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KPCC Blogs


Isabel Allende’s “Island Beneath the Sea”

Isabel Allende’s “Island Beneath the Sea”

Arguably the world’s most widely read Spanish-language author, Isabel Allende is back with a new book, this time bringing elements of her signature magic realism to bear on the violent birth of Haiti. <i>Island beneath the Sea</i> follows teenage slave Zarita (know as Tété) from her arranged marriage to a Frenchman to freedom in a [...]

The future of voting in California: Prop. 14 and the open primary

The future of voting in California: Prop. 14 and the open primary

The idea is to assure that the candidates with the greatest number of votes square off in state elections. Instead of having a Republican and a Democrat face each other, the system would allow for a slate of candidates and the two highest vote takers would battle it out on a general election ballot. Proponents [...]

Orange is the New Black: My Year In a Women’s Prison

Orange is the New Black: My Year In a Women’s Prison

Soon after graduating from Smith College and working as a waitress to try and find herself, Piper Kerman was smuggling drug money for a West African drug lord and in way over her head with what even the most liberal of parents would have called “a bad crowd” – ten years later those poor choices [...]

Moguls, movies and a company called DreamWorks

Moguls, movies and a company called DreamWorks

When DreamWorks was founded in 1994, it was the first new Hollywood studio in 60 years. Headed by director Steven Spielberg, music mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, and ex-Disney executive David Geffen, the company set out to build a media empire dedicated to talent and where employees didn't have titles that was dedicated to talent. DreamWorks had [...]

Stop that racket: why we hate- and love- noise

Stop that racket: why we hate- and love- noise

Unlike music, speech and other frequencies we hear, noise is usually defined as “unwanted sound.” Garret Keizer examines why many of the things we most want—rapid travel, mobile communication devices and other signs of modernity—are so loud we can hardly hear ourselves think. From hip hop and metal to car alarms and helicopters, are these [...]

Lecture Notes: A Professor’s Inside Guide to College Success

Lecture Notes: A Professor’s Inside Guide to College Success

Though some of the advice may seem obvious—go to class, read the books, talk to your professors—in a time when it is becoming harder and harder to get accepted into a university maybe some straightforward tips are exactly what the college freshman of 2010 need. As the school year comes to an end, guest host [...]

The 48 Laws of Power

The 48 Laws of Power

Power. Everyone wants it; few know how to attain it. Our fascination with power is rooted in our DNA, every relationship we have revolves around someone grasping for more power. Every so often a book on philosophy is released that solidifies itself as a classic, transcending the realm of literature and reappearing as a vital [...]

‘Super’ news anchor Jim Lehrer in the house

‘Super’ news anchor Jim Lehrer in the house

Best known as the anchor of the PBS program The NewsHour and as a frequent presidential debate moderator, Jim Lehrer has a new novel out, Super. The murder mystery focuses on a time in America when railroad trains such as the Santa Fe Super Chief were the principal method of transcontinental travel. Larry talks with [...]

Molly Ringwald’s still Pretty in Pink

Molly Ringwald’s still Pretty in Pink

You know her best as the ultimate adolescent, star of the John Hughes trifecta—Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, and Pretty in Pink. Now, Molly Ringwald is back with a book that combines personal reflections with the kind of advice most often whispered confidentially in ladies’ rooms. Molly Ringwald is in the house, talking with Larry about [...]

With another multi-billion dollar deficit looming, California faces a tough choice: education or prisons?

With another multi-billion dollar deficit looming, California faces a tough choice:  education or prisons?

The season of budget despair is almost upon us in California—as the fiscal year end looms on June 30th and California yet again faces a multi-billion dollar budget deficit, the latest cheery news is that the state’s revenue projections are way down. Tax collections for April were abysmal, roughly $3 billion behind what the state [...]