Berkeley

Cari Borja’s Berkeley Salon: Designer Stages 52 Dinners for Intriguing Friends and Strangers

Racks of gowns, manikins, and sewing machines crowd the edges of Cari Borja’s design studio, but a huge dining table occupies the center. It’s where she holds the dinners that resemble the fieldwork of an anthropologist outside the Ivory Tower. For a series of 52 meals—44 already served—she has transformed her studio into a salon where guests, from the famous to the unknown, discover connections and savor a slow meal.

A Lunch at Chez Panisse Inspired the Imagination, the Palate and a Dissertation

If you’re going for a Ph.D. in business, there are plenty of American universities where you can get this prized degree, but only one of them is less than a mile from the birthplace of California cuisine. Sohyeong Kim was an aspiring Ph.D. student on the day in 2009 when her faculty advisor took her to lunch at Berkeley’s Chez Panisse, changing both her outlook on eating and her dissertation topic.

From the Spring 2014 Branding issue of California.

A Walk on the Eccentric Side: Walking tours peruse the ins and outs of Berkeley

Their faces concealed under paper-bag masks, three protesters chant “Down with Emergency! Free India Now!”—an anachronistic reference to a 19-month period in the 1970s when India was essentially a police state. But this Berkeley demonstration is not being staged by a band of confused time travelers.

It is instead a recreation of a real event from the rich history of the Cal campus—and a key stop on the Berkeley South Asian Radical History Walking Tour.

Citizentomology

California is positively crawling with insects, and entomologists have been collecting them for a long time. UC’s Essig Museum of Entomology, for example, has 6.5 million specimens. Similar hordes are housed at other museums and university campuses; altogether, between 30 to 35 million bugs have been preserved for posterity in the state’s major collections.

Not So Much the Dead: Les Blank, R.I.P.

When the filmmaker Werner Herzog ate his shoe onstage at the old UC Theater in Berkeley, circa 1978 or ’79, Les Blank was there to film it. (The day was April 11, so this is an anniversary of sorts.) The shoe—a chukka boot, to be precise: leather uppers, gum soles—was cooked at Chez Panisse for 5 hours, after being stuffed with garlic and doused in hot sauce. (Mr. Blank was crazy for garlic

Mind over Password

In the not too distant future, hands could become obsolete. Well, at least for surfing the Web. You’ll just put on your Google Glass and log in by thinking your password.

So says Professor John Chuang and his team at the Berkeley School of Information, who have been researching the feasibility of using brainwaves as a form of computer authentication.

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