26 April 2010

East Bay Vivarium!

When a reptile dies at the East Bay Vivarium, one of the places it goes to is UC Berkeley's Prep Lab! I've prepped a bunch of things from the EBV, but I've never had a chance to visit the vivarium myself until today. There are so many awesome tortoises and snakes! There was this incredible albino snake that had white and pale yellow bands. I forgot to take a picture of it, unfortunately. Here's a tortoise, though!


This poor guy was trying to go under that huge branch...or maybe he was trying to lift it. Anyways, in both cases, he failed. Twice. Yes, he went around the branch, then doubled back and tried again. Talk about perseverance.

Continue reading "East Bay Vivarium! " »

Posted by Victoria Eng at 2:54 | Permalink

20 November 2009


A friend asked me, "What’s for dinner tonight," while we were haphazardly running alongside the Strawberry Creek from Barker Hall to Bancroft after attending a seminar about plant pathogen interactions given by Alexander M. Jones.

I quickly replied, "Bruschetta."

She stared at me for two quick seconds and innocently asked, "But didn't you have bruschetta for Thursday's and Wednesday's AND Tuesday's dinner?"

I laughed and responded with, "Yup. I'll take it one step further. Bruschetta was on the menu for Thursday's, Wednesday's, Tuesday's, Monday's, Sunday's and Saturday's dinner AND lunch."

"Uhhh... no green smoothie?"

"Is there a need to ask that question?"


"Green smoothies complemented the bruschetta during some lunches. LaraBars were for breakfast."

"Wow... dude Amelia, you are one strange girl."

"Hahaa… Thanks buddy. I'll take that as a genuine compliment."

To make matters more interesting, this 5 minutes conversation took place while fierce rain drops were relentlessly pelting every CAL student in sandals with no umbrellas like us two girls. And I mean PELTING. To illustrate, let's just say I was completely drenched (hopefully not in acid rain) by the time I unlocked my apartment door this afternoon.

So why bruschetta you may ask.

Continue reading "Bruschetta" »

Posted by Amelia Nguyen at 0:44 | Permalink

05 November 2009

Green Smoothies part two

Recently, I was pleasantly surprised by Alex Tellez's spontaneous comment on my blog about my daring attempts at drinking green liquids for lunch. It was quite an honor that he took time out of his busy schedule to read my random- most oftentimes crazy- posts! Since he was the sole person responsible for motivating me to change my sodium enriched canned foods and take outs eating habits, I felt he deserved a long detailed explanation of the many times I stared at my revolting green smoothies- thinking how in the world am I going to force myself to swallow another cold vegetable soup?!?!

As you can imagine- or will after you see the pictures I took of my first few smoothies- I was more than eager to discuss the seemingly endless mistakes that I made during my love/hate experience with my first couple revolting vegetable drinks. Thankfully, I quickly discovered that the secret to blending DELICIOUS green smoothies was to disproportionately add more fruits than vegetables. I thought you might find the green smoothie narrative I wrote to Alex an interesting read. Thus I am going to take the liberty and share an excerpt to you:

Continue reading "Green Smoothies part two" »

Posted by Amelia Nguyen at 7:22 | Permalink

09 October 2009

Breast Cancer: Everyone deserves a lifetime

Before skipping school to attend the SFO Breast Cancer 3Day, I spammed all my Professors and GSIs with emails excusing my absence from class and to make up any work that I will miss. Let me just say...Boy was that a stressful process!!! Juggling the workload I had at that time with deadlines meant for two weeks later is something I never want to repeat. Without the accommodating and understanding responses from my Professors and GSIs, I would have forfeited about one fourth of my final grades. So THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU Berkeley teachers.

As part of our agreement, my Japanese sensei requested a written email from my team captain for proof of my involvement with the 3Day. Faren Shear's beautifully articulated emotions and ideas perfectly explain the essence of the Breast Cancer 3Day cause. If you have the time, please read her email and visit her site!

On October 2-4, 2009 Amelia and I will be just 2 of over 300 crew members supporting the walkers on the San Francisco Breast Cancer 3 Day. It’s a 60-mile walk over three days to raise money for breast cancer. The net proceeds will support the combined efforts of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the National Philanthropic Trust (NPT) Breast Cancer Fund in their mission to fund access to care and find a cure for breast cancer. We’ll be serving as crew members on a Pit stop team, giving our time and service to the walkers for three days.

When I heard that one in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer, I knew I had to do something about it. I don’t have a lot of money, and I can’t find a cure for cancer, but I found that this was something that I could do. About 40,000 will die from the disease. That’s why I’m doing this - to do something bold about breast cancer.

I am very thankful that Amelia has decided to give her time and effort to this cause, I could not do this job supporting the walkers without her. She has already been working hard planning for the weekend and also fund raising for the cause. I know she will miss her commitments at school, but this is a life experience that I look forward to sharing with her and know from my past work with the 3 Day that there are always many important life lessons to be learned in the service of others.

Continue reading "Breast Cancer: Everyone deserves a lifetime" »

Posted by Amelia Nguyen at 9:51 | Permalink

12 September 2009

Berkeley Farmers' Market

Are you tired of finding moldy strawberries at Safeway? I am. Yes, I know I sound slightly like a commercial. So, in an attempt to find fresher produce, my sister and I went to one of Berkeley's Farmers' Market today. There are actually three Farmers' Markets in Berkeley: one each on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. If you guys are interested, visit this website for locations and other information:


So the one that my sister and I went to today is located about a block down Center from the Downtown Berkeley Bart Station. We went around 10 am, but there were already quite a few people there. There were a variety of vendors, offering fresh produce, fruit, fresh baked bread, and even beeswax candles! We wandered through the entire farmers' market once to see everything and then turned around to make some purchases. Since most of the fruit and vegetables are certified organic and locally grown, they were a bit on the expensive side. Even thought the produce is extremely fresh, I wasn't sure I'd be able to taste the difference between a $2.00/lb tomato and a $0.67/lb tomato. So instead of buying all our groceries there, we tried to buy stuff that we wouldn't be able to find at Safeway.

Continue reading "Berkeley Farmers' Market" »

Posted by Victoria Eng at 2:45 | Permalink

27 August 2009

So far....

Well so far the beginning of the school year has been super hectic with so much to do. After hanging out with friends who were returning to Berkeley I headed to neds and replica copy to get my physics and bio stuff.
Just sitting in my first bio lecture I could tell that this class would be a challenge. After bio lecture I went to Physics discussion and then went to an assortment of waitlisted/enrolled but might drop classes. I am signed up foe beginning Romanian, but I don’t know if I have the time for it, especially with Ancient Egypt and EALC 105. So today I went to Calapooloza, which is basically every club at Cal displaying what they do and handing out fliers in lower and upper Sproul and oh was it crowded. Tomorrow is Friday meaning the end of welcome week so check out the website and see what other fun things they have planned for tomorrow!

Continue reading "So far...." »

Posted by Fabian Collazo at 1:12 | Permalink

23 August 2009


If you plan on going to grad school or anywhere else after college than something that would be very helpful to ones application would be research experience. Since Cal loves us dearly they made URAP! Yay URAP! Well URAP basically is a website with a bunch of descriptions for research positions offered by professors and to get the position you have to fill out a URAP application, which includes a statement of purpose that is around 400 words each. In order to minimize shopping they restrict you to applying to 3 internships, which is bad for me because I have to pick 3 out of the 4 I want. Since URAP is open to all UC Berkeley students than the turn out tends to be really good for bio spots with some openings receiving up to hundreds of responses. So check it out!


Continue reading "URAP!" »

Posted by Fabian Collazo at 7:05 | Permalink

23 August 2009

The start of school….grrr!

So summer for me was filled with math and genetics, but I still managed to squeeze in some fun before school starts. After buying some of my books, I have been trying to review my physics from high school to only discover how bad I am in the subject. I’m taking 8A with Deweese so I’m hoping that I can do well if I study enough, but physics is such a strange subject that has always eluded me. The past couple of days my roommates have been bringing stuff from home so now it feels more comfortable with furniture, but I feel lazy since I rarely clean.

Continue reading "The start of school….grrr!" »

Posted by Fabian Collazo at 6:44 | Permalink

30 July 2009

Prep for Cal!

I hope everyone's having a great summer! I really wish I hadn't forgotten my camera battery recharger at Berkeley (I'm in SoCal right now). Anyways, my sister's already packing up stuff in preparation for the move to college. For incoming freshmen, or anyone interested, here are some things that I think you guys might find helpful to do:

1. get a credit card
I know a lot of us out there have credit cards that our parents gave us, but it's really important to have your own credit card issued from your own bank account in order to build credit. I remember trying to apply for a credit card after my senior year of high school, but I kept getting rejected because I had no credit. I finally had to walk into the bank, sit down, and talk to someone to set up a student checking account. This is much easier than trying to do it online or anything, because chances are, you won't be able to.

2. Visit the Tang Center
The Tang Center is the university's health services building. It's located on Bancroft, about 2 blocks down from Telegraph. I'm not sure if it's on the checklist of things you guys have to do, but it's really important to give them a copy of your health and immunization record. You'll also be issued a "gold card" if you paid for SHIP. I'm not sure if you get one if you're not on SHIP. I know SHIP costs a lot, but my mom's logic is that if anything happens to me in Berkeley, it's much more convenient and accessible to depend on the Tang Center and pay the SHIP fees, instead of dealing with a whole mess of equivalent insurance later on. I would also recommend getting a meningitis shot.

Continue reading "Prep for Cal!" »

Posted by Victoria Eng at 6:22 | Permalink

27 June 2009

Best place for the first date... and it's FREE!

Looking for a spontaneous adventure around Berkeley that does not consist of grabbing boba and chilling at the Asian Ghetto? Are you limited on funds and time? If so, check out the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden!!! With aromatic flowers in full bloom this summer, our botanical garden is the place to explore with a few buddies or that good looking lab partner. The 30 minute hike up the hill to the garden is a fabulous way to bond and warm up before touring our:

"...worldwide collection [that] features plants of documented wild origin from nearly every continent, with an emphasis on plants from Mediterranean climates (California, Mediterranean Basin, Australia, South Africa, and Chile). The arrangement of the outdoor collections is primarily geographic by continent of origin or by region including Asia, Australasia, California, Eastern North America, Mediterranean, Mexico/Central America, New World Desert, South America, and Southern Africa. The Garden holds one of the largest and most diverse collections in the United States."

Admission : $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and $2 for children ages 3 through 12. The Garden is open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM year round, Tropical House closes at 4:00. However, UC Berkeley students, professors, and staffs get in for free :)

For more information, please visit:

Continue reading "Best place for the first date... and it's FREE!" »

Posted by Amelia Nguyen at 7:29 | Permalink

09 May 2009


Dirt! The Movie will be playing on Monday, May 11 @ 6:30pm in the Pacific Film Archive Theater.

Inspired by William Bryant Logan’s acclaimed book Dirt, the Ecstatic Skin of the Earth, directors Bill Benenson and Gene Rosow employ a colorful combination of animation, vignettes, and personal accounts from farmers, physicists, church leaders, children, wine critics, anthropologists, and activists to learn about dirt—where it comes from, how we regard (or disregard) it, how it sustains us, the way it has become endangered, and what we can do about it. Possessing both a cosmic perspective that reaches into the vastness of time and space, and the kind of warm, earnest energy that inspires small revolutions inside human hearts, Dirt! The Movie offers an important and timely look at the vital relationship between those of us on Earth and something that is easy to take for granted—the soil upon which we tread. Benenson and Rosow find answers everywhere: in tiny villages that dare to rise up to battle giant corporations to trendy organic farms; from prison horticultural programs to scientists who discover connections with soil that can offset the damage from global warming.

Gene Rosow has directed more than 20 documentaries for theatrical and television release, including San Francisco Good Times, Routes of Exile: A Moroccan Jewish Odyssey, Doctora, Routes of Rhythm with Harry Belafonte, and Knights. His feature-film producing credits include the family film Zeus and Roxanne for MGM, along with Silent Tongue and Britney, Baby—One More Time, which both premiered at Sundance.

For more info:

Continue reading "Dirt!" »

Posted by Maria at 4:29 | Permalink

01 May 2009

Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour

Interested in native plant gardening?

Check out the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour
Sunday, May 3, 10am-5pm

It's a free self-guided tour through 60 native plant gardens throughout the Bay Area. These gardens are managed by a wide range of people: homes, contractors, designers, etc. In addition to getting access to these gardens, you can talk to the gardeners themselves about their techniques and troubles in the creation and management of a native plant garden. The Native Plant Sale Extravaganza will also be going on at several native nurseries!

Pre-registration is preferred but walk-ins are welcome! You may also volunteer to get hands on experience with native garden handling.

Continue reading "Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour" »

Posted by Maria at 7:46 | Permalink

14 April 2009

Time to Plan!

Even though midterm season two is over for most of us, we need to start focusing on what we're going to do for summer. Hopefully, most of you guys have already thought about this and applied to research or other programs. If not, you guys should check out the Career Center's website or visit the Career Center and ask about summer programs with late deadlines. You can also email professors to inquire about volunteer opportunities.

