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August 21, 2014, 11:55 pm
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On This Day

1908 — Arctic Explorers Robert E. Peary, Class of 1877, and Donald B. MacMillan, Class of 1898, are caught in the ice aboard their ship the Roosevelt after stopping to make repairs.


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Daily Archives

August 2014
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Nicky Pearson Selected to NFHCA Hall of Fame


Head coach Nicky Pearson has led Bowdoin to four NCAA Division III Championships.



Bowdoin College head field hockey coach Nicky Pearson has been selected to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

In 18 seasons at the helm of the Polar Bears, she has established Bowdoin as the premiere team in Division III field hockey, qualifying for the postseason every year and making NCAA Division III Final Four appearances in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2013. Read more.

Anthony Doerr ’95′s ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ Among Week’s Bestselling Books (Christian Science Monitor)

Doerr cover


All the Light We Cannot See, the World War II-era novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France, by Anthony Doerr ’95, is on the American Booksellers Association/IndieBound bestseller list for hardcover fiction for the week of August 21, 2014.

In her review of the book this spring, New York Times reviewer Janet Maslin included a note of thanks to the author “for deliberately giving this intricate book an extremely readable format, with very short chapters, many about a page and a half long.”

Maslin included what would be a response from Doerr, though in an article published earlier by a blog: “This was a gesture of friendliness, maybe. It’s like I’m saying to the reader, ‘I know this is going to be more lyrical than maybe 70 percent of American readers want to see, but here’s a bunch of white space for you to recover from that lyricism.’” Read the New York Times review.

Stalking the Invasive Green Crab in Harpswell Sound

Aidan Short ’15 is unusually familiar with the invasive green crabs in Harpswell Sound: specifically, with the contents of their stomachs.

Stalking the Invasive Green Crab from Bowdoin College on Vimeo.

The green crab has a reputation for devouring soft-shell clams, the species behind one of Maine’s most lucrative fisheries. But how much of the crab’s diet is really made up of clams? What other creatures are falling prey to this clawed invader? And how does all of that vary by habitat? These are some questions that Short is exploring through his research project “What’s for Dinner? A molecular analysis of the feeding habits of the green crab Carcinus maenas in Harpswell Sound.”

Short has been working on the water and in the lab, using a combination of crab trapping, dissection, and molecular techniques to figure out just what these crabs are swallowing - not a task for the faint of stomach. Funded this summer by a Doherty Coastal Studies Research Fellowship, Short will continue his research as part of a year-long honors project in collaboration with biology assistant professor David Carlon, who directs Bowdoin’s Coastal Studies Center.

Portland Among ‘Greatest Places to Live in America’ (Outside)


Portland, Maine

News that will come as no surprise to many who have visited Maine’s largest city: Portland is among “The 16 Greatest Places to Live in America,” according to calculations by Outside magazine. Citing the proliferation of bike commuters and locally sourced restaurants, Outside gives you the inside scoop on what makes Portland — and the other fifteen locales — so special.

Bowdoin Quad Gets a New Memorial Flagpole (and Flag)

For 84 years, a tall, straight pole made of Douglas fir supported the flag that flew above the southwest corner of the Bowdoin Quad. Of course, wood doesn’t last forever and this summer, the College replaced the original Memorial Flagpole with a 72-foot fiberglass pole that will be easier to maintain and should last quite a bit longer. The new pole also supports a larger flag — according to the experts the previous flag-to-flagpole ratio was a bit off.

Consigli Construction, which specializes in historic renovations, took down the old pole piece by piece in July. The company had to resort to using a high-pressured water hose to extract the base of the lodged pole, which ran all the way to the bottom of the granite monument. On August 19, the company erected the new pole, reattached the gilded eagle, and raised the new flag.

History buffs will know that Bowdoin’s Memorial Flagpole was designed by famed architects McKim, Mead & White, the same firm that also designed the Walker Art Building, the Class of 1875 gate, Moulton Union, and the Curtis Pool. Less well-known is that the flagpole was supposed to be situated out in the middle of the Quad. A group of students didn’t like that idea, so one Saturday night in the spring of 1930, before the new pole could be erected, they decided to move the pole into the Bowdoin Chapel. President Sills was not amused, but in the end a compromise was struck and Bowdoin’s Memorial Flagpole found a permanent home between Gibson Hall and the Walker Art Building. Read more about the history of the Memorial Flagpole in this account by Patricia McGraw Anderson.

