30 November 2007

Japan's Cherry Blossoms - now??

Weather in Berkeley this morning: 43 degrees. But SUNNY! I'm sure it'll warm up by the afternoon. In the meantime, I've taken to sitting in the sun, bundled in my coat and gloves. Why? Well, it's difficult adjusting to Winter when you've just experienced two back-to-back summers. The joys of jumping hemispheres. My behavior is justified by recent travels. But what about those cherry trees that are blooming in Japan right now? Normally they bloom from Feb - May. This year, they're seeing something completely unseasonal. Here's a run-down of when cherries bloom in Japan, according to the Japan photo guide webiste http://babibubebo.com/: Here's an article from National Geographic that discusses the out-of-season blooms: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/11/071127-cherry-blossoms.html

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Posted by Christina at 8:42 | Permalink

30 November 2007

Correction: Fizer the Musician

My friend Josh saw this entry and pointed me in the right direction about the chess player. Apparently he's not a bum! He's a beloved Berkeley street musician. Don't I feel out of the loop! In 2005, students Sean Staub and Ben Hadden made a 14-minute documentary about his life, called "Future Past Remembered." Here's an article written about Fizer's vision in The Daily Californian: http://www.dailycal.org/sharticle.php?id=17840 Faces of Berkeley: A Voice of the '60s Plays for a Peaceful Tomorrow BY Catherine Yang Contributing Writer Wednesday, March 2, 2005 John Fizer, a self-proclaimed "peacenik," sings and plays guitar in front of Dwinelle Hall. "I try to be there every day," he says. He may look like country crooner Willie Nelson, but John Fizer-better known to students as the man who plays the guitar outside Dwinelle Hall-would rather think of himself in terms of Bob Dylan. The 59-year-old Virginia native has traveled across the country, from the cafes of New York's Greenwich Village to the streets of Santa Cruz, hoping his music will inspire students as much as Dylan's music inspired a generation of peace advocates in the 1960s.

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Posted by Christina at 8:09 | Permalink

29 November 2007

Thanksgiving Break

I hope everyone's break went well and spent some time not doing school work. I definately needed at break, however like a good Cal student with a 25 page paper due the week after I only spent one day doing nothing. Yes that is correct I watched a whole season of America's Next Top Model in one day. My eyes were tired from staring at the TV and my mind was numb...but it was amazing. It made me look forward to having four weeks off with no assignments due at the end. But that was in the past and now it's time to focus on what I accomplished...my 25 page paper on the California condor for ESPM 100 is done!!! Yes two months in the making and hours of reading, interviewing, and typing are now over. Now it's time to focus on finals...

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Posted by Marissa Ponder at 6:28 | Permalink

29 November 2007

This is Berkeley

After returning from Paradise, I started walking around campus and realized what an interesting place it is. It's as though the past two months of gazing at beauty everywhere gave me a desire to search for the beauty in my every-day. Berkeley offers an unexpected culture of contrasts, along with occasional snippits of the breathtaking. Morning sun on the walls of Hilgard: Winter's grasp: Bustle of Sather Gate: Chess game with a bum - guitar and voice: Acapella nonsense: Weekly organic mini-market:

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Posted by Christina at 1:05 | Permalink

29 November 2007


I have taken a short vacation from this blog (Not that anybody cared that I was gone) to submit my Haas application. The server crashed this morning at around 5 and I started panicking like no other. I began throwing stuff and pulling at my hair and it sucks because I have been working on that accursed application for weeks and weeks and it just drove me insane. Not only that I have a 10 page essay in Economics due today and I have to do research for it too. I have been driving myself insane writing it. I would crash in the Moffett Library and just ignore everyone except my essay. While I was writing I realized that I was getting more and more tired and I was getting more and more insane. My hair just got all ugly and I was real Unabomber, Tree People status. I need to take a shower and just return to normalcy. Unfortunately that will not happen for a while. I still have a final and several essays to complete for my other classes. Sweet jumping squirrels! Sometimes I wonder just why I didn't just drop out of school and repair elevators.

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Posted by Jonathan Yu at 0:17 | Permalink

28 November 2007

Honor: Why you should not enroll in 19 units and work three jobs.