Anyways, this summer I'm going to go home to SoCal, again. We're actually moving this summer! Still SoCal, though. Since my sister is coming to Cal, my mom and my brother don't need that much space, so they're going to get a smaller place. Besides moving, I'm considering taking an MCAT prep course, but I keep switching back and forth on that decision. If you guys have any helpful advice, I'd love to hear your comments. If I do take the MCAT course, it'll be at night, so I'll be free the rest of the day. I'm hoping to get into a research lab, but if that doesn't happen, I'll just get a job.

Continue reading "Time to Plan!" »

Posted by Victoria Eng at 9:37 | Permalink

27 March 2009

My First Course Recommendation

After posting the Money and Behavior story earlier this week, I began thinking about my relationship with Psychology and Economics. I was first "formally" exposed to the subject after reading The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less by Barry Shwartz. Before picking up this book, I often thought about my behavior in terms of the expectations I took on and how those expectations shaped my subsequent feelings after certain events. The course that really expanded my exposure to and solidified my understanding of what is sometimes called Behavioral Economics was Economics 119 with Professor Botond Koszegi. I definitely recommend this course for anyone who is interested in behavior. A quote from the syllabus:
[Psychology and Economics] is not an easy field to define, but those who sympathize with it tend to share the belief that economists should aspire to making assumptions about humans that are as realistic as possible, and hence that we should develop methods and habits of mind to learn what is psychologically realistic.
So if you're looking for an interesting economics course without all the math, definitely have a look at this one. Unfortunately, I don't see it being offered in Fall 2009 (I took it in Fall 2008), but keep your eyes peeled. It may inspire a Senior Thesis, Honors, or other Research Project! The course covers: Reference-Dependent Preferences, Choice over Time, Heuristics and Biases, Behavioral Game Theory, and Social Preferences.

Continue reading "My First Course Recommendation" »

Posted by Juan at 2:34 | Permalink

20 March 2009

A Day Without Paper

Ever wonder what would happen if paper was taken away for a day? Well, this 4/5 classroom tried it and found some interesting results.

Check them out!


Continue reading "A Day Without Paper" »

Posted by Maria at 8:59 | Permalink

20 January 2009

Berkeley's Presidential Inauguration Celebration

...A public viewing of the inauguration of President Barack H. Obama [will be held] on Tuesday, January 20, 2009, in Sproul Plaza. A large screen will be installed at the main entrance to Sproul Hall, and proceedings from Washington, D.C. will be broadcast beginning at 7:30 am.

Being that today was (is) the first day of classes for the Spring 2009 semester, this public viewing offered everyone in attendance a chance to celebrate this momentous occasion together. The crowd was electric--jubilantly cheering, clapping, smiling, and hanging on to our 44th President's every word--more so (from what I gathered) than the crowd in D.C. I am very happy, proud, and humbled to have been able to witness this event. I am thankful that Berkeley was able to put this together.
(Pictures if you "continue reading")

Continue reading "Berkeley's Presidential Inauguration Celebration" »

Posted by Juan at 1:08 | Permalink

17 December 2008

Food in the house

Sigh, everytime my brother or I cook my room starts smelling like food. My room is directly next door to the stove, about 2 feet away... yes, that close! My room doesn't even have a door either since it is actually meant to be a "den" as they call it (or just lounge). So whatever is cooking in the kitchen goes to my room =/ .Food does smell good, but it gets annoying after a while.

Continue reading "Food in the house" »

Posted by John Cortez at 4:03 | Permalink

01 December 2008

Gift Ideas

Happy December! It's pretty incredible that there's only about 10 days left of actual classes before Finals. Most of us have a lot to think about: school, family, friends, and the holidays. I was thinking about this last point today--more directly, about gift ideas. Many of us, though, being students, are short on cash. Given this, I started to think about what gifts have meant the most to me and what gifts I would most like to give this season. Sure, there are books, electronics, and video games that I really enjoy. In addition to these, however, there are gifts that I've enjoyed even more because they were meaningful to me.

Look into adopting an endangered animal, a plot of land, or tree, for example, in the name of someone you care about who cares about these issues. Some organizations include: Defenders of Wildlife (I adopted a Dolphin for my girlfriend here a couple of years ago and had someone adopt a Panther in my name last year!), the World Wildlife Fund (we adopted a Polar Bear for my girlfriend's sister), and Adopt a Tree.

Being socially conscious individuals at Berkeley (for the most part), another great idea is to gift in someone's name to a non-profit that works for a personally--from the perspective of the recipient--salient issue. One local non-profit I found is Seva. They're located in Berkeley and have programs in 10 countries and Tibet that range from sight restoration to women's empowerment. They also focus on healthcare and education--two particularly important areas in development. Check out Seva's Gifts of Service page.

So this holiday season, give a meaningful gift if you can! Your recipients will enjoy them. I know I did! If you have any other gift ideas, post them up. I'm always looking for useful, relevant, and purposeful ones.

Continue reading "Gift Ideas" »

Posted by Juan at 3:29 | Permalink

30 November 2008

Riding through the City

While many people (presumably) headed out to shop this weekend, my girlfriend Lindy and I took a trip of our own to where many of these shoppers would be: San Francisco. Not feeling compelled to shop, however, we replaced debit and credit cards for helmets and bicycles. We had been wanting to take this trip for a couple of weeks now and luckily had an opening this weekend. Additionally, much to our delight, we had clear skies today and after a solid week of cloudy/foggy days, the sun was much welcomed. We rode over to the North Berkeley BART station with our gear--Clif Bars, Water, Cameras, and Jackets--in tow and took the 25 minute ride into the city.

The Route: We got off at the Embarcadero station and rode over towards the Ferry Building. We took The Embarcadero all the way up past Fisherman's Wharf (too many tourists!) and the beach in front of Ghirardelli Square. We then rode through the park around Fort Mason and down towards Crissy Field. We finally rode toward the Golden Gate Bridge on Old Mason Road before heading back.
SF Trip Nov. 29
On the way back, we rode through North Beach down Columbus and then onto Montgomery through the Financial District before turning onto Market to go back down to BART.

Continue reading "Riding through the City" »

Posted by Juan at 1:08 | Permalink

23 November 2008

My First Game

Well after a year, 2 months, 3 weeks, and 5 days, I finally made it to a Cal Football game. No, I'm not ashamed to admit that it's taken me this long and perhaps the wait made it all the sweeter! Last year, I never took advantage of the free first year transfer student season tickets. I guess that, in some respects, it was a bad decision considering how much fun I had at the game, but in others it was good since it took me a little while to acclimate to Berkeley. (A note for incoming Freshmen and Transfers: in case you didn't know, you get free season tickets during your first Fall Semester, but they are in short supply.) Having my first game be The Big Game was sweet! I had seen Memorial Stadium before from afar--from Gayley Rd. and Stadium Rim Way--but this was my first time inside its walls.

Continue reading "My First Game" »

Posted by Juan at 2:55 | Permalink

18 November 2008

Tennis Update


I lost yet another match. When am I ever going to win? =(

My tennis life makes much more sense now though. I lose not because I don't have enough desire to win. I lose not because my opponents are way better. I lose because when a game starts I can't find my usual strokes and serves. I can't seem to hit the ball well and my serves won't go in. How do I deal with this?

I need to play more sets instead of just rallying (I was playing rather quite well with another friend right after my match today). Most people tell me I'm pretty good for someone who's been playing tennis for just 1.75 years. I think I should stop demanding too much and give myself some credit. For now I'll give myself a break, but win or lose I don't think I'll never stop playing this sport (as long as my body permits) =D

Continue reading "Tennis Update" »

Posted by John Cortez at 1:35 | Permalink

18 November 2008

Volunteer and Donate

There is so many volunteering opportunities open right now in case you have free time. I know all these midterms and homework can suck up all available time, but volunteering will give you a good sense about yourself, especially if you need quick recovery from a bad midterm grade. I signed up to do Berkeley Project; however I didn’t go and just slept. I know it seems bad but hey I had a heavy week and I was just incapable of waking up at 8 am on a Saturday. I felt so bad that I didn’t go and on top of that I heard that it was a lot of fun. So to compensate for my selfishness I decided to donate at the blood drive in the alumni house and it was great. I wasn’t painful at all and the nurses made me laugh, which was nice of them. Not only did I feel good that I have potentially saved a person’s life, but they let me pig-out on snacks and juice afterwards, which was awesome. I am totally going to donate as much blood as I can from now on and so should everybody else.

Continue reading "Volunteer and Donate" »

Posted by Fabian Collazo at 1:12 | Permalink

31 July 2008

Giving a tour of UC Berkeley

Today I invited my family to Cal to give them a private tour and get them out of their work. The parking is pretty bad so I tell my parents to park the car in the “permit only” section. Sure they will risk a ticket, but my dad was anxious to get out of the car and eat. Even though the city of Berkeley has tons of unique and exotic restaurants, I still prefer the old fashion Subway across Sproul Plaza. Afterwards, I start to walk up to the Campanile when there is a sudden urge to go to the bathroom. I enjoy the fact that Cal has a bunch of restrooms, but it is kind of awkward when notes on the stalls read that “40,000 animals are killed each year here at Cal.”

Continue reading "Giving a tour of UC Berkeley" »

Posted by Fabian Collazo at 0:45 | Permalink

21 May 2008

Summer !!

After studying for 8 months, now time has come to take a break! Or do something else studying, but in case you insist on studying then yes, you can do summer school. But for those who has no clue what to do this summer, here's a list of some things you can do.

Continue reading "Summer !!" »

Posted by John Cortez at 6:48 | Permalink

05 May 2008

The Maker Faire: Hotdog Lightning


Pyrotechnics, robots, explosions, lasers, tesla coils, solar powered Arnold Schwarzenegger chariot.

I spent this past Saturday at the Maker Faire in San Mateo. The Maker Faire is a huge overwhelming spectacle of the most creative people in the bay area. I spent 10 hours there and still did not see everything it had to offer. I will try to recap some of the highlights:

This nightmarish thing:

An armada of cupcake people:

Some hotdogs cooked using lightning coming off a 25' tall tesla coil. Sorry, no video for this one just imagine lightning striking a hotdog and jumping from hotdog to hotdog down a 20' pole. As it got more intense the lightning began vaporizing the hotdog - this vaporization pulled hotdog bits into the arc and the color changed from brilliant purple to a vivid orange!

Continue reading "The Maker Faire: Hotdog Lightning" »

Posted by Eric Thurston at 5:00 | Permalink

28 April 2008

super smash brothers!

Well, I don't know about all you readers out there, but I can say that ever since my arrival here at UC Berkeley, I've spent more time playing super smash brothers than I have in the rest of my life combined. If you play smash, you might understand these next few paragraphs, but if you don't then you probably wont get a lot of the terminology I'm going to throw at you. Anyway, here's my take on the subject:
It started out last September, when my RA invited me and a few floormates over to his room for a good ol' game of classic smash on his old-school n64. I used to play every once in a while back home, so I figured "oh hey, this sounds like fun. I can try to play Kirby again!" So i grabbed a controller, sat myself down on his couch with a few friends, and played my first collegiate game of smash. Little did I know that within only a few weeks, the game would take over an unprecedented amount of time in my waking hours.
After that first game of smash, I began to play whenever I was bored in the dorms. I was terrible at first, but as I kept playing, I kept improving, and as I improved, I became determined to play more.
Before I knew it, i was playing smash three times a day; it even took priority over my schoolwork at times! And to make matters worse, my roommate decided to bring over her gamecube, and with a game counsel in our hands, all our studious endeavors were lost.

Continue reading "super smash brothers!" »

Posted by Angela Hsu at 2:51 | Permalink

28 April 2008


If I were you, I'd get me some Sockbaby. It's a trilogy of short films made by some Modesto community college students. These have everything you've ever wanted in a quality film experience: a 1960's kungfu guy imbued with the power of James Brown, a sock-puppet messiah, some fedora wearing aliens and a cyborg named "Burger." It will change your life... perhaps not meaningfully or for the better, but still.

Continue reading "Sockbaby!" »

Posted by Eric Thurston at 4:46 | Permalink

25 April 2008

Temptations, temptations... part 2

Chapter 2: Control, or Get Controlled

As I mentioned in Chapter 1, I was controlled by video games. That was two years ago. Now is time to strike back.

Continue reading "Temptations, temptations... part 2" »

Posted by John Cortez at 1:43 | Permalink

25 April 2008

Temptations, temptations... part 1

Chapter 1 : Video Game Addiction

Midterms were over last week (at least for me), about time I caught up with all my readings (10 minutes ago, finally), and now I'm deciding what to do. It feels great that I have more time again, but I'm sure this won't last long; my final paper in College Writing R4B is due in three weeks and finals are up that same week.

Again, like always, I'm facing against the temptation to slack off and not do my homework in advance.

Continue reading "Temptations, temptations... part 1" »

Posted by John Cortez at 8:34 | Permalink

25 April 2008

Being a Transfer Student and Research

Here's my experience with doing research at Cal as a transfer student. I applied to SPUR to find a faculty project. I got the position but I definitely felt at a disadvantage while being interviewed. The first question: What research projects have you worked on at Cal? I'm thinking, well I've only been here for 4 months and they expect me to have a vast list of skills? Yes they do, fortunate for me I had experience doing a research class at DVC (the jc I went to). The next question: Could we get an email address to ask for a letter of recommendation? I'm thinking, in four months I'm expected to be buddy buddy enough with a professor to be asking him/her to take out of their busy schedule to write me a letter or rec? Yes they do. Fortunately for me again, I spent a lot of time in one of my professor’s office hours. The bottom line: If you're going to do research when you get to Berkeley you better spend that first semester doing all you can to boost your resume. Some things you can do: volunteer in a professor’s research and get to know at least one of your professors so you can ask them for a letter of recommendation.

