31 March 2007

Pirates of the Berkeley: Dead Man's Finals

I wrote my last entry on a rather sad note. It was good that Spring Break came when it did because I was very much ready to throw myself off Evans by then. The strain was getting to be a bit too much. But it's all good now. I have gone home, totally forgotten everything I have learned in the past weeks, and then recharged my batteries for the upcoming stretch run to finals. I didn't do much really, just sat around, watched movies, managed to find a decent bed to sleep in and get to have time to sleep in actually. Loved every second of it. Of course this delicate balance of peace and sleep will be disrupted the second I return to Berkeley. Oh, the life I live to pursue infinite fortune! On a tiny side note, I read other people's entries and I feel bad because it always seems like they're writing so much more interesting stuff than I am. The dude who put up the picture of the chihuahua and managed to make it work is a deity blogger.

Continue reading "Pirates of the Berkeley: Dead Man's Finals" »


Posted by Jonathan Yu at 4:35 | Permalink

30 March 2007

Fertilizer Goin' Wild

With fog, comes fertilizer? What a great artilce, from California Magazine's current edition. California Magazine Praxis Feeding the forest by Erik Vance Researchers find fog brings more than just moisture—it brings fertilizer, too. feeding the forest Cay-Uwe Kulzer It's morning in big basin State Park, Santa Cruz County, about an hour after sunrise. Ten miles away, on the Pacific Coast Highway, drivers alternate high beams and low beams, trying to see more than 20 feet ahead of them in the thick fog. Deep in the redwood forest, it's dark, silent and damp. One quiet hiker listens to the drip of water on leaves. Today that hiker is Professor Todd Dawson, visiting one of his research plots in the park. Dawson is a botanist with the Integrative Biology Department and he is looking for redwood fertilizer—but as he walks through the forest he's not looking down at the ground, he's looking up. In the plant world, nitrogen is a rare and precious commodity. The air we breathe is mostly nitrogen, but very few living things can use it. California strawberry growers spend millions to inject nitrogen into coastal soils through artificial fertilizers. Yet giant redwood forests nearby seem to grow on just the bare minimum. Biologists say it is better to pee on a plant than on bare dirt or rock when you are in the woods. The nitrogen in the urine's ammonia will be quickly absorbed. "'Where does that nitrogen come from?' then becomes the question," Dawson says. "In this case, we find that a significant amount of it is definitely coming through fog. And that's a new twist in the story." Dawson and his students discovered that Pacific fog is dripping with usable nitrogen. California fog forms over cold ocean water and is blown onto land. Tiny bacteria on the surface of the ocean capture nitrogen the same way microbes do on a peanut plant, which farmers use to recharge the soil. The bacteria pull out the nitrogen, inject it into the water that becomes fog, and the trees absorb it through their leaves. "What it means is that the ocean is feeding the forest, so to speak," he says. A few years ago, Dawson helped show that fog is a crucial source of water to redwood forests. Now, early results show that a third of the nitrogen passing through the coastal system comes from the fog. And it's not just nitrogen. He has found other important nutrients such as potassium and phosphorus in fog as well. The discovery has wide implications for fog ecosystems around the world, such as the cloud forests of Central America. In ultra-arid places such as Chile's Atacama Desert (where it rains perhaps once in 50 years), most of the nutrients may come from fog. Dawson says now that he's measured the nitrogen, he wants to know how the forests will be affected when stripped of their fog by global warming. "What happens if our land use or our climate ends up changing?" he asks. "How will that influence the water and the nitrogen inputs? And then in turn how will that affect the forest?"

