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Updated: 5 min 16 sec ago

Zebra Stripes: Explained (Discover)

14 hours 52 min ago




A zebra can’t change its stripes — and why would it want to? Its coat is more than just fashionable: researchers at UC Davis have discovered that those black and white striations may prevent bites from flies carrying fatal diseases. Learn why flies are averse to a zebra’s stripes in Discover.

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Friday Scoreboard

14 hours 52 min ago

Baseball hat operation hat trick
Softball – The Husson University softball team swept Bowdoin in a pair of one-run decisions Friday afternoon.

Baseball - The Bowdoin College baseball team hung with sixth-ranked Southern Maine before giving up a pair of late runs in a 5-3 setback on Friday afternoon.

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The Mysteries of Medicare (The Atlantic)

14 hours 52 min ago

doctor shadow


Recently, U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released data detailing how much money is reimbursed to doctors. The Medicare deputy administrator wrote that he hoped this action would increase transparency and “shed light on Medicare fraud, waste, and abuse” – but many people are confused about what the numbers actually signify. The Atlantic comments on what it all means and what still needs to be explained.

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Annual Relay for Life Raises $30K for Cancer

14 hours 53 min ago

Relay4Life-007About 300 people volunteered to walk the Farley Field House track during the April 5 all-night Relay for Life. The annual event, which is coordinated by students, takes place between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Laurel Varnell ’14, a co-leader with Ursula Munger ’15, said that at last count participants had raised about $30,000, and she expected more donations to come in over the next few weeks. The top fundraising team was Angels for Hope, which raised $2,456, and Munger, who raised $1,220. The money is given to the American Cancer Society. See more photos here.

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Deke Weaver ’85 Awarded Guggenheim Fellowship

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 13:21


Deke Weaver ’85, a performance and multi-media artist who teaches at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, has been awarded a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Weaver’s lifelong project, The Unreliable Bestiary, is presenting a performance for every letter of the alphabet, with each letter represented by an endangered animal. Read more about Deke Weaver and his work.

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The Origin of a Poison

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 13:20

Alison Frank JohnsonWhen it was first manufactured in Germany in the 19th century, cocaine had a different reputation from the one it carries today. Derived from South American coca leaves and called a “wonder drug” by Freud, it was used as an anesthetic that enabled delicate operations such as eye surgeries.

Cocaine’s subsequent slide into infamy was a global process that illustrates the complicated historical relationship between the German and Austrian Empires, according to Harvard history professor Alison Frank Johnson. Johnson presented a lecture at Bowdoin as part of this year’s “Germany In Europe” Campus Week, an annual initiative sponsored by the German Embassy and the Bowdoin College German Department with additional funding from the History Department.

“Johnson’s work on Austrian identity and the Austrian Empire provides insight into topics that tend to get lost in Europe’s history,” said Associate Professor of German Birgit Tautz, who introduced the talk. This historical perspective is relevant today, Tautz said, in understanding Germany’s current role as a bridge between Western and Eastern Europe.

Read more about Johnson’s talk.

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A Changing America (Atlantic)

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 13:20


When you’re a nation of more than 300 million citizens, change doesn’t happen smoothly — or at the same rate among all age, race or ethnic groups. Nevertheless, change is the only constant and The Atlantic provides a quick preview of Pew Research’s new report, The Next Americaproviding a breakdown of many shifts occurring in our ever-changing nation.

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Harpswell Foundation Connects Students from Cambodia with Bowdoin (Bowdoin Orient)

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 13:19

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Cambodian exchange students Sivgech Chheng and Chandy Eng have both made Bowdoin their home for a year, thanks to the Harpswell Foundation in Cambodia.

The foundation provides motivated, intelligent Cambodian women free housing and scholarships to attend college in Phnom Penh. Bowdoin’s partnership with the Harpswell Foundation allows a pair of women to study at Bowdoin for one year. Chheng and Eng are the third pair to come. 

The two both completed their undergraduate studies at law school in Cambodia. In the future, Chheng wants to attract investment to Cambodia, focusing on rural community development. Eng intends to apply to graduate school to study either human rights or gender and women’s studies.

