29 April 2007

Fun Forest Field Trips

So this past weekend I went on a field trip (one of the cool things of forestry classes are the field trips). I went with my ESPM 134 class: Fire, Insects, and Disease. We started off at 8am, and drove 4 hours, stopping on the way. Our destination was Blodgett Forest, a research forest owned by the UC in the Sierra Nevada. Our purpose was to see firsthand interactions of fire, insects, and diseases in the forest. We were really able to see these agents at work in the forest, so the trip was pretty educational. What I really enjoyed was being able to talk with my fellow students and professors in a more intimate setting. In the classroom, we don't get much opportunities to chat; on the trip we were able to just sit around and hang out. Plus we got to stay over in cabins, which was pretty fun.

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Posted by Joel Kim at 2:11 | Permalink

29 April 2007

TFB

I am already studying for finals because studying is good early. The earlier the better. Today is a promising day by the way. I hope to be able to get some econ studied, to be able to work on stats work, and then finally finish an essay. So this morning at around 6 or 7, I heard some bird starting to go outside my window. It went something like this, EEP. EEEP. EEEP. EEP. I woke up and I was like That *&*%%&^ bird. That #%@$^ Bird. TFB. I leaned as far out as I could out the window and shouted "Shut the !@%# up you #@%%^^ bird!" I was furious as hell and no bird on earth is going to go ruin my beauty sleep. The bird went on for the rest of the morning. I feel like an overused salt lick in a cow field.

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Posted by Jonathan Yu at 2:14 | Permalink

