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Nina Zou

Omni Commons supporters work to build a free, open community workspace

Every corner in this building has something going on: La Commune, a collectively-run and worker-owned bookstore and café, is turning the entrance into a cozy place which will welcome visitors with a cup of something to drink and something interesting to read. There is a space for Food Not Bombs, a project that brings free food to parks, political events, neighborhood gatherings and social centers. The Sudo Room and Counter Culture Labs share a spacious room that was once bocce…

“Grow a Rainbow” Project aids bees and humans

What if people could create more colorful neighborhoods by simply throwing herb and vegetable seed balls on the ground? What if they could rescue the declining bee population using this method? Or what if someone could throw them from a small airplane to sow an entire field of wildflowers? That’s the goal of the “Grow a Rainbow” project developed by Christopher Burley, the “Lead Pollinator” and CEO of Seedles LLC, who has set a goal of growing one million wildflowers….

Historic Lady Washington tall ship sails into Oakland’s Jack London Square

The 1700s sailed into port at Oakland’s Jack London Square aboard the brig Lady Washington for a nine-day stay this month. With a crew of 13 at her helm, the 112-foot wooden ship, a replica of its namesake from the American Revolutionary War, has been a tour and education site while docked in Oakland. Capt. Ken Lazarus considers the ship, a 1989 replica of the original Lady Washington Boston trading vessel from the 1780s, the quintessential teaching tool. The captain…

Eight Berkeley Lab scientists present eight game-changing ideas

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory hosted the “8 Big Ideas” event last Wednesday, as part of its “Science at the Theater” initiative. During the event, eight scientists were invited to present game-changing concepts and progressive ideas in eight minutes each.

Nerds for Nature brings tech and environmental enthusiasts together

A Bay Area collective, Nerds for Nature (N4N), is trying to bridge the gap between techies and nature enthusiasts by designing low-cost equipment—like underwater robots and eco-drones—used to monitor the environment. Comprised of amateur scientists, engineers, ecologists, environmentalists and GIS professionals, N4N gathers once a month in either Oakland or San Francisco to discuss new Do-It-Yourself projects. Victoria Bogdan, an environment law student, co-founded the group after she noticed a lack of tools designed to protect the environment. “Technologists really…

Artist James Gayles fuses watercolor paintings with poetry

When several art forms, disciplines and cultural backgrounds blend, there comes reflection, innovation and imagination. James Gayles, an Oakland-­based Emmy Award-­winning artist and musician, is striving to draw out the aesthetic value hidden in the intersection between painting and literature through a collaborative book he’s titled Reflection. He juxtaposes his own watercolor paintings of iconic cultural and historic figures, such as Nelson Mandela, Miles Davis, Celia Cruz, Nina Simone and James Baldwin, with poems written by people he knows personally….

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