479270001_68343e8678_bWe’re sure those of you who are out of Berkeley right now are beginning to ache to return to your classes and readings. At the same time, you have also been left thoroughly disenfranchised by the Clog’s summer to-do’s thus far which have actually required you to be in the Bay Area to enjoy. Well, fret no longer, as the University Library and College Writing Programs have released their annual summer reading list, this year’s theme—science. read more »


Jericho! put out a great video last semester asking their professors “how did they dance?,” and finally they have their answer. Professors, grad students and post-doctoral researchers have them beat in the departments of humor and embarrassing things that possibly should not be on the Internet.

Basically, people were invited to dance out their dissertations:

The contest is open to anyone who has (or is pursuing) a Ph.D. in any scientific field, such as physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, anthropology, or in science-related fields such as mathematics, engineering, linguistics, bioethics, the history of science, etc. regardless of whether you’ve remained in academia.

Below, two videos from UC Berkeley grad students and our favorite pick from last year’s contest. read more »

Big news, earthlings. We’ve known for a while that our l’il ol’ solar system wasn’t the only one plugging away in the whole Great Beyond, but it wasn’t until this week that astronomers managed to get photographic proof of a planet orbiting a star that isn’t our sun.

Researchers from all over the place (but most prominently from our beloved Berkeley) worked together to snap the money shot of a big, bright, ringed exoplanet making its way across the universe– about 25 light years away. The Hubble Space Telescope was their weapon of choice, and now they’re using the Very Large Telescope to help further study this very large planet, since–compared to other images, at least–the thing’s still kind of a cosmic Loch Ness Monster. Except, um, it actually exists. read more »

While Jason Mraz captivated fangirls with his sensual cooing at the Greek Theater, across the street at the Haas School of Business was Wonderfest, a.k.a. The San Francisco Bay Area Festival of Science. The festival was a hot spot for lovers of the touchy-feely side of science with art displays and crafts, lectures on extraterrestrials and dreams and scienctific stand-up comedy.

We were only able to attend one lecture entitled “Are Dreams Psychologically Significant?” only to find an overall answer along the lines of “We don’t know. Uh, maybe?” Our favorite part was the story-telling of a man’s recurring nightmare of his penis being bitten off by a bear. The following are stolen moments from the lecture. read more »

Switzerland – UC Professor Marjorie Shapiro and some thousands of other scientists gathered on Monday to give the Hadron Collider its first whirl. This supercollider is $10 billion project to be used for recreating mini-universes (never did we think we’d use the word ‘universe’ in a plural form), kinda. Physicists claim this test run was a success, and are excited for the implications of future experimentation. Meanwhile, cloggers stumble through the science-speak and smirk at the comical details: read more »

platopainting.jpgYou know how everyone’s always thought that Thomas Edison–famous inventor the lightbulb, the phonograph, the immortal soul, etc.–was the first person to record sound? Well, it turns out that’s just a pack of dirty lies perpetuated by the victors of history–maybe.

While it’s true that Edison did, in fact, invent the phonograph, the first machine to both record sound and reproduce it as sound, it was a rightfully spiteful Parisian typesetter by the name of Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville who was the first guy to record sound at all, if only as a visual representation in lines and squiggles. Finally, after searching for years for the original gift of sound and vision, an American audio historian, David Giovannoni, recently got a hold of a “pristine” one of these phonautograms, apparently the audio equivalent of the “holy grail.” read more »

467px-charles_darwin_01.jpg Forget dead presidents, racial minorities and religion. The UC Museum of Paleontology has declared its own holiday in the name of Science! Starting this year, February 12 takes on new significance as “Darwin Day,” transforming a date that was once known only as “two days before Valentine’s Day” into a day of celebration, joy and uh, special lectures.

The festivities began yesterday with a couple of events at the Valley Life Sciences Building, including a short course about evolution (surprise, surprise) and how it’s influenced by an obscure concept that the progressive scientific community is calling “global warming.” However, the bulk of Darwin-related stuff is happening on Tuesday at the UC Botanical Gardens, the Hearst Museum of Anthropology and the Museum of Entomology.

OK, we’ll admit it. We didn’t even know that museums of entomology existed, but that doesn’t mean we won’t give a shout-out to our favorite Beagle-riding homeboy. Plus, most of the events are free. Yep, you can pay almost goose egg (which, incidentally, may or may not have come before the goose) and see all kinds of Science-y things. They’ll run the gamut from Bigfoot to Bay Area Biosystematists–who, we hear, are actually quite sexy. Next year, we’re voting for a symbolic releasing of the finches on Sproul Plaza. Now the big question is when the creationists will declare a counter-holiday in honor of Jesus. Oh, wait …

Darwin Day 2008 at Cal [Website]

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