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Office Hours

Office Hours: Hans Barnard

This week, we visited Professor Hans Barnard‘s office in the basement of the Fowler Museum. Barnard, originally from the Netherlands, ditched his background in medicine for a job in archaeology so he could travel and work with his wife, who also teaches at UCLA.

The first thing in his office to catch our eye was his piano, which he doesn’t play often because of the thin walls between him and his busily working neighbors. But he said it comes in handy when colleagues bring their children in to the office.

On the walls of his office are many colorful woven baskets, collected by his wife. He also has a small collection of pottery, which he uses as examples for his class on the archaeological analysis of ceramics. He said his goal of the class is to combine science with art in a way that helps break down the “North Campus vs. South Campus” way of thinking.

Check out our footage of his office, stories of his career and his piano-playing skills in the video above.

Know a professor who deserves to be featured on Office Hours? Tweet us @dbmojo.

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Food and Dining

A Review of the New Bruin Café Menu

This week, you probably noticed the abnormally long lines and wait times at Bruin Café, thanks to the addition of some new menu items (which was made possible, in part, because of the recent expansion of Bruin Cafe’s kitchen). Like most students, I was eager to try something new, so I tried each of the new entreés. Here are my thoughts on each of the dishes.

  • The Black Forest ham sandwich, topped with a spicy apple slaw, has a surprising little kick (mmm, jalapenos). The spice pairs nicely with the coolness of the apples in the slaw (although the slaw had a little bit too much mayo). I also enjoyed the sweet and salty combination of the apples and the ham. Chances are, if you like contrasting flavors and textures, you’ll like this sandwich.
  • If there’s one thing I have to say about the Asian-style roast beef sandwich, it’s WHOA, WASABI. The wasabi mayonnaise is pretty overpowering, especially if you don’t eat spicy foods often. However, the roast beef was pretty good, and the carrot and radish slaw provided a nice crunch. If I order this sandwich again, I’ll be asking for it sans-mayo.
  • You can add the chunky chicken salad sandwich to the list of items I would order again. The chicken salad wasn’t too creamy or too dry, and I loved the added crunch of the sliced almonds. The fresh baby spinach and sliced tomato on top of the chicken salad definitely made this sandwich a winner.
  • The new tuna salad has a base of romaine and iceberg lettuce, topped with the tuna salad mixture (the same mixture used in the tuna salad sandwich), cucumber, tomato, onion, hard-boiled egg and a side of Italian dressing. Since I’m sort of a tuna-hater, I asked Katerina Pagsolingan, a first-year theater student, what she thought of the salad. She said that the tuna salad itself was a little dry and bland, but with the addition of the Italian dressing, it hit the mark.
  • Of all the items I tried, the Mediteranean nachos dish (pita chips topped with hummus, cucumber, tomato, olives, onions, feta cheese and tzatziki sauce) was one of my favorites. The nachos were refreshingly simple and are the perfect snack for summer weather. The pita chips were more like a baked pita than chips – chewy in some places, crunchy in others. Clara Woodie, a first-year ecology and evolutionary biology student, said that she liked how Bruin Café put a healthy twist on classic nachos.
  • Finally: BACON. Okay, maybe I’m a little overexcited about the new chicken, bacon and gorgonzola salad, but, let’s be real, who doesn’t love bacon? Throw in some champagne dressing and I’m sold. And it seems that a lot of other students were sold too, since Bruin Café actually ran out of the salads on Wednesday afternoon. It’s a delicious combination of salty bacon, fresh veggies and creamy cheese that’s worth the long wait in line.

Have you tried any of the latest menu items at Bruin Café? Tweet us your opinions @dbmojo or leave a comment below.

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Campus news

5 Reasons to Donate to the “I Love UCLA” Blood Drive

It’s I <3 UCLA Week (in case you’re one of the three students who aren’t aware). One of the many events this week is the I <3 UCLA Blood Drive sponsored by Student Alumni Association. It may not be the most glamorous event this week, but it’s for a good cause. Plus, you get some awesome swag for doing it. I’ve donated blood before, and while I was apprehensive at first, I’ve come to actually enjoy the experience.

If you go to a blood drive, chances are you’ll be asked to sign up for the bone marrow donor list. Last year, I was actually a match for a leukemia patient. I ended up giving a peripheral blood cell donation (which is less intrusive than donating bone marrow), and it was a truly humbling experience. While it is a big time commitment if you do get called, I’d highly recommend signing up to be a bone marrow donor. I’m going to try to convince you by talking about all the sweet perks you get (at least, based on my experience).

1) Free Food: It’s every college student’s dream. Getting food without having to fork over money for it. If you donate blood, you usually get some cookies, juice and maybe some chips. But when you donate bone marrow, you get all that plus a free lunch!
2) The Nurses Pamper You Like Crazy: Again, I’m just speaking from my experience, but the nurses treat you like royalty. You’re selflessly giving something you have for the benefit of another person. In a hospital, that practically makes you a rock star. They’ll open your drinks and cut up your food if your arms are still sore after the procedure. And they’ll give you all the blankets you want. Oh, by the way…
3) The Blankets Are Frickin’ Awesome: Hospital blankets are the comfiest things I’ve ever had on my body. And they’re so warm. They must put them in a microwave or something because the blankets were so toasty. When your blanket loses its heat, they’ll take it away, and give you another one that’s just as warm as the last one.
4) You Get to Watch TV: If you end up giving a peripheral blood cell donation, you’re lying in a bed with two needles in both arms for 4 to 6 hours. Luckily, they’ll have a TV, so you can watch whatever you want. When I donated, I finally had a chance to catch up on the final season of Seinfeld. You really can only watch TV, so it’s a perfect excuse for not doing your homework. And one more thing…
5) It’s the Perfect Excuse for Getting Out of Class: You’re helping another human being. If your professor doesn’t excuse you from class, he/she has no soul.

