More Oakland Greek Festival 2013

May 17, 18, and 19 Ascension Cathedral once again presents the annual Oakland Greek Festival.
Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension, 4700 Lincoln Avenue, Oakland, California 94602


2012 Oakland Greek Festival

the Victor's Mom, aproned serving





2011 Oakland Greek Festival

Huffington Post Stephanie J. Stiavetti's appreciation

A meal worthy of the gods.

For the next two days, Oakland's Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension is hosting their annual Oakland Greek Festival. Besides being a gathering of some of the East Bay's most enthusiastic Greek residents, the festival is home to some of the best Greek food in the Bay Area.

Yesterday I hit up the festival's opening day. I was completely bowled over by the amount of food available -- up for grabs were every possible Greek delight you can imagine, prepared by local cooks. Within the culinary booths, you'll find everything from whole lamb on a spit to flaming cheese (seriously -- stand back when they set it on fire!).

For those who love to cook, Saturday and Sunday are filled with countless Greek cooking demonstrations. If you're in Oakland this weekend, can you think of a better way to spend a few hours?

John and crew were also serving grilled lamb in 2011









"Brooks on beer: A drinking song fest" Jay R. Brooks, Contra Costa Times.

"Music and beer have long been intimate companions. Drinking songs date back to the Middle Ages; even today, you'll find that many brewers are musicians and many breweries have their own bands.

Now a craft brewery and a troupe of a cappella singers are teaming up in a manner so brilliant, it's a wonder this isn't done all the time. On May 29, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and the Fill A Steins will be hosting 'Drinking/Songs: A Night of Beer and the Songs That Go With It' at the 50 Mason Social House in San Francisco.

The festivities, which are being recorded by public radio's VoiceBox for later broadcast on KALW and online, will showcase six Dogfish Head beers, including several hard-to-get brews, and songs of every variety. The organizers promise 'stein-swinging shanties, lusty odes to ale and the catchiest drinking songs that have ever been heard on the high seas.' Who wouldn't want to sing along to that, beer in hand?"




Though the real story is more probably "There's Still LSD in Our Water", 
Grubb Street reports Berkeleyside's scoop "Commissar, a Soviet-Themed Restaurant and Bar, Coming to Berkeley.  

The former Cody's Bookstore space (2454-64 Telegraph Avenue), sadly vacant since 2006, will finally be seeing new life as a grand new entertainment and food complex called the Mad Monk Center for Anachronistic Media. The man behind the project, as the Scoop and Berkeleyside are reporting, is Rasputin Music founder Ken Sarachan, and the anachronistic media he's referring to are, naturally, records, tapes, and books, which will figure prominently in the center. Sarachan says that even though bookstores aren't economically viable anymore, he wants to create 'Berkeley's version of City Lights' in the space, with both retail and performance areas, as well as a flower shop and coffee shop. The restaurant and bar, meanwhile, will be called Commissar, and will be primarily vegetarian peasant food of the sort that 'would suit a discriminating Soviet Official's culinary tastes.' Sarachan revealed in his filings with the city that the menu is being designed 'a book that I located several years ago,' which apparently features food eaten by Soviet workers. The guys behind the restaurant will be Craig Becker of the nearby Caffe Mediterraneum, and Scott Cameron of Guest Chef. The whole project still may face another city council hurdle, but if all goes well, look for this complex to open possibly by the end of the year. (Scoop, Berkeleyside)"



















Oakland Greek Festival 2013, which starts Friday the 17th, is held at Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension where the Victors were among the original fifteen founding families.

and where beautifully presented

the dinning hall awaits






Jazz on Fourth Street is this Sunday, May 19th.

Mal Sharpe & Guys

from 2011Jazz on Fourth Street

Mal's the good lookiing guy playing the trombone.












The City of Berkeley Police Department 
(BPD) will be holding a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) checkpoint, Friday, 
May 17, 2013. 
The checkpoint will be held on San Pablo Avenue near Jones Street in 
northwest Berkeley.  Participating Officers will begin operations at 8:00 p.m. 
and staff the checkpoint until approximately 2:00 a.m.  Funding for this 
program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, 
through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.   

Ofc Jennifer Coats 
Public Information 
Officer (PIO) 
(510) 981-5780 



Word on the street is that the grocery clerks' union is again trying to organize the old Berkeley Bowl. They were voted out by employees some time ago.



The Baron von Frier auto body shop is moving out of Potter Creek--relocating in the Richmond area, I'm told.






"California Shakes launches 20 for $20 ticket program" napavalleyregister.com.

