The Public Eye: Swimming From Alcatraz

By Bob Burnett
Monday May 02, 2011 - 04:03:00 PM

To celebrate turning 70, I swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco. Splashing one and half miles through icy water gave me time to reflect on six similarities between my trek, life in general, and US politics. -more-

Wild Neighbors: Smarter than the Average Bird?

By Joe Eaton
Tuesday May 03, 2011 - 08:33:00 PM
Fledgling American crow (left) pestering mother.

Is intelligence a factor in how well birds adapt to urban environments? A recent study by a team of European biologists addressed that question, in a way, although the results are less interesting than the media coverage might suggest. -more-

Senior Power: DNR

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Tuesday May 03, 2011 - 08:39:00 PM

DNR can stand for a lot of things-- Department of Natural Resources, a House M.D. TV episode, Daily News Record, digital noise reduction… . Better familiarize yourself with its senior power significance:DO NOT RESUSCITATE. -more-

On Mental Illness: Employment Revisited

By Jack Bragen
Tuesday May 03, 2011 - 09:03:00 PM

Having a job, as I have said in past columns, is a source of self-esteem for people in general, and more so for persons with mental illness. It is an indication of competence, one of survival skill, and it is an indication that a person has for the time being mastered the disability aspect of their mental health issues. A person can program as many thoughts of self worth into oneself as possible, it does not replace the sensation of taking a paycheck to the bank. Before I met my wife, I dabbled in responding to personal ads. It turned out that, in the world of singles, being disabled and unemployed was a deal-breaker. Without employment, I never got past the stage of talking to someone on the phone. -more-

Pepper Spray Times

Grace Underpressure
Tuesday May 03, 2011 - 09:49:00 PM

Editor's Note: The latest issue of the Pepper Spray Times is now available. -more-

First Person: A Trip to Hanford

By Dorothy Snodgrass
Tuesday May 03, 2011 - 09:13:00 PM

Never let it be said that the Oakland Museum lacks imagination when planning trips for the year. Case in point: last week's delightful tour, "Hanford: San Joaquin's Prettiest and Best Preserved Downtown." Credit for the success of these programs rightfully goes to Helen Tryon, who for the past several decades has come up with innovative one-day, two-day, or longer trips, such as the recent "Return to Death Valley" and the "Hudson Valley" tour. -more-

Thoughts on the Beatification of Pope John Paul II

By Ralph E. Stone
Wednesday May 04, 2011 - 07:25:00 AM

Author's note: Some caveats before I begin. I am not a Roman Catholic and I am very skeptical of the whole concept of sainthood, the miracles in support thereof, and papal infallibility. -more-