27 April 2007

For the Plant Freaks - Courses and Profs

Hyun-joo asked what courses I've enjoyed - so here we go! I'm addling a little information on professors as well. PMB C107 & C 107L: Plant Morphology. This is my favorite course in the major. It teaches you the ins and outs of vascular plants. Be prepared to do a lot of quick drawing in the labs. You're trained to have a critical eye when viewing plant structures. You also learn the general layout of plant lineages. In the lab, we get to look at microscope slides of plant anatomy, living plant samples, and even fossils! Be warned - those upper-division students that came in without a decent understanding of plant descriptive terminology are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of material covered in this course. In the Genetics & Plant Biology major, the majority of students have a good background in plant biochemistry, cell biology, and genetics. Take at least one non-biochemistry or non-molecular biology plant course before this one. Meeting with study groups and bringing your questions to the graduate student instructor during office hours are essential to success, no matter your background. The professor, Dr. Chelsea Specht: She is perky, incredibly knowledgeable and ready to share what she knows, so don't miss out on a class from her. Sometimes she speaks very fast in lecture! Never miss a lecture, always read background material before coming to class. Otherwise, you risk getting lost in the fast pace. It's probably a good idea to take some of these before PMB C107: IB168: Plant Systematics. This course gives you a general understanding of plant families, and just gets you comfortable looking at plants. For the lab, you'll need to learn the main characters of most plant families. For the quizzes, you'll need to look at a plant and know its family. Bring your camera, sketchbook, and colored pencils to lab. Don't think you know how to draw? If you choose to sketch the plants in this course (rather than just taking photos), you'll get the hang of it by the end of the semester, and you'll be better prepared for PMB C107L. You'll enjoy the small class size, individual attention in lab, and the enthusiastic students. Get to know people and form study groups before exams - it helps to exchange notes. The professor, Dr. Bruce Baldwin: He's the Curator of the Jepson Herbarium. You want to get to know this man. Find any excuse you can to take a course by him. He is soft-spoken, and incredibly kind. He likes to bring up silly facts and stories about the plants, to make his students laugh. Don't miss a lecture, it all shows up on his multiple-choice exams. IB 102 & IB 102L: Introduction to California Plant Life. Who wants to leave California without knowing its flora? Here's an excellent course where you'll run into plant-minded people with interests in forestry, ethnobotany, range science, and so forth. These are folks that you won't run into in your other major courses, but you'll have a lot of fun with them on the field trips and in the labs. You're introduced to the plants of California by their habitat, as well as by family. Watch out! There's a lot of plants to know for this course. It focuses on sight-identification of plants by family, genus, and species. You'll learn a little morphology in this course, since you'll need it to navigate the Jepson Manual, the key to California plants. The professor, Dr. Dean Kelch: Dean knows his field well. A great speaker, and definitely a big part of what makes this course fun. Watch out when he writes on the board - he doesn't have the best hand-writing. The key to enjoying his course - ask questions! PMB C102 & C102L: Diversity of Plants and Fungi. I have not taken it, but several of my friends have enjoyed this elective. Here's the course description: "An integrated treatment of the biology and evolution of the major groups in the plant, algal, and fungal kingdoms." My friends say the instructors have a great sense of humor, and make these plants come alive. It's the only introduction you'll get to marine "plants." I haven't had a semester where I could take the course, but a friend gave me their textbook: Diversity of Plants and Fungi by Rudolf Schmid. It's an excellent resource for getting your mind around an upper-division understanding of plants. Other Great Major Courses: (These happen to be required.) PMB 135 & PMB 135L: Physiology and Biochemistry of Plants. Here's a course that threw me for a loop. Make sure that you take all of Organic Chemistry before embarking on this adventure. I didn't, and boy was it a rush. Other students seemed to have an easier time of it than I did. Here's where you learn C3, C4 and CAM photosynthesis in detail, including the nitty-gritty of how chloroplasts capture energy. Also covers nutrient deficiencies, a bit on soil and water potential, just how turgor pressure works, and, well... all of the math and chemistry that you'll need to understand when it comes to plants. Watch out for the chalk dust - there's a lot of learning, and neither professor uses power point. This course also has frequent quizzes. Don't miss lectures, they're the most important part. The Professors, Dr. Anastasios Melis: When speaking with other students in Genetics & Plant Biology, his name is the most common when you ask about a favorite professor. A Greek accent, incredible smile, and detailed organization are the most notable aspects of this professor. He outlines his lectures well, and brings even the most challenging concepts to a level that we all can understand. He doesn't like textbooks, so take good notes in class - it's all you have to work off of! Dr. Norman Terry: You can see a more current image of him if you watch the first 30 seconds of my "day in the life" video from last semester. Dreamy English accent aside, Dr. Terry is older but he's quick. Organized, and thankfully he works with the course website to give us all of the important notes from his lectures. Sit back and take it all in when he teaches. There's some difficult concepts to master, but he makes it all clear- what you need to know and what you don't. PMB 150 & 150L: Cellular and Developmental Plant Biology. Interested in cell signaling, or genes that control specific functions? Those are two main topics that this course covers. A couple of my friends tell me that this course is much easier if you have already taken PMB 160 and 160L. Be prepared to write a scientific paper, and be sure to come to class for frequent quizzes. Neither professor believes much in textbooks. Be sure to take good notes, and go through their lectures online before attending each course. They won't stop to explain terminology if you've had a chance to look it up. The Professors, Dr. Sheng Luan: His lecture slides are filled with the information he wants you to know, while his gentle voice fills your ears with analogies and stories to help you remember the challenging concepts. His office hours are worthwhile, and his eyes light up when answering questions. You'll find he offers great advice on graduate schools and other pertinent life topics, as well as the course subject material. Dr. Renee Sung: Another professor whose lecture slides accurately depict what she expects us to know for quizzes and exams. She's great at gearing the information she presents to the students she has in her class. If you don't have the proper background to understand a concept she presents, be sure to visit her during office hours to ask for clarification. She also responds quickly to e-mails. A straightforward lecturer, though some may have a difficult time with her Taiwanese accent.