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Posted by Christina at 1:26 | Permalink

30 March 2007

Jumping Genes

Here's agreat article from the November 2006 California Magazine. I love transposons - this article brings a crazy spin on the concept. California Magazine Praxis Interspecies love by Nathanael Johnson You get your genes from your parents — that principle is the foundation of current evolutionary theory. But what if genes could jump from organism to organism in passing, like a contagious disease? More and more evidence suggests that this sort of thing happens regularly. Most recently, a team of Berkeley scientists has shown that totally different species of plants have exchanged DNA. When genes jump out of one organism’s genome into another’s, it’s called horizontal transfer — as opposed to vertical gene transfer from parent to child. Mostly this happens among bacteria, but the Berkeley team, led by microbiologist Damon Lisch, has shown that genes moved between millet and rice plants — millions of years after the families of those two species could no longer breed. It’s the first well-documented case of this sort of interspecies hanky-panky: specifically, the movement of outside DNA into the nucleus of a plant’s reproductive cells. How do the genes move? That question makes Lisch’s eyes light up. "We’re talking about a section of DNA here, but it acts more like a parasite," he says. "It would seem like science fiction if it [weren’t] reality." Gene illustration Illustration by Carin Cane Scientists have been tracking these jumping genes — or transposable elements — since the 1950s. They already knew transposons moved around on a single genome, creating variations such as striped kernels in corn. These jumping genes also have been tracked in bacteria. But scientists didn’t realize these genes could leap from one species to another until now. Humans share 99.4 percent of their DNA with chimpanzees, 85 percent with dogs, and 70 percent with slugs. Transposons make copies of themselves from one section of the double helix to another, sometimes wreaking havoc on gene function. In other cases, they have conferred useful abilities—such as antibiotic resistance — to their hosts. The implications for evolutionary theory are immense. Instead of each species having to develop adaptations on its own and pass them on through offspring, they can pick up genes—and the traits that go with them—from the organisms around them. That’s how bacteria often develop resistance to multiple antibiotics: They swap their defensive tricks. These findings could revolutionize our understanding of human evolution as well: The mapping of the human genome shows that about half of our genetic code is derived from transposable elements.

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Posted by Christina at 1:08 | Permalink

29 March 2007

Local Pizza

Last night, Tom, Evan, and I walked down to a very popular little place in town - Cheeseboard Pizza.  Live improvisational jazz music, and folks that care about the food that they make.  It's customary for folks to order their pizza, then picnic on the grass in the median.  It's on a main road, in downtown, so you can imagine it's pretty entertaining to watch the traffic as you're munching on your pizza.  I hadn't ever been to the Cheeseboard, but I've heard so much about it.  It's good pizza, and a slice is only $2.25, but I still like Pie in the Sky better.  Why?  Pie in the Sky offers bigger slices.   Cheeseboard is a cooperative, which means their workers aren't exploited, but they're not having anywhere near as much fun as the workers are down the street at Pie in the Sky.  At Pie in the Sky, they'll toss pizza in front of you, and let you watch the whole creation from start to finish, including fun conversation and even sometimes singing - unless you want it quick, in which case they have their half-baked pizzas sitting out for you to pick, then they'll throw it in their huge, impressive oven.  It'll come out within a minute or two.  Pie in the Sky also has MUCH more selection than Cheeseboard.  Since Cheeseboard only makes one type of crazy pizza every day, it's not too difficult to offer more variety - but the variety that Pie in the Sky offers is exotic, fun, and undeniably delicious. 

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Posted by Christina at 3:39 | Permalink

27 March 2007

Charter Gala

Have you ever heard of the Charter Gala? I hadn't. Just two weeks ago, I received this e-mail: Hi there, On behalf of the CNR Dean's Office, we would like to invite you to attend the Charter Banquet as a guest of the Dean on March 24th at Fort Mason in San Francisco. The dinner begins at 6:30 and there will be about 20 people in the party for CNR -- donors and friends of the College, as well as Executive Associate Dean Gilless and CNR Major Gift Officers Alex Evans and Laura Oftedahl. We always invite a student or two and would love to have you join us. If you could let me know as soon as possible if you can attend I would appreciate it. Thank you! Aimee Aimee Kelley Events & Awards Coordinator College of Natural Resources The first thing that popped through my mind? Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, with the lyrics: "The Prince is giving a ball! The prince is giving a ball! His royal highness Christopher Rupbert..." After that brief community theatre flashback, I went Googling for a little more information on the event. I found this site: http://alumni.berkeley.edu/CAA_Events/Charter_Gala/2007/awards.asp It's a huge event that the Alumni Association puts on every year to celebrate the anniversary of the school, and to honor alumni that have made a spectacular impact on the world. 900 proud alumni, sponsors of the school, and representatives from each college come together for a spectacle that includes a gourmet banquet, performances by student groups, dancing, and an open bar. The last event that I attended with folks as well-dressed as at the Gala was...well... I was going to say Prom, but that was so many years ago a girl is bound to see another spectacular event every six years or so... about 3 years ago I went to an 80th birthday party of a dear friend that took place at a castle. Anyhew... The Charter Gala is an impressive event, and I was honored to attend. Gina Lopez came, too. A Senior in Forestry, Gina is a fun girl to hang out with. We sat at separate tables, but that's all right - mainly it seemed that we were present to help keep folks entertained. Trust me, they didn't need much help! It was such a fun event. The Cal Band came to play, slap dancers from a sorority, and an acapella group called Decadence. What a great time!

