Posts Tagged ‘Berkeley’

Poorly-Designed Octavia “Boulevard” Proves Too Much for Mercedes-Driving Mom – Plows into NIMBY Green

Monday, December 31st, 2012

To the right of this accident scene is Octavia Boulevard.

And to the left, a block away, is Octavia Street.

And in the middle, you’ll see NIMBY Green with a newish Mercedes Benz CLS sitting on top.

Via ciprofloxacin – click to expand

You see, Octavia used to be a regular old street until Redevelopment (a bad idea from the 20th century) and the failed Octavia “Boulevard” experiment (a bad idea from the 21st century) came along.

Anyway. this is what results when “activists” are valued more than traffic engineers

27th Annual TIBET DAY Fair & Evening Concert Coming to Berkeley on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Hey, remember this one?


Good times.

Anyway, Tibet Day is back in the Bay Area – deets below.

Click to expand
“Tibet Day Info and Buy Tickets online:
Dear Friends,
On behalf of the Bay Area Friends of Tibet (BAFoT) and Tibetan Association of Northern California (TANC), I would like to warmly invite you to the next edition of Tibet Day “A Celebration of Community, Culture, and Heroic Compassion” at the Berkeley Adult School, 1701 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702.
Tibet Day is cosponsored by The Dalai Lama Foundation, Committee of 100 for Tibet, Everest Waterproofing and Restoration,  Sharon Bacon, Dorji Lama of Tibet Shop, and Sierra Friends of Tibet. It will be a wondrous display of all things Tibet and San Francisco Team Tibet unity and love of Tibet and the Tibetan people.
Fair – 9 AM – 6 PM
Evening Concert with Special Guest Star Loten Namling from Switzerland –7-9:30 PM.
FAIR – $5 – Main Auditorium
EVENING CONCERT – $15 – Main Auditorium
Room 21 – Films, Panel, Meditation
Lhamo Tso, wife of the wrongfully-imprisoned Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen will be available all day in Room 21, next to the main auditorium and there will be morning and afternoon screening of her husband’s documentary film work, “Leaving Fear Behind” as well as actions you can take to Free Dhondup Wangchen and his monk-friend Jigme Gyatso (Golog Jigme) who is currently appears to being framed for murder for helping Dhondup Wangchen. Room 21 will also feature Tibet Flame of Truth Film with the Director Lobsang Lhasian. At 5 PM there will be a Panel Discussion on the Self-Immolations and Compassion and at 6 PM there will be a Chenrezi Meditation Puja by the Dharma Bums.
We are pleased the following vendors, nonprofit organization, artists and groups expected at the Fair:
Evening Rangzen Concert
Semshuk Phunda
Tsering Youdon
Tsering Lodoe
Loten Namling
Dharma Bums
Proceeds help benefit TANC’s Building Restoration Project, the Dhondup Wangchen & Lhamo Tso Freedom Fund, and BAFoT’s celebration of Tibetan culture and struggle for Tibetan independence. Please join us today.
For more information visit: and
See you at Tibet Day!
Giovanni Vassallo | President | Bay Area Friends of Tibet

The Resurrection of the Dangerous “SouthParkDrive Descent,” the 54 MPH(!) Strava Segment That Killed Cyclist Kim Flint

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Get up to speed on the issue of the death of former avid Strava user Kim Flint right here:

Did attempt to set speed record cause cyclist’s death?

That was about two years back.

Was that segment “dangerous?”

No matter, it came back, as you can see here:

Click to expand

Now, it’s flagged for being dangerous (what, just yesterday?), but not before tons of people attempted to beat Kim Flynt’s time, to become “King of the Mountain” (KOM) once again.

Here are the deets from a Reader Just Like You, Brandon:

“BTW, speaking of Strava and the cyclist who died in Berkeley in 2010 trying to reclaim his recently eclipsed “KOM” on the South Park Drive descent in Berkeley’s Tilden Park, the same segment has now reappeared on Strava again:

The full descent segment was flagged after Kim Flynt’s death, but a Strava user has redrawn the segment now starting it a little below the top and ending it enough before the bottom to get around the software blocking the segment.

Note that Kim Flynt’s once “record” descent is now all the way down in 7 way tie for 16th place:

16 Kim Flint
Jun 06, 2010
66.4km/h 152bpm 300W – 1:56

And the fastest time was set just a few days ago now:

Tim Medina
May 20, 2012
72.6km/h 168bpm 155W – 1:46

That’s over 45 mph avg (with a max. of 54 mph)!”

What’s the speed limit there, 30 MPH?