The Bowdoin Orient‘s Katie Foley profiled Chheng and Eng, as well as Juliet Eyraud ’16, who was last year’s summer leadership resident in Cambodia.

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Continuing Coverage: A Fifth Bowdoin-Pulitzer Connection

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 13:19



In what has become an ongoing series, we have learned of yet another Bowdoin connection to this year’s Pulitzer Prizes. Deanne Urmy ’78, senior editor at Houghton Mifflin, edited Megan Marshall’s Margaret Fuller: A New American Life, which won a Pulitzer in the biography category. This brings to five the number of alumni with connections to the  prestigious honor.

Boston Globe reporter Joshua Miller ’08, and Globe editors Cynthia Needham ’99 and Scott Allen ’83 are part of the team awarded a Pulitzer in the Breaking News Reporting category for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings and the ensuing manhunt. Miller and Allen both reported for the Bowdoin Orient.

Mary Helen Miller ’09 — who was the Orient‘s opinion editor in her first year, features editor the year after, managing editor during her junior year, and co-editor-in-chief as a senior — was nominated as part of a team from the Chattanooga Times Free Press as finalists for their work on “Speak No Evil,” a series exploring the “no-snitch” culture that helps perpetuate a cycle of violence in one of the most dangerous cities in the South.

And, by all means, if you know of any other Polar Bears with connections to the 2014 Pulitzer Prizes, we want to hear from you.

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Back at Home, Students Reflect on Alternative Spring Breaks

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 12:20

DSCN3550The 72 students who participated in the McKeen Center’s Alternative Spring Break program gathered for a special dinner at Daggett Lounge recently to reflect on their week of service.

Andrew Lardie, associate director at the McKeen Center, opened the dinner by encouraging students to “celebrate the discomfort that individuals and groups can experience as a result of encounters with difference during service trips.” He said a kind of “creative tension” can come from diverse groups and individuals taking the first steps in learning about each other without the presumption of privilege or domination.

Since its founding in 2004, the Alternative Spring Break program has allowed students to perform community service all over the U.S. and Guatemala during the first week of their spring vacation. Student leaders propose, design and run the trips. They are responsible for recruiting participants, planning trip logistics and coordinating with the host site. Read the full story by Kiyomi Mino ’16.

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Three Indicators the Economy is Back in Shape (Fortune)

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 12:20

One dollar origami money butterflyAs the snow finally melts and spring breaks through what was a polar vortex, the economy also seems to be coming out of hibernation.

Despite a few months of poor job reports and other lousy statistics, Fortune points out three indicators that suggest signs of better days to come, including increased retail sales, large numbers of new cars being sold, and significant low numbers of unemployed Americans.

See for yourself signs that the economy is blooming once again here. 

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On Being 65 (New York)

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 12:19
Abelardo Morell '71 and Lisa McElaney '77

Abelardo Morell ’71 and Lisa McElaney ’77

Age 65 comes with its strife–loss of physical acumen, a cynicism toward “da youth” or the successors of the world–but it also marks the age of wisdom, the culmination of experience, and the “liberating urgency of old age.” Writer Mark Jacobson grapples with the feeling of panic and claustrophobia warring the feeling of “fears, nightmares nurtured the bulk of his life [beginning] to lighten.” He discusses the feeling of being on the outside looking in, finally recognizing that “the world no longer belongs to us.” But he does have a least one piece of advice to offer for all the cynical teens who see only a dystopia of a world, including his daughter: “Wait. It will seem better in the morning.”

Jacobson’s article is featured in the New York magazine with portraits of New Yorkers born in 1948, including Abelardo Morell ’77. See these beautiful portraits and Jacobson’s entire article here.


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Paul Miller ’92 aka ‘DJ Spooky’ Breaks Barriers For Collaboration (Co.Create)

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 12:19

Paul Miller ’92, perhaps better known as DJ Spooky, and art-tech incubator CultureHub have created a series of multi-media performances that will allow viewers to watch performers in Seoul and New York City perform live together communicating through super hi-def, hi-speed live video. The show, called Seoul Counterpoint, grew out of Miller’s residency at Seoul Institute of the Arts and played this weekend in New York. The show is scheduled to tour around the world for the next two years. Read more.

