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Raspberry Ratified: But have such Berkeley student votes ever accomplished anything?

Janet Napolitano may have earned the support of the UC Board of Regents, but at Berkeley, the Associated Students of the University of California are not so easily swayed.

Convening for their weekly meeting, the student senators of ASUC have offered their collective assessment of the UC system’s controversial new president. And, lo, the former Homeland Security chief has been found wanting.

Profs gain free-speech protection to criticize their universities

Academics have a First Amendment right to criticize the administration of their own public universities without being subject to any retaliation for doing so, according to a little-noticed decision last week from a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Eruption Production: Cal researcher traces “heat fingers”

Many things—from relationships to assembling IKEA furniture—are not as simple as they seem on the surface. Turns out that’s the case for marine volcanoes as well. Most island chain and seamount volcanoes are found at the juncture of oceanic tectonic plates, where subduction, meaning one plate plowing under another, makes it relatively easy for magma to vent upward.  

Legal Limits? Berkeley debates cutting law school to two years

To those who have just commenced their law studies at Berkeley’s Boalt Hall, a hearty congratulations!  Now, for your own peace of mind, stop reading.

As those with their eyes on the bar know, law school is no longer the safe bet that it once was. Tuition is up, government grants are withering, and legal jobs are harder to come by yet more essential than ever, given soaring student loan debt among would-be lawyers.

Cyber Stalking: Cal app creates “heat map” of your movements

At precisely 3:26 p.m. on July 17, Britney Spears was recording music at the corner of West Oak Street and South Glenwood Place in Burbank, California. On August 23 at 4:21 p.m., Katy Perry was in rural northeast Colorado, at the intersection of Highways 46 and 55. And on August 5 at 3:56 p.m., Oprah was cruising down the Kennedy Expressway outside of Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood.

40 Signs You Fell for Berkeley “Click Bait”

It’s still ricocheting around cyberspace, shared via Facebook from alum to alum. Indeed the BuzzFeed post “40 Signs You Went to Berkeley” has proved an irresistible 2013 hit with its narrow niche of an audience, racking up more than 200,000 views and counting.

But it’s also become a flash point of controversy about what, if anything, its popularity reveals about the future of online “content”.

To prevent another Sierra inferno, thin and clean forests

If a transcendent lesson is emerging from the Rim Fire, it’s this: we need to manage our forests aggressively, thinning thick stands of young trees and clearing deadwood on the forest floor. Doing so would reduce fuel in second-growth and third-growth coniferous forests—the kind of fuel that has driven the Rim Fire to become the fifth largest wildfire in the history of the state.

And it would be well worth the cost.

Bridge Over Troubled Bolts: Cal Experts Question Whether New Bridge is Safe

As the Bay Area celebrates the opening of a new Bay Bridge—an eastern span that transportation officials are hailing as elegant and seismically secure—UC Berkeley engineers are expressing serious misgivings about whether the structure is safe. And at least one professor labels it far less stable than the old bridge. 

Rebel with a Future: The making of a hotshot entrepreneur

What does it take to be a self-made success in America? Our national mythology points to gumption and gusto—the ability to think strategically, act aggressively, and possess an unfailing if not occasionally irrational self-confidence. It also still helps to come from relative affluence, and to be a guy.

So far, so obvious.

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