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A daily look at Bowdoin and the world
Updated: 13 min 44 sec ago

Video: The Weight of Mountains (StudioCanoe)

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:14

A short film based on the work of British geographer L. Dudley Stamp looks at the processes by which mountains are formed and eventually destroyed.

The Weight of Mountains from Studiocanoe on Vimeo.

Categories: Bowdoin

Bateman Wins NSF CAREER Grant for Genetics Research and Education

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 13:30
Drosophila cookies baked by Jack Bateman's students

Drosophila cookies baked by Bateman’s students

Biology professor Jack Bateman has been awarded the National Science Foundation’s prestigious CAREER award in the amount of $797,395 for his project “Mechanisms of cis-/trans-promoter competition in Drosophila.”

Recently named the Samuel S. Butcher Assistant Professor in the Natural Sciences at Bowdoin, Bateman – who was also the lead investigator for a recent Maine INBRE grant project - studies the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model system to better understand how genes can be turned on and off. For the CAREER grant he is focusing on enhancers and promoters, pieces of DNA that are analogous to a locks and keys for activating genes.

The NSF CAREER award is given “in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars though outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.” In that spirit, Bateman will use the grant not only to advance scientific understanding of gene regulation through research, but also to expand his longstanding education and outreach efforts within the field of genetics.

Read the full story.

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Men’s Hockey NCAA Opening Round Game Postponed

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 13:30

2014 NCAA hockey logo

Coming off a dramatic double-overtime NESCAC Championship game victory Sunday against Amherst, the men’s ice hockey team looks to continue its late-season surge in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament tonight at Oswego State University.

Due to current and anticipated weather conditions, the game, originally set for 7 p.m., has been postponed until Thursday, March 13, at 3 p.m.

Watch the game live here.

Get a complete preview of the game here and catch senior co-captains Jay Livermore and Harry Matheson in a video interview here.

U.S. College Hockey Online chatted with Bowdoin head coach Terry Meagher in its preview of the game.

Categories: Bowdoin

Karen Mills Talks Business to Students

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 13:29

karenmills—2014Karen Gordon Mills recently took time out of her schedule as a senior fellow at Harvard Business School and the Kennedy School of Government to deliver a talk on finance to Bowdoin students. She also gave advice on how to apply a liberal arts education toward a career in business.

Mills, who is married to President Barry Mills, discussed her education and career path, describing in particular her transition from the private sector to public service. From 2009 to 2013, she served as President Obama’s administrator for the Small Business Administration. Read the full story by Erica Hummel ’16.


Categories: Bowdoin

The Science of Texting While Walking (New York Times)

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 13:29

Young Man Walking while Checking his Mobile


While the dangers of texting while driving have been widely discussed and is now legally penalized, texting while walking has not been on the radar. Only recently has Dr. Siobhan Schabrun at University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, led a study on the effects of texting while walking.

She has found that not only does texting significantly affect the gait of the person walking, but “frequent peripatetic texting also may cause or worsen neck and shoulder pain by reducing the neck joint’s natural range of motion.”

More significantly, the body typically chooses to prioritize balance over other demands while walking, but her study shows “her volunteers’ bodies and brains appeared to be ‘prioritizing texting.’” In other words, put it away and just enjoy the walk.

Categories: Bowdoin

Major Grants Awarded to Bowdoin Faculty and Programs

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 13:29

Bowdoin gate

Bowdoin continues to be a magnet for illustrious awards, with several major grants totaling more than $1.6 million awarded to faculty and programs at the College in recent months. ”Every year, Bowdoin’s faculty and programs demonstrate an impressive ability to secure prestigious support and funding for a diversity of academic undertakings,” said Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd.

Read About the Awards: Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship • Beckman Scholars Program • Jack Bateman NSF CAREER Award • NHPRC Digitization of O. O. Howard Collection

Two of the recent awards focus on science research at the College: Assistant Professor of Biology Jack Bateman won a $797,395 NSF CAREER grant to support his lab’s genetics research, education, and outreach activities, while the Beckman Scholar’s Program awarded Bowdoin $104,000 to support four mentor-student pairs undertaking research related to chemistry, biochemistry, biology, and medicine. “These awards are testament to the College’s success at combining intensive and cutting-edge research with the breadth and individual attention of an intimate liberal arts education – a quality that provides extraordinary opportunities for our students and distinguishes Bowdoin among its peers,” Judd said.

From the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Bowdoin recently received $500,000 for four more years of continued participation in the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, supporting the research of promising students who will bring cultural and intellectual diversity to the teaching faculties of colleges and universities, and an additional $116,000 to support a summer exchange program with the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. The College also received $150,000 from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission’s “Digitizing Historical Records” program to support a three-year project to digitize the college’s Oliver Otis Howard Papers.

See the full lists of awards received by Bowdoin faculty and programs in the previous fiscal year.

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Arthur Middleton ’01 on the Wolf’s Rightful Place in the ‘Wrong’ Yellowstone Story (New York Times)

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 13:14

Young wolf staring at its chase. Isolated on white.

