Listen, we know what you’re thinking and we’re thinking it too: mythological creatures have been so underappreciated lately. They used to be the talk of the town, and now they’ve just sort of fallen to the wayside. But never fear! We’ve been brainstorming ways to get them back into the limelight (where they belong). So let’s all imagine for a second. What if the biggest (or lamest, in Stanfurd’s case) universities in California had mythological mascots?! We know, we’re really excited too.

Let’s start with a few obvious choices as a warm-up: UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara.

The UC Davis Garden Gnomes


Let’s be real. read more »

Something is terribly wrong with this picture.

Dance, dance, you will dance now. Or at least on Mar. 6 at 8 p.m. and all the way through the next day. Woohoo!

While the parties in Atlanta don’t stop until eight in the morning, Berkeley’s 8 a.m. parties are charity fundraisers—at least where the ASUC is concerned. (Shhh, forget about that recall business.)

This month’s Dance Marathon will attempt to read more »

Two thousand square feet of Grateful Dead memorabilia is a lot of memorabilia, and the living Grateful Dead members have decided to donate all of it–30 years worth of merchandise, stage backdrops, vinyl albums, groupie lingerie and life-size prop skeletons–to UC Santa Cruz.

Berkeley and Stanford both played grabby hands for the archive, because founder Phil Lesh attended Cal when he was a young ‘un and his progeny are yucking it up at Stanford now. These are entirely legitimate claims! But the Dead chose UC Santa Cruz because “the ethos of the band, the whole idea of community sharing, is really well matched with the campus … We also have this whole side that’s concerned with social justice and tolerance and community spirit.” Gee. What other campus does that remind you of?

Administrators have dubbed the archive’s advisory board Slugs & Roses, which, besides sounding like a delightful reason to barricade all entrances and dial the exterminator in a fit of terrified hysterics, is also a mix-and-match representation of Santa Cruz’s mascot and the Dead’s iconic rose art. What? No one likes slugs.

Image Source: woodcreeper under Creative Commons
Grateful Dead archives going to UC Santa Cruz [SF Chron]

The biggest story this week is the resignation (or forced resignation, whichever you want to believe) of UC President Robert Dynes. But, as always, there are other things going on in the UC system. And there’s no better start than to talk about squirrels.

First Up…Squirrels Can Fend Off Rattlesnakes?

Yep. Well, at least that’s what the research coming out of the Animal Behavior Graduate Group at UC Davis said.

How does the squirrel do it? He (or she; it if you will) somehow heats up his (or her) tail and shakes it “aggressively.”

We guess there is some sort of benefit to having all those squirrels around campus.

But squirrels can only fend off rattlesnakes. Researchers tried testing this method by introducing gopher snakes to squirrels. The squirrels waved their tales vigorously, but didn’t heat them up.

Oh well. You can’t always be perfect.

Once Every Four Year Conference Heads to UCSB

We guess UC Santa Barbara is heading up the prestige level. First it held the UC Regents meetings a few months ago, and now it gets this conference that’s held only once every four years.

The conference is about Antarctica and is being sponsored by Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research and the U.S. National Science Foundation.

What will they be talking about? Well, science-y things. Like:

  •  Antarctic Climate Evolution –– Global Linkages from Records in Ice Cores, Geological Cores, Outcrops, and Models
  •  GeoCryoDynamics –– Feedbacks and Coupling between the Geosphere, Cryosphere and Climate
  •   Antarctica in the Global Geodynamic System
  •   Antarctic Earth Science in the International Polar Year
  •   Polar Education and Outreach Initiatives
  •   Antarctica’s Impact on Global Biosphere Evolution
  •   New Frontiers in Technologies and Polar Databases

Ok, so you can figure it out.

Dynes to Conduct Interviews for UC Santa Cruz Chancellor

Dynes may be leaving his post, but that’s not going to prevent him from naming a new chancellor over on the Santa Cruz campus.

The reason why he says he’ll still be conducting the search is because, well, he’s still president of the UC.

But this process can still take several months—it kind of already has.

bq. The search for a permanent chancellor got under way when an advisory committee was formed in March. That group has met several times.

bq. UC spokesman Paul Schwartz said Dynes is “still hoping to bring a recommendation to the board sometime within the next few months”

California squirrels fend off rattlesnakes by heated tails [USA Today]
Major international conference on Antarctica to be held at UC Santa Barbara this month [First Science]
Dynes says interviews on tap today for UC Santa Cruz chancellor [Sentinel]

First Up…Color-Coding Wikipedia

Who doesn’t use Wikipedia? It can answer pretty much any question that you have. Hell, you can even use it for class, kind of.

But of course, the problem with Wikipedia is that any article can be edited at any time, and sometimes, the information on a Wikipedia page is absolutely wrong.