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Posted by Christina at 0:13 | Permalink

22 March 2007

Morphology

Today my Plant Morphology lab course took a little trip up to the Botanical Garden.  We were given a scavenger hunt of sorts, where we were to find examples of specific mophological traits.  Who wouldn't love roaming around a beautiful garden with a bunch of your friends, learning something new at the end of a stressful week?



Jose Arevalo, Reihaneh Fakourfar, April Dobbs, Danielle Johnson

Today was also our midterm for Morphology.  In preparing for the exam, I realized something this week.  CNR offers something that is difficult to find around campus - a community.  Our class size for Morphology is small.  20 people.  I know all of them.  We all know one another.  We meet up for study groups, we ask one another questions.  When one of us can attend office hours, we pass along the information that we gleen to those in the study groups.  It's different in the College of Natural Resources than the other courses I've attended on campus.  It's a cooperative feel.  The competition that comes along with hundreds of high-pressure students is on the other side of the campus.  We're over here, studying microbes, forestry, genetics, and so on... studying what we love, enjoying what we learn, and making friends that walk with us through our journey.  We were in classes together last semester, we're together again this semester.  We know how to study together, and we're not afraid to help one another understand the difficult concepts.  The more we're able to teach one another, the more we're able to enjoy the subject that we're learning.  I love this program.

Here are some more photos of us having fun with morphology today.


Reihaneh


Me with a member of the Cycadales.

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Posted by Christina at 9:40 | Permalink

20 March 2007

Update

I try to update frequently, at least more frequently than I did last semester. I love walking through the CNR campus. One of my classes last semester, PMB 39A, was in the Warren building and every MWF, I had to run from Etcheverry down through the CNR campus to take my one hour seminar. Quite a dash and the first time I was late by ten minutes but afterwards, I had the day to myself. I just remember walking through a pretty campus that reminds me alot of home. It's just so unlike the other Berkeley buildings. The buildings are clean and nice to look at, especially the GPB and its wonderful cafe. It's not like Sproul and such with the thousands of people passing through like every hour or so. It's calm and serene. The right kind of place to sit and just figure a plan for your life. I remember a time when things weren't going well for me and after class instead of marching off back to the dorm and sitting in the dark typing at the computer, I decided to feed the squirrels and take in the nature. While sitting on the curb and watching the squirrels eat the peanuts I give them, I got my mind off academics for a while. And well ... I don't know ... I felt so much better afterwards. Things turned out okay. Yesterday is different today ... but I want to have that feeling ... calm ... again. I wonder where I had left it that time I sat on a grassy hill behind Warren watching the wind stroke the treetops.

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Posted by Jonathan Yu at 8:34 | Permalink

20 March 2007

Midterm Time (still)

UC Berkeley has a wonderful reputation for academic excellence, which attracts students from around the world. What these students don't realize is what academic excellence translates to for the average student: lots and lots of exams. Now, I don't want to sound like I'm whining. My midterm schedule is certainly not as hectic as other people's. I'm not taking Chem 3B or Bio 1A or any of these other more difficult classes. Nonetheless, I still chafe under the burden of midterm examinations. That, and the weight of my backpack with all those textbooks. Still, that's what I'm here at college for, I suppose. After all, the professors are not like the Greek gods, smiting us students with exams, their hearts full of malice, caprice, and ambrosia (although some students would say otherwise.) I'm sure the professors hate grading exams as much as we do taking them. That's why they get the GSIs to do it. In all seriousness, midterms are a way to develop discipline and academic rigor. These tests, papers, and whatnot give me an opportunity to really work hard and develop my work ethic, drive, and sense of delayed gratification. After the test is over, I can revel in the relief that finally, finally, I finished. Until then, I better get back to work. Enjoy your spring break!

