sooner than later

our City Council et al will be back in full swing




"Blondie's and Rasputin's Owner Plans New Restaurant on Telegraph Avenue"

"The owner of Blondie's Pizza and Rasputin's Music, wants to open a restaurant on Telegraph Avenue. The new place would have a seating capacity of 150 and would serve salads, pizza, and pasta. 

Ken Sarachen's plans also call for serving beer and wine until 1 a.m. It will be called Biondi's Cafe." 


"UC Police Arrest Fleeing Suspect in Campus Building Graffiti"

"A 23-year-old man suspected of spraying 'hate crime' graffiti on campus was captured Saturday after he fell and cut his forehead while fleeing from UC Berkeley police, police said Monday. A suspected accomplice escaped." 




"Some New Faces and Names on Berkeley Patch" at

"Starting this week you will see some new faces and names on Berkeley Patch.

Charles Burress, Analisa Harangozo and Dixie Jordan will be working as a team to manage Berkeley Patch and some other nearby Patch community websites.

Charles worked many years as a staff writer and editor at the San Francisco Chronicle before joining Patch as the editor of El Cerrito Patch."




"Luxury apartments planned for downtown Berkeley" by Judith Scherr, Oakland Tribune Correspondent.

"A developer has proposed an upscale 355-unit apartment project downtown with views of the Golden Gate Bridge, community rooms with Wi-Fi, a fitness center and rooftop gardens.

HSR Berkeley Investments, managed by Los Angeles-based Hill Street Realty, is calling the $200 million project The Residences at Berkeley Plaza.

The developer already bought the buildings for the project bordered by Shattuck Avenue, Kittredge Street, Harold Way and Allston Way for $20 million. If approved the project would be the first of three 180-foot buildings allowed downtown under the 2010 voter-approved Measure R."




"UC Berkeley hires new chief information officer" Steven E.F. Brown, San Francisco Business Times.

"Larry Conrad will start work as chief information officer at the University of California, Berkeley, in February.
The university has been looking for a new CIO for some time -- at least eight months -- and during that period Lyle Nevels has been doing the job on a temporary basis. Nevels will stick around as deputy CIO in a "redefined" job, UC Berkeley said."





"Colorflow Debuts New Facility in Berkeley, CA" right here in Potter Creek, a story Jennifer Wolfe,

"Colorflow has opened an all-new, state-of-the-art facility in the historic Saul Zaentz Media Center in Berkeley, California. The 7500-square foot facility features three color grading and finishing suites, and a DCI-compliant DI grading theater. Colorflow has recently provided color grading and finishing services for a number of films, including Heatstroke, a suspense thriller from Bold Films; and A River Changes Course, a documentary set to premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival."








"Oracle updates Java, but security experts say bugs remain" by Jim Finkle, Reuters at

"Oracle released an emergency update to its Java software for surfing the Web on Sunday, but security experts said the update fails to protect PCs from attack by hackers intent on committing cyber crimes.

The software maker released the update just days after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security urged PC users to disable the program because of bugs in the software that were being exploited to commit identity theft and other crimes."





"Apple drops to new lows after reports of weak iPhone demand--HP and Dell gain" Jeremy C. Owens,

Reports of production cutbacks due to weak demand send Apple (AAPL) stock diving to lowest point in nearly a year. Also, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Dell both gain, though for different reasons, and Facebook's rise ends ahead of Tuesday's event."



"401(k) breaches undermining retirement security for millions" Michael A. Fletcher,

"A large and growing share of American workers are tapping their retirement savings accounts for non-retirement needs, raising broad questions about the effectiveness of one of the most important savings vehicles for old age."


















Councilman Moore emails

2000 San Pablo Ave. 7-11 Project - Zoning Adjustments Board Meeting 

 The new 7-11 convenience store proposal has garnered much controversy since they announced their intention to move into 2000 San Pablo Ave (the southwest corner of San Pablo and University.  With that in mind, I wanted to let you know that there will be an upcoming meeting at the Zoning Adjustments Board to discuss the proposal for the new store on January 24th at 7PM in City Council Chambers in Old City Hall/The Maudelle Shirek Building, 2134 Martin Luther King Jr Way.  The packet for the January 24th Zoning Adjustments Board meeting will be available this Friday evening, Jan 18th, after 5pm.

full email here



"Non-Residential Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Station Pilot Program" at

"Would your business like to install electric vehicle charging stations?

Driving an electric car in the Bay Area reduces about 70% of the greenhouse gases produced by a conventional car and eliminates toxic air pollutants from the tailpipe. Supporting electric vehicles, and other low-carbon vehicles and fuels, advance our community's Climate Action Plan.

If your Berkeley business would like to encourage electric vehicle adoption in our area by installing charging stations in your parking lot, please contact Sarah Moore in the Office of Energy and Sustainable Development, at 510-981-7494, about participating in our new Pilot Program. "



"UC Berkeley Extension Spring Event Series Spotlights Obama, Health Care, Sustainability and More" at
"Free lectures and panels are open to all Bay Area residents." 











our Bicycle Bridge

a Bob Kubik photo








"War brewing on the latest front line against terrorism in Mali" by Sudarsan Raghavan and Edward Cody,

"The next war against terrorism is taking shape in this West African country, as African nations backed by the United States and France are readying a force to recapture Mali's north from extremists linked to al-Qaeda and prevent another haven for jihadists from taking root on the continent.

But whether a military intervention can defuse such a complex crisis remains in doubt. Mali's transitional government, installed after a military coup earlier this year, is weak and lacks legitimacy. Its poorly equipped army is in disarray.

African and Western powers are already in disagreement over the timing and goals of a military strike. Also unclear is whether regional African forces are strong enough to defeat well-armed militants in desert terrain the size of Texas without help on the ground from Western armies.

Johnnie Carson, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, said this week that "the military concept proposes an Africa-led effort, but several key questions must be answered to ensure that this effort is also well-planned and well-resourced."

Nevertheless, after months of hesitation, the momentum for a military intervention has surged in the region and among Western powers, as the radical Islamists and al-Qaeda militants have deepened their grip over the north.

Analysts and U.N. officials say that any military strike is still months away, but the United States and France are playing an active diplomatic role in it and encouraging African nations to take the lead - a model used most recently in Somalia, where Islamist radicals also seized much of the country. Last month, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) approved a 3,300-member force for northern Mali.

Thousands of Malians have fled to this capital to escape the Islamists' brutal rule, and many say military action is the only way to liberate the north. "It's the only solution," said Aziz Maiga, a 27-year-old rapper who recently left the north. 'Negotiating with the Islamists will not work.'

he American role has intensified since U.S. officials implicated al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb - the terrorism network's North and West Africa affiliate known as AQIM - in the September assault on a U.S. mission?in Libya that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. AQIM is one of the three major groups that now control northern Mali."