“X” marks the planned original site for the Memorial Flagpole

“X” marks the planned original site for the Memorial Flagpole

Students remove flagpole to the Chapel

Students remove flagpole to the Chapel

A not-so-amused President Sills

A not-so-amused President Sills

Removing the pole

Removing the pole

Gilded eagle atop the Memorial Flagpole

Gilded eagle atop the Memorial Flagpole

“X” marks the planned original site for the Memorial FlagpoleStudents remove flagpole to the ChapelA not-so-amused President SillsRemoving the poleGilded eagle atop the Memorial Flagpole

Rudalevige on Obama’s ‘Un-vacation Vacation’ (NY Daily News)

Andrew Rudalevige

Andrew Rudalevige

Andrew Rudalevige is everywhere these days. Bowdoin’s Thomas Brackett Reed Professor of Government has been tapped for insight and quoted in The Washington PostThe New York Times, and most recently, The New York Daily News

In a piece by Daily News Washington bureau chief James Warren concerning President Obama’s two-day break from a family vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, Rudalevige says “Obama presumably wants to avoid the mockery Bill Clinton got for doing polling over where he should vacation,” adding, “And I do think presidents are in a tough spot; they need some time for decompression, and that doesn’t really happen even on ‘vacation.’ Nancy Reagan said something like ‘presidents don’t get a vacation, only a change of scenery.”

An Appleseed a Day Keeps the Doctor Away (The Atlantic)

Christmas TreeJohnny Appleseed is lauded as an “American folk hero” for having planted and emphasized the importance of trees for future generations. As it turns out, there’s science to back his actions — research demonstrates health benefits for those who spend more time with trees.

In one study, gall bladder removal patients recovered faster when their windows looked out over trees as opposed to buildings. And on the flip side, acute respiratory symptoms and deaths associated with pollution are on the rise in areas where a lack of trees provides no defense against pollution. Read more about the current state of trees and pollution in The Atlantic.

‘Mise-En-Place’ Put in Place in Real Life (NPR)

cooking128It is a universal principle in the culinary world, especially among highly trained chefs: mise-en-place. The French phrase translates to English as “put in place,” and it is a mantra for having everything you need exactly where you need it, exactly when you need it. No more, no less. Most directly, chefs refer to this principle as they arrange all necessary kitchen tools and ingredients in reliable places at their work station. But it extends to all kinds of tasks — organizing your things for an entire day, internalizing lists, cleaning as you go. Chefs find that the rigor of mise-en-place seeps into all aspects of their lives, and they believe everyone could learn a thing or two from this culinary system of order.

Whispering Pines: What’s Missing?


When I was young (a long, long time ago now), I used to enjoy the picture puzzles in the children’s magazines that could be found in the waiting rooms at the dentist’s or doctor’s office, especially those that had illustrations with  hidden objects or challenged me to find what was missing in a picture. Earlier generations may remember “what’s missing” illustrations created by Norman Rockwell for April Fool’s Day covers for The Saturday Evening Post in the 1940s. Similar games for children and adults are available as apps (applications) for smart phones, such as the popular “What’s Missing??”

Continue reading Whispering Pines: What’s Missing?

Bowdoin’s Rudalevige Weighs in on Obama’s Use of Executive Power (New York Times)

Andrew Rudalevige

Andrew Rudalevige


In a Monday New York Times article, Andrew Rudalevige, Bowdoin’s Thomas Brackett Reed Professor of Government, speaks about President Obama’s wield of unilateral power to advance his policy agenda.

“The executive branch is not really set up to be a deliberative body like the Congress is,” Rudalevige told the paper. “The process is certainly stacked toward the policy preferences of the administration, and they’re going to listen to the people they think are right, which usually means the ones who agree with them.

“Those who are ‘in’ will engage the White House and the agencies to get their priorities met, and if you’re ‘out,’ you turn to the legal process” to challenge the executive action after it is taken, he said.