Continue reading "Being a Transfer Student and Research" »

Posted by Marissa Ponder at 1:16 | Permalink

24 April 2008

Berkeley Parkour Club

So yesterday I took my first parkour lesson. For those of you who don't know, parkour is a French sport which combines running and gymnastics in urban environments. The underlying idea is that our bodies can do much more than just walk around on a horozontal plane as we do everyday. Instead those who practice parkour, called "traceurs" try to find the most efficent way to interact with their physical environments.

This video shows David Belle - the founder of the sport - performing some really advanced and showy parkour for a BBC commercial:

Continue reading "Berkeley Parkour Club" »

Posted by Eric Thurston at 5:55 | Permalink

24 April 2008

Theo Jansen's Biomechanical Sculptures

So there's this guy in the Netherlands named Theo Jansen. He's a kinetic sculptor which means that he builds huge moving pieces of art. His sculptures are strange mechanical interpretations of the biological world. Watch this video to see an example of his work in action:

Continue reading "Theo Jansen's Biomechanical Sculptures" »

Posted by Eric Thurston at 5:32 | Permalink

24 April 2008

Ice Cream Day

So today was the ESPM Ice Cream Social. I was planning on making an announcement here sooner, but I totally blanked on it yesterday. Sorry about that. For today, the ESPM department was giving away free cones of Ben & Jerry's ice cream to anyone who stopped by outside of Mulford. Some of the professors were scooping cones for people; it was pretty cool get a cone from Keith Gilless, acting dean of CNR. I wasn't able to stay for too long (I had to go to class), but just getting the chance to enjoy the beautiful weather and talk with some friends was great. The Strawberry Kiwi sorbet was pretty good, too. This event reminds me of why the ESPM department is pretty cool (and CNR as a whole).

Yeah, CNR is a pretty chill place to be.

Continue reading "Ice Cream Day" »

Posted by Joel Kim at 5:02 | Permalink

24 April 2008

to every college student shaking their head

To every hard-working college student shaking their head in the wee hours of the night, rock on. Rock on :)

To every college college student procrastinating while shaking their head in the wee hours of the night, get busy :)

I everyone who slept tonight: I envy you.

www.pandora.com -- Free internet radio from the Music Genome Project.

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Posted by Tay Feder at 2:06 | Permalink

23 April 2008

some tips for incoming freshies :)

It's nearing the end of April, which means for me, it's almost time to sign up for classes via telebears -.- It's a pain in the butt for a lot of people, especially those who have no idea what to sign up for when that vital 24 hour period comes around- the one they call "phase 1." I remember people telling me "don't worry about what classes you take your first year. it doesn't really matter as long as you get your prerequisites them done eventually." And to those people, i say BOLOGNA!! Of course there's some breathe room to take some "just for fun" classes, but I recommend by all means to figure out some sort of plan to figure out when to take your prerequisites.
I'm an undeclared student, and for the last 2 telebears appointments I've had (fall 07 and spring 08), I've ripped out a lot of hair when the stressful time comes around to choose what classes to take. After a (almost) a full year here at berkeley, I highly recommend you to check out your college advising center.

Continue reading "some tips for incoming freshies :)" »

Posted by Angela Hsu at 8:39 | Permalink

06 April 2008

Apartments 101

Here's what I learned when it comes to scrounging around for apartments in Berkeley- rumors and facts!!!:
1. begin 4 to 6 weeks in advance of your target move date.
2. if you rent a place in may or early june and then sublet it over the summer, be wary of the following:
a) you need your landlord's permission to sublet
b) if you don't find a subtenant, you might be stuck paying rent over the whole summer
3. if you are planning to live in berkeley during the summer, begin housing search in early mid-april wiht targeted moving day in late may or june.
4. try going on Craig's list or cal rentals to look for apartments
5. when looking at apartment, bring: roomates, safety issues, resume, transcripts, camera ( all explained below).
a) bring resume and transcripts since it will be very competitive when trying to get apartment from other people too. You want to look convincing, responsible, persuasive.
b) questions to ask: when to pay security deposit? utilities? sublet possible? How many people allowed? lease? payments? neighborhood? transportation- is there a bus stop nearby, etc?
c) bring a camera so when you get to the apartment, take pics of all furnishings before move in to check condition. This prevents difficulties when moving out of apartment and having potential extra charges......
d) meet the landlord to see what kind of person he/she is- nice, roud, etc.
e) if decide to get apartment, quickly sign lease to avoid missing your target.

hope this helps because I know as a freshman, apartment hunting can be a huge, unecessary headache !!!

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Posted by Casey Wang at 2:07 | Permalink

05 April 2008

Spring Break

Can you believe that this will be the only break we have until the end of the semester!!?? It's ridiculous. Now, we have 5 more weeks until finals.... time sure does fly. Spring break was fun- I went to San Francisco and it was actually WARM! My friends and I went to City Light Bookstore and it was really cool because we got to read books written by the owner of the bookstore! I never knew I would love poetry so much until I went here. Then, I went to Pier 39 and walked around looking at all the shops there. Oh my gosh!!! There was this cute musical box store that had hand made italian made music boxes that were so lavish and intricate and beautiful!! but everything in it was like 800 to 1000 dollars!!!! It was mental anguish i tell you...:(

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Posted by Casey Wang at 1:47 | Permalink

04 April 2008

Schedule Planning

I went to talk to the MEB advisor this afternoon since I really need some advice on planning for my upper division curriculum. I guess some students would probably roll their eyes and like: “it is just continuing in a bunch of science classes as the introductory ones we have been taking.” But trust me, the upper division requirements are quite different! In lower division, you would take Chem 1A, Chem 3A/3AL and Chem 3B/3BL to fulfill the chemistry requirement. For the biology requirement, it is Bio 1A/1AL and Bio 1B. For the physics requirement, it is Physics 8A and Physics 8B… You know all those mandatory, huge and competitive courses…

However, you have a variety of courses to choose from for the upper division requirements. For example, I am majoring in Molecular Environmental Biology, and there is the Upper Division Biology Requirement where I am going to take a course from each of the seven categories. In addition, I would have to choose an area of concentration and take another 12 units from a list of approved course.

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Posted by Yang Cao at 1:41 | Permalink

02 April 2008

John's Guide to Choosing a College!

So most college admission decisions are out already! Having problems deciding where to go for the next 4 years of your college life? or 5... or 6... but let's not hope for that :) . If you want to learn more of how I dealt with this same problem, the first part my story is found on my first blog "Introduction". Now I am going through some things you may want to consider before deciding for a school.

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Posted by John Cortez at 0:06 | Permalink

02 April 2008

april fools!

i know it's a day late, but i was reading online some april fools jokes that made me laugh. so, i decided to share them with you :). it's amazing how clever people can be, and wow you'd be surprised of how big-scale some of the pranks are...check out the website: http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/aprilfool/
Here are a few of my favorites:
#1: The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest
spaghetti harvest In 1957 the respected BBC news show Panorama announced that thanks to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. It accompanied this announcement with footage of Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti down from trees. Huge numbers of viewers were taken in. Many called the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this the BBC diplomatically replied that they should "place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best."
#4: The Taco Liberty Bell
Taco Liberty BellIn 1996 the Taco Bell Corporation announced that it had bought the Liberty Bell and was renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. Hundreds of outraged citizens called the National Historic Park in Philadelphia where the bell was housed to express their anger. Their nerves were only calmed when Taco Bell revealed, a few hours later, that it was all a practical joke. The best line of the day came when White House press secretary Mike McCurry was asked about the sale. Thinking on his feet, he responded that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold. It would now be known as the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial.
The April 1998 issue of the New Mexicans for Science and Reason newsletter contained an article claiming that the Alabama state legislature had voted to change the value of the mathematical constant pi from 3.14159 to the 'Biblical value' of 3.0. Before long the article had made its way onto the internet, and then it rapidly made its way around the world, forwarded by people in their email. It only became apparent how far the article had spread when the Alabama legislature began receiving hundreds of calls from people protesting the legislation. The original article, which was intended as a parody of legislative attempts to circumscribe the teaching of evolution, was written by a physicist named Mark Boslough.

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Posted by Angela Hsu at 0:12 | Permalink

31 March 2008

My First RPP Experience

So this afternoon, I went to my first RPP appointment. For those of you who do not know this, RPP is the Research Participation Program that gives undergraduate students a chance to participate in some of the research being conducted by graduate students and faculty researchers in the Department of Psychology. Since I am taking Psychology 2 this semester, I am required to participate in research experiments for a total of 5 hours.

I didn’t want to sign up for those experiments that would require putting wires around my head to measure some kind of brain activity, because what can I do if something goes wrong?! So I was trying to find survey-based experiment from the list of available studies online. Finally I decided to give a try on Experiment 73.

The experiment was scheduled in Tolman, and it was specified that the experiment would start right at the hour, not 10 minutes after. Tolman is that strange building that you can never figure out where you are. As I wandered around on the fourth floor, I thought that it would be such a good idea to just let us search for a room that does not even exist and record how long it takes us to figure that out! Anyway, after spending five minutes wandering around on the fourth floor, and I finally found room 4105.

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Posted by Yang Cao at 9:42 | Permalink

29 March 2008

Ambulatory Adventures!

No, this entry isn't about paramedics or anything remotely as exciting. Just noting that, since I got into Berkeley, I've walked around a lot more than I ever did in LA. The very nature of the city lends itself to bipedal transport, I suppose. Everything is in convenient walking distance away (or at least is reachable by bus), so there is no immediate necessity for a car. Indeed, sometimes owning a motor vehicle in Berkeley is supremely trying, since there are the draconian parking laws and unintuitive road structures to manage. It seems that the city of Berkeley actually intentionally discourages driving; how else can you justify those large barricades in the middle of the road that divert traffic in only one direction?

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Posted by Joel Kim at 3:58 | Permalink

28 March 2008

Power in Numbers

If you're interested in making a difference you can see...

On March 29 at 8 p.m., switch off your lights for Earth Hour. Millions around the world will be doing the same in a global effort to demonstrate how a simple gesture can have far-reaching benefits for our environment. Join the Earth Hour movement and see the difference 60 minutes can make.

Earth Hour is a global event created to symbolize that each one of us, working together, can make a positive impact on climate change - no matter who we are or where we live. From Sydney to San Francisco, the World Wildlife Fund is spearheading this initiative in 25 cities across 6 continents.

Hope you're able to participate!

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Posted by Juan at 0:30 | Permalink

17 March 2008

Trying something new

So this semester, I've decided to get more involved on Cal campus and spend less time studying! It's been a great goal. What have I done differently? Well, I've been swimming at least 2 days a week now(yay me, even though it seems pathetic!), joining more clubs, and signed up for a DeCal. This one decal is amazing- Relay for Life Decal! In the two hours on thursdays that I spend time there, we get to listen to a different speaker each time speaking about cancer, typical job professions in the health field. Then, we split up into our committees and plan for the much anticipated upcoming event: Relay for Life. For those of you who don't know what relay for life is about- it's a 24 hour event held( for cal, behind the RSF on May 3rd) where participants, people, volunteers spend one day to fight back cancer- hosting games, teams( where we walk for 24 hours straight), entertainer- make aware of cancer. Not only have I learned much more about different types of cancer, I've taken an active role in preparing for this event and I know it's going to be lots of fun!!! So, all you reading this, come!!

So, after I joined this, I became involved in CAC(colleges against cancer) club and we've been doing many fund raising activities to bring awareness about various cancers and going to volunteer events. The other club I joined was PILLS- it's a club for interested pre-pharmacy students. It's a great club in that it advises you on the classes you should take to get into pre-pharm grad school, the various opportunities that you can get involved in right now that involve this field, and just networking with other like-minded people. I find that making the choice to get more involved has created a great balance so far- academically and socially. Anyway, my next goal is to find an apartment for next semester, although I'm quite reluctant to search for one since I've heard that it's quite difficult?

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Posted by Casey Wang at 6:34 | Permalink

16 March 2008

Pizza, Ping Pong, and Air Hockey

Have you ever heard of BERC? It stands for the Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative, a 2-year old graduate student club that brings together people interested in energy, climate change, and sustainability. With over 400 graduate student members, the most active mailserv I've ever seen, and creator of the huge UC Energy Symposium that just went down on March 7th, I always thought it was a shame they didn't have a place for undergraduates. It's going to change this week:

**Cheese Board** Pizza, Ping Pong, and Air Hockey

Wednesday March 19th, 5pm-6:30 pm

Mulford, Room 260, CNR Student Resource Center

As a loyal reader of Fresh Faces, you're invited to the BERC Undergrad Kickoff Night! We want to have a fun, relaxing, time while introducing undergrads to the incredible opportunities and especially the community that is BERC. This event is for EVERYONE, grad students, undergrads, faculty and staff. There is no agenda, come eat, drink, be merry, and practice your leisure sports because the competition will be fierce.

