Image source: Joshua Escobar, the Daily Cal


Looking directly into the lens of the camera, Ricardo Lagos condemned Augusto Pinochet, the dictator of Chile, in a cool impassioned speech on live national television during a time when the word ‘dictator’ was censored. Earlier in Chile people who spoke out against Pinochet were imprisoned, murdered and exiled – or in some cases exiled then murdered. Through relentless organizing, campaigning and planning, Ricardo Lagos helped Chileans overthrow Pinochet peaceful and democratically. A term afterwards, he served as President of Chile from 2000 to 2006.

A few weeks ago Professor Shaiken, Chair of the Center for Latin American Studies, hosted former President Lagos when he visited UC Berkeley.

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British colloquialisms aside, (and yeah, we’re that pretentious) we Americans love our constitution, especially when it comes to the first amendment and our beloved free speech. Berkeley even named a whole darn cafe after it! So it only follows that this Tuesday Sept. 14, from 6-8 p.m. at the Free Speech Movement Cafe (where else?), emeritus history professor Leon Litwack will give a lecture on the Free Speech Movement and the Constitution.

Having a Free Speech Movement discussion at the FSM seems a little too adorable, but you have to admit, this is still a very relevant issue. After all, what about that guy who wanted to go around burning Qu’rans? That certainly keeps the free speech debate current.

It doesn’t hurt to brush up on your Berkeley history, either. The rest of the country just assumes we’re still hippies, so we might as well know a little something about it. That stereotype is kinda fun to perpetuate.

Image source: cameronparkins under Creative Commons
Lecture: The Free Speech Movement and the Constitution [UC Berkeley Events Calendar]

energy meter infoYou may have heard of cuts to campus recycling, much to the enthusiasm of “local entrepeneurs” who have picked up right where campus custodians left off. And with some making up to $10 an hour, competition has gotten fierce.

But the campus can’t rely solely on these recycling veterans, especially if we hope to reach our goal of becoming a zero-waste campus by 2020, one set by the former UC President in 2007. But it seems that the spirit of environmental enlightenment that we’ve always prided ourselves on is still alive, at least at FSM.the tube

At first we noticed what seemed to be a kitschy neon rainbow tube smack dab in the center of the cafe. But upon closer inspection the thing turns out to be monitoring our energy usage: color-coated according to the source of the consumption. The bar also doubles as a distraction from your studying. Oooahhh.

Also, there’s now a permanent partition between FSM and Moffit, perhaps to deter non-purchasing energy consumers. Congrats, FSM, for making an effort to make our campus a little more environmentally conscious. Now maybe you can work on that sludge that you call coffee.

Image Source: Ruby Lee
Cuts Curtail Campus Recycling [Daily Cal]


Damn, it would have been real pathetic to see Doe and Moffitt libraries empty during the wee morning hours of finals week – no procrastinators, amphetamine jockeys or Berkeley students studious enough to earn those sterile depths the reverence they deserve. Rocked by this awful thought, some generous parents came through where the state of California could not, throwing down hella bank to keep those caverns (and the Free Speech Movement Cafe) open when they’re needed most. Clutch, Mr. & Mrs. Steiny. read more »

Ah. Nothing says snooty intellectual college life like a steaming hot caffeinated beverage, equally pretentious company and some good, old-fashioned studying. So when we embarked on our latest crawl, we thought it would be appropriate to revisit cafes as a theme–only this time, the Clog kept a keener eye on study-ability, and ordered cappuccinos (at the behest of special guest Clogger/Arts blogger/ caffeine fiend, Rajesh Srinivasan), rather than lattes.

We also came up with a somewhat arbitrary–yet ever so apropos–overall rating scale. From worst to best: Steamed Milk, Weak Coffee, Single Shot, Double Shot or Triple Shot. read more »

While the rest of you awoke to the start of a glorious three day drinking bi—err, weekend, we here at the Clog were hard at work . . . kind of. Let it never be said that we aren’t willing to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of our readers, no matter how burnt the beans, no matter how thin the foam, we will overcome all obstacles to find the best of what Berkeley has to offer in the way of a solid latte. Well, except Gerald. He wasn’t around. So we made a puppet to take his place.So, with no further ado, let the coffee crawl begin.

