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
Wave energy. A portable spirometer for kids with asthma. Tools to lower the carbon footprint. A robot-building kit.
These are just a few examples of what UC Berkeley startups are developing at the Foundry, Cal’s technology incubator. But Liz Klinger and James Wang are working on something else entirely: a smart vibrator.
Posted on March 18, 2015 - 12:50pm
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
Initially the story seemed like something straight out of A Clockwork Orange: Sasha Fleischman, who as an agender youth doesn’t identify as either male or female, was dozing on a municipal Oakland bus. Nearby, three adolescent boys had been laughing mockingly, and then one touched a lighter to Sasha’s skirt. The garment exploded in flame, Sasha screamed and struggled until other passengers were able to extinguish the blaze. Sasha’s legs were a welter of second-and-third degree burns, which would require several painful operations.
Posted on March 3, 2015 - 3:33pm
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
Yes, it’s true that there aren’t many women in the sciences. And the reason for the gender gap is predictable: Male scientists seem to like it that way. That, at least, was the conclusion of a 2013 Yale study that found physicists, biologists and chemists are inclined to view a young male scientist more positively than a young woman with the same qualifications. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to conclude that it may be a little harder to achieve tenure or obtain research funding in such circumstances.
Posted on February 2, 2015 - 12:03pm
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
From the fervid to the frivolous, the provocative to the inspiring, 2014 never left us at a loss for words, or story ideas.
Posted on December 30, 2014 - 2:24pm
If you are looking to make ethical gift-giving decisions this holiday season, UC Berkeley environmental sciences professor Dara O’Rourke can help. O’Rourke is the co-founder of GoodGuide, a free app and website where close to 30 million consumers have gone for product ratings based on the items’ impacts on health, the environment and society.
Posted on December 19, 2014 - 9:14am
Saying goodbye can be difficult—but how, exactly, does one say goodbye to 101,000 square feet of raw, reinforced concrete?
Posted on December 18, 2014 - 11:00am
Because of its roots in single-gender institutions, the Greek system often exemplifies more subtle gender norms in our society. I recently joined a sorority at UC Berkeley, and these norms quickly became abundantly clear.
Posted on December 17, 2014 - 1:32pm
I am probably a familiar type to you. I went to college, got a master’s degree, started a career, married, and had my first child late, at 35. I was working as editor-in-chief of a fiction magazine called Zoetrope: All-Story when I became pregnant. The magazine, founded and published by Francis Ford Coppola, had long struggled to get a financial foothold. Under my editorship it achieved just shy of breakeven and earned a number of literary awards. In my last trimester, however, I found myself fighting for my job.
What do a light bulb joke, your great aunt’s cold remedy, and a poem scribbled on the door of a bathroom stall have in common? If you know the answer, you may have taken a class from the late UC Berkeley professor Alan Dundes. Each of these, Dundes would have said, is an example of folklore—a category of knowledge that many people associate with the legends, old-wives tales and superstitions passed along by preliterate societies in the times of yore.
Posted on December 10, 2014 - 7:43pm