Published Jan 1, 2007 8:00 AM
25 Brilliant California Ideas
California is the nation's incubator. Ideas born here today affect how everyone lives, thinks and raises their kids tomorrow. Inventions and explorations made here reshape society and save lives.
But California not only attracts creative minds; it also has devised a remarkable public university system to nurture them. Who better, then, to select 25 of the brilliant ideas of the last quarter-century than the faculties of the two largest campuses, UCLA and UC Berkeley? Inevitably, since the two faculties are themselves first-order engines of discovery, the results reflect many of their achievements. But many do not. Their selections include the lifesaving (stem cells, the nicotine patch), the enabling (venture capital, search engines), the promising (sensor technology) and pop culture (iPod, The Simpsons).
Like this project, most inventions today are invigorated by collaboration. We trust you will find the results a source of both fascination and reflection, and, in another California tradition, we expect you will quarrel with them. Let us know what you think. Send us your own list at www.magazine.ucla.edu or www.californiamag.org.
- D'oh Dynasty: The Simpsons
- Movable Feasts: iPod
- Search Party: Google and Yahoo!
- Get a Clue: DNA fingerprinting
- Healthy Lead: Tough, trendsetting environmental standards
- Cancer Killer: Herceptin
- A Whole New Track: The first company to produce commercial bicycles for riding up and down mountains
- Ground Zero: AIDS Research
- Elevated Eating: California Cuisine
- Higher Return: Compassionate capitalism
- Seeds of Success: The Goldman Environmental Prize
- Native Tongues: Saving and reviving tribal languages
- State of Inquiry: Stem Cells
- High Five: California's First Five campaign to improve the health and well-being of children up to age 5, funded by a 50-cents-per-pack tax on cigarettes and passed by voters as Proposition 10 in 1998
- Uncommon Sense: Wireless sensing
- Under Your Skin: The Nicotine Patch
- Inside Jobs: Venture capital
- Show and Sell: the ideapolis
- A Wrinkle in Time/Space: The COBE satellite, which corroborated the Big Bang theory of the universe's origins
- Unreal Life: Computer-generated imagery (CGI)
- Hooked Up: Metcalfe's Law (social networking)
- Mind Games: Exercising your brain to stave off memory loss
- Play It Again, Tomorrow: Digital video recorders
- Surge Protector: Energy-saving appliances
- Close to Home: Transit-oriented development