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Cat in the Stax: A Summer to Remember

By Ethan Shea

Heat

Tomorrow, on September 22, summer will officially be over. This may be hard to stomach, but don’t fret. There’s plenty to look forward to in the fall!

If we’re being honest, summer really ends when the school year begins, but I understand the world does not revolve around our academic calendar. If you’re a meteorologist, summer ends when August does. Tomorrow’s autumnal equinox only signifies the end of Astronomical summer.

During the autumnal equinox, which signifies the beginning of fall, the sun is directly above the equator. This means the amount of daylight the Northern and Southern hemispheres receive is nearly equal. Because our Gregorian calendar is not precisely in tune with the Earth’s revolution around the sun, hence our use of leap years, the dates of equinoxes vary within a few days.

Essentially, the vernal (spring) and autumnal equinoxes are opposites of the summer and winter equinoxes. During summer and winter equinoxes the Earth’s tilt, either toward or away from the sun, is at its peak. During vernal and autumnal equinoxes, the Earth has essentially no tilt relative to the sun’s rays.

"Heat Maps Summer 2022"

Data: NOAA; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Personally, I’m happy to welcome autumn and the cooler weather it brings. The hot summers are tough for this born and bred New Englander. But I wasn’t the only one feeling the heat this year, as the summer of 2022 was one of the hottest ever recorded. In fact, this summer tied summer 2020 as the hottest summer globally on record. Read this Washington Post article at Falvey Library’s website to find more stats about how this summer’s heat stacks up against previous years.

 

In addition to more temperate weather, we have fall’s vibrant foliage to look forward to. Check out  this TBT post which includes a picturesque autumn photo from the 1965 edition of Belle Air.

Let us know in the comments what your favorite season is! Are you someone who likes it hot, or are you eagerly waiting for a cool autumn breeze?


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a graduate student in the English Department and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.


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Weekend Recs: Spooky Strolls

Hey, Wildcats! I hope you’re having a fun fall break. Jenna Renaud is enjoying the semester recess this week, so I thought I would share a few recommendations for your return to campus. The best time to see the fall foliage in Pennsylvania is mid-October, so take a study break and head outdoors! You may have a favorite park or trail nearby, but in case you’d like some new scenery, I’ve complied a list of walking trails within 30 miles of campus.

Image of fall foliage at the Haverford College nature trail.

The Haverford College nature trail.

Haverford College Nature Trail (2.9 miles away)

Radnor Trail (1.6 miles from campus away)

McKaig Nature Center Loop (3.8 miles away)

Rolling Hill Park (4.3 miles away)

Ridley Creek State Park (8.4 miles away)

Valley Forge (1o.7 miles away)

Andorra Natural Area (10.9 miles away)

Bartram’s Garden (11.1 miles away)

Houston Meadow (11.5 miles away)

The Wissahickon Valley Park (13.9 miles away)

Schuylkill Banks (17.6 miles away)

Pennypack Park Trail (21.4 miles away)

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge (20.9 miles away)

Grays Ferry Crescent Trail Park (25.4 miles away)

The Perkiomen Trail (25.9 miles away)

 

Don’t want to leave campus? Check out the Villanova University walking trail. Looking for a new podcast to stream during your walk? Try these spooky recommendations from the staff at Falvey Memorial Library:

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 


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Cat in the Stax: Fall Films for the Faint of Heart

By Ethan Shea

""

It’s finally October! That means it’s time for haunted hayrides, horror movies, and pumpkin spice lattes (now available at Holy Grounds Falvey). Many people thrive in spooky environments, but if you’re anything like myself, you try to keep the ghosts and ghouls at arm’s length.

I may need some extra convincing to partake in frightening festivities, but I know I’m not the only one who prefers when houses aren’t haunted. That’s why I’ve curated a short list of fall films for the faint of heart. Just because they’re not scary doesn’t mean they’re not in season!

""Fantastic Mr. Fox

I could have added a few other Wes Anderson films to this list, but I chose Fantastic Mr. Fox simply because it’s my favorite. It’s also especially fitting because fall imagery is found everywhere in this movie. From the foliage of the tree Mr. Fox calls home to Mr. Bean’s alcoholic apple cider, Fantastic Mr. Fox is steeped in autumn.

Despite the fact that, aside from food references, there are few direct links to fall activities, Wes Anderson is not subtle with references to this nostalgic season. For example, the film is almost entirely orange. Just like Mr. Fox’s fur, the cinematography of this stop motion animated film is the color of autumn leaves.

Even the sentimental score features a twangy, acoustic sound that makes one feel like they are striding through a grass field with their feet covered in dew on a cool October morning.

The Princess Bride""

The Princess Bride is one of the most quotable films I’ve ever watched, and it’s hilarious too. This is a movie choice that will never disappoint because it has something for everyone.

As the movie’s group of lovable characters travel over cliffs and through the woods, one can’t help but feel in the mood for fall. The colorful leaves covering the forest floor and the story’s romance are perfectly fit for the season.

I’m not sure if it’s the visuals or the comfort of having a bedtime story read to you, but something about watching The Princess Bride on a calm autumn evening just feels right.

Coco""

This movie actually has something to do with the season directly. Because it’s centered around Día de los Muertos, this Pixar film is literally made for the fall season.

