Monday, October 15, 2012

Naughty, Naughty

Have you read Lord of the Rings? How about The Great Gatsby or The Catcher in the Rye? If you have then you are reading banned books.

In honor of Banned Books Week (Sept. 30) here are the top twenty banned "classic" books according to the American Library Association (ALA).

1. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
3. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
6. Ulysses, by James Joyce
7. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
8. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
9. 1984, by George Orwell
11. Lolita, by Vladmir Nabokov
12. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
15. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
16. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
17. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
18. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
19. As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
20. A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway

Why are books banned in the first place? According to the ALA some books like The Grapes of Wrath are banned from school libraries because of "vulgar" words, while others like The Great Gatsby contain "sexual references."

Have you read any of these books?

Do you think your life has been enriched by reading banned books? What did you learn? Do you ever think it is appropriate to ban books from the school library?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What do you get when you cross a Photographer, an Astronaut, and a Geographer?

A great combination of college majors! Art, geological and earth sciences, as well as engineering, astronomy or mathematics offer a career in a field you may not even know existed--geoscience.

At NASA there is a geoscientist that asks astronauts to snap pictures and take videos of earth from 250 miles above the planet in order to study planet phenomena. It turns out earth has more geographical diversity than we once thought (for example, there's a lot more deltas).

But they also produce some beautiful videos, such as Earth at Night.



Open Culture
also offers a link to What an Astronaut Sees from the International Space Station.



Have you ever thought about combining a science major with an arts major? If so, what kind of creative science would you like to be a part of?