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Posted by Christina at 8:46 | Permalink

27 April 2007

Geeks hit the Military

All of us have friends or family who have spent some time in Iraq, or maybe are there right now. Some of them might even be geeks. Well, here's an awesome event that any military geek wouldn't want to miss. The website: http://www.gamegrene.com/node/790 Ziggurat Con - The World's First War Zone Game Convention? Category: News By aeon | Thu, 2007-04-05 02:12 Which Con are you going to this year? GenCon? Origins? Dundracon? How about Ziggurat Con? The latter is brand new this year, and is being held at Camp Adder/Tallil Airbase on June 9. In Iraq. When President Bush ordered troops to Iraq, he probably never imagined that he would be ultimately be responsible for what very well could be the very first D&D convention/game day ever held in a war zone. Ziggurat Con, being held June 9 from 1200 to 2100 hours at Camp Adder/Tallil Airbase, is open to all allied military personnel and civilian contractors in Iraq. "Here in Iraq, we do many things on the different Forward Operating Bases to help keep our spirits up," said SPC David Amberson, the Con's organizer. "Here at Camp Adder/Tallil Airbase, we have lots of sports activities -- baseball, football, dodgeball, kickball -- and we work with many marathons across the US like the Boston Marathon. This is a great way to improve morale among the troops, but what about those who prefer Role-Playing Games?" The Con's historical landmark "mascot" -- the Ziggurat that gives the Con its name -- can be found on the post, and hails from the ancient city of Ur. Nearby is the house where it is believed that Abraham (a large figure in the Bible, the Koran and the Torah) was born. Cool digs for a Con -- if not for the fact that there's a war going on. Amberson, however, emphasized the need for soldiers to relax and kick back with enjoyable activities from time to time. "There is a deeper sense of camaraderie in a war zone than you see back home," said Amberson, who is a supply soldier with Alpha Company, 86th Signal Battalion. "You eat with these people, work with them on a daily basis, and can even share a tent with the same people. When work is over for the day, we can sit back, relax, drink our favorite sodas, eat our favorite snacks, and play a bit of D&D. This helps us relax in a very stressful environment. We found a place where we can go somewhere far away from the IED's, mortar attacks, and gunfire, without ever leaving the safety of our camp. The next step was only logical." Miss Joy Brown, an employee with KBR who works with MWR (the army’s Morale Welfare & Recreation Department) has graciously allowed service members to use part of the Community Activity Center to hold the Game Day. The Ping Pong room will be set up for RPGs (Role-Playing Games, not to be confused with the rocket propelled grenades which share the same acronym), and the DVD Movie room will be playing Anime Movies all day in support of the event. "Miss Brown has expressed her support of the soldiers who are planning this event, and who keep her in the loop," said Amberson. "In many events, MWR does the running around, trying to get supplies and support; however, in this case, it is the service members themselves who are contacting the publishers and manufacturers. This makes it a real event for the service members, by the service members." The largest problem with running a Con in Iraq, of course, is that there are no local stores or game publishers, and few game books on the post. Even dice are in short supply, with many soldiers breaking the unwritten taboo held by many gamers and (gasp!) sharing dice. Thankfully, many game publishers have also lent their support, and have agreed to supply game products to help the Con along. aethereal FORGE, Sovereign Press, Final Redoubt Press, Goodman Games, Paizo Publishing and Steve Jackson Games are among those that have thrown in their support for the convention. But Amberson indicated that the soldiers could definitely use more. "This convention is currently in drastic need of prizes and giveaways for the troops," he said. "Everything donated will go directly to the troops, or to MWR to use as loaner books for the soldiers." For more information, contact SPC David Amberson at the following address: david.amberson (at) iraq.centcom.mil Donations can also be sent to SPC Amberson directly at the following address: SPC David Amberson A Co 86th Sig Bn APO, AE 09331 "We thank you all back home for supporting us, and we promise that we will try to come back home safe and sound," said Amberson. Con organizers pictured above: Standing: SPC Jerrel Barber, Mr. Jeff (JB) Brown, SPC Christopher Watkins, PFC Samuel Dennison, SGT Gary Decker, SPC Kathleen Hirsche Seated: SPC David Dennison, SPC Konrad Schlarbaum, DPC David Amberson Others not pictured: SPC Matthew Joslyn, PFC John Gilbert, Mr. Raymond Knapp, CPT Andrew Heymann, Miss Joy Brown

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Posted by Christina at 8:32 | Permalink