The opportunities made available to me at UC Berkeley are beyond my wildest dreams (although, to be honest, I never dreamt about them ^_^). This May, I got injured and had to stop competing in the martial arts until I healed. Shortly thereafter, I got in a bit of a car accident while on a new scooter (read: don’t get one). While training 24 hours a week, in order to stay on top of my competition in the ring and class, I had to say no to all of those exciting academic and extra-curricular opportunities that pop up. So, once I had healed, I realized I could say YES, YES, YES! Somehow, this has resulted in me taking 19 units this semester, auditing two additional classes, taking on three jobs, and being involved in numerous other programs. Beyond that, I’m taking the GRE next weekend, applying to four very special graduate programs and interviewing for two full-time jobs that would start next year. Surprisingly, I’ve been able to fulfill my commitments thus far in the semester. Unfortunately, as the semester’s end nears, the cumulative requirements of my involvement seems to be peaking, ACK! Here is where my blog title, honor, gets involved. Wikipedia has a nice long article on honor. I was taught, however, a more simple definition: the ability to recognize and fulfill my obligations – both to others and oneself. Additionally, my capability to do this is most important when times are at their toughest – it means the most to come through for people when my life is at its hardest. To everyone stressing out – remember this. If we can follow through at our best now, during the semester’s peak, we will surely be ready to handle life under lower levels of stress. This is our time to shine!

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Posted by Tay Feder at 3:32 | Permalink

27 November 2007

My two new favorite places to grub!

So today, I had a one-on-one meeting with one of the PASS interns.I took her to one of my favorite places in Berkeley, Brazil Cafe. If you have never been there I definitely recommend that you go and either order the tri-tip sandwich (or plate) or for those of you who prefer veggies, the Lambada, either with a mango or acai smoothie. The intern loved it and other people I've brought love it. I haven't heard many bad things about the place but hey, you know, everyone's a critic. Pedro, the man with the vision, is extremely nice, actually a few weeks ago he told me to visit their new location. A new location, just around the corner? It's definitely different from the lively and bustling shack on University, I see it more as an indoor, longer-hours, no-student special alternative (so slightly more pricey) to the original place. The service is just as great and the people are just s nice. I think Pedro said his sister was running this one, but after "the Shack" is closed, you can sometimes find him here as well. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/431044 Well the second place is just as good, totally different food but hopefully the colorful descriptions of the first won't make this one pale in comparison. The other is Thai Noodle on Shattuck - great food, again, nice people, it's a few blocks past University but well before Elephant Pharmacy. Fan favorites? Fried chicken over fried rice :) Enjoy!

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Posted by Nikki Fernandez at 2:39 | Permalink

27 November 2007

Back to Berkeley

Back to work - and ready for it. For those of you who aren't sure what's up, here's the run down: I'm in IB C158/ ESPM C107 this semester. It's a field course (apply for it in March as a junior!) that involves designing your own biological research experiment from start to finish, and carrying it out in a researcher's heaven: Mo'orea, French Polynesia. You spend the first 3 weeks of the semester on Berkeley campus, learning about the island geology, geography and a little on each of the major ecosystems. Next comes 2 months in Mo'orea, where you turn out a project proposal, carry out all your research, then write a few rough drafts of your paper. You then return to Berkeley, complete a statistical analysis of your data, write a paper to be published in the class's own journal, and participate in a symposium for the projects. Where am I now? Said goodbye to Mo'orea last week, returned to visit my family in SoCal for Thanksgiving. Now I'm back in Berkeley to work on all the bits and pieces that remain before turning in the final paper and presenting at the symposium. Feeling motivated since Monday's meeting with professors and classmates. We met at 9am and heard updates on everyone's projects. Most people had just barely made it back to Berkeley in time for the class. The professors discussed various lectures that they'll offer to help us complete our projects. After the big group meeting, the professors spoke briefly individually with those that they felt they could most help, to arrange times to meet. 2 weeks to get done with everything - should be a rush. Today I met with Dr. Brent Mishler. We went over the statisical methods I should use for my project, and discussed me making a small key to the Cyperaceae found on Mo'orea, and adding to the Moorea digital flora project. We also sorted through my voucher samples. Mainly sedges, but also associated species, like grasses and composites. He'll pass them along to some of the experts in the herbarium to confirm my identifications. It's great to feel motivated with my project. Seems there's so much to do - GIS modeling, statistics, keying, writing - I hope that I have time for it all!

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Posted by Christina at 2:04 | Permalink

22 November 2007

Maybe they just need a hug...

I live in Alpha Phi which is a sorority house right on Bancroft Steps on top of the hill to the right of I-House and right before the Stadium which also means that its right next door to the tree huggers. I usually take the back way home because its faster and less "hilly" as I like to call it. However, today I was met but a little suprise while I walked up through the stadium and to my house. A security guard was standing infront of a huge fence that surrounded the entire area..."What's going on?" I asked one of the guards "It's so we make sure no one is communicating with the protesters or giving them food." My friend Neda asked why they can't get food and the guard responded "Because they are the property of the Berkeley Jail System and so if you want to give them food you're going to jail with them!" Talk about a protest...at first I thought oh well aren't these people just passionate and nice...but now we're talking about jail? Why is this situation getting so out of hand? I really don't know what to think...should I feel bad for the protesters who are just trying to save these poor trees or should I tell them to go buy some wood, build a bridge and get over it? Or should I be glad that the Berkeley police decided to post two huge light projectors over the tree huggers and provide 24 hour security so I feel a lot safer walking home? I really feel torn in this debate but I do know that I would hate for it to end violently with many innocent people in jail...