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Posted by Joel Kim at 8:18 | Permalink

19 March 2007

Got some free time?

Eric recommends that you read Daniel Quinn's Ishmael. Extra points if you do so while listening to Pearl Jam's Yield. http://www.amazon.com/Ishmael-Adventure-Spirit-Daniel-Quinn/dp/0553375407/ref=pd_bbs_2/103-8212426-3222264?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1174327067&sr=8-2 http://www.amazon.com/Yield-Pearl-Jam/dp/B000002BYD/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-8212426-3222264?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1174327125&sr=8-1

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Posted by Eric Thurston at 0:55 | Permalink

18 March 2007

Time is flying by!

Wow, I cannot believe it is already the middle of the second semester. Don't get me wrong, I am excited for summer but I am also a little scared. What happened to my first year at college? Where did all the time go? Has it really been close to two semesters? Well I can't say it hasn't been fun, tough, and interesting but I definatly now know what all the seniors mean when they say "before you know it, you'll be graduating in a month". What's the lesson here? Don't take things for granted, enjoy the DC foods, go to one more review session, and visit your professor in office hours. Have a good week!

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Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 0:21 | Permalink

15 March 2007

Greek Theatre

My buddy Melissa visited from Ventura County this summer to see a Flaming Lips show at the Greek Theatre. Before that, I didn't know that it existed. Turns out they host all sorts of great shows. Here's what it looks like: The Greek Theatre is 104 years old. It opened September 24, 1903 and has been hosting great performances ever since. Here's a link to a little article that gives a glimpse of its history: http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2003/09/11_greek.shtml A great, new thing about the Greek Theatre- It's Green! My friend raved about the organic food there, but I had no idea that they went to these efforts to offset the emissions from driving to the event! Here's an article from Breakthroughs that talks about the Greek Theatre's efforts to go green! http://nature.berkeley.edu/breakthroughs/break_briefs.php?title=the%20greek%20goes%20green the greek goes green Fans of Radiohead, Emmylou Harris, the Flaming Lips and other bands that rocked UC Berkeley’s Greek Theater last summer had more than great music to celebrate: the Greek became the first major concert venue to make a season-long commitment to minimize its footprint on the planet. The eco-efforts at the Greek—including an organic food cafe, recycling stations, the use of recycled paper for all printed materials, and the use of biodegradable utensils, plates, and cups for artists’ meals—came about through a partnership between Clif Bar, an environmentally conscious energy bar company based in Berkeley, and concert promoter Another Planet Entertainment. In addition, Clif Bar purchased renewable energy credits from NativeEnergy, a Native American sustainable energy company, to offset the 88 tons of carbon emitted to power the Greek’s 2006 season. Even audiences had a chance to get in on the act: by purchasing “Cool Tags” at the venue, music fans could offset the emissions they generated driving to and from the events. Every $2 tag offset 300 miles of car travel—making the concerts that much more harmonious.

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Posted by Christina at 0:10 | Permalink

14 March 2007

Transportation

Parking spaces in Berkeley are like raw diamonds--rare, ugly, and worth something. As students, especially Berkeley students, it is our duty to take public transportation. Thankfully, we have this magic .75 in x .75 in sticker on our ID cards that says, "BUS PASS." This magical sticker costs only ~$65, and the fee is included in our student fees. Wonderfully useful, the sticker will take you anywhere you want (as long as the places you want to go are covered by AC Transit buses. Since it is considered a sunk cost, it will cost you $0 to get across the bay to S.F. City. Or, you can hop on the bus and ride around campus in a clockwise motion on the Perimeter, counterclockwise on the Reverse, through Campus on the Center, or up from campus to the top of the Berkeley hill to the Space Station on the Hill. So if you're tired from lugging your backpack that is easily 2/3 your weight, just mosely along over to a bus stop and ride up the hill. Or, if you are too far from a bus stop, you can stop anywhere along the route and flag down one of the school's buses. The bus drivers are normally really nice and will pick you up.

