News in Brief: Fire damages South Davis house

Yesterday, at around 12:45 p.m., a La Paloma Court home in South Davis caught the attention of a passerby who noticed the house was ablaze, and was concerned people were trapped inside the residence. Breaking a window to gain entry, the passerby saved the residents’ pet dog. No injuries have been reported. The incident is still under investigation. The fire destroyed the attic and left smoke damage throughout the house. The estimated damage to the house totals $100,000. — Claire Tan ...

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‘Yarn Bombing’ takes over campus

Ann Savageau’s Design 70: Introduction to Textile Structure class created a yarn bombing installation in the Australian section of the Arboretum. It serves as a colorful and whimsical artistic addition to Davis’ public natural space and invites visitors to interact with nature. Yarn bombing is a public art that involves placing knit and crocheted fabrics in public spaces as an artistic or sociopolitical statement. However, Savageau’s purpose for the yarn bombing assignment was more artistic and educational than political. “I had two main purposes, one was for my students to learn to crochet and knit, and the other was to make an outdoor installation as a nice way of transforming natural objects,” Savageau said. An additional yarn bombing installation can be found in the trees, railings and cement overhangs in front of Cruess Hall. Students were assigned various trees to work with either in groups or individually, wrapping tree branches with colorfully knit patterns, crocheting spider webs, stringing pom-poms, wrapping stones and creating three-dimensional objects like mushrooms and flowers. Carol... ...

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Column: From dust to us

Our planet is a very interesting place. I understand that arguments could be made against my stance, but I happen to have a substantial bias — I live here. Many things make the Earth objectively uninteresting: it’s neither remarkably large nor small, there’s a single moon, there aren’t any rings or many extreme atmospheric conditions like on Saturn or Jupiter and it orbits a fairly ordinary star made up of hydrogen and helium. Despite being an ordinary planet, in an ordinary solar system, in an ordinary galaxy, Earth has a few characteristics that make it extraordinary in its own right. Possibly the most noteworthy of these characteristics is the repeated violation of the second law of thermodynamics. Newton’s second law states that no system can increase in order without decreasing the order of another system. Living things represent an incredibly intricate ordering of particles; cell membranes, proteins and nucleic acids are very ordered and precise arrangements of molecules that entropically might prefer to be scattered about somewhere instead of being... ...

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Column: Almost there

The end is near. The UC Davis football team will play its final game this Saturday, and it will mark the last showing for the Aggies in the season that will conclude coach Bob Biggs’ career. UC Davis stands at 3-7 overall with a 2-5 record in its new conference, the Big Sky. At first glance this record is rather underwhelming. But so is Yoda. This has been the Aggies’ premier season in their new conference, and their performance should hardly be counted as a failure. Let’s break down this record, and maybe we’ll find that the UC Davis football season has, in fact, been an encouraging one. Most recently, UC Davis was taken down by Eastern Washington, a Big Sky opponent. The Aggies dropped a 31-28 decision to the sixth-ranked team in the Football Championship Subdivision that could have easily swung the other way. UC Davis had an opportunity when freshman kicker Brady Stuart lined up for a 52-yard field goal attempt with less than a minute to play.... ...

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The blind can see the light

Blindness affects all demographics within the United States. While some cases occur at birth, other cases occur as a side effect of degenerative diseases. One group of researchers from UC Santa Barbara believes there is a simple cure. The team has been analyzing and developing a use for embryonic stem cells in the treatment of damaged retinal cells. This new treatment could effectively help cure some forms of blindness due to degenerating retinas. There are two main causes of the deterioration of retinal cells. One is age-related macular degeneration, and the second is due to diabetes. The first is natural, exclusively affecting the elderly, but the latter has become a bigger issue. According to the National Institutes of Health, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in the U.S. In the past decade alone, there has been a 21-percent increase in the number of cases of type 2 diabetes. This brings us to a possible side effect of diabetes: diabetic retinopathy. “Diabetic retinopathy is a disease prevalent in young adults... ...

