Monday, October 31, 2016

Is Fracking Hastening a Water Crisis?

In a five-year period, some "358 billion gallons of water" was used in U.S. hydraulic fracturing or fracking that translates to "an amount equal to the annual water needs of 200 mid-sized cities," based on a recent report by Ceres, a nonprofit interested in global sustainability ("Over Half of U.S. Fracking Wells Are in Water-Stressed Areas, Report Says," Mashable, October 6, 2016). "About 57 percent of the nearly 110,000 shale gas wells" are in areas where water is not plentiful, such as California, Texas, Colorado, and Oklahoma.

Review selected hard copy/online library books related to hydraulic fracturing or fracking at LSC-CyFair Branch Library. Click the title of a listed item, select the "Place Hold" button in the listing, and enter your library card number and PIN for each title you want to request for pick up at the library.

Use these subject words and phrases to find more information in the library catalog:
  • Fracking
  • Gas well drilling
  • Gas wells
  • Hydraulic fracturing
  • Shale gas industry
The Green and the Black: The Complete Story of the Shale Revolution, the Fight over Fracking, and the Future of Energy by Gary Sernovitz
St. Martin's Press, 2016.
call number: 333.823 Ser

"Sernovitz explains the reality of fracking: what it is, how it can be made safer, and how the oil business works. Sernovitz also tells the bigger story. Fracking was just one part of a shale revolution that shocked our assumptions about fueling America's future. . .America, once again the largest oil and gas producer in the world, has altered its balance of power with Russia and the Middle East. Yet the shale revolution is not without its infamous downsides. It has disrupted local communities, raised fears of pollution, and prolonged the world's use of fossil fuels. Is there any way to reconcile the costs with the benefits of fracking? To do so, we must start by understanding fracking and the shale revolution in their totality. This book bridges the gap in America's energy education." - publisher's summary excerpt

The Human and Environmental Impact of Fracking: How Fracturing Shale for Gas Affects Us and Our World edited by Madelon Lubin Finkel
Praeger, 2015
call number: 363.738 Hum

Contributors writing the chapters:
"* Offer a comprehensive, impartial understanding of unconventional natural gas development from many different perspectives by experts in the field
* Draw from the findings of the most up-to-date research and discusses areas where scientific findings are yet unclear
* Address fracking's potential effects on humans, animals, and environmental factors including air quality, water quality, and climate change
* Explain the economic, legal, regulatory, and ethical issues surrounding fracking
* Examine social and community issues and the industry perspective" - publisher's summary excerpt

Liveright Publishing, 2015
call number: 363.119 Bri

"When philosophy professor Adam Briggle moved to Denton, Texas,
he had never heard of fracking. Less than three years later he would
successfully lead a citizens' initiative to ban hydraulic fracturing in
Denton--the first Texas town to challenge the oil and gas industry. . .Briggle brings us to town hall debates and neighborhood meetings where citizens wrestle with issues few fully understand." - publisher's summary excerpt

Friday, September 23, 2016

Animal Rights Advocates Score a Landmark Victory

Seen as the "end of privately funded research on chimpanzees in the U.S.," the final nine primates were recently transferred from the New Iberia Research Center in Louisiana to a Georgia sanctuary ("Hundreds of Chimps Head from Research Labs to Sanctuaries," Christian Science Monitor, September 11, 2016). A nonprofit group, Project Chimps, has worked to free these unique animals after a June 2015 ruling by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that secured "endangered species status to captive chimps."

Review selected hard copy/online library books related to animal rights at LSC-CyFair Branch Library. Click the title of a listed item, select the "Place Hold" button in the listing, and enter your library card number and PIN for each title you want to request for pick up at the library.

Use these subject words and phrases to find more information in the library catalog:
  • Animal rights
  • Animal welfare
The Humane Economy: How Innovators and Enlightened Consumers Are Transforming the Lives of Animals by Wayne Pacelle
William Morrow, 2016.
call number: 636.083 Pac

"From the leader of the nation's most powerful animal-protection organization comes a frontline account of how conscience and creativity are driving a revolution in American business that is changing forever how we treat animals and create wealth. Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society of the United States reveals how entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 CEOs, world-class scientists, philanthropists, and a new class of political leaders are driving the burgeoning, unstoppable growth of the 'humane economy.'" - publisher's summary excerpt

Animal Ethics: The Basics by Tony Milligan
Routledge, 2015
call number: 179.3 Mil

"Animal Ethics: The Basics is an essential introduction to the key considerations surrounding the ethical treatment of animals…This book explores such questions as: Can animals think and do they suffer?…Are humans special?" - publisher's summary excerpt

Animal Rights edited by Noah Berlatsky
Greenhaven Press, 2015
call number: 179.3 Ani

"Current Controversies: Animal Rights examines whether scientific testing violates animal rights, including whether it is cruel, the necessity of testing on primates, and the use of technology." - publisher's summary excerpt

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Who Decides Transgender Civil Rights?

