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A daily look at Bowdoin and the world
Updated: 12 min 11 sec ago

How Photography Provides Release for Those With Mental Disorders (NYTimes)

Mon, 09/01/2014 - 12:13
Abandoned, by Danielle Hark

Abandoned by Danielle Hark

Living with anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder or other mental disorders can make it an uphill battle to stay present and engaged. Danielle Hark found no release from debilitating depression until the day she began snapping photos with her iPhone. “It doesn’t matter how the photos come out,” she says, “it’s a mindfulness process that brings me into my body. I’m not worrying about the past or the future, just looking through the lens.” She turned her experience into the Broken Light Collective, which allows people to come together and articulate their state of mental health through images. Read more from the New York Times.

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Bowdoin Deans Offer Top 10 Tips for First-Years (WCSH 207)

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 13:12

On the Maine TV show 207, Janet Lohmann and Michael Wood, dean and assistant dean of first-year students at Bowdoin, give their best tips for students and parents on adjusting to the first year of college.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 09.22.19

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Tapping Liberal Arts Training in the Business World (Harvard Business Review)

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 13:10

Innovation creativity imagination
They’re trained to solve complex problems. Navigate ambiguity. Innovate. Communicate. These are some of the reasons why liberal arts graduates are sought after by the biggest consulting firms, and why other employers should target them too, says Harvard Business Review. 

Read more about why hiring from the humanities is the way to go for CEOs worldwide.

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Claudia Villar-Leeman ’15 Studies the Future of Forests

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 13:05

Claudia Villar-Leeman with her mentor, Ahmed A.H.Siddig, a PhD candidate at UMass

Claudia Villar-Leeman lived in the woods for 11 weeks this summer to investigate the “chaotic” changes that a bug the size of a dot is wreaking on East Coast forests.

The biology major won a National Science Foundation fellowship to work with scientists who are looking into the decline of eastern hemlock trees. In 18 states, the conifers are being wiped out by the hemlock woolly adelgid, an invasive insect from Asia.

First accidentally introduced to the United States in the 1950s — possibly by someone importing an ornamental hemlock from Japan — the pest is at this point unstoppable. “Hemlocks are doomed,” Villar-Leeman said. “I am not sure if they will go extinct, but the bug is uncontrollable and scientists are studying how the forests will change after the die-off.”

With 22 undergraduates (selected from an applicant pool of over 700), as well as graduate students and seasoned scientists, Villar-Leeman worked in the Harvard Forest, the university’s 107-year-old, 3,750-acre ecological research area in Western Massachusetts. Read the full story.

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Where Did the Black-and-White Cookie Come From? (Eater)

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 13:04

Black and White Cookies with a Cup Of CoffeeThis pastry, associated with New York City and its numerous delis, is more of a flat cake than a cookie – which may have to do with the Dutch word koekje (pronounced “cookie”), meaning little cake. The Dutch settled on the East Coast in the 17th and 18th centuries, a time during which other cake-like cookies – such as the madeleine – were also making an appearance.

The cookie’s fondant topping, split down the middle in flavor and color, is said to represent the half-moon, a medieval symbol that draws a connection with New York’s European past.

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Time-lapse: Arrival Day for First-Year Students

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 13:36

This time-lapse shows off the flurry of activity that began on campus at 9 a.m. Tuesday as 504 incoming Bowdoin students moved into their residence halls. The students departed on their orientation trips early Wednesday morning, and will be back on campus Saturday. Classes begin Thursday.

By Mattie Daughtry of

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35 New Faculty Members Get Oriented at Bowdoin

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 13:34

Bowdoin’s first-year students are busy getting oriented to their new home in coastal Maine. But what about new faculty members? They’ve got their own orienting to do.

This year’s New Faculty Orientation, hosted by the Office of the Dean for Academic Affairs on August 27-29, welcomes 35 faculty members (including tenure–track professors, visiting faculty, and postdoctoral fellows) representing disciplines from across the College’s curriculum.

“We’re so excited to finally see all of you in one room,” said Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd at the opening of the orientation. “You’re a distinguished group of people, and you’re joining a distinguished group of people.” Read the full story.

