Running for the Oval Office on a Green Party ticket and with indomitable tenacity, Ralph Nader spoke at UCSB on 9/28 and decried what he called the “two-party duocracy” that prevents third-party candidates from having a legitimate shot at the presidency. Nader, on the ballot in 45 states this election, pooh-poohed the notion that his presence will hurt Barack Obama’s lead as he’d be more likely to take votes away from John McCain. (/nader1002)

As UCSB students begin the first full week of their fall quarter, the California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) released a report on 9/30 claiming that digital “e-textbooks” offer no respite from high textbook costs, which the group estimates at $700-$1,000 annually. The report also identifies what CALPIRG claims is an affordable substitute: so-called open textbooks, which can be downloaded and printed for free.

With the use of new oil-analyzing technology, a team of researchers including UCSB’s David Valentine have discovered that microorganisms living beneath the ocean floor off the coast of Santa Barbara are able to consume two-thirds of known oil components, UCSB announced on 9/30. The organisms, which can aid oil spill clean-up efforts, consume this matter at a rate of 100 barrels per day and, as a direct result, produce natural gas. (/oilmuncher)


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