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Thursday, May 10, 2007
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Issue #1603 :: Thursday, May 10, 2007

Top Headlines

Seeing is Distracting
Focus. Keep your eyes on the textbook. Keep your eyes on the scribbles of notes. Keep your eyes on the laptop screen (ideally displaying the current draft of your paper and not a nefarious Web site that was clearly created with the intention of diverting that focus).

‘Fight Club’ Author Chuck Palahniuk Tries His Hand at The Oral Biography With ‘Rant’
If there’s one thing Chuck Palahniuk knows, it’s how to make people sick. The story “Guts,” featured in his last novel “Haunted,” is infamous for its stomach-turning effect. At book signing after book signing, nervous employees had to run for the smelling salts when queasy fans passed out during readings.

Fight Near Co-Op Puts Resident In Hospital
A confrontation Saturday night between a co-op resident and a man whose attorney said he is a member of the Cal rugby team left the resident in the hospital with severe head injuries.

Interview: Palahniuk Discuses the Nihilism Label, Romanticism and Why ‘Rant’ Opened Up New Doors for His Writing
Chuck Palahniuk achieved cult fame with his first novel “Fight Club,” which spawned an instant fan following and a popular film. Since then, he has continued to find success with novels like “Survivor,” “Choke” and “Haunted.” Palahniuk is currently on tour to promote his latest novel, “Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey,” in stores now.

News

Fight Near Co-Op Puts Resident In Hospital
A confrontation Saturday night between a co-op resident and a man whose attorney said he is a member of the Cal rugby team left the resident in the hospital with severe head injuries.

University Wins Bid for Livermore Lab
UC will continue to manage the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for at least the next seven years after partnering with a number of other groups to win the first-ever bid for the U.S. Department of Energy management contract.

Research & Ideas
Scientists Discover New Supernova

In a case of elaborate stellar suicide, astronomers have discovered a new supernova that epitomizes what it means to go out with a bang.

UC Assembly: No on Tobacco Funding Ban
Citing concerns over academic freedom, the university’s parliamentary body voted against a policy that would ban research funding from tobacco companies at a meeting yesterday.

Once Again, Birgeneau Subs for Absent Speaker
In a repeat of last year’s commencement convocation ceremony yesterday, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau once again spoke to graduating seniors while cars honked in support of the UC union picket line demonstrating outside the Greek Theatre.

Three Injured in South Berkeley Stabbings
A knife-wielding man stabbed a woman and two firefighters during a pair of botched burglaries in South Berkeley Monday morning before being arrested, police said.

Protesters Cited in Sit-In for UC Custodial Wage Increases
Twenty-four protesters were cited on Tuesday by the UCPD after they sat in a Haas School of Business building and refused to leave in a show of solidarity for UC custodians’ demand for wage increases.

Firm Expects to Complete Freeway Repairs by Early June
Repairs on the parts of the MacArthur Maze freeway exchange in Emeryville that collapsed in an incident early last week could be completed by June 2, about a month before Caltrans officials expected.

Berkeley Collects $8 Million In Unforeseen Tax Revenue
After an unexpected $8 million increase in tax revenue collected by Berkeley after the sale of property, the city could have the resources to fund some capital projects that it has been forced to postpone in the past.

A Look Back in Time—One Last Time
History professor Leon Litwack received a five-minute standing ovation after delivering the last lecture of his professional career to his History 7B class Monday morning.

Senate Confirms One Judicial Council Nominee, Rejects Another
At its last meeting of the year, the ASUC Senate voted to appoint one new member to the Judicial Council, but also decided to reject one nominee.

Institute of Governmental Studies to See Leadership Transition
After 18 years under the directorship of political science professor Bruce Cain, the Institute of Governmental Studies will have a new leader starting this summer.

Research & Ideas
Graduate Students Take Prize for Project on Artificial Arteries

For their work on creating new forms of artificial arteries, a team of UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco graduate students took the first place prize along with $10,000 in a competition held at UCSF last month.

