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New Device Pulls Water from Dry Air, Powered Only by the Sun

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By Robert Sanders, UC Berkeley News

Imagine a future in which every home has an appliance that pulls all the water the household needs out of the air, even in dry or desert climates, using only the power of the sun.

That future may be around the corner, with the demonstration this week of a water harvester that uses only ambient sunlight to pull liters of water out of the air each day in conditions as low as 20 percent humidity, a level common in arid areas.

The solar-powered harvester, reported in the journal Science, was constructed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology using a special material — a metal-organic framework, or MOF — produced at the University of California, Berkeley.

This is a major breakthrough in the long-standing challenge of harvesting water from the air at low humidity,” said Omar Yaghi, one of two senior authors of the paper, who holds the James and Neeltje Tretter chair in chemistry at UC Berkeley and is a faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

“There is no other way to do that right now, except by using extra energy. Your electric dehumidifier at home ‘produces’ very expensive water.”

The prototype, under conditions of 20-30 percent humidity, was able to pull 2.8 liters (3 quarts) of water from the air over a 12-hour period, using one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of MOF. Rooftop tests at MIT confirmed that the device works in real-world conditions.

“One vision for the future is to have water off-grid, where you have a device at home running on ambient solar for delivering water that satisfies the needs of a household,” said Yaghi, who is the founding director of the Berkeley Global Science Institute, a co-director of the Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute and the California Research Alliance by BASF. “

To me, that will be made possible because of this experiment. I call it personalized water.”

“It’s not just that we made a passive device that sits there collecting water; we have now laid both the experimental and theoretical foundations so that we can screen other MOFs, thousands of which could be made, to find even better materials,” he said. “There is a lot of potential for scaling up the amount of water that is being harvested. It is just a matter of further engineering now,” Wang said.

Yaghi and his team are at work improving their MOFs, while Wang continues to improve the harvesting system to produce more water.

“To have water running all the time, you could design a system that absorbs the humidity during the night and evolves it during the day,” he said.

“Or design the solar collector to allow for this at a much faster rate, where more air is pushed in. We wanted to demonstrate that if you are cut off somewhere in the desert, you could survive because of this device. A person needs about a Coke can of water per day. That is something one could collect in less than an hour with this system.”

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Advice

A Sampling of Dining Out Options for Thanksgiving Soul Food Around California

While many people enjoy preparing and eating that turkey dinner at home, some people prefer to outsource their feast. For those folks, here’s a small sampling of some soul food restaurants around the state that will be open on or around Thanksgiving.

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Minnie Bell’s sign and a pan of their typical fare: Brussels sprouts and macaroni and cheese. Facebook image and photo.
Minnie Bell’s sign and a pan of their typical fare: Brussels sprouts and macaroni and cheese. Facebook image and photo.

By Aldon Thomas Stiles | California Black Media

Thanksgiving is around the corner, and with that comes greens, beans, candied yams, turkey (roasted and deep-fried), dressing, mac n’ cheese, sweet potato pie and all the other soul food “fixins” that make the holiday meal arguably the tastiest meal of the year for many African Americans. We can choose from a diverse menu of food options that we prepare at home, or we can try to enjoy those options dining out.

The city of Inglewood, for example, is hosting a drive-thru turkey giveaway on Nov. 23 with special guest Snoop Dogg.

The event will go from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and is located at Hollywood Park. The goal is to serve 2,500 Inglewood residents with free turkeys provided by Don Lee Farms.

While many people enjoy preparing and eating that turkey dinner at home, some people prefer to outsource their feast.

For those folks, here’s a small sampling of some soul food restaurants around the state that will be open on or around Thanksgiving.

Minnie Bell’s (Emeryville)

Minnie Bell’s — a soul food truck in Emeryville up north — may not be open Thanksgiving Day, it will be open on the 23rd for those who want to celebrate a little early.

Founded by Fernay McPherson in 2013, “Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement” is born out of legacy.

“Fernay learned to cook from her great aunt Minnie and late grandmother Lillie Bell,” the website reads. “Fernay’s family arrived in San Francisco during the Great Migration as part of the relocation of more than 6 million African Americans from the rural South to cities in the North and West.”

Minnie Bell’s is located in the Emeryville Public Market at 5959 Shellmound St.

StreetCar (San Diego)

On Nov. 24, they will be hosting a Thanksgiving feast event.

“Bring your friends and family on Thanksgiving Day for a celebratory feast,” their flyer reads.

The event is located at 4002 30th St. and will go from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Founded by Ron Suel and RaVae Smith in 2014, StreetCar specializes in southern cuisine and features an all-day brunch menu.