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Column: Sexy Science

This isn’t your grandmother’s science. This isn’t your nursery rhyme, “apple a day keeps the doctor away” science. Sure, apples are great for you, no doubt about it, but they’ve got nothing on the ultimate health booster. Food science tells us to eat healthy, exercise science tells us to have good cardio and endurance. Medical science tells us to take aspirin to lessen the risk of heart disease. But there is another science that covers all these bases, and more: Sexy Science. Did you know that lack of physical contact with other people actually increases the amount of the stress-causing hormone norepinephrine? Other sexy hormones in the brain are testosterone and estrogen, which drive feelings of lust and sexual cravings; dopamine and (low) serotonin, which drive feelings of romance and passion, euphoria and obsessive thinking; and oxytocin and vasopressin, which are responsible for feelings of calm, tranquility, peace and stability. Every single one of these sexy hormones is released in the brain at different times of physical contact, and the... ...

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Aggies keep weekend series short and sweep

The Aggies caught a bit of “road-rage” this weekend against Cal Poly and Santa Barbara as they went on to sweep both opponents back to back. UC Davis hit the ground running Friday night, displaying one of their most dominant performances of the year against Cal Poly, trouncing the Mustangs 25-10, 25-23, 29-27. The Aggies never slowed down after outrunning the Mustangs, carrying their spectacular play farther south where they met UC Santa Barbara head on. The Gauchos have proven to be a worthy opponent this year, taking a hard-fought four-set victory last month on the Aggies’ home floor. However, the match was not forgotten and UC Davis completed their second sweep in a row 25-23, 25-14, 29-27 and their first ever against UCSB. UC Davis sported truly spectacular play over the weekend, receiving significant contributions from each and every player on the squad that translated to some of the best play in the history of the program.Friday — UC Davis 3, Cal Poly 0 UC Davis can boast an... ...

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Column: Campus STDs

Redness, swelling, irritation and pain aren’t symptoms exclusive to the pepper-sprayed eyes of UC Davis protesters; when located in lower regions, they can also serve as indicators of an STI. Today, let’s discuss STD history, prevention and treatment methods. Invasion of the Body Snatchers could have been based on chlamydia and gonorrhea, two STDs that cohabitate available bodies, causing harm to reproductive systems. Chlamydia is the most common STD in the United States. The curable disease’s most dangerous symptom is its ability to remain symptomless. Ancient Egyptians tattooed themselves with images of the goddess Bes, who protected people from gonorrhea, but today we have a different cure — antibiotics. Herpes (HSV), another commonly silent STD, stems from the Greek herpein, “to creep,” which references the fact that the virus — like the language of Jersey Shore — spreads quickly across unsuspecting populations. Roman emperor Tiberius may have banned kissing in public in order to prevent what Shakespeare nicknamed “the blister plague,” but banning public displays of affection won’t stop genital... ...

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News in Brief: Union plans to protest at UC Regents meeting, Gov. Jerry Brown to attend

According to the UC Student Workers Union, student groups from various UC campuses will gather at the UC Board of Regents meeting tomorrow at the UC San Francisco Mission Bay campus to protest a possible fee increase for students in 61 UC graduate and professional programs, Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition (PDST). The PDST action item on the meeting’s agenda, scheduled to be discussed during today’s meeting, will be postponed to a later meeting date at the request of Gov. Jerry Brown. Brown will also be in attendance to address the fee increases and what the passage of Proposition 30 means for education. The governor sits on the Board of Regents by virtue of his office and requested the postponement to allow him more time to gain understanding of the processes and policies required in setting fee levels, according to a Nov. 13 UC Office of the President news release. United Auto Workers (UAW), an organization that represents various members of UC staff and students, plan to sleep-out on Koret Quad... ...

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Advocacy group hosts Diabetes Awareness Week

This week, the UC Davis Diabetes Advocacy and Awareness Group (DAAG) is hosting Diabetes Awareness Week on campus, bringing students and different organizations together to promote a greater understanding of diabetes. DAAG, who has been hosting Diabetes Awareness Week for the past two years, specializes in informing the community about diabetes, visiting local schools and talking to kids about the condition. Diabetes cannot be cured, but it can be treated. “I joined because my dad has diabetes. We all pretty much know someone with diabetes, which brings us together,” said Navid Elie, a fourth-year psychology major and member of DAAG. The week’s events are centered around World Diabetes Day today. “The hope [is to get] the campus community to contemplate diabetes — both their own risk for getting the disease, as well as how it affects others around them, including loved ones, neighbors and strangers alike,” said Zuhayr Mallam, a fourth-year neurobiology, physiology and behavior studies major and president of DAAG. According to the International Diabetes Federation, 78,000 children develop... ...

