Innovations like OpenCourseware have made college-level courses increasingly available online, for free, which is a huge step in providing accessible and affordable education to a large number of people. Even our own UC Berkeley is contemplating offering these classes. While a great number are “legit” courses, some are just completely hilarious, and you begin to wonder how they came to be offered in the first place. Here are four silly courses that fall under this category: _____________________________________________________________

bubbles

1) The Amazing World of Bubbles, CalTech

Normal human interactions with bubbles involve baths and innocent childhood outdoor activities, but apparently they have a secret world we civilians aren’t privy to. Did you know bubbles can harness energy that can be used in scientific pursuits? Nether did we. They’re practically a superpower.

_______________________________________________________

teach

2) Why Teach Art?, The Open University

This course just seems so meta. It’s not an art class. It’s not a class about teaching art. It’s a class about why teaching art is a beneficial pursuit to the educational world. It’s obviously very important, but someone is teaching a class about why people should teach art so that they’ll be interested in taking classes about teaching art so that they can one day teach art. So many layers, it’s almost “Inception.”

______________________________________________________

3) Vegetable Gardening and Lawn Care, Utah State University

vegetable garden

Vegetable gardening is a noble pursuit (and also our grandmother’s favorite hobby). But instead of giving your grandmother a call or reading the back of seed packets to absorb the knowledge, you can now take a college course about it! At first, it seems out of place in a university setting, but growing your own vegetables is a great way to save money while stocking up on your greens: two things college students are usually in dire need of.

___________________________________________________

schedule

4) Airline Schedule Planning, MIT

This is clearly a legit and serious course, but the only reason it’s included in this list is that, at first, we thought it covered neat tips for planning your air travel. For a college course, we thought that was pretty nifty and kind of an interesting topic to spend an entire semester on. But this isn’t the case, which is a shame, ’cause we would have really appreciated a course like that.

Images sources: (from top to bottom) 1) nick see, 2) boomcha7, 3) Downing Street, 4) shell belle, under Creative Commons.


555004651_93326c908d

We here at the Clog love college rankings, especially the ones that rank Berkeley at the top — or at least above Stanford. So when we heard that PayScale recently announced college rankings based on graduate salaries, we couldn’t wait to see our wonderful institution of higher learning at the top. Think about it: another high ranking to brag about (see mom and dad, these loans are totally worth it!) and the promise of a high salary. Talk about a win-win.

But then we saw the rankings, and boy were we disappointed. When ranked by mid-career median salaries, UC Berkeley came in read more »


oil

Apparently MIT has come up with an oil-cleaning robot. If you are picturing a cute WALL-E type, who magically comes in and sweeps all the mean oil – and mean oil people – away, don’t worry, we did too. However, the oil-cleaning robot, dubbed though not as endearing as WALL-E, definitely knows how to take care of business. read more »


If UC Berkeley was really so technologically ahead of the game, you’d think our main website would be at least kind of up to par with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s perfectly uncluttered interface. Currently, it’s not even close. But thanks to our university’s wonderful openness to criticism, you can help change that!

Yep–Berkeley.edu just got its hair did, and it wants you to be honest.

See the beta phase homepage. If you like the more visible News Center links, or hate the idea of a daily featured Berkeley stock photo, feel free to leave your thoughts here.

Something has to keep students coming to this terrible, crime-ridden hell of a No. 2 public institution of higher learning, and it might as well be a spiffy new website!

Image Source: Photoshopped by Patrici Flores
Take a sneak peak at the new UC Berkeley gateway site [NewsCenter]


21Remember “21″? It’s that one movie based on real life card-counting MIT students who wring the Vegas blackjack tables for tens of thousands of Ben Franklins. It’s got Jim Sturgess in it. Jim Sturgess was previously seen doing a lot of trippy drugs opposite Evan Rachel Wood in “Across the Universe.” Jim Sturgess is pretty fine.

The same probably can’t be said about the movie itself. Rotten Tomatoes slapped “21″ with a score of 32%, and Metacritic isn’t too forgiving either. Nevertheless, Shattuck Cinemas is showing a free screening of the movie tonight at 8 p.m. Who can argue with free?

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. The theater won’t require passes, but keep in mind it’s first come first serve.

Image Source: Movie Critic under Public Domain
21 Movie Reviews, Pictures [Rotten Tomatoes]
21 (2008): Reviews [Metacritic]