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Why we use euphemisms and what they say about our culture

Why we use euphemisms and what they say about our culture
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Kick the bucket. Bun in the oven. Powder your nose. Euphemisms have been with us forever and they aren't going away any time soon. Where did they come from? Did you know that euphemisms originally became widely used as a clever way to avoid blasphemy? In his new book, Euphemania, author Ralph Keyes traces the […]

This time, he won’t be back: the legacy of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

This time, he won’t be back: the legacy of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

In a campaign commercial during his 2003 run for governor, in the midst of a historic and historically crazy recall campaign against Gray Davis, Arnold Schwarzenegger promised simple, decisive action once he took office. “Here’s my plan,” said the eventual governor. “Audit everything. Open the books. And then we end the crazy deficit spending.” Things […]

Top science stories of 2010 – scandalous speculation & watershed moments

Top science stories of 2010 – scandalous speculation & watershed moments

The interbreeding of early humans and Neanderthals backed by DNA evidence, a microbe that lives on arsenic (or does it?), the electric car makes an electrifying comeback, WikiLeaks delivers a hard lesson in data security, an Icelandic volcano with a nearly unpronounceable erupts, a disaster that blackened Gulf waters – these are some of the […]

Gavel crosses the aisle for the 112th Congress – what’s in store?

Gavel crosses the aisle for the 112th Congress – what’s in store?

Congress wrapped up its so-called lame-duck session last week with an unexpected string of victories for President Obama and Democrats, including the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the nuclear-arms reduction agreement, a health bill for 9/11 responders, a food safety bill, middle-class tax cuts and the extension of jobless benefits. But legislators taking a […]

The new chic: civil unions? The French outgrow marriage

The new chic: civil unions? The French outgrow marriage

Ah, Paris. It's one of the most romantic cities in the world and also one of the most trend setting. So if the French are disillusioned with the concept of "happily ever after" and are giving up on the institution of marriage, will the world soon follow? Only 250,000 couples tied the knot in France […]

50 ways to improve your life in 2011

50 ways to improve your life in 2011

‘Tis the season for lists! Every year, articles come out with detailed “best of” and “worst of” and “most important” lists of everything from songs, movies, television shows, recipes and books, to people and endangered species. The U.S. News & World Report is famous for its ability to rank things and this year rather than […]

Doctors with borders: how can pediatricians be attracted to work in vulnerable areas?

Doctors with borders: how can pediatricians be attracted to work in vulnerable areas?

Almost 1 million children in the United States live in communities without access to doctors. It's not due to a shortage of doctors, it's because medical professionals are choosing to practice in more affluent neighborhoods, leaving poorer communities without much needed medical services. The National Health Services Corps has been offering loan forgiveness to doctors […]

FilmWeek: True Grit, Country Strong, Gulliver’s Travels, Little Fockers, Somewhere & more

FilmWeek: True Grit, Country Strong, Gulliver’s Travels, Little Fockers, Somewhere & more

KPCC film critics Henry Sheehan, Wade Major, Andy Klein and animation critic Charles Solomon join Larry to review the week’s new film releases including True Grit, Country Strong, Gulliver's Travels, Little Fockers, Somewhere, among others. TGI-FilmWeek! Read the Full Story at KPCC Blogs

Holiday gifts gone bad…real bad

Holiday gifts gone bad…real bad

It’s cute to get a home-made gift from a child, but what about when it comes from an adult? And while we all like to get a knit sweater, a knit toilet seat cover is probably less appropriate. What about a plush-toy “PhartEphant,” a stuffed elephant that makes certain, uh, noises when you squeeze it? […]

The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas

The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas

It's tough for an atheist on Christmas. Everyone's a-ho-hoing or a-ring-a-linging, and it's an obstacle course these days trying to avoid long shopping lines and at-capacity parking lots. When even the gas stations have nativity scenes and the elevators play Christmas music, where is an atheist to turn? Why to <i>The Atheist's Guide to Christmas</i>, […]