KPCC Blogs


Testing Teachers: an American RadioWorks documentary from American Public Media

Testing Teachers: an American RadioWorks documentary from American Public Media

Teachers are at the center of education debate today because a huge body of research has shown that teachers matter a lot to the educational success or failure of children. Studies show students who get the best teachers learn three times as much as students with the worst teachers. Researchers also say that achievement gaps [...]

Boris Karloff: Thriller

Boris Karloff: Thriller

You know him best as Frankenstein, but actor Boris Karloff appeared in 200 films. His daughter Sara Karloff joins Larry to discuss the new DVD box set, Thriller. From 1960 to 1962, Karloff hosted–and frequently starred in–the films showcased on the NBC anthology series. Sara celebrates her father's life and legacy and takes questions from [...]

American hypocrites (is that redundant?)

American hypocrites (is that redundant?)

The outcry of government opponents has become fairly widespread around the country. The list of critics goes on and on, with some pointing their fingers and shouting “socialist!” without a nod. But what would these Americans say if they lost their mortgage tax relief, their Social Security benefits, or their state’s stimulus funds? They’d probably [...]

Has pornography heightened or hijacked our sexuality?

Has pornography heightened or hijacked our sexuality?

Today’s vastly growing porn industry, estimated to have a $96 billion global worth, has come a long way since the 1950s Playboy pinups. Over the years, the commercialization of pornography has led to the drastic objectification of women and the dehumanization of sexual relationships, according to anti-porn activist Gail Dines. And, thanks to the internet, [...]

The road to citizenship: how to become a U.S. citizen

The road to citizenship:  how to become a U.S. citizen

The flow of illegal immigration into the U.S. has slowed sharply since 2007, bringing down the estimated total number of undocumented residents to 11 million. Even with the declining numbers, that leaves a lot of people in the country who, ostensibly, would like to be here permanently and legally. How does one become a U.S. [...]

TitleWave: “Garden State” author Rick Moody on his new novel “The Four Fingers of Death”

TitleWave: “Garden State” author Rick Moody on his new novel “The Four Fingers of Death”

<i>Garden State</i> author Rick Moody joins Patt with his new novel <i>The Four Fingers of Death</i> about, well, husbands and wives, death and dying, astronauts, and a lone human arm missing its middle finger, which is the only thing to return to earth from a mission to mars. It’s a bit unclear. Told as a [...]

The Science of Suffering

The Science of Suffering

Chronic pain is more widespread, misdiagnosed, and untreated than any major disease in America, affecting as much as 10% of the population. In her new book “The Pain Chronicles,” author Melanie Thernstrom outlines the history of medicine’s quest to alleviate pain from the first use of ether for surgery in 1842 to the modern use [...]

The creativity crisis

The creativity crisis

Creativity has been defined as the production of something original and useful, and our ability to employ this kind of divergent thinking is called the creativity quotient, or “CQ.” In 1958, four hundred Minneapolis children completed a series of tasks designed by psychologists to assess their innate creativity. Over the next 50 years, the psychologists [...]

California’s health insurance future – a conversation with Rep. John Garamendi

California’s health insurance future – a conversation with Rep. John Garamendi

The healthcare overhaul law is here to stay. As states are deciding how to deal with implementing the new requirements, California has already come forward with a bill to set up its new healthcare exchange. But how will it all work? As a former State Insurance Commissioner, House Representative John Garamendi knows his stuff. The [...]

In Praise of Adoption

In Praise of Adoption

There are 1.5 million adopted children in the United States and 58 percent of Americans know someone who has been adopted, has adopted a child, or has relinquished a child for adoption. Scott Simon, host of NPR’s “Weekend Edition” joins Larry Mantle to tell the story of how he and his wife Caroline found true [...]