after 6/16/11, here




"I'm on Scrambled Eggs!"

a steve smith photo of

son Nikos


Potter Creek definitions of popular acronyms

WEBIAC: a small furry creature of Bolivia.

WBBA: a web-footed animal of South America, not unlike the platipus.




In the "first action? of his 2012 mayoral campaign?" our Councilman Laurie Cappitelli makes "a 'deal' about the West-Berkeley Project with WEBIACERs."

"The 'deal' is that a maximum of 270,000 square feet of protected warehouse/wholesale space in the MM and MULI can be converted to "R & D.'  Of that, a maximum of 150000 sq ft can be currently in use."



And about the same time issues the press release

"The results of a survey of over 1800 UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff indicate that they would shop and visit the Downtown Berkeley and Telegraph Avenue shopping districts more if there were a better selection of stores and if those districts were safer and more welcoming.

Following a student government initiated City-University Forum with city leaders in March, Councilmember Laurie Capitelli suggested that students conduct a survey to advise the City of Berkeley on how to improve the quality of life, shopping and recreation in the Downtown and on the Telegraph Ave. corridor. More than 90% of the respondents were UC Berkeley undergraduate and graduate students."


Again, without random sampling you CANNOT get representative results--see any Soc 101 text. In this case you have 1800 self-selected respondents. (And it is probable that those filling out the survey are those who want change.)

And further, to make conclusions about student body opinion based on 1800 self selected respondents--90% of whom say they are students--out of a student population of over 30,000 is not social science but simply a leap of faith.

The survey results may be representative or they may not--bad sociology, good Berkeley politics. "You see 'The People' want change we're just following 'Their Will.' "


Mr Laurie emails

Ron, You must have some information I don't have.





Potter Creek's David Hyman, owner of MOG "Says Mog to Offer On-Demand Music Service for Cars." dailymotion.com video here.

MOG is a tenant of the Goldins.



"World Music Artists Reunite in California For The 8th Annual Berkeley Music Festival On June 4th" is a story release at theopenpress.com.

"Formed from the vision of gathering people from different perspectives to rock the world, the Annual Berkeley World Music Festival is set to gather a an amazing collection of musical geniuses on Saturday, June 4th, 2011. Now on its 8th year, the Berkeley World Music Festival started out as a block party. Currently, this artist-run community festival is constantly growing due to feedback, support, help and networking.

The 8th Annual Berkeley World Music Festival showcases a mix of mainly café performances in Telegraph Avenue cafes and shops, near UC campus, as well as the featured concert in People's Park from 1:00 to 6:00 PM, sponsored by Amoeba Music. The Festival Epicenter with information booth is on Telegraph Avenue at Haste Street."




"Publication leads consumers to fresh Valley produce" at recordnet.com.

" A new regional guide to healthy, affordable foods has been published, raising awareness of the importance of buying products that are locally grown and raised in one of the richest agricultural regions in the world.

The 'Buy Fresh Buy Local San Joaquin Valley Eater's Guide' is a free publication primarily available online at ccropp.org, with limited printed copies made available through its joint developers, the Fresno-based Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program and Berkeley-based California Alliance With Family Farmers."


"Three Students Awarded $20,000 California Grape Scholarships" at perishablenews.com.





I'm told and it has been confirmed that our Planning Department is moving from its present location, 2018 Milvia to another building down the street. I'm also told that the city will be paying for any improvements to the new location and during this construction will of course be paying rent on the old site. All will be moving from the old building including the Permit Center.


Our Councilman, Darryl Moore is having a real townhall meeting, not just a virtual one!

He writes "We will have a representative from the Parks and Recreation Department to discuss some upcoming improvements to San Pablo Park.  The Berkeley Police Department will be discussing various crime prevention methods,

in preparation for our summer months, and will be available to field questions regarding crime issues that the community would like to discuss.  Teresa Berkeley will be attending from the City's Budget Office to discuss Berkeley's budget and the various ways the city is managing these difficult economic times." 

It will be at 6PM on Thursday, June 16th,
in the Frances Albrier Community Center in San Pablo Park, 2800 Park Street between Russell and Ward.


Darryl also invites all to the Urban Farm Grand Opening Celebration here in Potter Creek
it is Sunday, June 19, 10:00 - 1:30
at The Urban Adamah Farm
1050 Parker St. 




Our Town's Berkeley News Page offers

"Dona Spring Animal Shelter Under Construction

The City of Berkeley is in the process of building a beautiful new animal shelter at the north end of Aquatic Park. The new location will be highly visible from the freeway and more accessible for shelter visitors and volunteers. The new building 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; on-site, fenced-in play areas; indoor-outdoor kennels, and more."

more here



The Californai Historical Radio Society has events here at the KRE studio at the south end of Aquatic Park. This Saturday is a vintage radio swap meet. More about this, and more is here.




" Calif. bill targets unreported online sales taxes" at businessweek.com.

The California state Assembly on Wednesday passed the second of two bills targeting uncollected taxes on Internet sales like those made on Amazon.com Inc.

The bill specifies that online companies have a taxable presence in the state if the affiliates that refer shoppers to their sites are in California. The bill passed Wednesday on a party-line vote of 44-11, with Democrats in support. . . .

Democratic Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner of Berkeley sponsored the bill. It accompanies one approved Tuesday requiring online companies to collect taxes if they work with California businesses."


More detail including Loni's senate bill are at sfgate.com "Assembly OKs e-fairness legislation."










Last night, Friday, at 10:01 Berkeley PD received a 911 callof shots fired at Fairview and California in South Berkeley. Radio cars arrived at the scene within minutes to find two adult males, one with non-threatening multiple gunshot wounds, the other pistol whipped. They were taken to a local hospital for treatment. 

The investigation is on-going.

details from Sgt Mary Kusmiss, PIO, BPD

On June 3, 2011 at about 10:00 p.m., a group of young men were socializing in front of an apartment building in the 1500 block of Fairview Street in South Berkeley. City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) dispatchers received 911 calls from community members reporting hearing possible gunshots and a shooting.
When BPD officers arrived, they found two men that were injured. One man, a 26 year old from Oakland sustained wounds from gunfire. The other man, a 24 year old from Berkeley had been struck in the face with an object. City of Berkeley Fire Department (BFD) paramedics transported the victims, each to a local ER for medical assessment and treatment. The injuries were deemed by medical staff as non life threatening.
A large compliment of BPD officers and a Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) worked in and around the scene. According to information garnered during a preliminary investigation, the victims were confronted by a group of young male suspects and words were exchanged between them. The incident escalated quickly when one of the suspects produced a gun and started shooting, striking one victim. The suspects fled on foot.

It is very early in this investigation, and yet, BPD is confident that this shooting is not random. So as not to risk compromise of this ongoing investigation, these details are the  total of what BPD is sharing today. BPD Crimes Against Persons, Homicide Detail detectives will conduct the follow up investigation.
BPD is urging anyone who may know anything about these crimes to please call the BPD Homicide Detail at (510) 981-5741 or the 24 hour BPD non emergency number of
(510) 981-5900. If a community member wishes to remain anonymous, he/she is encouraged to call the Bay Area Crimes Stoppers (BACS) at (800)-222-TIPS (8477). Any information may be critical to solving this crime. Sometimes the smallest or seemingly insignificant detail can be the key to arresting the suspect or suspects in any crime.





Our Viva Barrows sent a video-teaser of her upcoming documentary film, Graze. It's about Goats R Us.


Years ago, when Berkeley Bowl West was just an over-grown field and before excavation, the Yasudas hired Goats R Us to trim the brush.

Sarah Klise photo

more of Sarah's and my photos are at

The Potter Creek Billy Goat Page




"It's not just a cup of joe, say the world's best baristas" at washingtonpost.com is about the "baristas olympics."









