Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is under attack.

Whodunnit?

Turkeys. We mean the animal, not the country. You know, the thing you eat for Thanksgiving. They’ve finally caught on.

KTVU reports that

Wild turkeys went after Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory technician recently as he rode his Segway to the office.

They chased him and pecked at him.

Oh, the humanity.

Wait a minute. Segway, did you say? That explains it.

We don’t like Segways either.

Even Leah Garchik of the Chron picked up on the story. Her so-called “spy” told her of an email sent to Lawrence employees:

Staff members are told not to feed the birds, and to “stand up to and scare turkeys who attack.”

In addition, an attachment to the e-mail provides tips from the National Wild Turkey Federation, including: “Don’t hesitate to scare or threaten a bold, aggressive turkey with loud noises, swatting with a broom or water sprayed from a hose. A dog on a leash is also an effective deterrent.”

If we were on a Segway, probably doing (what’s the top for those?) about five miles per hour, and we saw a thing like Mister over up yonder, we don’t know if we’d be able to “stand up to and scare turkeys.” We think the turkey would win this battle.

Turkey: 1
Segway: 0

Wild Turkeys Attack Lawrence Berkeley Lab Technician [KTVU]
Leah Garchik [SF Chron]


This is about a week late, but what the hell, we’ll mention it anyways.

Remember a couple of months ago when we told you about how the NFL is trying to trademark the term “The Big Game?” Actually, we should say that the NFL WAS trying to trademark that term.

After Cal and Stanford (notice how we don’t use the “u” because of our alliance with the junior university on this one), filed extensions for the trademark for “The Big Game,” the NFL dropped its pursuit.

Yeah, only a match made in hell, Cal and Stanford, can bring down something as evil as the NFL. But for now, our precious, little, college tradition—The Big Game—is safe from the clutches of corporate America. Actually, it’s not, but at least we get to keep calling The Big Game “The Big Game.”

But we’re not out of the woods yet. The NFL may refile under some other trademarks application.

Pshh. Whatever. It’s not like the NFL has half the brainpower that Cal and Stanford have.

Earlier: Finally, ‘Furd and Cal Have Found Something to Agree On: Stopping the NFL NFL drops effort to trademark ‘Big Game’ phrase [SF Gate]


In the losing battle between bookstores (yes, even corporate ones) and the online world, another bookstore in Berkeley is closing its doors.

Almost a year after the original Cody’s Books closed its doors on Telegraph, the corporate monster that is Barnes & Noble is closing its Shattuck Ave location after today.

So yes, today’s the last day to go in there and get your extremely cheap and shitty Danielle Steel novels or your extremely cheap tenth copy of _The Da Vinci Code._

For one, Barnes & Noble is closing because the company wants to “consolidate” its shit. Company spokesperson Lenore Feder said:

bq. … there are other branches within five miles of the Berkeley location, including in Emeryville and El Cerrito, that can serve the community.

College students aren’t going to ride the bus or the BART to Emeryville or El Cerrito to go to a bookstore. It’s even worse than having the store on Shattuck Ave.

Second, the store says it didn’t have enough space to add a cafe or a newstand. Um, we know it’s a growing trend in all those corporate bookstores, but did we really need another Starbucks in a college town?

Well, whatever the reason the store failed, let’s just put another tally mark on the online side of this battle. And at least in Berkeley it’s Online: 2, Bookstores: 0.

Downtown Bookstore Will Shut Down Today [Daily Cal]


Remember way back when we discussed the incoming freshman class? Little did we know that one of them would be making news … before her time at Cal.

Allison Stokke, a high school senior, is coming to Cal to join the track and field team. Despite her great athleticism, Stokke’s not getting attention for her pole vaulting. Instead, she’s getting oggled.

See that video up there? It sure isn’t great television, but it’s been viewed over 300,000 times.