"U.S. weighs military support for France's campaign against Mali militants" Anne Gearan, Karen DeYoung and Craig Whitlock,

"The Obama administration is considering significant military backing for France's drive against al-Qaeda-linked militants in Mali, but its support for a major ally could test U.S. legal boundaries and stretch counterterrorism resources in a murky new conflict.

The United States is already providing surveillance and other intelligence help to France and may soon offer military support such as transport or refueling planes, according to U.S. officials, who stressed that any assistance would stop short of sending American combat forces to the volatile West African nation."





"Progress report good for China" by Zhang Yuwei at

"Developing countries will see greater progress in economic recovery, led by China and Brazil, as high-income countries continue to 'struggle' for four years after the global financial crisis, according to a World Bank report. "



















Z 102 BS 3.2 Competition Touring Spyder

This is one of three produced cars. After crashing at Le Mans in 1953, it was repaired at the factory and then participated in races until 1955. In 1963 it was sent to America.

more photos of this car here

history of Pegaso automoblies here


This Pegaso Z 102 BS 3.2 was carefully restored by an oft-times West Berkeleyean.





"ArtPlantae Today--Connecting artists, naturalists, and educators" at

"4th Annual 'Plants Illustrated' Exhibition Opens This Weekend at UC Berkeley

On Saturday, the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley will open the fourth annual Plants Illustrated exhibition.
Forty artists of the Northern California Society of Botanical Artists (NCSBA) are participating in the show. Giclee prints and notecards by NCSBA members will be for sale in The Garden Shop."



"Online education is in UC's future, but how it'll look is anyone's guess" by Katy Murphy, Oakland Tribune.

"The University of California has $10 million to expand online education in the governor's budget proposal. But no one knows what the programs will look like or how much money they will save the university, if any.

Gov. Jerry Brown, who attended a UC Regents meeting Wednesday, stressed the potential of online coursework for cost savings, saying the university can't afford to continue operating as it has -- at least, not without raising tuition, which he has discouraged.

Brown also said the new educational offerings, harnessing the latest technology, would be stronger, not just less expensive. As he put it to reporters after the discussion, 'What is being talked about is better, cheaper.' "

My understanding is tht Stanford's online courses are successful, and are free.










gutted interior

of the old Nexus building readying for remodel









"Four youngsters arrested after fight outside Berkeley High School" Doug Oakley, Oakland Tribune.

 "Police arrested four juveniles following a roving fight involving a 'large crowd' outside Berkeley High School and in the downtown area Wednesday afternoon, spokeswoman Jennifer Coats said."



















Joe Slusky's

"Helios" Chariot of the Sun at 7th and Grayson

just across from 900 GRAYSON




Our Berkeley PD Area Coordinator, Cesar Melero has been promoted to Sgt.



"Is discipline a Problem at Berkeley High School? asks




Buy Local is promoting Sunday Streets--Sunday Streets is one of Councilman Capitelli's better/best ideas. (By the way, a story yet to be told is Capitelli's beautifully thought out, well organized and well promoted campaign for council reelection. Staffed by hard working and dedicated volunteers it is, perhaps, the most important story of our last election.)


from a Buy Local email (excerpt)

If you want Sunday Streets to happen again in Berkeley

Tell the Berkeley Mayor & City Council: Vote Yes for Sunday Streets Berkeley! 

The future of Sunday Streets Berkeley depends on a very important decision by the Berkeley City Council on Tuesday, January 22 whether or not to support regular Sunday Streets in Berkeley as a partner.

This commitment of city partnership has led to the success of Open Streets around the country. Sunday Streets San Francisco has been ongoing for 5 years now.

How does Sunday Streets Berkeley  benefit local, independent businesses?

On October 14, 2012, more than 40,000 people came to Shattuck Ave to cycle, stroll, skate, shop, dance, play in the street, slow down and rediscover their local commercial districts with a new pedestrian, relaxed perspective. 
People came from all over the Bay Area to experience Berkeley anew. Local Berkeley businesses reported a 30-50% increase in sales on the day of the event. Here is a map of the sorts of activities taking place in the street (that enticed people to spend all day in our neighborhoods and shop at local businesses!) 

Unlike a traditional street fair, you don't have to spend money at vendors in the street to participate. Shopping at mobile vendors does not define the experience. Open Streets are not overtly commercial - there are no sales in the streets - this is about active, accessible fun for all. At the same time, however, local businesses tend to do very well because of so many people outside their doors in the mood to explore! 



"Berkeley pizzeria opens with eye toward community" Marta Yamamoto,

"Like most good stories, the one about the opening this week of Sliver goes far deeper than filling a vacant commercial space on Center Street."


Caffe Venezia, University and Grant, is being sold and I'm told that the IRS may close Giavonni's, Shattuck Avenue in our Downtown.

West Berkeley "sausage company" Fra' Mani is a finalist for its Salame Toscano in a salami/food contest. It is owned by Paul Bertolli.



Not only has West-Berkeley been involved in the restoration of the beautiful Pegaso Z 102 BS 3.2 Competition Touring Spyder--see above-- but it has long been known as a center of world-renowned classic car restorers.









One of the cars at the Concorso D'Eleganza Villa D'Este 2011 was restored by a west-Berkeley firm--it is the fifth car down the page. The 1953 Siata 208 S Motto Spider was restored by a world-famous shop in northwest-Berkeley. Our Berkeley shop owner says that in the Concorso D'Eleganza it came in second in its class. The website gives it "Mention of Honor" and further comments, "Another car, using the V8-2.0-liter engine from the Fiat 8V. Only 35 of the Motto-bodied Spider were built, and most of them were delivered to owners in the USA." Before the concorso it ran the Mille Miglia.

Another shop restoration, the 1955 Siata 208S Motto Spyder, appeared at Pebble Beach and a third, a red spyder entered in auction at Pebble, broke all Siata auction records at USD 1.6 million.







"Pentagon bolsters US training in Mexico's drug fight" Kimberly Dozier , Associated Press at

"The Pentagon is stepping up aid for Mexico's bloody drug war with a new U.S.-based special operations headquarters to teach Mexican security forces how to hunt drug cartels the same way special operations teams hunt al-Qaida, according to documents and interviews with multiple U.S. officials."

Over a year ago, this story was first hinted at in a Spanish language magazine published in Mexico--something about a Pentagon plan to use Seals in a Ben Laden type operation against the leadership of Mexican drug cartels. At the time, I linked a version of this.



















Michael Tilson Thomas

"Hamming it up" at NPR's Prairie Home Companion

in Segment 2 starting at 50:06 minutes



Alisa Clancy is, among others, a KCMS DJ

here with Berkeley's Al Young

stream KCSM jazz here.



"Wynton Marsalis Tickets Berkeley CA Zellerbach Auditorium Jazz Lincoln Center Orchestra" information at


Yo-Yo Ma, cello and Kathryn Scott, piano, perform at Zellerbach on January 24th--information is here.





