Archives for May 2013

Through Determination and Hyper-Connection, Bowdoin Sophomore Makes Pilgrimage to Google

For many years, Ruben Martinez ’15 had longed to go to the Google I/O Developer’s Conference in San Francisco, Calif.  “As an aspiring developer and undergraduate computer science major, attending Google I/O has long been the stuff of dreams,” he writes in his blog.

Google I/O is an annual conference when Google shows off such things as it new products and back-end improvements to its operating systems, Martinez explains. Thousands of tech developers attend or tune in online.

Although Martinez couldn’t personally afford the trip, which was held in mid May, he didn’t let that stop him from trying to make “the pilgrimage to attend Google I/O in person.”

Read the rest of Martinez’s story to find out how his being “hyper-connected, where everyone from your childhood friends to the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are but a click away,” helped him, as well as his own tenacity. “Never lose the craving for success, the ambition to fight for what you believe is yours,” he writes. “Even when the world seems to be working against you, don’t lose the courage to keep going.”

(Martinez describes actually being at the conference here, in “Part II.”)

Smartphones Are Killing Our Three-Day Weekends (NBC News)

Remember the days before smartphones — when we would move about without a deck-of-cards-sized life support system that we need constantly check? “We have created an expectation in society that people will respond immediately to everything with no delay,” says Tanya Schevitz, spokeswoman for Reboot, an organization trying to help people unplug.

“It’s unhealthy, and it’s unproductive, and we can’t keep going on like this.” Read how we are “robbing our brains of critical downtime that encourages creative thinking when we skip weekends and vacations” by staying so connected all the time.

Multimedia: 458 Seniors Awarded Degrees at Bowdoin’s 208th Commencement

During Bowdoin College’s 208th Commencement ceremony, bachelor of arts degrees were awarded to students from 42 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 14 foreign countries and territories.

For the first time since 1986, weather conditions drove the ceremony indoors — to the Sidney J. Watson Arena. Though the venue was new, President Barry Mills continued his Commencement tradition of speaking about leadership.

“At Bowdoin we understand that leadership requires empathy — at its best it requires a person who understands in their heart and head the issues and problems they seek to solve, and the situations they aim to improve. A Bowdoin leader leaves their ego at the door — it is not the volume of your voice, but the power of your ideas,” Mills said.  Read more about Commencement 2013 and find links to the speeches here.

Photos after the jump.

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Outer Space is Responsible for Red Barns (Smithsonian)

Brian Wedge Photography

The reason most barns are painted red has to do with the chemistry of dying stars, Smithsonian explains, as well as the economy. Basically, barns are red because red paint is cheap, and it’s cheap because it’s plentiful.

Red paint is plentiful due to the bounty of red ochre, a compound made of iron and oxygen that absorbs yellow, green and blue light. And this is where dying stars come into the picture. Smithsonian lets Yonatan Zunger, a Google employee, explain the science behind this everyday sight.