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2010 Spring Searchlight on Gray Areas

The Berkeley Rebellion

Mario Savio’s design for a Free Speech Movement monument Berkeley students today take for granted that the Free Speech Movement (FSM) was a major event whose memory the University commemorates. They can get a snack at the Free Speech Movement Café (opened in 2000) while viewing photos, leaflets, and other artifacts of the Berkeley rebellion. They […]

Truth in the Machine

Three Berkeley men converged to create the lie detector The others had filed out, leaving the suspect and the prosecutor alone in the room. Decasto Earl Mayer, suspected of murdering James Bassett, was ready to cop a deal. For eight hours a day, five days straight, Mayer had been strapped to a newfangled machine called a […]

The Edge of Paradise

The beauty of the Philippines is apparent to the tourist, but some of its greatest pleasures are reserved for the traveler. It is another day at the community swimming pool, an Olympic-sized facility dug into the living rock and filled by the partial diversion of a mountain stream. All around us is the jungle—mahogany and narra, […]

Cyber Stone Age

An archaeologist uses virtual reality to revive the past. A born storyteller, Berkeley archaeologist Ruth Tringham used to produce puppet shows when she was six. Now she uses the Internet as a stage to re-create the worlds she’s excavated—most recently, the 9,000-year-old Neolithic village in Çatalhöyük, Turkey. Not content with publishing her work in academic journals […]

Straightening the Path

Whitney Laughlin, Ed.D. ’93, has spent her life wandering in search of her tribe. An avowed indigenous rights activist, Laughlin is founder of College Horizons and Graduate Horizons, which organize conferences to help Native American students prepare for college and graduate school. Taking a break from one such conference at Berkeley in July 2009, the […]

5 Questions For:

Author and former CIA operative Robert Baer RB: At its core Iran is a rational state. Every action it takes is well calculated, and rarely does emotion figure in. If, for instance, Iran were to induce Israel or the United States to strike its nuclear facilities, the decision would be made on a pure calculation of […]

Just a Fluke

Engineering a solution to China’s public health problems In the 1990s, Professor Robert Spear of Berkeley’s School of Public Health first witnessed China’s struggle to eradicate an infectious parasite known as a blood fluke. Chinese health officials focused on curing the resulting disease but failed to eradicate the blood fluke. Spear concluded that medical treatment alone […]

Bang-Up Job

Astronomers spot a new type of stellar explosion. Last December, scientists announced the discovery of one of the biggest explosions ever observed: An extremely massive star blew apart more than a billion light years away, spewing radioactive nickel and glowing with a luminosity about 30 billion times that of our Sun. The team, which included researchers […]

The Heroes’ Hero

Alumnus of the Year Richard Goldman made it his mission to reward environmentalists. Environmental philanthropist Richard N. Goldman ’41 has saved many, many places on this earth, but perhaps the most unusual is an old Burger King at the Presidio of San Francisco, the former Army base at the north end of the city. Boarded up […]

The Price of Excellence

Can Cal afford athletics? On October 7, 2006, one of the largest and rowdiest crowds in Cal football history showed up at Memorial Stadium to watch then-16th-ranked Cal play the 11th-ranked, undefeated Oregon. It was the biggest home game of the year, for a team with a ton of preseason hype and legitimate national title aspirations. […]

Smells Like Aggression

Researchers re-create chemicals that cause ants to attack each other California residents are no doubt familiar with those little dark-brown ants that flood indoors when it rains and during droughts, scavenging for crumbs or whatever moisture they can glean from kitchen sinks and countertops. These are Argentine ants, a highly invasive pest that is disrupting California’s […]

Out of the Gate: All the President’s REMs

There was no doubt that working at The Daily Californian prepared a young newspaper reporter to get to the bottom of things. Anyone who could sit through a meeting of the Academic Senate and remain reasonably conscious was surely ready to dredge the depths of human activity. Turned loose on the real world in the mid-1970s, […]