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Updated: 26 min 31 sec ago

Former Defense Secretary William Cohen ’62 Among NCAA’s Celebrated Student-Athletes

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:05


Former U.S. Secretary of Defense and 1962 All-State basketball player William S. Cohen '62, H'75 shoots hoops in Sargent Gym.

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense and 1962 All-State basketball player William S. Cohen ’62, H’75 shoots hoops in Sargent Gym in 2012.

The NCAA is celebrating former student-athletes with the launch of  “NCAA After the Game,” a compilation of stories that recognize the accomplishments scored after their playing days. Among those featured — former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen ’62, H’75, a standout basketball player during his years at Bowdoin.

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The East Coast’s ‘European’ Rails (National Geographic)

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:04

Interior of a Pullman train of 1930'sOne of the classic traveler fantasies about Europe is the ability to hop from one renowned location to another in a matter of hours, thanks to the extensive railway network connecting cities and countries alike. But who says you can’t have the same multi-city cultural experience in the U.S.? National Geographic‘s “Digital Nomad” made the trek by train from Washington D.C., to Philadelphia, Boston and New York in one trip — and he already looks forward to doing it again.

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Toph Tucker ’13 Is on the Cover of Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:02

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

Toph Tucker ’13 wore various hats during his tenure at the Bowdoin Orient, who would have guessed he would be modeling as part of his job as graphics editor for Bloomberg Businessweek? He posed as the quintessential Silicon Valley Tech Bro — a nod to the Mark Zuckerberg archetype in his nonchalant hoodie. The cover article explores the truth behind this schema and the dynamics that tech companies have created in cities such as San Francisco.

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Got Five Minutes? You’ve Got No Excuse (New York Times)

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:00

Exercise ballFor the past few years, doctors have been recommending 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day for better health. But what if there was a shortcut to fitness that would also help you live longer? As it turns out, even just five minutes of running can add extra years onto your life and decrease your risk of dying from heart disease — significantly more so than moderate exercise. For those who can’t stand running, the good news is that any vigorous exercise counts.

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NBC’s Cynthia McFadden ’78 on the Life of Lauren Bacall (NBC Nightly News)

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 16:08
Cynthia McFadden '78, H'12

Cynthia McFadden ’78, H’12


Stage and screen legend Lauren Bacall died earlier this week at the age of 89. The Tony- and Oscar-winning actress, known to generations of fans for her smoky voice and smoldering look, was known to friends as Betty, the name with which she had been born.

Cynthia McFadden ’78, H’12, senior legal and investigative correspondent for NBC News, counts herself among those who knew the real Betty, and shared a look at Bacall’s life and career on The NBC Nightly News.

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Off-Campus Scholars: Studying Cosmic Rays and Fisheries Bycatch

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 16:04

davis unruhWhile many Bowdoin students stay on campus to do research over the summer, there are always some who pursue research opportunities elsewhere, sometimes on another university campus, a laboratory, or even an oceangoing vessel.

For instance, Margaret Lindeman ’15 and Sara Hamilton ’16 joined scientists in Greenland this summer to study the effects of climate change. Erin Voss ’16 traveled to Colorado’s Rocky Mountains to look into yellow-bellied marmot habitats and species distribution.

The Bowdoin Daily Sun caught up with two off-campus researchers, Davis Unruh ’16 and Karl Reinhardt ’15, who are, respectively, investigating the skies and the seas. Read about the summer experiences of Unruh and Reinhardt.

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The Freedom That Modern Kids No Longer Have (Slate)

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 16:02

003playgroundIf you were born prior to the 1980s, at what age did you start walking to school? Walking alone at night? Playing without an adult on the playground? Chances are, you walked and played without a whole lot of supervision at a much younger age than those born after the Reagan era would report.

The rise of media attention to kidnappers and other hazards to children during that time frame is one of the factors that has heightened parental vigilance. Changing attitudes toward some aspects of young life are also a factor. Slate asks, are we putting too short of a leash on our kids now – or should we have been paying more attention back then?

