coolSince it’s the season of frustration and anger (aka TeleBears), we’ve all probably been using RateMyProfessors.com like it’s some sort of cure. Recently the website put out its rankings in order to figure out the best college in the country.

The new list, which is quite different than other more traditional rankings, averaged the data of professor and college rankings from schools with at least 30 reviews in each category. Using this method, the site named Brigham Young the best university.

UC Berkeley ranks number six, beating out Northeastern and Ohio State. So Berkeley professors can sleep soundly tonight knowing that they are not only smart, but cool.

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Best Universities: RateMyProfessors.com List [Huffington Post]

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93026448_53372ca75dNearly 14 years have passed since the Berkeley City Council repealed its anti-sitting laws. Yes, they used to exist — and for some, this in and of itself is kind of alarming. For others, however, 14 years apparently have been more than long enough.

It appears that associated Berkeley merchants are mobilizing to criminalize sitting on sidewalks in the commercial districts of Telegraph Avenue and Shattuck Avenue. Which applies to … um, a sh*t ton of people — but we all know who it’s targeting: the people with few other places to go.

Not that we’re looking to turn this post into a soapbox; neither are we telling you to attend tomorrow’s rally, nor that you should necessarily sign the petition against the ordinance.

But we do have two words for you, Berk-town: Not chill.

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SIT DOWN FOR JUSTICE [IndyBay]
STAND UP FOR THE RIGHT TO SIT DOWN! [Suitcase Clinic]
Earlier: Get That Footprint Under Control


stuffRemember when your first grade teacher thought you were a little slow just because you still had problems with the alphabet? You may not have been Shakespeare or anything, but according to a recent study by UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, it may not be your fault.

A study showed that the use of organophosphate pesticides, which are used on many foods, may affect the intelligence of children age seven. When the use of organophosphates increased by ten during the mother’s pregnancy, then the I.Q. was found to drop 5.5 points overall in the seven-year-old.

Children with the lowest levels of exposure scored seven points higher on a standardized test than those with the highest levels. So don’t feel bad if your mother saved your tests — in the trash.

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Prenatal pesticide exposure tied to lower IQ in children [UC Berkeley NewsCenter]

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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.

Pretty sure the video speaks for itself.

Sprinkler Rainbow Conspiracy [YouTube]
Earlier: Coachella = Rape and Doom


greenSince it’s Earth Week and all, we figured that we would bombard you with more eco-friendly stuff. Coinciding with Earth Day, a new e-waste center, GreenCitizen, will open tomorrow at 1971 Shattuck Avenue. Customers will be able to drop off their old electronics computers, cell phones and batteries.

GreenCitizen is able track where each item is sent after it is dropped off in order to ensure that it is sent to one of two plants in California, where it will then be recycled or re-used. Ultimately GreenCitizen hopes to “reduce everyone’s carbon footprint.”

Hopefully this store will inspire us to actually recycle the ever-growing mountain range of batteries in our rooms.

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For Earth Day, a new e-waste recycling center in Berkeley [Berkeleyside]

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2191566819_27b2847663

Given that it’s Earth Week, we thought it appropriate to share this — a tool to determine just how badly you’re screwing up the environment.

According to UC Berkeley researchers, cutting down on individual emissions requires more work for some than others. And here we’ve been thinking all we had to do was follow the directives mingled with the credits at the end of “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Al Gore, you have only led us astray.

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CoolClimate Carbon Footprint Calculator [site]
Earth Day 2011: How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint [ABC]
Earlier: Be Mindful


waterWe’re kidding. Please do. However, according to the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability, the campus can save water through things such as fixing leaks and using low-flow faucets.

At the 8th Annual Sustainability Summit on Tuesday, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau found a reason to pat ourselves on the back and praised the campus for its environmental achievements. He also announced another way in which we can positively impact the environment.

The new plan aims to reduce 2008’s water levels by ten percent by 2020. This endeavor will cost $1.6 million over the course of five years but will return $250,000 a year.

Currently UC Berkeley uses over 600 million gallons of water per year and the residence halls alone have over 47 laundry rooms and 168 washing machines. These are pretty big numbers, but how much water is actually used? Clean clothes aren’t exactly one of the defining features of dorm life.

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Sustainability summit celebrates achievements, sets new water-use target [UC Berkeley NewsCenter]


moneyWe know what you’re thinking. The school’s health insurance is already so high quality, how could it possibly get any better? Well, for 2011-12 UC Berkeley will join the new UC SHIP plan, which covers over 130,000 UC students and actually cuts costs. Here are some improvements to the system:

  • the generic prescription pay was lowered from $15 to $5
  • the co-insurance coverage was raised from 80 percent to 90 percent
  • there is now a dependent plan option for children and partners

The Tang Center still isn’t exactly the paragon of medical practice, but these lower costs definitely help.

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UC Berkeley joins new UC SHIP for 2011-12 [University Health Services via UC NewsCenter]

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earthNext week might be jealous, considering this week is getting all the attention. This week is not only Earth Week, but Genocide Awareness Week.

To help us fix our somewhat neglected relationship with Mother Earth, the ASUC Sustainability Team is hosting a variety of events in order to educate people on how they can incorporate sustainability into their life. Thursday from 12:00-4:00 p.m. there will be a green expo in Lower Sproul Plaza in addition to an eco-fashion show from 12:00-1:00 p.m. The full list of events can be found here.

On a much more somber note, the Armenian Student Association has a series of events this week commemorating the Armenian genocide and other such violent occurrences. Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in Wheeler Auditorium there will be an Element concert and on Friday at 12:00 p.m. will be United Hands Across Cal. A more complete listing can be found here.

At the very least, these events are good enough causes that you can use them to justify your procrastination on all those final papers you need to turn in.

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STeam Earth Week [Site]
UC Berkeley Armenian Student Association [Site]

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barbiePlaying with Barbies, whether just dressing them up or chopping off their heads and hiding them for siblings to find, is a significant part of many childhoods. Galia Slayen, a student at Hamilton College, has built a life-size Barbie which definitely seems a bit like Frankenstein’s monster, with body parts taken from people of ridiculously different sizes.

The Barbie is meant to bring awareness to the prevalence of eating disorders and body issues and illustrates the impossibility of female standards today. With a body so completely unnatural looking, she definitely does her job.

Here are some alarming things about Barbie which you may or may not know:

– If Barbie were actually real, she would need to walk on all fours like an animal due to the absurdity of her proportions.

– There are 2 Barbies sold every second.

– In 1965, “Slumber Party Barbie” was introduced. She came with her very own manual entitled “How to Lose Weight” with the wonderful and succinct directions of “Don’t Eat.”

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The Scary Reality of a Real-Life Barbie Doll [Huffington Post]

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