*Leading Off…Johnson Not the Best in the World*
We don’t care if Alysia Johnson finished short in her bid for world domination. We still think that she has given the best performance of any Cal athlete this year.

So what if she took sixth at the Pan-Am games? She still took NCAA Indoor and Outdoor titles, and she is the United States champion in the 800 meter.

After all that, is there any athlete that can do better than what she did this year?

Oh wait. Enter John Mann.

*Add That Gold Medal to Your Mantle John*
OK, so John Mann didn’t score any goals in Team USA’s gold medal victory over Brazil at the Pan-Am games. But he was still on the team. So he still gets that gold medal and that berth to the 2008 Olympics.

He did net a hat trick against Puerto Rico in the quarters though—but can’t anyone net three goals against Puerto Rico?

*Tyson Ross = Stud*
Cal pitcher Tyson Ross is a stud. We can’t wait to see him pitch next year. That’s all we’re saying.

*Gottlieb Added as Assistant Coach*
Three cheers for mediocrity!

Ben Braun added Gregg Gottlieb to his staff. Gottlieb comes to Cal after eight years at San Diego State. Yes, the Aztecs. Yes, the same SDSU that beat the Bears last year.

And sure, the Aztecs are now a contender in the Mountain West Conference, but for years, SDSU was one of those teams near the bottom. The bottom.

Image Source: David Belford, Daily Cal

This weekend seemed to be all about fun and then getting into trouble for having that fun. Drinking, flag-hanging and climbing trees–that’s all about enjoying the summer, right?

No. Why don’t you all just stay inside next to your textbooks and laptop like normal people do? Now that’s real fun.

Monday, July 30, 2007
8:44 p.m., Naval Arch: A report that an unknown trespasser hung a flag from a construction crane.

Who wants to bet it was a pirate flag? Psh. A ninja can take down a pirate any day of the week. And a ninja works an eight day. And we’re also really off-topic now.

Moving on …

Sunday, July 29, 2007
12:34 a.m., Unit 2 Davidson: A suspicious circumstance involving possible lodger.

OK, Unit 2 is colorful and bright, but why would you want to live/lodge there? We hear the Main Stacks is nice (it’s practically a home away from home during finals). Or, better yet, you could even live among million dollar homes.

11:00 p.m., People’s Park: Illegal lodging.
11:45 p.m., People’s Park: Trespassing.
11:50 p.m., People’s Park: Littering.

Sadly, that’s nothing out of the ordinary–that’s pretty much a typical night at People’s Park.

Saturday, July 28, 2007
9:40 p.m., Greek Theatre: An officer talks to a man, 46, about public intoxication and verbal harassment.

After the jazz festival? Maybe those prohibitionists were right. Maybe jazz and liquor are a bad combination. Maybe–

What the hell are we talking about? Drink up (if you’re legal, of course)!

Friday, July 27, 2007
12:17 p.m., Memorial Stadium: An officer talks to a man, 23, about climbing a tree.

You know, there’s always one bad apple that ruins it for the bunch. You know what we mean.

PoLo is compiled from the UC Police Department’s online Daily Activity Bulletin.
Earlier: PoLo: Apparently, iPods Not Yet Defunct

Apparently, student groups on campus “aren’t allowed and weren’t supposed to use the name of the university (University of California, Berkeley) or official derivations of the university’s name (Cal, California, Berkeley) in their student groups names.

This has come up when a student, Yaman Salahi, tried to register for a new club on campus. His club was rejected because it had one of the officially derivations trademarked by the university.

Under current regulations, a registered group’s name cannot include The University of California, Berkeley, UC Berkeley, Cal or any other variation of the university’s name that is trademarked and owned by the UC Regents, said Maria Rubinshteyn, director of UC Berkeley’s Office of Marketing and Business Outreach.

Of course this is all ridiculous. And you ask, why is the university doing this? It’s trying to protect itself.

“If a student group’s name includes the campus’ name, the public will often make the mistaken assumption that the group, its interests, activities and opinions, represents the interests of or is somehow endorsed by the University when this is not the case,” Rubinshteyn said in an e-mail.