Field biologist Arthur Middleton ’01, a postdoctoral fellow at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, takes issue with the popular notion that wolves “fixed a broken Yellowstone by killing and frightening elk.” Read the fascinating New York Times op-ed piece, “Is the Wolf a Real American Hero?

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Students Invited to Rare Glimpse of Art Museum Archives

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 13:14
Unknown Artist, Buckle,ca. 220 BC, jade/jadeite 5 1/4 in. x 2 5/8 in (13.33 cm. x 6.67 cm.) Gift of Mrs. Frederick Blackmore. 1953.23.1

Unknown Artist, Buckle,ca. 220 BC, jade/jadeite
5 1/4 in. x 2 5/8 in (13.33 cm. x 6.67 cm.) Gift of Mrs. Frederick Blackmore.

The Bowdoin College Museum of Art, like most museums, sits on a trove of art and artifacts that rarely gets displayed. To give students a chance to see some of these treasures, the museum recently offered special tours to Bowdoin students, providing a rare opportunity to see museum areas normally restricted to staff members.

The storage facility, located beneath the museum and extending underground to the next-door Visual Arts Center, holds approximately 20,000 pieces of artwork in a space roughly the size of two classrooms. Roughly 1,200 of these works are paintings; the rest are prints, photographs and objects.

“It is always a lot of fun to assess the collection and spend time down here going through the artworks,” Museum Curator Joachim Homann told the 15 or so students on the tour. “We always find something new and always find fresh ways and angles to look at the art we have.” Read the full story by Sophia Cheng ’15.

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Moving Mobile Phone Laws Into the Future (The Atlantic)

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 13:13


Mobile phones have evolved considerably since the mid-2000s. Modern mobile phones are nothing short of computers that can make calls, but laws concerning their use have not necessarily evolved accordingly. Writer William Saletan explores how the current laws against using phones while driving are irrelevant in this day and age. He explores how one small loophole in the law, such as using a mobile device hands-free, can be enough to overturn an entire court case.

Categories: Bowdoin

Hockey Teams Split NESCAC Championship Game

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 13:16

NESCAC 256The Bowdoin College men’s ice hockey team won its second consecutive NESCAC Championship in the second-longest game in school history, 3-2, over Amherst in double-overtime Sunday. Junior John McGinnis scored the game-winning goal 22 seconds into the second extra session. Watch a replay of the game-winner here. The Polar Bears were the only NESCAC team to earn a bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament and will travel to play at Oswego in the first round on Wednesday evening.

The women’s hockey team was tripped up by Williams in its bid to repeat as NESCAC Champions, as the Polar Bears fell 4-1 to the Ephs Sunday afternoon. The game featured a match-up of former Bowdoin players behind the bench, as former teammates squared off as coaches with Bowdoin’s Marissa O’Neil ’05 and Williams’ Meghan Gillis ’07 leading their teams to the conference final.

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Too Good to be True? What Investors Often Ignore (Wall Street Journal)

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 13:14

Profit loss risk


That risk and return go hand in hand is fundamental to investing. Michael Kitces, a partner and director of research for Pinnacle Advisory Group, and publisher of the financial planning industry blog Nerd’s Eye View, shares insight on “The Simple Truth Investors Often Ignore.”


Categories: Bowdoin

Bowdoin’s 2014 Global Citizens Prepare for World Travel

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 13:13
Last year's Global Citizens gathered recently with this year's Global Citizens at the McKeen Center. The former travelers will mentor this year's grant recipients, helping them prepare for their summertime trips.

Last year’s Global Citizens gathered recently with the 2014 Global Citizens at the McKeen Center. The former travelers will mentor this year’s grant recipients, helping them prepare for their summertime trips.

The McKeen Center has announced its 2014 Global Citizens — seven Bowdoin students who will receive grants to spend the full summer learning through direct service in communities around the world. They are headed to Ghana, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Nepal, South Africa and Zambia to work with organizations addressing poverty, human trafficking, public health, education, and women’s empowerment. Read about the 2014 Global Citizens’ summer plans.

Categories: Bowdoin

Venice, According to Canaletto and Google Maps (The Atlantic)

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 13:03

Frame in Gold

While cities are now distilled through Instagram filters, constructed on blueprints, and photographed for Google Street View, cities were once primarily represented in paintings. Giovanni Antonio Canal, who worked under the name Canaletto, painted paintings that are now “considered some of the great urban paintings” and give us “our sense of early 18th-century Venice and London.”

An artist in London has overlayed Google Map Street Views of Venice with Canaletto’s paintings in a striking visual comparison of how the city has evolved. See these striking pairings on The Atlantic.

Categories: Bowdoin

Saturday Scoreboard

Sun, 03/09/2014 - 13:12

Full bear256 Bowdoin logoNordic Skiing - Bowdoin College nordic skiers James Crimp and Kaitlynn Miller closed out the most successful season in program history by competing in the final day’s freestyle events at the NCAA Skiing Championship.

Women’s Lacrosse - Krista Zsitvay scored four goals to lead the Amherst women’s lacrosse team to a 9-4 win over Bowdoin in NESCAC action Saturday at Pratt Field.

