Column: Factoring history

Memory I like to say that my favorite class at UC Davis was Math 16A. I enjoyed it so much that I took it twice. I managed to pass it the second time. It wasn’t just that I was lazy. I was absolutely disinterested in calculus. I couldn’t see how it would be useful after college. It was as if the doors of the lecture hall sealed off any connection to the real world. Attending class was like learning in a vacuum. All context was erased. It was simply calculus. It was simply suffocating. My teacher never told us why we should drill ourselves endlessly on derivatives. It seemed the sole reason for the course was that it was required for an economics degree. So I switched off during lecture, bored by abstract concepts that seemed applicable to nothing but the dreaded midterm and final. I skated by with a low grade my second time through, changed my major and vowed never to take the subject again. Incidentally, the mathematician Eric... ...

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Editorial: Students will suffer from sequestration

Sequestration, enacted by the Budget Control Act of 2011, went into effect on March 1. As part of the deal reached in 2011 regarding the debt ceiling, $85.4 billion in cuts will be enacted, slashing budgets for federal agencies across the board. This is bad news for the United States, for California, for UC Davis and for us. It is the ill-begotten child of a dysfunctional congress that places politics and dogma above proven facts and the nation’s well being. It will have dire consequences for the University of California and its students. We must hold our elected officials accountable.There is a problem when so many Americans find Congress less favorable than lice, Genghis Khan and colonoscopies.There is a problem when those in charge of the nation don’t seem to care. More than $335 million in federal research support, the lifeblood of scientific research, will be lost as a result of the sequestration, according to the University of California Office of the President (UCOP). And according to The Davis Enterprise,... ...

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Human Gross Anatomy class offers unique experience

Working with real human body specimens as an undergraduate student is a rare opportunity at most universities across the nation. But here at UC Davis, all students have the chance to learn by doing in Cell Biology and Human Anatomy (CHA) 101, also known as the Human Gross Anatomy class offered this Winter Quarter. “The overarching goal [of the class] is to give students a very thorough understanding of how the human body is put together and how it works,” said professor of cell biology and human anatomy Dr. Douglas Gross, who teaches CHA 101. Introduced 40 years ago, around the time the UC Davis Medical School was established, Human Gross Anatomy has been taught by Dr. Gross for the past 17 years. “There are probably maybe three or four other courses somewhat like it in the entire country,” Dr. Gross said. “It’s very rare to have human gross anatomy taught with human cadavers and there’s very few, if any, that teach it at the level we teach it at.”... ...

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News in Brief: Man arrested for marijuana possession

On Friday after 8 p.m., Davis Police arrested 27-year-old Brenton Dumas of Davis for possession of marijuana with the intent to sell and for carrying a concealed weapon. Officers were patrolling the area due to recent vandalism when they discovered Dumas at the bike tunnel behind Davis Commons. Dumas was found with 5.6 ounces of cannabis and a fixed-blade knife. He was arrested on suspicion of possession of more than one ounce of pot and possession of concentrated cannabis. It is not yet known whether Dumas has any relation to the vandalism. — Claire Tan ...

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Police briefs

TUESDAY A little birdy told me…. On Hartley Street, someone’s neighbor told her that he shoots birds, and she wanted to know if it was against the law to shoot birds. FRIDAY Traveling pharmacy There was an RV parked next to CVS Pharmacy on Covell Boulevard, out of which subjects were smoking out of a glass pipe with a torch to it. Name of the game An unknown male kept calling someone; he knew what her name was, but refused to tell her his name on Allegre Way. SATURDAY Money doesn’t grow on trees An unknown suspect knocked over a large bonsai tree valued at $500 on Bianco Court. SUNDAY World War What A male was wandering around Motel 6 on Chiles Road in a camouflage jacket, ranting about World War I. Good things come in small packages Somebody found a light blue Tiffany box with a white ribbon and a note that said, “Now you have to find out the people who did this to you” on Impala Place.... ...

