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27 Feb 04:18

Berkeley reports possible case of measles exposure

by Tracey Taylor
Electron microscope image of the virus responsible for measles (paramyxoviridae) Photographer: Alain Grillet Copyright Sanofi Pasteur

Electron microscope image of the virus responsible for measles (paramyxoviridae). Photo: Alain Grillet/Sanofi Pasteur

The City of Berkeley has issued an alert after an adult with measles visited La Mediterranée restaurant in Berkeley on the evening of Friday February 20.

The city is advising that patrons at the Elmwood neighborhood restaurant during that time should monitor themselves for symptoms until March 13.

The person, a San Mateo County resident, was at the restaurant on 2936 College Ave. from approximately 6:45 to 8 p.m. that Friday, the city said in a release about the incident issued at around 8 p.m. on Thursday Feb. 26.

“The measles virus can linger in the air for up to two hours, so those at the restaurant until 10 p.m. could have been exposed. The risk is very slight for those who have received the recommended two doses of the vaccine,” read the statement.(...)

Read the rest of Berkeley reports possible case of measles exposure (508 words)

By Tracey Taylor. | Permalink | 4 comments |
Post tags: Berkeley public health, Cafe Mediteranee, Measles, vaccinations

25 Feb 15:54

Comments on the Node Foundation

Eran Hammer posted a long piece yesterday about why he does not support a Node Foundation.

I am a relative newcomer to Node, having started developing in it a little over a year ago. I've shipped a number of products in Node. All my new server software is running in Node, most of it on Heroku. I love Node. Even though it's a pain in the ass in some ways, I've come to adore the pain, the problems are like crossword puzzles. I feel a real sense of accomplishment when I figure it out.

The server component of my liveblog is running in Node, for example.

I am new to Node but I also have a lot of experience with the dynamics Hammer is talking about, in my work with RSS, XML-RPC and SOAP. What he says is right. When you get big companies in the loop, the motives change from what they were when it was just a bunch of ambitious engineers trying to build an open underpinning for the software they're working on. All of a sudden their strategies start determining which way the standard goes. That often means obfuscating simple technology, because if it's really simple, they won't be able to sell expensive consulting contracts. He was right to single out IBM. That's their main business. RSS hurt their publishing business because it turned something incomprehensible into something trivial to understand. Who needs to pay $500K per year for a consulting contract to advise them on such transparent technology? They lost business.

IBM, Sun and Microsoft, through the W3C, made SOAP utterly incomprehensible. Why? I assume because they wanted to be able to claim standards-compliance without having to deal with all that messy interop.

As I see it Node was born out of a very simple idea. Here's this great JavaScript interpreter. Wouldn't it be great to write server apps in it, in addition to code that runs in the browser? After that, a few libraries came along, that factored out things everyone had to do, almost like device drivers in a way. The filesystem, sending and receiving HTTP requests. Parsing various standard content types. Somehow there didn't end up being eight different versions of the core functionality. That's where the greatness of Node comes from. We may look back on this having been the golden age of Node.

There are reasons why, once a technology becomes popular, it's very hard to add new functionality. All the newcomers want to make a name for themselves by authoring one of the standard packages. Everyone has an idea how it should be done, and won't compromise. So what happens is very predictable, and NOT BAD. The environment stops growing. I saw that happening in RSS, as all the fighting over which way to rip up the pavement and start over took over the mail lists. So when RSS 2.0 came out I froze it. No more innovation. That's it. It's finished. If you want to do new stuff, start a module (very much like the NPM packages of Node). Luckily, at that moment, I had the power to do that, as Joyent did with Node, when embarking on this ill-advised foundation track.

Now there are many things about Node culture that I don't understand, being a newbie, as I am. But based on what I know about technology evolution from other contexts, the lack of motion at Joyent wasn't a problem, it was realistic. It was what I, as a removed-from-the-fray developer want. I want this platform to stay what it is. I want to rock and roll in my software, not be broken every time someone decides we should hit the ball from one side of the plate, then the other, then back to the original. Nerd debates about technology never end, until someone puts their foot down and says, no more debates, it's done. And the confusion in those debates is always manipulated by the BigCo's who have motives that we'd be happier not really understanding. I know I would be. Nightmarish stuff.

I love Node. I want it to be solid, that's the most important thing to me. I'd love to see a list, in a very simple newbie-friendly language, that explains what it is that Node needs so desperately to justify both the fork, and the establishment of this foundation. Seems to me we might be pining for the good old days of last year before too long. ;-(

PS: Hat-tip to the io.js guys. In the RSS world, the forkers claimed the right to the name. At least you guys had the grace to start with a new name, so as not to cause the kind of confusion the RSS community had to deal with.

26 Feb 04:17

At SF gender bias trial, top VCs describe all-male getaways

by Megan Geuss

SAN FRANCISCO—In the second day of a high-profile gender discrimination trial against a top Silicon Valley venture capital firm, two former colleagues of plaintiff Ellen Pao were called to the stand.

Pao's former coworkers, Chi-Hua Chien and Amol Deshpande, both worked as junior partners at Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers while Pao was there. They both received promotions, while she did not.

Chien was singled out in Pao’s lawsuit for having excluded Pao from a number of all-male events. According to the 2012 complaint, Chien organized a party at Al Gore's San Francisco condo, which was located in the same building where Pao lived, and didn’t invite Pao. Pao says that on the night of the party, she ran into Mike McCue, the CEO of news-app Flipboard, with whom Pao had worked closely, as he walked into the building, causing her to have to tell him that she wasn’t invited to the party he was attending.

Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

25 Feb 22:45

Opening today: Tupper & Reed, a classic cocktail bar

by Kate Williams
Tupper & Reed opens tonight in Downtown Berkeley. Photo: Brian Sheehy

Tupper & Reed opens tonight in Downtown Berkeley. Photo: Brian Sheehy

The East Bay is becoming quite the drinking destination. With West Berkeley’s booming craft beer scene and Uptown Oakland’s growing nightlife scene, it feels like we are quickly catching up with San Francisco. More proof if it were needed: downtown Berkeley is now home to Tupper & Reed, the latest project from SF’s Future Bars team.

The long-awaited bar opens its doors tonight at 6 p.m. at 2271 Shattuck Ave. (at Bancroft). Tupper & Reed is modeled on the Future Bars‘ SF flagship, Bourbon & Branch, a speakeasy-style bar. It will boast a menu of 70 cocktails and hundreds of spirits, said co-owner Brian Sheehy, featuring classic drinks, twists on those classics and a number of cocktails created exclusively for the bar. In addition, Sheehy said, it will serve a small selection of beer and wine for “people who insist on not drinking cocktails.”(...)

Read the rest of Opening today: Tupper & Reed, a classic cocktail bar (745 words)

By Kate Williams. | Permalink | 15 comments |
Post tags: Berkeley bars, Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, Berkeley cocktails, Brian Sheehy, Cask on College, Cocktails, Doug Dalton, Downtown Berkeley, Future Bars, Justin d'Olier, Polly Armstrong, Sevan Araneda, Tupper & Reed

25 Feb 21:49

Research papers

A research paper is more of a work in progress that can take up to a week to write.

25 Feb 18:37

《你是我的呀啦嗦》拉萨市公安局版小苹果 - 高清在线观看 - 腾讯视频

by overbey

An astounding video by the Lhasa Police.

Things that Chinese imperialism violates: (1) international law; (2) human rights; (3) good taste.
25 Feb 14:12

Why adjunct labor matters to all of us

by schrisomalis

Today is National Adjunct Walkout Day, and if National Anthropology Day (from my last post) is not going to become a statutory holiday, you can be doubly sure that this one won’t either.   It has come about in order to raise awareness of and provoke action against a serious problem: the working conditions of adjunct faculty in academia.  Along with organizations like the New Faculty Majority, the aim of NAWD is to highlight the low pay, lack of benefits, and insecure employment of most of the people who teach college students today.

I, along with a significant but declining number of faculty, am tenured, having recently completed my probationary six-year period as a tenure-track assistant professor.  We (the tenure-track and tenured) currently constitute about 30% of all faculty, and probably are what you think of when you think of a college professor.  The other 70% consist of a range of contingent or contractual faculty whose working conditions and pay vary enormously, but at the low end – the faculty labelled ‘adjunct instructor’ or ‘part-time faculty’ or ‘sessional lecturer’,  who teach courses on a per-term, no-benefits basis – those conditions are frequently deeply exploitative.  This ratio of tenure-stream to others is not an inevitable or eternal state of affairs, however: forty years ago it was basically reversed.   The present situation has arisen out of a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to decline in governmental funding for higher education, increased labor supply (production of PhD graduates), and changing expectations of the role of universities.

As a tenured faculty member at a public research institution, I’m extremely lucky and privileged.  I’m not nearly so naive as to suppose that my current conditions of employment were an inevitable product of my superior merit for the job I occupy.  I also believe that we (the tenured few) have a positive obligation to think and talk about the aspects of our profession that, by virtue of our protected status, we can safely address.  Between 2001 and 2008 I held a variety of positions as an instructor, none of which were tenure-stream: graduate student instructor, adjunct instructor, postdoctoral fellow, and visiting professor.  I was never unemployed but also never secure.   I haven’t forgotten – nor, as I am reminded every time I look at my disciplinary job listings virtually out of habit, have I fully recovered.

In the weeks to come, I have a couple of posts floating around in my head that talk about some of the issues that I think serve as obstacles to progress in this discourse, some of which I’ve been talking about privately with colleagues for years, others of which are incompletely formed.  But today I have just one real thought to impart.  You may think that it doesn’t much matter whether the person teaching your kids freshman composition is on food stamps, that it doesn’t matter whether your spouse’s chemistry instructor has health benefits, or whether your own favorite anthropology professor works at four different colleges to make ends meet.  You’d be wrong, but I get that you might think that, because to be honest, most of the adjuncts I’ve worked with as colleagues –  and most of the instructors I’ve been in the past – are good at their job, and they don’t sit around bemoaning their lives.    That they do their jobs well, paradoxically, renders them more invisible than would otherwise be the case.

That is exactly the problem that National Adjunct Walkout Day is meant to remedy. As part of NAWD, some adjuncts (and others) will engage in job action including but not limited to public protests, cancelling classes, or other forms of direct action, even though they know their employment is at risk.  But here’s the thing: their employment was already at risk, just by virtue of their status.  So if you happen to be on a college campus today, or if you see the hashtag #NAWD on Twitter, bear in mind that the ivory tower is built from a foundation of the labor of many whose absence would rapidly bring about its collapse.

Filed under: Academia
24 Feb 22:51

Lovin' That Constitution

by Josh Marshall
24 Feb 19:13

Fight Club for women

Girls wouldn’t want to have fight marks and broken bones because it would just make their lives harder for them, in terms of getting ready for the day.

24 Feb 00:46

Belcampo San Francisco plots Zak Pelaccio dinners, bone broth hot toddies

by Paolo Lucchesi

In my list of “inevitable things”: bone broth hot toddies, collapse of human civilization.