"Honey Bees Are More Effective at Pollinating Almonds When Other Species of Bees Are Present" at

"Honey bees are more effective at pollinating almonds when other species of bees are present, says an international research team in ground-breaking research just published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society."





"Spouses and other romantic partners often complain about feeling unappreciated, and a new study from UC Berkeley suggests poor sleep may play a hidden role" Yasmin Anwar, U.C. Media Relations.

"A study looking into how sleep habits impact gratitude found that sleep deprivation can leave couples 'too tired to say thanks' and can make one or theother partner feel taken for granted."
































our Merryll will be showing in the "Scratching the Surface: Contemporary Wood Sculpture" show

on January 27-May 5 at the Craft & Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles
Merryll will speak on Sunday February 17



Bob and Carol's "old house," 1028 Pardee, is for rent at $1,100.00 a month.

Kubik emails

"1028 Pardee is not for rent and certainly not for $1100!
We are in contract to sell it to a very nice couple and the papers are to be
signed on Wednesday. They will actually take possession on Monday or
there abouts."

Their realtor writes

"That [ the rental listing] is a common scam.
Carol Parkinson"

As of 10:06 PM Monday the listing was still up and the link still hot at




There is a water main leak under the gutter at the Berkeley Bowl drive on Heinz across from the Bowl restaurant.




our Councilman Darryl Moore emails

Grand Opening of the Dona Spring Animal Shelter and East Touchdown Plaza 

12noon-2:30pm, Saturday, Feb 2, 2013
1 Bolivar Drive, Berkeley 
Facility Tours
Canine Exhibition
Meet & Greet Shelter Animals

These two projects provide vitality to the north end of Aquatic Park and greatly enhance the user experience of the Park.
The beautiful new Dona Spring Animal Shelter is two stories and has many improved features, including a medical suite for on-site spay and neutering; expanded facilities for protecting healthy animals and caring for sick ones; fenced-in play areas; indoor-outdoor kennels, and more. 

The East Touchdown Plaza provides bicycle access to the Berkeley Bike Bridge and the San Francisco Bay Trail, a public plaza with an embedded bicycle map of Berkeley and seatwalls, a pedestrian promenade, art panels and new Bay-Friendly landscaping. 






Auditions, University Chorus and UC Berkeley Chamber Chorus

January 21 ­ 22, 2013, 4-9 p.m. 124 Morrison Hall

Audition to participate in Department of Music Choruses spring 2013. Marika Kuzma, director

University Chorus

Monday, January 21 from 4-6 pm in 124 Morrison.
Monday, January 21 from 7-9 pm in 124 Morrison.
Tuesday, January 22 from 3-4:30 pm in the Hertz Hall Green Room.
See website for details
Please email to schedule an appointment.

UC Berkeley Chamber Chorus

Monday, January 21 from 4-6 pm in 124 Morrison.
Monday, January 21 from 7-9 pm in 124 Morrison.
Tuesday, January 22 from 3-4:30 pm in the Hertz Hall Green Room.
You should be prepared to sing an artsong/aria of your choice and sight-read several examples.
We may invite you to a call-back audition after you pass the initial audition.
See website for details
Please email to schedule an appointment and specify that you are auditioning for Chamber Chorus.









VIK's new Chat House opens

Bob Kubik photo

very nice, new spiffy digs for their grocery and restaurant

















Charles Krug raises its prices!

At two-bucks-four-bits, "Two Buck Chuck" is no more. Still their Shiraz is a "Best Buzz for the Buck," full bodied with just a hint of euphoria and little or no hangover, it's a wonderfully cheap yet pleasing high.


"Reno artist's obsession with Twinkies spans 4 decades" Martin Griffith, AP at

Nancy Peppin's 'The Last Snack,' modeled after Leonardo da Vinci's 'The Last Supper,' one of thedozens of pieces of art Nancy Peppin has created over the years using Twinkies and other Hostess products. A graphic artist by day for slot machine-maker International Game Technology, Peppin doesn't like to eat Twinkies.

"No, she doesn't have a sweet tooth for them.

But she has featured Twinkies in hundreds of pieces of quirky, satirical artwork because of an obsession with what she calls the 'ultimate American food icon.'

The prolific Reno artist says she was first influenced to focus on Twinkies in 1975 by Andy Warhol, who demonstrated that even a Campbell's soup can could be an object of art'

'He showed you a new way of looking at a familiar object,' said Peppin, who has sold and exhibited her artwork. 'That's what I'm doing with Twinkies. I'm having people look at Twinkies in a brand new way and in an entertaining way.'

Shortly after Hostess Brands Inc. announced plans to go out of business last year, Peppin was among those who joined the rush to stores to fill shopping carts with boxes of the spongy cakes.

But unlike others, she didn't buy 12 boxes with 10 Twinkies each to turn a profit on eBay or Craigslist.

'I needed art supplies,' said Peppin, who uses Twinkies and their packaging to create some of her pieces. She also features renderings of the snack cakes in watercolor paintings, mixed media, prints and artwork.

Her works include her 'Twinkies in history series,' which portrays how scientists such as John James Audubon, Charles Darwin and Leonardo daVinci would have sketched and written about Twinkies in journals or books. "



"Crime in the city of Berkeley" is a self-serving report/advertisement at

"By most standards, Berkeley is not considered a very safe city. According to Neighborhood Scout, a website that provides crime statistics and rankings for cities across the country, Berkeley's Crime Index is 6, which means that it is safer than only 6% of cities in the US (or, in other words, that 94% of cities are safer than Berkeley). There are about 6,700 crimes committed annually in Berkeley, with about 500 of them violent crimes and 6,200 of them property crimes. If you want to consider crime density, there are about 40 crimes committed, on average, per square mile nationally (median); that number in Berkeley is over 380!

It is safe to say that Berkeley has a crime problem and that it is important to pay close attention to your security to keep yourself from becoming a victim of a property crime, violent crime, or both.

If you're a student at UC Berkeley, there is probably a fair amount of security on the campus, most likely in the form of a specially-assigned police force for the school."



 "City Council to Discuss $60K for Open Streets. The proposal calls for two more car-free days on Shattuck Avenue"

"Back in October, more than 40,000 people came out to enjoy 17 blocks of a car-free Shattuck Avenue during Berkeley's first ever Sunday Streets event. On Tuesday, Berkeley City Council will consider making Sunday Streets a city-sponsored institution by committing nearly $60,000 for two future automobile-free afternoons.

If the city puts up $60,000, Sunday Streets organizer Livable Berkeley and other partners will pay an additional $120,000 to publicize and manage Sunday Streets in October and April 2014, according to a report from City Councilwoman Laurie Capitelli. "

Underlining mine.

