You are exploring: VU > Library > Blogs > Library News

Pluto—the Second of Two Dwarf Planets Seen at Close Range in 2015

Before New Horizons captured the first-ever detailed images of Pluto this month, it had traveled for nine-and-a-half years to reach the edge of our Solar System. When that spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. on January 19, 2006, Pluto was still classified as a planet.


Pluto discovered—Clyde Tombaugh, working at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona, discovered Pluto February 18, 1930. But the first such object, albiet smaller than Pluto, had been discovered more than a century earlier.

Ceres discovered—A Catholic priest, Giuseppe Piazzi, who held a PhD in mathematics, was also an astronomer. His catalog of almost 7,000 stars earned him the L’Institut de France prize for “best astronomical work published in 1803” (Barr). On January 1, 1801, while working on his catalog, he discovered an object whose changes in position were more like those of a planet than a star. “Piazzi had found the first [and the largest] of many thousands of ‘asteroids’ or ‘minor planets’ whose orbits lie mainly in a belt between Mars and Jupiter” (Barr).

Eris discovered—The next such discovery, after that of Pluto, came more than two centuries later, on October 21, 2003.


This sphere, at the Solar System’s limit and orbiting the Sun, was larger than Pluto and had its own moon (Pluto has five known moons). This find begged the question: If Pluto is a planet, how could this larger globe, Eris, not also be considered a planet?

Haumea discovered—Its discovery was officially announced in 2005.

Makemake discovered—The International Astronomical Union officially recognized Makemake as a dwarf planet in 2008.

More dwarf planets?—Scientists have estimated that “dozens or even more than 100 dwarf planets” may be awaiting discovery. The likelihood of additional yet-to-be-discovered globes has left astronomers asking, “Just what constitutes a planet?”

 “Planet” (re)defined— At the International Astronomical Union (IAU) General Assembly in Prague, 2006, astronomers “debated vigorously” over the definition of “planet.” They established a definition that would classify Ceres, Pluto, Eris, Makemake and Haumea as “dwarf planets,” leaving our Solar System with eight planets.


Why, then, is Pluto the second dwarf planet to be seen at close range in 2015?

Dawn makes history—Earlier this year, another space probe reached another dwarf planet, capturing detailed images and, this time, discovering a mystery. NASA’s Dawn space-probe entered into orbit around Ceres March 6, 2015, becoming “the first mission to achieve orbit around a dwarf planet.” Dawn’s photos revealed “a cluster of mysterious bright spots” on Ceres’ surface, which have intrigued scientists.

Ceres' spots

Father Giuseppe Piazzi would undoubtedly be pleased that his discovery has generated such interest more than two centuries after he identified it.

Works Cited

Barr, Stephen, and Dermott Mullan. “Planets, Priests and a
……..Persistent Myth.” Wall Street Journal, Eastern edition ed.
……..May 22 2015. ProQuest. Web. 15 July 2015. Gerald Dierkes

Check out these Villanova resources for additional information:

The Library’s Astronomy and Astrophysics subject page

Falvey resources on dwarf planets

The Villanova Astronomical Society

The Villanova Public Observatory


The Highlighter: Who is the Ultimate Fact-Checker?


Need to check your facts before turning in that big paper? This video shows how to contact a University librarian: the ultimate fact-checker. (Enable Closed Captioning for silent viewing):

For additional “How to” videos, click the “Help” button on Falvey’s homepage.


Alice’s Adventures and Mock Turtle Soup

Alice's Adventures in WonderlandSince this is a library food blog, I like to find recipes that will connect to a book or to reading in general. So this month, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, I decided to read this childhood favorite again in the hopes of finding culinary inspiration.

The story begins with Alice half-dozing outside on a hot summer day as her older sister reads a book with “no pictures or conversations in it.” As her mind wanders, she enters another world where animals talk, playing card soldiers double as croquet arches, and a Queen randomly orders executions for trivial infractions. But it’s the Mock Turtle who gets my attention. He goes to school, sings, dances and plays games. We learn of the sad Mock Turtle’s schooling in chapter 9 and he performs the Lobster Quadrille in chapter 10. Both chapters are filled with songs, puns and word play.