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Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 3:27 | Permalink

21 November 2007

Do I really want my fingerprint on file in Japan?

According to this article and according to a little slip I received from the emigration officer when I was leaving Japan for a visit to the USA last week, beginning Nov 20th, I will be fingerprinted (and my picture will be entered into a database) every time I enter the country. Frankly, I feel quite...uncomfortable by this prospect. My fingerprints are my own, unique. I don't want them in some database especially since I haven't done anything. Sure, if I forget to turn on my bike light when I'm biking in Japan, take my fingerprint oh police-dude! (True thing. They take your fingerprint because foreigners normally don't have the I.D. stamp with them (hanko)). However, before I've even committed something is a bit... ... ... hum. In the article, it talks about foreigner visitors to the USA needing to be IDed and photoed. Can anyone verify that? None of my relatives recall going though that, but it has been a long time since any of them visited. Maybe it depends on which country you come from and the Visa requirements?

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Posted by K. Lee at 1:39 | Permalink

20 November 2007

Declaring your major!

I decided I want to declare my major. Doing this will keep me on track because if I have to fill out one more paper about my acadamics I think I might just blow up. My declaration is a little more complicated however because I want a simultaneous degree. This means that I am declaring two majors from two different colleges resulting in two different degrees. I want to double major in Microbial Biology (in CNR) and Arabic (L&S). Although this sounds exciting because I'll be getting a BS for Micro Bio and a BA for Arabic, it is a tad annoying because that means I still have to fulfill L&S's 7 breadth requirements which is a pain in the butt when you are already doing too many classes for two completely different majors. I still have my heart set on this double major though since I entered Berkeley and I still haven't changed my mind (even after 4 midterms in one week and taking chem 3A and B) so I am going to go threw with it. I need to do a few logistical things to accomplish this: 1. I have to declare my major at CNR 2. I have to declare a major at L&S 3. While declaring at L&S I have to apply for a simultaneous degree where both advisors in CNR and L&S must sign my request. Not too bad surprisingly so I am thrilled to be doing this and I will officially have to declared major effective Spring 2008. I hope this boosts my telebear appointments somehow and make them earlier!! If you have any questions about declaring a major feel free to ask!

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Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 1:06 | Permalink

18 November 2007

Time Mgmt

I've got a lot of great ideas for blog posts. The obstacle, however, is that these epiphanies usually come when I have lots of work to do. Actually, now that I think about it, I *always* have work to do -- usually with impending deadlines of 1-2 days away. So, how can I make time for all the small stuff -- like blog posting? My idea is to separate your to-do list in half: one with priorities and deadlines, and the other with all that small stuff you never get around to doing. When you find your brain fried and in need of a break -- pick up your 2nd to-do list and get a cracking! (PS. TeleBEARS phase II is coming… Don’t forget!!!)

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Posted by Tay Feder at 3:42 | Permalink

16 November 2007

Can’t wait for my o-chem MT to be done!!!

5 more days till thanksgiving. 3 more days till Thanksgiving if you don’t count the lovely weekend. However, this Saturday and Sunday will not be enjoyable to me because I am going to study for my second midterm in organic chemistry, which is next Monday evening. And I still have a writing assignment due the next morning! But after that, I am all free and ready to go home! Unlike a few of my friends who have planned out their Thanksgiving break, I don’t have much details at this moment, but eating good food, spending time with my parents, meeting up with friends and shopping are definitely on my list. Enjoy the break – the peace before the turmoil of finals and papers attacks us again.

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Posted by Yang Cao at 3:51 | Permalink

15 November 2007

Almost break...turkey and studying!!!

So far I've officially "survived" Berkeley, and loved it at the same time. It is the #1 public school in the nation; would you expect any less of the workload? I definitely feel like I choose the right school for me. Even when I’m up late at night studying there is a piece of me that feels like I enjoy it because I know that it will only better me for my after college career path. I'm really glad I came into Berkeley with time management skills otherwise I'd feel lost like some other students do. As the weeks pass I feel more comfortable here and begin to see more familiar faces around campus.

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Posted by Marissa Ponder at 3:10 | Permalink

14 November 2007

Drowning in (end of the semester) midterms. STILL!

Whoever decided to give the name "midterms" to exams and papers preiodically distributed and due throughout the semester was nuts! Or maybe, it is just that professors and GSIs are taking intrpretive liberty in defining the "mid" part of midterms.I really have no idea where the semester has gone. Oh wait yes I have, midterms! I thought that last week heralded the end of my midterm season but right when I thought I had a second to breath I was hit by this week, where I actually have a paper due everyday (Tuesday to Saturday). I have to think positive and look on the bright side, Thanksgiving is coming up and before I get a chance to crawl into bed for a full night's sleep it will be time to get on a plane and fly on home to Los Angeles. I can't wait! Oh yes, and I just remembered that I promised a few pictures from my summer travels abroad, so just to liven up this post a little bit, I will post a few here...

