Column: The Public Eye: The Great Debate of 2008

By Bob Burnett
Tuesday March 04, 2008

So far there have been many surprises in the contest for the 2008 presidential nomination. Six months ago, it appeared the probable candidates would be Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton; now it seems they will be John McCain and Barack Obama. Last year it appeared the leading issue would be the war in Iraq; now it’s likely the great debate will be about the economy. -more-

Green Neighbors: Pretty Good Tree with a Pretty Dumb Name

By Ron Sullivan
Tuesday March 04, 2008
Casaurina in Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Park, by Arrowhead Marsh, Oakland.

Trust the Aussies (“…from the Land Down Under/Where the women something and the men something-else-that-rhymes with ‘under’—maybe ‘blunder’?—but definitely not whatever the women do”) to get all weird about gender issues in the unlikeliest places. They’re blessed with several species of casuarina, a useful and engagingly weird clade of trees, and what do they call them? “She-oak.” And what do they mean by that? Why, “like oak but inferior.” -more-

Column: Dispatches From the Edge: Notes from the Southern Cone

By Conn Hallinan
Friday February 29, 2008

Getting it right is what the government of Brazilian Lula da Silva seems to be doing these days. The country’s National Survey of Sample Households has just pulled together the results of his government’s economic policies, which indicate that women and the poor are doing considerably better than they did under previous governments. -more-

Column: Undercurrents: The Oakland Police Department’s Mixed Message

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday February 29, 2008

In one of the more hilarious scenes from Tim Burton’s 1996 parody film Mars Attacks, a group of invading Martians send a decidedly mixed message on an American street, broadcasting a recorded message shouting, “Don’t run; we are your friends” while simultaneously disintegrating with ray-gun blasts all humans within range. -more-

About the House: What to Look For When Looking Under the House

By Matt Cantor
Friday February 29, 2008

I spend a lot of time under houses. This isn't glamorous but it's what I have to do in order to do my job. Actually I don't mind it much. -more-