wakey wakey!Set your alarm clocks and turn off that snooze option — the fall semester starts tomorrow, whether you’re ready or not. Be sure not to sleep through your first lecture and definitely check to make sure you know where your classes are held, because no professor likes it when people stumble into the room halfway through the welcome spiel.

Grab a notebook and hang on to those syllabi (trust us, they come in handy when midterms start looming). And eat a hearty breakfast — none of that “I’ll just grab a coffee on the way” bullshit. Sit yourself down for some eggs and toast.

Think of this as your friendly reminder, because your brain’s vacation is about to be over, and we’re guessing that won’t leave you in too friendly of a mood.

Image Source: zoomar under Creative Commons

pfaOh, to be a freshman again when it seemed like the free things would never end. The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive will be hosting an event which features free pizza and classic art posters this Thursday, August 25 at 7 p.m. Not only freshman, but incoming transfers can get into the event free of charge with an official Cal I.D.

After this, students as well as the public can enjoy a free movie screening. Sci-fi movie “It Conquered the World” will be shown in the sculpture garden, providing a quaint little environment in which to see the movie.

Students will also be able to ask members of the BAM/PFA Student Committee questions about the museum, as they will be present at the event. So take advantage of your first year, opportunities for free pizza sadly diminish as time goes on.

Image Source: Thomas Hawk under Creative Commons
Posters, pizza and outdoor Roger Corman movie part of BAM/PFA’s fall semester welcome for new students [UC Berkeley NewsCenter]

get your picture, folksEver notice how it’s impossible to walk through campus without running into two or three — or 50 — of those giant photos of Cal students paired with their words of gratitude for this great institution (it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, don’t you know)?

That’s because a plethora of Berkeleians are just tickled by the opportunity to put their school spirit on display, and you could be among them, if you act now!

Sure, you missed out on getting your photo taken at Caltopia or at New Student Convocation, but fear not, aspiring models of the Berkeley world: There’s still time to participate in the “Thanks to Berkeley … ” PhotoBooth project! Simply stroll through Dwinelle Plaza on Tuesday (Aug. 23) between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and offer up your face (and maybe a sentence or two) to this noble cause. Tomorrow is your last chance to get in on this excitement — well, until the next time the PhotoBooth makes one of its appearances — so smile pretty for the camera and ask yourself why you’re grateful.

Image Source: hopeleslie under Creative Commons
Thanks to Berkeley … [The Campaign for Berkeley]

shorts11-235x30011In Iran, there are some serious jerks in high places and some of those jerks just decided to sentence the two UC Berkeley alum hikers to eight years in prison. Not chill! [Daily Cal]

But now on to the real news. And no, we’re not talking about the EPIC Apple Store opening either. So what’s bigger than those stories, you ask? How about a cat on a leash spotted in Berkeley! OMG! [Berkeley Patch]

But wait, there’s more incredible news! Caltopia was expected to bring people in by the thousands! Double OMG! And did you know that it is “one of the nation’s largest experiential college lifestyle festivals?” Go Bears! [NBC Bay Area]

Bummed about the beginning of the fall semester? Well wait till you leave campus before you drown your sorrows in an open container of alcohol. The police are on the look out for underage drinking, open containers and other alcohol-related offenses. [Mercury News]

Or better yet, head on over to the Bear’s Lair since it’s reopening under new management. And yes, “Beat the Clock” will continue. [Daily Cal]

Earlier: The “Science Is Effing Crazy” Edition


Take a quick peek into any of the libraries or coffee shops around campus and you’ll notice a conspicuous number of students on their laptops. And nine times out of 10, those laptops have a nice fat apple on their cover (we’re just guessing with the ratio—but you get the idea). Macs are taking over the world, one college student at a time, and now, an Apple store has opened up in Berkeley!

Now the schlep from the Apple stores in San Francisco and Emeryville has been shortened with a brand new location on Fourth Street (how chic)! The grand opening took place yesterday morning with anxious customers waiting for the doors to be unlocked at 10 a.m.

A few lucky ducks received commemorative T-shirts, which makes us super jealous, because who doesn’t want to sport an Apple top along with an iPod or an iPad or an iPhone?

Image Source: tetraconz under Creative Commons
Apple to unveil new store in Berkeley [Daily Cal]

4885669236_244fd066e0In an unprecedented attempt to make Emeryville worth a damn — unless you’re already a fan of E-ville because you really like Clif bars or suburban-style outdoor shopping malls — the Berkeley Lab has just opened a biofuel test center there with the 20 million dollars it received from the Department of Energy just last year.

This nice chunk of change actually comes from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, and by that we mean that $787 billion stimulus that people are always hatin’ on.

Considering the current state of the economy, the stimulus didn’t quite fix everything. However, since we’re in a glass-half-full kind of mood at the moment, we’re gonna go ahead and say this whole biofuel testing center was a nice idea.

After all, the article clearly states that “[i]ndustrial scale development of these fuels would create jobs and help cut the United States’ reliance on foreign sources of energy.”

Jobs, clean energy, less reliance on foreign energy and Emeryville can be known for something other than ridiculous gentrification. Sounds like a whole bunch of wins to us. Thanks, stimulus!

Image Source: Argonne National Laboratory under Creative Commons
Lawrence Berkeley Lab opens biofuels test center in Emeryville [SF Business Times]
Senator McCain Says Stimulus Bill Was A Failure [MRCTV]


If you’re incredibly thrilled about returning to school or finally getting out of your parents’ house (we’re looking at you, freshmen and Haas MBA students), nothing will snatch that enthusiasm, throw it on the ground and spit on it more than move-in day (move-out day is just as dreadful, but we’ll write about that in nine months). And if one day wasn’t enough, Cal housing has decided that Move-in Weekend is a much better way to extend the misery.

Why does move-in day(s) suck, you ask? read more »

2322200249_e3c0330b78As most of you already know, the city of Berkeley — once primarily known as a haven for political activists and radicals — is now mostly home for a burgeoning population of, um … let’s say eccentrics.

Case in point: the Berkeley Psychic Institute, which offers “psychic kindergarten” for adults looking to learn how to embrace their psychic abilities so they can do things like “clean off a lot of those little tension points out of your aura” or become a “self-styled psychic hairdresser.”

They also learn how to perform a “house healing” wherein the bad vibes of a house are replaced with good ones. We strongly encourage you to watch the video clip so you can see how these kindergarteners are putting their teachings to work read more »

you spin me right roundHappy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday, Tilden Park carousel, happy birthday to youuu!

For 100 years, you and all the animals are still lookin’ pretty fine.

Image Source: ptufts under Creative Commons
Berkeley’s Tilden park carousel marks 100 years [SF Gate]

Hiker's ParadiseGym-goers, move over, because Berkeley’s Sam Fox is about to knock anything you do on your little treadmill out of the park. Are you curious yet? Alright, we’ll tell you: Fox is about to embark on a two-month trek along the Pacific Coast Crest Trail, traveling from Manning Provincial Park (British Columbia, Canada) to the Mexican border.

Intense, right?

In order to travel the 2,650 miles in under 10 weeks, Fox will have to cover an average of 44.6 miles, daily. That’s more than a marathon. Like, a lot more than a marathon. Every day. For two months. read more »

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