Red River College Library

Link of the Day Archives

A list of the past entries in our "Link of the Day" feature:

 17-Aug-17 Winnipeggers head south to take in total solar eclipseA Winnipeg family will go south to watch the solar eclipse after their dream trip to the land of the midnight sun was cancelled because of flooding. The first total solar eclipse to be visible coast to coast in the United States in 99 years happens Aug. 21, and Angela Heck's family is heading to Wyoming to view it, just a few months after their dream trip to Churchill was cancelled due to flooding.
 16-Aug-17 How solar eclipses help us better understand our universeTotal solar eclipses - which occur, on average, about once every 18 months - are stunning to witness: As the sun's bright light is completely put out, day turns to night, the wind dies down, and insects, birds and other animals begin their evening routines. Often, the only sounds are those of awed onlookers. But there are those who remain hard at work during these celestial feats: scientists.
 15-Aug-17 The library of the future? It's digitalThe National Student Survey and the teaching excellence framework are placing growing emphasis on the learning environment and student experience. But discussions have moved on from thinking about physical spaces. Instead, libraries are putting digital innovation at the top of their lists. Any revamped digital approach to libraries needs to begin by considering how student expectations vary. While hard copies of core texts will likely have a place on the library shelves for years to come, the way students consume and digest information is changing.
 14-Aug-17 Millennials are the ones keeping libraries aliveLong live the public library! It’s not dead yet. The internet hasn’t rendered physical reference centers obsolete, thanks to millennials. According to a new analysis of Pew Research Center data on US library attendance, millennials more than other generations appear to have a use for physical libraries. They may not always come for the books, but the country’s youngest adults show up. That works out well because librarians have been designing with them in mind.
 11-Aug-17 Meet Spot, the robot dog that can run, hop and open doorsThat science fiction future where robots can do what people and animals do may be closer than you think. Marc Raibert, founder of Boston Dynamics, is developing advanced robots that can gallop like a cheetah, negotiate 10 inches of snow, walk upright on two legs and even open doors and deliver packages. Join Raibert for a live demo of SpotMini, a nimble robot that maps the space around it, handles objects, climbs stairs -- and could soon be helping you out around the house.
 10-Aug-17 Perseid meteor shower set to peak Aug. 12With all the talk about the coming solar eclipse, the Perseid meteor shower — one of the year's best — has been left in the dust. But it's time to forget about the sun for a while and focus on "shooting stars." Though we can see meteors on any given night, almost every month we're treated to a significant meteor shower. We get these as Earth plows through the debris left over from passing comets. As small cometary debris enters our atmosphere, it burns up briefly, appearing as bright streaks in the sky.
 09-Aug-17 Scientific Journals Publish Bogus Paper About Midi-chlorians from Star WarsThe science community has long known that certain “predatory journals” will publish almost any paper for a fee without proper peer review. Some watchdogs have submitted fake papers by fake researchers to these journals to highlight how bogus journals harm the integrity of the Open Access publishing movement, by taking advantage of a loophole. This newest sting from the anonymous science blogger Neuroskeptic is truly astounding for just how silly the fake paper is.
 08-Aug-17 The Library of Congress opened its catalogs to the world. Here’s why it mattersImagine you wanted to find books or journal articles on a particular subject. Or find manuscripts by a particular author. Or locate serials, music or maps. You would use a library catalog that includes facts – like title, author, publication date, subject headings and genre. That information and more is stored in the treasure trove of library catalogs.
 04-Aug-17 The human insights missing from big dataWhy do so many companies make bad decisions, even with access to unprecedented amounts of data? With stories from Nokia to Netflix to the oracles of ancient Greece, Tricia Wang demystifies big data and identifies its pitfalls, suggesting that we focus instead on "thick data" -- precious, unquantifiable insights from actual people -- to make the right business decisions and thrive in the unknown.
 03-Aug-17 What nutrition experts want from Canada’s new food guideCanada’s new food guide comes out sometime in 2018 to help Canadians understand how to eat a healthy diet. It’s been 10 years since the guide was revised, and the old version was sometimes criticized for its servings-based approach. We have some clues about what the new food guide will include. Some draft “guiding principles” were posted by Health Canada in June.