Yes, just because a group is called the “Cal Something-or-Rathers” or the “Berkeley Whatevers” any action taken by those groups is officially sponsored by the campus.

Actually, no. We think people are smart enough that they can tell when the university sponsors someone (OK, maybe not, but it’s nice to think that).

We understand that if some entity outside the university is trying to use any of its names or registered trademarks—like the Cal script—then yeah, it should answer to the university. And the university should wave its magic wand and hold the perpetrators responsible.

But shouldn’t student groups be able to tell the public where they come from?

This only makes Cal fit the stereotype that it’s created for itself—a huge bureaucracy that has a lot of red tape, that doesn’t give a shit about its students.

UC Blocks Use of Its Names [Daily Cal]
What’s the Difference? [Daily Cal]
“Berkeley” for sale [ yamansalahi.com ]

Cal announced last Thursday that long-time men’s swimming coach Nort Thornton had officially retired.

But according to reports by Swimming World Magazine, it looks like Thornton—who coached the Bears for 33 years—was let go by the university.

Swimming World Magazine received this email from Thornton shortly before the university announced his retirement.

I just came away from a meeting with Sandy Barbour, our Athletic Director, and she has released me from the position of Head Swimming Coach here at Cal. She intends to go on a full search for a new coach for this Fall. So that is it, pure and simple.

I want to thank all of you for your part in Cal Swimming and I will miss every one of you. Nort

Swimming World Magazine also interviewed Thornton, and he further explained the circumstances regarding his leaving Cal. Apparently, Thornton “retired” last year to open up some money to offer co-head coach Mike Bottom to stay with the Bears. However, Bottom left Cal to coach an independent swimming club.

When Mike resigned to take over The Race Club, I think that the athletics department took this as an opportunity to make a change. They said that they did not want me on deck or to go to Nationals so that they could begin with a job search.”

This sounds kind of shady. This also makes us wonder how many of the recent resignations and retirements of Cal head coaches were actually initiated by that head coach. Or were these coaches leaving the university, forced by someone at the athletic department?

We really don’t know. All we can do is speculate.

Whatever the case is, it sounds pretty iffy to us. First, all the coaches that have left— Chris Huffins, Jan Brogan, Kevin Boyd and now Thornton—have all been relatively successful.

If the university is forcing these coaches out, why? Why change something that has been working the last few years?

Nort Thornton Retires as Cal Head Coach [Calbears.com]
Nort Thornton Gone From the University of California as Head Men’s Coach [Swimming World Magazine]
Nort Thornton Goes Deeper Into His Dismissal from the University of California [Swimming World Magazine]
Mike Bottom to Leave University of California to Take Helm of The Race Club [Swimming World Magazine]

We saw how popular videos of naked people were on our site. Maybe people like robot rock too?

Daft Punk found themselves amid a popularity blitz after their set at Coachella last year, thanks to their fans sneaking in cameras and posting on YouTube. And last night, Daft Punk came to Berkeley’s Greek to a sold-out show and of course, the trusty Clog digital camera.

If you’re looking for a review of the show, you’ll have to wait for the review section in Thursday’s paper. But we’ve got the vids, and that’s all you really wanted to see, right? Who needs words when you have flashing lights?

Daft Punk went rainbow crazy for “Around the World,” and somebody on acid probably had a heart attack. We couldn’t tell. We were stuck in a mob of people and a cloud of, um, “cigarette” smoke.

Unfortunately, this was the last video the Clog cam was able to capture, but it was only the beginning of the revamped Daft Punk pyramid. We’re sure you can find more videos on YouTube, but for now you feast your eyes on nine (yes, nine!) more Daft Punk visual orgasms, courtesy of the Clog.

Yes, we love you too.

TheDailyClog’s Videos [YouTube]
Daft Punk Alive – Around the World [YouTube]
Daft Punk Alive – Around the World (a different one) [YouTube]
Daft Punk Alive – Face to Face [YouTube]

No surprise here.

For the fifth consecutive year, the Pac-10 media have picked the boys from Troy to finish atop the conference.

And for the fourth consecutive year, Cal was picked to finish second behind Pete Carroll’s USC team.