“You will find classic southern dishes and Louisiana favorites,” their website reads.

ComfortLA (Los Angeles)

In Downtown Los Angeles, ComfortLA is an option for those who want to eat out this holiday as it’s open on Thanksgiving Day.

Located on 1110 E. 7th St., ComfortLA was once a pop-up restaurant founded by Jeremy McBryde and Mark E. Walker.

ComfortLA focuses on taking a clean approach to their menu, sporting a variety of all-natural soul food options.

“We use locally sourced, fresh and organic ingredients and healthier cooking methods to create top-notch, Southern cuisine including ‘Cousin Kina’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese,’ ‘Clean Mean Greens’ and our signature ‘Organic Not Your Average Fried Chicken’ with ‘That Sauce,’” it reads on their website.

They also have an Inglewood location, though that restaurant is not open on Thanksgiving.

Hotville Chicken (Los Angeles)

The last establishment on this list is Hotville Chicken in Los Angeles.

This restaurant is not open the day of Thanksgiving, but patrons can order ahead of time and pick their food up on the 24th.

Hotville, then known as the BBQ Hot Chicken Shack, was founded by Thornton Prince in 1936 in a segregated part of town.

Thornton’s great-great niece Kim Prince now runs the family business.

Their website boasts about how spicy their chicken is, as Thornton’s original recipe focused heavily on a fiery flavor.

“If you’ve never heard about Nashville-style hot chicken, it’s certainly time to get familiar,” it reads.

Prince’s focus is on community, as Thornton’s original chicken recipe “brought people together” even in a divided town.

Hotville is located at 4070 Marlton Ave.

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Activism

Celebrating Native American Heritage Month, Every Month

In early October, we saw the 30th anniversary of the Berkeley Indigenous People’s Day Powwow and Indian Market. In fact, Berkeley was the first city in the country to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day– five years before the day would become a federally-recognized holiday. San Francisco’s American Indian Film Institute held its 47th film festival this month, continuing the annual celebration of Native cinema and storytelling.

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In early October, we saw the 30th anniversary of the Berkeley Indigenous People’s Day Powwow and Indian Market. In fact, Berkeley was the first city in the country to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day– five years before the day would become a federally-recognized holiday.
In early October, we saw the 30th anniversary of the Berkeley Indigenous People’s Day Powwow and Indian Market. In fact, Berkeley was the first city in the country to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day– five years before the day would become a federally-recognized holiday.

Courtesy of Berkeley News Public Affairs

Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion Dania Matos and Stephen Sutton, vice chancellor for student affairs, sent the following message to the campus community on Nov.16:

November is National Native American Heritage Month. Please join us in celebrating the contributions, traditions, foods, languages, and futures of people across campus who identify as Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, First Nation, or who otherwise identify as indigenous.

We want to recognize the deep and meaningful history of Native Americans and indigenous people in this country, and while celebrating contributions and successes, we also acknowledge that history is fraught, challenges remain, and there is much still to be done. You can read President Biden’s proclamation for this year’s Native American Heritage Month here.

Of course, we would be remiss in not acknowledging that Berkeley sits in the territory known as xucyun (Huichin), and as we write this message, we have a responsibility to create relationships and partnerships with East Bay Ohlone people, lifting up issues that affect those communities, and learning to be better allies with the indigenous people and original stewards of this land.

Native American Heritage Month, every month

We, of course, honor and celebrate Native American people and communities year-round. In September, California Native American Day was observed across California, first created in 1998 to clarify misperceptions about California Indians.

In early October, we saw the 30th anniversary of the Berkeley Indigenous People’s Day Powwow and Indian Market. In fact, Berkeley was the first city in the country to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day– five years before the day would become a federally-recognized holiday. San Francisco’s American Indian Film Institute held its 47th film festival this month, continuing the annual celebration of Native cinema and storytelling.

As we move toward the popular American Thanksgiving holiday, it is important to reflect that there is a spectrum of experiences around this holiday and its meaning. The Alcatraz Indigenous People’s Sunrise Gathering hosted by the Indigenous Treaty Council is one way some indigenous people and allies choose to observe the day. The event seeks to honor traditions of indigenous communities on a day that attention is normally devoted elsewhere. It’s also sometimes referred to as Unthanksgiving Day or Un-Thanksgiving Day.

