Halloween is just around the corner, and that means it's horror movie season! If you're looking for something scary to watch, Reeves Memorial Library is here to deliver the chills. We've got movies about all manner things that go bump in the night, from vampires and ghosts to mutant animals and murderous humans.
Featured titles include:
Alfred Hitchcock's groundbreaking, proto-slasher masterpiece, featuring an iconic musical score by the great Bernard Herrmann, remains of the best films ever made.
The Brood (1979)
An experimental form of psychotherapy has gruesome and unintended side effects in this early work from Canadian auteur David Cronenberg.
A backpacking trip through Europe turns into a grisly nightmare in this cleverly structured film from provocative horror director Eli Roth.
The Exorcist (1973)
This classic about a possessed teenage girl, considered by many to be scariest movie ever made, has been frightening audiences for over four decades.
This silent, expressionistic adaptation of the Dracula story features some of the most haunting imagery in all of cinema.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
With equal parts horror and humor, this wildly entertaining film tells the story of a slacker who tries to win back his ex-girlfriend amid the chaos a zombie apocalypse.
This Japanese import, certainly one of the most disturbing movies ever made, is both an extremely unsettling piece of revenge horror and a surprisingly affecting examination of loneliness.
New students: Have you gotten used to your Mac yet?
Seton Hill has a world-recognized technology program, and its commitment to being on the cutting edge is nothing new. Check out this clipping about "an intelligent, exciting newcomer to campus" in July 1980 (text transcribed below image):
Marjorie Knox and Russ Walker welcome an intelligent, exciting newcomer to campus.
It was an April day in 1918. Seton Hill's charter was up for consideration. The then-junior college had requested the power to confer bachelor degrees in art, music, and science. Two months later, the request had been reviewed and the charter was approved... with one stipulation. Because of what the reviewers considered "the unlikelihood of a sufficient demand for science by the students of a college for women," Seton Hill's power to grant the bachelor of science degree was limited to the field of home economics.
Since that time, Seton Hill has used the ideals of its early education pioneers as criteria for development. Degrees are now awarded in biology, chemistry, mathematics, psychology, and sociology. Laboratory facilities have been expanded and modernized. And, on a recent July morning, some 62 years after the college's initial charter-reviewers disclaimed the need for science in a women's college, Seton Hill added its boldest and most sophisticated piece of scientific equipment. A computer.
A computer on campus has long been the goal of many faculty members and administrators. A five-year institutional planning process, begun during 1976-1977, identified as a high priority the need "to strengthen academic programs which are attracting students, and to develop new programs, especially those with career-interest." Specific educational needs were partly assessed by feedback from alumnae. Recommendations of business and industry recruiters and professional societies were also considered.
A college-developed proposal to the National Science Foundation CAUSE (Comprehensive Assistance to Undergraduate Science Education) Program, and its subsequent grand award-- $114,435-- allowed Seton Hill to greatly expand its original plan for academic use of the computer.
A Digital Equipment Corporation PDP 11/34 computer was installed in July and will begin its use as an educational tool this fall. It will prepare students for science careers, and for life in this challenging new world of push-button banking, two-way cable TV, and sophisticated communication systems.
Through a multi-disciplinary approach, virtually the total student body (95%) will achieve computer literacy over the next four-year period. "Computer literacy is as basic a skill," says College President Eileen Farrell, "as facility with written and spoken language. An understanding of the computer and its application to almost every phase of our lives is rapidly becoming an essential element of a liberal education."
The Greater Pittsburgh region may not strike everyone as a tourist destination, but we have plenty of history, culture, and natural beauty to offer. Hopefully September's featured book display in The Reading Room inspires an appreciative look at the many opportunities we enjoy here in western PA.
Our featured titles this month:
Equilibrium by Elizabeth Lydia Bodner
"[Bodner's] first book, Uncompromising: Family Style... looked at the late 1800s and early 1900s through the eyes of immigrants passing through her grandmother's hotel in East Pittsburgh. Equilibrium [brings] the characters through to the next tumultuous century, maintaining the same family stability and strength." (Publisher's summary; we have Bodner's first book, too!)
Coal Bones by Karen Rose Cercone
"Karen Rose Cercone brings readers back to 1906 Pittsburgh, where a mysterious death in a coal mine involves Detective Milo Kachigan and reporter Helen Sorby in a case that pits big business, organized labor, and poor immigrant workers against each other in a deadly web of conflict." (Publisher's summary) Steel Ashes by Karen Rose Cercone
"In the Pittsburgh of 1905, the burning of a rundown tenement and the deaths of two poor immigrants barely make the evening papers. But there are two courageous figures who refuse to let the murders go unsolved. One is the detective handling the case. The other is a social worker. Apart, they can barely scratch the surface of Pittsburgh's corrupt political machine. Together, they fight the discrimination that threatens to forever shield a sinister cover-up." (Publisher's summary) The Man Who Liked Slow Tomatoes by K.C. Constantine
"Mario Balzic is one of those police chiefs so close to his people that nothing moves or even sits still in his town without his knowing how and why. His town is Rocksburg, a small coal mining town in western Pennsylvania where most of the coal has run out.... If you've not met this Serbo-Italian, profoundly American cop, it's time you did." (Publisher's summary)
The White Rocks by Alonzo F. Hill
"A fictionalized account of an actual murder case in Fayette County in the 1850's." (Publisher's summary)
The Fall-Down Artist by Thomas Lipinski
"Lipinski... presents a rather ordinary Pittsburgh private eye who specializes in insurance fraud cases. Carroll Dorsey maintains an adversarial relationship with his disappointed father (an ambitious attorney) but has found a sympathetic ear in lover Gretchen Keller, an M.D. Dorsey happens upon a vast insurance fraud conspiracy centered on steel mill closings that soon turns personally dangerous." (Library Journal review)
Julie by Catherine Marshall
By the author of the classic Christy. "Set in the last part of the Great Depression, a story of Julie Wallace and her family - of adventure and romance, of courage and commitment, of triumph and tragedy in a flood-prone town in western Pennsylvania." (Publisher's summary)
Snow Angels by Stewart O'Nan
"Arty Parkinson, the protagonist of this fine first novel, returns one Christmas to his hometown of Butler, Pennsylvania, to confront his haunting past-specifically, the winter of 1974, when he turned 15 and two terrible things happened: his family fell apart, and Annie Marchand, the young neighbor who had once been his baby-sitter, was murdered." (Library Journal review)
Two Cities by John Edgar Wideman
"A young woman who has lost her husband and her sons to street violence finally allows herself to love again, then ends up probing the death of an eccentric whose photographs document a half-century of African American history." (Library Journal review)
You may have recently sent your parents or a high school friend a selfie with the Griffin, the Career & Professional Development Center's Handshake chair, or one of the statues around campus. Once upon a time, students had to stay in touch with those at home via snail mail, or, as it used to be known, "mail."
This scan of a postcard is titled "London plane trees View book."
If you're interested in learning more about London Planetrees, the Arbor Day Foundation's website is a good starting point (https://www.arborday.org/trees/treeguide/TreeDetail.cfm?ItemID=904). "The tree was found to thrive in the sooty air and provide wonderful shade." Anyone who has hiked up the Hill on a hot day with a train roaring by will understand why these are good characteristics for trees lining the SHU drive!