KPCC Blogs


Is “Anonymous” behavior justified? Are they modern day Robin Hoods or thrill seeking vigilantes?

Is “Anonymous” behavior justified? Are they modern day Robin Hoods or thrill seeking vigilantes?

In recent weeks, a hacker group called “Anonymous” has gained national attention by publicizing sensitive police information, organizing a protest against BART’s disruption of cell phone service, and calling for the resignation of Fullerton’s Police Chief after the police shooting of a local homeless man. A hacking threat against Facebook has also been made by […]

Boy or girl? Early gender determination raises ethical questions

Boy or girl? Early gender determination raises ethical questions

Typically, parents learn the sex of their baby from an ultrasound technician, at around 20 weeks. But a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that a simple blood test of the mother’s blood can determine the gender of a fetus as early as seven weeks, with 95 percent accuracy. That’s […]

Stealing Rembrandts: The Untold Stories of Notorious Art Heists

Stealing Rembrandts: The Untold Stories of Notorious Art Heists

On March 18, 1990, a pair of thieves disguised as police officers entered Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and stole thirteen works of art, including paintings by Vermeer, Degas, Manet, three by Rembrandt, and others. It is the largest single property theft in recorded history, with an estimated total value of $500 million. To this […]

The Life and Art of Busby Berkeley

The Life and Art of Busby Berkeley

During the Depression Era, Hollywood’s grandiose productions brought infinite comfort to the American public. One of the greats of this era was Busby Berkely, the visionary choreographer, famous for creating very unique visually explosive musical numbers based on geometric kaleidoscopic patterns. Berkeley used as many showgirls as he could find and filled the screen with […]

Nightmare at 20,000 feet: what’s the worst/weirdest in-flight experience you’ve had?

Nightmare at 20,000 feet: what’s the worst/weirdest in-flight experience you’ve had?

Picture this, you’re an eleven year old girl and an extremely intoxicated professional skier begins urinating on you while you sleep quietly on a plane. That’s what happened aboard a recent JetBlue flight that prompted a landing – all so that Robert “Sandy” Vietze, the urinate-er in question, could be evacuated. Plane travel is an […]

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 […]