All that extra security in Berkeley today was for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who visited the Berkeley Lawrence Lab on her swing through the Bay Area.

There are more than 100 German staff scientists and postdoctoral students working at Berkeley Lab, and Merkel planned to take a photo with them. She probably kept up her end of the conversation, too, as she has a doctorate in physics.

Don’t feel bad for Stanford. Merkel went there, too.

It was the first visit of a German chancellor to the West Coast since Helmut Kohl came in the 1990s. Merkel is spending four days in the US. She attended President Obama’s Global Summit on Nuclear Security in Washington DC and hung out with celebrities yesterday in Los Angeles.

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Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, published in November...