Dispatches From The Edge: Of North Korea; Lebanon’s Vote; Irish Shame

By Conn Hallinan
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 09:55:00 AM

Most Americans think of North Korea as a nation of belligerent crazy people with a political succession system more akin to the 15th century than the 21st. Indeed, it is a repressive place, with a bizarre personality cult, but the United States, Japan, and South Korea share much of the blame for the current crisis over nuclear weapons and long-range missiles. -more-

Undercurrents: Finding Other Lines of Discussion About East Bay Crime

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 09:57:00 AM

One of the iconic call-and-response chants of the hip-hop world comes when a rapper shouts out to the audience, “Somebody make some noise!” It’s a phrase often overlooked by both the hip-hop youth themselves and any adult observers who might come across such an event while flipping channels, but it has a deep and profound meaning. Almost every human born to this world wants to be noticed, wants to make some noise. In many cases, that is all they ask of society and the people around them. And when they cannot get recognition for their place in the world in the accepted ways, they find other—less acceptable—means to make the point. -more-

Wild Neighbors: Force of Nature: How Beavers Build the World

By Joe Eaton
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 09:58:00 AM
 One of several dams built by the beaver family in residence in Martinez.

Although you may not think of beavers as Bay Area wildlife, they’re common along the Contra Costa shoreline and even more abundant in the Delta, a major source for the 19th-century fur trade. The beaver family that moved into lower Alhambra Creek in Martinez three years ago is still going strong. The founding pair had their third litter of kits this year, around the time the surviving 2-year-olds struck out on their own. The yearlings are helping care for the new arrivals. -more-

About the House: Avoiding Floods with Hoses, Pans, Sensors and Pressure

By Matt Cantor
Thursday July 02, 2009 - 10:11:00 AM

Your washing machine is following you. OK, so I’m being a bit dramatic but it’s true. Your washing machine is trying to get into your bedroom. -more-