gobble gobble

Not home for the holiday? Fear not — the bay area still has plenty going on to keep you occupied during the whole two days we have without classes!

Start your holiday off right with a Roller Disco party (24 Nov. at 9 p.m.) that’s sure to leave you groovin’ to any beat you can find. Burn, baby, burn …

For the active bird, there’s the Eighth Annual Turkey Trail Trot (25 Nov. at 8 a.m.) — races of varying distances through Golden Gate Park. You’re going to be stuffing yourself full of food a few hours later, so why not get a head start on burning off all those extra calories?

If you think of Thanksgiving as that holiday that marks the shift from fall to winter (aka it’s now socially acceptable to listen to Jingle Bells, repeatedly), then head over to Union Square for Macy’s Day After Thanksgiving Tree Lighting Ceremony (26 Nov. at 6 p.m.). Can’t get enough of the scent of pine and those charming little white lights? Ghirardelli Square has a tree lighting ceremony of its own, as well (26 Nov. at 5:30 p.m.).

Warm and fuzzy not your cup of tea? Check out the Landmark Clay Theatre for a special Thanksgiving showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (27 Nov. at 12 a.m.). Dress up, do the Time Warp, and make merry.

Of course, if you wanna be all traditional and boring, you can always get yourself a turkey dinner at the many esteemed restaurants and hotels holding Thanksgiving specials (check out the Hyatt Regency or the Ritz-Carlton if you’re feeling … ritzy).

Image Source: Vicki’s Nature under Creative Commons

Maybe we would have been more impressed with this if we hadn’t just come from sharing air with, y’know, some of the most masterful uses of color the world has ever been (and will ever be) fortunate enough to see — from the fantastically-hued waters of Gauguin’s Tahiti to the deep blues and radiant yellows frolicking together in van Gogh’s night skies … Mmmm, van Gogh … Uh, sorry, where were we? Right, hey, look! Streetcolor yarn bombed across the Bay, too:

Yarn Bomb

That’s right, deYoung Museum. Streetcolor just yarn bombed you. Put that in your uppity “fine art” pipe and yarn smoke it. Er, whatever.

Image Source: Jill Cowan
Streetcolor’s Blog [Site]

bookDo you have a book you’ve been working on? Are you the next Mark Twain/Ernest Hemingway/Victor Hugo/whatever? Turns out you may have a chance to prove it, if you’re ready to put a small amount of money where your mouth is. Chronicle Books is holding a “Pitch for Charity” event from 3-5 p.m. on Dec. 8 at 680 2nd Street in San Francisco. The deal is this: for a suggested donation of $10 to go to Habitat for Humanity, you’ll get to meet briefly with a Chronicle Books editor and tell them why they absolutely must take advantage of the opportunity to publish your work.

You should come prepared with a five-minute pitch, a cover sheet for your piece and a few sample pages. For more information, see the Chronicle Books Blog post and submission guidelines. And it looks like they’re no longer accepting adult fiction submissions, so that novel you’ve got kicking around will have to wait.

Image Source: lo83 under Creative Commons
Earlier: See a Movie Tonight that Isn’t Harry Potter
Pitch for Charity [Chronicle Books Blog]

2010-11-23 13.56.13As bloggers of the highest caliber (or Chatty Cathys uninterested in withholding our two cents), it isn’t often that we at the Clog find ourselves without something to say. So it should speak volumes to tell you that “Deviations,” Joe Goode’s latest creation to come out of UC Berkeley, left us quite literally speechless. As in, we exited the theater Sunday at around 3:30 p.m. and haven’t been able to formulate coherent sentences since. But for the sake of spreading awareness — because dear God, people need to know — we are certainly going to try.

It’s worth admitting that we arrived at Durham Studio Theater for the play’s final performance a wee bit late, and thus spent the first half hour or so wondering if our state of instantaneous bewilderment was due to having missed some crucial bit of plot foundation — an overarching explanation that might justify the shenanigans taking place on stage.

Yet after scrupulously poring over the program and casting frantic glances at the audience members around us in a vain attempt at self-enlightenment, we eventually came to a series of increasingly disorienting conclusions: read more »


It’s raining, you’re tired and you just want to go home. You know what will cheer you up? Why, Arabic calligraphy, of course! The Institute of East Asian Studies (2223 Fulton, sixth floor) is now host to a delightful collection of Islamic/Chinese calligraphy, and you can go see it any time you want.