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Posted by K. Lee at 2:27 | Permalink

13 March 2007

Welcome, New Students!

Welcome, CNR Junior Transfer Class of 2009 and CNR First Year Class of 2011! We are so happy to be the first to congratulate you on admission to Berkeley. Please tell us and your classmates about yourself and what you're looking forward to doing at UCB.

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Posted by Eva St. Clair at 8:32 | Permalink

12 March 2007

Oral Exam for Math 1B

I am going to have an oral exam for my Math 1B class in a week. Why do we ever need to present something orally for a mathematic class? Well, the answer is that the professor wants us to really understand the reasonings behind all the theorems we are using. Here is the detail, for those of you who are curious. When it is your examination, you roll a 10-faced dice to decide which prompt you will get since there are ten of them. Then you will have 7 minutes to present your argument, and the two GSIs will ask you question during the next 5 minutes. The last 3 minutes will be the time for the GSIs to deliberate on what grade you will receive. I don't know whether I should hate the oral or like it. We will see, I guess...

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Posted by Yang Cao at 2:35 | Permalink

12 March 2007

The Thin Dark Line

The day breaks with a cackling snort from the snortling, flaring nostrils of my slumbering roommate. Fool, he should have wakened me. After all, midterms don't come along every morning. Name's Jonathan. And I'm a student. Words don't complete the profile I made for myself in my head. After all, I'm special. Tiny cracks of a fearful light peek at me from behind fat folds of polyester curtain. They spider into tiny flacks of magenta and emerald, cutting my room into fourths. This morning is going to be a bad one. I could smell it in the sky. It was one of those mornings that tell you in advance the beating they're going to fist out on your face, like one of those bad oafs that screw up your day by snatching you off the streets, giving you a good crack up of the molars, and then set you up back on the corner like so much any piece of four day old newspaper rolled fly flavored fish. God I hate midterms. The door slams open and the morning day flicks my eyes. Damn! They started early today! I reached for my good friend, Mr. Alarm Clock. He's a real ball buster, all bust. No ball. He's a digital clock and damn proud of it. And he's real prouding me with his little announcement. His breath is reek with plastic and cold with reality. It's 9:45, and you got a test in fifteen minutes. I suggest you move your warm little fanny. I give myself five seconds to compile my thoughts. No time for a Windows boot up. You gotta go Mac. The carpet is warm under the soles of my feet. I don't get it. What's wrong with this picture? Quickly I robe myself with the closest pair of pants and shirts I can find. Can't register the cold now. I leave embroiled in a swirl of body flavored profanities. The sun is hot. And strong. Damn this thermo. I can't take it anymore. I thought I was through this by heading up North. Can't think. A brown furry squirrel slits down the tree beside me. Bad squirrel. Didn't Momma BushTail tell you not take your chores too seriously? I give it a sideways kick while on my way down the stairs. No time for cookies, Mr. Nature. I got a midterm to take. The Auditorium is fifteen minutes away. Fifteen tiny ticks on the clock flicked away by that unstopping arm of the thin dark line. Move it, legs. My heart starts to pick up the pace as it shakes off the morning eye dust with a Mexican Tango. The stomachy pit in the cull of my belly ripples with the grip of a hungry pain. Damn you, he says. That time we got tripped up down South in the California bayou of a city? I got you through that. Feed me. No time I say. I got a midterm to take. I push my vein encrusted hands through an oak brown, axe carved recepticle. The air brushes my sleep sculpted hair. I hate bed hair. My sandals are ill fit for the environment. It's like trying to ride a motorcyle with a monkey hanging from your jaw. It's just not right at this time. They all send a tiny citation of notice to my brain. I tell them all to shut up. It's time to take the test. I delegate my gravity onto a nylon encased chair. It squeals like a slit pig on Hannukah. Or doesn't. Not sure about that metaphor. I shake the sleep from my eyes and its metal taste off my tongue. I don't got a problem at all. My hand darts into my right pocket. It wants something and if it wants something. It gets it. Then it hits me like a locomotive barrelling down an ungreased aluminum track at fifty kilos a second. I'd forgotten my pencil. My molars are starting to hurt.