Does Strava encourage speeding? For example, how fast was Strava fan and cyclist Chris Bucchere going down Castro before hit collided with pedestrian Sutchi Hui? (Has there been a measurement done from the video yet?) Shouldn’t Strava ban segments with speeding in them?

Strava wants new customers, Strava wants to make money, right? This is how they do it, they let riders do what the riders want and then when the media focuses on a particularly dangerous segment, it all of a sudden gets flagged and goes down the memory hole.

Is that how you roll, Strava?

Berkeley Flags Flying in San Francisco’s Civic Center? “Another Planet” Stakes Its Claim at the Bill Graham Auditorium

Friday, January 13th, 2012

See these huge flags? They say, “Berkeley, Another Planet, Entertainment.”

Click to expand

They’re all over the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium:

Shouldn’t they say “San Francisco, Another Planet, Entertainment,” instead?

I cry foul.


OMG, the New Mitsubishi i Cars are Here – All-Electric Fleet Vehicles Come to City CarShare

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Well, here it is:

Click to expand

All the deets:

“Mitsubishi Motors Makes First Fleet Delivery of the 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV (Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle) to Bay Area’s City CarShare

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 8, 2011  — Representatives from Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA), along with San Rafael Mitsubishi, conducted the very first fleet delivery of the all-new 100% electric-powered 2012 Mitsubishi i to the California Bay Area’s City CarShare in a special ceremony held at the Green Vehicle Showcase located in front of San Francisco City Hall Plaza on Thursday, December 8 at 9:00 a.m.

City CarShare is a Bay Area nonprofit organization founded in 2001 with the help of several other local nonprofits and the cities of San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland. Their mission is to promote innovative mobility options to improve the environment and the quality of life in the Bay Area. By providing short-term access to cars City CarShare is reducing traffic congestion, parking problems and dependence on oil while promoting cleaner air and quieter streets.

“We are very pleased to introduce the all electric Mitsubishi i into our fleet. This vehicle brings us one step closer toward our goal of having 50% of our fleet run on alternative fuel as part of our mission to decrease carbon emissions in the Bay Area,” said Rick Hutchinson, CEO, City CarShare.

Numerous fleet orders have already been placed for the innovative, environmentally-friendly and fun-to-drive Mitsubishi i by a wide variety of organizations – multinational corporations, municipalities large and small, major utilities and nonprofit organizations – from New York to Hawaii.

“We thank the Bay Area’s City CarShare for being the first fleet recipient of our innovative 100% electric-powered vehicle,” said Yoichi Yokozawa, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA). “City CarShare’s stated goals are to help promote modes of personal transportation that help improve the environment while reducing noise pollution as well as fossil fuel dependence, so the 2012 Mitsubishi i is the perfect vehicle to help achieve this nonprofit’s ambitious mission.”

The 2012 Mitsubishi i is the first of several new advanced, alternative-fuel production vehicles that the Japanese auto manufacturer plans on bringing to the North American market in the next few years.

For more information about the 2012 Mitsubishi i, please visit and; for fleet sales information on Mitsubishi’s electric vehicle please log on to

More information on the Bay Area’s City CarShare can be found at

SOURCE  Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.”

UC President Mark Yudof Throws Down: Delivers “Baker’s Dozen Myths on Higher Ed” at Cal Chamber of Commerce in SF

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Let’s catch up with University of California President Mark Yudof:

“On Dec. 2, UC President Mark Yudof spoke to the California Chamber of Commerce Board in San Francisco regarding misconceptions about the University of California.”

(Well, that’s the belly of the beast, that’s the Fortress of Reaction right there. Mmmm.)

Anyway, here’s his myth #8, to get you started:

“#8: Only the wealthy can afford to attend UC.

Nothing belies this myth more than the incredible socioeconomic diversity of UC students.

About 40 percent of all UC undergraduates receive Pell grants. Pell grant recipients come from families with an annual household income of $50,000 or less.

To contextualize this percentage, consider this: Four of our campuses — Berkeley, Davis, UCLA and San Diego — each enroll more Pell grant recipients than the entire Ivy League combined.”

O.K. then.

Remembering the time when TIME Magazine caught Mr. Yudof rolling up his sleeves:

Here it is:

” President: ‘Baker’s Dozen Myths on Higher Ed’

On Dec. 2, UC President Mark Yudof spoke to the California Chamber of Commerce Board in San Francisco regarding misconceptions about the University of California. The following are his prepared remarks.

“A Baker’s Dozen Myths about Higher Education”

Thank you. It’s a pleasure for me to be here this morning, and to see so many familiar faces.

