Dispatches from the Edge:The Oil Spills You Never Heard Of

By Conn Hallinan
Sunday June 13, 2010 - 08:13:00 PM

While the news about British Petroleum’s (BP) Deepwater Horizon platform blowout in the Gulf of Mexico is on a 24-hour news feed, it took a long boat ride and some serious slogging by John Vidal of The Observer (UK) to uncover a bigger and far deadlier oil spill near the village of Otuegwe in Nigeria’s Niger Delta. -more-

Blogbeat: Whose Berkeley Is It, Anyway?

By Thomas Lord
Tuesday June 15, 2010 - 01:25:00 PM

Reading lots of blogs, so that you don’t have to.
This week’s theme: Berkeley’s political polarizations.
This week’s items: wrapping up (for now) on Measure C and the controversial Rose St. project, a Berkeley psychologist “diagnosis” of President Obama, and Berkeley High School student leadership team election problems. -more-

Wild Neighbors:Pit Stops along the Flyway

By Joe Eaton
Sunday June 13, 2010 - 08:10:00 PM

We’re never too long between migrations here. Most of the northbound birds have reached their destinations by now, even the chronic laggards like the yellow-billed cuckoo. But this is just a pause in the action between the first wave of shorebirds come through on their way south, starting next month; then the rufous hummingbirds tracing the Sierra southward, and the early-migrant passerines, and the raptors and the waterfowl. -more-

The Public Eye: Barack Obama: The Birth and Death of Cool

By Bob Burnett
Saturday June 12, 2010 - 09:54:00 PM

I’m part of an American demographic that values cool, the mystical self-confidence that sends the message “I have it handled.” Since he burst upon the national political scene in 2004, Barack Obama has seemed the epitome of cool. But after the BP gulf oil disaster, pundits accused Obama of being “too cool.” -more-

Senior Power: A Good Book..and More

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Saturday June 12, 2010 - 09:11:00 PM

A History of Old Age is a good book…a great book, in fact. If it appears to be a mere coffee table book, look closely at the cover -- a color reproduction of an 18th Century painting of the head of a nameless old woman? Or perhaps you agree that Christian Seybold’s ‘Old Woman with Green Scarf’ (1794) has dignity and beauty. A History of Old Age is about old age in literature and old people in history and art. It was Charlotte Perkins Gilman who pointed out that, through literature, we know the past, govern the present, and influence the future. -more-

Restoration Comedy: Bankster Rap

By Jane Powell
Tuesday June 15, 2010 - 07:37:00 AM

I admit to being kind of disappointed at not receiving a single nasty e-mail after my last column. Either Planet readership has dropped significantly since going web-only, or everyone in Berkeley and environs is completely hip that the banks are screwing us, and that homeowners are not responsible for the situation in which they find themselves. -more-