In Monterey Bay, California, scientists grab the chance to study white sharks up close

Growing over six meters (20 feet) long and armed with hundreds of serrated, razor-sharp teeth, white sharks are the world’s largest predatory fish.



a fish swimming under water


© Stanford University


In late summer and fall, up to 250 white sharks congregate in Monterey Bay, off the central Californian coast, to feast on marine mammals — including elephant seals and sea lions — that gather here to breed.

From a shark’s perspective, “think of Monterey Bay as having one of the best fast food restaurants on the planet,” says shark expert and Stanford professor, Barbara Block.

Video: In Monterey Bay, scientists are tagging and tracking white sharks (CNN)

In Monterey Bay, scientists are tagging and tracking white sharks

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Block also travels to Monterey Bay because the annual marine mammal “buffet” offers her an ideal opportunity to study the sharks up close. She and her team lure the “curious” sharks alongside

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Shutdown confusion in California and Los Angeles. Again

Here we go again.

The tightened pandemic restrictions that we knew were coming hit this week — the third lockdown this year and, if we are lucky to have widespread vaccine availability, distribution and acceptance next year, the final one of this pandemic — as state and local officials introduced new strategies to curb an unprecedented surge of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths before hospitals are overwhelmed.

There has been no shortage of griping. Are the restrictions too strict, or not strict enough? The formula used by the state and all the exemptions in the order by the county and city of Los Angeles are confusing and capricious. Where are the data that indicate it’s safe to keep schools open — but not playgrounds? Why can we mix with strangers in the grocery store but not have dinner with a friend on the patio?

Some of the criticism is absolutely

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California must fund independent science research

opinion

This year, California broke a sad record. We had the largest wildfire in modern history, burning more than 1 million acres over seven counties and sending choking smoke across the state. Recently, 90,000 people were evacuated from their homes in Southern California. The untold level of destruction has yet to be fully quantified or understood. One thing we do know is that the wildfires and COVID-19 have underscored the growing complexity of California’s disaster landscape. 

While addressing these issues remains a top priority in Sacramento, according to a new report from the California Council on Science & Technology, our capacity for doing so is limited by a concerning inability to accurately account for the full costs associated with the damage. The council’s report finds that our standard means of calculating wildfire costs do not provide sufficient data, leading to widespread unquantified losses such

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HPE is relocating headquarters to Houston from California

Antonio Neri, President and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Anjali Sundaram | CNBC

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is the latest tech company to shift its focus away from Silicon Valley, announcing Tuesday that it will relocate its headquarters from San Jose, California, to Houston, Texas.

“HPE’s largest U.S. employment hub, Houston is an attractive market to recruit and retain future diverse talent, and is where the company is currently constructing a state-of-the-art new campus,” the company said in its fourth quarter earnings release. It’s unclear how many employees the move will affect, though the company said no layoffs will be with the move.

HPE will keep the San Jose campus, and will consolidate some of its Bay Area sites there, it said.

For its fourth quarter, the company reported:

  • Revenue: $7.21 billion vs $6.88 billion expected, according to a consensus estimate from Refinitiv.
  • Earnings: $0.37 per share (adjusted), compared with $0.34
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How California moved to the future of voting during a pandemic

Forty-eight counties responded to a CalMatters election survey and many attributed the smooth election to new vote centers with savvy technology.

Mono County tried its hand at new election technology during the March 2020 primary but then the internet cut out. For the general election, it reverted to old-fashioned paper voter rolls.

Most of the state’s 58 counties followed suit this election, choosing to use technology and some form of vote center. It turned out to be critical infrastructure to support California’s pandemic-inspired decision to mail ballots to every registered voter. Forty-eight counties responded to a CalMatters survey, with many registrars attributing a smoother election to the new approach. Now that politicians in Sacramento are talking about making vote-by-mail permanent and expanding vote centers, though, some local officials are worried about cost given vote center usage.

The vote centers were possible this year because of the 2016 Voter’s Choice Act,

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Two teenagers dead after Black Friday mall shooting in California

Two teenagers died after being shot in a Sacramento mall during Black Friday shopping, officials said. 