It all started on With Leather, a sports blog run by Matt Ufford. On May 8, Ufford introduced Stokke with “hubba hubba and other grunting sounds.” Granted, he did mention her talent:

bq. Miss Stokke is one of the best young pole vaulters in the country. She set the U.S. record for a freshman girl at 12’8″, and her present personal best is a couple inches off the best high school girls mark. So, that’s why I’m honoring her with a post. Because she’s an exceptional athlete. Yes.

The post got some very interesting attention, to say the least. One commenter chimed, “She can vault my pole any time.” Har har.

To Stokke, it wasn’t funny. Washington Post reports she got 1,000 messages on her MySpace. Now her father’s looking through message boards to pick out potential stalkers.

Wait a minute. Stokke talked to Washington Post, but she doesn’t want any more attention? Isn’t that kinda … well … counterintuitive?

But really, stop being pervy. You’re acting like you’ve never seen an attractive girl before.

Her “athleticism” earned her multiple Facebook groups, some of which have popped up in a matter of 24 hours. The two largest, however, existed prior to the Post article.

Fine, fine, here are your obligatory links: I’m Stoked For Stokke!!! and Fans of Allison Stokke.

In response to the article, Ufford posted more pictures of Stokke with “written permission of the photographer.” So much for sympathy.

So good job, Washington Post. An article complaining about unwanted attention manages to generate even more attention. It seems like the next step is for Stokke to start dating Enrique Iglesias and then star in his steamy music video.

Hey, at least she’s prettier than Jonny Moseley.

Teen Tests Internet’s Lewd Track Record [Washington Post]
POLE VAULTING IS SEXY, BARELY LEGAL [With Leather]
PLEASE BE RESPECTFUL OF ALLISON STOKKE [With Leather


Everyone agrees that the BCS is a stupid system. Everyone has suggestions, but no one ever really acts on them. Until now.

The Tampa Tribune is reporting that Florida President Bernie Machen will unveil his new plan for determining a national champion this Thursday at the SEC spring meeting. Finally, someone is actually taking action in taking down the monster that is the BCS.

Now note this: Machen is the president of the university that just won the BCS national championship. He just won that bad boy in January, and now he wants to scrap it and have a playoff. Awesome!

Machen’s plan? Well, it’s going to be a playoff-type system (YES!), which he says will be determined by the market. He envisions all different playoff scenarios from the “Plus-one” format to the “eight-team” or even “sixteen-team” playoff. Whichever fans and sponsors want, they’ll get.

Second, he believes this thing’s going to make a shitload of money. He notes how much FOX Sports is paying the BCS for its television rights and compares it to how much CBS pays for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. FOX pays $83 millions a year. CBS, about six times that figure. Great. Money is awesome.

Even better, he wants to distribute the money to ALL 119 Division I-A schools. ALL OF THEM will get money from this system. Who doesn’t want that?

But of course, the traditionalists want their bowls. More specifically, Big Ten commish Jim Delaney wants to keep the traditional Big Ten versus Pac-10 matchup in the Rose Bowl.

We’d love that too. But if a playoff system ensures that a team like our Cal football team doesn’t get screwed (like it did in 2004), then we’re all for it.

It’s time for Division I-A college football to embrace the knockout stages and approve a playoff system. It’s needed. It’s time. Please save us from another lopsided BCS title game! Please!

UF President Will Unveil Playoff Proposal [Tampa Tribune]


Just when we thought Facebook was getting too involved, Google, everyone’s favorite search engine that could, has decided to up the ante with its new “Street View” feature.

Is uber-stalkerishness a word?

You want something creepy, try looking up your house. Yes, see that? That’s your front door. And if you were outside at the wrong time, then yes, that would be you having a smoke on the porch.

When we zoomed out to a full sized map it showed that the stalker service currently only pertains to areas around New York City, Miami, Denver, Las Vegas and our own lovely city by the bay, San Francisco. According to Macworld, the feature will be expanding to more cities sometime soon. We appreciate it: If people in Ohio can look at our front door on the internet, we certainly expect the courtesy of being able to look at theirs. Although we’re not sure why we’d want to.