A new lawsuit filed by eleven states including Texas challenges the Obama administration's charge granting public facility use based on gender identity ("States Ratchet Up Transgender Battle with Lawsuit against U.S." Reuters, May 25, 2016). The legal action was prompted by a May 13 order that said "transgender students must be allowed to use the bathroom of their choice" in public schools.

Review selected hard copy/online library books related to transgender topics at LSC-CyFair Branch Library. Click the title of a listed item, select the "Place Hold" button in the listing, and enter your library card number and PIN for each title you want to request for pick up at the library.

Use these subject words and phrases to find more information in the library catalog:
  • Gender identity
  • Transgender children
  • Transgenderism
  • Transgender people
  • Transgender youth
The Gender Creative Child: Pathways for Nurturing and Supporting Children Who Live Outside Gender Boxes by Diane Ehrensaft, Ph.D.
The Experiment, 2016
call number: 649.1 Ehr

"In this up-to-date, comprehensive resource, Dr. Ehrensaft explains the interconnected effects of biology, nurture, and culture to explore why gender can be fluid , rather than binary. As an advocate for the gender affirmative model and with the expertise she has gained over three decades of pioneering work with children and families, she encourages caregivers to listen to each child, learn their particular needs, and support their quest for a true gender self.." - publisher's summary excerpt

Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt
Random, 2015
call number: 306.768 Nut

"The inspiring true story of a transgender girl, her identical twin brother, and an ordinary American family's extraordinary journey to understand, nurture, and celebrate the uniqueness in us all, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning science reporter for the Washington Post." - publisher's summary excerpt

Trans/Portraits: Voices from Transgender Communities by Jackson Wright Shultz
Dartmouth Coll. P, 2015. 
call number: 306.768 Shu

"Although transgender people are increasingly represented in academic studies and popular culture, they rarely have the opportunity to add their own voices to the conversation. In this remarkable book, Jackson Shultz records the stories of more than thirty Americans who identify as transgender. They range in age from fifteen to seventy-two; come from twenty-five different states and a wide array of racial, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds; and identify across a vast spectrum of genders and sexualities." - publisher's summary excerpt

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Shifting the Balance of the Supreme Court

Since the vacancy on the Supreme Court isn't likely to be filled soon, the article's author wonders how the balance of the court may be affected if more left-of-center justices are added to the current bench ("What If the Supreme Court Were Liberal?" The Atlantic, April 6, 2016). Several current justices are advancing to potential retirement age soon, so consideration of a political shift looks at how it would affect such areas as abortion rights, affirmative action, death penalty, and gun control.

Review selected hard copy/online library books related to the U.S. Supreme Court at LSC-CyFair Branch Library. Click the title of a listed item, select the "Place Hold" button in the listing, and enter your library card number and PIN for each title you want to request for pick up at the library.

Use these subject words and phrases to find more information in the library catalog:
  • Constitutional law United States
  • Courts of last resort United States
  • Judicial review United States
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • Sandra Day O'Connor
  • Supreme Court United States

The Supreme Court by Lawrence Baum
Sage/CQ Press, 2016
call number: 347.732 Bau

"This book examines all major aspects of the highest court in the nation, from the selection of justices and agenda creation to the decision-making process and the Court's impact on government and U.S. society. . .This new edition gives particular attention to current developments such as the impact of political polarization on the Court, the justices' increasingly public roles, and recent rulings on same-sex marriage and health care." - publisher's summary excerpt

Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World by Linda Hirshman
Harper, 2015
call number: 347.732 Hir

"Strengthened by each other's presence, these groundbreaking judges, the first and second women to serve on the highest court in the land, have transformed the Constitution and America itself, making it a more equal place for all women. Linda Hirshman's dual biography includes revealing stories of how these trailblazers fought for recognition in a male-dominated profession--battles that would ultimately benefit every American woman. Hirshman also makes clear how these two justices have shaped the legal framework of modern feminism, setting precedent in cases dealing with employment discrimination, abortion, affirmative action, sexual harassment, and many other issues crucial to women's lives." - publisher's summary excerpt

The Constitution: An Introduction by Michael Stokes Paulsen and Luke Paulsen
Basic, 2015
call number: 342.73 Pau

"Beginning with the Constitution's birth in 1787, Paulsen and Paulsen offer a grand tour of its provisions, principles, and interpretation, introducing readers to the characters and controversies that have shaped the Constitution in the 200-plus years since its creation. Along the way, the authors provide correctives to the shallow myths and partial truths that pervade so much popular treatment of the Constitution, from school textbooks to media accounts of today's controversies, and offer powerful insights into the Constitution's true meaning." - publisher's summary excerpt

Friday, March 4, 2016

Privacy Concerns Related to Unlocking a Cell Phone

A battle between law enforcement and technology companies continues over issues involved in gaining access to data from cell phone of a San Bernardino shooter ("Relatives of San Bernardino Victims and Tech Giants Lend Voices to Apple-FBI Fight over Locked iPhone," The Washington Post, March 3, 2016). In this case, a judge "directed Apple to write software disabling a feature that erases the phone’s data after 10 incorrect attempts at trying a password." Apple stalled this process with legal tactics, stating that creating such a back door into one of it products would have a major impact on its business.

