Reed welcomes letters from readers about the contents of the magazine or the college. Letters must be signed and may be edited for clarity and space. Our email address is reed.magazine@reed.edu.

calligraphy at reed
From David Widelock ’68

Many thanks to the various authors and to Reed magazine for the articles about Lloyd 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 35+years later.

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 environment by 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 of Maryland

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?

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