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Thursday, May 24, 2007
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Issue #1611 :: Thursday, May 24, 2007

Top Headlines

Shotgun Players Offer a Winning Take on Mamet’s Dense ‘Cryptogram’
The thing about life is that we are all completely alone within ourselves. It’s true. And that knowledge creates self-interest and alienation, which makes genuine human connection pretty tough—maybe impossible, depending on your mood.

City Axes Staff of Beleaguered Housing Body
Twenty-two city employees were dismissed from the Berkeley Housing Authority Tuesday night after the City Council was presented with reports detailing a number of violations uncovered within the agency.

You Can’t Drive—Dot-Com
Everyone thinks they’re a good driver. Especially the bad drivers.

Latest BAM Showcase Features Graduate Work
The Berkeley Art Museum’s 37th annual UC Berkeley MFA graduate exhibition is entitled “fer·ma·ta,” the musical term for a pause of unspecified length. It's a fitting title for the seven artists on show—a group who, collectively, seem to prefer the carefully considered exploration of their ideas to radical innovation.

News

Feature Photo


Lawrence Lab Scientists Secure Grant for Genetic Research on Fruit Flies
Two researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory were selected last week to collaborate on a national project aimed at determining gene expression factors in humans.

Research Partnership to Seek Clean Solutions to China’s Energy Demand
The China Energy Group at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory partnered with The Dow Chemical Company and China’s Energy Research Institute earlier this month to find ways of improving energy efficiency in China’s industrial sector.

Chemist Takes Field’s Top Prize for Lifetime Achievement
Chemistry professor William H. Miller was recognized in a ceremony on Tuesday for receiving the Welch Award in Chemistry.

Community Rallies in Support of ‘Sanctuary City’ Designation
Nearly 50 residents lined the steps of city hall on Tuesday night just minutes before a City Council meeting in a rally to ask that Berkeley reaffirm its status as a sanctuary city.

City Axes Staff of Beleaguered Housing Body
Twenty-two city employees were dismissed from the Berkeley Housing Authority Tuesday night after the City Council was presented with reports detailing a number of violations uncovered within the agency.

After Long Fight, Union, UC Settle On Wage Increase
After a year and a half of demonstrations, union officials reached an agreement with UC officials Tuesday increasing wages for thousands of custodians and other workers in the UC system.

Officials Aim To ‘Balance’ Calendar
Campus officials are proposing a calendar change for the 2008-11 academic years to accommodate summer sessions and balance instruction days for the fall and spring semesters.

Health Report Shows Racial Disparities
A health report submitted to the City Council Tuesday highlights many social and racial inequities and the impact they have on health, despite general improvements in areas such as the longevity of Berkeley residents.

City Spotlights Resources for Homeless Youth
The third Youth Connect resource fair held for the young homeless in Berkeley Monday provided a prime example of outreach from a city many said is more welcoming than other places in which they have found themselves without a roof over their heads.

Mayor’s Homelessness Plan Stalls as Council Delays Vote
A decision on the mayor’s initiative geared at regulating behavior on Berkeley’s streets was postponed after members of the City Council left in the middle of voting, leading to the adjournment of Tuesday night’s meeting.

City Will File Appeal Over Police Review Commission
Disagreeing with a recent court decision banning the public operation of the Police Review Commission, the city has decided to appeal the Alameda county court’s ruling in favor of the Berkeley Police Association.

Research & Ideas
Breakthrough Could Help Mothers With HIV

Several researchers, including two UC Berkeley scientists, released a study earlier this week that says flash-heating breast milk containing HIV can successfully kill the virus.

University Debuts Online Research Ethics Course
A number of campus researchers received an e-mail yesterday announcing the beginning of an online course designed to educate them about conflicts of interest that can arise in research.

Local School Garden Program Heats Up With Oven Additions
The all-organic, student-operated garden at Willard Middle School has been revolutionary since its inception, but now it has something new cooking.

News in Brief
Hearing Set for Appeal Against Downtown Project


Correction

On the Clog
Getting Down and Dirty


Arts & Entertainment

Shotgun Players Offer a Winning Take on Mamet’s Dense ‘Cryptogram’
The thing about life is that we are all completely alone within ourselves. It’s true. And that knowledge creates self-interest and alienation, which makes genuine human connection pretty tough—maybe impossible, depending on your mood.

Latest BAM Showcase Features Graduate Work
The Berkeley Art Museum’s 37th annual UC Berkeley MFA graduate exhibition is entitled “fer·ma·ta,” the musical term for a pause of unspecified length. It's a fitting title for the seven artists on show—a group who, collectively, seem to prefer the carefully considered exploration of their ideas to radical innovation.

El-P Brings ‘Dystopia’ Into the Present For Bloody, Sweaty San Francisco Show
Before El-P came onstage it just was the bassist, the keyboardist and the DJ Mr. Dibbs, all of them wearing ragged army camo. The bassist’s dreadlocks trailed from under a ski mask. The DJ’s bandana covered his mouth and nose. His skull was bald and green in the light. A gash across his temple trailed blood. Was it shrapnel that did it? A spray of bullets? The others too were cut and bleeding, with dry brown stains down the fronts of their uniforms. When El-P did join, his left ear was crushed and his eyebrow gushed red. As they began with a cover of “Mad World” by Tears for Fears it became clear: we were looking at the worn out faces of dead American soldiers.

Bjork Gives Old Favorites a New Twist at Shoreline Concert
It’s like something out of the kind of concert you would only see in the movies: Bjork, after spending much of her Saturday night performance at Shoreline Amphitheatre projecting her voice as if she were singing to the sliver moon and the one visible star hanging in the sky, steps out to the edge of the stage. “I love him, I love him,” she quietly sings over and over during “Pagan Poetry” from 2001’s Vespertine. It’s a nakedly honest moment on record, amplified to deeper effect in front of an audience of thousands. The audience responds accordingly: A hand from the crowd appears and locks onto her fingers; instead of pulling away, she reciprocates the gesture. Moments later, more hands reach out and make the connection. Bjork falls silent and wide-eyed as the music fades, sustaining the moment until the brass section echoes back with a chorus of “she loves him.”

CD Reviews
The National offers such mellow and often sad sounds that it can make the band easier to gloss over than it deserve. Theirs is unostentatious music, the kind of rock that doesn’t often make a big fuss. At the same time, it carries an emotional weight, drawing more power from a flexed finger than many bands do from heaps of loud, arm-flexing fanfare.

The To-Do List
Arcade Fire


Opinion

You Can’t Drive—Dot-Com
Everyone thinks they’re a good driver. Especially the bad drivers.

White Space