Last week, Professor of Earth & Oceanographic Science Rachel Beane, with help from students, gave a talk on the craggy coast of Bailey Island, inviting the public to come learn about the unusual rock formation there known as the Giant Stairs. About 85 people turned out for the event.
The Giant Stairs are big, black, blocky stones laid on top of each other like a huge staircase that leads into the frothy sea. They’re an anomaly among the flaky, streaky, rust-gray metamorphic rock around them. Continue reading Bowdoin Expert Explains Giant Stairs to Rock Enthusiasts
Chris Jayne '13
Chris Jayne ’13 has jumped into the middle of a fray. It’s a philosophical fray, however, so he’ll likely come out of it with few bruises. He’s tackling the notion of sustainability, which on the surface sounds straightforward, but in truth presents a number of philosophical problems.
The philosophy and environmental studies major has a summertime Hughes Family Fellowship from Bowdoin to critically examine the notion of sustainability, which he calls a “very slippery concept.” Though he’s spending his days quietly reading and writing, he’s uncovering a divided world of conflicting ideas, which have at their core the fate of the planet.
Jayne says he’s starting his research by looking at fundamental questions of sustainability. “Is the basic claim that we are consuming too much, too fast a legitimate one? If so, what do we want to sustain? Why?” he asks. Continue reading Philosophy Student Investigates Sustainability
University of San Diego professor and author Frank Partnoy argues that we make better decisions and lead happier lives when we delay our responses and actions until the last possible moment.
“The Greeks and Romans generally regarded procrastination very highly,” Partnoy says in a Smithsonian.com interview. “The wisest leaders embraced procrastination and would basically sit around and think and not do anything unless they absolutely had to.”
In his new book, Wait: The Art and Science of Delay, Partnoy outlines a two-step process used by successful decision makers in all walks of life. First, he suggests, ask: What is the longest amount of time I can take before doing this? Secondly, hold off on responding until the last moment.
“Epiphany stories are generally not true,” says Partnoy. “Isaac Newton did not have an apple fall on his head. Thomas Edison did not suddenly discover the light bulb. Innovation goes at a glacial pace and should go at a glacial pace.”