ZDNet picked up the scent after Google registered the domain name “googlestreetview.com” along with a number of variations. The general consensus of web buzz was that Google would be debuting some kind of new feature for the O’Reilly Where 2.0 Conference, with speakers and events about mapping and geospace (a.k.a. How Big Brother Will Be Watching You In 20 Years 101).

While the conveniences of this feature are fairly obvious (“No, Mom, I’m in the house with the red door. Just look it up online.”), we’ve got to say that it’s freaking us out quite a bit. Granted, it’s not like the maps are a live feed, but at some point we really have to ask what’s necessary and what’s just unnerving.

Google improves Map with street views, miniapps [Macworld]
Google Maps “Street View” to be launched at Where 2.0? [ZDNet]


*Leading Off…No Postseason For Cal, Again*
The Cal baseball team was the ultimate bubble team for a berth to the NCAA tournament. Heading up to Seattle for the last series of the regular season, the Bears probably needed to win two of three games to possibly nab a postseason berth.

They didn’t. Instead Esquer’s Bears’ miracle run at the end of the season ended in dismay, with Cal losing two of three to Washington. Even worse is that our friends at UCLA were probably the last Pac-10 team selected to the tournament, with a 30-26 record.

What’s our Bears’ record you ask? 29-26. Ouch. Let’s make that six straight seasons that Cal hasn’t made the postseason.

*Slow Start Dooms Bears*
We’re going to try to explain to you why the women’s crew team failed to three-peat as NCAA champions this year.

1) There are three boats at the NCAA regatta.

2) The varsity eight boat is considered the best boat and its grand final race is given three-times as many points as any of the other grand finals.

3) Cal’s varsity eight boat failed to even reach the semifinals of the event.

4) The second varsity eight boat and the varsity four boat both did pretty well in their respective events.

5) No varsity eight boat in the final means you’re not going to win the NCAA title, no matter how well the other boats did.

*Tennis Players Fall at Individual NCAAs*
Susie Babos was the defending NCAA singles champ. Keyword in that sentence is WAS. Babos was ousted in the second-round in her bid as a repeat champion. The other Bears in the singles draw lost in the round of 16.

Babos’s second round troubles didn’t end there, losing in the second round of the doubles bracket with teammate Zsuzsanna Fodor.

Wow, for a team that made the NCAA semis last weekend, all that most of these ladies could muster was a berth to the round of 16? What happened? Maybe their lone male counterpart can do better?

Nope.

On the men’s side Pierre Mouillon was also given an early exit in the second round.

Well, at least we don’t have to talk about tennis for awhile.

*Golden Bears*
1) Alysia Johnson – Track and Field
This sounds like a broken record, but Johnson just broke another record at the NCAA West Regional. Cal -female- athlete of the year? We’d say so.

2) Ed Wright – Track and Field
Along with Johnson, won Cal’s only two individual titles at the NCAA West Regional.

3) The other 11 track and field athletes who qualified for the NCAAs over the weekend. At least one team fared well.


If you haven’t noticed already (and who hasn’t, with the News Feed stronger than ever), Facebook introduced new applications that users can add to their profiles. On Thursday, the Facebook Blog left a cryptic message about its Facebook Platform:

bq. You may have heard that we just unveiled the next evolution of Facebook Platform. Our new stuff will be going live sometime tonight, so definitely stay tuned on the site and on the blog for more information tomorrow.

And then it rained applications. Everbody and their mothers (because they can use Facebook now too) are adding the latest doodads to their profiles.

After an intense coffee session, we decided to test drive a random smattering of applications. Not because we’re cool or anything, but mostly because it’s summer and we don’t want to clean out the fridge just yet.

Music Applications
uPlayMe tells everyone what you’re listening to and makes you look like a douche in the process. We were gung-ho until it asked us to complete “just two easy steps”:

bq. Step 1) Create a uPlayMe account (do this below, its easy!)
Step 2) Get our awesome uPlayMe software (next page)

No.

iLike lets you add music to your profile. Apparently you can also get free mp3′s.