The event will be organized by Harris Cohn (CRS) and I (EEP) who were appointed VPs of BERC Undergrad earlier this year. The title is still fuzzy, but our role isn't. Our plan is to first create a mentoring program where undergraduates interested in energy, climate change, and sustainability, can pair up with graduates students in business, law, engineering, public policy, and the many sciences: social, physical, biological, & environmental. Second, we're looking for sophomores or juniors who might be interested in taking over our role and developing something larger for future years -- like a BERC study abroad program, or renewable energy projects in developing countries.

Feel free to forward this announcement to your friends.

Drop us a line if you have any questions. We're looking forward to it, hope to see you there!
Harris Cohn (harriscohn@gmail.com) and Tay Feder (tfeder@gmail.com)

Continue reading "Pizza, Ping Pong, and Air Hockey" »

Posted by Tay Feder at 1:15 | Permalink

16 March 2008

TV, online & legal

About five years ago, I thought to myself: why don't networks stream their shows online? Don't they want more viewers? It took them a while, but they're doing it now. Most stations, FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, have started to offer their content online with ads. One site that has episodes and movies from multiple studios is Hulu.com, which just recently finished its beta testing and is open to the public. Netflix.com, also offers online viewing. If you or your parents use Netflix, you can log-on and watch some TV and movies online ad-free. Their content isn't as great as Hulu or content providers' sites, but the video quality is top-notch. In my mind there's no need to download illegal torrents / files from p2p apps and risk getting 'the letter' when there's a free and legal alternative...


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Posted by Tay Feder at 0:23 | Permalink

16 March 2008

Microwave Sugar Cookies

I used to hate the thought of using the microwave, everything always turns out rubbery or just odd. But last night changed my mind...

I didn't want to wait to heat up the oven, but I really wanted sugar cookies. Found this recipe at www.cooks.com decided to try. It turned out delicious! Cakey, fluffy not-too-sugary cookies.


3/4 c. butter
1 c. sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
2 2/3 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Soften butter (15 seconds in microwave). Cream butter; gradually add sugar. Cream until fluffy; beat in eggs and vanilla. Toss flour, baking powder, and salt to mix; add to creamed mixture and combine well.
Chill dough 1 hour until firm. Roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut in shapes. Arrange 8 cookies in a ring on waxed paper. Cook 2 minutes on HIGH. Yield 3-4 dozen.

This experience has opened my mind to the fact that yes, sometimes microwaves can help you make things that taste good.

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Posted by Christina at 9:51 | Permalink

12 March 2008

Whole Foods Market

Interested in all organic? Organic foods have limited amounts and types of pesticide residues. Although they're priced higher than non-organic foods, organic foods can be quite appealing to some people. Whole Foods Market sells mostly organic foods and it's only a short bus ride away. Simply take the 1R that goes along Telegraph and you'll go straight to Whole Foods Market. Another appealing aspect of Whole Foods Market is that they always have plenty of samples. They also have a large selection of granola, cheese, and breads. So, if you're interested in organic foods or if you're hungry, you should go visit Whole Foods sometime! :)

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Posted by Victoria Eng at 7:01 | Permalink

08 March 2008

A Park and a Kid

After church at Berkland Baptist Church, Tokyo, I went to the park behind Korakuen with some people. For only a 300 yen ($3) entrance fee, we got to tour the entire park. It's plum blossom season and it was beautiful. After, we left and went towards the Korakuen Department store. Parked outside was a bike with a kid in the backseat. No parent to be seen. We stood there for 25 min before we decided to get help. Two people went in to ask the station master what to do. He said it wasn't his jurisdiction and to get the police to handle it. (Closest police station is a 7 min walk down the street). Meanwhile, the kid's dad finally came back. He unlocked his bike, patted his kid's head, and rode off. It was like.. hum...
Tokyo's safe, but not that safe. There are often kidnapping reports (according to the Japanese people-church-friends).

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Posted by K. Lee at 3:59 | Permalink

25 February 2008

Job Search

For though who don't know, on-campus recruiting happens in Fall for most full-time (for seniors) and Spring for most summer internships (2nd, 3rd years, and junior transfers). Although the majority of the OCR deadlines have passed, there are still some great job fairs. Here's one that I've been waiting for. I'll be at the Carbon Forum America Conference in San Francisco until 4pm, so hopefully BART will get me back in time!!! Hope to see you there!

ECO (Environmental Companies and Organizations) Career Fair
Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 5 - 7 pm
MLK Student Union, West Pauley Ballroom

Employers who will be at the fair listed online at: http://career.berkeley.edu/FairDir/fairDirDisplay.asp?fair_id=21

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Posted by Tay Feder at 3:57 | Permalink

24 February 2008

Have lunch with CNR Dean Candidates!

Did you know that CNR is selecting a new dean? There are four candidates this time and you can eat lunch with them! Three of the luncheons have already passed, but there's still one more! This Wednesday is the last luncheon with the last CNR dean candidate. Not only will you get free pizza and soda, but you get to voice your questions and concerns to the candidate. What are his or her goals for CNR as Dean? How will he or she increase student enrollment in CNR? Can he or she make sure classes stop getting canceled at the last minute? Ask the candidate anything that concerns you about CNR!

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Posted by Victoria Eng at 0:12 | Permalink

20 February 2008

Speaker - Martin Hammer

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Time: 7pm - 9pm.
Location: Ecology Center, 2530 San Pablo Ave, near Dwight Way, Berkeley.
Cost: Free.
Info: 510-548-2220 x233, erc@ecologycenter.org, www.paksbab.org.

Rebuilding with Straw Bale in Earthquake Affected Pakistan

Berkeley architect Martin Hammer recently returned from Pakistan where he has been working to bring straw bale and other sustainable building practices to the mountainous region devastated by the 2005 earthquake, which was responsible for over 80,000 deaths, and left millions without permanent shelter. He'll give us an update on the work he presented last year, as well as provide details about straw bale construction. Straw bale construction is earthquake resistant, energy and resource efficient, and an affordable solution to northern Pakistan's enormous reconstruction needs. Martin Hammer has been involved with the design, engineering, and construction of straw bale buildings since 1995, and is the lead author of the proposed straw bale building code for the State of California. In 2006 he co-founded Pakistan Straw Bale and Appropriate Building (http://www.paksbab.org ). Come join us for this informative talk and slideshow.

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Posted by Christina at 9:50 | Permalink

20 February 2008

Hay, a house!

Would you believe this beautiful earthquake-proof California home is made of hay?

You can find more pictures of that beautiful Berkeley home here:

Straw home construction started in the sand hills of Nebraska, when the European settlers couldn't find building materials, and made do with straw. Now desired for its incredible ability to insulate, and its safety against strong winds and earthquakes, straw is starting to move up in the world, beyond hobbyists and into the mainstream as a sustainable building method. Even this conference and retreat center, the Presentation Center in the Santa Cruz mountains, has chosen straw for construction.

Straw construction is reinforced with steel and framed by wood. Compressed hay bales make up the bulk of construction, which is later covered with several layers of plaster. Not only are these homes earthquake safe, they are esentially sound-proof with their two-foot-thick walls.

(photo from http://www.redfeather.org)

An organization called Builders Without Borders is making a difference with straw home technology in earthquake prone countries like Pakistan. Straw has become one of the most practical and economical methods for common folk to rebuild their communities after earthquakes. Since hay is grown locally, costs are reduced in all areas of construction, especially with transportation. Here is a link to an organization that promotes and educates the people of Pakistan with hay building: http://www.paksbab.org/

Here's a story from CNN about a straw house in Santa Cruz:
Website for the Presentation Center in Santa Cruz:

Websites of interest:

Continue reading "Hay, a house!" »

Posted by Christina at 8:29 | Permalink

19 February 2008

1 Month Check In

Spring semester is about 4 weeks in and midterms are looming in the next few weeks...so how is Marissa Ponder-Bowen doing? Well I'm doing just fine. I feel much more adjusted to Cal in my second semester. It's nice to have a rough idea of what to expect. I've added an extra 7-12 hours a week of work to my schedule and made climbing more regular. Last semester I barely made time to go to Ironworks and have made it a priority in my week now. Instead of thinking if I have time I'll go, I've put into my schedule and worked other things around it. Yes I am busy however setting time aside to do something I really want to do forces me to focus and finish my reading/essays in a timely manner instead of procrastinating.

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Posted by Marissa Ponder at 1:56 | Permalink

13 February 2008

Dr. John Francis

Today Dr. John Francis came to speak to my American Cultures & Natural Resource Managment course.

Experience of a lifetime.

He's the one who spent 17 years not speaking while he crossed the United States by foot. He currently spends 6 months every year walking around the world to raise awareness of environmental issues.

He's a UN delegate, and writes environmental policy.

Check out his website (his photo came from here):

Continue reading "Dr. John Francis" »

Posted by Christina at 5:55 | Permalink

05 February 2008

undergraduate research

So, I went to a undergrad research workshop yesterday. It was very informative. Before I went in, I had no idea why and how important doing research was, besides the fact that it looked good on a resume:). Anyway, as I was handed thick packets of info, I learned from others great ways to find a research topic. First off, though, you need to find a mentor. You can either find one first and then brainstorm topics, or have a research proposal in mind then find a mentor. Good hints I heard were that setting a specified number of hours to how much time your mentor would be devoting to you is a good indicator to how well you and the mentor will be able to make the best out of your research.

Research is a great opportunity to explore your interests and it's exciting- shows how motivated you are and how interested you are in your major. It shows you took initiative and of course, it's more of a hands-on application type of work, rather than reading dryly out of a textbook and going to lectures. Other tactics/alternatives I found out:

1. senior honor thesis- shows up on transcript
2. join OUR very own CNR undergrad research SPUR
3. URAP-i heard a rumor that they like junior transfers a lot!!
4. to find out what research you even want to do, start taking classes you are interested in. Perhaps, then, you can find a potential research topic!

Hope this helps to all the freshman/sophomores interested in undergrad research! I know it helped me!

Continue reading "undergraduate research" »

Posted by Casey Wang at 0:02 | Permalink

05 February 2008

Summer Plans?!

I know it's a bit early to worry about my plans for this summer, but I just can't seem to decide what to do this summer. I've created two options for myself:

(1) Stay at Berkeley and take a summer course (maybe Chem 3B/L, Physics 8A, Bio 1A/L, or Bio 1B/L...any suggestions?), continue working at Moffitt Library, and maybe find a clinical positon...


(2) Go home to SoCal, take Spanish somewhere, and find a clinical or volunteer position

Continue reading "Summer Plans?!" »

Posted by Victoria Eng at 0:00 | Permalink

04 February 2008

Lecture - Genetics & Faith

Thought maybe a few folks will find this interesting! I'll definitely be there.

Intellectual Reflections of a Christian Geneticist
7:30pm. Wheeler Auditorium, UC Berkeley
Francis Collins
Author—The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief.
Director—National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH.

The talk will be followed by an interview conducted by Professor Jasper Rine (Howard Hughes Professor and Professor of Genetics, Genomics and Development UC Berkeley (MCB))

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., is a physician-geneticist and currently serves as the Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. In this capacity, he oversaw the International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium, and its landmark effort to sequence the entire human DNA code; the Human Genome Project. Building on the foundation laid by the Human Genome Project, Dr. Collins is now leading the NHGRI effort to ensure that this new trove of sequence data is translated into powerful tools and thoughtful strategies to advance biological knowledge and improve human health.

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Posted by Christina at 0:02 | Permalink

03 February 2008

Getting the most out of your bus pass

We all get one for free, as long as we're enrolled in classes at Berkeley. It's the AC Tranist bus pass. It goes on the front of our ID cards, next to our picture. Most of the time, students just use it to ride around campus on the Perimeter, Reverse Perimeter, or Hill Line.

But there's an awesome resource that few students know about. The online trip planner:

Just type in where you're starting, and where you want to end up. It'll tell you the best way to get there. If you scroll to the bottom "4. Transportation Options", you can choose Only Buses.

Some enticing places to visit, via AC Transit:

- Tilden Park
- Tilden Park Botanical Garden
- El Cerrito Plaza (Trader Joe's, Barnes & Noble, Lucky's, Ross, PetCo)
- Michael's Crafts in Emeryville
- Home Depot in Emeryville
- Office Depot in Berkeley
- Oakland Animal Shelter (to pet bunnies)

Continue reading "Getting the most out of your bus pass" »

Posted by Christina at 1:20 | Permalink

03 February 2008


Grab your student ID, hop on the Hill Line at the Hearst Mining Circle, and get your bum up to the Botanical garden. Yeah, I realize it's raining.

Ok, if you don't go, I won't hold it against you.

I might shed a tear or two for you, though, since you'll miss the orchids that are going crazy right now in the Fern and Carniverous Plant House, which is a little, almost invisible greenhouse right by the main gate to the garden.

Continue reading "Orchids!" »

Posted by Christina at 1:25 | Permalink

03 February 2008

Bunnies at the Oakland Animal Shelter

Do you like bunnies? They're soft and fun to pet.
Well, even if you can't have one in your apartment, I know of a great place to go and visit them in the afternoons. The bunnies at the Oakland Animal Shelter will welcome your pets and affection, even if you do have to put them back in their cages and go home without them.

At the Oakland Animal Shelter, they take care of a couple dozen rabbits. With their no-kill policy, excellently trained volunteers, and plentiful healthy hay, they take great care of their rabbits. Unfortunately, they're trapped in little boxes in a back room for most of the day, with tons of hay and good sanitation - but still, not much room to hop or folks to cuddle with.

If you find some free time, you should definitely go to keep them company!

