The fairly recent end to the California program that allowed hybrid car owners to drive solo in carpool lanes turned out to be a doozie. Other drivers complained that hybrid cars were clogging up the carpool lanes. Turns out, they were wrong.

According to researchers at UC Berkeley’s Institute of Transportations Studies, the hybrid carpool ban resulted in more congested traffic for all drivers. A new program is in the works to allow qualifying drivers back onto the carpool lanes.

Our very own astronomy professor here at Cal, Alex Filippenko, owns a Prius himself, and he commented, read more »

Chancellor Robert Birgeneau isn’t the only one jumping aboard the hybrid bandwagon (which, we imagine, would strongly resemble a Prius). Even if UC Berkeley itself never manages to go full Borg, that certainly doesn’t mean we can’t develop them.

Beetles, that is—cyborg beetles, sponsored by the Pentagon.

We hope our nonverbal attempt at a dramatic pause allowed you sufficient time to recover. Because if you’re wondering when good ol’ tree-sitting, Yoo-hating, cupcake-driving Berkeley went all futuristic spy thriller on our hinies … well, read more »

3761900551_0ea9790126Yes, we regret to inform you that the university isn’t looking too good. All these budget cuts have led to some kind of gangrenous infection, and it’s spread too far too fast. You might have to lose that leg. But, if you like, we can replace it with some kind of insanely badass gadgetry.

Okay, so this isn’t the real scenario. But you have to admit, it sounds pretty flippin’ awesome. Could we turn our university into a cyborg? Well, UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau seems to think so: he’s considering turning Berkeley into a state-federal “‘hybrid’ that receives basic operating funds from the government.”

You had us at “hybrid.” Our ailing university will now come back stronger than ever, howling with revenge-lust for its lost workers and ready to kick some financially unstable ass. Libraries will always be open … in the matrix. Lectures will be downloaded into our consciousness. No one will ever have to wait in line again.

Apologies, we exaggerate. Essentially the UC system is in the poor house, and we’re going door-to-door in Washington asking for scraps of federal funding. Our state is obviously not helping enough.

It really is a shame Berkeley isn’t a human/machine hybrid, though. With the Terminator as governor, we’re going to need all the help we can get.

Image source: Daquella manera under Creative Commons
State-federal ‘hybrid’ eyed to save UC [Daily Democrat]