Seoul Counterpoint: Piri from CultureHub on Vimeo.

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Two Seniors Win Watson Travel Grants

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 12:37
2014 Watson fellows Alex Marecki ’14 and Rodrigo Bijou ’14

2014 Watson fellows Alex Marecki ’14 and Rodrigo Bijou ’14

A humanitarian soccer player and an advocate for greater digital privacy have each won a one-year grant from the Thomas J. Watson Foundation to travel the world.

While the two seniors, Alexander Marecki and Rodrigo Bijou, share a strong sense of purpose and a deep curiosity, they have strikingly different agendas for next year. Marecki, a lifelong soccer player, plans to volunteer with nonprofits, from Scotland to Ghana, which help disadvantaged children through soccer. Bijou will investigate hacker communities in South America and Europe.

Each year, the Watson fellowship awards $28,000 to 40 or so graduating seniors, with the stipulation that they don’t return to the United States for 12 months. Cindy Stocks, Bowdoin’s director of student fellowships and research, said the fellowship supports students who have particular passions and specific aims. A compelling Watson project is one whose goals can’t be accomplished by any other means, such as graduate school or the Peace Corps. “Alex and Rodrigo proposed fascinating projects that couldn’t be achieved without the support of a Watson Fellowship,” Stocks said. Read more about the two seniors’ plans.

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Kolster Takes Camera to the Savannah River (Augusta Chronicle)

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 12:36

As part of his Guggenheim-funded project ‘Take Me to the River,’ Associate Professor of Art Michael Kolster spent a month this spring photographing the Savannah River in the southeastern U.S., where his old-fashioned camera setup caught the eye of an editor at The Augusta Chronicle (of Augusta, Georgia).

Overlooking the Savannah River and I-20 Bridge, Aiken County, SC Michael Kolster, 2014, ambrotype, 7 3/8 x 9 3/16 inches

Overlooking the Savannah River and I-20 Bridge, Aiken County, SC
Michael Kolster, 2014, ambrotype, 7 3/8 x 9 3/16 inches

Starting in 2011, with Maine’s very own Androscoggin River as his first subject, Kolster has been using a 19th-century wet-plate photography technique to explore the stories of American rivers that were hit with pollution at the onset of the Industrial Revolution – rivers that went on to experience an age of recovery after the 1972 Clean Water Act.

“As they shed their role as depositories of waste and become cleaner, they are also undergoing large shifts in how we view them,” Kolster said in the story. “I use an older, antiquated photographic process to consider how the past and present uses of these places intermingle to affect their appearance.”

See more photographs and learn more about the project on Kolster’s website.

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Alexa Staley ’11 Shares Her ‘Passion for Understanding’

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 12:35


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Alexa Staley ’11, interviewed in the documentary, “LIGO, A Passion for Understanding.”

Alexa Staley ’11, currently a graduate student at Columbia, is featured in the documentary, “LIGO, A Passion for Understanding,” which shares the work of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory and those who help support it. Staley, daughter of Bowdoin College Trustee Jes Staley ’79, thought perhaps she’d be an economics major when she first came to the College, but after encountering Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity in a course taught by Professor of Physics and Astronomy Thomas Baumgarte, Staley says she was hooked. Staley speaks of her work in experimental physics about 7:00 into the film.

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Stop the Presses: Four Bowdoin Alumni Awarded Pulitzer Honors

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 12:30



Breaking news, rolled into a correction: As the Bowdoin Daily Sun first told you Tuesday morning, a number of alumni have earned Pulitzer honors, but sources tell us there are more than first reported.

Boston Globe reporter Joshua Miller ’08, and Globe editors Cynthia Needham ’99 and Scott Allen ’83 are part of the team awarded a Pulitzer in the Breaking News Reporting category for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings and the ensuing manhunt. Miller and Allen both reported for the Bowdoin Orient.