"California Shakespeare Theater has launched a new 20 for $20 ticket program, designed to make it easier for more people to enjoy theater. At each performance, the theater has set aside 20 $20 tickets, available by phone only beginning at noon the day of the show.

Cal Shakes' 2013 season opens with the hilarious history play, 'American Night: The Ballad of Juan Jose,' by Richard Montoya, developed by Culture Clash and Jo Bonney, and directed by Jonathan Moscone, from May 29 through June 23.

The season continues with Shakespeare's 'Romeo & Juliet,' directed by Amanda Dehnert, from July 3­28. It's followed by Oscar Wilde's glittering comic melodrama, 'Lady Windermere's Fan,' directed by Christopher Liam Moore, in his Bay Area directorial debut; playing Aug. 14 through Sept. 8."




Councilman Capitelli emails

I hope you can join me for a short discussion about what is happening in District 5 and at the City Council. Bring your questions.

Coffee with the Councilmember, Saturday, May 18, 2013. 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Dorothy Bolte Park, 540 Spruce Street at Michigan.



"What teachers know about body language . . . . that business leaders should learn" troymedia.com.

"The best educators could teach business leaders a thing or two about body language."




"Berkeley: Budget cuts slam school gardening and cooking program" Doug Oakley Oakland Tribune.

"The school district will ask the public for donations to run a drastically scaled down version of its groundbreaking gardening and cooking program next fall after losing all of its $2 million in federal funding." 





"Campus moves forward with plans for new aquatic center" Libby Rainey, dailycal.org.

"UC Regents to discuss revised budget in Sacramento Proposed aquatics center aids campus Aquatics center sinks and does not swim Aquatic promise and conflict Campus announces plans to construct new aquatics center

UC Berkeley will move forward with plans to construct a new multimillion-dollar aquatics facility, following approval by the UC Board of Regents at its meeting Wednesday.

The $15 million facility, to be named the California Aquatics Center, will replace the parking lot adjacent to the Tang Center on Bancroft Way. Despite some concerns that the center will serve only a small number of students and remove valuable parking services, the campus plans to begin construction in August. The project is to be funded entirely by Cal Aquatic Legends, a nonprofit donor group founded to raise money for the facility."





"Students think big ideas in tackling societal problems" newscenter.berkeley.edu.

"Closing out almost nine months of intense competition, UC Berkeley's annual Big Ideas contest honored this year's crop of outstanding social projects last week during a special awards celebration at the Blum Center for Developing Economies.

'This year's competition has been the biggest and best yet, with an incredibly broad range of ideas,' said Phillip Denny, Big Ideas @ Berkeley program manager and chief administrative officer at the Blum Center.

The campus-focused venture Cashify garnered the grand-prize honors from judges in the campus and community section for its proposal to increase fellow students' understanding of personal-finance matters. The Cashify team plans to develop an interactive online 'edu-tainment' platform designed to teach new students about finances through engaging lessons and meaningful materials."






"Indian wonderkid is youngest Berkeley topper in a century" at hindustantimes.com.

"Kolkata-born Ritankar Das, a bioengineering and chemical biology double major at the University of California at Berkeley, has become the youngest student to receive the University Medal in more than a century. The medal is given to the year's top graduating senior. Das, who began his freshman term when he was 15, will be graduating with more than 200 credits and a GPA of 3.99, which includes eight A+ marks, in three years, . . . "




" 'Tiger Babies Strike Back': What It Was Like To Grow Up With A Tiger mum" Lynne Guey at au.businessinsider.com.

"As the daughter of an overbearing 'Tiger mum,' Kim Wong Keltner knows just how tough it can be. 

Even though I'd gotten straight A's my whole life, earned a bachelor's degree with a double major at UC Berkeley in four years, worked a 'ull-time job while my husband was in graduate school, wrote three novels before I turned 38, and am raising one great kid, do you know what my mother thinks of me?" she asks in her new memoir,Tiger Babies Strike Back. 'She thinks I am lazy.'

Her memoir is a comical response to Amy Chua's popular 2011 book, 'Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,' which sparked a huge discussion over the merits of Tiger mums and Dads. Keltner denounces the 'perfectionist parenting' of her Chinese immigrant parents and encourages other Tiger Babies to avoid 'turning to the dark side.'














"Chinese Creating New Auto Niche Within Detroit" Fabrizio Costantini at nytimes.com.

Dozens of companies from China are putting down roots in Detroit, part of the country's steady push into the American auto industry.

"Chinese-owned companies are investing in American businesses and new vehicle technology, selling everything from seat belts to shock absorbers in retail stores, and hiring experienced engineers and designers in an effort to soak up the talent and expertise of domestic automakers and their suppliers.

