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Issue #2191 :: Monday, December 8, 2008

Issue #2191 Cover

Top Headlines

Many Have Trouble Attending Convocation Gallery
As UC Berkeley December 2008 graduates got ready to walk across the stage at Sunday's convocation ceremony, dozens of their friends and family members stood in line outside Zellerbach Hall, unable to get a seat.

Stadium to Get Funds Via Sale of Prime Seats
In an effort to contribute funds to the rebuilding of Memorial Stadium, the campus is launching a new program that will allow donors to buy premium lifetime stadium seats.

HUSKIES PROVE NO MATCH FOR BEST IN SHOW Gallery
Needing 171 yards to overtake Oregon State's Jacquizz Rodgers for the Pac-10 rushing title, Cal tailback Jahvid Best nearly doubled that mark, running for 311 and four scores in leading the Bears to a 48-7 win over Washington on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Economic Crisis Takes Toll On Students' Time, Finances
Roky Truong doesn't sleep much. Working 50 hours a week on top of a 17-unit course load doesn't leave a lot of time for shuteye. But Truong, a sophomore at UC Berkeley, needs to cash in on all the waking hours he can, since the recent financial crisis has crippled his family's business and left them struggling to make ends meet.

News

Many Have Trouble Attending Convocation Gallery
As UC Berkeley December 2008 graduates got ready to walk across the stage at Sunday's convocation ceremony, dozens of their friends and family members stood in line outside Zellerbach Hall, unable to get a seat.

Stadium to Get Funds Via Sale of Prime Seats
In an effort to contribute funds to the rebuilding of Memorial Stadium, the campus is launching a new program that will allow donors to buy premium lifetime stadium seats.

Economic Crisis Takes Toll On Students' Time, Finances
Roky Truong doesn't sleep much. Working 50 hours a week on top of a 17-unit course load doesn't leave a lot of time for shuteye. But Truong, a sophomore at UC Berkeley, needs to cash in on all the waking hours he can, since the recent financial crisis has crippled his family's business and left them struggling to make ends meet.

Pathogen Outbreak Plagues Tilden Oak Trees
Tilden Regional Park, known for its natural beauty, is home to a deadly pathogen that is attacking many of the park's oak trees.

Local Groups Sue State Over Legal Database Access Denial
Two Bay Area non-profit organizations-one based in Berkeley-filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the state's Office of Legislative Counsel, seeking access to an electronic database containing information on bills and legislative votes dating back to 2003.

Local Researcher Honored for Life of Activism
Prominent UC Berkeley alumna Arlene Blum was awarded the Purpose Prize Friday by a non-profit group for her lifelong efforts to ban toxins used in household products.


Sports

Were You Fan Enough? Gallery
It's averaged over 61,000 fans per game this season and seen the Cal football team go undefeated within its walls.

HUSKIES PROVE NO MATCH FOR BEST IN SHOW Gallery
Needing 171 yards to overtake Oregon State's Jacquizz Rodgers for the Pac-10 rushing title, Cal tailback Jahvid Best nearly doubled that mark, running for 311 and four scores in leading the Bears to a 48-7 win over Washington on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Bears Living With Great Expectations
When Alex Stroud caught a seven-yard pass from Brock Mansion to give the Cal football team a first down in the fourth quarter on Saturday, it was meaningful for a couple reasons.

Best, Longshore Seize Opportunities to Make History
With only 33 seconds left in the second quarter and the ball at its own 11-yard line, Cal decided to make history.

Bears Drop Aggies in Four, Move Into Round of 16 Gallery
On Saturday evening, the No. 8 Cal volleyball team closed out its role as host of the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament with a second-round victory over New Mexico State, advancing to the round of 16.

Horned Frogs Deal Cal Its First Loss of the Year
With 5:30 left in the first half, the No. 3 Cal women's basketball team had finally managed to knot up its highly contested battle with No. 22 TCU after a three-pointer from Lauren Grief.

Early Barrage From Missouri Leads to Blowout of Bears
The Cal men's basketball team trailed Missouri 9-8 just a few minutes into the game, suggesting a narrow affair on the horizon.

Bears Win Husky Invitational as Adrian Nearly Sets American Record
For all intents and purposes, this weekend's Husky Invitational served as a de facto measuring stick for the No. 4 Cal men's swimming team (2-0, 1-0 Pac-10).

Impressive Individual Times Overshadowed by Dominance of Bulldogs
The Cal women's swimming team came up short at the Georgia Fall Invitational as the host Bulldogs, also the No. 1 ranked squad in the country, took first with 1,459.5 points in a field of six teams.


Arts & Entertainment

Strangers in the Night
Would it be too much to expect chills from watching your first performance of "The Phantom of the Opera"? After all, there's a lot of long-standing socially-constructed gravitas swirling around this theatrical work. A masked, angry dude pining after a beautiful soprano? A chandelier with a mind of its own? Sequins (in general)? "Phantom" is the complete entertainment package, or so they say. "All I Ask of You" is a pop culture staple, transcending stage origins and popping up as a cell phone ringtone. Yet while the latest San Francisco installment of this timeless story, performed by the Cameron Mackintosh/Really Useful Theatre Company, Inc. at the Orpheum Theatre, brought the occasional shiver, those consistent chills were nowhere to be found.

Boxcar Theatre Ignites Albee's Twisted, Dark 'American Dream' Gallery
No one likes to sit in a living room with a dysfunctional family as its members argue about each other's genitalia. Especially not during the holiday season. Unless, of course, it's an Edward Albee play, in which case people will pay $15-$25 to do just that. In an example of a theater company going above and beyond in the endless quest to be innovative, Boxcar Theatre is staging a production of Albee's "The American Dream" in private living rooms across the Bay Area. This isn't the first time Boxcar has taken theater to strange places; they once did a play on a moving bus as it drove around the city. The combination of Boxcar's experimental mantra and Albee's wit yields a gutsy performance that is, like so much of the theater in San Francisco, a little bit different.

'The Berkeley Pit' Embodies Spirit of 1960s
The Berkeley Pit is a 30 billion gallon soup of corrosive acids and toxic mine runoff. By the end of "The Berkeley Pit," the latest effort by veteran author and Berkeley resident Dorothy Bryant, the pit for which the book is named has been discovered to harbor a virulent new bacteria. A bacterial duke-out ensues: good germs eat bad germs, rendering the water harmless, even drinkable. It's a metaphor for hope, see?

Apart from Certain Stellar Performances, 'Cadillac Records' Is Just Another Mediocre Biopic
Well, Cadillac must love all this publicity. Their mother company, General Motors, is practically bankrupt, but product placement has a funny way of popping up in the direst of times. Plus, it was time for a musical biopic anyway. It's been awhile since we've revisited yet another drugged-out musician/control-freak manager relationship on screen.

Album Reviews
While it's impossible to discuss Britney Spears' latest release without including mention of her tumultuous personal life, few things remain unsaid between gossip blogs and tabloid rags. After a well-publicized trip to the hospital, the future of her career seemed uncertain. However, she's returned with a new album, and if 2007's Blackout defined "rock-bottom," Circus screams "comeback."

White Space