The Quest | The Free Press of Reed College

Cool Thesis of the Week: Francois Paultre

Two bisexual Latina girls, named Maggie and Hopey, lie together in bed. It’s 1982, and the two eighteen-year-old girls are part of the California punk-rock scene. Suddenly, Maggie needs to leave for her job repairing rocket ships. This is the first strip of Jaime Hernandez’s comic series Locas, which details the relationship of Maggie, Hopey, and […]

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Science Savvy: The Retinal Ganglion Cell’s Journey

A full-color illustrated trip through the visual system.

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Synaptic Candy: Interview with a Neuroscientist

By Terra Vleeshouwer-Neumann and Elise Dent Reading a scientific paper gives an in-depth but very narrow view of what’s going on in a field, but conversing with one of the scientists who actually did the work gives a more complete picture. Last Monday we got to talk with Dr. Rachel Wong, a pre-eminent neuroscientist who […]

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Review: John Kroger’s Convictions

John Kroger: Reed College President. Ultimate Prospie. Diehard white shirt wearer. Iron-willed mafia prosecutor.

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Chez Commons: Stripadillas in the Void

Oh chicken strip quesadilla! Affectionately dubbed “stripadilla” by upper-middle-class Reed students from the white-washed flickering halls of Sullivan I to the hive–like conglomerations of cellular living units of FSM, this deep-fried bundle of carbohydrates is a paradox within itself. One teary-eyed senior, reflecting on his earlier years, recalled his first time ordering a stripadilla. “What […]

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Science Savvy: A Day in the Life of a Müller Glial Cell

As told to Miranda Lyons-Cohen and Rachel Yahn. Dear Diary, Today was tough. I feel so much pressure to be perfect. My parents are always going on about our cousins (the radial glia) up in the hippocampus and superior colliculus in the brain, telling stories about how researchers discovered their crucial role in the formation […]

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What to Eat When You Feel Sad

There are nights at our fair school, dark, dark nights, when, listening to the sound of the rain on your roof and how it synchronizes with the drip-dripping of your tears onto your laptop keyboard, and meditating on the four hundred pages you have to read by tomorrow, you get hungry. And do you know […]

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Communism, Bureaucracy, and Tough Love: The Suede Jacket Premieres

The Suede Jacket

Photo courtesy Heather Chan. The platonic form of sheep has been captured by Perry Nelson ’16 and placed in a black box. That Black Box is in the Reed College Theatre building, where The Suede Jacket by Stanislav Stratiev debuted Wednesday. It plays Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30 pm. The question of what it […]

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Cool Thesis of the Week: Katelyn Best

Katelyn Best

Thirty years ago in Managua, Nicaragua, a group of students had an incredibly rare opportunity. After the Sandinista revolution, a school for disabled children was founded, bringing over 400 previously isolated deaf children into contact with each other. Initially having no language with which to communicate, the children interacted by making up their own signs […]

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The Lost Dorms of Olde Reed

Sisson

The men’s dorm Sisson stood across from Chittick, near the blue bridge, where Bragdon now stands.  Buried deep in the foundations of Bragdon, lay memories of Olde Reed. From 1958 to 1997, two men’s dorms occupied the space where Bragdon now stands: Ackerman and Sisson. When these Cross Canyon dorms were first built, along with […]

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Science Savvy: The Science Behind the Sides

By Emily Crotteau and Kara Cerveny This week, in honor of the holidays, we’ve cooked up a column about some of the delicious foods that grace the Thanksgiving dinner table. We hope you enjoy these ala carte servings of science. Cranberry (Oxycoccus vaccinium) — As you’re biting into a delicious mouthful of turkey slathered with […]

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Science Savvy: Stem Cells: They’ve Got the Power

By Mica Peacock The mere mention of “stem cells” can trigger heated arguments about when life begins and whether stem cell research is moral. Stem cells have the power to regenerate damaged tissue, but they also have the power to form an entire organism. With several cases that could restrict biomedical use of stem cells […]

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Cool Thesis of the Week: Wyatt Alt

Wyatt Alt

Wyatt Alt’s ’13 thesis? Counting the Number of Domino Tilings in the M x N Projective Plane. “You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension – a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of […]

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From the Archives: “Parable of the Way”

At Reed, we worship The Way. We have all the Committees and Boards and Petitions and Senates and Caucuses and Reed Unions you could ever want, and as soon as you try to Get Something Done you’ll be gridlocked into the biggest administrative logjam this side of Immigration and Naturalization.