While starting with batteries and auto parts, the spread of Chinese business is expected to result eventually in the sale of Chinese cars in the United States. "       







"Drone launch success: Unmanned aircraft makes history" video report at cbsnews.com.

"The U.S. Navy made history with a successful unmanned drone takeoff from an aircraft carrier. The achievement could revolutionize warfare. David Martin shares a look at the maiden voyage from aboard the U.S.S. George H.W. Bush."





 " 'The End of Big' Argues That Technology Helps The Little Guy" video report by Christina Bellantoni at pbs.org.

"Author Nicco Mele writes about technology's influence on politics in 'The End of Big.' He sat down with PBS NewsHour political editor Christina Bellantoni.

I've long been fascinated with the fact that technology can make the world a smaller place. With every click, tweet and Internet meme, we become that much more connected with our fellow global citizens.

Our shared experiences can bridge chasms of culture, language and economics and technology can magnify them to help forge new relationships that make distance nothing more than a state of mind.

With the speed of my mouse, I can share every song I've ever enjoyed with a new friend using Spotify. Together citizens in every country can donate to a nation devastated by a natural disaster.

Consider that Kickstarter has funded 26,000 projects since it went live in 2008, allowing an ordinary person to produce the film of his or her dreams, or an author to reach millions around the world, all thanks to strangers willing to give a few bucks. And technology has opened up access to government data like never before.
What are the consequences to having such a connected society? Are there risks as well as rewards?

That's all the subject of a forthcoming book that examines the nature of power in the digital age, 'The End Of Big: How The Internet Makes David The New Goliath.' "









"A Mini Sub Made From Cheap Parts Could Change Underwater Exploration" Brian Lam at nytimes.com.

"This month, NASA engineer Eric Stackpole hiked to a spot in Trinity County, east of California's rough Bigfoot country. Nestled at the base of a hill of loose rock, peppered by red and purple wildflowers, is Hall City Cave. For part of the winter the cave is infested with large spiders, but is mostly flooded year-round. Locals whisper the cave's deep pools hold a cache of stolen gold, but Mr. Stackpole isn't here to look for treasure.

He had, under his arm, what might appear to be a clunky toy blue submarine about the size of a lunchbox. The machine is the latest prototype of the OpenROV­an open-source, remotely operated vehicle that could map the cave in 3D using software from Autodesk and collect water in places too tight for a diver to go.

It could change the future of ocean exploration."


west-Berkeley's OPenROV

shop front, Aquatic Park west-Berkeley

ENTER here




















There is some concern among city employees that the accidental release of confidential city employee information will result/has resulted in identity theft. And, it is my understanding that the city worker responsible for this release is still employed.


Recently, an article appeared in one of our many micro-news-sites with extensive photo coverage of our police officers. Command officers often appear in the media and so are used to their photos being published. I would however question the release of photos of officers of lesser rank especially those in "street divisions" simply for security reasons.


Also, I'm wondering why a city commission is still calling BPD officers to hearings about the in-custody death of Kayla Moore. My sense is that any reasonable person believes this issue has been resolved.




"An Onset of Woes Raises Questions on Obama Vision" Pete Baker at nytimes.com.

"Thwarted on Capitol Hill, stymied in the Middle East and now beset by scandal, President Obama has reached a point just six months after a heady re-election where the second term he had hoped for has collided with the second term he actually has.

Mr. Obama emerged from a heated campaign last November with renewed confidence that he could shape the next four years with a vision of activist government as a force for good in American society. But the controversies of recent days have reinforced fears of an overreaching government while calling into question Mr. Obama's ability to master his own presidency. "  


Overreaching government? Would that be like "busting" the landlords of Bay Area medical marijuana facitlities?



Just fired acting head of the IRS, Steven Miller apologised for the department's recent excesses. Making it the only time in my memory that any issue with the IRS has been solved by apology.







Spent the morning at the Oakland Greek Festival and claim the first Gyro served at the 2013 Festival. "We can make those at home" Marsha said. "But not with the love of that Greek cook" I thought.

our John V

passes an order to the grill for one lamb plate






















"Marin Sonoma Concours d'Elegance - classic and vintage cars, including a few owned by movie stars" at sfgate.com.

Steve Moal's Gatto, a custom car designed in Oakland

"Many of them look pristine enough to eat off - careful with that fender, son; watch your ice cream. And the work (not to mention the money) that has gone into these cars makes them worth a visit.

The concours will be held this Sunday (May 19, 2013) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the greensward near the Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael, Calif. Among the cars are a 1961 Cooper Formula Junior once owned by Steve McQueen; a 1960 Rolls-Royce convertible that belonged to Elizabeth Taylor; Jean Harlow's 1932 Packard Sport Phaeton; and a 1953 Muntz Jet once owned by Gloria DeHaven."





