Last month (yes, it’s December now!) we brought to you our first library crawl. But since there are a lot of libraries at UC Berkeley (in case you didn’t know), one crawl simply wasn’t enough. In this crawl, we bring to you Morrison, Bancroft and the Law Library. We hope this helps in finding a place to (pretend to) study during RRR Week, and we wish you the very best of luck on your finals.
Note: the Law Library is not open to undergraduates during Finals period.
Morrison Library – Eunice Choi
- A quietness that isn’t intimidating like Main Stacks but instead allows people to fully focus on their reading/work.
A nice view of Morrison.
- Extremely comfortable, squishy couches and seats of various kinds that make reading a read more »
So what do you do for a 4-hour flight going halfway across the country? Some flights offer Wi-Fi, the panacea for boredom, but if you’re like us, you don’t want to pay $5 because you simply cannot admit you’re that addicted to Wi-Fi. So we’ll offer some of the things we do…feel free to chime in on the comments:
A very nice picture of an airplane.
- Blogging (apparently the altitude or something is great for blogging)
- Reading (no pesky texts, emails, social networks to distract you)
- Podcasts (Personal favorite: Intelligence Squared from NPR)
- Talk to the people around you…we haven’t tried this very often
- Sleep…although, some of us just can’t sleep on flights
- Eat all the peanuts!
- Catch up on email (they won’t get sent, but you can’t use more incoming email as an excuse for not responding to things you already should have)
Image source: Kuster and Wildhaber Photography under Creative Commons
It’s no secret that sometimes we elect leaders that are just kind of … well … out there. And by out there, we mean WAY out there. Like everything they say can and will be used against them in an SNL skit. So how does this happen? How do we end up with representatives that don’t really represent the population?
Unlike aliens, radical politicians are actually from Earth
Well, first off, we as a people need to accept responsibility for electing these people. We have nobody to blame but ourselves. But, you might contend, we picked the lesser of the two evils in the general election. That may be, but that means you enabled a radical to emerge from the primary contest. And that is why this ultimately boils down to a question of voter turnout, and involvement.
Nobody denies that America has a voter turnout problem, and this problem is most visible at the primary levels, in which only the most partisan voters vote. Let us take the example of this year’s Republican primary contest. Governor Mitt Romney had to travel very far off to the right, going so far as to call himself “severely conservative”, in order to satisfy the partisans that vote in the Republican primaries. Then he had to swim back to the center during the general election in order to have a chance to win. All the while without making it look like he was switching positions. This is a symptom of our problem: pragmatic, middle of the line candidates cannot survive primary contests.
This can only be changed if people decide they will vote in their primary elections, and will ensure that both general election candidates represent centrist views and retain the ability to compromise with the other side. At the end of the day, we need choices. We need Republicans that Democrats can see themselves voting for, and we need Democrats that Republicans can vote for. And this can only happen if the candidates produced by these two parties are not diametrically opposed to each other, but rather represent subtle policy differences – honest differences aimed not to rally bases, but to help America move forward.
And now, for your viewing pleasure:
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If it takes an Excel sheet to keep track of how to vote on which proposition, we have a major problem. Not because we necessarily are too lazy to think about what’s going on, but because of two other intertwined problems. The first is that there aren’t too many people out there that are going to take the time to fully understand the implications of each proposition, and that creates the second problem: the preposterous marketing of these propositions. Forget the TV ads, the California General Election Official Voter Information Guide itself is irritating with arguments in all-uppercase letters (flip to page 40 to get a glimpse).
This baby is screaming. This is what we hear when we read ALL CAPS.
If only adults are allowed to vote, let’s create a mature discussion on the merits and weaknesses of each proposition. Ad hominem attacks on proposition funders, coupled with blatant appeal to emotions, wrapped in angry diatribes only serve to turn voters off and reduce the chances of true societal progress. We can understand (although not condone) elections between candidates becoming glorified beauty pageants, but are we seriously making propositions into a contest of which side can use more uppercase words?
And all this makes frustrated voters more vulnerable to being manipulated. Many times while going through this guide, we’ve wanted to do nothing more than throw it across a room in a fit of rage. Less patient prospective voters who haven’t completely given up on voting are made susceptible to voting based on what their newspaper said or which ads they’ve seen more or what they see more often in their Facebook newsfeed.
So here is our message to those arguing for and against propositions: if your goal really is societal progress, then you need to step back and ask yourself whether this presentation of propositions is appropriate. If societal progress is not your goal, then you need to get yourself out of the proposition business.
And on that note, go out and vote.
