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The ‘Cognitive Price’ We Pay While Multitasking (Harvard Business Review)

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 13:32

Stressed business man  with two telephones is cryoing in officeIt’s easier to switch from task to task when everything is contained within a screen. Think about it: you wouldn’t drop everything and head to the grocery store each time you wanted or were out of a food item, would you? Unfortunately, switching back and forth between tasks to continuously stay connected through texts, emails, and more has a similar (although less visible) detriment to productivity. It can take as much as 20 minutes to reorient yourself to a focused task after a distraction, and allowing yourself to be casually distracted can knock you down as much as 10 IQ points. Giving yourself as little as 30 minutes of distraction-free time can make a huge impact on how much you accomplish.

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Gluten Free: Good or Goofy? (Washington Post)

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 13:30

Farmer holding grainIn case you haven’t heard, there’s a new health trend in town: people are avoiding gluten, a protein combination found in various grains, notably wheat. About 1% of Americans suffer from celiac disease, in which gluten causes problems in the small intestine, but others — about 10 times as many others — also maintain a gluten-free diet, claimimg numerous health benefits such as heightened energy levels.

On one hand, companies and gluten-free dieters alike are profiting from a myriad of increasingly delicious and varied gluten-free products. On the other hand, the gluten-free trend might lead people to take actual gluten intolerances and allergies less seriously. Read more from The Washington Post.

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Bowdoin College Breaks Ground on Maine’s Largest Solar Project

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 13:54
Solar panels line the roof of Sidney J. Watson Arena.

Solar panels line the roof of Sidney J. Watson Arena.

Bowdoin College has broken ground on a solar power complex that is to be seven times the size of the largest existing solar installation in the state.

The 1.2 megawatt complex, to be built partially on the former Brunswick Naval Air Station land acquired by the college, will include approximately 4,500 solar panels.

The project includes five solar installations. There will be rooftop systems on the Farley Field House, the Sidney J. Watson Arena, Greason Pool, and a residence hall located at 52 Harpswell Road, in addition to the 700-kW ground-mount installation on three acres owned by the college at the former Navy base.

“Our college is proud to be moving forward with this significant investment in clean and renewable solar energy,” said President Barry Mills. Read more about the project.

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Joseph Beninati ’87 to Announce at FIL World Championships (Lax Magazine)

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 13:53

Lacrosse128Joe Beninati ’87 will provide play-by-play commentary at the upcoming Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championships in Denver, CO this July 10-19. The tournament features over 40 games played by teams from 38 countries. Beninati played goalie for Bowdoin’s lacrosse team from 1985 to 1987, and he holds the Bowdoin record for number of saves in a single season (263). He has the second highest number of saves in an individual game (32) which he achieved twice, against Bates and Middlebury. Beninati also maintains Bowdoin’s sixth highest career save percentage (.682).

Coverage of the FIL World Championships will be provided by ESPNU, ESPN2 and ESPN3; you can see the full schedule of games and broadcast coverage on Lax Magazine’s website.

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The Myth of the Lone Creative Genius (The Atlantic)

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 13:52

BeatlesThough Paul McCartney and John Lennon could be considered musical geniuses in their own right, there is no doubt their collaboration had an impact on the Beatles’ historically significant music. McCartney was organized, a mediator, a diplomat. Lennon was agitated, chaotic, darker. Their opposing perspectives may have made their recording sessions tense, but they contributed to the highly innovative and successful nature of the Beatles’ music.

Lennon and McCartney famously integrated songs they had separately written in “A Day In The Life,” and bounced lyrics off of each other for “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.” “I offered cellophane flowers and newspaper taxis,” Paul said, “and John replied with kaleidoscope eyes … We traded words off each other, as we always did.” The Atlantic goes in-depth on the power of creative partnership, in the Beatles and beyond.

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Twice As Much Pi in One Day (Scientific American)

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 13:52

Ever heard of Tau? Hint: you can’t serve it a la mode. Tau is a mathematical measurement equivalent to twice the value of pi. Mathematicians have recently been debating the relative merit of tau vs. pi, considering that the radius (rather than the diameter) is often the important measurement and is mostly associated with 2π rather than pi alone. In other fields of mathematics beyond the geometry of circles, such as Riemann zeta functions, Gaussian distributions, roots of unity, integrating over polar coordinates and pretty much anything involving trigonometry, pi is preceded with a 2 more often than not – one reason why Tauist argue that we should celebrate Tau instead. While Pi Day (March 14th, i.e. 3/14) may be officially recognized by Congress, be sure to remember Tau on June 28 (6/28) next year.

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Hari Kondabolu ’04 on Facing Fear (Studio 360)

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 13:27
Hari Kondabolu '04. Photo by Karsten Moran '05.

Hari Kondabolu ’04. Photo by Karsten Moran ’05.


Stand-up comedian and Bowdoin grad Hari Kondabolu recently joined Jennifer Egan and Andrew Bird at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in a show discussing different types of fears — the one that keep us on track and the ones that make us want to hide under the covers. He pokes a little fun at himself in the process: “I remember my father working seven days a week, sending me to college, and telling me, ‘Waste this. If you come back a doctor or a lawyer, it’s like killing me.’” Kondabolu’s biggest fear? Saying things the wrong way.

