Parents and Families
Right now Bowdoin is a writing powerhouse. No fewer than four illustrious writers – Susan Faludi, Russ Rymer, Jaed Coffin, and Sarah Braunstein – are on campus this year as visiting faculty members, joining Professor of English Brock Clarke to teach courses in fiction and creative nonfiction.Read excerpts from their books: Sarah Braunstein’s The Sweet Relief of Missing Children • Brock Clarke’s The Happiest People in the World • Jaed Coffin’s A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants • Susan Faludi’s The Terror Dream • Russ Rymer’s Paris Twilight
Between the five of them they have authored a wide array of published works – books on feminism, articles on science, novels, memoirs, short stories, and more. “Having these distinguished writers with us is an inspiration and invaluable resource for our students,” said Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd.
As part of a series of readings by the visiting writers, Rymer will read from his novel Paris Twilight on March 31 at 4:30 p.m. in Massachusetts Hall.
A Bowdoin ornithologist, two artists and a composer have collaborated on an evocative new art installation that warns viewers of collapsing songbird populations while mesmerizing them with its moving images and music.
The installation, called Quiet Skies, will be at the Kala Gallery in Berkeley, Calif., through Sunday, March 30. The artists behind the multimedia presentation are printmaker Barbara Putnam, a former Bowdoin Coastal Studies Scholar, and two Boston University faculty: Associate Professor of Art Deborah Cornell and Professor of Music Richard Cornell. They worked with Nat Wheelwright, who is Bowdoin’s Anne T. and Robert M. Bass professor of natural sciences. Wheelwright studies the behavioral ecology of birds.
While they work in different disciplines, the artists and scientist share something in common. They are all deeply concerned about the environment, and their work touches on the deleterious effect of humans on habitats and ecosystems.
Jef Boeke, class of 1976, spoke on All Things Considered yesterday about a new synthetic yeast chromosome he and his team have created in their lab from long strings of DNA.
“It’s a milestone in the rapidly growing field of synthetic biology,” NPR’s Richard Harris reports. “In this case, the near-term goal is to understand the genetics of yeast, and eventually the genetics of us.” Humans have similar chromosomes to yeast. Boeke and other scientists are using this research to try to answer “big questions, such as what is in DNA that keeps one species separate from the next.”
Boeke is director of the Institute for Systems Genetics at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, and part of an international consortium that is trying to build the remaining 15 yeast chromosomes.
Exclamation points have worked their way into much of the text we write and see every day, appearing in everything from restaurant receipts (Please let us know how we did!!!) to bathroom signs (Toilet paper only in toilet!!!).
Language purists worry we’re diluting the meaning of our words, and that we should only use exclamation points to express a high degree of emotion. But other linguists argue that language is always changing, “and exclamation marks are just one example of how we alter the way we speak and write to foster social connections and adapt to changing modes of communication,” such as smart phones. ”By responding to people the same way they communicate with us, we bond.”
Well-known to the Bowdoin community, a famous Hunan bronze lid, exhibited at the Museum in 2011, will be reunited with the vessel it once topped. When the Bowdoin College Museum of Art presented the exhibition Along the Yangzi River: Regional Culture of the Bronze Age from Hunan in the fall of 2011, visitors were fascinated by the dramatic shape and intricate decoration of a sculptural lid.
The ornate piece had originally topped a wine vessel, used for ceremonial sacrifices some 3,000 years ago. Many visitors wondered where this matching vessel was located (answer: in a private collection) and whether both parts would ever find together. After the exhibition, organized by New York’s China Institute and also seen at the Museum of Art, the only other venue for the show, the work returned to display at the Hunan Provincial Museum in Southern China.
This week The Art Newspaper reported that the ancient bronze vessel with which the piece was previously associated, but from which it has been separated since the 1920s, has now been acquired by a private consortium of philanthropists from China who plan to donate the piece to the Hunan Provincial Museum.
The effort reflects ongoing interest in the important bronzes that traveled to Bowdoin in 2011 and suggests an exciting new chapter in the history of the provocative Lid of the “Mintianquan” Rectangular Lei. Read the description from the Christie’s catalog.
-Joachim Homann, Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Getting places has never felt easier, but what happens when the money for infrastructure starts vanishing? A new development has been the widening gap between the amount of money that is being invested in infrastructure and the amount that ought to be. Read more in The Economist.
From early evening to late night, Bowdoin alumni informed and entertained audiences on national television Wednesday. An article by Fortune magazine writer Beth Kowitt ’07 was the $1,200 clue in the “Management” category on Jeopardy! (Do you know the question to the answer? Check out Kowitt’s article to find out.)
Later that night The Late Show with David Letterman welcomed comedian Hari Kondabolu ’04, who performed a stand-up set.
Perhaps the most underrated job of the century is that of the plumber. According to Labor Bureau statistics, “the number of plumbers employed is expected to grow 21 percent by 2022, versus 11 percent across all occupations.”
Certified as a plumber at age 20, Dan Mallory says he enjoys his work, and admits the downsides are the unpredictable hours and the unpredictable weather conditions, but says long days don’t faze him and “more hours mean more income” — ranging from $49,000 to $70,000, depending on the location. Get more of a glimpse into the life of a plumber.
It’s all about being in the right place at the right time. For many students, that could mean a spring break spent at home, or someplace warm, or perhaps volunteering somewhere to make a difference. It can also mean being at JFK’s JetBlue terminal — with a Bowdoin banner in your carry-on, no less — encountering returning students and sharing their smiling faces on Twitter. With thanks to the always-prepared Alumni Relations Associate Director Sarah Cameron.
Keep up with other events as they happen by visiting Bowdoin Social.
Given today’s accelerated modes of communication, few big surprises are actually that. Not so with what’s being touted as the biggest scientific breakthrough of the year.
News of primordial B-mode polarizations — echoes from the moments after the Big Bang — seemed to come out of nowhere. No rumors. No leaks. Read more about the discovery and why researchers were so tight-lipped about it.