Recently the media have been filled with stories of rising food prices, increasing unemployment and falling home prices. But that's really not the news. The news is that our fears have inflated their importance, that behind these reports is a widespread loss of confidence is our nations' social, political and economic systems. And more important a fear for our nation's future.

Also recently, David Brooks, not a wide eyed radical but a Conservative New York Times columnist, observed that if this trend continues it could have "unforeseen consequences." At that time he didn't spell out those consequence but at other times I've heard him speak of deep and broad social unrest. I'd go further.



Henry Kissinger, long a member of the slow talkers club, appeared on Charlie Rose for a full hour last week talking about his new book "On China." At 88 his mind is still steely cold and brightly analytical and his China insights remain brilliant. Though his conversation with Rose alone is worth watching for his "schmoozing with Mao" stories.




"Peter Delacorte reissues 'The Book of Terns' " Meredith May, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"Like many writers, Peter Delacorte finds certain words hysterical. Like 'tern,' a slender seagull of Scandinavian origin. So funny, in fact, that he and his Princeton classmate created an imaginary quiz show in which extremely intelligent sea birds from all over the world are asked questions: 'Ask the World's Terns.' "






"Young People Talk About AIDS" at NPR.

"Teens and 20-somethings have grown up knowing about HIV/AIDS. Thirty years after AIDS was first diagnosed, young adults discuss their feelings and attitudes toward the syndrome."



"Fil-Am football star bags West Point scholarship" Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN.

"To say that 17-year old Jalen Rosales is an achiever - is an understatement. This 6' 3, 235 lbs.Filipino-American linebacker started playing football at age 6.

Since then, Jalen said he's been passionate about this team sport. 'I like working with guys. I don't like being by myself. It makes everything more fun.'

Jalen has been awarded Most Valuable Player in every level at Berkeley High School. He was also captain of the football team all the years he played.

Fred Sims, coach of the Berkeley High football team said, 'He's just an inspiration to the guys. Once you lead by example, others can really follow. He's one of those guys who lead by example.'"



"Alameda County students learn about genealogy in Berkeley" by Thomas Peele, Oakland Tribune.

"Who are you? Who came before you? Are you sure?

More than 50 Alameda County students spent the past several months digging into their family histories and participated Saturday morning in a presentation on genealogies at the Malcolm X Elementary School called 'Who Am I? Family Journeys.' "



"Cal, the gold standard at rugby sevens tourney, routs Penn State" by Frank Fitzpatrick, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer.






Tomaso's is my all-time favorite Italian pizza restaurant, mostly because it's oak-fired-oven pizza is like the kind I have in Italy. A few weeks ago, I went there with my friends Velma, and Sylvia. Now run by Augustino and Carmen, it's a family owned place I've gone to since the '60s. Tomaso's is long and narrow with booths along either wall and a long table between, and is really comfortable. Velma, Sylvia and I got there early on a week night--Tomaso's is always crowded--and sat in one of their booths. We looked forward to an evening of talk and food. But before our pizza we had another of my favorites, a plate of assorted vegetables--lightly blanched broccoli, green beans, asparagus and roasted red and yellow bell peppers marinated in lemon, garlic and olive oil--a delicious and gorgeous dish. Just as we finished, our pizza arrived. It was a large, with roasted garlic and fresh clams on one half and Italian sausage and mushrooms on the other, beautifully presented with clams in their shells placed around the outer border. I had a house Chablis filled almost to the top of the glass for only $4.50. Talking between bites and sips we had a fun evening. Finally, full and caught up on "current-events," we left. By then there was a line out the door and up the steps--people waiting and talking, often as not with a glass of wine in hand. Kimar

Oh,. . . our pizza was $18.00 and Tomaso's is in San Francisco, down Kearny from Broadway.








JUNE 2005



"Berkeley's bohemia" by Lis Taggert of Sunset Magazine offers "Change your home (and yourself) along the city's now-thriving San Pablo Avenue."

Well my Aunt Mae was Bohemian, actually I'm Bavarian. And the photo captioned Omega Salvage is actually Caffé Trieste.


Pete and I recorded my public service announcement Tuesday at the KALX studios. Adolph, my kindly old German professor has his roots in 1930s American film where a German male was often depicted as a slightly-off but always lovable professor, music teacher or shop owner. (This stereotype changed dramatically during WWII.) Pete's music, taken from 1940s Warner Bros cartoons, fits perfectly.






Sgt Mary Kusmiss PIO, BPD emails

"Car Found Submerged in Water in South Aquatic Park on the Morning of Tuesday, June 7, 2011.

On Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at about 7:33 a.m. a man had pulled over his car to make a phone call in the south end of South Aquatic Park in the City of Berkeley. He noticed a car that was submerged in the water just north of the roadway. . . .

City of Berkeley Police (BPD) and Fire Department (BFD) personnel responded to the location and discovered that there was a dark colored sedan (later identified as a 1995 dark blue Nissan Maxima) under the water. The teams' greatest concern was that there may be a person or people inside the car. Members of BPD began an area search on foot for any witnesses, anything of evidentiary value or injured individuals. An officer spoke with a man who had been in his car in the parking area within close proximity to the water. He told the officer that he had been parked there for approximately 45 minutes before 7:30 a.m., and had not noticed the car.

BFD used their tools and expertise to devise a plan to gain access to the car and were able to check the passenger compartments. Those areas were free of any victims.

BPD ordered tow trucks whose drivers were able to winch the car from the water. The trunk was pried open immediately and no victim(s) or bodies(s) were found inside.

BPD completed research on the car's CA. license plate and learned that the Nissan was registered in the City of San Francisco. BPD enlisted the support of the City of San Francisco Police department who sent an officer to the registered owner's address in the Potrero District of SF. The woman was not aware that her car was missing thus is was an unreported stolen car. The car was towed to a storage lot and was examined by BPD Crime Scene Investigator.

At the time of this update, BPD has not received any information as to the Nissan being involved in any other crime(s). BPD has not been able to locate any witness who saw the car entering the water or a suspect or suspect parked in the car in that area.

BPD is urging anyone who may know anything about this stolen Nissan and the suspicious circumstances surrounding it to call the BPD Auto Theft Detail at (510) 981-5737 or the 24 hour BPD non emergency number of (510) 981-5900. If a community member wishes to remain anonymous, he/she is encouraged to call the Bay Area Crimes Stoppers (BACS) at (800)-222-TIPS (8477). Any information may be critical to solving this crime. Sometimes the smallest or seemingly insignificant detail can be the key to arresting the suspect or suspects in any crime."

Sergeant Mary C. Kusmiss S-6
BPD Public Information Officer


The dumping cars in the Aquatic Park lagoon is not good. Another example of the effect of city hall's neglect.




Potter Creek's "MOG Partners with Leading IP Connected Telematics Platform Providers" is a story release at prnewswire.com. "Airbiquity and Tweddle Group Tap Into MOG API's for Widespread Distribution.

MOG, the Web's best on-demand music listening service, today announced partnerships with two major IP connected telematics platform providers including Airbiquity, a global leader in connected vehicle services, and Tweddle Group, provider of the Entune Multimedia System that will launch on select Toyota vehicles later this year. As part of the MOG Fusion program (http://fusion.mog.com/), MOG is working with these companies to build access to MOG into their platforms, enabling auto manufacturers to easily offer the ultimate in-car listening experience to their customers.

And of Potter Creek's Xoma, tradershuddle.com writes "XOMA Appoints Paul Rubin, M.D. as Vice President and Chief Medical Officer.

XOMA Ltd., a leader in the discovery and development of antibody therapeutics, announced that it has appointed Paul Rubin, M.D., as Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. A senior biopharmaceutical executive with expertise in antibodies, small molecules and inflammatory diseases, during his career Dr. Rubin was responsible for clinical development and approval of several products while at Sepracor, Inc. and Abott Laboratories. Patrick J. Scannon, M.D., Ph.D., a XOMA founder who had been Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer since March of 2009, will now serve as Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer."






