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2012 Spring Piracy

The 1% Solution

Robert Reich speaks up for everyone else. America’s great cultural schism is deepening, with Tea Partiers partying hearty on one side and Occupiers flying their 99 percent colors on the other. But these are mere expressions of a deeper discontent, one born from a stark, unifying realization: We were robbed. All of us—left, right, and center; vegan […]

Cyber Grift

As the ways to get online proliferate, so too do the ways to get suckered online. Recently, I received an email from my dear friend Gloria Steinem. (In truth, our only contact was in 2005 when I persuaded her to write an essay for this magazine.) Flattered to discover that the iconic feminist still thinks of […]

Reel Life

In the depths of the Great Depression, Louise Thompson Patterson ‘23 led a group of aspiring African-American actors to the U.S.S.R. Louise Thompson ’23 looked through the window of her train on June 25, 1932, as it pulled into Leningrad and beheld a wonder. “Such a reception we were given!!” she wrote home. “A brass band […]

Tail Spin

Robots learn a thing or two from lizards. Just like cats, lizards can use their tails to right themselves so they land on their feet. Now this neat little trick is the basis of a new robot design, thanks to graduate student Thomas Libby ’02 and a team of Berkeley researchers. Called “Tailbot,” the device was […]

Water Works

If using plasma as a disinfectant sounds like the stuff of fiction, think again. After hearing intriguing anecdotal reports about the long-lasting antimicrobial powers of water treated with plasma, Berkeley chemical engineering professor David Graves teamed up with colleague Douglas Clark to investigate. To their surprise, they discovered that the water could stay active for up […]

A Matter of Perspective

All fraudulent photos have their secrets. A Berkeley professor uses geometry to uncover them. As digital imaging advances, an increasing number of manipulated photographs are finding their way into the lab, the courtroom, and the newsroom. But if those photos show objects and their reflections, Berkeley computer science professor James O’Brien and his colleague Hany Farid […]


Saving wild animals could put children at risk. Gorilla heads on plates. Basketfuls of tangled lemur legs. These stark images have become emblematic of what some conservation groups consider an ecological nightmare: hunting wild (and often endangered) animals for food, a practice in many African countries and other developing nations. Now Christopher Golden, MPH ’10, Ph.D. […]