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Mac Books

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I have a tendency to name my possessions. So, when I recently purchased a new laptop, I didn’t have to spend a long time thinking of a name. He would be Mac. Mac the Mac.


From the time I was a child, and saw a little green triangle blinking on the screen of my elementary school’s first computer, I have been a PC user. Microsoft is the only language I speak, and I’m not even fluent! I don’t want to learn a new language! Or, do I?

If you are someone for whom learning new software is challenging, then check out the huge range of computer books that can be found at your local library. We’ve got guides for Dummies and Idiots, and those even smarter, too!

Of course there’s an argument for just diving in and tinkering around. In fact, when I purchased the new machine, I asked, “What’s the one thing you’d advise someone who’s never used a Mac?”, to which the response was: “Don’t be afraid to push buttons”.

However, if you’d like explanations with screenshots, and helpful hints that you may not have discovered yourself, check out our collection. You’ve already spent a good deal of money buying the machine; invest some time learning how to best use it!

I introduced Mac the MacBook to the library’s Mac books, and already I’m feeling more “literate” in my new language. I’ve even got a photo album (with my head warped in all sorts of weird ways) to prove it!

Catalogue (hint: use “Macintosh” as your search term)

Essays in Love, by Alain de Botton

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

If you, at this very moment, are in love with someone (or, conversely, if you find that you are the object of someone’s desire), then you must read Essays in Love, by Alain de Botton. Simple as that. You must read this book!

De Botton is a gifted writer whose descriptions of everyday occurrences are insightful, sympathetic and humerous. He is as interesting a philosopher as he is a talented essayist. If you’ve never read anything from Alain de Botton, start with Essays in Love.

This book traces the progress of a relationship, from the first flicker of interest, until the eventual parting of ways. Throughout the journey, readers are enlightened about attraction, desire, judgment, liberalism, intimacy and so on.

Essays in Love traces the development of de Botton’s relationship with a woman named Chloe. As the narrative unfolds, de Botton waxes intellectual about the feelings and reactions he experiences, putting them into perspective and locating their paradoxes within the philosophical tradition.

Part psychology, part philosophy, part love song to love itself, this is a book that you’ll want to read again and again!

Continue Your Education

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Education doesn’t stop on graduation day! Every September, I browse through university and college catalogues, and wish that I were going back. I also check out a variety of Continuing Education calendars, to see if there are any weekend, evening or distance courses that look appealing.

If you’re like me, and can’t get enough of school, then check out the following:

On November 25 and December 2, staff from the University of Calgary’s Department of Continuing Education will be giving two talks at the Central library. Entitled “Promises, Promises”, and “Social Networking“, these talks are interesting and informative, but most of all: practical.

Promises, Promises: discover how different groups with seemingly different objectives can work together using this highly effective role playing exercise.

Social Networking: discover the impact of social networking on individuals, organizations, job-seekers, and employers.

Come and learn something new, meet Continuing Education faculty, and expand your horizons! Register for these and other library programs online, in person, or by calling (403) 260-2600.

Business Central

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

The Calgary Public Library has a fee-for-service department called Research Plus, which produces a monthly newsletter called Business Central. Business Central includes information about the resources we use, as well as book reviews, and information about upcoming library programs. If you’d like more information about Research Plus, or if you’d like to receive the Business Central newsletter (it’s electronic!), don’t hesitate to call 260-2712. Additionally, check out the Research Plus blog, on our homepage!

Philosophy 101

by Katherine - 1 Comment(s)

Throughout my years as an undergraduate, I heard “What are you going to do with that?!” more times than I can remember. Apparently, it is easy to imagine what an engineering or kinesiology student might do after graduation, but challenging to think of a single use for a philosophy degree.

Despite the well-worn cliché, philosophy is not about trees falling in forests, and no one being around to hear them. Philosophy is inquiry into the nature of our world, our actions, and our selves. Philosophy seeks to answer questions like:

  • Which actions are good, and why are they good?
  • Who am I?
  • Upon which foundational principles should families, (and communities, cities and countries) be built?
  • Why bother getting out of bed?

However, the aim of philosophy is not merely to answer these questions, but to refine the way in which we go about answering them. Philosophy is a practice that allows us to rid our minds of prejudice, and to accept ideas that are paradoxical. Because it encompasses so many fields (logic, language, ethics, history, etc.), philosophy is a wonderful foundation for further studies, and lifelong inquisitiveness.

Why not challenge yourself by reading more? Here are a few recommendations to get you started:

Truth: A Guide, by Simon Blackburn

Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy, by Simon Blackburn

Mind: A Brief Introduction, by John R. Searle

Tell Me About Your Mother...

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Sigmund Freud is one of the most important thinkers of the 20th century. His ideas are curious, controversial and contested, even as they gradually become outmoded. One cannot graduate from a Humanities or Social Science program without studying at least a few of his ideas, and those ideas have had such enormous influence on Western thought that everyone ought to read at least some of his work. A basic understanding of Freud increases one’s cultural literacy - and as a bonus, you’ll be able to better appreciate reruns of Frasier.

Freud is about so much more than sex and cigars! He gave us new and compelling ways to think about the structure of our minds. His theories encompass speech, jokes, dreams, phobias, gender, families, religion and more.

Learn more about this giant of psychology by checking out these titles:

Freud: A Guide for the Perplexed, by Celine Surprenant

Freud, by Ruth Snowden

Freud, Women, and Morality: The Psychology of Good and Evil, by Eli Sagan

Civilization and its Discontents, by Sigmund Freud

The Interpretation of Dreams, by Sigmund Freud

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