Daily Archives: February 18, 2011


The Berkeley Wire: 02.18.11

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Drum roll please… Berkeleyside would like to thank our current advertisers for their support: Amoeba MusicBAM/PFA, Bentley SchoolBerkeley Arts & LettersBerkeley Dining PassportCarolyn Jones at The Grubb CompanyFocal PointFreight & Salvage, Jewish Music FestivalKeneuoe VivereM2 Architecture & DesignMoe’s BooksRedfin, and UC Berkeley NewsCenter. We very much appreciate your support.

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Josh Kornbluth: Good for Andy Warhol’s Jews?

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It would be tough to find a funnier guy in Berkeley than Josh Kornbluth.

I’ve been a fan of the moon-faced, wide-eyed, hair-challenged monologist, who has perfected the art of the raised eyebrow for maximum comic effect, since his early days at The Marsh in San Francisco. (An aside: This ex-citysider is so glad The Marsh had no problem crossing the bridge, unlike some people she knows.)

Kornbluth has made a career out of chronicling much of his life on the stage in his frequently hilarious and often thought-provoking solo shows. We first meet him during his childhood in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood, where he is raised by Marxist, atheists (Red Diaper Baby). Then it’s on to college (The Mathematics of Change), temp work (Haiku Tunnel) and a stint as an editor (Pumping Copy), a personal favorite. Berkeleysiders familiar with his work may recall that the city features prominently in the recent Citizen Josh.

Now, Kornbluth is in the middle of a run of his latest production Andy Warhol: Good For The Jews? His first commissioned show, The Contemporary Jewish Museum of San Francisco asked him to ruminate on the series of portraits depicting the likes of Einstein, Kafka, and the Marx Brothers by the iconic artist.

It’s his fourth collaboration with director David Dower, who joined forces with the writer-comedian on Ben Franklin: Unplugged, Love & Taxes, and Citizen Josh. The two have also worked on film versions of Haiku Tunnel and Red Diaper Baby. … Continue reading »

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From the ashes of Comic Relief, a new store is set to rise

Dark Carnival: owner Jack Rems is bidding to re-open a comics bookstore after demise of Comic Relief.
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The news that iconic store Comic Relief was closing came as a shock to many, most notably the comics-loving community, but it seems a knight in shining armor may yet save the day.

Jack Rems, owner of Dark Carnival, another Berkeley bookstore which has become an institution after operating for several decades on Claremont Avenue, has bought Comic Relief’s inventory and is hoping to open a new store, possibly at the Shattuck Avenue premises of the original.

Rems says he … Continue reading »

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Cal baseball opens final home season

Junior right-hander Erik Johnson/Photo: Michael Pimentel, Goldenbearsports.com
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Unless there is a future change of mind, today’s game against Utah at Evan Diamond marks the beginning of Cal’s final baseball season. The Bears have had 118 seasons, two national championships, five College World Series appearances and over 50 players who have gone on to the major leagues.

Weather permitting, Cal will play a three-game series against Utah with 1 pm games today, tomorrow and Sunday. Baseball America ranked Cal the nation’s 17th best team in their … Continue reading »

Jam maker turns hobby into thriving local business

Dafna Kory at Local 123 Cafe./Photo: Sarah Henry
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Dafna Kory discovered the delights of jalapeňo jam during pre-dinner nibbles at a Thanksgiving gathering. She went out to buy a jar, couldn’t find the mighty spicy condiment anywhere, so she began experimenting with making her own. It became an instant hit among her posse.

At first, the self-taught preserver thought her D.I.Y. hobby would just make nice gifts for friends and family. The she moved from San Francisco to South Berkeley, saw the abundance of plums, apples, and lemons growing in her new backyard, and a jamming business was born.

Kory foraged fruit in a hyper-local fashion. She made batches of jam in her home kitchen. She personally delivered by bike. Demand for her jams grew by word-of-mouth.

Friends who had friends who owned stores began encouraging her to branch out beyond her inner circle. So she started shopping INNA jam (the name is, indeed, a playful pun) to places like Local 123, Summer Kitchen, Rick and Ann’s Restaurant and The Gardener.

About a year ago, with orders coming in a steady stream, it became clear that Kory, now 28, needed to either gear up and focus on turning her after-hours pastime into a fully fledged business or scale back and remain a hobbyist. She decided to take the plunge.

A freelance commercial video editor, Kory hasn’t looked back. She began working in a commercial kitchen in North Berkeley, selling her pickles and preserves at events like ForageSF’s Underground Market and the Eat Real Festival, and offering workshops for other D.I.Y.ers.

The UC Berkeley graduate now spends nine months of the year working full-time on her budding food business, and supplements her income in the winter months with editing gigs.

In a year, she hopes to devote 100% of her work day to INNA jam. Kory also pickles though that product line is on hiatus while she ratchets up production to meet demand for her increasingly popular jams. She delivers locally by bike, ships interstate, and offers an annual, seasonal subscription (a 10-ounce jar retails for $12). … Continue reading »

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Berkeley team wins global mobile app competition

The Noodle team in Barcelona with BMIC executives and sponsors
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A group of UC Berkeley engineering and business students won the first annual University Mobile Challenge at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week. The group bested 10 other teams from around the world with a business plan and working prototype of Noodle, a cloud-based college notes app.

The Berkeley team had emerged out of a competition in a course on mobile applications taught by Ken Singer, part of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology in the engineering … Continue reading »

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