"UC Berkeley Relights Campus with Sentry Electric's LED Retrofit Solution" at thomasnet.com.

"Sentry Electric, one of North America's most experienced and knowledgeable manufacturers of outdoor lighting luminaires, has provided the University of California at Berkeley with 1000 LED retrofit kits for its decorative post top luminaires. When fully deployed, UC Berkeley will have reduced their annual electrical demands by 744,600 kW, and the environment will have been spared 568 metric tons of CO2."



Hyperlocal, berkeleypatch.com offers "U.S. Supreme Court Allows Tuition Break for Undocumented Immigrants.

"The high court left in place a California law that allows undocumented immigrants who attend state high schools to pay in-state tuition at public universities like UC Berkeley."

Of course, the "same story" is at foxnews.com.


And "Michelle Obama is coming to the East Bay and Alice Waters hosts" by Frances Dinkelspiel is at hyperlocal berkeleyside.com, via sfgste.com.

"Alice Waters is going to be doing a lot of cooking when First Lady Michelle Obama comes to the East Bay next week."

(Jeez Ms Frances, "How yu do dat?")



In the spirit of our POSTS FROM THE PAST, the Fresno Bee offers "Preserving the past in interesting tidbits."




"99% invisible: Berkeley's invisible monument to free speech" by Roman Mars is at kalwnews.org.

"In 1989, a group called the Berkeley Art Project decided to hold a national public art competition to create a monument that would commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement, which began on the University of California, Berkeley campus in 1964. The winning design, created by Mark Brest van Kempen (who was then a graduate student at the San Francisco Art Institute), is an invisible sculpture that creates a small space completely free from laws or jurisdiction. The six-inch circle of soil, and the 'free' column of airspace above it, is framed by a six-foot granite circle. The inscription on the granite reads, 'This soil and the air space extending above it shall not be a part of any nation and shall not be subject to any entity's jurisdiction.'

The six-inch free space acts as a beacon for speakers and political events. When you stand next to it today, 20 years after it was installed, you'd never suspect the contentious battle and the ironic compromise that finally led to its placement in Sproul Plaza. Roman Mars has this story."




"Dawn Upshaw, Yuja Wang settle in for extended stays in the Bay Area" by Sue Gilmore, Contra Costa Times.

"Ojai North!, the exclamatory title of Upshaw's Bay Area sojourn, launches a multiyear residency Cal Performances intends to share with the Southern California festival, which installs a well-known artist as music director each year to shape the programming. (Renowned British composer George Benjamin was Upshaw's immediate predecessor.) Upshaw's choices reflect some of her most prominent collaborations of the past, especially with the extravagantly gifted theater and opera director Peter Sellars, whose staging, for her, of Gyorgy Kurtag's song cycle 'Kafka Fragments,' was a well-received part of Cal Performances theater series in 2008.. . .

This year, Upshaw will take the spotlight in Sellars' new staging of George Crumb's 'Winds of Destiny (American Songbook IV),' which will receive its Bay Area premiere in 8 p.m. performances Thursday and June 18 at the Zellerbach Playhouse on the Berkeley campus. She will play a veteran returning from the war in Afghanistan in Sellars' re-imagining of this 2004 work for soprano, percussion quartet and amplified piano, which reinterprets some classic Civil War songs such as 'When Johnny Comes Marching Home' and 'Shenandoah.'

Joining her on stage will be pianist Gilbert Kalish and the California percussion ensemble red fish blue fish with Steven Schick."

How good is Dawn Upshaw? I'd listen to her sing the phone book.









"Fears Rise Over S.F. Circumcision Bill:Ballot measure could spread to other cities, spur anti-Semitism, experts say" Steve Lipman at thejewishweek.com.

"Rabbi Gil Leeds, who runs the Chabad Jewish Student Center at the University of California at Berkeley and has served as a mohel for six years, says he and fellow performers of circumcisions in the San Francisco area talk about doing a bris on the steps of City Hall next November.

If, that is, a referendum banning circumcisions in the city passes on Election Day."


This tsuris is pretty much the result of Lisa Moss Braver's "The Measure of His Grief." Lisa, the daughter of my Mentor, Al Braver--see Selling Records on Berkeley's Telegraph Ave.

On 10/25/10 I posted "Piedmont woman pens book on circumcision" is a review of Lisa's book by Marta Yamamoto at contracostatimes.com.

"Authors use novels to tell stories of fact, fiction and combinations of the two. In the case of Lisa Braver Moss, her novel 'The Measure of His Grief' (Notim Press, $14.95) serves as a conduit for the author to deal with her deep feelings about the practice of circumcision as part of her Jewish faith."


"Do bad times produce bad people?" asks Richard Cohen at washingtonpost.com.

" 'Counter to the prevailing expectation that crime would increase during a recession,' it actually dropped last year and violent crime is now at nearly a 40-year low. So said the New York Times last week. But what the Times did not report is precisely why it was so surprised to learn, yet again and probably not for the last time, how the 'prevailing expectation' may be limited to people who think as did Marx (Karl maybe, Groucho for sure) that money is the root of all evil. On the contrary, evil is.

I pick on the Times out of tough love. The paper's evident surprise at the falling crime rate shows a remarkable tenacity in clinging to shopworn and disproved dogma. Crime is not committed by good people who lose their jobs. It is committed by criminals who never had real jobs in the first place."




Essentia Organic Matresses is moving into 1799 D 4th Street.



"GU Moving Into New Headquarters" at bicycleretailer.com details a story I broke months ago.

"GU Energy Labs, will move its corporate operations to a new facility on June 13, offering 50 percent greater square footage.

And while the new digs significantly expand the sports nutrition company's capabilities, it doesn't mean abandoning their Berkeley roots.

The new office, located on the busy 4th Street shopping area of Berkeley, California, is the former headquarters of Clif Bar, Inc., another sports nutrition company with Berkeley roots. Along with the increase in space, GU is expanding production capacity by 50 percent, with room to accommodate significant additional growth.

Architectural details and the site layout help to create an energetic, interesting and functional space. GU employees will not only enjoy a safer bike commute route, but will also benefit from a company gym, ping-pong tables and lounging/brainstorming spaces.

For the past several years, GU has run its operations, shipping and marketing from multiple buildings throughout Berkeley. Sustained growth and a downturn in the commercial real estate market led GU to pursue the goal of getting all employees and the manufacturing operation under one roof."



"Hyatt expands in East Bay" by George Avalos, Oakland Tribune.

"Hyatt Hotels has bought the Woodfin Suites complex in Emeryville and has re-branded the prominent hotel under the Hyatt Summerfield Suites flag, company officials said Tuesday.

The purchase of the East Bay hotel was part of a $76.5 million deal by Hyatt to snap up three Woodfin Suites hotels in Emeryville, Orange County and the San Diego area.

The 234-room Emeryville hotel was bought for an estimated $31.4 million. That's based on a price-per-room of $134,000 for the three hotels combined. Hyatt didn't officially disclose a separate price for the East Bay hotel, which is 11 years old."




"'Beginners' director Mike Mills mixes fact, fiction to create portrait of his dad" by Randy Myers, Contra Costa Times.

"As a former director for the Oakland Museum of California, the late Paul Chadbourne Mills dedicated much of his life to celebrating art and the various forms it can take. Given his background, which included creating the museum's landmark California collection, it's only fitting that his son's new film takes'an artful storytelling approach.

Mike Mills, who wrote and directed 'Beginners,' threw much of his own personal life and grief onto that cinematic canvas, then added splashes of creative color, drawing impressionist portraits of two relationships: one between a gay father and his son, and another between the son and his new girlfriend. Names were changed and some situations and characters fictionalized, but key themes about fresh beginnings and generational differences remained true.

A Berkeley native who made a name for himself with his first film 'Thumbsucker,' Mills, 45, penned the sometimes-autobiographical, sometimes-not screenplay just five months after his father died of cancer. And an interesting story it is: Five years before his death, at the age of 75, the senior Mills boldly leapt out of the closet."