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Master gardeners emphasizes sustainable, water-wise gardening

On Saturday, Davis residents had the opportunity to learn about cacti, succulents and other native California vegetation through free public classes held at the Central Park Gardens. Classes are offered between September and June, with a total of approximately 18 classes offered annually. Classes are taught by master gardeners certified by the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener program. According to the website of the California Master Gardener Program, the program aims “to extend research based knowledge and information on home horticulture, pest management and sustainable landscape practices to the residents of California.” “All the basic stuff is focused on teaching people how to do sustainable gardening,” said Peg Smith, master gardener. “We also offer more esoteric classes on topics such as orchids and bromeliads.” According to Smith, master gardeners train for six months before taking a certification exam. In exchange for the training and information received, they give back their time in the form of unpaid volunteering — including teaching public classes, such as those offered at the... ...

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Reaction to Keystone XL pipeline

In a recent NPR piece, UC Davis “Director of Energy Sustainability,” Amy Jaffe, was quoted saying, “Once we reduce our [oil] consumption, we can have the luxury of rejecting Canada’s oil.” As a UC Davis alumnus, I am appalled that this message, apparently supporting the ultra-dirty Keystone XL pipeline, came from my campus. Yes, it’s true that we need to reduce our energy consumption and our carbon footprint through smart government policies that change our collective behavior. But, if President Obama stands up to big oil and rejects Keystone XL, it would be just that — a smart government policy that would keep a huge amount of carbon pollution underground, where it belongs. Because Canada’s tar sands are so thick and take so much energy to process, gallon-for-gallon they dump about twice as much carbon pollution into the atmosphere as normal gas. Constraining access to the dirtiest and most polluting oil would result in more sustainable collective behavior. Joseph Stewart UC Davis class of 2008 Environmental Biology and Management ...

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In charge

There’s a book whose name I will not mention, as I’ve seen it so often that I’m tired of reading it. All I’ll say is that it’s title involves the words “50” and “Grey,” and that it involves graphic depictions of BDSM sex. Once it came out, there was a surge of interest in BDSM. Unfortunately, the book itself does a terrible job of representing what real, healthy BDSM sex looks like. BDSM, for those of you who may not know, stands for bondage, discipline/dominance, submission/sadism and masochism. It encompasses a wide range of behaviors and lifestyles, so giving a comprehensive how–to guide is a heavy task for a column. Instead, I want to focus on one of the aspects of BDSM that the aforementioned book really gets wrong: how to do dominance and submission in a safe and consensual way. Today’s advice is primarily aimed at vanilla folks who have some BDSM inclinations but aren’t sure how to get started. Now, there are a few main things that need... ...

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Guest Opinion: Fugitives and celebrity bedfellows

Having followed the Christopher Dorner manhunt with the sort of scrupulous and morbid curiosity that today’s sensationalist mass media seems to arouse at every possible opportunity, I began to notice remarkable parallels with an incident not too dissimilar that took place across the pond back in 2010. I refer to the case of Raoul Moat who — two days after being released from prison — sparked the biggest manhunt the UK has ever seen after shooting his former girlfriend and her new partner before targeting a police officer the following day. While the grievances motivating the two fugitives derive from opposite sides of the law (Dorner being an ex-officer, Moat an ex-convict), there are still some striking similarities to be drawn. The two shared a common enemy in declaring war against the police, and both published lengthy, aggrieved and hate-fuelled manifestos via social media in which they named targets, before going on the run and provoking widespread manhunts. Both expressed feelings of isolation and having seemingly relinquished any semblance of... ...