26 April 2007

Specialty Events - President Carter

Berkeley hosts awesome speakers that Cal students can attend for free! Actually, in this case, only Cal people can attend. Former President Carter will be coming next week News Article Link Here to talk on his new book. Awesome eh? So tickets are limited... they started giving them out at 10 AM today. I got in line at around 12:45. So at 1:30, my friend who is ~30 people ahead of me in line comes and tells me (after he has his ticket), that there were only 10 tickets left at his counter. I start panicking... So as the people count down, the woman at the front is checking how many they have left. I'm now at the front of the line. "What's the ticket count left?" "I have three left." "I have one left." "Alright, so that's four more people." I'm second in line at that point. ~whooosh. I barely squeezed in and got a ticket. Thank God.

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Posted by K. Lee at 1:11 | Permalink

25 April 2007

Summer here I come..

So I decided I wanted to take summer school after all. However, I don't want to take it at Berkeley because I want to spend the summer with my family and friends in Sacramento. Plus, a summer wouldn't feel like a summer if I didn't "travel" even if it is just go go home, lol. I talked to a CNR advisor about summer school and she helped me a lot. Here is what I found out: 1. You can't take summer school at a UC like UC Davis because they run on a quarter system and UC Berkeley is a semester system so the dates won't line up. 2. In general, you can't take summer school at a State school like Sacramento State University because people don't usually transfer from State schools to UCs so the classes are not transferable (for the most part). 3. You CAN take classes at a community college as long as it is a UC Transferable course and the course you are taking must be equivalent to the UC course you want credit for. You can find what community college courses are equivilant through assist.org 4. The grade will not be counted into your Berkeley GPA but if you are applying to let's say medical school, you must send them ALL college transcripts and they will calculate another GPA. So you still have to take the JC class seriously...bohooo right? 5. YOU are responcible for sending Berkeley the official transcript at the end of the term if you want them to count for units. 8. Classes that satisfy a major requirnment will count towards your major so long as they are transferable/equivelant. 9. If you want to repeat a course you took at Berkeley you MUST repeat it AT Berkeley so if you take the same course (even if it is equivalent) it will not replace the course you want it to. 10. Don't stress. Keep up with the paper work and everything should work out fine. If you have any questions about this you can contact your CNR advisor. Hope this helps!

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Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 7:19 | Permalink

25 April 2007

Mol Tox Progress & Telebears Priority

Telebears Season. Well, it has been for the past month or so. DSP students get super crazy priority- they get theirs on the first day. Then grad students, upper divs, lower divs. You priority is determined based on which category you are in (1st year, 2nd year, etc) which is determined by the number of units you have. For example, once you hit 30 units, you're a 2nd year, and once you hit 60, you're a 3rd year. However, there is no difference between having 30 units and have 59 units. Within each category, the actual day and time you get is assigned randomly. Telebears are assigned every 20 min. 9 am, 9:20, 9:40, etc. and you get one hour to complete your telebears. Good to have great priority.

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Posted by K. Lee at 4:45 | Permalink

25 April 2007

Good News! Research Abroad!

Today I got this e-mail: Dear Moorea Applicant: If you received this message, you are one of the 22 students selected for the Fall 2007 course. Congratulations, this was a very competitive process. We will hold an organizational meeting within the next two weeks and I will let you know the day and time. So... I applied to this program. We go here for a semester. It's study abroad on steroids. More pretty photos: You go to an island in French Polynesia. You learn stuff. You plan a research project. You carry it out. You have a full labs to your disposal. You get to know the 21 other students that are there with you. You practice French. You make a poster and present a paper back at Berkeley campus when you return. It's awesome. And somehow they decided to let me go! Photos are taken from these websites: http://p.vtourist.com/2062063-Moorea-Moorea.jpg http://www.polinesia.com/foto/moorea.jpg http://www.wayfaring.info/wp-content/uploads/2006/10/moorea.jpg

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Posted by Christina at 2:40 | Permalink

25 April 2007

It never sucks to live with a pilot!