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“We as a Society Are Paying for Somebody to Be on the Streets” (NPR)

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 13:33

New YorkBrenda Rosen, quoted above, is the director of Common Ground, a company that manages supportive housing used by many formerly homeless patrons. This housing includes a doctor, social workers, and security. No, it’s not free – but neither, Rosen says, is homelessness. Trips to the ER, shelters, and jails cost more for New York than the services provided by the facility described above. And so begins a heated debate about whether housing counts as health care – and who should be responsible for it.

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Optimize Your Social Media With Tips from Top Marketers (Hootsuite)

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 13:28

Social-mediaBN80Nearly everyone uses social media these days - but are we using it well? Hootsuite asked a panel of expert social media marketers a variety of questions on how to optimize success for you and your business over various platforms. They cover tips they learned recently, social media marketing habits they are still working to improve, and more.

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President, Deans, Staff Welcome (and Reassure) 1st-Year Parents

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 13:04

cristlecollinsjuddParents and family members were likely offering their 18-year-olds plenty of last-minute advice yesterday as they helped the students move into dorm rooms and prepare for their first year of college. At the same time, family members were not spared nuggets of wisdom offered by people very familiar with the Bowdoin experience.

Relatives of incoming students gathered in Kanbar Auditorium/Studzinski Recital Hall for two different sessions to listen to members of Bowdoin’s administration speak about what incoming students might experience in the coming four years. These experts (many of whom have sent their own kids off to college) also offered a bit of advice to parents.

Read excerpts of remarks from President Barry Mills, Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd, Dean of First-Year Student Janet Lohmann, and others.

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Overheard on Move-in Day

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 13:03

BDS-6Although move-in day for first-year students went smoothly for the most part, at least one suitcase switcheroo did occur. One student had mistakenly picked up the wrong suitcase and now another student was missing her luggage. Word quickly spread among proctors in all eight first-year bricks to keep an eye out for the misplaced case.

“We have eyes and ears open in all the dorms,” a proctor reassured the mother of the suitcase-less student. ”Someone will realize in the next few days it is not theirs.”

Read more snippets from conversations overheard as incoming students and their families arrived yesterday.

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Maine Girl Finds Rare Blue Lobster (WCSH)

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 13:02

bluelobsterA Maine lobsterman’s 14-year-old daughter recently caught an unusual crustacean — a blue lobster.

The chances of this occurring are one in 2 million, according to WCSH Portland. The blue color arises from a genetic defect that leads to excessive production of a particular protein, the Boston Globe reports.

The girl named the lobster Skyler and donated it to the Maine State Aquarium, which has three other blue lobsters and an orange one. Other rare lobsters colors are bright red, yellow, a marbled calico, and a crystal hue (which marks the rarest of lobsters, an albino).


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Go Ahead and Pull That All-Nighter…If You Want to Mess with your Memory (Scientific American)

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 12:10

SleepingAtWorkAnyone who’s ever gotten in a heated argument over the course of past events knows that memory is subjective and sometimes unreliable. You might confuse your flight number and departure time. Or you might be influenced by a leading question. Why? Because we reconstruct memories each time we revisit the event, which allows an opportunity for errors to sneak in depending on the context. One of these contexts is, apparently, sleep deprivation: students who had pulled all-nighters were more likely than their well-rested counterparts to remember misinformation presented 45 minutes after looking at a photograph. Read more from Scientific American.

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Bowdoin Biologist Talks Sea Creatures on Radio Show

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 13:14


Bowdoin’s Janet Gannon joins a panel of marine experts on public radio August 26 to speak about sea life in Maine and the shifting ocean ecosystem. Airing at noon to 1 p.m., the “Maine Calling” show was organized by Charlotte Rutty ’16, who interned with MPBN this summer. “The show will be about what cool creatures these ocean lovers spot out on the water, as well as how this may be changing,” Rutty said.

Gannon will discuss these issues on air with Adam Baukus, a researcher from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, and with Casco Baykeeper Joe Payne. Listeners are invited to call in with questions and their own observations. In addition to teaching marine biology at Bowdoin and providing logistical, scientific and GIS support every summer at the Bowdoin Scientific Station on Kent Island, Gannon is an avid sailor who writes about her ocean explorations on her blog, An Ocean Lover in Maine.

Gear up for the show with this mini-documentary about a Bowdoin student’s investigation of green crabs in Harspwell Sound - and learn more about what’s been going on at Bowdoin’s Coastal Studies Center this summer.