To get there from campus with your free bus pass, take the 1R line (#1lx/1) from Telegraph Ave. in the direction of the Bayfair BART station.

Here's a website that tells you all about the available dogs, cats, and rabbits in Oakland:

If you live anywhere in the United States, here's a great resource to help you find your new companion. With Petfinder, you can search all of the animal rescue centers nationwide, by zip code or city name:

Continue reading "Bunnies at the Oakland Animal Shelter" »

Posted by Christina at 0:56 | Permalink

03 February 2008

California is Closing 48 State Parks

Part of the governor's massive state-wide budget cuts includes a significant reduction in aid for our California state parks, forcing the closure of nearly 20% of our parks.

Here's a map with the affected parks:

Here's the official stance of the state parks on this issue:

*Most* of these parks will be closed to public, and placed in a "caretaker status," which requires fewer full-time employees. Many will be closed with no care. The parks they have chosen have the least amount of traffic, generate the least revenue, and are dependent on volunteers. Previous budget cuts have made it impossible to do trail maintenance anyway, so why not shut them down (ACK!!!! If I had known, I would gladly have chipped in extra for admission!)

It is horrible, but it's good to read that the parks tried their best to find the parks that will make the least impact. I'm super sad, though, because Topanga State Park was a favorite for Tom and I to go backpacking. It's on the cutting block, along with several others that I've visited and loved, like San Simeon State Park, Benecia, Railtown, Sutter's Fort, Bolsa Chica, and Tomales Bay. Tomales Bay was one I visited recently with a class. There was some interesting geology there and unbelievably beautiful wetlands.

Here's a website where you can write a letter to the governor about your sentiments on the issue:

Continue reading "California is Closing 48 State Parks" »

Posted by Christina at 0:22 | Permalink

02 February 2008

Campus is Beautiful when there's Sunshine

When the sun peaked out from the clouds the other day, I decided to pull out my camera.
Hope you enjoy!

Continue reading "Campus is Beautiful when there's Sunshine" »

Posted by Christina at 0:13 | Permalink

31 January 2008

The New Semester and Yes I'm Still Alive

Yes I am still alive and I am still blogging on this site. How long has it been? Forever has it? Well as long as they keep letting me sign on I'll still be blogging. I wonder when I'll finally go to the page and find out they changed the password. I can see it now, "Jonathan, give it up. You're not a fresh face anymore. You've been here for two years. What more can you say?! Please stop!"

It keeps my brain young and limber to write like this anyway. I spend so much of my day writing lame stuff like, "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs."

I am taking an economic demography class. Now I've used this punchline a million times before but I'm still refining it for maximum hilarity. This could take years. In this class they really like to talk about demographics of our industrialized nations and how our more industrialized nations have aging populations and that eventually that population will slowly decrease in size because of plunging fertility rates. Now I'm a pretty normal guy (or so the voices in my head always like to insist) but every time I leave lecture I can't help but feel this need to go and reproduce. Like if I'm being compelled to have hundreds and hundreds of Asian babies to replace all the ones in Japan not being born. If it turns out that there are no Asians in Asia anymore, then it's my fault for not popping out 2.1 babies to keep replacing the population. Sigh.

If you are reading this then you are bored. No question about it. Why don't you cheer yourself up by heading over to UC Berkeley's Wikipedia page and feel awesome at going to such an stupefyingly awesome school? I do it all the time.

Continue reading "The New Semester and Yes I'm Still Alive" »

Posted by Jonathan Yu at 1:14 | Permalink

31 January 2008

Neat lecture on Microbes!

Today there's a guest lecture on campus that many will find of interest!

Dr. Edward F. DeLong is visiting from MIT to discuss his work on Genomics in Microbial Oceanography.
His seminar will be from 4-5 today, January 31, 2008 in 100 GPB.

Here is a link to one of his papers, to give you a better idea of his research:

Continue reading "Neat lecture on Microbes!" »

Posted by Christina at 4:27 | Permalink

31 January 2008

Thanks, Trey & Dana!

If you're in GPB or MB, you're going to meet the awesome Undergraduate Advisors Trey and Dana. If you haven't spent time with them yet, you will be required to meet them soon. Be sure to ask them all the questions you have about course requirements - they can tell you all about creative ways to meet your elective requirements, or let you know that you don't really need that insane MCB class you were planning on taking.

Now, something to know - they're new! And dangit - they know their stuff. But occasionally some paperwork gets lost in transitions like this, so don't be shocked if you need to remind them you've completed a requirement.

For any of you transfer students out there - you're going to want to make super good friends with Trey and Dana. That's because they approve all of your course substitutions. If you've attended another four-year school like me, it can get pretty tricky. Like most upper-division transfer students, I took almost all of my lower-division requirements at another school. That means that Trey and Dana have to work some magic to make each one of those count toward graduation. It can be tricky at times, but worth it to not re-take courses.

Continue reading "Thanks, Trey & Dana!" »

Posted by Christina at 1:57 | Permalink

23 January 2008


The yuletide relaxations have been concluded and now our hero set forth to smite his final semester at UC Berkeley. Last semester was a mind bending decerebrational dropkick of sub-epic proportions. This semester he will surely be transformed into a photo-phobic corpse of the benevolently peering sort. Yay philosophical zombies!! Speaking of which you should all submit to Jonathan Coulton's Re: Your Brains.

Continue reading "BEHOLD!" »

Posted by Eric Thurston at 5:03 | Permalink

15 January 2008

Busy Day in Oxford, Ohio

Today I visited with a large portion of the Botany faculty at Miami University of Ohio. This is one of the schools to which I have applied for graduate school. You can visit their Botany website here: http://www.cas.muohio.edu/botany/

Tom toured the little town and took photos while I met with faculty.

My schedule for today:
8:45am - Hotel pick-up by Dr. Prem Kumar (Post-doc in Dr. Kiss' lab)
9:00am - Dr. Linda E. Watson (Botany department chair)
9:30am - Dr. John Kiss (NASA-funded space Botany)
10:30am - Dr. R. James Hickey (fern systematist)
11:00am - Dr. Mike Vincent (herbarium curator)
11:30am - Dr. Quinn Li (genetics)
noon - Lunch with Prem Kumar (Post-doc for Dr. Kiss' lab) and Neela Kumar (PhD student Dr. Kiss' lab, vegetarian)
1:30pm - Dr. Richard Edelmann (electron and light microscopy specialist)
2:00pm - Dr. Nik Money - (Mycologist)
2:30pm - Dr. Beth Schussler (Biological sciences education researcher)
3:00pm - Dr. David Gorchov (Ecology)
3:30-5:15pm - Meet with Tom and discuss day.
5:30pm - Driving tour of campus with Dr. Kiss (Tom, too)
6:00pm - Dinner with Dr. Kiss (Tom, too)

The weather was cold, but not at all unbearable. Dreary in the morning, clear blue skies in the afternoon. People asked me often my impression of the weather. It was pretty. I liked watching the little flurries of snow caught up by the breeze.

Impressions of the program:
Well-established Botany program. Knowledgeable staff. Focus on teaching. Kind people.
Dr. Kiss is my favorite faculty member. His research is fascinating. The folks in his lab are kind and fun.

Drawbacks of the program:
May not be easy to petition into PhD program. Many encourage you to complete your master's, then move on to PhD.
Described by one graduate student as having "low expectations" (challenged by other students I met, who found it quite difficult to juggle teaching, their own coursework, and research)

Excellent funding
Diverse coursework offerings
Gentle people
Fun, fairly isolated college town, but driving distance from Cincinnati and Dayton.

I like it.

Continue reading "Busy Day in Oxford, Ohio" »

Posted by Christina at 7:46 | Permalink

08 January 2008

Captain Vegetable!

This was my favorite super hero when I was a kid! He still is!
Stopping sugar-eating criminals in the act, Captain Vegetable convinces all of us that eating veggies is cool.

Continue reading "Captain Vegetable!" »

Posted by Christina at 3:52 | 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.

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 :)


Continue reading "My two new favorite places to grub!" »

Posted by Nikki Fernandez at 2:39 | Permalink

29 December 2007

National Park - North Bay

Reading a fellow blogger's post about national parks in California inspired to me write about my experience visiting one of the parks on her list--Point Reyes National Seashore/Tomales Bay (nps.gov). It's a very cool place. It's right on the coast and the drive is just as fun as the scenery once you get there. My girlfriend and I took the 580 across the bay and went up the 1. If you want to check out our route click here. We made a couple of stops on the way. It took us about 3 hours to get to McClures Beach, though, from Berkeley, google estimates about 1 hour and 54 minutes.

Our first stop was along Fairfax Bolinas Road along Alpine Lake (Click for map):

A couple of shots from Alpine Lake:
Click to view

That last picture is of Fairfax Bolinas Rd. Although it looks nice in that picture, parts of it were less than adequate...in other words, you'd spill your tofu (Initial D "joke"). The lake is dammed and you "get to" drive across it. Past that, you drive through more forest (very cool).

After driving up the 1, we took Sir Francis Drake Blvd up past Inverness (which is, coincidentally, the name of a really cool city in Scotland) to Pierce Point Road. Here's a shot of what Pierce Point leads to:

Once you finally get to McClures Beach this is what you'll see:
Click to view

Continue reading "National Park - North Bay" »

Posted by Juan at 2:01 | Permalink

29 December 2007

New Year's Transportation

If you're planning on staying in the Bay Area through the New Year (and don't just want to stay indoors), here is something you might want to consider.

BART is offering a "Flash Pass" (providing you unlimited rides on BART) that is good from 6 p.m. New Year's Eve (Dec. 31) through 3 a.m. (Jan. 1) for only $6.

Read more at: Ring in the new year with a BART Flash Pass

Happy New Year!

Continue reading "New Year's Transportation" »

Posted by Juan at 2:56 | Permalink

27 December 2007

San Diego!

So I took my first trip to San Diego about three weeks ago. I'm originally from Miami and had never been down there even though I'd been living in California since 2003. It was a great trip! The flight only takes about an hour or hour and a half. Being used to flights back to Miami, this short trip was a very welcomed change. We actually went to meet my mom who I hadn't seen in almost a year. The only "bad" part was that the trip was the last week before finals began lol. Anyway, I wanted to share some pictures. Most of these are my girlfriend's pictures since my camera broke the first day we were out there.

Click to view larger


Continue reading "San Diego!" »

Posted by Juan at 2:16 | Permalink

22 October 2007

NWM- 26.2 reasons we had a love/hate relationship

This past October 21st, my roommate Jane and I set out to do something most people would never want to do - run a Marathon. Yes, i know, people train for weeks, months, and maybe even years. Since I was in Spain for most of the summer, training didn't really start until the beginning of the semester.

The Nike Women's Marathon is a race in San Francisco whose proceeds benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. (1)

Race day was pretty crazy, there were thousands of people, mostly the women runners and their supporters lining Union Square in San Francisco. The race "Start" was on post between Saks and Nike and right in front of Williams Sonoma. The race officially started at 7am but there were so many people running the race that we didn't get our start until about 7:35 or so. It was pretty crazy, the race course was 26.2 miles, which is actually larger than San Francisco! It was actually still dark when we got there, {actually we had to get up at 4:30 in order to get there on time} and the sun started coming out once we were finally at the start line. (2)

Continue reading "NWM- 26.2 reasons we had a love/hate relationship " »

Posted by Nikki Fernandez at 9:15 | Permalink

23 December 2007

Grizzly Peak Blvd

So those sunset pictures were taken from a turnout off of Grizzly Peak Blvd. Want to know how to get there? The route I took was just off the 24. I took the 24-WB and exited at Fish Ranch Road (this is in Orinda). I made the first right to stay on FRR and then at the next intersection made another right, getting on Grizzly Peak Blvd. There are many turnouts along the way--just choose the one you like. I'm not sure if most of you have cars (I'm assuming no if you live on campus), but that's probably the best way to get up there. People do ride bikes (both motorcycles and bicycles), but I wouldn't do it :-x lol.
Here's a shot of the side of the hill from the turnout:

See the Bigger Version, Click the Picture

Grizzly Peak can also be accessed via Centennial Drive or Campus Drive (Shasta Road).
Here's a great article from the Berkeley Daily Planet: East Bay’s Most Scenic Road Turns 75

Continue reading "Grizzly Peak Blvd" »

Posted by Juan at 0:50 | Permalink

23 December 2007

From the Hills

Hi again (it's been a long time).
So I have some pics to share that I hope you like!
About a month ago, my girlfriend and I went up into the Hills in between Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve and Charles Lee Tilden Regional Park. It'd been a cloudy day all day--at least where we live (up the 24)--'till around sunset! We'd been wanting to get some pictures of a sunset over the bay. And here they are:

Click to view Larger

These were pictures I took.

Here's a much better one my girlfriend took:


Continue reading "From the Hills" »

Posted by Juan at 0:07 | Permalink

26 September 2007

Riding to San Francisco

Again. The busyness of my life consumes me like a fire consumes a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. I hope to be able to clear my life up a little more so that we CAN talk a little more. Again, to the like three people out there who actually read my words, I apologize.

So what's been up with my life? I took an internship in San Francisco. This means that every Monday and Friday I have to take the BART to SF. This usually takes 22 minutes and usually I end up just staring out the window because the people inside glare back at me and they aren't anything to really look at anyways. If I were sitting in a trainful of America's Next Top Models, maybe I can think differently. Until then, yeah not really.