Nothing like having a micro-site with their "Fingers on the pulse", eh Councilman?



Recently both Berkeley Side and the Daily Planet have had stories about Warehams's new plans for their Potter Creek 740 Heinz building. Though both seem to be news, in fact they are not. The news is simply, Wareham gets what they want.


"Berkeley presentation to look at activist who wrote film's best-known song" by Laura Casey at

"E.Y. 'Yip' Harburg, the man who penned the lyrics for 'Over the Rainbow,' named the most famous song in movie history, was a deeply committed social activist who was once blacklisted from Hollywood moviemaking over accusations of being a communist.

While his best-known work includes all the songs for 'The Wizard of Oz,' which earned him an Oscar in 1940 for 'Over the Rainbow,' Harburg also wrote about the women's movement, racism, poverty and social justice for movies and Broadway. His words and works will be celebrated at a program led by music historian Bonnie Weiss at 2 p.m. Jan. 27 at the Jewish Community Center, East Bay, 1414 Walnut St. "









I've always loved Twinkies and in the '80s when Kimar, Moe and a bunch of us few to London on Pan Am, as we got right over the Pole the hostess served me theTwinkies and milk that Kimar had slipped her on boarding. But "maybe Twinkies don't last forever after all. The manufacturer of the iconic American treat, Kansas City, Mo.-based Interstate Bakeries Corp., declared bankruptcy last year and announced plans last week to shutter two San Francisco factories. As it teeters on the brink of solvency, many local consumers bemoan the possible loss of the ladyfinger-shaped sponge cake" reports James Temple of the West County Times.The sad story is here.



"Writer strips the Twinkie of all its secrets:Man overcomes nature, 'vice president of cake' to learn snack's origins"
reports Suzanne Bohan in our Times.

"When Steve Ettlinger donned a hard hat, a head lamp and emergency breathing equipment before his alarming descent 1,600 feet into Wyoming mine shaft, he wondered whether his quest to find the natural sources of all 39 ingredients in Hostess Twinkies'had gone too far.

'As a food writer, I'd really gone astray," he told a crowd of about 100 Google employees earlier this month at the company's Mountain View headquarters.

To complement the author's talk, chefs at Google prepared organic versions of Twinkies for the event, using locally-raised or procured products to make the almond-flavored, cream-filled pastries.

Ettlinger traversed the country and hopped the globe, touring plants, mines and refineries to find the actual origins of the almost unpronounceable ingredients used to make Twinkies. His young daughter's puzzlement over a strange-sounding one called polysorbate 60 listed on her ice cream bar label inspired his quest, which led to the publication of his book, 'Twinkie, Deconstructed.' The hardcover version was released last year, and the softcover book is due out on Feb. 26.

'This is a terrific book that really opened my eyes, and I don't know of another book quite like it,' said Michael Pollan, the Berkeley-based best-selling food and nature author, most recently of 'In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto.'

Although Ettlinger chose Twinkies for his in-depth exploration on food additives, he's quick to point out that the book is a treatise on processed foods in general."


Hostess Twinkie's ingredient list:

Enriched bleached wheat flour [flour, ferrous sulfate, "b" vitamins
(niacin, thiamine, mononitrate (b1), riboflavin (b2) folic acid)],
sugar, corn syrup, water, high fructose corn syrup, partially
hydrogenated vegetable shortening (contains one or more of: soybean,
canola or palm oil), dextrose, whole eggs, contains 2 percent or less
of: modified cornstarch, cellulose gum, whey, leavenings (sodium acid
pyrophosphate, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), salt, cornstarch,
corn flour, corn dextrins, mono and digylcerides, polysorbate 60, soy
lecithin, natural and artificial flavors, soy protein isolate, sodium
stearoyl lactylate, sodium and calcium caseinate, calcium sulfate,
sorbic acid (to retain freshness), color added (yellow 5, red 40).
May contain peanuts or traces of peanuts.


Google alternative recipe:

Organic cake flour, sugar, organic cream, organic butter, organic
eggs, organic milk, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, almond
extract, baking powder, cream of tartar, salt.

Healthy alternative recipe?

Maybe Richard of Eight Street's thought in some way applies to original Twinkies. "You gonna die of somethin'."









"When mom is the CEO at home, workplace ambitions take a back seat" Yasmin Anwar, UC Media Relations.

"It's often said that women can have it all ­ motherhood and a successful career. But a new UC Berkeley study suggests that women who rule the household have less energy for or interest in being a rising star in the workplace.

Moms who run the household are less interested in workplace power, study suggests

While household decision-making power was highly valued by both men and women who participated in the study, women reported that running the home made them less likely to pursue promotions and other career advancement steps at the office. This was not the case for men, whose work goals were unchanged by their domestic role, according to the study."


















NOVA's Rise of the Drones

"Meet a new breed of flying robots, from tiny swarming vehicles to giant unmanned planes. Airing Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 9 pm on PBS, Channel 9

Drones. These unmanned flying robots­some as large as jumbo jets, others as small as birds­do things straight out of science fiction. Much of what it takes to get these robotic airplanes to fly, sense, and kill has remained secret. But now, with rare access to drone engineers and those who fly them for the U.S. military, NOVA reveals the amazing technologies that make drones so powerful as we see how a remotely-piloted drone strike looks and feels from inside the command center. From cameras that can capture every detail of an entire city at a glance to swarming robots that can make decisions on their own to giant air frames that can stay aloft for days on end, drones are changing our relationship to war, surveillance, and each other. And it's just the beginning. Discover the cutting edge technologies that are propelling us toward a new chapter in aviation history as NOVA gets ready for 'Rise of the Drones.' "


For those who don't want to watch, here's a review of the program from an Australian newspaper where, apparently, it's already aired.

"Rapid rise of the drones" Rob Lowman at the Sydney Morning Herald.

"Unmanned flying robots pose big privacy issues.

In television station PBS SoCal's Nova: Rise of the Drones - a look at the rapid evolution of unmanned flying robots - an ominous note is quickly sounded. Are we in danger of becoming a sci-fi world like the one in The Terminator, where machines run us rather than the other way around?
With drones now moving from the battlefield to homeland use, an even more ominous note is being struck. As the head of one paparazzi agency reportedly said about the possibility of using a drone to spy on stars, 'It will strike fear into the heart of any celebrity thinking about having an outdoor birthday party.'

'That's the world we're going into,' 'joked Dr Peter W. Singer, senior fellow and director of the 21st Century Defence Initiative at the Brookings Institution, at a panel on the program at the recent Television Critics Association meeting in Pasadena.

OK, you may not care about celebs, but we are entering a new age, whether you like it or not. The 2012 FAA Reauthorisation Act orders the agency to develop regulations for the testing and licensing of commercial drones by 2015. It is projected that 30,000 drones could be crisscrossing the nation's skies by 2020.

