Marathon Matriarch Joan Benoit Samuelson ’79 Kicks Off 18th ‘Beach to Beacon’ Race

Joan Benoit Samuelson ’79

College Trustee Joan Benoit Samuelson ’79 — Olympic gold medalist, two-time Boston Marathon winner (winning the first before she graduated from Bowdoin), and Chicago Marathon winner — will Saturday kick off the 18th running of the road race she founded, the TD Beach to Beacon 10k.

More than 6,400 athletes from the world over will race along the picturesque coastline of Casco Bay from Crescent Beach State Park to Portland Head Light, along the roads Joanie herself ran growing up in Cape Elizabeth.

The race has become increasingly environmentally friendly over the years; this year’s race beneficiary is Maine’s Good Shepherd Food Bank, which stands to receive $30,000. Learn more about the Beach to Beacon.

‘A Guide for the Perplexed': Ambassador Pickering ’53 on the Iran Nuclear Agreement (Tablet)

Amb. Thomas R. Pickering '53

Thomas R. Pickering ’53, H’84

Former Undersecretary of State Thomas R. Pickering ’54, H’84 breaks down the components of the Iran Nuclear Agreement, describing the treaty, exploring the arguments against it, and summarizing the views of experts on how to evaluate it.

“This guide is provided to be helpful in understanding its key elements and importance,” writes Pickering in this piece for Tablet. “Politics and emotion are left to the individual reader.”

Pickering holds the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest in U.S. Foreign service. In a diplomatic career spanning five decades, he has served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Russia, India, Israel, El Salvador, Nigeria and Jordan.

Designer Niko Kubota ’10 Builds a Mini Minneapolis (MPR)

In the front yard of the Minneapolis Convention Center, Niko Kubota ’10 has built a tiny rendition of the city he calls home. Both realistic and fantastical, the city that Kubota designed consists of tiny houses and human-sized sky-scrapers, some of which the team he led created, and some that community partners built in “build workshops.”

Niko Kubota ’10 and mini_polis

Each of the buildings in this multimedia project has questions written on the roofs, and the buildings are covered with chalk paint so that visitors can write their responses on the physical city. According to the project website, this allows “visitors to respond to builder’s dreams, as well as make their own place-specific comments about the city.”

After graduating from Bowdoin in 2010, Kubota went to study architecture at the University of Minnesota, and remains in this city where he is currently a designer at Lawal Scott Erickson Architects. He is also the leader of of SocialSculpture, a group of collaborative artists which helped create mini-polis and won the Creative City Challenge that made the project possible. The interactive sculpture will be up until October of this year. Read more about Kubota’s city and the project in MPRNews.

Hari Kondabolu ’04 on the Ins and Outs of Joke Telling (New York Times Magazine)

Hari Kondabolu '04. Photo by Karsten Moran '05.

Hari Kondabolu ’04. Photo by Karsten Moran ’05.

Every joke is “a work in progress,” says stand-up comedian Hari Kondabolu ’04. He shares insight on the development of his funny bits — and some advice, too, such as finding comfort in the silence you will inevitably encounter.

Read “How to Tell a  Joke” in The New York Times Magazine.