Check out how excited they are!

You see all those people above, leaning seemingly inexplicably to their left? You know why they’re leaning? It’s because they’re stoked. Super, super stoked. You know why they’re stoked? Because they just signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding … and Friendship … for Everyone!

OK, maybe we made those last bits up, but they did sign on to a very special partnership with the Building Trades Council of Alameda County that will allow four lucky electrical apprentices to try their hands at their craft in the high stakes electrical world of a national laboratory.

And all under the glaring lights of scrutiny focused unflinchingly upon them by reality television cameras. Do they have what it takes? ONLY TIME WILL TELL. OK, we made that up too. But seriously, it sounds like a pretty cool program. Way to streamline resources, Berkeley Lab and Alameda County!

Image Source: Roy Kaltschmidt, LBL site
Berkeley Lab Launches Apprenticeship Program for Electrical Resources [LBL]

During his spiel at last week’s on-campus conference entitled “What Ails California?”, Berkeley alum and former UC regent Bill Bagley spoke of the golden era in our state assembly, a time when most current undergraduates were probably busy teething or learning to ride a two-wheeler or building a California Mission out of sugar cubes—a time devoid of party lines, term limits, and the special interest groups our state legislators have become so codependent on.

A time, presumably, when the public’s dime sufficed to read more »


Bad news for lovers of driving into San Francisco and uncrowded BART trains; the Bay Bridge is currently closed indefinitely after pieces from a repair made over Labor Day weekend came crashing down and hit three cars. The incident took place late Tuesday afternoon and was coincidentally in the same location as a critical flaw that was discovered and repaired during the bridge’s Labor Day  closure. read more »


As All Hallows’ Eve approaches, the evil spirits from other realms begin to awaken, entering the portal of our world. (Don’t worry, this will end up being about sports. Just hang in there.) Berkeley’s least favorite spirit, the hobgoblin known as budget cuts, is hard at work again, cackling and doing whatever it can to make college less fun.

Now some professors are saying that sports should no longer be subsidized. (Tellingly, they call themselves the Sports Grinch Club.) Even some Knight thinks so—the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, which reports that there is an “out-of-control ‘arms race’ among college football programs competing to pay increasingly high coaches’ salaries and other associated costs.”

Athletic departments around the country are almost always out of dough. Cal is out to the tune of about $6 million this year, read more »

Sushiiiiiit, that looks tasty.We’re feeling a little crabby because the above post title does no justice whatsoever to the awesomeness of the event to which it refers; however, we’ll admit it’s pretty accurate.

That’s because on Nov. 8, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. on Upper Sproul Plaza, teams of Berkeley folk (students, faculty and otherwise) will be crafting the world’s largest California roll. As in the delicious, delicious, icon of America’s co-opting of other cultures. As in SUSHI. Not as in the vehicular moving violation.

The event is being sponsored by Berkeley’s Center for Japanese Studies (the department responsible for this and other seriously fab events) and Cal Dining, who will make sure rollers will have all the crab meat, avocado, rice and vineGarrrah! (apologies) that they’ll need to bring the record back to California. It now resides in Maui, apparently. And in 2001. read more »

ROTFLYAO? Maybe it’s Mother Nature’s way of telling you to vote for Batdar!!! in the National College Comedy Competition. Help Erika Budrovich, member of UC Berkeley’s favorite improv outfit jericho!, make the final four so she can showcase at the Aspen Rooftop Comedy Festival and harness all the bragging rights associated with the national title of “Funniest Filmmaker.”

Bonus guerilla improv: Bridgetroll. A classic example of the UC Berkeley student body’s seasoned mastery of the old “Stonewalling Weirdos Asking For Change” maneuver. read more »

Check out the winning smile on that one.

Earlier today, our old (like, old as in silver fox old, of course) buddy Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy and hero of the universe, visited the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab to catch up with his former colleagues.

He talked to them about all sorts of fun things, like the future of energy research, $151 million in funding for awesome ambitious projects and Wayne Gretzky. True story–just watch the webcast and check out the PowerPoint presentation he made … all by himself. D’awww.

Oh, Steven. You haven’t changed a bit.

Lawrence Berkeley Lab [Site], via Berkeleyside
Earlier: Capchuring and Storing Carbon

2319678688_8a48633878Those of us of the “recession generation” will most likely remember college as a time of budget cuts, walkouts and copious amounts of Top Ramen. And chances are, we won’t be too hasty to invest in the stock market any time soon after graduation, at least according to a recent National Bureau of Economic Research paper.

Ulrike Malmendier of UC Berkeley and Stefan Nagel of Stanford looked at the investment propensity of “Depression babies” and found that they were more than a little hesitant to do their shopping at the stock market. As it turns out, the mental trauma of financial shocks are long-lasting, especially for those who endure them in their formative years (18-25).

According to their research:

… individuals growing up during recessions tend to believe that success in life depends more on luck than on effort, support more government redistribution, but are less confident in public institutions.

So long after the recession has receded, it’ll still leave a bad taste in your mouth (probably the stench of metal left from all that penny pinching).

Will Recession Forever Scar Young Investors? [Wall Street Journal]
Image Source: waɪ.tiː under Creative Commons

Add another Berkeleyan to the growing list of people winning prizes for being awesome. This time it’s Geoff Marcy, astronomy professor and planet hunter extraordinaire. Yes, that’s right, he freaking hunts god damn planets for a living. Planets. How’s that for a line on the good ol’ resumé?

Professor Marcy won this year’s Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization this time. We say “this time” as some may remember when he shared the million dollar read more »

bearcardoRicardo Gomez (a.k.a Bearcardo) has been something of ubiquitous presence in our lives during this past semester, what with his involvement in the walkout and compulsive commenting on the Daily Cal website and the Clog. So much so that he is a known personality even among the other commenters.
As one guest put it:


So who is this mysterious character? The Clog sat down with him a few weeks ago to find out.

read more »

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