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Sundown on June 17th marks the beginning of the month of Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. It is the month when the Holy Quran was revealed and is observed by Muslim around the world by fasting from sunrise to sunset. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The very young, very old, and people with medical conditions are among those who may abstain from the fast.

Given the longer days this time of year, maintaining good levels of energy throughout the day is very important, especially for hardworking students!  We want to share some resources and recipes for helping you have a healthy fast:

Healthy Ramadan Guide

Ramadan Food: When and What to Eat

Ramadan Recipes

Interested in learning more about Ramadan, visit Ramadan: a Guide to the Islamic Holy Month 

Ramadan Kareem!

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Dates by Howard Walfish, creative commons license via Flickr

 

June 5th-13th marks Boston Pride Week (http://www.bostonpride.org/calendar/), a weeklong celebration of the LGBTQ community. Started in 1970, this year marks the 45th anniversary of Boston Pride (http://www.bostonpride.org/about/). This year’s theme is “Wicked Proud” (gotta love it!).

Besides being one of the first cities to hold gay pride celebrations, did you know Boston is the home of the pioneering LGBTQ health centers, Fenway Health (http://fenwayhealth.org/) and the Sidney Borum Health Center (http://sidneyborum.org/)?

Learn more about Boston’s wicked awesome LGBT history at the History Project: http://www.historyproject.org/

Have a fabulous Pride week!

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Image credit:  http://www.bostonpride.org/theme/

 

We love an offbeat holiday here at the Hirsh Health Sciences Library, and we learned recently that May is Zombie Awareness Month. This is probably a good thing, since most of use go through our everyday lives without much regard to zombieism (or zombiism), even though the concept has both a rich cultural history and a handful of real-life scientific examples.

I’m not ashamed to admit that my first exposure to zombies was from the Scooby Doo cartoons that I watched as a kid. Based on the fine scholarship of my 6-year-old self, I knew for certain that zombies were nothing more than bumbling robbers in disguise, and easily foiled by groovy teenagers and their dog.

Many years later, I learned about the concept of the zombie in Haitian folklore and its connection to the brutal New World slave trade, which you can learn more about from this NPR Code Switch story. Now, zombies are chic. They’re hip. They’re everywhere. Even the CDC has a cheeky Zombie Preparedness website.

Yet REAL zombies walk among us, in the form of parasites. Fungi of the genus Ophiocordyceps require ants to complete their life-cycles, and turns the hapless arthropods unlucky enough to encounter fungal spores into slaves that give their lives to spread the fungus. After exposure, the fungus manipulates an ant’s brain, bidding it to climb high. Then it digests the internal organs, and grows a spike out of the head of the ant, which serves as a delivery mechanism for more spores. Read about it here; it’s both fascinating and totally disgusting.

Many other examples of this phenomenon exist, from Toxoplasmosis making rodents lose their fear of cats to a bacteria that causes a flower in Madagascar to change it’s bloom so as to attract the exact insect the parasite needs to spread. And my favorite, the flatworm Leucochloridium paradoxum, pictured below with its unfortunate garden snail host.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/marioqa/16020719562/in/photolist-qpGnLN-dtEE7y-bDPTj5-4MVZ1h-73c5TX

Zombie by Mario Quevedo is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

After ingesting the flatworm in bird feces, the parasite invades the snails digestive system and brain, taking over an eyestalk, filling it with offspring and creating an appendage that looks like a delicious worm. The zombified snail shuns its instinctive fear of light and travels to areas where the wiggling, wormy appendage attracts the attention of a hungry bird. After ingesting the parasite, it matures in the gut of the bird, and the process begins anew.

This is worse than the brain-eating humanoids on TV, right?

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As National Nurses Week 2015 comes to a close, the Hirsh Library would like to give a HUGE “thank you” to nurses for all of the amazing work they do to keep us healthy and whole!

In the spirit of this week, we would like to challenge our readers to see how much they really know about famous nurses. Take this quiz and find out about awesome nurses!

We also want to remind people of the injury risks to which nurses are subjected in the course of carrying out their critical work. Earlier this year National Public Radio ran a special series investigating the very real and very high physical costs of the nursing profession.  Check out this important series and understand why it is so important for us to work towards safeguarding nurses in their work environments: Injured Nurses (an NPR special series) http://www.npr.org/series/385540559/injured-nurses

Lastly, several of the Hirsh Library staff were either raised by nurses or have a very close relative who was a nurse. So our appreciation of nurses is very personal, too.Let’s face it, taking care of children after a long shiftof taking care of patients take A LOT of “oomph”!!!  You’ve got to be tough to be a nurse – and we that why we LOVE them! Thank you!

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uploaded by We hope / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

 

This weekend we will be “springing forward” to begin Daylight Savings Time. While our smart devices will automatically make the time change for us, do remember to set your ‘not-so-smart’ wall clocks, alarm clocks, appliances and watches one hour ahead on Saturday night before you go to bed.

