KPCC Blogs


Previewing President Obama’s Afghanistan speech: what happens to the region once American troops are gone?

Previewing President Obama’s Afghanistan speech: what happens to the region once American troops are gone?

In a few hours, President Obama will announce how many troops he will withdraw from Afghanistan over the next 18 months. Reporting has been all over the map—CNN cites 30,000 “surge” troops home by the end of 2012; The Los Angeles Times is reporting a withdrawal of 10,000 troops by the end of this year; [...]

Summer break: big fun or giant headache?

Summer break: big fun or giant headache?

Summer vacation is a time for school kids to stretch their legs, turn off their brains and run wild for a couple months before buckling down and getting back to learning. At least, that’s what it is now. Way back when, summer vacation was an economic and public health necessity. Schools in big urban areas [...]

Would you liquefy your body? In search of the green(er) funeral

Would you liquefy your body? In search of the green(er) funeral

It isn’t yet legal in the state of California but legislation has been introduced to make Alkaline Hydrolysis, a process of liquefying tissue, a certified way for making a greener exit from this life. The process accelerates the natural decomposition process, doing decades of work in a few hours by using a strong alkali (pH [...]

The liquid of life

The liquid of life

Every human society has been shaped by its relationship to water and in his new book Elixir anthropologist Brian Fagan traces the history of our involvement with this vital resource. Fagan goes back to the most remote period of human existence chronicling our struggle to tame a resource so mysterious and unpredictable. He sweeps through [...]

Comparing today’s tomato with the tomato of 1960: a story of modern industrial agriculture

Comparing today’s tomato with the tomato of 1960: a story of modern industrial agriculture

Tomatoes are the second-most popular produce in the U.S., and Americans have come to expect access to plump, red tomatoes year-round. Yet to achieve this end, Florida—which produces one third of tomatoes in the U.S.—uses one hundred different herbicides and pesticides on tomatoes, which are then picked hard and green and then artificially gassed until [...]

Touching the hearts of horses

Touching the hearts of horses

The real-life horse whisperer who inspired the 1998 fictional movie “The Horse Whisperer” starring Robert Redford is now the star of his own documentary that follows the life of the cowboy-philosopher Buck Brannaman. The movie was directed by Cindy Meehl, who shot 300 hours of film following the horse tamer as he works his magic [...]

Nerd Do Well: A Small Boy’s Journey to Becoming a Big Kid

Nerd Do Well: A Small Boy’s Journey to Becoming a Big Kid

Few people get famous for being a nerd and Simon Pegg is no exception. For in addition to being a nerd he is also a talented writer! How else could he write his latest book Nerd Do Well: A Small Boy’s Journey to Becoming a Big Kid. Within these bifocaled pages are a myriad of [...]

Music you can believe in

Music you can believe in

When thinking of African-American culture, the two musical genres that most likely jump to the forefront of your mind are rap and jazz. But gospel music, while less commercial, has much deeper roots in the black American experience. In the documentary Rejoice and Shout, producer Joe Lauro and director Don McGlynn explore the 200 year [...]

Rebuilding & recriminations: what will post-tsunami, post-nuclear disaster Japan look like?

Rebuilding & recriminations: what will post-tsunami, post-nuclear disaster Japan look like?

The earthquake and resulting tsunami that hit northern Japan in March has had immediate impacts on the Japanese and those towns in the path of the wall of water, but the ripple effects are international: as the aftermath of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant unfolded Germany has declared that it will [...]

The inside scoop on the New York Times

The inside scoop on the New York Times

The way that people get information is changing, perhaps faster than news organizations can adapt. Blogs, Internet-only entities like the Huffington Post and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are co-opting territory previously dominated by traditional print and broadcast media outlets. But it’s not just how the news is being disseminated that’s evolving. A [...]