Continue reading "The Thin Dark Line" »


Posted by Jonathan Yu at 3:03 | Permalink

10 March 2007

Ice Skating

Finally, I am done with midterms for now. Yay! It was so crazy that I had a physics midterm last Thursday night, a chemistry MT Monday night, and another one for ESPM Tuesday morning. But now, I will be FREE for a month! So as a reward for myself, I went to ice skating tonight with my floormates in Berkeley Iceland. After I cumbersomely put on the skate shoes, I could barely stand up and walk, Fortunately, with a friend’s help, I managed to go the ice skating ground. Now the hard part began. Since I was so scared to get on the skating ground, I stayed in my seat for several minutes to play with my shoes. I made them tight for one minute and loose for the next 30 seconds till I felt they were absolutely safe. Then, I entered the icy ground and held the wall tightly with both hands. I was afraid that I was going to fall if I let go of it. The need for a feeling of security… My floormates skated by, and encouraged me to give it a try. With the promise that they were going to hold my arms, I started to walk on the ice cautiously. At first, I just felt that my body was leaning forward and I was going to fall. After a while, I felt more comfortable and tried to let one hand go, but it didn’t seem to work so well. Maybe it is because I had a sense of security when by holding the wall with one hand; thus, my fears were soothed. Anyways, I had a good time tonight, and I would suggest to you all to steal a moment of leisure time under the pressure of midterms and papers. It is worth it!

Continue reading "Ice Skating" »


Posted by Yang Cao at 1:02 | Permalink

09 March 2007

Earthquaky California

Any Californian knows what to do in the event of an earthquake. Duck and Cover. Every couple weeks, there will be a rolling, quaking, minor shaking. A couple of seconds will go by and you'll hear some idiot screaming. Note: if an earthquake lasts longer than five seconds, MOVE UR ASS and get out of there. I was sitting at the dinner table and conversing with my buddies. We talked about the respective earthquakes we've lived through. 1994 Northridge for Joe, 1989 Loma Prieta for Matty, .... We were 8, 3, & 2 back then. Matty was 8 and organizing his baseball cards for the world series. He remembers when 5:04 pm when Loma Prieta hit. Joe doesn't really remember anything. I recall sitting at the dining table when it hit, then walking back in afterwords. Anyways, get earthquake insurance for your home. The next one will hit, and it'll be painful.

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Posted by K. Lee at 0:44 | Permalink

09 March 2007

The multinational energy company is coming, the multinational energy company is coming!

So maybe you’ve heard that our school is getting 500 million dollars from the multinational energy company formally known as "British Petrol" for the development for alternative fuels? "BP" seems to be as nice as you could hope a faceless multinational company would be - on the one hand they are the worlds leading producer of solar cells in the world, and on the other hand they've just extricated themselves from a very dodgy situation in Columbia involving paramilitary forces and local farmers. I got a chance to attend a student round table discussion with Dean Ludden of the College of Natural Resources. A lot of the CNR students are really upset about this deal. From what I heard at the meeting some of the money is earmarked for the bioengineering of new enzymes to pull more fossil fuels out of our drying wells and 10 BP employees will become faculty here at Berkeley. Tenure track, student instructing, public statement issuing faculty. O_O Boy, this certainly doesn’t seem like a morally ambiguous situation! The discussion was moderated by Professor of Bioethics, David Winickoff. He recommended the formation of a student ethics group to watch over the program. I’ve got a meeting on Monday with him to talk about what can and ought to be done. It's hard to keep up, this past week has been somewhat psychotic, midterms and papers and exploding roommates for days. "One if by land, two if by sea; And I on the opposite shore will be, Ready to ride and spread the alarm."

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Posted by Eric Thurston at 2:41 | Permalink

08 March 2007

The Big C

Up on the UC owned hills, there's this huge C. It's normally colored yellow, but at times it will change to red(Stanford ppl secretly paint it at night. Then the Cal band paints it back to yellow.) It's a 20 min climb from the very bottom. When you reach the Big C (and it's tradition to climb it at least once), you'll see this memorial plaque embedded it. It's written in memory of the rush of 1905 between the soph and frosh classes. I climbed the hill to the Big C this year again to watch the sunrise with some friends. If you climb it, stay for the sunset. Also, around 5pm everyday, a gentleman will arrive and he'll ask you if you know the story of the Big C. If you don't, he'll tell you the story. If you happen to miss him, then read the story here: Big C Story

Continue reading "The Big C" »


Posted by K. Lee at 8:37 | Permalink

08 March 2007

Check out the Newts!!

