Berkeley in the News Archive

The links to the stories summarized on this page are time sensitive, so stories might no longer be online at that URL. We also include links to the original source publication itself.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

1. Celebrities join UC online crowdfunding campaign for financial aid
Los Angeles Times

The UC system has announced a crowdfunding campaign to boost financial aid for undergraduates. Called The Promise for Education, the six-month campaign's idea is that anyone, including celebrities, students, and alumni, can publicly promise something if their fundraising goals are met. Among the celebrities signed up to participate are actor Jamie Foxx, Mike Love of the Beach Boys, and California Governor Jerry Brown. Jamie Foxx's promise is to "rap a song like Bill Clinton, President Obama and Monique from the movie Precious" if his supporters raise $20,000. According to organizers, roughly $900,000 has been donated or pledged so far, much of it from large donors, but they say they especially seek gifts from young donors who could become lifelong UC supporters. Other stories on this topic appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle and on KQED Radio's California Report--link to audio of the report and a video of the campaign ad. Full Story

2. Scientist: Parasite creates fearless mice -- permanently
Seattle Post Intelligencer

A new study by graduate molecular and cell biology student Wendy Ingram, assisted by Professors Michael Eisen and Ellen Robey, has found that the Toxoplasma parasite not only causes changes in the brains of mice that eliminate their innate fear of cats, but that the loss of fear is permanent, even when the parasite is cleared from the rodent's brain. The adaptation facilitates the parasite's reproduction by making the mouse an easy meal for cats, whose gut is the only place where the parasite can sexually reproduce. "Toxoplasma has done a phenomenal job of figuring out mammalian brains in order to enhance its transmission through a complicated life cycle," Ingram says. Stories on this topic have appeared in dozens of sources worldwide, including The Scientist, Nature, BBC Online, ABC News Online, and NBC News Online. Full Story

3. Legless lizard discovered near LAX (and no, it's not a snake)
Los Angeles Times

Theodore Papenfuss, a research specialist at Berkeley's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, and colleague James Parham, of California State University, Fullerton, have identified four new and separate species of legless lizards in various California habitats. Stories on this topic have appeared in more than 100 sources nationwide, including CNN Online, CBS Online, Sacramento Bee (AP), and LiveScience. Full Story

4. Op-Ed: Why Janet Yellen is now the best choice to lead the Federal Reserve
Financial Times (*requires registration)

Economics professor Bradford DeLong writes a ringing endorsement of economics professor emeritus Janet Yellen to replace Ben Bernanke as chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Saying she stands "head, shoulders and torso above the rest of those on the shortlist" since Lawrence Summers withdrew, he notes that she has "shown a better understanding of the state of the economy and the impact of economic policies than most of her peers at the Fed." He concludes: "When the two leading candidates were Ms Yellen and Mr Summers, everyone who was not crazy knew that the policy stakes were small: the two have very similar views of the economy and were likely to follow very similar policies. Now the policy stakes are actually significant -- and a substantial chunk of America’s future prosperity may well ride on the outcome." This commentary was excerpted in the Washington Post. Related stories appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle and Berkeley Patch. Full Story

5. America’s Sinking Middle Class
New York Times & International Herald Tribune (*requires registration)

Business professor Carl Shapiro, an expert on technology and innovation who stepped down from President Obama’s Council on Economic Advisors last year, comments on the state of the middle class in the U.S. “Most Americans partake in the benefits offered by these new technologies, from smartphones to better dental care," he says, but "somehow this impressive progress has not translated into greater economic security for the American middle class.” Full Story

6. Opinion Journal: Twelve Years Later, Are We Safer?
Wall Street Journal Online (*requires registration)

Law professor John Yoo discusses the state our national security 12 years after the 9/11 attacks of 2001. Link to video. Full Story

7. Yangon, Once Frozen in Time, Inches Forward
New York Times & International Herald Tribune (*requires registration)

As the country of Myanmar continues its two-year-old democratization, an effort to revive the city of Yangon is underway. Myanmar's largest city and former capital is fraught with problems, from its poor infrastructure to decaying British colonial buildings and a broken education system. The online version of this story is accompanied by three videos produced in collaboration with The Center for Digital TV and the World, a project of The Tides Center and UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Full Story

8. Capitol Alert Blog
Sacramento Bee Online

David Sunding, of UC Berkeley's Water Center, will be one of the panelists in a discussion of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan this evening in San Francisco. [Scroll down to "Water Ways" brief toward the bottom of this article.] Full Story

9. Berkeley: UC Botanical Garden welcomes fall with annual plant sale
Contra Costa Times (*requires registration)

The UC Berkeley Botanical Garden's annual fall plant sale is scheduled for September 29. Offering plants from all over the world, as well as gardening advice from experts, the sale serves as a fundraiser for the botanical museum and as a way of promoting its mission to increase public awareness of plants. "We have one of the country's most diverse plant collections and whenever possible we try to propagate and make these plants available to the public," garden director Paul Licht says. "The sale plants vary from very unique rare plants to a large palette of those we think are suitable for the Bay Area. We have every type of plant to satisfy the novice to the specialist." Full Story

10. Physical aspect of sound inspires Berkeley composer
San Francisco Chronicle

Music professor and composer Edmund Campion's new orchestral piece, "Ossicles," will be premiered in a performance of the Berkeley Symphony at Zellerbach Hall on October 3. The composition -- named for the tiny bones that transmit sound waves to the inner ear – is for strings, brass, and percussion, and Professor Campion describes it as "cooked and raw, noisy and clarified." Full Story

11. Berkeley: BAM/PFA screening free classic
Oakland Tribune

The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and the Downtown Berkeley Association are teaming up again this year to offer free outdoor, nighttime screenings of movies. This year, the screenings will take place on the Crescent Lawn opposite the BAM/PFA's future home at Oxford and Center streets. The first is of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1978) on September 27, and the second is of "Harold and Maude" (1971) on October 4. Full Story

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