When I got into UCB, Eric took me for a flight over campus. BerkeleySky.jpg You can see my house and the CNR building in this shot. sfsky.jpg San Francisco from high above the East Bay... "Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunwards I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth Of sun-split clouds – and done a thousand things You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung..." -John Magee

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Posted by Eric Thurston at 1:21 | Permalink

22 April 2007

Blessing or Curse!

So I only have one REAL final this semester and that's Organic Chemistry...EEEEK. Good thing? Well at first I thought it was. However, I still have an Arabic final to worry about...the only difference is that it is given over a two day period in class so before finals week which allows me more time to study o-chem. Then I have a scrapbook...yeah a scrapbook about Strawberry creek due along with an expository essay and a poetry essay for English. I also have a book report (which obviously requires reading and then analysing the book). So....I only have one real final..but I have projects and essays that are not only time consuming but equivelant to finals. So is this a blessing or a curse? I'll let you know May 17th =)

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Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 7:43 | Permalink

21 April 2007

Cal Day

I liked Cal Day. Originally my plan was to flee to Walnut Creek and spend the morning just reading somewhere far far away. At around nine in the morning (Horrendously early if you know me) I got a phone call from two people from my high school, Amy and Audrey. They asked me if I could help them go around the school and show them around. I was like ugh, the morning art doth be too earlyth but I acceded and went down to meet them. Had the best day ever trying to convince them to go to Berkeley. Essentially they were deciding between here, USC, or in Amy's case, Duke. I was like heck yeah go to Berkeley. I guided them to my very sly and smooth friend, Jenny, and she put on her spiel and that was great. I took them from Doe Library to Unit 3 to Unit 1 to ... well around the freaking school. My legs feel like grass jelly.

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Posted by Jonathan Yu at 1:34 | Permalink

18 April 2007

Thoughts on Racism

I never thought about racism until I came to Berkeley. I never saw it at home. Most everyone was white, and we were happy for the diversity when they weren't. Dunno. It shocked me when I came here to Berkeley and in my Organic Chemistry course there were 3 other white people: a Sweede, a Russian, and one American. When people asked me where I was from, I'd say California. I'd talk about the city that I was raised in - the place that I call home. But that wasn't enough for most people. They asked where my parents were born, where their parents were born. They couldn't get over the fact that I couldn't point to a single specific ancestor that wasn't born in the United States. They couldn't believe that I was a focused student, that I got into Berkeley or even care about school in general. Their experience had been that every white person whose parents were raised in the US was lazy, and didn't care about school. Making assumptions is bad. The university environment is where you learn to get over stereotypes. Berkeley is full of diversity. I can't walk down the street without seeing it. I rub shoulders in each classroom with incredible representatives of culture and kindness in the people that surround me. I'm happy for it. What an enriching opportunity!

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Posted by Christina at 5:20 | Permalink