"Alice Walker: Fresh eggs hatch 'Chicken Chronicles' " Meredith May, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"The neighbor's gift reminded the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of paying for her childhood music lessons with her family's eggs in rural Georgia.
It prompted Walker to look more closely at her own flock of chickens at her Mendocino County home'

Several years later, her chicken-inspired observations about nature, family history and spirituality are collected into her latest memoir, "The Chicken Chronicles,' published by the New Press.

Walker recently talked to The Chronicle from her summer home in Jalisco, Mexico."








"Sometimes Berserkeley isn't so berserk after all" reports Carolyn Jones of the San Francisco Chronicle.

"Many ideas spawned in Berkeley - and roundly mocked by the rest of the country - have taken root and have been adopted by cities everywhere. Among them: police radios, a ban on Styrofoam, health benefits for domestic partners and a switch to biodiesel for city cars.These and other Berkeley firsts are part of a painstakingly researched show at the Berkeley History Center that chronicles the city's long history of civic innovation."

Hmmm,. . . biodiesel for city cars? So that would mean we are in the forefront of a possible world food crisis?


Ms Jones and our Historical Society have missed several firsts.

Sometime in 1962, Al Braver, the owner of Campus SmokeShop and Campus Records at Bancroft and Telegraph, declared the Campanile to be the Center of the Universe--many professors agreed. Some of our early feminists took exception.

In the 1970s, Moe developed the used bookstore--it becoming not just a play-thing of otherwise unemployable intellectuals--and so Moe's Books and Records becomes a real business.

At Moe's in the 1980s, I invent the collectible LP. I figure, if Baldock and Wong can sell collectible books, I can sell collectible records. Customers protest at prices of $4 and $5.

Also in the 1980s, Mike and Richards Haley invent the California breakfast at The Buttercup. They also develop croissants, proving Americans will eat, even enjoy, foreign food.





Once a Cat and a Fox were traveling together. As they went along, picking up provisions on the way--a stray mouse here, a fat chicken there--they began an argument to while away the time between bites. And, as usually happens when comrades argue, the talk began to get personal.

"You think you are extremely clever, don't you?" said the Fox. "Do you pretend to know more than I? Why, I know a whole lot of tricks!" "Well," retorted the Cat. "I admit I know one trick only, but that one, let me tell you, is worth a thousand of yours!"

Just then, close by, they heard a hunter's horn and the yelping of a pack of hounds. In an instant the Cat was up a tree, hiding among the leaves.

"This is my trick," he called to the Fox. "Now let me see what yours are worth."

But the Fox had so many plans for escape he could not decide which one to try first. He dodged here and there with the hounds at his heels. He doubled on his tracks, he ran at top speed, he entered a dozen burrows, --but all in vain. The hounds caught him, and soon put an end to the boaster and all his tricks.

Common sense is always worth more than cunning.





"Prestigious Berkeley school delves into Mormon studies" by Peggy Fletcher Stack, The Salt Lake Tribune.

"For the first time, students at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., can enroll in a Mormon studies course and get credit for it.

Last month, GTU, one of the nation's premier theological schools, awarded a doctorate in theology to Sheila Taylor, believed to be the school's first Mormon to earn one. "



"Intel tips second university research center" eetimes.com.

"Intel Corp. said Tuesday (June 7) that the second Intel Science and Technology Center (ISTC)-part of a commitment by the company to pump $100 million into U.S. university research over the next five years-will focus on secure computing and will be hosted at the University of California- Berkeley in collaboration with several other universities. "



"CERN group traps antihydrogen atoms for more than 16 minutes:ALPHA collaboration readying experiments to probe antihydrogen energy levels" at eurekalert.org.

"Trapping antihydrogen atoms at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has become so routine that physicists are confident that they can soon begin experiments on this rare antimatter equivalent of the hydrogen atom, according to researchers at the University of California, Berkeley."


"Astronomers Nab $500,000 Prize for Hunting Elusive Dark Matter" at space.com.

"Dark matter is thought to be all around us, yet scientists can't see it, touch it, or even figure out what it is.

Now four astronomers who helped befuddle the world by discovering evidence for dark matter have won a prestigious cosmology prize."



"New website makes California climate change science available to all" is a UC story release by Ann Brody Guy at berkeley.edu.

"Extensive climate change research being conducted at California universities and research centers is now openly available through a public website developed at the University of California, Berkeley."


"Berkeley Lab report shows how California can meet aggressive emissions reduction target" at solarserver.com.

"On May 24th, 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley, California, U.S.) announced the release of a report which states that California is capable of reaching its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. "








"LBNL Announces Community Meetings on Second Campus at Berkeley Chamber Forum" is a fairly balanced report of the current status of the LBNL second campus proposal. It is by Zelda Bronstein in our Planet.

"Speaking at a June 6 lunchtime forum hosted by the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce Committee on Governmental Affairs at the Chamber's office, Sam Chapman, Manager for State and Community Relations of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, offered an informative overview of the Lab's ongoing search for the site of its second campus that included times and dates of community meetings to be held later this summer."




"Rich folks dominate the Internet, too" is by Steven E.F. Brown in the San Francisco Business Times.

"Far from being a 'digital democracy,' the Internet is dominated by the opinions of rich, powerful people, according to a study from the University of California, Berkeley.

Many early Internet champions, and people who pushed for universal broadband access, believed the Internet would give the poor and disenfranchised a voice. But although hot social media sites like Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. are helping revolutionaries organize in the Middle East, and challenging wealthy footballers' privacy in the United Kingdom, most of the influence online belongs to richer, better educated people."



"Why Can't More Poor People Escape Poverty? A radical new explanation from psychologists" Jamie Holmes at tnr.com.

"Flannery O'Connor once described the contradictory desires that afflict all of us with characteristic simplicity. 'Free will does not mean one will,' she wrote, ' but many wills conflicting in one man.' The existence of appealing alternatives, after all, is what makes free will free: What would choice be without inner debate? We're torn between staying faithful and that alluring man or woman across the room. We can't resist the red velvet cake despite having sworn to keep our calories down. We buy a leather jacket on impulse, even though we know we'll need the money for other things. Everyone is aware of such inner conflicts. But how, exactly, do we choose among them? As it turns out, science has recently shed light on the way our minds reconcile these conflicts, and the result has surprising implications for the way we think about one of society's most intractable problems: poverty. 

In the 1990s, social psychologists developed a theory of 'depletable' self-control. The idea was that an individual's capacity for exerting willpower was finite-that exerting willpower in one area makes us less able to exert it in other areas. In 1998, researchers at Case Western Reserve University published some of the young movement's first returns. Roy Baumeister, Ellen Bratslavsky, Mark Muraven, and Dianne Tice set up a simple experiment. They had food-deprived subjects sit at a table with two types of food on it: cookies and chocolates; and radishes. Some of the subjects were instructed to eat radishes and resist the sweets, and afterwards all were put to work on unsolvable geometric puzzles. Resisting the sweets, independent of mood, made participants give up more than twice as quickly on the geometric puzzles. Resisting temptation, the researchers found, seemed to have 'produced a 'psychic cost.' Over the intervening 13 years, these results have been corroborated in more than 100 experiments." 




our Councilman Darryl Moore emails (excerpts)