"Tesla's market value soars, but some see a bubble" at washingtonpost.com.

Tesla's Model S electric car tied an older Lexus for the highest score ever recorded in Consumer Reports's automotive testing, the magazine announced on May 9.
· Tesla Motors is on a remarkable run for a company that not long ago seemed to be sputtering.

The luxury electric-car maker's flagship sedan, the Model S, won Motor Trend's 2013 car of the year honors, then earned a rare, near-perfect rave from Consumer Reports.

In the past month, Tesla's stock value has doubled to more than $90 a share. That gives the California-based company a total market value of $10.6 billion, greater than that of Italian automaker Fiat, worth less than $8 billion.

Such dramatic success, and the brash confidence of founder Elon Musk, has some fans calling Tesla the first successful new American car maker in more than a generation.

But some analysts say the electrifying rise is not what it seems."



"Engineered Tobacco Leaves Produce Biofuel at Berkeley" Ovidiu Sandru, greenoptimistic.com.

"Instead of smoking it, we could one day use tobacco to power cars ­ thanks to a project at UC Berkeley, CA. A team of scientists are now using genetically modified tobacco leaves that produce oil.

The researchers have worked to isolate chlorophyll from the oil that the leaves produce so that the final product is clear and can be used to power diesel engines. This will offer an alternative to tobacco growers worldwide, as demand from the traditional industry that has used tobacco so far is lowering.

People have also used coffee to power cars since WWII ­ why not include tobacco?"






"Berkeley to close part of Telegraph Avenue on Sundays in summer" Doug Oakley, Oakland Tribune.

"In an attempt to drive more business to Telegraph Avenue over the summer, the city will close a part of it to cars on Sundays for an all-day party with music, food and merchandise.

Telegraph will be closed between Dwight and Dana Streets from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting June 9 with live music at the intersection of Channing Street and Telegraph the entire day.

Restaurants will be encouraged to offer seating in the street, so patrons can eat outside. Vendors will be on the sidewalks, and street musicians are encouraged to come and play, organizers said.

The Sunday street closures were conceived by Mayor Tom Bates with help from the Telegraph Business Improvement District. The closures are part of a recent push to help the area, which has lost business, in part, because of a perception that homeless youth and their dogs, who rotate between Telegraph and nearby People's Park, have driven people away.

'I think it will create a more positive ambience and have people feel more comfortable coming here,' said Roland Peterson, executive director of the business district."




"Judge set to rule on lawsuit challenging University Village project in Albany" Damin Esper at mercurynews.com.

"A judge is set to rule in the next few weeks on whether to uphold a temporary ruling rejecting a lawsuit challenging the proposed University Village project in Albany.

The lawsuit regarding the project's environmental impact report was heard in Alameda County Superior Court on Thursday.

The case, filed by Albany resident Eric Larsen and UC Berkeley graduate and Occupy the Farm member Stephanie Rawlings, challenges the EIR under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). It was filed after the Albany City Council approved a series of resolutions connected to the project last July.

A temporary ruling, issued Monday, found in favor of the city and the Regents of the University of California. The process includes a temporary ruling based on filings before the hearing. Judge Evelio M. Grillo can uphold the temporary ruling or overturn it."




"Berkeley landlord group fined for violating election laws" Doug Oakley, Oakland Tribune.

"A campaign organization backed by local landlords has agreed to pay the city $4,000 in fines for running afoul of election laws, the second highest fine levied against a political entity here in over 20 years."













"Berkeley will spend up to $24,000 to revamp media policies after chief sent officer to reporter's home"Kristin J. Bender, Oakland Tribune.

"The city is spending $20,000 to review its police department's media policies after the chief was widely criticized for sending a sergeant to a reporter's home in the middle of the night to ask for changes to an online story.

Cornerstone Communications in Irvine will spend the next six months auditing the department's policies and procedures on releasing public information and making certain the department is following state requirements for disclosure, said company founder Bill Rams. The contract also allows the city to reimburse Cornerstone for up to $4,000 in expenses.

'The goal here is to learn and for the police department to do the best it can,' said Rams, a former investigative reporter for the Orange County Register.

The move comes more than two months after Chief Michael Meehan ordered department spokeswoman Sgt. Mary Kusmiss to the home of Bay Area News Group reporter Doug Oakley at 12:45 a.m. to ask that he change a story. The March 9 action was criticized by First Amendment experts who called Meehan's actions 'an attempt at censorship by intimidation and an abuse of power.' "
























Mango Bob reports that around 10:30 Saturday night three guys vaulted over the Acme Bread parking lot razor-wire-topped fence following their alread- over-the-fence bags and took bread from the dumpsters. What can we learn from this? Today, young men can and will vault razor-wire-fence for food.


