KPCC Blogs


Hidden mysteries of Hollywood’s greatest backlot

Hidden mysteries of Hollywood’s greatest backlot

In Hollywood’s golden age the movie studios were known as “dream factories.” And back then, the biggest and best was Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The studio’s iconic roaring lion graced the same screen as such legendary performers as Garbo, Astaire and Gable. In fact, it’s estimated that before 1970, a fifth of all the movies made in the [...]

It’s your funeral: Choosing Burial Practices

It’s your funeral: Choosing Burial Practices

“I’m not dead yet.” Aside from being a famous quote from the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, this idea speaks to the conundrum many people encounter as they choose their funeral today. There are many funeral choices: you can be buried in an environmentally friendly way, frozen in time, burnt into ashes, or [...]

The Band’s Robbie Robertson is back

The Band’s Robbie Robertson is back

Canadian born singer-songwriter Robbie Robertson is back with How To Become Clairvoyant – his first album in more than a decade. Robertson is best known as a founding member and chief songwriter of The Band, writing such classic songs as “The Weight,” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and “I Shall Be Released.” Since [...]

Dan Savage to gay teens: “It Gets Better!”

Dan Savage to gay teens: “It Gets Better!”

Following the deaths of several gay teens last fall, “Savage Love” columnist Dan Savage and his husband launched the “It Gets Better Project” to support gay/lesbian/bisexual/transsexual youth. The idea was that discouraged gay teens would realize their lives were worth living if older gay people offered hope and encouragement. So Savage and his husband, Terry [...]

Diablo Canyon – quake safe?

Diablo Canyon – quake safe?

California Senator Sam Blakeslee (R-San Luis Obispo) is calling for a seismic study of the Diablo Canyon power plant before PG&E is allowed to renew licenses to operate the facility through 2045. At a hearing this week he expressed deep concerns about a “culture of disregard and risk.” Blakeslee, who has a doctorate in earthquake [...]

Republican strategist Frank Luntz on the future of the Republican Party

Republican strategist Frank Luntz on the future of the Republican Party

No one understands the power of words like political pollster Frank Luntz. Coining euphemisms like "energy exploration" (for oil drilling) and popularizing phrases like the "death tax” (a.k.a the estate tax), Luntz has made a career of marketing, sloganeering and devising useful—albeit divisive—rhetoric for the Republican Party. Fast forward to the present day, and Republican [...]

Roy Campanella – most valuable baseball player and person

Roy Campanella – most valuable baseball player and person

Roy Campanella, a.k.a. Campy, was one of the first African-American baseball players to break the color barrier after Jackie Robinson. A mere three years later he became the National League’s Most Valuable Player. He had the respect of legends of the game including Joe DiMaggio who called him “a wizard,” and Ty Cobb who said [...]

EPA director Lisa Jackson on funding and new toxic standards

EPA director Lisa Jackson on funding and new toxic standards

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Lisa Jackson is in Los Angeles today, after a month of defending the agency’s 2012 budget in Congressional hearings, and most recently from accompanying President Obama on his trip to Brazil. She talks with Patt about the battle for the agency’s funding—of which House Republicans still want to cut a [...]

Two months until the end of the world—what’s behind the apocalyptic billboards all over L.A.?

Two months until the end of the world—what’s behind the apocalyptic billboards all over L.A.?

There’s one billboard that has the image of a man kneeling in front of a mountain, proclaiming the return of Jesus Christ on May 21st. Another billboard is almost playful, with a “save the date” memo as the backdrop, against claiming that Jesus is returning in May. There have been proclamations about the end of [...]

Holding elementary school kids back, in hope of a better future

Holding elementary school kids back, in hope of a better future

Whether it makes sense to hold struggling students back a year, in hopes that they’ll do better the second time around, is a hotly debated and contentious education issue. No one likes the idea of being “held back.” But if extra tutoring or time in summer school isn’t enough to improve academic performance, retention might [...]