wreathNeed a good, healthy distraction from finals preparation and paper writing? Of course you do (those whole three in the hours really wiped you out for the rest of the week)!

Luckily, you can find a festive way to procrastinate at oh-so-lovely University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley. Tomorrow, from 6 to 9 p.m. take a pair of hand pruners and head up to the garden for their Evergreen Wreaths and Garlands workshop! No essay seems too monumental after you’ve made your own holiday decorations, right? read more »

Wine Tasting

Classy event alert! For all you impossibly chic and perfectly cultured adults among us, have we got just the thing to tempt your taste buds.

Oh yes, good sirs and ladies, the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley (yeah, that’s just a fancy way of saying “the Botanical Garden”) is offering an event that looks too good to pass up — an evening of wine tasting and a tour of the Mediterranean Area of the Garden. Wines from the Canary Islands will be featured, as will the collection of plants from the same region.

In addition to the Jose Pastor Selections (which, quite frankly, hold plenty of appeal all on their own), there will be tapas and music to boot. Not too shabby for 30 bucks, eh ($25 for members)?

The soiree will begin at 5:30 p.m. this Friday, July 8 and will last approximately two hours. You’ll need to register in advance, so get on that.

Image Source: slack12 under Creative Commons
A Taste of Spain: Canary Islands Wine Tasting and Tour [Botanical Garden]

Image Source: Evante Garza-Licudine

Not many people think of museums when they think of Berkeley, and yet there’s such a wide variety both on and near campus that it’d be a shame not to at least consider going to every one you can. In that case, let us present to you a few of our favorite Berkeley museums.

Essig Museum of Entomology—3003 VLSB
Open to the public only twice a year—Darwin Day and Cal Day—this museum may be more research-oriented (OK, a lot more research-oriented) but it still has a surprising amount in it despite the space that makes it difficult for tours. If you’ve ever wanted to see butterflies as big as your face or giant scorpions preserved in jars of fluid, this is your stop. Free to the public. read more »

Rosy viewAfter 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.

If you’re the sort of person who relieves stress by burying your head in the sand and pretending everything will be OK, then consider this a spoiler warning and skip to the next paragraph. For those of you ready to accept the truth, here goes nothing: Everything will not be OK. Why? Because next Monday marks the end–of instruction. This also means that next week, we’ll all be irretrievably entrenched in the throes of those torturous tortures, borne of darkness and hellfire–finals. (The horror! The horror!)

Accordingly, here are a few ideas for wholesome use of your last-weekend-of-semi-freedom that won’t leave you with an untimely hangover and undone final papers: read more »

Plants rarely make it into the news (other than the occasional pot story). But the blooming of an “agave gentryi” is a worthwhile exception.

The 18 feet tall plant in the UC Berkeley Botanical Garderns is of a species that only blooms after an approximately 60-year-long life, then dies. And this plant (now resembling a giant asparagus stalk) is about to bloom.

The agave gentryi bloom is so rare that there is “no good description of the bloom elsewhere”. Some smaller blooms have been vaguely described, but none are of this size.

The 15-year-old plant–which is blooming prematurely–will die after its enormous yellow flower appears.

No doubt your life will be complete regardless of whether you ever see the blooming of an agave gentryi. But Cloggers are well aware of the importance of bragging rights. Who wouldn’t want to tell your friends that you saw the bloom of a plant so rare Wikipedia doesn’t even have a page for it?

Image Source: Stan Shebs
Agave is about to produce a giant bloom [Botanical Garden at Berkeley]