KPCC Blogs


The birth, adolescence, and maturation of politics

The birth, adolescence, and maturation of politics

E. O. Wilson’s classic book Sociobiology contends that human society is, in some way, driven by the same forces of evolutionary biology and natural selection that affect living organisms. Taking this tenet as a jumping off point, Frances Fukuyama tackles the history of politics in The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the [...]

Pollack pens the pun for fun

Pollack pens the pun for fun

Some people are “pun people” (pun intended), and others roll their eyes at puns as tomfoolery. Whichever side you’re on, John Pollack writes in <i>The Pun Also Rises</i> that puns are experiencing a “pun renaissance” in our culture and are a part of virtually every language spoken. Who better than a former presidential speechwriter and [...]

One year after the disastrous BP Oil Spill, how is the gulf recovering?

One year after the disastrous BP Oil Spill, how is the gulf recovering?

It’s been a year since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded into flames, killing 11 workers and sparking the largest ecological disaster in the nation’s history. The damage crushed the gulf region that was just starting to get back on even footing after hurricane Katrina. We’ll take a look back at the oil spill and [...]

Madre: Perilous Journeys with a Spanish Noun

Madre: Perilous Journeys with a Spanish Noun

Why is it that no matter how many madres are in a room, even if it’s thousands, when one padre enters, the collective noun for the group becomes padres? Or that the phrase “Que padre!” means “What a great father,” and “Me vale madre” means “It’s worthless?” Liza Bakewell asks these questions in her new [...]

Where does the road paved with good intentions take you?

Where does the road paved with good intentions take you?

Every day, people, organizations, companies and countries make decisions with the best possible intentions in mind. However, a noble thought does not a successful deed make. Often times these decisions will go astray and end up causing more harm than good. In his new book Best Laid Plans: The Tyranny of Unintended Consequences and How [...]

Morgan Spurlock and The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

Morgan Spurlock and The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

It’s not a new concept that money makes the world go round; nor is it new that in Hollywood product placement and sponsorship are pieces of filmmaking almost as important as scripts and actors. So when documentarian Morgan Spurlock set out to do an expose on the product placement industry within the filmmaking industry, the [...]

Expert predictions are next to worthless

Expert predictions are next to worthless

Everyday on television, on the radio, in newspapers, experts are offering predictions for the future. They tell us how much oil will be per gallon, what the political climate will be in a particular region of the world or who will win the Superbowl. But according to the author of a new book, all those [...]

Marine’s tragic end a reminder of a generation’s war wounds

Marine’s tragic end a reminder of a generation’s war wounds

To the public eye, Clay Hunt was a shining example of a modern war veteran diligently coping with PTSD and the survivor’s guilt he felt over the deaths of his fellow Marines. The 28-year-old former Marine corporal earned a Purple Heart after enemy fire pinned him, a sniper’s bullet missed his head by inches and [...]

Sidney Lumet – a curtain call for a legend of cinema

Sidney Lumet – a curtain call for a legend of cinema

Director Sidney Lumet started his show business career acting in plays at the tender age of 4. A series of Broadway roles followed in the 1930s, which led him to try his hand at directing television in the medium’s nascent years in the early 1950s. By 1955 Lumet’s reputation had grown and he had begun [...]

Freedom Riders

Freedom Riders

Leaving from Washington, D.C. in 1961, an integrated group of people calling themselves “Freedom Riders” traveled to the Deep South to put a recent federal ruling declaring it unconstitutional to segregate bus riders to the test. Despite their pledge of nonviolence, they met with physical resistance and sometimes violence as they attempted to occupy segregated [...]