Through the application, we updated our profile to say we are going to the Daft Punk concert. This makes us cool.

It also suggested free mp3′s to download based on our music preferences listed on our profile. None of them looked appealing, and so we didn’t even bother.

As it stands, the application is a bit confusing, but it looks promising. Plus, eight of our friends just added it.

Other Applications
Extended Info is straightforward. It allows you to add more information to your profile, like new favorite categories to fill out or even a self-created survey. It’s very bare bones, but it made us happy.

HotLists is essentially an extension of the Interests section on your profile, but in a picture-format. Nobody has time to read words anymore. In the year 2000, everything will be in images and symbols.

It’s a little unnecessary, but we were excited to see 22 different images relating to our search for “porn.” We then cried when “emo” came up with 26 results, the no. 1 being Girls Gone Wild.

30 Boxes Calendar, we assume, is similar to a Google Calendar. We don’t know because we kept getting error messages and it took forever to load. And we were so optimistic.

Personally, we think the applications are fun to mess around with. They definitely give us something to do (i.e. figure out how the hell these things work) during summer.

However, it seems the launch was a bit hasty. Many of the applications still have kinks to work out, and it would have been better to delay the release to make things run smoother. Either that, or Facebook should have released the applications under a beta testing caveat.

The Facebook Platform makes us hate Facebook less than the News Feed, but we’re still pretty sure Mark Zuckerberg is trying to suck our souls.

Facebook Platform is here. [Facebook Blog]
Application Directory [Facebook]


The price of student housing (save for the co-ops) may be outrageous, but at least you’re not living in the Berkeley Hills. That’s hardcore.

If you’re lucky—and fast enough—you have the opportunity to see the inside of house that’s not trashed by your crazy, hostile, drunk roommate and that’s most likely free of rodent infestation. This house isn’t student-living, but someday your prestigious Berkeley education will help you land a home like this. That is, if you’re not a humanities major. You, on the other hand, will have to settle with a fur-lined cardboard box at best.

We’re tallking about 1675 La Loma in Berkeley, the address of the landmark Jensen House. The asking price is $3.6 million, but don’t let that stop you from gawking at it. After all, there is an open house going on now until 4:30 p.m. And who says there’s nothing to do during the summer here?

(And yes, the gingerbread house is an exact replica of the Jensen House.)

Actually, we lied. The Jensen House is so much cooler. Built in 1891 in the Stick-Eastlake style, the house is pretty damn old. It’s only been on the market once, in 1997, when the current owners bought it from original builders’ family.

Let’s lay it all down, shall we? This chic pad boasts:
* a San Francisco and Golden Gate view
* a skylight
* a paneled staircase “made of rich Makore wood”—we don’t know what that is, but it sure sounds fancy
* a library with (of course) a fireplace
* a powder room because every home needs a bathroom that’s not really a bathroom
* French doors
* a waterfall in the backyard
* a cottage-garage combo
* a guest suite above the cottage-garage combo
* a wet bar, most likely stocked with Dom Perignon
* a wine cellar
* a sunken whirlpool tub in the master bathroom

In total, this Berkeley palace has five bedrooms and 5 1/2 baths. The house covers 4,450 square feet on a 16,000 square feet lot.

Wow. We can’t even comprehend those numbers. How big is that? The size of Costco? Deutsch Hall?

We don’t know, but we’re willing to bet that this open house will have a British butler and hors d’oeuvres filled with champagne, lobster tail and caviar. We’re so there.

Berkeley landmark for sale once more [SF Chronicle]


While the rest of you awoke to the start of a glorious three day drinking bi—err, weekend, we here at the Clog were hard at work . . . kind of. Let it never be said that we aren’t willing to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of our readers, no matter how burnt the beans, no matter how thin the foam, we will overcome all obstacles to find the best of what Berkeley has to offer in the way of a solid latte. Well, except Gerald. He wasn’t around. So we made a puppet to take his place.So, with no further ado, let the coffee crawl begin.

First stop, Nefeli’s Caffe, the shining star of Northside, and what turns out to be some of the best coffee in town.

