Reference Blog Entries

The Benefits of Meditation

Laura's picture

The topic of meditation is trending now, especially mindfulness meditation.Child sitting cross-legged and meditating on a grassy lawn There are mentions of it everywhere in the media including a recent CBS Sunday Morning show (January 3, 2016). People as diverse as high-powered Wall Street executives, veterans who suffer from PTSD, and kids on the autism spectrum are extoling the benefits they’ve received from the practice. 

 A groundbreaking March 2005 article in National Geographic reported new findings about the mind/brain link. You may remember the striking photograph on the cover of that issue that showed a monk connected to a network of wires and sensors. The photo made reference to new (then) findings about the brain and meditation. Subsequent research has shown how meditation reduces stress. It may have other positive effects on the brain and the body as well. 

If you want to read more about this topic, the library has adult, and kids’ books, databases and magazines that can help you learn about the many different kinds of meditation. And we have books and DVDs that can  teach you how to meditate.  

Here's to a calm, focused and mindful 2016!

Logo for database The Gale Encyclopedia of Mental HealthLogo of the Encyclopedia of Religion databaseLogo - Gale Encyclopedia of MedicineLogo for Gale Science in ContextLogo - Masterfile Premier database

It's a mermaid! It's a sea monster! No, wait - it's a manatee!!

Katie's picture

ManateeTales of mermaid sightings and sea monster-infested waters have been part of folklore for centuries, but could these sea creatures all be traced back to something as docile as a manatee? Men sailing with Christopher Columbus on his second voyage in 1493 witnessed what they thought were three mermaids floating in the water. They referred to their discovery as “sirena,” which is Spanish for mermaid, and they described them as “not as beautiful as they are painted.”  Later, sailors saw the beasts swimming with their rounded backs out of the water in a row and thought they were the humps of a giant serpent. This led to tales of sea monsters. In reality, what they were most likely seeing were manatees, sea mammals that are cousins to elephants, who live in somewhat-shallow, warm water and are known as “gentle giants.”

Fortunately we live in an age where we have access to more information than Christopher Columbus did. With the help of our Reference department, you can dig a little deeper into these topics.

If you want to get any additional information on these topics or any others, feel free to visit with one of our librarians downstairs in the Reference Department. Perhaps you'll find us to be “not as beautiful as we are painted,” but I'm sure you'll agree we are some of the gentle giants of the UA library.  :)