The campus was shining as only our spectacular splotch of Bay Area real estate can do. Clusters of high school kids posed for pictures at the university they hoped to attend. Cal T-shirts, sweatshirts, shorts, and athletic jackets sauntered by. Frisbees flew, and a giant dog galloped over to offer a passionate greeting that left me happily cloaked in white fur.
Evidence of Islamophobia has spiked in the United States—with 78 anti-Islam mosque incidents recorded last year alone—according to a new report that suggests the tone of the 2016 election has triggered anti-Muslim hostility.
Posted on June 21, 2016 - 5:20pm
It was late afternoon on a glorious day in October. My friend Natasha and I were picking our way down a country lane, toward the train station in a village about an hour from Moscow’s Kievsky train station. Our close friends, a lesbian couple, owned a dacha in the village, a cozy cottage where a group of us gathered often to escape the city.
From the start, the whole trip seemed haphazard and conceptually incoherent. What was the rationale, our friends asked, for spending a week in the Czech Republic followed by 10 days in Greece and four in Paris?
The simple, reasonable answer: Horse-trading. It was our 20th anniversary and my husband, Dan, and I had learned that collaborative skill of long-term couples through trial and therapy. Dan would pick a place and I would pick a place, and we would start and end in Paris, the home of close friends and a hub for cheap non-stop flights.
It may be time to change our minds about the impossibility of changing people’s minds. Again.
Posted on June 20, 2016 - 7:29am
The weather has typically been the go-to form of small talk—what you bring up when you want to avoid the weighty subject of say, politics. But no more!
Politicos have long known that the weather, and rain in particular, affects voter turnout. But a new study takes it even further, suggesting that the weather on election day actually influences what the winners do after they take office.
It may sound bizarre, but here’s the logic:
Posted on June 9, 2016 - 1:19pm
So a lawyer with a disability and a Catholic monk walk into a bar…
What would be considered a bar joke for some is actually a description of a night with a friend for me.
In an era where the only difference between American politics and a WWE match is the amount of spandex involved, the time is right for me to tell the story of why I have regular phone conversations with a Catholic deacon.
Posted on May 31, 2016 - 10:32pm
People aren’t products. Or are they? We’re in the age of the “personal brand,” after all—where your online persona effects your reputation, the bonds you form with others, your career. And now, your dating life.
Posted on May 31, 2016 - 10:18pm
Thirty years ago, the most-prized wines in California—including Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet, Duckhorn Three Palms Merlot, Heitz Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet—sold for under $30. Opus One got attention with its shocking price of $50. Inflation since then has roughly doubled the value of money. But the cheapest of those famous wines now costs about four times as much. Heitz Martha’s Vineyard is now $200; Opus One is $225.
Posted on May 27, 2016 - 12:38pm
This rumination begins with a phone call from my brother, but it’s really about domestic animals, dogs and cats mostly, and our changing mores about them: How they are now viewed as peers and family members rather than pets, how we’ve come to define ourselves as their guardians rather than their owners, whether our growing obsession with them is somehow a simulacrum for the complicated and messy human relationships that formerly dominated our lives, and whether apotheosizing them somehow minimizes our sensitivity to human suffering.
Posted on May 19, 2016 - 12:14pm
Much ado has been made of the Latino demographic in this election year. Democrats see reports of rising voter registration and immigrant naturalization rates among Latinos in Texas, California and elsewhere as good news, given that Latino voters tend to skew Democratic.
Posted on May 13, 2016 - 3:50pm
When he embarked on his freshman year at UC Berkeley in 2014, Esteban Vasquez was set to become the first in his family to graduate from college. A couple of months in, he was ready to drop out.
Posted on May 11, 2016 - 1:52pm
UC Berkeley sophomore Anthony Carrasco loves his Monday afternoon class lecture on the History of Punishment, but sometimes the torture feels a little too literal.
“Instead of thinking about the Panopticon, I start thinking about heating up the stove and frying eggs. I start to imagine all the things I could put on the eggs: cheese, hot sauce, salt, pepper,” he says. “It’s very difficult to process everything that’s going on and deal with just being really hungry.”
Posted on May 10, 2016 - 12:02pm