Berkeley Juneteenth 2011
The Berkeley Juneteenth Festival is a street festival extending the 5-block South Berkeley Adeline-Alcatraz corridor that is free and open to the public. Family entertainment is the focus of all Berkeley Juneteenth Festivals, and no alcohol and tobacco sales or sponsorships are allowed.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
10 am to 6 pm
Main Stage Entertainment is the "heart" of Juneteenth-in-Berkeley. The music incorporates the best of the African American experience: African drumming, jazz, blues, neo-soul, gospel, rhythm and blues, and reggae. Local talents, like John Handy, Faye Carol and Pharoah Sanders have graced our stage, but BJF is a vehicle for showcasing up and coming acts, providing them with an opportunity to show their talents.
Community Stage features performances directed towards novice entertainers. Auditions are held 60 days prior to the Festival. Health Fair- Alameda County health agencies offer informational workshops and health screenings. Two on Two Basketball Tourney provides wholesome, physical competition on event day. Historical Exhibits includes an indoor exhibit hall featuring a collaboration of presenters. Art for Children programs and for-fun activities are coordinated by practicing artists. The Vision Magazine is a BJF souvenir publication sold on Festival day which features the day's activities.
For more information, please visit www.berkeleyjuneteenth.org  
4th of July at Berkeley Marina 

The 4th of July is a great day to have a lot of fun. The biggest party is at the Berkeley Marina from noon-10PM. There's all kinds of free fun! Adventure Playground, always a favorite, is open 11am-8pm. Get your face painted, try the giant slide, or splash in the water at the beach!
There's live entertainment from noon until 9:30PM on the main stage including Downtown Rhythm, Lee Waterman & Jazz Caliente, The Hipwader's Children's Music, Tin Sandwich Harmonica Trio, The Ian Franklin Band, Foxtails Brigaide, & Steel Pans. Tucked around the marina are Afro Cuban Rumba Drumming, Circus Art performers, and on The Buddy Club Stage in Shorebird Park you'll find jugglers and magicians. There's art & crafts, yummy food, massages, free dragon boat rowing from 2-6pm, pony rides, a dunk tank, and much more including the grand fireworks off the end of the Berkeley Pier at 9:30pm.
Let's hear it for the red, white, and blue...but keep it green, too. The party shouldn't leave the environment trashed. If you can, bring your own dishes -- Frisbees double as plates! A bandana is your cloth napkin to use at all of the international food booths. With water stations located around the event, you can refill your own reusable bottle and keep a lot of plastic out of the landfill. Be sure to use the recycling stations located throughout the marina for your disposables.
Free admission. Alcohol-free event. No cars after 7pm.









Over the years, Kimar and I have had a running discussion about problems in Berkeley that always ends with "The problem with Berkeley is . . . !" We've explored our radical past, nepotism, alienation, and even self-hatred. But yesterday we had an epiphany.

"Berkeley simply lacks sufficient adult supervision."







"Behind the furor over 'Great Soul', Joseph Lelyveld's biography of Mahatma Gandhi" at csmonitor.com.

"Lelyveld says he principally intended to explore India's resistance to many of Gandhi's central teachings ­ not suggestions of Gandhi's sexual orientation.

Joseph Lelyveld, a former executive editor of the world's most influential newspaper, is certainly no stranger to controversy. But he didn't expect his new book about Mahatma Gandhi to draw the reaction it did.

'Great Soul,' he thought, might raise eyebrows because of the way it explores the conflict between Gandhi's ideals and the country that venerates him. But when it was published in March, much of the world's attention focused on just a few paragraphs in which he discusses Gandhi's possible physical relationship with a male architect."




Gordon Wozniak, Berkeley City Councilman emails (excerpts)


At its June 14th meeting the Berkeley City Council will consider a number of important issues for which I am seeking input from residents.


Refuse Collection Fees

In 2009, refuse collection rates were increased for the first time since 2006, following the process required by Proposition 218, which included a rate study, and conducting both a public hearing and a majority protest ballot. To address future cost increases, the proceedings also authorized an annual inflator tied to the Bay Area Consumer Price Index (CPI), not to exceed 3% per year. This CPI increase in basic collection rates and fees is projected to generate an additional $670,000 to help meet the significant increased costs for the Refuse Fund in FY2012.

Should Berkeley Increase the Residential and Commercial Refuse Collection Fees by the increase in the Bay Area Consumer Price Index?


Zoning Changes to Encourage Economic Development

The proposed amendments reduce the level of permit review required for certain commercial uses and activities, thereby making it easier for new businesses to open or existing business to expand their service or product offerings.  The amendments were prepared in response to Council direction to develop ways to address declining sales tax and business activity in October and December, 2010.  The Planning Commission recommended adoption of these amendments on April 27, 2011. 

Should the City Council adopt the first reading of an ordinance to streamline zoning permit requirements for certain business activities likely to encourage economic activity?

Ecology Center Contract

To help address the budget shortfall in the Refuse Fund, the City has renegotiated its contract, for residential recycling pickup, with the Ecology Center. This contract amendments reduces the ten-year contract by about 6% or $2.4 million.

Should the City Council adopt a Resolution amending Contract No. 8219-A with the Ecology Center, reducing the contract amount by $2,416,938 for a new, not to exceed, amount of $34,718,739 for the term January 1, 2010 through June 30, 2020?

Employment Rights for Domestic Workers

This item was carried over from the May 31, 2011 Council Meeting Agenda. It requests that the Council support State Assembly bill, AB 889, which would grant most domestic care workers the same rights as workers employed by commercial or industrial employers.

This bill would require an employer of a domestic care worker to provide a number of specified benefits; including overtime, paid sick days & vacation benefits, annual wage increases, meals & rest periods, 21 days written notice of termination, and food choices or food preparation access. In addition, the employer would be required to provide Workers Compensation Insurance coverage.


(Councilman Wozniak's email is gwozniak@cityofberkeley.info)





"Where the jobs are: Top U.S. cities hiring now

Despite dreary reports on the lagging economy, certain American cities are in fact hiring. Hiring a lot, it seems. For while our national unemployment rate increased, major metropolitan areas report an increase in private-sector hiring. In fact, according to data from US Department of Labor, more than 90 percent of the country's largest metro areas experienced a drop in unemployment in April.

Don't get too excited yet. Or...okay, maybe little bit excited.

Marketwatch reported on this data too, quoting Charles Purdy, Senior Editor for Internet job board giant Monster.com. He points out that one reason for the uptick "is likely seasonal summer hiring."

The Labor Department reports that regions that see a large influx of tourists during the summer showed the steepest month-over-month declines in unemployment.

However, seasonal jobs don't account for all of the improvement Monster.com data combined with US Bureau of Labor Statistics show a vast number of job postings in cities on both coasts (typical tourist destinations) as well as in the heartland (where tourists are less an integral part of the economy). And jobs are not just tourism based, nor are they all high-tech related. Using their job growth survey analysis, Monster has designated the following cities as the best for jobs (all kinds of them!) right now- and yes, once again, the San Francisco Bay Area made the list, and pretty high up it as well.

Top 10 metro areas for jobs:

2. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont
Industries to Watch: Private-sector hiring is robust, with especially positive trends in management, IT, business/financial and architecture/ engineering, among other industries."



"Senior Power: World Elder Abuse Awareness Day" by Helen Rippier Wheeler at our Planet.com.

"[WEAAD] will be observed on Wednesday, June 15, 2011. This week's column is the first of two on the subject of elder abuse, o







"Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito Police to Take Part in Torch Run for Special Olympics" is a report at berkeleypatch.com.

"Later this month, local law enforcement officers will participate in a run geared toward raising money and public awareness about the Special Olympics.
The Northern California Law Enforcement Torch Run takes place June 21."


And Berkeley Patch also reports"CAL Prep Celebrates Its First Graduation.

A charter school co-founded by UC Berkeleyand Aspire Public Schools will graduate its first class of seniors tomorrow ­ all 17 of them. TheCalifornia College Preparatory Academy, or CAL Prep as many like to call it, was founded in 2005 and the first graduating class is small.
But what distinguishes the 17 students who wear a cap and gown tomorrow is that every single one was accepted into a four-year college. 




"Bay Area Reporter: 40 years at hub of gay culture" Meredith May, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"In a row of hotel rooms atop the Stud gay club South of Market, reporters are clacking swiftly at computer desks where beds used to be."




