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2011 Winter Taste

Aloha Spam

Hawaii Regional Cuisine has always comprehended a wide array of cultures, and now the ingredients are from local sources. Michelle Galimba left Oahu for the University of California, Berkeley in 1991 to study the works of an 11th-century Chinese poet. But while she was at Cal, her family started a cattle ranch. By the time she […]

Taste by Numbers

Do “preference algorithms” really know you? It’s 1983. A young woman looks in a store window and sees a new book from an author she likes. She wanders in and leafs through it. A store clerk gives his opinion. Another customer leans over with her recommendation. The woman buys the book and leaves without a trace. […]

Within Reach

California architecture brought the inside outside and gave ordinary people style they could afford. Sam Grawe sat in the light-filled living room of his Eichler home in Lucas Valley, the north San Rafael suburb where developer Joseph Eichler built hundreds of the wood-and-glass tract houses that brought modernism to the middle class. It was a lovely July […]

Ana Moura’s Fado Fusion

A new generation gives Portugal’s old music a boost. Swathed in a lacy black gown, her raven tresses cascading over her bare shoulders, Ana Moura looks like central casting’s idea of a fadista—a singer devoted to the tradition-bound Portuguese musical style that marries poetry about love, loss, and the vicissitudes of fate to sumptuously plaintive melodies. Moura […]

Burnt Offerings

The Crucible’s promotional tactics are hard to ignore. Forgive the Crucible its flamboyance. That 30-foot plume of flame jetting from the roof of a tricked-out 1960 fire engine is designed to get your attention. And it works; the blast accompanying the ignition of 24 gallons of propane is loud enough to startle the jaded and hot […]

A Taxing Business

What would happen if we raised taxes on the rich? History may hold the answer. The recent “Occupy” demonstrators protest that the top 1 percent of Americans aren’t paying their fair share. But tax the rich too much and you risk stifling productivity, counter fiscal conservatives. Not true, say Berkeley husband and wife economist team David […]

Avian Relations

A Berkeley researcher investigates fidelity among birds. Two chinstrap penguins in New York’s Central Park Zoo, named Roy and Silo, made the news in 2004 when they got together. Carlos and Fernando, a pair of flamingos, made their media circuit in 2007 when they coupled up at Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust in Slimbridge, Gloucestershire. These avian […]

Ground Control

For passengers in a hurry, nothing is more frustrating than waiting for a late bus. Unless it’s waiting all that time only to watch two arrive at once. “Without any intervention, the natural state of the bus system is that they will pair up or cluster,” says Carlos Daganzo, a professor of civil and environmental […]

A Stellar Discovery

It takes more than luck to find a supernova. Here’s a look behind the scenes. On August 24, astrophysicist Peter Nugent was playing a little catch-up. Nugent, an adjunct professor at Berkeley and group leader of the Computational Cosmology Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, settled in to look at data collected overnight by the Palomar […]