Mary Helen Miller ’09 — who was the Orient‘s opinion editor in her first year, features editor the year after, managing editor during her junior year, and co-editor-in-chief as a senior — was nominated as part of a team from the Chattanooga Times Free Press as finalists for their work on “Speak No Evil,” a series exploring the “no-snitch” culture that helps perpetuate a cycle of violence in one of the most dangerous cities in the South.



Categories: Bowdoin

Bowdoin College President to Step Down in 2015

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 13:21


Bowdoin College President Barry Mills announced Monday that he will step down in June 2015 at the conclusion of his 14th year as head of Maine’s oldest college.

“Anyone who knows me knows how much I love leading Bowdoin, and Karen and I and our boys are proud citizens of Brunswick,” wrote Mills in an email message to Bowdoin students, faculty, and staff. “It is the honor of a lifetime to serve as president of this fantastic College, which is as strong today as in any period during its proud history. In fact, it is because of this strength and because of my affection for the College that I choose to step down next year. Transitions are inevitable, and after what will be 14 tremendous years as president, I believe it is time for me to make way for new leadership to propel Bowdoin into its next period of greatness.”

Mills, 63, said he does not intend to retire and will seek another “professional challenge.” He noted that he has “reinvented” himself several times during his career and is “eager to see what comes next.” In his message to the Bowdoin community, Mills said his announcement would do nothing to slow progress at the liberal arts college. “There will be plenty of time later to look back on our time together, but not now,” wrote Mills. “For now, it must be full speed ahead to preserve access and opportunity, and to strive constantly for the excellence that sets Bowdoin apart.”

In The NewsU.S. Senator Angus King H’07 and U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud released statements about President Mills’ announcement. Read coverage in the Bangor Daily News.

In a separate message to students, faculty, and staff, the chair of Bowdoin’s Board of Trustees, Deborah Jensen Barker, praised Mills for his exceptional contributions and announced the formation of a search committee to name his successor. Barker said the committee will be named in May and will include representatives from Bowdoin’s faculty, staff, alumni, and student body. “Barry’s shoes will be tremendously difficult to fill,” said Barker, “but with thanks to his leadership, our College has never been in a stronger position. We will take on this task with gratitude for his remarkable service and with confidence in our ability to identify the very best candidate to serve as Bowdoin’s 15th president.”

A native of Rhode Island, Mills graduated in 1968 from Pilgrim High School in Warwick, RI. He was a Dean’s List student at Bowdoin, where he graduated cum laude in 1972 with a double major in biochemistry and government. He earned his doctorate in biology in 1976 at Syracuse University and his law degree at the Columbia University School of Law in 1979, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. Prior to becoming Bowdoin’s 14th president in 2001, he served as deputy presiding partner of Debevoise & Plimpton in New York City, one of the nation’s preeminent international law firms. His wife, Karen Gordon Mills, served in President Barack Obama’s cabinet as the administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration from 2009 until August 2013. She is currently a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Business School and at the Harvard Kennedy School, Beginning in July 2014, she will be a member of the Harvard Corporation, known formally as the President and Fellows of Harvard College — Harvard’s principal fiduciary governing board. The couple has three sons, William, Henry, and George, all of whom are graduates of Brunswick High School.

For additional biographical information, and downloadable photos of Barry and Karen Mills, visit the Bowdoin College website.

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25 Pieces of Wisdom for Beginning Entrepreneurs (Business Insider)

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 13:16



The grocery list for a successful start-up is not unfamiliar. You’re going to need money, drive, expertise, patience and nerves of steel. As you collect these items, check out what 25 established entrepreneurs wish they had known from the start.



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How Famous Artists and Scholars Lived (Twisted Sifter)

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 13:15

Ludwig van Beethoven I Antique Portrait GalleryLast year, Mason Currey published his book, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, which took an in-depth look at the daily routines of 161 of history’s most influential people. Twisted Sifter provides a preview of 16 of Currey’s featured artists, with info-graphics to represent how each person broke down their daily routines. 

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