Monday, August 27, 2007

The East Bay Today: August 27, 2007

Mon, Aug 27, 2007 at 4:56 PM

Today's Top Event: The Kentucky Cycle at Willows Theatre.

Brainiac: Learn something new every day. Today's lecture: A panel of local memoirists speak at Barnes & Noble.

Is It Lunch Yet? Express food critic John Birdsall recommends: Da Lian in Berkeley.

On the Town: Going out tonight? Take your after-dinner coffee with traditional Italian music, courtesy of Musica ha Disconnesso, at Caffe Trieste in Berkeley.

Hardly Working: You've got time. We know how to waste it. Check out the short version of Scarface. Warning: not suitable for work or children.

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

Goodnight, Moon

by Kara Platoni
Mon, Aug 27, 2007 at 4:56 PM

Hey space fans and insomniacs! In the wee hours of Tuesday morning - aka tonight between about 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. - there will be a rare total eclipse of the moon.

Some advice from NASA - lunar eclipses are safe to view with the naked eye, and can be seen without a telescope, so most of us folks in North America should be able to get a good view while standing shivering in the backyard, as long as the clouds oblige. (Ordinary binoculars will help magnify the "red" effect of a total lunar eclipse.)

Or, if you prefer a more festive atmosphere for your moon viewing, Oakland's Chabot Space & Science Center will be throwing a special viewing party with a "full moon hike," viewing of the eclipse through their telescopes, and a planetarium presentation. Details are here.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The East Bay Today: August 24, 2007

Fri, Aug 24, 2007 at 4:56 PM

Today's Top Event: James Carter at Yoshi's.

Brainiac: Learn something new every day. Today's lecture: Greil Marcus discusses his book The Shape of Things to Come: Prophecy and the American Voice at Cody's Books.

Is It Lunch Yet? Express food critic John Birdsall recommends: Mehak Indian Cuisine in Berkeley.

On the Town: Going out tonight? Love Neil Diamond? Then make the trek to classy Blackhawk Plaza to catch a performance by Neil Diamond tribute band Super Diamond.

Hardly Working: You've got time. We know how to waste it. Check out this video for the Finnish version of "YMCA."

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

Buy Curious: Poppy Fabric Goes Bye-Bye, SF Fashion Week in Full Swing

Fri, Aug 24, 2007 at 4:56 PM

This week: East Bay fabric institution to close its doors (take advantage of the sale); SF Fashion Week offers classes in "catwalk choreography," and a Berkeley boutique warehouse sale beckons.

SHOP TALK

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So-Long, Poppy
Apparently, we just don't sew like we used to. That, and rents are insane. Poppy Fabric, a 36-year-old institution, will close its doors at the end of September, and when it does, East Bay sewers will lose one of its few precious resources for unique, high-end fabrics. In July, owner Paul Eisenberg announced the closure as a result of the sale of the building and their lease not being renewed, and a fruitless search for a comparable, affordable space. We loved Poppy Fabric for inspiring us to sew, even when we didn't really know how to sew, and staffers made fun of our designs (that was only once, really). But don't bust out your hanky yet, 'cause one of Poppy's longtime employees will open her own (though considerably smaller) fabric boutique in October. In the meantime, take advantage of their clearance sale going on now. All merchandise is 35 percent off; buttons are half off, and patterns are 75 percent off. When: Now, through the end of September. (They're open Labor Day) Where: 5151 Broadway, Oakland

Berkeley Blowout
Sunday. 10 a.m. Two words: "WAREHOUSE SALE." Berkeley boutique Magnet hosts its (first?) warehouse sale this weekend with deals that instantly negate any other plan you've made: church, brunch with grandma, cleaning your bathroom, farmer's market, whatever. All clothes and accessories will be slashed to $15 to $99, and denim from $30 to $50. Brands include CLC, Mint, Issa, Talla, Trovata, Tinc, Steven Alan, LA Made, Zooey, Earnest Sewn, James, and more. When: Sun., Aug. 26, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Where: 2508 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley

Now Playing: SF Fashion Week
Bust out your best outfit for SF Fashion Week, which wraps up this weekend. If you can't make the evening runway shows, check out some of their classes going on tomorrow at the W Hotel, with such enticing names as "Model Boot Camp," "Catwalk Choreography," and "Becoming a Fashion Entrepreneur." We can't wait to see the outfits... For a complete schedule and prices, click here.

East Bay Boutique Expands West
It's not easy to do, and not many have succeeded (Dish being an exception), but Walnut Creek boutique Hush (http://www.myhush.com/) just opened its new location in San Francisco. Check them out! Where: 1878 Union St., San Francisco

FASHANALYSIS: Style News & Views

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Berkeley Hair Salon Gets Recognition
We heart Berkeley's Festoon Salon (even though we can only afford to get our hair cut once a year). So we were stoked to hear their fabulous stylists recently enjoyed a trip to New York City, courtesy of hair-care company Bumble & bumble for their commitment to "healthy, stylish hair." (Sure it doesn't hurt that they use their products, either). Anywho, the team took a class with renowned hairstylist Jimmy Paul (who's styled the locks of Reese Witherspoon, Angelina Jolie, and Julia Roberts), then braved NYC winds for this rooftop picture. Aww... Every Friday, Buy Curious dishes on the hottest fashion trends, news, and sales in the East Bay and beyond. If you've got suggestions for shops or Web site to feature, comments on the blog, or a burning style question you'd like us to answer in our occasional column, Buy Clueless, send them our way! BuyCurious[at]EastBayExpress[dot]com