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Who Are We Tipping, Really? (Eater)

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 16:00

One dollar origami money butterflyThe end of a meal is a less-than-ideal, yet it’s the culturally sanctioned time to find yourself doing math (at least in America). “It makes no sense,” New York City chef Amanda Cohen laments, “at the end of the meal, just when people are very drunk, or very full, or very ready for romance,” they have to calculate a tip.

But it’s not just the buzzkill element that worries her: servers are relying on the generosity of customers to make up for sub-minimum wages. Studies have shown that the smallest of server behaviors and attributes, such as hair color or a smiley on the check, can affect how much gratuity they receive. And even if a diner leaves an extra-generous amount, the low-paid kitchen staff do not benefit from the surplus — not to mention that choosing how much to tip puts the burden on the customer to alert the manager of good or bad service. Cohen makes the case for service charges and the end of restaurant tipping.

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Rudalevige on Presidential Term Limits (Washington Post)

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:33
Andrew Rudalevige

Andrew Rudalevige


Andrew Rudalevige, Bowdoin’s Thomas Bracket Reed Professor of Government, has been in demand of late — appearing in Washington Post blogs left and right. On the heels of his latest regular appearance in the political science research blog, The Monkey Cagehis observations and insights also appeared in the August 12 edition of the Post‘s daily political blog, The Fix, in the article, “Second Term Presidents Almost Always Fail. Should We Get Rid of Term Limits on Them?

“I think that the need to run for re-election keeps presidents honest,” says Rudalevige in the piece. “If anything, the 22nd amendment limiting presidents to two terms is the problem; Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers waxes eloquent about the accountability imposed by the desire to make the voters want to vote for you.”


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10,000 Hours or Musical Genetics? (Scientific American)

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:32

SheetMusic128How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice… Or that’s what we’d like to think. It’s comforting to believe that musical ability is related to the amount of time you invest and this time alone — but could it be that musical ability is also dependent on your genes? This is essentially a question of nature vs. nurture, like so many others, and research suggests that genes do influence musical ability — as well as the inclination to practice in the first place.

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Students Extend a Hand to Refugees

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:31

Each year, many Bowdoin students seek ways of working with Maine’s refugee and immigrant populations. They intern with nonprofit legal clinics, teach English as a second language, and tutor the children of immigrant families. This summer, several students took advantage of Bowdoin grants to pursue more in-depth and professional experiences. They interned with organizations that work closely with refugees and immigrants, both in Maine and around the country. Read about the experiences of Emily Weinberger ’15, Brian Golger ’15, Justin Ehringhaus ’16, Margaret Webster ’16 and Alex Sukles ’17.

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An Asteroid ‘Facelift’ Shaped the Ancient Face Of the Earth (Huffington Post)

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:15

GlobeThe Earth was formed about 4.5 billion years ago — so why is it that the oldest rocks we know of come from 8 million years later than that? Scientists have developed a new model that blames a storm of asteroids for “excavating, mixing and burying the Earth’s crust” — not to mention blasts by asteroids 620 miles across, that would likely have sterilized the earth and turned the oceans from water to steam. Learn more about this new model — and its one missing piece.

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Bowdoin’s Rudalevige: ‘Executive Directives — and Misdirection’ (Washington Post)

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 13:30
Andrew Rudalevige

Andrew Rudalevige



Andrew Rudalevige, Bowdoin’s Thomas Bracket Reed Professor of Government, sheds some light on the matter of the U.S. House of Representative suing President Barack Obama over the alleged abuse of executive powers.

In the Washington Post political blog, Monkey Cage, Rudalevige examines some of the claims, and points to a difference between executive orders and executive powers.

Read “Executive Directives — And Misdirection.” 

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Having Work Done: Museum’s Bronze Statues Undergo Rejuvenation

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 13:29
"Pre-treatment" shot of ancient Greek orator Demosthenes outside the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

“Pre-treatment” shot of ancient Greek orator Demosthenes outside the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.


Having withstood the weather and elements of Maine for 120 years, two life-size bronze statues outside the Bowdoin College Museum of Art are being rejuvenated.

Crafted by renowned Neapolitan bronze caster Sabatino de Angelis, the 19th century sculptures of the Ancient Greek playwright Sophocles and the ancient Greek orator Demosthenes are original to the 1894 Beaux Arts Walker Art Building.

