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International Day of Women and Girls in Science Friday 11th of February 2022

At Edinburgh Napier University, we want to celebrate all women and girls in science, from the past to the present day. Emerging from the shadows of history, women work together to find new inventions to improve the next generations. 

 

 

Microscope

Microscope

 

 

Here are some amazing Women Pioneers in Science that have and are helping to create a better future: 

 

  • Janaki Ammal was India’s first female plant scientist and Botanist. Ammal studied hybrid species and advocated for the biodiversity of India.  
  • Dorothy Lavinia Brown was the first African American female surgeon. She practiced in the South-eastern U.S. during the 1900s. 
  • Lauren Esposito is an arachnologist; you might be thinking what this means, and it involves a lot of legs… (a scientist who studies spiders and related animals such as scorpions)! But she is the only woman expert on scorpions in the world, and the co-founder of 500 Queer Scientists to boost awareness and recognition of LGBTQ+ people working in the STEM industry.  

 

Did you know that it is also estimated that only 25% of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) are women? This shows that girls are often stereotyped from an early age in the classroom, as boys are more likely to pursue these subjects such as Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, and Computing. The sector needs to be more diverse, and Equate Scotland works with women to be more inclusive: 

https://equatescotland.org.uk/ 

 

Laboratory technician

Laboratory technician

 

 

At Napier, there are Scholarships in partnership with the British Council available for women from Southeast Asia that support their studies for health and life sciences.  

You can find more information in the links below: 

British Council Women in STEM (napier.ac.uk) 

https://www.britishcouncil.org/study-work-abroad/in-uk/scholarship-women-stem  

 

The library also has books available on Women and Girls in Science:

https://napier.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/44NAP_INST/n96pef/alma99560200102111

https://napier.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/44NAP_INST/n96pef/alma9923597423802111

 

Throughout the pandemic, women have been working on the front lines of covid-19 as scientists, health workers, and more. It is important to always recognise and value Women’s and girls’ contributions in STEM and how they are working to create a better life for us all.  

Chinese New Year

For Chinese New Year, it is the year of the Tiger and one of the most important celebrations!

 

It celebrates the beginning of a new year also known as the Lunar Year from the 1st of February to the 15th of February. The holiday is called the Lunar Year because the dates follow the phases of the moon. Chinese New Year originates from around 3,500 years ago. Legend has it a monster named Nian (meaning Year), would attack villagers, livestock, and crops on the eve of new year. However, it would be afraid of loud noises, lights, crackled bamboo and red (often associated with danger), which were used to chase the monster away!

 

As the year ends and a new one begins, it is said to bring luck and prosperity by celebrating with feasts, decorations, firecrackers, fireworks, dragons, and red envelopes. It is quite an elaborate display spent with friends and family. Other traditions include cleaning the home to rid of any bad luck or spirit.

 

Confectionery

Confectionery

 

The last event of Chinese New Year is the lantern festival where people hang or carry glowing lanterns during an evening parade. A vivid and decorative dragon associated with luck is usually carried by dancers through the streets.

 

 

Lanterns

Lanterns

 

12 zodiac animals represent each year in the repeated zodiac cycle of 12 years, such as the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. As it is the year of the Tiger, this animal symbolises bravery and strength! People born in the years of the Tiger are 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010 and 2022.

 

The Year of the Tiger

The Year of the Tiger

 

 

You can find past news on Chinese New Year at Edinburgh Napier, like the year of the Ox in 2021:

https://www.napier.ac.uk/alumni/alumni-news/latest-news/lny-2021

 

There is also the travel guide below to find more information about Chinese New Year and the Tiger zodiac:

https://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/special-report/chinese-new-year/

 

Other links include:

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Chinese-New-Year https://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/festivals/chinese-new-year-history.htm

 

Edinburgh Napier University Library wishes you all a wonderful Chinese New Year!

🏳️‍🌈LGBT+ History Month 🏳️‍🌈

Celebrating LGBT+ History Month

February is the month we celebrate LGBT+ History here in the UK. It is a month-long celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and non-binary history, including the history of LGBT+ rights and related civil rights movements. In the United Kingdom, we celebrate it in February to coincide with the 2003 abolition of Section 28.