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Aggie Digest

The UC Davis tennis teams had a very eventful couple of days this weekend on the courts. The women had two dual matches, one at home and the other in San Jose, while the men competed at the Pacific Coast Men’s Doubles Championship down in San Diego before a dual match with Villanova. At the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, the Aggies brought a full roster down to compete in the 124th installment of the doubles competition. Coaches Eric Steidlemeyer and Michael Meyer, who are in their first years coaching UC Davis, returned to UC San Diego, where Meyer graduated in 2003 and Steidlemeyer coached for 14 years. The duo of coaches won two rounds to reach the round of 32 before falling 6-2, 6-1 to the UCLA team of Clay Thompson and Alex Brigham. Also falling in the round of 32 was freshman Brett Bacharach and senior George Horowitz to a team from the University of San Diego. Highlighting the Aggies’ performances at the tournament was the tandem... ...

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Opportunity costs

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few weeks talking about money: spending it, saving it, bathing in it, etc. I have no say in whether money will bring about happiness or anything deep and cosmic like that, but it’s something that the majority of the population is in constant need of. Money to eat, money to go out, money to make it rain at the strip club, money to pay for the rent, money to pay for gas, money to pay for alcohol, the list goes onward to infinity. There is the old adage of “time is money,” or the updated classic, “If I ain’t getting paid then I’m getting laid,” which are both venerable mottos to live your life by. But more importantly, they bring up an alternate currency that is just as valuable (or possibly even more so) than money: Time. Time is an incredibly deceitful beast. In a morbid sense, I don’t think anyone in the world knows how much time they have, save... ...

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Heroes of capitalism

In this column I want to set aside the usual polemics to focus on some examples of heroic figures who provided us with enormous values in their pursuit of profit. If possible, I recommend listening to your preferred epic movie soundtrack while reading this, to enhance the experience (my choice would be Hans Zimmer – “Time”). In no particular order: J.P. Morgan: American financier who funded Thomas Edison’s research to invent the lightbulb. He later financed the railroad industry to make it more profitable and stable, and helped consolidate the steel industry to make it more profitable and efficient. His activities benefited millions in the U.S. economy and he ultimately became one of the wealthiest men of all time. James Watt: Scottish inventor who contributed enormously to the Industrial Revolution via his improvement on the steam engine (which at first was used primarily for pumping water). He made possible the wide use of steam for transportation via steam boats and trains. His firm produced steam engines with great success for... ...

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Exercise biology major could combine with NPB major

Admissions to the exercise biology (EXB) major will be suspended for the 2013-14 school year, and the major will potentially be combined with the neurobiology, physiology and behavior (NPB) major. In the spring of 2012, a committee formed within the department of NPB to reorganize the exercise biology program in the face of budget cuts, increasing enrollments and declines in the number of faculty members. The committee includes professors Dave Furlow, Mark Goldman, Tom Hahn, Samantha Harris, Gaby Nevitt and Marty Usrey. The goal of the committee is to find a way to combine the increasingly popular exercise biology and NPB majors into a combined program. The committee hopes that through the reorganization, the school will be able to use limited resources for the exercise biology major more efficiently, promote increased collaboration across departments and offer courses to students who are interested in research, graduate school or careers related to integrative biology. “Either it needs to be an impacted major or combined with another major,” said David A. Hawkins, professor... ...

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An Open Letter to the UC Davis Community

Hello UC Davis Students, faculty, staff and community partners, As the proud representative of California’s third congressional district, which includes UC Davis, I need to alert you to events in Washington that directly impact our campus. Mandatory across-the-board cuts known as “sequestration” came into effect on Friday. We can still avoid the worst damage, but Congress needs to act soon. Under sequestration, research at UC Davis could experience an 8.4 percent cut — more than $42 million. This would be the equivalent of 445 jobs, but that’s not the whole story. Students on campus will see their work hampered, with research labs operating at reduced capacity. If we fail to abate sequestration, class offerings will also likely be reduced in the coming academic year. The harm from sequestration doesn’t stop there. The UC Davis Health System will see a $4.6 million loss in Medicare revenues. Some students already struggling to pay for their education, already saddled with debt, will see hundreds of dollars taken out of their pockets with cuts... ...

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