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Some graduates decorate their caps to spell out their sororities’ names. Other people, like Roland Saekow, create a green residential lot on theirs.

Complete with grass paper (astroturf probably causes global warming or something), a solar panel, a wind turbine, a small house and a mechanical rising sun, Roland’s hat made  statement. You, too, can have a green cap. What for? Don’t be silly.

Though normally we’d be jerks and point out that you don’t actually have to power your cap in the first place—let alone construct a sustainable way to do so—we won’t do that today. Instead, hats off to Roland, who showed us how graduation gear no longer has to depend on pollutants like petroleum any more. Oil kills!

Green Graduation Cap, solar and wind power [YouTube]
Green Graduation Cap [AP Community]Agent Cody Banks movie

While the debate over the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis—also known as the linguistic relativity hypothesis—has been raging for untold billions of seconds, Tuesday’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has a report that details research on how learning a color’s name changes its perception, in a way.

Quoth the Berkeley linguist, “It appears, as far as we can tell, that somehow the brain, when it has categories such as color, it actually consults those categories.”

Specifically, before one learns—for example—that yellow is called yellow, his or her brain handles greenness on the right side of the brain, while adults think about color with the left side.

Similarly, learning what to call an animal changes perception from right to left.

So … the ancient Greeks were actually pretty childish?

Image Source: fensterbme under Creative Commons
Color perception shifts from right brain to left [Associated Press]
The Beatles “Yellow Submarine” [YouTube]

A bus.

Berkeley may be the second greenest city in California, but it doesn’t look like we’ll get to the number one spot any time soon. The AC system has a plan for dedicated bus lanes on Telegraph Avenue, but opponents are marshaling their forces to protest this most grievous of acts.

Enough signatures have been collected by petitioners for voter approval in November, which means that any hope of using public transportation for greening up our little city even more just got much dimmer.

Said dissenters argue that it will be the death of Telegraph, making parking even tougher in an environment notorious for parking troubles.

The proposition would cost an estimated $400 million—but does this mean that we, as students, still get our free bus passes?

Image Source: orphanjones under Creative Commons
Berkeley rapid bus plan faces uphill battle [Chron]

Hailing from UCLA, a study called Green Market Geography has named Berkeley the second greenest city of California. Only second? Yeah, but Albany, our neighbor to the north, ranked in at the top.

The ranking was determined mostly through voting records on environmental issues but also included environmentally friendly cars and buildings.

But Berkeley doesn’t need any sort of accolade for its Earth-loving lifestyle.

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Green greeny green green! Monday was the fifth annual Sustainability Summit, organized by the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability (a.k.a. CACS, you know, in case you were curious). The Earth Week event started off with a few people talking about how awesomely their green projects have been going this year–and then they started handing out the green for green from green, if you know what we’re saying.

CACS announced the 2008 recipients of Green Fund Grants, “supporting innovative campus sustainability projects,” and presented the Berkeley environmental equivalent of The Oscars (for whatever they’re worth), Sustainability Awards.

And the winners are …

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shamrock_lowres.jpgLeave it to Americans to completely bastardize a legit holy day and the traditions associated with it. We always knew that the level of intense debauchery that’s associated with St. Patrick’s Day stateside probably isn’t commemorative of St. Patty’s frequenting of Irish pubs. (And F.Y.I., until recently, booze was unavailable on the Emerald Isle on exactly two days per year–Good Friday and Mar. 17. Now that’s Ire-onic!) We realized that, at some point in the distant past, people probably took the sanctity of the day seriously, but we never imagined that even our tamer St. Patrick’s practices were so wrong. read more »