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Issue #2097 :: Thursday, July 3, 2008

Issue #2097 Cover

Top Headlines

Three Tree-Sitters Remain in Oak Grove
As the bright lights set up to keep watch on the seven remaining tree-sitters in the oak grove shone and the power generators churned late Tuesday night, 19-year-old Drew Beres descended from the grove, the first of four tree-sitters to do so in the following 15 hours.

Corpse Flower Comes to Life
It's not every day that UC Berkeley botanists get excited about a flower emitting the stench of rotting flesh.

Super Drunk
Don't drink and drive. With near indestructible bodies capable of reaching speeds well over a 100 miles an hour, cars driven by inebriated drivers claimed 13,470 lives in 2006 alone. What if rather than our cars, our very persons were near indestructible, capable of reaching speeds well over a 100 miles an hour? Could you quit the bottle for keeps? Hancock can't. Won't. Doesn't give a damn to. His body isn't near indestructible, it is indestructible. And he's strong enough to carry an SUV one-handed. While flying. Drunk.

Soil Holds Key to Past Life of Mars
For some UC Berkeley scientists, looking at soil from Mars is like looking at a key to the planet's climate history.

News

College Board Makes Change to SAT Score Reporting Policy
High school students submitting college applications will soon be able to show only their best SAT scores to the schools they are applying to, following a policy change by the College Board.

Three Tree-Sitters Remain in Oak Grove
As the bright lights set up to keep watch on the seven remaining tree-sitters in the oak grove shone and the power generators churned late Tuesday night, 19-year-old Drew Beres descended from the grove, the first of four tree-sitters to do so in the following 15 hours.

Corpse Flower Comes to Life
It's not every day that UC Berkeley botanists get excited about a flower emitting the stench of rotting flesh.

Laws Restrict Drivers' Cell Phone Use
California motorists have had to put down their cell phones since Tuesday after a pair of state laws prohibiting handheld cell phone use while driving came into effect.

Global Travel Company Closes Branches in Berkeley, Country
A worldwide travel company with two Berkeley branches shut the doors of nearly 50 locations across the country last week.

Soil Holds Key to Past Life of Mars
For some UC Berkeley scientists, looking at soil from Mars is like looking at a key to the planet's climate history.

Study Ranks Berkeley Second 'Greenest' City in California
A recent study by researchers at UCLA has affirmed Berkeley's reputation as being one of the country's most environmentally conscious cities.

Scientist Ushered in New Biology Field
Renowned molecular biologist and UC Berkeley professor emeritus Gunther Stent died of pneumonia near his Pennsylvania home on June 12. He was 84.

Interim Vice Chancellor Takes On Post, Duties Officially
After working with college students for much of his life, Harry Le Grande officially assumed the position of vice chancellor of student affairs on June 1.


Arts & Entertainment

Super Drunk
Don't drink and drive. With near indestructible bodies capable of reaching speeds well over a 100 miles an hour, cars driven by inebriated drivers claimed 13,470 lives in 2006 alone. What if rather than our cars, our very persons were near indestructible, capable of reaching speeds well over a 100 miles an hour? Could you quit the bottle for keeps? Hancock can't. Won't. Doesn't give a damn to. His body isn't near indestructible, it is indestructible. And he's strong enough to carry an SUV one-handed. While flying. Drunk.

Vibrant Show Carries Strong Message for LGBT Community Gallery
To say that the True Colors Tour 2008 was high-energy would be a terrific understatement. The performance at the Greek Theatre on Sunday was, in fact, relentless-over four hours of music and comedy that miraculously kept the audience on their feet, all while delivering an essential message.

International Food Festival Celebrates Diversity
For students who are contented with the proximity of the Asian Ghetto and the hodgepodge of restaurants along Telegraph, there's little reason to take the 51 down to San Pablo Ave. unless you're looking to procure ingredients for an authentic curry-and even then, the convenience of Naan 'n' Curry is motivation enough to avoid the trek. Factor in North Side's well-known Gourmet Ghetto-home to such institutions as the illustrious Chez Panisse-and it's no wonder the culinary wealth of West Berkeley is easily missed.

Though Fun, Musical Misses the Mark
It sounds strange to say, given the musical's content, but the SF Playhouse's current production of "Cabaret" is actually too light.

Thumb Wars: A weekly forum for pop culture quarrels.
Almost nothing could convince me to return to my adolescence of unrequited crushes, chronic shyness and deeply unfortunate haircuts. But a new breed of film-dubbed the "quirky indie comedy"-makes a convincing case for this funny, bittersweet thing called youth.

Things of Import
This Friday, all of us will be reminded "what it means to be American." Now, for me (and I think a lot of other Americans), this rhetoric initially seems kind of absurd. It implies that there is a certain set of traits that make up an entire cultural identity, that these traits are knowable, and that they are somehow connected to festive touchstones like "The 1812 Overture," a piece the Boston Pops plays every Fourth of July.

Album Reviews
Los Lonely Boys may not recognize it, but it's hard to create inspirational roots rock. Even though the band has made a musical niche for themselves by mixing the genre with Tejano, their style of "Texican Rock 'n' Roll" is just as susceptible to the problems of other roots rock, especially the danger of becoming repetitive and lacking of creativity. The band avoided many of these pitfalls on their decent 2004 eponymous album, but with their latest Forgiven, the trio has created an uninspired, emotionless work that cannot even manage to redeem itself in its 38-minute running time.

Album Reviews
With a premise as laughable as getting "more aggressive," G-Unit was set up for failure before production on T.O.S.: Terminate on Sight began. Add to that more drama than your average middle school lunch table, and things start to look ugly.

Fresh Rhymes Tour Captures Thrill of Hip-Hop Monarchy
Hip-hop has its kingdoms. The commercial, with Kanye and Lil' Wayne contending for its crown, adorns its royalty with just that: royalties, paid first for albums (God forbid you illegally download a commercial label's album) and again later, an arm and leg's tribute at arena concerts where numberless fellow supplicants stomp and scream at shadows of dance routines and lip-synced vocals-coins thrown by indifferent artists in passing, the lightshow grandeur of the production lends a hollow fool's-gold luster to glitterati court charades. Other kingdoms, with rulers loyal to the land and their listeners: New York Renaissance, Southern Crunk, Bay Area Hyphy-rising to national prominence at times, fading into obscurity at times, never voicing the senseless vapid vocality of higher nobles incestuously bred to mindlessness (lord knows how many Kanye, Timbaland, Whoever collabs are out there), these are philosopher kings, securing sovereignty with lyrical scepter and sword. Thursday night, the champions of West Coast underground hip-hop, Dilated Peoples, presided over a court concert rife with royal blood from the princely poetics of the Alchemist and Acetylone, to the jesterly antics of 88 keys; the Dukes of Bay Area independent hip-hop Odio, Tajai (Hieroglyphics), and Mistah Fab looking down from the balcony left of stage.

Queer Take on Classic Fairy Tale Lacks Magical Production
A good musical leaves you with melodic and catchy tunes dancing around in your brain and a sudden fascination of the musicality in the world around you. "Oh My Godmother!" couldn't even pull off real choreography in its own production. The musical felt recycled, too caricatured even for a fairy tale, despite some heartfelt performances from its male performers.

Album Review
Three years since after their last studio release, Crimson, Alkaline Trio is back at it again with Agony and Irony.


Opinion

Happy Fourth of July
Two ordinary, everyday Americans, Steve and Mike, engage in a casual conversation.

White Space