There really isn’t too much to read into this. Every year, every conference has these preseason rankings, and every year, they’re pretty much wrong in some sense. But we all like our preseason rankings.

If you’d like to know, UCLA was picked to finish at No. 3, and our good friends at Stanfurd were picked to finish last. Wow, that’s a gutsy call, especially since the Card won only one game last year.

But speaking of rankings, ESPN has been ranking all 119 Division I-A football teams in terms of their performance in the last decade.

The Bears land in at No. 35, which is a pretty fair assessment.

You have to remember that Cal was pretty much the doormat of the Pac-10 for most of the late 1990s. Also note that the Bears had won only one game in 2001, the year before Jeff Tedford became Cal’s head coach.

Also note that of the 55 games won in the last 10 years, 43 have come under Tedford.

We don’t know which number is more impressive—the 12 games the Bears won in the five years before Tedford or the 43 in the Tedford era.

Image Source: Ben Gallup, Daily Cal
Pac-10 football: Cal picked No. 2, Stanford last in poll [Mercury-News]
Middling major conference teams, top mid-majors among Nos. 25-50 [ESPN]
Teams just outside top 25 include big names, underachieving programs [ESPN]

WTF is an accumulation of all the weird things going on … outside of Berkeley. You see, we’re not so weird after all.

Computer program can learn baby talk: A computer program shows how babies learn to speak by decoding sounds from different languages. Previously, the story states, theories held that babies knew all the sounds from all languages of the globe. If that were true, how come the Clog babies didn’t know Afrikaans upon birth, eh? But now we know that’s not necessarily true. Next step: make babies into computers. Now that’d be cool.

But if that doesn’t work, we could always just make babies suck on lemons. And then laugh at them (apparently that’s the essence of college humor).

Can computers speak that language? We didn’t think so.

Maid jailed for serving up urine: In Hong Kong, a maid has been arrested on a charge of “administering poison or other destructive or noxious substance with intent to injure” to her employer. Is pee really that serious? If urine is so damn destructive, then why did Kevin Costner drink his own in “Waterworld”? Either way, that’s one helluva way to resign.

China busts seller of 18,000 fake Viagra pills: Fake Viagra pills? Heavens forbid we deprive the Chinese population of old-man erections! The Clog thinks this was secretly a ploy to further enforce the one-child policy. If you can’t get it up, you can’t pop more out. For shame.

Oscar the Cat Predicts Patients’ Deaths: We thought we had to worry about only black cats crossing our paths, but apparently it’s just Oscar, the kitty of death, we have to fret. Whenever Oscar shows up, people die—and it’s happened 25 times already. The nursing home thinks he can sniff out death. We think they should check into his medical history. Sounds like SARS to us.

The Clog likes to read The Economist because it makes us feel smarter and hey, let’s face it—look smarter too. It was our surprise, after scanning headlines, when we came upon a story about a little somebody named Mark Zuckerberg. You know, Czar of the Holiest of Holies: Facebook.

The article highlights Zuckerberg and mentions how bloggers liken him to Apple’s Steve Jobs and Facebook to the next Google. He’s near the top of his career.

But’s he’s not looking for an exit, says The Economist. It’ll probably be a battle between Apple, Google and Facebook for which company will rule the world. We’re not making this up. Zuckerberg told the mag “that he can, and should, change the world.” Facelife, anyone?

In comparison to social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook aims to primarily strengthen pre-existing connections—not to create new ones necessarily.

The article even refers to an “academic researcher” to prove that Facebook is classier. The researcher remains nameless, but we’re already seen her work. Yeah, Economist just referenced a rough, informal, web-based essay by Berkeley graduate student Danah Boyd:

bq. First, it is currently considered classier than, say, MySpace. One academic researcher argues that Facebook is for “good kids”, whereas MySpace is for blue-collar kids, “art fags”, “goths” and “gangstas”.

Sound familiar? Oh, Economist, we totally got there before you.

The rest of the article disintegrates in a way. After setting up a premise of the next big thing, it strays from its beginning to say, “Oh wait, we didn’t really mean that Facebook might possibly could be the next big thing. Maybe.” It concludes that
# Zuckerberg hasn’t had the opportunity to spew out crazy, world-changing ideas like Jobs.
# Advertising sucks on Facebook.
# It’s “awfully easy for one ‘next big thing’ to be overtaken by the next.”