What bothers me about riding to San Francisco all the time? First the cost. It costs me 3.25 one way between the great City and Berkeley. It adds up, dude. I can go buy an iPod Touch with that cash and I do want an iPod Touch sooo badly. Also, what bothers me is that the world seems to take the train at the same time so there are never any seats. This bothers me less because standing burns calories but my legs are old and my butt never misses a chance to plant its face somewhere.

How is class? Somewhat fun. I am taking an interesting addition this semester: Play writing. This means that I have to write a whole bunch of plays and submit them to criticism from 15 people, including my instructor - Mel Gordon - who is a funny guy but he pulls no punches. I haven't written my first script to be presented as of yet, so I have no idea what's coming. I hope ...

Continue reading "Riding to San Francisco" »

Posted by Jonathan Yu at 0:57 | Permalink

24 September 2007

Giving Blood

Give Blood. Mwahahhaa.
At Berkeley, there are often blood drives going on in MLK. You should see this guy in a blood drop suit during those times.
In Japan at ICU, there was a blood mobile. It was pretty awesome. I gave 400 mL today. whee~~ Hehe. It was my first time giving blood. The people were really skillful. I remember when I needed an IVP at the Tang Center. It took them 3-4 tries (2 people) before they got a hold of my blood. And.. that was painful. But the blood drive people do this all day for a long time. They're really skilled and in one shot, the nurse got my blood. They know how to angle it so that it doesn't ache. Thus, its pretty much painless except for the pinch at the insert-tation. (Is that a word?) It was faster than I expected. yay! blood! It didn't even hurt when they removed it.

GO GIVE BLOOD! And sign up for Bone Marrow Donation at those Bone Marrow Drives.

Continue reading "Giving Blood" »

Posted by K. Lee at 1:30 | Permalink

21 September 2007

Moorea Program Details

Erin Martin asked 1) what program I'm in Moorea with, and 2) how I found out about this opportunity.

I'll answer the 2nd question first:
You find out about cool study abroad opportunities like this one while attending CNR's Welcome Week new student orientation. Someone in the CNR staff mentioned the program, and I thought, "I need to look into that."

Now for that 1st question:
I'm here in Moorea through a class offered under the course title ESPM 107 and IB 158. It's a semester of research in French Polynesia, 13 units of coursework that can typically count as the bulk of your elective units. Check out the past semester of blogs under "Tina" in the categories, to find a few more entries that give background on the program and a couple different tours of the Gump Research Station.

In the meantime, here are some more photos....

Continue reading "Moorea Program Details" »

Posted by Christina at 2:27 | Permalink

20 September 2007

Biology Majors Fair!

This past tuesday (September 18th), was the second annual Biology Majors Fair! It was held in the Pauley Ballroom in the ASUC building. The fair itself was relatively small, but it was still a success! There were tables there from EAP, the Career Center, and most of the biology-related majors. The fair was from 11 am to 2 pm, but I got there around 9 am to help setup. After the fair started, I basically asked people to fill out a quick evaluation of the fair. You get entered into a drawing to win $25 from Jamba Juice or Yogurt Park!!!

Take a look at these cute little beings!!!

Continue reading "Biology Majors Fair!" »

Posted by Victoria Eng at 2:52 | Permalink

12 September 2007

RSF (from The Gym)

So I finally got a chance to get to the gym today (Wednesday). I had been planning on a Monday debut...but things didn't work out the way I had planned (and that is a story for another day...or perhaps never, lol--it just depends on how I feel I guess)....

Continue reading "RSF (from The Gym)" »

Posted by Juan at 0:20 | Permalink

11 September 2007

Clubs and Dorm Activities

This is aka hazing week over in the Japan ICU dormitories. Each newbie in the dorms must wear a costume for the entire week. Mine is keropi. I have a kangeroo friend and a yellow power ranger friend in the other dorms. ^^ I'll try to get a picture up.

For clubs, I think that I will join the Baseball and Golf clubs. I've enjoyed Golf since my Wii days. (yes, that's the Nintendo Wii.) I've wanted to try out the real thing, but its quite expensive in the USA. At ICU, they transform the baseball diamond (not really transform) into a golf range, so it is free to practice. So I'll be around the baseball diamond a lot. I'll elaborate on this post later.

Continue reading "Clubs and Dorm Activities" »

Posted by K. Lee at 0:35 | Permalink

10 September 2007

Berkeley Campus MovieFest

Hey Everyone!

If you're looking for something fun to do on Friday at 7 then check out the Campus Movie Fest. The program works like this; when you sign up they give you a laptop and a digital camera and you have one week to complete a 5 minute movie. The work of the Berkeley film makers will be premiered at the event. $3 for students $5 for GA.

Movie Fest Details

Continue reading "Berkeley Campus MovieFest" »

Posted by Eric Thurston at 4:59 | Permalink

09 September 2007

The Gym

So tomorrow I'm thinking of heading over the 'the gym' for the first time this semester (I've been needing it, lol). I signed up last week in person with the Cal Rec Club at the Recreational Sports Facility on Bancroft between Ellsworth and Dana. It's only $10 for Cal students. You can also sign up online (here), but you have to pay with your CARS account. From what I've read it seems like they've got a lot of stuff over there, so I'm real excited! There are many facilities throughout campus but RSF is the largest one. Other facilities include things like tennis courts, pools, tracks, etc. If you want to learn more (wow this sounds like such a commercial) check out their main page: Cal Recreational Sports
I'll be at the RSF where I hope to encounter some cardio equipment and hit up the weight room. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Continue reading "The Gym" »

Posted by Juan at 2:01 | Permalink

08 September 2007

San Francisco

Among the many awesome things at Cal, it's near San Francisco!!! A mere 30 minute ride of the BART for $3.65 (I think) and you're in one of the largest cities in our nation! Also, you can take the F bus there, but I heard that it makes frequent stops, so it takes up to an hour to get there.

Popular places to visit in San Francisco:

1. Fisherman's Wharf
-lots of interesting stores and clothes at really good prices

2. Pier 39 (there are other Piers, but this one is the most popular)
-Aquarium of the Bay
-Sea Lions K-Dock
-a lot of seafood restaurants. Look at these sourdoughs!


Continue reading "San Francisco" »

Posted by Victoria Eng at 3:18 | Permalink

05 September 2007


So here at Cal we have these things called DeCal classes. DeCal is short for democratic education at Cal and the classes are really a lot of fun. This semester I’m thinking of taking two DeCals: archery and swing dancing. I going to get course credit for swing dancing and practicing archery! I went to the swing class last night and more than a hundred people showed up but the class only seats 50. Wish me luck. I think I’ve got a good shot at it because I’m a lead with 9 months of Ballroom experience. Alas, there are about 5 girls to every boy, seems like I've got a moral imperative to dance with these girls. How very hard my life is... ;{p

Decal classes are nice ways to round out a schedule and take your mind off mind bending academic loads and because decals are only 1-2 units pass fail they can help you meet Cal’s semester minimum of 13 units. Three academic classes and one decal makes for a manageable and non-psycho semester. Learn more at http://www.decal.org/

Continue reading "DeCal" »

Posted by Eric Thurston at 4:16 | Permalink

26 August 2007


This is my first post ever as a CNR Fresh Faces Blogger. Whoa.
Well, i guess i'll start off by saying hi. Hi!!
I'm assuming that those of you reading this have never heard of me or seen me around before, so I guess i'll do a quick intro about myself. My name is Angela and I am an incoming freshman, class of 2011. I am undeclared in CNR, but i am really interested in nutritional sciences and am going to take nutrition 10 this week (eek! the first day of school starts tomorrow!)
So what have i been doing during my first week as a college student? This past week was welcome week and I got to meet people from all over the country, but mostly from somewhere in california. A few of the events i have been to already were Caltopia, Calapalooza, hall meetings, convocation, UHS opening, and the CNR meeting this past wednesday.

Continue reading "HI!" »

Posted by Angela Hsu at 6:21 | Permalink

25 August 2007


So, after a week at Berkeley, I'm not sore anymore from all the walking now! The following paragraph will be about what I learned from my week on campus. Trying to buy books for my classes were quite hectic though. Found out that Ned's bookstore was slightly cheaper so went there instead of the cal student store. Cus, my total for all my textbooks came to $400!!! Wow... that would have taken me 3 paychecks just to buy textboooks....alone.Then realized that I don't need to bring a whole bunch of quarters when Cal 1 Debit card works quite nicely for laundry. Crossroads, I admit, is better than most dorm food DC's, but I also heard that the one in Clark Kerr was pretty fantastic as well. Still gotta try out the Bear transit though.. maybe I will be able to get to class on time from the South to the North side of campus!! Caltopia was indeed fun and my friends and I got free drinks, stuff(shirts, hats, pens,) and was bombarded with different companies trying to lure us in to contracts, trips, etc. I do enjoy Berkeley and look forward to the first week of classes!!

Continue reading "Insights" »

Posted by Casey Wang at 3:14 | Permalink

24 August 2007


Today I went to Caltopia. It's happening Saturday, too. You should go, too! Seems like everyone was making friends with the random people they were in line with at the various booths.

What is Caltopia? It's some sort of crazy welcome fair at the sports gym. They had games with prizes like stuffed animals and t-shirts, and vendors for every local company, handing out free stuff. People were walking away with bags crammed full with pointless junk, or priceless treasures. Some of it was actually useful! I was sure to grab only the stuff I'd use:

I picked up:
- Wooden 12" ruler
- Brown Cow blueberry-flavored yogurt
- 2 Cliff bars
- 1 slice of pizza and small drink (you actually have to go to a pizza place on Telegraph for this one.)
- post-its
- whistle and keychain
- Organic India brand Tulsi Ginger tea.
- Nicely-weighted clicky pen
- Pad of paper with magnet on the back for a grocery list
- 1 Whole Foods Market "Support Your Local Planet" button
- Bang trim from the Paul Mitchell School. They actually trimmed my hair there on the spot. Pretty fun. I liked my stylist. Now I have cute, long-ish bangs and a side part.

Check out what Caltopia has to offer you!

Continue reading "Caltopia" »

Posted by Christina at 6:00 | Permalink

24 August 2007

Poetry Open Mic in the Mission

I spent last night a poetry open mic in the city. My friend Josh was featuring. It was a little bit different from his usual slam performance. Check out the madness:
Joshua Walters Myspace

Continue reading "Poetry Open Mic in the Mission" »

Posted by Eric Thurston at 1:39 | Permalink

21 August 2007

Welcome Week

Weelll, moving in wasn't as stressful as I thought it would be. Since I'm on the first floor, I didn't have to move heavy luggage up long flights of stairs. Also, since I'm living in a triple and the only one from California, I was very excited to meet new faces and too busy anticipating their arrival than stressing out about moving in. My roommates finally arrived- one is from Belgium and the other from Wisconsin, so it was different getting to know people from out of state/country, since I barely step out of sunny California. Two days into welcome week, and I'm sooo sore.

Continue reading "Welcome Week" »

Posted by Casey Wang at 0:07 | Permalink

20 August 2007

Things to do during Welcome Week

AC Transit Class Pass: Go get your Class Pass, a sticker for your Cal 1 Card that gives you free, unlimited rides on AC Transit, and on BearTransit campus shuttles.

Bike License: Register your bike if you have one. It’s the law in Berkeley!

Cal 1 Card (Cal Photo ID): If you have not gotten your Cal 1 Card from CalSO, go get it from Cal 1 Card Office located in 110 Cesar Chavez Center, M-F, 9am until 5pm.

Calapalooza: This is a resource fair where you you’ll meet representatives from over 300 student organizations and campus services, as well as view performances by student groups on the Doe Library Steps. Thursday, August 23, 11am-2pm, Memorial Glade.

Caltopia 2007: This is a festival of fun, music and Cal Spirit. Friday-Saturday, August 24-25, 10am-5pm (closes at 4pm on Saturday), Recreational Sports Facility, 2301 Bancroft Way.

Chancellor's Receptions for New Undergraduates: This event is a daytime outdoor party at the home of the Chancellor.

Tuesday, August 21 – Thursday, August 23, 4pm-5:30pm, Chancellor’s Garden, University House, attire is business casual.
• Tuesday, August 21: Clark Kerr and Unit 2 residents
• Wednesday, August 22: Unit 4 (Bowles, Foothill, Stern), Channing/Bowdich apartments, International House, and off-campus residents
• Thursday, August 23: Unit 1 and Unit 3 residents

College and Major Orientations: Wednesday, August 22, Various Times. For more info, please visit http://welcomeweek.berkeley.edu/orient.html

Confirmed Class Schedule: If you need a copy of your class schedule, you can view and print a copy via Bear Facts at http://bearfacts.berkeley.edu.

Financial Aid Checks/CARS Refunds: Refunds are issued via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). With EFT, funds are deposited directly into your checking or savings account. Otherwise, a check will be printed and held for you to pick up at the Billing and Payment Services Office, 140 University Hall. To activate or update your EFT authorization, go to http://eftstudent.berkeley.edu.

Continue reading "Things to do during Welcome Week" »

Posted by Yang Cao at 0:08 | Permalink

07 August 2007

Sproul Plaza

Sproul Plaza is where the majority of crazy stuff happens on campus. You'll come across street performers, people trying to get you to join their club, and all sorts of other stuff at lunchtime.

