They don’t seem like a match made in heaven.

Scientists fill their minds with numbers and formulas. Artists devote themselves to exploring beauty, darkness and everything in between.

But at San Diego’s scientific campuses, opposites are attracting: Science and art blend everywhere from the Salk Institute to the Neuroscience Institute, the grounds of a pharmaceutical company and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology.

Our story looks at the roots of the marriage between arts and science in San Diego, which dates back to the unusual marriage of polio vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk and artist Françoise Gilot, the former mistress of Pablo Picasso. And we explore how local institutions reflect their artistic impulses.

In other news:

  • How much is the downtown schoobrary going to cost? Beats us. As we report, “the city of San Diego is refusing to release a new cost estimate for the schoobrary. . . It’s the second time in three weeks the Mayor’s Office has refused to release public information in its possession.”

    There’s more: “Local labor leaders Thursday released a legal opinion that suggests the city wouldn’t be able to fund the project with school district dollars if an outsourcing ballot initiative championed by Councilman Carl DeMaio passes in November.”

  • You may have thought San Diego’s budget cuts of the last few years have been plenty painful. Especially if, say, you’d like a pothole fixed or a broken streetlight repaired or a library that’s open in the evening more than twice a week.

    Think again.

    A new city report, as we describe it, says San Diego “has reached its limit of easy budget solutions.”

  • Earlier this month, we told you that a pair of court cases were poised to reignite the local Catholic church’s priest sex-abuse scandal. We checked with one of the attorneys in the case yesterday to get an update, and guess what: just days after our story appeared, the San Diego diocese agreed to settle the cases for an undisclosed amount.

    Is the timing a coincidence? Maybe. Were the attorneys trying to manipulate the media in order to pressure the church? Maybe. But one thing is clear: There won’t be trials in the cases that could have put alleged victims of priest sex abuse on the stand for the first time locally.

    But the church isn’t entirely in the clear. At least a dozen alleged victims are pursuing a different legal strategy.

  • What should happen to sex offenders? It’s a hot topic in the California political world. For decades in the 20th century, a couple San Diego judges offered a unique choice to sex offenders: They could go on probation instead of heading to prison. The catch: they had to allow their testicles to be removed. While it’s not widely known, hundreds of local men took the deal. We examine the history of the castration option.
  • In one of her most biting cartoons ever, our editorial cartoonist takes aim at Rep. Duncan D. Hunter over his comments about deporting the children of undocumented immigrants.

    Hunter, by the way, told 10 News that his comment was taken out of context, but still repeated what he had said earlier.

  • Lights! Camera! News! The Photo of the Day has another caption contest, this one looking for your thoughts on a photograph of the local media doing its job.

    Be as rude as you want to be: We can handle it. (Maybe with a bottle of whiskey and crying ourselves to sleep every night, but still.)


  • KFMB/News 8 aired its exclusive interview with the man who admitted killing Chelsea King and Amber Dubois. The station posted more than 16 minutes of conversation from a two-hour phone interview.

    “I was aware of what I was doing, and I could not stop myself,” John Albert Gardner III said. “I was in a major rage and pissed off at my whole life and everyone who had hurt me and blew up and hurt the wrong people. I hate myself, I really do.” When asked if there were other victims, he said, “Ha ha, good try.” A real charmer, this murderer.

  • Rep. Bob Filner and Assemblywoman Mary Salas are planning a media splash today, promising revelations about the campaign funding of Juan Vargas, who’s running against Salas for state senate. CityBeat has a preview and notes that tens of thousands of bucks are flowing to Vargas, apparently from “subsidiaries of the Civil Justice Association of California, whose members are mostly Big Insurance, Big Pharmaceutical, Big Energy and Big Tech corporations.”

    Corporations trying to influence politics? Stop the presses.

  • In the U-T: After a lot of hullaballoo and a 19-month investigation, the city ethics commission levied a $3,000 fine against Councilwoman Marti Emerald. Median incomes are, surprise, on the rise in the county. (Median isn’t the average, in case you’re like me and get that confused with the mean, which is the average.)
  • In the NCT: “The Escondido City Attorney’s Office decided Thursday not to release any police documents related to the disappearance and murder of 14-year-old Amber Dubois, rejecting public records requests by several news outlets, including the North County Times, and limiting the public’s ability to examine how law enforcement handled the case.”

    Also in the NCT: “Less than a month after San Diego County’s massive power outage, the operator of California’s electrical grid has apparently fired one employee and disciplined two others.”

  • Finally, the NYT checks in with a San Diego man named Randy Gardner “who set a record for staying awake more than four decades ago.”

    Gardner, who was a San Diego teenager at the time, broke the world record in 1964 by not going to sleep for 264 hours. That’s more than 10 days.

    He had hallucinations while staying awake (including one that he was a black running back for the Chargers, even though he’s white), but recovered. He’s still proud of his accomplishment, but acknowledged that, ironically enough, he has trouble sleeping sometimes.

    The NYT reports: “Curiously, it’s mostly foreign reporters who have contacted him for interviews over the years: Americans don’t seem particularly interested, but he’s big in Japan.”

    Big in Japan? Even if he can’t sleep, he’s living the dream.


Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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