The Newts are going crazy mating in the Botanical Garden. They're all over the lily pond in the Asian section. Aren't they cute? Check them out here: http://botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu/program/temp/newt.shtml

Continue reading "Check out the Newts!!" »


Posted by Christina at 2:32 | Permalink

07 March 2007

Ultimate Plant Search

Looking for photos of plants in a certain county of California? How about every plant legitimately recorded in California, searchable by family, genus, species, county, resource... etc? Here's the ultimate search page. http://www.calflora.org/occ/ CalFlora searches an incredible array of herbaria, land surveys, Forest Service records, and other literature. Here's another search that they have with photos and distribution maps for each plant name you type in. http://www.calflora.org/

Continue reading "Ultimate Plant Search" »


Posted by Christina at 2:45 | Permalink

07 March 2007

Tilden BG!

Yesterday my California Plant Life visited the Tilden Park Botanical Garden. While we waited for our group, a couple of my classmates decided to climb an Oak. I started climbing with them for little while, but then they started climbing higher and higher... and I chickened out. They're crazy! Christopher Hobbs took us on a tour of the garden, pointing out plants that we have covered so far in class, and pertinent uses of many natives. Here's a great little article that talks about the magic of the garden, from Bay Nature: http://www.baynature.com/v07n01/v07n01_botanic.html

Continue reading "Tilden BG!" »


Posted by Christina at 7:45 | Permalink

06 March 2007

Living next year!

It seems that everytime I ask anyone about their day they reply with a "Horrible. I was walking up and down looking at apartments". I guess march is the month you are suppose to look for apartments for the Summer/Fall. Roomates doesn't seem to be the issue. Everyone is gathering roomates from dorms, classes, and organizations they are involved in. The issue from what I hear is securing a place to live in the Fall but not the summer for a lot of people. Because apartments fill up and it's hard to find one just for the fall so some people are having to also rent the apartment during the summer even if they don't plan on living here. A little odd right? Well they rent it under their name and then they rent to someone else who only wants housing in the Summer. Well who could only want housing in the summer you may ask? People like sorority girls who may not have their house open during the summer so they are forced to live some where else until the fall. Well I am just glad I don't have to deal with finding an apartment. I will be living at my sorority house in the fall, and I am going home in the summer. Well I am actually not sure because I am still debating the idea of summer school. Good luck if you are trying to find an apartment!

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Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 7:52 | Permalink

05 March 2007

My Journey Into CNR (aka why you should be here)

The main reason I am in CNR is because I enjoy what I am studying. I know that the environment is a crucial part of the human experience, on the individual, social, and global level. There is no more denying the fact that we humans are part of the environment, as much as we may try to deny that fact with our urban centers and sidewalk cafes. I am interested in nature and how humans, both individually and as a society, interact with it. CNR gives me a chance to really explore my interests. I also enjoy the field trips and time outside that we get to spend.

Continue reading "My Journey Into CNR (aka why you should be here)" »


Posted by Joel Kim at 7:05 | Permalink

05 March 2007

Agriculture and Policy

As a former produce buyer for the USCA (University Students Cooperative Association, made up of 17 student-run houses in Berkeley) I've seen what goes into buying all organic from local farms. When purchasing in bulk, the costs are less than traditional commercial sources - and the produce is far fresher - more flavor! I wish that we could convert entirely to organic methods, but while grocery stores continue to sell non-organic produce, and marking up the organic, we're not going to see much change. Maybe the 2007 Farm Bill will encourage smaller, local farms. Maybe it won't. The following article takes a unique perspective on the condition of the current US farming systems, by showing us how Africa is affected by current US policies. Here's a quote from the following article: "Negotiations will soon begin on the 2007 Farm Bill, the 5-year legislation that governs US food and farm policy. Terry and others will join the efforts of Oxfam America to mobilize people and lobby key members of congress to significantly reduce the subsidies that encourage overproduction and redirect those resources to programs that will help small businesses and non-commodity organic farmers build rural infrastructure and create conservation programs that encourage farmers to better care for the environment."

