What I Found Today (2/23/11)

Laughing Historically: How America was Founded on Drinking : A podcast covering my favorite genres–funny dudes, talking about drunk history, on a couch. Also, holy crap the founding fathers drank a hefty amount. Good to know that everyone who wrote the Constitution was probably hungover when they started it. Ah, history.

Why We All Need Planned Parenthood: My apologies for the new Gawker layout. But, this post–on Jezebel, from a woman who has been using Planned Parent for her main health care provider because she’s poor–is well worth a read in light of the recent cuts to the service.

Baen Free Library: Baen is a fantasy publisher that I read buckets and buckets of as a child. They published Mercedes Lackey’s books, and she was fabulous for both writing about gryphons (I was eight) and being from my stomping grounds of Tulsa, OK. The Free Library provides eBooks for tons of the authors Baen carries, with the authors’ consent and through the publisher. Very cool!

Homemade Flour Tortillas: In honor of my Spring Break trip to Texas (skulking around SXSWi with my internet coworks–here’s hoping I don’t wind up in a dumpster!), a recipe for homemade flour tortillas from the Homesick Texan. I want good tortillas so badly, you guys. Mmmm. (Dorm food Wednesday!) The article came via the fabulous folks at CRAFT, which publishes links to interesting crafts, delicious-looking food, and strange cocktails. Huzzah, the good life!

Make Life Easier: Ask a Librarian

Librarians: they're like superheroes in that they save you during finals and have secret lairs. Image courtesy of Flickr user Monika Bargmann. Licensed under CC 2.0 BY-NC-ND.

The school library (or, if you’re at a big school, libraries) are part of almost every college tour. Of course, in the age of digital information, the actual books contained in the library are no longer students’ most important resource at the library–instead, the librarians are.

Though often overlooked and under appreciated, librarians can make a student’s life much easier if they’re asked. Though your school may not have a program as intensive as Drexel’s personal librarian program, where freshmen get their own librarian to show them the research ropes, even the most unassuming librarian has training to help you find out what you need to know. If you’re looking for places to start, try these suggestions:

Instant Message a Librarian – Many universities have their librarians set up on Meebo, a site-nested instant messaging client that became unexpectedly very popular with the librarian community. If your university has a Meebo setup, you can anonymously ask librarians a silly or embarrassing question (where is the science building?), renew a book without going to the library, or ask them to help you when a professor has screwed up putting a book you need on reserve. A smaller number of schools even have a “text a librarian” feature for when you’re away from a browser. If your school doesn’t have either of these services set up, the Alexandrian Public Library, Texas State University Library, and Emory University Library all offer chat widgets that you can use for non-school-specific questions.

Read the rest at HackCollege.