Chef and restaurant owner Zak Pelaccio on Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, at Fish and Game in Hudson, N.Y. (Cindy Schultz / Times Union)

Zak Pelaccio at Fish and Game in Hudson, N.Y. Photo: Cindy Schultz / Times Union

The interior of Belcampo SF. Photo: Facebook

The interior of Belcampo SF. Photo: Facebook

As you may or may not know, the Polk Street outpost of Anya Fernald’s Belcampo Meat Co. recently got a new chef in Dirk Tolsma, who has been tweaking the menu over the last few weeks, wherein the trending bone broth ($5/cup) has been flying off the butcher counter.

More news is en route, too.

On March 5 and March 6, Belcampo Polk will will host two nights of dinners with two of the East Coast’s top chefs in Zak Pelaccio and Kevin Pomplun.

Pelaccio and Pomplun made their names at New York’s Fatty Crab, but have been hiding out in upstate New York’s well regarded Fish & Game.

Next week, they’ll travel from the Hudson Valley to San Francisco for two nights, cooking up a five course menu of Belcampo meats for $120 per person, with wine pairings an additional $40. Tickets are available online.

Also in March, Belcampo will be rolling out a few new options for the neighborhood. They’ll start doing takeout lunches, and will start offering their housemade charcuterie.

Oh, and Belcampo has enlisted the help of the Beard-nominated Rye spirit pros (Jon Gasparini and Greg Lindgren) to conjure up a low-proof cocktail program, also slated to be unveiling in March.

Included among those cocktails? A bone broth hot toddy. You read that correctly.

Belcampo SF: 1998 Polk Street, at Pacific, San Francisco. (415) 660-5573 or

23 Feb 23:11

A Day That Will Go Down in History

by Josh Marshall

Today will go down as the day when Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei went on a twitter tear with the #MalcolmX hashtag.

20 Feb 04:30

Short on machine guns, German army armed turrets with broomsticks

by Sean Gallagher

Late last year, as the German Bundeswehr was considering rebooting its expensive, failed Euro Hawk drone program, the army of the country with the fourth largest economy in the world fielded its newest armored vehicles in a major military exercise in Norway with broomsticks painted black and lashed in place of missing machine gun barrels. That detail was part of a German Defense Ministry report leaked to Germany's public television network ARD that exposed widespread shortages of basic combat equipment.

According to the report, the Bundeswehr units deployed as part of a test of NATO's Rapid Response Force in September were far from combat-ready: they deployed with less than a quarter of the night vision gear required. The units were also missing 41 percent of the P8 pistols and 31 percent of the MG3 man-portable machine guns they were supposed to deploy with. And none of the GTK Boxer armored vehicles that deployed were equipped with their primary armament—the 12.7 mm M3M heavy machine gun.

The NATO Rapid Reaction Force is supposed to be made up of 4,000 troops and related equipment that can be deployed in times of crisis within 48 hours. The force was assembled as a response to the growing crisis in Eastern Ukraine, where rebels alleged to be receiving material and perhaps even direct military support from Russia pushed back the Ukrainian military even as a cease-fire was supposed to begin.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

13 Feb 13:29

Revitalizing Area Studies

by tompepinsky

I have a new piece at the Chronicle of Higher Education entitled “How to Make Area Studies Relevant Again.” (I did not choose the title.) The motivating observation is that area studies has always had a close relationship with US national interests, and working within that model is the best way to protect and revitalize area studies.

Here is another way to think about my proposal.

Many of us would enjoy the opportunity to advise a promising PhD student who is going to become the world’s leading expert on, say, contemporary Thai or Malaysian politics. That would mean not only great language training, but also serious, extended interview-based fieldwork, probably mostly in the capital but also with an eye towards the regions as well. It would also require real interdisciplinary training. (By this I mean something more than a safari or a gamelan class, but rather a complex appreciation of culture, history, art, music, language, etc.)

Many who value area studies are quick to note, however, that developing that kind of in-depth expertise about one particular country is incompatible with the incentives from the academic job market in the United States. As a result, faculty do not push graduate students to do this.

That’s not a criticism of political science, or of academia more generally—and this is where I depart from most defenders of area studies, who usually lament that the disciplines have destroyed area studies. It’s just a statement of fact. The skill sets required to know the ins and outs of national politics at a truly sophisticated level, and to make important theoretical and empirical contributions to political science, may not much overlap. And to the extent that you believe that it is appropriate for political scientists to train country experts, the result is a missed opportunity for producing relevant area studies that is grounded in a discipline. As I wrote,

some PhD students develop this kind of expertise, but it is not part of the job description for an emerging scholar in either the social sciences or the humanities, and so these skills are seldom prized and rarely nurtured.

The solution I propose starts with the incentives of students and faculty and works from there. The basic idea is that the federal government should create what I call a Critical Area Studies Scholarship Program that trains students who want to work in the policy world to become area studies experts while also earning PhDs in political science or another academic discipline. Under this scheme, students can follow their interests to become country experts regardless of whatever costs that might have from the perspective of the academic job market. They also would get the disciplinary theoretical and methodological training that I think is so important. (You can read my defense of disciplinary research in area studies here.) And there is no dilution of the disciplines’ own interests in training the next generation of scholars.

If you care about area studies that is relevant and engaged—and the recent Avey and Desch survey of policymakers reminds us that they value area studies more than anything else that social science produces—then this would be the best of both worlds.

13 Feb 19:24

It's no hoot: Oregon city to post signs about attacking owl - SFGate

by overbey

I’m imagining this quote coming from Leslie Knope.

"It's just making people aware that there's an owl there that for whatever reason swoops down and goes after people's hats," he said.
13 Feb 15:00

North Carolina’s Counter Culture Coffee Emeryville roastery opening next month

by Tara Duggan


Counter Culture Coffee training center

Cupping at the Counter Culture Coffee training center in New York City. Photo: Alan Tansey

When Brett Smith opened Counter Culture Coffee in Durham, North Carolina in 1995, he created a model that remains unusual in today’s coffee roasting world. Smith’s company focuses on sourcing and roasting coffee, and then training people how to best prepare coffee drinks with the beans. But it doesn’t operate cafes.