As Miguel attempts to return to the Land of the Living after he is cursed for stealing from the dead, he makes unlikely friends and learns about the importance of memory. The orange marigold petals that are essential to the film’s imagery are reminiscent of autumn and traditional of Día de los Muertos.

Coco is actually one of the highest-grossing films with an all Latin American principle cast, and given that it is Hispanic Heritage Month until Oct. 15, the time to watch watch this film is now!

The Goonies""

This classic story of a few kids with a treasure map and a taste for adventure is not just about pirates. The cool atmosphere of the group’s quaint Oregon setting is full of autumnal nostalgia. According to a newspaper found in the film, the events of The Goonies take place from Oct. 24 to Oct. 25, which is partially why this movie feels like sweater weather.

Although there are some suspenseful scenes, this movie is definitely not one I’d call scary. Even though I used to cringe at that one scene with the blender when I was younger (don’t worry, it’s not bad), there is not a whole lot to be afraid of. If you somehow haven’t watched this movie before, make sure you put it at the top of your list!

Fantastic Mr. FoxThe Princess Bride, and Coco are all available for viewing with subscriptions to Disney+. The Goonies is available on Hulu.


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.


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Weekend Recs: All Things Fall

Happy Friday, Wildcats! After a year off, Falvey Memorial Library is bringing back Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Jenna, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

Fall is my ABSOLUTE favorite season, and I have a feeling that a good number of you would agree! Even though we’re a little over a week into the season, the weather has started to drop and I’m seeing more sweaters and flannels popping up around campus. In honor of the BEST season’s arrival – here’s a list of recs to get you in the fall spirit.  

If you have 7 minutes… read this article from PureWow about the best fall Starbucks drinks you can order, both hot and cold! 

If you have 45 minutes… watch an episode (or 10) of Gilmore Girls on Netflix. This feel-good show fits into the fall season perfectly and is a good way to relieve stress before, during, and after midterms. 

If you have 2 hours and 20 minutes… watch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on HBO Max. Why does Harry Potter feel like a non-negotiable when fall rolls around? I’m not sure, but I’m not complaining! 

If you have a day… visit Linvilla Orchards! A quick 20-minute drive away from campus, Linvilla Orchards offers all of your classic fall activities from apple picking and a pumpkin patch to corn mazes and hayrides. 

If you have all weekend (or approximately 15 hours)… read The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. This murder/mystery novel sets the tone perfectly for fall and Halloween just around the corner. The book is available through Inter-Library Loan. 


""Jenna Renaud is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library.


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#TBT: Falling Leaves Then & Now

Photo courtesy of The Belle Air, 1965.

In keeping with the theme of this week’s ‘Cat in the Stax post, let’s check out the beginning of the fall season from the Belle Air of 1965. Changing colors in the trees, crunchy leaves on the ground, and new friendships forming continue to mark this beautiful season.


Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department. Current mood: Cranking the AC so I can wear oversized sweaters.

 

 

 


 


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‘Cat in the Stax: Too Soon for Fall?

By Jenna Newman

 

Starbucks and Dunkin are releasing pumpkin spice, but it’s also 90 degrees outside – what’s going on!? When does fall actually start and why does it feel earlier and earlier every year?

If you Google, “what’s the first day of fall?” it tells you Sept. 22, which is the autumnal equinox. Each year the autumnal equinox marks the astronomical beginning of fall; however, there’s also a meteorological definition of seasons that is different. The meteorological definition of seasons says that for 2020 the first day of fall is September 1! This definition of seasons is based on temperature cycles and the Gregorian calendar instead.

Is this a valid justification for all things fall?

I’m not sure about you all, but my social media feed is all about fall and has been for about three weeks now. Mid-August the consensus was that everyone was ready for fall and there were a few people already posting about decorating or watching Halloween movies. Now that Sept. 1 hit, it’s pretty much everyone, everywhere. 

If I’m being honest, writing this post right now has me craving all things pumpkin and wanting to snuggle up in a sweater or an oversized flannel. Now that I know there’s scientific backing for fall starting 21 days sooner, I’m all about it. The beginning of September is the perfect time to celebrate a new season. I guess Starbucks and Dunkin aren’t as off base as I thought.

The best part is, no matter what the season, Falvey Memorial Library is the perfect place to wear your sweaters, grab a hot drink, and settle in for a study session.

 

What are your thoughts? When does fall start for you and how soon is too soon? Have you been following the meteorological definition of fall without even knowing it existed?

 


Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department. Current mood: Craving some pumpkin spice and apple cider donuts.


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#TBT: Fun in the Fall

Throwback Thursday

The first day of fall is this Monday, and although we have some time before the leaves fall, we hope this photo from the 1988 Villanova yearbook will get you into the fall spirit.


Nathaniel Gosweiler is a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Department at Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in Communication at Villanova University.


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Curious Cat: Looking Forward to Fall


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#TBT: Look how they grow up

Throwback Thursday

This photo comes to you from the Yearbook of 1994, when the trees beside Falvey Library were little more than saplings. Look for their leaves to turn a vibrant orange this fall.


Nathaniel Gosweiler is a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Department at Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in Communication at Villanova University.


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Last Modified: September 5, 2019