First stop, Nefeli’s Caffe, the shining star of Northside, and what turns out to be some of the best coffee in town.

Ethan Strauss: Can you normally grind your own nutmeg? Because that’s pretty cool.
Christine Borden: Very good mix of cafe and latte. You don’t even need sugar.
ES: You can really taste the beaniness.
CB: The beaniness?
ES: The beaniness.
Gerald Nicdao:

Quality of coffee: 9 of 10
Overall quality: 8.5 of 10
Ethan’s rating of pretentiousness: 7 of 10


Next we wandered down Hearst Avenue toward Berkeley Espresso. Despite the underwhelming coffee, we’ve gotta give some points out to anywhere that has free wi-fi. Their carrot cake’s pretty damn good too.

ES: The flavor is reminiscent of burnt taste buds.
Skyler Reid: It’s definitely a weak flavor . . . way too hot . . . yeah, burnt taste buds seems about right.
CB: Needs sugar. [Goes inside to get sugar. Adds one packet of sugar. Sips. Adds a second packet of sugar. Sips] The sugar didn’t work. It still tastes like burn.

Quality of coffee: 6 of 10
Overall quality: 8 of 10
Ethan’s rating of pretentiousness: 9 of 10


People’s seems to be hidden in the occasionally staggering number of options near University and Shattuck avenues. Sadly, it’s not that big a loss.

SR: Feels a little bit quiet . . . and there’s a creepy old guy staring at you, Christine.
ES: I don’t really know about this flavor.
SR: You mean the flavor of overly roasted beans and bubbly foam?
CB: Wow. This tastes just like the smell of my weird video production teacher’s breath in high school . . . wait, that sounds wrong.
ES: Whatever the fuck that stuff is on the wall, it’s cool.
CB: That’s bamboo, Ethan. Hey, if you’re really lucky you might find that book for class that you never bought!

Quality of coffee: 5 of 10
Overall quality: 7 of 10
Ethan’s rating of pretentiousness: 8 of 10


The Clog’s next stop in our pain-staking research was the Free Speech Movement Cafe. Low and behold, it’s closed for Memorial Day weekend. But that didn’t stop Ethan from monologuing in place of an actual review.

ES: So at FSM you get to stand in a line that’s twenty people long where you’ll run into a GSI from a class you took two semesters ago and have an awkward conversation about the class, which you don’t remember at all. Eventually you make it through the line of annoying, screeching students and are served by that one guy who everyone knows. You know, that one guy. The coffee is spectacularly alright-ish, but then you have to somehow find seating, which is simply impossible to do anywhere inside.
CB: Great place to smoke, though.

Quality of coffee: N/A
Overall quality: N/A
Ethan’s rating of pretentiousness: N/A


A short walk across campus brought us to the normally packed Cafe Milano. Chalk it up to the effects of too much caffeine (we’re all drinking water by this point), but everything seemed a bit off, from the service to the taste of the latte.

SR: Tastes . . . sour? It’s like the milk is a bit off.
CB: It tastes a bit burnt. I’m reminded of Berkeley Espresso.
ES: The only way it could feel more pretentious would be if they built a chamber for foreign grad students to smoke in while listening to minimalist electronic music.

Quality of coffee: 5.5 of 10
Overall quality: 6.5 of 10
Ethan’s rating of pretentiousness: 11+ of 10


In the last stop of the day, the heavily caffeinated Clog staff went all the way down to Beanery by College and Ashby avenues. While it is, admittedly, outside of the two block radius from campus that most students rarely break, we felt it important to see what was available in the outer ring of the Berkeley Bubble.

ES: Although the milkiness might be too much for some people, I think it’s nice. It makes it really smooth. Reminds me of the lattes my mom used to make.
SR: [Confused look]
ES: No, seriously. That’s not even a joke.
CB: I like it, but it’s kind of overshadowed by this peanut butter cup sundae drenched in hot fudge and peanuts.
ES: [Finishing last coffee] Mmmm, tastes like Gerald.