KPCC Blogs


How our brain’s flaws shape our lives

How our brain’s flaws shape our lives

The brain is not a machine. We forget things, we are susceptible to false advertising, false memories, propaganda and irrational beliefs. Though it’s the control center for the whole body and the mind, the brain is amazingly flawed. In his new book Brain Bugs, neuroscientist Dr. Dean Buonomano explores these flaws, which he calls brain [...]

Penn Jillette: God, No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales

Penn Jillette: God, No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales

It seems like Atheism—a belief based around the lack of a belief—has been taking itself a little too seriously these days. An entire field of academics has even begun foisting the mantle upon itself—“secular studies,” it’s called. We know that the moment academia touches anything it becomes immediately stuffy and humorless, so what could lighten [...]

What you need to know about drugs and drug policy

What you need to know about drugs and drug policy

No matter how many taboos, commandments, and laws surround the distribution and consumption of mind-altering substances, people are still taking drugs and law enforcement is still enforcing drug laws. In his new book “Drugs and Drug Policy” Mark A. R. Kleiman, Professor of Public at Policy at UCLA, covers a variety of topics including the [...]

It just doesn’t $&%!* work! Why new tech products are increasingly unsatisfying

It just doesn’t $&%!* work! Why new tech products are increasingly unsatisfying

Harry McCracken has been reviewing technology products for 20 years and he’s seen it all—from products like the PalmPilot that blew him away, to ones that were downright hazardous, like a mouse that caught on fire. He says there's never been a time when so much of the new stuff he’s reviewing is so very [...]

The update – sex scandals: Schwarzenegger, DSK, Weiner and beyond

The update – sex scandals: Schwarzenegger, DSK, Weiner and beyond

What do you get when you mix politics with sex? Lots of lurid headlines followed by… the inevitable dropping off of the radar. As part of our "The Update" series, AirTalk revisits some of the most salacious scandals of the year from Arnold Schwarzenegger's lovechild and divorce (he was seen celebrating his birthday with Maria [...]

Therapy dogs in courtrooms: Rosie the golden retriever scratches the surface of debate

Therapy dogs in courtrooms: Rosie the golden retriever scratches the surface of debate

Rosie, the golden retriever therapy dog named after civil rights heroine Rosa Parks, has an uncanny ability to comfort children in distress. For this reason, she was chosen to accompany a 15-year-old girl who needed to testify in court that her father had raped and impregnated her. While the girl was in the witness box, [...]

Linking mental illness and leadership

Linking mental illness and leadership

During turbulent political and economic times the key elements of leadership that heads of state must possess are realism, empathy, creativity and resilience. Should we seek leaders who are mentally unstable? So says Dr. Nassir Ghaemi, professor of psychiatry and director of the Mood Disorders program at Tufts University Medical Center. In his new book [...]

The Triple Agent: The al-Qaeda Mole who Infiltrated the CIA

The Triple Agent: The al-Qaeda Mole who Infiltrated the CIA

From the author of the book behind the acclaimed film Syriana comes another thriller about what’s been called the CIA’s biggest disaster since 9/11. Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Joby Warrick tells the “harrowing and heartbreaking, fascinating and frightening” story of the al-Qaeda mole who infiltrated the CIA a year and a half before Osama bin Laden [...]

A look at the tempestuous life of legendary director Nicholas Ray

A look at the tempestuous life of legendary director Nicholas Ray

Jean-Luc Godard wrote: “The cinema is Nicholas Ray.” Revered by both the public and his peers, Nicholas Ray changed forever the landscape of American film making. Known for directing such classics movies as Lonely Place or Rebel Without a Cause, Ray was attracted to stories of misfits and social pariahs. In fact, Ray is one [...]

Fringe-ology: How I Tried to Explain Away the Unexplainable-And Couldn’t

Fringe-ology: How I Tried to Explain Away the Unexplainable-And Couldn’t

Are some things really unexplainable? Over 70% of Americans believe in paranormal activity, but most have the sense not to admit their beliefs. Even fewer, save for certain groups on the internet, take the time to write about them. Enter Steve Volk, an investigative reporter and lifelong skeptic, who took it upon himself to enter [...]

Maude Woods - Opening October 22nd in Pasadena

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