Yesterday the Daily Cal exploded endorsements for the 2008 election, and when we say ‘sploded, we mean it. Below, we’ve transcribed the notable for the Berkeley Ballot, but the Web site has the full list, including all the arguments and justifications. Keep in mind that the Daily Cal also has a directory of voter resources and information on state propositions.

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Jon Gjerde, Dean of Berkeley’s Social Sciences division, died unexpectedly in his Albany home Sunday night. The mothership reports that his demise was brought about by an untimely heart attack.

The professor, who served as an interim dean in the College of Letters and Science during 2006, was appointed Dean of that college’s Social Sciences division just last year. He was the author of five well-regarded books, which made him a leading scholar of American history in general and of the American Midwest in particular. We send out our condolences and best wishes to his family and friends.

Image Source: Daily Cal reprint
Campus Mourns Sudden Loss of History Professor [Daily Cal]
UC Berkeley social sciences dean Jon Gjerde dies at home [San Jose Mercury News]

It’s fairly easy to forget Barack Obama is half black, half white, much less that he can trace his ancestry to Ireland. But Shay Black, most known to Berkeleyans from the Starry Plough’s Irish Session, has one-upped us all. Black heartily sings “there’s no one’s as Irish as Barack O’Bama” in an adaptation from the Corrigan Brothers‘ song of the same name.

Barack O’Bama Song Dispute [IrishAbroad]
“Obama is Irish” at the Starry Plough Now a Major YouTube Hit [Daily Planet]
Barack Obama is IRISH! [YouTube]

Remember high school? Remember the hellish time you spent taking standardized tests? So do we. Remember middle school? Remember how awkward and horrible it was, even without the extra pain in the ass that is the College Board? Apparently, no one at Berkeley Unified School District does. [Daily Cal]

It’s hard out here for a kid. We’re all in favor of non-obese children, but sometimes a kid’s got to do what a kid’s got to do. If fourth graders out there gotta sell sugar to make a buck for a field trip, then that’s just the way things go. You hear us, California Legislature? No one should be subjected to vegan carrot cake against their will, damn it! No one! [Chron]

The economic crisis hit the Cal band hard. For the first time in years, they’ve had to miss away games due to lack of moolah. This is sad. Are they at least still allowed to sell unhealthy food? Or are college kids also too young to decide when they can afford to splurge and eat themselves a donut? [Daily Cal]

Earlier: UC Berkeley Staff Joy, Woes and No-No’s

Last week, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau issued a letter skirting around the icky-ness of Proposition 8. But some students aren’t so happy about the chancellor meddling in such affairs.

If passed, the proposition would eliminate the right to marry for same-sex couples and, as Birgeneau argued, would undermine Berkeley principles. Birgeneau did not outright stump against the proposition, but he concluded his letter with:

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Today marks the start of South Asian Awareness Week, which means daily dance performances on Upper Sproul at noon (aw, no food?). We assume this entails Bollywood-esque dance numbers and lots of bright colors and sequins. We’re so there. Evening events will also be held on different aspects of South Asian culture including a South Asian speaker panel, a Sikh awareness night, a movie night and a classical concert.

There will also be some kind of song and dance extravaganza on Friday to mark the end of a week of cultural enrichment and learning featuring all of the acts from throughout the week. So come out and show your love for the more underrepresented Asian minority on campus or at least, free entertainment.

Image Source: PiscesDreamer under Creative Commons
South Asian Awareness Week [UC Berkeley Events Calendar]

Mary Beard, a visiting Classics professor from Cambridge University, has written over sixty articles and nine books on topics ranging from Greek and Roman religion, epigraphy, art history, social history and literature. Now she’s come to Berkeley to teach students what made the Romans crack up and whether we still find their jokes funny by contemporary standards.

Beard’s lecture series raises a lot of important questions about the Romans’ sense of humor, as she describes:

“What made the Romans laugh? Was Rome a world of practical jokes, Bakhtinian carnival and hearty chuckles? Or (for the elite, at least) was it a carefully regulated culture in which the uncontrollable excess of laughter was a force to fear — a world of wit, irony and knowing smiles? How on earth can we decide? And what would hang on the answer?”

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Haunted car on Bowditch, next to Crossroads

Haunted car on Bowditch Street, next to Crossroads

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Just because the Castro is (technically) not an option again this year doesn’t mean you have to stay home and be productive. (Not that we do on normal Friday nights, anyway … Ahem.) Even if you’re planning on going the house/frat party route for the night of, we’ve scared up (mwahaha) a sampling of events for the whole week. read more »

Pro-Republican rallies are a fairly rare breed in our neck of the woods, which is why we’re always amazed and awed when we spot one—somewhat like a young boy scout witnessing his first deer up close, or a baby lion carefully taking note of a herd of antelope at the watering hole. Did you all understand that comparison? Good, neither did we.

This is supposedly the only pro-McCain dealy before Election Day, and there will be (presumably free) American flags available to tickle your patriotic bone. And who doesn’t like free flags? People who have class at noon, that’s who. Oh well.

What: Pro-McCain/Palin rally.
When: Monday at high noon.
Where: Upper Sproul Plaza.

Image Source: DrBaloney under Creative Commons
Students for McCain, Rally, Sproul Plaza [Cal Patriot]

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