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2011 Fall The Good Fight

The Teeming Metropolis of You

Every day, a host of bacteria are at war within you. You are mostly not you. That is to say that 90 percent of the cells residing in your body are not human cells, they are microbes. Viewed from the perspective of most of its inhabitants, your body is not so much the temple and vessel […]

What Wiseman Knew

Frederick Wiseman, at work on a new film about higher ed set in Berkeley, embraces complexity to capture the way we live. A few minutes into Frederick Wiseman’s 1974 documentary Primate, the camera trails two conspicuously hirsute scientists discussing mating behavior in great apes, as they walk past the animals’ cages. Stroking their beards, the scientists […]

Shot from a Distant War

A Hemingway photo captures a single, fragile victory. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, which Ernest Hemingway covered as a newspaper correspondent. Hemingway was well paid as a correspondent—he was Ernest Hemingway, after all. His first two novels, The Sun Also Rises (1926) and A Farewell to Arms […]

Automatic Writing

The artificial intelligence behind Wikipedia If you’ve ever read through a few Wikipedia entries on U.S. cities and thought they sounded, well … robotic, you might be right. Chances are the article was written by a piece of software. Automated programs called bots have been working behind the scenes since the online public encyclopedia was born. […]

Beauty and the Pest

New research supports old-fashioned pest management. If the California vineyards are looking more vibrant than usual, it might be due to blossoming new research by Berkeley agroecologists. For more than three years, they’ve been working with grape growers in Napa, San Joaquin, and Fresno counties to plant flowers that attract pest-eating insects, as part of research […]

Hot Topic

A Berkeley physicist takes the temperature of climate change. There are plenty of reasons you might have heard of Richard Muller. The longtime Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory senior scientist has won a Macarthur Fellowship and has for many years taught Physics 10, better known as Physics for Future Presidents, publishing a popular book by that name. […]

Novel Approach

The post-political career of a White House spin doctor Nicolle Wallace, President George W. Bush’s communications director and a top campaign advisor to Senator John McCain, doesn’t fit the public perception of a Republican operative. The stunning 37-year-old with a girl-next-door face framed by parentheses of blond hair is a graceful feminist with empathy for […]