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Defining Progress

(05/07/07 6:05am)

I have always wanted my own beehive. I think I initially fell in love with the idea as a child when I was taught to simultaneously cherish and fear bees. After all, what other species can couple something as sweet as honey with something as bitter as the bee sting? I wish I could somehow make the human world as beautiful and productive as the world of bees, but having my own beehive to observe seems realistic.

Ledyard, According to Gifford

(04/13/07 9:00am)

When John Ledyard arrived at Dartmouth in the spring of 1772, he grabbed everybody's attention with his flashy clothes and his carriage -- the first to ever reach Dartmouth. Ledyard left just one year later when he made his own canoe and floated down the Connecticut River, once again the center of attention, wearing a bearskin and reading Ovid in Latin (which distracted him from a waterfall downstream, coming perilously close to a fatal accident).

Validating Blackademia

(03/06/07 11:00am)

On Sept. 19, 2006, James Sherley, a 49-year-old black associate professor of biological engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, won a $2.5 million grant from the National Institute of Health for his work with adult stem cells. Five months later, on a gray February morning, after two bowls of Chex, Sherley began to starve himself outside of the office of MIT's provost. He was protesting the administration's decision to deny him tenure, which he believed was based on his race.

Still Bored at Baker

(02/16/07 11:00am)

Dartmouth students finally have something better than two-cup, solitaire and masturbation to curb the vicious boredom of winter in Hanover. The popular website, has arrived as an oily fountain of campus dialogue-cum-college mischief where nobody is safe. The site defines itself as a place where students "say anything without having to conform to social norms or societal expectations," by posting anonymous statements. Then it is left to the Dartmouth public to view and judge the site's content as "thumbs up," "thumbs down" or "newsworthy." Bored at Baker has become a place where we can embarrass our friends, denounce our foes, plead for sex and be offensively provocative. But on a campus divided about the merits and limitations of free speech, Bored at Baker has the potential to be a genuine outlet for us to share honest thoughts amongst ourselves if it is not ruined by insensitivity and cowardice first.

Responsible Excess?

(02/09/07 11:00am)

Winter Carnival is a weekend of excess. Students, chafed by the stress of midterms, take three or four days to bask in the warmth of carefree winter fun and gluttony. This year, however, with Winter Carnival close on the horizon, Associate Director of the Collis Center and Student Activities Eric Ramsey sent a message to representatives of Dartmouth's fraternities and sororities reminding them that there is a limit to their winter excesses after all.

A Dartmouth Daydream

(01/18/07 11:00am)

In the past year, Dartmouth spent about $132 million littering our campus with fancy, new buildings. Every time we pour a new foundation, it feels like we are moving away from our roots. If we want our campus to become a spectacle, why haven't we invested our millions turning Dartmouth into a real tourist trap? We will be Colonial Williamsburg but with students.

Fall '06: Nothing Much?

(01/08/07 11:00am)

What do Keggy, the recent alumni constitution referendum, our campus' demonstrated prejudices against Native Americans and a broken desk in Reed Hall 108 have in common? Don't think too hard because the answer is nothing. Hindsight shows that Fall term 2006 was 10 weeks of glorious stagnation when we busied ourselves doing nothing in particular.

Bum Rush

(10/19/06 9:00am)

Dartmouth's sororities are having a bad-hair decade. Unfortunately, no amount of headbands, brownie-baking or Greek-branded butt pants will make their coif behave. It is time for us to revaluate our sorority rush process, especially if our Greek system is going to continue to grow. What was envisioned as a week of bonding and excitement for potential pledges has become a week of awkward meet-and-greets, snap judgments and institutionalized anxiety. Meanwhile, getting into the frat you want seems no harder than tying a slightly uneven Windsor and shaking a few hands.

Homecoming and the Bonfire

(10/13/06 9:00am)

The Italians have an expression, "ci metterei la mano sul fuoco," which means "I would put my hand on the fire." I'm told that people use it when they are 100 percent sure of something. I think it's strange that at Dartmouth we have a very similar saying: "Touch the fire, freshmen." Although we might not really know why we tell the freshman to touch the fire or why we even have a fire every year, the bonfire is more than a century old and just as popular as ever. A keystone in the Dartmouth experience, the bonfire embodies many of the values that we share as a community, whether or not we're proud of these ethics.

The Man Behind the Pictures

(10/04/06 9:00am)

Mention the name "Joseph Mehling" to any Dartmouth student and a confused grin will wash over their face. In his 13th year as College Photographer, Mehling '69 is still relatively unknown to the student body -- but his pictures are a different story. At a time in Dartmouth's history when the school and its image are evolving aggressively toward political correctness and away from tradition, the work of someone like Mehling is becoming extremely important. Lucky for most of us, we don't have to reconcile this dichotomy from behind a camera as Mehling does every day.

Remembering Steve

(09/21/06 9:00am)

On Sept. 4, while shooting footage for his eight-year-old daughter's television show, Steve Irwin, "The Crocodile Hunter," was killed by a stingray, one of the ocean's most docile and harmless creatures. For whatever reason, none of this news makes sense to me, even weeks later. I understand how Irwin died and I understand why it was such a big news story. What I don't understand is how Mother Nature's sense of humor is dark enough for a punch line of this timbre.

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