The Algebra of Occupation

By Conn Hallinan
Friday December 07, 2007

In 1805, the French Army out-maneuvered, outsmarted and out-fought the combined armies of Russia and Austria at Austerlitz. Three years later it would founder against a rag-tag collection of Spanish guerrillas. -more-

Moving Forward on Oakland’s Violent Crime Problem

Friday December 07, 2007

For some months there has been intense, local speculation asking “what is Dellums doing?” Which is a good thing, all things considered. We ought to be attentive to the people we place in public office, keeping their activities under a constant monitor. It’s how the gears and inner workings of democracy are greased. -more-

Historic Holiday Houses On View Around East Bay

By Steven Finacom
Friday December 07, 2007

Stately older houses can be at their best when festively decorated for the winter holidays. -more-

More Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Gardener

By Ron Sullivan
Friday December 07, 2007

You don’t need an official occasion, you know. If you know a gardener, go ahead and give her a gift just ‘cuz. Call it an Unbirthday Present; I do a certain amount of that with my rellies because after 58 years of living in it I still don’t track time very well. -more-

Our Mushy Landscape, Part Two

By Matt Cantor
Friday December 07, 2007

I was out with a young contractor at the home of a client he wanted me to talk with the other day. The homeowner had a wet basement and garage that never seemed to dry out. We walked around and I looked up the hill to find a line of extraordinarily healthy and prolific trees and shrubs marching to the crest of the hill. They ran in a line from north to south, roughly. “Creek”, I cried, “Well, maybe an aquifer.” -more-

Wild Neighbors: Junco Testosterone and Water Snake Bites

By Joe Eaton
Tuesday December 04, 2007

A couple of odds and ends: Robert Sapolsky, the Stanford neurobiologist, published a collection of his provocative essays a few years back as The Trouble with Testosterone. Where do you begin? Sapolsky was mostly interested in the hormone’s effect on the behavior of East African savannah baboons (see his A Primate’s Memoirs for tales of fieldwork) and on humans. But it’s not just a primate thing, or even a mammalian one. Birds have testosterone too, as do reptiles, amphibians, even fish: a common vertebrate heritage. -more-