Experts finally agree on retrofitting for UC Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium
It took over a decade, but UC Berkeley’s Seismic Review Committee has finally found the best way to hold the stadium together during an earthquake.
The historic stadium was built in 1923 and straddles the Hayward fault line. The retrofit plan, which will begin in 2010 and is expected to take two years to complete, involves separating the western half of the structure into three sections that can move independently in the event of an earthquake and insulate the rest of the stadium from damage.
The project will create 5-foot gaps between each stadium and place a plastic sheet underneath the stadium so the blocks can slide. To ensure fans’ safety, cover plates will be placed on the ends of each section.
The total cost is estimated to be between $125 million and $150 million and will be paid for by private fundraising. There is a 31 percent chance a large earthquake will occur on the Hayward fault line in the next 30 years, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Californians show high levels of flame-retardants in blood
A recent UC Berkeley study found that Californians have nearly two times the concentration of toxic flame-retardants in their blood, possibly the result of state laws relating to furniture flammability.
Berkeley researchers worked with scientists from Harvard University and the Silent Spring Institute in Massachusetts to analyze 120 Massachusetts homes, 49 California houses and previously gathered data from around the country. Two thousand participants around the country were tested for flame-retardants in their blood. The study found that Californians had nearly double the amount of the toxic chemicals than residents of other states.
This may be the result of California’s Technical Bulletin 117, which requires furniture manufacturers to pump flame-retardants into their product. The chemicals enter the blood through household dust that comes in contact with skin, according to the study.
UCLA students show spirit with ‘car smash’
As part of the celebration for UCLA’s Blue and Gold week, students armed with sledgehammers and protective goggles each got 30 seconds to destroy a 1978 Ford LTD with “Stanford sucks” painted on it in Bruin Plaza last week.
Blue and Gold week is traditionally held during the lead up to the UCLA-USC football game, but due to a new university policy against amplified sound during the 10th week of class, it was held during the lead up to the Stanford game. The car was donated by a recycling center and painted red so the students could “destroy Stanford.”
The Bruins ended Blue and Gold week with a 23-20 victory over the Cardinal.
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