With the rise in popularity of Land Acknowledgements in recent years, we encourage you to explore this Land Acknowledgement toolkit created to encourage academic communities to recognize the original nations on whose land we live, learn, and work and was created by California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center, and California State University San Marcos’s American Indian Studies department, in partnership with Palomar College and the Southern California Tribal Chairman’s Association.

Make Time to Visit ottoy

Vincent Medina and Louis Trevino, the chefs behind the 2018 pop-up restaurant Cafe Ohlone, have developed a new collaboration–one that is rooted in healing–with the Hearst Museum of Anthropology and Cal Dining. ottoy is an outdoor dining and educational space located just outside the museum; its name means to repair or mend in Chochenyo. Medina and Trevino’s efforts were recently featured in a Berkeley News story and, on their website, they mention being driven by two goals: “to provide a physical space for our Ohlone people to be represented in the culinary world with a curated space that represents our living culture; and to educate the public, over Ohlone cuisine, in a dignified, honest manner about the original and continuous inhabitants of this land.” Cafe Ohlone remains the only restaurant/food project of its kind in the world today.

Resources, events, and groups

There are many organizations, resources, events, and spaces across campus that are dedicated to people who are Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, First Nation, or who otherwise identify as Indigenous. Initiated by students in 1991, the Indigenous Native Coalition Recruitment and Retention Center provides resources, advocacy, welcoming spaces, and opportunities to prospective and current students (follow them on Instagram!).

The Indigenous Graduate Student Association offers graduate students ways to connect academically, culturally, and socially; the Native American Law Students Association promotes the success of Native students, creates awareness around Native issues, and fosters a positive culture of unity, cooperation, and respect (and it has a great Instagram account!) Indigenous faculty, staff, and postdocs can get involved with the Native & Indigenous Council: a staff organization that supports networking and other community-building opportunities.

The American Indian Graduate Program works to enhance the graduate education experience for Native American students across campus; grow the number of American Indian graduate students who apply, enroll and graduate from UC Berkeley; and support contemporary applications for the Indigenous graduate student experience at UC Berkeley.

The Native American Student Development Office exists to support undergraduate and graduate Native and Indigenous students during their time at UC Berkeley and oversees the Native Community Center.

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans by sponsoring several events throughout the month and information online. Check out the National Native American Heritage Month website. The National Museum of the American Indian is hosting a Native Cinema Showcase Nov. 18 through 25, with films being available on-demand.

This CalMessage was written in partnership with Phenocia Bauerle, Elisa Diana Huerta, and Diana Lizarraga. The Divisions of Equity & Inclusion and Student Affairs offer deep gratitude to this network of people who contributed their insights and expertise.

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Activism

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Releases Statement on the Passing of Ying Lee

“Ying will always hold a special place in my heart, our community and the planet. Her life will be remembered as one of love, passion, compassion, dedication, and brilliance. Her legacy will provide us guidance in rising to the occasion as we continue her fight for peace and justice. I loved Ying and will miss her tremendously. May she rest in peace and in power,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA).

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“I am heartbroken over the loss of a great warrior woman, a good friend and former colleague, Ying Lee Kelley,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA).
“I am heartbroken over the loss of a great warrior woman, a good friend and former colleague, Ying Lee Kelley,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA).

Oakland, CA – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) released the following statement mourning the loss of her friend and former Legislative Director, Ying Lee.

“My condolences and love go to Sarah, Max, and Ying’s entire family upon learning of her passing. I am heartbroken over the loss of a great warrior woman, a good friend and former colleague, Ying Lee Kelley. I have known Ying since the early 1970’s and have experienced first-hand her brilliance, her honesty, her beauty and her commitment to global peace and security.

“Like many, she taught me many lessons and was a confidant and advisor. One of my most memorable moments with Ying was our visit to Japan to engage with the Japanese people on issues of war and peace following the horrific attacks on Sept. 11. She was greeted as an icon and legend. Her greatness was recognized by everyone.

“I spoke with Ying a couple of weeks ago and she was optimistic. She recognized the many challenges before us, yet — as usual — she provided words of encouragement and wisdom.

“Ying will always hold a special place in my heart, our community and the planet. Her life will be remembered as one of love, passion, compassion, dedication, and brilliance. Her legacy will provide us guidance in rising to the occasion as we continue her fight for peace and justice. I loved Ying and will miss her tremendously. May she rest in peace and in power.”

Congresswoman Lee is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. She serves as Co-Chair of the Steering & Policy Committee, former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chair Emeritus of the Progressive Caucus, Co-Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Health Task Force, and Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus. She also serves as Chair of the Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. As a member of the House Democratic Leadership, she is the highest-ranking Black woman in the U.S. Congress.

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