So, what’s the deal with Daylight Savings Time, anyway?  “The basic idea [of Daylight Savings Time] is to make the best use of daylight hours by shifting the clock forward in the Spring and backward in the Fall. Daylight Saving Time has been in use throughout much of the United States, Canada and Europe since World War I.”1

On the plus side, we will have more daylight, so sunset on Sunday, March 8 will be 6:42pm (yeah!). On the minus side, we will lose an hour of sleep (uggh!) and it will be pretty dark when you wake up for a few weeks (sunrise on Sunday, March 8 will be 7:09am – oof!).

Losing an hour of sleep can be a challenge! Did you know that there are more heart attacks during time transitions?2

Here’s a few tips from the good folks at Vanderbilt’s Sleep Disorders Clinic to help you make the transition as smooth as possible:

http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2013/03/vanderbilt-sleep-expert-offers-daylight-saving-survival-tips/

Happy (almost) Spring!

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Image courtesy of Ben Dobson through the Creative Commons license.

 

1.     Espenak F, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Daylight saving time. 2008; http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEhelp/daylightsaving.html. Accessed March 2, 2015.

2.    Janszky I, Ljung R. Shifts to and from daylight saving time and incidence of myocardial infarction. The New England journal of medicine. Oct 30 2008;359(18):1966-1968.

 

Are you the parent of a young child? Occasionally, you may need to bring your little one with you to campus, including the library. That’s why we want you to know that the library keeps a box of kid-friendly things (small toys, crayons and coloring books,  stuffed animals) to help occupy your little one while you’re here. This box of kid-friendly toys is kept at the Info Desk on the 4th floor of the library. So, next time you’ve got your baby with you,  just ask about the “kid’s box”!

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Image credit: Uberprutser
[CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)],
from Wikimedia Commons

 

Hello everyone!

The Hirsh Health Sciences Library will close at 2:00 pm today (Thursday 2/2), in order to get patrons and staff home safe and sound before the evening commute.

Please return your materials by 1:30 pm.

Be careful out there!

 

Hello everyone!

The Hirsh Health Sciences Library will close at 5:00 pm today (pending any further notice), in order to get patrons and staff home safe and sound before the storm hits tonight.

Image courtesy Miami University Libraries: digital.lib.muohio.edu/u?/snyder,2469

Image courtesy Miami University Libraries: digital.lib.muohio.edu/u?/snyder,2469

Please return your materials by 5:00 pm.

Be careful out there!

 

January is apparently National Soup Month (who knew?!), at least, it is according to the good people at Campbell’s, and I feel like they know a thing or two about soup. And here at the Hirsh Health Sciences Library, we know a bit about soup, too.

For example, according to this article published in The Nurse Practitioner, there may just be something to the idea that chicken soup is a valid treatment for the common cold. According to this paper, it provides relief from symptoms and decreases the inflammatory response related to viral illness- in other words, chicken soup might actually make you feel better when you’re sick. SCIENCE!

Cure for the Common Cold?  (courtesy University of Washington Libraries. Digital Collections: http://content.lib.washington.edu/u?/kiehl,360)

Cure for the Common Cold?
(courtesy University of Washington Libraries. Digital Collections: http://content.lib.washington.edu/u?/kiehl,360)

Regardless of its efficacy, who doesn’t like a hot bowl of soup in the winter, regardless of whether you’re under the weather? Research and Instruction Librarian Jane recommended this pot of Fire Roasted Tomato Soup for a yummy meal. If you’re looking for a weekend project (it is supposed to snow, after all), make someone’s day with a labor-intensive batch of delicious Chicken Matzo Ball Soup (aka Jewish Penicillin). For vegetarians/vegans/spicy food lovers, this Lentil and Coconut Soup with Cilantro-Habanero Gremolata is delicious and cheap to make. It also makes enough soup to freeze for the next time you feel the sniffles coming on.

There’s a proverb (of Spanish or Portuguese origin, apparently) that states: “Of soup and love, the first is best.” I offer no opinion on the matter, but wish you a wonderful National Soup Month.

 

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workshoplogo We are pleased to announce the Hirsh Health Sciences Library’s Open Workshop series for Spring semester. Workshops are held in Sackler 510 on Thursdays from 12noon-1pm. To learn more about the Open Workshop series and to register for a workshop visit: http://www.library.tufts.edu/hsl/education/workshops.html   Upcoming Open Workshops for January and February: Research BaSiCSsss: Literature Search Skills for D’16 Thursday, January 15, 2015 Ovid:  Searching for Evidence & Creating Alerts Thursday, January 22, 2015 PubMed: the Basics Thursday, January 29, 2015 Get that stat! Intro to Major Health Data Sources Thursday, February 05, 2015 Research BaSiCSsss: Literature Search Skills for D’16 Thursday, February 12, 2015, Web of Science Thursday, February 19, 2015 EndNote Thursday, February 26, 2015

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