Cal Culture

Berkeley Flashback: Chuck Berry—What a Jerk

Chuck Berry is dead at age 90. He is considered one of the founders of rock ‘n’ roll, but Beatle John Lennon thought he was unrivaled, once saying, “If you had to give rock ‘n’ roll another name, you’d call it Chuck Berry.” Unlike Elvis, Chuck Berry actually wrote all of his own songs. Elvis was a good performer, but Berry wrote songs that captured the teenage experience which was the foundation of rock ‘n’ roll. Read more about Berkeley Flashback: Chuck Berry—What a Jerk »

Earth Week Reading Roundup

In celebration of Earth Week, we’ve rounded up the best of Cal in environmental news this week.

Living for the City

The remote locations of tech company campuses have provided certain benefits for employees and a creepy setting for every techpocalypse novel and film EVER, but they also have their drawbacks, as a recent UC Berkeley study concludes. Read more about Earth Week Reading Roundup »

Berkeley Flashback: The Crunchy Munchy Man

During the 1950s and 1960s, there was a perpetually cheerful older gentleman who wore a white smock and cap while peddling ice cream on the Berkeley campus. He was known as the Crunchy Munchy Man and was a fixture on campus from 1952 to 1968. He often stationed himself outside Sather Gate, and his customers—the students of UC Berkeley—came, it seems, as much for the friendly service and engaging conversation as they did for the ice cream. Read more about Berkeley Flashback: The Crunchy Munchy Man »

WATCH: A Dream Denied?

Join the conversation on immigration on Tuesday, April 11 at the Cal Alumni Association’s panel discussion “A Dream Denied? The Immigrant Experience in the Campus Community.” Click here for information on how to attend and watch the live online broadcast of the event. 

If you missed the event or would like to watch it again, you can view the recording here. Read more about WATCH: A Dream Denied? »

Finding His Tribe: The Art of Charles Gatewood

I couldn’t decide what made me feel dirtier—looking at hundreds of pictures of naked girls, or rifling through the personal belongings of a man I’d never met. But I was doing both one evening in the Bancroft Library reading room, traversing the late photographer Charles Gatewood’s massive archive chronicling the kink, tattoo, and body modification subcultures of America and especially the West Coast. Read more about Finding His Tribe: The Art of Charles Gatewood »

From the Spring 2017 Virtue and Vice issue of California.

Our House: Chaos and Creation in the Berkeley Student Cooperative

In the Winter of 1979, the residents of Barrington Hall built a stage on the ground floor of their home, opposite the entrance to the dining room. With only about eight feet between the linoleum floor and the concrete ceiling, the stage couldn’t be taller than seven or eight inches. But it was tall enough—upon it, the legendary Berkeley cooperative hosted legions of punk rock and funk metal bands, both famous and forgotten. Everybody played there over the years, from Black Flag to Primus. Read more about Our House: Chaos and Creation in the Berkeley Student Cooperative »

From the Spring 2017 Virtue and Vice issue of California.

The Peace Corps: What Could Be More Berkeley?

In 1961, the space race between the Soviet Union and the United States was heating up, relations between Cuba and the U.S. were cold, and soon after John F. Kennedy’s inauguration as America’s youngest president, he asked Congress to fund a new Peace Corps. The Peace Corps had its inception in a campaign speech Kennedy gave on the Michigan campus in October 1960, when he challenged students to consider spending at least part of their lives helping the poor overseas. Read more about The Peace Corps: What Could Be More Berkeley? »

From the Spring 2017 Virtue and Vice issue of California.

A Galaxy Far, Far Away

“You can always eat more, but you can’t eat less.”

My boyfriend Mark (whose name has been changed to protect the embarrassed) was reading the back wrapper of a marijuana-infused peanut butter cookie we’d just purchased from a Berkeley dispensary. “What does that mean?” he asked.

“I think it’s a caution to start with a small bite because once you eat it all, you can’t go back.” Read more about A Galaxy Far, Far Away »

From the Spring 2017 Virtue and Vice issue of California.

Lemony Snicket is Helping Cal Build the Audience of the Future

Last week Daniel Handler, better known as Lemony Snicket, author of the children’s novels A Series of Unfortunate Events, now a Netflix series that was largely written in Handler’s San Francisco dining room, lead an eclectic assortment of guests—singer/songwriter Thao Nguyen, record producer John Vanderslice, perfumer Yosh Han, poet Matthew Zapruder, and, in a powerful closing discussion, Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood—through an evening of music and conversation. Read more about Lemony Snicket is Helping Cal Build the Audience of the Future »

How Bears Breed Unicorns: Inside Cal’s Vast Startup Ecosystem

How’s this for a modern take on the venerable office vending machine? You swipe your credit or debit card, open a fridge-like glass door, and choose from an array of fresh entrees and snacks. If you want a receipt, the machine will email it to you, and it keeps track of your preferences: next time there’s a sale on your favorite yogurt, Byte Food’s cloud-based servers will give you a heads up.   Read more about How Bears Breed Unicorns: Inside Cal's Vast Startup Ecosystem »

Exploring the Quirky in Berkeley

For Tom Dalzell, a small scratch on the elbow in 2011 prompted a whirlwind of events, one that would take him on a sinuous journey through nearly every street of Berkeley.

The author and labor law activist found his life teetering in the balance after a minor wound became mortally septic. Days later, Dalzell exited the hospital with a reinvigoration for life itself. “I came out very determined to live life very differently,” he says. “One of things I chose to do, as a manifestation of my appreciation of Berkeley, was to walk every block of every street.” Read more about Exploring the Quirky in Berkeley »

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