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TED Talks Turns Eight (TED)

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 13:27
 Ryan Lash)

Assistant Professor of Art Alicia Eggert gives a talk at TED2013 in Long Beach, Calif. (Photo credit: Ryan Lash)

Happy eighth online birthday to the series of lectures that continuously boggles the mind. The aim of TED talks is to spread ideas on all subjects, from linguistics to mental disorders, from physics to life satisfaction. Speakers aim to transmit their messages in 18 minutes or less, at conferences across the globe. The first conference took place in 1984, and in late June 2006, TED put its first six videos up online. It has since expanded to include TEDx, independently organized events that take place at universities, high schools, and more. In honor of the anniversary of its online presence, the TED site has published a list of the first six videos it ever uploaded to the web (now six among over 1700), which are full of ideas that are still relevant today.

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Girls and Coding: An Inspirational Cause for 3D Printing (Fortune)

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 13:26

girl child playing with ipad 128Shapeways 3D printing company has increased its employee base to help with Google’s Made with Code initiative. After disclosing that a mere 30% of Google employees are female, Google has created this program to get more girls interested in science and technology at a young age. Spokeswomen include Chelsea Clinton and Mindy Kaling, as well as organizations such as Seventeen Magazine and Girl Scouts. Shapeways 3D will expand and use four of EOS’s largest 3D printers to allow daily printing of 8,000 bracelets coded by girls. Shapeways CEO Peter Weijmarshausen hopes the initiative will encourage girls to create and run their own Shapeway shops in the future.

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How To Undo A Digital ‘Oops’ (PureWow)

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 13:20

Computer-rage256So you sent an email by mistake. And a text. And maybe forgot to include some important hashtags in your latest Instagram caption. Never fear: there are more ways to undo things online than you think. Did you know that both Gmail and Microsoft Outlook have “retract message” features? You can even recover a group of accidentally closed tabs with a quick Ctrl+Shift+T. Check out these tips and more in a slideshow from PureWow.

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Born on the Fourth of July: Happy Birthday, USA — And Hawthorne, Too

Fri, 07/04/2014 - 11:02
Nathaniel Hawthorne, of the Class of 1825.

Nathaniel Hawthorne, of the Class of 1825.


Born on the fourth of July in 1804, Nathaniel Hawthorne, a member of the Class of 1825, would go on to become one of America’s most illustrious novelists and short story writers, publishing many classics, including The Scarlet Letter and The House of Seven Gables.

On this Independence Day, it would also be apropos to point out that among Hawthorne’s published works is a biography of his friend — and fellow Bowdoin alumnus (Class of 1824) — Franklin Pierce, 14th President of the United States.




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We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident… Or Do We? (New York Times)

Fri, 07/04/2014 - 11:01

Declaration of Independence140Some Americans make it a tradition to read the Declaration of Independence on July 4th. But what if they’re not reading it as it was actually intended? Recent research has called into question a period in a sentence that we would really hope to be accurate: the one that begins with “We hold these truths to be self evident…” This spot of ink separates “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” from the roles of government subsequently described, which makes the latter seem subordinate and disconnected from the first, even though the argument could be made that one should lead into the other. The National Archives have made it a “top priority” to find ways of re-examining the delicate original document in order to assess their possible mistake and make any necessary subsequent changes to their online presentation of the Declaration.

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Fun Facts For the Fourth (International Business Times)

Fri, 07/04/2014 - 11:00

American Union Flag (XXL)Rain or shine, you’re about to win any patriotic trivia games you play today. What day did most signatories of the Declaration of Independence actually sign the document? (Hint: it’s not July 4.) Who started the annual Fourth of July Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest and why? What other countries throw celebrations in honor of American Independence Day? (Hint: there are five.) Learn the answers to these questions and more.

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Coastal Studies: Fathoming the Science Behind Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning #tbt

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 13:35

As students and faculty embark on another summer of research at Bowdoin’s Coastal Studies Center, here’s a throwback to last summer’s whirlwind of research activities: take a voyage through Harpswell Sound with Karl Reinhardt ’15 and Earth and Oceanographic Science Associate Professor Collin Roesler, who spent summer 2013 studying the tiny phytoplanktonic organism that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning. See the slideshow.

One year later, a new batch of students is pursuing a variety of summer research projects based at the Coastal Studies Center, including Schuyler Nardelli ’15 and Sasha Kramer ’16, who have taken up the torch in studying aspects of phytoplankton bloom in the Sound. Stay tuned in the coming weeks to learn more about this summer’s activities, while the Marine Laboratory undergoes renovations and the College prepares to significantly expand its unique offerings in Coastal Studies. Read more here.

