UC Berkeley News


Confused about Cal Day choices?
We help you narrow down the abundant options

| 15 April 2004


cal day

Cognitive-science students will host a lively session on the power of the mind (“See and touch real brains!”), following in the tradition of Integrative Biology Professor Marian Diamond (top left, at Cal Day 2003). For most of the day, Lower Sproul Plaza will be the stage for student performers (bottom photo).

Peg Skorpinski (top) and Ben Ailes photos

Cal Day is not an easy outing for the indecisive. If you’re prone to second-guessing yourself, then Berkeley’s annual open house this Saturday, April 17, will be a true test of your mettle — though one without wrong answers. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. more than 350 lectures, demonstrations, tours, open houses, and presentations will take place on the campus. The only wrong choice is not showing up at all.

The Cal Day website (www.berkeley.edu/calday/) offers an easy way to explore the day’s offerings. Search events by time, location, or category. If you prefer print, the Cal Day program will be available at several campus locations on the day of the event.

For those who have trouble deciding, we’ve winnowed the selection down considerably, offering a couple of choices for each hour of the day — except for the first one. At 9 a.m., we suggest you grab a seat in VLSB 2040 to hear from Integrative Biology Professor Tyrone Hayes on “Genetically Modified Weeds, Hermaphroditic Frogs, and Premature Babies,” how heavy pesticide use is changing biology.

At 10 a.m. in 130 Wheeler Hall, Professor Alan Steinbach of public health asks, “Why Does Good Health Care Feel So Bad?” If you prefer a reprieve from gloom, in 310 Soda Hall, from 10 a.m. to noon, you can test out some board games designed by students in the Gamescrafters research group and learn new ways to beat opponents.

At 11 a.m., in 114 Morgan Hall, Environmental Science, Policy & Management Professor Dale McCullough will reveal how an American family in Australia toughed out heat, floods, and flies (as well as the secrets found in fossil rat dung) in “Adventures in Wildlife Conservation: Down Under.” Alternatively, find a multiplicity of worlds under one roof at the Edith Coliver Festival of Cultures at International House. Also known as Springfest, the multicultural/multinational festival features dance, drama, food, arts, crafts, exhibits, and children’s activities. The admission fee grants you a strategic position near an interesting selection of lunchtime fare.

Speaking of lunch, Café Muse at the Berkeley Art Museum serves up healthy and fresh victuals, as does the Free Speech Movement Café on the ground floor of Moffitt Library. (There’s also a gratis, first-come first-served lunch on offer at Memorial Stadium, where the Cal football team hosts its annual spring game from noon to 3 p.m.) On the other hand, you might elect to spend the noon hour on “The Ultimate Treasure Hunt: Geocach-ing” where you can try out a satellite-linked global positioning system to pinpoint and win hidden prizes from the comfort of Morgan Hall’s patio.

If you’re feeling cerebral – and who doesn’t after lunch? – “Explore the Power of the Mind” at 2 p.m. in 2060 VLSB, then stay to see and touch bona fide brains. (That must be why they didn’t schedule this one before lunch.) Or take a cultural detour to Zellerbach Playhouse to see University Dance Theater’s annual showcase, featuring several premieres and works by resident and visiting choreographers. It is all, of course, up to you.

By 3 p.m., though there’s lots more to see and do in the day’s last hour, you’ll have earned a break This might be the point at which you wonder why we didn’t mention the free 10-minute therapeutic-chair massage available from 9 a.m. to noon in the Recreational Sports Facility’s atrium. Forgive us: We simply assumed, as seasoned see-sawers ourselves, that you couldn’t possibly relax until you’d investigated all of Cal Day’s possibilities.