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Science Savvy: An Eye-Opening Discussion

This is a story of two scientists, Vincent and Samantha, who were wrapped up in controversy over whether stem cells exist in adult human eyes. In 2000, a high profile paper identified stem cells in a specific part of the eye called the pigmented ciliary margin (PCM), which encircles the outermost edge of the retina.

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Cool Thesis of the Week: Max Maller

Max Maller

Much of the material academics study is the product of the elite. But Max Maller ’13 seeks to study an art form that rose out of the lower echelons of 19th Century China. His Chinese thesis, which he is working on with Professor Hyong Rhew, explores the art and evolution of Xiangsheng, a popular form of comedy in China that originated in the markets and temple fairs of Beijing during the Qing Dynasty.

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Letter to The Pamphlette

Dearest Pamphlette, I’m sorry I didn’t respond sooner to your proposal. I didn’t mean to snub you; I just had to take some time to think about this. I was flattered to be called your idol, and the rings were breathtaking. But I… well, I just wasn’t sure. I’ve loved our time publishing together, but […]

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Science Savvy: They Once Were Blind, But Now They See

By Anna Henkin  Nearly 10% of United States citizens over the age of 65 are legally blind. They suffer from a disease called age-related macular degeneration. This debilitating disease is caused when the light sensing cells (photoreceptors) in the center of the retina die. At first only mild vision loss occurs, eventually replaced by total […]

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Cool Thesis of the Week: AnnaLise Bender-Brown

AnnaLise Bender-Brown

In Western culture, female genital mutilation is regarded as a violent act against women that is a product of patriarchal oppression. Girls who are victims of this mutilation are stripped of their agency and coerced into a ritual that destroys the possibility of sexual pleasure in the future. AnnaLise Bender-Brown is out to deconstruct these […]

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From the Archives: On Olde Reed

From the 1982 Student Handbook The Old Reed was still going strong just a few years ago. It was a place where people could hang out, where comfortable was the big word, and where the Caucus came just that close to bankrupt. Jack Dudman, Robert Segel, The Doyle Owl, Free drugs at Renn Fayre, The […]

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Science Savvy: From Green to All Grown Up

How does a cell decide what it’s going to be when it “grows up”? Just like when you choose your major or thesis topic, your cells make decisions that impact their futures. Each immature cell in a developing brain is full of unlimited possibilities. Over time, the cell hears particular signals and makes specific choices, all of which combine to influences its ultimate “career choice”.

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Cool Thesis of the Week: Transforming Russian Graves into Artists’ Books

Rose Lewis

“Samizdat,” a portmanteau literally meaning “self-published” that was applied to carbon-copies of censored materials that dissidents made and circulated in the Soviet-era.  Cemeteries spark a morbid curiosity in many people and move us to ponder the lives of the dead. Tombstones reveal limited information about the deceased, which leads us to wonder – how much […]

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The Sound Attendance: Ben Howard

Ben Howard plays a familiar type of folk that can seem mine dry and overworked or delicate and heartwarming depending on who you’re talking to.

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Cool Thesis of the Week: Rowan Hildebrand-Chupp

“Mental disorder” is a tricky diagnosis to give to any psychological difference, as it immediately implies a judgement that someone has something “wrong” with them. Until recently, for example, homosexuality was officially classified as a disorder, and once, escaped slaves were considered to be disordered. But despite its tricky implications, the diagnosis of “disorder” is […]

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Science Savvy: Experimental Hiccups

Science often appears to be a singular entity, united by a methodological paradigm and totally consistent in its depiction of reality. But science is an active process, full of hiccups.

