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calligraphy at reed
From David Widelock ’68
Many thanks to the various authors and to Reed magazine for the articles
Reynolds—it was a wonderful accompaniment to the recent exhibit at
the ’03 reunion. I remember a quote at Reynolds’s retirement: “the
bird flew out of his hand.” That’s really what it looked like when he demonstrated
calligraphy on his easel. Once you started trying to understand how he did that, you
were off on a life-long journey, whether it was in calligraphy or some other field.
To be in a classroom with someone who could show us that still gives me shivers some
From Thomas J. Rostafinski ’73
I never became much of a calligrapher (though I was always surprised later how impressed people
were with the little I could do), but the course I took from Father Palladino as a student at Reed
left me with a permanent sensitivity to letter forms and to varied styles of writing and type. Nineteen
eighty-four was not only the Orwellian year in which the Reed education was purified of the questionably
academic contribution of calligraphy. It was also the year in which the first Apple Macintosh was
unveiled. Former Reed student Steve Jobs’s role in this is well known. The Macintosh (I’m
writing this on one) has also brought Reed calligraphy to the world in the form of typefaces designed
by Reed graduates Chuck Bigelow and Kris Holmes—including the fonts named for cities that gave
the earliest Macs their distinctive interface. Calligraphic hand lettering is an art and its disappearance
from Reed a loss, but I am somewhat consoled to learn that Reed calligraphy lives on in the font
menus of computers worldwide.
giving A’s and F’s
From Brett T. Greene ’94
The decades to follow will certainly judge President George W. Bush’s
tenure in the White House, whether by the assignation of a letter grade or not. Dispute over
our President’s actions
will only help to engage people in the political process. However, what does not
lend itself for dispute is Mr. Winningstad’s assertion (Letters,
August 2003) that “the global warming hysteria
is based on junk science.” Global warming is occurring at a rate unprecedented
in geological history and it would be an unfortunate history lesson to see its unmitigated
effects. I would like
to refer Mr. Winningstad to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third Assessment
report, a document validated by the global scientific community. The summary states
that “There is
new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years
is attributed to human activities.” There is certainly a much more thorough
explanation as to the mechanisms of climate change, but I will leave that up to Mr.
Winningstad’s own intellectual curiosity.
Florida may be under water, time will be the ultimate judge of our current president’s
term, but scientific fact is not up for grabs. Though Reed has fostered a great learning
de-emphasizing grades, I will follow suit and assign Winningstad an “A” for
his political protestations and an “F” for his scientific reasoning.
From Rosemary M. Killen associate research scientist, dept. of astronomy, University
Your letter from C. Norman Winningstad raises serious questions about the quality of science education
in this country. Climate models are peer reviewed and independently verified by different research
groups. They are not “tuned to give the desired results.” Climate research is funded
by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy in this country, and by governmental
agencies abroad, including Europe and Japan, not by environmental causes. Furthermore, the words
climate and weather are not synonymous. Although it would be difficult to solve the equations of
radiative transfer, global convection, and atmospheric chemistry without using computers, to which
Mr. Winningstad objects, a simple yet elegant introduction to the greenhouse effect can be found
in “The Runaway Greenhouse and the Accumulation of CO2 in the Venus Atmosphere,” Rasool
and deBergh, Nature 226, 1037 (1970). This paper should be required reading at every college and
university. There is too much rhetoric based on zero knowledge of atmospheric science, including
that from Howard Vollum Science and Technology Award recipients.
From Jonathan Grudin ’72
In 1967, when I took the SATs, a writing sample essay asked us to
discuss the expression that “you
can be so open-minded that your brains fall out.”
This resonated unexpectedly in my Reed years, when the administration
argued that if a single member of the Reed community supported the Vietnam War the college
could not oppose it. The tradition lives
on when the Reed magazine publishes a letter by C. Norman Winningstad
that defends George Bush’s
presidency and says the global warming hysteria is based upon junk science.
Reed magazine is nothing if not open-minded. Whoops, what was that I heard hit the ground?