What we are doing

Here at the Library, we think it is incredibly important to support and promote equality and diversity. Furthermore, we are working hard to create more inclusive collections and to support our LGBT+ users and staff. For example, we are currently creating a permanent LGBT+ virtual bookshelf here on our blog, and we are training our staff to be inclusive in their actions and the language they use.

Resources

If you are an LGBT+ student you can join Edinburgh Napier’s LGBT+ Society.   You can also find out more about the student LGBT+ community on the Queer Napier site. Staff can join the University’s thriving LGBT+ Network or you can visit our web pages to learn more about becoming an ally.

In addition, The Library has a wealth of books and articles on the subject. From the history of LGBT+ rights to current Legal information to keep you informed. Use LibrarySearch to find what you are looking for, or contact us for help with any of your research needs. 

Here are some items available through the Library to get you started: 

Same-sex, different politics: success and failure in the struggles over gay rights

Lgbt Activism and the Making of Europe A Rainbow Europe  

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people (LGBT) and the criminal justice system

Equality

Pride Parades and LGBT Movements: Political Participation in an International Comparative Perspective

Similarly, want to know more about Pride Month?  Check out our article here.

Lego Day

Celebrating Lego Day

It’s world Lego day today. Lego is one of those toys that is ubiquitous with childhood. Anyone growing up in the West will know immediately what you mean when you mention it. It is the joy of Children everywhere, and the thing that drives most parents mad. Is there anything more painful to stand on!?!

In fact, people who have regularly experienced walking on hot coals and broken glass say Lego is by far the worst thing to walk on (source). Feeling brave? You always have a go at the Lego Firewalk. Personally, I’d rather walk on glass or coals!

History

It was in Denmark, at Ole Kirk Christiansen’s workshop where Lego was firstborn. In 1934 it became called Lego after the Danish phrase leg godt.  They were originally called Automatic Binding Bricks, but less originally they were based on the Kiddicraft Self-Locking Bricks, already patented in the UK.

Over time Lego has grown to become the biggest toy company in the world and is not only used as toys but as movies, artworks and they even made an amusement park you can visit.

Mindfulness

Lego is no longer just for children; in fact, they have many Lego sets dedicated to adults. There is some fascinating research connected to mindfulness about how doing Lego can help our mental health. We actually keep a Lego set behind each Library Help Desk you can borrow for free. Why not check one out next time you visit…if the library staff aren’t already playing with them that is!

Learn More

We have a fascinating and diverse range of materials for you to read on Lego, from issues with Dentistry (teeth and Lego are a bad mix it seems!) to build your own Lego Robots. Check out Librarysearch.napier.ac.uk.. Just type in the word “Lego” and start reading!

By Juliet Kinsey

Sources: Wikipedia

Scottish Traditions: Burn’s Night

Burns Night

Burns Night is a traditional celebration of Scotland’s national bard, or poet, Robert Burns. It is held on 25th January, Burns’s birthday, when Burns suppers are held. They consist of a meal, poetry recitals and songs. The first supper was held at Burns Cottage by his friends on 21st July 1801, the fifth anniversary of his death.

If you think that you don’t know any of Burns’s work, ask yourself if you have ever sung Auld Lang Syne on Hogmanay/New Year’s Eve or used the lines “My love is like a red, red rose” on a Valentine card. If you have then you are familiar with some of his best-known work. Burns wrote his first poem aged 15 and in his short life wrote a vast number of songs and poems that can be accessed here. He wrote in a light Scots dialect which was easier for those outside Scotland to understand and often wrote about very humble subjects, for example, his poem “To a Mouse” is inspired by the field mice Burns saw while ploughing on his farm.

The Life of Robert Burns

Burns was born on 25th January 1759 in Alloway south of Ayr, the son of poor tenant farmers. He received little regular schooling, but his father taught him to read and write along with arithmetic, history and geography. He was also taught Latin, French and maths by John Murdoch.

For much of his life Burns, like his father, was a tenant farmer, all the while writing poetry and songs. But he struggled to make a living from farming and when he was offered a position on a plantation in Jamaica, he decided to emigrate. He could not afford the passage and a friend suggested he try to publish some of his work to raise the funds. In 1786 Poems in the Scottish Dialect was published and became an immediate success. Later that year Burns left for Edinburgh to publish a second edition which again was successful and earned him a substantial sum of money. He was well received in Edinburgh, often a guest of aristocracy, and made many friends, some becoming sponsors.