18 April 2007

Green, Life-Giving and Forever Young

What a great article from the New York Times! I just had to post it. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/17/science/17angi.html?_r=1&oref=slogin By Natalie Angier Published April 17, 2007 Show somebody a painting of a verdant, botanically explicit forest with three elk grazing in the middle and ask what the picture is about, and the average viewer will answer, “Three elk grazing.” Add a blue jay to the scene and the response becomes, “Three elk grazing under the watchful eye of a blue jay.” What you’re unlikely to hear is anything akin to, “It’s a classic temperate mix of maple, birch and beech trees, and here’s a spectacular basswood and, whoa, an American elm that shows no sign of fungal infestation and, oh yeah, three elk and a blue jay.” According to Peter H. Raven, director of the Missouri Botanical Garden, many of us suffer from an insidious condition called “plant blindness.” We barely notice plants, can rarely identify them and find them incomparably inert. Do you think that you will ever see a coma as vegetative as a tree? “Animals are much more vivid to the average person than plants are,” Dr. Raven said, “and some people aren’t even sure that plants are alive.” But the antidote to plant apathy is at hand. As an unusually cool, sodden April edges toward May and spring’s cheeky blooms can be bridled no longer, botanists urge everyone to venture outside and check out the world through nature’s rose-colored glasses — and the daffodil, cherry blossom, dogwood and lupine ones, too. If this view doesn’t move you, you’re pushing up daisies. As it happens, plants are not only alive in their own right. They are also the basis of virtually all life on earth, including ours. The core feature of planthood is autotrophy, that is, the happy ability to make one’s own food. Plants essentially eat the sun, transforming solar energy into sugars and starch through the stepwise enzymatic stitchery of photosynthesis. Animals, by contrast, are heterotrophs, defined by their need to devour other organisms — the hard-won fruit and fiber of the suneaters, or the once-removed flesh of herbivores. Moreover, because plants release oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis, plants also give us aerobes leave to breathe. Our atmosphere is currently about 20 percent oxygen, all of it the bounty of the planet’s green-skinned autotrophs. “The most important chemical reaction on earth is photosynthesis,” said Robert DeFeo, chief horticulturist for the National Park Service. “We are all parasites upon it.” Essential though plants may be to our survival, Dr. Raven emphasizes that they are a radically different form of organism than are animals. Plants and animals have evolved along separate paths for hundreds of millions of years, ever since single cells began pooling their talents into multicelled beings. “Plants have evolved their multicellularity completely separately from animals, and any direct comparisons between the groups are wrong,” Dr. Raven said. “It’s as if plants evolved on Mars, and animals here.” In addition to their caloric self-sufficiency, plants can be envied for their eternal youthfulness. A plant elongates itself through constant cell growth in two zones of its body, at the very tips of the roots, which grow down into soil or other surface to which the plant clings, and the outer tips of the shoots, from which new leaves, flowers and fruits sprout. Whereas an animal, upon reaching maturity, has almost no young cells left in its body, Dr. Raven said, “in plants the ends of the roots and shoots are always juvenile, always growing, always babies.” A plant is also always drinking, slurping water and nutrients the only way it can, through its roots. Everything needs water to survive, but another radical difference between the faunal and floral crafts is that while we can drink water and keep it circulating through the body via the bloodstream, water moves through a plant’s body in a continuous stream, entering through the roots, crawling up the stem and evaporating out through little openings, or stomata, in the leaves. In fact, the upward tug of evaporation is what pulls more water up from the soil, as the clingy water droplets follow each other skyward through the hollow capillaries of the plant’s stem and leaves, shinnying as high as 300 or 400 feet above ground in the case of the giant redwoods. No, there’s no rest for the weary, especially if you’re immobile. Beyond feeding style, perhaps the biggest discrepancy between animals and plants is that animals can move, but plants are of necessity stuck in place. Unable to defend themselves by running away, plants have instead become crackerjack chemists, evolving a vast armamentarium of insect repellents, fungicides, microbicides, ultraviolet blockers and other defensive compounds that human chemists have just begun to tally. Rootedness also complicates a plant’s love life, which brings us back to the blooming bounty of spring. Plants, like everybody else, want to spread their seed around and diversify their genetic stock through sexual reproduction, but it’s hard to meet fresh faces when you don’t have legs. A number of plant species like pine trees, oaks, cottonwoods and grasses rely on wind to blow their pollen around, with the hope that some of the male sperm contained therein will land on receptive female parts of their far-flung kind. Or if not the same kind, at least something in the same general group: the boundaries between plant species are far more porous than they are in animals, and different species and even genera of plants cross-hybridize with each other surprisingly often. Nevertheless, wind sex is highly iffy and inefficient, and many species of modern plants, the angiosperms, instead manipulate members of the animal kingdom to serve as yentas in a more discriminating style. The plants offer up brilliant blossoms to entice a specific pollinating insect or bird, which gets drunk on the blossom’s nectar and wants more and so seeks out other blossoms of similar shape, color or scent. And as the bee or hummingbird flits from one favored flower to the next, it incidentally delivers pollen pockets to just the right spots. “We say, isn’t that beautiful, but the precise forms and shapes of flowers are adaptations to attract individual pollinators,” Dr. Raven said. When we eat, we are parasites on the foundational labor of plants; and when we “say it with flowers,” we are plagiarists, too.

