Berkeley on your TV Screen

May 1, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Posted in Internet Sleuthiness | 2 Comments
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So a few weeks ago I was watching Bones on Hulu, and I noticed a scene that looked familiar:

It was UC Berkeley’s Valley Life Sciences Building! (Used as an establishing shot for a university in upstate New York, that is.)

I was pretty sure from the moment I paused the video that this was, in fact, a shot of UC Berkeley, but just to be sure I started Googling for an image of the building from a similar angle to confirm my hunch. It didn’t take long, for on the first page of Google Image hits I saw this image, which looked eerily familiar:

Hmm… same building, same angle, same trees, same water spot on the ground (next to the bicyclist in the second image)… the only difference appeared to be the people. And yet this second image is from the 1994 movie Junior starring Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The film took place in San Francisco and Berkeley, and used many local buildings and landscapes in its filming.

But the similarity between these two images, one used in a 1994 film and the other in a 2011 television show, is still a mystery to me. Do production companies just have hours of stock “establish-the-scene” footage that editors can include in their films/shows? Did the Bones folks take footage from 1994 and Photoshop new people into the scene? INQUIRING MINDS, etc.

[ screenshot from Hulu; image from Film in America ]



March 10, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Posted in Internet Sleuthiness | Leave a comment
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It’s not like I need to add another TV show to my already-rigorous weekly schedule, but when my boyfriend told that NBC’s new show Parenthood was set in Berkeley, I knew I had to watch it! (As this blog makes abundantly clear, I’m one of those people who gets irrationally excited when things I like or know get mentioned on TV, in magazines, or in other random places. Exhibit A, B.)

The first episode was more dramatic than I was expecting—the ads had made it seem comedic—and I probably spent more time trying to spot local landmarks (such as Oscar’s and Children’s Fairyland; apparently North Beach Pizza was in there too, but somehow I missed it!) than actually paying attention to the dialogue, but I liked it enough to give it a second chance.

The second episode included a title cards sequence absent from the pilot, and although only the pilot was actually shot in Berkeley, the final shot of the title sequence is the image above. What a beautiful view of my fair city! (Shout out to the Campanile there in the middle!) Overall, I very much enjoyed the second episode. The family feels so lovable and relatable—exactly the kind of relationship I want to have with my siblings when I’m an adult—and the dialogue is actually fun and snappy!

[ screen shot from Hulu ]

University Knowledge Fail

February 7, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Posted in Internet Sleuthiness | Leave a comment
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The best part? His avatar is “Solid B.” Way to shoot for the stars, buddy.

[ image from Yahoo Answers ]

A couple of Fails

May 8, 2009 at 9:48 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Hi friends! While working on finishing up my thesis (and thus grossly neglecting this blog) I came across a bunch of images that made me laugh. Now that the final draft is turned in (yay!), I can finally post these images here. So let’s start with the first two: big-time FAILS that I noticed on Facebook in the past few weeks:

So, it wasn’ t bad enough that the ad targeted Cal students but referred to us by another university’s name, that other university had to be STANFURD! Target audience, FAIL.

Another instance of a dumb mismatch, this time between Chanel and Givenchy. This one isn’t a botched ad pitch like the previous image, but still, COME ON! The double-c’s say Chanel right below them! Quiz, FAIL.

A Post Secret easter egg?

February 8, 2009 at 7:40 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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I make a habit of reading through Post Secret every Sunday morning, and today I noticed a sneaky little gem that will warm the cockles of any Cal student or alum’s heart.

The second-to-last image this week is this postcard:


If you visit this image in its original location, you’ll notice that the name of the image is “BEATSTANFORD.jpg”! Most of the postcards have URLs that reflect a word or image on the postcard—such as “hateme.jpg” for a card that reads “All of our animals hate me”—but this one is quite different. A bit of googling revealed that Frank Warren himself is a Cal grad, which probably explains this URL snarkitude. All I have to say is, GO BEARS!