The I <3 UCLA Blood Drive takes place Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Kerckhoff Grand Salon. You can schedule an appointment at 310-825-0888. The first 250 donors get a free I <3 UCLA tank top. More free stuff! And everyone gets a movie ticket for donating. Even more free stuff!

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Science & Health

Undergraduate Researchers Present Findings at UCLA Science Poster Day

Many undergraduate researchers conduct independent research under the supervision of a professor, as part of UCLA’s student research program. The researchers then present their topics at Science Poster Day each year. Undergraduates gathered to share their findings Tuesday afternoon in Ackerman Grand Ballroom.

Here’s what some undergraduates are currently researching.

Alyson Ramirez, a fourth-year molecular, cell and developmental biology student, conducted research in a neurobiology lab. Ramirez is studying the development of cells called motor neurons, which allow people to breathe, interact and move. There are diseases, such as spinomuscular atrophy, which can result in the loss of these neurons and eventually death,” she said.

There are no cures for these diseases, yet she said she wishes to gain more insight by looking into the development of these neurons. “We found proteins essential for the expression of neurons, and we hope to make a virus that has that protein,” she said. The purpose of that virus would be to replicate that protein in apetri dish, allowing for further analysis of neural development.

Amanda Loftin, a fourth-year psychobiology student, works in an orthopedic surgery lab. She is evaluating different implant materials, such as titanium, trabecular metal and stainless steel. Her experiments with these different metals aimed to see which metal accumulated the least bacteria and, therefore, which was the safest material for prosthetic implants. “Titanium and trabecular metal resulted in the most infections,” she said. “(This) may have been due to the metals’ poor structure (because of) large surface area, which creates more bacterial burden.” She is also looking into coating hardware with different antibacterial chemicals.

Amy Alayari, a fourth-year neuroscience student, was accompanied by her co-worker, Zafar Gill, a fourth-year psychobiology student. They are researchers in the molecular, cell and developmental biology department. They are looking into retinal degeneration, which is cell death in the eyes. “We’re using the fruit fly as our model organism, but it’s also found in humans,” Alayari said. She added that some people are born with normal retina, but they degenerate over time, causing sight problems like tunnel vision, which is the loss of peripheral vision. Another reason why fruit flies are experimented on is because flies’ eye gene structure is very similar to that of humans. “We want to identify what genes are involved in the degeneration process, and elucidate a pathway,” Gill said.


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How to Spring-Clean Your Room

It’s week seven of spring quarter. By now, you’ve accumulated so much stuff over the year that you probably can’t remember the surface color of your desk. Personally, every morning I find myself kneeling inside my closet, blinded by mounds of clothing and shuffling through my ridiculous pile of shoes for a solid five minutes before I can find a pair.

Although my case is a little on the extreme side, I’m sure if you browsed through your drawers you would find a number of items that you simply don’t need. They are taking up the little space you have and are a huge pest to deal with when you move out. It’s time for spring cleaning! Here are some ways you can cut through the clutter (and procrastinate productively).

How to get rid of your clothes:

1) Sell them online

Many websites make selling your clothes the easiest task in the world. (or the Threadflip smartphone app) lets you create a virtual closet, and you can add a description for each item you want to sell. You indicate your asking price, and decide whether or not you want the $7 shipping to be included in the displayed cost. When someone purchases your item, Threadflip sends you an email with a printout of the recipient’s address, which also certifies that shipping has already been paid. Then you can head over to the post office at Ackerman, ask for a box, stick the printout to the box and wait for your money! Other sites with a similar concept include for the indie folk, and

2) Sell them at a store

If you prefer in-person exchanges, head to Santa Monica or West Hollywood with a bagful of old clothing, and sell it at Crossroads Trading Company or Wasteland. Their rates aren’t very high, and they might not take everything, but they are a good bet when you have a lot to sell and want to get rid of it quickly. Besides, once you’re there, you can go spend your new funds on a fresh wardrobe! (So much for spring cleaning.)

3) Swap

Ask your friends if they have any clothes or other items that they want to get rid of, and organize a swap party with a few of them. Lay all the clothing on a table and take your pick! You can make this into a social event by adding food, drink and an awesome playlist into the mix.

4) Donate

If you’re not really bothered about making money, and your number one priority is to get rid of all your junk, donate your goodies to Goodwill on Santa Monica Blvd. You will make pro thrifters, yourself and, most importantly, the less fortunate, very happy.

How to get rid of the rest:

As for your books, ornaments, accessories, unwanted gifts etc., here are a few quick tips.

1) Sell your books at Ackerman or online.

2) Donate to the Mattel Children’s Hospital at Ronald Reagan.

3) Donate books to Goodwill.

4) Ask your friends if they want them! Perhaps they’ve been ogling your belongings since fall and would be psyched to take them off your hands.

5) Recycle. Either literally throw your things in the appropriate bin, or make them into something new that you will actually use. Don’t be afraid to get weird creative!

Share your spring cleaning tips with us @dbmojo or comment below.

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