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307 Gilman

“It’s a sort of will-o-the-wisp thing,” Glenn Seaborg once said of the discovery of plutonium. “We saw it and then it disappeared. Then we saw it again and then it disappeared and then finally we saw it and we could confirm it.” That confirmation happened in Room 307 Gilman Hall, on February 23, 1941. It was a stormy night, Seaborg recalled. The 5 microgram sample of “element 94” had been bombarded in Ernest O. Lawrence’s 60-inch cyclotron.

Starting Lineup

Jahvid Best Junior/Football

Cal football’s explosive running back Jahvid Best will return to the gridiron his junior year as one of the top contenders for the 2009 Heisman Trophy. Last year, the All-American was the conference’s leading rusher, boasting a Cal-record-breaking 8.1 yards per carry.

Pia Halbig Junior/Golf

Trolleyology

1. A philosophical study of moral choices as demonstrated by the “trolley problem”: An out-of-control trolley hurtling down its track will kill the five people in its path. A switch, however, will redirect the trolley to another track where only one person would be hit. Is it permissible to hit the switch? Now imagine five people are in the path of the trolley and there is no switch. A heavy man is walking along a bridge above the track. Pushing the heavy man onto the track would stop the trolley, saving the five lives but killing the man. Is it permissible to push him?

NL

Gerard Debreu, who won a Nobel Prize in economics in 1983, was the first professor at Cal to be awarded the prestigious “Nobel Laureate” parking space. The idea for the perq can be traced to Berkeley’s only Laureate in Literature, Czeslaw Milosz, who jokingly requested it after Chancellor Ira Heyman asked Milosz if the university could do something special to show its appreciation.

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