IN 2015, an observatory high in the Atacama Desert of Chile detected three planets orbiting an M star, an ultra-cool dwarf, in the constellation Aquarius about 40 light years, or 232 trillion miles, from Earth. Until then, the dim star was designated 2MASS J23062928-0502285. Not such a charming name. The discoverers of its satellites, a team of astronomers who operate the Chilean observatory remotely from Liege in Belgium, took the opportunity to warm up that appellation. Read more about The Starship or the Canoe: Where Will Our Future Adaptations Be? »
Next month will mark the 25th anniversary of the Oakland Hills Fire, the epochal conflagration that started on October 19 and, driven by strong northeasterly winds, burned more than 1,500 acres over three days, killing 25 people and destroying some 2,500 homes and 400 apartments.
Anyone who lived in the Bay Area at that time will recall the massive column of smoke that rose from the East Bay during the day and the walls of flame that limned the topography of the hills at night. Those three days felt nothing short of apocalyptic. Read more about Fire Fight: FEMA Yanks Fuel Reduction Funds After Conservation Group Wages Legal Battle »
Posted on September 22, 2016 - 11:32am
When Emily Herrick Robinson receives her bachelor’s degree cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from UC Berkeley on Sunday, she will be carrying on the tradition of some illustrious ancestors who went to Cal, too. Read more about Is There a Blue and Gold Gene? Record-Setting Fifth Generation Robinson to Graduate Cal »
Posted on December 17, 2015 - 11:31am
Coming up this weekend: an unusual 3-hour stroll through Cal’s 147-year history. But you’d better whistle while you walk, because it’s a walk through a graveyard—namely, Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland. On Saturday it will present its annual “Founders and Faculty of UC Berkeley” tour, led by docents Jane Leroe and Ron Bachman. Both are dedicated taphophiles—lovers of old cemeteries—and loyal Old Blues. (He got his bachelor’s from UC Berkeley in 1959; she got her hers in 1968 and her J.D. in 1971.) Read more about Buried Past: Cemetery Tour Of Cal Notables Offers Window Over to the "Other Side" »
Posted on September 24, 2015 - 11:47am
Rat summed it all up to Mole in the The Wind in the Willows:
Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing—absolutely nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing… about in boats — or with boats. In or out of ‘em, it doesn’t matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that’s the charm of it….
Posted on August 31, 2015 - 12:15pm
As drought continues to crisp up the state—increasing the potential for catastrophic fire and further taxing plants already competing for water resources—many conservationists are supporting a plan by UC Berkeley, the city of Oakland and East Bay Regional Parks District plan to cut, chop, mulch and deter the future growth of many non-native trees. Read more about Fired Up: Controversy Still Raging Like Wildfire Over Tree-Cutting Plan in East Bay »
Posted on July 9, 2015 - 3:15pm
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?
Posted on March 19, 2015 - 4:56pm
The 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement this year is also the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. In the turbulent river of radicalism that reached flood stage in mid-’60s Berkeley, radical environmentalism was just one branch. That is the tributary I want to navigate here. But it is good to sit down at the typewriter—excuse me, the computer—and try to remember that frenzied era in a disciplined way. Ah, the piquancy of the air back then! The smell of tear gas on campus! There were so many flavors of radicalism available that one was forced to focus. Read more about Radical Roots: Finding Environmentalism Amid the Schisms of mid-'60s Berkeley »