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Posted by Christina at 4:58 | Permalink

17 April 2007

My Suitemate is an Evil Curve Destroying Robot

My suitemate Adam takes Physics 7A because he is an EECS major. Who knows why he wants to do stuff with computers so much but lately he's spent the last week or so studying for three midterms, one from Math 53, another from Comp Sci and a third for Physics. Today he got back the scores for the midterms. Adam, who I see more often than not playing video games and sleeping and playing poker, got a 100/100 on his Math 53 midterm. Then he got a 96 in the Physics Midterm when the average was 60. That's just inhuman. Therefore, my conclusion. ADAM IS A ROBOT. After I took my Stats 21 midterm on Friday (97/100), I was standing outside and watching the kids go into lecture, which was the comp sci class that Adam took. I remember two of the kids talking about how the average in the midterm was 30 but some geniuses got 90 and totally screwed the curve over. I asked Adam what he got. "90." He says. Ergo. Adam. Curve destroying poker playing 10AM waking noodle eating robot. Evil Robot On a totally serious note, though, the shootings at Virginia Tech. I don't often like to say things in reference to events that I had no part in and I cannot influence but I just want to ask people to pray for the victims in the disaster. Pray or say some words or even if you're not religious, just keep them in mind. That's all.

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Posted by Jonathan Yu at 9:22 | Permalink

17 April 2007

Remembering

Virginia Tech: Thirty-two dead. 21 wounded. Treating each person as one, and not as a statistic just to be counted, may each one lost rest in peace. I can't imagine the terror that they went through when they heard, felt, and realized what was happening. I can't imagine that of the families as they waited for the news. May we keep them in our prayers.

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Posted by K. Lee at 9:02 | Permalink

16 April 2007

American Public Gardens

http://www.aabga.org/ Ever wonder what links all of the great public gardens across the United States? You think - surely they're related somehow. Well, now you get to learn. APGA - the American Public Gardens Association is what brings them all together. You're sitting in Berkeley, trying to plan your trip to Santa Barbara. You've just taken a lot of plant courses, so you think it'd be fun to impress your friends and family by taking them to a garden where you can point out what's what. Well, here we go, you can find gardens anywhere you'd like to go with their search page: http://www.aabga.org/Custom/GardenSearch.aspx It even works if you know a garden's name but can't remember where to find it. For instance "I want to visit the Huntington Botanical Garden! I keep hearing about how great it is. But is it even in California?" Well, yes, indeed it is. In fact, it's in San Marino, CA. That search page brought you right to its address and main phone number. How handy! Maybe you're looking for research materials. You'd like a little something from its natural habitat in Idaho. You're not sure who to contact or where to go for your specimen. Don't worry! Just turn to the advanced search and you'll find everything that you need to get started. Such a great resource!

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Posted by Christina at 1:14 | Permalink

15 April 2007

Strawberry Creek

My English class focuses on CA nature and my GSI is very much into the watershed of Strawberry creek into the bay and Strawberry Creek in general. As a class, we've walked all the way up and down Strawberry Creek on campus and we've taken many pictures. I was suprised to see how much trash lies on the sides and in Strawberry Creek. I have always thought of Berkeley as a enviromently aware and clean campus. Seems that it is on the surface but if you scratch a little deeper you'll find that there are a lot of things we can do to improve the enviroment on and around our campus. Some people have already started by simply joining a group that cleans up the creek or removes the Ivy which has covered the Creek. Here's an event they have planned. on facebook of course. So don't just sit back to enjoy the creek, step in and help, it'll make you feel good at the end of the day!

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Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 8:03 | Permalink

12 April 2007

Eeeeek.

You know what's worse than social isolation for an entire week just so you can bary yourself in organic chemistry in preperation for Tuesday's midterm?.....Going to the o-chem post midterm lecture Thursday and finding out that the 60 yearold French professor is "PISSED" (and no it doesn't sound less horrific with his cute little accent) at the 900 people class for having the average score at 40%. Yes ladies and gentlemen, we have 900 of the nation's smartest people with a 40% class average on an organic chemistry course....Ahhhhhhh....could you say pressure? Yeah, I definatly will NOT be looking forward to getting that test back Monday during lab. Bohooo...I'm going to go watch Grey's Anatomy..that always makes me feel better. Hope midterms are going good for you!

