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1812 — The Peucinian Society debates the question: “Whether the wars on the whole have been beneficial to mankind?”

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Adam Kommel ’09 Launches Company to Track Short-Selling Campaigns

Adam Kommel ’09

Short-selling is like “betting against a company,” says Adam Kommel ’09; investors will short-sell when they believe that the price of a company’s stock is dropping rapidly. That is, they sell stock with the expectation of buying it back at a lower price and pocketing the difference.

Short-sellers often target companies that they believe are overvalued, are part of a dying industry, or are committing fraud. Some of these short-sellers, known as activist short-sellers, will then put out reports after short-selling a large quantity of stocks, causing the targeted company’s stocks to drop further. Therefore, this practice can be very influential in the stock market.

Yet Kommel calls short-selling an “underserved” area of finance, admitting that even some people working in the financial industry are not clear on the concept. He created Activist Shorts Research, a database of research tracking short-seller campaigns to fill this niche — it is the first database of its kind. Kommel serves as president of the company, and Joseph Babler ’10 is also involved as a research analyst.

The information provided by Activist Shorts Research benefits many different players in the financial field: for example, companies can research short-sellers who target their stocks, investor relations firms can glean background information on short-sellers to better protect a targeted company, and auditors can prepare themselves for short-sellers who might allege accounting fraud.

“It’s been very exciting” to start Activist Shorts Research, Kommel told the BDS in a phone interview, “we’ve gotten an even better response than we expected.” Read more in The Wall Street Journal.

Bowdoin Blogger’s Summer Goal: Visiting Every Town in Rhode Island

michaelcolbert

This summer, Michael Colbert ’16 is on a mission to travel to every town in his home state of Rhode Island.

The rising junior was inspired to take on this challenge after reading a Boston Globe article about a couple who visited all 351 towns in Massachusetts in two weeks. Their effort appealed to Colbert’s enthusiasm for exploring — and for checking things off lists. “Anybody who knows me well knows that I’m obsessed with lists: to-do lists, bucket lists, travel lists,” he writes on his travel blog, Misadventures with Michael. “He dubbed his project RI39, for the 39 municipalities in the state.

 Read the full story.

In Defense of Selfies (Mother Jones)

Man taking a self portraitWhile the ardor with which many young people take ‘selfies’ makes some adults cringe at the seemingly blatant narcissism, Mother Jones argues that the selfie has a “noble heritage in high art.” Rembrandt, for instance, finished more than 60 self-portraits. Of course,  taking a selfie these days, with a smart phone, takes just a second, while Rembrandt likely spent weeks if not months laboring over his works.

Infographic: How to Focus (Visual.ly)

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Linda Kinstler ’13 Shares Russia-Ukraine Insight on CNN, MSNBC

Former Bowdoin Orient editor Linda Kinstler ’13, now managing editor of The New Republic, has recently been featured in multiple news broadcasts to share her expertise on the situation between Russia and Ukraine. In 2013, Kinstler was one of eight students selected internationally for a prestigious Google Journalism Fellowship. She formerly wrote for Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab, and contributed more than 80 articles to the Orient during her time at Bowdoin.

Below, Kinstler discusses next steps for Ukraine after the Malaysian Airlines MH17 plane crash with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. Her segment begins at 9:50.

In the following clip, Kinstler joins congressman Gregory Meeks to discuss new evidence about the plane crash, as well as President Obama’s remarks following the tragedy, with Reverend Al Sharpton. The interview begins at 3:00; Sharpton directs questions at Kinstler starting at 4:40.

You can read the transcript from Kinstler’s appearance on CNN here.

 

Video: Tracing Thoreau’s 300-Mile Journey Through The Maine Woods (CBS Sunday Morning)

In 1864, at the height of the American Civil War, Henry David Thoreau published “The Maine Woods,” a volume describing his travels to the backwoods of Maine in 1846, 1853, and 1857. One hundred and fifty years later, a group of adventurers retracing Thoreau’s steps finds a landscape that is largely the same and equally magnificent.

So Smooth: Seven Steps to Mastering the Art of Conversation (Time)

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Some people just have it — the gift of gab. And not just small talk; they really just seem to innately know how to be engaging. If you’re not the sparkling conversationalist you would like to be, check out these seven tips to being smooth, culled by Time magazine from Catherine Blyth’s The Art of Conversation: A Guided Tour of a Neglected Pleasure.

Infographic: Time Spent on Facebook (Visual.ly)

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Whispering Pines: Discovering a Prodigal Son

threepines-BDS

Once again, what appeared to be straightforward connection between an object and a Bowdoin alumnus has led me on an endlessly fascinating journey through history. It started with an eBay listing for a somewhat blurry, sepia-toned stereopticon card showing a young man in a chair in what looks like a dormitory room. On the back of the card, written in pencil, is “Photo by S. A. Gűrdjian. Bowd Coll. ’77.” The gauntlet had been thrown down.

Continue reading Whispering Pines: Discovering a Prodigal Son

Where Do People Really Live in the USA? (Business Insider)

Pushpins in map

Half of the U.S. population lives in just 146 of the country’s 3,000 counties. Some  — such as Los Angeles County and New York County — come as no surprise, but  take a look at a map compiled by Business Insider to see the nation’s other hotspots.