Image source: Clover_1 under Creative Commons
As some of you may know, we’re in Election Season, and Election Day is right around on the corner: Tuesday, Nov. 6, to be exact. This election presents many interesting choices and some choices that directly affect us as students at Cal (Prop. 30, we’re looking at you). We thought it would be helpful to put together a list of some resources to help you understand the various state proposition and city measures and help you find where you can vote.
Vote right here.
First off – where to vote … this is important for a variety of fairly self-explanatory reasons. If you don’t know where to vote, head over to the Alameda County’s My Voter Profile. Just put in your street address and date of birth, and you’ll get information about your polling place.
Secondly – there are 11 state propositions on the ballot. We think KQED’s California Proposition Guide can help you understand what’s going on. We’d like to note that if both Propositions 30 and 38 are passed, only the one with more votes will go into effect.
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Finding a place to study on this vast campus for a newly arrived freshman (or even for some that have already spent some time here) can be a daunting task. There are so many options, and today we’d like to give you some insight into just some of the places that you can sleep study all night long.
1. Main Stacks – Daniel Radding
Main Stacks is that way.
In hindsight, we probably should not have sent one of our cub writers to Main Stacks, because it is really easy to get lost down there if you don’t know what you’re doing. Main Stacks is a HUGE library. To give you a sense of its size, consider this: You can enter from Doe and exit from Moffitt. There are four floors total (though you can only study on the lower three) with 400 seats available for individual study. Main Stacks offers a large variety of study environments, which we’re going to break down for you.
This has recently been dubbed the Hallway of Doom.
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The million-dollar question: blackboard or document camera? Or at least this was the question in a Math 53 class earlier this semester.
The class, according to a bSpace poll, was equally divided. Here we discuss some of the pros and cons of each:
Document Camera: (for those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s basically the 21st century equivalent of an overhead projector)
Pros: read more »
We all love Google. No matter how many ads we see about Bing beating Google in blind tests, we’ll still use Google. So Calmail switching over to Google Apps (and basically Gmail) is great. Also, the new CalMail will be called bMail. Just throwing that out there to avoid confusion.
Or is it? read more »
We’ve all heard about roll-over minutes … those cellphone minutes you don’t use one month that are added to your next month’s minutes. But in the age of unlimited minutes, roll-over probably is becoming obsolete. Instead, we’d like to take a look at two other applications where roll-over would be awesome. Caveat lector: Neither of these ideas is realistic, and one is flat-out impossible. But we can dream, can’t we?
At Cal, an A and an A+ both constitute a 4.0, but slip into the dark nether region known as the A-, and you’ll be weeping at a 3.77. But, you argue, shouldn’t my A+ mean something more? I mean, why would anyone work for an A+ just to get the same result as an A? This solution is designed for you. We propose that you be able to reduce a few points off of that A+ and add it to that A-. After all, the number of points in the universe (or at least on your transcript) is the same. We’ve just redistributed the points. Think of it as socialism for grades. (For the record, we didn’t say that.) And since we’re not breaking any fundamental rules of physics, this solution is our theoretically possible — but still highly unrealistic — idea. Of course, some of you ASUC senators and others who represent the interests of the student body, feel free to take this idea and run with it. We don’t even ask for recognition!
There’s a reason we’re in the Bay Area and not on the equator or in Antarctica. That’s because the weather here is supposed to be perfect. That’s the expectation. But lately, the Bay Area has been disappointing in this respect. Sometimes it gets too hot, and other times it’s too cold. So in our perfect utopia, citizens would have the power to vote on the day’s temperature. The difference between this temperature and the actual weather would then be deposited into a temperature depository. So when it’s 90 degrees outside, we can take 20 away and save them for the 50-degree days. Now, this (if you haven’t already figured it out) is quite unfortunately impossible. We’re not sure how to move forward from that.
We have all seen the notorious yet ubiquitous “Sent from my iPhone” signature, and perhaps it is not worth analyzing something so trivial. But we love analyzing everything, and therefore we’re going to analyze the meaning, usage and existence of the “Sent from my iPhone” signature. Android and BlackBerry users (if there are any still out there), worry not. You guys are included in this discussion as well.
Before we got smartphones, we used to look at these default smartphone signatures with a little bit of envy. “Oh look at so-and-so, s/he has a smartphone and can send emails.” We wished we were that cool. Then we got smartphones. We kept that signature in as a way to brag. “LOOK AT US PEOPLE, WE HAVE SMARTPHONES, HA!”
Apparently though, some people have legitimate reasons for keeping in the default email signatures: read more »