Posts Tagged ‘Berkeley’

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
Date-Time
  • 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)
Region SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CALIFORNIA
Distances
  • 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
Source
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.

(more…)

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.

See?

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.

See?

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!

UC Berkeley’s Diversity Cupcake Sale 2011 is All Over – Comes Now Taiwanese NMA-TV With a Sensitive Portrayal

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Or not:

“Affirmative action has always been a touchy subject in California, a state with many high achieving white and Asian students. In 1996, California residents passed Proposition 209, which prohibited public schools from considering race in the admissions process. After Proposition 209, the number of Asians in the elite UC college system surged. But now, a California legislator has put forward Bill SB 185, which would allow public universities to consider race. The Berkeley College Republicans fear the effects this bill might have on the UC system. They hosted a “diversity” bake sale to protest the possible effects of the law. Will the bill go through? Maybe – but some foresee it being vetoed next month.

Check out NMA’s latest video on the Berkeley Bake Sale:

http://www.nma.tv/berkeley-bake-sale-proposition-209-sb-185/

9/11 Truth Crazies Return to Bay Area: “Reclaiming the Truth, Reclaiming Our Future” Today in Oakland

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

You know, 9/11 conspiracy theorists have become just like JFK assassination conspiracy theorists.

Anyway, they’re back. Deets below.

As seen in Union Square a while back

Ten Years Later, An Independent Investigation of 9/11 is Needed

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 7, 2011  9/11 Reclaiming the Truth, Reclaiming Our Future will be held Thursday, September 8, 1 pm to 10 pm at the Grand Lake Theater, 3200 Grand Ave., Oakland, and Sunday, September 11, 1 pm to 9:30 pm at the Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco. Speakers include Mickey Huff, Dr. Peter Phillips, sister of fallen firefighter David Weiss Michele Little, authors Paul Rea (Mounting Evidence: Why We Need a New Investigation of 9/11), Prof. Anthony J. Hall ( Earth into Property), Anodea Judith (Waking the Global Heart: Humanity’s Rites of Passage From the Love of Power to the Power of Love), Kevin Danaher, Joanna Macy (World as Lover, World as Self), filmmakers Ken Jenkins and Brett Smith, and radio hosts Bonnie Faulkner, Carol Brouillet and Sherry Glaser. Along with films Psywar, You, Me & the SPP, Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup, Hypothesis, 9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out, there will be live streaming from Toronto and Seattle.

The Toronto Hearings will examine evidence for the inadequacy of the U.S. government’s investigations of 9/11, an event which has been used to initiate military invasions and to restrict the rights of citizens. The founder of Firefighters for 9/11 Truth, Erik Lawyer will hold ONE: The Event – Shifting from Fear to Love in Seattle to encourage “the choice of love over fear, kindness over anger, and responsibility rather than blame.”

The diverse speakers agree that the official 9/11 Commission Report and the NIST Reports on the destruction of the World Trade Center buildings are not believable and that an independent investigation into 9/11 is needed. Those in Toronto plan on issuing their own 9/11 report.  Evidence suggests those most responsible for 9/11 were rewarded, that no one was reprimanded, and that others were scapegoated unjustly for their alleged involvement.

The Bay Area events are benefits for the Northern California 9/11 Truth Alliance, whose mission is “to seek and disseminate truths about the terrible crimes committed on September 11, 2001, exposing gaps and deceptions in the official story, and to thus inspire more eyewitness revelations, truthful media coverage, and a movement that will bring the responsible criminals to justice and eliminate governmental and corporate policies that enable criminal elements to commit such acts.”

Details at http://www.communitycurrency.org/filmfestival2011.html

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.
Paul Rea - http://www.profnetconnect.com/paulrea
Carol Brouillet - http://www.profnetconnect.com/carol_brouillet

Octavia Boulevard is Our Fork-Tailed Doctor Killer – “Livable Streets” Gone Awry – What Can We Do?

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Let’s see, where to start with horrible Octavia Boulevard.

Oh, here we go, with some bold, confident words from all the way back in 2003:

“The replacement freeway and Boulevard were charged with ensuring a level of service comparable to the previous structure and configuration. This has been achieved…”

In no way, shape, or form does the newish Octavia Boulevard have a level of service comparable to the old Central Freeway.

And, BTW, did the Central Freeway block Fell, Oak, Page, Haight and Market? Nope. Does Octavia Boulevard? Yep, every day, all the time.

(This is an example of misplaced confidence, of the hubris.)

Now, what kind of signal timing does it take to accommodate a 3000-mile-long freeway ending on Market Street. Well, let’s take a look here. Do you notice that Market street peds have about four seconds to begin the journey across Octavia during the 95-second cycle? Why is that? I mean, that means that any given ped on Market has over a 95% chance of having to stop and wait for all those cars on Octavia to go by. Is that fair? Now, what about cars and streetcars and bikes and buses and whatnot heading outbound on Market – do you think it’s much better for them? Well, it’s not. Just 20-something percent of the traffic signal cycle allows traffic to flow uphill on Market at the Octavia Intersection. Why are the lights so biased in favor of the cars driving through on Octavia, you know, as opposed to Market Street?

Check it (oh yeah, that’s some homeless dude coughing at the end there, not me.)

