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From Neatorama: “The Wonderful World of Interlibrary Loan”

by | Posted March 20th, 2013

Here at MSU, we have the fortunate advantage of having a library that has a plethora of research material and books available for student use. If the library does not have the book you might need, they can acquire it from a local library or another university library without any additional charge to the student. This is known as the interlibrary loan, and many public libraries across the US are starting to utilize this feature.

A recent article on Neatorama highlighted this growing service. “Practically speaking, if you want almost any book and are willing to wait a few weeks, you can get it. And that’s totally neatorama.” I highly suggest utilizing this tool as it makes research and studying much easier.

From Time News Feed: How Tweets Are Ranking America’s Happiest Cities

by | Posted March 19th, 2013

Can social media determine how happy people are living in certain cities across the U.S.? In a recent article on Time’s News Feed, a new study by researchers at the University of Vermont studied over 10 million tweets since 2011 to determine the happiest U.S. cities and states. These findings were based on the use of positive or negative words in tweets.

“Words like “wine, gift, cheers, beach” and food-related words appeared more in happier cities and states while sad words like “boo, ugh, hate” and profanity were more prevalent in unhappy locales.” Researchers admitted, though, that a deliberate decision of the study was to ignore the context of the tweets as well as determining the difference between residents and tourists. The team hopes to continue this project and delve more into this issue in the future.

From Brain Pickings: Sage Advice From Today’s Top Graphic Designers

by | Posted March 18th, 2013

If there is anyone we should take advantage of the advice we are given, it is people in our dream profession who have already graduated from college and experienced what it is like to be in the “real world.” Take, for example, the new book, I Used to Be a Design Student: 50 Graphic Designers Then and Now. Compiled by Billy Kiosoglou and Frank Philippin, the two authors “set out to reverse-engineer the power of personal history by tracing the creative evolution of influential designers, who reflect on their education, profession, and how their preferences in everything from reading to food to modes of transportation have changed since their university days.”

The book features several “comparative grids,” short and sweet sage advice, and some of the designers’ most precious valuables and how these have shifted from “technical tools” to “existential anchors.”

Example of the “comparative grids” of the graphic designers from Then and Now.

Source: brainpickings.org

From ebook Friendly: Slang Dictionary from 1874

by | Posted March 16th, 2013

Project Gutenberg The Slang Dictionary 1874 - John Camden Hotten - entry - twitterEver wonder if words we use today have been used before, but with different meanings? According to the slang dictionary from 1874, this is widely the case. For example, “tattoo” meant a pony, and “elephants trunk” meant drunk.

The Slang Dictionary: Etymological, Historical and Anecdotal was written over 140 years ago by John Camden. The dictionary has since been added to Project Gutenberg online ebook catalog and is now free in ebook format. (get it here!)

Download the dictionary and find out what other slang words had humorous meanings way back in the day!

From Open Culture: “Six Postcards From Famous Authors”

by | Posted March 15th, 2013

If you liked our post about famous business cards, you’ll love this! Open Culture brings us six postcards from famous writers. F Scott Fitzgerald, probably under the influence of alcohol, writes one to himself. Ernest Hemingway sends one to his mentor, the contents of which would later attribute to his novel, The Sun Also Rises. Kurt Vonnegut sends one to David Breithaupt with a Nazi subject.

Not only are the contents of these post cards interesting, but the general design and history is fascinating as well. Take a look at some below, and read more about them in the article!

F. Scott Fitzgerald postcard Franz Kafka Postcard

A Critical Approach to Typefaces

by | Posted March 14th, 2013

The author’s friend in his reading room

What makes a typeface good? Not only should a typeface look good, but it should also be good in the way it works. Smashing Magazine brings us a way to look at typefaces critically by using two simple steps; “select your sources carefully” and “study materials from these sources closely and critically.”

When selecting your source, you need to make sure that you are aware of the nature of the source and the experience of the source, as well as making sure you are keeping diversity in your sources.

After gathering your sources, the time comes where you must study and question what you have read. You need to look at context, evidence quality and completeness, and testability. Along the way you also need to be checking reality, motives, and post modernity. If you follow the steps that this article leads you through, you will be able to take a critical approach to thinking about typefaces.

From Lifehacker: Advice for Job Seekers

by | Posted March 13th, 2013

For those of you graduating in May, or even searching for jobs at this moment, this post is for you. We hear over and over again “I wish I had known this” from people in the workforce. Thorin Klosowski with Lifehacker brings us the advice he wishes he would have been given before his first job.

With advice ranging from “stay organized” to “ask questions,” Klosowski covers all the bases that somebody new to the workforce needs to know. He says it’s all about balance and not setting your expectations to high. What advice are you hoping somebody tells you before your first job? Read on, your questions may be answered.

From Writer’s Digest: Advice for Writers

by | Posted March 12th, 2013

Sometimes the best writing advice can be things you never considered. Like rewriting and cutting the adverbs out of your piece. Or never writing for more than three hours at a time. Writer’s Digest brings us seven pieces of writing advice from author Douglas Brunt in their reoccurring column “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far.”

Brunt also tells readers to grow a thick skin in order to take criticism, and learn what criticism is worth your time, and what criticism to ignore. Read the article to find more advice from Douglas Brunt, and try using it the next time you sit down to write!