I'm told 900 GRAYSON will repaint their exterior over the Memorial Day weekend.



Berkeley High School

Jazz Ensemble at Sunday's Jazz on Fourth Street

jazz lover pensing

between sets







"Bach to the blues, our emotions match music to colors" by Yasmin Anwar, at UC Media Relations.

"Whether we're listening to Bach or the blues, our brains are wired to make music-color connections depending on how the melodies make us feel, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley. For instance, Mozart's jaunty Flute Concerto No. 1 in G major is most often associated with bright yellow and orange, whereas his dour Requiem in D minor is more likely to be linked to dark, bluish gray. " 


"Lee Actor, Silicon Valley's accidental composer" a report by by Richard Scheinin with video of Actor's Horn Concerto at mercurynews.com.

"Like faces on Mount Rushmore, images of the great composers are daunting, burned into our collective memory. There they are -- Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, geniuses with noble profiles, fiery eyes and hallowed reputations. What's a man like Lee Actor supposed to do?

He is a composer in the trenches, a South Bay professional whose 'orks get performed from Saratoga to Slovakia. He earns a solid income but isn't famous, has never won the Pulitzer Prize for music and maybe never will. 'It's hard," says Actor, whose new piano concerto debuts this weekend on the Peninsula. 'It's hard work. It's harder than writing software.' "








Yup, . . .

in additon to

John Coltrane Park

Potter Creek needs

Lester Young Square





















"Berkeley set to raise fees, add new ones" Carolyn Jones at sfgate.com.

"Some of Berkeley's most popular offerings - tattoos, homemade cupcakes, boat berths - are all likely to get more expensive this summer.

The City Council is expected to raise fees Tuesday for a host of services, in some cases doubling them. If approved, the increases would take effect July 1.

'Everything costs more than it did last year,' said Anna Avellar, who sits on the Animal Care Commission, which is recommending a 25 percent increase in dog adoption fees, from $100 to $125. 'I know people aren't happy about it, but find me a city where people are happy about everything.'

The fee increases are part of the city's 2013-14 budget, which the council is currently reviewing and is expected to pass by late June. Some of the new fee increases will go into the general fund to help offset a $5.1 million deficit over the next two years.

Among the proposed increases: an increase from $44 to $85 annually for registration fees for tattoo artists; and a jump for boat berth fees at the marina, with new rates ranging from $7.74 to $13.03 per foot, depending on the size of the berth. People who make food in their home kitchens to sell will face fees for the first time. New annual fees for permits, registration and inspection will range from $170 to $425.

Developers will see new fees, as well. Among them is a fee if they choose to forgo parking requirements on downtown building projects. A developer would have the option of paying $15,000 to $30,000 per parking space to get around the parking requirements, with the funds going toward pedestrian improvements and other projects."









Last Saturday, 900 GRAYSON had its best day ever.

Wise Auto Tech has moved into a space in Potter Creek on 10th Street.

Looking Glass Photographic has hung a banner in front of 1047 Ashby annoucing it as their Potter Creek location.



very talented jazz player

at Sunday's Jazz on Fourth Street




"UC Berkeley student overcomes stroke to graduate" by Gladys Rosario at dailycal.com.

"When Norma Loza woke in the hospital two years ago, she could no longer walk or converse with her friends and family.

Only four months before her graduation in 2010, Loza suffered a stroke that added physical and mental challenges to her everyday life. But her dream of receiving a UC Berkeley degree motivated her to prevail and graduate this past Saturday more than two years later.

'I decided I was going to do everything in my power to get back to Berkeley,' Loza said.










" 'A Meeting of Wizards: Indra's Net's 'Copenhagen' at Berkeley's Osher Studio" at examiner.com.

"There is something special about seeing Michael Frayn's 'Copenhagen' in Berkeley. Oppenheimer's home, the Lawrence lab'

s cyclotron, and this small city's part in the history of the creation of the nuclear bomb makes it a special place to see it, a masterstroke to produce it here, and a must for Berkeley-ites of intellect to attend.

Indra's Net Theatre, founded and directed by Bruce Coughran, presents 'Copenhagen' as their inaugural production in the Osher Theatre Complex in the Arts Passage at 2055 Center Street through this weekend ending Sunday, May 26 with performances at 7:30 on Thu-Fri-Sat and 2 pm on Sunday.