Most people are now aware of the CIA's armed Predator drone program, which has targeted al-Qaida leaders and is a key component of US counterterrorism efforts in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and other places. One of the panelists was Abe Karem, an aeronautics pioneer known as the 'father of the Predator', who began to build the prototype for his drone or UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) in his garage during the 1980s.

Much of Rise of the Drones is a well-paced explanation on how UAVs were developed and are changing warfare. Some people may find the rapidly growing sophistication of these robots alarming."





"Golden Gate Fields in its Golden Age" is a video at

"This 1950s newsreel footage shows Willie Shoemaker at a packed track in Albany breaking the course's record for wins." 


Golden Gate Fields had a cameo role in 1941 film

Shadow of the Thin Man* showed Nick and Nora Charles pulling into the Golden Gate Fields' parking lot. There is also a scene with the Charles "driving to the track" in their Packard convertible. But it's shot on the Golden Gate Bridge.

*Nick and Nora's hopes for a pleasant afternoon at the local race track are dashed when a jockey is found shot dead in the locker room. Nick's friend Lt. Abrams wants him to help out but Nick is enjoying the good life too much to get involved. However, he is subsequently approached by Major Scully to look into corruption and the role of organized crime in gambling. Others are killed but in the end, Nick gathers all of the suspects into a room and identifies the killer.



At the Tuesday night council meeting, the BPD benefits package passed, the Wareham Potter Creek 740 Heinz revisions passed and the Sunday Streets Berkeley was sent to committee but provisions were made--the Mayor and Council members Weingraf and Wozniak contributed funds from their budgets-- so planning could begin for a February event.




















"Berkeley Japan Prize to be given to musician/activist Ryuichi Sakamoto" Ida Torres  at

"Japanese musician, composer, producer, and activist Ryuichi Sakamoto has been chosen as the recipient of third Berkeley Japan Prize award to be given at an invitation-only event at the university campus in February, according to the Center for Japanese Studies at the University of California, Berkeley."


"Berkeley congregation honored for its Torah commentary" at

"Paths of Torah,' a commentary written by members of Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley, was a finalist for a national award from the Jewish Book Council. The awards were announced Jan. 15."


"In tradition of Ed Roberts, youth with disabilities urged to think big" Cathy Cockrell,

Zona Roberts, 92

mother of Ed Roberts

" 'Never let anyone tell you you can't do something,' undergrad Hamza Jaka, co-president of the campus's Disabled Students Union, told a crowd of local high-school students Tuesday morning in Alumni House. 'That's what Ed fought for.'

The Ed in question, Ed Roberts, 'insisted that UC Berkeley let him in' back in the 1960s, added state Sen. Loni Hancock. His activism ­ first on campus and then beyond ­ helped launch a worldwide movement, she said.

Held on the eve of California's annual Ed Roberts Day, Jan. 23, which Hancock helped to establish, the event was designed to urge young people with disabilities to think big about their futures, and to showcase what UC Berkeley has to offer them.

'Your presence is going to matter to the university and world,' said Susan Schweik, an associate professor of English and co-director of the campus's Disability Studies Program.

Berkeley student Judith Lung, a second-year English major, was in the audience with her service dog, Van Dyke. The Disabled Students Program, she said, is 'helping me translate my books into Braille,' adding that Berkeley has 'one of the top' such programs in the nation."





"Berkeley charter school fosters creativity and innovation" by Marta Yamamoto,

"Realm Charter School, the city's only public charter school, opened its doors in fall 2011 to provide students in grades 6 through 12 with a program centered on project-based learning, with an emphasis on technology, research and action.

The program is designed to increase student achievement and social responsibility, and Victor Diaz, Realm's principal and executive director behind the idea, described 'Love, Grit and Action,' the three principles on which the school is built.

'Love allows us to engage in students' personal development, and that's critical to their intellectual development,' he said. 'Grit is the academic component that gives them problem-solving skills that they don't give up. And Action is for students to go beyond these walls to give what we're learning a greater purpose.'

With an eye toward broadening the school's universe and sharing Realm's story, the school is hosting its annual 'In Conversation' fundraiser Feb. 2, when Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Michael Chabon and Junot Diaz will read from their latest books and hold an unscripted conversation about writing, creativity and education, subjects integral to the school's mission.

As a charter school, Realm has no residence requirements and functions like any other public school as far as standards and testing.

Operationally, it is more like a private school, with decisions made by its board and executive director. At present, the school at Eighth and Browning streets in West Berkeley has 100 students each in grades six, seven, nine and 10, building the school one year at a time. If all goes as planned, it will eventually serve 700 students on each of two campuses -- a middle school and a high school."






"Berkeley Public Library Launches Communications Study" at

 "One of the goals of the Berkeley Public Library Board-approved Library Strategic Plan: 2011-2013 is to cultivate a broader base of Berkeley residents into regular library users. One of the initiatives of this goal is the development of a Communications Plan. The San Francisco-based public relations firm BergDavis Public Affairs has been engaged to assist the library with gathering valuable feedback from the community and stakeholders through a detailed, user-oriented survey"





The Berkeley Ecology Center "brags on its website that they 'provide good, green-collar jobs.' " But . . .

"Brothers and sisters from the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) put in a lot of legwork on the Hotel Frank picket line, so it was only natural that I responded to their call to join an IWW picket line at the Berkeley Ecology Center last Thursday, January 10.  The Ecology Center brags on its website that they 'provide good, green-collar jobs.'  Try telling that to the thirty workers and supporters who were on the picket line last Thursday."

Full story at the International Workers of the World Website.







213 TERRIFIC, and even not-so-terrific, things to do in Berkeley!






"Annie's recalls rising-crust frozen pizza"

"Berkeley-based food company Annie's is voluntarily recalling its homegrown frozen pizza after tiny pieces of metal mesh were found in the dough and flour."  










"Whole Foods CEO finds the conversation quickly turns to his politics" by Heather Somerville San Jose Mercury News.

"Whole Foods CEO John Mackey doesn't like to mix business with his private life, but after the release of his new book got lost in a heated political debate about health care, things got more personal than Mackey says he ever intended.

Mackey was in San Francisco and Cupertino this week on a national tour to promote his just published book, 'Conscious Capitalism,' which argues for the inherent good of business and capitalism".





"Netflix turns an unexpected profit, stock skyrockets" Michael Liedtke, Associated Press at

"Netflix has re-emerged as a stock-market star after a fourth-quarter performance that demonstrated its success in broadening the appeal of its Internet video service amid stiffer competition."




"Amazon to build huge distribution center in Tracy" George Avalos, Oakland Tribune.

"Amazon said Tuesday it will employ hundreds of full-time workers at a new million-square-foot distribution center it will develop in Tracy, part of its quest to provide next-day and same-day deliveries.