In March, Counter Culture will break out its first West Coast roastery and training center in Emeryville after 20 years of only roasting in North Carolina. The Northern California branch will be followed by another training center in Los Angeles later this year. Counter Culture has eight other training centers around the country, all in the East Coast. The new roastery will be joining local companies like Peet’s, McLaughlin Coffee Co. and Highwire Coffee Roasters that have headquarters and roasting facilities in Emeryville.

“We wanted to come West and part of it was driven by Emeryville’s relative central location as we continue to grow in the West Coast,” says Smith, who is also looking at other West Coast markets like Seattle. “It’s a great market. We think there’s a lot of opportunity to come over there and share our coffee with a lot of great people. It’s certainly a great coffee town.”

Ya think? Usually, it’s the other way around: West Coast coffee companies like Four Barrel send their coffee to New York restaurants, or Portland’s Stumptown opens a roastery there. With Santa Cruz-based Verve opening soon in San Francisco and so many other home-grown coffee roasters expanding around the Bay Area, you have to wonder how an East Coast company will fit in.

“We hadn’t really thought of that,” Smith joked. “Coffee is an amazing business. It can feel crowded at times. It’s relatively easy to get in the business with a roaster and some good coffee. But what we really try to focus on is what we do best–sourcing unique coffees based on long-standing relationships we’ve had with farmers and working with them to experiment on different ways of growing.”

Counter Culture Coffee founder Brett Smith. Photo: Christy Baugh

Counter Culture Coffee founder and president Brett Smith. Photo: Christy Baugh

Smith also points to the company’s extensive training program for wholesale customers’ staff, in whole and half-day sessions on skills like beginning espresso and cupping fundamentals. The company also does a lot of public outreach with free talks and tours not just about coffee itself but sustainability issues around producing it.

Counter Culture coffee can already be found at a few Bay Area cafes like Coffee Cultures in the Financial District, Stanza Coffee locations in San Francisco and Modern Coffee in Oakland; it’s also sold at Dean & Deluca in St. Helena.

After opening, the Emeryville roastery will be open to the public for tastings and tours every Friday at 10 a.m. The space is being designed by architect Jane Kim, who is also responsible for Milk Bar in New York and Counter Culture’s New York training center.

Counter Culture: 1329 64th St., Emeryville. Opens in March.

12 Feb 01:06

Report: San Francisco bartenders and servers get paid the most in the country

by Paolo Lucchesi
A new study says that San Francisco bartenders and servers get paid the most in America. Photo: The Chronicle/John Storey

A new study says that San Francisco bartenders and servers get paid the most in America. Photo: The Chronicle/John Storey

According to rather thorough restaurant industry report from PayScale, San Francisco bartenders and servers make more money than their counterparts in 16 other major American cities.

Including tips, bartenders make a total median hourly base of $26.50 per hour in San Francisco, according to PayScale; that’s more than $10 more per hour than New York barmen. San Francisco servers aren’t far behind, at $21.50 per hour, outpacing their Los Angeles and San Diego peers, which clock in at $16.20 and $17.50, respectively.

As you can see in the report (cool interactive data below), it puts some numbers to the refrain has been growing louder in the Bay Area restaurant industry lately, and has spurred several Bay Area restaurants to abandon tipping with the hope of evening out the lopsided scale between front-of-house (servers, bartenders, typically tipped employees) and back of house (cooks, dishwashers et al.).

Cooks make an average of $14.30 in San Francisco, with only 6.99% of that income from tips, per the report. By comparison, 55.3% of local servers’ income stems from tips.

San Francisco doesn’t have a tip credit, like New York and other big cities, which means that servers and bartenders get minimum wage in addition to tips; in cities with a tip credit, tips count toward minimum wage. And don’t forget that the minimum wage of $11.05 is rising again later this year to $12.25 in May, with an eventual destination of $15/hour in 2018.

The PayScale report is based on self-reported stats, from 15,000 workers across the country who took the the PayScale Salary Survey between January 1, 2013 and January 1, 2015. Read more about the methodology over on PayScale; hat-tip to Eater National.

Compare San Francisco restaurant salaries with others from around the country:


· Previously: 5 Bay Area restaurants taking tips off table, adding surcharge [San Francisco Chronicle]
· Previously: CHAT: Tipping Point on Tipping? [San Francisco Chronicle]
· Previously: All Inside Scoop tipping coverage [Inside Scoop]

11 Feb 00:26

How Flipboard Built Their Web Version

by John Gruber

Michael Johnston, writing for Flipboard’s engineering blog on how and why they built their new web version:

These types of animations have always suffered from jank on the web, particularly on mobile devices, for one simple reason:

The DOM is too slow.

It’s not just slow, it’s really slow. If you touch the DOM in any way during an animation you’ve already blown through your 16ms frame budget.

Fascinating, really. Flipboard more or less built their own web app framework based on the HTML5 <canvas> element, completely eschewing the DOM and traditional CSS. To me, that Flipboard went this route is a scathing condemnation of the DOM/CSS web standards stack.

Viewing the HTML source of their web version is a real eye-opener. There’s almost nothing there.

09 Feb 20:00

Silly Java Strings


For the “JAVA is the most horrible language” files

Being a hyper-pedantic note about turning bytes into Java strings and a small fix for a smaller and almost-purely-aesthetic but ubiquitous problem. [Update: Heavily revised with a better solution.]

