Saturday, June 16, 2018


A UCLA group called "KELPS" - said to stand for Knights Earls Lord Potentates Sultans - operated in the late 1940s and early 1950s, apparently mainly to play pranks on USC.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Change in plans

Not available
UCLA Chancellor Gene Block will be filling in Friday as the keynote speaker during UCLA College commencement ceremonies, replacing actress Mayim Bialik, who withdrew amid a labor dispute between the university and service workers.
Block will speak in place of Bialik, a UCLA grad best known for her role as neurobiologist Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory.” Bialik received a bachelor of science degree in neuroscience with a minor in Hebrew and Jewish studies from UCLA in 2000 and a doctorate in neuroscience from UCLA in 2007.
Although she had been announced previously as the UCLA College commencement speaker, she withdrew in late May, responding to a call from the union representing University of California service workers amid a labor dispute.
“These issues are near and dear to my heart, especially since the LAUSD teachers’ union helped support my family for my entire young life,” Bialik said in a statement released by the university. “I send deepest regrets to the UCLA community and I hope to be able to join you soon to celebrate your accomplishments.”
Block will speak in Bialik’s place at both the 2 and 7 p.m. commencement ceremonies at Pauley Pavilion.

Question: What do doctors have?

Answer: Patients.


Question: What do we need in waiting for an analysis of the new state budget?
Answer: Patience. A newspaper headline is not a budget. Possibly, the governor may line-item veto some elements of what the legislature passed - although he hasn't used that authority much in the past. In any case, there will soon be more detailed information available from official sources - and then we will provide some analysis. Note that the $200 billion figure is NOT the General Fund which is usually viewed as "the budget." The $200 billion includes funds outside the General Fund for all kinds of earmarked functions such as transportation. The General Fund has typically run around two thirds of this type of overall figure over the years. But the news media seem fascinated this time around by the round $200 billion. Anyway, patience! We'll have details soon enough.

Thursday, June 14, 2018


The story continues:

In the never-ending saga of CRISPR patents, the University of California has finally put some points on the board, with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granting it two genome-editing patents. One, granted on Tuesday, was first applied for in 2014. The other and more significant patent, applied for in 2015 but based on a 2012 discovery, will be granted next week.
The granted patent, number 9,994.831, covers “methods and compositions for modifying a single stranded target nucleic acid.” Next week’s, which is to be issued on June 19, covers the use of CRISPR-Cas9 for genome-editing in anything other than a bacterial cell and, specifically, where the targeted region on the genome is 10 to 15 nucleotides, or base pairs, long — the “letters” that constitute DNA and its cousin RNA. Next week’s patent is considered more foundational and therefore significant...
(There's more, but you have to go through a paywall to get it.) Source of above:


Yours truly likes to point to the UCLA Anderson Forecast - which was presented yesterday - for two reasons. 1) The economic news is of interest, and 2) It serves as a reminder that conference facilities can be had around campus apart from the UCLA Grand Hotel, a low-priority project nonetheless built at a time the university was budget-stressed. (The Forecast was presented in the Korn Auditorium of the Anderson School.)

Here is the official summary of the California portion of the Forecast (which is based on a gradually slowing economy - but no recession, albeit with some risks seen as stemming from international developments). It's a scenario that suggests no state budget crisis is likely to develop, although that matter was not discussed.

The California report

California employment hit another record high in April 2018. As the economy has been expanding as expected, the current forecast has not changed much since last quarter’s forecast, released in March 2018. Full employment has been less of a constraint on this growth with recent increases in the labor force.
It is anticipated that California’s average unemployment rate will remain higher than the U.S. rate and be at 4.3 percent in 2020, a consequence of a younger and more entrepreneurial workforce.
The forecast for total employment growth for the current year and the next two years is 1.7 percent, 1.8 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively, with payrolls growing at about the same rate. Real personal income growth is forecast to be 2.5 percent, 3.6 percent and 2.9 percent in 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively.
“Affordable housing in California continues to be the subject of considerable discussion,” writes UCLA Anderson Forecast director Jerry Nickelsburg. (He examined) the complex ties among the state’s employment growth, the attractiveness of California and the building, zoning and environmental restrictions affecting housing supply. Although the forecast calls for a continued rise in housing prices, “the impact on economic growth is not as great as one might expect,” he writes.
There was even a silent protest aimed at panelist and State Senator Scott Wiener who had sponsored (and later dropped for this year) a bill that would have overridden some local zoning/growth controls. You can see the protesters' banner in the photo on the upper left charging Wiener was beholden to real estate interests.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge.]