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Annals of Funny

Here’s a news flash to lighten your day: Berkeley University Librarian, Tom Leonard, has the winning caption in the New Yorker’s weekly Cartoon Caption Contest. Reached on the phone earlier today, Leonard said the fact that he and his wife have been babysitting their daughter’s cat probably helped inspire him. “I’ve had more cat time than normal lately, so I was reminded of that attitude cats have.” Read more about Annals of Funny »

Earth Day

With Earth Day approaching it’s a good time to remember the late evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis, who earned her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 1963. Margulis, who was once married to the astronomer Carl Sagan, was famous for advancing the theory of endosymbiosis to explain the origin of eukaryotic cells; in short, the complex cells arose from interactions between various bacteria. Now widely viewed as a major scientific breakthrough, the theory was attacked for many years, and Margolis never backed down in her defense of it. Read more about Earth Day »

Berkeley in Books: Evacuation Order #19

Julie Otsuka has been awarded the 2012 PEN/Faulkner Award for her second novel, The Buddha in the Attic. Otsuka, a California native who studied art at Yale and later took her MFA at Columbia, opened her first novel, When the Emperor was Divine, in Berkeley, a few months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, when, by Executive Order, all Japanese and Japanese-Americans were being removed to internment camps. Here’s how it opens: Read more about Berkeley in Books: Evacuation Order #19 »

Before Pinecrest

The footage is of the Lair of the Golden Bear from the year 1948, shot by none other than Robert Sibley, former longtime executive director of the California Alumni Association and also for many years editor of the California Monthly, the predecessor publication to CALIFORNIA. Lair veterans will qulckly notice that this is not the Lair they know and love, but rather its forerunner, in Shasta County. Read more about Before Pinecrest »

Doe Library Celebrates 100 Years

Bene Legere Saecla Vincere. To read well is to vanquish the centuries. The Doe Centennial Committee will liberate the monumental painting of Bishop Berkeley from museum storage, offering our namesake an honored place in the Library this centennial year. We liked the expression on his face as he embraced a book. And we were pleased to see that Berkeley was pictured with his words, “Westward the course of empire …” Read more Read more about Doe Library Celebrates 100 Years »

Fight for California

The Cal Band is unique among major college marching bands in being almost entirely student-run and independent of both the music and athletics departments. That independence has engendered intense pride among band members, who, due to a lack of funding, regularly pay out of pocket to travel to away games. As Ezra Carlsen writes in the latest issue of CALIFORNIA (See: Spirit on a Shoestring, p.42): Read more about Fight for California »

Mix Tape

What was your first concert? The first record you bought? What song or songs would you put on a “Soundtrack of Berkeley”? Read more about Mix Tape »

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