'Copenhagen,' which won the Tony award for best play, is about the friendship between Werner Heisenberg and his mentor Niels Bohr who together formulated the explanation of the physical universe we know as quantum mechanics in their 'Copenhagen Interpretation.' The meetings are at Bohr's home in Copenhagen during WW2 when Denmark is occupied by the Third Reich. Bohr's mother was Jewish. Heisenberg is a German and heading the weaponizing of fissionable material in Germany.

It is a nearly perfectly written play about intellectual and moral conflict." 






"Fake Forest Converts Sunlight into Chemical Energy" Elizabeth Palermo, technewsdaily.com.

"One hour of global sunlight contains enough energy to meet the demands of every human on the planet for an entire year. And a recent breakthrough by scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory could make harnessing this energy for human consumption a reality.

Researchers have developed an 'artificial forest' that can convert solar energy into chemical fuels.
In a process that mimics photosynthesis, this artificial forest soaks up light and uses it to generate oxygen and hydrogen, two gases that can be used to power fuel cells."






"Nikola Tesla fan Dorrian Porter turns to Kickstarter to place a statue in Silicon Valley" Mike Cassidy, Mercury News Columnist.

"When I first heard about Dorrian Porter's plan to raise $123,000 to honor inventor Nikola Tesla by erecting a statue of him in Silicon Valley, I had one thought: That's kind of kooky.

I mean, you want to honor invention in Silicon Valley, how about a statue for radio pioneer Lee de Forest, who actually worked here? Or Stanford engineering dean Frederick Terman, who nurtured the valley's tech culture and helped Bill Hewlett and David Packard get their start. In fact, how about H and P themselves? Or Robert Noyce, a father of the semiconductor. Or even Steve Jobs, though for me it's a little soon after his death to grant him statue status.


An eccentric guy whose contribution was huge, but also a guy who's most closely associated with New York? Kooky.

Then it struck me: Kooky was the same thought many had when Tesla was explaining his theories and ideas about electricity and wireless communication in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. And while some of Tesla's ideas were out there, it was in a way the cost of doing business for someone who wanted to push technology forward in very big ways. Tesla, after all, essentially came up with our modern electricity system, without which your iPhone wouldn't be much good. And he was way ahead of the curve on this wireless communication thing -- even if some doubted his claim that he'd received signals from outer space near the turn of the 20th century.

What is it they say? Go big or go home. Tesla went very big.

'About four years ago, when I learned about him,' Porter says, 'I was kind of fascinated by his under-appreciation.'
Porter was determined to see to it that people thought about something other than electric luxury cars when they heard the name Tesla. See, Porter is an entrepreneur -- a guy who emigrated from Canada, went to work for valley law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati at the height of the dot-com boom, then started and sold two companies of his own. He knows something about what it's like to believe in an idea and go for it when others have their doubts.

That's one thing he likes about Tesla, an immigrant from modern-day Croatia who settled in New York and developed the alternating current system of electricity that we use today. But more important, Porter says, is that Tesla invented for the sake of innovation and not because he wanted to get rich."





"How Klingon Became a Universal Language" Samantha Murphy at mashable.com.

"When Marc Okrand graduated from Berkeley University with a degree in linguistics decades ago, he never guessed he'd become the mastermind behind a language with one of the biggest cult followings in the world.

Klingon - the official language spoken by the fictional warrior race in the Star Trek franchise - has taken on a life of its own. In addition to being newly added to Bing's language translator feature, it's been translated into Shakespeare, has its own language institute and is spoken all over the world.

Okrand visits the set of each new Star Trek film - the latest one opened this weekend - and teaches the actors how to pronounce and approach such a harsh-sounding, complicated language. So complicated, in fact, he still has to reference the dictionary he created to get it right.

'The language actually started without me when a half a dozen Klingon lines were spoken in the original 1979 Star Trek movie,. . . "



















"NASA asks: Could 3-D-printed food fuel a mission to Mars?" by Amrita Jayakumar, washingtonpost.com.

"NASA can send robots to Mars, no problem. But if it's ever going to put humans on the Red Planet, it has to figure out how to feed them over the course of a years-long mission.

So the space agency has funded research for what could be the ultimate nerd solution: a 3-D printer that creates entrees or desserts at the touch of a button.
Yes, it's another case of life imitating 'Star Trek' (remember the food replicator?).

In this case, though, the creators hope there is an application beyond deep-space pizza parties. The technology could also be used to feed hungry populations here on Earth.

