Dead week: when the hours blur together and the sky darkens only 30 minutes after you wake up. With noHugging Puppies Brings Good Luck classes to go to except for those pesky occasional review sessions, there’s really no incentive to get out of your dorm or apartment – except for the basic human needs of food and slight exposure to sunlight to avoid becoming like Edward Cullen. To celebrate the release of Breaking Dawn Part 2, Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation will be bringing some of Jacob’s little brothers to Berkeley for Pet Hugs!

All jokes aside, the ARF has been doing a fantastic job of keeping those adorable little werewolves – ahem, puppies – safe and sound, as well as training them to be therapy dogs! So why not take the long walk down the stairwell and into the open sunlight outside of Moffitt Library to see all of them! If it helps you to picture their faces, their names are Maddie, DeeDee, Koda-Bear, Quinn, Star, and Rudy, and they’re here to melt your stress away. Embrace your inner puppy and skip around with those fuzzy delights – and forget about that mountain of studying and stressing that awaits you upon the conclusion of Pet Hugs.

You can come out and see them when the Campanile strikes noon on both Tuesday and Wednesday of Dead Week! Watch out for those ominous clouds that foreshadow Finals doom, however – if it rains, the times might get switched around.

Image source: Be Well @ Cal

If you’re like any self-respecting Berkeley student, you try your hardest to do well inHungry Bears class, keep up with a few activities, and spare a little bit of time for saving the world – if possible. Most of the time you may only get around to the first one, and though you may occasionally broach the second, you rarely get to the third. So if you weren’t feeling bad enough about how you’re not actively helping the community out, here’s a video that just might spur you to action.

The fantastic group of people over at our very own Social Media Club have put together a campaign to help out some of the people who need things a little bit more than the rest of us do. If you’re diving into your intact mountain of meal points every night, you can head over to any of the campus stores and grab some canned goods instead of that extremely large smoothie that’s probably bad for you. And the next time you go to Walgreens to grab a gallon of milk, throw an extra can of fruit or beans into your shopping cart – the tingly warm feeling that you get after you donate will definitely be worth the 99 cents.

If you’re still reading this and unconvinced, let the club give you a little extra incentive! Grab your phone and snap a picture of yourself in a cute pose with the pile of food you’re planning on donating, and tweet that with the hashtag #hungrybears. Not only do you get validated and feel popular when a bunch of people re-tweet you, but you could win a gift certificate for – you guessed it – even more food!

Image source: Fabian Medina under Creative Commons

Video source: MediaPopNow used with permission

Whenever you start planning your schedule for the following semester, you usually start off with yourA Tribute To Seminars core classes. Most of you may choose a math, a science, or an English course as your base, and go about building your schedule from there. And when you’ve finished grabbing the last few spots in every section, you’d likely lean back and take a deep breath, exhausted from fighting against our rotten class registration website.

However, a few of you won’t be so quick to log out and go about enjoying the rest of your day. Some of you have a couple extra units — and have an intrinsic sense of daring and adventure – so you go about signing up for seminars. Seminars are those things for underclassmen to have fun and experiment with their varying tastes in academia. These can range from how monsters roamed the ancient world, to discussing your vision for the University of California.

The great thing about seminars is that they can be totally random! The professors who teach seminars don’t have to be part of that seminar’s associated department, and the students don’t have to be affiliated with that major to enroll. Ever since its inception a couple of decades past, it’s been a way to bring both instructors and underclassmen with very diverse fields of study together to explore a unique avenue of knowledge that is probably not covered anywhere else. Best of all, it teaches you something that no other class would be capable of doing – do you think you’d really learn how and why birds sing, regardless of your major?

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It’s one of the least hotly debated topics in all of America – something that the old Cents Might Actually Make Sensepeople in Congress have argued about a couple of times, and an issue that has spawned organizations to lobby for them. Should the country eliminate the penny – that which bears the vampire hunter’s face on it – from the currency system of the United States altogether. But considering recent circumstances, is that really the best idea?

Everyone argues over the mundane facts when it comes to issues like these, like how we must validate the late president with more than a measly five dollar bill, or how the penny is worth less than any piece of engraved metal in the world. Some might even say that melting down coins for their raw materials may be more profitable than being a drug dealer. But for all of us at Cal, we should focus on the truly important reason.

