Mr. Birgeneau, it must be said: you are not so good at the making of the friends.

In the wake of the announcement on Tuesday that five of Berkeley’s sports will soon be no more, affected teams and their supporters are obviously less than pleased. Not least of these is men’s rugby — specifically coach Jack Clark, who more or less considers cutting his sport bullsh*t.

Our word, not his. But it’s the basic message he sends by insisting that read more »


This week (okay a week and 2 days) the Bay area presents Litquake. Originally a one-day reading series in Golden Gate park, Litquake has expanded enormously to last 9 days and even travel west to east. That’s right, this year Litquake will also be holding events in Berkeley.

The event is “Stories on Stage” at Berkeley’s Rep’s Roda Theater where actors will be performing short fiction by Bay Area literary big names. They are even reading a Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket piece.

Just a BART ride away in San Francisco are many other cool events. On Oct. 3rd there will be a North Beach Literary Walking tour as well as “Lit Flicks: Litquakes Literary Film Festival.” They even have an event where songs that incorporate famous words from books are being performed.

Browse the events here. With so many the festival makes it possible for us literary buffs to attend at least one. Comments describing the best events from past years are appreciated.

Image Source: kraybon under Creative Commons
Litquake Literary Festival [Site]

beware of book

Us: Is it that time of year already?

You: Uhhh … ?

Us: Wait, you’ve never heard of the Berkeley Public Library’s annual Banned Bookmobile?

End Scene.

We’re guessing that with the bazillion of libraries our beloved Berkeley has right on campus, not too many student-folk frequent the Berkeley Public Library. And that’s a shame because, unbeknownst to many, the BPL offers tons of cool shiznit, like tie-died library cards and, oh yeah, a banned book-themed mobile.

We spied Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code” and a book that arguably defines not only our childhood, but our teenage-hood and impending adulthood as well. Yes, we are talking about “Harry Potter.”  The first installment of that beloved series dangles gracefully along with a few other controversial titles — artfully tied up in red tape, of course.

The mobile will be on display through Oct. 26, in the entrance lobby, so take your studies off campus and check it out.

Image Source: florian b. under Creative Commons
Berkeley Public Library [Facebook]

No, this actually doesn’t have anything to do with seafood. The Cal Literature and Arts Magazine, more commonly known by its cephalopod acronym, CLAM, is seeking submissions of original prose, poetry and artwork for its next issue.

So that novel you’ve got kicking around? Well, they probably don’t want it. Unless it’s less than 2,000 words. In which case it’s not really a novel at all. Their website hasn’t been updated in awhile, but we’re assuming the submission guidelines are roughly the same. The deadline is Nov. 7.

But wait! There’s a more pressing matter at hand! CLAM will be holding a launch party this very evening at 7 p.m. in Worth Ryder Gallery, Kroeber Hall. We are told there will be wine, cheese, magazine and, presumably, intriguing and mysterious literary types.

What’s not to like?

Image Source: Tc7 under Creative Commons
CLAM [Site]


Because Berkeley is built right on top of a fault line, and is long overdue for an earthquake it is no big surprise that we hear a lot of talk about seismic activity safety measures and research.

A professor of Earth and Planetary science at UC Berkeley, Douglas Dreger, has been doing lots of research on just that topic (earthquakes, in case you forgot already), identifying how much damage is actually caused by the earthquake itself as opposed to earthquake-like events. Occurrences such as the shudders of a glacier, or the explosion of a nuclear bomb can move mountains though cannot technically be classified as earthquakes.

Dreger uses read more »


We’re sorry to tell you this, folks, especially during midterm season, but the Spring 2011 schedule is now available online. Feel the panic coursing through your veins. Embrace it. Stay cool.

While you’re at it, look at this in the best way possible. You’ve got a clean slate next semester, a chance to start over. Plus it’s not Tele-BEARS time yet, so you’re still in the arena of thinking about starting to think about next semester.

You probably don’t want to hear more advice from a Broadway musical, but we don’t care. So we’ll add: “don’t get hot, ’cause man you’ve got some high times ahead.”

At any rate, at least this means that we’re about a third of the way done with this semester. And that’s not something to sneeze at — unless, of course, you’re one of the millions of people who are sick and wheezing all over campus.

