KPCC Blogs


Sins of greenwashing – are eco-friendly products better for the world or just more hype?

Sins of greenwashing – are eco-friendly products better for the world or just more hype?

Supermarkets and drugstores are flooded with products claiming to be “green.” Driven by strong consumer demand, the number of green (or greener) products has risen by 73%. But according to a recent study by Terrachoice, an environmental marketing consulting practice, 95% of products sold in North America make misleading claims about safety and sustainability. Government [...]

The end of class-action lawsuits? The Supreme Court hears AT&T v. Concepcion

The end of class-action lawsuits? The Supreme Court hears AT&T v. Concepcion

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday in a case that could altogether do away with class-action lawsuits. This most unlikely case, involving a couple who got a “free” phone but was forced to pay sales tax, is being touted as one of the most important consumer rights cases to come before the high court [...]

It’s a bird, it’s a plane… it’s an unmanned aerial drone spying on me

It’s a bird, it’s a plane… it’s an unmanned aerial drone spying on me

Up until now, unmanned aerial vehicles were these exotic machines used in times of war to spy on enemies or take them out altogether, but think of the endless applications of airborne craft that are small, maneuverable and free of those pesky pilots. From airborne traffic analysts watching over the freeway networks of L.A. to [...]

The master interpreter of song, Frank Sinatra

The master interpreter of song, Frank Sinatra

Equal parts charismatic and enigma, Frank Sinatra is arguably the best-known entertainer of the twentieth century. But behind the blue eyes and velvet voice, in the shadow of the legend is the life of a real man. In his new book, <i>Frank: The Voice,</i> author James Kaplan fills in the details of Sinatra’s story in [...]

From Plymouth Rock to Rockefeller Plaza

From Plymouth Rock to Rockefeller Plaza

Was it the Puritan value system that shaped America’s managerial culture, turning a few tiny colonies into the greatest economic and political power on earth? The authors of The Puritan Gift contend that the Protestant ethic – thriftiness, individualism tempered with cooperative spirit, the equation of success with divine approval – makes up the core [...]

Overconsumed America: are we big, fat, gluttonous jerks?

Overconsumed America: are we big, fat, gluttonous jerks?

The super-sized meal; the Hummer; 80-inch plasma TV’s; our waistlines — when Americans go big, we go really big, and we go big a lot. A professor at Southern Connecticut State University had been doing research on the consumption habits of Americans and started to connect the psychological dots between our addiction to consumption and [...]

Randy Newman’s Harps and Angels to premier in Los Angeles

Randy Newman’s Harps and Angels to premier in Los Angeles

From irreverent hits like “Short People” in the 70s to an illustrious career in Hollywood film composing, Randy Newman’s music has woven its way into the fabric of American life. Most recently, he’s added to his acclaim with jazzy numbers in The Princess and the Frog, touching strains of Toy Story 1, 2 & 3, [...]

Food is tasty, but healthy eating AND helping the environment is delicious!

Food is tasty, but healthy eating AND helping the environment is delicious!

People get hungry and usually enjoy a good meal, but sometimes that meal comes at the expense of the person’s health. Beyond affecting our own bodies, what we consume can really take a toll on the environment. Enter New York Times columnist Mark Bittman and his new book, <i>The Food Matters Cookbook: 500 Revolutionary Recipes [...]

The search for self & the origin of consciousness

The search for self & the origin of consciousness

Ever wonder what makes you, well, you? Great minds have long pondered the question of how we actually perceive, recognize, and feel our “self.” Understanding human consciousness has been the Holy Grail for various kinds of seekers, from poets and priests, to experts in brain physiology. In his new book, <i>Self Comes to Mind: Constructing [...]

Absence make the McHeart grow fonder: the staying power of the McRib is that it always goes away

Absence make the McHeart grow fonder: the staying power of the McRib is that it always goes away

The McRib is back, but like Celine Dion, The Rolling Stones, and Cher, it’s promising this is its farewell tour. McDonald’s removed the sandwich from its permanent menu over twenty years ago, and has since offered it in only limited places for a limited time, perhaps unintentionally positioning it as the Chupacabra of fast foods. [...]