A books safe is a more time intensive DIY but it is really easy to personalize and might actually get used. It’s the perfect place to hide extra cash, jewelry, an iPod and other small valuables. This project is a little more read more »


When you’re enjoying free bus rides on AC Transit with your Class Pass you might notice that a lot of locals have a card that they tap against a reader when they board — that’s what makes all those beeping sounds. That card their using is called the Clipper Card, and it has a lot more uses than just AC Transit. Clipper Cards are read more »


Haven’t you ever sat in class and wondered what your professors are like when they’re out of the traditional classroom setting? Office hours and study sessions don’t count – we mean a situation when they aren’t trying to shove scattered bits of knowledge into your overly taxed brain. They may suit up and have the supernatural ability to speak in an endless monotone voice for 90 minutes by day, but what can they really do by night, when they’re not forced to be professional nor scholarly? We decided to do a case study on three of our favorite professors.

*Disclaimer: These comparisons are based purely in fiction – or so we hope – and no connections should be made between any of the characters besides the ones we list below for your amusement.

(1) Arnold vs Bond

Chemistry and secret infamous spy organizations – what could those possibly have in common? Only the three main characters of the entire franchise! Let’s start with the big guy – Professor Arnold! Which other characteristics – besides being British – would the good chap share with the super spy…? Well, his dulcet tones can be quite calming, and he does get a solid amount of cheers for the amazing stunts he pulls off on the set – er, in class. He is also prone to a dramatic entrance every now and then by standing on the revolving stage of Pimentel Hall, and jumping off rooftops and landing on both feet.

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As the semester nears its closure, it is becoming more apparent that students willClick picture for more info! do just about anything to get ahead of their peers. Finals are but a few hours away for some of us, and we can barely trust our friends that were once study buddies for fear they might screw up the curve. Fear not, because there’s a new way to make sure you’re in prime position to tear through your finals without succumbing to the Adderall and Red Bull craze that pervades this time of year. For the mere price of an Andrew Jackson, you can lounge in that stiff wooden chair that is guaranteed to be more comfortable than your dorm chair, your bed, and the roof of Pimentel Hall.

It seems that UC Berkeley students have innovatively come up with ways to make financial progress through these tough times along with their academic advancements. This unnamed entrepreneur is offering you the once-in-a-lifetime chance to snag a seat in one of the best locations on all of campus. The Gardner Main Stacks are a perfect spot to study, though they have allowed the air of intellectual stimulation to get contaminated by the leftover stench of the naked run, or the general possibility of the existence of Stanford students in the library.

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In a move that we’re still only half-convinced isn’t an elaborate troll, the University recently unveiled a completely redesigned “systemwide identifier” for itself. You’ve already heard our initial reactions to the new logo, but here is some further explanation behind (and outrage against) this change.

University of Fisher-Price Toys, really.

University of Fisher-Price Toys, really.

The cyan-and-yellow design is (somehow) modeled after the current book-and-crest seal, a boldly simple, modern nod to Silicon-Valley chic. According to the University, the redesign won’t replace the UC logo entirely, but is part of an initiative under the broader campaign Onward California. The new design, then, appears more intended to be a friendlier visual supplement, versus a complete overhaul of UC identity. According to Vanessa Correa, Creative Director at the University of California, the reworked design “is less of a rebranding exercise, but instead the creation of a coherent, consistent, and relevant brand identity where before there was none.” Some fancy tricks in Adobe Illustrator might indeed read “relevant” and modern, we must admit. But we’re thoroughly disappointed with this blob. It looks like a blue toilet flushing.

First off – ”brand identity”? Trendy marketable appeal is not something that necessarily encapsulates the centuries-old traditions, values, and honor behind the distinguished institutions that make up the University of California. In fact, part of the reason students choose to attend this very university or its siblings is because of its reputation of time-forged prestige. It is a reputation, of course, grounded in a long history of academic greatness, established by generations of students, academics, and many other bright individuals before us. We pay homage to historical roots of our reputation with the current classic, universally-recognizable emblem. For this reason, we think many would dispute the relevance of stylish appeal in the first place. read more »


coffee

Diving into a caffeine-driven, sleep-deprived information vortex for the next week is the recommended way to get those Berkeley grades. Sleep is your worst enemy, as well as any sense of moderation or pacing.

