Most likely you’ve never seen a hyena–or even imagined that 30 laughing members of the family hyaenidae live within a mile of campus near Tilden Park.

But they do. But they won’t for long.

The hyenas live at the Berkeley Field Station for the Study of Behavior, Ecology and Reproduction. But housing the animals is getting too expensive, and they will soon be moved to zoos.

It costs $10.50 a day to house a hyena, if you were wondering.

Funds started running out in mid-October. 22 years prior, UC Berkeley Professor Steve Glickman started the colony because of the lack of preservation of this misunderstood species (They’re not hermaphrodites, people!).

“There are no ‘save-the-hyena’ committees, and their persistent public relations problems could have very serious consequences for the preservation of hyena habitats and the long-term prospects for these species,” [Glickman] wrote.

Thank you Professor Glickman (and soon-to-be-gone hyena habitat) for evidence that there are better, needier causes out there than oak tree groves.

Creature Comforts [Berkeley Science Review]
From sex roles to eating, female hyenas rule [SF Gate]

After discovering the latest omen of the world’s coming demise, the Clog encourages Berkeley students to put down their books and enjoy their short-lived time on earth.

Dry cleaning too expensive? Just too lazy to make a trip downtown? Konaka, a Japanese company, has the answer for you.

Introducing the “Shower Clean” line of business suits. These babies only need to be showered in warm water for a few minutes and then hung to dry.

The main target group is college age students looking for jobs and single young businessman.

This would be perfect for all those students meeting up with recruiters next semester. Considering most of you have trouble simply getting around to laundry, dropping around $300 for this one-of-a-kind suit sounds like it might just be a wise investment.

Image Source: Plasmafire under Wikimedia Creative Commons
Shower-Ready Suit to Go on Sale in Japan [WTOPnews]
Earlier: This Week’s Sign of the Apocalypse: Santas in Speedos

We love (and hate) Facebook. And while the Clog is technically part of the media, we certainly aren’t any of the news outlets chatting about Mark Zuckerberg.

This week, the Chron featured our favorite Zuckerberg as a “Face of Business 2007,” noting that despite lower membership than rival MySpace, the Facebook enterprise has certainly grown and appeared in the news the most in the last year.

On principle it seems we shouldn’t give the Harvard dropout any more attention than he deserves. After all, Zuckerberg sold out to Microsoft, opened up Facebook to any stalker with an e-mail address, and launched the utter failure that was the Beacon advertising program (and we already wrote about that). However, this time of year the streets of Berkeley are barren and Stanford’s gone medieval.

While we wait for something more exciting to happen, maybe we’ll collect more Facebook friends (or not) or pore over Google Analytics. Unless, of course, you have better ideas (not including listening to Hubert Dreyfus).

Faces of Business 2007: Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook [SF Gate]
Stanford professor’s Palo Alto choir keeps Gregorian chant alive [SF Gate]

The Clog is an international sensation, we would like to claim. (OK, so we’re bored and exploring Google Analytics.) For the first time ever we’re offering up our precious stats and visitor records. We’ll just imagine your oohs and ahhs along the way.

Countries most interested in Berkeley (or just us):
1. U.S.
2. Canada
3. U.K.
4. Australia
5. Japan

And the cities:
1. Berkeley
2. SF
3. unknown
4. Pleasanton
5. Los Angeles

Google Analytics claims 158 countries or territories have seen the Clog since its birth, but that still leaves out quite a bit. read more »

Here at the Clog we would like congratulate philosophy professor Hubert Dreyfus–his 2006 lecture “Introduction: What is Existentialism?” is at the top of the iTunes U download list.

At least that’s what some say, though a few other bloggers have the lecture displaced by Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement address at Stanford.

Regardless, we think it’s cool that at least at one point in time Dreyfus’ lecture was at the top.

The Clog is intrigued by the fact that people bother to download lectures that they aren’t going to be tested on.

Oh wait, that’s what we do when we have a difficult time being away from school.

iTunes U: Philosophy is #1 [Computer World]

The Clog shed a tear today when it heard that Sacha Baron Cohen decided to officially retire his alter egos Ali G and Borat. Ironically, their deaths were attributed to the popularity of the characters, which reduced the chance of people not recognizing Cohen during filming.

The laughs started with Da Ali G show, where we saw the likes of James Ziegler (our personal favorite clip), Ralph Nader and Newt Gingrich get flustered by a highly unorthodox style of questioning.

Borat’s self-titled movie successfully picked up on the amusing awkwardness. Its immense popularity could be fully measured by every person aged 13-35 referencing some line in Borat at least twice a day.
read more »

Finals came and went. At this very moment, many of you are making the trek back to your respective homes. Others are already there, basking in the glory of not having to deal with pressing academic responsibilities, vulgar roommates or tree sitters. But before you realize that you need to study for the February LSAT and apply for various internships and jobs (the career website says that now is the best time!)–the Clog would like to remind you that it is called “Winter Break” for a reason.

So sit back, take a load off, and enjoy your time away from the stress and nuttiness that defines our dear university–at least, until the grades come out.

Image Source: Christine Borden

On Sunday, the Clog was lucky enough to stumble upon a merry group of three carolers on the steps of Sproul Hall. Armed with Santa hats, navy blue blazers and sassy, brass instruments, UC Berkeley undergrads Lenny, Lou and David brought smiles to the faces of many passers-by with their energetically belted renditions of holiday classics.

Despite garnering plenty of friendly remarks–including the giggly, monetary approval of passing tween girls and their mothers–the three still weren’t up to par with some Berkeley citizens’ standards. One individual in particular was a fat man on a bike, whose holiday cheer carried a blatantly political agenda. He pedaled up to the carolers’ post with a stack of papers, and handed one to each of the singers.

“Try it out! I usually sell them for $5, but now I’m giving them away for free,” he said. “You can even try to make copies and sell them yourself!”

The Clog took a pamphlet, which was titled “The Official Impeach Bush and Cheney Christmas Carol Songster.” read more »

Researchers say that you can have too many Facebook friends. There’s a thin line between popularity and insecurity, and once you’ve reached 800 cataloged bosom buddies, you’ve gone overboard.

Dubbed “Facebook whales,” these behemoths are perceived to be insecure once they reach the magic number. Eight hundred, though, seems awfully low for us. Isn’t even, say, 500 a bit much?

Nick O’Neill from AllFacebook says it must be a young thing. His younger cousin “has over 1,000 friends though and is still in college.” Hmm … any relation to Ilana Nankin?

Image Photoshopped by Christine Borden
Facebook whales: 800 is ‘too many friends’ [Guardian Tech blog]
How Many Friends Is Too Many? [AllFacebook]

It shouldn’t be surprising that The Berkeley City Council will discuss a new plan for the area on Tuesday from 5-7 p.m.

The empty storefronts that pock the downtown make any Berkeley resident grimace–Shattuck Avenue and University Avenue pale in comparison to the prosperous downtowns of Emeryville and San Francisco.

But that might not always be.

The plan has been two years in the making, so no doubt you’ve heard of it. But the council will finally be hearing it Tuesday, and then, after a review by the Planning Comission, will vote on the project in May.
read more »

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