Mosquitoes—They Suck!

A female mosquito of the Culicidae family (Culiseta longiareolata). Source: Wikipedia
A female mosquito of the Culicidae family (Culiseta longiareolata). Source: Wikipedia

Mosquitoes actually have some good points—they are a food source for many animals, they pollinate flowers, and they even have the capacity to learn. But mostly, as any of us who have been bitten can attest, THEY SUCK (at least, the females do). August 20 is World Mosquito Day, and we welcome you to come see our display on this ubiquitous pest at the Central Library this month on level 7; it has some great offerings if you want to learn more about our bloodthirsty friends. Continue reading “Mosquitoes—They Suck!”

Handwriting for Health

~posted by Rebecca K.

In everyday life, during meetings or class, it may seem easier and faster to type notes on your laptop. But did you know that writing by hand may be more beneficial to your brain health? This is partly because writing, as opposed to typing, forces you to slow down in order to comprehend what you’re hearing or thinking, and as a result can facilitate your retention of the material.

Breuer-Lecture-Notes-1948
Page of Marcel Breur’s lecture notes for an “Analysis of Planning,” February 9, 1948. Image courtesy of Frances Loeb Library, Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

A 2012 University of Washington study found that young children “wrote more words, faster, and expressed more ideas when writing essays by hand versus with a keyboard.”[1] Another study in 2014 that focused on 300 university students indicated that “students who took longhand notes were better able to answer questions on the lecture than those using a laptop.”[2] The scientists found that paper note takers “rephrased information as they took notes, which required them to carry out a preliminary process of summarizing and comprehension; in contrast, those working on a keyboard tended to take a lot of notes, sometimes even making a literal transcript, but avoided what is known as ‘desirable difficulty.’”[3] Continue reading “Handwriting for Health”

The most depressing thing I have read in 2014

Photo by CC attribution from JZee on flickrWe all want our health care professionals to have the best and most reliable information out there when they are deciding how to treat us, right? And if we are making a big decision about our health, we want to be sure we have the true facts, yes? Therefore, when I read this article with the title “Physicians use Wikipedia as top source of medical information,” I screamed (to myself), “NOOOOO!” Continue reading “The most depressing thing I have read in 2014”

Interested in healing foods? Try our Ways to Wellness Program…

Food can be your best medicine! This Sunday the Beacon Hill branch will host the talk Anti-Inflammatory Food for Health and Wellness, by family nutritionist Michelle Babb. She’ll discuss how chronic inflammation can be the root cause of many diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease and diabetes. She’ll also teach you how to prepare low budget, healthy and tasty meals, and you can walk away with sample recipes and a resource list. Continue reading “Interested in healing foods? Try our Ways to Wellness Program…”

How are you feeling about vitamins these days?

There’s been quite the discussion recently about whether vitamins are good for us—pretty much every major news outlet covered the statements by a group of doctors who said perhaps we shouldn’t bother.   However, many of us WILL still bother (and even the study’s authors said that Vitamin D, which can be hard to get naturally in our cloudy region, was an exception).  If you are still going to take vitamins and perhaps also herbal supplements, how can you know what are the best choices, and the best brands? Continue reading “How are you feeling about vitamins these days?”