A group of researchers that includes two Berkeley scientists is running a long-term neuroscience study hoping to change the law when it comes to the punishment of minors. read more »

Mark your calendars (if you’re of the drinking age, that is): On Nov. 14, John’s Grill in Union Square will celebrate its 100th anniversary with eight-cent drinks.

Yes, cents. If you’ve got some spare change to rub together, head over between 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Best way to end a week of class ever, even with the two cheapo drink limit.

Image Source: Olivander under Creative Commons
John’s Grill to Celebrate 100 Years With 8-Cent Cocktails [Eater SF]

Is that a running theme we spy? A vegetation fire in Tilden Park jumped the line and ran wild yesterday, leveling groves of oaks and trampling grandma’s flower beds in its delinquent abandon. The burn was supposed to be controlled. Then it wasn’t. Keep in mind that Tilden Park’s located not three miles from the Berkeley campus.

Luckily, courageous firefighters managed to wrestle the fire into submission around late afternoon. The blaze only consumed about 10 more acres than it was supposed to. No homes, structures or squirrels were harmed in the process.

Image Source: judybaxter under Creative Commons
Wind pushes controlled burn over fire line at park near Berkeley [San Jose Mercury News]

It has come to our attention that the Bill in Support of the Halloween Meeting (you know, that one we sort of, vaguely endorsed about a week ago?) FAILED IN COMMITTEE! How this could possibly happen–even while the bill so explicitly stated that anyone who opposed it would be written off as a “nihilistic party pooper”–is simply baffling.

Maybe the senators didn’t want any goofy masks to obscure the effects of their austere countenances as beacons of order and incorruptible justice at a time when most of society succumbs to the temptations of sinful pagan revelry? Or maybe they’re all just humorless cheapskates. Either way, props to the author of the bill, Senator Eddie Nahabet, for walkin’ the walk–he brought candy to Wednesday’s meeting, anyway.

Image Source: *MarS under Creative Commons
This Week in ASUC: October 29 Meeting [Notes from the Field]

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.

One day ahead of Halloween and four ahead of the biggest, bestest, most exciting election ever, celebrators are hanging up effigies of Sarah Palin and Barack Obama–literally. In Los Angeles, a homeowner who trussed up a mannequin of Palin in a noose had to take the effigy down after people mobbed his house and erected large sheets to block out the sight. It’s no surprise that flaunting that kind of political statement is liable to get you variously protested, abused, cursed at and surreptitiously peed upon, but this guy not only endured all of the above. He also got paid a visit by the U.S. Secret Service.

That’s pretty intense, but effigies of Obama have turned up repeatedly too, and they’re nastier by a yard and a half. read more »

In a speech at a university housing symposium today, Berkeley’s very own Janet Yellen descended from the marble vaults of the S.F. Fed to bequeath upon us an ominous portend of the oncoming economic meltdown. Yellen, a steel-willed ball-buster disguised as a wispy old lady, has served as the president and CEO of the S.F. Federal Reserve Bank since 2004. In her speech, she remarked that the Fed Reserve may whittle away at the benchmark interest rate, which currently stands at a piddling 1 percent. That’s after the Fed cut the interest rate yesterday for the sixth time this year.

In layman’s terms, cutting the interest rate is supposed to read more »

No matter what happens on Nov. 4, at least you can drown your sorrow or celebrate your victory with free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Sweet.

Starting lining up early in front of the student store. The B&J’s crew will serve one scoop per customer from 2-5 p.m. Oh, there is still beauty in the world!

Image Source: Amy the Nurse under Creative Commons
FREE Ben & Jerry’s on Election Day at UC Berkeley! [Facebook]

Here are upcoming important dates. Mark your calenders, lest you face the following dire consequences.

Change Grade Option to Pass/Not Pass – Friday, Oct. 31: You get “D’s” in all your classes, drop out of UC Berkeley, become embarrassed to tell your parents so you set up camp in People’s Park, contract gum disease and eventually die. Moral: Save yourself a “D” grade and brush your teeth.

Daylight Savings Time Ends – Sunday, Nov. 2: You show up to the wrong class Monday morning, find yourself taking a midterm in Chinese, get up to turn in a blank midterm, trip over a backpack, land on your upright-facing pen, stab yourself in the eye and eventually die. Moral: “Fall back.”  This applies to both your clock and your face-planting direction.

Election Day – Tuesday, Nov. 4: The wrong president takes office and you find yourself drafted for the military, deported to your mother country or shot off into outer space depending on your ethnic background and eventually die. Moral: Just vote.

Academic and Administrative Holiday – Tuesday, Nov. 11: OK, you really weren’t going to class anyway. Go have fun. Moral: Don’t steal your dad’s 1961 Ferrari 250 GT.

Image Source: *SMILING PUG* under Creative Commons

Berkeley, ranked the third most liberal city in the U.S. by Wikipedia, ironically also ranks number 14 on a list of the “Top 20 Meanest U.S. Cities.” And if that’s not shocking enough, wait ’till you hear their criteria for calling us mean: the study was apparently based on “how they treat the homeless who live within their city limits, as well as purported civil rights violations.” So basically they’re saying we’re not just mean, but mean to our homeless.

Maybe they didn’t realize that Berkeley has a park and basically all of Shattuck and Telegraph avenues devoted to our undocumented residents. According to the “Homeless Survival Guide,” (yeah we did some research) we also have over 13 churches and Food Banks giving away free grub, nine shelters and numerous free health clinics in our city. Food Not Bombs also serves a meal everyday at 2:30 p.m. in People’s Park and we’re pretty sure we’ve seen some “bums” with better laptops than ours. Our own mayor was even homeless for a day. read more »

When words fail, pictures prevail: read more »

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