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Posted by Christina at 2:31 | Permalink

05 March 2007

One Great Big Plastic Hassle

Hey folks, I was reading this article in the new March edition of Common Ground. Thought plastics would be a great topic of discussion. Anyone in Toxicology able to add more insight on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs)? This is the first I've ever heard of them! Here's the text of the article:

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Posted by Christina at 2:24 | Permalink

05 March 2007

What's related?

Oftentimes as I'm studying plant families, I wonder what their evolutionary relationship is. The Tree of Life web project compiles the phylogenetic work from biologists around the world. Its user-friendly format makes it easy to see genetic relationships. http://tolweb.org/tree/phylogeny.html The Tree of Life includes phylogenies of: Land Plants Animals Anthropods Terrestrial vertebrates Fungi Eukaryotes It also is an incredible resource for kids! Plenty of biology-related activities to keep your child's mind active with scientific goodness: The Treehouse for Kids

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Posted by Christina at 0:56 | Permalink

04 March 2007

So Many People...

I was just ruminating today on the different people I run into around campus. I constantly see people that I know walking on the way to class. Even outside of class, I see people I recognize in the library, at stores, or in restaurants. I suppose this is all the result of my willingness to go out and talk to people and be actively involved. The huge campus of Berkeley seems less daunting when you know other people in it. So for those of you reading this in lecture (and shame on you for paying more attention to the internet than to the professor!), take the effort to get to know the person next to you. Who knows, you might just make a new friend. Addendum (to tie this into CNR): I find that this is especially true in CNR. I walk into Mulford Hall (which is one of the halls for the college), and I run into people randomly. They may be people in my (soon-to-be) major, people in my classes, or people I just meet randomly in the area. I'm starting to feel more at home in CNR, just as I'm meeting new people and finding my place in our little college.

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Posted by Joel Kim at 1:54 | Permalink

01 March 2007

Alpha Phi Omega

One activity I've pledged my life to is Alpha Phi Omega. It's a community service fraternity. (Yes, I'm a girl, and I'm in a frat.) It's co-ed. Q: Why didn't they just make it a community service club? Why a frat? A: Because if we're a frat, we get to have a secret handshake. ^^ Well that part is true, but originally, APhiO (as we like to call Alpha Phi Omega) was begun sort of as an extension of the Eagle Scouts (as in boy scouts). Later, we became unassociated, and now assist the Boy Scouts once in a while. Q: What makes APhiO different from the other community service clubs? A: AphiO is a community. You get to know the people that you serve with. You don't just serve with them, you also hang out together, eat together, and have fun together. It's a lifestyle. Mandatory fun is fun. Q: So what do I do if I want to join? A: Pledge next semester. It's too late now. mwahahhaahah

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Posted by K. Lee at 2:14 | Permalink

01 March 2007

I Want to Wrestle a Wild Elephant Seal

Just to remind you ... there are other wonderful bloggers on this blog. If you come here and disappointingly find that I have yet to post, don't panic! You can read some other interesting posts too. For example, I loved the elephant seals one by Nikki Fernandez. It made me think of wild things to do with wild animals. Totally unrelated note but I saw Marshawn Lynch at a party once and I felt the urge to tackle him. Run right across the entire lawn and take him down so I can say I tackled Lynch. Yeah didn't do it. Luckily enough for him. Muhaha. I did fairly well on my midterms. I have said enough. I feel that teachers must get really nervous up in front of everyone. Or at the very least they get hot. Conclusion: Deoderant. My last entry I got a comment. I don't know how to activate comment usage but if I could get comments, I would do it. I used to want comments all the time when I wrote in my Xanga. Comments are nice. Unless they're bad comments. Then you destroy them. My random thoughts are over. Back to work. Maybe next time I'll be able to assemble enough thoughts to give you a coherent story. Cross your fingers!

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Posted by Jonathan Yu at 5:02 | Permalink