I’m not sure if it was the Queen’s mention of Mock Turtle Soup or if it was the Turtle Soup song that inspired me to make soup. And there was no doubt in my mind that it would be the mock version of turtle soup. The ingredients would be easier to find and cheaper than using real turtle. That, combined with the happy childhood memories of finding cute little turtles near Fern Hill Lake, prevented me from considering turtle meat.

mock turtleIn the earliest publication of Alice’s Adventures, the Mock Turtle was beautifully illustrated by Sir John Tenniel, who showed the character with a calf’s head and hoofs instead of flippers on his hind legs. He may have been inspired to draw the Mock Turtle this way because of the transition to “dull reality” as Alice’s sister thought of how “the lowing of the cattle in the distance would take the place of the Mock Turtle’s heavy sobs.”

Instead of making the traditional Victorian mock turtle soup, which calls for calf’s head and heels, I adapted a Louisianan recipe from the In a While, Crocodile cook book that had a little more kick to it. In addition to ground beef, I added ground veal, as a nod to the traditional calf ingredient.

¾ lb. ground sirloin

¾ lb. ground veal

6 stalks celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup chopped onion

3/4 cup butter

15 oz. tomato puree

30 oz. chicken broth

30 oz. beef broth

1/2 cup flour mixed with 1 cup water

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 cup ketchup

1 teaspoon hot sauce (more if you like it hotter)

2 bay leaves

1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley

6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

6 slices lemon, for garnish

1 cup sherry (or to taste)

Mock turtle saute stepSaute the meat, celery, garlic, and onion in butter until meat is brown and veggies are translucent. Add to the slow cooker (6 quart or larger).

Add tomato puree, chicken broth, beef broth, flour mixture, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, hot sauce, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper to the slow cooker. Stir.

Cook on low heat for 3 ½ hours.

Add lemon juice, parsley, and eggs. Stir well and cook for another 30 minutes. If desired, skim and discard fat from top of soup.

IMG_8535Immediately before serving, remove bay leaves, add sherry to taste, and garnish individual bowls with lemon slices. Enjoy with buttered bread.




If you’re looking for a historically accurate mock turtle soup recipe, try the one copied below, from Martha Lloyd’s Household Book. (Martha was a close friend of Jane Austen.)

Mrs. Fowle’s Mock Turtle Soup:

Take a large calf’s head. Scald off the hair. Boil it until the horn is tender, then cut it into slices about the size of your finger, with as little lean as possible. Have ready three pints of good mutton or veal broth, put in it half a pint of Madeira wine, half a teaspoonful of thyme, pepper, a large onion, and the peel of a lemon chop’t very small. A ¼ of a pint of oysters chop’t very small, and their liquor; a little salt, the juice of two large onions, some sweet herbs, and the brains chop’t. Stand all these together for about an hour, and send it up to the table with the forcemeat balls made small and the yolks of hard eggs.

“The Mock Turtle sighed deeply, and began, in a voice sometimes choked with sobs, to sing this:—

‘Beautiful Soup, so rich and green,

Waiting in a hot tureen!

Who for such dainties would not stoop?

Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!

Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!

Beau—ootiful Soo—oop!

Beau—ootiful Soo—oop!

Soo—oop of the e—e—evening,

Beautiful, beautiful Soup!


‘Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish,

Game, or any other dish?

Who would not give all else for two

Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?

Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?

Beau—ootiful Soo—oop!

Beau—ootiful Soo—oop!

Soo—oop of the e—e—evening,

Beautiful, beauti—FUL SOUP!’”

Food blog by Luisa Cywinski, editorial coordinator on the Communication & Service Promotion team, and team leader, Access Services team.

Mock Turtle Soup recipe adapted from In a While, Crocodile: New Orleans Slow Cooker Recipes by Patrice Keller Kononchek and Lauren Malone Keller, © 2014 by Patrice Keller Kononchek and Lauren Malone Keller, used by permission of the publisher, Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.


The Highlighter: Browse a Magazine or Journal in “Lexis Nexis Academic”


Sometimes you do not need to find a specific article, but you want to browse the magazine or journal that publishes articles on your topic. This video shows how to peruse a publication in the Lexis Nexis Academic database.  (Enable Closed Captioning for silent viewing):

For additional “How to” videos, click the “Help” button on Falvey’s homepage. Or you can find them on YouTube.


The Highlighter: How Do I Contact a Librarian?


Need help citing sources, checking style guidelines or answering other questions before turning in that big paper? This video shows the many ways to contact a University librarian. How many ways are available? Watch the video to find out. (Enable Closed Captioning for silent viewing):

For additional “How to” videos, click the “Help” button on Falvey’s homepage.


