UC Berkeley

When Seeing Isn’t Believing: Our Eyes Always Play Tricks On Us—And That’s A Good Thing

There’s a scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first Indiana Jones movie, where the villain swallows a fly. It happens right after Indy catches up with a Nazi convoy transporting the Ark of the Covenant through the Egyptian desert, on its way to deliver the Ark to Hitler.

“I’m gonna blow up the Ark, Rene!” our hero shouts down from his vantage point on the cliffs.

A Voiceless Opera Based on French Literary Theory? Berkeley’s Got That

For a young composer, it can be difficult not to seem derivative. The problem is getting beyond one’s background and influences. Caroline Shaw, who won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for musical composition, faces this dilemma head-on. In her composition notes  she often explains which work formed the grounding of a piece. She acknowledges when inspiration for a piece came from Chopin or Hayden.

As Illicit Pot Farms Resort to Rat Poison, They Are “Wiping Out” Wildlife Populations

A recent article in Mother Jones magazine calculates the impact of the illicit marijuana trade on global warming, and arrives at some pretty grim conclusions. U.S. dope production and distribution, the piece notes, emit as much atmospheric carbon as 3 million cars. In California, indoor grows suck up 9 percent of household electricity; outdoor plots consume more water than does the city of San Francisco.

Creating Art Piece a Day in 2013, Business Lecturer Discovers the Art of Everything

Clark Kellogg, a lecturer in innovation and design thinking at the Haas School of Business, had an epiphany on New Year’s Day 2013. Actually, a friend of his had the epiphany, and he co-opted it.

“With her consent, of course,” Kellogg says. “She told me she planned to post a photograph a day on Instagram. And when she said that, it came to me: I wanted to do the same thing, but with art, not photos.”

The Bear, Re-Branded: Cal Replaces Its Live-and-Let-Live Mascot With Vicious New Model

Like Memorial Stadium, the brand identity of Cal Athletics has recently been renovated. Nothing too radical, mind you; the colors are unchanged and the Cal script remains the chief identifier. The only big change is the new bear logo. Gone is the striding giant of yesteryear, its stately silhouette imparting a certain timeless nobility to football helmets and hoodies. The new bear does not pass by. The new bear charges—teeth bared, ears back, eyes narrowed.

The old bear was live and let live.

The new bear is fixin’ to maul your @$$.

From the Spring 2014 Branding issue of California.

Navigate Like a Viking

The name “Vikings” conjures a romantic image: massive, oared longships astride the sea, crewed by bloodthirsty, bearded Norwegians in horned helmets, intent on rape and rapine. But in addition to being fierce warriors, it turns out that Vikings were navigational experts with great technological prowess. Their ships were fast, able to endure ocean crossings as well as maneuver in shallow water. However, scientists and historians have long been unsure of just how Vikings were able to voyage from Norway to the Americas in such northern latitudes under overcast skies.

From the Spring 2014 Branding issue of California.

Kabam? Ka-Ching: Naming Rights Bring Cash to Campus

Even on a football field it sometimes helps to tread lightly. That’s why as Berkeley administrators were deciding how to pay down the $445 million price tag associated with the retrofit and expansion project at California Memorial Stadium, the idea of selling naming rights to the structure itself was never on the table.

From the Spring 2014 Branding issue of California.

A Lunch at Chez Panisse Inspired the Imagination, the Palate and a Dissertation

If you’re going for a Ph.D. in business, there are plenty of American universities where you can get this prized degree, but only one of them is less than a mile from the birthplace of California cuisine. Sohyeong Kim was an aspiring Ph.D. student on the day in 2009 when her faculty advisor took her to lunch at Berkeley’s Chez Panisse, changing both her outlook on eating and her dissertation topic.

From the Spring 2014 Branding issue of California.

Branding the Elements: Berkeley Stakes its Claims on the Periodic Table

Let the other universities brand themselves with the presidents they’ve produced, the corporations they’ve midwifed, their location in a small town outside of Boston, or their number one football team.

At Berkeley, we’re OK with being number 97. On the periodic table of elements. You may have heard of “the table,” as we call it around here. It’s sort of the ingredients list for the universe. All of it, including presidents, corporations, slushy college towns, and inferior (spiritually) football teams.

From the Spring 2014 Branding issue of California.

Club Red: Traveling Along the Edge of Post-Fidel Cuba

We are wrapped in sweaters and sitting in an air-conditioned Chinese-made bus as it glides quietly, frigidly through the Cuban countryside. Outside, it’s about 80 degrees and humid, and people walk past the bus or congregate on corners, dressed in shorts and tank tops.

From the Spring 2014 Branding issue of California.

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