fungiIt’s official: the Lawrence Hall of Science has become a cool place for students to hang out. They hosted an Out-of-This-World Halloween Party (that’s what it was called, not our synopsis), they have their weekly Geek Out nights (where you can pay $10 to hang out with fellow geeks and talk about SETI or design your own Mars space station) and this weekend they have their 40th annual Fungus Fair.

What does a person do at a Fungus Fair? The answer appears to be anything and everything you can think to do with a mushroom: finding, growing, viewing, eating, cooking, wearing, dyeing and even treating diseases. And yes, all the mushrooms are legal, we checked for you. read more »


cal bears celebration

Eighty percent, motherf*ckers!

Football team’s 2002 freshmen graduated at a rate of 71 percent, up from 53 percent the year before. Keep reading for more teams and numbers. Derive from this what you will: read more »


As you Hass kids are probably well aware, there’s big money in India. It’s bigger than outsourcing and off-shoring. It’s bigger than back office jobs and massive tele-operator centers. A recent segment of NPR’s “Forum With Michael Krasny” explores the economic ties between the United States and India, a bond which Obama prophesies to be “one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.”

According to Bay Area Council Economic Institute CEO Sean Randolph and UC Berkeley’s visiting scholar Vivek Wadhwa, this bond is hella strong right here in northern California, the venture capital hub of Uh-mer-kuh. Here’s why: read more »


O'Malley speaks!According to THE NEW YORK TIMES (ahem, sorry. We just get kind of excited when we talk about legitimate news sources that aren’t moments from death), The Berkeley Daily Planet has been getting some heat for hating on the Jews. Or something.

The article talks about how readers have criticized publisher Becky O’Malley for running anti-semitic letters to the editor, while O’Malley counters that she believes in freedom of speech and that the opinions she prints aren’t necessarily her own. It also addresses the local paper’s financial woes. read more »


Phew. That AirBART trip was kind of a pain in the ass, but we’re just glad to be here at Oakland International Airport on our way home. Home–far, far removed from the pressures of budget crises, and strikes and other university-related bad vibes, where we can eat away our sorrows and rest … Wait, what does that ad on the wall say?

Buh. Boo.

Oh, God damn it.

Image Source: Jill Cowan, via crappy camera phone.


teethNow, San Francisco’s Muni trains have never seemed to us to be beacons of safety, civility, law and order, but we heard a story today that unnerved us more than most.

A 32-year-old Berkeley resident suspects that a fellow Muni rider followed her off the bus and … wait for it … stole her teeth.

Elena Aronson said she was commuting to work on a Muni bus back in April when a man sitting next to her proclaimed that he wanted her teeth, read more »


Last week, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced a hefty bit of investment—specifically, $620 million worth—into the Smart Grid, something we can only assume won’t turn into a robopocalypse ala Arnold Schwarzenegger. But seriously, the former Lawrence Berkeley Lab director is doing pretty well for himself. Check out the video if you’re interested.

Faces of the Recovery Act: The Impact of Smart Grid [USdepartmentofenergy]
Earlier: Chu-ing the Fat With His LBL Homies


freakonomics lunch

Hey, what with all this crying and worry, real indignant, over fee hikes recently, we figured you wouldn’t mind hearing a totally crackpot dubious, but potentially valid argument for why fee hikes are actually beneficial. According to these guys, fee hikes serve as an economic equalizer, stinging rich students way worse than the poor ones, assuming  financial aid programs are buffed up to match. Riiiight … Comb through their argument here.

Image Source: SuziJane under Creative Commons.
More evidence that Freakonomics has jumped the shark. Argues UC tuition hike is good [Berkeleyside]
Why California’s Tuition Hike Might Be a Good Thing [NYT]


Good news for lovers of hard-hitting investigative journalism. The highly anticipated release of McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern No. 33 will arrive in the form of a 300-page single edition daily newspaper: “San Francisco Panorama.” Better news for us (broke as hell) Bay Area kiddies: the Quarterly will be available to us for the (much discounted) price of $5 on the day it comes out, Dec. 8.

The bylines alone reek of staggering genius. Writing from Michael Chabon, Miranda July, Roddy Doyle, Stephen King, William T. Vollman, Berkeley’s own Poet Laureate Robert Hass and read more »


3090392047_4c7cbd57c3As if it isn’t enough that she helped capture Phillip Garrido, Ally Jacobs continues to restore our faith in humanity. She saved Jaycee Dugard, she’s been on Oprah, and now UCPD officer Jacobs recently visited her alma mater, Santa Margarita Catholic High School, to dispense her wisdom.

What’d she have to say? The main idea is trust your instincts. “Just listen to your voice. It’s always right, it’s there for a reason,” Jacobs explained. She used her own life as an example. She saw Garrido with the girls and knew something wasn’t quite right, so she did a little extra digging.

Another cool fact about Jacobs? read more »


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