Review selected hard copy/online library books related to electronic privacy and security at LSC-CyFair Branch Library. Click the title of a listed item, select the "Place Hold" button in the listing, and enter your library card number and PIN for each title you want to request for pick up at the library.

Use these subject words and phrases to find more information in the library catalog:
  • big data
  • computer security
  • electronic surveillance
  • information technology
  • intelligence service
  • national security
  • right of privacy

They Know Everything about You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy by Robert Scheer with Sara Beladi
Nation, 2015
call number: 323.448 Sch

"The revelation that the federal government has full access to all phone records and the vast trove of presumably private personal data posted on the Internet has brought the threat of a surveillance society to the fore. But the erosion of privacy rights extends far beyond big government. Big business has long played a leading role in the hollowing out of personal freedoms. In this new book, Robert Scheer shows how our most intimate habits, from private correspondence, book pages read, and lists of friends and phone conversations have been seamlessly combined in order to create a detailed map of an individual's social and biological DNA." - publisher's summary

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World by Bruce Schneier
Norton, 2015
call number: 358.414 Str

"Your cell phone provider tracks your location and knows who is with you. Your online and in-store purchasing patterns are recorded, and reveal if you're unemployed, sick, or pregnant. Your e-mails and texts expose your intimate and casual friends. . . Corporations use surveillance to manipulate not only the news articles and advertisements we each see, but also the prices we're offered. Governments use surveillance to discriminate, censor, and chill free speech, and put people in danger worldwide. And both sides share this information with each other or, even worse, lose it to cyber-criminals in huge data breaches. Much of this is voluntary: we cooperate with corporate surveillance because it promises us convenience, and we submit to government surveillance because it promises us protection. The result is a mass surveillance society of our own making. But have we given up more than we've gained? Security expert Bruce Schneier offers another path, one that values both security and privacy. He shows us what we can do to reform our government surveillance programs and shake up surveillance-based business models, while also providing tips for you to protect your privacy every day." - publisher's summary excerpt

Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman
Harper, 2015
call number: 303.483 Sil

"Social networking has grown into a staple of modern society, but its continued evolution is becoming increasingly detrimental to our lives. Shifts in communication and privacy are affecting us more than we realize or understand. . . . Jacob Silverman calls for social media users to take back ownership of their digital selves from the Silicon Valley corporations who claim to know what's best for them. Integrating politics, sociology, national security, pop culture, and technology, he reveals the surprising conformity at the heart of Internet culture, explaining how social media companies engineer their products to encourage shallow engagement and discourage dissent. Reflecting on the collapsed barriers between our private and public lives, Silverman brings into focus the inner conflict we feel when deciding what to share and what to "like, " and explains how we can take the steps we need to free ourselves from its grip." - publisher's summary excerpt

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Drones for Warfare Now Cheaper and Easier to Get

China is supplying less costly "armed drones for targeted killing by remote control" to most any nation interested in the technology ("A Fast Growing Club: Countries That Use Drones for Killing by Remote Control," Los Angeles Times, February 22, 2016). Meanwhile, the United States requires an okay by Congress for drone sales. Reportedly, six countries have the capacity for drone warfare, including Nigeria, Pakistan, Iraq, Great Britain, Israel, and the United States, although seventy-eight nations use the unmanned aerial vehicles (AKA drones) for reconnaissance.

Review selected hard copy/online library books related to drones at LSC-CyFair Branch Library. Click the title of a listed item, select the "Place Hold" button in the listing, and enter your library card number and PIN for each title you want to request for pick up at the library.

Use these subject words and phrases to find more information in the library catalog:
  • drone aircraft
  • drones
  • military robots

The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones: Confronting a New Age of Threat by Benjamin Wittes and Gabriella Blum Basic, 2015
call number: 303.601 Wit

"Wittes (senior fellow, governance studies, Brookings Institution; Campaign 2012) and Blum (Rita E. Hauser Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Harvard Law Sch.; Islands of Agreement), who co-direct the Harvard Law School-Brookings Project on Law and Security, introduce readers to the new and upcoming threats to security, privacy, and health in the 21st century, which are often enabled by low-cost, advanced technology. With ready access to drone technology, nano-tech, and biological tools and information, these threats are situated in a political economy of the role of the state, private citizens, and non-state actors. What Wittes and Blum set out to do is provide instructive possible actions that government may be poised to take, and others in which government players may not yet have ample guidelines to address." - Library Journal review excerpt