[Most of the comments below apply to the original solution I’d been using, which turned out to be sub-optimal.]

So, it’s like this: You’ve received some bytes over the wire and run them through a JSON parser and you’re looking at a few of them that you know damn well are a field name in UTF-8. So, you say:

final String name = new String(bytes);

Then your perfectly sensible reviewer points out that it’s a Best Practice to call the constructor with the “charsetName” argument because otherwise it’ll use “the platform’s default charset”. Which you know damn well is UTF-8 but hey, a Best Practice is a Best Practice, so you say:

final String name = new String(bytes, "UTF8");

At which point your IDE sticks a sharp little red underline in your eye because hey, that might throw an UnsupportedEncodingException even though the Javadocs say explicitly that implementations must damn well support UTF-8.

Now your nice minimal code is wearing an ugly necklace of tries and catches. And what, I ask, is supposed to go in the catch clause? There’s only one thing you can be sure of: It’ll be ugly and distracting and useless. I mean, if you had a “detonateBioWeapon()” call, you could put it in there and still sleep soundly. Once my catch clause read:

throw new RuntimeException("Paging Mr Gosling to the white courtesy
phone for a message.");

But another perfectly-reasonable reviewer made me take it out.

I bet there are millions of these stupid intrusive little excrescences all over the world’s Java code-bases. In the previous sentence, “millions” is not a figure of speech.

Anyhow, the answer is this:

import java.nio.charset.StandardCharsets;

final String name = new String(bytes, StandardCharsets.UTF_8);

I can’t conceive of any circumstances in which any of the three versions of this code presented here will produce results different from any of the others. But hey, your Practices are the Best, baby.

10 Feb 18:42

Is This a Cialis Thing?

by Josh Marshall

With throbbing conviction.

What century is this? Missouri congressional delegation calls for repealing Obamacare with "manly firmness." Sen. McCaskill's not impressed.

10 Feb 19:43

Merely words

some of the verses in my poem are merely words.

09 Feb 20:25

Four (!) new restaurants coming to Oakland’s Temescal

by Ethan Fletcher

Walk down Telegraph Ave. in Oakland’s Temescal district and you’ll see a lot of paper-covered windows: Four different dining spots have either opened or are opening within the next month or two. Here’s an update.

10433108_1041842659165512_5768405646391545146_nIron Pan

Taking over Aunt Mary’s old location, Iron Pan opened about two weeks ago with breakfast through dinner cafe service. The same-all-day menu is highlighted by crepes—owner Waleed Jweainat owns The Crepe House in San Francisco—but also offers scrambles, sandwiches, salads, and pastas, most for under $10 (Click here for the menu). The café serves a nice neighborhood niche by staying open all day, morphing from a place to get coffee and use free wi-fi in the morning to a bar with boutique wines and eight beers on tap in the evening.

4307 Telegraph Ave., (510) 922-1726,

Grange Hall

Owner Jonathan Moon debuted the yakitori-centric Japanese spot Kushido to nice reviews late last year. Now his cocktail bar and restaurant, Grange Hall, is set to come online at the old Barlata around the end of the month. Executive chef Matt Burger will serve up a menu of American comfort food that includes items such as burgers, lobster rolls, and fried chicken.

But a focus at Grange will be the bar program created by Jason Huffman of San Francisco’s Roka Akor. Bartenders will be making their own sodas (including root beer), tinctures, and bitters for cocktails, likely coming in at $10 or less, to go along with a punch program and a selection of Japanese whiskeys. The bar, by the way, will be open until midnight serving a streamlined late-night bar bites menu. Grange will open for lunch and dinner to start with plans to phase in weekend brunch.

4901 Telegraph Ave.


Nick and Aron’s

Nick Yapor-Cox and Aron Ford, the duo behind Nick’s Pizza in North Oakland, are getting a little more room to maneuver. According to the East Bay Express, they’re taking over the former Remedy Coffee-turned-Barkada location, which comes equipped with two large gas-deck ovens (courtesy of Barkada’s baking operations) and a 600-square-foot back patio.

Similar to Iron Pan, this will be a breakfast-through-dinner operation, per EBX, with Ford doing made-in-house pastries in the morning and Yapor-Cox handling the pizzas, plus expanded apps and entrée offerings, for the full-service dinner (they’ll focus on salads and sandwiches on home-baked baguettes for lunch). Look for an opening in March, with weekend brunch service to follow.

4316 Telegraph Ave.,

374433_573798445966660_143177951_nRosamunde Sausage Grill

Craft beer and sausages have proved a successful duo for owner Josh Margolis, who has launched three other locations, including one in Brooklyn, since opening his first Rosamunde in San Francisco’s Lower Haight in 1998. His fifth should be coming within a couple of months to the former Good Bellie’s space in Temescal. Expect the same tried-and-true formula: 14 craft beers on tap and 18 different kinds of sausages, including vegan offerings, plus sides (and hopefully some outdoor seating along Telegraph).

4659 Telegraph Ave.,

08 Feb 21:28

SX – Stack Exchange for Emacs

by overbey


SX is a full featured Stack Exchange mode for GNU Emacs 24+. Using the official API, it provides a versatile experience for the Stack Exchange network within Emacs itself.
08 Feb 23:00

California lawmaker proposes warrant requirement for digital data access

by Cyrus Farivar

While a warrant requirement for e-mail is unlikely to be passed at the federal level anytime soon (despite yet another recently introduced bill), a California state senator wants his home state to do just that. If passed, the bill would extend significant digital privacy rights to the most populous state in America.

On Monday, Mark Leno, a state lawmaker who represents San Francisco, is set to introduce a new bill, called the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (CalECPA).