We don’t pretend to know much about calligraphy, let alone Chinese Arabic calligraphy. But we definitely know that it looks beautiful and makes us wish we wrote all our essays with some kind of beautiful quill pen. Like this guy. Or this lady. Artful ink splotches never looked better.

Anyway, as the little blurb tells us, “Chinese Arabic calligraphy has its own schools, traditions, and techniques all little known in the West.” So there you go: there’s another reason for going. You’ve got another thing to talk about at the Thanksgiving dinner table.

Image source: bazstyle under Creative Commons
Painting: Arabic Chinese calligraphy [UC Berkeley Events Calendar]

reindeer really know how to fly

You know the holidays are drawing near when the reindeer come to town.

Wait, what???

Yes, you heard us right the first time; the reindeer have come to town (aka San Francisco).

The city might not be quite cool enough (literally) to score Santa’s own Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, but the San Francisco Zoo seems pretty pleased with the little loves they do have — a very festive quartet of reindeer named Belle, Holly, Peppermint and Velvet.

They’re cute as can be, and you can catch a peek of ‘em all through the holiday season at the zoo. Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away, all!

Image Source: santheo under Creative Commons
Reindeers Land in San Francisco [NBC Bay Area]

In an interview, Christine Carter expresses the importance of teaching gratitude to children. Carter, a sociologist, happiness expert and director of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Parents program says that this gratitude can make for a happier family.

She draws the differentiation between gratitude and entitlement in kids, stating that often children feel like they are entitled to what they have rather than gracious. Entitlement, according to Carter, leads to feelings of disappointment and frustration while gratitude results in happiness and satisfaction.

When asked about the best ways to teach kids appreciation, Carter emphasizes a straightforward approach, “Simply counting your blessings in a routine way works wonders. In my family, we talk about what we are grateful for at dinnertime. Again at bedtime, my kids tell me about their “three good things” that happened during the day.”

And what better time to start practicing gratitude than Thanksgiving season?

Image source: Mikey G Ottawa under Creative Commons
Teaching kids gratitude instead of entitlement [UC Berkeley News]

berk high

Ever get that high school nostalgia? Recall the sports games, spirit weeks, school dances, showing up to class drunk and/or high. Wait what? Reeeeeewind and pause. As far as we’re concerned, attending class whilst crunk is neither conducive to the activity (learning) or even fun for that matter.

Still, Berkeley High students seem to find some appeal in it, perhaps because they believe (delusionally) in a certain status of badassness attained in doing so. Ah, high school, the place read more »


Feeling antsy about Thanksgiving? What about traffic? Did you know that there are algorithms that can help us figure out highway traffic? And if you knew that, did you know that UC Berkeley’s very own Alexandre Bayen just received an award for doing stuff like that?

We realize “stuff like that” isn’t the scientific term for it, so we’ll get more specific. Bayen, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, was recently awarded one of the 2010 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). He’s one of six UC professors to get it, but he’s the only UCB prof.

He works largely with mobile Internet applications, writing algorithms for traffic as well as aquatic robots. These robots then send information about water quality to different places around the bay. Coolest of all, this is an early career award, which means that the National Science Foundation thinks Bayen has a lot still left in him.

So no pressure, Bayen, but we can’t wait to see what else ya got.

Image source: brdwatcher1 under Creative Commons
White House awards Alexandre Bayen with early career award [UC Berkeley News]


So the football team got trounced in the Big Game, your fees (now officially “tuition”) got raised (again), the skies seem to have opened to all sorts of terrible weather and you’re probably just counting the days until the end of the semester, but you know what will never betray you? Crossword puzzles. No matter how terrible the news is in the rest of that archaic paper, the crossword will always be there as a comfort and diversion, during lecture and leisure time alike.

It is for this reason that we feel you ought to know that legendary New York Times Crossword Editor Will Shortz will be on campus tomorrow, speaking at Zellerbach Hall. The event starts at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $10 for UC Berkeley students and $20 for non-students.

Image Source: Jessica Whittle Photography under Creative Commons
Will Shortz, An Evening with the Puzzle Master [Cal Performances]

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