'It's great to be getting these jobs,' said Michael Ammann, CEO of the San Joaquin Partnership. 'This is going to be a state-of-the-art facility. It is not just going to be a few people with forklifts in a warehouse. It is going to be a very sophisticated operation for Amazon.'

Potentially 500 or more full-time Amazon employees could work at the Tracy site."
















Rumor has it that Sierra Nevada 

will open a tasting room in West Berkeley

Their Pale Ale, a favorite of mine is reviewed 

in this youtube video



"Record Collectors in Their Natural Habitats: Eilon Paz Photographs Vinyl Addicts in the Wild"

Oliver Wang at

link courtesy Nick Despotopoulos




"Power to the people: Berkeley couple brings light to clinics in developing nations" by dan pine at

"After the lights went out, a light bulb turned on in Laura Stachel's mind.

The Berkeley obstetrician was touring Nigeria as part of a 2008 maternal mortality research project. Her hosts took her to a dilapidated, poorly equipped hospital, where electric power routinely fizzled out.

Mothers coming to the hospital often delivered babies by kerosene lantern or candlelight. Some C-sections were delayed. Some pregnant women were turned away. Others died from complications rarely seen in the West, such as uterine rupture.

In Malawi, women in labor are required to bring their own candles when they arrive at clinics. In Uganda, midwives sometimes illuminate nighttime deliveries by holding a cellphone between their teeth.

'There was one night I saw a woman fighting for her life in darkness,' Stachel recalls. 'I felt like I was in a chamber of horrors, and I thought 'Why am I here right now bearing witness?' I thought maybe I could be a voice for this woman and others.'

Then it hit her: What if these clinics had a reliable 24/7 source of electricity to illuminate delivery rooms, keep blood supplies refrigerated, and recharge cellphones and two-way radios so doctors could be located quickly?

A source like the African sun.

After Stachel described the conditions she witnessed in Africa to her husband, solar energy educator Hal Aronson, the two conceived an impossibly simple idea: an easy-to-install, easy-to-use solar power unit small enough to fit in a suitcase. And powerful enough to change the world."





from Our Town's Berkeley Fire Department page

"Commendations, Praise & Recognition from Community Members & Colleagues

Congratulations to Lieutenant Scott Hall, Apparatus Operator John Forney, and Apparatus Operator John Snell for their 20 years of dedicated service and commitment to the Berkeley community! "



Councilman Capitelli emails

Coffee and Community Discussion with Councilmember Capitelli

Saturday, January 26, 2013. 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Thousand Oaks School picnic area, near Tacoma and Ensenada
Please join me for a casual discussion about community issues and City Council actions. Bring your questions and concerns. I will bring coffee and snacks. Rain will cancel.

full email here





"Berkeley school safety estimate: $500,000" Doug Oakley, Oakland Tribune.

"School officials here are estimating a half-million dollars for new school safety measures, including classroom door locks, pending a report from two consultants who will analyze needs for all 20 schools.

The district decided to beef up security after the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where 20 first-graders and six adults died.

The school board Wednesday night approved contracts worth $70,000 for Edu-Safe Associates and Dimensions Unlimited."  



"Do You Feel Safe on the Ohlone Greenway" at "A shooting in El Cerrito Wednesday has residents asking if the trail is becoming too dangerous.

On Wednesday afternoon, two students from Albany High School were shot while sitting near the BART line on the Ohlone Greenway in El Cerrito. One teen was shot in the face, but suffered only a minor injury. The second teen went to the hospital in critical condition, but was in stable condition Thursday morning, according to his mother."





"Calif. pot dispensary owner gets 8 years from feds" at

"A San Diego medical marijuana dispensary owner was sentenced Thursday to more than eight years in prison for conspiracy to distribute marijuana and other crimes, according to federal prosecutors.

U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy called Joshua Hester the 'poster boy' for the types of marijuana dispensary operators the federal government is targeting for criminal investigation.

'He was a convicted drug trafficker making millions of dollars selling high-quality marijuana to recreational users and exploiting state laws that were meant to help the seriously ill,' Duffy said after Hester was sentenced."










"Rolls-Royce Radicals" at Stanford Social Innovation Review.

"Responsible Wealth, a Boston-based nonprofit, is convincing many affluent Americans to challenge the very rules that made them rich. Far from mere check writers or 'limousine liberals,' these wealthy activists work against their self-interest to stamp out inequality at its source: unfair laws and policies. Their unique strategy of using privilege to contest privilege not only has attracted the rich and famous to their ranks, but also has bent the ears of senators and CEOs."



"Responsible Wealth is a network of business leaders, investors, and inheritors in the richest five percent of wealth and/or income in the U.S. who believe that growing inequality is not in their best interest, nor in the best interest of society" at




















Sophie Gross shares

Marcel the Shell








Bob Portnoy emails

Came across your e-mail address on one of your web pages. Do you still run your record store or have you retired to motorcycle racing? It would be fun to run into you one of these days. I hear from the Braver girls occasionally.

Along with Mike Korman, Bob Portnoy worked at Al Braver's Campus Smoke Shop at the same time I worked at Al's Campus Records. We all worked nights as I remember.

Al Braver

And just what is it that Albert's smoking in that pipe?

I had breakfast with Mike Korman recently--the Korman of the Berkeley realtors, Korman and Ng-- at 900 GRAYSON. Mike and I worked together in the '60s, Mike at Campus Smoke Shop and I worked at Campus Records--the shops adjacent on the corner of Telegraph and Bancroft. Mike also was part of the Berkeley Barb from its very beginning. As the business manager he claims to have hustled the first of their legendary want ads.

Now a a commercial realtor, he found the property for the Anne Crowden School and more recently was involved in the sale of the Hillside School property to the German School.

Great meeting of the minds on old and new times.





"Pepper Spray Robbery at Thousand Oaks School" at

"A staff member at Thousand Oaks School was sprayed in the face with pepper spray and had her purse stolen as she walked to her car after school on Tuesday, the principal said in a message to school families." 


Youtube video of last week's Berkeley High School fight-aftermath.






"36 Hours in Marin County, Calif" at will help Bob and Carol acclimate.

link courtesy Merryll





"Choreographer Anna Halprin's iconic 'Parades and Changes' returns to Berkeley after 43 years" by Andrew Gilbert,

"When the UC Berkeley's University Art Museum (now known as the Berkeley Art Museum, or BAM) first opened its doors in November of 1970, the new institution's director Peter Selz wanted to make a big splash, but not too big. He invited Anna Halprin, already a storied figure as the conceptual matriarch of post-modern dance, to present her signature piece, "Parades and Changes" as part of the building's inauguration. But as Halprin recalls, Selz was nervous about her use of nudity in the dance and suggested several remedies for potential controv'rsy.

'We were very avant garde, as everything in the Bay Area was, and we were introducing nudity and thought nothing of it,' Halprin said in a recent phone conversation from her home in Marin. 'Peter asked, do you think you can put leotards on, or at least dim the lights? As brave as he was, he was worried about his board.'