"Experts provide advice on turning schools into multi-use facilities" by Claire Theobald, Edmonton Sun.

"Two experts from the University of California, Berkeley have a suggestion for revitalizing mature Edmonton neighbourhoods: Turn schools into multi-use facilities, rather then close them."




"NNSA Awards $25M For Developing Nuclear Security Expertise" globalsecuritynewswire.org.

"The U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration on Thursday announced it would give $25 million to a consortium of universities to provide hands-on training and research opportunities to the nation's next generation of nuclear security specialists.

The University of California (Berkeley) was selected to lead a group of universities in several states in the creation of the National Science and Security Consortium."



"Sarah Palin e-mails released on Friday" at washingtonpost.com.

"A cache of e-mails released Friday add vivid new color and fresh details to the complicated public portrait of Sarah Palin, who displayed many of the same strengths, and shortcomings, as Alaska governor that she would later bring to the national political stage.

Often blunt and frequently impatient, Palin derided 'old school' politicians and bureaucrats and acted as a champion of populist interests on issues ranging from energy policy to women's rights, the e-mails show. Her relations with fellow politicians, including many Republicans, were often strained, and she relied heavily on her husband, Todd, and a close-knit group of aides to help cope with crises and shape policies."









Charlie Rose conversation with Conservative New York Times columnist and reporter, David Brooks is on Brooks', not-at-all-political, book "The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement."

Of the book Walter Isaacson writes "David Brooks has written an absolutely fascinating book about how we form our emotions and character. Standing at the intersection of brain science and sociology, and writing with the wry wit of a James Thurber, he explores the unconscious mind and how it shapes the way we eat, love, live, vacation, and relate to other people. In The Social Animal, he makes the recent revolution in neuroscience understandable, and he applies it to those things we have the most trouble knowing how to teach: What is the best way to build true relationships? How do we instill imaginative thinking? How do we develop our moral intuitions and wisdom and character? Brooks has always been a keen observer of the way we live. Now he takes us one layer down, to why we live that way."


And David Brooks himself writes "Several years ago I did some reporting on why so many kids drop out of high school, despite all rational incentives. That took me quickly to studies of early childhood and research on brain formation. Once I started poking around that realm, I found that people who study the mind are giving us an entirely new perspective on who we are and what it takes to flourish.

We're used to a certain story of success, one that emphasizes getting good grades, getting the right job skills and making the right decisions. But these scientists were peering into the innermost mind and shedding light on the process one level down, in the realm of emotions, intuitions, perceptions, genetic dispositions and unconscious longings.

I've spent several years with their work now, and it's changed my perspective on everything. In this book, I try to take their various findings and weave them together into one story.

This is not a science book. I don't answer how the brain does things. I try to answer what it all means. I try to explain how these findings about the deepest recesses of our minds should change the way we see ourselves, raise our kids, conduct business, teach, manage our relationships and practice politics. This story is based on scientific research, but it is really about emotion, character, virtue and love. We're not rational animals, or laboring animals; we're social animals. We emerge out of relationships and live to bond with each other and connect to larger ideas."


Brooks offers some pretty mind bending stuff--for instance that in the near future we will no longer accept "a division" between intellect and emotion.


An interesting aside

When on 6/1/11 I posted "In the 'first action? of his 2012 mayoral campaign?' our Councilman Laurie Cappitelli makes "a 'deal' about the West-Berkeley Project with WEBIACERs."

Our Councilman replied "You must have some information I don't have." To which I replied, but did not post "I have highly paid sources inside your subconscious?" And he rejoined in part "most of my brain power is in the subconscious."





Perhaps the world as he knows it is ending after all.

"Harold Camping 'Doing Very Well' After Stroke, Says Wife" by Katherine T. Phan, Christian Post.

"Doomsday preacher Harold Camping is 'doing very well' days after he was admitted to a hospital for a stroke, his wife said Sunday evening.

When The Christian Post visited Camping's home in Alameda, Calif., Sunday, a woman claiming to be Camping's wife, Shirley, answered the door but never revealed her face.

Asked about Camping's condition, the presumed Mrs. Camping reported to CP, 'He is doing very well ­ not a serious stroke at all!' "




reader Miltiades Mandros is up to it again with ". . . it was just better to leave bad enough alone"

This morning I went downtown to the courthouse to pick up some legal forms. As a joke (natually), I bought some doughnuts to leave with the sheriff's deputies who man the security station at the front entrance. After I passed through the scanner, I told them that as a token of appreciation for all their hard work, I wanted to present them with the doughnuts. They replied that they were not allowed to accept gifts from the public, so I responded that they should give the doughnuts to needy children. Of course, they wouldn't accept them and even prevented me from leaving them on their x-ray machine.
After that, I walked over to the (unmanned) information counter and left the bag there. I then went off to obtain the forms I came for. On my way out, I saw a circle of deputies staring at the bag trying to decide whether it constituted a "suspicious package." For a moment I thought about walking over to retrieve the sack, but I decided . . .




"San Francisco's Circumcision Ban: An Attack on Religious Freedom?" asks Adam Cohen at time.com.




The Berkeley News Page, City of Berkeley

"June 18 Teens Cruisin' on the Boardwalk , Teens will take a trip to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Have fun on the beach, video arcade and enjoy an all-day pass to carnival rides. Bring extra spending money. For more info call 981-6674. Must be a Teen program participant."

More here.



"Berkeley Lab expands energy exchanges with India" is a story at rdmag.com.

"With the Indian economy growing by leaps and bounds yet hampered by regular power shortages and blackouts, Indian electricity regulators are in a tough spot. How to wring more electricity from very limited infrastructure? The answer lies in energy efficiency. Through collaborations with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, India is hoping to learn from California's successes in implementing energy efficiency and demand-side management to meet energy demand.

The past week (June 10, 2011) a delegation of 20 electricity regulators from 16 Indian states visited Berkeley Lab for a study tour that included visits to Sacramento to hear from the grid operator and a utility and to Bakersfield to tour a solar power facility. The trip also featured presentations by the California Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission, which, along with Berkeley Lab, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with India's Forum of Regulators in 2009 to consult on best practices in utility-based energy-efficiency programs."





"Lockheed attack highlights rise in cyber espionage" is an AP story at sfgate.com

"This cyber attack didn't go after people playing war games on their PlayStations. It targeted a company that helps the U.S. military do the real thing."



Damn, . . . Emma Brown writes at washingtonpost.com "Model airplane history-maker Maynard Hill dies at the age of 85."
Maynard Hill, a designer of model airplanes who secured a spot in aviation history in 2003 when one of his creations flew 1,882 miles across the Atlantic Ocean on less than a gallon of fuel, died June 7 of prostate cancer at his home in Silver Spring. He was 85.

A balsa-and-glue virtuoso, Mr. Hill was a legend in the model-aircraft world even before his first-of-its-kind transatlantic feat. Beginning in the 1960s, he set 25 world records for speed, duration and altitude, flying his radio-controlled aircraft as high as 26,990 feet, as long as 38 hours and as fast as 151 mph."








"Retailer celebrates 110th year" reports Martin Snapp of the West County Times
"In 1895, the year Berkeley Hardware was founded, Grover Cleveland was president of the United States. There were no planes, radio, TV, movies or computers."

Over the years, I've bought a lot of model airplane kits from Berkeley Hardware's basement. Here's one I finished a year-or-so ago.

Argentine Navy Dassault Super Etendard





"Cal Opens College World Series Sunday at 11 a.m. PT Bears to Face UC Irvine-Virginia Winner" at calbears.com.

"California will open play at the College World Series at 11 a.m. PT Sunday at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., in a game that will be televised on ESPN and be available live online at ESPN3.com. The Golden Bears will face the winner of Monday's Super Regional contest between UC Irvine and Virginia."







A Vietnamese restaurant is moving into the space vacated by Crema--the old chocolate factory corner-space on 7th and Heinz.