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An Article To Help Simplify Adult Life (CNN)

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 13:12

Dishes soaking in the kitchen sinkLaundry will always be one of those things that we wish Mom and Dad would still do for us. Still, we get used to it in college, and learn to do it only when we run out of underwear. But what about the other items – window screens, cars, dogs, and even the washing machine itself – that also need consistent cleaning? How are you supposed to know when it’s time to clean all that? Go take a look at this crash course from CNN – and don’t forget to wash your face.

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Orange Throwing, Eeyore’s Birthday, and More Strange Traditions Around the World (Laughing Squid)

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 13:11

Globe256You may have heard of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, a tradition that started in the 1400s as a way to get the bulls from their corral to the ring – but has become “a way of having a party, but kind of a deadly party.” This is only one of many strange celebrations from around the world: learn about the World Bodypainting Festival, the Yorkshire Pudding Boat Races, and other “unbelievable local traditions” from John Green, vlogger and author of The Fault in Our Stars.

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What’s Wrong With a Little Friendly Competition? (NPR)

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 13:10

gold silver bronze medalsThe urge that kicks in around age 5 – to be “first to put shoes on, first to get into the bath, first to get upstairs to brush teeth” – is perfectly natural. So why does the idea of competition make some parents nervous? While being first usually has positive rewards, both socially and physiologically, being last can be devastating. Not to mention that the part of the brain responsible for helping us cope with losing is late to develop. Here’s how to make sure kids are competing first and foremost against themselves.

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What I Did This Summer: Government Professor Laura Henry

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 13:12
Laura Henry

Laura Henry

Laura Henry, associate professor of government at Bowdoin, tells us a bit about her summer researching international politics in Russia:

I spent part of this summer in Moscow, Russia, studying how global governance initiatives influence Russia’s domestic politics. Along with my colleague Lisa Sundstrom of the University of British Columbia, and funded by a Canadian Social Science and Humanities Research Council grant, I interviewed representatives of international and Russian NGOs who are attempting to promote global “best practices” on environmental, health, and human rights issues – and who often face opposition to their work domestically.

This research is part of a new project titled “The Comparative Politics of Global Governance,” which investigates how global initiatives related to climate, forestry, corporate social responsibility, and HIV/AIDS either succeed or fail in gaining a foothold in the developing countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, known collectively as the BRICS. Read more.

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Three Students Tackle Public Health In Maine, Cambodia, and Kenya

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 13:10

Aviva Mattingly ’15 in Kenya

Each summer, a plethora of grants and fellowships ensures that Bowdoin students have an opportunity to pursue what they are passionate about. Ben Pallant ’16, Aviva Mattingly ’15 and Jordan Lantz ’15 tapped three of these grants to dedicate their summers to addressing public health issues in Cambodia, Kenya and Maine, respectively.

Lantz remained in Brunswick on a Community Matters in Maine Fellowship, assisting at the Oasis Health Center, a free medical clinic. After college, he aims to pursue a master’s degree in public health. Mattingly traveled to several locations in Kenya with the support of the Preston Public Interest Career Fund, working with SOTENI, an NGO. In the future, Mattingly hopes to work in international public health as a surgeon. Pallant interned at Angkor Children’s Hospital in Cambodia, supported by the Strong/Gault Social Advancement Internship fund. His experience solidified his desire to pursue a medical degree and work in patient care. Read a Q&A with the three students by Catherine Yochum ’15.


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What One Man Found When He Liked Everything on Facebook (Wired)

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 13:09

facebook-logo256After liking everything that came up in his newsfeed for 48 straight hours, Mat Honan found, surprisingly, a whole lot of content that he disliked. There is a specific type of Facebook content “designed to get you to interact,” he explains. “And if you take the bait, you’ll be shown it ad nauseam.” When viewed on his computer, he still saw some posts from his friends — but on his mobile, human content disappeared entirely, replaced on the first day with content from “Huffington Post, Upworthy, Huffington Post, Upworthy, a Levi’s ad,, Huffington Post, Upworthy, The Verge, Huffington Post,, Upworthy,” And this was just the beginning of the repercussions. Honan’s experiment lasted only 48 hours because he couldn’t stand it anymore.

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