If passed, it would not just impose a warrant requirement to access e-mail, but would also require that law enforcement officials not interact with any electronic device in the possession of a citizen—to put the law in formal compliance with the unanimous 2014 Supreme Court decision Riley v. California, which required a warrant to search a cellphone.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

08 Feb 02:23


by overbey

I didn’t know about 'nyan-mode.

While it is certainly true that Emacs is the most powerful text editor in the world, your first impression of it may be less favourable, because its default configuration really just isn’t all that great. But now there is Ohai Emacs! Simply install Ohai Emacs as your emacs.d, and you will be ready to bask in the full radiance of Holy Emacs in no time at all.
06 Feb 19:02

Yes, Prez Candidate Walker is the Real Deal

by Josh Marshall

There's talk today of a poll boomlet for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. And he's clearly demonstrating that he's serious about running for President.

It's probably a given that I'm not a huge fan of Scott Walker's. And I do not think he'd be a terribly strong general election candidate. But I do think, as I mentioned a few months ago, that he's much stronger than is generally understood and a more viable candidate than most of the other potential candidates who get vastly more coverage and speculation.

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06 Feb 16:25

Newsweek’s Photo Fact-Check Fail

by Dan

“The Great White Lama: Notice His Cunning Little Toes.”

This is not, we repeat, NOT, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Discovering a major news magazine’s huge mistake ought to be an opportunity for gloating. In this case none of that gloating would be mine, since the whole idea and the research involved here comes not from me but from R.K., who is now going to build a major reputation for his initials, since that’s all he wanted to put here. The problem is a photograph that has sometimes been used in stories about His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, who yesterday enjoyed a Prayer Breakfast in Washington with The President of the United States of America Barack Obama, and had a long time before that received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, etc. etc. Honestly, I assume everybody in the known universe knows to whom it is that we refer.

The photo above has also appeared on the internet in a larger form that supplies more background (we’ll put that in below). In the Newsweek story in today’s February 6, 2015 issue — Peter Popham’s “Relentless: The Dalai Lama's Heart of Steel” — the photo appears as above, but labeled with the following caption:
“Young Dalai Lama at Usersky-Danzan temple in Mongolia in 1939, aged three. KEYSTONE/AFP/GETTY”
Since the present Dalai Lama — or, if you prefer, Jampel Ngawang Lozang Tendzin Gyatso, འཇམ་དཔལ་ངག་དབང་བློ་བཟང་བསྟན་འཛིན་རྒྱ་མཚོ་ — was born on July 7, 1935, and Tibetan ‘age’ is always calculated up one year, that would make the photo date from around 1937, right? Wrong.

To see just how wrong this is, have a look at the front page of this newspaper. Do not fail to make a note of the date you see there.

"The Great White Lama:
Notice His Cunning Little Toes"
published Monday, June 3, 1929
Our conclusion is very simple and indisputable. Since this photo was published in 1929 (and it seems it had already been published in England a year earlier*), it simply cannot be His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Newsweek must fix their error in dating it to 1939, ten years later. It is really beside the point if others made this or similar mistakes before them.** It might be interesting to trace the genealogy of this particular error in some detail someday, in some doctoral dissertation or whatever, but an error it most surely is.
(*This website [go there and search for the number "10215921"] says it took the photograph from The Illustrated London News of 22nd Dec 1928.)
(**Just do an “image search” on the internet, and you will find it has been used a number of times as if it were a photo of the His Holiness.  Of course there is yet another mistake in the Newsweek picture caption, since His Holiness as a child never set foot in Mongolia.) 
It has to be a photograph of someone else, and the question remains, Who? The newspaper story places it inside Tibet, but it is not always the case that the earliest version of the story is the truest therefore. If the photo was taken at a place called “Usersky-Dazan,” it would not have been in “Thibet,” but rather in Mongolia, Buriatia, or Kalmuckia somewhere.* So if you know or can find out anything at all about this little Lama with his dextrous toes, drop us a comment, let us reason together and seek out the truth even while we are sifting out the errors.
(*That Slavic genitive ending kind of gives it away, and the “Dazan” is a foreign and very likely Mongolian spelling for Tibetan Datsang, or གྲྭ་ཚང་  Mongolian always replaces the Tibetan final ‘ng’ sound with final ‘n’.  For a curious picture said to be from Usersky-dazan, have a look at this commercial site.  I also found in a newspaper archive a story published in the San Antonio Light for April 10, 1932, an article entitled “Why the Obscure Mongolian Baby Born at the Proper Minute is Worshipped as a God,” but seeing it involved filling out a long form and paying ten U.S. dollars, I decided to let it be.  I did manage to find a clue that this Dazan ought to be located 20 miles from the ever-moving and ever-growing town of Urga. Urga is regarded as the old name for Ulan Bator.)
Here is the larger version of the photo I promised you earlier on. Take a very close look at it. If you detect signs it could be a collage of two different photographs, you may not be entirely alone. You can see that somebody's bad touchup job turned the beautiful double-Vajra design on the hanging cloth into a kind of crude looking cross.

For this Getty image, look here.

Addendum (February 7, 2015):

I am happy to report that the identification problem is largely solved, and I can tell you, Newsweek is going to feel even sillier than expected with cake all over his face. Again, I don’t get any gloating rights.  All the credit goes elsewhere.  Well, yesterday, as I was putting up the blog I did have the presence of mind to send an email to someone I was sure would be able to answer a few Mongol-ological questions, about where the monastery might be, in particular. But I have to admit that Agata Bareja-Starzynska of Warsaw surprised me with her brief and directly to the point information. In yesterday's first email she identified the “Usersky-Dazan” monastery as Gusino-ozersky (or Gusino-ozerskii Datsan) in Buryatia. And already last night she told me that the boy in the photo was most probably the one playing a lama in the Pudovkin movie “A Storm over Asia.” And this morning, I received the following email sent late last night. Seeing this evidence throws a very different light on the identity of the toe-crossing child Lama. To put it mildly, it was not the  solution I was expecting, not at all.