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Survey Will Measure Campus Climate

By Kathy Oleson, Melissa Osborne, and Crystal Williams Dear Reed Community, In a couple of weeks, you’ll receive an invitation to participate in the Reed College Campus Climate Survey. You’ll see flyers posted around campus and you’ll hear your professors, colleagues, and friends talking about the survey. And, we hope, you will be among those […]

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Cool Thesis of the Week: Tristan Nieto

Tristan Nieto

Tristan Nieto ’12 is updating a tradition-heavy cult ritual. Fans of The Rocky Horror Picture Show are well acquainted with the film’s cult rituals. When fans get together to watch the 1975 B-movie, the screenshow is accompanied by a cast of actors in front of the the movie, who shadow the movements of the actors […]

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Science Savvy: Brain Origami

By Tess Myers and Uji Venkat “He was as tall and rugged as an alp. One huge eye glared out of the center of his forehead.”— Homer,The Odyssey  The Odyssey’s Polyphemus is a fictional one-eyed monster, but cyclopic individuals do exist. One-eyed ewes are born to sheep that eat corn lilies while pregnant, severely inbred […]

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The Sound Attendance: Kanye West

If you’re in need of a conversation starter this week, you’re in luck because a new Kanye West release just came out.

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Cool Thesis of the Week: Alan Montecillo

Alan Montecillo

Alan Montecillo ’13 looks past the smut to see the music. If you mention the 17th-century Chinese novel The Plum and the Golden Vase to most people in China, says Alan Montecillo ’13, “the first thing that comes to mind is pornography.” The impulse is understandable. The novel is filled with about 70 vividly described […]

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The Sound Attendance: Susanne Sundfør and Daddy

NEW SINGLES Susanne Sundfør: The Silicone Veil. EMI Norway [SPACEY GLAM] For Fans Of: Joanna Newsom, Lana Del Rey I remember that the first time I listened to Lana Del Rey’s “Born to Die” I had a strange feeling that the song was made for me. It had taken the parts of pop that I […]

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Science Savvy: Eye’ll Be Back

In Luc Besson’s 1997 cult film, The Fifth Element, scientists recreate the perfect human from just a few cells. Though we’re far from being able to grow an entire Milla Jovovitch in an incubator, we are closer than ever to growing replacement body parts.

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Cool Thesis of the Week: Andy Malkin

Andy Malkin

Some games, maybe one played on a paper tablecloth waiting for food at a restaurant, don’t seem like they were meant to be taken seriously. But Andy Malkin ’13, of Ojai, California, says there’s a lot behind even some simple games. Andy is writing his math thesis with professors Joe Roberts and Jamie Pommershein on […]

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Mexican Showdown

Mexican Showdown

If there’s one thing I hate about people from California, it’s that old “I can’t find Mexican food in Portland like we have in California!” line. What a load of crap. I’ve been to California. There are plenty of crappy Mexican joints there. And conversely, Portland has its share of awesome taquerias. So, in the […]

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Science Savvy: How Cellular Conversations Shape Embryonic Development

Have you ever wondered why you don’t have more than two eyes or why they’re on your face instead of the top of your head? During early embryonic development, the cells destined to be your eyes are indistinguishable from other cells in the developing brain. Then, in response to specific changes in their environment, the future eye cells start to express different genes than their neighbors and even start to move differently.

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Science Savvy: Fish Eyes, Stem Cells, and Cancer

A tug-of-war between nature and nurture is alive and well inside each of us.

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Cool Thesis of the Week: Shakespeare for the Masses

Lisa Henderson

Lisa Henderson is taking Shakespeare to the SU to remind people how his plays were originally—crude, spontaneous, and geared toward everyone. Shakespeare—the name evokes fear in high school English classes the world over. Brought to mind is an elitist, inaccessible playwright who takes a doctorate to be understood. Not so, says Lisa Henderson ’12. Lisa, […]

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The Sound Attendance: Waiting for Gotye

Though I made a hefty pilgrimage to the Gotye concert at Edgefield Ampitheatre in Troutdale on a loaded, bouncing TriMet bus that wafted KFC odors into the night sky, I clumsily missed the prescribed date.

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Cool Thesis of the Week: Marie Perez

marie

Marie Perez ’12 is rooting through garbage for her thesis—and finding money. Portland has an interesting history of waste disposal, says Marie Perez ’12. The Alphabet District in Northwest is built on compacted trash over an old wetlands, and there was a time when people expected the city’s rivers to be “cleansing, self-healing entities.” The […]

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The Sound Attendance: Dan Deacon and WHY?