In 1787 Burns returned to southwest Scotland taking a lease on a farm in Dumfriesshire, but he also trained as an exciseman in case the farm was unsuccessful. He gave up farming in 1791 and moved to Dumfries where he made contributions to several volumes of songs, sometimes adding his own lyrics to traditional folk melodies and composing his own melodies from fragments of tunes. He continued to write poetry too, some advocating reform such as “The Slaves Lament”.

He continued to work as an exciseman, often making long journeys on horseback in all weathers and this may have contributed to his ill-health at a rather young age for the time. On 21st July 1796 Burns died aged just 37.  His body lies in the Burns Mausoleum is St. Michael’s Kirkyard, Dumfries along with that of his wife at the time, Jean Armour.

Burns is renowned for having had many romantic relationships which resulted in several children being born, although not all survived infancy. Today over 900 people worldwide claim to be descendants of Burns.

Host your own Burns Night

Due to covid-19 restrictions, many Burn’s suppers will be cancelled this year, but you could host your own with your household.

Need some inspiration to host your own Burns Supper? Why not try out some Burns Night recipes here. Penguin books have a guide on how to run your night and for inspiration, you can listen to or read some of Burns’s work through our Library.

By Vivienne Hamilton

Learn about other World traditions on our blog by reading:

New Year Traditions from Around the World

Spanish Christmas Traditions

Self-care books for 2022

January is here again, but to brighten up a new year, you might be thinking about what you want to achieve for 2022, whether that is trying something new or even just a refresh! Self-help books can be a great way to encourage those positive thoughts and that extra motivation in your life.

 

Book and Tea

Book and Tea

 

Here are some recommendations below:

 

Isn’t it about time? by Andrea Perry

If you are one for procrastinating tasks, this book provides ways to be more productive and learn to trust our instincts and abilities. Also available on our Library Search  https://napier.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/44NAP_INST/n96pef/alma9923500069002111

 

The Comfort Book by Matt Haig

This memoir-style book shares life experiences and small motivations for the day.

 

Relax and Read

Relax and Read

Good Vibes, Good Life: How Self-Love is the Key to Unlocking Your Greatness by Vex King

Vex King helps you to show a way of manifesting your goals and desires using different techniques and positive thinking. From the author’s personal experiences, the book practices methods of mindfulness to healthy lifestyle habits.

 

At Napier, we also have books in our Shelf Help that are chosen to help you overcome experiences, thoughts and feelings that are stressful or uncomfortable.

You can find more books and information in the link below:

https://libguides.napier.ac.uk/shelfhelp

 

 

 

The Ethiopia Timkat Festival

The Timkat Festival

Christmas is a distant memory for most of us, but for Ethiopians, Christmas is a whole season that’s just coming to an end now. Ethiopia was one of the first countries in the world to adopt Christianity, and as such it adheres to the ancient traditions that sit at the heart of its Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Timkat, celebrated every year on the 19th of January, is one of those traditions, possibly the most important in the Church’s calendar.

The Amharic word timkat means “baptism”, and the festival marks the baptism of Christ in the River Jordan.

Preparations

Timkat is a huge deal and a seriously religious festival. Preparations for this spectacular event, possibly one of the biggest and most colourful on the African continent, begin on the 18th, when “tabots” – models of the  Ark of the Covenant – are wrapped in fine cloths and carried on the heads of priests down to the river or other place of worship. Local people don white shawls – Ethiopians wear white when they go to church – and follow the procession.

The Festival

Mass starts in the early hours of the 19th and continues for hours. When Mass is over, the water is blessed and the congregants take to the rivers, submerging themselves in a re-enactment of Christ’s baptism. Of course, it’s a happy occasion and that means the celebrations go on all day and are accompanied by feasting and music.  As well as eating their favourite Timkat food, Ethiopians celebrate important occasions with elaborate coffee ceremonies.

On the 20th, the tabots are carried back to the churches in another procession that marks the end of the festival.

