University of California at Berkeley

Taking Note

 Take heart, O ye of little savings and all whose savings efforts were derailed with the 403(b) fiasco precipitated last spring by new IRS regulations. Look, soon, for something that will enable reinstitution of our feeble but persistent attempts to set aside money for old age, especially for those frugal folks who aren't highly paid, but try to put a lot away. Additionally...are you sitting down?...we may be able to mostly forget the horrors of the unspeakably complex Alternative C calculations.

Ya know, some things just make you happy you work here. Take those unique fringe Insect Hotline. Over the years, intrepid entomologists Steve and Eddie have identified what was bugging us on many occasions. There were the termites, the powder post beetles and the elm leaf beetles (just hanging out for the winter). How many of us, with some nameless pest gnawing at our home, has placed an urgent hotline call.

The latest thing was moths flying menacingly about. Their hideout was in the popcorn. Maybe this was a moth that ate only two things: popcorn and Douglas fir studs, of which our house is made. But they were also feasting on (a) rice, (b) buckwheat kernels and (c) raisins. I dropped off some samples for Steve and Eddie, and back came the answer, succinctly: "Indian meal moths. Live in stored products, mostly whole grains." Though I've yet to ask how they figure raisins are a whole grain, that's close enough for me.

And they were sincerely happy to receive our little colonies, munching away. Said Steve gleefully: "There's an insect show coming up. This'll be great!"

Insect show. That's like an auto show or a boat show, only with bugs. Steve and Eddie are at


Change that rolodex. Berkeleyan's new associate editor, Cathy Cockrell, replaced Kathy Scalise, now a public information representative at the main public information office. But both Cathy and Kathy still receive confused callers. The other day one such individual -- having thought through the situation -- greeted Kathy with, "I didn't know you had gotten married." "Yes!" said the befuddled Kathy, wed in 1982 and mom of three.

Forget about plutonium and all those other elemental discoveries. Remember this. Fruit cocktail was "invented" at Berkeley. Was I the only one who wasn't aware? Apparently by some food science professor back in the '30s. Does anyone know the name?

Note to the non-paper oriented: subscribe to our "1 Minute Berkeleyan" by emailing maiser@ and leave the subject line blank. In the message body, type: subscribe berkeleyan We're reaching all sorts, including, who taps: "I am a Cal alumnus in hell. I mean Boston. I graduated in May '95. Anybody you know that is here from Cal? I am attending Boston University, a graduate of broadcast journalism. Spread the news, the East is overrated!"



Copyright 1996, The Regents of the University of California.
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