Here's a random ninja battle that I wish I could have seen in person!

Continue reading "Sproul Plaza" »

Posted by Christina at 9:15 | Permalink

02 August 2007

Relay For Life

Hey again. Relay for Life was on July 27-28 this year in my hometown. I've participated in Relay for Life for two years now and have joined American Cancer Society for three years now. Every year it's exciting. Every year brings wonderful feelings. Especially the luminaria ceremony. When all the participants gathered on the track for the luminaria ceremony, the glow sticks shone brightly and everyone walked the track while music played in the background. Then, we all discurssed how we, the participants are the "HOPE".Hope for cancer patients and cancer prevention. For now, I just want to share more info about recent cancer news. This was taken from http://www.cancer.org/docroot/NWS/content/NWS_1_1x_How_Much_Do_You_Know_About_What_Causes_Cancer.asp

Continue reading "Relay For Life" »

Posted by Casey Wang at 6:24 | Permalink

30 July 2007

Titan Arum

You've been waiting for an excuse to see the UC Botanical Garden, haven't you? Well, grab your (free for students) bus pass and hop on the Hill Line. This week is the time to go!

A huge, beautiful, smelly corpse flower is about to bloom in the Tropical House at the Botanical garden! Her name is Titania, and she's taller than you are - go check it out!

Article comes from this site:

big stink to come at UC Botanical Garden
Rare corpse flower to bloom – and send out its unique aroma – this week

By Wendy Edelstein, Public Affairs | 30 July 2007

corpse flower Titania
Standing more than 5' tall by Monday morning, the corpse flower Titania is expected to unfurl its putrid blooms within days at the UC Botanical Garden's Tropical House. (UC Botanical Garden photos)

BERKELEY – When UC Botanical Garden's rare titan arum, Amorphophallus titanium (corpse flower), blooms this week, the flower will both attract and repel visitors. When the plant opens to a diameter of three to four feet, titan arum looks visually arresting, but it's best known for a characteristic that can only be experienced firsthand after it blooms: its distinctive odor.

"It really does smell like there's a dead body in the room," says Garden Director Paul Licht, recalling his experience with Trudy, another corpse flower that blossomed in the garden's Tropical House in July 2005. The odor helps the plant attract insects that carry its pollen to other titan arums, since corpse flowers can't pollinate themselves.

Titan arum specimens are rare enough to be named like pets. Garden staff call their soon-to-bloom plant Titania after the Queen of the Fairies in Shakespeare's "A Midsummer's Night Dream."

Titania was raised from seed in the garden starting in 1995. Not until July 19 did Licht and his staff know their plant would be one of the rare titan arums that actually flowers. On that day, Titania measured 36 ¾". By Monday morning, July 30, her spadex — the protuberance at the flower's center — had hit the 61" mark. The plant can grow up to 6" a day, notes Licht.

Trudy in bloom
Trudy in bloom in 2005.

Continue reading "Titan Arum" »

Posted by Christina at 6:22 | Permalink

29 July 2007

Stagecoach Inn

Memories of girl scout troop get-togethers, elementary school field trips, and good family times sprung to mind yesterday as Tom and I visited the historical Stagecoach Inn in Newbury Park, California. It's a little museum and historical site: A touch of the Old West with a reconstructed 19th Century Monterey Style hotel, a schoolhouse, carriages, phonographs, and a little village complete with volunteer docents in costume. It's tiny, nothing to step out of your way to see, but definitely a fun place to take kids. It seemed so huge in my memories, now visiting again it's just a little place. Still, the charm...

Photos come from their website:

Continue reading "Stagecoach Inn" »

Posted by Christina at 1:15 | Permalink

22 July 2007

The best golf course in the nation, no joke!

So I told you I was going to Asilomar in Monterey for the weekend and boy was it fabulous. Monterey is absoloutly stunning. The beaches, the trees, the houses...everything is extra beautiful! Out resort was very lovely, it consisted of small cabins with multi bedrooms. The rooms were very comfortable and old fashion. The resort did a very good job keeping the "cabin with no technology" theme we had no TV or internet in any of the bedrooms. If you needed wireless, you had to go to the main lounge to get some.

The whale watching cruise was really nice but I think I would have enjoyed it a little more if people weren't throwing up all around me and if it wasn't 55 degrees. We saw pently of whales but by the time we got to the middle of the ocean people were already sea sick. Before you get on they tell you to take some medication if you know you get sea sick, what they dont tell you is that even if you don't get sea sick like me, you still should take medication because the boat rocks so hard and so much for such a long time you are bound to be sick. Will I ever do it again? NO! But I am glad I did it once!

The best part of the entire retreat was Pebble Beach Golf Course. I had no idea but it turns out that Pebble Beach Golf Course is the nicest most beautiful golf course in the nation. My friend told me that in every golf video game or computer game Pebble Beach is always one of the option resorts. People travel very far distances to play at Pebble Beach. They really were not kidding either, the place was drop dead gorgeous. The further you got the more beautiful the course was. I was literally golfing towards the beach and sometimes I was golfing with dear right behind me. I mean the place was too beautiful to be true! For anyone that likes golf, I would highly recommend Pebble Beach. It is pretty expensive though, so keep in mind that you're dropping a few hundred for 18 holes!

Here are some pictures from the trip:

Our resort beach:
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Pebble Beach Golf:

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I hope you're enjoying your summer!

Continue reading "The best golf course in the nation, no joke!" »

Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 3:31 | Permalink

21 July 2007

My Clash With Death Leaves Us Both Walking Funny

The Earthquake two nights ago was indeed a harrowing experience. I was awake at the time, having been awoken by a terrible dream of a B+ in Chinese 1, when suddenly the ground began to shake. There was no rumble, which is always the weirdest part. In the movies there is a rumble. In real life there is not. Hollywood needs to fix that. When I become the next Steven Spielberg, I'll fix that and give my heroes proper movie physics. Did you know that if Spiderman was real, he wouldn't be able to go around a building cause he'll be emaciated from all that webbing?!

Anyways, the earthquake shook my building a bit and I thought the whole thing was going to go down like a stale piece of bread on a football field. The building I am in does not lend itself to confidence in the seismology department. I swear it has to be around 50 years old. Oh the wonders of living in a public institution. Great prices ... public bathrooms.

- My sister yesterday asked me who was this Harry Potter fellow she kept hearing about on the media and why he is so deathly hollow. I could not stop laughing.

- I have a friend who wants to go into the new Stanley Biosciences building and be the first to pee in the urinals. On Friday, I beat him to it. Muhaha!

- My good friend Elizabeth texted me before a test going, I can has cheezburger?! I thought about it during the test and started laughing.

Moral: College is fun when you know where the fun is.

Continue reading "My Clash With Death Leaves Us Both Walking Funny" »

Posted by Jonathan Yu at 1:54 | Permalink

19 July 2007

Lake Tahoe

Yes...another vacation for me this summer. Way different than Las Vegas! I think Tahoe has to be one of my favorite places to visit. I love how much there is to do there. You can swim, kayak, hike, bike, climb, and eat at the dam cafe (the BEST little cafe with coffee/pasteries/food). All of which I managed to do in four days. If you haven't been to Tahoe in the summer, it's a must. I think I'm probably the only person who enjoys it more when there's not snow there. The bouldering in Tahoe is awesome, a lot of high problems though. The Mt Rose hike is definately worth the huge elevation hike and is a great one day adventure.

Continue reading "Lake Tahoe" »

Posted by Marissa Ponder at 9:25 | Permalink

18 July 2007

Summer is amazing!

Too many adventures not enough time to chronicle them all. In recent memory I've been to the Fire Arts Festival at the Crucible in Oakland. Its unlike anything else I've ever been to, imagine a micro-burning/mad max kind of vibe with 45 foot tall flaming robots and a "fire-opera" rendition of Homer's The Odyssey.

They had some really astounding stuff there; maybe you've heard of the grease-nerd phenomenon called Dance Dance Revolution? At the Fire Arts Festival they had something at the Fire Arts Festival called DDI - Dance Dance Immolation! It works just like Dance Dance Revolution only the players wear asbestos suits and are shot in the face with flamethrowers when they screw up! It looks like this: click me for nerds on fire.

I had an amazing time just learning about the crucible itself having once myself been keenly interested in learning how to weld. Basically The Crucible is a co-operative non-profit group of artists that teach metal work and pyrotechnic arts to interested parties. I want to take these courses and sometimes I feel like I need to take these courses and that is why they are dangerous!

Check it out:

Continue reading "Summer is amazing! " »

Posted by Eric Thurston at 2:55 | Permalink

08 July 2007


Hey. So, this summer, I signed up for yoga classes. This yoga class definitely beats all the other ones that I have gone to. I see results, I have effective teachers, and I actually enjoy it. It's also very philosophy-like so I get to get more out of it(i like to think). For instance, every day towards the end we recite this saying:
I honor the place in which the entire universe dwells
I honor the light in you, which is of love, of truth, and of faith?( i don't remember)
When you are in that place in you
And I am in that place in me,
We are one.

Yoga derives from different cultures and philosophies. Being able to be open minded allows anyone to experience new ideas and views that enrich one's life. I mean it. You should try it. Take it as a PE class for .5 units!!

Continue reading "Yoga" »

Posted by Casey Wang at 7:40 | Permalink

05 July 2007

The Late Night at Google

I have a friend who's friend interns at Google. God knows how she got it. God also knows that I am jealous as hell. Anyway, my friend (the first one) was invited to go and have dinner at the Holy GooglePlex and she got onto the bus so she can get to the BART. On the way she decided to call me. The BART leaves at 5:17. She calls me at 5:03. I live at Unit 2.

"Hi Jonathan."
"Hi. What's up?"
"I'm headed to Google. Wanna come?"
"Okay, meet me at the BART at 5:13."
"Wait a second. It's 5:03. Should I take the bus?"
"I'm already on the bus."

This was as the movies call it, an "oh-god-no" moment. I threw on some clothes, rushed down the elevator and somehow managed to run to the BART from Unit 2 in 9 minutes. If you are even slightly familiar with the Berkeley campus, I know you are applauding right now. Carl Lewis couldn't have made it any better.

Google was great. No words to mash about. It feels just like another Berkeley - alot of casual wear and a lot of relaxed environments. Gotta love it. Gotta want to go there. I liked especially how my friend's friend's friend kept saying stuff like, "yeah these people are all really nerdy" and "Look, these are people who were beat up in their high school." Gotta love how the green eyed monster makes her appearance.

Oh by the way, the huge numbers of elementary kids are a bit on the short side for me. Considering what they feed these kids nowadays, and my own puny size. I am waiting for the day they will swarm me in a back alley and take all my food/money/possessions. Kids in packs are dangerous, yo!

Continue reading "The Late Night at Google" »

Posted by Jonathan Yu at 2:01 | Permalink

28 June 2007

Viva Las Vegas

So I just got back from Vegas...and I must say that I loooooove the bay's cool foggy weather. Yes it was nice to be in 110 degree weather for about five minutes, but that’s about my tolerance. It was my third official mini vacation of the summer. I rode around Lake Tahoe (yes the whole lake) right after school was out, and then I went to Palm Springs. I love having 4 day weekends (thanks work!). But so yah Vegas was fun I went to go visit my boyfriend’s family. I didn't really do anything exciting except over eat at buffets and climb (indoors, it was way too hot out)..so to my point.

Continue reading "Viva Las Vegas" »

Posted by Marissa Ponder at 4:57 | Permalink

27 June 2007

Finally, a vacation!

My scholarship loves doing scholar gatherings so that we do not feel that they are just another source of money for school but a community instead. So, my scholarship decided they want to hold a huge retreat, all expenses paid, 4 days 3 nights, for all scholars in the beautiful Asilomare in the Pacific Grove area 120 miles south of San Francisco. I have never really heard of this resort so I went online to explore and let me tell you, it is absoloutly beautiful. The resort is surrounded with nothing but trees, rivers, lakes, open green areas and just pure natural beauty. In addition, the resort has no TVs, internet, or telephones so that vacationers can truly depart from their everyday busy lives and enjoy their time off. I must say, no TV or internet for 3 days does scare me a tad...I am going to miss my midnight Friends and Sex in the City reruns...ahh! I guess the trees and the birds are going to have to substitute for the weekend. The best part of this retreat is that we get to go horseback riding, whale watching, attend a carmel city festival, and go on a 3 hour hike...I am REALLY excited about this retreat considering this will really be my only vacation this summer. The retreat is from July 13-July 16th...when I get back I'll be sure to post some pictures up!

Continue reading "Finally, a vacation!" »

Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 7:07 | Permalink

05 June 2007

Reagan Presidential Library

My parents and I went to the Reagan Presidential Library today. Both of my parents were off work, so we decided to have some quality time together. My brother unfortunately was still at school.

The library is perched on a hill that overlooks a gorgeous vista of shrub covered hills and suburban homes. The grounds are well-kept, clean, ordered. The library itself was built with elegance and simplicity in mind. It was a nice place.

I had a good time, surprisingly. One hears "presidential library," and the mind gears for tedium and vapidness. But the presentation of Reagan's life was rather interesting. After all, this is a man who was for a time responsible for one of the most influential nations on this planet. He grew from humble origins to movie actor to President of the United States. He was one of the key figures in the Cold War. Certainly a very interesting figure.