Men’s Lacrosse - Franklin Reis scored five goals and assisted on three others to rally the Bowdoin College men’s lacrosse team to a comeback win over Amherst on Saturday at Ryan Field, 17-15.

Women’s Ice Hockey - The Bowdoin College women’s ice hockey team advanced to their second straight NESCAC Championship game following a 4-2 win over Colby on Saturday afternoon at Williams.

Men’s Ice Hockey - The Bowdoin men’s ice hockey team defeated top seeded Trinity 5-4 to advance to the NESCAC Championship on Saturday evening.

Categories: Bowdoin

Family’s Role in Our Nation’s Healthcare System (Washington Post)

Sun, 03/09/2014 - 13:11

Elderly hand holding

A reality of the circle of life is that many of us will find ourselves in the role of caregiver to our aging parents. For one thing,  the costs associated with in-home care and assisted living residences can be prohibitive. For another, many adult children want to provide their parents with a greater level of care and attention than such services can provide. The Washington Post takes you through the laborious yet loving way Barbara Tucker Parker cares for her aging mother.

Categories: Bowdoin

Manic Scholars: Bowdoin’s Newest Poetry Society

Sun, 03/09/2014 - 13:10

philiplarkin_poemGathered around the end of a long cedar table in Massachusetts Hall on a recent Wednesday night, three Bowdoin students were taking a study break, replacing the rigors of writing papers for the rigors of analyzing poetry.

They were there as members of Manic Semantics, Bowdoin’s newly formed poetry society. Founded by sophomores Jesse Ortiz and Peter Yanson this semester, the club aims “to provide a space for engaged and enthusiastic students to discuss poetry in a fun, but still serious, atmosphere,” club president Oritz said. “We’re not trying to publish anything or focus on a specific type of poetry.” Read the full story by Amanda Spiller ’17.

Categories: Bowdoin

Why We Eat Our Feelings (The Atlantic)

Sun, 03/09/2014 - 13:09



We’re sometimes driven to eat things that we know are less than ideal for our diet – say, just one more handful of M&Ms. Or a loaf of bread. No one’s judging here. We gravitate toward these foods in hopes of getting a carb-filled boost out of the clutches of The Day we’ve been having – and because evolutionarily speaking, “comfort food” is actually our default, says The Atlantic.

However, research suggests that healthy eating makes us happier later (bottom line: think celery, not Oreos). Not quite there? Read “Our Moods, Our Foods.

Categories: Bowdoin

A Vegetarian Challenge for Polar Chef Competitors

Sat, 03/08/2014 - 14:52


Student cooking maestros recently faced off to see who could make the most gourmet — and tastiest — vegetarian meal in one hour. Every year at the annual Polar Chef Competition in Thorne Dining Hall, two teams of students who work in Bowdoin’s dining halls compete for best dish.

Judges this year included Karen Mills, former head of the Small Business Administration and wife of President Barry Mills, chemistry professor Richard Broene, One Card Coordinator Chris Bird ’07, and Shannon Grimes ’14. Team Thorne consisted of Captain Karla Olivares ’17, Winston Antoine ’16, Sivgech Chheng and Chandy Eng (the latter two are exchange students from Cambodia). Team Moulton was made up of Captain Hunter White ’17, Kevin Ma ’17, Victor Leos ’16 and Alex Osha ’14.

Both teams were told ahead of time that they would be tasked with incorporating seitan, tofu, and/or kelp in their meal. Team Thorne made a seitan taco with mango and cilantro, served with rice, and an arugula salad with tofu and avocado dressing (plus beautiful apple swans as a plate garnish). Team Moulton – ultimately deemed the winner – made a grilled seitan kebab with chimmichurri citrus-herb sauce, served with a cucumber noodle salad featuring Maine kelp.

See a slideshow of the competition.

Categories: Bowdoin

Spring Ahead an Hour — And Not a Second More (The Atlantic)

Sat, 03/08/2014 - 14:51

Alarm clock256

This is your friendly reminder that daylight saving time (and not “daylight savings”) returns to most of the U.S. at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 9. We hope we save you from both arriving late for something and from the wrath of the grammar snob in your midst. You’re welcome.

And while we’re speaking of how the times are a-changin’, scientists who specialize in atomic clocks have long realized that the Earth’s rotation — and therefore, the length of a day — vary and may actually be slowing down slightly. Interestingly enough, atomic clocks reflect such variability, transitioning from 23:59:59 on some days, and 23:59:60 on others.

Categories: Bowdoin

Friday Scoreboard

Sat, 03/08/2014 - 14:50

center-ice-bear 128

Women’s Basketball - Jade Desroches scored a game-high 32 points to lead the Castleton State College women’s basketball to its first-ever NCAA Tournament win in a 64-62 upset over Bowdoin on Friday evening at Morrell Gymnasium.

Men’s Basketball - The Bowdoin men’s basketball team saw its season come to an end in a 72-66 loss to Richard Stockton in the opening round of NCAA Division III Tournament on Friday at Cabrini College.

Categories: Bowdoin