On his previous successful albums, Dan Deacon urged listeners to engage in action of the fanatical, flailing, human firework variety. At performances (RF 2010 anyone?) Deacon would install himself as ruler of the dance-floor regime, shouting out moves like the crowd was playing a giant game of Simon Says.

On his new album, America, Deacon, of Baltimore, uses his eccentric noise to goad his listeners into action outside of the dance hall.

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Cool Thesis of the Week: LiLu Sexton

ctwslider

Each week, The Quest profiles the thesis of one senior whose work is worth sharing with the Reed community. The purpose of this column is to increase awareness among Reedies of the work being done in various academic fields and to make disparate forms of scholarship accessible and understandable to all. Society relies on law […]

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The Sound Attendance

Welcome to The Sound Attendance: Crackerjack reviews of new releases covering bands fated to self-inflicted obscurity, to saccharine mainstream indie darlings, to Portland core (Reed core are you there??). Concert and haunted-house reviews are likely to be finagled when opportunity strikes, as are reviews of band websites and special releases. Know a local band you […]

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The Lutz Report: Down the Rabbit Hole

Lutz Report

There’s nowhere to go but down. The surface is empty and exhausted (épuisé). On top of that, your compatriots ask you nicely to leave. So you DIIIIIiiiiiiivvvvvvvvveee. Boom. Welcome. Oh it’s sweet. You can taste the disgust in the back of your mouth, like an exboyfriend you see every day (welcome to reed guys) Look […]

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Cool Thesis of the Week: Randomness as Fairness

Justine Stewart

Economic theory expects certain things of people: They will behave predictably, act to maximize utility, and if they can choose between getting money and not getting any, they will usually take the cash. However, says Justin Stewart ’12, there are well-known cases in which people regularly reject an offer of free money, against all the […]

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Cool Thesis: Commercially Sexually Exploited Children In Portland, OR

Rachel

America’s news media loves horror-story narratives, and little makes for a better horror story than the commercial sexual exploitation of children. However, according to Rachel Cole-Jansen ’12, the media more often than not gets the story wrong. Rachel, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, has spent her senior year at Reed studying children in the sex trade […]

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Cool Thesis of the Week: The Complexities and Caveats of Microfinance

Nisma Elias

Since the financial crisis, Americans have been constantly concerned with bad loans and borrowers who are unable to pay off their debts. According to Nisma Elias ’12, this doesn’t just happen here. Microfinance, a practice in which people in the developing world are given small loans to help them start businesses and earn an income, […]

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Cool Thesis of the Week: Cancer as a Social Construct

Most people with illnesses turn to science for the cure. Some turn to religion. Hunter Kirkland ’12 turns to anthropology. “Cancer is merely a product of the collective consciousness of Western society.” Hunter, an interdisciplinary Anthropology-Biology senior from New London, Connecticut, believes that in his work on his thesis, he has uncovered a revolutionizing theory […]

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From the Archives: Cat Gets Tongue of Lutz Patron

[Editor's Note: This story ran on the front page of The Quest on November 8, 1994 and was written by Adam Warner.] An altercation between a Lutz Tavern bartender and a customer resulted in severed body parts and allegations of negligence against a Reed student. A little past 10 PM on the night of October 27, […]

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From the Archives: Student Sip Near-Beer for Sociology

[Editor’s note: This story ran originally in The Quest on March 3, 1916 and was reprinted on September 25, 1961.] To determine the effect of prohibition upon the former patrons of saloons, five Reed College students, clad in the garments of laboring en, have been mingling for the past two weeks with the denizens of the North End, eating […]

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Cool Thesis of the Week: “Suburban Paradise or ‘Sprawlsville, Washington’?”

Alex Walker

Walking through the city, it is easy to look at stores and people, taking in their individual character. What many people do not consider, however, is the larger layout of the city. For Alex Walker ’12, however, the broader organization of a city is of utmost interest. His History thesis, “Suburban Paradise or ‘Sprawlsville, Washington’?: […]

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