One of the best places to observe Timkat is the town of Gondar, home to the 17th century castle built by King Fasilides. In the grounds of the castle is a huge open-air bath. The bath is usually empty, but during Timkat it’s filled with water and the locals dive in. A few years ago I was fortunate enough to visit Ethiopia over the festive season. I missed Timkat by a couple of weeks. When I visited King Fasilides castle it was empty. Next time I go, I’m definitely going for Timkat, and I’m taking my swimming costume.

Want to learn more about other traditions from around the world? Read our article here.

By Lesley McRobb

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Today is Martin Luther King day, an American holiday that is always celebrated on the third Monday in January. It’s almost 54 years since Dr King, a Baptist minister and lifelong campaigner, was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, but the work to which he sacrificed his life continues.

MLK is most famous, for his “I had a dream…” speech, but the reality of civil rights activism is that it’s less about rallies and speeches and more a daily struggle for the most mundane of rights – a struggle that is played out in factories, playgrounds, homes and schools, well away from the cameras and microphones.

 

 

Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King

 

King was in Memphis in April 1968 to support African American sanitation workers who were deprived of the most basic of rights that their white counterparts enjoyed – the right to shelter from the rain, the right to shower after their shift, the lack of overtime payments. The final straw came when 2 black workers were crushed to death by a malfunctioning garbage truck and their families were barely compensated. The workers went on strike, and MLK went to support them.

In recognition of King’s contribution to the struggle for equality, Illinois was the first US state to acknowledge the holiday, and King was the first African American to have a national holiday in his honour.

 

March

March

 

The international struggle for equality continues. As King himself said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

 

Read Dr King’s most famous speech in full. You’ll find it in LibrarySearch:

The Penguin book of twentieth-century speeches

Becoming King Martin Luther King, Jr. and the making of a national leader

 

By Lesley McRobb

 

Library Welcome Week

welcome sign outside library

Welcome to the Library!

Hello and a very warm welcome to all students joining us this trimester from all of us in the Library. We wish you all the best with your studies and look forward to meeting many of you soon.

Whether you are on campus or studying online, if you are looking for information on how to use the Library services the Introduction to Computing and Library Services module on Moodle is an excellent starting point.

Introductory Sessions

We will be holding quick and friendly online introductory sessions to both the Physical Library and the Online Library during the first few weeks of the trimester. You can sign up for these and many other library skills sessions using the Training and Events Calendar.

Information on Library opening times, how to access or borrow the resources you need for your studies, accessing reading lists, and many more library services can be found on the Library webpages. If you need any further support, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0131 455 3500 or email us at library@napier.ac.uk . We are here to help you!

Keep up to date on all the latest news from the Library on Instagram and Twitter.

New Year Resolutions: study and social

We hope all our Edinburgh Napier University students and staff had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s with some time to relax and catch up with friends and family.

With the festivities now over, you might be thinking that it’s time to make some resolutions and get back into that ‘serious study mode’.

It’s also a time to reflect on past events and your studies to see what you might want to freshen up and change for the new year. Just keep in mind that progress is always ongoing, and you should focus on one step at a time!

 

 

New Year Resolutions

New Year Resolutions

 

 

Here are some suggestions that you might want to consider below:

 

  1. Change your learning style or study skills

If you want to change your study habits or try a new way of learning, Box of Broadcasts (BOB) and listening to Podcasts are productive ways of gathering information and evidence for your assignments. You can find more information about it on our Libguides.

The library also has a study skills reading list and many books available like Improving Your Study Skills by Shelley O’Hara for improving the way you learn.

 

Study planning

Study planning

 

  1. Balancing education and work or your social life

This could be the year where you decide to prioritise your time wisely and manage your schedule to avoid burnout. You might want to break up the week by scheduling tasks into your calendar or stick colourful post-it notes around your room as visual reminders. Your education should be your priority and then you can consider what to do in your spare time such as music, sports or travelling!

 

  1. Try new activities

Whatever the weather, if you have a burning desire for adventures in the outdoors, like kayaking, hikes and walks in the hills, then the Hiking and Outdoor Activities society at Edinburgh Napier may be the one for you this year!

You can join more of Napier’s societies in the link below:

https://www.napierstudents.com/teamnapiersocieties/atozsocieties/

 

 

Hiking

Hiking

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