Reference Blog Entries

The Wright Stuff

Laura's picture

Popular historian David McCullough has written a new book about Wilbur and Orville Wright called The Wright Brothers.  In it he emphasizes the brothers’ broad range of knowledge despite the fact that they never graduated from high school.  He praises their intellect, their tenacity, courage, and the meticulous record-keeping that shows beyond doubt that they were the first men to actually fly a heavier-than-air machine. 

But he doesn’t just write about their accomplishments.  He also writes about their character and the influence that members of their family and the place and time in which they lived had on building their character.

The library’s databases have extensive information on the Wright brothers including biographical sketches, primary source accounts (one written by one of their rival experimenters, Octave Chanute in 1908; one Wilbur's own  diary entry from the day of the famous flight) as well as  the scientific problems that they had to overcome in order to change the very way we look at ourselves as beings on the earth.

Logo - Gale Biography in Context Logo - Daily Life through History Logo - Annals of American History Logo - Gale Science in Context

Happiness 101

Katie's picture

It's easy to feel overwhelmed by our busy lives, the difficulties we encounter, and the seemingly endless tragedies in the news. Day after day of this can wear us all down. Today we're going to talk about happiness! The famous Tin Woodman in L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz said, “I shall take the heart, for brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world.”

Little girl splashing water

I say we embrace his point of view today and explore happiness in our reference databases:

  • The Encyclopedia of the Mind has an entry on Happiness, which explores happiness and satisfaction and talks about how happiness can be fostered in our daily lives.
  • Girls' Life magazine published an article called 14 Ways to Show Yourself the Love, which provides great tips on making yourself happy for people of any age or gender, such as shut out the self-doubt and turn wrongs into rights.
  • Sissela Bok discusses her book “Exploring Happiness: From Aristotle to Brain Science” in this audio broadcast available through our Artemis Literary Sources database.
  • The Encyclopedia of the New American Nation created an entry about the pursuit of happiness as described by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence.
  • An article entitled  Exercise is Medicine details the positive benefits that exercise has on our mood.
  • There is an extensive list of materials available to be checked out from our fiction and non-fiction sections on happiness and how to increase it in our lives.

I hope these articles have helped to boost your mood and have brought a little happiness into your day.