The dancers disrobed as planned, and no scandal ensued. These days, nudity in dance rarely raises an eyebrow, but  . . . "




"Berkeley landmark 48 Shattuck Square sold" Blanca Torres,

"Churn Creek LLC, a Peninsula-based investor, has paid $3.8 million for 48 Shattuck Square. The seller was Fairhill Enterprises, which had owned the property for 35 years. 'It's the historic center of downtown Berkeley and right across the street from where Equity Residential is putting 205 units,' said Taylor Flynn of Marcus & Millichap, who represented both sides of the deal with Jason Hernandez."


a Berkeley Chamber of Commerce release

Please join Government Affairs Chairperson Mark Rhoades, AICP, John Caner, CEO of the Downtown Berkeley Association, and Michael Caplan, Manager of the City of Berkeley's Office of Economic Development, at the Chamber of Commerce's Government Affairs Committee on Monday, February 4th, 2013, for a discussion and update on Downtown Berkeley. 

Our first discussion of the year will be held in the Chamber's brand new Board room and will provide an overview of the tremendous positive change that is occurring in the Downtown as well as the continuing challenges from a business and development perspective. 
Three major changes in circumstances are converging that have the potential to reshape the downtown and to create a more vibrant, welcoming, and prosperous community 'living room.' 

First, after nearly eight years of public process for the Downtown Area Plan, new zoning has been implemented. Second, is the tremendous work that has been done by the Downtown Berkeley Association to establish the Downtown's Property-Based Business Improvement District (PBID). Third, is the recovering economy. The Urban Land Institute's projections for 2013 show the San Francisco Bay Area as the number one real estate investment economy in the United States for the next year or more. 

What this means for Downtown Berkeley is investment in new projects, both large and small. A number of new businesses have opened in the last few months with more on the way. There are also currently six major development projects in the pipeline that will create nearly 800 new dwelling units and approximately 35,000 square feet of new retail space. The new housing will generate approximately 1,600 or more new Downtown residents. As a start, the Zoning Adjustments Board approved the 205-unit Acheson Commons project and the 99-unit project at Dwight and Shattuck on December 20, 2012. Keeping this momentum going will take a concerted effort on the part of the Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Berkeley Association and groups such as Berkeley Design Advocates, Livable Berkeley and others. We look forward to seeing you!    

Monday, February 4, 2013 ~ 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM, Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, 1834 University Avenue, Second Floor

They want attendees to bring our own lunch.




our Planning Commission emails

"As a result of the Failure of Measure T  2012 (Master Use Permit legislation), the Planning Commission will consider a recommendation to the City Council, to rescind changes made (in 2011) to the West Berkeley Plan, Large Site Development Process."

Rules that were changed in the WB Plan--the MUP part--have to be changed back. This is necessary for settlement of the WB lawsuit.

Of course, all this additional meeting time, staff time and paper work costs money.










"Hitting the Sweet Spot for Advanced Biofuel Technologies"Lynn Yarris,
"Earth's atmosphere and the American economy would greatly benefit from the commercial development of clean, green and renewable domestic biofuels. Advanced biofuels, capable of a gallon-for-gallon replacement of petroleum-based fuels, are by definition, capable of exploiting common engine designs and using today's fuel distribution infrastructures. Studies show advanced biofuels have a carbon life cycle that produces low or net-zero green house gases. Helping to commercialize advanced biofuels is the primary mission of Berkeley Lab's Advanced Biofuels Process Demonstration Unit (ABPDU), the West Coast's only state-of-the-art facility providing industry-scale test beds for laboratory discoveries in advanced biofuels research.'

At ABPDU we can fill an important niche when it comes to the commercialization of advanced biofuel technologies,' says James Gardner, the ABPDU's Operations Manager. 'There's a term in the fuels world called the "Valley of Death," where something that looks fantastic at the research scale, fails to pass through the gauntlet of scale-up testing that allows it to go on to the commercial scale. We can help nascent technologies navigate this valley and lower the barriers to market entry by providing a pilot plant that is very flexible and open-ended.'

Housed in a state-of-the art facility in Emeryville, California, about five miles south of Berkeley Lab's main campus, the ABPDU was started in 2011 under a $20 million grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It is now funded through the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Under the leadership of Gardner, a biochemist and molecular biologist, the ABPDU's scientific and support staff works with a variety of bioreactors to produce sugars and co-products, ferment the sugars into advanced biofuels, extract these fuels, and analyze the process. Capabilities are also provided for the production of downstream feedstocks, enzymes and fuels."




"UC Berkeley economist: Euro crisis could erupt again this year" Associated Press report at

"Is the euro crisis over? A leading U.S. economist says not by a long shot.

Even as the head of the European Central Bank talked Friday of 'positive contagion' in the markets and predicted an economic recovery for the recession-hit eurozone later this year, economist Barry Eichengreen warned that the debt crisis that has shaken Europe to its core could easily erupt again this year unless European leaders move faster to solve their problems.

While European governments and markets have been breathing easier in recent months after years of turmoil, it's no time for complacency, said Eichengreen, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who has chronicled the Great Depression and explored the consequences of a breakup of the euro currency used by 17 nations.

"Nothing has been resolved in the eurozone, where markets have swung from undue pessimism to undue optimism," Eichengreen said at the World Economic Forum. "They said all the right things last year ... and they've been backtracking ever since."

He warns that the crisis over too much debt burdening governments and banks in the 17-country currency group ' is going to heat up again in 2013.'

He urged eurozone leaders follow up on its proposals to steady its banking system and keep failed banks from adding to government debt through expensive bailouts."
















Patrick Kennedy emails

Thought you might be interested to know that San F rancisco Planning Commission unanimously approved our first high rise on a 6-0  voted yesterday.  

Project is car-free, with 120 micro-apartments, and 40 suites. Half the building will be leased by California College of the Arts.

"Possibilities to add convenience, intensity and cheer in cities . . . are limitless"

Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Here is what the new project 1321 Mission - at 9th and Mission, 1 block from Twitter HDQ - will look like

When you have time, I'd love to show you SMARTSPACE 2.0, which is now completed at 38 Harriet.








In a recent month, we received visits from these countries--listed in order of volume from most visits to least.

United States, China, France, Ukraine, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, Russian Federation, Japan, Netherlands, Italy, Czech Republic, Spain, Sweden, India, Moldova, Brazil, Poland, Mexico, Australia, Israel, Belgium, Finland, Philippines, Colombia, Chile, Estonia, Cyprus, Viet Nam, Peru, United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Mauritius, Bulgaria, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Iran, Albania, Belarus, Lithuania, Georgia. Azerbaijan, Lebanon, Guatemala, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bahrain, Macedonia, Dominican Republic, Morocco, Trinidad and Tobago, Mongolia, Ghana, North Korea, Kenya, Palestinian Territory, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Saint Lucia, Luxembourg, Malta, Costa Rica, Iceland, Syria, Brunei Darussalam, Botswana, Uruguay, Jamaica, Oman, Barbados, Honduras, Rwanda

Notice that after the United States, most visits came from China. Note also that we had visits from over half the counties of the world.





