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Howard Thurston vs. Harry Houdini – who is history’s greatest magician?

Howard Thurston vs. Harry Houdini – who is history’s greatest magician?

Few remember now that at the dawn of the 20th century when magic was still mystery, and a sleight of hand could very well have been the work of the devil as much as a flick of a wrist, two magicians battled it out for the right to be called king. While Harry Houdini thrilled [...]

Homelessness in Los Angeles—Part One: the Safer City Initiative

Homelessness in Los Angeles—Part One: the Safer City Initiative

With over 40,000 homeless living on its streets, Los Angeles is the homeless capital of the country. The largest cluster of those homeless men and women—nearly four thousand—lives on Skid Row, just in the shadow of city hall, where city and county government make policy decisions about the issue. Nearly five years after Mayor Villaraigosa's [...]

Foreign-language contenders in the race for Oscar gold

Foreign-language contenders in the race for Oscar gold

FilmWeek takes a look at this year's best foreign language contenders: Biutiful (Mexico), Dogtooth (Greece), In A Better World (Denmark), Outside the Law (Algeria) and Incendies (Canada). Critics Henry Sheehan and Tim Cogshell weigh in and take your calls. Have you seen any of these films? Which one do you think should take home the [...]

Charlie Sheen’s behavior – and a studio’s responsibility

Charlie Sheen’s behavior – and a studio’s responsibility

Actor Charlie Sheen goes off the rails time after time, then goes back on TV, and the ratings go up. His ex-wife, Denise Richards, told Barbara Walters in a pre-taped episode of The View that will air today [Friday], “…this is Charlie's lifestyle. He makes no bones about it… and it is what it is." [...]

Peggy Orenstein takes us on a tour of the princess industrial complex

Peggy Orenstein takes us on a tour of the princess industrial complex

Girlie-girls are made of sugar and spice and everything – pink. Isn’t that nice? Not so fast, says author Peggy Orenstein. There’s a dark side to the hyper-feminine, highly commercialized pretty bows and sparkly tutus. Think 6-year old girls in lipstick and sexualized influences pushing our daughters into thinking that how they look on the [...]

So a guy walks into a (salad) bar… will a caloric-labeled menu alter what he eats?

So a guy walks into a (salad) bar… will a caloric-labeled menu alter what he eats?

When the health bill was signed into law almost a year ago, health experts hailed the new requirement that chain restaurants post calorie information on their menus as perhaps the greatest thing to happen in the nutrition world since sliced (whole grain, low sodium, sprouted) bread. “If only people KNEW how bad for them that [...]

Hans Zimmer – the journeyman film score composer

Hans Zimmer – the journeyman film score composer

German-born musician Hans Zimmer is one of the most accomplished film composers of all time, with a collection of awards on his shelf and over 100 movies to his credit – including such acclaimed scores as “The Lion King,” “Gladiator,” and “The Dark Knight.” Zimmer has been nominated for another Academy Award for his score [...]

The Price of Everything

The Price of Everything

Perhaps the best way to summarize the all-encompassing story, <i>The Price of Everything</i>, by Eduardo Porter, is to envision a married, middle-class couple in present-day America still in bed on Sunday morning. What price did they pay, monetarily, socially, biologically and otherwise, to earn the privilege of waking up side-by-side, or perhaps intertwined? How will [...]

Radio journalist gets happy in the Kingdom of Bhutan

Radio journalist gets happy in the Kingdom of Bhutan

When long-time radio journalist Lisa Napoli flew to the tiny Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan to volunteer at the country’s first youth radio station, she was leaving behind her job at Marketplace and her life in Los Angeles. But she was looking for a change. She immersed herself in Bhutan's rapidly changing culture and its commitment [...]

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Nope – it’s a high-speed rail plan, and a lot of Republicans don’t like it

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Nope – it’s a high-speed rail plan, and a lot of Republicans don’t like it

Vice President Biden announced last week the Obama Administration’s plan to put $53 billion toward upgrading and building a national, high-speed rail network. The administration has already allocated $10.5 billion to passenger rail programs, with the majority of funding going to projects in the planning stage in California and Florida. In fact, California will benefit [...]