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KPCC Blogs


Inside the complex minds of animals: they’re smarter than you think

Inside the complex minds of animals: they’re smarter than you think

As you talk to your dog or cat about your day (admit it – all pet owners do it), do you ever wonder what your pets understand? How about when you point to them to sit down, why is it that they respond correctly? Are animals smarter than we actually think? In Time magazine’s recent [...]

Dick Van Dyke’s life and movies

Dick Van Dyke’s life and movies

You know him as a chimney sweep, the perfect son, and an all-American dad—Dick Van Dyke’s performances in Mary Poppins, Bye Bye Birdie, and his self-titled television show are unforgettable. The warm and gifted comedian joins Larry in studio to discuss his life and career on screen. What are your favorite Van Dyke moments? Read [...]

Student Loans – an expensive lesson in excessive debt

Student Loans – an expensive lesson in excessive debt

College may be the best 4 years of your life. But what about all those student loans you’re still paying off… when you’re 52? According to the Federal Reserves, outstanding student loans totaled around $830 billion in June while average college tuition is $26,000 – minus all those textbooks and room and board. When you [...]

Mary Roach’s “Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void”

Mary Roach’s “Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void”

Space may be the last frontier, but what intrigues us about this strange, quiet world? It’s farther away than anything that we’ve ever known, but wouldn’t you start to miss the little things? You can’t smell the start of spring in space, there’s no Chinese take-out, and you age faster. But, then again, it’s also [...]

Life coaches – who are they to tell us how to live?

Life coaches – who are they to tell us how to live?

As a distinct profession, life coaching is relatively new. But since its early nineties beginnings, the coaching business has been booming. According to the International Coaching Federation, there are now 16,000 coaches worldwide, specializing in everything from gardening and sewing to parenting and career help. There are also hundreds of schools offering training, but the [...]

The Great Ape Protection Act

The Great Ape Protection Act

Approximately one thousand chimpanzees are currently housed in U.S. laboratories for use in medical research, at a cost to taxpayers of over $60 million a year. A bill recently introduced in the Senate, and an identical House bill from a year ago, would phase out invasive research and testing on these animals and retire them [...]

"A Visit From the Goon Squad”

"A Visit From the Goon Squad”

What would inspire a successful short story writer and novelist to write an entire chapter using power point? Perhaps the same thing that inspired her to write about terrorism, oral sex, celebrity journalism, teen and adult angst, the digital age, and use more than a dozen protagonists to weave together a story loosely focused on [...]

Navigating the smartphone wars

Navigating the smartphone wars

Let’s say you’re not an early adopter of new technology, but you’re getting ready to take the smartphone plunge. How should flip phone holdouts make the switch? iPhones are uber cool, but nearly everyone complains about AT&T’s service. Android-based phones are now outselling iPhones and their open source apps are as democratic as apple pie. [...]

That’s inappropriate! What the HP sexual harassment case shows about touchy office-place relationships

That’s inappropriate! What the HP sexual harassment case shows about touchy office-place relationships

Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd was encouraged to resign last week after it surfaced that he had tried to enter a relationship with an HP contractor and part-time actress, Jodie Fisher. HP says Hurd didn't violate their sexual harassment policy, and Fisher acknowledges they never entered into an affair or sexual relationship, but the scandal still [...]

Box office depictions of gay characters

Box office depictions of gay characters

With Judge Walker’s suspension of Proposition 8, the question of gay marriage is once again in the headlines. It’s also often on the marquee, most recently with The Kids are All Right starring Annette Bening. Hollywood has struggled for years to realistically portray gay characters. Sometimes they succeed. Sometimes they fail miserably. Which movies get [...]