Berkeley in the News is a daily selection of articles and commentaries in the news media that mention UC Berkeley. The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of the campus.
Friday, 6 May 2022
1. Pre-K Is Powerful if Done Right. Here’s How.
The New York Times (*requires registration)
David Kirp, professor at the graduate school of the University of California, Berkeley, and the author, most recently, of “The College Dropout Scandal,” writes: A high-quality program, according to early childhood education experts, features small classes and low student-teacher ratios, with well-trained teachers, an evidence-based curriculum that emphasizes hands-on learning, not eat-your-spinach instruction in the ABC’s or coloring inside the lines, and lots of time for play. The focus is on kids’ physical, social and emotional growth as well as their cognitive development. In that setting, youngsters, preferably from different social backgrounds, are solving problems together, while their teachers talk with, not at, them. In other words, a good preschool is a place you wish you had gone to when you were 4 years old.
2. A teen girl sexually exploited on Snapchat takes on American tech
The Washington Post (*requires registration)
Hany Farid, an image-forensics expert at University of California at Berkeley, who helped develop PhotoDNA, said safety and privacy have for years taken a “back seat to engagement and profits.” The fact that PhotoDNA, now more than a decade old, remains the industry standard “tells you something about the investment in these technologies,” he said. “The companies are so lethargic in terms of enforcement and thinking about these risks … at the same time, they’re marketing their products to younger and younger kids.” Farid, who has worked as a paid adviser to Snap on online safety, said that he believes the company could do more but that the problem of child exploitation is industry-wide. “We don’t treat the harms from technology the same way we treat the harms of romaine lettuce,” he said. “One person dies, and we pull every single head of romaine lettuce out of every store,” yet the children’s exploitation problem is decades old. “Why do we not have spectacular technologies to protect kids online?”
3. How women across the country are talking about the possible end of Roe
The Washington Post (*requires registration)
Across the country women have reacted to the release of the draft decision with elation, terror and confusion. Some worry about their — and their children’s — future in a world without abortion access. Others are celebrating the possible milestone for the rights of the unborn.
The Washington Post reached out to readers across America to share their stories and interviewed several women in California, Mississippi and Michigan. “I’m both from Japan and America, and I’m disappointed in the American side of me,” said Anya Kishida, a freshman at the University of California at Berkeley. “America is known for being quite progressive in a lot of ways, especially from more conservative countries like Japan. America is seen as more progressive in terms of societal issues like LGBTQ rights. So for them to head in that direction in terms of abortion is a little bit disappointing and shocking.”
4. Mars’ sky gets a mysterious green aurora resembling a giant worm
Scientists have known for more than 15 years that auroras, vibrant light shows in the atmosphere, exist on Mars. The planet’s auroras were found in small spots that seemed to sprout from the ground like mushrooms. But researchers have just seen a new gigantic aurora on Mars unlike any other previously observed. They’re calling the phenomenon a “sinuous discrete aurora” to describe its enormous wormlike shape. A United Arab Emirates Space Agency probe orbiting Mars, known as Hope, took the picture using an ultraviolet spectrometer device. What scientists have seen in Hope’s snapshots has blown them away, said Rob Lillis, a planetary space physicist and Emirates Mars Mission collaborator based at the University of California, Berkeley. Auroras “were mysterious for the longest time on Earth before we understood that they’re actually space weather and high-energy streams of electrons, coming originally from the sun, and basically guided by a planetary magnetic field,” Lillis told Mashable. “Whether it’s Earth or Mars, those electrons smash into the atmosphere, and they cause the atmosphere to glow.”
5. 12th Hour Livestream with Michael Ranney & John Zavalney
Michael Ranney, a professor of education at UC Berkeley, appears in an interview on Facebook, where he discusses the new documentary film, 12th Hour. The film, in which Ranney also appears, explores humanity’s psychological resistance to ecological change, and the immediate steps that must be taken to meaningfully address the climate crisis.