Noted architect Charles Follen McKim of McKim, Mead & White, designed the building, which underwent a $20.8 million award-winning renovation and restoration in 2007. Read more about the conservation project.

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Can Money Buy Happiness? (The Atlantic)

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 13:12

Money childSpend money on experiences, not things, says traditional wisdom. But think about it: some goods can too be “experiential.” Imagine you buy (and subsequently learn how to play very well) a guitar: you get the psychological benefits of mastery, self expression, and connection with others through music. The Atlantic gives you a quick and handy guide for which categories of goods are likely to boost happiness – and which are likely to lose their luster.

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Elena Schaef ’16 Mobilizes Art to Reach Disadvantaged Students

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 13:10

Elena Schaef ’16 Empowers Students Through Art from Bowdoin College on Vimeo.

It’s always evident when the ArtVan comes to town: it’s a 12-passenger van splashed with multicolored designs over every visible surface, filled to the brim with art supplies — and you can spot Elena Schaef ’16 behind the wheel. ArtVan is a non-profit art therapy organization that brings the arts to disadvantaged kids of all ages who would not otherwise have access to the same type of creative outlet.

Building on her experience working and performing with Bowdoin’s theater department, Schaef has developed an improv theater program to do with ArtVan participants this summer, including costume design and warmup games. “Art just crosses all kinds of boundaries,” Schaef says, “and really digs into your subconscious in a way that you don’t need to train or hone.”

This video was shot at the ArtVan headquarters in Fort Andross and at Tree Street Youth in Lewiston, Maine.

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Learning About Geoscience in the Himalayas

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 13:06


Hannah Marshall (top left) and Alex Reisley, (bottom left)

Hannah Marshall (top left) and Alex Reisley, (bottom left)

This summer, Bowdoin students Hannah Marshall ’16 and Alex Reisley ’16 trekked through the world’s deepest river gorge, visited Buddhist monasteries and investigated geological phenomena. They were part of the School for International Training’s Geoscience in the Himalaya program, which immerses students in Nepalese culture and trains them in field research methods and GIS technology before setting them off to pursue independent projects. Read the full story and check out what other Bowdoin students are up to this summer.

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What Type of International Businessperson Are You? (HBR)

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 13:04

International flagsAround the globe, elements of each culture’s relational, behavioral and cognitive styles are numerous and nuanced. Erin Meyer, author of The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business, has compiled a quiz for Harvard Business Review that allows you to see where you fall on eight cultural dimension scales as compared to your own or other cultures.

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Evolution in Action (New York Times)

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 13:02

Charles Darwin Postage StampCharles Darwin wrote of evolution that while the evidence is all around us,  “we see nothing of these slow changes in progress, until the hand of time has marked the lapse of ages.” However, biologists Peter and Rosemary Grant have witnessed major changes during 40 years of finch research on the volcanic island Daphne Major. Their living conditions alone make these researchers fascinating, not to mention their discoveries when a new finch hybrid landed on Daphne and began reproducing, visibly altering the finch population right before their eyes.

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Omega-3 Fatty Ambiguities (Slate)

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 13:00

William Noah and Martha Ilumigayak Noah, Qiviuq’s Journey, Stonecut and stencil on paper, 23/50, Baker Lake, 1973. Robert and Judith Toll Collection. Photograph by Dean Abramson.

A paper written in the 1970s plays a major role in our association between omega-3 fatty acids — a nutrient found in cold-water fish, among other foods — and heart health. The researchers responsible were studying the Inuit population of Greenland. They found that, despite their diet based almost entirely around meat and seafood, they seemed to display lower rates of heart disease.

We as a society have internalized the benefits of omega-3 supplements and weekly fish intake without really being sure that this is true — the researchers relied on official Greenland medical records that may not have taken into account deaths in remote communities, skewing their views of Inuit heart disease rates. They did not actually examine any hearts, either, as they were nutritionists rather than cardiologists. To make matters more complicated, scientists have not been able to produce studies demonstrating clear benefits of 0mega-3 fatty acids on rates of heart disease.

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