Found it via Internet!
see a scene at 1:04:13 till 1:06
the Lama boy is there playing with his toes.

For myself, the scene started closer to 1:03. I recommend starting several minutes earlier, since there are scenes to be seen of Cham dancing that are quite impressive. I admit I have still never seen this movie (apart from this scene of course). I only now learned how to make “screen shots” on my Mac, so I’ll put some examples down below for the convenience of blog readers too lazy to watch movies.

Oh the movie! I forgot to say something about the movie. I found out that it’s a famous full-lengthed silent film, supposed to have been a landmark in cinematographic history when it was made in 1928. The director was Vsevolod Pudovkin, and the English-language version is called “Storm over Asia.” The original title means “The Heir to Genghis Khan.” If you want to know what it’s about, have a look for yourself. But before you go, just let me get in one last jibe, smear a bit of that cake around on Newsweek’s face. The photo Newsweek innocently believed to be an image of His Holiness the Dalai Lama took on an aura of reality in two distinct historical phases: [1] an early Soviet period movie and [2] a newspaper story concocted out of the same for the bemusement of English and American readers who would not have known any better. Or were the journalists themselves the ones who knew no better?

Screen shots from the movie

§   §   §

Another Addendum (February 8, 2015):

I was thinking there was still an area of mystery that ought to be explored if possible, namely, ‘Can anything more be known about the actual child who played the part of the infant Lama?’ Somebody told me he would be the best person to find out about anything that happened in Buryatia, so I wrote to Nikolay Tsyrempilov, who works at the Buryat State University in Ulan Ude. I was delighted by his fast response, and will, with his kind permission, pass on two passages from his emails, the first dated yesterday and the second dated today.

The first quote:
“As for your question, I have nothing new to add to what you already know. That’s absolutely true that Usersky Dazan is Gusinoozersky Datsan, the main Buddhist monastery of Buryatia until 1940s. Pudovkin made some important episodes of his movie at that monastery. I think that the boy was just a simple boy who was selected in the process of casting. I don’t believe that he was a real tulku. My opinion is based on the fact that in 1928 it was not safe for high foreign Lamas to stay in Buryatia. A year earlier the Soviet authorities launched repressions against the Lamas, and if you watch the movie carefully, you’ll see how anxious the lamas’ faces are. A couple of years before some Tibetan tulkus, e.g. Tangring Rinpoche, had stressful experiences  staying in Buryatia. In 1928 the situation was even worse. If you look at the boy you can see that his attire is not typical for small tulkus. They just put a piece of yellow (I believe it is yellow) cloth on him. Probably, that was the reason he was called the white lama.”
The second is in answer to a question I had about the throne, and not just the child seated on it.  I was thinking that the cloth that hangs down in front is a real throne cloth, featuring a large double-Vajra design, as we often see on Rinpoche thrones. But I was also thinking that the throne was far too low and close to the pavement to be a real Rinpoche throne.  So here is Prof. Tsyrempilov's response:
“As for the throne, I think it’s a fake. It looks like a real one, but I believe this one was hastily constructed specially for the movie. Yes, it seems rather too low. The boy is not an ethnic Russian, he is a typical Buryat.”

§   §   §

A wrinkle (Valentines Day, 2015):

If we were thinking there would be a smooth path to identifying the real young man in the photo and in the movie before the photo, a new and interesting wrinkle has come up along the way. I also wrote to Andrey Terentyev of St. Petersburg, author of some excellent books on Tibetan art and so on that I may blog about sometime soon. The surprising new news is that the temple in which the little lama was sitting was not in Buryatia as we had thought. I mean, it would be only natural to assume that he was filmed there, in the same place as all Cham dancing scenes that came before. But it now appears that this, like so many other things, is an illusion. Andrey says he immediately recognized the temple and its main image (or images) as the ones that were, in around the mid-1930's, at least, in the Buddhist temple that Agwan Dorjiev founded in St. Petersburg, Russia.  Just below is a photo from that time that he sent me. I could locate a similar photo in a published book that dates it to the early 1930's, so at least we are in the right general time frame here. The temple still stands in Petersburg, I once visited it myself, and I can tell you that the large main image that is there now is not the one you would have seen in the 1930's (the one that appears in our photos).  Andrey also sent a nice photo of the main image that you can see further down.

Interior of Dorjiev's Buddhist temple in St. Petersburg, early-to-mid 1930's

Compare what you see here to the first in the set of four screen-shots from the 1928 movie that I’ve posted above. Look closely and decide for yourself if what you see is the same place or not.

Main central images in the Buddhist temple in St. Petersburg, early-to-mid 1930's
I’m not one hundred percent, but I think that the smaller Buddha you see in front is the silver Gautama Buddha donated by the King of Siam especially for the consecration of the temple.* Its building began in 1909, with the permission of Czar Nicholas, and that story is a fascinating one we can’t go into right now. Needless to say, not everyone was in favor of its building, and Dorjiev reports in his memoirs that he received a number of death threats. Still, after the building was finished, the monks seem to have gotten on well with their neighbors.
(*Now, February 15, 2015, Andrey informs me that the Gautama was in fact copper, not silver, so my authority on this is  certainly misleading. Thanks to Andrey for fixing still more of my mistakes.)

An email communication, dated February 15, from Andrey:

Dear Dan,

It’s true about looting the temple and fixing main image afterwards. But that image was made of alabaster and later was changed by Dorjiev for a metal one which you see on our photos.