Enter UC Santa Cruz professor Luca de Alfaro, who has designed a program to track all the changes made on Wikipedia and rank them as credible or not credible. This is done by ranking contributors as credible or not credible.

This would be rather helpful. If Wikipedia chooses to use this technology, at least we’ll know which bits and pieces of an article may actually help us write our paper on international politics.

But for now, we’ve got to sweat away and actually read some books.

UCSD Professor Fighting (Bio)Terror

UC San Diego professor Joseph Vinetz will lead a project looking for ways to fight brucellosis, a disease which may be used in bioterror, according to the press release.

What is brucellosis and why may it be a potential bioterror threat?

there exists the potential threat that a highly infectious form of the disease could be developed in an aerosolized form. In humans, brucellosis can cause a range of symptoms that are similar to the flu and may include fever, sweats, headaches, back pains, and physical weakness. Severe infections could result in damage to the central nervous system or lining of the heart, or in chronic symptoms that include recurrent fevers, joint pain, and fatigue.

So the government is afraid that terrorists can use brucellosis in an aerosolized form. Right. But the way most people are infected with brucellosis is through eating dairy products that use unpasteurized milk.

However, as the press release states, Professor Vinetz’s team’s primary function isn’t to find a cure for brucellosis, but to find ways to identify it.

After that happens, then can we find a cure?

Finding Ways to Treat Lou Gehrig’s Disease?

UC Irvine neurologist Tahseen Mozaffar was part of a group of researchers who have been able to “discover the active genes in sporadic ALS

We don’t understand what the news article is saying, but here’s an excerpt and maybe you guys will understand:

The researchers also identified genes likely to play a role in cell function that controls nerve adhesion, offering a major new avenue for ALS research. The findings indicate these genes produce a sort of molecular glue that attaches motor neurons to muscle, according to Dietrich Stephan.

And apparently, this may be able to help researchers eventually find a cure to Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“This is a monumental step forward in the effort to find a cure for ALS,” Mozaffar said. “The genetics discovered in this study have uncovered a number of inviting targets for further study toward new drugs to treat this disease. And enthusiastic supporters like Augie Nieto and his wife Lynne are helping make this possible.”

UCSC professor develops fix for faulty Wikipedia info [Sentinel]
UC San Diego Researcher to Lead Fight Against Terrorism on the Medical Front [UCSD Medical Center]
Discovery Of Active Genes Reveals New Clues On ALS [Science Daily]

We here at the Clog know that other schools exist in the state of California. We actually know that other UC schools exist and sometimes the stuff that happens at the other schools is pretty damn important too, especially if you look at what’s been happening on our streets lately.

So we present to you UC Roundup, a look at what’s going on at the other UC schools.

*First Up…UCLA Says Women Like Muscles*
Researchers at our sister school in Westwood, UCLA, have made it official: Women dig the rock-hard abs.

In a study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, researchers at UCLA have concluded that women are drawn more to the more muscular men for a one-night stand but look for a “normal” looking man when settling down. So there’s actually hope for guys who look like William Hung?

Yeah, for marriage. But women still prefer the big biceps.

bq. “Women are predisposed to prefer muscularity in men,” said study author David Frederick of UCLA.

That’s great insight, especially for the public school that spends the most money on research of any other in this country.

*UC Davis Professor Tests Our Democracy*
As the country moves toward electronic voting machines, concerns over the security and the rigging of those voting machines come into question. Is our democracy in trouble?

Well, to make sure these machines are safe UC Davis Professor Matt Bishop tested machines made by Sequoia, Diebold and Hart InterCivic that will be used in next February’s California Primary.

How did they do this? They tried to hack into the computers. But it doesn’t sound too exciting.

bq. “That’s really most of our job, sitting at a desk checking software,” he said. Bishop said part of the job is to make mistakes intentionally in an effort to disrupt the machines.

*Cal Isn’t the Only School With Development Problems*
UC Santa Cruz has been planning this new research center for the last 20 years, according the Mercury-News. And it has hit its snags, especially with the environmentalists. Hmm … that sounds kind of familiar.

But the difference with UC Santa Cruz and us here at UC Berkeley is the fact that Santa Cruz is trying to work with those complaining about the university’s plans. And the complainers? They’re trying to work with UC Santa Cruz too. What a novel concept.

Now, if only the city, neighborhood association and the tree-sitters could all work the UC Berkeley and get this whole stadium thing done. Well, is hasn’t really helped UC Santa Cruz that much–it has been planning this thing for the last 20 years.

Women ‘drawn to muscular men’ []
California Enlists Higher Ed Hackers To Test Voting Machines [Campus Technology]
UCSC seeks to build on coast [Mercury-News]