Texas-based Systems and Materials Research Corp. has been selected for a $125,000 grant from NASA to develop a 3-D printer that will create "nutritious and flavorful" food suitable for astronauts, according to the company's proposal. Using a 'digital recipe,' the printers will combine powders to produce food that has the structure and texture of, well, actual food. Including smell."






"The curious story of how the lie detector came to be" bbc.co.uk.

"The science behind the lie detector test has been disputed since its creation 90 years ago, so is there any reliable way to tell if someone is lying, asks Dr Geoff Bunn, author of The Truth Machine: A Social History of the Lie Detector.

'If I was guilty and wanted to beat that machine, it wouldn't be hard,' says Sharon Stone's psychopathic character in Basic Instinct.

And the history of the polygraph - better known as the lie detector test - is littered with people who have been able to trick it.

The polygraph machine was invented in 1921 in Berkeley, California.

'Berkeley was a town with a very famous police chief, August Vollmer, and he was in charge of police reform and a leader of police professionalisation in the United States,' says Ken Alder, professor of history at Northwestern University in Chicago.

'He actually wanted to use the science to make the cops more law-abiding themselves, to substitute this new scientific interrogation for what was formerly known as the third degree, which was a way of getting information from people by beating them up.'

Berkeley police officer John Larson created the first machine, basing it on the systolic blood pressure test pioneered by psychologist William Moulton Marston, who would later become a comic book writer and create Wonder Woman."









"Fire-Ravaged Chez Panisse to Re-open June 21" zagat.com.

"After being devastated by fire back in March, famed eatery Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA, has finally set an official re-opening date of June 21 (previously June 10). "



"At Berkeley's Cottage Food Market, 'Homemade' Means Homemade" Luke Tsai at eastbayexpress.com.

"On a recent Saturday evening in Berkeley, eight vendors set up tables inside the Firehouse Art Collective's hangar-like event space to sell homemade food items, which ranged from chocolate chip cookies to jars of mustard and jam. Before January 1, such an activity would have been illegal. But thanks to the passage of the California Homemade Food Act, the Bay Area Homemade Market gives fledgling business owners the opportunity to present their products to the general public.

The one-of-a-kind Bay Area event geared strictly toward homemade (or 'cottage') foods debuted on March 16, and the third market will take place at the Firehouse Art Collective (3192 Adeline St.) on Saturday, May 25, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is by donation (on a $1 to $5 sliding scale), though no one will be turned away for lack of funds."




"100 Japanese students selected for Tomodachi exchange program" ajw.asahi.com.

"The Tomodach Initiative and SoftBank Corp. announced on May 22 that 100 Japanese high school students from the disaster-affected prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima have been selected to participate in the Tomodach Summer 2013 SoftBank Leadership Program.

The program, fully funded by SoftBank, will send these students to the University of California, Berkeley, from July 22 to Aug. 12 for an intensive three-week course focused on global leadership development and community service."




"State Legislature Opposes Sale of Berkeley Post Office" berkeley.patch.com.

"The California Legislature Tuesday urged the U.S. Postal Service not to proceed with plans to sell Berkeley's century-old Post Office. Mayor Tom Bates and other local leaders have campaigned against the sale."










"Research opportunities plentiful for next-generation batteries" nanowerk.com.

"In the opening scene of the iconic movie of the 1960s, The Graduate, Benjamin Braddock, at a party to celebrate his college degree, is given one word of advice for his future: 'Plastics.' Were young Benjamin to be receiving that advice today the word would be: 'Batteries.' Steve Visco of Berkeley Lab's Materials Sciences Division had plenty of encouraging words for young graduates on the opportunities to be had in next generation battery research. Speaking at the recent national meeting of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans, Visco discussed the enormous progress his own start-up company, PolyPlus, has made in developing lithium-metal batteries with unprecedented energy density, and how the ever-growing need for electrical energy storage will require continued innovation and development in battery research.




"California teen invents device that could charge a cell phone in 20 seconds" sfgate.com.

"Eesha Khare is the brilliant teen behind an itty-bitty device that could supercharge cell phones.

Now here's the invention that we've all been waiting for: A device that instantly charges our cell phones.

A gadget like this might soon be on its way thanks to a bright 18-year-old from Saratoga, Calif., who was recently honored at an international science fair.
Eesha Khare is the mind behind a super-powerful and tiny gizmo that packs more energy into a small space, delivers a charge more quickly, and holds that charge longer than the typical battery. Khare showed off her so-called super-capacitor last week at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Ariz. In her demonstration, she showed it powering a light-emitting diode, or LED light, but the itty-bitty device could fit inside cell phone batteries, delivering a full charge in 20-30 seconds. It takes several hours for the average cell phone to fully charge.

