Posted on January 18, 2018 - 4:54pm
The radio station we now call KALX began life as an oddity in the basement of Ehrman Hall, a dormitory on Dwight Way. It had at its disposal a collection of records, mostly classical, a couple mics, a cheap recorder, and a Corina cigar box containing the most basic of mixing boards. The year was 1962.
This was not a sanctioned operation. It was not a political statement. It was barely even art. Radio KAL was, in fact, the work of geeks; driven, visionary, persistent, highly resourceful geeks. Read more about Maker's Mark: The KALX Origin Story »
Posted on January 17, 2018 - 1:24pm
Good Robot, Bad Robot
MIT Technology Review says 2017 was the year robots backflipped into our hearts, with exhibit A being Atlas, Boston Dynamics’ incredibly gymnastic bot, which (resisting the urge to say ‘who’) not only sticks the landing on an honest-to-god backflip, but raises its arms afterward as if in celebration. Read more about Reading Roundup: Good Robot, Enza Again, Money Matters »
Posted on January 12, 2018 - 3:22pm
The poem was originally titled Easy Rider. Westering, as it is now known, is probably the first poem Nobel Laureate in Literature Seamus Heaney wrote in Berkeley, after arriving here from Belfast in 1970 for a stint as a visiting professor in English. The poem’s original title evokes the 1969 film of the same name, starring Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Jack Nicholson. In it, the trio motorcycle east from L.A. through the nineteen-sixties America of new styles, hair lengths, music, political activity, and sexual behavior. Read more about Westering: Seamus Heaney's Berkeley Year »
Posted on January 10, 2018 - 1:33pm
What’s the upside of being old? Read more about Reframing Aging: Exhibit Features Reflections on Growing Old »
Posted on January 8, 2018 - 2:45pm
Posted on January 4, 2018 - 4:38pm
Feel it yet? That dire sense of déjà vu? It probably depends on your livelihood or interests. If you’re a Bay Area boulevardier or the type once described in singles ads as a lover of long walks on the beach, you’re no doubt delighted by the unceasing blue skies and unseasonably pleasant temperatures. But it’s another matter if you’re a farmer, salmon fisherman, water agency manager, skier or whitewater kayaker. Your income—or at least, your sense of well-being— is directly determined by what falls from the sky. Read more about A Deep Dive Into California's Recurring Drought Problem »
Posted on January 3, 2018 - 5:31pm
When you check out the table of contents for this iteration of CALIFORNIA you might be surprised by the many entries listed in the feature well. Generally speaking, the well is where we offer up several long-form stories off the theme of the magazine. The number of stories and bylines this time around doesn’t mean we’ve exceeded our usual page count, or eliminated all the other departments. It just means we are offering one very long story and some very short ones. Read more about Editor's Note: The Power of UC Berkeley »
In 2025, California parking lots will be the new gas stations. Or so goes the vision of Ethan Elkind, director of the climate program at the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment at Berkeley. Read more about Charging Ahead: California's EV Future »
To the average technology consumer, a quantum computer sounds like something out of science fiction. But these machines are real, and scientists at Berkeley are working on one right now.
So what is a quantum computer?
Well, a “classic” digital computer, like the one at your desk, stores information in bits, a basic unit of information. Binary bits, found in the computers we use daily, can only be zero or one, or on or off. Read more about Berkeley Scientists Are Building a Quantum Computer »
The 50th anniversary of iconic rock magazine Rolling Stone arrived in November, and the party was long and loud. Origin stories have festooned the magazine and its website; a coffee table book appeared in May; Joe Hagan’s biography of cofounder Jann Wenner, Sticky Fingers, was published in October; and an HBO documentary is scheduled for November. To keep things interesting, Wenner announced that he plans to sell his company’s stake in the magazine, prompting a round of retrospective articles in The New York Times and elsewhere. Read more about Roots Music: The Beginnings of Rolling Stone »
I miss the days when I had Donald Trump on speed dial. Not that I enjoyed our conversations—if converse is the right term. Even then, years before he hit the campaign trail, the Donald was a monologist. Read more about Mar-a-Lago on the Line »
In the ongoing quest to build artificial intelligence (AI) that more closely mimics the human brain, some computer scientists at Berkeley are focusing on one crucial piece of the puzzle: curiosity.
For the last three years Deepak Pathak and Pulkit Agrawal, Ph.D. students in the Berkeley computer science department, have worked to create software that can learn on its own. Now the team is looking at creating systems that can not only learn, but keep asking questions. Read more about Super Curious Mario: Teaching AI to Keep Asking Questions »
CALIFORNIA Magazine is proud to cover the issues that matter to Cal’s alumni and, by extension, all Californians. Thanks to your support, we keep our readers informed and connected to the ideas, innovations, and breakthroughs that make UC Berkeley the number one public university in the world and help shape California’s global influence. During this season of giving, please consider making a tax-deductible gift in support of our editorial efforts. Read more about Support CALIFORNIA Magazine During the Season of Giving »
Posted on December 19, 2017 - 12:07pm
The tenure of Federal Reserve Board chairwoman Janet Yellen is drawing to a close. In February, she’ll leave her post—arguably the second-most powerful position in Washington after the presidency—and will be replaced by Trump appointee Jerome Powell, a member of the Fed Board of Governors. Read more about All Over But the Yellen: A Look Back at the Outgoing Fed Chair's Tenure »
Posted on December 18, 2017 - 4:19pm