In the globalized, consumption-fired 21st century, branding is the air we breathe.
Ah stress: It can be a blessing and a burden.
Its bursts can spur us to make decisions under pressure, giving us an energizing jolt as the body responds with quickened breath and the mind moves at a rapid-fire pace.But it can also be overwhelming—whether it results from caring for an elderly parent, working for an unsupportive boss, or straining to pay off crushing debt. That quickened breath instead turns into a shallow gasp, and the mind becomes a vice holding on to feelings of frustration and helplessness.
Posted on February 25, 2014 - 7:43am
There’s no way into the animal mind, you say? No plumbing of a beast’s true feelings? Not so. Simply observe any footage of a bear rubbing its back against a tree, or even your own mutt vigorously scratching behind the ear with a hind paw. Observe the slack-jawed, stuporous expressions of relief and satisfaction. Yeah. We know what’s going on.
We are not bound by cosmic harmony: It is the Itch that unites us all.
Posted on January 29, 2014 - 3:13pm
Imagine a gentler Internet. Imagine a world wide web where comment sections aren’t the lowest common denominator rhetorical melees we know them to be but forums for reasoned debate and thoughtful discussion. Imagine your life online in which social media sites serve as a breeding grounds for empathy, introspection, and compassion, rather than for bullying, smut, and smarm.
Now imagine a pig with wings.
Posted on January 23, 2014 - 10:25am
Time has borne out the veracity of the Biblical observation that poor will always be with us—and so, too, are well-meaning efforts to feed the famished. But success in getting food to the hungry has been spotty at best. Now, a group of idealistic Cal students is bringing high tech to bear on the problem, producing an approach that is propagating across the country.
Posted on January 13, 2014 - 1:58pm
Feeling exhausted and overwhelmed by the frenzy of holiday obligations, the frazzled nature of strained relationships, the crush of year-end job demands? As 2013 comes to a close, you’re in good company if you label what you’re experiencing “burnout.”
Posted on December 26, 2013 - 10:36am
Nothing seems to capture the nation’s collective odium these days quite like a self-entitled techie.
Posted on December 12, 2013 - 9:24am
In September, a clip of Louis C.K. on Conan O’Brien’s late-night show went viral. The comedian launched into a rant about smartphones and how information technology is toxic, especially for children. “They don’t look at people when they talk to them and they don’t build empathy,” C.K. said. “You know, kids are mean. And it’s because they’re trying it out.” In his view, a kid sending a cruel text or email doesn’t get to see the hurt register on someone’s face and so doesn’t learn from that experience.
Would Mark Twain tweet if he were around today? Quite likely—he was an enthusiastic early adopter of the high-tech media of his era and an aphoristic genius. “Not that he’d tell the world what he had for breakfast,” says the Bancroft Library’s Harriet Smith, one of the editors of the two recently published volumes of The Autobiography of Mark Twain.
Enter the campus from North Gate, stroll south down the wide path from the top of the rise into the swale of Memorial Glade and there it is, front and center, inscribed in granite in letters 3 feet tall: THE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY. Doe Library, a century old last year, magnificent heart of UC Berkeley.
But will it always be? The rise of the Internet, tablets, and e-books is raising serious questions about the necessity of continuing to house dusty paper volumes on what is, after all, prime university real estate.
It now appears that some primates other than Homo sapiens were truly sapient.
That, at least, is the takeaway from a paper published in the journal PLos One , which determined that spear tips or arrowheads recovered at a mid-Pleistocene era obsidian quarry in Ethiopia were hewn by representatives of Homo heidelbergensis, a hominid that hunted and gathered in Africa, western Asia and Europe 600,000 years ago.
Posted on November 20, 2013 - 12:24pm
J.J. is the breadwinner of the house. Of all the weekly chores that are divvied up among members of the south Berkeley cooperative, his is the most enviable. While others get stuck scrubbing pots, pans, and bathroom walls to pay their dues, J.J. is to bike over to a nearby bakery under cover of darkness, peek inside the dumpsters, and load up his backpack.
Posted on November 4, 2013 - 8:27am
Here’s a haunting observation: almost one in five Americans claims to have been in the presence of a ghost. And that number isn’t falling—to the contrary, it represents a steep increase over just a couple of decades ago.
Posted on October 31, 2013 - 1:19pm
The first time Larry Zhou traveled outside of China, it was to start his freshman year at Berkeley in 2010. The University’s bid to admit more international students—they would enhance campus diversity and pay sticker-price tuition—brought a surge of foreign arrivals with Zhou. More than a third came from Chinese territories.
Zhou, now a senior, had studied British English in high school in Suzhou, about 65 miles west of Shanghai. He did so well on a language test that his school encouraged him to study abroad, and he garnered a high verbal SAT score as well.
Posted on October 29, 2013 - 6:04pm