Hey coders, HACK UCSC offers $80,000 in prizes

Yes, Virginia, students who want to participate in the Jan. 9-11 hackathon hosted by UC Santa Cruz will have shot at $80,000 in prizes, but entrants will have to pay a $25 fee.  
To save the Joshua tree, a desert plant in peril, UC Santa Cruz art research associate Geoffrey Thomas imagines a future with seed-spreading tarantula robots and genetically-engineered giant sloths.  
 
"JOSE CARLOS FAJARDO"
State football champion De La Salle High finishes season with school record 5,660 rushing yards after 63-42 win over Centennial-Corona  
 
Eric Eason
A team of mechanical engineers has used the same scientific principles employed by the sticky feet of geckos to create a superhero climbing device. With patents pending, they are poised to wrap their sticky fingers around some hard cash.  
 
RAY CHAVEZ
Outspoken talk-show host Bill Maher appeared Saturday at UC Berkeley's December graduation, greeted by a handful of silent demonstrators protesting the comedian's statements about Islam. Maher delivered the keynote speech at the commencement ceremony, where about 500 students were honored.  
 
University of California President Janet Napolitano has been appointed as a tenured faculty member at UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy.  
 
UC Santa Cruz police are looking for a man who tried to kidnap a student at knifepoint when he surprised her from the backseat of her car in a university parking lot Thursday night.  
 
Stanford University has suspended the on-campus housing privileges of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity for the next two academic years as a result of a sexual harassment investigation.  
 
Although new local control accountability plans required by the state are a good first step toward engaging with and informing the public about how money is spent in school districts throughout the state, the Education Trust-West student advocacy group recommends several improvements to make them easier to understand.  
 
The San Jose-Evergreen Community College District is the subject of faculty complaints, federal probe into prevention and handling of sexual assaults.  
 
(Peter Mountain/Disney)
Review: 'Into the Woods' impressive, but a bit too tame

Rob Marshall's adaptation of the classic Stephen Sondheim musical is a visual feast with some stunning performances, but loses some of the edge of the original play.