and food writer (and farmer) Ian Knauer found his vegetable beds decimated by a groundhog, he decided to eat the culprit, an event chronicled in his book The Farm, accompanied by a recipe for Groundhog Cacciatore.

I think I will stick to a different Groundhog Day treat, this adorable groundhog-shaped Groundhog Day Cake from CakeSpy!

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For those of you not already familiar, MeSH or Medical Subject Headings are the standard terms used to describe biomedical topics in PubMed. Basically, a staff person at the National Library of Medicine (NLM) tags each article with the appropriate MeSH based on what the article is about. The great thing is you don’t have to worry about spelling variations, conjugation, or even synonyms with MeSH. If the article is about the concept, the NLM staffer will tag it with the right MeSH, even if the exact words used in the text are different.
So what made the list of new MeSH for 2016? Well, a few were surprising, such as the term Grandparents. How was that not already in there? Considering Antelope has been a MeSH since 1991, why did it take this long to add Giraffe? And, is it really that often that Legendary Creatures comes up in the biomedical literature that it deserves its own heading?
Well, check the list out yourself. Just keep in mind, these MeSH are brand-spanking new, so don’t expect to get a lot of articles tagged with them just yet–most are not retroactive.

 

Post contributed by Judy Rabinowitz

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All of us at the Hirsh Health Sciences Library would like to wish everyone good cheer and relaxation as this term and year come to a close. Happy Holidays!

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In case you’ve been buried under exams and course work, Halloween is this Saturday! And as an added bonus, Sunday, November 1st marks the end of Daylight Savings, which means an extra hour to sleep!

So, what are you doing this Halloween? Are you dressing up? Giving out treats? Partying? Have a date with the living dead (aka, a fellow grad student :-) )?

Well, however you choose to celebrate, the Hirsh Library wishes you a spooky and safe Halloween!

For a treat, check out these awesome videos from the American Dental Association. And oh yeah –BOO!

 

 

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At some point this week we are celebrating National Ask a Stupid Question Day- I can’t tell you when, because reports differ as to whether the Day in question is September 28 or the last school day in September.

According to this article in the Telegraph, the point of the day is to encourage students to ask questions they might otherwise be embarrassed or too shy to ask.

Here at the Hirsh Health Sciences Library, we are all about answering your questions. Ask us anything! Step right up, don’t be shy. We will never tell you that you’ve asked a stupid question or give you a stupid answer!

You know what is kind of stupid? Shaving a baby. Or letting a baby shave himself. Don’t ask us about that.

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Gillette Safety Razor Co. (Courtesy Miami University Library Digital Collections: http://digital.lib.muohio.edu/cdm/ref/collection/tradecards/id/1172)

Aside from questions about baby-shaving, the ONLY stupid question is the one that goes unasked!

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September 21st – 25th is National Postdoc Appreciation Week.

You may be wondering, ‘what exactly is a postdoc?’  According to the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA), a postdoc is: “…an individual holding a doctoral degree who is engaged in a temporary period of mentored research and/or scholarly training for the purpose of acquiring the professional skills needed to pursue a career path of his or her choosing.”

Postdocs work in academic, government, private nonprofit, and industry laboratories.

According to the most recent (2013) Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Sciences and Engineering survey, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health, 564 academic institutions in the United States reported a total of 61,942 postdocs in science, engineering and health.  In this survey, Tufts reported 149 postdocs in these fields.

So, wish the postdocs you know a happy Postdoc Appreciation Week!

For more information on postdocs, check out:

National Postdoctoral Association

The Postdoc Series: Insights, Options, Careers (NatureJobs Blog)

The Future of the Postdoc (Nature News Feature)

 

Post contributed by Laura Pavlech

…the Jewish New Year, that is!

This year, Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on Sunday September 13 and runs through nightfall on September 15. Among the customs associated with Rosh Hashanah is sounding the shofar (an instrument traditionally made from a ram’s horn), which you may have been hearing already, as a shofar blast typically accompanies the end of morning services for the month leading up to Rosh Hashanah. Below is a photo of a Chaplain with the United States Army Forces in the Middle East sounding the shofar during Rosh Hashanah services in 1942.

Digitized by the Gruss Lipper Digital Laboratory at the Center for Jewish History - www.cjh.org

Captain Joseph H. Freedman Hq, USAFIME, is shown blowing the Shofar (Courtesy American Jewish Historical Society: access.cjh.org/210349

For many, Rosh Hashanah is a time to get together with family and friends, and to enjoy sweet treats to symbolize a sweet year ahead. A traditional indulgence is apples dipped in honey, or any variety of delicious baked goods incorporating either or both ingredients. While my personal favorite method of getting apples and honey into my mouth is with a sweet and savory apple/honey/grilled cheese sandwich, there are a variety of spectacular desserts out there utilizing apples, with recipes both traditional and new. One of my favorite apple desserts is these Apple Brownies, from Amy Traverso’s wonderful The Apple Lover’s CookbookDeceptively simple, quick and easy to make, these fantastic “brownies” have no cocoa in them, but have a toothsome, dare I say fudgy texture that guarantees you won’t miss the chocolate.

So, hit the farmers’ market, scare up some local honey, some early-season apples, and some sweet thoughts for the year ahead.

Shanah Tovah!

 

We would like to highlight that August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM)!  This was established to encourage people of all ages to protect their health by being vaccinated against infectious diseases.  The CDC offers information and Toolkits to help you out.  You can also check out this full 2015 Toolkit put out by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion!

 

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June 23 marks the anniversary of two events of great cultural and political significance to the United States and, in particular, American women.

In 1960, the FDA formally approved Enovid for use as an oral contraceptive, making it the first approved birth control pill in the world. Enovid had been prescribed since 1957 as a treatment for menstrual disorders, but the FDA’s official recognition and approval of its contraceptive properties ushered in a new era of freedom and debate about reproductive rights. You can read more about the development of The Pill in Jonathan Eig’s The Birth of the Pill  and about its impact on American society in America and the Pill by Elaine Tyler May; we have both in our collection.

Representative Patsy Mink, a co-author of Title IX. The law was renamed after her in 2002 as the Patsy Takemoto Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act

Representative Patsy Mink, a co-author of Title IX. The law was renamed after her in 2002 as the Patsy Takemoto Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act

Twelve years later, on June 23, 1972, Congress passed Title IX as part of the Education Amendments of 1972. It stated, in part that:

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance”

By banning sex discrimination in schools, Title IX has helped to expand educational and athletic opportunities to women. For Title IX’s 40th anniversary in 2012, The National Women’s Law Center collected a series of stories to honor the breadth its impact. Perspectives come from those who grew up before Title IX, like Alexa Canady, the first African-American woman neurosurgeon, as well as after, like Shree Bose, a prodigious teenage cancer researcher.

You can find the rest of the stories at “Faces of Title IX”.

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