March 2017

Great Googling

March 9, 2017 • Written by

Who doesn’t use a search engine? In fact, a search engine is statistically the first web page most people see when they go online. An average user is not a search expert and they likely use a search engine in its simplest form… just typing in a few search terms and going from there.

But, search engines can do much more than you might think!

In this blog post we have posted a handful of really cool tips that we just know you will love. Please note: In these instructions we are primarily referring to Google.  However, these tips will work in other search engines as well.

Let’s get started!

Searching an Explicit Phrase:

Lets say you are looking for content about the Winnipeg Jets.  Instead of just typing Winnipeg Jets into the Google search box, you will be better off searching explicitly for the phrase “Winnipeg Jets”.  To do this, simply enclose the search phrase inside quotation marks.

Search phrase: "Winnipeg Jets"           --> try it

Using a Wildcard within Quotes:

Lets say you are searching for a quote (or a song lyric) and you are not sure of one of the words. Replace the part you’re not sure of with the wildcard character (* – an asterisk). For example if you knew only part of a quote “Life is wasted on” from an unknown source or the lyric “Heard it from a friend” from an unknown song, you could use this search method to discover the source.

Search phrase: "Life is wasted on *"          --> try it

Search phrase: "Heard it from a friend *"      --> try it

Excluding Words

Lets say you want to search for info about the name Justin, but you want to exclude the results that may be included that have info about Justin Bieber. Simply use the minus (-) sign in front of a keyword you want to exclude from your search results.

Search phrase: Justin -Bieber        --> try it

A Site Specific Search

Often, you want to search a specific website for relevant content.  Even if the site doesn’t support a built-in search feature, you can use Google to search the site for your term. Simply use the “site:hostname.com” modifier.  For example, to search the tsn.ca website for information about the Winnipeg Jets:

Search phrase: Winnipeg Jets site:tsn.ca        --> try it

A Synonym Search

Let’s say you want to include a word in your search, but you also wish to include results that contain similar words or synonyms.  To do this, use the tilde (~) character in front of the word. For example, you could search for “Winnipeg Jobs” and then also search for “Winnipeg Employment” and get two different results.  However if you search for “Winnipeg ~employment” you should get all results for Winnipeg and all synonyms of employment included.

Search phrase: winnipeg ~employment         --> try it

Searching for a Specific Document Type

Performing a Filetype Specific Search

Performing a Filetype Specific Search

If you’re looking to find results that are of a specific type, you can use the modifier “filetype:”.  For example, you might want to find only PDF files related to the Red River College:

Search phrase: Red River College filetype:pdf        --> try it

Searching for This OR That

By default, when you do a search, Google will include all the terms specified in the search.  If you are looking for any one of one or more terms to match, then you can use the OR operator.  Please note that the OR has to be capitalized.

Search phrase: "winnipeg jets" OR "manitoba moose"         --> try it

Conclusion

There are dozens of tips which can be used with Google, but this is all for now!  We will post more in a future blog entry.

Simple Stress Soothers

March 8, 2017 • Written by

Are you overwhelmed? …Worried? …Run down?

Here are some quick and easy solutions to help you counteract the stress in your life. These are borrowed from Deborah Davis’s book, Adult learner’s companion (pages 28, 29), available at Red River College Library.

⇒ Take deep breaths

Deep breathing calms you and helps you think more clearly.

Look further: Stress Management: Breathing Exercises for Relaxation

⇒ Think before you speak

Listening and thinking before speaking allows you to respond to others calmly and appropriately, which results in better feelings all around.

Look further: Think Before you Speak (3 min video)

Find some physical activity

Any form of exercise is a stress-reliever. Even a ten-minute walk during break is beneficial. Exercise also tires you and helps you sleep better.

Look further: Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress

Make a date

Connect with others, get out of yourself and have a few laughs.

Eat slowly

It is better for digestion, you will enjoy your food more, and it may help you lose weight.

Look further: Top Ten Mindful Eating Apps

Turn off the TV

Some people use TV to zone out, as a way to avoid dealing with their stress. This may make you feel better temporarily, but in the long run it actually adds to your stress.

Eat stress-reducing foods

The right foods have the power to calm you, lower stress hormones, build up the immune system, and lower blood pressure. Sunflower seeds and oatmeal are among foods that can help fight stress.

Look further: How to Eat Right to Reduce Stress

Change your perception

Changing how you look at something can completely change your experience of it. Taking control of your thoughts is a powerful stress reliever.

Look further: The Art of Thinking Differently


More on Stress:

For more information on stress management and other resources at RRC Library, stop by the Library desk or contact our reference staff at:

 

 

Music: Mind Medicine and More

March 2, 2017 • Written by

Music has long been recognized for its ability to trigger memories. Dr. Anne Fabiny says, “Some people, who had seemed unable to speak, proceed to sing and dance to the music, and others are able to recount when and where they had listened to that music. The music seems to open doors to the residents’ memory vaults” (Source: Music can boost memory and mood, Harvard Women’s Health Watch. Mar2015, Vol. 22 Issue 7, p7-7. 2/3p.).

Alive Inside: Music Reawakens Souls

Alive Inside is a joyous cinematic exploration of music’s capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity. Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music.

View the trailer here:

To view the full video, click here: Alive Inside (RRC network log in required)

Music for Motor Skills and Pain

Music and dance have been used to improve movements and motor skills in patients with Parkinson’s for years. One such patient, Larry Jennings, would be debilitated by Parkinson’s at one moment, and dancing and singing to music at the next. View the transformation on CTV News here: ‘Instantaneous results’: How music transformed a man with Parkinson’s.

Not only does music trigger memories and improve motor skills, “Listening to music is known to raise people’s pain thresholds, so much so that in some cases, it can be used to reduce the need for morphine-like painkillers,” says Penny Sarchet in Brain on music kills pain of workouts (New Scientist. 8/8/2015, Vol. 227 Issue 3033, p10-10. 1p. 1). Listening to music can also reduce the perceived amount of effort in exercise, can enhance mood and impact our immune system.

An Investigation by The Nature of Things

I Got Rhythm: The Science of Song (RRC network log in required) is an episode of The Nature of Things which investigates the effects of music on human beings: “Why do we sing? Are we hardwired for melodies? Scientists and musicians explore the many ways that music profoundly affects the human body, the brain and human emotions. It’s one of the oldest forms of communication, and like language, music seems an essential tool employed by humans for multiple needs.” (Source: Curio.ca)

More on How Music Benefits the Brain:

Changes to Student Email coming in March

March 1, 2017 • Written by

During the month of March, Red River College IT Solutions will be moving into the next phase of enhancements to the Student Email system, moving Student Mailboxes to Office 365 in the Cloud.

Students will access the Student Email service in the same manner that they have in the past, by using HUB, and will have the additional benefit of mobile access on their phones or tablets using Microsoft’s Apps.  Student Email using Office 365 will have a similar look and feel to the existing Student Email system, with slight changes in colours and enhanced features.  The email addresses for all students will continue to use the “username@academic.rrc.ca” format, allowing for a smooth transition into the new system and ensuring that communication from Faculty and Staff will continue to flow without issue.

Students will be notified by email of the upcoming change through an All Student email.  Additionally, students will receive an email from ITS on the day prior to their mailbox moving to make them aware of the imminent change.  No action is required by the students for this change to occur.

For further information and help please refer to:
http://blogs.rrc.ca/its/help-resources/