Bowdoin NewsRead more Bowdoin News »

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Mainer Hopes to Mark Where Joshua Chamberlain Was Shot (Bangor Daily News)

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 13:35
Joshua Chamberlain

Joshua Chamberlain


Dean Clegg, a guide at the Chamberlain House Museum and Maine native, is hoping to raise $1,630 to place a stone marker at the exact location where Joshua Chamberlain was shot in battle 150 years ago this year.

Chamberlain survived the attach and would live another 50 years before passing away due to complications from his original wound in 1914.

Renowned for having led the Union army at Little Round Top, this former Maine governor and Bowdoin College president is portrayed on stage in the Maine State Music Theater’s production of Chamberlain: A Civil War Romancein Pickard Theater, Memorial Hall.



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Why Weekend Warriors Might Choose Their Battles More Wisely (New York Times)

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 13:34

Exercise ballHere we are on the cusp of a long holiday weekend, with time not only to celebrate our nation’s birth, but to get in some extra running, cycling, hiking, or play monster match-ups on the courts, courses and fields.

Those who put themselves through rigorous training on the weekends are indeed better off than people who are totally sedentary — but (you knew there was a “but” coming) they can be at greater risk for heart attacks and muscle tears than those who make a habit of moderate exercise, says The New York Times.

These “weekend warriors” are more likely to overtax muscles, the heart included, by exercising sporadically and vigorously, since exercise puts the heart at a greater risk for heart attack during activity but a decreased risk overall. Celebrate — and exert — responsibly.

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Advice to Students From a Psychology Professor (NPR)

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 13:34

Student-StudyingSo many of the lessons articulated in commencement speeches are pearls of wisdom that would serve students well long before they accept their diplomas.

Psychology professor Tania Lambrozo highlights the psychological findings that she learned during her career path but wishes she’d known in high school, including taking time for creative play and learning that you are your own harshest critic.

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Joshua Chamberlain’s Dueling Medals of Honor on Display July 2

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 13:45
The original Medal of Honor (left) awarded to Civil War general Joshua Chamberlain was donated to the Pejepscot Historical Society in Brunswick, and the updated Medal of Honor given to Joshua Chamberlain (right), redesigned in 1904, and held by the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives at Bowdoin .College

The original Medal of Honor (left) awarded to Civil War general Joshua Chamberlain was donated to the Pejepscot Historical Society in Brunswick, and the updated Medal of Honor given to Joshua Chamberlain (right), redesigned in 1904, and held by the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives at Bowdoin College.

A rare reunion is set to take place Wednesday, July 2, as Civil War general Joshua Chamberlain’s original Medal of Honor, owned by the Pejepscot Historical Society, will be displayed alongside its redesigned replacement, owned by the College. The exhibition of the two medals takes place between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum in Brunswick.

Representatives from Brunswick’s Post Office will be on site at the Chamberlain Museum 3-5 p.m. to sell Medal of Honor stamps and offer a special one-day-only Chamberlain pictorial cancellation.

The cancellation, designed by Pejepscot Historical Society and approved by the United States Postal Service, celebrates Chamberlain’s distinguished service in the Civil War and the 151st anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, for actions at which Chamberlain received his own Medal of Honor.

Performers from Maine State Music Theatre will be on hand singing standards. Throughout the day on July 2, guests showing ticket stubs from Maine State Music Theatre’s performance of “Chamberlain: A Civil War Romance” will receive 50% off admission at the Chamberlain Museum. “Chamberlain: A Civil War Romance” runs June 25 through July 12. A short program will take place at 3:30 pm. More on the history of the medals here.

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Eric Goldwyn ’03 on What’s Driving Uber

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 13:44

Cabs128Eric Goldwyn ’03, investigator of urban affairs, has written a compelling article for The New Yorker on how ride-sharing networks like Uber are changing the landscape for professional taxi- and other drivers out there.  There have always been cheaper and more expensive transportation options when it comes to hiring a driver, with some more knowledgeable than others – London’s black-cab drivers complete a 5 year training on the fastest routes through the city, for example. Yet combined with GPS technology, Goldwyn argues, “startups like Uber argue that technology can transform the casual driver into a professional.” Part-time ride-sharers are sure to make it more difficult to earn a living driving cabs, and it is up to the taxi companies to figure out how to compete.

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Collecting Oral Histories of Maine Fishermen

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 13:43

Audrey Phillips ’16 on Bowdoin’s campus

As part of its mission to preserve Maine’s fishing communities and help rebuild the Gulf of Maine’s fish stocks, a Brunswick-based advocacy group has been collecting oral histories from fishermen.

Sitting on a trove of these stories, the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association this summer hired Audrey Phillips ’16 to put together videos based on the recordings. Phillips selects segments from the taped narratives and overlays them with photographs. To fund her summertime work, she has a Psi Upsilon Environmental fellowship through the Environmental Studies Program. This grant is part of the Community Matters in Maine Program, which is administered jointly by the McKeen Center and Environmental Studies.

The Fishermen’s Association will use the videos to help educate the public about Maine’s fishermen and the changing fishing industry. “We want to build interest in the general community about why we need to protect our fishing communities, our fishermen and our fisheries resource,” Ben Martens ’06, the association’s executive director, said. Read the full story.

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