The recipients of the Cal Alumni Association’s Alum of the Year Award are an impressive group, to say the least. The list includes decorated military officers, Supreme Court justices, Nobel laureates, leading industrialists, and renowned authors. None, as far as we know, ever dropped out of the University.
Do the majestic vistas of Yosemite National Park make you swoon? Are you besotted with the equally splendid landscapes of Yellowstone, Zion, the Smokey Mountains, the North Cascades and Rocky Mountain National Parks?
Thank UC Berkeley.
Posted on March 19, 2015 - 4:56pm
On University Avenue in downtown Berkeley, they’ve erected a shiny new marquee—black, blue and gold, with white lettering that almost seems too clean for the boarded-up building and the street beneath it. Dodge the construction workers and step inside, through a modest lobby and hallway coated in old grime and fresh sawdust, until a door opens up into an enormous old theater. It feels like a huge cave or an underground palace of ancient times. The seats are gone, the floor is gutted, and every construction crash and boom feels like the echo of a long-forgotten memory.
Posted on March 18, 2015 - 5:00pm
When did going to college get so stressful?
Nationwide, more students than ever say they feel anxious and depressed—at some point last year, almost a third were so depressed that they said they found it hard to function, according to the American College Health Association. The problem is particularly acute at top tier schools: About 15 percent of UC Berkeley students have used campus counseling services, up from 10 percent five years ago. At UCLA, the number has jumped to 20 percent.
Posted on March 5, 2015 - 12:26pm
We may aspire to La Traviata, but at a certain point, our inner groundling is going to opt for the sludge monster. Space opera, in other words, will always win out over—well, opera—in the hearts of the masses. The American masses, anyway.
Posted on March 4, 2015 - 4:04pm
For everyone who cares about saving the University of California’s cash-strapped Lick Observatory, news that Google is donating $1 million is a boon in more ways than one. Not only will the contribution—a full third of Lick’s current barebones operating budget—support the observatory’s day-to-day activities, but it’s already inspiring other donors to chip in.
Posted on February 26, 2015 - 5:20pm
Contrary to popular belief, “Big Ben” isn’t the iconic clock on the tower atop Britain’s Houses of Parliament; it’s the mammoth, 13.8-ton bell behind the clock, tolling the hours in a low E-natural.
Posted on February 23, 2015 - 6:22pm
Part of the challenge and much of the fun of performing contemporary music is navigating relationships with living composers—as the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players have discovered as they are halfway through their grandly ambitious Project TenFourteen.
Posted on February 21, 2015 - 11:18am
Managing an archive is like herding cats: You think everything is moving in the right direction, and suddenly you’re out wandering around the suburbs, looking for a lost tabby—or in the case of the archivist, the dusty stacks in search of some elusive source material.
Posted on February 12, 2015 - 10:33am
It’s no secret that women have been underrepresented in the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics—but music composition, philosophy and even classical studies?
Posted on February 11, 2015 - 6:11pm
This week the UC Student Association board overwhelmingly voted to urge the University of California to divest from governments it says abuse human rights. And what countries would those be?
Posted on February 10, 2015 - 6:32pm
What happens when the final fusillade of bullets echoes into silence and a violent conflict comes to an end? What of the unidentified victims heaved into mass graves, the children torn from their parents, the families driven from their pulverized homes, the women and girls traumatized by rape, the child soldiers scarred by what they have seen and done?
When the news crews pack up and the world shakes its collective head and moves on, the work of the Human Rights Center at Berkeley Law is only beginning.
Posted on February 5, 2015 - 4:16pm
Eight years ago, UC Berkeley struck a historic but controversial deal with the British oil company BP: Berkeley would benefit from the oil giant spending $350 million to create a new Energy Biosciences Institute on its campus, and BP would reap the benefits of that institute’s research into biofuels.
Now, with almost $100 million still unspent, the road to cleaner biofuels has just hit a big speed bump.
Posted on February 4, 2015 - 5:12pm
In the countdown to Sunday’s Super Bowl, suspense is building over the question on the mind of every devoted football fan: What will Marshawn Lynch say—or, more accurately, not say—to the media after the game?
However popular the Seattle Seahawks’ running back is with Seattle fans, he has a lot fewer friends at NFL headquarters, which regularly fines him big bucks for refusing to speak to reporters after games. Nor is he beloved among some segments of the press, who have called him unprofessional and immature.
Posted on January 29, 2015 - 3:31pm
Whatever wariness has accompanied the collaboration between public universities and private sector profit-seeking, that horse appears well out of the barn, foaming at the mouth and galloping madly for the horizon. At UC Berkeley, academic/corporate “incubators” and “accelerators” are all the rage. Supporters focus on the upside: Creative researchers are able to launch start-ups that produce spookily cool products and generate gigabucks in the process—and may even embody the maxim to do well by doing good.
Posted on January 16, 2015 - 1:18pm