weedhatThe Wing Fiesta Bear’s Lair Pub, provider of buffalo wings, safe haven for money-starved-college-student-beer-drinkers everywhere, and beater of clocks since 1962, was also host to this guy, proud owner of the latest and greatest in stoner-wear, last Friday afternoon.

We had to ask the obvious: Why?

“It’s just a phase,” said Navid Shaghaghi, an EECS major in his final year at Cal.

He paused, beer-soaked brain cogs turning, before deciding to tell us a story: “My friend was into medical marijuana. I helped her quit, and I was really happy. But then she went back to it. And she became really mean. I feel like I lost a fight. I lost the battle. So I wear this.”

We asked if he partakes in his headgear of choice, and he said, “I don’t smoke. My dad used to smoke a lot when I was young, but my throat starts hurting and dries out when I smoke.”

Shaghaghi’s parting words? “I can’t smoke it, so I wear it.”

We didn’t question it.

Image source: Sophie Lee, Daily Cal
Earlier: A not-so-legal block party on Telegraph


Doing good’s good for you. That’s what someone told us, anyway, but we didn’t believe it until we saw Peet’s latest online coupon, which says, “Enjoy a free Peet’s beverage when you buy one for a friend.” And because we love free things and you love free things and our mutual unbridled affection for and devotion to free things everywhere unites us in a pact of free-things-sharing, we just thought you should know.

Also, did you know … Peet’s Coffee & Tea‘s very first store opened right here in Berkeley? In fact, that first store is still in operation today, where Walnut and Vine Streets intersect in North Berkeley.

Image source: Ballistik Coffe Boy under Creative Commons

scan0001You might have noticed our slight obsession with rankings. Don’t be fooled: What appears to be self-gratuitousness is really a public service. The world needs to know when UC Berkeley’s the best, after all.

So it was with some consternation that we learned of the latest U.S. News & World Report college rankings released on Sept. 13. Public institutions’ rankings have been on a steady downward descent, and all of them have been shut out of the top 20. Maybe rankings don’t mean anything. Then again …

Chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s explanation? read more »

iran-hikersAfter more than two years, Cal grads Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer may finally be able to return home after an Iranian court set their bail for $500,000 each, the same amount set for Sarah Shourd, fellow Cal grad, hiker and Bauer’s fiance, who was released in September of last year.

Last month, they were each sentenced to eight years in prison, five for espionage and three for illegal entry into Iran. The most recent decision is the result of their appeal.

What does this all mean? Well, it’s almost time to pop those champagne bottles, folks, almost.

Image source: Iranian Press TV
Lawyer: Iran sets bail for 2 jailed Americans [SFGate]

Okay, no, not really. Fine. But thinking about it is the only thing getting us through another week of toil and tedium. This Friday, Sept. 16, catch Santa Barbara-based indie band Gardens and Villa on Lower Sproul at noon with synth-pop songs as enchanting as their name sounds.

Later in the day, for only $3 with a Cal ID ($5 without), watch Super 8 in the faux cinematic Wheeler Hall at 7 or 9 p.m. Between the plush seats, the curtains and the giant screen, you’d be hard-pressed to remember you’re actually in a lecture hall.

Rebecca Black – Friday (OFFICIAL VIDEO) [YouTube]

the verdict

A Berkeley student and an optometry professor walk into a court …

That, ladies and gentlemen, would be the start of a terrible joke. One that might go like this:

A Graduate School of Journalism student — let’s say his name is Josh Wolf — follows protesters into Wheeler Hall as they fight tuition fee hikes with video camera in hand as they storm and shut down the building in Nov. 2009. At Wolf’s individual disciplinary hearing (the journalism card didn’t exempt him), he storms out when his legal adviser is denied the right to speak.

He then sues the chairman of his disciplinary panel, Cal Optometry Professor Robert DiMartino in Small Claims Court. The case crawls its way up to the Superior Court, where DiMartino’s lawyer argues that the case should be dismissed on the grounds that DiMartino did not have adequate legal representation in Small Claims Court (hmm …) and, besides, was immune to prosecution, anyway.