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International Education: Charles Bamforth

The campus is celebrating International Education Week through Friday. International Education Week, hosted on campus by University Outreach and International Programs (UOIP) is a national event organized by the Department of State and Department of Education to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. This year, UOIP is promoting how international experience has impacted members of the campus community and will be sharing a profile each day of the week from a faculty member, a staff member and Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi. I won’t name the country, but there is one culture where the brewers tend to be somewhat insular: They are convinced that they know what is best and they feel theirs is the only way to brew great beer. Admittedly their beers are good — but to my mind, not as good or as diverse (and thereby fascinating) as they could be. A whizz around the world is the only way to get a genuine perspective of what all that beer means in so many different... ...

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News in Brief: Israeli and Palestinian activists to speak tomorrow

Israeli and Palestinian youth activists are scheduled to visit campus tomorrow in an event entitled Waging Peace: A Conversation with OneVoice Israeli and Palestinian Activists. The speakers will share information on their work and experiences in advocating for peace in the region and bringing about a better future for their societies, according to the event’s press release. They will also address the challenges that they face as activists and how others can get involved in their efforts. OneVoice, which is co-sponsoring the event, is an international grassroots movement with offices in Tel Aviv, Ramallah, Gaza, New York and London, and serves to provide a collective voice for Israeli and Palestinian activists. “While it can seem at times as though we have reached a stalemate in the peace process, OneVoice youth activists give us reason to be optimistic about the future,” said Rebecca Viney, an organizer of the event and political science major from London. “Everyone who is at all interested in the situation should take the opportunity to come and... ...

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And a calm came to Davis

In the eighth century, Buddhism became the official religion of the Tibetan people, and the king invited Buddhist teachers to Tibet. Today, Tibetan meditation master Lama Gursam has come to Davis and is offering those same teachings to us. These teachings are Buddhist teachings, and one of Buddhism’s fundamental beliefs is reincarnation, not of personality but of consciousness. It is believed that before a teacher — referred to as a lama — dies, he bestows all his teachings on someone else, who holds onto those teachings as he grows old. Then when the lama is reborn, he can be re-taught. Today, as part of this long-lived tradition, a lama has come to Davis and is offering his teachings in free classes throughout the month of November. “The point is to preserve the teachings in order to benefit others,” Lama Gursam said. “If somebody destroys Buddhism pictures and Buddhism statues at the temples, we don’t really care about that at all. We don’t care about that part. Buddhism is not about... ...

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Column: Bottom of the Ocean

Ah shit, you probably read my column title and thought to yourself, “Looks like this Asian guy is gonna talk about how emo he is and how much he likes Taking Back Sunday.” Actually, now that I think about it, “bottom of the ocean” is a line from an Interpol song. “Stella was a Diver and She Was Always Down.” Either way, I’m not going to talk about my shitty music taste, though if you like WU LYF — we should seriously get some coffee. Okay, let’s veer away from my thinly veiled attempts at trying to meet like-minded people and talk about the concept of a stone at the bottom of the ocean. “Who the fuck cares about a stone at the bottom of the ocean?” It’s a metaphor, bruhbruh. Whether the stone at the bottom of the ocean is lonely or is in solitude is the monumental question that has baffled scientists, historians, astronomers, dentists and physicists from the dawn of time. Since it was first discovered that... ...

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Cheaper alternatives to expensive software

Buying new software is almost a necessity these days, but college students typically do not have the luxury of buying expensive software that will need to be continuously updated. Fortunately, there is a more convenient and budget-friendly option. What is AlternativeTo? AlternativeTo is a website that suggests free or cheaper alternatives to web-based software, computer software and mobile apps. The alternatives are sorted based on various criteria, including recommendations from users of the site. Another feature of the site is the different tags for different software, making finding alternatives easier. For example, there are tags for Mac, Windows and Blackberry. How much does it cost? The website is completely free to use, and most of the alternative programs are free as well, so you can save money and possibly find a better program without breaking the bank. How does it work? You can go to the AlternativeTo website and download or access the different programs you want. Many free applications do not require any installation. The site even has an... ...

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