Blogbeat: Are Student Gene Tests Science or Market Research?

By Thomas Lord
Monday August 09, 2010 - 05:53:00 PM

This week’s theme: UC Berkeley asked incoming freshmen to volunteer for genetic tests this year. The program was met with accusations that it is bad science. Some have also charged that the program is the corrupt product of commercial and personal conflicts of interest. We examine the arguments for these accusations by examining source materials found on the Internet. -more-

Dispatches From The Edge: Behind The Colombia/Venezuela Tension

By Conn Hallinan
Monday August 09, 2010 - 06:06:00 PM

If you want to understand what’s behind the recent tension between Colombia and Venezuela, think “smokescreen,” and then go back several months to some sick children in the Department of Meta, just south of Bogota. The children fell ill after drinking from a local stream, a stream contaminated by the bodies of more than 2,000 people, secretly buried by the Colombian military. -more-

The Public Eye: Obama’s Failure to Communicate

By Bob Burnett
Friday August 06, 2010 - 04:29:00 PM

Three months before the mid-term elections, Americans are angry. As a result, it’s likely that Democrats will lose control of either the House or Senate. While the negative political trends can be attributed to the stagnant economy or ruthless Republican negativism, the primary culprit is the White House: Barack Obama has failed to communicate the accomplishments of his Administration. -more-

Odd Couples: The Salamander and the Alga

Joe Eaton
Monday August 09, 2010 - 11:46:00 PM
A double handful of spotted salamander.

This is not a Bay Area story, at least not yet. But I couldn’t resist writing about one of the coolest pieces of research I’m read about in a very long time. -more-

Senior Power: Women and Aging

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Monday August 09, 2010 - 09:56:00 PM

Age discrimination is a real and growing problem. ... Age discrimination attacks a person’s sense of self-worth in much the same fashion as race or sex discrimination.” (August 3, 1998 letter) --Dion Louise Aroner ( 1944 - ) -more-

Restoration Comedy: Perhaps They Should Change the Name To HAMPer

By Jane Powell
Tuesday August 10, 2010 - 10:43:00 AM

After my trip to Washington DC, and the promise that there might be a reply from Fannie Mae regarding my loan modification in as little as a week, what have I heard? Nothing. Well, not entirely nothing. A letter arrived from GMAC requesting letters from all my tenants detailing how much they pay me and how often. I guess the signed rental agreements that contain this exact same information were not sufficient. So they all wrote the letters, and I faxed them to every fax number I had- the one in the letter, the one I had for the representative I talked to in DC, as well as to NACA. No doubt they will have claimed to have never received them. Probably I should FEDEX them so someone will actually have to sign. Not that they wouldn’t “lose” them after that. -more-

Berkeley's Historic Thorsen House, Now A Fraternity, Open To View on Saturday

By Steven Finacom
Monday August 09, 2010 - 10:55:00 PM
The Thorsen House main façade faces Piedmont Avenue.

Though far apart geographically, Berkeley and Pasadena have some interesting commonalities. Both are home to gigantic early 20th century football stadiums where UC teams play, both have a long history of distinguished community theater, and are known for the quality of their residential neighborhoods. -more-