Reference Blog Entries

Brush me barnacles, it's that time of year again!

Katie's picture

Pirate's headstone, Exploring New Lives, the 17th and 18th Centuries

If you’re like me, you're very excited about International Talk Like a Pirate Day! And since it fell on a Saturday, this year's celebration lasts all weekend! But if you miss it, don’t worry, the Reference Department has plenty of great resources to help you prepare for next September 19.

Our Reference databases have lots of information on piracy throughout history, such as Piracy in North America, Law, Crime, and Punishment at Sea: 17th and 18th Centuries, Barbary Pirates, and War and Weapons at Sea: 17th and 18th CenturiesYou might like this great article from National Geographic called Blackbeard Lives about archaeologists searching a wreck off of North Carolina for clues about Blackbeard. Or perhaps you’re more interested in learning about online piracyBut the resource I find really fun and most beneficial in helping you prepare for International Talk Like a Pirate Day is Mango Languages. Sure, Mango is great for helping you study Spanish, French, or Japanese, but it also has a unit to teach you to speak Pirate, so why not use it to learn the language and pick up great grammar tips like:

  • Make sure to add extra Rs onto lots of words when speaking like a pirate. This will happen a lot at the end of word ending in a vowel like when “to” turns into “ter.” Just remember a pirate’s favorite letter is ARRR!
  • Keep in mind that a pirate usually doesn’t change the form of, or conjugate, the verb “to be.” If you want to sound like a true bucaneer, avoid using “am,” “is,” or “are”!
  • If you have a word ending in “-ing,” get rid of the -g and just say -in’!

Mango will also throw in some great cultural notes such as the phrase “Shiver me timbers” (which means “Holy cow!”) is thought to come from the feeling of a shock from a ship running aground or being blasted by a cannon.

I hope you have as much fun learning to talk like a pirate as I did, but if there is another language you'd like to learn, be sure to check with our Reference Department - we'd be happy to point ye mateys in the right direction!

Work, work, work...

Laura's picture

It's 1931.The Great Depression is spreading worldwide. People are out of work. Banks have failed. An eminent British economist  publishes an essay titled “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren” in which he predicts the following for working people:Image - Scales with Work-Life Balance in Chalk Drawing

He predicts that not only will the economy return to normal, it will be significantly better within three generations due, in large part, to: 

Fast forward to 2015.  The modern workplace does not match his prediction. There are new attitudes, technological advances and new influences on the economy that John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) could not have foreseen.

What are the trends in the modern workforce? What are economists predicting now? Take this quick quiz and test your knowledge.  

Find the answers at the end of the quiz. Click on the answers to go to the source and read the entire article. Most are taken from the library's databases, e-reference books and books, some are from websites.  

  1. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics how many hours did the average American work in 2014?
  2. What is a CWW and what are some of its advantages?
  3. The Fair Labor Standards Act does not define how many hours a worker must work to be considered a full-time worker. Historically it has been left up to the employer to decide.  However, when the Affordable Care Act was put into place it became necessary to set a definite number of hours.  Which of the following did they choose?
    • (A) 30 hours
    • (B) 35 hours
    • (C) 40 hours
  4. How many hours did the average commuter in Columbus spend driving to and from work in 2014, according to an article in the Columbus Dispatch in May of this year?
  5. The United States is the only advanced economy in the world that does not have a paid parental-leave policy. True or False?
  6. Explain the difference between Work-Life Balance and Work-Life Integration.
  7. The Society of Organizational and Industrial Psychology (SIOP) predicted 10 technology workplace trends for 2014 as published in an article in EHS in March of 2014.  Which of the following were among the 10 trends for 2014?
    • (A) Gamification
    • (B) Greater use of Big Data
    • (C) Increasing Efficiency
    • (D) More Social Responsiblity
    • (D) All of the above

  8. ​Nationwide Insurance Company, based in Columbus, Ohio announced this month that it will increase the minimum wage for some of its employees to $15.00 per hour.  True or False?


  1.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average workday for an American worker in 2014 was 7.75 hours.
  2. A CWW or compressed work week is a flexible work arrangement in which employees work longer hours four days a week and have the fifth day of the workweek off. Benefits include 
  3. 30 Hours per week.
  4. The average amount of time a commuter in Columbus spent going to and from work was 41 hours in 2014.
  5. True
  6. Work-Life Balance refers to a traditional job schedule in which one maintains a regular workweek and juggles time for family and outside interests outside of work.  Work-Life Integration involves a flexible work schedule that allows the worker to take care of personal business as it arises during the work day.  Work may be done outside the traditional work day. In general, Millennials favor Work-Life Integration and Boomers favor Work-Life Balance.
  7. (D)  All of the above
  8. True