8:23 a.m. PT: Good morning, everyone. The Clog is ready to kickoff an exciting day of Cal football. Right now, we’re setting up a quick game on NCAA Football ’08. The Clog will obviously be playing Cal, and Bill (a friend of the Clog’s) will suiting up as Air Force.

8:27: After forcing a three and out, the Clog went straight to Lavelle Hawkins on the first play from scrimmage. The result: a 72-yard touchdown. HAWK HAWK HAWK HAWK [picture us waving our arms as well]! read more »

California State Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata was carjacked in Oakland this past Saturday. Later that night, Richmond police discovered his car in good condition.

Perata represents the Ninth District, which includes Berkeley. He parted ways with his dear red 2006 Dodge Charger with 22-inch rims at 51st Street and Shattuck Avenue, not too far away from the Berkeley border.

Perata is well known for advocating gun control, and on Saturday he came face to face with his nemesis. The carjacker approached Perata with his gun sideways, announcing himself with “gangster style,” according to the Oakland Trib. Seriously? That’s hardly gangsta at all.

We’re glad that Perata is OK and that the police recovered the car. It’s a shame, though, he couldn’t beat down the carjacker like in the scene from “Gone in 60 Seconds.” We are by no means advocating violence (or “Gone in 60 Seconds” for that matter), but then we would literally have a kick-ass State Senator/President.

Image Source: Office of Don Perata
Perata’s Dodge found near Hilltop Mall 9 hours after carjacking [SF Gate]
Sen. Don Perata Carjacked in Oakland, Car Found Safe/Sound [SFist]

Berkeley caterer Ari Derfel has saved every piece of trash he has generated in the past twelve months.

All 96 cubic feet of it. And it all sits in his kitchen and living room.

Derfel started this project as a observation of his own consumption habits, but it turned into a statement against consumerism. He will eventually donate the trash to a sculptor to further enhance his statement.

“When we throw something away, what does ‘away’ mean?” Derfel said. “There’s no such thing as ‘away.’”

For Derfel, “away” means his living room.

We applaud Derfel for his clever method in combating consumerism, but we applaud him even more for putting up with what must be an awful stench.
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After discovering the latest omen of the world’s coming demise, the Clog encourages Berkeley students to put down their books and enjoy their short-lived time on earth.

Kyrgyzstan has declared itself to be the new home of Santa Claus. (Please do not read the next sentence if you’re under the age of 10.) Who knew you could declare to be the home of a fictitious character?

This declaration comes on the heels of a Swedish engineering firm determining that the most ideal place for Santa Claus to base his operations out of would be the small Central Asian country. And to think that you and everyone else always considered the North Pole to be St. Nick’s residence.

The best part of this whole story is the fact that Kyrgyzstan is a predominantly Muslim country, which now hopes to jump start its economy by holding Santa Claus related events.

Inspired by the nation of Kyrgyzstan, the Clog declares the 6th floor of Eshleman to be the official home of the Easter bunny.

Image Source: Vardion under Wikimedia Creative Commons
Kyrgyzstan touted as ideal delivery hub for Santa [Reuters]
Earlier: This Week’s Sign of the Apocalypse: A Quick Shower Replaces Dry Cleaning

For the past few months, armed robbers have held up various Asian restaurants and their customers in Albany, Berkeley, Oakland and other Bay Area cities. If you are an Asian food connoisseur, don’t worry–the police have finally arrested a suspect. However, according to the suspect–19-year-old Lance Lindquist of Oakland–it seems the string of holdups wasn’t about an Asian fetish, after all.

Asked if Lindquist explained why Asian restaurants were targeted, Campbell said, “Basically, what Mr. Lindquist told me was that he picked restaurants that there were a lot of cars in front of and had a lot of people inside, and that was Asian restaurants.”

Does this mean we are now free to eat our walnut prawns in peace? Well, as long as Lindquist is the the actual guy, and they find his accomplice. For now, just eat Italian.

Image Source: Florian Boyd under Creative Commons
Man arrested in string of stickups at East Bay Asian restaurants [SF Chronicle]

BART will offer New Year’s Eve flash passes to help curb drunk driving (and–let’s face it–to promote the wonderfulness that is BART). Passes are $6 and will be valid from Dec. 31 at 6 p.m. to Jan. 1 at 3 a.m.

Seven thousand passes are available to buy. You can pick one up at the following locations: Safeway, Lake Merritt customer service or MyTransitPlus stores in San Francisco.

Last year, we discovered that the SF buses ran for free on New Year’s Eve, so here’s to quick and easy public transportation while you’re getting trashed. Legally, of course.

BART to offer New Year’s Eve passes [SF Examiner]

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Coming in two days the Clog is going to be breaking new ground by bringing to you live commentary on the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. This will be the first time the Clog has live blogged (or should we say, live clogged) a sporting event.

We’ve got an early kickoff time for the game at 9:30, so make sure to set your alarms. If you’re an early waker (think 8 am classes for pre-meds) you can tune into the Clog for some pre-game entertainment.

While many of us can’t even do it with two hands, Dan Dzoan can sort a Rubik’s cube with one–and in a record 17.9 seconds.

This former world-record holder just graduated this past December–maybe that’s why The Oakland Tribune decided today to spontaneously salute Berkeley as a “Cubing Powerhouse.”

Or maybe they ran the awe-filled article because they just wanted an excuse to post this really awesome video.

Regardless of how newsworthy the Tribune’s praise is, Dzoan and his Cal cubing buddies can twist a Rubik’s cube really, really fast. Dzoan won third place in the world championships in Hungary in October.
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We loathe Coach Mack Brown, we really do. Last night, the Clog found itself rooting hard against his Texas Longhorns as they played the Arizona State Sun Devils (to no avail).

But, his team winning the game, nor his non-stop whining following every call, drew our greatest ire. Nay, it all climaxed when he tried to steal the show after the final seconds had ticked off.

You all might remember Brown from 2004 when the Bears were perched at no. 4 in the BCS rankings with their sights set towards the Rose Bowl. In comes Coach Brown-noser, who pleaded with the media and coaches to rank the Longhorns ahead of the Bears.
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What Berkeley happenings do you think deserve some end-of-the-year-list lovin’?

As 2007 creeps to a close, media outlets are breaking out with the traditional top 10 lists. Our friends at the Chron will attempt to compile one on New Year’s Eve, strolling down the Bay Area’s memory lane for the top 10 newsworthy stories of the year. You may vote for your favorites at their site. Some university-related scoops from the past year that made the preliminaries include UC President Robert Dynes’ resignation, the tree sitters (duh), and the fee hikes that ravaged California State University and the University of California.

The Daily Cal is also joining the nostalgia party, reminiscing on the top 100 stories of the Fall production period during all of Winter Break. Of course, 97 of those stories will have something to do with trees (of both the oak and cardinal varieties).

Yes, it seems the year went by in a flurry of oak grove and football reports, but don’t forget those sleeper stories that avoided the claws of perpetual attention. Remember Berkeley Iceland, anyone? How about that GSI almost-strike?

The Clog will now leave you to reflect and comment on your own favorite stories of 2007.

Merry (belated) Christmas, and have a Happy Kwanzaa!

Help us pick the top 10 Bay Area stories of year [SF Gate]
The Daily Californian [Website]

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