Remember that proposition that everyone on campus was blabbering on about a few weeks ago? Yeah, Prop 30! After the relentless campaigning by pretty much everyone who was politically active on campus – which is to say, everyone – it passed by a solid seven percent. When it hits, it’s going to raise sales taxes on everyone in the state – yes, that includes all of you hardworking, money-deprived college students – by a quarter of a cent. So regardless of how it costs more than a penny to make one and how limited their utility actually is, it’s imperative that we keep it. After all, we can’t go around saying that sales tax has gone up by one-twentieth of a nickel, can we? It’s just more catchy the way it is.

Image source: Louis under Creative Commons

As the beginning to each holiday season starts to set in, Cal students tend to zoom intoWhat Cal Students Should Be Thankful For overdrive. We fantasize about winter break, especially after Thanksgiving has come and gone. In case you didn’t take a couple of seconds to say your thank-yous this past week, there’s still time! Marvel at all the reasons that being at Berkeley should make you thankful:

1)      You’re still a Cal student… hopefully! That’s something to be proud of, right? After all, you can’t really get higher than #1 for a public school.

2)      Finals are still two whole weeks away. That gives us all extra time to procrastinate on studying, because that’s no way to spend dead week! Sure, you may have had some homework to do over the holidays, but that has to be better than those college applications you were frantically filling out a year or two ago.

3)      Jeff Tedford is finally getting yanked after yet another dismal 3-9 season for the men’s football team. That means you only have to wait 10 more months for a well-coached football team!

4)      There have been less than 10 days that have had more than 0.10 inches of rain so far this school year. Considering that November is the fifth wettest month, it’s not saying much, but enjoy the good weather before February rolls around!

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Among the tabs for CNN, NBC, the deplorably slow Google election results, and the FOX News you had open just for kicks, you may not have had time for social networking on election night. Who are you kidding – you probably popped open Tumblr for the continuing influx of memes or Twitter for Donald Trump’s call for a march on Washington. But the most interesting soiial network every time there’s a major news event is Facebook, because it’s people that you – hopefully – personally know talking about things about which they know little to nothing about. If your friends are anything like ours, they provided for plenty of unintentional comedy with their cute status updates that spammed the newsfeed.

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It’s been eight years since Chancellor Berdahl relinquished his reign over the university. Now, Chancellor Birgeneau is stepping Looks Can Kill (1)down at the end of the semester – check that, at the end of the school year… the old man just can’t seem to make up his mind. Now, we could focus on how he’s inherently likable as a Canadian, originally from one of the schools that tied us in world rankings, or one of the most cited physicists across the globe, but that’s all validating and boring.

Instead, let’s focus on his just-announced replacement. In choosing Nicholas B. Dirks as the 10th Chancellor, the university’s advisory committee has proven that first impressions are important, and of course, that looks can kill.

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From the very first day you met your roommate(s), you’ve probably beenWhy Your Roommate Is A Hermit Crab engaged in a never-ending battle for space. There just isn’t that much space to go around in that cramped room that doubles as a work space and a home media center, especially when you’ve got one or two other people to share it with.

There are always those subtle signs – when your roommate narrows his or her eyes when you cross over to the fridge that happens to be on their side of the room, or when you walk in on your roommate measuring the length of the room and making sure they’re not being cheated of any space. When a fleck of dust crosses the invisible line and it draws a small scream of anguish, it’s probably indicative of your roommate’s transformation into a hermit crab.

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Ever since the famed student activism in the mid-1960s, politics and Berkeley have been inextricably intertwined. When peopleThe Kind of Politics We Love think Berkeley, they think “liberals” – whether they say it with disgust or with pride depends on the tone in which you read this sentence. But like with any part of student life, there are extremes – from those who think that “Mitt Romney” is short for “Mitten” versus those who consider presidential debate parties to be actual “parties.” No matter which end of the political spectrum you’re on, all of us can take a step back and enjoy the unintentional comedy of the two men trying to be our president. If you’re still on the fence about who to vote for, maybe these out-of-context tidbits can clear things up for you.

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11-01 Should The Teddy Bear StayUnless you’ve been stuck in the basement of Etcheverry for a matter of months, you know that the brand-spanking-new Memorial Stadium is playing host to our football team from here on out. The presumed hope was that the shiny new arena would somehow increase the level of play from the somewhat disappointing record of last season. With Saturday’s 22-point beatdown in Salt Lake City, many are calling for the dismissal of the man at the helm – Jeff Tedford.

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