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Insightful and provocative long-form reporting from a team of award-winning journalists, photographers and contributors who know the Bay Area best. E-mail your story ideas, news tips and ideas on what we should write about at news@californiabeat.org.

[By Andrew Leonard | 22 May 2016 | No Comments]
Maker Faire is a combination of both low tech and high-tech. Pictured here, a programmable miniature game system was available for purchase.

SAN MATEO, CALIF – From May 20 to May 22, the San Mateo Event Center became a temporary Mecca for makers: nerds, builders, hackers and geeks alike.

For the price of admission, visitors get to experience everything from fire-breathing metal dragons, to drone racing and video games. This is not a faire to be watched from afar, as nearly every exhibit is interactive; attendees are just as much a part of the faire as the exhibitors.

[By Beat News Service | 17 May 2015 | No Comments]
Crowds fill San Francisco's Streets for the 2015 Bay to Breakers Race. (CALIFORNIA BEAT PHOTO)

Superheroes, celebrities and the naked came out to San Francisco’s colorful Bay to Breakers footrace Sunday morning. The sun may not have made an appearance during the duration of the 12K event, but it did not stop some partiers from celebrating in their skivvies.

Do you recognize anyone in our photo gallery from this year’s race?

[By Tim Jue | 8 May 2015 | No Comments]
San Francisco-based Mindfulness Consultant Mark Coleman (center) brings calm into the airplane alongside British Airways cabin crew on the airline's World Traveller Plus section on its Airbus A380. (PHOTO BY NICK MORRISH/ BRITISH AIRWAYS FOR THE CALIFORNIA BEAT)

In the ever-so-stressful world of airline travel, British Airways has launched a new program to put the minds of its long-haul passengers at ease.

The man to help make it happen: Mark Coleman, a San Francisco-based mindfulness consultant who’s been asked by the airline to provide fliers on its newest Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets with meditation techniques for a relaxed and positive state of mind.

[By Nathan Wyss | 20 May 2013 | No Comments]
More than 100,000 people turned out for the Maker Faire at the San Mateo County Fairgrounds, a convention of creativity attracting engineers, hobbyists and artists. (Nathan Wyss/ CALIFORNIA BEAT PHOTO)

The San Mateo County Fairgrounds transformed into a hotbed for creativity over the weekend, playing host to the enormously popular do-it-yourself festival Maker Faire.

The festival offers hobbyists, engineers, and anyone with an imagination a chance to show-off their creations — from dizzying pieces of art to solar-powered inventions.

[By Andrew Leonard | 12 Sep 2012 | No Comments]

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. – Apple Inc. has announced the much-anticipated update to their iPhone line, the iPhone 5.

During a press event held in San Francisco, Apple showed off specifications and high-resolution pictures confirming months of rumors about the new iPhone.

Apple’s 6th iPhone boasts a unique improvement over prior incremental improvements: a new, 4-inch display with a 16:9 aspect ratio. The larger “Retina” display boasts an impressive 1136×640 pixel resolution, nearing that of some of their notebook computers.

Other improvements to the line include a faster A6 processor, better battery life, better front- and rear-facing cameras, an additional microphone, better call audio quality, slimmer dimensions, and less weight (down to 112 grams from 140). Instead of glass, Apple is now using aluminum for the back casing, which should improve durability.

[By Andrew Leonard | 3 Jun 2012 | One Comment]
Dancers take to the streets and draw crowds on Sunday. Andrew Leonard / CALIFORNIA BEAT


Families, couples, and friends perused the streets of San Francisco’s Mission District on Sunday during the monthly run of Sunday Streets. The event, held on the first Sunday of every month through August, begins at 11AM and has a scheduled end time of 4PM.

[By Andrew Leonard | 20 May 2012 | No Comments]
A time-lapse view of the May 20, 2012 annular Solar Eclipse from Virgin, Utah. (Andrew Leonard/ CALIFORNIA BEAT)

VIRGIN, UTAH — Residents in Southern Utah were treated to front row seats during Sunday evening’s annular solar eclipse.

These time-lapse images depicting the “ring of fire” moment during the peak of the eclipse were photographed from Virgin, Utah, a small community 15 miles west of Zion National Park. 

[By Beat News Service | 19 May 2012 | No Comments]
THE CITY'S FRAT PARTY attracted people from around the world during the 99th running of the ING Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco Sunday, May 15, 2010. (Photo by Vanessa Guerra/ CALIFORNIA BEAT)

Some see it as a century-old quintessially San Francisco tradition; others view it as a mobile fraternity party that goes on for miles.

On Sunday, tens of thousands will take part in the 101st running of the Bay to Breakers race, an annual tradition that brings out everyone from professional runners to costumed crime-fighters — and others who wear nothing at all.

[By Beat News Service | 11 Apr 2012 | One Comment]

(4/11) 13:38 PST — DAVIS, CALIF. — A University of California task force issued a blistering report Wednesday on the Nov. 18, 2011 pepper-spraying of Occupy UC Davis protesters by campus police officers, ridiculing the police department and embattled Chancellor for “unreasonable” use-of-force against students.

The task force, assembled after UC Davis Police Lt. John Pike’s pepper-spraying of peacefully protesting students garnered worldwide attention, said the incident “should have and could have been prevented.”

[By Beat News Service | 28 May 2011 | No Comments]
Courtesy SFMTA

Outer Sunset commuters in San Francisco who have grown accustomed to crowded cars and long delays aboard the N-Judah MUNI Metro streetcar line can expect some relief come June 13 — for a six-month trial period — in the form of a bus.

MUNI will begin a pilot project to increase capacity on the busy Metro line during weekday commute hours by instituting an N-Judah Express bus line, which the transit agency says will relieve severe overcrowding.