To facilitate this, Late Night at Crossroads —UC Berkeley’s largest dining common — is giving out free coffee and tea. Now you have no excuse to fall asleep before 6 a.m. and a very flimsy excuse to fall asleep at all. How else are you supposed to learn all of that new material your professors dumped on you for RRR week? Not by consolidating your memories in your sleep, that’s for sure.

Image source: Omar_MK under Creative Commons.


Now U C Me, Now You Don't (1)

As we’ve progressed into the so-called digital age, we as a University should exhibit the dynamism that makes us such an excellent institution. Yeah we didn’t believe that crap either – but that’s the reason that Dianne Klein, of the UC’s office of the President, gave for the recent “modernization” of the logo of the University of California.

In an unprecedented apparent disregard for the 144 year old seal that has become famous among academic circles – the open book that is truly representative of Cal students during dead week – the University of California has decided to go with a sleeker, cleaner, and more minimalistic design for all publicity purposes. If you were a fan of the older Victorian type scroll and circle, that’ll still be available for viewing pleasure on all official documents and letters. It appears that this stunt is just a marketing campaign that is supposed to make the UC campuses more attractive to the average Californian, as if the almost 400,000 collective applications received during last year’s college rush weren’t enough.

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Now that the dust has settling down, and the initial shock — just kidding — is wearing off, we can make some light of Tedford’s departure from Cal Football. To be paid as much as he was, for an embarrassing three wins, Tedford was no million dollar man, even though it costs over six million to let him go. We thought it would be interesting to take a look in retrospect of the legendary Tedford, and recall how it used to be.

Tedford was one of those classic gentleman coaches, who was pure of heart and demonstrated good sportsmanship in a way that has been missing for too long.  Back in 2006, with Tedford at the helm, there was nothing to worry about, we had a hell of a season and Tedford made it look easy. When Cal was getting far ahead, the team would loosen up, taking a knee at the two yard line instead of building a disgusting lead. It was Tedford’s coaching that allowed Cal football fans to come together. Tedford was a hard worker, and his notable successes and multiple PAC-10 Coach of the Year Awards were well deserved. In those days, Cal’s players were the stars of track and field, with a speed and strength that reflected good coaching.  Tedford was the comeback kid, starting as an underdog and becoming a force of constant win.

But like all good things, time puts everything in ruins, and Tedford could only keep it up for only so long. It seemed to all Cal fans out there that Tedford was asleep at the wheel . The problem was that so much winning had led Tedford to rest on his laurels, and he needed more than just a shot in the arm. Near the end, Tedford’s elephant ego had led him to become a one man wrecking machine. When we lost against Nevada, it was clear there was no hope. We watched Maynard get blindsided yet again and again, and it took something out of all of us.

What we need now is a revival, and a coach with the drive to get us there.

Image source: avinashkunnath under Creative Commons


Christmas cards: Stirring Mouse
Are you starting to think about holiday shopping for family and friends? Tired of the tried and typical department store goodies? Have no fear! Our friends at the Berkeley Art Studio (located under the GBC) are coming to your rescue. Welcome to the Holiday Pop Up Shop, where all your dreams of sugarplums dancing in your head come to life (or something like that).

DEETS

Who: The Berkeley Art Studio

What: Home-made art! Photography, pottery, jewelry, and paintings galore.

When: Now! Mon.-Fri. 12-9 p.m. and Sat.-Sun. 12-5 p.m. (until December 13th)

Where: Lower Sproul Plaza

Why: It’s the holidays! Your friends deserve gifts! You are a good friend!

Image source: hartboy under Creative Commons


This may be one of the more brilliant holiday ideas we’ve come across.

Grab two cups of water, one cup of sugar and six to eight candy canes and you are ready to make some candy cane syrup! The syrup can add some peppermint flavored sweetness to all off your holiday festivities.

The crafting blog ChicaandJo, the creator of this delicious candy cane concoction, detailed out some other great ideas for using their holiday treat. The syrup could be great for sweetening and adding some peppermint flare to your coffee. ChicaandJo recommends using it on ice cream (we think some apple pie would go great with that) or bottling it in some nice mason jars for a gift idea. Just throw on some nice ribbon and you have something to bring to a holiday party or use for part of a DIY gift. If you want to make this delicious peppermint treat you can find full instructions, including pictures, at the ChicaandJo website.

[ChicaandJo via LifeHacker]

Image source: trevor3999 under Creative Commons


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