One friend of mine, who was the main Snelling’s informant didn’t speak good English, so I suspect that Snelling mixed info on Siamese Buddha with another story concerning the famous Sandalwood Buddha statue made during Buddha’s lifetime and kept in Russia since 1900.

The Siamese statue was made of copper or brass. It was kept in the Museum of History of Religions and Atheism where I worked for 13 years.

I should add a few clarifications: The alabaster, being either white or lightish golden colored, was at least partly gilded over.  The 1916 photo is different from all the others, since the Buddha's curls appear white (probably because the alabaster was not gilded there), the eyes are quite glowingly white, and the throne backing is very different.  The sandalwood Buddha Andrey mentioned is something he knows about, since he wrote a book on exactly that subject:  

The Sandalwood Buddha of the King Udayana. St.-Petersburg: A.Terentyev, 2010
Parallel Russian and English text
ISBN 978-5-901941-25-6

I noticed one detail that confirms or even clinches the fact that the scene of the little Rinpoche was shot in the St. Petersburg temple. I wish I had a copy of it to upload, but if you have the book at hand, turn to John Snelling's book Buddhism in Russia (Element 1993), photo no. 16 in the middle of the book. There you see a photo labelled "Danzan Norboyev, sixth incarnation of Ganzhirva-Gegen, on the high lama's throne in the Leningrad Temple." Now get out a magnifying glass and examine the fabric covering the backrest part of the throne (the part behind the back of the Lama).  Now look at the fabric covering the backrest in the scene from the 1928 movie.  The floral fabric pattern is the same. And Danzan Norboyev (1887-1935) would have arrived in St. Petersburg in around 1929, so the dates are close enough we can be fairly sure it is the same piece of cloth. A minor detail, I suppose, yet telling.

So, let’s see where we stand right now...  Far from being a photo of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the photo Newsweek published as being of Him was passed down from English & American newspapers of 1929 to 1932 that, without admitting doing so, took it from a Russian movie released in 1928. Now we know that the shots of the young reincarnate in that movie were actually taken in St. Petersburg, in a temple built for the use of the many Kalmucks and Buryats staying in St. Petersburg in those days. No reason why the child could not have been a Buryat as N.T. says he was, no reason at all. If I had a hammer handy I would want to pound on each letter as if it were a nail piercing the conscience of Newsweek, but I guess bold print will do well enough:  His Holiness was not in St. Petersburg in the 1920's, and the child filmed there was not Him, not Him at all.

§   §   §


P.S. (Not intending to let Newsweek off the hook, but...)

  • Of course, to His Holiness this kind of identity problem will bring no grief at all. 

  • It is difficult to predict precisely, and I wouldn’t ever for the life of me even seem to second-guess His Holiness, but I strongly suspect His reaction would look a lot like this:

This comes from Dan's Tibeto-logic blog located at
05 Feb 00:05

Kam Chancellor played through MCL tear in Super Bowl

by Wesseling, Chris

I can’t imagine the bravery/idiocy it must take to run and tackle with a torn MCL.

Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor played through an MCL tear in addition to a deep bone bruise in Super Bowl XLIX. Would Seattle have won the game if the Legion of Boom was fully healthy?
03 Feb 13:00



Huginn is a system for building agents that perform automated tasks for you online. They can read the web, watch for events, and take actions on your behalf. Huginn’s Agents create and consume events, propagating them along a directed graph.

Think of it as a hackable Yahoo! Pipes plus IFTTT on your own server. You always know who has your data. You do.

Via The Changelog.

03 Feb 04:00

Defining Issue of 2016?

by Josh Marshall

The science is clear: The earth is round, the sky is blue, and #vaccineswork. Let's protect all our kids. #GrandmothersKnowBest

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 3, 2015

Flagged by TPM Reader NP.

30 Jan 20:13

Marshawn Lynch, grabbing his crotch for charity

by Danny Kelly

This is so great.

Marshawn Lynch has worked out an endorsement deal that matches the money he'll potentially lose in fines to the NFL for any crotchal region grabbage. will pay an equal amount of Lynch's theoretical fine to his charity, Fam 1st Family Foundation. It's a fun little deal -- it raises awareness, it allows Lynch to grab his crotch without regret, and in fact, since NFL fine money goes to charity, he's now doubling the amount of money that charitable organizations would receive for subsequent nut-grabbing in celebration.

Per Adam Schefter,

If the NFL fines Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch for another obscene gesture during Super Bowl, he will receive a matching grant for his charity, Fam 1st Family Foundation.

Underwear brand has agreed to match Lynch's fines this Sunday by donating to Fam 1st Family Foundation, which is dedicated to mentoring children on the importance of education, literacy, and self-esteem.

MeUndies has agreed to donate $20,000 to Fam 1st Family Foundation for Lynch's most recent fine and an additional $20,000 (up to $100,000) for every touchdown he scores during the Super Bowl to cover any fines incurred as a result of Lynch expressing himself freely.

It is Lynch's third marketing deal this week to go along with Skittles and Progressive. And so while he could be losing money, he also is making plenty of it.

"Marshawn is under scrutiny for a pain we've all felt, and we stepped in to help Beast Mode with great fitting, non-riding underwear," the company said in a statement. "MeUndies empowers people to express themselves freely in the midst of any situation and eliminates the need to readjust down there. "

MeUndies said it wants Lynch to focus on preparing for the Super Bowl and not have to worry about expressing himself. MeUndies is the same company that helped Cowboys RB Joseph Randle give away underwear in his community and turn a negative situation into a positive one after he was caught shoplifting.

This crotch grabbing thing is really not turning out how the NFL had hoped, I don't think.