Billionare Gives Local Math Institute $10 Million
A Berkeley mathematics institute received a $10 million endowment Friday, which officials said will be used to host visiting mathematicians, support the institute and increase public awareness of mathematics.

Nearly Two Hundred Attend Talk on Sudanese Crisis
John Prendergast said he was shocked—and impressed—at how many students showed up to his discussion on Darfur Monday night in the thick of final exam preparation.

Program to Help Spot Signs Of Mental Illness to Continue Despite Funding Cut
Despite an upcoming dip in funding, a campus program aimed at helping students who exhibit signs of mental illness is set to continue, as officials said it fills a vital need on campus.

Model Shows Forests’ Effects on Global Warming
Scientists at different institutions have collaborated to create a model depicting how forests in different locations can influence global warming.

News in Brief
Coroner Identifies Body Found on Railroad Tracks

Corrections
Monday’s article “Man Found Dead Near Tracks in West Berkeley” incorrectly stated that the man was found dead that morning. In fact, the body was discovered Sunday.


Arts & Entertainment

Bjork Offers An Uneven But Intriguing New Album
Is Bjork pop music’s biggest iconoclast or the art house’s most accessible diva? It’s a line that’s never been quite clear, especially since the media has often depicted the singer as either a whimsical pixie or a high criminal of the fashion court, despite the consistency with which her albums have scored critically and commercially, or the fact that she headlines festivals. But no matter how many lame swan dress jokes come her way, Bjork’s position is an envious one to be sure. Out of the spotlight, but significant enough to sustain real independence and to work with just about anyone she pleases, she may be the only pop singer that would seem equally at home covered in Vaseline for Matthew Barney’s art film “Drawing Restraint 9” as she would onstage performing for “Saturday Night Live.”

Interview: Palahniuk Discuses the Nihilism Label, Romanticism and Why ‘Rant’ Opened Up New Doors for His Writing
Chuck Palahniuk achieved cult fame with his first novel “Fight Club,” which spawned an instant fan following and a popular film. Since then, he has continued to find success with novels like “Survivor,” “Choke” and “Haunted.” Palahniuk is currently on tour to promote his latest novel, “Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey,” in stores now.

‘Fight Club’ Author Chuck Palahniuk Tries His Hand at The Oral Biography With ‘Rant’
If there’s one thing Chuck Palahniuk knows, it’s how to make people sick. The story “Guts,” featured in his last novel “Haunted,” is infamous for its stomach-turning effect. At book signing after book signing, nervous employees had to run for the smelling salts when queasy fans passed out during readings.

New Documentary Says Air Guitar Is No Joke
Competitive air guitar is a curious beast. On one hand, it might be the stupidest thing ever: A series of dudes and ladies making fools of themselves onstage, strumming and soloing on invisible guitars while Motorhead’s “Ace of Spaces” or whatnot chugs along on loudspeakers, each competitor in pursuit of that illustrious title—Air Guitar World Champion.

CD Reviews
It’s always a bit perplexing to encounter an album that refuses to leave a strong impression on a listener. The ideas and execution may be fairly sound, but for whatever reason, the overall result leaves a listener feeling nothing at all.

Track Reviews
‘The Heinrich Maneuver’

Oh, What Tangled Webs 'Spider-Man 3' Weaves
Never before had I seen so much Spider-Man merchandise concentrated into one spot. Kids are clutching Spider-Man dolls, sporting Spider-Man costumes, Spider-Man pins and hats and facemasks, adults are waving Spider-Man flags and banners.


Opinion

Seeing is Distracting
Focus. Keep your eyes on the textbook. Keep your eyes on the scribbles of notes. Keep your eyes on the laptop screen (ideally displaying the current draft of your paper and not a nefarious Web site that was clearly created with the intention of diverting that focus).

White Space