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Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 0:16 | Permalink

12 April 2007

Midnight in the Garden of Sleep and Study

Great entry, Kristin. I loved reading every word of it. Maybe I am somewhat different from regular people. But of course you all know that but when it comes to social stuff, I am not that great. I did all the club tire kickings and took a look but that kind of stuff just isn't for me. Alot of people gathered into some spot tends to get me uneasy. My ancestors must have been mice. I spend a majority of my time studying and working on my URAP project. It's pretty exciting stuff, URAP. I will not hesitate to say that it is one of the most fulfilling experiences anybody can have. I tell you enough about my study habits. Let's talk about what I do with URAP. There is a class in the graduate sector that is called, New Product Development and essentially it gathers together a bunch of grad students from many different disciplines and tells them to make a brand new product and deliever a prototype. They actually have to go and build the thing! Now what I and my Ph.D student do is go through this data and find out how these teams eventually decide on what they do. What kinds of tools they might use and what sorts of thoughts they may use. Results are very encouraging and we've come up with plenty of great models. A paper will probably be written down the line and there was even talk of a book (yeah right) but yeah this URAP thing has been great for me (even though it's only 2 units and wayy too low of an estimate.)

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Posted by Jonathan Yu at 1:40 | Permalink

06 April 2007

Campus Bathrooms

Berkeley has many many many bathrooms. Below, you'll see dots at the locations that I frequent. The ones with a lil 2 on them mean that they're on the second floor. Orange means 1st floor. Blue means basement floor. And the pink without a number is on floor E, female bathroom. berkeleycampusmap.gif If you continue on, there is an expanded image.,

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Posted by K. Lee at 7:00 | Permalink

06 April 2007

AirBears

I'm blogging from class. What? I'm not listening to the professor? Yes, I'm still listening to the prof. Multitasking, my dear Watson. "Suuuure you are," types my buddy Matt. Well, that shows how he's paying attn too. I just thought that I should show off the magnificient internet connection that is present everywhere on campus. We call it "AirBears." Awesome eh? You can be downloading, e-mailing, and AIMing in class. Not that anyone ever does that though. ^^ For deaf students, closed caption is shot over this web connection to their computers. Thus, it actually is important for students to not use it in the larger classes because it'll slow down closed captioning. That's another topic for another day.

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Posted by K. Lee at 1:26 | Permalink

03 April 2007

Zzz...

*Yawn* Hmm? It's Spring already...? We...had a Spring Break? Whoa, looks like my seasonal quiescence got the best of me. Funny how time off flies by, and the next thing ya' know there's only a little over a month of classes left. I find it disturbing realizing that it's already time to rifle through the list of class offerings and try to find something that works for the Fall. This semester I've offered my note-taking services through Cal's DSP - I'd recommend that if you take notes (I've yet to come across someone at Cal who doesn't...) you throw your name in the hat for semesters to come, as it certainly doesn't hurt to offer the help, and if chosen you do get paid for doing so. I like to think that it also helps with your own note taking, as you become aware that someone else will actually have to understand them!

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Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 9:43 | Permalink

02 April 2007

What's the difference between these 4 trees?


Since I've had a bit of a frustration working out the details separating these trees in my mind, I figure it'd be fun to write a blog about their differences and similarities!

Just what's the difference between Elm, Alder, Hazel, and Birch?

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Posted by Christina at 1:09 | Permalink

01 April 2007

Spring Break

Spring break has ceased on April 1st. What a cruel joke. >< I spent spring break back at home on jury duty. I was on call for the entire week. Calling in twice a day and being unable to go anywhere is un-fun. Not that I have any complaints about doing my civic duty, but it would have been nicer if they could divide the group up into two and have them call in on alternate days instead of having everyone call in twice daily. Well, its over now and it'll be at least 12 more months until jury duty possibilities. Midterms commence tomarrow. whee~~~~ Allergy season seems to be hitting particularly hard this week.

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Posted by K. Lee at 7:56 | Permalink