Now, the term “fork-tailed doctor killer” used to be the nickname of the Beechcraft Bonanza, you know, the plane what killed Buddy Holly on the Day That Music Died. But that whole V-Tail sitch got addressed and now, Beech makes those Bonanzas with regular old straight tails. So let’s recycle this phrase and use it for Octavia Boulevard, why not?

Here’s the fork of the tail:

Now, how can I justify blaming the whole “Boulevard Movement” fad of the aughts for an famous accident that killed that UCSF doctor if the UCSF van driver ran a red light? Well, take a look at this:

Click to expand

See? Sometimes half the lanes of Oak have a red light and the other half have a green. Does that make sense? Well, if you’re struggling to make pathetic Octavia work and you don’t want traffic routinely backing up to Golden Gate Park, well then you yourself would be tempted to do whatever you could to help Octavia flow.

Does this unorthodox design factor in human nature, you know, the nut behind the steering wheel? No, it doesn’t. The fact is that car drivers, those sheeple, follow the pack. If the car to the right goes, then they want to go.

Of course, drivers should do better, but we need to factor in their behavior when we design roads, right?

What we shouldn’t do is to let Hayes Valley insiders, that very small but very influential group, to design anything for the rest of us.

And BTW, why on Earth are left turns allowed on inbound Market onto Octavia? Could it be for the convenience of those Hayes Valley insiders?  Check it out. You’d think that Hayes Valley types would be satisfied with being able to make a left at the prior intersection or the next intersection, but no, traffic on Market has to wait on a dedicated signal for a dedicated lane of drivers.

Does that make sense?

Why not this? Why not narrow Octavia dramatically and just give up on the whole boulevard experiment? Just take out the frontage roads and all that on-street parking and those medians and that would be a good start on “completing” the Horrible Octavia Experiment, turning it into a “Complete Street.” Even the Great Designer of Octavia admits now that the boulevard is too wide.

And let’s get rid of that left turn lane that was built just for the NIMBYs of Hayes Valley. Why should Market Street, the more important one, take a back street to Octavia, which is basically a glorified freeway onramp?

And why not give people on Market Street half the time of the light signal and then the people on Octavia the other half? Wouldn’t that be more fair?

Mmmm…

Or, we can continue to value higher condo prices and “trendy restaurants and high-end boutiques” over everything else in this world:

“Before the destruction of the Central Freeway, condominium prices in the Hayes Valley neighborhood were 66% of San Francisco average prices. However, after the demolition and subsequent replacement with the new Octavia Boulevard, prices grew to 91% of city average. Beyond this, the most dramatic increases were seen in the areas nearest to the new boulevard. Furthermore, residents noted a significant change in the nature of the commercial establishments in the area. Where it had been previously populated by liquor stores and mechanic shops, soon the area was teeming with trendy restaurants and high-end boutiques.”

At Least Our Poorly-Designed, “Livable Street,” P.O.S. Octavia Boulevard has Traffic Cameras – Do They Run 24-7?

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Do you know how painfully cheap it is to record on video a problematic street intersection 24-7 in this day and age?

Well the City & County doesn’t, that’s for sure.

Anyway, here’s your red light camera at Oak and Octavia – perhaps it will prove useful today.

Here’s another view, from back in the day:

Horrible Five-Block Octavia Boulevard Claims Another Victim – Is This the Best Way To End the 3000-Mile Long I-80 Freeway?

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Details of today’s accident on hated Octavia Boulevard can be found here, from Henry K. Lee and Nanette Asimov.

Looking south from Fell:

Click to expand

The UCSF shuttle van:

How did Octavia boulevard end up being so gosh darn wide? Even The Creator, who likes wide, says that Octavia ended up being too wide in Her opinion.

Why are there parked cars and trees and medians all over dangerous Octavia Boulevard? Why don’t we get rid of all that and focus on safety instead?

Oh well.

Say Cheese! Here are Your Fairly New Red Light Cameras of Poorly Designed Octavia Boulevard

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Or that’s my guess, anyway, based on where this one’s pointed and the two white lights that are all set to go flash flash like a camera speedlight.

Check it out at the dangerous intersection of Oak and the hated, 133-foot wide(!) Octavia Boulevard:

Click to expand

Hey, the people who run Octavia Boulevard – are they the same people who run MUNI?

Looks that way…

Last Night’s One-Year Anniversary Party for The Bay Citizen a Huge Success, As Far As I Know

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

[Oh, here we go, it's the Citizen of Tomorrow Awards, just posted.]

Now, the problem I had last night was being too ambitious, thinking I could drop by the First Birthday Celebration of The Bay Citizen and then hustle it uphill to the Specfic Whites neighborhood by nine-ish, thinking that this year’s party would be like last year’s, you know, the one they had in the Twitterloin. That one was off the hook.

Anyway, here it is at the stated 8:00 PM starting time. (A dozen people to park your car, but only one to check you into the place.)

(Why, yes, Terra _is_ 200 feet away from a bridge and two miles away from a tunnel – why do you ask?)

And here are your food trucks. (Everything seems to taste better when it’s from a truck, non?)

Click to expand

I guess things got going later in the evening. But I’ll tell you, if you skipped the first hour of last year’s soiree, which was off the hook, you would have missed a lot.

The good thing is that The Bay Citizen produced, as designed, a lot of good stuff the past year.

Anyway, Bon Anniversaire, The Bay Citizen.