Saturday, June 30, 2007

Life After Near-Death

by Kara Platoni
Sat, Jun 30, 2007 at 4:56 PM

Check out this multimedia package called "Right Place, Wrong Time" put together by the Oakland Tribune as part of a follow-up to the paper's coverage of Oakland teenager Charity Gipson, who was shot in the head by a stray bullet when a fight broke out at her sister's sweet 16 birthday party earlier this year. Gipson, now 14 years old, survived the shooting, but both the physical and the emotional damage are slow to heal.

Free Adoptions of Adult Cats

by Kathleen Richards
Sat, Jun 30, 2007 at 4:56 PM

The Tri-Valley Animal Rescue must be overwhelmed because they're offering free adoptions on all adult cats this weekend. The no-fee adoption includes free spay/neutering, health exams, Feline Leukemia & FIV Tests, vaccinations, de-worming, flea control, and microchip insertion and activation -- which would usually cost between $200 and $400. Here's where you can find them:

PetSmart-Dublin: Saturday noon-4 p.m.; Sunday 1-4 p.m.; weekdays during store hours

Pet Food Express-Dublin: Saturdays and Sundays 2-5 p.m.

Pleasanton Farmers Market: Saturday 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Buy Curious: Does Your Butt Need a Facial?

Fri, Jun 29, 2007 at 4:56 PM

Paris is free, Tahoe's scorched, hordes of people line up to drop $600 on the iPhone, but really, what could be more important than bargain shopping in the East Bay? This week, Buy Curious rounds up more fashion events, sample sales, and online discounts you won't want to pass up. Plus, we explore the joys of the crafters, Etsy, and the best local shopping sites have to offer (can you say "butt facial"?).

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The East Bay Today: June 29, 2007

Fri, Jun 29, 2007 at 4:56 PM

Today's Top Event: Playwright Shanique S. Scott explores the metaphorical meaning of being trapped in Prisons at La Peña Cultural Center.

Brainiac: Learn something new every day. Today's lecture: Breakfast with Fran. Fran Tarkenton and Bill Wortman show how to acquire new prospects, gain exposure, and increase clientele at this networking event at Hilton Newark-Fremont.

Is It Lunch Yet? Express food critic John Birdsall recommends: Cafe Rouge in Berkeley.

On the Town: Going out tonight? Have a Guinness or four at Beckett's to the Latin rock sounds of Raya Nova.

Hardly Working: You've got time. We know how to waste it. Learn how to make an almost-free squirting blood effect.

Feed Us: Got an East Bay news tip, photo, video, or link we need to know about? E-mail us.

Wired Weighs in on the Hans Reiser Case

by Kara Platoni
Fri, Jun 29, 2007 at 4:56 PM

Wired magazine has a fascinating story about Hans Reiser, the Oakland Linux programmer who has been accused of murdering his estranged wife, Nina Reiser, the mother of their two young children. The premise: it takes a geek to understand a geek, so Reiser's defense attorney allows his famously media-averse client (prior to his arrest, Reiser was filmed running from news camera crews) to sit down with a tech writer. Journalist Joshua Davis deftly turns out what may be the world's first true crime potboiler written entirely in nerdspeak. For example, he uses grimly punny bits of Reiser4, the incarcerated man's computer code, as breaks between sections of the story. Witness:

if (!JF_ISSET(node, JNODE_HEARD_BANSHEE)) + warning("nikita-3177", "Parent not found");

He also uses a clever split-screen layout whenever the narrative in the murder investigation comes across and unresolved bit of conflicting testimony, labeling one storyline "version 00" and the other "version 01."

From the daily news reports of this unusual murder investigation, you may well be familiar with some of its more salacious details -- the accusations of infidelity and business backstabbing, of S&M and violent video games and implanted memories, of kids who change stories on the witness stand and later disappear with their grandma to Russia. But this is the first time you really get to hear Reiser's side of the story, and part of what he wants to say is that he feels he's been discriminated against. "Male geeks, such as myself, are one of America's most hated cultural minorities," he claims.

"Reiser has so far relied on the Geek Defense," writes Davis. "It boils down to this: I may be awkward, a little weird, and prone to convoluted theories about nearly everything. But I am not a killer."

Do you believe him?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The East Bay Today: June 28, 2007

Thu, Jun 28, 2007 at 4:56 PM

Today's Top Event: Camille Dungy reads at Berkeley City College.

