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Accelerating the Accelerator

It’s been a mere five years since CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LCH) near Geneva pulverized its first atom, but it already needs an upgrade. Specifically, it needs better magnets—extremely large and powerful superconducting magnets.

Flight Plans

UC Berkeley, of course, is one of the top engineering schools in the nation, an institution that needn’t take a backseat to any peer—including a certain private university nestled in the San Francisco Peninsula. But there’s one area where Cal’s engineers and entrepreneurs have admittedly played catch-up to private, heavily endowed universities: ramping up for global markets.

Janet Napolitano named UC President

In a surprising turn of events today, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has been announced as the next president of the University of California. Though Napolitano has no previous experience in academic management, the former governor of Arizona has spent seven years supervising the 240,000 employees that make up the Department of Homeland Security, while working closely with the Obama administration on immigration reform. As the University of California’s twentieth president, Napolitano will be the first female in the university’s 145-year history.

Bridge the Gap

By now you probably know that the opening of the new Bay Bridge span to Oakland has been delayed until at least December. But you can still get a close look at it—even closer than if it were open, really—thanks to Joe Blum

Grass Roots Research

With news that an iceberg the size of Chicago has peeled off from Antarctica, attention has focused once again—however briefly—on global warming and the primary driver behind the phenomenon: atmospheric carbon. In other words, emissions—mostly carbon dioxide—from cars, factories, power plants, landfills and cows.

Slipping Through the Cracks

Homeless kids have many strange and unpleasant experiences—not least the status change when they hit puberty.

“They become criminalized,” says Colette Auerswald, M.S. ’89, a pediatrician and associate professor of community health and human development at Berkeley’s School of Public Health. “When kids develop pubic hair, they’re no longer considered vulnerable and charming children. They become pariahs, a problem. But they’re just as vulnerable, and their need for services and support is the same.”

Possible Nuclear Spring

These are hardly halcyon days for the nuclear power industry. The core failures and radiation releases at Japan’s Fukishima Daiichi complex caused by the 2011 earthquake and tsunamis have yet to be addressed. Following the catastrophe, Japan closed all but two of its nuclear power plants. New protocols implemented this month by the country’s Nuclear Regulation Authority may allow some plants to go back online, but enthusiasm for nukes remains at low ebb among Japanese citizens.

Labor Support Stuck in Traffic

In recent years Bay Area citizens have been very sympathetic towards workers’ rights. In 2006, for example, San Francisco began to force businesses with more than 20 workers to provide health insurance for their employees. At the beginning of this year it was discovered that restaurant owners had been adding surcharges to pay for the new medical expenses, but had actually been keeping most of the profits for themselves.

Douglas Engelbart (1925–2013)

Steve Jobs may have enforced his will on the future, but his vision was founded on the work of people who preceded him. One of them, Douglas Engelbart ’52, Ph.D. ’55, died today at the age of 88. Among other landmark inventions, he created the computer mouse

Diebenkorn in Berkeley

Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years (1953-1966) is now on exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. It was during those years that Diebenkorn temporarily moved away from abstraction, becoming part of the so-called Bay Area Figurative School that included local painters Elmer Bischoff and David Park.

Now Citizen Scientists Can Get Serious About Helping Nature

Most of California lies within the California Floristic Province, which is another way of saying it’s a biodiversity hotspot: It supports more than 2,000 unique native plants and animals, more than any other state.

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