[ image from Post Secret ]

Requisite cheesy moment: Now

February 1, 2009 at 8:26 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

(originally written August 26, 3:25 pm)

So sometime earlier in the year, the campus was suddenly peppered with promotional posters featuring the faces and quotations of real. live. students. I walk past these posters on an incredibly regular basis, but it took almost four months for me to stop and notice this really awesome one:

banner on the Cal campus

I LOVE what this guy is saying! Basically, this quote is the reason I decided to come to Cal back in high school, and it is the reason I continue to adore the place today, almost four years later. For all the cheesiness that is this ad campaign, it is sentiments like these that really SHOULD inspire high school kids to come here for school.


February 1, 2009 at 7:52 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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(originally written July 20, 9:25 pm)

I haven’t had much of anything interesting to say in the past few days since basically all I’ve done is read this website and this book. BUT! In taking a break from said activities, I actually read nearly all the way through the comments on a Jezebel article about “The View,” and found this gem. I *actually* LOLed at this last line:

“Whoopi deserves fucking wings and Sainthood, cause Hasselbeck makes me want to take off my shoes and earrings.

WHOA! I love this! What a fabulously visual way of describing the desire to cut a bitch! It reminds me of this one time last summer when some friends and I tried to go dancing at Blake’s on Telegraph, only to be told that Thursday night dancing had been canceled due to a huge “girlfight” the week prior. Said the waiter: “I’ve never seen so many hair extensions and fake nails on the floor in my life!” Ewwww. And yet, somehow, so awesome.

“The Itch”

January 30, 2009 at 1:24 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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(originally written June 27, 12:42 pm)

There’s this ridiculous article in the newest edition of the New Yorker called “The Itch” that’s primarily about the pathology behind itching, including cases of extreme, constant, incurable itching. The article follows the story of M., a woman who finds herself with a severe itch on the right side of her scalp after an episode of shingles. I originally started reading this article because **WARNING: TOTAL GROSS-OUT AHEAD!** it was teased in Jezebel as describing how M. woke up one morning to find a greenish goo dripping down her forehead. Uh, turns out that she had scratched at her scalp so feverently while sleeping that she had scratched through her scalp, through her skull, and into her BRAIN. No, I’m not shitting you, it was BRAIN GOO! The episode left her with permanent brain damage and paralysis, and she was eventually confined to a wheelchair because of it. Holy fuck. So although it was the gross and bizarre factors that drew me to the article to begin with, there’s actually much more to it, as it also discusses the brain, flaws in accepted theories of perception (with a choice reference to Cal’s namesake, philosopher George Berkeley—woot!), how sight works, and even phantom limbs! So basically, it was right up my alley. It’s a really long article, but if you’re bored (and/or if you’re into brain goo), you should definitely check it out.

P.S. I forgot to mention a weird small-world aspect of this article. So when I first joined and contributed to Wikipedia in my sophomore year of college, I received a nice little “Welcome to the community!” message from a user called Edhubbard, a post-doc researcher in Paris who studies synesthesia (!!) and numerical cognition, and who, according to his user page, did his undergrad in Cognitive Science at Cal! The user page also mentions that while working towards his PhD at UCSD, he studied under one V.S. Ramachandran, a name that sounded eerily familiar. Turns out that Ramachandran is both an immensely famous neurologist who studies mostly synesthesia and phantom limbs…and a resident of Del Mar who sent his kids to the same elementary school that my siblings and I attended, which is why the name sounded so familiar in the first place! (I mean come on, would YOU forget a name like that??) This became even MORE small-world because “The Itch” references Ramachandran’s research and his mirror box repeatedly in its section on phantom limbs. Crazy!

P.P.S If you’re totally jazzed on this perception & phantom limb stuff, check out this 2006 radio broadcast from WNYC: Radiolab entitled “Where Am I?” (Click on “Listen to the whole show” to listen to the one hour show.) It’s a series of discussions on how the brain and body communicate with each other, and what happens when they don’t. It’s kind of like a funnier, sillier version of NPR. They also interview both Oliver Sacks (when I read The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat last summer at work, it drew maaany a stare!) and Ramachandran, both of whom sound like lovely, jolly men.

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