Image source: anna gutermuth under Creative Commons

jonathonrooney“When I entered 9th grade, my counselor sat me down and said, ‘Do you know what happens to people like you?’ He said, ‘People like you end up flipping burgers’ … Four years later, when I was about to graduate, he sat me down again and told me, ‘You would be lucky to flip burgers, because people like you end up in jail.’”

That was Jonathon Mooney, who was diagnosed with dyslexia in 4th grade and ADHD in 5th, talking at the Alumni House this afternoon. Two decades later, he has not flipped burgers or been in jail, instead choosing to graduate from Brown as an English major with honors, write books about his own experiences with learning disabilities (“The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal”) and the state of alternative education (“Learning Outside the Lines”), as well as develop a nationwide mentorship and advocacy program for learning disabled students called Project Eye-to-Eye. In your face, evil high school counselor! (He didn’t say that, we did.)

What strikes you first about him is not, “My god, this man is diseased and in great need of pity,” (we hope that’s not how anyone is struck by learning disabled people) but, “Wow, this guy is cool.” His red hair is slicked up in a dangerously hip hybrid between spikiness and bed-head; thick-rimmed, vintage-style glasses adorn his face above a well-groomed beard, and his hands are alive as he talks, narrating, emphasizing, punctuating his words.

He talked about how ADHD and dyslexia are not sicknesses: “The idea that my brain is a broken brain and needs to be fixed is a dangerous way to think…Like they say, the only person that is normal is the person you don’t know very well. ‘Normal’ is inherently contextual and cultural.”

In fact, disabilities can be assets, as in the case read more »

There are still hours left until that midterm, and anxiously deciphering all of those lecture scribblings is just plain tiring. Luckily, one very clever programmer has got us covered.

It’s called “Kick-Ass” and it’s a bookmarklet for your web-browser. Touted as a good way to kill time (and annoying advertisements), the tiny Javascript application turns any webpage you are viewing into the classic game of Asteroids, placing a little triangle on screen — your spaceship — and allowing you to maneuver about whilst utterly obliterating all in your wake. Literally, the content of whatever website you’re visiting becomes your target. And you destroy it. (Read: kick its ass.) Welp, so much for us being productive this afternoon!

We recommend hitting up bspace first thing. All those reading assignments? Vaporized.

Image Source: Kick-Ass running on UC Berkeley’s bspace
Kick-Ass Bookmarklet Turns the Web Into Asteroids [Wired]

major attraction

Lefties, are you tired of the inescapable ink smudge that stains the side of your hand as you diligently write down notes in a spiral-bound notebook that was clearly designed for right-handed users?

Righties, do you want to know what it’s like to be a disgruntled left-handed person?

Good thing you’re at Berkeley, then, because our researchers claim that they’ve found a way to control your mind (‘s fondness for your dominant hand).

You know what’s cooler?

They do it with magnets! Yup, somehow the magnetic force overpowers your brain’s preference for one hand over the other, and presto, you’re ambidextrous.

Okay, so it might not be that simple, and it might sound more legit when you use the actual terms (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation), but we’ve got the gist of things.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what the point of all this magnet business is, just think back to that time in fifth grade when you broke your arm and writing was, like, impossible. Those magnets don’t seem so silly anymore, do they?

Image source: Peter Jepsen under Creative Commons
Could a Magnet Force You to Be Left-Handed? [TIME]


This must be a week made for the cinematically-inclined: first an online movie trivia quiz and now a movie trivia night Thursday Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. on the 7th floor of Eshleman.

It’s free, folks, and you’re expected to come in teams of four (for example, Spengler, Venkman, Stantz, and Zeddemore). There will be prizes (prepare by getting that lame movie reference) and raffles.

We’ll start out with some random Clog movie trivia (which, admittedly, will be far too easy for film majors).

1) Name the movie that contains this quote: “You’re going to the cemetery with your toothbrush. How Egyptian.”

2) Which movie’s protagonist suffers from anterior retrograde amnesia?

3) Name four movies in which Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy starred opposite each other.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, you probably got through those in your sleep. And since Clog trivia is completely unaffiliated with the event itself, this is no way reflects the difficulty of the questions that will be asked. But it’s a nice little warmup, and it might soothe your ego. Plus, we figure you love the smell of superiority in the morning.

Image source: Threat to Democracy under Creative Commons

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