Brainiac: Learn something new every day. Today's lecture: Chinese Calligraphy Classes at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center.

Is It Lunch Yet? Express food critic John Birdsall recommends: Bakesale Betty in Oakland.

On the Town: Going out tonight? Club 1220 urges you to Kick Back and Relax with DJs Mike and Stephen. Rather stay on your feet? Then test your skills in the pool tournament.

Hardly Working: You've got time. We know how to waste it. Check out this video of a CNN reporter getting smacked around by giant flying Asian carp.

Feed Us: Got an East Bay news tip, photo, video, or link we need to know about? E-mail us.

Local Academic's Blog Generates Premature Controversy

by Jeremy Singer-Vine
Thu, Jun 28, 2007 at 12:10 AM

Berkeley PhD candidate Danah Boyd, has the web astir after she posted an informal essay on her blog about the class divisions associated with the popular social-networking sites Facebook and MySpace. Boyd, who is already among the most prominent of academics of the Internet's social sphere, posted the essay on Sunday. On Monday morning, the BBC reported on Boyd's "conclusions", and by midday Monday, nearly 100,000 readers had flocked to Boyd's original entry. Though many have written in support of the essay, others have taken major offense, calling the work "racist" and academically unsound. Boyd sees the negativity towards her essay as a product of its misrepresentation in the press--specifically in the BBC's "hugely problematic" coverage of her essay--which she says referred to the essay as a final product of academic research, rather than the exploratory mid-process musing it was meant to be. On Wednesday, Boyd--apparently inundated with requests from the press--posted this missive to her blog:

Dear esteemed members of the press, I am in the field collecting data and then will be attending a conference. I am not able to respond right now. Do not call my house phone. Do not pester my department. And do *NOT* hound my subletter. All press inquiries should be sent to press [at] When I can, I respond. When I can't, I don't. Do not use other email addresses - I check the press one from my phone and answer them in order when I have spare cycles. Other requests are typically ignored. The BBC coverage of my blog essay is hugely problematic. If you want to discuss what I've written, please read the essay itself. This is not a formal report. This is a blog essay based on observations from the field. And this is not a 6-month study; it is a 4-year study with a tide shift that I've noticed in the last 6 months. Again, read the essay. At some point, I will turn this into a formal article, but this is not that. Cover it as you see fit, but do not call it a report. Thank you, THE MANAGEMENT

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The East Bay Today: June 27, 2007

Wed, Jun 27, 2007 at 4:56 PM

Today's Top Event: "Wild Wednesdays" comedy night at Temescal Cafe.

Brainiac: Learn something new every day. Today's lecture: Through Deaf Eyes Screening and Discussion. Two-hour PBS documentary traces deaf citizens' perspectives on family life, education, and work at the Rockridge Branch of the Oakland Public Library.

Is It Lunch Yet? Express food critic John Birdsall recommends: Alekos Cafe in Orinda.

On the Town: Going out tonight? Perfect time for a good laugh at Sea Mi Restaurant and Bar's Wednesday Night Comedy show.

Hardly Working: You've got time. We know how to waste it. How many spider monkeys does a blue whale weigh? Check out this weird converter.

Feed Us: Got an East Bay news tip, photo, video, or link we need to know about? E-mail us.

You Write Too Long -- This Week's Cover Story Bite-Sized

by Kelly Vance
Wed, Jun 27, 2007 at 4:56 PM

This week, "God vs. Country": What's it going to be, Mao or Jesus? That's a simplified version of the dilemma facing students and scholars from China visiting in Berkeley, where a local church is actively preaching Christianity among the newcomers, hoping to sway them from a lifetime of atheism. The newly converted Chinese Christians face uncertainties when they return home from a society unused to competing ideologies, and there are reportedly even Chinese government spies among the students. Writer Lygia Navarro investigates.

Revealed: The Identities of All the New Owners of the East Bay Express

by Stephen Buel
Wed, Jun 27, 2007 at 4:56 PM

In the wake of the recent announcement that a small group of investors has purchased the East Bay Express and returned its independence, readers of this blog and other commentators have asked for more details about the nature of our new ownership team. When we announced the May 17 purchase, we revealed the names of four of our investors, including all three of the partners who work at the paper and also a fourth investor with relevant newspaper experience. But lest anyone assume that we are hiding anything related to the identity of our other colleagues, we are happy to formally introduce all our investors:

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