What We’re Reading: March 20, 2014

Today’s What We’re Reading features a recently discovered 1,600 year old basilica in İznik Lake, tracing the history of the rise of US tuition, a call for “rational discussion” about open access, why library lovers are less lonely, and much more!

History Links

WWIQUIZ: What Came out of World War I?

Which item for women found its start on the battlefield? Which French word came into standard English use during the war? This NPR quiz asks these questions and more.

Divers Observe Underwater Byzantine Basilica Discovered in İznik Lake

A 1,600-year-old basilica was found under water in Turkey.

Chiles’ Global Warming

A history of pepper’s spread all over the world, with recipes.

Carolyn Steedman on the Everyday Life of the English Working Class

Eminent historian of women and the British working-class Carolyn Steedman talks with Cambridge University Press blog fifteeneightyfour about her recent book An Everyday Life of the English Working Class.

Fact-Checking “The Weakest Lincoln”

Last week we linked to the video of a Daily Show conversation about Lincoln. Since then, PunditFact has been busy checking claims by Jon Stewart and Andrew Napolitano and the overall score is not good.

Higher Education

How the Cost of College Went from Affordable to Sky-High

In the last five years, US college tuition and fees have increased as much as 77 percent in some states.

Bottom Line Shows Humanities Really Do Make Money

A piece from a few years ago that’s very relevant for recent discussions of the value of the humanities. UCLA English professor Robert N. Watson debunks the idea that humanities departments are a financial burden on institutions.

Publishing Your Work

Is a Rational Discussion of Open Access Possible?

Rick Anderson, associate dean for scholarly resources and collections at the University of Utah, has posted a talk he gave at the Smithsonian about open access. He starts with a valuable introduction to the concepts and issues before calling for “rational discussion” and has fostered a lively debate in the comments.

Merton_College_library_hallFun and Off-Beat

Library Lovers Are Less Lonely, Pew Research Center Report Finds

Library patrons “tend to know their neighbors, they are more likely to visit museums and attend sporting events, and they are more likely to socialize with families and friends.”

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