UC Berkeley

Hyena Heave-Ho: Time’s Up for UC Berkeley’s Unique Captive Research Colony

What Berkeleyite has not heard them, hooting and gibbering at twilight across the East Bay hills? As the romance novelists might say, it sent a frisson down your spine, made you somehow feel that you were an early hominid on the African veldt, vulnerable to large and toothy predators.

A Vacation Goes South

I knew we were in trouble as soon as our minivan crested the hill at 8 a.m., about 30 miles south of Guatemala’s border with Mexico. A band of heavily armed men suddenly erupted from the jungle, taking positions in the center of the road. Cloth bags with eye holes masked their faces.

The cowled gunmen surrounded us, screaming orders in a local dialect, their weapons trained through the van’s windows at our heads. In response, the driver turned up a narrow dirt path into the dense jungle.

From the Summer 2012 North South issue of California.

Aiming To Be a Small World After All: Cal’s Plan to Shrink a Big, ‘Impersonal’ Campus

Peter Chernin loved his time as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley. The media mogul—who served as president and chief operating officer of News Corp for more than a decade, and now owns his own media, technology and entertainment group—has attributed his success in part to the English degree he earned in 1974: To be a good leader, he’s said, you need empathy, and the best way to learn empathy is to study literature.

When Cal’s Human-Powered Vehicle Snapped in Two, Nobody Expected How it Would End

Things were looking bleak for the UC Berkeley Human Powered Vehicle Team last weekend, and the timing couldn’t have been worse.

The team, all engineering majors, were on the verge of their big competition: the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Human Powered Vehicle Competition West, in Santa Clara. Rider Andrew Taylor had just started his practice run on Saturday morning when Reuben, the state-of-the-art vehicle that he and his cohorts had spent seven months building, crashed on the first lap.

Cal Architecture Grad Asks Fellow Alums to Urge Toy Titan: LEGO My Campanile

Michael Lin liked playing with Legos as a kid. In fact, he couldn’t get enough of the strangely compelling little plastic building blocks. Literally.

“My family wasn’t wealthy, so I never had as many as I wanted,” Lin recalls. “But I was fascinated with them, with their possibilities.”

Ambitious Plan for a Captive Readership: Berkeley MBA Students Advise Inmate Newspaper

It was an early fall day when the gates of San Quentin State Prison clanged shut behind the unusual team of consultants on its way to meet the equally unusual team of clients.

“I was apprehensive,” admits Laura Tilghman, an MBA student at UC Berkeley who had never stepped into a prison before. “It was such different circumstances and territory.”

The clients, most of them serving life sentences, didn’t know what to expect either. Why would students from one of the top business schools in the state want to visit inmates at the state’s oldest prison?

Berkeley Econ Study: No Keystone XL Pipeline Keeps a Billion Oil Barrels Underground

For avid watchers of the political saga known as Keystone, it’s another cliffhanger.

Last Friday, the U.S. State Department announced it would kick the can on deciding whether to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, blowing past its prior May deadline and ensuring that the project will endure as a partisan talking point until well after the November midterm election.

Igniting Protest: Will UC Make History By Pulling the Plug on Fossil Fuel Investments?

When 29-year-old UC Berkeley student Ophir Bruck spotted Sherry Lansing, the former CEO of Paramount Pictures, on her way to a University of California Regents meeting, he was holding on to a key that he hoped she wouldn’t refuse.

“We’re here to call on the UC Regents to take bold action on climate change,” Bruck told Lansing last May, as she walked past 58 chanting students chained to two homemade structures designed to represent oil drilling rigs. “Will you symbolically unlock us from a future of fossil fuel dependence and climate chaos?”

‘Academies-in-a-Box’ Are Thriving—But Are They the Best Way to School the World’s Poor?

An estimated 2.5 billion people on the planet live on less than $2 a day. Is it possible to give the younger ones a high-quality private education?

One company says yes. Bridge International Academies, a for-profit franchise of private schools founded in 2007 in Kenya, is trying to transform “knowledge for all” into a cost-effective reality. Its answer: the “academy-in-a-box.”

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