"In a world of political correctness gone wild, Canadian Comedian Russell Peters makes up his own rules" at bbcnews.co,uk.

"He is South Asian but calls himself 'brown' and instead of shying away from cracking jokes about race, Peters uses it as the punchline.
He has been performing comedy for more than 20 years, but after the invention of YouTube in 2005 Peters' comedy went viral and he now performs to sell-out audiences all over the world.

The BBC caught up with Peters to find out more about a man who is not afraid to push limits and make people squirm in their seats."

BBC video here

If you can't view the BBC video, check out Peter's other videos here.




"Greatest Person Of The Day: Kushal Chakrabarti And Vittana Revolutionize Student Loans" at huffingtonpost.com.

"When L.A. native and Vittana founder Kushal Chakrabarti speaks, he tries to jam his many big thoughts into very short sentences. A computer science class he took at the University of California, Berkeley was 'intoxicating,' the potential for worldwide optimism is 'endless,' and he describes education as his 'life's calling.' But this is all part of what makes this young idea-maker tick.

He was only a few years out of Berkeley and working in tech development at Amazon -- a company he credits for sparking his entrepreneurial drive -- when a New York Times article about a rickshaw driver in India caught his eye and set him off on a mission."




"Art Without Labels" by Lou Fancher is at berkeleypatch.com.

"Combining the spectacular work of artists from Richmond's National Institute of Art and Disabilities (NIAD), Oakland's Creative Growth Center, and San Francisco's Creativity Explored, the show includes over 135 works by twenty artists."








is the art of labels







"India's new face as Asia's car industry hub" by Sanjoy Majumder, BBC News, Chennai.

"The Panama-registered M V Modern Peak steams into the newly commissioned Ennore Port, just north of Chennai on India's south-eastern coast.
It is a Korean freighter that has just arrived from Chittagong in Bangladesh, empty.

At the dock, rows of gleaming, brand new Nissan Micra cars are waiting to be loaded on board and shipped to Singapore.
"From there they'll go on to Lebanon, Israel and parts of north Africa," the ship's Korean captain says.

The cars may be a product of the Japanese giant auto maker but they are manufactured about 60kms away, at Nissan's Indian factory.

Less than a year old, the sprawling 600-acre plant is one of the company's largest worldwide."




"Warren Buffett takes charge" at cnn.com.

"Warren Buffett hasn't just seen the car of the future, he's sitting in the driver's seat. Why he's banking on an obscure Chinese electric car company . . . "



"Warren Buffett's BYD seeks Shenzhen listing" is a video report at bbc.co.uk.

"BYD, the Asian car company invested in by Warren Buffett, is seeking a listing in mainland China. But rather than go for the more staple Shanghai, it is instead looking to the smaller Shenzhen stock exchange."









about the curious, the inane, the insane, the bizarre, the unexpected, the touching, and the funny . . . but not necessarily in that order


Early this morning Gene Agress, owner of Berkeley Mills, was called at his home by Berkeley FD informing him that the water at Berkeley Mills had been turned off temporarily as a result of a fire at his neighbor, DSM PTG.

The fire started in a trash receptacle setting off the sprinkler which dowsed the fire and cause water damage. DSM is closed today to evaluate the damage and make repairs.




"Michelle Obama fund-raising in Berkeley: Alice Waters menu. Malia, Sasha on swing" is detailed even intimate look at the Obama's Berkeley visit by Lynn Sweet  of the Chicago Sun Times.

"First Lady Michelle Obama, with daughters Malia and Sasha continue Tuesday on a California fund-raising swing. Mrs. Obama headlined a breakfast at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley, a wonderful old-style grand hotel tucked in the lower Berkeley Hills (and a few blocks from where I lived while attending the University of California at Berkeley, . . . but I digress.)

Famed Berkeley chef Alice Waters crafted the Claremont Hotel menu . . .

from the pool report. . .

"the menu, prepared by the staff of famed chef Alice Waters, included blood orange and tangerine juice, organic coffees and black tea; cherries, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries with yogurt and honey; baked farm eggs with fresh morels, asparagus vinaigrette and grilled whole wheat toast; and wild fennel biscotti, jam thumbprints and lemon verbena tisane."

About 250 attended the event at the Claremont Hotel, having paid anywhere from $1,000 to $25,000 to get in. The menu, prepared by the staff of famed chef Alice Waters, included blood orange and tangerine juice, organic coffees and black tea; cherries, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries with yogurt and honey; baked farm eggs with fresh morels, asparagus vinaigrette and grilled whole wheat toast; and wild fennel biscotti, jam thumbprints and lemon verbena tisane.

The First Lady was introduced by Rep. Bar bara Lee, D-Calif., in whose district the event was held. Lee noted her 9th Congressional District gave President Obama his best returns of any California district in the 2008 primary and general, and is 'fired up to lead the way again in 2012.'

The First Lady entered to a standing ovation at 10:21 a.m., wearing a short, cream-colored sweater over a white dress and pearls."





"Thinking Inside the Box:Why some of America's most prominent minds fell for the wildly eccentric ideas of Wilhelm Reich" by Henry Allen is an excerpt from what's really a very long article about Wilhelm Reich at wsj.com.

"This maddening, saddening account of Wilhelm Reich's crash-and-burn life leaves you yearning for a poet or philosopher who understands a fundamental truth: Nothing explains everything. (I recommend Shakespeare.)

Reich did not understand this truth. He was a disciple of Freud (who later excommunicated him). He was a world-famous psychoanalyst back when psychoanalysts could be world-famous, a crusader for sexual freedom back when that cause belonged to intellectuals, not Hugh Hefner or Lady Gaga. He was a prophet of salvation through perfection of the orgasm, sometimes referred to as the 'apocalyptic orgasm.'

The spiritual hysteria that Reich inspired in the America of the 1940s and early '50s is as hard to explain now as the madness that 1920s crowds felt hearing Bix Beiderbecke play the cornet, especially when you consider that most Reichians were supposed to be educated skeptics and cultural critics. Even-or especially-intellectuals are not immune to America's chronic and recurring religious revivals in their various forms.

Saul Bellow, Norman Mailer, Dwight Macdonald, J.D. Salinger, Paul Goodman, William Burroughs and other bohemian culture heroes were among his followers: examples of what Lionel Trilling unsettlingly called 'the moral urgency, the sense of crisis and the concern with personal salvation that mark the existence of American intellectuals.' Reich won a particular following among intellectuals, artists and cultural spokesmen who were looking for a new revolution after becoming disillusioned with communism.

They had retained their credulity, however-they saw little suspicious in Reich's claim to have explained everything with his discovery of the very ur-stuff of the universe, called 'orgone,' in a pot of beef stew, among other places.

He said he could trap it in boxes that he sold, called 'accumulators.' People sat in them and absorbed orgone, thereby curing everything from cancer to the common cold. The process provided William Burroughs with a 'spontaneous orgasm-no hands.' Reich had so much fame and scientific respect that, shortly after his arrival in America in 1939, he could get Albert Einstein to test an orgone box. Einstein's response was cool.

When Reich tried to patent the box, a patent officer wrote back to him: 'Do you think I want to go out on a limb and to make myself look ridiculous?'

Yet there would come to be countless adherents less well known-professors, medical doctors, disgruntled seekers 'burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo of night,' in the famous formulation of Allen Ginsberg, who himself underwent Reichian therapy in 1948. And they're still out there, with their magazines and websites.

America has long been a land of opportunity for spiritually inclined theorists, especially if they have foreign accents, along the lines of G.I. Gurdjieff, with his magnetic treatments in the first half of the 20th century, or Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, with his mantras in the second half.

Working in Reich's favor was his timing. The 1940s and '50s in America were the age of the Kinsey Reports and wife-swapping. Of women worried about 'frigidity' and of their men, who worried about it even more.