St Joseph, Patron Saint of Fathers


Saint Joseph is a protector of the Augustinian order. Early in the fifth century, Saint Augustine addresses the issue of how Saint Joseph can be said to be the ‘father’ of Jesus, since God is the father of Christ Jesus, the Incarnate Logos, and Saint Joseph never had any conjugal relations with the Theotokos, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“On account of that faithful marriage both of them deserved to be called the parents of Christ. Not merely was [Mary] called his mother, but as the spouse of Christ’s mother, [Joseph] was called his father, for he was both of these by his mind, not by the flesh. Though he was [Jesus Christ’s] father only by his mind and she was his mother also by the flesh, they were both parents of his humble condition, not of his lofty condition, of his infirmity, not of his divinity.” (Augustine, “Marriage and Desire” I. 11.12. Translated by Roland J. Teske, S.J. The Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century. Volume I/24: Answer to the Pelagians, II, 37. Edited by John E. Rotelle, O.S.A. Hyde Park, New York: New City Press, 1998. Many volumes from this contemporary edition in English of The Works of St. Augustine are available via the Past Masters database.)

In a signed article, “Marriage” (from Augustine Through the Ages: An Encyclopedia, edited by Allan D. Fitzgerald, O.S.A., available via Falvey’s Digital Library), David G. Hunter states: “Augustine’s initial response to Pelagian critics of his views on marriage is found in the first book of De Nuptiis Et Concupiscentia, addressed to Count Valerius (ca. 418).” De Nuptiis Et Concupiscentia, “Marriage and Desire,” book one by St. Augustine is the work quoted above.

Around the time of the writing of this work, Augustine’s doctrine of grace was vindicated. The Catholic Church affirmed against the perfectionism of Pelagianism that human will is ineffective in doing good, including in marriage, unless first perfected by God’s gracious gift of participation in the divine life of the holy Trinity. A preeminent father of the church and one of the four great doctors of the Latin, i.e., Western, church, the sobriquet of Saint Augustine, the spiritual father of the Augustinian order, is doctor of grace.


The Highlighter: Navigate EBSCO-Provided Databases Like a Pro


Falvey subscribes to over 250 databases, and many of these are supplied through EBSCO, a database provider. This video shows how to navigate EBSCO-provided databases.  (Enable Closed Captioning for silent viewing):

For additional “How to” videos, click the “Help” button on Falvey’s homepage.


The Curious ‘Cat: Taking Accelerated Courses? Tips to Help You Succeed

Curious Cat

This week, the Curious ‘Cat asks four library professionals: “What tips, suggestions, or advice do you have to offer for students taking accelerated courses this summer?”

Nik-Fogle crNik Fogle wants students to know that “the Library is here to provide them with whatever resources they need to succeed in their coursework. … the Library is a great place to turn for background readings, or resources that go into more depth than can sometimes be covered in class. If their coursework is research-intensive, our goal is to provide them with everything they’ll need for well-informed research projects and papers—from books and journal articles to news sources, original data, government documents, etc. And the Library is probably the quietest and most peaceful place to study, which really helps when you need to focus and get through a lot of material.”

AlfredFryAlfred Fry recommends the “Live Chat” feature on the Subject Guides pages (lower, right corner). He also encourages each student to “get sources for your project early.  Don’t wait until the weekend before a project is due.  Subject specialists don’t work on weekends and may take vacation.”


RS4522_FML164_LindaHauck_003_EDITLinda Hauck—“Research in summer classes is by necessity condensed and intense.  There just isn’t time to allow for serendipity to guide your research path. Find out if there is a course guide for your project, and if there isn’t make an appointment with a librarian.  Bring your research prompt to the meeting, so that the librarian can hone in on just what you need.”

FML164_BarbaraQuintiliano_011_EDITBarbara Quintiliano encourages students to reach out to the contact librarian for their subject area (From the “Subject Guides” page on Falvey’s site, click the subject name to find contact info. for the librarian who specializes in that subject). Barbara adds that “the Library has a wealth of specialized resources that are not available for free to the general public but that they can access as Villanova students.

“The subject librarians really want to be contacted so that they can help students save time. So, if students are looking for specialized information for their course work, they should not spend valuable time searching at random on Google but should contact their subject librarian right away.”

Be on the lookout! The Curious ‘Cat (Gerald Dierkes) and his trusty roving photog (Alice Bampton) may be stopping you next time you visit the library! 😉


The Highlighter: Explore Falvey’s Many Blogs



In addition to the Library News blog, Falvey publishes several subject-specific blogs on its site. This video shows how to access the library’s subject-specific blogs.  (Enable Closed Captioning for silent viewing):

For additional “How to” videos, click the “Help” button on Falvey’s homepage.


