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With the Bay Bridge not inspiring confidence, what better time to seek out weekend fun a little closer to home. Look no further than Oakland to find two free events celebrating fall harvests and traditions.
For a celebration of Dia De Los Muertos — the largest in the Bay Area — head to International Boulevard in Fruitvale on Sunday, November 1, between 10 am and 5 pm. There will be music, artist and community alters on display, arts and crafts vendors, children’s activities, and of course food!
Also on Sunday, November 1, from 11 am to 3 pm City Slickers Farm is hosting a groundbreaking ceremony for its newest West Oakland farm. This Community Market Farm, located in Fitzgerald and Union Plaza Parks at 34th and Peralata, will have fruit trees, raised beds, chickens, a farm stand, and workshops. Stop by to lend a hand building raised beds, enjoy music from local artists, and learn more about the farm and the potential for urban agriculture in Oakland from farmers, area residents, and city representatives.
(While this final offering is neither free nor in Oakland, it is 50% off and sounds like it could be just the right mix of fun and frightening. What is it? A $12 San Francisco Chinatown Ghost Tour. If this is exactly the eery Halloween activity you’ve been waiting for, you can buy your discounted tickets on Groupon.)
When: Thursday, October 29, from 6 pm to 9 pm.
Where: Pauley Ballroom, MLK Building.
Who: Grad students with grad student ID and proof of age. Non-Berkeley graduate students are welcome as guests. Entry is $5 and includes 1 hot dog (or veggie option) and beer (with free refills). Bring your own cup and save $1.
This month the Graduate Women’s Project (GWP) has put on three great events: a study hall, a workshop on self defense, and a workshop on sexual communication. GWP events are fun and informative, often have free food, and create a comfortable space for graduate student women. If you’re interested in joining in, keep an eye out for GWP events coming up in November and December. A workshop on yoga and meditation, a dinner with the Women of Color Initiative, an afternoon of rest and relaxation, and more study halls are all in the works.
Twenty years ago this month, the Bay Area shook. In 15 seconds the 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake toppled buildings, collapsed freeways and a segment of the Bay Bridge, caused devastating fires in San Francisco’s Marina District, and killed 67 people.
Despite the damage, the 1989 earthquake was much less intense than the 1906 earthquake that struck San Francisco. And chances are good, 63% according to the most recent predictions, that an earthquake of equal or greater magnitude will occur along a Bay Area fault within the next 30 years.
What: A workshop on the basics of self defense taught by Som Pourfarzaneh of the YWCA and sponsored by the Graduate Women’s Project. Please wear loose clothing and no hand jewelry.
When: Friday, October 16, from noon to 1 pm.
Where: Stephen’s Hall on the 3rd floor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union.
Have you ever wondered what it meant to “do like a toaster put your bread down,” or what Bone Thugs-n-Harmony is even saying half the time? Have you then questioned why a serious scholar such as yourself would waste time Googling hip-hop lyrics instead of reviewing your conference notes? A visit to RapGenius.com might just convince you that it’s okay to pursue a love of gangsta rap along with an advanced degree at a prestigious institution. In fact, the two interests may even go together like models and bottles.
Don’t tell Harold Bloom, but the lyrical feats of rappers like Raekwon have proven eminently worthy of literary analysis. A successful career in hip-hop requires more than an affinity for girls, cash, and cars. Rappers must employ a sharp wit, an acute sense of rhythm, and a highly developed allusive structure. Lil Wayne’s enigmatic “Who dat one dat do dat boy?” has left many a listener rhythmically entranced but utterly unsure of the question, much less the answer. And Cam’ron’s “But la de da de / We like to party” sounds achingly familiar…but is that elusive allusion just an illusion? Read the rest of this entry »
”We have an announcement … This is now our library,” said UC Berkeley senior Andi Walden to more than one hundred students, as well as a few professors and staff members, who gathered at the anthropology library in Kroeber Hall on Friday, October 9th, shortly before the usual 5 pm closure time. During the next 24 hours, they would study for their midterms, participate in various ”teach-ins”, and even sleep over in the reclaimed space.
The principle of this action, organized in less than a week by an informal student group, was to respond to the University’s decision to close nearly all campus libraries on Saturdays. The library closures are the ”undeniable symptom of a dying university,” Walden said, reminding the attendees of the other impacts of this year’s budget cuts, including the unprecedented 32% tuition fee hike and the pay cuts imposed on UC workers across the board, even those already living under the poverty line.
While various actions were discussed to follow up on the September 24th walkout against budget cuts, organizers of the “study-in” mentioned the importance of direct actions that create change by themselves — in this case, keeping a library open that should have been closed — in addition to putting pressure on legislators and administrators. For Daniel Nemser, a graduate student in Spanish and Portuguese and one of the organizers of the event, the goal was ”not only to demonstrate the problems” caused by the budget cuts, ”but also establish a place for public dialogue.” Some speakers pointed out that at a deeper level, keeping the library open was a symbol of the need for more openness (i.e., transparency and accessibility) on the public campus.
Some of the lively discussions that took place in one half of the library – the other was reserved for quiet studying – covered such topics as non-violent resistance, the history of public education since the New Deal, and power and privilege within the student movement. On Saturday afternoon, Professor Bob Meister from UC Santa Cruz delivered a much-anticipated talk on his analysis of the UC budget and how tuition fee increases were used by the University of California to receive cheap credit for its building projects.
In the end, with the volunteer participation of dedicated library staff, students were able to remain in the space for the entire 24-hour period. That the University police were ordered not to intervene by the Chancellor, and remained outside the library as the result of negotiation with the organizers was also seen as a success, according to Nemser.
Monday was an exciting day for UC Berkeley as it was revealed that Professor Oliver Williamson had been awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. He shares the prize with Professor Elinor Ostrom of Indiana University, the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize in economics.