Opposing Perspectives on the Drone Debate by Bradley Jay Strawser with Lisa Hajjar, Steven Levine, Feisal H. Naqvi, John Fabian Witt
Palgrave Macmillan, 2014
call number: 358.414 Str

"Five scholars square off in a lively debate over the ethics of drones and their contentious use" - publisher summary

Predator: The Secret Origins of the Drone Revolution by Richard Whittle
Holt, 2014
call number: 623.746 Whi

"Increasingly prominent in recent headlines, unmanned drones have a long history, as veteran military journalist Whittle (The Dream Machine: The Untold History of the Notorious V-22 Osprey) relates in this engrossing book. Thousands of drones were flown during WWII as targets for training antiaircraft gunners, and they played a modest reconnaissance role in Vietnam. But as Whittle shows, today's long-endurance, missile-firing drones are spinoffs of models developed by entrepreneurial startups during the 1980s. Largely commanded by former fighter pilots, the Air Force was hostile to unmanned planes until the 1990s wars in the Balkans. Peacekeeping forces could not track the marauding Serbian army, which shot down several manned reconnaissance aircraft, but an experimental drone, named the Predator, solved the problem. It was unarmed, but an updated version successfully launched a Hellfire missile in 2001 at Nevada's Nellis Air Force Base test range. After 9/11, remotely controlled drones began raining destruction on targets identified, sometimes correctly, as enemies of the U.S. By 2010 the U.S. military possessed 8,000 and the number continues to grow. Whittle concludes this impressively researched, thought-provoking history by pointing out that drones have revolutionized warfare, but like previous revolutions (the machine gun, aircraft, nuclear weapons) they did not make the world a safer place and created as many problems as they solved." - Library Journal review excerpt

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Cost of Concussions in Sports

Ten concussions took a toll on a twenty-five-year-old football player whose brain was recently studied for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) after he died from a heart infection ("Brain of Dead Football Player, 25, Showed CTE Damage after 10 Concussions," CBC News (Canada), January 4, 2016). The young man experienced his initial concussion when he was only eight. What is the effect of repetitive head injuries on the brain? Can amateur and professional athletes be protected from the potentially devastating hazards of head trauma?

Review selected hard copy/online library books related to brain concussions at LSC-CyFair Branch Library. Click the title of a listed item, select the "Place Hold" button in the listing, and enter your library card number and PIN for each title you want to request for pick up at the library.

Use these subject words and phrases to find more information in the library catalog:
  • concussion brain
  • head injuries
  • sports injuries brain

Sports-Related Concussions in Youth: Improving the Science, Changing the Culture by Robert Graham, Frederick P. Rivara, Morgan A. Ford, and Carol Mason Spicer, Editors; Committee on Sports-Related Concussions in Youth; Board on Children, Youth, and Families; Institute of Medicine; National Research Council
National Academies Press, 2014
Online Full-Text (Note: No Login Required to Read Online)

"Sports-Related Concussions in Youth: Improving the Science, Changing the Culture reviews the science of sports-related concussions in youth from elementary school through young adulthood, as well as in military personnel and their dependents. This report recommends actions that can be taken by a range of audiences - including research funding agencies, legislatures, state and school superintendents and athletic directors, military organizations, and equipment manufacturers, as well as youth who participate in sports and their parents - to improve what is known about concussions and to reduce their occurrence. Sports-Related Concussions in Youth finds that while some studies provide useful information, much remains unknown about the extent of concussions in youth; how to diagnose, manage, and prevent concussions; and the short- and long-term consequences of concussions as well as repetitive head impacts that do not result in concussion symptoms." - publisher summary excerpt

League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions, and the Battle for Truth by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru
Crown Archetype, 2013
call number: 617.102 Fai

"While the NFL is the most profitable and popular sports league in America, it's recently been buffeted by concerns around the long-term effect concussions have had on former players. ESPN investigative reporters Fainaru-Wada and Fainaru lay out evidence that the NFL actively obfuscated attempts by independent scientists and medical professionals to draw a connection between football's inherent violence and chronic brain disease afflicting former players." - Publishers Weekly review excerpt

Coping with Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A Guide to Living with the Challenges Associated with Post-Concussion Syndrome and Brain Trauma by Diane Roberts Stoler, Ed.D., and Barbara Albers Hill
Avery, 2013
call number: 617.481 Sto

"Stoler, a board-certified neuropsychologist, licensed health and sports psychologist, and brain injury survivor, and author Hill provide concussion and mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients with a succinct guide to living with these conditions. This easy-to-understand book begins with an overview of the brain, how the organ works, and what a concussion is. The authors also present information on symptoms, types of TBI, diagnosis, and treatment." - Library Journal review excerpt