Reading between the headlines: from fake news to Firstnews

news media photoParody, deception, the manipulation of information, unethical news reporting, and ‘alternative facts’ are more and more prevalent as the war for hearts and minds heats up worldwide and politicians and spin doctors seek to play on our basic instincts and hardwired psychological tendencies.  “Media literacy” – the art of being able critically to peer behind the headlines – is fast becoming an essential skill set for anyone wanting to remain informed.  There is at least a guide to developing your skills at spotting when and how you might be being mislead, difficult as that sometimes seems to be.

Arm yourself with the tools against deception from FirstNews.

 

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Teaching corridor drinking fountain out of order

Update 11.08.17 – The drinking water fountain outside the Postgraduate Study Suite has now been replaced with a new stainless steel drinking fountain.  Thank you for your patience and we hope you enjoy this new and improved facility.

We regret the drinking fountain outside the Postgraduate Study Suite is temporarily out of order.  Alternative drinking fountains are available outside the toilets near the main entrance toilets and on the second floor in Area 2B.  Thank you for your understanding.

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ScienceDirect login problem

Update 02.08.17 – ScienceDirect is working normally again using the usual authentication methods.  You may need to clear your browser cache to restore access when you are working away from the University campus.
A ScienceDirect login problem has been discovered by those working away from the University campus network.  Elsevier are working to restore normal access as soon as possible.
Workaround
You can log into ScienceDirect by signing in directly to the ScienceDirect website and clicking through to the journal you want via the Discovery Service.
Here is a step-by-step guide:
  1. From the Library homepage, ensure the “Discovery” search box tab is selected and click the “Advanced” link on the right hand side of the search box to go to the Discovery Service search page.
  2. Click on the “Publications” button at the top of the screen to go to the dedicated Publications Search.
  3. Search for either a specific journal, or enter “ScienceDirect” as a single word for an alphabetical list of ScienceDirect journals.
  4. Open the first link in the results list in a new tab or window.  Unless you have altered your web browser’s keyboard shortcut settings, this can be achieved by holding down the <Control> key (Windows) or <Command> key (Mac OS) while you click on the green link.
  5. Sign in to ScienceDirect using the link in the top-right hand corner using your usual login, as you would log into Moodle or a University computer terminal.
  6. Return to the tab/window with the Discovery Publications Search window still open.  Click on the ScienceDirect link again and it will take you through to ScienceDirect but this time you will be logged in and able to download the full text of any article within our subscriptions.
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Library staff workshop: SciVal for academic staff

Dr Matt Walker (Elsevier) will lead workshops on 14 September 2017 exclusively for academic staff at the University of Portsmouth on the effective use of Elsevier’s SciVal research intelligence tool. He will cover the responsible use of metrics and best practice for benchmarking and reporting.  SciVal shows you the full publication profile, including the number of publications, citations, metrics, etc. of universities, businesses, organisations, research groups and individual researchers.  It can help you identify national and international collaborators from both academia and industry.  It can also be used to guide publication strategy and model the effect of changes on a research group.

Click here and book your place today through Eventbrite.

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Life: illustrated. Beatrix Potter, born today in 1866

Today in 1866, famous naturalist and author-illustrator Beatrix Potter was born.  Although she was a skilled naturalist, who presented a work on mycology (the study of fungi – toadstools and moulds) to the Royal Society, Beatrix Potter is one of the most celebrated children’s author-illustrators of all time.  Born in to a wealthy family, Beatrix was a keen observer of all that went on around her and a natural artist.  She was quoted as having been afraid that a more formal education and particularly copying the work of other artists might compromise her originality.  She reportedly rebelled politely, hoping she “wouldn’t catch” the invading influence of another, although she regularly visited the great art galleries of London with her father, learning lessons she applied in her unique creations.

Read more from the Victoria & Albert Museum.

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Scottish bronze age settlement modeled in modern Lego

lego archaeology photoA new Lego installation in Caithness, Scotland, is helping children to understand local archaeology.  It also shows that if you can imagine it you can probably model it in Lego.

The number of bespoke Lego bricks and other components that are so specialised that they can no longer be regarded as repurposable bricks has risen geometrically since Lego’s first release in the mid-20th century.  I’ve lost count of the number of bespoke or hyper-modern pieces of Lego used to construct this model.  They certainly don’t look much like the space age Lego from when I was little.  Mind, in those days folk were mostly living in round houses and bronze was the new must-have fashion accessory rather than the latest pocket portable offering from Apple or Samsung.  Times and technologies move on…

More seriously, click here to read more about the project.

Photo by gin soak

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Bikes go free this summer on the Gosport Ferry

gosport ferry photoIf you are a keen cyclist and travel in on the Gosport Ferry, make sure you make use of the “Bikes Go Free” promotion the ferry operator is running again this summer.  For the third year running, you can transport bicycles across on the Gosport Ferry for free during the school holidays between 22 July and 3 September 2017 with any valid adult, senior or child return, ten trip or season ticket.

Full details are available on the Gosport Ferry website.

Photo by R~P~M

Posted in Thing of the Day

Citizen science reshapes cosmology

Life ends, sad but true.  It is the way every species rids itself of the spectre of catastrophic overpopulation in any species given to reproduce.  Not all do, and those that never have children tend to live for thousands of years, but they are all plants and even then they form a tiny minority.  Being perhaps more keenly aware of their mortal existence than other species, many people are rather keen to leave some sort of lasting mark on the world.  Some build business empires named after themselves, and others live quiet unassuming lives until an innocent discovery in a citizen science project they are taking part in catapults them to relative stardom themselves when the unusual galaxy they spot turns out to be uniquely interesting.

Dutch primary school teacher Hanny’s van Arkel was taking part in the citizen science project Galaxy Zoo one evening when she spotted a galaxy ten years ago that turned out to be an as then unknown galactic formation of paradigm shifting importance to astronomy and “Hanny’s Voorwerp” was subsequently named after her.  Starting as a call for volunteers to help classify galaxies in the images produced by space telescopes, the collaborative project made spectacular discoveries, spawning a family of similar projects now collectively known as the Zooniverse.

Read the full story and how you can get involved on the BBC News website.

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Turner & Paige no.74 July 24th 2017

T&P no.74

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University Library awarded NUS Impact Gold Award

We are very proud to have just been awarded the NUS Impact Gold Award for our work minimising our carbon footprint and supporting sustainable practices and service development.  Read more about the award here.

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