Making Forest Thinning Work
Amid a string of record-setting wildfire years in the state, California and the U.S. Forest Service have set an ambitious goal of “treating” 1 million acres of forest annually in order to reduce fire risk and increase forest resilience. It’s a costly proposition.
Electric Kool-Aid Peer ReviewBy Coby McDonald
On Good Friday, 1962—five years before the hallucinogen-fueled Summer of Love—something remarkable took place in a chapel on the Boston University campus. The Good Friday Experiment, as it would later be known, was designed by a graduate student at Harvard University named Walter Pahnke under the guidance of professor Timothy Leary. Ten seminary student volunteers were taken to the basement of the Marsh Chapel, provided doses of psilocybin (the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms), and observed as the sounds of the Good Friday service above—sermon, hymns, chanting—were piped in. Pahnke’s aim was to see if psilocybin, delivered under such conditions, could induce a full-blown mystical experience.
Workingman’s EconomistBy Kweku Opoku-Agyemang
When Cal professor and labor economist David Card got the early-morning phone call from Sweden last October informing him that he’d won the 2021 Nobel Prize in economics, he thought it was a buddy back home in Ontario pulling his leg. “My old friend, Tim, who lives in Guelph, I thought it was one of his practical jokes,” Card told the Canadian news media.
Sight UnseenBy Leah Worthington and Illustration by David Junkin
The paradox of blindsight might unlock the mystery of consciousness.
The View from the TrenchesBy Glen Martin and Photos by Marcus Hanschen
Two years into the pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 continues to defy predictions. At the date of this writing, the Omicron variant—as contagious as ultra-transmissible viruses such as measles, if somewhat less severe than earlier COVID variants—continues to spread rapidly. While the surge appears to be ebbing in some areas of the United States, hospitalizations remain high and, nationally, about 2,500 deaths are reported daily.
The Myth of the Asian Woman
“Why and how is it,” writes Laura Hyun Yi Kang in her 2020 book Traffic in Asian Women, “so many Asian women continue to suffer in the same coeval space of so much publicity, knowledge production, and activism?”
De-extinction Could Reverse Species Loss. But Should We Do It?
What would it mean to reintroduce woolly mammoths and passenger pigeons now?
Elaine Kim on a Reckoning With Race Many Years in the Making
Before Elaine Kim came to Berkeley as a Ph.D. student in 1968, she was used to being the only Asian person in the room. Kim, who is Korean American, was born in New York and raised in a predominantly working class white suburb of Washington, D.C., the daughter of a migrant farmworker mother and waiter-turned-diplomat father.
A “Killer-Type Virus” Ends the World!
Lately, I've been collecting news of wildlife appearing in deserted towns and cities around the world: Wild goats roaming shuttered Welsh villages, jackals skulking in the streets of Tel Aviv, Indian bison ambling along vacant highways in New Delhi, coyotes howling in North Beach. As we shelter in place, the animals are rushing into the void. And not just the charismatic megafauna, either. Witness the legions of dumpster-deprived rats battling nightly on Bourbon Street.
Dr. Mireille Kamariza is Leading the Fight Against Tuberculosis
Growing up in the Burundi and Cameroon, Dr. Mireille Kamariza, dreamed of becoming an astronaut.
Vaccine Passports: Are They Legal—Or Even a Good Idea?
Even as California inches toward economic and social reopening, the virus is running rampant in other states—most notably, Michigan—and outside the U.S., in countries that have received little or no vaccine. There is increasing concern that the highly contagious variants now circulating could fuel a nationwide surge this summer.
Black Cultural History at Cal: Sun Ra, James Baldwin, and More
UC Berkeley has historically been a magnet for African American activists, artists, and thinkers but never more so than during the tumultuous ’60s and ’70s. And with a little googling, many of these historical appearances can still be seen, heard, and savored online. In honor of the upcoming 45th annual Black History Month (February 2021), here’s a selection of Black speakers and cultural events that the Cal campus has played host to over the years.
Radical Roots: Finding Environmentalism Amid the Schisms of mid-’60s Berkeley
The 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement this year is also the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. In the turbulent river of radicalism that reached flood stage in mid-’60s Berkeley, radical environmentalism was just one branch. That is the tributary I want to navigate here. But it is good to sit down at the typewriter—excuse me, the computer—and try to remember that frenzied era in a disciplined way. Ah, the piquancy of the air back then! The smell of tear gas on campus! There were so many flavors of radicalism available that one was forced to focus. You had to pick just one or two.
The traditional task of the writer in California has been to write about what it means to be human in a place advertised as paradise. Disappointment has always been the theme. The literature to come will begin with a different expectation.
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