The case was dismissed, and the tragicomedy concludes today in the Berkeley Small Claims Court, where DiMartino filed for $1,066 in court costs — word is, Wolf is setting up a lemonade stand to raise the funds. We’ll keep you updated as the saga unfolds.

Image Source: afsart under Creative Commons
When a UC-Berkeley student and professor meet in court … [SFGate Politics Blog]

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Android apps know more about you than you think. In fact, they know much more about you than they should.

That’s what Erika Chin, a UC Berkeley Computer Science graduate student, and fellow security researcher, Yekaterina Tsipenyuk O’Neil, reported at this year’s DEFCON. Over 30% of Android apps are “overprivileged,” they say, which means they have access to information that they don’t need to function.

But … we don’t mean to go all luddite on you now. We grew up on healthy diets of Nintendo and AIM, too.

On that note, nProgress just launched the new student-specific app, ntro, for UC Berkeley students, to facilitate quasi-serendipitous encounters that wouldn’t otherwise occur. App users can find others based on common interests. What that will mean is no more headaches over forming last-minute study groups, locating student group meetings or finding musicians to form highly successful Grammy-award-winning bands with … maybe.

Image source: MP4Nation
Def Con 19: Android apps ask for too much power [Consumer Reports]
Students experiment with new app [Daily Cal]

kathleen-murilloKathleen Murillo looks stunning. Always. To the point where we suspected superhuman abilities at work. As a psychology major and blogger extraordinaire, she shares fashion advice and commentary (complete with photos) on her blog, which has been featured in Teen Vogue, Elle, Refinery 29 and Chictopia, among others.

She graciously took time out of a hectic day to field overly nosy questions about what it takes to be amazing, inside and out:

1) How and when did you develop such an impeccable and inspiring fashion sense?

Ever since I was little, I’ve always had a love for art. I guess from there, I’ve developed a creative eye for things — including fashion! Just this past year I’ve grown a deeper love for fashion and with that, started my personal fashion blog back in September 2010.

2) How do you balance it all: The Berkeley education along with the blogging, shopping, two jobs, internships and extracurriculars? (Do you own a Time-Turner, and where can we get one?)

I seriously wish I had a Time-Turner in my back pocket! But, there is one item that is a must-have when it comes to balancing everything: My planner. If you take a peek into my planner, it’s practically filled with lots of notes scribbled everywhere, but helps read more »

IMG_4317It began in a small West Berkeley warehouse in 1999. The project, however, quickly outpaced the vision, and in 2003, founder and sculptor Michael Sturtz moved The Crucible, his “industrial arts educational experience,” to its present-day location in Oakland just off of the Nelson Mandela Parkway, near the West Oakland BART station.

Because the Clog is oh-so-famous and critically acclaimed and blah blah blah, Christy Hogan, a volunteer tour guide, gave us an exclusive tour of the breathtaking 56,000 sq. ft. space. (This may or may not have had to do with the free tours that they offer every Tues. and Thurs. at 6 p.m.)

“There’s no other place like this, where we have so many types of art, media, all in one place,” said Hogan, explaining the Crucible’s popularity and unfettered expansion. “It allows for the expression of creativity, and we also have the fire performance, which is also very attractive. That’s all part of it.”

read more »

mac n cheese

SF-based visual designer Renee Walker took first with this nutrition label design

Imagine a world where figuring out just what exactly is in that box of sinfully delicious edible concoctions is more like training a dog than bare-knuckle fighting a bear, in subzero temperatures, while balancing on a ball.

Okay, so maybe it’s not  that bad, but to help consumers more easily figure out just how fat they’ll get if they eat another handful, the US Food and Drug Administration is in the process of revising the nutrition label. The UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism’s News21 program, in partnership with the Art Center College of Design’s Designmatters and GOOD magazine, launched a competition, Rethink the Food Label, that concluded on July 25 to help generate ideas for them.

The results are creative, colorful, eater-friendly re-inventions of the current black-and-white boxes, proving that when smart design meets food, good things happen.

Designing a Better Food Label [NYTimes Well]

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