Berkeley in the News

Berkeley in the News is a daily selection of articles and commentaries in the news media that mention UC Berkeley. The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of the campus.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

1. UC Berkeley student makes Jeopardy! college tourney finals
San Francisco Chronicle

Sophomore Niki Peters competes in the Jeopardy! College Championship tournament finals beginning tonight. She's an integrative biology major, and this is her chance to win $100,000.
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2. Campaign 2016: Fiorina, Christie drop out of GOP race

"We're kind of having to throw out a lot of the standard rulebook as to how primaries work," says political science professor Sean Gailmard about how the primary battle will last longer than many expected, even though the Republican slate is now reduced to 7. "The clock's ticking. There becomes a presumption of inevitability for Trump if he keeps this up. His lead in national Republican polls is big." As for the Democrats, he says Bernie Sanders may be shifting the tone for them, but "it still looks highly unlikely" that he could "put together a winning bid to be the Democratic nominee for President." Link to video.
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3. North Korea Isn't Going to Stop Provoking Its Ally China Anytime Soon
Time Magazine

In a story about North Korea's nuclear ambitions and baiting of Beijing, political science and information professor Steven Weber says: "The North Korean regime is fully aware that it has the Chinese leadership over a barrel."
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4. Silicon Valley start-ups rein in spending and prepare for layoffs

Some of the largest venture-backed companies in Silicon Valley are bracing for layoffs, according to industry insiders, apparently due to recent volatility in tech stocks. "Uncertainty in the tech industry is really pushing people back towards more certainty — working at a mutual fund, a bank, a hedge fund," says Vivienne Ming, a visiting scholar at Berkeley and executive chair of the edtech start-up Socos, who studied job volatility prior to the dotcom market crash of 2000. "As things tighten up you are going to see people jumping around a lot and then even the opportunity to jump around is going to dry up if the funding doesn't stabilize."
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5. Flights of fancy for aviation? Biofuels and solar

"A new era of aviation seems to be upon us," this article says about the growing likelihood of solar- and biofuel-powered aircraft in the near future. While efforts to make flying more sustainable are clearly important, civil and environmental engineering professor Arpad Horvath points out that related operations also deserve attention. "We need to pay more attention to airports and ground operations, which are also part of the environmental footprint of aviation," he says.
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6. A Parasite, Leopards, and a Primate's Fear and Survival
New York Times (*requires registration)

"I'd have to file this, at best, in the 'interesting but nowhere near convincing' file," says molecular biology professor Michael Eisen about a new study suggesting the parasite Toxoplasma gondii may have made some primates, possibly including our ancestors, less wary of big cats.
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7. Drummond: UC Berkeley students feel the Bern
Oakland Tribune

UC Berkeley Students for Bernie is the nation's largest college chapter of students working on behalf of Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign. Their Facebook group has grown from 15 members to 200 since it was established last semester. "Once we got into the roll of things and started doing productive things for the campaign it really took off," sophomore Rigel Robinson says. ""He is very passionate and makes me feel like he will do everything he can to fight for people like me, young college students and millennials who are in the middle class or low-income and really need help," says Isabel Song.
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8. The Urgent Protest Art of the Berkeley Political Poster Workshop

Fifty of the hundreds of silkscreen designs created by students at the Berkeley Political Poster Workshop in 1970 are now on view at the Shapero Modern gallery in London. The exhibit, called America in Revolt: The Art of Protest, was curated by historian Barry Miles, and the artworks come from the private collection of the late British publisher Felix Dennis. The colorful images reflect a wide variety of traumas and political protests of the time, including the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, the Meredith Hunter and Tate-LaBianca murders, Nixon's order to bomb Cambodia, and the Kent State shootings.
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9. Why classical music fans are upset at orchestra's Super Bowl spotlight
Washington Post (*requires registration)

In an article about backlash in some classical music circles against how the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (YOLA) was treated in the Super Bowl halftime show, this critic writes: "There were other less-known musicians at the Super Bowl who were happy to make high-profile but uncredited appearances – like the marching band from UC Berkeley, or the pianist Alex Smith…. But some in the classical music field, with a strong sense of their own artistic importance, and perhaps primed to see an orchestra in concert dress launching into Beethoven or Bernstein, were crushed at the lack of acknowledgement – though realistically these days, when even the Grammy Awards don't give prime-time space to classical music, it's delusional to think that a youth orchestra is important enough to get to dictate its own terms, and choose its own repertoire, in the prime real estate of the Super Bowl halftime show."
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