Thursday, August 23, 2007

More High School Students Passing Exit Exam

by Jeremy Singer-Vine
Thu, Aug 23, 2007 at 4:56 PM

California's Department of Education just released the latest results of the state's mandatory (but not-yet binding) High School Exit Exam. In general, the results are promising. Though this year's results are largely inconsequential, students in future classes will be required to pass the exam before receiving their diplomas (pending the passage of Assembly Bill 347). Highlights from the data and accompanying press release after the jump:

* More students of the Class of 2007 passed the test than their 2006 counterparts at the same point last year.

* The percentage of students passing in all gender, racial, and socioeconomic groups increased.

* The percentage of traditionally underserved students passing increased at the highest rates ("African American or Black", + 4.7%; "Hispanic or Latino", + 3.7%; "Economically Disadvantaged Students", + 2.6%), although the passing rate of these students is still roughly five percentage points below the average.

* Students of the class of 2009 passed the test on their first try - in the 10th grade -- at a significantly higher rate than had students of the class of 2006. The only exception to this general improvement has been among "English Learner Students" - the first-time passing rate decreased among this group by 3.2% on the English Language Arts section and by 2.6% on the Mathematics section.

To look up specific data by school, district, or county, follow this link, but beware, it's a bit of a mess to sort through.

A New Look at Crime

by Kathleen Richards
Thu, Aug 23, 2007 at 4:56 PM

Seems like you can't talk about Oakland these days without talking about its crime problem. Yet a new web site devoted to crime in the city has got folks buzzing for another reason: its design. Since launching last week, Oakland Crimespotting has been praised by dozens of bloggers. "Fluid," "slick," "clever," and "super functional" are some of the adjectives used to describe the site, which was designed and built by Michal Migurksi, Tom Carden, and Eric Rodenbeck of San Francisco studio Stamen Design. The reason is its mash-up design - an interactive map that incorporates data from the city's crime mapping web site, a data slider from Measure Map, and a crime-type picker borrowed from Newsmap. The result is a simple, clear picture of crimes in Oakland. The site also provides email updates and RSS feeds, and every view of the map is linkable and sharable. According to Migurksi's blog, the team may expand the map to include Berkeley and Oakland.

The East Bay Today: August 23, 2007

Thu, Aug 23, 2007 at 4:56 PM

Today's Top Event: Our American Cousin at Hertz Hall.

Brainiac: Learn something new every day. Today's lecture: The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales. Philosophy lecturer Kevin Dincher discusses the history and psychology of fairy tales at Cal State East Bay.

Is It Lunch Yet? Express food critic John Birdsall recommends: Buffalo Bill's Brewery in Hayward.

On the Town: Going out tonight? The Bench and Bar advertises "Coochielicious" as an event for "women who love women, and their open-minded friends." Enough said.

Hardly Working: You've got time. We know how to waste it. Check out bullet-proof baby gear.

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

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

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

by Kelly Vance
Wed, Aug 22, 2007 at 4:56 PM

This week, "A Cure for All That Ails You?": Umbilical cord blood, a plentiful source of stem cells, is used to treat seventy diseases, including cancers and immune system disorders. Unlike embryonic stem cells with their connection to the abortion debate, cord-blood stem cells are non-controversial - they can be collected at birth from the placenta and umbilical cord, for use if the child ever needs a transplant. But 97 percent of the time, no one saves cord blood, and so the commercial cord-blood industry has sprung up. Who gets access and how? Staff writer Kara Platoni investigates.

The East Bay Today: August 22, 2007

Wed, Aug 22, 2007 at 4:56 PM

Today's Top Event: End of Summer Slam Jam at the Oakland Public Library.

Brainiac: Learn something new every day. Today's lecture: Shared Vision Network presents a networking luncheon with Jeffrey Howard at Waterfront Plaza Hotel.

Is It Lunch Yet? Express food critic John Birdsall recommends: Meal Ticket in Berkeley.

On the Town: Going out tonight? Perfect opportunity to catch some top-notch jazz, courtesy of singer Natasha Miller and her band, on Jupiter's lovely patio.

Hardly Working: You've got time. We know how to waste it. Check out the naked glacier people.

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

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The East Bay Today: August 21, 2007

Tue, Aug 21, 2007 at 4:56 PM

Today's Top Event: Koyaanisqatsi at the Humanist Hall.

Brainiac: Learn something new every day. Today's lecture: Herb Kohl discusses his latest, Painting Chinese: A Lifelong Teacher Gains the Wisdom of Youth at Cody's Books.

Is It Lunch Yet? Express food critic John Birdsall recommends: Thai Delight Cuisine in Berkeley.

On the Town: Going out tonight? It's country night at Vinnie's Bar and Grill, and they'll even teach you to dance.

Hardly Working: You've got time. We know how to waste it. Presenting: the scariest thing on the Internet.

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

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