You know, Mark Twain once said, “Predictions are very hard to make — especially when they deal with the future.”

Unpredictability shapes the job of every university president. And as everyone here knows, much has happened at the University of California in the last few weeks. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have about recent events during our Q&A.

Now, with apologies to David Letterman, I’ve come here today with a list. Unfortunately, it’s not very funny.

It’s a list of 13 myths about higher education.

(I should add that because I’m a big fan of Wallace Stevens, I almost called this speech “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a University.” But in deference to the language of commerce, I settled on “A Baker’s Dozen Myths about Higher Education.”)

These are the myths driving the grand narrative about universities — the grand narrative that says students are being priced out of universities like UC, while funding instead goes to new facilities or administrator salaries. So today, I’m here to dispel these myths.

#1: The cost of producing UC degrees and credit hours has gone up over the last decade.

I hear this myth all the time. And it’s frustrating, because this cost has actually dropped by more than 15 percent, in constant dollars, since the 1990s.

This cost has dropped in part due to a broad range of systemwide efficiencies: common IT systems; reduced employee travel; thousands of unfilled faculty and staff positions; one-third fewer employees at the UC Office of the President; a higher student-faculty ratio, and so on.

What has gone up, however, is the student contribution, or co-pay, to these degrees. At the same time, the state’s contribution per student has plummeted — by 60 percent in the last two decades.

To put this see-saw in perspective, UC students now cover roughly 46 percent of general fund support. But 20 years ago, their share hovered around 12 percent.

Now, sometimes I hear a variation on this myth, in the form of #2:

See the rest after the jump\


Magnitude 4.0 Earthquake Struck UC Berkeley at 2:41 PM, October 20th 2011 – 3.8 Aftershock at 8:16 PM

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

[Or rather, make that a 4.0 on the Richter, final answer. That was for the afternoon earthquake. This evening’s aftershock at 8:16 PM was a 3.8.]

People in the West Bay could definitely feel this this one today, the one centered beneath UC Berkeley.

It felt like a succession of sharp bumps for a few seconds and then there was some generalized shaking – perhaps it all lasted about six seconds.

The Did You Feel It Map:

The initial estimate was a 4.2:

Magnitude 4.2
  • Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 21:41:04 UTC
  • Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 02:41:04 PM at epicenter
Location 37.864°N, 122.249°W
Depth 9.8 km (6.1 miles)
  • 2 km (2 miles) ESE (112°) from Berkeley, CA
  • 5 km (3 miles) NE (47°) from Emeryville, CA
  • 5 km (3 miles) NNW (341°) from Piedmont, CA
  • 8 km (5 miles) NNW (346°) from Oakland, CA
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.2 km (0.1 miles); depth +/- 0.4 km (0.2 miles)
Parameters Nph= 90, Dmin=2 km, Rmss=0.18 sec, Gp= 22°,
M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=3
Event ID nc71667366

Do These People Fly UC Berkeley Flags all the Time, Or Only On Days When Cal Wins a Nobel Prize?

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

I don’t have enough data to make this determination.

As seen yesterday, October 4th, 2011, in the Western Addition – it’s the mansion of patriotic San Franciscans:

Click to expand

Congratulations, Dr. Saul Perlmutter! You now have “worldwide fame and campus parking.”*

All the deets after the jump.

*Don’t let the Streetsblog people find out about the free on-campus parking perk. I’m seriously.


Tough Times for Pribot: Google Employee’s Robotic Toyota Prius Hybrid Gets in Fender Bender, Gets Ticketed

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Remember happier times back in aught-eight, when “Pribot,” the famous autonomous Prius, was roving the Streets of San Francisco with a huge SFPD escort and teams of camerapeople in tow?

Well, those halcyon days are over, so now Pribot has been relegated to getting ticketed by DPT, just like regular nonrobotic cars.


Click to expand

You can’t see the the damage from when Pribot scraped its left side exiting the Bay Bridge, but these days there’s evidence he/she/it has had more driving trouble.


Did Pribot crash into something? Or maybe a careless San Francisco driver backed up too far? Or maybe a human master made a mistake?

(Of course, when you’re making an omelet, as Google is doing in full force in 2011, you’re going to break a few eggs. Anyway…)

Poor Pribot!

All I could do was put a spare Kraftwerk mixtape under one of its windshield wiper arms and then turn to walk away.

Pribot, you were the first, you are the ur-robotic Prius, you are the Jetfire of the autonomous car universe.

Bon courage, Pribot!