 02-Aug-17 Your brain hallucinates your conscious realityRight now, billions of neurons in your brain are working together to generate a conscious experience -- and not just any conscious experience, your experience of the world around you and of yourself within it. How does this happen? According to neuroscientist Anil Seth, we're all hallucinating all the time; when we agree about our hallucinations, we call it "reality." Join Seth for a delightfully disorienting talk that may leave you questioning the very nature of your existence.
 01-Aug-17 Tour de France athlete shows what 2,800 km of cycling can do to your legsPolish cyclist Pawel Poljanski’s legs are going viral for a very specific reason. The 27-year-old athlete, who had cycled 2,829 km in 18 days while participating in the Tour de France, posted a harrowing photo of his legs to Instagram on Tuesday. They are abnormally veiny and his knees are sunburned. “After sixteen stages I think my legs look a little tired #tourdefrance,” he wrote on the social media site.
 31-Jul-17 Can clouds buy us more time to solve climate change?Climate change is real, case closed. But there's still a lot we don't understand about it, and the more we know the better chance we have to slow it down. One still-unknown factor: How might clouds play a part? There's a small hope that they could buy us some time to fix things ... or they could make global warming worse. Climate scientist Kate Marvel takes us through the science of clouds and what it might take for Earth to break its own fever.
 28-Jul-17 Search for missing Malaysian airliner reveals rich detail about Indian OceanDetailed sea-floor maps made during the unsuccessful search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, released by Australia on Wednesday, could help increase the knowledge of rich fisheries and the prehistoric movement of the earth's southern continents. The Indian Ocean search ended in January after covering a lonely stretch of open water where under-sea mountains larger than Mount Everest rise and a rift valley dotted with subsea volcanoes runs for hundreds of kilometres.
 27-Jul-17 Humans have produced 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic, researchers sayPlastic is in almost everything we use. Now researchers have calculated the staggering amount of the synthetic material humans have produced since large-scale production began in the 1950s: 8.3 billion tonnes. More disturbing, the researchers say, is the amount of plastic waste that humans have produced. Of the 8.3 billion tonnes we've made since 1950, 6.3 billion of that has already become waste.
 26-Jul-17 The news industry is worried Facebook and Google have far too much powerThe news industry has never been more dependent on tech companies and the massive distribution platforms they operate on the internet, leading to a long-standing and ongoing existential crisis in journalism. This isn’t exactly a secret — nearly half of all American adults rely on Facebook as a primary news delivery mechanism, and both the social network and Google collectively control more than two-thirds of the entire online advertising market. But it’s something that has publishers so worried that they’re now deciding to band together to do something about it.
 25-Jul-17 Why journalists have an obligation to challenge powerYou can kick Jorge Ramos out of your press conference (as Donald Trump infamously did in 2015), but you can never silence him. A reporter for more than 30 years, Ramos believes that a journalist's responsibility is to question and challenge those in power. In this compelling talk -- which earned him a standing ovation midway through -- Ramos explains why, in certain circumstances, he believes journalists must take sides.
 24-Jul-17 Why our screens make us less happyWhat are our screens and devices doing to us? Psychologist Adam Alter studies how much time screens steal from us and how they're getting away with it. He shares why all those hours you spend staring at your smartphone, tablet or computer might be making you miserable -- and what you can do about it.
 21-Jul-17 This Is the Future of Libraries in the Digital AgeWhen downtown Seattle’s new public library opened in 2004, it was heralded as a model for the new millennium, fully embracing both the digital era and the spirit of civic ennoblement. And while books—shelved in a four-floor spiral connected by gently sloping ramps—were given pride of place in the design, by OMA’s Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus, many assumed that physical tomes would soon go the way of the card catalog and the cassette tape.
 20-Jul-17 Monkey selfie photographer says he's broke: 'I'm thinking of dog walking'A US appeals court has debated whether or not a monkey can own the copyright to a selfie, while the photographer whose camera captured the famous image watched a livestream of the proceedings from his home in the UK. David Slater could not afford the air fare to San Francisco to attend the hearing on Wednesday. Nor can he afford to replace his broken camera equipment, or pay the attorney who has been defending him since the crested black macaque sued him in 2015, and is exploring other ways to earn an income.
