Dispatches From the Edge: Afghanistan: The Good War?

By Conn Hallinan
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:59:00 AM

Every war has a story line: World War I was “The war to end all wars.” World Ear II was “The war to defeat fascism.” -more-

Undercurrents: Chronicle Freezes Out Brooks, While Columnist Switches Gears

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 09:01:00 AM

From time to time, people ask me why I periodically highlight Oakland Councilmember Desley Brooks’ summertime constituent entertainment events, but rarely, if ever, do the same for other local officeholders. It seems to me that the reasons ought to be obvious, given recent history and the current social situation in East Oakland. But perhaps I need to go over it again. -more-

Wild Neighbors: Tools of the Trade: A Brief History of Fangs

By Joe Eaton
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 09:12:00 AM
A juvenile northern Pacific rattlesnake, the only dangerously venomous snake native to the Bay Area.

A while back I wrote about research by University of Melbourne biologist Brian Fry demonstrating that many lizard species, from the cuddly bearded dragon to the not-at-all cuddly Komodo dragon, were venomous. The orthodoxy used to be that there were only two venomous lizard species, the Gila monster and the beaded lizard. Now there were dozens, at least. Venom glands seem to be a shared characteristic of most lizard lineages. It may help to remember that snakes, among which venom is common, are basically just highly specialized lizards. -more-

About the House: Home Inspection Confidential

By Matt Cantor
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 09:11:00 AM

Everyone has something particularly annoying about their job. I’m sure yours has at least one (I can see the heads nodding). OK, it’s more than one. Me, too. I’ve got a few and one of these serenity-busters that bugs me the most is being asked which building code justifies an item that I’ve called out during an inspection. -more-