December 2014 A monthly offering from Drexel Library’s staff about the books we’ve read.
Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues
Martin J. Blaser
We may not think about it often, but we share our bodies with trillions of bacteria which have evolved together with us in a usually beneficial symbiosis. Widespread use of antibiotics in humans and animals is having unintended consequences because they kill microbes indiscriminately: good as well as bad. This book goes far beyond the well-known phenomenon of antibiotic-resistant germs.
Dr. Blaser, an infectious disease expert at NYU, explains the link between antibiotics and the increased prevalence during the 20th century of a host of chronic health problems: asthma, allergies, obesity, GERD, Chron’s disease, gluten intolerance and, possibly, autism. Antibiotics, especially those given in early childhood, impede the natural development of a healthy bacterial environment in the digestive system. Delivery by C-section, now at a whopping 1/3 of all U.S. births, also interferes with the immune system because the baby misses picking up important microbes residing in the mother’s birth canal. Recommendations include minimizing antibiotic use to truly necessary cases, using targeted rather than wide spectrum drugs, and avoiding optional caesarean births. Blaser is hopeful that further research will lead to the development of therapies to reintroduce specific healthy bacteria into our digestive systems when a course of live-saving antibiotics is unavoidable.
What: Coffee Hour co-sponsored by Academic Affairs, Drexel Library, and the Faith-Justice Institute
This is an opportunity for socializing in an informal get-together for students, staff, and faculty, to discuss campus events, scholarship, and anything that comes up.
When: **November 21st, 9:30-10:30am**
Where: Post Learning Commons, 2nd floor lounge
Who: All invited!
**Note: This event is typically the last Friday of the month, but is the 3rd due to the Thanksgiving Holiday**
November 2014 A monthly offering from Drexel Library’s staff about the books we’ve read.
Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 : a novel
Francine Prose’s Lovers at the Chameleon Club describes the creative, lively, and dangerous world of Paris in the 30’s. The story is told from different accounts, from the brash male american novelist to the present day amateur researcher who is exploring the idea of evil and its many forms. Prose based the story on an actual photograph, “Lesbian Couple at Le Monocle, 1932” by Brassai, in which the cross dressing lesbian Violette Morris is sitting with her lover. Morris was the inspiration for the character Lou Villars, who is also an auto racer and failed Olympic hopeful. Like Morris, Villars’ character is banned from auto racing from the French and in anger betrays her country by working for the Gestapo during World War II.
The book is not simply a look at Villars’ life but also a look at how history is perceived and remembered through different voices. One source is from a photographer of the time, who tells his story through his letters home to his family in Hungary. Other versions are through memoirs, like the arts patron and Resistance member Baroness Lily de Rossignol who is looking back to a time in which Paris changed greatly from 1932 – 1944. Then there is the amateur historian, Nathalie Dunois, who seems to be writing the history to suit her own theories. Taken altogether, Lovers at the Chameleon Club presents not only a snapshot of that time in Paris but a look at how the time was remembered by those who experienced it.
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