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reed magazine logoSpring 2009
Eric Talbot

Cheerleading, Reed-style: firebrand Eric Talbot ’12 twirls flaming pom-pom in Quad.
Photo by Lara Evensen ’11

Playing with Fire

If you happen to wander through the Quad on any given Thursday night, you may witness a dazzling performance by the Weapons of Mass Distraction Fire Troupe. Combining two classic Reed fascinations—juggling and combustion—the troupers toss firebrands or whirl flaming poi (kevlar balls attached to a length of chain) around their bodies in bright orange streaks as rhythmic music pulses from the loudspeakers. Fueled by naphtha, adrenaline, and a hearty dose of nonchalance, the troupe’s performances—known as “burns”—certainly enlighten campus life despite vague snuffing noises periodically emanating from Eliot Hall.

Return of the Steelhead

Steelhead trout

Photo by Laila Bryant ’09

Welcome back! After a leave of absence spanning many decades, steelhead trout are once again swimming in the Reed Canyon.
Anadromous fish were originally driven from campus by a combination of factors: pollution in the Willamette; pesticide runoff from Eastmoreland Golf Course; a gantlet of unfriendly culverts;
and finally, the old outdoor swimming pool behind the physical plant, which blocked the canyon off from the rest of the world.

In 1999, Reed launched an ambitious effort to restore the canyon, demolishing the pool, constructing a fish ladder, removing invasive interlopers, and planting native species. Now this hard work (much of it by students) is bearing fru—er, trout.

The piscine pioneers were first observed at the mouth of the lake in early March; campus ichthyologists have so far identified about half a dozen wild steelhead by their telltale adipose fin. It is too early to tell whether they will spawn and establish a permanent presence, but in time-honored Reed tradition, some of them—such as the 32-inch female and her 19-inch male partner, posing chastely here—have been spotted canoodling around the canyon with a certain gleam in the eye. We wish them all luck—in love and in settling on a thesis topic.

Last Man Standing

Chandler-Klein '09

“Japan has an old capital named Kyoto and a new one named Tokyo and I bet when they moved it people just thought it was a typo…” deadpanned Nick Chandler-Klein ’09 to a dozen students in the Ping Pong Room as he paced back and forth, microphone in hand. Hilarious? Perhaps not, but then again, the economics major had been performing for ten hours straight as part of a 12-hour stand-up comedy marathon for Reed Arts Week. Chandler-Klein came up with the idea after realizing that he could digress on just about anything for five minutes. He made a list of 240 subjects—such as monks’ tonsures, the similarity of electrical outlets to faces, and Korean fan death—and started confidently at noon, even though he had never tried standup before. He dutifully continued his monologue until midnight. Then, like a good Reedie, he went back to his room to finish his homework.

—Aaron Mendelson ’10

reed magazine logoSpring 2009