Archives for June 2015

Founding Principles: Federalism

This is the second episode of “Founding Principles,” an educational video series dedicated to civics. Each one is narrated by Andrew Rudalevige, Bowdoin’s Thomas Brackett Reed Professor of Government, who helps provide an introductory overview and basic understanding of American government.

Digital Mapping Leads Scholar Benjamin Ray ’62 to New Salem Witch Trials Insight

Benjamin Ray ’62, a University of Virginia religious studies professor, has published a new book, Satan and Salem, that helps reveal when and how Salem’s witchcraft hysteria began more than 300 years ago. Scholars have never fully understood why the small Massachusetts village spawned a spate of accusations against supposed witches.

Ray led the development of an award-winning U.Va digital archive of primary source materials about the Salem witch trials, which allowed him to digitally map the geography and timing of each accusation. His work steered him to the conclusion that religious difference played a major part part in the mass delirium that left more than 150 people accused and 19 killed.

“Most of the accusers were daughters of church members, while most of the accused were outside of the church,” explains a University of Virginia article. “[Ray] also noticed that accusations began to leap to Andover, Reading and other villages in the region with the same message that Satan was not just trying to destroy [Samuel] Parris’ church [a controversial Salem minister], but the church as a whole.”

Getting Drunk — Not Just For Us Humans (NewScientist)

alcohol drink long-iland ice teaIt turns out that humans are not the only species who enjoy a drink at the end of the day; an observational study performed by a group at Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom noted that chimpanzees will occasionally ferment and consume their own alcoholic beverages. A certain species of tree leaks an essential oil which, over time, ferments into a 3%-7% by volume alcohol which the chimps will then drink. The study even reported chimpanzees stumbling around in a drunken manner afterwards. Read the full study here.

Interactive: How Does Your Sleep Schedule Measure Up? (TIME)



The weekend is here, so many of us will promise ourselves we will “catch up” on our sleep. But we won’t. We’ll stay up late, because we can. And the cycle will continue. Too cynical? Perhaps. According to a survey of 15 million nights of sleep in the U.S., the average American gets a healthy 7 hours and 50 minutes of sleep going to bed at 11:32 p.m. and waking up at 7:22 a.m.

Check out this TIME Labs sleep calculator to see how you and your state compare to the national average.