We know that most people don’t appreciate being woken up in the morning, but we might have finally found the exception to that norm. About a week ago, on Oct. 9, David Jeffrey Wineland was woken up by his wife to the tune of a cool $600,000.

10-18 Our Growing Nobel FamilyOh, and the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics just happened to come along as a nice byproduct.

Though it’s been in place for more than 100 years, most of us remember the Nobel Prize for its questionable decisions – see Barack Obama, 2009 – but we now have another reason to remember it. Wineland was a Berkeley undergraduate in the 1960s and went on to study at Harvard and the University of Washington. But focusing on the important school out of the three, let’s reiterate — he got his bachelor’s degree at Cal!

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berkeley nobel

This morning, UC Berkeley physics professor Saul Perlmutter won the Nobel Prize in physics. What what, Berkeley represent!

He and his fellow teammates (Brian P. Schmidt and Adam G. Riess) apparently discovered that the universe is being blown apart by a sneaky little force known as “dark energy.” The most likely explanation for this bewildering behavior has something to do with Einstein’s equations that we here at the Clog are not quite sure we understand.

All we know is that this dark energy talk has some physicists murmuring about the possibility of multiple universes. read more »

Ahem, ahem. Excuse us, please. The Clog would like to take this opportunity jump on the considerable congratulatory bandwagon for Oliver Williamson, UC Berkeley Professor Emeritus, who just won a Nobel Prize for Economics: Congratulations, Professor Williamson! You’ve done us proud. Because we know pleasing the Clog was totally your aim all along.

Now that that’s out of the way, read more »

Students from the Cal Berkeley Democrats and the Berkeley College Republicans came to blows–er, cozied up for a nice tete-a-tete last night at the undergrad Political Science department’s annual debate. We heard it went off rather bloodlessly. Are eternal enemies getting toothless in their old age? [Daily Cal]

After a 44-year-old Berkeley man died in his apartment, his body remained undisturbed and undiscovered for at least two weeks. Meanwhile, his dementia-afflicted mother-who was occupying the same apartment-piled up about 20 garbage bags in her confusion, which helped mask the smell of the corpse. It may sound like a lurid Palahniuk splatter-fest, but it really happened. [Berkeley Daily Planet]

Two days ahead of his much ballyhooed reading at Zellerbach Hall, perennial favorite Haruki Murakami was passed over by the Nobel Prize committee for some French dude that no one’s ever heard of. Not that we’re trying to give detractors who insist that Americans are ignorant pigs any more ammo than they already have. [National Post]

Earlier: The News in Our Shorts: Berkeley’s Got Issues. And Sadness.