"FBI is increasing pressure on suspects in Stuxnet inquiry" Peter Finn,

"Federal investigators looking into disclosures of classified information about a cyberoperation that targeted Iran's nuclear program have increased pressure on current and former senior government officials suspected of involvement, according to people familiar with the investigation.

The inquiry, which was started by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. last June, is examining leaks about a computer virus developed jointly by the United States and Israel that damaged nuclear centrifuges at Iran's primary uranium enrichment plant. The U.S. code name for the operation was Olympic Games, but the wider world knew the mysterious computer worm as Stuxnet."




"US 'launched Flame cyber attack on Sarkozy's office" reports BBC News, 11/21/12.

"A French news magazine has accused the US government of hacking into the office of Nicolas Sarkozy in the final weeks of his presidency of France.

L'Express said a cyber war agency whose job it is to detect and prevent hacking had found a 'powerful worm' in the computers of the Elysee Palace.

The palace has since confirmed a big cyber attack did take place.

The US embassy in Paris 'categorically denied' the US had been involved in any cyber attack on the French government.
US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, for her part, refused to confirm or deny the allegation, telling L'Express the US had no more important partner nor greater ally than France.

The malware the French authorities are said to have discovered is called Flame.

Hugely sophisticated, it can collect files on a machine, take screen shots, and even activate the microphone on a computer to record conversations.
According to L'Express, even the computer of Mr Sarkozy's chief of staff, Xavier Musca, was hacked.
The worm was probably introduced to the Elysee network through Facebook, L'Express says." 





"Asia has fastest internet, launches most cyber-attacks" by Neil McAllister,

"Not only is Asia home to the world's fastest internet connections, but it's also the source of the most internet attack traffic, according to new data from content delivery provider Akamai.

The latest edition of the company's quarterly 'State of the Internet' report once again crowns Hong Kong as home of the fastest broadband available. During the third quarter of 2012, the Chinese special administrative region boasted an average peak connection rate of a head-spinning 54.1Mbps.

Onetime leader South Korea came in second with an average peak connection rate of 48.8Mbps. By way of comparison, you'd be hard pressed to find anything similar in the US or UK, where peak connection speeds averaged 29.6Mbps and 28.1Mbps during the quarter, respectively.

It's easy to get fast broadband in Asia, too. South Korean internet users enjoyed an overall average connection speed of 14.7Mbps during the third quarter of 2012, while Japan's national average was 10.5Mbps and Hong Kong's was 9Mbps.

By comparison, the UK average was just 6.3Mbps, and connections averaged 7.2Mbps across the entire US ­ although speeds there varied widely by region. Delaware offered the fastest connections in the US at 10.9Mbps, with the District of Columbia coming in second at 10.7Mbps, and New Hampshire and Vermont tied for third at 10.4Mbps.

Those rates are hardly the norm, however. In South Korea, 52 per cent of internet users have access to broadband speeds faster than 10Mbps. Only 18 per cent of Americans can make the same claim, and a mere 11 per cent of Britons can.

In general, Asian countries led the pack in all of the broadband performance metrics Akamai studied, with South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong all showing strong results.

But Asia came out tops in another, less laudable statistic, too. It was also the source of more traffic from DDoS attacks, botnets, and other cyber-nuisances than any other region, with China being the main culprit."





"Web War II: What a future cyberwar will look like" by Michael Gallagher, BBC World Service, 4/30/12.

"How might the blitzkrieg of the future arrive? By air strike? An invading army? In a terrorist's suitcase? In fact it could be coming down the line to a computer near you.

Operation Locked Shields, an international military exercise held last month, was not exactly your usual game of soldiers. It involves no loud bangs or bullets, no tanks, aircraft or camouflage face-paint. Its troops rarely even left their control room, deep within a high security military base in Estonia.

These people represent a new kind of combatant - the cyber warrior.

One team of IT specialists taking part in Locked Shields, were detailed to attack nine other teams, located all over Europe. At their terminals in the Nato Co-operative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, they cooked up viruses, worms, Trojan Horses and other internet attacks, to hijack and extract data from the computers of their pretend enemies.

The idea was to learn valuable lessons in how to forestall such attacks on military and commercial networks. The cyber threat is one that the Western alliance is taking seriously.

It's no coincidence that Nato established its defence centre in Estonia. In 2007, the country's banking, media and government websites were bombarded with Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks over a three week period, in what's since become known as Web War I. The culprits are thought to have been pro-Russian hacktivists, angered by the removal of a Soviet-era statue from the centre of the capital, Tallinn."







1/24/13--4:32 PM---irritant in front room, dry burning air, mucus membrane irritation, Marsha has headache, overirdes 3 HEPA filters.

1/25/13--2:12 PM---irritant in front room and in warehouse front and immediately in front of warehouse, dry burning air, mucus membrane irritation, Marsha has headache.

1/26/13--8:38 AM--irritant in front room, dry burning air, mucus membrane irritation, Marsha has headache. Similatr off=and=on all day , with irritant over riding 3 HEPA filters and with respitrator use. 7:41 PM--irritant in front room with acrid odor of "hot metal," wear respirator. 7:49 PM--similar IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse.








eternally useful links


You can find more information about our current weather conditions than is good for you at

Want to see weather coming in, going out, beautiful sunsets, and much, much more? Check out This very hip site was in an email from reader and contributor, Tony Almeida. Read Tony's Jimi Hendrix story on the only page that routinely gets more hits than Scrambled Eggs.



Richmond Ramblers' motorcycle club member, Cliff Miller emails a very

useful link

If you ever need to get a human being on the phone at a credit card company or bank, etc., this site tells you how to defeat their automated system and get you to a human being within a few seconds.



Best gas prices in 94710, as well as all of US and Canada, are here at

Kimar finds Costco routinely has the lowest price.



Bay Area home prices from

Bay Area foreclosures from


Our City Council update is here.

Our Planning Commision update is here




Our City of Berkeley Boards and Commissions page is here--redone and friendly.



All reports of crime-in-progress should first go to Berkeley PD dispatch--911 or non-emergency, 981-5900. THEN make sure you notify EACH of these City people.

The contacts are below:

Our Area Coordinator, Berkeley PD - 981-5774.

Ryan Lau, aid to Darryl Moore - 981-7120

Darryl Moore, City Councilman

AND check out BPD feature "Who are these Suspects."


The original owner of all posted material retains copyright. The material is used only to illustrate.