Berkeley in the News Archive

The links to the stories summarized on this page are time sensitive, so stories might no longer be online at that URL. We also include links to the original source publication itself.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

1. THE podcast: University of California, Berkeley
Times Higher Educaton (UK)

Chancellor Nicholas Dirks and Scott Biddy, vice-chancellor for university relations, discusses his first year at Berkeley, California’s public university system, the forthcoming presidential election and more. They were interviewed by Chris Parr on June 13, 2014. Full Story

2. Climate change could burn agriculture economy
Minneapolis Star Tribune

A group of prominent business and political leaders, including former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have issued a report called "Risky Business" based on research co-authored by assistant public policy professor Solomon Hsiang. The report estimates the potential economic impact of global warming in different regions of the country and on major sectors of the economy if no changes are made, or if different levels of emission reductions occur. It concludes that two of the key issues – extreme heat and sea level rise – will disproportionately affect certain regions, and suggests that the most severe risks could be avoided through immediate action and investment in pollution reduction. Other stories on this topic appeared in dozens of sources, including the Huffington Post, GreenBiz, Mother Jones, Marketplace (link to audio). Full Story

3. Artist talks about his vision for civil rights piece
The Tennessean

Environmental design professor Walter Hood, owner of Hood Design Studio, discusses his plans to make "Witness Walls" for the Public Square in Nashville. The art installation will commemorate a critical moment of the civil rights movement, in 1960, when people marched to the courthouse to demand that Mayor Ben West declare segregation immoral. The sculpture will be placed in the march's path, and Professor Hood says: "It’s easy to erase these things, and commemoration is not just putting a plaque up. We’re hoping that as people walk through there, there will be this zeitgeist moment, there will be a moment where it’s sort of like, 'Hmm. I get it. I hear the ghosts. I feel the presence.'" Full Story

4. Shots Blog: Few Doctors Warn Expectant Mothers About Environmental Hazards
NPR Online

Robert Gunier, a data analyst and doctoral student at Berkeley's Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health, is quoted in a story about the need for more obstetricians to receive training about environmental hazards for pregnant women, so that they can help their patients minimize risks for their children. "Focusing on sources that originate in the home is really going to be the most effective way to help people reduce their exposure," he says, stressing the need for caution during a child's prenatal development. "For any chemical that we have looked at, the exposure during pregnancy has been associated with more negative health outcomes than exposure in children. ... This does appear to be a very vulnerable period." Full Story

5. Ikea to raise its average minimum hourly wage to $10.76
Los Angeles Times

Berkeley research is cited in an article about Ikea's announcement that it would raise its minimum wage in U.S. stores. So far this year, 38 states have considered minimum wage bills, and eight states and Washington, D.C., have pushed through new wage laws, the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment reports. And this week, the researchers questioned how much California's plan to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016 will help, since by then $10 will be the equivalent of $9.54 in today's dollars, or $8 by 2023. Full Story

6. Police ready to abide by court's cellphone ruling
San Francisco Chronicle

Law professor David Sklansky comments on the Supreme Court's ruling restricting police searches of cellphones. "It certainly is true that if the police are just allowed to rummage through the cellphone of any arrestee without a warrant they can find all kinds of things that might be helpful," he says. "The court recognizes that, but the court says that privacy is not costless. Sometimes honoring the Constitution means that law enforcement does not have advantages that it otherwise would have." Full Story

7. Oklahoma death row inmates sue over 'unsound' execution practices
Los Angeles Times

Megan McCracken, the Eighth Amendment Resource Counsel with the law school's Death Penalty Clinic, comments on a lawsuit filed by a group of 21 Oklahoma death row prisoners to prevent the state from using its "untested and unsound" execution procedures because “they create a substantial risk of severe pain, needless suffering and a lingering death.” She says: "In the aftermath of Clayton Lockett's horrifically bungled execution at the end of April, there are so many unanswered questions about whether Oklahoma can humanely carry out executions." Full Story

8. Chinese, yet more
China Daily

Associate psychology professor Qing Zhou, director of Berkeley's Culture and Family Laboratory, comments on the various ways Chinese immigrants adapt their cultural practices in new countries. She says that the degree to which they maintain Chinese practices or adopt new ones is influenced by various factors, such as a person's beliefs, language preference, media consumption habits, social network and daily lifestyle choices like food. Language also influences relationships between parents and their children, she adds. "Studies have shown that children's heritage language is a protective factor -- children who can speak fluent Chinese can communicate with their immigrant parents more easily and thus experience less conflict with their parents." Full Story

9. Berkeley Police seek info, suspect after sexual assault

A sexual assault occurred near Telegraph Avenue just south of campus on Sunday shortly after 2 a.m., and police are looking for the assailant. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Special Victims Unit at 510-981-5715, or its non-emergency number at 510-981-5900. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can reach Bay Area Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477). Full Story

10. New robot learns from plain speech, not computer code [Video]
Los Angeles Times

A robotics conference will take place at Berkeley on July 14, and among the presentations will be a robot that is learning to translate simple spoken instructions to cook a meal. Full Story

11. 'Color Shift': Berkeley museum assembles abstracts into show
San Francisco Chronicle (*requires registration)

"Color Shift," a group exhibition of abstract works, is running through August 24 at the Berkeley Art Museum. The exhibit was curated by Apsara DiQuinzio, who developed the conceptual framework as "something that's far-reaching and relevant to many different types of artists. It's a seemingly very simple concept, but in reality, it becomes quite complex when you look at how different artists look at and work with color." With pieces drawn mostly from the museum's permanent collection, highlights include a 1961 oil by Mark Rothko, a 1971 enamel over silkscreen grid by Jennifer Bartlett, and seldom-seen objects like a chromatic color-chart-like 1967 oil by Robert Swain and a 1970 acrylic on a shaped canvas by Harvey Quaytman. For more information, visit: Full Story

12. Bay Area repertory film picks, Jun 26-29
San Francisco Chronicle

A comedy series at the Pacific Film Archives, called "Rude Awakening: American Comedy 1990-2010," begins Friday, June 27, and runs through August 30. Among the highlights will be "Groundhog Day" (June 29), "The Big Lebowski" (July 16), "Office Space" (July 25), and "Zoolander" (August 23). "Galaxy Quest," a "Star Trek" spoof, will be screened on the 45th anniversary of the first moonwalk (July 20). For more information, visit: Full Story

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