Khare also pointed out that the super-capacitor 'can last for 10,000 charge cycles compared to batteries which are good for only 1,000 cycles.' "




"Nano-'Trees' Use Solar Energy to Split Water" overclockersclub.com.

"Water is a fairly common material in the Universe thanks to how much hydrogen and oxygen want to bond to form the molecule. When the elements do bond, energy is released and could be tapped to power man-made devices, but first we need the hydrogen and oxygen to bond. A common idea is to create systems that use solar energy to split water molecules, and researchers at Berkeley Lab have recently developed a new device for doing so."



















"MonkeyLectric Kicks Off Funding Production of Revolutionary New Bike Light via Kickstarter" at sacbee.com.

"Monkey Light Pro gives bike riders a novel way to express their unique individuality in a dazzling manner.

MonkeyLectric announced today the launch of a Kickstarter campaign to fund manufacturing efforts of its new product, the Monkey Light Pro, a unique bicycle light that utilizes cutting edge technology to allow users to display images and animation on their spinning bicycle wheel." 

Monkeylectric is here in Potter Creek

right thru from us at 2743 9th.






"Easy Creole, Cajun Flavor in Berkeley" at sfeater.com.

"The latest pop-up turned successful brick-and-mortar belongs to the trio of Grant Gooding, Jess McCarter, and Jeron Thomson, otherwise known as Easy Creole. After a couple of years serving their signature Louisiana-inspired fare at The Residence in the Castro and La Victoria in the Mission, they finally have a space to call their own in a quirky corner of Berkeley, right on the border with Oakland and Emeryville.

The menu changes daily, but includes offerings like turkey pozole, Bourbon Street red beans and rice, jerk shrimp in a Red Stripe marinade, and white chili with chicken. Vegetarians also get a ton of options, from gumbo to spinach and mushroom etouffee. The casual cafe space seats 22, and offers counter service; it's designed for a mixture of carry-out and eat-in diners. The decor is quirky and fun, featuring wainscoting made from pickle barrels and more than 270 pictures sourced from family, friends, and thrift stores, ranging from Cezanne and Chagall prints to pictures of David Bowie and Robocop. There's even R. Crumb magnetic poetry to play with if there's a line. "

Easy Creole, 1761 Alcatraz Ave., Berkeley, (415) 347-5640"









900 GRAYSON was broken into twice last night--first around 8 PM and then again about 10:15. Berkeley PD responded quickly and in both cases nothing was taken, the thieves apparently frightened off by the alarm.


The railroad tracks have been removed from in front of Commercial Kitchens and repaving, including the pouring of a sidewalk, has begun.









"CalShakes opens its season with an irreverent tale of culture clash" napavalleyregister.com.

"California Shakespeare Theater opens its 2013 season on May 29 with 'American Night: The Ballad of Juan José,' by Richard Montoya and developed by Culture Clash and Jo Bonney.
Directed by CalShakes artistic director Jonathan Moscone, the production will run through June 23 at the Bruns Amphitheater.

The 2010 world premiere of 'American Night: The Ballad of Juan José' at Oregon Shakespeare Festival was the first show in the company's history to be extended due to popular demand. The New York Times deemed the play (in its recent Yale Rep production), 'a lovable hodgepodge of references, historical and pop-cultural, with a deadly serious message at its heart.' "




"UC Berkeley Targeted In Federal Complaint Over Its Handling Of Rape Allegations" sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com.












5/17/13--7:52 AM--irritant in front room, burning gas odor, mucus memebrane irritation, watery eyes. Marsha has head ache, burning eyes. Off-and-on during week, similar.

5/18/13==9:44 AM---irritant in front room, mucus memebrane irritation, watery eyes. Marsha has head ache, burning eyes. Off-and-on during week, similar.

5/20/13--11:36 AM==irritant in front room, mucus memebrane irritation, head ache, watery eyes. 11:46 AM--similar.

5/22/13--3:55 PM---irritant in front room, mucus memebrane irritation, watery eyes. 8:35 PM--irritant in front room, mucus membrane irritation, dry dirty air. 9: 30 PM--similar, dry dirty air.

5/23/13--7:07 AM--irritant in front room, SERIOUS mucus membrane irritation, dry dirty air.







eternally useful links


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

Want to see weather coming in, going out, beautiful sunsets, and much, much more? Check out http://sv.berkeley.edu/view/ 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 gasbuddy.com

Kimar finds Costco routinely has the lowest price.



Bay Area home prices from sfgate.com

Bay Area foreclosures from sfgate.com


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 rlau@ci.berkeley.ca.us

Darryl Moore, City Councilman dmoore@ci.berkeley.ca.us

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.