In a speech at a university housing symposium today, Berkeley’s very own Janet Yellen descended from the marble vaults of the S.F. Fed to bequeath upon us an ominous portend of the oncoming economic meltdown. Yellen, a steel-willed ball-buster disguised as a wispy old lady, has served as the president and CEO of the S.F. Federal Reserve Bank since 2004. In her speech, she remarked that the Fed Reserve may whittle away at the benchmark interest rate, which currently stands at a piddling 1 percent. That’s after the Fed cut the interest rate yesterday for the sixth time this year.

In layman’s terms, cutting the interest rate is supposed to read more »

And this year, UC Berkeley bagged exactly none. That’s one down from last year, when a Cal scientist was awarded her cool half mil for doing what Berkeley does best.  (Saving the environment, dammit! Spare us the tree-sit jokes.)

This past week, MacArthur genius grant recipients learned in a single phone call from the Foundation that they will each receive $500,000 in “no strings attached” support over the next five years.

Ostensibly this means they can slag off their academic duties and canoodle with loved ones in exotic vacationing spots across the world, but past MacArthur fellows have shown themselves more inclined to, oh, investigate lava. Build sculptures out of Scotch tape and paper clips. Research the aerodynamicism of fruit flies.  We dig.

This year’s batch includes 13 in the science fields and eight involved with the arts.  You can check out the breakdown here.

Image Source: leekelleher under Creative Commons
25 New MacArthur Fellows Announced [MacArthur Foundation]