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September 17, 2014, 11:33 am
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Daily Archives

September 2014
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High-tech Parents Raising Low-tech Kids (New York Times)

girl child playing with ipad 128

Many parents nowadays accept (more or less reluctantly), the inevitability of their children’s exposure to technology at a young age — whether in the form of TV, smartphones, or iPads. It may be surprising, then, to learn that big names in the world of high-tech limit their children’s access to technology — even Steve Jobs did, before his death, telling The New York Times his children hadn’t used the iPad after its launch.

Tech parents may be more likely to limit screen time because they’re familiar with the risks of technology use, such as addiction. “My kids accuse me and my wife of being fascists and overly concerned about tech,” says Chris Anderson, the chief executive of 3D Robotics. “That’s because we have seen the dangers of technology firsthand.” Read the article here.

How Movies Trigger Emotions (Wired)


There’s no doubt that movies affect our emotions. If you need a reminder, check out “11 Movie Scenes That Make You Cry Every Single Time.” Some film directors have studied the neurological response audiences have to specific scenes to replicate the same emotions in their films.

Scenes in Black Swan are known for replicating emotions that are comparable to those of schizophrenia, while key moments in The Stepmom evoke empathy. Questions still arise because divisions in the brain each have jobs some scientists have yet to discover. For this reason, it is difficult to say with certainty, what a specific region is doing or what its effect on us is. Read more about the experiments and effects movies have on the brain. 


That’s How Fast Viruses Spread? (Time)



Virus contamination on a doorknob, for example, can spread throughout a room in as little as two hours reveals new research presented at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. Find out to significantly reduce your risk in Time.

Prime Real Estate: A Hypothetical Cliff House (BBC News)

Image: BBC

Image: BBC


Would you like to live in a house clinging to a cliff? BBC News asks. The views of the crashing surf can’t be beat. Right now, the design of a house affixed to a rocky ledge is only a concept (one inspired by barnacles clinging to ship hulls), but architects say it is feasible.

And an Australian architecture and construction firm would like to build one. Cantilever beams drilled into the cliff could support a building. “While people assume homes must be built upwards from foundations in the ground, it’s equally possibly in theory for them to be suspended or hung,” the BBC explains.

May Apple Bless Your Shopping Center (MarketWatch)


Apple store? Yes, please.

Apple stores are buzzing with Mac Heads beside themselves with anxious anticipation over the newly announced iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and, of course, The Watch, but the stores themselves are hot commodities.

These retail outlets tend to be located in already thriving and established locations as a way to further prosperity, not catalyze it, holding one particular phrase true: “you don’t call them, they call you.” Apple currently has plans to remodel 15 stores — and to open 20 more.

Americans are Taking Action Against iCloud Hackers (Fast Company)

Cloud security256

The recent celebrity photo leak has Americans taking notice—and action. Over a third of surveyed Americans have increased their online security since the iCloud hack, according to a YouGov/Tresorit survey.

Creating stronger passwords was the most common action taken among respondents, followed by generating unique passwords for each online account and regularly changing passwords. But possibly due to its inconvenience, enabling two-step verification for online services remains unpopular — an issue that Apple’s Tim Cook promises to soon change.

Maine Number Two State For Giving Birth (Sun Journal)



Maybe the next thing is baby tourism? Vermont and Maine rank number one and two in the U.S. for having babies, according to a new study by WalletHub.

Maine has the lowest rate in the nation of mothers dying in childbirth, a low number of preemies, a fair number of pediatricians and relatively inexpensive childbirth costs. The Sun Journal points out the irony in this: for while Maine and Vermont top this list, they also tie for the second-lowest birth rate in the country.

What I Did This Summer: Studying the Science of Red Tide

Sasha Kramer ’16

Sasha Kramer ’16

Sasha Kramer ’16 spent the summer at Bowdoin’s Coastal Studies Center, studying the dynamics of algal blooms that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning. She has been collaborating in the lab and on the water with Associate Professor of Earth and Oceanographic Science Collin Roesler and Schuyler Nardelli ’15.

Here’s Sasha:

By the third hour, Schuyler and I had our sampling routine down to a perfect twelve minutes. We felt pretty impressed with ourselves, though the only witnesses to our accomplishment were a couple of jellyfish and a swarm of gnats.

“I can’t see it!” one of us would call, lowering the black-and-white patterned Secchi disk to determine the depth where light no longer penetrated the water and the disk became instantly invisible. Read the full story.

Radio Show Explores Our Relationships With Animals (TED Radio Hour)

BIG Black Dog Isolated on White (XXXL)If you have a free hour, a series of stories on people’s complicated relationships to animals is a good listen. TED invited journalist Jon Mooallem to speak about how the teddy bear came to be,  and why we prefer some animals over others. Vet, dog trainer and animal behaviorist Ian Dunbar questions current dog training methods. Poet Billy Collins ponders what animals really think. Science historian Laurel Braitman explores what animals’ mental states, from compulsive bears to self-destructive rats, reveal about our psychology, and primatologist Frans de Waal examines whether animals exhibit empathy, cooperation and fairness.



How We Talk About Pain (Times Literary Supplement)

CapsulesPain is hard to pinpoint, both its location in the body and also what it actually feels like. In her new book, The Story of Pain: From Prayers to Painkillers, historian Joanna Burke examines how people have coped with pain from the 18the century to present day.

When sufferers speak of their pain, [Bourke] notes, they often come up with striking metaphors, a richly textured if allusive language which circles around a phenomenon that in its very nature seems hard to pin down,” writes Andrew Scull in his review of Bourke’s book