A Brief Look at Italian and English Renaissance Drama

Did yesterday’s blog post about Renaissance Faires whet your appetite for Renaissance Drama? Look no further than this thoughtfully assembled blog by Sarah Wingo, Subject Librarian for English Literature and Theatre.

When you hear the word Renaissance you may think of Michelangelo painting the ceiling of the Sistine chapel and Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, or you may think of Queen Elizabeth I and Shakespeare. In both cases you’d be right, but you may not be aware that you’re thinking of two fairy distinct (though overlapping) time periods. The European or Italian Renaissance spanned the 14th to the 17th century beginning nearly a century before the Renaissance would truly gain momentum in England in the late 15th century and extend to beginning of the 17th century.

The Renaissance period in Italy and England were both characterized by a “revival of the arts and high culture under the influence of classical models” (OED), but each also had traditions and art forms distinctly their own.

One area in which Italian arts and English arts diverged was theatre.

Taglia Cantoni and Fracasso

Two Pantaloons Dancing. Bello Sguardo, Couiello. Dances of Sfessania (Balli di Sfessania 1621) series by Jacques Callot, 1592 – 1635.

In Italy a form of theatre known as commedia dell’arte[i] was popularized between 1575 and1650. Performed in open spaces and at fair grounds commedia dell’arte was largely improvised versions of familiar tropes. Commedia stories relied upon stock characters which were divided into 3 categories the lovers, the masters, and the servants, with distinctive characters belonging to each category such as Pantalone a greedy Venetian merchant. These characters were easily recognized by their distinctive clothing and the masks that they wore, thus allowing audiences to immediately identify heroes and villains within any story being told.[ii]

Most people will be more familiar with the theatre of the English Renaissance due to the enduring popularity of William Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s earliest plays were likely performed in the mid-1580s. From 1594 onwards his works were performed by the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, a company of players of which he was part owner, who later became The King’s Men after being awarded a Royal Patent by King James I in 1603.

Shakespeare is the most well-known playwright from the English Renaissance at least in part due to the fact that more of his plays survive, thanks to their publication in the First Folio in 1623, than do the plays of most other playwrights from that era. Because plays were considered common entertainment rather than high art plays were not regularly published[iii], in fact of the 36 plays published in the Shakespeare’s First Folio only 16 existed in published form prior to the printing of the folio meaning that a full 20 of Shakespeare’s plays including Macbeth, The Tempest, and Twelfth Night would be unknown to us were it not for the printing of the First Folio. Likewise of the thousands of plays produced by numerous playwrights throughout the English Renaissance only a small percentage survive to this day.

Swan Theatre

The Swan Theatre: Arnoldus Buchelius (Aernout van Buchel) (1565-1641), after a drawing of Johannes de Witt (1566-1622). Utrecht, University Library, Ms. 842, fol. 132r.

Although there were some indoor performance spaces such as those at court and Blackfriars most theatres including The Globe where Shakespeare’s plays were performed from 1599 until it burnt down in 1613, were rounded open air structures with seating around the walls of the building and cheaper standing space in the center around the stage as can be seen in this image of The Swan Theatre, a contemporary of The Globe.

Theatre companies functioned as repertory, with a rotation of plays in performance, rarely performing the same play two days in a row. Theatre companies were also comprised entirely of men, female characters famously being played by “boy actors,” though the term “boy” may be misleading as it is believed that while the female roles were played by young men, they were not as was once believe played by children.

One reason that theatre from this period is so important is that it is really the first time that the Western World begins to see secular theatre performed in much the same way that modern theatre is performed today. The plays themselves also being very recognizable as modern theatre in stark contrast the highly stylized and religious liturgical dramas and morality plays which preceded the theatre of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. [iv]

[i] Katritzky, M A. The Art of Commedia: A Study in the Commedia Dell’Arte 1560-1620 With Special Reference to the Visual Records. Amsterdam ; New York: Rodopi, 2006.

[ii] Read more about Commedia dell’arte at the Metropolitan Museum of Art website.

[iii] For more information about printing and publishing of plays during the English Renaissance see : Jowett, John. Shakespeare and Text. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2007

[iv] Andrew Gurr has written prolifically on the topic of English Renaissance drama, and his books The Shakespearean stage, 1574-1642 and Playgoing in Shakespeare’s London would be of particular interest to anyone wishing to learn more on this subject.


SarahArticle by Sarah Wingo, team leader- Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre.


« Previous PageNext Page »


Last Modified: May 26, 2015