KPCC Blogs


Raising a chimp as a human: the wild story & monkey business of Project Nim

Raising a chimp as a human: the wild story & monkey business of Project Nim

Imagine if we could "free" a chimpanzee’s mind through a communicative vehicle. This is the goal that Columbia university researchers set out to achieve in the mid-1970’s. How? By raising a 2-week-old chimp like a human child, by a human mother, in a house of seven children. Because chimpanzees lack the vocal apparatus to speak, [...]

Anna Deavere Smith’s show Let Me Down Easy comes to Los Angeles

Anna Deavere Smith’s show Let Me Down Easy comes to Los Angeles

Actress Anna Deavere Smith is perhaps best known for her starring role on Showtime's "Nurse Jackie." Or for playing the national security advisor on NBC's "The West Wing." Movie buffs will recognize Smith from films like Rachel Getting Married, RENT, and The American President. But theater lovers mostly know her as an award-winning playwright and [...]

The Other Barack: The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama’s Father

The Other Barack: The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama’s Father

Since Barack Obama took the presidency in 2008, there have been countless books written about his life, speeches, and religious values, but few have thoroughly examined one of the former senator’s closest family members: Barack Hussein Obama, his father. Now Boston Globe reporter Sally H. Jacobs has shed new light on this brilliant and yet [...]

Books vs. movies: does Hollywood ruin novels?

Books vs. movies: does Hollywood ruin novels?

This weekend, the eighth installment of the Harry Potter film franchise opens for its eager fan base. In the case of J.K. Rowling’s series, her best-selling books have translated into equally big box office successes. Lucky that. Often a beloved novel adapted for the screen provokes passionate pans. Readers feel let down when a tale [...]

Countdown to CAR-MAGGEDON begins!

Countdown to CAR-MAGGEDON begins!

‘Twas the night before the closure, and all through the streets, not a vehicle was stirring, not even a Jeep”…. This evening, freeway ramps on the 405 will gradually close as the 53-hour stint of construction on the Mulholland Bridge begins. Everyone is bracing for the surface street congestion and general frustration soon to ripple [...]

Child-free zones

Child-free zones

Malaysia Airlines plans to ban babies from traveling first class on its Airbus A380 super jumbo jet and children under 6 are being banned from a restaurant in Pennsylvania. What gives? In the case of the airlines, its CEO Tengku Azmil said that passengers who spend a lot of money for first-class seats are often [...]

Making city roads a driver’s nightmare

Making city roads a driver’s nightmare

Inching along surface streets in bumper-to-bumper traffic can be hellish, but imagine driving in a city with structures and regulations specifically designed to torture car users—with large portions of blocked road, fees for traveling in congested areas, popular biking programs authorized to hog car lanes, closely spaced red lights, and reduced parking. Oh, the horror! [...]

Reality TV polygamist sparks legal battle

Reality TV polygamist sparks legal battle

Kody Brown might be one of the most famous polygamists in the country. As one of the stars of the show Sister Wives, he, his four wives and their sixteen children and stepchildren have been featured prominently on TVs across America. Now, Utah state officials are saying the family is under investigation for violating state [...]

First one to the office gets the patent: House of Representatives passes change to patent procedure

First one to the office gets the patent: House of Representatives passes change to patent procedure

Last month, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would make the most radical changes to patent law that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has seen in 60 years. Backed by many Republicans and Democrats, as well as the White House, the bill will allow the first person who files an application—rather than [...]

You can diagnose, sure, but how’s your bedside manner?

You can diagnose, sure, but how’s your bedside manner?

Med school could be changing in a very big way. At Virginia Tech Carilion, administrators have started to rely on more than just grades and test scores to determine admission. Additionally, they have instituted the multiple mini interview (M.M.I.), a series of nine unprompted interviews focusing on social skills, ethics and communicative ability. Students get [...]