Continue reading "Reagan Presidential Library" »

Posted by Joel Kim at 2:10 | Permalink

31 May 2007

People to See, Places to go, Things to do

So what exactly is there to do and see in Berkeley?

Academics and extracurricular activities often leaves many students exhausted and in desperate need for a break, so why not explore what else Berkeley (and surrounding areas) has to offer? One of the things that I have found was that UC Berkeley has speakers such as Jimmy Carter and John Edwards and performers come to the campus and students get of course a royal discount!! We have had such performers as Norah Jones, John Legend, Yo-Yo Ma, and Peter Cincotti (one of my personal favorites). Incubus will be performing at UC Berkeley this summer. There are also some performers that perform around Berkeley at the local high school or throughout the Bay Area such as Michael Buble, Blackalicious, and Mos Def. I went to a Peter Cincotti )who just so happens to be one of my favorite jazz singers) performance in Zellerbach Hall and bought my front row tickets for about $20! Score! haha and after the show, I followed these giddy girls and actually met him, got his autograph, and took pictures with him. Now how many people can say that about one of their favorite artists?

You can also explore the street vendors, shops, and food in Berkeley and along Telegraph. The people are always eclectic and you are always guaranteed an interesting adventure. In one day you can do everything from shopping for music, books, and clothes to getting a tattoo or piercing. That's just the kind of place that Berkeley is.
about.com has some lovely pictures in their Berkeley Telegraph Avenue photo album:
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Posted by Nikki Fernandez at 1:38 | Permalink

29 May 2007


Classes are over and so are finals (thank God!)! And now summertime. Actually, some people do not even have a break, because the first round of summer school at Berkeley started last week, the Monday after finals were over (eeks!). I am definitely on of those people that needs the summer to recuperate from the semester and academic year. The summer of my freshman year I coached three basketball teams at a local park with my best friend (well he was pretty much forced into it..we were returning coaches from previous seasons). The summer my sophomore year, I stayed in Berkeley and was a summer camp counselor - now that was interesting! The best part was getting to go to all the fun places I would have wanted to go if I were a kid growing up in the Bay Area -while getting paid for it. This year I wanted to do something different... again. I thought about signing up for scholarships/internships and different other programs including Forestry Camp through UC Berkeley (which I would still love to do), but I got so wrapped up in the school year and the academic and extra-curricular commitments that I had that I missed many of the application deadlines. So instead, I am going to Spain for a Berkeley Summer Sessions class in Tarragona! haha What a jump! I'm super excited!

So while others are taking summer classes in UC Berkeley classrooms this summer, I will be doing the same here:
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Continue reading "summertime!" »

Posted by Nikki Fernandez at 1:20 | Permalink

14 May 2007

Finals Week - A-swingin', I must go; I must go.

Finals are here again and everything is just flying along! I dispensed some justice on my Philosophy 114 final. I’ve gotten through two of them and have still two more to go. After finals I’m taking my friend Jessica to explore golden gate park before she has to fly back to Colorado. I’m going to take off to Monterey for the weekend for a weekend of aquariums and adventure!

For my DeCal final project I decided to make a zombie movie. We shot it in one day and it was pretty chintzy but the class loved it anyway! Check it out on youtube: The Baking of the Dead.

Also, I learned something interesting about Berkeley. Every semester at the end of classes the campanile plays a ballad based on the Rudyard Kipling poem called “Danny Deever.” Then the tower goes silent until the end of finals. It’s been this way since 1930. The song is about the execution of a solider. What do you all make of it?

“What’s that so black agin’ the sun?” said Files-on-Parade.
“It’s Danny fightin’ ’ard for life”, the Colour-Sergeant said.
“What’s that that whimpers over’ead?” said Files-on-Parade.
“It’s Danny’s soul that’s passin’ now”, the Colour-Sergeant said.

Read and Listen: Danny Deever

Goodluck everyone!

Continue reading "Finals Week - A-swingin', I must go; I must go." »

Posted by Eric Thurston at 9:34 | Permalink

03 May 2007

99 Ranch!

Today I went to 99 Ranch, in Richmond, where I purchased some delicious tea-type stuff.

"Honeysuckle Flower Beverage" The majority of the packaging is in Chinese characters, which of course looks beautiful but... well... I only took one semester of beginning Mandarin.

I love 99 Ranch.  Incredibly inexpensive deliciousness.  A Chinese grocery store - easy to get to on BART, or from campus just hop onto AC Trainsit bus #43/El Cerrito Bart and get off at Pierce St. & Pacific East Mall.

Continue reading "99 Ranch!" »

Posted by Christina at 1:30 | 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.

Continue reading "Specialty Events - President Carter" »

Posted by K. Lee at 1:11 | 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:

Continue reading "Good News! Research Abroad!" »

Posted by Christina at 2:40 | 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.

Continue reading "Cal Day" »

Posted by Jonathan Yu at 1:34 | Permalink

03 April 2007



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!

Continue reading "Zzz..." »

Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 9:43 | 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. 

Continue reading "Local Pizza" »

Posted by Christina at 3:39 | Permalink

22 March 2007


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.


Me with a member of the Cycadales.

Continue reading "Morphology" »

Posted by Christina at 9:40 | 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.


Continue reading "Got some free time?" »

Posted by Eric Thurston at 0:55 | 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!

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.

Continue reading "Greek Theatre" »

Posted by Christina at 0:10 | 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

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

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

10 February 2007

A bit about North Side

I live in Ridge House, and love it. It's one of the student cooperatives through the USCA. We're a block away from the UC's North Gate, and about two minutes away from all of my classes. So, North Side is a great place to live if you're studying in CNR because you're the closest you could possibly get to these buildings: Koshland, Genetics & Plant Biology Teaching, Valley Life Science Building, Giannini, Tollman, Mulford, among others. You're also very close to the Doe and Moffit libraries. The North side of campus is quieter than the South, East, or West sides of campus. It's lined with old houses that have been converted into apartments, newer apartment buildings, and several cooperatives. Such a landscape emotes a different vibe than the run-down and bum-ridden South Side, or the frat & sorority- plagued East side.

Here's the sign from a fun niche bookstore that's on Euclid.

And some fun teacups outside Nefeli Cafe

There's more great stuff on this side of campus. Try continuing down the street as you walk through the UC's North Gate. You'll find inexpensive beer and pizza at La Val's, delicious sandwiches at Stuffed Inn, unique teacups and crisp croissants at Nefeli, fresh smoked Gouda at 7 Palms, squeezed juice and coffee at Brewed Awakening. Sure, North Side doesn't have Strada or Jupiter, but it's still a fun place to live, or just hang out.

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Posted by Christina at 2:15 | Permalink

01 February 2007

Where should i eat?

My Top 10 places to eat in Berkeley (in no paticular order)
1. Smart Alec

2. Café Intermezzo

3. Tako Sushi
4. Tai Basil
5. Gypsies
6. Zachary’s Pizza

7. Las Palmas
8. Tuk Tuk Tai
9. Café de la Paz

10. Yogurt Park

(images retrieved from google.com)

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Posted by Mayra Ceja at 1:19 | Permalink

25 November 2006


We have had artichokes growing in my backyard since I can remember. My parents never tried to cook them. But in May, I finally bit the bullet and put those delicious artichoke buds in a pressure cooker. The result was a more poignant artichoke than one you can find at the market. All sorts of delicious. I couldn't believe it: all of this untapped potential hanging out in my backyard year after year. Unfortunately the fruit is small enough that it's a lot of effort to peel and eat, for only a little reward of potent, incredibly delicious artichoke-yums.

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Posted by Christina at 3:46 | Permalink

15 November 2006

People's Park

I participated in Berkeley Project Day this past weekend. It was a lot of fun! Our project was to re-establish the Peace Garden at People's Park by turning the weedy soil and planting some hearty flowers. We also did a considerable amount of weeding, raking, and general cleanup around the park. I had a lot of fun meeting service-minded people and watching the progress of our projects. We stopped when we ran out of dumpster space.

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Posted by Christina at 2:31 | Permalink

10 November 2006

An Unexpected Delight!

I ran into a great band playing by Sather Gate yesterday at lunch. It consisted of 2 men: 1 guy singing & playing the guitar, the other accompanying him on the violin. It sounded great! Turns out they're playing at a Battle of the Bands on Sunday. I hope that folks can go and support this talented group!

What: SHAY + 6 bands battle it out for crowd support. And lots of money.
Where: Oakland Metro (Opera House), 201 Broadway Ave, Oakland, CA.
When: Sunday, Nov 12 @6pm
How Much: $8 presale, $10 door (but please get presale from us as it affects their line-up placement!)

tix: Contact Shay at shaysayar@gmail.com or 510-649-0314

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Posted by Christina at 0:11 | Permalink

28 October 2006

Visiting the Farmer's Market and a Native Plant Fair!

Results of an Asian Pear Varietal Testing at the Berkeley Farmer's Market:

Hosui - my favorite. Complex flavor, not too sweet.
20th Century - green/yellow fruit. This is the one we have growing in our garden at home.
Olympic - crisp, super sweet, but good
Shinko - tastes like crisp water, faint flavor.
Nitaka - strong "blow out your pallette" flavor. Delicious, but too intense of a flavor for me to eat regularly.
Conjuro - wasn't able to try, but sold here.
Shinseiki - wasn't able to try, but sold here.

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Posted by Christina at 3:33 | Permalink

16 October 2006

The places to be at....

So i know there are alot of places on campus that people dont really know about and i have made it my goal to inform people of these places. So what did i do you may ask? well i borrowed a camera and went out to take pictures of these places. These are places that i enjoy being at either to study or just to relax in between classes. The Student Resource Center in 260 Mulford hall was on my list. Not only do they have the most comfortable couches but its also really quite. Its a good place to take a nap in between classes..or so i have heard...i dont speak by experience...

Plus, the resource has computers and free printing if you decide to do homework! what more can you ask for.

Another of my favorite places to be at is the North Reading Room in Doe Library. This room is so peaceful and quiet good for you just to sit and relax. When i have time i just go up there (to the 2nd floor of doe) and read my favorite magazines. Most people only visit this room during midterms and finals but everyone should visit the north reading room as much as possible. It truly relaxes me plus using the library is free of charge so why not use it.
Just look at the light coming into the room. Doesnt it inspire you to go?

If you dont want to be inside i say you vist the 8th floor of Barrows Hall. The view of city is amazing. It is said to have the second best view after The Campanille. Also, If you like Evans Hall, go up to the tenth floor adn go into the Student Lounge and look a the view it offers...you wll be surprised!!

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Posted by Mayra Ceja at 1:34 | Permalink

17 September 2006

Berkeley After a Football Game

Apparently, Cal students like to go to football games. And they are very supportive of their football team. Who knew? Yesterday was a game day but I didn't go. There are many reasons for this. I can make up a few right now. Hold on. Umm, well I had to return a blanket yesterday in San Francisco. I also don't want to stand up for so long. Yeah those are good reasons. I think I'll eventually go to a game ... the Stanford game.

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Posted by Jonathan Yu at 0:09 | Permalink

11 September 2006

Art Project

I'm taking Art 14 this semester, which is an intro to scuplture course. This weekend's assignment was to come up with directions for a sky-writer. After a great deal of conversation with a pilot friend, here are some directions for a sky-written heart directly above the Campanile.

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Posted by Christina at 2:05 | Permalink

05 September 2006

Meetings, Socials, Dinners... and sometimes Classes

So far it's been two weeks at Cal and I'm surprised by how much time I spend talking to floormates, going to club meetings, and eating out at Crossroads or at an amazing reknown Berkeley restaurant. I keep thinking to myself that classes will always be going on, but now is the time to make friends and join organizations that will connect me with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. This may or not be true, but it's my philosophy for now.

Tonight I went to a Circle K meeting in VLSB and was reminded of the extreme enthusiasm of all KIWANIS-related activities. In high school I was VP for my school's Key Club, and I searched out over a dozen service projects and recruited students to join in. I loved being in the excited frame of mind, shouting, cheering, and being dedicated to community service. Now, in college, I'm glad I can return to that through this club. Meetings are going to take an hour out of my homework time each week, but I have to admit I love Key Club (therefore, Circle K as well).

Classes are starting to smooth out... I attended Math 53's late afternoon lecture today and LOVED Professor Rezakhanlou's vector lesson! He's 10x better than my original Math 1B professor, and almost as good as my high school teacher :) I'm switching to that class, and solving my horrible "Friday morning chem lab" issue- which, by the way, totally destroys all opportunities to take MWF classes in the morning. Advice to incoming frosh: SIGN UP FOR CHEM 1A early in the summer and for the CORRECT lab that you want in your schedule. But life goes on with a Friday lab... I now have 4 days a week with my first class at noon.

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Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 2:18 | Permalink

01 September 2006

Yuca Root

Nope, it's not Yucca!

Nope, not at all. I just want to make this very clear, because if you try looking for Yucca root when you want Yuca root, you'll be terribly disappointed.

This is the plant you're looking for:

Yuca root is what they make tapioca out of! Have you seen Boba Tapioca pearls? Those are made from Yuca Root, too. Other great uses include anything you could use potatoes for, like Yuca Root gnocchi. Also, its flour can be used to make a wheat-alternative bread.

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Posted by Christina at 7:44 | Permalink

25 August 2006

Store Wars

Who would expect Organic Foods to join forces with Star Wars?


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Posted by Christina at 9:23 | Permalink