Ethan Strauss: Can you normally grind your own nutmeg? Because that’s pretty cool.
Christine Borden: Very good mix of cafe and latte. You don’t even need sugar.
ES: You can really taste the beaniness.
CB: The beaniness?
ES: The beaniness.
Gerald Nicdao:

Quality of coffee: 9 of 10
Overall quality: 8.5 of 10
Ethan’s rating of pretentiousness: 7 of 10

—-

Next we wandered down Hearst Avenue toward Berkeley Espresso. Despite the underwhelming coffee, we’ve gotta give some points out to anywhere that has free wi-fi. Their carrot cake’s pretty damn good too.

ES: The flavor is reminiscent of burnt taste buds.
Skyler Reid: It’s definitely a weak flavor . . . way too hot . . . yeah, burnt taste buds seems about right.
CB: Needs sugar. [Goes inside to get sugar. Adds one packet of sugar. Sips. Adds a second packet of sugar. Sips] The sugar didn’t work. It still tastes like burn.
GN:

Quality of coffee: 6 of 10
Overall quality: 8 of 10
Ethan’s rating of pretentiousness: 9 of 10

—-

People’s seems to be hidden in the occasionally staggering number of options near University and Shattuck avenues. Sadly, it’s not that big a loss.

SR: Feels a little bit quiet . . . and there’s a creepy old guy staring at you, Christine.
ES: I don’t really know about this flavor.
SR: You mean the flavor of overly roasted beans and bubbly foam?
CB: Wow. This tastes just like the smell of my weird video production teacher’s breath in high school . . . wait, that sounds wrong.
ES: Whatever the fuck that stuff is on the wall, it’s cool.
CB: That’s bamboo, Ethan. Hey, if you’re really lucky you might find that book for class that you never bought!
GN:

Quality of coffee: 5 of 10
Overall quality: 7 of 10
Ethan’s rating of pretentiousness: 8 of 10

—-

The Clog’s next stop in our pain-staking research was the Free Speech Movement Cafe. Low and behold, it’s closed for Memorial Day weekend. But that didn’t stop Ethan from monologuing in place of an actual review.

ES: So at FSM you get to stand in a line that’s twenty people long where you’ll run into a GSI from a class you took two semesters ago and have an awkward conversation about the class, which you don’t remember at all. Eventually you make it through the line of annoying, screeching students and are served by that one guy who everyone knows. You know, that one guy. The coffee is spectacularly alright-ish, but then you have to somehow find seating, which is simply impossible to do anywhere inside.
CB: Great place to smoke, though.
GN:

Quality of coffee: N/A
Overall quality: N/A
Ethan’s rating of pretentiousness: N/A

—-

A short walk across campus brought us to the normally packed Cafe Milano. Chalk it up to the effects of too much caffeine (we’re all drinking water by this point), but everything seemed a bit off, from the service to the taste of the latte.

SR: Tastes . . . sour? It’s like the milk is a bit off.
CB: It tastes a bit burnt. I’m reminded of Berkeley Espresso.
ES: The only way it could feel more pretentious would be if they built a chamber for foreign grad students to smoke in while listening to minimalist electronic music.
GN:

Quality of coffee: 5.5 of 10
Overall quality: 6.5 of 10
Ethan’s rating of pretentiousness: 11+ of 10

—-

In the last stop of the day, the heavily caffeinated Clog staff went all the way down to Beanery by College and Ashby avenues. While it is, admittedly, outside of the two block radius from campus that most students rarely break, we felt it important to see what was available in the outer ring of the Berkeley Bubble.

ES: Although the milkiness might be too much for some people, I think it’s nice. It makes it really smooth. Reminds me of the lattes my mom used to make.
SR: [Confused look]
ES: No, seriously. That’s not even a joke.
CB: I like it, but it’s kind of overshadowed by this peanut butter cup sundae drenched in hot fudge and peanuts.
ES: [Finishing last coffee] Mmmm, tastes like Gerald.
GN:


Older »