 19-Jul-17 Why we keep falling for online phishing scams and downloading virusesWhy do so many of us fall prey to phishing attacks and online scams? We hear warnings about the dangers of opening untrusted files and cautionary tales of the repercussions of falling for nefarious internet hoaxes. And yet, the problem persists. Take, for example, the opening of this viral message that spread like wildfire across Facebook last weekend...
 18-Jul-17 Lifesaving scientific tools made of paperInventor Manu Prakash turns everyday materials into powerful scientific devices, from paper microscopes to a clever new mosquito tracker. From the TED Fellows stage, he demos Paperfuge, a hand-powered centrifuge inspired by a spinning toy that costs 20 cents to make and can do the work of a $1,000 machine, no electricity required.
 17-Jul-17 Google gives $1M grant to Press Association to develop robot journalistsNews consumers of the future could be reading stories scraped together by sophisticated data-analyzing robots rather than human journalists, if Google has its way. On Thursday, the Press Association, the U.K.’s national news agency, announced that it received €706,000 (just over $1 million CAD) from the tech giant for its Reporters and Data and Robots (RADAR) initiative.
 14-Jul-17 Buying an electric car? Here are some factors Canadian drivers should considerThe decision to switch from a traditional gas-powered car to an electric one can be daunting, considering the unfamiliarity and high costs. But it appears electric cars are gaining popularity. Swedish car maker Volvo said all its new cars from 2019 will have an electric motor, ending altogether the manufacture of automobiles that have only a combustion engine. And the company isn’t alone. France also recently announced that it aims to end the sale of gas and diesel cars by 2040.
 13-Jul-17 Why scare tactics won't stop climate changeSome climate scientists are pushing back against a bleak portrayal of the coming climate apocalypse that was published Sunday night in New York magazine. The cover story’s vivid and doom-heavy forecast won’t help the fight against climate change, some scientists argue. In fact, it’s possible these scare tactics could do just the opposite.
 12-Jul-17 Plenty of sleep tech on the market, but you still may not get a good night's restPillows that track your snoozing patterns? A bed that adjusts based on how much you twist and turn? Companies are adding more technology into their products, hoping to lure customers craving a better night's sleep. Some specialized businesses are making gadgets that promise to measure and improve the quality of slumber, while mass-market retailers like Best Buy are offering simpler ideas like the effect different lighting can have on falling sleep. But with ever-growing options, people may find items that are getting more sophisticated — but may still not be accurate.
 11-Jul-17 Pressure to publish in journals drives too much cookie-cutter researchOne colleague joked how a smart researcher would always choose thoroughly hackneyed designs for their research, adding a tiny, inconsequential, new twist each time. This way your findings would always be accepted, she said, because everyone knew what they should be. While I did obtain permission to report some original findings, if you want an easier academic life, you typically write what other people had written.
 10-Jul-17 The refugee crisis is a test of our characterSixty-five million people were displaced from their homes by conflict and disaster in 2016. It's not just a crisis; it's a test of who we are and what we stand for, says David Miliband -- and each of us has a personal responsibility to help solve it. In this must-watch talk, Miliband gives us specific, tangible ways to help refugees and turn empathy and altruism into action.
 07-Jul-17 When day turns into night: Canadians, Americans prepare for total solar eclipseFor Katrina Ince-Lum, the countdown to this summer's total solar eclipse has been on since December 2012. That's when the Canadian travelled to her native Australia to catch her first solar eclipse, an event often touted as "life-changing." But in a cruel twist of fate — and to Ince-Lum's extreme disappointment — on a mostly clear day, a rogue cloud drifted in front of the sun right at totality, when the moon covered the disk of the sun. But now, she's getting a second chance.
 06-Jul-17 The Librarian Who Guarded the Manhattan Project’s SecretsThe residents of Los Alamos, New Mexico—a town that wasn’t supposed to exist—lived in a viscous state of secrecy during World War II. To disguise the existence of the nuclear bomb being built there, the group of Manhattan Project scientists, security personnel, and families needed to consider and reconsider their every move.
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