Infographic: Pumpkin Facts (Visual.ly)

What else didn't you know about the pumpkin? Click image to see full infographic. Detail: Visual.ly/SpareFoot

What else didn’t you know about the pumpkin? Click image to see full infographic. Detail: Visual.ly/SpareFoot

Elgin Encourages Young Scientists at Annual President’s Science Symposium

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Sarah Elgin

As the keynote speaker for Bowdoin’s 2014 President’s Science Symposium, biologist Sarah Elgin presented a speech rife with lessons learned throughout her illustrious career in the sciences. She set an inspiring example for the dozens of Bowdoin research students in the audience, who later that afternoon presented the fruits of their own summer research labors.

Elgin – who is the Viktor Hamburger Professor of Arts & Sciences in the Department of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis – began making discoveries as an Oregonian high schooler, collecting rainwater after the test explosions of atomic bombs. Read the full story and see a slideshow of the symposium.

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Best Places to See Fall Bird Migrations (Smithsonian)

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The fall months are prime time for bird watchers across the country as migratory birds head south for the winter.

From hummingbirds congregating in Arizona’s Sky Islands to flocks of bald eagles numbering in the hundreds settling in Missouri’s Squaw Creek, The Smithsonian lists seven great places to catch a glimpse of their journey southward.

Living Life for More Than Happiness (The Atlantic)

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Leading a happy life has important differences from leading a meaningful one, according to a recent study in the Journal of Positive Psychology. The researchers found that while happiness among participants was associated with selfish behavior, the pursuit of meaning corresponded to selflessness. A clear example of this is having children, which has been associated with low happiness among parents, but also corresponds to a meaningful life.

“Partly what we do as human beings is to take care of others and contribute to others. This makes life meaningful but it does not necessarily make us happy,” said Roy Baumeister, the lead researcher of the study. Read the article here.