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Posted by Nikki Fernandez at 6:26 | Permalink

11 November 2007

Mo'orea Hiking Adventures

Hiking here is extreme - or can be, if you'd like to tackle razor-thin ridgelines and climb to the peak of the tallest mountains possible. Beauty everywhere. Pointing at Mt. Rotui from 3 Pines Hiking through Hibiscus tiliaceous The Mouaputa crew

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Posted by Christina at 9:24 | Permalink

08 November 2007

what to eat?

So unless I'm mistaken, Berkeley has a reputation for having one of, if not THE, "healthiest" dining options in the nation. I most definitely agree with the fact that our organic selection blows away competing universities', and I applaud the fact that trans fats don't dare trespass our campus boundaries. As I acquainted myself with the "healthy" campaign that seemed to surround me everywhere I ate during the first few weeks of school, I had high expectations that I would end up eating a relatively nutritious diet. But after those first few weeks I began to realize that my food options, that is, the "nutritious" ones, were much more limited that I had presumed them to be. For example, I remember specifically avoiding the main dishes at cafe three for a few days straight because the only options were fried burger patties, roast beef with a generous helping of lard on the side, or kung pao deep fried chicken loaded with extra salt. The only other alternatives were pho or pizza...which are not terrible themselves, but failed to attract my taste buds after eating them continuously for a whole week.

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Posted by Angela Hsu at 0:25 | Permalink

06 November 2007

Can't wait 'til Thanksgiving!!!

Only two and half weeks til Thanksgiving Break!!! Or...about 15 days...whichever one sounds shorter! So, anyone have plans, yet? I know I do! I can't wait to go back home to SoCal! I mean, Berkeley's awesome and everything, but I do miss my family. So...here are my plans: I'm gonna fly back to SoCal on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, yes...cuz I didn't know that I wouldn't have some classes on Wednesday...but I actually end classes on Wednesday at noon...I guess I'll just try and get some work done and just hang out with friends. Anyways, by the time I get home, it'll be mid-afternoon...and I plan on eating a lot, watching a few movies,

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Posted by Victoria Eng at 0:33 | Permalink

06 November 2007

Midterms! Eek!!!

Hey! I feel like I haven't posted for quite a while. Anyways, everyone up for another round of midterms? I have a Math 1A midterm this thursday and a Chemistry 1A midterm on the Tuesday after Veteran's day. Thank heavens we have a day off!! Has anyone else noticed how rare days off are at Berkeley? I also have a paper due for english and a research paper to write for the class, too. Then, there's also the chemistry research project. I feel like everything's

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Posted by Victoria Eng at 0:24 | Permalink

05 November 2007

Body Worlds at the San Jose Tech Museum

This weekend I went to the Tech Museum in San Jose to see Body Worlds 2. A singularly strange experience. For those who don’t know what Body Worlds is, it's this exhibition of human bodies set up by a German anatomist named Gunther von Hagens. They use a process called plastination to change the composition of the human body from 65% water to 65% plastic resin. The end result is tantamount to an artistic anatomy lesson and a traveling freak-show. Much of what is to be seen is simultaneously beautiful and repulsive - breathtaking in more ways than one. Learn more about the whole visceral thing

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Posted by Eric Thurston at 5:30 | Permalink

03 November 2007

in YOUR face...

Yay my hell week is over...I survived 4 midterms in one week...I am now ready for ANYTHING...(except a caffeine shortage in our food supply because that would really kill me!)...And now everyone is running around stressed about midterms and papers and I have nothing to worry about but little quizes here and there until finals...yay...finally I can sit back and catch up on my 2 missed episodes of Grey's Anatomy, 3 issues of cosmo, 2 issues of W, and 7 issues of TIME.

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Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 1:02 | Permalink

01 November 2007

Just Hanging

It's been quite fun here in Japan. Last weekend, the "Canada House" (one of the men's dorms) had a "Canada House Ball." I can't believe the effort the guys went into for the dorm. The theme was Indiana Jones...but I didn't see anything vaguely Indiana Jones-ish except for the entrance in. Here I am with my classmates. All international students. canada%20ball.jpg Over the weekend, I went to celebrate with my Baseball Club because we'd gotten 2nd in our league. Here's part of the team. The team is quite close. Even ex-members continue to come to practice and hang with the rest of us. =) japan%2C%202007%20021.JPG Then here's the yummy food we had. japan%2C%202007%20001.JPG

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Posted by K. Lee at 5:22 | Permalink