Near the end of his life, Mailer spoke with Christopher Turner about his quest for the apocalyptic orgasm, confessing that he'd never attained it, adding: 'Intellectuals never had good orgasms.' Yet in Mailer's youth, Mr. Turner writes, 'the orgasm became a battleground: was the 'apocalyptic orgasm' the key to revolution, as Reich and Mailer claimed, or a false aim that camouflaged the hipster's narcissistic and hedonistic selfishness?'

The title of Mr. Turner's book-'Adventures in the Orgasmatron: How the Sexual Revolution Came to America'-is misleading."




"She did want to get married - to a girl" Meredith May, Chronicle Staff Writer.

"When I was in a college, a classmate studying psychology asked me to draw three things: a self-portrait, a tree and a house.

I drew myself standing with outstretched arms, smiling, wearing only a hat.

She found it amusing that I was her first test subject to omit clothing, but she analyzed it, along with my 'give me a hug' pose, to mean I was an open and accepting person.

Next, the tree. A sturdy trunk with hundreds of individual leaves, covering the entire piece of paper. This, she explained, was supposed to represent my social needs. So many leaves meant I liked having many friends around me.

I was really proud of my house, a two-story Italian villa. The two-car garage was open, revealing a Jeep and a rowing shell. On the roof, I drew myself waving from a hot tub.

'Hmm,' my classmate said. She'd already learned to emulate that awful therapist silence. 'What? What does that mean? Isn't it cool?'

I had failed the test, apparently. I hadn't drawn a family. I'd sketched a solo future me, yet from the looks of it I was having quite a ball in the roomy whirlpool.
'I guess you don't see a future with a husband,' she said."





I'm used to Populist views coming from from the Left and yet Andrew Leonard wrties about a right of center study in"Why do liberals hate freedom so much?
. . . and other mysteries from a Koch-funded study that ranks the 50 states according to how 'free' they are"
at salon.com.

"On June 7, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, a libertarian think tank founded and funded by the Koch brothers, released its latest snapshot of liberty in the U.S.A: 'Freedom in the 50 States: An Index of Personal and Economic Freedo

As is usually the case in studies of this sort, high-population blue states inevitably end up ranking last. The metrics used by the authors of the study penalize high taxes, regulations and, in general, just about anything that restricts the freedom of individuals and corporations to do as they please, from gun control laws and healthcare mandates to rules requiring seat belts and motorcycle helmets. Befitting libertarian sensibilities, the ideological biases in the Mercatus report do not purely jibe with conservative Republican priorities -- states get points for decriminalizing marijuana and allowing same sex marriage or civil unions, for example -- but nevertheless, the political gist is hard to ignore. Blue states cluster at the bottom, while red states are at the top.

But here's the brutal truth, apart from the politics: Most Americans are not free. A telling example: In the Mercatus rankings the two states blessed by the highest freedom quotient boast a combined population of a little over 2 million -- South Dakota and New Hampshire (the latter of which, admittedly, went for Obama in 2008). The bottom three states were New York, New Jersey and California, which have a combined population of over 65 million."




Vintage President Reagan tells a joke about Democrats, youtube.com.




Racists got it wrong from the very beginning. White people are really pink, black folks more often are brown, brown folks are tan, yellow people are really white and red folks certainly aren't.

No wonder Racism sucks as a concept.







"Unusual gamma-ray flash may have come from star being eaten by massive black hole" at physorg.com.

"What researchers think the star may have looked like at the start of its disruption by a black hole at the center of a galaxy 3.8 billion light years distant resulting in the outburst known as Sw 1644+57. Credit: University of Warwick / Mark A. Garlick

A bright flash of gamma rays observed March 28 by the Swift satellite may have been the death rattle of a star falling into a massive black hole and being ripped apart, according to a team of astronomers led by the University of California, Berkeley. "




Also at physorg.com "Invisibility carpet cloak can hide objects from visible light.

The researchers, led by Prof. Xiang Zhang at the University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, have published their study in a recent issue of Nano Letters.

As the researchers explain, most previous invisibility cloaks have used metallic metamaterials for cloaking at microwave frequencies. But at optical frequencies, the metal absorbs too much light and leads to significant metallic loss, and Berkeley and other groups have had to design dielectric cloaks at infrared frequencies. More recently, researchers at University of Birmingham (UK) have experimented with using uniaxial crystals as the cloak material, which can enable cloaking in visible frequencies, but only for a certain polarization of light.

In the current study, the researchers used a technique called quasi conformal mapping (QCM) to conceal an object with a height of 300 nm and a width of 6 µm underneath a reflective "carpet cloak." The carpet itself has the appearance of a smooth optical mirror, so that the object and the bump that the object makes underneath the carpet are undetectable by visible light."



after 6/16/11, here



from my log

6/1/11--6:36 AM--irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, dry dirty air, watery burning eyes, light head--NOT allergies. 7:46 AM--SERIOUS irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, dry dirty air, watery burning eyes, light head--NOT allergies. 10:40 AM--VERY SERIOUS irritant in front room, dry dirty air, watery burning eyes, light head, overrides HEPA filter, wear respirator.

6/3/11--2:27 PM---irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, dry dirty air.

6/4/11--1:30 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, dry dirty air, watery eyes, light head, overrides HEPA filter, wear respirator, Marsha has coughing attack.

6/6/11--8:37 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, VERY dry dirty air, watery eyes, light head, overrides HEPA filter, wear respirator.

6/7/11--8:34--AM-- irritant in front room, dry dirty air, watery eyes. 10:50 AM--SERIOUS-irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, VERY dry dirty air. 11:52 AM-- SERIOUS rritant in front room, VERY dry dirty air, overrides HEPA filters, leave. 8:10 PM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, VERY dry dirty air. 11:51PM--VERY, VERY SERIOUS irritant in front room, VERY VERY dry dirty air, watery burning eyes, burning throat, overrides four HEPA filters, wear respirator, leave.

6/8/11--7:34 AM--SERIOUS irritant in front room, dry dirty air, watery eyes, light head.

6/9/11--3:11 PM--lights dim, HEPA motors rpms drop. 3:42 PM--irritant in front room.

6/11/11--8:55 AM--VERY SEROUS irritant in front room, burning eyes, dry skin, short breath.

6/12/11--3:00 PM--irritant in front room, dry dirty air. 4:34 PM--VERY SERIOUS irritant in front room, dry dirty air, light head, nausea. 5:07 PM--VERY, VERY SERIOUS irritant in front room, dry dirty air, light head, nausea, cough attack, headache, overrides three HEPA filters, leave.

8/13/11--off-and-on all day irritant in front room, dry dirty air, light head, nausea, cough attack, headache, overrides three HEPA filters.

6/14/11---off-and-on all morning irritant in front room, dry dirty air, light head, nausea, cough attack, headache, overrides three HEPA filters. 7:01 PM--irritant in front room. 7:42 PM--irritant in front room, usual symptoms.

6/15/11--7:27 PM--irritant in front room, dry dirty air. 8:07 PM---irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse.

8/17/11--3:14 PM--VERY VERY SERIOUS irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, dry dirty air, watery burning eyes, light head, disoriented, overrides HEPA filter, leave. 3:47 PM---irritant IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse.





eternally useful links


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



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.


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.


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.



Markets is not just a reference for Berkeley-Hills radicals with 1.5 mil homes and considerable portfolios.


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



Berkeley Police reports at insidebay area.com are here.


Our Berkeley PD Site with crime statistics and more is here.

Crime Log for 94710 is here

This site is NOT affiliated with Berkeley PD.
Take time to report crime!


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 is Officer Karen Buckheit, Berkeley PD - 981-5774 kbuckheit@ci.berkeley.ca.us

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

Ryan Lau, aid to Darryl Moore - 981-7120 rlau@ci.berkeley.ca.us

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


More Scrambled Eggs & Lox, here


Stories about Berkeley and stories about recorded-music

are at

Journal of Recorded Music 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11



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