Aww, what a cop out! Fine. We’ll just go back to our preppy Facebook lives and back to using random pages on the Internet as sources for our content.

Image Source: Elaine Chan and Priscilla Chan
Book value [Economist]
Earlier: Facebook=Good, MySpace=Bad?

Remember last week, when UCPD said it was looking for the people who have vandalized a couple of trees. Looks like we’ve found them.

The Oakland Tribune is reporting that yes, the tree-sitters outside of Memorial Stadium have done the damage to the same trees that said tree-sitters are trying to protect.

That sounds kind of counterintuitive or maybe even like a bit of hypocrisy.

Who said this? Why good ol’ Zachary RunningWolf. He evidently sent a letter to the Trib.

“Yes, we have topped one tree (redwood) which was dead, and have pruned other dead branches in the grove that happened to be dead,” RunningWolf wrote in an e-mail to the Oakland Tribune.

”We have a professional arborist with us along with my (Native American knowledge) of how to help the tree regenerate after pruning the degenerative material off the tree. Also, as far as safety of our tree-sitters are concerned, trimming off dangerous material will help in the safety of both our people in the trees and on the ground,” according to the e-mail.

Woah, where did the Treewoks find a professional arborist?

But of course, the campus doesn’t think that chopping off pieces of the tree was such a good idea. At least, that’s not what Jim Horner, the campus’s landscape architect said.

“The trees won’t die from being topped but they are disfigured and as the tree responds to the topping it sends off a cluster of branches that try and resume growth. What you get is a candle opera effect,” he said in a recent interview.

Even with the email sent to the Trib, UCPD said its still looking for the culprits. If UC police find that it is the Treewoks, then it’ll just be a nice big pot of irony, now won’t it?

Image Source: George Derk, Daily Cal
Earlier: Tree People May Be Vandalizing Oak Grove, Police Say

Berkeley tree sitters admit to pruning evergreens [Oakland Trib]

So, we lied. We’re back for another Wide World of Cal Sports. A lot has happened, especially in the last few weeks. We never thought it’d get this busy during the lazy, dog days of summer.

*Leading Off…Braun Gets His Extension*
Yes, we get to suffer through two more years of Ben Braun. That means two more years of stagnant offenses, so-so defenses and more mediocrity.

Braun’s original contract was slated to go to the 2008-09 season, but the university agreed to a contract extension in June, which was pending approval from the UC Regents.

Well, at least Braun will have his hands full if his players don’t stop acting up.

*More Coaching News*
Cal has found replacements for its women’s tennis and lacrosse teams.

Jan Brogan left the Bears after 29 years and a semifinal appearance in the NCAA tournament. We thought it was dumb to leave, but one of Brogan’s pupils is going to take the helm.

Amanda Augustus, who won two NCAA doubles-titles with Cal in the mid-1990s is going to be the new head coach.

On the lacrosse front, assistant coach Theresa Sherry has been elevated to head coach. She was a three-time All-American at Princeton.

Let’s hope she can bring that east coast flair to the Bears and help Cal crack that east coast bias.

*Tyson Ross: Silver Medalist*
We know Tyson Ross is awesome. He’s going to be Esquer’s only hope of keeping his job after next year (we keep saying that, but it might be true).

Add to Ross’ list of accomplishments a silver medal from the Pan American games. He was on the mound for Team USA in the tourney-opener, defeating the Dominican Republic 5-1. He also pitched two innings of relief for Team America in the gold medal game.

Can Cal have Ross pitch every game, please?

*More Pan-Am Athletes*
Our Cal Athlete of the Year, Alysia Johnson, began representing Team USA today with a second place finish in the 800 meter at the Pan-Am games in Brazil.

That finish gets her into the final. Maybe she can add “world champ” to this impressive list of accomplishments: NCAA indoor champ, NCAA outdoor champ and United States champ.

We’re sure she’s going to be in Beijing next summer of the Olympics. Just you wait and see.

Image source: Salgu Wissmath, Daily Cal

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