Sacramento police work at the area where one person was killed and another critically wounded in a shooting at Arden Fair Mall in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, Nov 27, 2020. The mall was evacuated in the midst of Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days. Police later said the suspect had fled and there was no active threat to the mall.


© Paul Kitagaki Jr., Sacramento Bee/AP
Sacramento police work at the area where one person was killed and another critically wounded in a shooting at Arden Fair Mall in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, Nov 27, 2020. The mall was evacuated in the midst of Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days. Police later said the suspect had fled and there was no active threat to the mall.

A 19-year-old man was found dead at the Arden Fair Mall in Sacramento, and a 17-year-old was taken to the hospital where he later died, according to a statement from city police. 

The victims have not been identified publicly.

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The shooting took place at around 6 p.m. Friday, forcing Black Friday

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Making Classic California Cabernet Sauvignon Wine In The Land Of Pinot Noir And Chardonnay, Sonoma County

Some winemakers are always looking forward to push the envelope of what they can achieve in their vineyards and winery while others look back in nostalgia at the wines of the past. Joe Nielsen has spent over a decade as a winemaker in California and although he is a man that is deeply rooted in a modern mindset of using science and data to help guide him, he is also a strong believer in allowing a plot of vines to be what it is supposed to be instead of turning it in something else that fits a dogmatic style. That is why he is an avid collector of California wines from the ‘70s, ‘80s and early ‘90s as, according to his opinion, vineyard expression that allowed for all sorts of variability was more interesting and a key focus back in that era

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California Dreams of an EV-Only Future

From the January 2021 issue of Car and Driver.



Gavin Newsom et al. that are standing in a parking lot: Newsom announced the ban in front of EVs from Audi, Ford, Honda, and Tesla, signaling implicit endorsement from those brands.


© Getty Images
Newsom announced the ban in front of EVs from Audi, Ford, Honda, and Tesla, signaling implicit endorsement from those brands.

On September 23, with a devastating wildfire season as the backdrop, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order banning the sale of new combustion-powered passenger vehicles in the state by 2035. That means no new gas engines and no new diesels.

Newsom’s order now goes to the powerful California Air Resources Board (CARB), which will hold hearings before writing the regulations. For those of us with gasoline running through our veins, the order might look like sugar poured in the engine’s fuel tank. But this isn’t the finger that knocks over the first domino. It is a single domino in the middle of a chain that’s already toppling. Falling battery prices, growing concern over the effects

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Pinwheel Cave rock art in California may depict hallucinogenic ‘trance flower’

Just before going into a hallucinogenic trance, Indigenous Californians who had gathered in a cave likely looked up toward the rocky ceiling, where a pinwheel and big-eyed moth were painted in red. 



a close up of a painted wall: A digitally enhanced image of the Indigenous pinwheel drawing that researchers made with a technique called D-Stretch.


© Provided by Live Science
A digitally enhanced image of the Indigenous pinwheel drawing that researchers made with a technique called D-Stretch.

This mysterious “pinwheel,” is likely a depiction of the delicate, white flower of Datura wrightii, a powerful hallucinogen that the Chumash people took not only for ceremonial purposes but also for medicinal and supernatural ones, according to a new study. The moth is likely a species of hawk moth, known for its “loopy” intoxicated flight after slurping up Datura‘s nectar, the researchers said.

Chewed globs that humans stuck to the cave’s ceiling provided more evidence of these ancient trips; these up to 400-year-old lumps, known as quids, contained the mind-altering drugs scopolamine and atropine,

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California passed Prop. 24. Here’s what that means for your privacy.

On its surface, the premise of Proposition 24 is simple: to protect California’s existing consumer privacy laws by preventing companies from being able to collect and share your personal data without prior consent or knowledge.

It also guarantees the implementation of a state agency costing $10 million a year that will enforce privacy protection laws, and creates new classifications of sensitive information such as race and sexual orientation, explicitly barring companies from accessing such data.

Voters passed the measure in this year’s general election with a 56.2% majority vote. However, critics aren’t so sure it will fulfill its promise.


Prop. 24 began as the California Consumer Privacy Act, a ballot initiative introduced by Alastair Mactaggart, who is a real estate developer based in San Francisco. He was inspired to write the initiative in 2017 after a conversation he had with a Google engineer at a cocktail party in the Oakland

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